When Puffy released, “Asia-no-Junshin”, in 1996 they made a J-pop classic. But at that time, for me anyway, they were a little different to what I was used to. I had just returned to Japan after returning home to finish university which took two years. When I was first in Japan, 1991 to 1993, the singers and groups I associated with female Japanese pop then were the, “idols”, people like Seiko Matsuda, Miho Nakayama, Akina Nakamori and groups like Wink and Princess Princess. Usually each singer had their own image or and style. It was very rarely deviated from. It was pretty much like a Japanese version of Stock, Aitkin, Waterman. Singer and groups produced by studios. But styles and tastes change, and I was in for a bit of shock when I returned.
Since then that 80`s type of idol has disappeared, has been replaced by a new range of singers and idols. So when I returned to Japan in 1996 there was a whole new world of J-pop being created. Around that time, singers like Nanase Aikawa, Namie Amuro, Hikaru Utada and groups like Morning Musume were appearing. And around that time one of the leaders of that new pack were Puffy, just a couple of girls in blue jeans and long hair. No particular image presented at all I thought at the time, just two chicks out having a good time. That old pristine world of the 80s and early 90s idol was suddenly swept away and replaced by something more keeping with the times.
“Asia-no-Junshin”, is a great song. It was Puffy`s debut single, being released on May 13, 1996. It reached the number three spot on the Oricon weekly charts. And for a little extra tidbit of information, if you remember our last Song of the Week by Yosui Inoue … he wrote this song too. You can see Puffy`s English website here.