Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
As part of Hello! Project’s 20th anniversary celebration, I will take a look at various releases from the collective’s history.
This week, we’ll be tackling C-ute‘s Edo no Temari Uta II, which took the gold for the Q3 Anniversary Review Vote Win:
- C-ute – Edo no Temari Uta II (1 – 100%)
- Kusumi Koharu – Papancake (0 – 0%)
- THE Possible – Ijiwaru Crazy love (0 – 0%)
- Buono! – Gachinko de Ikou! (0 – 0%)
- Ongaku Gatas – Come Together (0 – 0%)
Ah, C-ute. This is a group that has come to mean a lot to people even after they lowered the curtain. All of them are thriving on Instagram (even Maimai), Airi’s having a bustling solo career, and former C-uties Umeda Erika and Arihara Kanna are happily living their lives.
It’s strange going back to a time when their power was growing, especially one with a fun beginning: See, it was originally going to be a track by enka singer and agency-mate Itsuki Hiroshi (who’d later release his own version months later). That is when our friendly neighborhood Tsunku-man came to him and asked if our C-uties could sing the track — which he did.
The result is a fun release that brings the new and old together in a very idiosyncratic way.
Oh, and a discussion on a disbanded H!P Kids (and 1st Gen Egg) group is not complete without talking about their respective Memorial Survey! Let’s check out Edo no Temari Uta II‘s placings:
- 12th Best Overall Single
- 8th Best A-Side
- The 2012 Shinsei Naru Ver. was voted 4th Best 2 °C-ute Shin Seinaru Best Album Song
- One respondent named Edo no Temari Uta as a highlight song, citing a liking of “songs that harp back to tradition.”
So without further ado, let’s get into it as we dig into C-ute #6!
Edo no Temari Uta II
The song is a fun boogie-woogie romp that borders on enka (fitting given the song’s origins). The lyrics tell a reference-laden story about the Great Meireki Fire, a massive fire that legends say was started by a cursed kimono. (For this reason, it also called the Furisode Fire.) All of this is done to evoke the songs used while playing with a temari, a traditional Japanese handball that was the stuff of childhood play (especially around the New Year).
In particular, temari play would spawn “temari uta,” a kind of warabe uta that would be sung (often by girls) while playing.
Okay, since we’re in this big nostalgia fest with the 20th anniversary and all, who else is suddenly wanting to imagine current H!P members tackling children’s songs again like their predecessors did in the early 2000s? I know it’s impossible these days, what with Cool Hello being in full swing and all, but still…
…Anyway, such things were common until the 1950s (due to cars taking up the alleys/streets the children played in, TV becoming a thing, and just other things relating to the transition to “modern” life) and… well, the temari survive as a form of folk art requiring the best of the best in skill and the temari uta are still sung today like any surviving children’s tune.
(I apologize if I got any of the above wrong. My sources were (in addition to the linked stuff above) primarily the Japanese Wikipedia pages for temari and temari uta
and triple-checking what Google Translate regurgitated.)
As mentioned, this A-side had a start as an enka song but was turned into a contemporary J-pop song. Going with this, the C-uties dance in embellished traditional attire on a stage that blends traditional Edo of the past with the modern Tokyo of today. You see the mountains, the clouds, and buildings that evoke what has lasted before and beyond. At the same time, you see the modern lights and plastered images of what are obviously contemporary.
I must also mention that since this was just before the lineup changes that marked a transition to the C-ute we know today, it is surreal to see a 7-nin C-ute here (especially looking at the color coding and seeing who wasn’t at the big show at Budokan…).
(As this single was released in 2008, it is not subject to the changes in sales reporting as implemented by Oricon in Fall 2016.
All figures reported in this section are from the Hello! Project Wikia with the percentage and average mathematics done by moi.
Of course, if a piece of idol music really touches you, does it matter that much how well it sells? It does to some people, which is one reason I do this…)
The single ultimately achieved a Total Reported Sales figure of 35,789. 22.63% (8,098) of that came in the first day, where its Daily Rank for it was was #3. 75.68% (27,085) of that came in the first week, where its Weekly Rank for it was #5.
For comparison sake:
- The previous single (Juliet Juliet 2.0 aka Namida no Iro) had a Total Reported Sales figure of 33,422 with 28.38% (9,484) from the first day and 89.79% (30,008) from the first week.
- The next single (the possibly next-to-be reviewed FOREVER LOVE) had a Total Reported Sales figure of 29,144 with 91.28% (26,603) from the first week.
- This means that Edo no Temari Uta II‘s sales have a difference of 7.08% compared to its predecessor and a -18.57% one compared to its successor.
Ah, memories. It’s really surreal to think this post-Tokkaiko Junjou single would be part of their catalogue. However, in a way, it is fitting of C-ute: they are putting a spin on a song that evokes the past in the present that will be stamped onto the future. (I mean, it was rerecorded for their second best-of.)
With that, I bid you adieu during the regular Q3 period and I hope you are all safe. See you in Q4!
Until the Next One!