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Posts tagged ‘CHAM’

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My Pop Music History: What ever happened to CHAM ?

CHAM_by_MirrorQueen

Most anime fans are familiar with the late Satoshi Kon’s directorial debut  “Perfect Blue” (trailer linked here).  The all-girl Jpop Idol group “CHAM” were an important part of this compelling, and mind-bending drama. Despite the initial  popularity of CHAM, the group has now been relegated to the “Where are they now?” files of Pop Music History.

I LOVED their big hit single: “Ai no Tenshi”.  The video below captures Mima, Rei and Yukiko at the time just  before they would rocket to stardom. It is a fantastic peak inside the recording studio.  The girls are not wearing their stage outfits here —  but who cares – they look (and sound) AMAZING.

One of the greatest anime film songs ever IMHO.

Here is a brief snippet of how they appeared in the German (translation) version of the film. Sorry for the obscure video reference — original CHAM footage is very hard to find, and valuable these days.

They were an exciting Jpop trio to watch live.  CHAM paved the way for other Idol groups.  Without CHAM’s trailblazing, Jpop girl groups today would probably not be the same!

cham on stage

Classic CHAM moves. They did it first. They did it better!

The ladies also recorded an English language version of “Ai no Tenshi (Angel of Love)”.  The song has been covered and performed in stage concerts by American singers Madonna and Tiffany. (No, Denny is NOT making that up!)

The lyrics translated into English, although seemingly cute and innocent, recap the very creepy story that is “Perfect Blue”

“Angel of Love” translation:

And now you come and see it all just for yourself
See the angel’s wings, but something else is there
And all those magic hearts are all for you again

And then you come and listen to the sweet little voice
Singing there for you and only just for you
She is protecting you right now…

And if sometimes you feel for your love
Send a little heart for her
And she’ll be there with you with her love
Waiting only for you!

And when you love her, love her she will be
A little angel, angel in your heart
You’ve got to push it, push it for her love
And then forever, ever she will be
A sweet angel of your heart to be there together

And now you need a little faith in me and yourself
When you make your way to change the destiny
If you could only see what I could do for you

And even when you feel you have a difficult time
Listen to my heart who sings to make you shine
When you start to fall in love …

Another amazing moment was captured on this YouTube video. After years out of the limelight, CHAM makes a sudden guest appearance at an Anime convention. Here, the cameraman only captures part of their show.  I do not blame him however.  My jaw would have dropped in shock: OMG — IT’S CHAM!!! … grab the camera!!!  Pardon the quality, but can you imagine, being at an Anime Conference in Russia, when CHAM makes a surprise appearance after being gone for so long?

The group had its ups and downs over the years. Mima graduated from the group to purse an acting career.  Although she was critically acclaimed, she never reached the commercial success and popularity of CHAM.

For a few years group member Mima tried to go solo as a singer, and made a number of convention appearances. Yet these never came close to matching the appeal of the three-member unit.  The video is very low quality … still any CHAM footage is valuable. Please forward to time 1:35 to see Mima’s solo.

The group would often appear at conventions, but mainly to sign autographs as they were without a record contract for over a decade.  The ladies appeared in various commercial ads, sometimes as solo models, and sometimes in pairs (Documented in this slideshow below.)

 

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Many years later the group surfaced at this Lisbon, Portugal fundraiser in support of Pancreatic Cancer research. This performance may actually be a little difficult for dedicated fans to watch.  The ladies are older, out of shape, and have a hard time performing their moves. Still, it is an interesting, and final note of CHAM history.

Although CHAM may have now faded into pop music history, they will be remembered as one of the most inspiring pioneers in the Idol genre.

perfectblue06 cham poster

CHAM is gone, however fans keep a Facebook page linked here.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHAM/278278312204229

 Enjoy the memories. It took 12 years for the light of “Perfect Blue” and CHAM to reach my world.

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My Grandfatherly Advice for the Young Miss Mako Kojima

My Grandfatherly Advice for the Young Miss Mako Kojima.

Look up "enthusiasm" -- see this photo of Mako Kojima.

Look up “EXUBERANCE” — see this photo of Mako Kojima.

This week’s AKB48 performance video features rising AKB star Mako Kojima.   This Youtube video is available in 1080 HD

The song is “Tenshi no Shippo” or translated as “Angel Tail”.

As always, you can find, or sing along with Mr. Akimoto’s lyrics at:

http://stage48.net/studio48/tenshinoshippo.html

Kojima-san (wearing the little hat) is in the center, between Saho Iwatate and Mitsuki Maeda.

This is a very good song-and-dance performance!  The video was made in AKB48’s Akihabara Theater, Tokyo.  One can see how close the audience is to the stage.   You can really hear the crowd’s excitement!

The video must have been filmed by one of Mako-chan’s older male relatives, as the camera seems to stay on Mako, even when the other girls are singing their parts.  I’m guesing that all of those older men you can see in the front rows calling out Mako’s name — are her family.  It is good that she has protective, older male relatives to keep her out of trouble and away from bad influences.  From what I can see of the audience, she has both of her grandfathers there, plus some old uncles and older cousins.  They cheer her on.

She does give a wonderful performance here.  Mako-san is a rising star in AKB.  She did a very good job in AKB Team 4 (an AKB “training squad”), and I am glad that she is now given more performance time with the main group.  She brings a lot of sweetness, excitement, and grace to the group.  Mako reminds me of a young Yuko Oshima. They both convey both innocence and exuberance.  As Yuko is now graduating AKB, I predict that Mako will fill some of the void left by Oshima-san.  I will even go out on a limb here:  I predict that within five years Mako Kojima will be elected #1 in the group, or at least in the top three.  You will see Mako’s pretty face on a lot of magazine covers over the next five years.

The “Angel Tail” song is pretty cute, and I love that little dance that they made for it.  The white idol costumes are perfect.  This dance reminds me of the J-Pop group “CHAM” immortalized in the late Satoshi Kon’s landmark anime “Perfect Blue”.  They step and maneuver their arms in a way very much reminiscent of classic CHAM.  (The situation here is not as dark as “Perfect Blue” however.)  This trio is also pretty good at  maneuvering the “tails” of their angel-idol outfits.

The dancing is a lot of fun to watch, especially that cheerful little Mako-chan.  One of the great things about the talented Mako Kojima is that she is always looks so happy when she sings and dances.  She clearly loves her role, and it shows with that great smile of hers.  She is always so enthusiastic and positive!  I guess with the support of her older male relatives in the audience, she is especially motivated to give a top performance.  AKB audiences are guaranteed to see a lot more of this spirited performer in the coming years.

You may also enjoy this dance video “Seijun Philosophy”  by AKB48 Team 4, which features Mako, and Mimami Minegishi.  Watch on this link to Jpopsuki.tv.  Mako-chan is so happy during the story portion of this video that she SQUEAKS!  (In fact, “seijin” refers to “innocent”, correlating with the enthusiastic young Kojima-san.)

http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/AKB48-Team-4—Seijun-Philosophy/2c31557c16b19c331f80c46c749cb0af

Keep smiling, Miss Kojima!  You are a positive force, and a good role-model for young women.  Your liveliness  always puts us in high spirits!

I like Mako.   I’m cheering for her.

———————————————-

This starlight took almost six months to reach my world.

 

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