#1 Song Review: Week of 10/19 – 10/25 (Sexy Zone v. Hoshino Gen)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Kanjani8 defeat Hoshino Gen. Gen is back again this week, facing off against a newcomer. 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: Sexy Zone – Yobisute (not released digitally)

Ronald: This isn’t really memorable. It’s very much B-side / album track material. I don’t know why they would make this a single, let alone one to celebrate their fifth anniversary. 4/10

Polaris: I could do without the flute-like whistling. It’s so distracting in the chorus but especially at the start. The melody, on the other hand, is surprisingly pleasant. Jpop ballads, no matter how commercial, are my greatest kryptonite. I love the dips in the bridges and subtle backing vocals. Despite the sullen tone of the song, it has an uplifting feel to it as well, thanks to the ascending strings and gentle guitar strums. Maybe it’s because I haven’t listened to much Idol pop lately, that this song is doing something for me. 7/10


Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi (Oricon #10)

Ronald: Same review as before: Hoshino Gen has quickly risen to be one of the big names on the scene today. He’s is one of the two surviving breakout acts of 2015 along with back number (RIP Gesu no Kiwami Otome.), and it’s easily to see why. His song are just so bright and full of energy, but with a sound that is able to crossover to different audiences. “Koi” is a mix of old and new. It incorporates traditional Japanese music, jazz, and funk, but with a pop edge. I like the bridge on this song, and it’s pretty much the opposite of how I felt about the one in the Kanjani8 song. This one is organic and complex and it feels right. That being said, I would like to see Gen switch things up on his next single because I don’t want him to make a bunch of “SUN” clones. 7.5/10

Polaris: Same review as before: Powerhouse artist Hoshino Gen produces yet again another hit song. “Koi” is the perfect balance between quirky funk and upbeat pop. Right off the bat, the song hits off with alluring sounds of the erhu. It pops in and out of the backdrop, taking focus in the chorus and instrumental. Overall, the backtrack is easy on the ears. But I argue it’s so good, it distracts from the vocals. I find myself trying to pick out all the layers of frisky strings, playful piano, and groovy guitar riffs. “Koi” is the type of song that makes me want to get up and dance. Just like they did in Nige Haji! 7/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

2. Oricon #1: Sexy Zone – Yobisute


Polaris’ Rank:

1. Oricon #1: Sexy Zone – Yobisute

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi


Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1: Sexy Zone – Yobisute
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

Poll Maker