How and why I’m a fan of Japanese music

Ever since I started this blog I always wanted to make a post about my history with Japanese music and how I got into Japanese music in the first place. And when my post about my love hate relationship with AAA was featured on
International Wota, Ray said he would like me to talk more about Jrock (And Hinoi Team. But he wanted me to go release by release and give my opinions on them, which I’m honestly not going to do in this post. Perhaps I will sometime in the future.) And that was pretty much an excuse for me to write this post now. It’s taken me this long to write it because I was hesitant to post about it at all, because I’m not sure if people really care about my backstory too much. But whether a lot of people care about this post or not, I really felt like writing it.  Half because I think some people are curious to see how my taste in music has evolved over the years and half because the reason I got into Japanese music is so random that it’s almost laughable. It wasn’t really as cut-and-dry as when I first started to like Kpop. Since I was already into Japanese music the jump wasn’t that hard. Also, this is most likely going to be a giant wall of text, you’ve been warned.

Obviously, everyone found out about Japanese music a ton of different ways for a ton of different reasons. I like to think that most people found out about it in some grand way like stumbling upon it on the internet or hearing a Japanese song at the end of a Japanese movie and then searching for the song. Or even through anime or videogames. I guess that’s not really all that grand, but I’ve always though the way I got into Japanese music is slightly silly and ridiculous. Even though it’s just past 7 years that I’ve been into Japanese music I can honestly remember the reason I got into it like it was yesterday. It was the first day of 7th grade, I was sitting at a table with people I wasn’t friends with at all. And among them was this girl who was pretty much labeled weird by everyone. So, to make things less awkward it was randomly asked “if you could learn any language which one would you learn?” Come to think of it, I might have actually be the person who asked this question. Which completely proves how awkward and shy I am around people I don’t know. Everyone answered with obvious languages like French or Spanish, I said Italian, but this random girl was different. She said Japanese. And I remember just being completely dumbfounded. Being 12 years old at the time I knew absolutely nothing about Japan at all. To me Japan was such a random country that was so out of the ordinary. And at the time I could not fathom why she would pick such an unusual language. I later found out she only liked Japan because of anime, but I didn’t even really know or care what anime was at the time.

And for some reason that honest and strange responce really stuck with me. I kept asking myself, “Why Japan? What is so great about this country?” So, when I got home from school I started looking up Japan just to find out what was so appealing about it. And I looked up Japan for a while. I think it was about a month. But since I was 12 in all honesty, it was probably closer to a week. I remember looking up everything, history, culture, fashion, food, etc. And because I had been doing that for a while I started to think Japan was an interesting country. Then one day it just hit me, I had an idea. And it is such a clear vivid memory that I can honestly remember the exact moment it happened. I simply just though to myself, “Since I like Japan so much, I wonder what the music from Japan sounds like?” And that simple  question, because I was curious about everything at the time, started everything. Actually I’ve always been like that. I remeber when we started learning about astronomy for the first time in 3rd grade I was so interested in it I started watching anything I could about space. I was the only nerdy 9 year old in my class that watched the science channel. XD

But anyway, back to the topic at hand. I did a simple google search of Japanese music. And I came across a website that was streaming a few songs. Among them were the artists I bothered listening to, which were Hamasaki Ayumi and Dir en grey.  The songs on the site that I listened to were M and Duty by Hamasaki Ayumi, and The Final by Dir en grey. I think I might have also listened to Embryo, but I honestly can’t remember. Looking back that moment was completely symbolic.  Those 2 artists represented complete opposite ends of the spectrum. And it was the defining moment as a fan, as whoever I chose would determine what type of Japanese music fan I would become. I do admit from the moment I heard both artists I completely fell in love with all of the songs. However, in the end I did gravitate more to Dir en grey. I just found the music to be so different then anything I had ever heard before. At the time I didn’t have my own taste of music. I was still pretty impressionable and just listened to whatever my older sister was listening to at the time. Which was Green Day, Blink 182, The Offspring, things like that. Which probably also swayed my opinion a bit. I just found Dir en grey’s music to be interesting and enticing. That and the fact that I thought Kyo was incredibly gorgeous. Which is slightly shallow, but what can I say?

And just like that I started to really get into Jrock. I listened to basically anything I could get my hands on. Though my main focuses were Dir en grey, Gazette, Alice Nine, An Cafe, and Miyavi. And when I say I was into Jrock I was really into it. Usually when I like something I can’t just like it casually, I usually latch onto it and absorb myself completely in it. Which some people might take as being obsessive. But I prefer to think I’m just enthusiastic about the things I like, and maybe with a touch of zealous. So, when I got into Jrock I got into it 150%. It was the majority of what I listened to for months, it was all I talked about, I wanted to dress Jrock, all other music was inferior, etc. I also used to quote Jrock lyrics frequently. No, seriously I’d quote them. Not the actual lyrics but the translations. My favorite quotes I used to reiterate frequently were: “Even loved ones scatter like petals from flowers in my hand. So even if I engraved the meaning that I lived in my hand, it will only be known as flowers of vanity.” Which is from The Final by Dir en grey. I also used to quote, “And a flower, doesn’t even know it’s own beauty it’s entire life. Sad isn’t it?” Which is from Miyavi’s Girls be Ambitious. I also called Kyo a prohet a couple dozen times. Which is something Kyo fans used to, and still probably do, call him. Which I am so over and is slightly embarassing to admit now. And let’s not forget the absolute hatred I had for Kisaki. Full on I wished he was dead hatred. And the reason for such an intense hatred? Well, a rumor of course. I’m sure Jrock fans immediately know what I’m reffering to. And if you don’t here’s the story. Everyone is probably well aware that before Dir en grey was formed all the members minus Toshiya were in a band called La:Sadie’s. In La:Sadie’s instead of Toshiya being the bassist it was instead Kisaki. The rumor then goes like this: Kyo had a girlfriend, I’ve also heard fiance, back then. Allegedly Kisaki slept with her. Which devestated Kyo and since then he’s refused to write happy songs. Which is sort of true. Kyo’s girlfriend did cheat on him back then, however no one knows 100% why or who it was with. But fans love to place blame. And I was one of them. I started to hate Kisaki and refused to listen to Phantasmagoria. Pretty ridiculous right? And I seriously never listened to them, the first song I ever heard by them was Kami no Uta which was their final song, that was released in 2007. However, as much as I loved, and still love, Kyo my full focus and fangirl attention went 100% to Miyavi. I followed him insanely closely, closer than anyone I had ever followed up until then, and even now. There is not 1 artist that I like half as much as Miyavi. Not even Morning Musume. You could add every idol group I love and maybe that would equal my love and adoration. Which should show how much I love Miyavi. I remember I boasted about knowing everything about Miyavi to my sister once. And she made the mistake of asking, “what do you mean everything?” So I preceded to tell her everything which took 45 miutes. Which I mentioned to her the other day when I told her about Berryz Koubou coming to AnimeNEXT, in which she said, “Oh god, don’t remind me.” There was also that one time my friend insulted Miyavi in front of me and I had to literally stop myself from slapping her. Good times. XD

I was so silly and obnoxious back then. I was the type of fan everyone hates. But I was 12-14 for god’s sake. Obviously, I’ve changed considerably since then. I just wanted to show the kind of mindset I had back then. Which is why I never gave Super Junior or Arashi a second look. Both groups were insanely popular on internet at the time, so of course I had to look them up. They were so happy and upbeat that it was laughable. I was listening to guys singing about suicide and sleeping with their mother (Seriously, Gazette’s Sugar Pain is a hilarious song.) that I couldn’t take them seriously. Which is a contradiction really because An Cafe’s and Miyavi’s music was incredibly upbeat and happy. Even Alice Nine has never been really heavy. And I did still listen to Jpop at the time. But I guess it made sense to me at the time. XD But I think it was really mainly because they were overly happy and they were guys, if they were females I probably would have listened to them. An Cafe and Miyavi were fine to me because they were still Jrock. Despite being insanely upbeat they still dressed and were Jrock. At the time I was more interested in Jrock guys than the male idol look. That has to have been my mindset.

But when I first got into Japanese music even though I was heavily into Jrock it’s not all I listened to. I did another google search of Japanese music and discovered Puffy AmiYumi and Otsuka Ai. And a couple months after I got into Japanese music for some reason we switched to cable. And I begged my mother to get the anime network that they offered just so I could get bento beat box to be able to watch Japanese music videos on TV. We only ended up having cable for a few months but it was enough time to discover some new music. I honestly can’t remeber all the music they offered, I can only remember the music I liked. Oh for some reason I also remember vividly that Chemistry was one of the artists, only because I remember saying that they were awful. The songs I did like were Shouchi no Suke by Suitei Shoujo, Shining Star Wasurenai Kara by Tamaki Nami and Rainy Days Never Stays by The Brilliant Green. I was so in love with those songs that I tapped the videos off my TV. I still have that VHS tape floating around my house somewhere. And because of the anime network, I became a pretty big fan of Tamaki Nami and Tommy Heavnly6/February6. I also googled which artists videos we featured in the opening of bento beatbox and discovered Koda Kumi and ZONE that way. Also, like I said before in my AAA post I was incredibly into Hinoi Team at the time. They were a group I randomly found and became attached to because they had just formed and they were my age. I’ve already talked about them a great deal and don’t feel like repeating it again, so if you really care about how I felt about Hinoi Team you can read the post here.

Somewhere in the midst of this youtube was created. Which helped me get into Japanese music much more. I used to have to download everything which I absolutely hated. Youtube was a big part of how I got into Jrock as much as I said I did above. There was only maybe a 6 month period of being a Japanese music fan before youtube was created. Which makes some of this chronologically out of order. But not by much. And let me just say that my family could not stand that I liked Japanese music at all. They didn’t want to hear about it and was convinced it was simply a phase. And because of that my mom refused to buy me anything Japanese related. No movies, no music, and no language books. She didn’t buy me a Japanese CD until I was 16. Which is why I have hardly any Japanese CDs. And also why despite being a Japanese music fan for 7 years I can’t speak Japanese. I only know phrases and very basic Japanese. Because for some reason my mom still refuses to buy me language books. And about a year after I got into Japanese music I told my best friend at the time that I liked Japanese music and she literally laughed in my face. Which are the main reasons I feel slightly embarrassed for liking Japanese music and why I don’t tell people I like idol music or even about this blog. Just the negative way people would react, I’d rather not experience it.

Also, around the end of 2005 or early 2006, which was 1 year before I got into Morning Musume and Hello!Project, I was in love with Mini Moni. Which might not makes sense that I would like them and not even know or care about H!P, but it happened. I remember that sometime in around 2006 I randomly heard Strawberry Pie. I cannot for the life of me remember how or why, but I just did. I thought the song was so adorable that I fell in love with Mini Moni. I mean really in love. I watched all about them. Their TV appearances, their anime, Mini Moni The Documents, and even half of their movie. Back then I actually liked Mari the best. Which I think is funny. Which is why in the beginning of getting into Morning Musume I was a Mari fan. Anyway, I pretty much only listened to Mini Moni. I randomly heard that Mari was in Morning Musume, so I decided to download a song by them. That’s right I just downloaded Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~, and nothing else. I didn’t google the group or even watch the PV. I did like the song, I ended up putting it on a mix CD. But for some reason I just didn’t look up Morning Musume beyond that.

It wasn’t until 2007 that I finally got into Hello!Project, but it was by complete accident. And I got my first, well actually second, taste of it in 2006 when I went on youtube to search for a PV by Jrock singer Moon Kana, who at the time simply went by Kana. And when I tried to look her up the first result I got was Koi Kana by Kusumi Koharu. Can you imagine that if Kana switched her name to Moon Kana a few years earlier I probably wouldn’t be a H!P fan at all? Anyway, I was so intrigued by the video that I clicked on it, and it was literally love at first sight. I fell 100% in love with the song. To such a degree that I memorized all the gestures she did in the PV and would copy them while I watched the video, I even ended up learning the dance. This was around the time the song came out so it was June of 2006, or maybe a month or 2 afterwards. And even though I was so smitten with the song I didn’t look up Koharu at all. Instead I would just youtube her name every so often to see if she had a new song out. And I did that up until Happy was released. And by that time I was completely in love with all 3 of her singles that I decided to find out what this girl named Kusumi Koharu was all about. I quickly found out she was part of Morning Musume. And by then I actually cared, so I looked up Morning Musume. I found out that Kanashimi Twilight was their most recent single and listened to it. I absolutely loved everything about it. It was happy and it was amazing. I then went on a  myspace group for Momusu to learn about the members. The group showed promo pics of each girl in their Kanashimi Twilight outfits with their names under it. I remember just sitting there, closing my eyes and repeating their names over and over until I could remember every single name and put each face to the name. I remember that I wanted to follow these girls because they were all very close to my age. And because of that I became instantly drawn to Koharu and Aika, because Koharu was my age and Aika was only 1 year younger. And when I first got into Morning Musume I used to read a certain blog everyday, it’s where I got all my news from before I discovered Hello-Online. The blog is called Hello Non-Pro Hour. It was a big inspiration for me as it was one of the reasons I decided to start my own blog. The blog went down a couple months before I started my own blog, and later one of the writers, Gaki, moved on to Pure Idol Heart. Which is a big reason I support Pure Idol Heart so much. But apparently Hello Non-Pro Hour has been making posts again, well a few months ago they did, which I was completely unaware of until I googled the site just now for this post because I couldn’t remember the blog’s name. 

So, I was so inspired that I decided to make a blog. And Janakya Mottainai was born, but it wasn’t really the JM you know today. When I first started my blog I wasn’t the avid idol fan that I am today. I was actually mainly a Morning Musume and Buono fan. (Obviously I was a Buono fan since I named my blog after one of their songs.) I only had minimal interest and knowledge about Berryz Koubou, C-ute, and past groups. I was a casual fan of theirs. Where I heard some music, but not all. My main focus and attention went on Morning Musume. And like I’ve said on my blog before, when I started JM I didn’t even know all of Berryz Koubou and C-ute’s names yet. It was just that when I made JM I wanted to feature all of H!P on my blog, so I did despite not being an expert on most of H!P yet and because I felt people wanted to read about all of H!P and not just Buono and Morning Musume. So, I featured them from day one and learned everything about them on the fly and of course as I blogged I found out a lot more about them just by following them extremely closely. Obviously since then, I have now learned nearly everything there is to know about past and present H!P. Their music, songs, concerts, and members themselves. And I owe all of that to my blog. Because since day one I’ve always tried to give readers what they wanted and to make the best blog possible. If it wasn’t for that drive to please everyone and myself, I probably wouldn’t be the huge H!P fan and idol fan I am now.
But that’s not the only reason why JM is different today. Since a majority of my readers haven’t been reading my blog since day one they might be surprised to know how clustered, unorganized, and pretty much unsure of what it was, JM was back then. Despite the fact that I wanted it to be a Jpop blog I had posts dedicated to H!P, Jpop, and Jrock. Early on I discovered that wasn’t going to work and ended up dropping Jpop and Jrock all together. Which helped fuel my love and passion for H!P. And that’s pretty much it. Every step of the way in my H!P fandom after that has been detailed in my blog. If you want to know further you can check out past posts.

But the way I got into JE is another story all together. And believe it or not, again, it was by an accident. Being a fan of Hello!Project I knew that Johnny’s existed. Especially since I was a fan when Arihara Kanna was caught with Johnny’s Junior Hashimoto Ryosuke. And I was also around for Natsuyaki Miyabi’s scandal that was allegedly with Hey! Say! JUMP member Inoo Kei. (Can I just say I doubt it was Inoo. Mostly because if there’s one JE member that is legitimately gay, I’m like 80% sure it’s Inoo. XD Which could be an offensive statement to Inoo fans, or anyone reading this really, but look at the way he carries himself. You can’t pretend you haven’t thought that at least once yourself.) But at the time I had absolutely no idea who either person was. I remember looking up both guys and saying how each girl could do better. But even though I knew they existed I never listened to them or really knew what they were all about. That is until I decided to join a dubbing group. Let me first off start by saying, I love dubbing groups and I love group dubbing. Though I honestly haven’t been in one in a while. The last one I was in had me record 3 songs and then they were just never released and I was removed from the group with zero warning. A lot of people are ok with dubbing as long as the dubbers can actually sing. Which I don’t agree with and I think is completely unfair. I’ve personally been spreading my medicore, or teribble depending on who you ask, voice to the masses over the years. I absolutely could care less what people think of my voice or me for it. I love idol music, so of course I love singing idol music. It’s not fair that only people with amazing voices should be allowed to sing. People feel the same way about karaoke. But screw that, I love to sing and I’m not going to let my lack of ability stop me. And if people don’t like it, don’t listen to group dubs. Because there are only a handful of dubbers that can actually sing.

Ok, that was extremely off topic, but it makes me angry that people feel that way. So, I joined this group. Which I won’t name because, what am I their promoter? And besides that I’m not active there anymore and never really was. I joined the group and was put into my group. We actually covered 2 NEWS songs, Cherish and Ai no Matador, and I wasn’t really aware at the time, and didn’t care because I was more focused on learning the song than whether it was a good song or who it was by. Since I was placed into this group I decided to listen to some of their past releases. They did a cover of Weeeeek and this was back when idol agencies didn’t really crack down on copyright as much as they do now, and group dubs could post their group dubs over videos a lot more, and have youtube channels of them. Which you don’t see as often anymore. This group covered Weeeeek and I thought that they did such a good job that I fell in love with the song. (I also discovered Kuchibiru Kara Romantica that way as well.) I fell in love with it so much that I had to hear the original. So, I watched the PV and that was it. With just one listen I was absolutely in love with them. I told one of the girls from the dub group that I was friends with at the time that I was watching the PV and that the group seemed to be really good. So, she of course asked which member I liked. I googled and it and it turned out to Ryo. She then proceeded to tell me I shouldn’t become a fan of his because of how much of a jerk he was. Good times. XD
I actually did come into contact with JE 2 times before, but I was completely unaware of it at the time. Both times were in 2007. The first time was when I was talking to a friend I made through myspace. We mainly used to fangirl over Miyavi together, but we occasionally talked about regular Jpop too. And because of that she knew that I was a huge Tamaki Nami fan, so she sent me a news clip that talked about the new stage play that Nami was in, a Japanese version of High School musical. Along with Tamaki Nami the stage play also starred Koyama Keiichiro, but at the time I had no idea who he or NEWS was. And my only response to her was that I didn’t even like High School Musical but really wanted to see it because Nami was in it. And I also remember clearly saying to her that the random guy that kisses Nami is hideous. To which she said, “I think he’s cute.” Look how much sooner I would have been a NEWS fan if that was Ryo-chan instead of Kei-chan in the play. The second time was when I watched the movie Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru which starred Matsumoto Jun. I had already seen the OVA because I found it randomly online and just had to see it because it was about incest which I found to be so odd and laughable. And once I found out they made a moive about it I just had to see the ridiculousness in live action. So, I watched the movie shortly after it was released. Well, I didn’t actually watch the whole thing. I watched half of it because it was terrible. And I actually thought the main actor, which was MatsuJun, was hideous. And rightfully so, because he didn’t really look that good in the movie. And I was more excited that Komatsu Ayaka from PGSM was in it. And finding out who the cute classmate was. Which was Hiraoka Yuta, who I still love today.

Shortly after discovering NEWS I completely engulfed myself in them. I started with their most recent single, which was Summer Time. I also watched their concerts to find out what music was good and watched anything with them I could get my hands on. So, for a good 6 months I listened to nothing but NEWS, well within Johnny’s anyway. It wasn’t until I watched the Johnny’s Countdown concert for that year that I was exposed to the other Johnny’s groups. Which I actually didn’t care about, or even plan on getting into other groups, I was just watching the concert for NEWS and NEWS alone.

But of course that’s not what happened, and I discovered another group too, completely by accident. I was watching the Johnny’s Countdown concert for 2008 and heard a song I liked. I had absolutely no idea who the group was or what the song was called, I just remember thinking, “Oh, I like that song about cherries.” And I literally googled Johnny’s song cherries. Obviously that song turned out to be Mayonaka no Shadow Boy by Hey! Say! JUMP, and it obviously wasn’t about cherries. So, shortly after that I started to get into HSJ. On my blog I did some NEWS related posts in 2008. But after the Johnny’s Countdown I decided to cover Johnny’s a lot more and started covering all the groups despite only being a fan of NEWS and HSJ. Ironically, that hasn’t really changed. I am still mainly a NEWS and HSJ fan, but I do know a lot more about the other Johnny’s groups than I did back then. Also, every step of the way in my JE fandom after that has been detailed in my blog. And you can see how much better my writing about JE has gotten as I started to know more about each group.

Random note, I realize that I wrote twice as much about JE as I did about H!P. The reason for that is I’ve been into and blogging about H!P a lot longer then JE. My blog has pretty much tracked my H!P fandom extremely closely. I have never really gotten a chance to write about how I got into JE before. Well, until now that is.

Shortly after adding Johnny’s to my blog I became more aware that AKB48 existed. As an idol fan I knew they existed and listened to their songs because they were similar to H!P. But since I was an H!P fan I saw no point in really getting into them since at the time H!P was pretty much all I wanted and was interested in. Also, I thought the girls of AKB48 weren’t really cute or appealing. But shortly after that I saw a few of the blog that I read featuring AKB48. So, I became interested in them and decided to listen to their newest single, 10nen Zakura, and became hooked. A couple months after that I turned Janakya Mottainai into 100% an idol blog. But all that meant was that I would feature H!P, JE, and AKB48. Hardly an idol blog really. Since then I have started featuring more idol groups, but only the idol groups I genuinely like. I have felt pressured at times to cover all idol groups even groups I’m not a fan of just to gain more readers and to make my blog a mecca of idol groups and coverage. But I absolutely will not do that. I think my writing and blog as a whole would suffer if I started covering groups I don’t like just because they fall into the idol category. Which is why I might not be covering your favorite idol group. The best example of this is Tokyo Girl’s Style. I just don’t see anything spectacular about them to became a fan of theirs.

I think that’s pretty much it. My 7 year history of Japanese music as best as I can remember. And as short as I could make it while still getting all the main details out. If there’s anything else you would possibly want to know that I haven’t mentioned here, feel free to ask. And I would also love to hear how everyone else started to listen to Japanese music.

New blog!

I haven’t been making updates on this blog the last few days, because I’ve been busy working on my new blog, Tokyo Shinjuu.

So, I just wanted to announce that it launches today. You can click on the link in this post or on my blog roll to check it out.

Tokyo Shinjuu will be exclusively a Jrock blog. So if you like Jrock or just want to see my opinions on Jrock, you should read it. :] I’ve wanted to write about Jrock for a while, so this is pretty exciting to me.

As of right not the blog is pretty empty. I still have a few more codes I want to put in, make a few more headers, and write an actual post. Watch out for that stuff on my new blog. I also want to do the same thing for this blog to, so look forward to that too. :]

Misa’s Jmusic Survey

Misa of minna iru kai has posted a Jmusic survey, that she wants bloggers to fill out. It’s an updated version of the same survey she had on vox.

Since I’m a pretty new blogger I didn’t take her older version of the survey. So there’s nothing really to compare it with. But this looked pretty fun and I never take surveys, so I thought why not.

1. What was the first Japanese song that you ever listened to?

Duty by Ayumi Hamasaki and Embryo by Dir en grey

2. Did it inspire you to like that group/singer, or did it turn you away?

Not really. I mean I like a couple of songs by Ayumi, but I’m not really that big of an Ayumi fan. I’m more of like a casual fan. As for Diru, I’ve been listening to them ever since.

3. What is the one song that you have been listening to for the longest time?

Embryo-Dir en grey
Jibun Kakumei- Miyavi
Shining Star- Nami Tamaki
True Blue- Zone
Rainy Days Never Stay- The Brilliant Green
Gothic Pink- Tommy Heavenly6
Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~- Morning Musume
Sakura Drop- Utada Hikaru
Zetsu- Gazette

I couldn’t pick just one. XD

4. What group/singer have you liked the longest?

Dir en grey, Nami Tamaki, Miyavi

5. What is the song with the most plays on your itunes/media player?

Baby Be My Baby- NEWS
Shanimuni Paradise- Morning Musume
JPN Pride- Miyavi
Real Face- KAT-TUN
Janakya Mottainai- Buono
Computer City- Perfume
Kanfuu Fighting- Kanjani8
New Look- Namie Amuro
Nice Buddy- Puffy

Again I couldn’t pick just one. XD

6. Is that song your favorite?

Some of my favorites.

7. If not, what is?

Too many to list.
8. Is there any one group that you can listen to all/most of the songs by? If so, who?
NEWS, An Cafe, Morning Musume, Miyavi

9. What is your favorite agency?
Hello!Project, Johnny’s Entertainment, PS Company

10. What is your favorite group/singer?

Morning Musume, Miyavi, NEWS, Puffy

My music tastes has changed a lot since I started to listen to Jmusic. In the first few years I was really more about Jrock, and hardly listened to Jpop at all. Now I still listen to a lot of Jrock, but it’s balanced evenly with Jpop now.
Currently I listen to mostly idol music. When back in the day I used to make fun of idol music. I hate to admit it now, but a few years back I did. I used to make fun of Arashi a lot. Arashi compared to Gazette and Dir en grey was just to happy for me. Which makes no sense because I still listened to other happy Jpop. Just not that often.

Who told Hizumi this looks good?

 

 

 So I just watched D’espairsRay’s video for their new song Horizon, even though it came out over a month ago. I’m not really a big D’espairsRay fan but I do listen to them from time to time. After I got over thinking aww Hizumi’s singing in English, they zoomed in for a close up of him. And I was a little bit surprised by what I saw. Apparently Hizumi’s sporting a new hair style and it’s disgusting. At first glance it’s not really much of a change. But he has pretty much had the same hairstyle for years. Straight, so it’s a little suprising to see something different on him. It also looks like it might be pulled back. Similar to the hairstyle Aoi from Gazette had a few months back, which was equally gross. But he keeps swinging his head around in the video which makes it hard to tell about the whole Aoi-esque aspect of it.


It’s not a perfect mirror image but it’s pretty similar. But I’d have to say Hizumi wears it better though. I basically cried inside when I saw Aoi with that hair. I hate it on Aoi.



I’m not even really sure why I care about his hair at all. I’ve never really thought Hizumi was attractive nor hideous. But recently I’ve been noticing him more. Mainly because of D’espairsRay’s Spiral Staicase DVD. Hizumi without a shirt, I don’t really need to say anymore. But it’s not really a full on obsession like all of my other celebrity crushes. No, it’s really more of he’s hot in an odd way. Like Jun Matsumoto and Mao from Sadie.

 

Anyway here’s D’espairsRay’s PV for Horizon. Enjoy the epic scream at the end.

2009 predictions

So now that it’s officially 2009, I thought I’d start off the new year with predictions of what I think might happen in the upcoming months.


Hello Project:

Morning Musume-
1. They will release their 9th (technically 10th but I’m not counting Cover You) studio album, which isn’t much of a prediction. XD
2. They will add new members either from auditions in Japan or from those Korean auditions that happened a few months back.
3. They will get a number 1 single.

C-ute-
1. Kanna will continue to get noticed and will have another solo magazine shoot.
2. They will branch out more into Asia like Berryz did.

Berryz Koubou-
1. Yurina will continue to get lead solo lines. (ok that’s more of what I want to see)

Elder Club:
The official announcement in March will be nothing special.

Johnny’s Entertainment:

NEWS-
1. They will have a cool or rock sounding single, like KAT-TUNs’
2. They will expand more into the global market/have more overseas tours

Kanjani8-
1. Uchi will rejoin the group

Jpop:

1. Nami Tamaki will finally release a new single with Sony.
2. Puffy AmiYumi will tour America again.
3. BoA will just stick to dominating over Asia
4. Ai Otsuka will release a love song. Shocking! But I think it will happen. 😛
5. Koda Kumi will release another fully English single.

Jrock:

1. Miyavi will completely change his music style, yet again.
2. SuG’s single will continue to dramatically change and continue not to really impress me much.
3. Gazette will release a single like their old material (Unlikely, but they really should)
4. Dir en grey will have another headlining tour in America. I like that’s planned already, possibly.
5. An Cafe will finally have a major debut. (Very unlikely, but would still be cool)
6. Aicle will release a full length album.
7. The Candy Spooky Theater will get another new guitarist. Seriously, they are already on their 3rd.

Let’s see how many of these actually come true. :]

Second song of Christmas

The second Christmas song is Jingle Bell (Kari) by Miyavi.

This is actually one of my favorite Miyavi songs. I think this song really shows his vocal ability, he sounds amazing in it. This song is relatively slow, but it does pick up towards the end. The song is a play on a Japanese folk song. It has almost the same exact harmony as the folk song. This song also has random English and French lines thrown in for good measure. The actual lyrics to the song are all over the place, but it’s still a nice song. This song was released in 2002 as a single, but no PV was made for this song. Miyavi also has another Christmas themed song, MERI- kurushimiMASU death ~fuyu, Toraum, zekkyou, gyakugire~. Translating as
Merry Painful death~winter, Torauma, Screams, Hot Headed~. But it envolves a lot of screaming and very little to do with Christmas.

Anyway enjoy Jingle Bell (False). Also enjoy Miyavi making one hot Santa.

Tommy’s back!

Wow this song flew right under my radar. I haven’t kept up with Tommy Heavenly6 lately, because I assumed since she was back with The Brilliant Green she wasn’t going to release solo stuff for a while. She didn’t even make it clear whether she would continue here solo projects or not. But what they say about assuming is true. Tommy is finally back! And I couldn’t be happier. It’s almost been two years since her last solo release, Heavy Starry Chain. But the wait is worth it. I am a HUGE Tomoko fan. I fell in love with her after I heard Rainy Days Never Stays. Anyway, Paper Moon was released on December 10, and is the second opening theme for the anime Soul Eater.The song is pretty good. My only complaint is that it sounds like every other song she’s done. The music itself sounds like a mix of three other songs by her. And the lyrics are very Tommy like. A bunch of random English lines thrown in. Her lyrics are always cute and on the border line of almost not making sense.

As for the video, it has a Wizard of Oz theme. Which I don’t like. I think I’m the only one on the planet who hates The Wizard of Oz. Tommy always has the weirdest videos. And most of the time are connected or a continuation of sorts.
 

Move over Tommy this is my video!

 

*head bop head bop head bop*

Tommy video is SERIOUS BUSINESS.

Is that a tornado? Eh who cares.

 

I make Dorothy look sexy~
Oh hi, I just flew in from the I Love XMAS video

 

OWNED!
Enjoy the video Tommy fans!

 

Farewell ugly hair

I found the best Miyavi news in a long time. Miyavi has finally changed his hair! About a week ago I happened to come across PSC and Miyavi’s 2009 calendars. His hair is on the normal side now. It’s a mix of his oresama hair and his kekkonshiki no uta hair. And as a huge Miyavi fan I am pretty much rejoicing. So let’s take a trip down Miyavi’s ugly hair memory lane.

Kimi ni Negai wo:




Miyavi’s hair in this PV isn’t bad at all. But it’s the beginning of the end. This is just the last time his hair actually looked decent in a video. I love this video, MYV looks gorgeous with his blue contacts. The song as a whole is really sweet also.


Selfish Love:

 

And the ugly hair begins. My first reactions to this is, “what’s going on?” He shaved both sides and put the rest in some sort of ugly pony tail up-do. The overdose of pink in the promo photos didn’t help either. I didn’t like that he was starting to look more girly. And to this day I have yet to watch the PV because I can’t get passed his hair. I guess that makes me a bad fan. But I really like the song. “Love me because I love you” I can relate to that. ._.

Sakihokoru Hana no you ni -Neo Visualizm-:

 

The beginning of Neo Visualizm. My face dropped to the floor when I saw this video. It was curly and it had fake hair pieces in it. It was also pinned and put in a stupid hat. I was a little hesitant to listen to this. His style went way over the top and it was a different type of music then he usually did. And his black outfit with the gloves turned me off the video completely. And for a while I wouldn’t even watch the video.

Subarashiki kana, kono sekai -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD-:

Now by this video I pretty much accepted and tolerated his new style of clothes and music. This hair and outfit is much better then in the Neo Visulaizm video. I actually liked his clothes in this one. And I started to think he looked good like this. I got passed the video and actually really love this song.Hi no hikari sae todokanai kono basho de:

 

His hair in this video annoyed me so much. He had more hair pieces and it was braided. And the hair looked dry and dead. It was just terrible as a whole. But his clothes were more toned down and almost normal looking. This song was my favorite out of all of them. It had less “hip-hop” influences.Now this post as a whole must sound very shallow and fangirl-ish, but looks would never stop me from listening to his music. I gradually got passed his ugly hair, once I realized his lyrics didn’t change, just his style of music. And I reluctantly accepted his change because Miyavi never keeps the same hair for that long.

His new hair is ok looking. I hope he doesn’t keep the stupid multi color hair extensions. But his hair might not even last like this for long. I guess I’ll have to wait for his next single.

 

My heart leaps for An Cafe

So An Cafe’s new PV for the song My Heart Leaps For ‘C’ is out! I am super excited about this.

But yet this song is a slight disappointment. I have a reason though. This song doesn’t really pop. It’s not that energetic, which is what I like/expect from them. Which is an almost shallow reason. If you like a band you like them for their music as a whole. But, if your music isn’t diverse you’re essentially listening to the same song. That’s honestly how I feel about An Cafe. Their slower paced songs don’t leave that big of an impression. Like Snow Scene the lyrics of the song are good but I don’t like the slow pace of it. The song is still good just not my favorite. The same with this song. The only part that really sticks out is the chorus. And Takuya’s awesome guitar solo. But overall the song is worth listening too because almost every song An Cafe makes is good.

As for the PV, it’s as bland as the song. I understand An Cafe is indie and doesn’t have a large budget but this PV lacks imagination. They have had cheap videos that are still cool, like Escapism. But I really love the outfits for this PV. Miku looks super adorable. And I must say my heart beats for Kanon. And he always seems to have the best clothes, even with the weird feather in his hair. But I can’t complain I mean it looks like Yuuki got strangled by feathers.

Oh and sorry for all the entries about An Cafe. You might not care about them, but they are one of my favorite bands. And I’ll probably do more posts about them so bear with me.

An Cafe fifth anniversary

 

An Cafe is releasing a new EP, Koakuma Usagi no Koibumi to Machine Gun, to commemorate their 5th anniversary. The EP includes four new songs and the music video for My Heart Leaps For “C”. It’s set to come out October 29.
Among the new songs is Nyappy in the World 4. I honestly think the first Nyappy song was the best so I’m excited to see how the 4th one sounds.

The EP has a cute cover, I’m pretty sure the name translates into English as little devil rabbit’s love letter and machine gun.

The band also took some pretty snazzy promo pictures.

To you in glass

Diru’s new single Glass Skin is being released September 10th (tomorrow) I though An Cafe was bad with their 6 month gap in between singles, but Dir en grey was worse. With an 8 month gap since their last single Dozing Green. Eight months, why did it take so long. You’s think with all that time they would have something more impressive. I’m a big Diru fan and have nothing but love for them, but lately their music just hasn’t been as good. I’ve been listening to Dir en grey for over four years and can honestly say I like their old stuff better.

Not indie stuff old, but like 5 years or so. I like the Vulgar era. I think Withering to Death was their last album that sounded like old Diru. Withering to Death is amazing. I can sit and listen to that over and over. But after that was released it was just different. I got Marrow of a Bone around the time it came out and have yet to listen to it all the way through. I just wasn’t that into it. They sounded to much like an American band, and maybe that’s what they were trying to do. But their US fan base isn’t really that large. They said their new album is going back to their roots more. Hopefully they stuck to that.

Glass Skin is good I like it, but it’s not my favorite song by them. You can really hear Kyo’s voice and it sounds good. But I want to hear a scream or him singing above what seems to be a whisper. Something to remind me I’m actually listening to Dir en grey and not some random other band. Kodou is a slower song, but even that picks up and Kyo screams. The music is heavier too. I think if Glass Skin had that kind of feel I would like it more. I guess they thought this song worked more as a ballad or maybe they want this to be their new direction.

The video is plain. It’s a smokey/foggy white. And I don’t understand what’s up with them not being seen in their videos. I don’t count seeing half of Kyo in Glass Skin and dark lighting in Dozing Green as them being in the video. Do they think they are getting to old or something? Cause Kyo still looks hot for 32.

End of summer dive

An Cafe’s new single Summer Dive will be released on September 10th. Finally it’s been 6 months since their last release. I am really excited that An Cafe has a new song. They are one of my favorite Jrock bands and one of the few Jrock bands that I listen to just about every song by them. An Cafe has helped me be more focused on Oshare Kei. When all I ever used to listen to was Visual Kei. Granted it took me like 2 years after listening to An Cafe to be more focused on Oshare. But enough of the side note, on to my review.

The song as a whole I was a little caught off guard. His voice sounds even more Miku like, if that’s even possible. I’m sure an An Cafe fan knows what I mean. But someone listening to them for the first time might have the same impression of them that I had when I listened to the song for the first time. “Woah that sounds kinda terrible and slightly annoying.” Please note that, that was only at hearing it for the first time. But Miku does have a unique and distinct voice. And people might get turned off by songs like Super Rabbit or god forbid Duck no Magical Adventure is the first song they ever hear. In any case, I really like this song. It feels like something An Cafe would do, it feels believeable to me. It’s very upbeat and friendly, the main reason I’m a fan. With a name like Summer Dive they probably wanted it be a song of the summer. But the video being released at the end of August makes it more like Fall Dive. I wonder if this single got pushed back. It did take 6 months so probably.

The video looks a little cheap to me considering their last three singles had fairly high budgets, or so it seems. The video focuses mostly around the volcalist Miku, like most music videos. I’d like to see more bassist love. But Kanon looks adorable around 3 minutes in so I’m happy. I am not entirely sure why they are floating in the air trying to catch, what looks like, a heart shaped peach.
Anyway, what stands out with each member to me.
Takuya- is sporting yet another dye job. This time it’s a shade in the middle of the last to shades he had. I hope he stays with his hair, it’s cute.
Miku- has amazing boots.
Kanon- always has the best outfits next to Miku
Yuuki- His clothes are always a bit much
Teruki- He doesn’t really stand out he looks pretty much the same

Post Bou era of An Cafe is a little too commerical for the most part. In the earlier days of An Cafe it seemed like they were trying to lead towards VK or maybe be a mixture of VK and OK. But it changed to just Oshare really fast. It seems like Kanon is the only one who is still Visual, when you look at his clothes compaired to everyone elses. Style aside, post Bou era is different musicaly too. Kakusei Heroism, the first Bou-less single, was very anime like. No wonder it was the opening song for the anime Darker Than Black. And their songs since have been more commercial and anime like. Perhaps they are trying to break away from their indie lable Loop Ash to get signed to a major one. It’s certainly a possibility.

Which makes me think, is that the real reason Bou left? He said he couldn’t lie to himself or his fans anymore. Does he mean he pretened to want to go more commercial with the band when secretly he didn’t. There’s only one thing wrong with the senario. No one knows if these songs were written before or after Bou left. The two new members might have helped with the commerical feel. Takuya is only 18! And I never understood, at first, why Yuuki was in the band. Not until I saw videos with him in it did I even realize they used keyboards. XD

But I should stop before I write an entire page full. So until my next post, stay Nyappy!
o(≧∀≦)o

In Rainbows

So Alice Nine’s new single Rainbows was released like a week ago. And I must say it’s my favorite A9 release since White Prayer. Hiroto and Saga are amazing in this. The song is really catchy and the chorus is almost unexpected. When I first listened to it I was a little shocked by the chorus. But in a good way of course. The song is very danceable and still has the Alice Nine rock style to it. And Shou’s voice has improved so much. Compared to songs like yami ni chiru sakura, there really is no comparison. The lyrics are really pretty. Their lyrics always seem to be meaningful and descriptive. (Descriptive’s not really the world I’m looking for) And I love the little lalaheeeeelaiai towards the end of the song.

The video itself isn’t much. Pretty much the band and some transition effects. But Shou looks gorgeous in it so I can’t really complain. (fangirlness) Plus he has shutter sunglasses. He pulls them off better than Kanye. His outfit is pretty amazing in general. And you’d think random treadmills would be out of place in a rock video, but they’re actually pretty awesome. And Nao having to play a marching band drum on it makes me laugh. Alice Nine has become less VK over the years. Even more so with this song. But they never really were that VK to begin with. But regardless of music style A9 is a great band.

This song makes me even more excited for the PCS 10th Anniversary Concert then I was already. Cause Miyavi+Alice Nine+The Gazette+SuG=WIN!!