Monday, October 05, 2015

The Nostalgia Series - Old drama theme songs: "Your Eyes Only ~ Aimai na boku no rinkaku" by EXILE

Back in 2001, there was another drama which caught my eyes for a number of reasons. Being a fan of Takenouchi Yutaka, he was usually featured in "serious" or "brooding"-type of roles. It was only until this drama that he finally showed that he had that comedic flair and played a rather frivolous guy who got his one-night-stand partner pregnant. To top it off, his partner was played by Hirosue Ryoko who had worked with him in "Beach Boys" where their characters felt more like siblings. At that time, even though the premise was rather interesting because the lead couple had to prepare for marriage and parenthood despite not really loving each other from the start,  it was actually the choice of the cast which hooked me. Coupled with Abe Hiroshi, Ishida Yuriko. Katase Nana, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Sawamura Ikki, Kinomi Nana and Chiba Sonichi, this was a star-studded cast even by today's standards because most if not all, have already moved up to become leading actors/actresses now.

Unexpectedly, there was something else which caught my eyes, or rather my ears. It was not the theme song "IS IT YOU?" by hitomi but rather the insert song which was a soothing R&B number with vocals I had never heard before then. However, in the first few episodes of the drama, there was nothing in the credits which mentioned who the voices belonged to. After checking Wikipedia for the purpose of writing this post, it seems that there was a deliberate attempt at that time to conceal the names of the singers so as to build up interest among viewers about their true identities.

According to what's written on Wikipedia Japan, someone else was supposed to be responsible for the insert song for this drama. However, that singer had to withdraw from the project for some unknown reason. At that time, HIRO, the leader of EXILE, had planned to get ATSUSHI to join J Soul Brothers as their vocalist. It so happened that another thing happened leading to the plan falling through. Just then, HIRO also came to know about SHUN while he was looking for a vocalist. As FujiTV was in a hurry to find a replacement singer, they approached avex to produce the original song which was rewritten and recorded by ATSUSHI and SHUN who didn't know each other until the day of the recording. Being greenhorns at doing studio recordings, it took them almost one full day to finish the song's recording which was in English. Subsequently, when the song was aired during the broadcast, it attracted so much interest that another Japanese version was made and aired from episode 9 onwards. The single did rather well in the Oricon charts with a No.8 placing in its first week and became a long-running bestseller.

I didn't know about this history until I did the research so I'm kinda surprised that the song was a last-minute effort to fill in for the original singer who had to withdraw. Nonetheless, I was rather impressed with the vocals of ATSUSHI and SHUN then and I really liked how the song always came in at the right moment to match the mood of the story. As such, it was an unexpected discovery for me to have come across this song through the drama. Although I don't count myself as a EXILE fan and have not followed their career closely over the years, this song remains my No.1 favourite from the group even though SHUN is no longer in it.

For those who are interested in checking out the song, here is where you can find it.


qnuy said...

You have no idea how happy I am reading this entry because I'm both an EXILE fan and Yutaka Takenouchi fan XD I was surprised when I found out that EXILE song was used in Takenouchi's drama (I became an EXILE fan pretty late), so it's double happiness for me XD Thank you for this entry and also the romaji lyrics. And I'm sorry for sounding ridiculous XD

Chiaki said...

I'm the exact opposite when it comes to EXILE because I knew them right from the start but somehow didn't continue following them. Glad that you enjoyed reading the post!