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: Who do think will be the next non-Johnny’s boyband to hit #1 in light of Choutokkyuu doing so?

      • K

        Nah. Most of the acts were either debuted in the 90s or big sellers in the 90s when literally everyone bought music, so it’s no surprise that people still hold onto them. That being said, it’s harder to become a national act nowadays. Going by the Oricon favorite artist rankings people in their 30s and above listen to acts that have been around for 20 or more years (Yuzu, Mr. Children, Amuro, Utada, B’z, aiko, Dorikamu, etc.)

        There was a topic on Girlschannel a month or two ago debating on whether music was really better in the past and a lot of commenters said they personally preferred older music to what’s selling now. There were some commenters saying they had no idea what is popular with teenagers and haven’t paid attention to the charts in years.

        • Ash

          Isn’t Japan one of the oldest populations in the world now too? Could this play into it?

          • circe154

            That’s part of it, but it’s also because the mass media isn’t really relevant to young people today. If you did a list like that for the US, it would skew older too, because television and the like don’t pay attention to internet stars and the internet sorts us all into cliques with different celebrities.

        • I’m reminded of something Akiko Yano said to me last year about how there isn’t really a good system of letting people know about new music in Japan. The media just keeps pushing the same acts over and over and eventually people just give up.

          I also think Japan’s chart system is an utter mess. That messiness if part of why I created “#1 Song Review”, because what really is the top song in Japan?

      • HyperMoot .

        “Talent Power Ranking” it’s the visible part of Jmusic because of popularity/sales/media coverage etc but YOU know that the music scene is incredibly diverse and for every niche or sub-genre you’ll find loads of newcomers who are under 20 or in their early 20s.

        “I do like that the Japanese music scene is more mature. Like, there really isn’t a growing out of Japanese music. You just move on to something else with age.” sure, for some reason, that statement of yours made me smile.

        • I know this, you know this, but does the public? Do people who aren’t dedicating time daily to Japanese music like us aware of this?

          • HyperMoot .

            probably not as far as what is called the general public is concerned but just like the music scene, the audience is also deeply fragmented, therefore in several specific niches you might have a few thousands that only listen to acts that are their peers, age wise, therefore they might think or believe that the music scene is rather young

      • Ran

        That’s not a surprise considering how Japanese labels failed to break any new big act during the last 10 years. Too much relying on idol business, too much gimmick releases… Just look at how big music show on TV need to rely on 90′ songs and artists or ranking from the past.

        Maybe labels should start to give more power again to songwriter-producers rather than executive and business schools graduates that have no clue about music.

    • Ash

      Real question of the week: How are the toilets in GINZA SIX? Photos please.

      • guest

        I feel like I’m missing something…

        • Cappie

          Me too. Idg the reference

    • Ryusenkai

      Since there wasn’t a ton that I was looking forward to this week insofar as releases go, I’ve been spending some time going through either A. Things I’d missed/that leaked well after their release date or B. Releases I hadn’t spent nearly enough time with. Have a few of those that are worth talking about, I feel.

      Firstly, Yuzu’s Best Album – in particular, the three collaboration tracks which were included with it. These three songs were covers of older Yuzu tracks which were then rearranged with the help of the specific act Yuzu were working with. Their rendition of “Irotoridori” with Ikimonogakari was an adorably fun romp, but given that it’s been out for weeks, I’ll be spending the lion’s share of time here talking about the other two.

      The second is a reworking of their classic song “Sayonara Bus” with trio back number. This version replaces its harmonica introduction with a rendition of the melody on electric guitar, and on the whole seems to be just a bit more energetic than the original. back number’s vocalist, Iyori, manages to match Yuzu’s emotion here quite well, and harmonizes rather well with them when he needs to. This isn’t a particularly complicated track, but then it never was, and the beauty to it lies in the execution.

      The third sees them revisiting another older track, “Kanashimi no Kasa”, this time with the help of SEKAI NO OWARI. While this track’s atmosphere remains largely unchanged, there is far more layering here, coupled with a few distinctly electronic quirks. The overlapping strings, soft yet sharp background sounds, and occasional bursts of piano remind me rather distinctly of a rain shower, and Fukase’s vocals mesh well with Yuzu’s during the chorus. The additions here strike me as a very minimalist application of SNO’s more usual style, which works rather well, if I’m being honest.

      Otherwise… have spent more time with BIGMAMA’s new album “Fabula Fibula”, which is a nice mix of electronically-influenced pop-rock, some more raw punk rock, a few heavier songs, and a ballad or two. Not sure whether I like it better than their previous album (“The Vanishing Bride”), but it does have quite a good amount of variety to it. Some favorites are “Make Up Your Mind”, “BLINKSTONE no Shinjitsu wo”, and “Heartbreak Holiday”.

      As far as game soundtracks go, been spinning both NieR: Automata’s and Persona 5’s a fair bit. And for my one mention from this week, I’ll highlight BUMP OF CHICKEN’s “Ribbon”, which is lyrically one of my favorite things to show up this year. References a number of their previous songs and manages to artfully bridge the gap between their 20th anniversary year and what’s to come, exactly as was intended.

      So, that wall of text out of the way, what are you guys listening to this week?

      • HyperMoot .

        haven’t found the time to listen to many new releases recently or maybe I was too lazy or into some nostalgic & conservative phase. Mostly relied on old Tokyo Jihen live perfs that are resurfacing on YouTube, revisited Amenoto’s short discography and as she is releasing a DVD end of May, indulged myself into some of Saya Asakura’s songs

    • There is a new news site in the idol fandom posting 48/46 related news:
      http://en.akbgirls48.com/

      The people behind it post more often than on other sites. It’s a good place to start if you are interested in what’s going on.

    • Hmm

      I wish there were music variety programs like Utaban and Hey!Hey!Hey! I guess the closest thing now would be Buzzrhythm but Bakarhythm is zzzzzzz and they constantly need mindless segments to make it somewhat interesting. With Utaban and Hey!Hey!Hey! you’d end up watching talk segments of artists you wouldn’t even listen to just because they were so fun.

    • zephyr

      RIP Nyaa. That website’s comment section was a cancer but Nyaa was where I found lots of old anime batches and raw manga I wanted to read but couldn’t find anywhere else. It’s like the end of an era. :(

    • Lavie Are

      So Nishino Kana is going downhill again. Her single doesn’t even peak number 1 on recochoku anymore. I’m so bored with her cute pop song recently.

      • Sakura Harano

        I wish she would go back to her old music style with the R&B feel.

        • yacchaitai

          Why do J-pop fans always want artists to go back and do dated ancient music? I wish she moved forward instead of backwards.

          • Sakura Harano

            I don’t want that, since when was R&B dated, I wouldn’t mind if she changed it up and have a new song in that style. I don’t want any artist to go backwards.

          • Cappie

            Rnb is ancient? Dated? Whaaaat…

            • yacchaitai

              00s rnb is obvi dated

          • k

            um…….lol………….

          • hasawa

            Regarding this statement all artists should do EDM electro music then since this is what is ‘new’ (opposed as “dated”)
            Kana early r&b sound didn’t sound dated imo (r&b is evolving pretty much like a bunch of other music genre) and one could argue that this cute lovely new sound she’s been pulling for years now is getting pretty old as well
            I don’t mind what musical move Kana will do next but i think we can all agree the tide is turning and it’s time for her to move forward

            • yacchaitai

              if you think edm electro is the only thing that is current i’m not even gonna read the rest of your comment m80

              • hasawa

                …and by ignoring the rest of my comment on a detail if you obviously didn’t get the main point of it..

                • yacchaitai

                  sorry i can’t read

                  • hasawa

                    My bad… I know education is expensive in some countries ;/

        • Bea Hana

          A lot of her fans want her to go back to her RnB style cause she used to do great with it.
          I don’t like her new sound, maybe Japan find it cute but I find it so childish.
          Her old sound is still boring somehow but it’s better than these lovely sounds.
          I wish she could pull off a dance song with a dark badass theme. Some her b-side songs gives me that feels.
          However I know it will never happen.

      • Diego

        I love her cute pop songs but all her latest singles are more of the same so she doesn’t get a hit unless the song has a big tie-in. I hope for something different and refreshing next time around.

      • mio

        i don’t blame her for sticking with something that “saved” her career (even if the decline was small) but she’s always been a boring and safe artist and her lyrics have always been mocked for being asinine. during her r&b phase it was “aitai, aitakutai” and now during her cute pop phase it’s “i love my boyfriend!! happy!! cute!!!”

        • Cappie

          Kimitte lyrics sounds pretty profound imo.

    • Matcha

      Kiko was at Met Gala and met Rihanna! <3
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BTsI_UuA9Au/?taken-by=i_am_kiko

    • dance

      HSJ private dance lesson “Lay it Down” by Lloyd
      Sh**t kingz choreo. Who leaked this??
      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5j8lp5_hey-say-jump-dance-routine-practice-lay-it-down-by-lloyd_music

      • What

        I’ve seen this on tumblr and I was so surprised and impressed, HSJ needs mores choreo like this. Also, is Yamada in this pink? I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, he was really good

        • dance

          Yes, that’s Yamada in pink. He’s always been good so no surprises there.
          When they talk abt ‘lessons’, they don’t elaborate. Usually just in passing like ‘we had a foreigner choreographer’ coming in and he’s scary’ stuff.
          This is not the only dance practice vid that has leaked, there are a few shorter other videos. Someone from the crew/ staff must be in trouble now.

          • What

            Im kinda surprised Johnny’s hasn’t removed the videos yet considering they’ve been up for a few weeks..

    • Thomas

      I know I’m a bit late to the party but does anyone remember Eiko Shimamiya? Such a queen tbh.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LO8ifDkcFM

      • rshina

        Isn’t she the one who sing the op song for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni?

        • Thomas

          Yeah that’s her :)!

          • rshina

            I do remember her because of Higurashi, but I haven’t heard anything from her for awhile

      • zephyr

        Yesss I remember her! She’s one of the first few anison singers I’d known. I’ve Sound singers had a lot of anison jams back then lol. Haven’t heard much of her since she took a break from her illness (I think?) though. I wonder how she’s doing now :/

    • circe154

      Mai Kaku is back.