Being less than 10 months in age difference and yet it’s amazing how time flies and Matsumoto Megumi now at 29, an idol that I sort of “grew” up with in the sense that she regularly graced the idol magazines that I began collecting early on in my road to idol obsession….now and for years now has gone by Matsumoto Rio~. My subscription to UTB began in late ’95 and on the September ’97 issue her name is still written as Matsumoto “Megumi” an earlier “stage” name that she went by prior to a hiatus from the entertainment industry which then saw her return with “Rio” in place of Megumi. I remember when I first saw her going under the name Matsumoto Rio a few years later….and I was thinking that she was possibly “Megumi’s” sister because they “looked” so much alike it was uncanny and in her hiatus reports surfaced…the details of a “breakdown” had occurred as speculation of an idol’s life becoming too much and the pressures and demands that go with it steadily may have taken its toll. All too often I think from a safe distance we take liberties in just what an idol’s life is like and how the engulfment of all that sparkles surely equates all it entails in glossy print, an often airbrushed~projected imagery. Oasis. With technology comes also an underlying responsibility and words in themselves cut deeper than the sharpest of knives….not the flesh but one’s very own well being falling and altered and in an ever growing age of ease of open media and expression where every nuance and whim is blogged, tweeted and F~booked we each and every one of us utilize and sometimes abuse such rights where even a thought typed to be innocent or a thought expressed to be harmless then commentary can be far more devastating and far reaching then you may imagine~.
Matsumoto Megumi re~engaged her career as Matsumoto Rio with notable success in modeling, fashion and acting, a career which continues today as her acting resume in particular reads most impressive in both t.v. drama and movies. In a hindsight sense 1998’s highly controversial t.v. drama “Seija no koushin” which depicted the darkest of dark in human cruelty where emotionally handicapped patients were abused and taken advantage of in unspeakable ways by their “caretakers” there resonates an eerie precedence in Megumi’s then blossoming career and while it’s apples and oranges so to speak…emotional hurt in any sense brought upon by any carelessness or wrong doing is all in the same.
While the bridging here between idols in this context and with fans and observers isn’t meant to be directly taken in context, please just pause and even if for a moment before words may escape from your fingertips to keyboard to a real person. Seemingly innocent banter from any vein whether it be in a large forum to a personal blog…a fashion sense in your eyes gone awry, an idol’s fluctuating weight, a line of lyrics sung without approval, a social affair of personal nature….idols are flesh and blood and embody emotions and insecurities like any of us. Being a “celebrity” in an enlightening sense in this context only differs them from “us” in that they’re much more easily accessible, visible on a day~to~day basis……and even if difficult to fathom, on that stage…..we all hurt the same.
Admittedly I’ve purchased my fair share of one shot idol music releases where things just didn’t pan out as hoped or perhaps the musical endeavor didn’t suit quite right, and in numerous cases perhaps some idol’s vocals just weren’t suited for the career…however that’s exactly where Matsumoto Rio differs. I had previously heard her speak in dramas and I never imagined that she’d have such a wonderful singing voice but this really can be the case with so many other vocalists as well. Matsumoto Rio’s vocals project a deepness with both strength and character and her ability to hit a subtle falsetto adds a beautiful and memorable touch to her release “Seraphito no komori uta.” And although this release is now approaching 7 years in age it holds no characteristics in style, arrangement or genre which the passing of time can otherwise tarnish….I know many will hate to hear the word “timeless” but I can’t help but apply that very sentiment~. And with the powerhouse musical home Avex behind her this release didn’t skimp on any of its attention to presentation or extras as all of the outer pages of the booklet as well as the front and back covers are all presented on beautiful glossy thick stock paper along with the inclusion of a DVD containing the pv for the title track “Seraphita no komori uta” along with two t.v. CM spots (AVCD-30622/B edition). (This release was also available without the extra DVD.)
A notable timeline here too with this single is how the advent of the ill fated “copy control” audio CD came to be with Avex placing all of their releases at this time under such production. The perhaps then unforseen issue with the “copy control” format which was created wholeheartedly with the goal of preventing or at least discouraging song file sharing in piracy when it was then said to be threatening the well being of the music industry (which continues today) was that while it proved problematic to those perhaps intending to illegally share files on a pc it also impeded the paying/ supporting fans as well in that if you legitimately purchased one of these releases and say your media format for listening was in fact your pc and on its speakers, you’d not be able to access playback which brought upon issues which were not originally intended by record labels =(.
To further point out the elegance of this release, when both discs are removed they reveal an absolutely beautiful gate fold photo of Rio which is spread across both the front and back inner jackets.
Three songs and a total of six tracks are included with this release: “Seraphita no komori uta”, “Sweet Season”, “Make me smile”, “Seraphita no komori uta” (piano version), “Seraphita no komori uta” (Instrumental), and “Make me smile” (Instrumental).
The songwriting is nothing short of excellent and with Rio’s strong performance it leads me to speculate that perhaps she opted for a career centered on acting and fashion design rather than music as with a debut this impressive it’s difficult to imagine any other reason for her abandoning the music industry altogether after just a single release with such strong backing and support. And I can’t stress enough how beautiful I feel the production is for this release as Matsumoto Rio is the picturesque vision of pure elegance throughout all of its included photos.
~Matsumoto Rio “Sweet Season” mp3~
~Matsumoto Rio “Make me smile” mp3~
Matsumoto Rio “Seraphita no komori uta (piano version) mp3~
Here’s the lovely pv for the title track….
~Matsumoto Rio “Seraphita no komori uta” (pv)~
I simply have been always confused about the whole whale imagery or is it some kind of symbolism??…again me thinking too much can produce embarrassing thoughts or conclusions so I’ll continue to wonder to myself (*≧∀≦)☆★ ↓ LOve this pv♥! there’s something so surreally alluring there….
Here’s a little trip down memory lane from years ago and isn’t she absolutely adorable in these photos! I’ve always thought that her best facial feature is her beautiful large almond shaped eyes! And this may sound a bit strange but I also loved her eyebrows too when she was younger perhaps why A~min♥ attracts me so much too now (*´∀｀*) ♪