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.

Kpop in a world of Jpop

I’m sure a lot of people reading this blog don’t know this about me, because there’s never really a time to mention it, but I am a Kpop fan. Now, I’m not a huge, OMG Kpop is the best ever, kind of Kpop fan. But I do enjoy a decent amount of Kpop. The only reason I don’t listen to Kpop more is because I can’t pronounce Korean. And believe it or not, not being able to sing along to a song or pronounce a singer’s name does hinder my love for it a lot. But maybe that’s just me. (Also, please don’t say, “Just learn to pronounce Korean, seriously it’s no big deal,” because I have been trying to and it is extremely difficult. I long for the days when I was learning to pronounce Japanese because it’s a cake walk in comparison.)

The reason I’m brining this subject up at all, is because, as many of you know, this last year we have an influx of Kpop idols debuting in Japan. Big Bang, CN BLUE, FT Island, KARA, 4MINUTE, T-ara, Supernova, and SNSD. And I actually might be missing some. Now since they’re idols in Japan now, and this is an idol blog, I was thinking of maybe covering the Kpop groups’ activities in Japan. But I’ve been stopping myself. And do you want to know the reason for this? It’s simple really.

The reason is, the fans themselves. I’m sure most of the Jpop and Kpop fans reading this will instantly know what I’m talking about. And to those that don’t might find my reasoning silly. But for some reason there’s this tremendous fan war going on between Kpop and Jpop fans. And honestly, I’ve seen most of the hate on the Kpop side. When I’m bored I like to go on youtube to watch Kpop vs Jpop videos. And 8/10 times the videos are extremely biased for the Kpop side. In one video the actual vs was Morning Musume’s Love Machine vs some Kpop girl group’s song from 2010. But the worst part of these videos are reading the fan comments.

Over the months of reading fan comments the general consensus among Kpop fans is: that Kpop is superior in every way because they are sexier, not cutesy or cookie cutter like Jpop, can actually sing, are better dancers, and the overall music is better. I even read someone say that Jpop idol groups are for pedophiles who do nothing but watch anime.
And the general consensus among Jpop fan is: Kpop is unoriginal, at least Jpop has it’s own style, Jpop lyrics have more meaning, and Kpop copies from America too much.

I think the funniest part to all of this is the so called negatives for each side is why I like Kpop and Jpop. I love Kpop because it’s so similar to the kind of American music that I like. And it stands to reason that if I like it sung in English, I’m gonna like it sung in Korean. And I love Jpop because it is a nice escape from the overly sexiness of American music. It’s just cute, innocent, and upbeat.

Another thing that I dislike about Korean fans is just how biased they are. Anytime a Korean artist debuts in Japan Korean fans/blogs basically say how this will be the greatest thing to happen to Japanese music ever. Of course this group will totally dominate Japan, obviously because they are Korean. It won’t be long before they are beating established artists. Korean fans also basically cried that they are absent from this year’s Kohaku. They really think that they should get everything handed to them because of what they did already in Korea. Some artists have only been in Japan for 1 year-a couple months. This is AAA’s first time in Kohaku. It took them 5 years to get there. And honestly if Big Bang was there instead of AAA, I would be beyond angry.

In a way, it’s outrageous fans like this that make me want to support Jpop more. And sometimes I even hope Kpop artists fail. Which is pretty insane. I’m basically being dragged into a feud that’s so shallow and opinionated, that it shouldn’t even exist. And since I doubt Kpop fans are going to chill anytime soon, I most likely won’t be covering Kpop acts. No matter how much I do like CN BLUE, FT Island, SNSD, and 4MINUTE.

Here’s Kpop Vs Jpop female idol version

Here’s Kpop Vs Jpop male idol version

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.

One Room Disco PV preview

Perfume released a short preview for their new song One Room Disco. The preview is roughly only 40 seconds. But you can still get a feel for the PV. I really like how they keep changing rooms. And they seem to be wearing the same outfits from the CD covers. Which I’m not too happy about. I would have love to have seen different outfits, because they ones they’re wearing are gross.

CDTV Most Wanted Lover ranking 2009

CDTV released their Most Wanted Lover 2009 rankings on February 21st. And some of the people and their rankings might shock you.

Male top 20:
1. Akanishi Jin (KAT-TUN)

2. Kamenashi Kazuya (KAT-TUN)
3. Yamashita Tomohisa (NEWS)
4. TAKAHIRO (EXILE)
5. Hyde (L’Arc en Ciel)
6. Masuda Takahisa (NEWS)
7. Matsumoto Jun (Arashi)
8. Domoto Koichi (KinKiKids)
9. Nishikido Ryo (Kanjani8/NEWS)
10. JaeJoong (Tohoshinki)
11. Akihito (Porno Graffitti)
12. Tegoshi Yuya (NEWS)
13. Kiyokiba Shunsuke
14. DAIGO
15. Yamada Ryousuke (Hey!Say!JUMP)
16. Sakurai Sho (Arashi)
17. Haruichi (Porno Graffiti)
18. Takahiro Nishijima (AAA)
19. Kamiji Yusuke (Shuchishin)
20. Yasu (Acid Black Cherry)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eYuxjwHc3Y
Link!

Female Top 20:
1. Ayumi Hamasaki

2. YUI
3. Takahashi Ai (Morning Musume)
4. Nakagawa Syouko
5. Reina Tanaka (Morning Musume)
6. Motida Kaori
7. Amuro Namie
8. Kawashima Ai
9. Nocchi (Perfume)
10. Koharu Kusumi (Morning Musume)
11. Aiko
12. Satoshi Satoshi Yoshioka (Ikimono Gakari)
13. Ai Otsuka
14. Yui Aragaki
15. Sengai (GIRL NEXT DOOR)
16. Kimura KAERA
17. Koda Kumi
18. BoA
19. Mizuki Nana
20. Ayaka

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3qL0qk_VME&feature=related
Link!


Now a lot of these rankings are shocking. And they’ve added some young people to the mix. Kusumi Koharu who is 16 and Yamada Ryosuke who is 15. I seriously think they are too young to be added to the list. I was creeped out last year when Yajima Maimi made it on the list.

I’m really thrilled that 3 Morning Musume members are in the top ten. And I’m amazed my girl Koharu made it in the top 10! And Ryo is the top ten and moved up 5 places from last year. Which is amazing.

But a lot of these members fell significantly. Ai Otsuka who was 2nd or 3rd last year dropped all the way down to 12th place. And MatsuJun moved from 3rd place to 7th.

For the most part I agree with the results. The only thing I would change is switch Ayumi Hamasaki for Ai Otsuka and switch Kame with Yamapi. Anyway, the guys section is relatively the same, with the overdose of Johnny’s members. Jin and Kame from KAT-TUN managed to stay in their same exact positions from last year.

Nami gives up her old image

We have new Nami goodness in the form of her new PV. Nami’s new single, Give Me Up, will be released on March 25th. Give Me Up is also a cover of an 80’s euro beat song by Michael Fortunati.

My first reaction to the song was: What is Nami doing? Where did the old Nami go? Hardcore Nami fans will be able to tell at first listen what’s different. The music is obviously a HUGE change. Nami mostly does anime type songs with more intense music. But this music is much more simple and dancey. But aside for the music her whole voice sounds different. The way she’s singing in this song makes her almost sound like a completely different person. In a way that’s good, and in a way that’s bad.

At first I hated this song until about half way through, where I realized it’s really not that bad. It seems like Nami is trying to move away from the whole anime thing and become a more serious singer. And I’m really happy about that. It seems like Nami is moving on to bigger and better things.

My first reaction to the video was, Nami was trying to be more hip hop. Based on her outfit and her initial dance moves. Her video looks pretty much like every other video out there. There aren’t too many original or distinguishing elements to it. For the most part she dances in a cluttered garage and sits on a couch. But Nami looks super cute in the video. Especially her close up scenes on the couch. Her cuteness blew me away.

Her outfits are a win for me. I think they’re adorable. Her dance outfit is kinda sexy and kinda cute, with a hip hop vibe. The boots are fabulous and the racer gloves add a nice touch. She’s also in a pink cheetah printed hoodie and sunglasses for about 5 seconds. The outfits nothing special but she looks really cute in it. Mostly because her hair is in a cute bun. But my favorite outfit from the PV by far is the giant bow outfits. She wearing a normal sweater and shorts but the ridiculous, oversized bow makes it to adorable for words.

 

Nami’s got sex appeal

Nami only eats wonder bread

Gahh Nami’s adorable

Wink!

Nami sends her love!

My final thoughts on the song? Well first of all, I’m she happy she finally made a comeback. And I think the song is pretty good. It’s defiantly a 5/10. But I honestly don’t think it will break the top 5.

Tommy’s Strawberry Cream Soda Pop fizzles

If the return of Tommy Heavenly6 wasn’t big enough, we now get the return of Tommy February6! As many Tommy fans know, she completely stopped releasing singles as February6 to focus on her Heavenly6 persona more. Her last release as Tommy February6 was Lonely in Gorgeous. Which was released in November of 2005.

Well Tommy February is back with a new song Strawberry Cream Soda Pop. This song is being released on her best of album Strawberry Cream Soda Pop Daydream. So I’m not sure if this is being released as just a single as well.

The song is exactly what you’d expect from Tommy February6. The music is very simialr to all her other February6. It honestly reminds me of a mix between Love is Forever and Blooming. Which isn’t really a good thing. The song is slow and simple like most of her songs. But this time it’s really not doing anything for me. It’s so similar to her other songs that is seems almost unoriginal. And just when you think it’s going to pick up it doesn’t. The music gets higher and her voice sounds the same. And this time it’s not even catchy. The song sounds good for about 3 lines when she sings Tommy Heavenly6 like. But in a flash it’s back to the cutseyness. Which is usually fine for me.

The video is the same as every other video. Except this time with a lower budget. She shoves her normal video clutter into a plain white room. Which makes it look a little tacky. But this video has a theme, and that’s displaying her two personas. Bot Tommy Heavenly6 and Tommy Feburary6 get their own separate rooms. Which is kind of cool. But I personally liked when she concreted her two persona videos together. Like she did with Love is Forever and Wait Till I Can Dream.

I think what really annoys me about this song and video is she’s too old to have the cutesy child like image of Tommy February6. I mean she’s in her 30’s. I personally think it’s too old to have that cutesy fun feeling. Tommy Heavenly6 and The Brilliant Green have a more mature and rockish theme. Which is what really works with her and what she should be doing full time. And if she is going to keep this persona going again, at least make a good song. Where’s her Blooming type of song and video? I miss that. Tommy Feburary6 was buried away a few years ago. Try to keep it that way.

The two Tommys!

Feburary room

Heavenly room

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Another year and another Valentines’ Day. What’s a better way to spend it than listening to Jpop? So I’m going to countdown my top 5 love themed Jpop songs.

#5: Miyavi-We Love You ~sekai wa kimi wo aishiteru~

The 8th track of Miyavi’s MYV★POPS album. The song is so incredibly sweet, sending the message that the world loves you. And Someone, somewhere, loves someone. Accompanied by soft music and Miyavi’s amazing and sweet voice.

#4: Leah Dizon- Koi Shiyou

Leah’s 2nd and highest grossing single so far. Koi Shiyou is a sweet and bubbly song about falling in love. The song as a whole is really fun and Leah is surprisingly a good singer. The video is pretty cute, aside from her slutty dancing.

#3: Arashi- Love So Sweet

Arashi always has the cutest love songs. This song is really sweet. It’s a love story song about loving someone so much. Jun being in it is just an added bonus.

#2: Tegomass-Kiss~Kaerimichi no Love Song~

This is defiantly the cutest love song from JE. Masuda and Tegoshi are super adorable. And this song is about loving someone forever no matter. It’s really sweet and equally catchy.

#1: Ai Otsuka-Sakuranbo

Ai Otsuka does it again, she really is the queen of all Jpop love songs. Her ultra cutesy voice mixed with the heartwarming lyrics made this song undeniably sweet. This song is about being a pair together like cherries. And also a girl’s feelings of love.

Nami news

On January 15, Nami Tamaki’s official website announced the release of her next single, Give Me Up. This will be Nami’s 16th single and her first single with her new label Universal-J. It’s scheduled to be released on March 25th. It will also be a positive up-beat pop song. This will also be Nami’s first release in over a year.

Now I’ve been a Nami fan since I heard her song Shining Star. Greeting was also the first Japanese CD I ever got. And since so much time had passed in between her singles, I actually thought that was it for Nami Tamaki. Much like Hinoi Team’s year of inactivity, there has yet to be an official announcement that they broke up. You have no idea how much that annoyed me. I thought Nami was doing the same thing. Since her last album was her lowest selling album yet, only reaching a peak at number 14. And two out of three singles from that album didn’t even reach the top 15.

I also remember being really disappointed when Cross Season came out. The song failed to impress me and the PV and outfits she wore were terrible. I did really like Brightdown though. But honestly, if it wasn’t an opening theme to an anime it wouldn’t have been as high on the charts.

I’m expecting a lot from this new single. The bar to me is set really high, she’s had a lot of time to prepare for this. And I can really care less what number it is on the charts. Since most of my favorite Nami songs didn’t sell so well. Heart & Soul peaked at number 13. And My Way only made it to number 18. Nami and her fans have waited a year for this. So I’m expecting something incredible

Instant fangirl just add water

I was reading the blog Wotaku Now recently, and he has a post about how he started idoling. And that made me think of how I became a fangirl. So I am going to shamelessly copy his idea. But it’s not stealing if I credit it. XD http://wotakunow.blogspot.com/

 


Age 7: Yeah I started young. There was a show called Big Wolf on Campus. It was about werewolves and such. There was a pseudo goth character named Merton J. Dingle and I was pretty much in love with him. I thought he was the hottest guy ever. As for today, not so much. But I still listen to his band The City Drive.


Age 9, 10, or 11?: I’m not exactly sure when this fangirling started but it was around then. I became obsessed with Frankie Muniz. I wrote I heart Frankie on everything, put a poster on my wall, and even wrote a song about him. Which I have the lyrics for but it’s too embarrassing. As for today, he’s still ok looking in my book. Just not as much as I used to think he was. He also has this weird beard thing going on currently.

Age 13: Miyavi! As soon as I heard Jibun Kakumei on random person’s myspace I was sold. I started following his career closely and learning everything I could about him. You know you’re obsessed with someone when you know things he claims to be. As for today, I still love him. I consider him to be one of the hottest people alive.


Age 14: Once I got into 8th grade I started to listen to more Jrock bands and follow the ones I already listned to more closely. Which made a few people look at me weird. My history teacher also used to call me Ms. Japanese cause I knew a lot about Japan. And could write Japanese words on the board. XD Anyway, I started obsessing over Jrockers, anyone I found attractive. Which is too many to name. As for today, I still love them all.

Age 15: There was a little show on NBC called Heroes. Which I became obsessed with on it’s own. I fell in love with Peter Petrelli. It’s because of the emo bangs! I didn’t really do too much fangirly stuff over him. Just set him as the wallpaper on my phone and would kyaaa when ever I saw him. As for today, Milo is still hot!

Age 16: Or currently. I’d have to say my current obsession is Nishikido Ryo. I love everything about him. His voice, his body, and the way he can make Shige do whatever he says. I don’t know I guess I really just love the cool image that he portrays.

Puffy Princess

Puffy AmiYumi’s new single, Hiyori Hime, is being released on February 25th. It will be used as the opening theme for the anime Genji Sennenki. The song is also written and produced by Shiina Ringo.

This song sounds noticeably different then the songs they’ve been doing lately. Maybe it’s because it’s written by someone who usually doesn’t write for them. I personally don’t like how the music sounds. There’s this weird almost bell sound in the background, that I can’t help but focus on and can’t really get passed. This song is also missing the more rockish element that their songs usually have. I don’t even hear guitar in this song just bass. It’s a little more mellow music wise then their past singles. But I do like how the song is sung. The beginning of the song has a slow pace singing wise, but it picks up very quickly. But to me the song doesn’t sound really good until the end of the song when their practically screaming. I’m really on the fence about this song. Perhaps I’ll like it more after I listen to it a couple more times.

The video is a huge step above their last video. They look really pretty in the video, especially Ami. I’m in love with the kimono they wear. And it looks like it might have taken longer than a day to shoot it unlike their last single my story. In the video they appear to be rival yakuza bosses or something similar. So the whole video they are indirectly fighting each other until the end of the PV when they come face to face. But I have to give it to Ami, hands down she makes a cooler boss.

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. :]

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!

 

Top 20 of 2008

With 2008 coming to a close, it seems like an end of many things. Elder Club, Haramoni@, and possibly Leah Dizon. And it seems like you can’t turn on the TV without seeing some sort of yearly countdown show. So, I decided to make my top 20 songs of 2008. I’m sure the songs I picked are probably not the most popular or best selling songs of 2008. Mostly because a huge chunk of the music I listen is Hello!Project, NEWS, and random Jrock bands. I didn’t even bother to listen to 3/4 of the songs that made in on oricon’s top 100 singles of 2008. But that’s not important.

I also limited it to one song per artist so it’s not like NEWS, NEWS, NEWS, Ai Otsuka, NEWS, NEWS, NEWS. I’ll also give a short explanation of why I picked each song.

20. LM.C- Chemical King Twoon
19. Ayumi Hamasaki- Mirrorcle World
18. Koda Kumi – Moon Crying
17. Gazette- Guren
16. C-ute- Namida no Iro

Number 20: I’m actually a really big LM.C fan. And this song is pretty much amazing. 88 was so close to beating this, but I think the fact that Aiji sings in this song made it better. Number 19: There are only a few Ayumi songs I actually like, while this song isn’t my favorite by her I still think the song is good. It’s sung very well and I absolutely love the music, it’s very mysterious. It’s so low on the list because the lyrics in my opinion are weird and repetition isn’t always key. Number 18: Even though I am not really fond of ballads, I can’t deny how great this song is. Kumi’s voice is really suited for ballads ad she sounds amazing in this song. And the lyrics are so sad, I get choked up listening to them. Or maybe it’s just seeing Kumi cry. Number 17: Being a pretty big Gazette fan I kinda expected more from them. The song is very pretty but I prefer Gazette’s heavier songs. I don’t really care for this monster ballad. Number 16: This is defiantly my favorite C-ute single in 2008. It’s another sad song. But it’s not overly sad, since it is a song about saying goodbye and feeling refreshed. While this song is good it’s not good enough to be placed higher on my list.

15. L’Arc~en~ciel- Drink It Down
14. Arashi- One Love
13. An Cafe- Summer Dive
12. Perfume- Baby cruising Love
11. Buono!- Gachinko De Ikou

Number 15: This is actually the second song I’ve ever heard by L’Arc~en~ciel, Ready Set Go being the first. I never really noticed before how good of a singer Hyde really is. Since I can’t find a translation for this song, this is based on how it sounds alone. And the music is awesome, creepy but almost toned down. And Hyde is looking hot in the video. It’s strange because I don’t really think he’s attractive any other time. Number 14: I’m not really a big Arashi fan, this is one the second song I’ve heard by them. But since Jun Matsumoto is hot I think I listen to them more. This song is so sweet. Leave it to a Johnny’s group makes me swoon over their song. Number 13: I really love the overall sound of this song. And it’s apparently about summer. But I love all An Cafe’s songs. Number 12: It was really hard to choose the overall best Perfume song of 2008, Love The World came so close to winning. But this song is just awesome. I’m a big Perfume fan mostly because I’m a big techno fan. I am also very captivated by Perfume’s cute voices. Number 11: This is actually one of my favorite Buono songs. I think everything about this song is just amazing. But the music is really a huge factor. And of course the always cute Buono lyrics.

10. Mika Nakashima-I Don’t Know
9. Berryz Koubou-Madayade
8. KAT-TUN – Lips
7. Morning Musume-Resonant Blue
6. Ai Otsuka-Rocket Sneaker

Number 10: I really love how this song is a dis to the Japanese media. The lyrics are really powerful. Her English isn’t that great, but you have to commend her singing entirely in English. But I kinda hate the hair she’s sporting in the video. Number 9: What can I say, I can’t get enough of Madayade. It’s probably my absolute favorite Berryz song. Everything is just perfect in this song. The beat and the music is amazing. And everyone’s voice sounds incredible. Plus the uber catchy chorus, just awesome. Number 8: I always thought KAT-TUN was kinda terrible, but this song has certainty changed my mind. I think Kame and Jin looking hot in the video is a big reason I like the song so much. But I really love the rock music, which you never really hear in Johnny’s songs. The lyrics are pretty awesome. “Those red-drenched lips, I want to get closer to you and destroy them, violently.” That’s pretty epic. However I doubt I’ll become a KAT-TUN fan. Number 7: Even though I wasn’t a big fan of this song at first, I have really grown to love it. Even though you only really hear Ai and Reina, they are the strength of Momusu and make this sound really good. And I think the lyrics are really good. Number 6: Ai Otsuka really is “The New Guru of Love.” She delivers another really sweet love song. But I’m not exactly sure what an Earth number is. I really love Ai’s voice though. It’s so adorable and yet also beautiful.

5. Kanjani8-Musekinin Hero
4. Utada Hikaru- Prisoner of Love
3. NEWS-WEEEK
2. YUI- Summer Song
1. Namie Amuro-New Look

Number 5: I usually find Kanjani8, for the most part, really annoying. But this so is so crazy, it’s great. I can’t stop listening to it! And Ryo being in it helps too. Jajajaja~n. Also why was a song about the economy so popular? Number 4: I blame the drama Last Friends for making me like this song as much as I do. But Utada Hikaru has an amazing voice and she sounds just incredible in this song. I’m just a prisoner of love to this song. Oh that was a terrible joke. XD Number 3: I love this song so much. The positive message and the overall happiness of this song is just infectious. I can’t help but love it. And everyone in NEWS are great singers. Number 2: This song is so amazing. I love how she sounds during the chorus it’s so awesome. And I love the nostalgic-ness of the lyrics. This is just a pretty and upbeat song about summer love. This song really just makes me happy every time I listen to it. And also kind of sad because it makes me think about how quickly my youth will be gone. Number 1: Namie made a truly amazing song. I’ve listen to this song at least 60 times since it first heard it. I’m in love with 60’s and mod fashion, so on that alone the song is awesome. But I just love the girly lyrics. How it’s all about hair and fashion.

There you have it my favorite songs of 2008. I’d really like to hear what everyone else thinks the best song of 2008 is.

Korea vs. America

BoA’s highly anticipated US single, Eat Up, has released two versions of the music video this past week. Also her American site is up and running you might want to check that out. http://www.boaamerica.com/
There’s also a link to audition for SM USA. Which is too amazing for words.

All I can say is they made a huge mistake with the American version.
The Asian one just flows better. It’s one consistent storyline in the video. And this version really shows off the dance moves. BoA also demands attention in it and shows that she’s is “the best of Asia.” And the chandelier falling causing a fire is defiantly an awesome effect. This version would have worked 100 times better in America. The cockiness in this video would work. Every American artist has that, I’m the greatest person on the planet feel.

The American one isn’t all bad. It just really fails to compete with the Asian version. I’m not a big fan of everything in the American version being cg, it just makes it look weird. And in a good chunk of the video she looks like a vampire wearing orange lipstick. And dare I say it she might not be “flirtatious” enough. The come get me poses are nothing compared to the sex appeal that artist like the Pussycat Dolls have. They also had a little 10 second scene of BoA almost kissing some random American guy. Which could also be some indirect way of trying to make her more racialy accepted.

Now I’m all for BoA making it in the US, but I’m being realistic. It’s very hard for a new artist to be welcomed with open arms, not to mention a foreign artist. And I honestly don’t think this particular song is good enough to make any huge impression on American charts. Sorry BoA fans it will take a miracle for this particular song to launch her career overseas. Hopefully her next single will be more generic.

So here are her new videos. You make the choice of which one is really better.

Asian version

American version

When I say shotgun you say wedding

Twenty two year old model, singer, and all around gravure idol, Leah Dizon, had a shocking announcement for fans at her October 14th show in Shibuya. Right before her final song she revealed she was four months pregnant and has been married since the 10th. Her husband is said to be a stylist in his 20s. She met him a year ago while taking photos for CD jackets. The wedding was held on the 10th in the Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku. A press conference will be held on the 15th, in my time zone it probably already happened. She said she is going to take a break from her career but hopes to return to it someday.

I guess this is shocking news for a lot male fans, but to me I kind of don’t care that much. I’m not the world’s biggest Leah Dizon fan and don’t claim to be. I like Koi Shiyou and that’s about it. I’ve always held a certain dislike for her after I found out Nishikido Ryo had a huge crush on her. A stupid fangirl reason for hating someone. But I certainly think this is goodbye to Leah forever. Her singing career was less than impressive. Only her first two singles made it to the top ten and her last single, Vanilla, was her least selling single. Only peaking at #26.

I kind of think 22 is a little young to be pregnant and getting married. But if Tsuji can do it at 20, then Leah can too. But I do wish her the best of luck. And if she does return to singing maybe she’ll have better songs this time.

New story, new single

I’ve been a fan of Puffy AmiYumi a lot longer than any other Jpop/Jrock that I listen to now. They were my first slice of Japanese music and the reason I was drawn in so much. There was a time when I knew everything about them and listened to them for hours. As I started to listen to more Japanese music I kinda drifted away from Puffy and focused on the new bands. So I’m glad lately I’ve been following them a lot again. Maybe not as closely as I do with Hello!Project but close enough. Anyway, that’s just a side note.
Puffy’s latest single My Story, will be released on August 6th. It’s their 27 single, which is almost too hard to believe. The song is sung completely in Japanese, taking a break from their last two single that were in English. Since Honeycrepper was released Puffy has had a more laid back feel to them. And this song is sticking to that. It draws you in from the very first note. It could almost be a ballad if it wasn’t for the unique Puffy music thrown in. The beginning has a sweet melody and then almost without warning it throws you in the rock edge of the song. Puffy really has stepped up to the plate lately. Since Splurge was released they got this new kinda modern, laid back, upbeat, sound. And they’ve released some of their best songs to date. Also, in the last past years they have looked better than they ever had. So whatever they’re doing they need to keep it up!
So of course a few days ago the video popped up on the internet. The video had a low budget I’m guessing. Since there really isn’t anything there, just them. And most of the video is a sepia/black and white mixture, with a bit of color thrown in. It’s not one of their most impressive PVs. But if you look at it from another perspective. The PV seems kinda raw. No distractions. Nothing to keep your eyes off them. Nothing to keep you from really listening to the song. If you look at it that way it almost seems fitting. But I don’t really mind much. As long as the song is good I won’t care if they were dancing in potato sacks. Well maybe just a little.