Happy New Year!

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Furuhata Ninzaburo & Opening Theme

Furuhata Ninzaburo was a great detective show, comparable to Columbo in the basic premise, but it had a more philosophical and dandyish protagonist, brilliantly played by Mazakazu Tamura. It also had a great opening theme, with a James Bondish riff (probably overtly) at the beginning, but a totally different flair once it got going.

Shiina Ringo & Seishun no Matataki

Shiina Ringo “Seishun no Matataki” (Flicker of Youth), written for Chiaki Kuriyama who released it 2011, here performed by Shiina Ringo herself 2014.

Version from the live performance televised this New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2016):

Lyrics here courtesy of Lyrical Nonsense. Shiina Ringo is a very gifted songwriter but I find her voice a bit grating. I love the arrangement though, with the interwoven electronica.

Mannix Theme Song &

One of the notable and probably forgotten and underappreciated crime show theme songs. I was remembering it, then went to search the T’Oobs, which rarely disappoint. By Lalo Shifrin (of Mission Impossible and Dirty Harry fame, to name just a few). I always considered this close to the Ironside and Hawaii 5-0 level of big band theme songs. And don’t forget Kojak!

 

Nao Matsuzaki & Kawaberi no Ie

Nao Matsuzaki’s “Kawaberi no Ie” (house next to a river) is a single from 2006 but seems to have been re-released on some of her albums. It made an impression on me as the theme music for a weekly documentary program on NHK, so I hunted it down for the listening pleasure of my 2 1/2 readers.

This seems like the sound sincerity would make if it could make a sound. You can see Nao’s official site here. Meanwhile, the scenes the Youtuber films are from Shibuya in Tokyo. Buy here.

UPDATE:This post has been by far my most visited over the past several months. Thanks for coming by and appreciating the song.

From viewer comments I gather that most are visiting this post to get to the comments, where I posted the video of an extended session with Nao and her band. That video has (apparently) the only complete version of “Kawaberi no Ie” that can be played on the T’Oobs in Europe or North America. To make things easier, I am moving that video up here. The song starts from 21:40:

An additional note: NHK’s weekly Document 72 Hours (which always features Nao’s song at the end) is available in English on the T’Oobs. It doesn’t have a lot of thrills and chills, but it is a really fascinating slice of life show. The producers pick a spot and film the people that go there for 72 hours. Then they make that into a 25 minute documentary.