Follow TV Tropes


Music / Shiina Ringo

Go To
In person

Shiina Yumiko, more commonly known by her stage name Shiina Ringo, is a Japanese singer-songwriter, composer, and producer. She is also the founder and lead vocalist of the band Tokyo Jihen.

Shiina Ringo solo album discography:

  • Muzai Moratorium (無罪モラトリアム, Innocence Moratorium, 1999)
  • Shōso Strip (勝訴ストリップ, Victorious Strip, 2000)
  • Utaite Myōri ~Sono Ichi~ (唄ひ手冥利 ~其ノ壱~, Singer's Luck, Part One, 2002, covers album)
  • Karuki Zamen Kuri no Hana (加爾基 精液 栗ノ花, Chlorinated Lime, Semen, Chestnut Flower, 2003)
  • Heisei Fūzoku (平成風俗, Heisei Customs, 2007, soundtrack project for the film Sakuran, based on the manga of the same name. Also sometimes known as Japanese Manners.note )
  • Watashi to Hōden (私と放電, lit. Me and Electric Discharge, 2008, B-side compilation)
  • Sanmon Gossip (三文ゴシップ, The Threepenny Gossip, 2009)
  • Ukina (浮き名, Scandal, 2013, collaboration compilation)
  • Mitsugetsu-shō (蜜月抄, Honeymoon Excerpt, 2013, live compilation)
  • Gyakuyunyū: Kōwankyoku (逆輸入 ~港湾局~, Reimport: Ports and Harbours Bureau, 2014, collection of re-recorded tracks Shiina originally gave to other artists)
  • Hi Izuru Tokoro (日出処, Land of the Rising Sun, 2014. Also sometimes known by its simplified title, Sunny)
  • Gyakuyunyū: Kōkūkyoku (逆輸入〜航空局〜, Reimport Vol. 2 – Civil Aviation Bureau, 2017)
  • Sandokushi (三毒史, Three Poisons Klesha, 2019)

Tokyo Jihen album discography:

  • Kyōiku (教育, Education, 2004)
  • Adult (大人(アダルト), also known as Otona, 2006)
  • Variety (娯楽 (バラエティ), also known as Goraku, 2007)
  • Sports (スポーツ, 2010)
  • Daihakken (大発見, lit. Great Discovery but more often translated simply Discovery, 2011)
  • color bars (2012, EP)

Shiina Ringo and her music provide examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Her first two albums, Muzai Moratorium and Shōso Strip.
  • Animated Music Video: The PV for "Mayonaka wa Junketsu" is completely animated apparently because at the time Shiina was pregnant.
    • The PV for "Tsugou no ii Karada" features Shiina dancing around with animate inanimate objects.
    • All of the PVs for Heisei Fūzoku are animated in some form or another.
  • Auto-Tune
    • The a cappella intro of "Ikiru."
    • "Hatsukoi Shōjo" has Ringo's voice synthesized.
    • "Netsuai Hakkakuchu", being a collaboration between Ringo and Nakata Yasutaka.
    • Used to great effect on "Maronouchi Sadistic (EXPO Version)", which sounds like little else you will hear this year. It's pretty atypical for Ringo, too, being more or less a straight-up rhythm & blues song.
  • Big Rock Ending: "Denpa Tsūshin" has this.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Besides her native Japanese, she has also sung in English, French, German and Portuguese. Most of the latter three are found on Utaite Myōri ~Sono Ichi~.
  • Brother–Sister Team: She has done some duets with her brother Junpei, notably for "Kono Yo no Kagiri".
  • Calling Your Attacks: Shiina calls out "Gitā!" before guitar solos in "Ringo no Uta" and "Himitsu", the opening tracks of Tokyo Jihen's first two albums.
    • She calls this out during the concert performance of "Handsome Sugite" as well.
  • Cleavage Window: One of her outfits in "Netsuai Hakkakuchu".
  • Concept Album: Possibly Shōso Strip, despite the fact that it features three A-sides. Its first six tracks deal with some sort of crime, and the last six deal with some form of punishment. The middle track is titled "Tsumi to Batsu" ("Crime and Punishment").
  • Cover Album: Utaite Myori ~Sono Ichi~.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Symmetry. Just look at the track listings for most of her albums to see an example.
    • It's worth pointing out that not only are the number of characters in each song symmetrical, but frequently the scripts used are symmetrical as well. For example, the first and eleventh tracks on Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana have two Kanji characters in their titles, while the second and tenth have eight katakana characters, and so on. Even when the characters themselves aren't symmetrical, she'll sometimes make the track listings symmetrical in other ways; for example, the even-numbered track titles on each disc of Utaite Myōri ~Sono Ichi~ are written in English, while the odd-numbered ones are in Japanese (which does not always match with the language(s) sung in the songs). And often there is thematic symmetry as well; for example, the first six songs of Shōso Strip describe a crime and the last six describe a punishment, with the first song translating as "I Am a Liar" and the last translating as "I Am an Addict". Or consider "Fair" and "Foul" on Sports. (Note that, in a few cases, it's necessary to use the "Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms" set of Unicode characters to make the symmetry work - "sa_i_ta" rather than "sa_i_ta" on color bars, for example, as well as "JL005便で" and "NIPPON" [or, if you hate all-caps track lists, "Nippon"] rather than "JL005便で" and "NIPPON" on Sunny. The track listings on Ringo's official website for these songs - and also "FOUL", "FAIR", and "ドーパミント! BPM103" - use the Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms characters, for what that's worth. Also, for the record, the intended translation for "saita" appears to be "Bloomed", which would be written in Japanese as "咲いた". It could also mean "The Most" if written as "最多", and that's not even the only other possible Japanese word that would be romanised as "saita".)
    • The lengths of her albums can also qualify. Shoso Strip runs for 55:55, KSK for 44:44, and Sanmon Gossip for 50:05.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The PV for "Handsome Sugite".
  • Distinct Double Album: Shiina's cover album Utaite Myori ~Sono Ichi~ has two discs, Mori-Pact and Kame-Pact, produced by Toshiyuki Mori and Seiji Kameda respectively.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Guitarist Ukigumo is specifically credited as playing the vacuum cleaner in the intro of "Yattsuke Shigoto."
    • The PV for "Kono Yo no Kagiri" combines this with Mickey Mousing, resulting in such interesting combinations as bread being played like a violin and leeks as trumpets.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Noudouteki Sanpunkan (literally "An Active Three Minutes") is exactly three minutes long.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: Inverted by "Izonshō," the last track on Shōso Strip. The song ends with a three-minute instrumental section, which begins to fade out over the last minute—and then the music is cut immediately, when the album reaches the 55:55 mark.
  • Fanservice: "Honnō". Some of her album/single covers could be considered to fall into this as well, such as Sanmon Gossip, "Ringo no Uta", and "Ariamaru Tomi".
  • Genre-Busting: Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana is a little... unique to classify, even for Shiina Ringo standards.
  • Genre Mashup: Goes between rock, j-pop, classical, jazz, electronica, and various other genres at the flip of a hat.
  • Genre Roulette: Sanmon Gossip borders on this at times, arguably even more so than the rest of her albums. Not too many albums will have a jazz song go into a techno song, and then an accordion and vocals performance a few tracks later, and then a rock & roll piece, and then an R&B song to close off the album.
  • Grand Finale: For Tokyo Jihen, the "Bon Voyage" concert. It had a total of 30 songs.
  • Gratuitous English: Notably averted, partially thanks to a two-month stay in London.
    • Though her pronounciation on "Yer Blues" is still a bit off in places.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: She has, aside from English, also sung in French, German, and Portuguese.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: A very quiet one can be heard in the beginning of "Shūkyō".
  • Iconic Item: Her mole. It was still part of her character long after she got one of them removed.
  • Jazz: Much of her material falls into this genre, particularly on Heisei Fūzoku (which is mostly orchestral jazz) and Sanmon Gossip (a Genre Roulette of numerous different jazz styles which Wikipedia categorises as "acid jazz", which is probably as close to as accurate a two-word description as possible).
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Sōretsu" is a particularly notable case of this, though considering that its title translates as "Funeral" and it's the final track of an album that is 44 minutes and 44 seconds long, anything else would have been a massive surprise. The song builds to a particularly cacophonic climax before suddenly cutting off. She's done it a few other times as well. "Bonsai Hada" ends with Shiina essentially screaming her lungs out over an increasingly cacophonic accordion performance, then she stops singing and the accordion gets even more cacophonic before it, too, stops. This is followed almost immediately by "Yokyō", arguably the only rock song on Sanmon Gossip.
  • Literary Allusion Title: "Yukiguni" is named in reference to a novel of the same title by Nobel Prizewinning author Kawabata Yasunari.
  • Live Album: The first CD of Zeccho-shū, Tokyo Collection, and Mitsugetsu-shō.
  • Loudness War: Except Muzai Moratorium, practically every album she's made (solo or with Tokyo Jihen) is brickwalled in some way or the other, with Shōso Strip being the worst offender. Considering the amount of control she has over her music and her eccentric personality, it can be argued that she does it on purpose.
    • The DVD-Audio releases of her albums tend to be more dynamic than the CDs. For example, the DVD of Kalk Samen has DR9 to the CD's DR6.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Considering the broad variety of her songs, this was bound to pop up. "Aisaika no Choushoku", "Zettai Zetsumai" and the album version of "Yattsuke Shigoto" are particularly egregious offenders.
  • Medium Blending: As noted above, the PV for "Tsugō no ii Karada" is part animated and part live-action.
  • Mood Whiplash: Several of her albums feature examples of this between tracks, due in no small part due to her heavy employment of Genre Roulette mixed with Siamese Twin Song transitions.
  • Musical Pastiche: She has done a few of these. "Tsugō no Ii Karada" might as well be a Burt Bacharach song, for instance, between its soaring melodic hooks and Neko Saitō's energetic, brass and strings-heavy arrangement for it.
  • New Sound Album: Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana. It performed worse than its predecessor commercially (dropping from 2.3 million to 400,000 in sales) but better critically, often being listed as one of the finest Japanese rock albums of the decade.
  • No Ending: "Sōretsu", the last song on Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana, gradually gets louder and then suddenly cuts off. The ending of Shōso Strip does almost the exact opposite: it starts to fade out, but suddenly cuts off before it fades completely.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Halfway through "Sōretsu".
  • Pop-Star Composer: Shiina was asked to do the music for Japanese film Sakuran.
  • Scatting: Shiina did this often in her earlier solo career.
  • Sideboob: Her outfit without the jacket in "Tsumi to Batsu" shows some.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: A common technique of hers. Particularly common on Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana and Sanmon Gossip.
  • Spelling Song: Tokyo Jihen's song "F.O.U.L."
  • Spell My Name With An S: Invoked. Her stage name is now most commonly romanized as "Shiina Ringo," but it has also been officially romanized as "Sheena Ringo," "Sheena Rinngo," and "Shéna Ringö"
  • Stage Names: Her first name, Yumiko, is changed to Ringo, which means "apple" (referring to the color her face would turn when embarrassed as a child).
    • On another note, many of the Tokyo Jihen members went by stage names as well, save for Kameda Seiji. (A few of them just went for Alternate Character Reading.)
  • Theme Naming: Each of Tokyo Jihen's albums is named after a television genre (Kyōiku means "education" and Daihakken means "discovery").
  • Titled After the Song: "Shijō no jinsei" is titled in tribute to John Coltrane's seminal 1965 album A Love Supreme. If the song's official translation of "A Life Supreme" didn't give it away, the single and album covers will: the single uses the exact same typeface as the Coltrane album, and even prints the text at the exact same angle.
  • Translated Cover Version: On occasion, Shiina will do covers of her own songs in English e.g. "Yokushitsu" and "la salle de bain", "Kuki" and "Stem", etc.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: She's toned it down since Shōso Strip.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: Shiina's PV for the song "Stem" contains clips from her short film Tanpen Kinema Hyaku-Iro Megane.