J-Pop Top 100 Songs Of 2011

27 12 2011

It’s that time of year again when I compile a list of the best 100 J-Pop songs I’ve listened to during the year. IMO 2011 was slightly better than 2010 in terms of great music coming out in Japan. It was tough as it always is in doing this countdown but overall I’m satisfied with what I picked.

Anyway, give me a shout about what you think of the chart.

100 EXILE – Each Other’s Way
99 AAA – Daiji na Koto
98 9Nine – Shining Star
97 Negoto – Charon
96 Aqua Timez – Mayonaka no Orchestra
95 Mai Kuraki – Your Best Friend
94 Idoling!!! – Yarakai Heart
93 Ayahi Takagaki – Takaramono
92 SDN48 – Ai, Juseyo
91 Nana Mizuki – Scarlet Knight
90 Maximum The Hormone – Greatest The Hits 2011~2011
89 Mika Nakashima – Dear
88 Yui Horie – Presenter
87 You Kikkawa – Kikkake wa You!
86 Kana Nishino – Distance
85 Buono! – Zassou no Uta
83 Kie Kitano – Kizuna
82 Happiness – Wish
81 Nana Mizuki – Junketsu Paradox
80 FLOWER – Still
79 YUI – Green a.live
78 SCANDAL – Haruka
77 Angela Aki – Hajimari no Ballad
75 YGA – Jounetsu Heroine
74 KAT-TUN – Ultimate Wheels
73 JUJU – Kono yoru wo Tomete yo
72 Sphere – Hazy
71 Morning Musume – Only You
70 KARA – Jet Coaster Love
69 miwa – 441
68 Tokyo Girls Style – Limited Addiction
67 Eri Kitamura – Be Starters!
66 ClariS – nexus
65 KARA – Winter Magic
64 PASSPO – Vivi Natsu
63 SCANDAL – Pride
62 Afterschool – Diva
61 Koda Kumi – Pop Diva
60 YUI – Hello~Paradise Kiss
59 Super Girls – MAX! Otomegokoro
58 May’n – Scarlet Ballet
57 Perfume – Spice
56 Superfly – Ai wo Kurae
55 Tohoshinki – Why? (Keep Your Head Down)
54 4Minute – Heart To Heart
53 Aoi Teshima – Sayonara no Natsu
52 SCANDAL – Love Survive
51 L’arc En Ciel – Good Luck My Way
50 Infinite – BTD
49 NMB48 – Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo
48 Perfume – Laser Beam
47 Supercell – My Dearest
46 EXILE – Rising Sun
45 Kis-My-Ft2 – Everybody Go
44 4Minute – WHY
43 Girl Next Door – Silent Scream
42 no3b – Answer
41 French Kiss – If
40 DiVA – Cry
39 Idoling!!! – Don’t think. Feel!!!
38 Kaoru to Tomoki, Toma ni Mook – Maru Maru Mori Mori
37 Not yet – Shuumatsu Not yet
36 Bump Of Chicken – Tomodachi no Uta
35 Namie Amuro – Love Story
34 Meisa Kuroki – Wired Life
33 French Kiss – Kakkowarui I Love You!
32 Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Hettapi Wink
31 FictionJunction – Stone Cold
30 Atsuko Maeda – Flower
29 2NE1 – Go Away
28 French Kiss – Saisho no Mail
27 Arashi – Lotus
26 no3b – Kuchibiru Furezu
25 Namie Amuro – Fight Together
23 Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Valentine Kiss
22 SKE48 – Pareo wa Emerald
21 DiVA – Tsugi no Uragawa
20 B’z – Don’t Wanna Lie
19 Tomomi Itano – Fui ni
18 AKB48 – Ue kara Mariko
17 AKB48 – Sakura no Ki ni Narou
16 Not yet – Pera Pera Perao
15 Atsuko Maeda – La Brae Ave
14 NMB48 – OH MY GOD!
13 SKE48 – Banzai Venus
12 Not yet – Naminori Kakigoori
11 AKB48 – Everyday Kachuusha
10 AKB48 – Kaze wa Fuiteiru
09 AKB48 – Flying Get
08 SKE48 – Okey Dokey
07 Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Kibou Sanmyaku
06 Koda Kumi – Ko-so ko-so
05 Shoudo Jidai – Mr Taxi
04 Namie Amuro ft Afterschool – Make It Happen
03 Tomomi Itano – Dear J
02 AKB48 – Seishun to Kizukunai Mama
01 AKB48 – Gondola Lift

Top 10 Most Hated Japanese Female Celebs 2010

13 11 2010

For the past 3 years Erika Sawajiri has been no.1 on the most hated Japanese female celebs ranking by women readers of the magazine Shukan Bunshun but this year she’ll be glad to know that she’s no longer at the top. The bad news is she’s only dropped down to no.2 so she still isn’t very popular in the country. The countdown goes like this:

10 Norika Fujiwara
09 Sayumi Michishige
08 Isono Kiri
07 Hosoki Kazuko
06 Koda Kumi
05 Renho
04 Masami Hisamoto
03 Akiko Wada
02 Erika Sawajiri
01 Tani Ryoko

I’m surprised to see Sayumi Michishige and Koda Kumi on the list. I’m guessing that Japanese women don’t like her ‘I’m so cute’ character that Sayumi plays – I’ve never found it annoying. It’s only an act after all. And as for Kumi – what has she done wrong this year? Women still aren’t upset at her comments last year about amniotic fluid being rotten in the womb if you’re over 35 years old and pregnant are they?

I’ve got to admit I’ve never heard of the person at no.1 – Tani Ryoko before but I’ve read that she’s supposed to be popular and a good sportswoman but maybe after entering politics she’s pissed off some people?

The Pick Of Last Week’s J-Pop Releases

25 01 2010

1. Yui – Gloria

Yui’s excellent new single is similar to a past song of hers from 2005  called “Tomorrow’s Way”. Both songs displaying Yui’s incredible vocal talents to the fore.

2. Do As Infinity – Kimi ga Inai Mirai

DAI’s 22nd single is a special tie-in song with the InuYasha:The Final Act anime series.

3. Koda Kumi – Can We Go Back

Kumi’s latest single before the release of her new album called Universe is a cover of a Kelly Clarkson song. This song is also used to celebrate Kumi’s 10 years in the music business. Can it be 10 years already? She’s come a long way since her debut and I’m finding that her albums just keep getting better with each new release. I’m really looking forward to Universe which comes out on February 3rd. (Out of all the PV’s on this posting, this is the likeliest to be deleted soon by AVEX).

and finally

4. Saori@destiny – Ethnic Planet Survival

I don’t think there’s a PV for this as it’s a Tower Records only limited single. I’m very much into the Japanese electropop scene and Saori@destiny is one of the best artists in the genre.

What Was The Best J-Pop Album Of 2009?

3 01 2010

It’s time to look back at what was the best J-pop album released in 2009. For me, these are the pick of the bunch:

SWEET BLACK feat Maki Goto. It was a fantastic return for Gocchin and this album really rocks.

Stereopony – A Hydrangea Blooms. Debutants Stereopony burst onto the J-pop scene with a couple of great singles and the album delivered too.

Nana Mizuki – Ultimate Diamond

Miliyah Kato – Ring

Ayumi Hamasaki – Next Level. Ayu’s new album continued her fine tradition of producing  a solid album full of top tunes.

Koda Kumi – Trick. Kumi came out with a brilliant new album. Actually this nearly came to be the best album of the year but as you’ll see somebody else pipped her to the title.

Aira Mitsuki – Plastic

Ayaka Ikio – Gossip. I was browsing through HMV in Center Gai, Shibuya during my holiday there in the Summer when I discovered this young woman.

Scandal – Best Scandal. Scandal just keeps getting better in my opinion. 2009 saw them releasing some great songs.

Hitomi – Love Life 2

Michi – Up To You. British born Michi debuted in 2008 with Promise and in 2009 came out with the superb Change The World single. Her 2nd album came out in September which contained the singles Kiss Kiss xxx and You.

Namie Amuro – Past < Future. As 2009 came to an end, Namie came out with her new album mid December which had some excellent tracks on it such as her single Wild.

So if none of them came out on top, which album was my favorite of the year?

Perfume – Triangle. The 3rd and much anticipated album from Perfume has to be the best one for me as it contains my favorite song Dream Fighter plus Love The World, Edge and One Room Disco.

This is a live version of the song Night Flight which is also on the Triangle album.

Koda Kumi & Misono Spring A Surprise On Fans

2 04 2009

Yesterday Koda Kumi and her younger sister Misono surprised fans outside the east exit of Shinjuku Station by making an unannounced appearance and singing their collaboration single It’s All Love. 5,000 people flocked there once word had gone around. I wish I could have been there, I really would have loved to see this.

Koda Kumi x Misono – It’s All Love PV

9 03 2009

Below is the PV for the super sisters – Koda Kumi and Misono’s collaboration  – It’s All Love. It’s a great rockish tune. Kumi’s toned down her sexy image a lot for the PV and I’m not impressed with a couple of her costumes except the one where she’s in a pink dress with a bow on her head – she’s looks very cute in that. I’d say her younger sister looks better in the PV than her. There’s a rather good SFX shot around the 4 minute mark where Misono emerges from Kumi’s stomach which I thought was rather cool.

The single comes out on March 31st.

Jacket B cover for the single

Jacket B cover for the single

Here’s the link to the official AVEX PV of the song on Youtube. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to embed it:


Notable 2009 1st Quarter Single/Album Releases

20 02 2009

In this post I’ll give you the release dates of notable singles/albums of artists that you might be interested in purchasing/downloading right up to the middle of April:

25th February:
Ayumi Hamasaki’s double A-side single Rule/Sparkle comes out next week which is sure to be a big seller and go straight to No.1. On the same day the excellent Ami Suzuki releases her new single Reincarnation, Ai Otsuka with Bye Bye and misono who’s inconsistent at best with her songs releases her latest one Kyuukon. On the album side Tomoke Kawase releases 2 best of CD’s for her alter egos Tommy February6 and Tommy Heavenly6 named Strawberry Cream Soda Pop “Daydream” and Gothic Melting Ice Cream’s Darkness “Nightmare”. Quite a mouthful aren’t they!!

4th March:
The underrated Chinese female soloist alan finally releases her debut album called Voice of EARTH. I’m really looking forward to this one. I’ve no idea why she’s overlooked by Japanese music fans. Also coming out will be the first collaboration between siblings Koda Kumi and misono with their song It’s All Love plus AKB48 release 10 Nen Sakura. Hope that does as well as their last song Oogoe Diamond.

9th March:
AKB48 sub-unit No Sleeves release their 2nd single Tane.

14th March:
Hikaru Utada’s 2nd English album called This Is The One comes out. It’ll be interesting to see how this one fares in the US as Exodus bombed big style over there. I like her song Come Back To Me. I’m expecting good things from this album just as long as she doesn’t abandon the style that made Heart Station such a success.

18th March:
Plenty of good music coming out on this date including BoA’s Best&USA album plus another album simply called BoA. I think this is released on the 17th. An artist that I’ve started to get into lately Saori@destiny brings out her mini-album WOW WAR TECHNO. Morning Musume’s album Platinum 9 Disc also comes out. On the single side of things the highly anticipated new single by Namie Amuro called Wild/Dr will be released. I really like Namie so I can’t wait for this single from her.

25th March:
The big release for me this week is Perfume’s 14th single One Room Disco. I’m waiting in anticipation for the preview and PV to this song. Gackt’s latest song which is also the OP for tokusatsu TV show Kamen Rider Decade called Journey Through The Decade also comes out plus Ayumi Hamasaki’s 12th album NEXT LEVEL. That should be great. One of my favorites from old skool Morning Musume – Mari Yaguchi releases her single which I mentioned sometime ago called Seishun Boku. In addition to the above, Koda Kumi gives us a double whammy with 2 CD’s – one’s a remix album called Koda Kumi’s Driving Hits and the other is a compilation called Out Work & Collaborations Best. My wallet is going to be hit hard on this date!!!

April 8th:
alan comes out with yet another new single Kuon na Kawa

April 15th
The brilliant Girl Next Door after a busy end to 2008 with 4 singles and an album release their newest single Seeds of Dream. I really enjoyed their debut album.