I don’t feel that 2009 has been a fantastic year music-wise for J-pop songs compared to 2008 but it was nice to see the debut of Stereopony, Jasmine and Michi. This is the rundown of my favorite 100 songs of the year. Most are singles but there are a couple of album tracks there as well. Some songs first came out in 2008 but continued to be in the charts in early 2009.
100 Kago Ai – No Hesitation
99 Kou Shibasaki – Lover Soul
98 Onmyouza – Aoki Dokugan
97 No Sleeves – Tane
96 Rock-A-Trench – My Sunshine
95 AKB48/Idoling!!! – Chuu Shiyouze
94 Watarirouka Hashiritai – Hatsukoi Dash
93 Scha Dara Parr feat Kaela Kimura – Hey!Hey!Alright
92 Nico Touches The Walls – Subeten o Omitachi e
91 Olivia – Sailing Free
90 Gackt – The Next Decade
89 Kaela Kimura – Banzai
88 Aya Matsuuri – Chocolate Damashi
87 AAA – Hide Away
86 Koda Kumi – 3 Splash
85 Etsuko Hatsuko – Kimi no Mama yori
84 Meg – Kittenish
83 Scandal – Sakura Goodbye
82 lecca – My Measure
81 Stereopony – I Do It
80 Greeeen – Setsuna
79 Chatmonchy – Last Love Letter
78 flumpool – Hoshi ni Negai wo
77 Ikimono Gakari – Futari
76 Denki Groove – The Words
75 Morning Musume – Shouganai Yume Oibito
74 Ayumi Hamasaki – Sunrise Sunset ~Love Is All~
73 Chihiro Onitsuka – X
72 Supercell – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari
71 Meg – OK
70 AKB48 – 10nen Sakura
69 Ami Suzuki – Kiss Kiss Kiss
68 Namie Amuro – Fast Car
67 Morning Musume – Naichau Kamo
66 Arashi – Everything
65 Yuna Ito – Let It Go
64 marino – flavor
63 KAT-TUN – Rescue
62 Dreams Come True – Sono Saki E
61 Perfume – One Room Disco
60 Cherryblossom – Sakura Rock
59 Tokio – Taiyou to Sabaku no Bara
58 flumpool – Over The Rain
57 No Sleeves – Kiss no Ryousei
56 Morning Musume – Nanchatte Renai
55 Miliyah Kato – Cry
54 Superfly – Koisuru Hitami wa Utsukushi
53 SWEET BLACK feat Maki Goto – Tear Drops
52 Back-On – Flyaway
51 M.O.V.E – Libido
50 Hangry & Angry – Sadistic Dance
49 Mano Erina – Otome no Ironi
48 Mai Kuraki – Puzzle/Revive
47 Elisa – Wonder Wind
46 Gackt – Journey Through The Decade
45 Jasmine – No More Cry
44 Scandal – Shoujo S
43 Ayumi Sakai – Konayuki
42 Gackt – Ghost
41 Sphere – Future Stream
40 SKE48 – Tsuyoki Mono Yo
39 Meisa Kuroki – SHOCK!~Unmei~
38 Double – Let It Go
37 AKB48 – Iiwake Maybe
36 Namie Amuro – Wild
35 Yamashita Tomohisa – Loveless
34 Buono! – Take It Easy
33 High Speed Boyz – Childhood’s End
32 EXILE – Futatsu no Kuchiburu
31 Tokyo Jihen – Noudouteki Sanpunkan
30 Dream – Perfect Girls
29 Juju – I Can Be Free
28 Buono! – Co.no.mi.chi
27 flipside – Only My Railgun
26 Koda Kumi x Misono – It’s All Love
25 Jasmine – Sad To Say
24 Scandal – Yumemiru Tsubasa
23 Sakurakou K-On! – Cagayake Girls
22 Stereopony – Namida no Mukou
21 Michi – Promise
20 Miliyah Kato – Love Forever
19 Kana Nishino – Motto
18 BREAKERZ – Love Fighter
17 Dreams Come True – Goodbye My School Days
16 Ayumi Hamasaki – Days
15 SWEET BLACK feat Maki Goto – Lady Rise
14 JuJu feat Spontania – Sunao ni Naretara
13 Acid Black Cherry – Nemure Hime
12 Shuchushin – Yowamushi Santa
11 Guardians 4 – Omakase Guardians
And the Top 10 goes like this:
10 The POSSIBLE – Shiawase no Katachi
9 Yuna Ito – Brand New World
8 Michi – Change The World
7 Sakurakou K-On! – Don’t Say Lazy
6 AKB48 – River
5 Ayaka Ikio – Spider Web
4 My Little Lover – Otono nai Sekai
3 EXILE – Fireworks
2 Big Bang – Koi wo Kikasete
And at no.1 is………………….
1 Moumoon – Aoi Tsuki to Ambivalence no ai
C-ute’s 16th single Shock! is out on the 6th of January 2010 and it’s shockingly bad to say the least. It has to be the weakest single they’ve released in a while. The intro had me thinking it was going to be a James Bond song (listen carefully and you’ll instantly recognise the Bond theme tune…..well I did anyway!). The PV is dull as well with Airi being pushed more and more to the front. It seems to me the rest are nothing more than backing singers. I still can’t get used to seeing Maimi with short hair (please grow your hair back!! The short hair doesn’t suit you at all!!).
There are reports in some of Japan’s tabloids today that an obsessed AB48 fan refused to let go of the hand of one of the girls during a handshake event yesterday in downtown Tokyo. I’m not too sure which one of the girls had to suffer this unfortunate incident but 2 members of staff on duty had to intervene and drag the fan away from her. According to one website it’s either Minami Minegishi, Asuka Kuramochi, Kana Kobayashi or Natsumi Matsubara. Whoever it was wasn’t physically injured although all 4 were shaken up by the whole thing. I wonder if this will have an adverse effect on this type of meet and greet? Could management stop this kind of event so that it won’t happen again? I doubt it as handshake events generate a lot of money for the group but no doubt security will be stepped up.
A short trailer for AKB48′s new drama have just been released recently. It’s only 15 seconds long but it’s definitely whetted my appetite to see it. How cool does Yuko look with her gang walking behind her and Acchan kicking somebody’s ass. There’s bound to be more trailers appearing before the drama debuts so stay tuned.
December 8th marked the 4th birthday of super idol group AKB48. Yes, it was on that day in 2005 in the theater on the 8th floor of the Don Quixote building that producer Akimoto unveiled his newest phenomenon of 20 girls who would form Team A. Of course that was just the start and 4 months later 18 other girls joined to make Team K and lastly in October 2006 the final piece of the puzzle (Team B) would be formed. Look how far they’ve come since that time. Targeting exclusively at first to the otaku population of Akihabara as ‘idols you can meet’ and evolving slightly over time they’ve now switched over to mainstream where their appeal goes right across the spectrum from young girls to otaku and foreign fans. Not bowing to the ‘stay safe’ subject of songs that other idol groups stick to, producer Akimoto has not been afraid to tackle serious issues in AKB48 songs and long may that continue. To me when Morning Musume was getting increasingly stale after the resignation of my favorite member Mikitty, AKB48 was like a breath of fresh air and my fandom has only gotten stronger as I’ve watched the girls grow before my very eyes. 2009 has been an amazing year for them. Could 2010 be an even better one for them? We’ll find out.
One of my favorite Japanese tarento – Becky released her debut single last week called Kokoro Komete. It came in at no.10 in the Oricon Charts this week selling 11,825 copies. During a live performance, Becky mentioned that she would like to do a national tour in the near future and do a collaboration with the Kureijiken Band. I really like her new song and she’s got a beautiful voice.
According to CD Japan and HMV, Morning Musume and AKB48 look set to release their new singles on the same day next year – 17th February. If this is true, it’ll be the first time ever for both idol groups to go up against each other in the first week. Last year it would have been difficult to announce who would come out on top but now the odds are firmly stacked against MoMusu. AKB48 will wipe the floor with them unless the mowotas buy multiple copies of the single. Even then I don’t think it will be enough to upstage them unless AKB48 come out with a useless song.
Although the plot for their new drama hasn’t been revealed yet, the roles have been announced and they are as follows:
Maeda Atsuko – Maeda Atsuko *Transfers to the school and into 2C.
Yuko-senpai – Oshima Yuko *Leader of the strongest gang / wind instruments club “Rappappa”.
Sado (Sadist) – Shinoda Mariko *Subleader of Rappappa, manages the top 4.
Torigoya (Aviary) – Kojima Haruna *One of the top 4 in Rappappa, loves chickens.
Shibuya – Itano Tomomi *One of the top 4 in Rappappa, gal.
Black – Kashiwagi Yuki *One of the top 4 in Rappappa, single mother.
Gekikara – Matsui Rena *One of the top 4 in Rappappa, absent due to being sent to reform school.
—————————— Shibuya’s Underlings
Dance – Yagami Kumi
Anime – Nakaya Sayaka
Jumbo – Tanabe Miku
Rice – Yonezawa Rumi
Showa – Katayama Haruka
—————————– Team Hormone *A yankee group that chats in 2C while eating hormones.
Wota – Sashihara Rino *Leader.
Unagi – Kitahara Rie
Akicha – Takajo Aki
Bungy – Nito Moeno
Mukuchi – Komori Mika
Kabuki Sisters – Kasai Tomomi & Kuramochi Asuka
Nezumijo – Watanabe Mayu
Chokoku – Akimoto Sayaka
Sansho Sisters – Oota Aika, Oku Manami, Miyazaki Miho *Small, but together they’re strong.
Gakuran – Miyazawa Sae
Nekketsu Seito Kaicho (Hot Blooded Student President) – Minegishi Minami
Matsui – Matsui Jurina
Erena – Ono Erena
Minami – Takahashi Minami *Involved in Maeda’s past?
Onizuka Daruma – Nachu * A yankee that eats chicken wings when she wins.
Quite an interesting cast of characters. I just can’t get it into my head seeing Mariko as a sadist! What kind of sadist will she be – one that uses a whip or other instruments to control her underlings? I’m hoping that Sayaka gets a nice juicy role in the series. I like that they made Yukirin’s character a single mother.
Below are 4 pictures from the press conference to announce the drama series. Yuko really looks older in the 2nd picture. Some forums have pointed this out and I’ve got to agree that Mayuyu does look like Yui Aragaki in her photo.