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Archive for the ‘tv show theme’ Category

The joke: the musical – Mr. Show Cast Recording

And Mr. Show would lie grudgingly just outside my top five TV shows. Top ten definitely. I don’t want to think about what constitutes that top ten too much at the moment, but i will: Columbo, Mr. Show with Bob and David, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and either Sandglass, Ren and Stimpy or The Royle Family. Now you know. The knocking song was the part i had in my head.

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Nekojitagokoro mo koi no uchi – Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi

The more i know the more i might be contradicting or making redundant what i’ve written earlier. All of Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi’s singles, A-side and B, were used as the opening and closing themes to High School! Kimengumi. In fact the reason the group was formed was because of Fuji TV coming to Akimoto Yasushi specifically for theme music. I just found it in its life outside of the anime, which i’m sure it always had. I should really watch High School! Kimengumi. The shojo stuff is for me. I was watching Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl and was in love with it before animecrazy shut down and left me in a lurch. Big anime fan here. No hope.

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They don’t know – Tracey Ullman

It will always be the Tracey Ullman version for me. I’ve never heard the Kirsty McCall version. Apparently they are very, very similar. It’s use as the theme song for Tracey Takes On established it so. I’m not sure how it holds up, but i absolutely loved that show as a kid. That and Liquid Television set me up as the nerd i became, scouring television schedules well past prime time for lost and abandoned shows that might be of some worth.

I had no idea this was her career before her comedy one, nor did i know how successful she was at it. It took me until finding her record in Silver Rocket one day to realise it was actually her singing those opening credits. Talented, talented lady.

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Majisuka rock’n’roll – AKB48

*In my best Rocky impersonation* Again?! Well it’s a very well learned lesson here that the last thing you hear before going to bed is often the first thing in your head as you wake up. Being a modern series, there are a million fan made MV’s of this, each set to their own inappropriate music from Nickelback to Dusty Springfield. Here’s one that features AKB48 at least:

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Majisuka rock’n’roll – AKB48

In the search for more Sukeban Deka-type shows and Japanese idol music, i’ve resorted to modern times and the show Majisuka Gakuen, which stars almost exclusively the group AKB48, Akimoto Yasushi’s updated Onyanko Club-type venture. It’s an interesting contrast of the level of action television, pop music and idol image propriety now and 25 years ago. Majisuka Gakuen is a bloody, cold, violent, bloody show about a girl’s school run and battled over by different gangs, that is still carried in a wonderful tone of loyalty and meaningfulness. Sukeban Deka to this is a comparison like the films of Iishi Teruo or Fukasaku Kinji to someone like Miike Takashi – updated, more extreme iterations of a similar animus.

However, there is a loss of charm, poignancy, desperation and substance i find in this modern show. Something about its tongue being too much in its cheek and the stakes being too low, as though the whole thing can’t rise above play acting. It just kind of floats on the mood and style it sets, expecting everything vital to spring naturally from it without going in, wrenching it out and nurturing it. There is no effort made to bring it to the operatic heights Sukeban Deka reaches. Maybe it’s just expected that we can no longer believe in that. I can and do. And the music isn’t as good. This song is the opening theme.

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Naze? no arashi – Yoshizawa Akie

Storm of Why?. I must have said this before, but Akie had a starring role in the second season of Sukeban Deka as bo-staff twirling, starched scarf-throwing, fingernail scratching martial arts expert Yajima Yukino. This great song of hers was used as the closing theme. Of course no video of it exists on youtube, so have a scene in which Akie has nothing to do with. A fight scene between Saki and Kyoko, the other two sukebans. Their meeting, of sorts. The greatest television show ever made. Way better than The Wire.

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Theme from S.W.A.T. – Rhythm Heritage

What to do when you have a sample in your head – do you try and wade through and choose one of the millions of tracks that feature it or do you choose the original song itself? Do i try to be cool or a dork? I only have the sample in my head, so let’s go with Rhythm Heritage. I’ve never seen S.W.A.T., but i’m sure it is perfect lazy afternoon episodic 70’s crime TV, everything set in place with a great theme song. Theme from S.W.A.T. was actually a #1 hit, which is pretty remarkable for an instrumental song.

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I’ll Race

I’ll race – Coach McGuirk

It’s end of semester time, and i’m a little preoccupied. But that doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t wander to the good things in life, and Home Movies is one of the best. Surely second only to (the first 8 or 9 seasons of) The Simpsons as the best cartoon series of all time. Such a perfect little thing. How is Bob’s Burgers? All i’ve heard of it is that it is, and waiting for it to start is the only way people watch any of The Simpsons nowdays. OK. I’m busy.

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Shiroi honno – Saito Yuki

Again, this is the closing theme to the first Sukeban Deka. Even though every episode follows more or less the same pattern, the mood everything is carried in – so desperate, so vital – and the lengths it is taken to have made it one of my favourite shows of all time. If someone out there is ever willing to translate and subtitle the second and third series, my eternal gratitude and perhaps even, if it comes to it, some amount of money would be yours. I’m needy and impatient enough to consider learning Japanese myself at this point. The person whom last time i said had there video of this song taken down by Toei has put it back up:

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Shiroi honno – Saito Yuki

The closing credits theme to the first series of Sukeban Deka, where Saito Yuki herself plays Takanoha Academy Class 2-B’s Asamiya Saki, a.k.a… Sukeban Deka! I love this show. I mean really, vital to my life, one of the greatest television shows of all time, love it. It is like a 60’s/70’s Japanese genre film tempered into an afternoon children’s TV show, with all excitement, desperation and melancholia intact. In the most recent episode i watched, a good three minutes of the twenty-five minute show was dedicated as an aside for a character to play a Chopin etude. Not to further the plot, but to hold everything and create mood the way Westerns or, again, Japanese genre films of the 60’s and 70’s used to.

Also, on the demand of some rich corporation CEO’s daughter, the head of a music academy stabs a student as a final, desperate measure to stop her from competing in a piano concours. The stabbed student then drags herself on to stage and up to the piano, playing Fantaisie Impromptu, Op. 66 perfectly to honour her dead parents (they themselves victims of a previous attempt on the student’s life), all the while bleeding from her stomach, passing in and out of consciousness. Cue me breathless.

I was going to post the video of the closing credits here, but Toei took it and a bunch of other Sukeban Deka clips from youtube on a copyright claim. I know it’s theirs, and i know they’re being good and uploading a lot of things themselves directly from their archives, but it would be nice if the extant videos are only taken down when new, official ones are put up to replace them. What crime is there in a credit sequence? What use is there in denying us it? Just imaging this song being played over footage of Saito Yuki roaming the streets alone, disconnected.

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