I originally posted this in April of 2008, but in recently speaking of early to mid 90's J-Pop and the sound that was current then during the post below on Manoeri's similiarly inspired song♪♪~ compositions I recently found myself taking Mochida Maki's albums & singles off the shelf for a bit of reminiscing~.
You may also notice that I've added a bit of dialog to the original post as well as 6 more mp3 tracks and a link…..I was having a bit of issues with uploading here to VOX at the time of the original post so I wasn't able to include as many songs as I would have liked to at the time….now finally remedied. =)
One of the first J-Pop artist' voices that I fell in love with belongs to Mochida Maki and after some pleading with a friend awhile back she gave me a promotional copy of her debut album titled "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu" which stands for the four seasons "Spring Summer Fall Winter" respectfully. This is also one if not the very first-first pressing versions of a Japanese album release that I ever acquired and for that simple reason it holds a special sentimental value for me.
There's just something so aesthetically *pure* and *beautiful* in Mochida Maki's voice….in fact I'll go as far as to say it's one of the most *pure* voices that I've encountered in J-Pop over the years~. From a gentle clarity, ranging from a whisper in some instances….the sweetness♥ of her vocals also display a unique strength in them……I'm thinking this will make much more sense if you could hear for yourself as she possesses a really wonderful voice~. ＾ ＾
"Kisetsu no closet"
"Suna ni kieteku natsu"
"Anata no yuuki ni naritai"
"Popular no ki no shita de"
~"Sono mama de ii wa~field no suna" has a nice subtle touch of traditional Japanese folk music written into it!…most notable during the chorus portions in the background and I especially love the verses where the delicate touch of her vocals really shine~.
Being that just about all of Mochida Maki's releases are out of print and can't be ordered any longer I thought it was okay to share these. =)
Mochida Maki was a member of "Sakurakko Club" prior to her solo career and a favorite song by them is "Do-shite?" which is one of the all time cutest anime theme songs…well for me. 😛 Perhaps I can post it here later. (Update: "Do-shite?" is posted here. :) And she's so adorably tiny! ^-^
The first pressing of "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu" (top right) is housed in a slip case and also includes a beautifully shot 30 page photo booklet which tells the tale of "Pandora." Mochida Maki released 2 albums, the first in March of '95 and her second in October of '95 as well as at least 9 singles a total which I'm not totally sure of as I've only been able to find 6 of them and there could possibly be a few more although judging by the release dates between them just a few more is imaginable in the time span of her J-Pop activity that if any at all. To my knowledge Mochida Maki's final single was released on December 17th of 1997 making her music tenure quite a brief one but in this short time span her music releases thrived on great songwriting coupled with her incredibly pure voice which I'd love for you to hear some of! She has acted in a few dramas since and is now primarily involved in anime as a voice actress which is where I'd like to begin as the very first song that I heard by her is from an older anime which is based on the manga of Takahashi Rumiko titled "Mermaid's Scar" and a following movie "Mermaid Forest."
The animation is of an older style but the storytelling is well paced, heartfelt…a bit wonderfully creepy, and will hold the viewer's interest and these two features have quite a short running time of just under an hour each. The ending theme song "Beads of Tears" is sung by Mochida Maki and I'll never forget the day that my friend was playing it at a record store and I ran up quickly to find out what album was playing as I knew the song from the anime "Mermaid's Scar"! Then came my pleading for it as I wasn't the only one interested in her album but luckily she gave it to me! ^-^ I've uploaded a few of her songs here directly to VOX to listen to and since my browser keeps freezing after each upload and I need to restart each time (much like it does with photos which is why I'm currently using Photobucket instead) (update: more mp3 tracks added and uploading issues are gone! =) ) I stopped after
8 songs (now 14 songs in mp3 format to listen to) but I've also included separate uploads for 12 songs that I've picked just in case you find that you love her music too! I normally would not include downloads as I like to encourage everyone to help support their favorite♥ artists by purchasing their releases….but being that Mochida Maki's releases are pretty much all out of print I just thought that including them here would be okay. ^-^ (uploads are on a *special* person's account as my pc was waaaaaay too slow back when I originally posted this! XD)
Sadly just about every Mochida Maki release from this time period is out of print so here's the mp3 if you'd like it. 🙂 And here's the translation of "Beads of Tears" from the anime:
"Beads of Tears"
Like a meteor
Like the fate it seals
My soul burns across the sky close upon its heels
As you once told me there's a land of dreams
where your life is never done…it goes on and on
Tell me that you'll never leave me, tell me without words
Am I alone or am I not?
On that day you held me in your arms but was it confusion? Was it an answer?
Beads of tears
Your voice is calling to me why can't I hear you?
Why aren't you near me?
Beads of tears
The rosary of all our fears
The prayers of our eternal years all disappear
Promise me we'll meet again someday if not within this life then in the next life
Beads of tears
I can't go on without you
Tears of confusion…can't find a reason
Even now I try to make the slightest sound
Your name's another thing that's gone with beads of tears
In this life we'll never love again but I'll keep you with me
Treasure your memory
Beads of tears
However will I get through until the next time until the next life
Beads of tears
The rosary of all our fears
The prayers of our eternal years all disappear.
I've been trying to pick out a few of my favorite songs and it's been really quite difficult as I love so many of them by her but I've managed to narrow it down to
12 (now updated to 15 favorite♥ songs).
"Hohoemi dakeja mienai" is Mochida Maki's 3rd single which was released on July 21st, 1993 and this single was bit difficult to find as it was the furthest back that I could backtrack in my efforts to acquire her catalog of releases….it's always really a feat that one faces when you suddenly find an artist/group that you really begin to love only to find out that they're older releases are no longer available through retailers so of course the best places to search are Yahoo! Japan Auctions, eBay, or used online record stores such as Otokichi Premium. I'd categorize this song as a *lively* folk/rock song~♥.
And here's the link if you'd like the mp3 for "Hohoemi dakeja mienai."
Mochida Maki's 5th single "Anata no yuuki ni naritai" was used as a theme song for the '95 World Judo Championships and appropriately this track is filled with inspirational lyrics as well as a very energetic musical arrangement. This song also appears on her second album "Ashita no iro" ("Tomorrow's color"). This is one my most favorite songs by her and I really love the guitar riffs!
And here's the link for the mp3 of "Anata no yuuki ni naritai."
"Itsudatte itsudatte" is Mochida Maki's 4th single and it's a really really sweet ballad and you can really appreciate the gentle nuances of her vocals here. This song also appears on "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu."
Here's the link for the mp3 of "Itsudatte itsudatte."
Her album track "Sono mamade ii wa~field no suna" was also the theme of a 18 minute short film which I was able to find the video of and while watching this is when I realized just how tiny she is…so cute!
I originally wanted to list this song first here (now listed first) as this track has a nice subtle touch of traditional Japanese folk music written into it!…most notable during the chorus portions in the background and I especially love the verses where the delicate touch of her vocals really shine~.
Here's the link for the mp3 of "Sono mamade ii wa."
Okay these next three songs are #1, #2, and #3 on my list of Mochida Maki favorites♥ and the only problem is that I don't know which order to put them in! 😛 First is "Suna ni kieteku natsu" which has a nostalgic musical arrangement which is also flavored nicely with the distinctly wonderful sound of a sitar….simply a most infectious melody♪♪~!
Here's the link for "Suna ni kieteku natsu"'s mp3.
"Afternoon Tea" has a wonderful ambiance about it that always puts me in a happy mood! It has such a wonderfully soothing melody as is perfect for any time of the day!…not just tea time! ^-^
Here's the mp3 for "Afternoon Tea."
"Kisetsu no closet" is the second to the last track on Mochida Maki's second album "Ashita no iro" and in some ways I've always imagined it as a much more suitable closing track for the album and while I'm not sure if you'll understand what I mean by this I'm sure you'll find it to be a very heartfelt♥ song!! Hmmm…I think I tend to play this song more than any other song of hers as it's just such a well written beautiful composition. ^-^
And here's the link for "Kisetsu no closet"'s mp3.
"Popular no ki no shita de" ("Under the popular tree") is from "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu" and has sort of a larger than life guitar orchestrated aura to it, and when coupled with Maki's of so gentle vocals the contrast creates a very *moving* dynamic~.
"Watashirashiku" closes out Mochida Maki's second album and if you love the sound♪♪~ of the 60's you're sure to love "Watashirashiku"…..think The Beatles♥~. (*´∀｀*)
"Shiroi hane" ("White Wing(s)") was the very first song that I heard by Mochida Maki as it leads off her debut album…and let's just say that it was love at first listen~. From the very beginning her vocals have such a unique sweet sound to them and I know I've been stressing this point so much here but I've just never come across another artist from japan with a voice so *pure.* ＾ ＾
I think I've obsessed enough ヽ(。´▽`。)ノ。。！！…..so I'll leave you with just a few more songs♪♪~ free of my babbling. (￣▽￣)
Again…as just about everything released by Mochida Maki is no longer available and long out of print….here are a few additional music links below courtesy of someone very *special*~.
"Shiroi hane" (from "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu.")
"Popular no ki no shita de" (from "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu.")
"Kanashimi nante" (from "Ashita no iro.")
"Birthday" from (from "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu.")
I wanted to add a few more photos here as Mochida Maki also appeared on the cover of UTB in one of the very early issues that I collected when I first began collecting idol magazines but amusingly this is the second time this is happening as Photbucket is currently (edit: was at the time I originally posted these) undergoing system maintenance….so I'll try adding them tomorrow (edit: 'tomorrow' as in months and months ago…lol it gets sort of wacky when moving a post to a latter date XD). ^-^ I hope you enjoy her songs and if you have any thoughts on any of them please please do share♥ your thoughts~. o(*´∀｀)o゛