Happy Aloha~♡ Friday from our island paradise!
Hope everyone who watched, enjoyed the drama series “Hyoten” which just wrapped up with its final episode (10) here last Friday! So it’s been now ten weeks since I last ventured into reminiscing any other idol besides Suenaga Haruka… the star of the aforementioned drama series, and with that tonight we’ll be going all the way back to late ‘99….. you know just about that time of the widespread Y2K scare which sat on the horizon and had us all believing that the world’s computer infrastructure was in for a bumpy ride as everything was thought to be headed to the banana farm collectively @ that strike of the New Year~*~~* =P!
Now you may recall tonight’s idol, Shiina Noriko…. as being the one time girlfriend of none other than ARASHI’s very own Nino-kun♥ way back when!!! It all came to a sudden halt back in 2001 when “scandalous” images appeared of them dating =(. I’ve always found there to be a sort of grey double standard with the whole idols dating thing you know as it pertains to guys versus girls, but in any case I’ve long ago opened up that can of worms here with enough food for thought, so we’ll move right along =). And while we’ll be beginning it all with a visual reminisce via Shiina Noriko’s most prominent idol DVD release, be certain that this will be immediately followed up with an early J~Pop loves♥♥♥ (0f mine…) walk down memory~lane as we rediscover Noriko~chan’s venture into the music world ^^. YES!! not only is she most adorable and gorgeous, but Noriko~chan also sings very well!~!
~The following shots are from her “Visual Queen of the Year 2001” DVD which has a running time of just over 30 minutes …really much shorter than the standard length of idol DVDs today but back in 2001 this was about the average for most releases (edited a bit down here as I’ve omitted the ending CMs for her “Visual Queen of the Year” counterparts, as yes each year arrived with a few winners and each girl got her very own image DVD to boot. The DVD also features an extra track in which Norikochan speaks at length about her future goals and hopes as well as her ideal and not so ideal thoughts on men. Hm this may be useful for all men out there I think! =) This extra track runs about 10 minutes and features Noriko~chan in an intimate one on one setting as she lays on a hotel bed towards the camera as she waxes poetic about the entire subject in a very candid manner ＾ ＾. I scanned the inside of the DVD jacket which is to the left and it explains the interactive portion of her DVD. It’s like a wota’s dream come true in a sense as you’re able to edit and piece together set portions of the DVD program into the order of your choice… albeit it’s a bit limited as this was way back in 2001 but still I find this feature to be so unique as back then it was possibly the only idol DVD which hands the viewer such control over what they’re watching. =)
~Shiina Noriko “Premio” image DVD~
Oh and here are just a few screen-caps from “Premio” Shiina Noriko Visual Queen of the Year 2001 which acts as a bit of a preview of what’s included in her video posted just above.
Did I already mention how cute and adorable she is…..
THE J-Pop~♡ Years….
So this all began originally as I was listening to an old J~Pop disc (think mixed tape but on a recordable CD (not as ancient an artifact but nonetheless highly dated and most likely to be seen in a museum these days?? =P!) ..earlier this week and Noriko~chan came on♥…. I just love love her voice!! and there’s even a little Tsunku tie~in here which is awesome as he was truly everywhere in the music world back then and always for a good cause =)! His musical contribution to Shiina Noriko can be seen in the pic just to the left, as his produced work is at the very bottom…. front and center (her single with the red background).
So while Noriko~chan is deep in thought above thinking about her future, why don’t we explore a bit of her musical-♪~♪ career as it was a most notable time from her idol~y side.
Shiina Noriko began appearing in numerous idol publications including UTB and Weekly Young Magazine in the late 90’s leading up to her honor of being named Fuji Television’s “Visual Queen of the Year” in 2001. But unlike previous years which featured only a single winner, 2001 would present four idols being named to this popular title, however I always felt that Noriko~chan *shined* the most of the four that were chosen that year and she would prove to be very worthy of the Visual Queen award as she ventured into additional modeling, t.v. dramas and yes~! music!!
While I did very much enjoy her appearance in the drama “LxIxVxE” where she was so adorable…. (I was so sad that she was picked on though..(;´□｀) ), I haven’t watched very many other drama appearances of hers which is regrettable
Noriko~chan’s music debut came on April 21st, 1999 with the arrival of her single “Aosora dakega sorajanai” while she was very popular in idol publications. While so many idols have tested the musical waters over the years, what’s notable about Noriko~chan’s debut is that her vocals even at this early age and stage of her career, is that they were already most polished sounding and powerfully focused.
Now when it comes to turning someone onto “new” music, I’ve always felt that first impressions~*~~* are most important whenever trying to introduce an artist…. or anyone cute for that matter I guess!.. (￣▽￣), so before introducing her music debut, here’s my most favorite Noriko~chan song OF THEM ALL:
(Shiina Noriko “Do re mi fa so ra shi do”( first press CD shaped sticker)
~Shiina Noriko “Do re mi fa so rashi do” mp3~
Songs just don’t get much more instantly catchier than a composition like “Do re mi fa so ra shi do” …the bouncy and rolling piano rhythm and sweet melody is sure to attract and this being just her third single, Noriko~chan’s voice is already so notably developed here~! “Do re mi fa so ra shi do” was released on April 19th of 2000. Love love love! this song!! ~♥~
(my Shiina Noriko single collection)
The first pressings of her singles feature picture label discs as well as photo cards being included with her singles “Propose” and “P.S. GOOD-BYE.”
(Shiina Noriko single “Propose” w/ photo card & clear jacket insert.)
Before presenting her singles in order I thought that we’d next listen what would be her final single titled “Propose”, which was released on June 26th, 2002 and featured a clear jacket insert which provides a wedding veil for Noriko~chan’s cover image when placed over it in the case. =)
~Shiina Noriko “Propose” mp3~
“Propose” shows Noriko~chan as a fully developed vocalist, the song has light melancholy undertones as this deeply emotional song celebrates… well, one’s happiest day of course!~.
~Shiina Noriko “Kataomoi” mp3~
The coupling with track “Kataomoi” is a euphoric mid tempo light rock tune…
Shiina Noriko released a total of seven singles and 1 album between 1999 and the summer of 2002 and by her 5th single release she was actively composing lyrics for the majority of her releases which always adds a nice personal touch to one’s music. ＾ ＾ And happily she later returned to music after a lengthy hiatus as she released an additional single titled “Dakara waraunda” on April 1st, 2009. (*´∀｀*)♪~♪！！！
Here you can just see how young Noriko~chan was at the time of her debut above! She looks so little! =) Her vocals however, as aforementioned seem to be years ahead of her appearance as you’ll hear in the following tracks “Aosora dakega sora janai” and “Hana ga saku hi.” Both are great straightforward pop tracks.
~Shiina Noriko “Aozora dake ga sora janai” mp3~
~Shiina Noriko “Hana ga saku hi” mp3~
~Shiina Noriko “Isu” mp3~
Noriko~chan’s 2nd single “Isu” was released on October 27th, 1999. It still remains as one of her more dramatic
recordings with its dark melody and slightly moody lyrics.
~Shiina Noriko “Taiyou no youni” mp3~
“Isu’”s coupling with track “Taiyou no you ni…. though simple and relaxed does possess a nice steady groove as well a subtle sweet flamenco touch during its breaks. Still more or less a straight pop track but catchy nonetheless.
Even near the height of Momusu’s success it seems that song writer/producer Tsunku (now legendary in both regards) was able to fit an outside project into his then way too busy schedule. Shiina Noriko’s 4th single release was penned by Tsunku in both lyrics & music for both songs and even features his back up vocals on the title track! You gotta love that about him!! I recall thinking to myself, what an amazing and small world we all live in with Tsunku here! =) In particular I really love the coupling with track “Sukina hito wa kimi dake dayo” for it’s whimsical sweetness~♥.
~Shiina Noriko “P.S. GOOD-BYE” mp3~
~Shiina Noriko “Suki na hito wa kimi dakedayo” mp3~
~Shiina Noriko “Ookina anata chisana watashi” mp3~
T2ya appears as the composer for both tracks on Noriko~chan’s 5th single “Okina anata chisana watashi” and this is the first release in which she began going by only her last name Shiina. “Okina anata chisana watashi” was released on August 1st, 2001 and the title track is really wonderfully sugary and upbeat~. Its perfectly~* orchestrated coupling with track “Kanaria” bears a much more dramatic tone giving this single a memorable contrast in styles especially when the songs are listened to back to back, Noriko~chan’s vocals immaculate throughout.
~Shiina Noriko “Kanaria” mp3~
Shiina Noriko’s 6th single release “Koi no fuusen” shows a real departure and leap from her previous vocal styling~s, here her range just sprouts wonderfully and is especially notable during the chorus portions. I like to think of “Koi no fuusen” as being one of her all out giddy songs ….just such a joyous beat wrapped in a warm melodious tortilla! I think someone’s “hungry”
~Shiina Noriko “Koi no fuusen” mp3~
And there you have it! Just an appetizer so to speak of Shiina Noriko’s J-pop career ^^!
And here we’ll finish with just a few cute Noriko~chan visuals:
Shiina Noriko’s first shashinshuu is titled “tabiato” and it’s quite an unusual size for a PB as it measures 7 1/2″ X 10″ approximately. Here’s just a few scans that I chose to give you an idea just in case you’re interested in collecting her photographic works. “tabiato” is quite thick as it’s 128 pages all shot in scenic Thailand! They have some of the most pristine beaches that I’ve seen!!!!… and I live in Hawaii. ^^*!!
She’s soooooo cute!!! and beautiful!!!
Hope you enjoyed this little walk down idol memory lane =).
..she has one of the best *pouts* ever!
..hmm hasn’t everyone at one time or another done this?! Or is it, um just me?…and Noriko~chan?…(^q^).