Sachie and her friend were at the edge of Shibuya when I spotted that distinctive yellow-orange Tower Records bag from the corner of my eye. As I got closer, I could see that, although it was a 12” records-style bag, it seemed to be filled with something other than records. Tower Records is a popular place to buy not just records, but CDs, books, posters, and all manner of music goods, and judging by the blocky shape of the contents in her bag, I guessed it wasn’t a poster or a book, but perhaps a CD box-set of sorts.

Despite addressing them in friendly Japanese and a gentle tone, “Pardon me / Sumimasen / Hello,” they were hesitant to acknowledge the greeting coming from a shady bearded western American in slacker sneakers, tattered leather jacket, atop a ratty, rusty motorcycle. I’d be hesitant too. I quickly tried to melt their apprehension with some reassurance that I was, not only harmless but a potentially entertaining interlude to an otherwise quiet and pedestrian walk (…you never know what you might find in Shibuya.) But I could sense this was gonna be a hard sell.

Pitching Tokyo Record Style as quickly as charmingly as I could, it was still clear by their retreating posture that the window of opportunity was fading, when Sachie said in Japanese, “Well, you can photograph my CDs …but not me. I don’t want to be in a photo.” After a millisecond of consideration, I reluctantly declined, “Hmmm, thanks, but that’s ok, I don’t want to keep you two any longer. Nevermind.” And so they walked off, and it wasn’t to be …then, after three or paces away, they paused, whispering something to each other… then Sachie turned back around and exclaimed, “OK! I’ll do it!”

“YES! That’s the spirit! Like ABBA, ‘Take a chance on me’,” I thought! That’s when Sachie pulled out 10 identical CDs of J-Pop Super Idols, “King and Prince”, who I was told are, big news, breaking up later this year to the huge disappointment of their biggest fans, like Sachie, hence her 10 copies of their album “Cinderella Girl.”

Next was convincing Sachie to remove her mask, which I couldn’t do. (You win some, you lose some.) The 60 smiles of “King and Prince” here will have to do.

King & Prince – シンデレラガール
Label: Johnnys’ Universe – UPCJ-5001
Format: CD, Maxi-Single
Country: Japan
Released: May 23, 2018
Genre: Pop
Style: J-pop

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