Vid Clip: La La La Love Song / Koi no Ame (SMAPxSMAP, 5.10.2010)

Why SMAP Shouldn’t Be Performing with Real Singers… (Or Why They Probably Should)

by Ender’s Girl

With Kimura’s newest dorama Tsuki no Koibito (Moon Lovers) currently airing (and it’s a ren’ai!!! finally a ren’ai!!! hallelujah chance!), you won’t find a better go-to guy for a theme song than the great Afro-sporting J-pop/reggae/soul artist Kubota Toshinobu, whom J-drama fans best know as the dude behind the mellifluous vocals of “La La La Love Song” (hey baby) from the oh-so-fine 1996 drama Long Vacation. Fuji TV must have known that when Kubota Toshinobu songs and Kimura dramas collide, high ratings (and filthy lucre!) can’t be far behind. (And no, I have not seen the first episode of TnK because I make it a point to wait until a drama is fully subbed before watching it in one fell swoop.)

This newest ditty “Koi no Ame” (“Love Rain”) has Kubota’s musical fingerprints all over it; just like its 14-year-old predecessor, the melody is euphonic and foot-tappingly singable, although the sound gives off a more disco-y vibe than “La La La Love Song.” With lines like “special lady” and “we’re stuck in the love rain” (LOL what), “KnA” ranks slightly higher than “LLLLS” on the Engrish evolutionary ladder,  but I dunno… the lyrics of  “LLLLS” — “maware maware merry-go round,” “wanna make love, wanna make love song” — still seem to have more character (especially when you sing them wearing a Live Aid T-shirt or doing a grande plié on a low stone wall, heehee). I guess the main caveat is that all things being equal (and both songs are catchy as the clap, after all), what can or will turn “Koi no Ame” into a classic has less to do with the song itself than with the drama it was commissioned for. And whether Tsuki no Koibito will ever reach the same exalted status as Long Vacation remains to be seen.

This video clip was taken from the May 10, 2010 episode of SMAPxSMAP. I just don’t know how long this clip will stay up there before the Evil Fuji TV Cyber-Bots cry bloody copyright infringement and have it zapped from cyberspace (boo! free media for all!).

True to form, the Fab Five sing the medley in, uh, five different keys and their performance is likely to make you wince from beginning to end (although it doesn’t sound as bad after, uh, ten more viewings). (Did you curse them in your heart for mangling your two songs, Kubota-san, while you smiled through your teeth at the camera? Did you? hahaha) I must say the outfits are much more agreeable than what the SMAP dudes are usually caught wearing: Kimura looks his usual attractive self — if a tad underdressed with the blazer, white tee and pants; Shingo seems to channel a Vegas wedding singer (see the bow tie?)-slash-science fair judge (see the empty ribbon affixed to his breast pocket? one word, Shingo: WHY?); Goro looks like a… Goro (lol); Nakai looks the most out of place with the hot pink fedora, pink Chucks and a pink scarf dangling from his belt; so that leaves Tsuyoshi to bag the award for Best Duds (and he looks monumentally cute in his short new haircut — me likee!).

The dance moves are typically SMAPtastic, which means… exactly that, lol. Nakai’s newest Favorite Dance Step seems to be robo-popping, because he does it here… well, all the time.

Some quickie comments:

0:18 – 0:25 Uh-oh, Nakai can’t wait to start robo-popping!!! Must… not… break… line… formation…

0:43 – 0:50 ZOMG Goro’s hair is actually poufier than Kubota’s Afro!!! (And with all that spray net, probably harder than pewter too.) Hahahahaha

0:51 – 0:58 Tsu, looking good here!  So kawaii you are.

1:17 – 1:23 LOL WHAT are you doing, Nakai. WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

1:51 – 1:56 Nakai, there you go again!!!

2:36 – 2:41 …and again!!!

3:01 LOL @ Tsuyoshi’s look of pure, um, bliss. I love it when I catch him in his unguarded moments… *remembers public park incident* No, scratch that!!!

3:22 – 3:44 Hahahaha SERIOUSLY??? We used to do the exact same moves in my P.E. aerobics class back in college. (The first thing we do, let’s kill all the J-Pop choreographers…)

3:55 – 3:58 Oooooh, painful. Kimura was just way off. (“Yo, so listen, it got a little pitchy, dawg.” – Randy Jackson)

After the performance comes the requisite Talk portion, where Kimura’s Tsuki no Koibito co-stars (sans Matsuda Shota) are paraded before the cameras and grilled about how awesome it must’ve felt to work with Kimura-san. Lin Chi Ling is wearing a giant poinsettia, Kitagawa Keiko’s top looks like it was cut from the same cloth as Goro’s scarf (5:30), and Shinohara Ryoko looks HAWWWTTT as usual. *girl drool* (I’ve said this over at D-Addicts and I’ll say it here: if Shinohara’s character doesn’t end up with Kimura, I shall eat my big toe. *nomnomnom*)

The SmaxSma performance naturally got me thinking of “La La La Love Song” in all its original, untainted-by-Nakai’s-squeaking glory. In case you’re curious as to how much better the song sounds with Kubota Toshinobu and only Kubota Toshinobu on vocals, here’s the original music video (ohmygosh it’s SOOO Nineties!!! lol), long before he traded his Rasta Mohawk for his current frizzy ‘do. Oh, and ignore the WTF? FAIL!!! shots of a frisky Caucasian couple interspersed throughout the video. (Uh, don’t even ask.)

And of course, how can I NOT throw this in for good measure? (Senaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!)

Credit goes to the YouTube uploaders.

Explore posts in the same categories: J-Ent: Welcome to the Freakshow, Misc, The Kimura Project

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25 Comments on “Vid Clip: La La La Love Song / Koi no Ame (SMAPxSMAP, 5.10.2010)”

  1. v Says:

    hey! what’s up! lol… i’ve also seen that vid previously, the day it was released cuz i stalk LJ.. lol. nakai is being himself again… ever since i saw fumito kawai imitate him, i just can’t help but laugh when i see him dancing.. haha
    anyways, thanks for the post! love SMAP!!
    and yay for Long Vacation!!
    i saw TnK ep 1 and so far, NOT up to par with LV at all.
    i will try to stick to it cuz if kimutaku and the cast but so far, it is a disappointment.

    • v Says:

      and lol at the comment about randy jackson… i’ve given up on AI after Teflon Tim was gone.. he can’t sing that well but i liked him and i always root for underdogs. lol. don’t get me wrong, i think all the contestant are good but i don’t root for anyone in particular with passion. crystal/lee would be good. but now, ive stopped watching. i do read recaps tho.
      i used another comment cuz this is out of topic. lol.

      • Ender's Girl Says:

        Hola! I hope your family vacay went great! 😀

        Re TnK failing to meet expectations… one big SIGHHHH. And to think it’s Kimura’s first ren’ai in years… *headdesk* 😦


        Oh, Teflon Tim grew on me too!!! Unlike Sanjaya of AI seasons past, Turban actually improved through the weeks. And his “Can’t Help Falling in Love” totally redeemed him from that “Apologize” debacle in the semis.

        Too bad you haven’t been following the show lately (though I’m not surprised, with all that OTHER stuff keeping you busy, hehe), because the recent dev’ts have been interesting (Siobhan getting booted, WTF???). I’m with you, Crystal/Lee are a shoo-in for the finals, and deservingly so.

        • v Says:

          o_O r u divine? how did u know i went on vacation? well, it was more like a business vacation thing but HOW??! i checked all my comments here and i didnt c any mention of it? did i miss it? btw, can’t believe how many comments we had last posts, and out of topic too. XD
          *headdesk* was what i did too. hope ep 2 improves.
          as for AI: lol.. i mentioned AI halfexpecting u to go, wat is THAT? so im surprised u know what im talking about. actually, i was about to catch up on AI when i learned on the recap that siobhan was eliminated and that was IT for me..i knew i wouldnt watch it anymore. not casey, not arron, but siobhan?? and to think it was supposed to be a “girls season.” but i love all the dream dates the eliminated contestants have in the i have a dream house so i do watch that. it kinda s–ks that simon is leaving…the guy is brutally harsh and usually hits right where it truly hurts. but that’s cuz his comments are mostly accurate.
          sorry, ive just realized my comment has almost nothing to do with ur post. um, SMAP rocks!!! (?)

        • v Says:

          and yeah, agree.. the reason why i like teflon tim is cuz he actually improves… and underdog that exceeds expectations.. can’t resist that. and his megawatt smile too (and ok. the guy being cute helped. XD) lol. can’t help falling in love with u was one of his most memorable perf (for a good reason). and u know what, apologize was horribly *yo man! pitchy* but i enjoyed it cuz i like that song. i sing it with my bro on the guitar. XD
          and sanyaja… not sure who he is.. is he the cute young guy in season 6 or smth that got bashed by simon?

          • Ender's Girl Says:

            Lol, sorry to disappoint you, but I’m no clairvoyant. You did mention you were on vacation a few times over at the Open Thread. 😉

            I also expected the girls to finish strong, and at least see Siobhan make it to the final 3. Her elimination wouldn’t have left such a bitter taste in my mouth had the judges been fair with their comments — but they weren’t. For 3 or 4 consecutive weeks they were just laying into her and ripping each performance apart, but none of the criticism was constructive. Anyway, I’m still happy for Crystal and Lee. I’ll most likely stop watching AI when Lord Cowell exits — his was the only criticism that mattered, anyway. Even the contestants listen to him above any other judge.

            (And you’re right, Sanjaya Malakar was Simon’s whipping boy of season 6 — but a huge fan favorite, which is why he stayed on as long as he did. Hard to describe him, but judging from his outrageous hairstyles and the salacious looks he’d throw at the camera, I’d say he’s the closest thing to a Johnny AI has ever had, lol. :D)

          • v Says:

            oh right, i forgot about OT..XD. too bad, a clairvoyant would have been cool. haha. can’t believe ud read my comments on there…they are quite random. a litany of ranting and rambling. haha. i’m quite embarrassed when i think about it.
            AI:yeah, i expected her to end up in the final 3 if not the final and ur right, the judges kept criticizing her. ok, so her perf werent exactly that stellar but they were really good still, compared to some others and they never said what she should improve on. they did that for a lot of other contestants too. and for Katie -_-” (RnB! no, country! no pop! lol). “lord cowell!” XD. he’s much nicer on British shows, which i like too. anyways, ive stopped watching AI now, ive converted to DWTS which is gaining my interest again after kristi. before, i just watched some parts of the show but with no AI, i’m watching the whole show. lol.
            “he’s the closest thing to a Johnny AI” XD
            btw, y r we talking about AI?? on a smap thread? btw, sme on OT also posted the same vid here n everybody was saying things like “keep lipsynching” lol.

  2. charlie Says:

    LOL! I bursted out laughing when Nakai started robo-popping and then got cut out of the screen! What IS he doing? And I agree, something’s up with his wardrobe too from the all the bright pink to the ugly preppy white lined school uniform blazer thing and his ripped jeans blegh! NG, Nakai. NG.

    I didn’t like LV that much… but I’m going to tune in to TnK just to see Kimura Takuya be Kimura Takuya. The first episode broke the 20s (22.4 according to dramawiki) in ratings but it’s still too early to tell if it stay that way even with KT…

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Awww, you weren’t too crazy about LV? May I ask what your fave Kimura drama is, then? ^^,,

      At least the 1st-ep. ratings broke 20%, because anything lower than that would’ve been embarrassing for a KimuTaku drama. Still, it’s Kimura’s lowest-rating opener since Nemureru Mori, and that was way back in 1998. Signs of the times, perhaps…? @__@

    • ridia :p Says:

      hee hee i see i’m no longer alone abt not liking LV that much anymore 😀 yay! haha!

  3. jicks Says:

    argh, you make me wanna watch long vacation again!!! that opening makes me wanna bop hard!!!

    lmao @the SMAPxSMAP clip (TOT)
    i don’t know who i feel sorry for more; afro boy & his “someone hit the mute button on these guys” face or Nakai & his hot pink millinery (or is it Hayami Mokomichi & his awful crying scene in the preview before the show lol)

    SMAP trying to sing “live” in sync w/ one another is a hard enough work as it is, bringing in an actual singer just makes it all the more complicated. but yay for the smaptastic dance moves lol

    and and and omg kimura looks so good!! boo for shota’s absence though ><"

    i'm liking love rain, it's a little dbsk-esque to me (somebody to love??) but i get the feeling the song represents the series. just like LLLLS & LV.

    …if Shinohara’s character doesn’t end up with Kimura, I shall eat my big toe. ahahaha well, for your foot’s sake, i hope they get together. but not before some serious meddling i would hope (-_-;)

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      LOL @ “hit the mute button” and Nakai’s “hot pink millinery” 😀

      “SMAP trying to sing “live” in sync w/ one another is a hard enough work as it is…” << hahahaha so true!!!

      Really, I didn't know DBSK sounded like that. All I know outside J-pop is F4 and Shinhwa, haha X__o

      Omo, Night-o is crying! Night-o is crying! *whir whir* But WTF was that Kimura-LCL kiss????? Shiro! Shiro! (uh, wrong language, lol)

  4. Jenny Says:

    I remembre reading about a incident that happened when the ban toto was visiting.
    TOTO’s leader, Steve Lukather, was so shocked by SMAP’s poor singing skills he flat out said he couldn’t sing with them. The rest of TOTO managed to calm him down, but, still, for 30 minutes Lukather had a voice training session with two of SMAP’s members. No names are mentioned, but people guessed they were Nakai and Goro.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      LOLOLOL!!! This anecdote is funny beyond words, not to mention unimaginably humiliating for SMAP (and by transitivity, for SMAP fans hehe). So… what Toto staple were they *cough*Nakai&Goro*cough* making a hash of this time? “Africa”? “Rosanna”? 😀

      Oooh, I know what Steve Lukather must’ve started singing after listening to SMAP: “Can’t Stand It Any Longer” hahahahhaha

      • Jenny Says:

        ahahaha! yes I can imagine,think they think they will perform will “talented” japanese singers and what do they get…..

        I’ve seen the ep but I can’t remember which song they sang, I guess I blocked it from my mind(too traumatizing)

  5. ArtMusic Says:

    Long Vacation is one of my favorite doramas and I love La La La Love SOng. Can’t wait for this one!

  6. haruka Says:

    re: Toto – they sang Rosanna and it was Kimura who was horribly out of tune during the rehearsals. Lukather was throwing a fit and Kimura looked like he was ready to pounce on Lukather. good thing though Kimura had the sense to shut his trap and just converse with the other band member.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hey, thanks for setting the record straight. 🙂 That it was actually Kimura who messed up the vocals makes the whole anecdote priceless.

      Makes you wonder how the other international guests manage to suck it up on-stage when they perform with SMAP. I remember Jon Bon Jovi being sooo nice when he told Kimura “Good job!” after their “It’s My Life” performance. My best friend was like, that’s NOT being nice, that’s avoiding being turned into sashimi by the studio audience if they had said how they really felt. 😀

  7. Hey Cuz Says:

    Oh Good God I heard the first few seconds of La La La Love Song a la SMAP and couldn’t stand it. Honestly just because some (very few) JE boys can act doesn’t mean they can sing. Johnny probably sets looks and popularity as a prerequisite to forming a boyband. Ack. Better just stick to the Kubota Toshinobu version of La La La Love Song (which is super supreme! Long Vacation was my first Kimura Takuya drama and it rocked, mainly because the jamming beats of a 90s pop song brought back memories). At the mortification of SMAP: they should probably disband. That is, if another (very aggressive) international guest hasn’t already gotten fed up with their poor, unpolished singing skills and accidentally kills them first.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Lol, I doubt Johnny-san ever put a premium on singing (or even dancing) talent when he assembled his JE clone armies. Not sure if I’d want any of them to disband, though. Their… entertainment value is way too high. 😀

      (An int.guest accidentally killing them? This made me visualize Justin Bieber going on a murderous rampage while guesting on SmaSma, hahaha)

  8. Lilly Bell Says:

    if you want to hire some good wedding singers, always look for a singer with a background in classical music “”~

  9. ridia :p Says:

    i nearly fell off my chair reading all your clip comments even though i’ve watched the clip a dozen times already and laughed especially at nakai!

    that dude CANNOT control himself! he really let loose in Love Rain since they weren’t singing much (thank God for that!) and he’s hopeless…that pink fedora is no unfamiliar accessory -.- he used it when singing with the Black Eyed Peas too.HAHA.but he’s funny that way.

    And YESSS tsuyoshi’s haircut FINALLY no more weird fringe and wispy stranggly hair!!

    and eargghhhh! KT, man that chord with Toshi just burst my eardrums! but i thought he was ok with bon jovi!! :/ haha! “keeping the face” and other pronounciation boo boos aside i thought it wasn’t all that bad :p

    i realise all these japanese boybands can’t really sing…they all have that, that scratchy, jarring voice…haha is it cos japanese girls like that kinda sound? :p

  10. ridia :p Says:

    “Lin Chi Ling is wearing a giant poinsettia”

    thank you thank you thank you! hahahahaha!

    and yesss Shinohara Ryoko…purrrrfect 😀

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hahaha, thanks! 🙂

      “And YESSS tsuyoshi’s haircut FINALLY no more weird fringe and wispy stranggly hair!!” << Lol I know right? And now it's been announced he's doing a Ninkyo Helper sequel next year — YATTA!!! Also cannot wait for his Japanese-Americans SP with Nakama Yukie. ^^;;

      Re Kimura & Bon Jovi, I think I was rather distracted by KimuTaku’s fire-engine pants to truly appreciate his vocal performance, hehe.

      “realise all these japanese boybands can’t really sing…they all have that, that scratchy, jarring voice…haha is it cos japanese girls like that kinda sound?” << LMAO! Now there's some food for thought… although I believe the crappy singing doesn’t really matter to the fangirls so long as their favorite idoru know how to wink and pout and swivel their hips and do all that member-ai sh*t onstage — ‘coz let’s face it, that’s what J-pop is really all about. Just my opinion though 😉

      • ridia Says:

        yeaaaa…the red pants were erm.heh. i shan’t say anything abt them haha.

        oh yes how could i have let that slipped, jpop boybands are so hyped up in their performances, holding psychadelically crazy concerts so that must be it yea haha (: that truly is the essence of J-pop, and what can we say, even sometimes we become complete suckers for it too :p HAHA

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