MAGIC WAYS

Artist: Tatsuro Yamashita

Genre: Kayokyoku (J-pop)/ lo-fi pop

Notable lyrics: 

The way you whisper in my ear
To make my troubles disappear
It’s magic

The way your little fingertips
Make my heart do double flips
It’s magic

And when you smile at me that way
Well you can warm the coldest day
It’s magic
(It’s magic, magic)

And even when you’re gone I find
I hear you laughing in my mind
It’s magic
(It’s magic, magic)

And all I have to do is think of you
To make the music start to play
Then I dance down the street
And the people I meet stop and say.‥hey hey

Magic ways my friend
You love the girl with magic ways, and it’s true
I might as well give in
You cast a spell on all my nights and days
With your sweet magic ways

Sigh, could a song be more perfect? Me thinks not.

Tatsuro Yamashita, a Japanese singer-songwriter, rose to prominence in the early 80’s when Japan decided to expand its musical expertise as well. J-pop was hugely inspired by western music, with a few Japanese artists even singing in English. Among the lot, Yamashita and his pop-singer wife, Mariya Takeuchi, were among the most popular singers. Japan’s style of making music involved using a lot of eccentric music, which included electronic music, and was known as Future pop, which is a very popular genre in Japan till date. Amidst all the troubles Japan has borne, it’s bound to never give up on its art and entertainment industry, which is worth a whopping 2 trillion yen, or more. Also, without anime, half the world would crumble in dismay.

This song came to me like a dream, from the less credited corners of YouTube with its anime versions of beautiful songs like these. At first, it seemed nothing special, until I listened to the original song to discover that it’s not been electronically altered at all. Released in 1982, the song is well beyond its years. The use of electronic music is very clever and artistic, adding more allure to the song than hostility. The lyrics are just so captivating, innocent and beautiful; talks like a man completely consumed by love. He sings about how in love he is with the girl’s magic ways, and the little things that make her up, that makes his life. He’s so in love that everyone he meets stops him to say that he loves the girl with the ‘magic ways’, which is basically talking about how charming and perfect she is. There’s also an inconspicuous guitar hidden among all that jazz, and the back-up vocals which make the song seem fuller. The tiny attributes gives the song its cheerful demeanor; The whispers of ‘magic’ in the background, are just so endearing. This is the shortest time within which I’ve fallen so madly in love with a song so wonderful.

If I hadn’t known any better, I would’ve mistaken Tatsuro for an American or an English man. The Japanese were extremely patriotic, have always been so, and don’t welcome the domination of English over their beautiful language. Tatsuro has basically broken all conventions for the sake of art. I’m convinced that Tatsuro Yamashita himself is a magician, producing such striking songs. If I had it my way (and I do), I’d plug-in the earphones, play this song, and dance all my troubles away. No kidding, this song also acts as a great stress-buster. There’s no way even the coldest man in existence, could sit through this song without a grin and a whistle, and a occasional tap of his feet.

Bonus: the video that essentially made my life better.

 

 

河童 (KAPPA)

Sa Yuu (Left and Right)

Genre: Alternative rock (Japanese)

Lyrics: 

My toes are getting chilly

My feelings are dying

My toes are getting chilly

My feelings are dying

A house has built up in the inside of me

He’s living in the inside of me

He’s calling in the inside of me

He’s calling my evil inside me

A house has built up on the inside of me

He’s living in the inside of me

He’s eating in the inside of me

He’s eating my goodness inside me

My toes are getting swollen

My feelings are dying

My toes are getting swollen

My feelings are dying

My air bladder

The air bladder I don’t need

I wanna sink down

I wanna sink down calmly

My toes are getting chilly

My feelings are dying

My toes are getting chilly

My feelings are dying

The things that you want to see are always looks boring but the every things that obsesses you are really great so I’m not gonna like you.

The Japanese version of the lyrics isn’t available and the google translator isn’t of much help, even with the camera recognition software. The aforementioned lyrics are a rough translation of the song.                                                                                                      Weeaboos, rejoice, for I have found this anime-perfect song after digging through the depths of YouTube. Well, it was actually recommended to me because I’ve watched tons of anime. Hey, they’re awesome and I highly recommend ‘The daily lives of Highschool boys’.

The song is so awesome, I’m not even guilty about the pleasure it provides me with (no, not THAT way). It’s both wonderfully weird and artistic, with quirky, debatable lyrics and an unconventional voice. Being miles away from typical J-pop or K-pop, for that matter, the song is mitigating in its own eccentric way. The electric guitar gives in an in-your-face edge and the cute midget woman with her screechy voice adds a surprising element of twist to the entire song.

‘A kappa also known as kawatarō (川太郎), komahiki (駒引, horse puller), or kawatora (川虎, river tiger) is an amphibious yōkai demon or imp found in traditional Japanese folklore’. The music video is a minimalist one, with a small cameo/documentary of gorillas from nowhere, but somehow belongs there, amidst all the confusion. Evidently, the video was recorded in the living room of the band members. Also, the band is an incipient one, with 50,000 views on their songs, at the most. Their music is available on iTunes and Amazon, so dear rich kids (or people who diligently invest in good music), fetch a copy now. We can’t afford to let more artists go extinct. Dear dedicated weeaboos, your time has also come, good fellas.