Open Post

Hey, Arama! Japan! It’s Friday, so it’s Open Post time! Feel free to chat with your fellow readers about whatever you like! Enjoy!

  • Comments

    • Question of the week: What do you think of Japan’s current taste in Western music? I ask this due to the fact that Austin Mahone and The Chainsmokers have both topped the charts recently. The soundtracks for “La La Land” and “Sing” are doing well too, as are the new Ed Sheeran and Jamiroquai albums.

      • surfboardt

        Basically this:

        That said, it’s not like Japan’s music taste is solely guilty considering how well Ed Sheeran and The Chainsmokers are doing elsewhere. And I personally don’t think the two movie soundtracks are as indicative of Japan’s taste in western music considering how there’s the “I like the movie, so I bought the soundtrack” factor. If there’s any redeeming factor, at least Japan appreciates Carly Rae Jepsen more than the western general public? /kanyeshrug

      • Go Go Going Now!

        I like how much Japan likes Charli XCX. I’m definitely not a pop fan in general, but I really like alot of her music.

        But yeah, Austin Mahone and whatnot, whatever. Pop music transcends borders. Some shit is just popular in basically all countries. I’m sure some people would think that about Charli XCX, too.

      • T

        Austin Mahone is doing well thanks to a comedic gag though. So it’s different than the others.

        • But that doesn’t mean people have to actually buy it.

          • Attakaindakara

            People don’t actually have to buy RADIOFISH PERFECT HUMAN but they did anyway. So was 3Jsb Pocky song. PPAP charted digitally too I think.

            It’s harder to find a trending music gag that failed to sell digitally if they had an official release.

            • maguro part deux

              I thought Perfect Human was pretty hilarious. Never really got the whole PPAP thing. I guess it’s funny if you learned English in a Japanese school.

      • eplizo

        I think their taste in Western music is shit atm, but that’s what I think of the US’ music taste atm too so…..

        In general, I just feel like mainstream Western music (or better put, American music) has been mad stagnant for the past several years (with very few exceptions), so Japan taking a liking to some of it is inevitable imo

        • Lolo

          Western music have been really good, i’m always surprised when i read either Kpop or Jpop fans say that it’s shit, i’m like ??????Especially as someone who like any type of music from whatever country/continent, be it America, Europe, Russia, China, Japan, S.K, i guess you guys are just too lazy(?) to check past the mainstream music idk, i don’t mean to attack you or something haha ^^”, especially please don’t say western music, as if every single genre is shit in the west, western music is by far the best, i assure you that, from an unbiased point of view, if you prefer one over the other that’s fine but the western industry is far better than any other in all honesty.
          Now i don’t follow all music genres but in term of pop music, there are so many gems nowadays (personally digging ALMA (dutch(?) amazing singer), Dua Lipa, Hey Violet, these , from Russia there’s is this duo i’m loving a lot called Vremya i Steklo) but also if you follow EDM channels such as house nation, chill nation, majestic etc. there are so many amazing artists, so calling all these artists from 50+ countries shit doesn’t make any sense at all.
          In term of indie music, gems as well, the western indie industry is by far the best, my favorite Springtime Carnivore, Tame Impala, Temples, King Krule, Cuco, The Growlers, Fog Lake, Daytime TV, Day Wave, and tons of many more.
          Always like them if you follow indie channels like David, IndieMusic, etc. Or any other genre as well, there are millions of western artists who makes awesome music so generalizing them as shit just because you don’t like them or you don’t even know them just makes no sense

          • eplizo

            Please learn to read. I specifically said MAINSTREAM Western (American) music. LMAO. You went on that rant for nothing lol. I listen to plenty of American music, but the mainstream isn’t what it used to be. That’s for sure.

            • Lolo

              I read it very well, i was talking in general, i even said in my post that it’s not meant to attack you if you actually read it, many Jpop and Kpop fans says western music is shit.
              I didn’t rant for nothing cause be it western music in general or american music in specific my point still stand :)

              • Elodie Genia

                J-pop : 1 country, k-pop : 1 country, Westerner ? You want to say USA right ?because good music is everywhere I’m agree, but that rant doesn’t make sense. “Compare” USA industry vs Japan, Spanish vs japan, england vs Japan, latino vs Japan, it’s okay. But westerner vs j/k pop not really, maybe vs eastern (India, Japan , Korea, China, Indonesia…). This term westerner is so bad for me. These fan should use USA and not this (because I think it’s mainly this) but “shit” is everywhere.

                • Lolo

                  Exactly, shit is everywhere, not @ Jpop fans saying Western music or US music is shit when garbage gangnam style rip off song such as RADIOFISH’s PERFECT HUMAN is popular

          • Russian

            Vremya i Steklo are horrible. They lyrics are trash.

            • Lolo

              I didn’t really wanted to name them but they’re the first russian act that came to my mind lol also, it’s dance music, i don’t think people who go clubbing care about the meaning of the song lol

      • Thomas

        I find it a bit disappointing that even slightly experimental music doesn’t have a chance in Japan. Lorde, The xx, Frank Ocean and even Beyonce with her recent albums to name a few big examples. I feel like only really mainstream acts, especially those similar to their own idols (Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, etc.) and soundtracks are successful over there…

        • Elodie Genia

          It’s because many of them don’t want to show them in music programs for live like Bruno Mars (New Zero…), Gaga etc… I think they’re little have the habit to not appears in Europe for example where pv and radio diffusion are good enough (they have big head, it’s not surprising)

      • rshina

        I’m not sure, I actually not really into recent western music. So I can’t really say they’re taste bad or good
        recent western music isn’t that good for me. I like older one better

      • PigeonPop

        I don’t think it’s really about taste as it is a matter of advertising power. Austin is benefiting from the BGM-to-a-comedic gag routine that happens every year or two as others have mentioned, while La La Land and Sing have been heavily pushed on morning television and CM spots during prime time.

        It’s also much easier for a Western act to break through when they actually bother to visit Japan and promote there in person. It’s true that catchy mainstream acts fare better, but the likes of Taylor, Carly, and Ariana routinely show up for concerts and TV appearances (ZIP!, Mezamashi TV, Sukkiri, Music Station etc.). Compare this to Selena/Miley/Demi who haven’t bothered to visit/promote locally, and hence, doesn’t sell.

        Susan Boyle and Charice Pempengco are two more examples of acts who experienced great album sales in Japan *after* they were featured and performed on shows there.

        • Atta

          Did Gaga and Bruno Mars did well? I’ve seen them being heavily promoted too. Bruno especially had lots of tv appearance.

          • Bruno’s new album did good, Gaga’s not so much.

        • I don’t believe that just because something is pushed that it will sell.

          • PigeonPop

            True–just because something is pushed doesn’t mean it will sell. That said, the Western acts that have been successful in Japan were ultimately the ones that were given a push (and likely did some local promotion as I already mentioned). I feel like this is especially the case in recent years, as the Japanese audience as a whole is just not as interested in Western music as they used to be; the same applies to film and the decline in market share of Hollywood films. There has to be a push to generate any kind of interest now.

            Ed Sheeran’s previous 2 albums had very little chart presence. More frequent coverage by Mezamashi and ZIP!, a visit to Japan and a performance on Sukkiri, and suddenly it’s on the top 10 of Oricon. Jamiroquai was heavily promoted as the face of Sony’s MD CMs (literally the CMs were cut-down edits of their original music videos) and their music played daily on Fuji TV variety shows in the 90s.

    • Matcha

      I think Tsubasa Masuwaka did something to her face again. People on Girlschannel are freaking out too.
      Still can’t believe she used to look like this…

      • Miku

        Should be no surprise. She’s been gradually changing her face over the years.

        But damn seeing her succumb to this look makes me wish real gyaru trend didn’t die out. lol

      • hasawa

        Tsubasa’s face has been on a constant…’revolution’ since her hiatus circa 2010 (?)
        She’s definitively one of the former prominent gyaru who physically turned out the worst (that’s the price you have to pay when you get so much work done on your face), and that ‘cutie-doll’ is pretty freaky on her since her face seems to collapse on itself anytime (no wonder why she uses the same angles in all her insta pics)

      • yacchaitai

        idk i don’t see anything different from her pictures a few months ago

        • hasawa

          I guess that blonde hair dye makes her look even more dull than usual
          Her face color palette reminds me of some sliced white bread :-/

          • yacchaitai

            that described current trends very well

      • yamakita

        I don’t know who she is, but she’s turning Korean, I really think so.

    • Thomas

      After this week’s Nintendo Direct, which Nintendo Switch or 3DS game are you all most looking forward to?

      I’m definitely gonna get ARMS and Splatoon 2 when they come out and maybe Hey! Pikmin.

      I wish there were more updates in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I don’t see why I should spend $70 again on a game that I already own just because the DLC and a few new stages/characters are included.

      Then there’s the Virtual Console. Do you guys think it’s still coming or nah?

      • Alex

        I thought it was a good Direct. The new Splatoon 2 game mode looks fun, and ARMS looks surprisingly deeper in mechanics than I expected. Too bad the Mario Kart 8 DX Switch bundle is a Russia exclusive, I would have bought it in a heartbeat (haven’t played the original game).

        Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Mario Odissey are the ones I’m most hyped about though.

        • Thomas

          Yeah I hope there are even more modes in Splatoon 2 (praying for another single player mode) because sometimes I would get frustrated after being in bad teams repeatedly.

          I’m curious about ARMS and whether there are other gameplay elements except for the battles in it. Otherwise I feat it’ll end up like Pokken Tournament which I played once and never again.

          MK8 is one of the best games in the series imo, you should defintely get it! The levels are really diverse and the online mode is the best Nintendo has ever had.

          I am kind of disappointed that Xenoblade X isn’t getting a sequel instead after that cliffhanger ending so I’m not sure if I’m going to get 2 but Mario seems to have an interesting concept!

      • PigeonPop

        I wish I could actually delve into the Switch (and the U back then) but handhelds is so much easier for me due to work, sadly. It’s a shame because the Switch games look excellent. Have you played BOTW Thomas?

        Since I’m stuck with the 3DS my list is as follows: Kirby’s Blowout Blast, DQXI, FE Echoes (I’m praying that marriages and children will not make their way to this), Alliance Alive (hopefully improves upon Legend of Legacy which was good but flawed), and Ever Oasis.

        • Thomas

          But the Switch’s handheld mode works pretty well actually! I think I even prefer it over TV mode. It’s also smaller than I thought (not that much bigger than the New 3DS XL).

          Yes, I have played BotW, it’s a really fascinating game and there are a lot of details and easter eggs from past Zelda games. I think I invested about 90 hours in the game and there is still a lot to do. I’m waiting for the DLCs though since I’m currently playing Persona 5 which is said to be about 100 hours long haha!

          I think it was confirmed a while ago that children and marriage aren’t coming to Echoes but don’t quote me on that! It would be really weird though considering it’s a remake and that there is no existing narrative to explain children (e.g. Awakening had time travel and Fates had the parallel universe)

          Other than that I’m waiting for Ever Oasis reviews before buying because J-RPGs tend to bore me if there’s too much grinding! And you never know with new IPs…

    • rshina

      Did I miss last week Open Post? I don’t think I see one last week. or is it just me?

    • Ichi

      I know this scandal happened a long time ago, but why do you guys think that Kasumi Arimura’s “scandal” didn’t affect her career? I believe she is considered to be one of the top young actresses in Japan currently. She hosted Kohaku last year, and is staring as the Lead for NHK’s Asadora this year. Did she become even more popular after the scandal, kind of like Sashihara Rino?

      • tada

        She’s probably under a Burning agency.

      • yamakita

        Come on, how can this be a scandal? They look so lovey-dovey and adorable!

      • guest

        She wasn’t popular yet when this came out.

    • Miku

      The Ayu hate is getting out of hand lately with Japanese netizens. Almost every day since the Music Station appearance there’s a new 2ch VIP post or Girlschannel post about her and it’s constant attacking. I get hating what she’s become but nowadays these 2ch VIP and Girlschannels posts have evolved into: “Looking at photos of her now, she wasn’t even that cute”, “most of her lyrics from her peak were plagirized”, “I don’t get why she was popular”, “she ripped off her style off of other people at the time, why did she become famous?”

      And people saying she’s lost or mind or is suffering from mental illness. If you read her interviews from the past couple of years, she says unlike when she was 20-22 years old, she doesn’t care what people think of her. She says she’s having fun now and was miserable from Loveppears to A BEST era. So why knock on someone who is enjoying themselves and has fans that still love her?

      tl;dr: My version of LEAVE AYU ALONE.

      • Because she’s fallen.

        • Ryusei

          What a good reason to online-bully someone

          • K

            Why are you so extra? It’s bashing not “online bullying”…

            • Ryusei

              what’s the difference? Lol it’s both a shitty thing to do

              • K

                Because the definition of bullying is literally “Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others”… 🤦🏾‍♀️

                I think Ayu will be ok.

                • Ryusei

                  well no shit she’ll be ok she probably doesnt look at anything on the internet except for her instagram but still I was just commenting on how what ronald said is not a reason to to attack someone online like… just leave her the fuck alone she’s living her life without offending anyone or anything I really don’t see the point in hating on her

                  • K

                    I didn’t disagree with the point you wanted to make, like I said, calling it online bullying is extra.

      • ayupan

        i’m with you for the most part. i think the ayu bashing is played tf out. it’s not like she’s all over the place like she used to be. she’s on music station maybe once a year now and not even on kouhaku or any of the other music program specials. it’s extremely easy to avoid her.

        …buuuuut i gotta confirm that the plagiarism accusations been around for over a decade. they’re not new. there are geocities websites about it from the late 90s and early 2000s that are still up. and ancient 2ch threads where people are dissecting her lyrics trying to prove the plagiarism that are still up. they even point out after she was ‘officially’ accused of plagiarism by shuukan josei at the end of 2002 (photo below) her lyrics changed and were less ‘deep’ and ‘detailed’ as they were pre-2002. you had super fan websites dedicated to finding the symbolism and metaphors and breaking down the meanings off of a song for xx, loveppears, DUTY and i am… but those websites died out after rainbow because those ‘intellectual fans’ thought they were ‘vapid.’ and the plagiarism theorists used that in their arguments. but again, ayu was a superstar and the accusations fell through the cracks. now that she’s hated by the majority, people are bringing it up again.

        and the ripping off people’s style accusation is also old. when she revamped her look in late ’99 she was accused by a small majority of fans of ripping off model anzai hiroko who was a fashion icon for gyaru. but ayu was so loved at the time no one really took it into consideration and they were both considered gyaru fashion icons. but anzai only really well known among her fans who were pretty much gyaru and people who still hung on after she moved on from gravure and ayu was a social phenomenon.

        • truth

          daaaaamn @ this revelation-but-not-revelation

          but as an ex-stan i always thought her lyrics took a turn because RAINBOW was also the album she started using english in her lyrics and they sounded less ~deep~ because of that

          but daaaamn

          • hasawa

            Yeah there’s definitively a shift in her music starting 2002-2003 and i couldn’t pinpoint WHAT
            Memorial Adress is the last album from that era and ever since her music got more ‘industrialised’ and less soulful. Not only through lyrics but also her music arrangements​ and I know other fans feel like such but we can’t really explain why we get that feeling of pre-2002 and post-2002 Ayu lol

          • ayupan

            yup. i mean, there are a lot of reasons why her music changed post-2002 (her embracing her image as a ‘pop star’, the image/music change, being more open with her private life, her saying she felt less like a robot/product, and like you said, she started introducing english into her lyrics) but it’s interesting that there are no accusations of actual plagiarism after rainbow lol.

            • hasawa

              Her saying “she felt less like being like a product/robot” past 2003 wouldn’t imply putting more thought in the lyrics of her songs though? Why is that that’s the actual opposite that happened?

              • ayupan

                i’m not sure exactly. but some of her best lyrics come from places of pain.

                those super fans thought end roll was hinting at the fact that she felt avex was controlling her too much and that she wanted to quit, SURREAL she said herself was the hardship of having to balance ayu and the real hamasaki ayumi (and the lyric ‘i can’t tell anyone, i have to tell someone / that he’s more important to me than anyone else’ is a reference to the fact that she had to keep her relationship with nagase hidden, they went public at the end of 2001), duty was about how terrified she was when she found out young girls were copying her and how easily she could be replaced, a song for xx is about how her father abandoned her family and how she grew up to be independent, etc.

                not to say she wasn’t without her troubles when she cemented her place as a star and started to embrace her pop star image, but those experiences must have been more profound? she also said in ROCKIN’ON japan that she was most self conscious during that time and was meticulous over her lyrics because that was the only aspect of her artistry she did have input on.

                • yamakita

                  Some of the best materials come from pain, be it music, comedy, drama or whatever. It’s the silver lining.

        • Miyanmu

          Leave Ayu alone! The girl has daddy issues! T-T

      • Thomas

        Agreed, it’s a bit extreme sometimes and the “why was she even famous” remarks are ridiculous coming from a country whose most watched YouTube video is PPAP followed by AKB and Kyary (no offense). I still appreciate her for what she’s acheived in the past, even if she’s a mess nowadays. I don’t see any reason to bash her entire legacy just because she’s struggling now…

      • HMMMM

        she makes herself an easy target by photoshopping her selfies for example

        • Miyanmu

          Who cares, a lot of these bitches look nothing like that in real life with their ‘dolly filters’ and shit!

        • Missa

          Come on, nobody makes themself an easy target for this sort of thing. It’s not Ayu’s responsibility to cater her (entirely harmless) behavior to the whims of assholes.

          And even if there WAS a reason for this sort of thing to be justified, photoshopping her pics definitely wouldn’t qualify.

      • sam

        i think its cool now to spread unnecessary rumors ,hate her . these netizens just riding the popular bandwagon to get social approval .you can give constructive harsh criticism on some of her recent action but attacking her based on baseless rumors on her past when she is at peaks is silly

      • Liz “Lizzy” Colton

        I am, admittedly, a big Ayu fan. I have been since I was 12 or so (I’m 26 now). To me, all the hate is really just pointless. This goes for any celebrity really. It’s sad that some of these people waste their time talking crap on people they don’t know. Some even stalk her social media and stuff. Really, I think it’s the “haters” that are worse than whatever Ayu has done. I don’t mean sound cliche, but those people just need to get a life. Isn’t it exhausting hating someone like that? I honestly just don’t understand the mindset :/

      • yamakita

        I finally watched the MS performance on TV Japan and thought it was no worse than most Utada performances. But she has become tiresome so it’s time for her to bow out gracefully. Who still likes her anyway?

        • K

          Utada’s live singing is shit but Ayu’s last Mste performance sounded like a wailing grandma. You deaf?

          • yamakita

            What if I were? Something wrong with deaf people?

    • J-Pop

      Which Japanese songs you listened to the most this week? Idol or not, as long as it made you happy!

      • hasawa

        Been listening to some heavy ass j-rap lately lol
        JAZEE MINOR “Black Cranberry” album is AWESOME!!
        “100” is one my favorite track (the remix is great too!!)

        I wish the j-rap scene was more big : J-rappers don’t release that much album so my playlist is running out of steam atm… :/

      • TruthSpeaker

        This one

      • HyperMoot .

        several guys have been uploading or re-uploading lots of Tokyo Jihen perfs these days, so, not fresh news but been listening to this something like x4 a day

      • yacchaitai

        This came on shuffle and i’ve been listening to it a lot again

      • honey girl

        Hmmmm…I think Ore no Kanojo but Fantome’s been on repeat this entire week so it might be equal plays for majority of the track. Fantome is still such a delight to listen to from start to finish. Ore no Kanojo has been stuck in my head tho.

        Also Step you got some heavy rotation this week too. Ayu really has some great gems in her discography. Sad she can’t find that spark anymore. I really want another miss(understood) from her again.

      • AkikoLD

        Tokyo Fever always makes my day! And other songs from this single too!

      • Ryusenkai

        A tad late, but aside from what I’ve posted about this past week (spun the new Base Ball Bear and LAMP IN TERREN albums a bit; prefer the former since I feel it’s a tighter, more focused record) I think I’ll highlight LOCAL CONNECT and Natsu no Mujina.

        The former is a fairly straightforward J-rock band with two vocalists that nonetheless has a kind of compelling warmth and gravity to the material that they produce.

        The latter, meanwhile, had a single back in March that I missed the boat on; ended up checking it out because of the interesting cover art. Natsu no Mujina is… I’d call them a mix between alternative rock and psychedelic music, with their songs trending towards the longer side of things and generally possessing some sort of extended instrumental passage.

    • HyperMoot .

      great movie, great OST, feeling a bit nostalgic

    • honey girl

      I listened to Daichi’s new album and OMG it’s so good. Sooooo much better than that last horrid flop album Fever. I think he’s finally found his sound. AVEX should have made him go #1 instead wasting it on that rotten fluid singer. HIT deserved to be #1 but at least he got a #1 single.