Urutaraman Sebun!
September 18, 2008 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Please tell me all the details about the origin of and story behind the "Okkusenman" song/video, all you Japanophiles/people living in Japan out there.

Basically, some Japanese person or people took the Dr. Wily Stage 1 theme from Mega Man 2, wrote lyrics to it, and turned it into a really great song about nostalgia for the innocence of childhood. There are two versions: a hard trance version with female vocals (my favorite), and a rock version with male vocals. The rock version appears to be the original, but I'm not sure. There are also cover versions with different lyrics. So what I want to know is:

What are the names of the artists for both versions?
Did the songs come first, or did the videos? Is it purely a YouTube phenomenon? Were the the songs released on physical media? Before or after the videos?
What is the significance of "110 million"? Or "Ultraman Seven" (I know he's a character in the "Ultraman" series of TV shows)?
Or any other details you might know.

Any information in English I can find is repeated in this post, so anything else you can tell me would be appreciated.
posted by DecemberBoy to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Did the songs come first, or did the videos? Is it purely a YouTube phenomenon? Were the the songs released on physical media? Before or after the videos?

From this blog:

"Someone arranged the BGM from the Wily (?) stage in the Famicom game 'Rockman 2' and uploaded it, then somebody else put lyrics to the tune and uploaded it, then someone else but a video to the song and uploaded it, then finally someone took the video and began singing along to it. So this video is the culmination of the efforts of many strangers."

So the answer to your questions would be: The song came first. It's an internet phenomenon but not just YouTube (mainly Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video site). The songs have not been released on physical media, before or after the videos, but there appear to be mp3s floating around the net.

I'm taking a wild guess here based on Googling in Japanese, but the female version that you said you liked is probably perfomed by a voice actress (声優) named Mao Komiya (小宮真央). Here's her site (Japanese only). The guy's name appears to be "Gomu," but it's a nickname and no further info can be found on this guy.

Here's some more videos.

Re: okusenman (110 million). It's just a word that sounds good, there's no particular meaning to it aside from the "big number" aspect. There's a famous song from 1984 by singer Hiromi Go called "Nioku yonsenman no hitomi" that repeats "okusenman okusenman," and I sort of assume the idea came from there because it's such a well-known song. To a Japanese person my age, "okusenman"= Hiromi Go; in fact, I thought you were asking about that song when I first read your question. If you listen to it, you can sort of hear the similarity, it's a typical cheesy Japanese "kayokyoku" (pop song). And Ultra Seven is just that, the character from the TV series back in 1967. I suppose it adds to the "nostalgia" factor that many people my age would feel from the reference (I was born in 1969, but I know Ultra Seven and the other Ultraman series really well, as does my husband, who was born in 1968). It's probably meant to be like a symbol of the Showa Era, and because of the reference, I sort of assumed the person who wrote the lyrics to this song is someone close to my age, not someone really young. (But I could be wrong. Ultraman is still very popular and younger people know it, too, so...) Part of the reason why this song wouldn't be released commercially is because Tsuburaya Production would probably never give permission to use the name.

My 2 cents.
posted by misozaki at 12:28 AM on September 19, 2008 [4 favorites]

misozaki rocks!
posted by gen at 2:15 AM on September 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks a lot for the awesome answer! That's exactly what I wanted to know. So the "okusenman"/Hiromi Go and Ultra Seven references would be like an English-language song referencing, say, A Flock Of Seagulls and GI Joe respectively, which along with the Mega Man/Rockman theme music ties into the "nostalgia for a more innocent time" theme. It makes perfect sense now.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:12 AM on September 19, 2008

Yes, A Flock of Seagulls and GI Joe are perfect analogies!
posted by misozaki at 4:05 AM on September 19, 2008

The power of the voice that's calling me is
A Billion and One
Billion and One
Regrets that I could never be
That person, ever again...
posted by wanderingmind at 10:58 AM on September 19, 2008

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