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Music / Pizzicato Five

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A Japanese pop group active from 1986 to 2001, Pizzicato Five (known in a beginning as "Pizzicato V" and often known simply by the initials P5) was best known to audiences in the West in their later incarnation as a duo of Maki Nomiya and Yasuharu Konishi. The group, widely credited (along with Flipper's Guitar) with spearheading the Shibuya-kei movement of Tokyo in the 1990s, was influenced by genres as distinct as Bossa Nova, Soul, Yé-Yé, Chanson, Funk and 60's English pop music.

    Partial Discography 
  • Pizzicatomania! (1986)
  • Couples (1987)
  • Bellissima! (1988)
  • By Her Majesty's Request (1989)
  • Hi Guys! Let Me Teach You (1991)
  • This Year's Girl (1991)
  • Sweet Pizzicato Five (1992)
  • Overdose (1994)
  • Romantique 96 (1995)
  • Happy End of the World (1997)
  • The International Playboy & Playgirl Record (1998, released in the US in 1999 as Playboy & Playgirl)
  • Çà et là du Japon (2001)


  • Lover's Rock EP (1990)
  • This Year's Model EP (1991)
  • Readymade Records EP (1991)
  • London-Paris-Tokyo (1991)
  • A Television's Workshop EP (1994)
  • Sister Freedom Tapes (フリーダムのピチカート・ファイヴ freedom no Pizzicato Five?) (1997)
  • A Message Song EP (1996)
  • Darlin' of Discothèque EP (1999)
  • Nonstop to Tokyo EP (1999)
  • A Perfect World EP (1999)
  • Voyage á Tokyo EP (2000)


  • Pizzicato V in "The Audrey Hepburn Complex" (1985)
  • Pizzicato V in "Action" (1986)
  • Sweet Soul Revue (1993)
  • The Night Is Still Young - 7:00pm Tokyo (1993)
  • Happy Sad (1994)
  • Triste (1995)
  • Twiggy Twiggy (1995)
  • Baby Portable Rock (1996)
  • Mon Amour Tokyo (1997)
  • I Hear a Symphony (1997)
  • La Règle du Jeu (1998)
  • Such A Beautiful Girl Like You (1998)
  • Week-End (1998)
  • Playboy Playgirl (1998)

Matador exclusive releases

  • Five by Five (1994)
  • Made in USA (1994)
  • Quickie EP (1995)
  • Unzipped EP (1995)
  • The Sound of Music by Pizzicato Five (1995)
  • Trailer Music (1997)

A new stereophonic Pizzicato Five tropes spectacular:

  • Anything Can Be Music: Pizzicato Five can make songs based on anything they can conceive as a good song, no matter the genre.
  • Artifact Title: Yes, they did have five members to begin with, but were a duo at the time of their biggest international success.
  • Author Catchphrase: "A new stereophonic sound spectacular"
  • Beehive Hairdo: Maki has one in the music video for "Happy Sad".
  • Cover Version: Being one of the styles they managed, Pizzicato Five made a cover of the famous Bossa Nova song "The Girl from Ipanema" (the English version.)
  • Dance Sensation: Various of their songs, especially Tout va bien (which comes the image of the page).
  • Advertisement:
  • Decade-Themed Filter: Various of their music videos have filters as if they were recorded in The '60s, The '70s or The '80s, depending of the song.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The original 11 and a half minute version of Darlin' of Discotheque is instrumental for the first seven and a half minutes. The radio edit reduces this to about 30 seconds.
  • Gratuitous English/Gratuitous French: Not uncommon. Some of their early videos even credit them as "Les Pizzicato V".
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Tout va bien videoclip.
  • Hidden Track: They have various ones in their albums. Played for Laughs in Playboy & Playgirl when the narrator says something like "and now here's the bonus track as all our other albums", which is only the first theme singed with just "nanananana".
  • I Am the Band: Yasuharu Konishi, who was one of the initial members and the last one remained. Even he made a disc after splitting with Nomiya with the name of Pizzicato Five making own versions of Disney's movie songs.
  • Advertisement:
  • Iconic Song Request: Twiggy Twiggy and Sweet Soul Revue.
  • Leitmotif: All what Pizzicato Five represents can be seen and listened in these 6 minutes.
  • Location Song: A lot, especially from... you know, like Mon Amour Tokyo, Á Tokyo, Nonstop to Tokyo, Tokyo's Coolest Sound and Tokyo, Mon Amour.
    • Also, songs from some other places like London-Paris, Statue of Liberty and Roma.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: Most of the formations in the history of the group have a sole female as the singer, not just Maki Nomiya, also Mamiko Sasaki in the first formation in The '80s.
  • Meaningful Name: "Pizzicato" is referred to a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument, used in various music genres, like jazz. And "Five" is because the amount of members initially were in the band (being Konishi the last of them that remained until the end of the group.)
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Sister Freedom Tapes used only live instruments, no electronics, for a garage rock sound.
  • Rearrange the Song: Mostly seen in concerts, in which Nomiya sung songs from old formations before her, like The Audrey Hepburn Complex, all rearranged by Konishi, of course.
  • Record Producer: Yasuharu Konishi has sprinkled his magic on numerous other Japanese acts.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: Various of Pizzicato Five songs are most known for being used in TV advertising (not just in Japan) and even in various TV shows, being live programs as well series (again, not just in Japan.) As example, Futurama's Leela's Homeworld episode used P5's Baby Love Child.
  • Retraux: Present in some of their music, videos and artwork.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The first formation with female lead singers like Mamiko Sasaki (first formation) and Maki Nomiya, in which they were the only female in the group.
    • Chromosome Casting: In the formation with Takao Tajima as the only male singer in the history of the group, the only time all the group was male only.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Used in various songs by Maki Nomiya, usually non-singles like This Year's Girl #2.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Naturally, since they happen to be from Tokyo.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: One of the formations have Yasuharu Konichi, Keitaro Takanami (other of founders of the group with Konishi) and Maki Nomiya.
  • Widget Series
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: In Á Tokyo, there's the Japanese rapper YOU THE ROCK★


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