Interesting Jpop in Anime

Posted on Monday, July 7, 2008 by Steven

I recently became obsessed with Anime again after about one year of not watching anything (but still reading manga of course). I have Code Geass and Code Geass R2 to blame for getting me started.

First, the Macross Frontier opening features "Triangular" by Maaya Sakamoto. Maaya Sakamoto did an excellent ending for the Anime Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles with the song "Loop"

I didn't like this song too much at the beginning, but then I got addicted to it after 4 or 5 listens.

Second, it's FLOW's song "COLOR" as the opening to Code Geass


Third, it's Orange Range's song "O2" as the opening to Code Geass R2

I'm not a huge fan of Orange Range, but this song is particularly catchy

All Anime songs can be found on Gendou, so give it a try!

Blaise Plant - Call me (Appelez moi)

Posted on by Steven

If you happen to listen to Blaise Plant's (from Monkey Majik) solo song Call me (Appelez moi), you might have been surprised that it's French Pop. Quite the deviation from his Jpop career, but it's an interesting listen if you've never heard French music before.

In my opinion, Blaise Plant should just stick with Monkey Majik, since Blaise Plant singing without good guitar just doesn't do it for me. If you want an example of good French music, I was recently introduced to Kyo. One of my favourite songs by them is Comment te Dire:

Jpop Recommendations - Girls Be Ambitious

Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2008 by Steven

The Jpop album Girls Be Ambitious was released March 26, 2008 which featured a variety of popular and talented female artists. I was glad the female voices were typically lower pitched, but wasn't too happy about the rapping.

ArtistSongDetails
Crystal KayTears
Slower paced song with excellent vocals
ARIA
I Love You
Pop, the song's hook is the excellent piano instrumental
MINMI
Aisuru Toiu Koto
Pop/Soca, excellent vocals from my favourite Soca Jpop artist
DOUBLE
SPRING LOVE
Pop
Leah Dizon
Koi Shiyou
Pop, I like this song minus the chorus
Orion
Once More
Pop, I'm a sucker for piano yet again

Of the 26 tracks, only 5 songs matched the Jpop I enjoy. I was slightly disappointed, but then again, the percentage of songs I enjoy in the Oricon SINGLE WEEKLY TOP 30 is usually just as bad.

Highly Recommended Jpop - January to April 2008

Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 by Steven

2008 has started with an incredible amount of releases from some of my favourite Jpop Artists as well as some who I've recently discovered.

There were a lot of albums containing older songs, such as Ken Hirai's Pop Star or any song from the brilliant's green single collection. However, if you've missed them before, it's a good opportunity to get them now.

Albums/Singles

  • ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION - World World World
  • Ben Arashino - Chapter One ~Complete Collection~
  • CHEMISTRY - Face to Face
  • EXILE - Pure / You're my sunshine
  • GLORY HILL - DAYBREAK e.p.
  • Hikari - Naked
  • Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP
  • Koda Kumi - Kingdom
  • KOKIA - Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi
  • Leah Dizon - Love Paradox
  • melody. - Lei Aloha
  • mihimaru GT - diverge
  • Monkey Majik - Together/Akari/Fall Back
  • Nami Tamki - Don't Stay
  • Namie Amuro - 60s 70s 80s
  • Rimi Natsukawa - Ano Hana No Youni
  • the brilliant green - complete single collection '97-'08
  • Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION
  • YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY
  • Yuna Ito - WISH
  • ZEEBRA - BUSHIDO
I decided to summarize my favourite Jpop songs in a tabular format, so you can quickly scan for songs that interest you.

ArtistSongDetails
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
After Dark
Rock, the popular song used in the opening for the anime Bleach
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
Korogaru Iwa, Kimi ni Asa ga Furu
Rock
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
Travelog
Rock
Beni Arashino
Cherish
Pop, an old favourite of mine
Beni Arashino
FLASH FLASH (feat. KOHEI JAPAN)
Pop, rapping
Beni Arashino
Goal
Pop, an old favourite of mine
CHEMISTRY
Kagayaku yoru
Pop, song supported by Monkey Majik, which means amazing guitar
EXILE
Pure
Pop, on the slower side but excellent male vocals
GLORY HILL
DAYBREAK e.p.
Punk/rock, sounds like ELLEGARDEN (including unintelligible English)
Hikari
Sowelu
Pop
Hikari
Still lovin' you
Pop
Ken Hirai
Pain
Pop
Ken Hirai
Pop Star
Pop, if you haven't heard this song before you should!
Koda Kumi
anytime
Pop
Koda Kumi
Under
Pop
KOKIA
Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi
Pop
Leah Dizon
Love Paradox
Pop, surprisingly good for a Leah Dizon song
melody.
Haruka -Eternal Version-
Slow song
mihimaru GT
diverge
Pop
Monkey Majik
Akari
Pop
Monkey Majik
Fall Back
Pop, the rap sucks but the rest of the song is good
Monkey Majik
One More Chance
Pop, the surprisingly good b-side
Nami Tamaki
visualize
Dance, reminds me of her song "Believe"
Nami Tamaki
Promise
Slow song
Namie Amuro
NEW LOOK
Pop
Namie Amuro
ROCK STEADY
Pop
Namie Amuro
WHAT A FEELING
Pop
Rimi Natsukawa
Ano Hana No YouniSlow song
the brilliant green
Ai no Heart Ai no Hoshi
Rock
the brilliant greenRainy Days Never Stays
Rock, one of my favourite tbg songs ever
the brilliant greenI'm So Sorry Baby
Rock
the brilliant greenStand By Me
Pop, another one of my favourite tbg songs
Utada Hikaru
Beautiful World
Pop
Utada Hikaru
Flavor Of Life -Ballad Version
Slow song, my absolute favourite song from this album
Utada Hikaru
Stay Gold

YUI
My Generation
Pop
YUI
Namidario
Pop
Yuna Ito
Mahaloha
Pop
ZEEBRA
BUSHIDO
Rap, this is what Japanese rapping should be like

Namie Amuro Play Tour 2007 Cover Scan

Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 by Steven

I saw Namie Amuro's Play Tour 2007 DVD for sale today, so I decided to make an impulse purchase. I had seen the Play concert on JPOPSUKI, but my ISP does a great job in preventing me from getting it. The concert was okay. I don't think there's much lasting value, since I don't see myself watching it more than two times. I would recommend you "sample" this concert before you buy it, since the concert wasn't spectacular.

I love the DVD cover:
Namie Amuro Play Tour 2007
The Namie Amuro Play Tour 2007 cover, scanned by me. I'm a newbie at scanning stuff, so hopefully it turned out correctly. It was originally scanned at 300dpi and Flickr shrunk it down to 692x1024 (which is not too bad of a resolution). I wasn't able to find a large scan of the cover anywhere, so this is my attempt to scan something.

Not Dead...Yet. Just Really Busy

Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by Steven

I've been really busy with work, so haven't had time to do anything Jpop related.

Luckily, even when I'm completely out of touch with Jpop, I can always rely on these two great sites for finding recent and older releases:

Jpop n' Kpop
Too Fast To Live

Basically, they are my JPOPSUKI substitutes, since I would get exactly what shows up on those two sites anyway :) If you didn't know about those resources before, check them out!

Monkey Majik's new single is out tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be disappointing or I'll be crushed.

Monkey Majik - Together

Posted on Friday, April 4, 2008 by Steven

Title: Together
Artist: Monkey Majik
Single: Together / Akari / Fall Back
Release date: April 23, 2008

It's about time Monkey Majik released something new in 2008. I've been eagerly waiting for something new from Monkey Majik. When I found out that the title of their new single would be Together / Akari / Fall Back, I was overjoyed at the potential for three killer songs. Hopefully these songs will be the triple counter to compete against Namie Amuro's 60s 70s 80s single, which will probably still be at the top of Oricon SINGLES TOP 30 when this single is released.

Luckily, this single starts off nicely with the song Together. Together follows the award winning Monkey Majik recipe: the use of their indie-pop style, amazing guitar playing, excellent English and Japanese vocals, and no rapping (thank God). Overall, Together has a depressing tone similar to their song "SotsugyŨ, soshite mirai e.". About 85% of this song is sung in Japanese with very few consecutive lines of English. I felt that the tidbits of English were appropriate and didn't sound out of place.

I'd say the weak point of this song was the chorus. I didn't find the chorus to be particularly interesting. To me, it's a rare anomaly, since Monkey Majik choruses are usually the song's hook. Besides that, I really enjoyed the song. As an added bonus, the music video was well made too. The music video is touching, as it focuses on a mother and daughter dealing with the death of the father. This music video reminds me of the "Christmas Gift" scenario in the Nintendo DS game Elite Beat Agents, which has a similar premise (including the ghost father watching over his family). Here's the Together music video:


Mirrors:
High quality MV at Jpop n' Kpop
Flash video at JpopAsia