Quasi-PunkWatch: Permanent Smile

Haruka Kuroda as ‘Yasuko’, fronting ‘Permanent Smile’, in “Ideal” (Series 3)Still on an Ideal kick, in ep #3.5, for no apparent reason, Yasuko (Haruka Kuroda) turned up at Moz’s flat with two visiting Japanese friends in tow, claiming that they all played together in a girl band called “Permanent Smile”, back in the day. She then played Moz one of their old promo videos, to prove it. Sadly we only get a quick glimpse on screen, and the other characters don’t seem particularly impressed, but thankfully the full video for “Going Nowhere” is included as an extra on the DVD, and it’s pretty damn good. Considering the quality of the song and its accompanying video, coupled with the abrupt nature of its introduction, I was hoping that Permanent Smile would actually turn out to be a real band… but apparently not. Aside from appearing in Ideal, Kuroda’s coolest claim to fame is probably the fact that she provided the original singing/speaking voice for ‘Noodle’ from Gorillaz, on their debut album and “live” tours… so I don’t doubt that she was also responsible for her own vocals here, but apparently the backing music was played by a band called Junkstar. According to the end credits of the video, their lead singer, JC Connington, co-wrote the track with series creator Graham Duff and Kuroda herself (I’m guessing she handled the translation too).

Haruka Kuroda as ‘Yasuko’, Jessica Peh ‘Kim’ and Haruka Abe as ‘Miko’, posing as ‘Permanent Smile’, in “Ideal” (Series 3)Meanwhile, the other members of the fictional group, ‘Kim’ and ‘Miko’, were played by the actresses Jessica Peh and Haruka Abe, who were presumably just miming and lip-syncing along. Fun facts: According to Peh’s profile on a “film extras” casting site, she’s actually of Chinese descent… while Abe’s official site declares that she has hazel green eyes despite being of Japanese descent! Incidentally, if anyone out there is interested in hearing what genuine Brit-based Japanese punk-rock chicks sound like, then I heartily recommend Mika Bomb. I was lucky enough to see them supporting Rosita on a promotional tour for Grand Royal records back in 2000, and even got to chat to them while they manned their own merchandising table! Ah, happy days…

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About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action.
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