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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nanase Aikawa

Old school action. Nanase Aikawa was big in the mid-90's; she had kind of a 'tough' reputation (okay, this is relative 'tough' for what we're talking about here) and considered herself a serious rock singer. Marty Friedman from Megadeth also joined her crew and wrote a bunch of wanky guitar solos for her. (Remember him from the 'Rust in Peace' album? With that Hangar 18 song? No? Uhh...well...)

'Yumemiru shojo ja irarenai' was her first single, and captures her before she became really self-assured or well-known. Her clothing style and vocals are a little different in this than they would be later on, but I like them more than the later stuff. She seems cool in an uncool way, like she borrowed her yankie biker brother's clothes and started posing in front of her bedroom mirror. Her later videos had too many overdone conceits, like a Bonnie and Clyde remake and a homosexual love triangle ending in murder. I'll stick with Kumi for the story-videos.

The other telling thing about this video is how EIGHTIES it is. Although this was 1996, the bubble economy had collapsed and the recession set in, meaning that musically, at least, Japan was still stuck in the late-80's mode of big hair, bomber jackets, and shitty production values.

On the other side of the Pacific, a song like this would have been inconceivable at the time. Watching 'Yumemiru shojo ja irarenai' is like entering a parallel universe where grunge never broke and Lillian Axe got taken seriously. It's a trip.