In today’s installment, we look at an old Japanese music tradition: enka. The pithy explanation is that it’s the Japanese equivalent of an American country-western song, but instead of beer, trucks, dogs, and break-ups, there’s sake, sakura, nostalgia, and break-ups. Of course, that’s only a small fraction of the story. Wikipedia has a decent-length entry about the Japanese ballad, and the internet is naturally full of examples. It’s a good time-killer and will give you a bit of culture outside of the pablum of animu.
Forum user/enka connoisseur Bunnychan was gracious enough to provide a collection of Vocaloid enka songs (and a collection of appropriately–styled pictures, and hell, most of this article’s text) and this column being what it is, we’re going to take a look.
Let’s go in chronological order, because it’s fun. Technically, this shouldn’t be first, but it was in Lucky Star, so I’m putting it first.
Of course, not all enka songs are made of sad and emo. This Rin cover of a 90’s hit is goofy just on the animation alone.
I think I used to have one of those calculators. Anyway, to 1977 we go and another Rin cover. (It’s Bunnychan. Kagamines are sort of her thing 😛 )
Next is a cover by Meiko of a song from ’74. I have to agree with the Buns here and that say that Meiko is the Vocaloid enka queen.
And finally, we have arguably the most famous enka song of all time (and arguably the first enka song of all time), originally from 1955. It’s so important, I had to look up what “melisma” was.
It seems appropriate here, but annoyed me to no end during The Messiah. Not sure why.
Songs of the Weekend
We may finally have Gakupo’s day in the sun. Figuratively speaking, of course.
That’s big pimpin’ y’all.
In the Mita category, Yuuto wants to make sure that you don’t forget JBF, so it doesn’t disappear.
And compared to the rest of this week’s offerings, this new entry from Teto seems bland, but it’s not bad, except for the high parts.
That’s all for now. MMD Cup starts this weekend, so stay tuned for that.