The J-Pop Exchange Michiaki Watanabe (Chumei Watanabe) Exclusive Interview Sentai Discussion (without translation voice over)
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Chumei Watanabe

(Michiaki Watanabe)

SeanBird (J-Pop Exchange): Please tell us about the scoring process behind the Sentai series. Where in the process do you, as a composer, become involved? What were your experiences?)

Chumei Watanabe (Michiaki Watanabe): “Himitsu Sentai Gorenger” was the first show in the “Super Sentai Series.” The music production process for it was about the same as for the other series. First, the melody for the opening and ending had to be composed. Here, I should explain the ending a little bit, as the melody has some interesting characteristics to it. The beginning of the tune is “Who gave it to us”(Dare ga tsuketaka Oretachi wa). In order to make the sound crisper, there is a pause between the “dare ga” and the “tsuketaka” parts, so I added a vocal chorus, so that the end sound resembles “Dare ga, Aaaah, Tsu-ketaka-, Oretachi wa-.”As usual, those responsible for the tunes listened to me sing in the company’s audio recording room while I played the piano. They all liked it. Shortly after I came back home, I got a call from the head of the record company. “The melody for the ending is fine like it is, but could you think of a more interesting phrase for the beginning of the song?” he told me. I hung up the phone, and a little while after I got an idea. I called back, and sang the phrase to the head of the record company. It was “Bam-bara Bam-bam-bam.” “Yes, that, do that,” he told me, and so that was the phrase we used.

Although “Gorenger” was a hit as a show, the record for it was also a surprising hit. I worked on a total of 6 shows for the Sentai series, and I think that I was able to put impactful and distinctive elements in each of the main opening themes. Among those, I would like to talk about the opening to “Taiyō Sentai San Barukan.” When I was trying to write this song, I couldn’t decide on the melody, and continued going through a process of trial and error. Eventually, I decided upon the melody we have today. I think it was a success, as the melody of the second half sounds considerably brighter than the first half, since it is modulated in a major key. It seems like this song is popular. At super Sentai concerts, it always gets an encore, with both the singer and the audience singing it together.

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