Everybody has a first J-pop love and this is probably mine. Her name is Haneda Erika and she was in an old, early-nineties group called CoCo.
Don’t bother to google — you won’t find much. Old idols don’t age well.
Yet, at one point in my life, her old group was like the most important thing in my life. Some people have their faiths and CoCo was mine. It took me over three years to acquire every CD and video from this group — and even to this day I tingle when I’m able to find a new gem online: a TV performance or commercial or whatever.
CoCo was a five-member group that started up in 1989, then lost its most talented vocalist, Senou Azusa (the girl in the center of the picture) in 1992, who left to pursue a solo career. CoCo trudged on as a foursome until their novelty wore off and they broke up in 1994. Shortly thereafter I discovered the group and the internet.
Anyway now it’s 2003 and we got cellphones, digital cameras and computers that can hold seemingly infinite amounts of great stuff. Yet once in a while, I fire up my LASERDISC player (just repaired at Turbo Tech Electronics on Pensacola for about $180) and place an old shiny platter from ten years ago in there and turn up the volume.
And what has become of Ms. Haneda? Beats me, but I’m sure her meals are paid for mostly…