Warning: There are YouTube videos here which may cause some browsers to freeze and crash.
Also, I can personally guarantee that by the time you’re done reading this entry, you’re going to be sick of something… or just confused.
Welcome, Magical Meteorites and other Earthlings who happen to stop by. To celebrate the approach of fall, we will now turn our attention to the inaugural group of the Sato Movement: the UFA duo ALMA KAMINIITO!
Again, to the readers used to me talking about female idols and wondering:
No, those are not two crossdressing girls.
A Recap and a History
To recap for those who are wondering who the eff these two guys are:
Like Tasaki Asahi, future Juice=Juice member Miyazaki Yuka, and future Bitter & Sweet member Hasegawa Moemi, these two dudes auditioned in the Forest Award NEW FACE Audition. While more can be said at their page at the Up Front Wikia, but I’ll try to sum up the inaugural Satoyama unit the best I can: the group released a few singles―Akane in April, Amatsubu Pearl / Dakishimetai Dakishimetai in October (and these are the major singles, which constituted the first single releases of the movement)―, a cover album, and participated in a few concerts before one left and the group became inactive when the other‘s solo debut was announced.
After auditioning and receiving the Special Award, the two―Japanese-born Ohno Munehiko (whose birthday is October 29) and third generation Peruvian Japanese Eric Fukusaki―formed the group and made it a matter of public record on August 11, 2011. On this day, their YouTube channel also opened. They’d make their official debut that November.
On April 4, 2013, Munehiko’s departure was announced. His reason? Not to “concentrate on studies,” but take over his family business.
The group continued as Eric with the sole member until his solo debut was announced in Spring 2014. Their profile would be taken down from the Satoyama Movement website within that year.
In spite of the fact the group’s long disbanded and that you can’t really access their channel anymore (“This channel is not available.”), their videos are still available on YouTube so lucky us! (I also do apologize for the nature of that quoted summary as I was somewhat rushed and was working on very little information (plus, the post was stuffed as it is). This is also the reason this post’ll be somewhat MV-focused.)
- Ao ni Nosete
- Blue Horizon
- Akane (Instrumental)
- Ao ni Nosete (Instrumental)
- Blue Horizon (Instrumental)
Released on April 25, 2012, this was the major debut single for the group. All of the songs on the single appeared in the 2011 movie “Sharehouse” (starring Takahashi Ai).
In Akane, we begin with a Carlos Santanaesque intro before heading into the main part. It’s a slow/mid-tempo song with a slight reggae-like beat. (If you’re familiar with the rest of the Sato Movement as personified by their more famous agencymates, you’ll know this is quite standard fare. Probably what sets these two apart is the fact it’s… different. I can’t put my finger on it, but this song is soothingly different from the Satoyama Movement releases that popped out later one.)
Ao ni Nosete is also a slow song, a piano caressed by a light bass beat, and light synths. This more so showcases the voices of the two crooners. We are also treated to a small smidgin of English in the second verse (a prelude to their cover album).
Ao ni Nosete
Amatsubu Pearl / Dakishimetai Dakishimetai
- Amatsubu Pearl
- Dakishimetai Dakishimetai
- Amatsubu Pearl (Instrumental)
- Dakishimetai Dakishimetai (Instrumental)
Originally scheduled for a September 12 release, the single was released on October 24, 2012 where it charted for 2 weeks to reach #45 on the Oricon Weekly Charts.
In a contrast to the previous single’s A-sides, Amatsubu Pearl is a somewhat faster song. Like Akane, a guitar flair sets this flamenco-influenced ditty off.
I’m sure some readers may enjoy the
fanservice eyecandy in the MV, which is mostly black and white.
Dakishimetai Dakishimetai is another slow song (described by the MV’s YouTube description as a “love song”).
As for the PV, we return to familiar territory here: most of it takes place in a forest (and what isn’t is in a house). In between the scenes of the duo, we see a girl (doesn’t appear to be anyone we know) who seems to be the subject of the song.
Here comes a release that is strange by standards we’re used to
unless you’ve listened to Kaorin’s pre-graduation material: here is their sole album, a cover album. What makes it strange by certain standards is that the songs are done in English and Spanish (Eric’s native language).
- Timing ~Timing~ (タイミング～Timing～)
(Black Biscuits cover; Spanish)
- Morai Naki
(Hitoto Yō cover; English)
- Anata ni Aitakute ~Missing You~
(Matsuda Seiko cover; Spanish)
- La La Sunshine
(Moritaka Chisato cover; Spanish)
(Ikimono-gakari cover; English)
- GET BACK IN LOVE
(Yamashita Tatsurō cover; Spanish)
(Hirose Kohmi cover; Spanish)
- Ai Uta
(GReeeeN cover; English)
- Mokuren no Namida
(Yamada Hiroshi cover; Spanish)
- Kiseki wo Nozomu Nara…English version
(JUJU cover; English)
- Condor wa Tonde Iku
(Simon & Garfunkel cover; Spanish)
- Blue Horizon
Mokuren no Namida
Where do we go from here?
As Ohno is running his family’s business (or as it was announced), who knows if we’ll see anything from him again. As for Eric, he has at least one single to his belt, but that is for another time. Overall, in spite of its brief history, ALMA KAMINIITO is a group as unique as its history. The internationality of the group contributed to the group’s very name and feel of the music. Due to the above and their touring, they have quite the Spanish-speaking fanbase (primarily centered towards Eric. To put it into perspective for my H!P-centric readers, think of it as being similar to Junjun and Linlin and the massive Chinese fanbase they brewed). There’s a reason for that. *winks*
I’ll end this with a snippet of things to come (as far as Eric’s concerned). Here is Subete no Kanashimi ni Sayonarasuru tame ni, one of the A-sides to his solo debut single:
Nos vemos, meteoritos mágicos y terrícolas.