#1 Song Review: Week of 4/19 – 4/25 (Arashi v. Mai Kuraki)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw GENERATIONS defeat NGT48 and Austin Mahone to take the top spot. This week, two newcomers facing off. Find out what various staff members thought of the songs that topped the physical and digital charts this week and share your thoughts on them too!

Oricon #1 / Billboard #1: Arashi – I’ll be there (not release digitally / Billboard #1)

Ronald: No wonder this song flopped underperformed… I hear this and all I can think of is how much better SMAP was at doing these types of jazz songs (probably because Shiina Ringo was invovled). This just strikes me as really dull. While listening to it, nothing really grabbed me. It felt really flat, and didn’t build to anything. This is more of a B-side / album track than an actual single. 2/10

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Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Mai Kuraki – Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~ (Oricon #9 / Billboard #2)

Ronald: This is decent. The intro suggested that the song was going to be a lot more interesting than it ended up being. The use of traditional instruments was nice. Mai’s voice was soft and unforced. I will say that this song was just a pleasant listen, but nothing more than that. I just felt like it didn’t go anywhere. 5/10

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Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Mai Kuraki – Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~

2. Oricon #1 / Billboard #1: Arashi – I’ll be there

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Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1 / Billboard #1: Arashi – I’ll be there
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Mai Kuraki – Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~

Quotes2Know

  • Comments

    • K

      Does Kurakki always do well digitally or is this something new?

      • It’s something new.

      • AAA

        It’s the song for Detective Conan the movie. So it makes sense that it sells well in digital. She made a lot of good songs for Detective Conan even though this song is not good as other songs.

        • Diego

          Are movies much more popular than the TV show? Because a bunch of her songs have been used as opening/ending themes in the past few years and none of them have been so successful

          • PigeonPop

            Conan’s going through a bit of a resurgence at the moment both in ratings and at the box office, so that probably helps. NTV has also been giving the series the golden treatment PR-wise these last two~three years as well; the Conan Movies are the only anime features besides Ghibli and Mamoru Hosoda works to be routinely featured in the coveted Kinyo Roadshow movie re-runs on Friday evenings.

    • Taima-kun

      ouch

    • Guest

      It’s read as ‘Kimi Omou’, not ‘Omofu’, which is old obsolete Japanese.

      The english lyrics really irritated me in this song. I thought the Japanese may find it cool, but upon reading their reviews, many also find that obmitting the english stuffs is better for this song.

      • Ben

        agreed. the english lyrics should not have been included.

      • Skai

        Nope. The song is titled Kimi Omofu.
        http://www.generasia.com/wiki/Togetsukyou_~Kimi_Omofu~

        • Guest

          Apparently you didn’t read properly. Like I’ve said, 思ふis old Japanese. In modern Japanese, it’s written as 思う. But regardless olden or modern, people has always pronounced it as ‘omou’ even though the character used is different. The lyrics to this song contains 思ふ as well, but please don’t sing it as ‘omofu’ or you will be a laughing stock.

    • light

      I like I’ll be there, better than Daylight and Power of the Paradise.

      • Elodie Genia

        I liked very much daylight, but it’s better than Power of the paradise sure.
        And for Ronald, it’s not because this song does’nt sound like your loving SMAP that it’s so bad, you’re totally exagerating this time.

    • ren

      i wouldnt say arashi flopped though?? when you say flop i think they lost like 100 k in sales from their previous single or something, it was only 30k which is in line w the downward trend all their singles have been on since like 2012 or something (excluding daylight/i seek since double a-sides always sell more).
      anyways, i didn’t like i’ll be there that much but it’s fun idol pop. i really liked their b-side unknown.

    • 5.4/10

      Just bringing this back since I’ll Be There is an ok single imo
      Ronald’s review on Arashi – Power of the Paradise
      The arrangement of this reminds me of another Arashi song I like, “Sakura.” This song also reminds me of JPop from last decade, but not in a bad way where it seems dated. I’m not saying it sounds fresh though, just nostalgic. I feel like this could’ve fell into cheesy territory, but I’m glad that it didn’t. 7/10

      7/10.
      Seriously.
      Sakura was amazing but PawaPara sounded cheap and cheesy.

      Daylight >>> I’ll Be There >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Power of Paradise

      • 0/30

        How about

        Daylight = I’ll Be There = Power of Paradise = 0

        ?

      • Arashi

        People’s opinions change. This is just one person’s opinion, not the one everyone should have.
        That said, and I’m not talking about any act in particular, I would like to read more reviews. And that said, anyone here can write their own review instead of posting many comments about how much they disagree with the author’s opinion. It’s a much better way to actually “disagree” (or not) with it.

        • 5.4

          So? In no way was it rude towards the reviewer nor do I crave for him to change his mind. If you noticed, i was also pointing out 2 high-scored arashi reviews in case other arashians are dumb enough to think ronald is always out to attack arashi.

          We are free to disagree with him and write our thoughts civilly. An opinion is an opinion. Not every disagreement is an attack to the writer.

          That said, please adress that last paragraph to the other Arama writers like Ash, Ryusenkai, Reileen (the cutest one) and others.

          • Ryusenkai

            Since it was brought up, I actually would like to do more long-form album reviews, as I enjoy the process a fair bit. Forces you to really consider what it is about a release that ropes you in and then figure out how to put those qualities into words that other people can understand. That’s the level of clarity and transparency that I think actually makes reviews useful, even if you happen to disagree with exactly what the person is saying.

            The only wrinkle is that to do it right, or how I see to be right, there’s a fairly hefty time commitment involved. It’s not helped by the fact that I tend to be a touch long-winded, so any reviews that I write will probably tend towards the lengthier side of things. That said, if there is a lot of genuine interest in that sort of thing, I could work towards taking a crack at it again. Assuming I find the right kind of release, anyway.

            • 5.4

              Looking forward to that. I appreciate your detailed insight and have always thought it would be interesting to read your review on popular artists/idols/bands like Arashi, Utada, OOR, Hoshino Gen, keyaki, nogi etc.

              Personally, I don’t really mind Ronald’s weekly top single reviews but I do wish arama would feature at least the ratings score of other contributors just to have a variety of views for each song. Gathering a handful of numbers to rate a couple of songs weekly won’t be to hard I guess.

            • Arashi

              You interpreted my comment better, I think. This is something I’m constantly talking about here. It is also up to the website writers to get an overall idea of what those who read the articles and comment have (just like you, @Ryusenkai, did), although that isn’t a reason to change their own opinion.

              Anyway, I would really appreciate that. I always enjoy reading your reviews since you tend to focus on music acts (or better, genres) that are less talked about. I discovered really great music through them and that’s the most important thing.

    • Molly Joy Malone

      Well…it is #1 for a reason…and that is because we LOVE IT…got me dancing all around like crazy…all I can say is…I live clear over here in the USA and Arashi are my most favorite people on earth…but I had NO clue who the critic named Ronald was…except for now …he is just a faceless guy with an grumpy attitude…relax Ronald…maybe someday you will be ALMOST as adored as much as these 5 crazy guys…but for now… Go get a drink and loosen that shirt button so you can breath…we think Arashi are amazing (I work on a daily basis with fans from all over the world)…ROCK ON ARASHI!!!

      • Midna

        LOL calm down it’s not that serious. Just his opinion.

        • Molly Joy Malone

          I know….lol….and that is my opinion of his opinion….lol…we can all be friends and good sports…. ;)….I listened to his rant…that was mine…now we can kiss and make up….

    • Midna

      Oh man…. lmao. Can’t say I disagree with the rating though

      • 5.4

        So you agreed with his 7/10 Power of Paradise ratings too?
        Not that I’m petty for checking out who upvoted or anything really.

        • Midna

          Why are you so defensive LOL. The song is outdated, and I honestly don’t care for it. FYI, that single doesn’t exist to me. What’s Power of the Paradise? 🙃

    • Alternative A+ review

      Arashi successfully return with the upbeat & dynamic “I’ll Be There”
      “The upbeat big band sound with a reliance on brass was right up my alley, and it updated an old-fashioned song quite effectively. It’s surprisingly dynamic sonically, and the chorus is quite the earworm.
      It’s been a while since I’ve genuinely loved an Arashi release, but this was a lot of fun.”
      – by IATFB (asianjunkie) on 04/21/2017
      http://www.asianjunkie.com/2017/04/21/arashi-successfully-return-with-the-upbeat-dynamic-ill-be-there/

      • basslover

        I’m amused with how most people over there love this single, as compared to here lol. I would have to agree with AJ, the brass line, jazzy sound fits so well for the song (and the drama), and I’m a sucker for prominent bass lines. Overall, a strong single. The b-sides are also gems. unknown is <3 and Round and Round is really fun.
        (Note to Ronald : Your review I might have taken seriously, but then you bring in Shiina Ringo and I just skipped it entirely.)

    • Hmm, honestly, I’ll Be There IS pretty boring. I mean…it’s not bad but it’s not all that great either. I guess I find songs that use jazz with pop to be….campy? It just doesn’t appeal to me. Gonna have to listen to the B-side since I hear that’s good.

    • Ztf

      I’ll be there was a flop when considering past singles, but why to mention Smap in that review?
      If Arashi could have more collaboration with big Japanese artist they would kill it, fans deserve more well done products like Fukkatsu Love.