#1 Song Review: Week of 11/9 – 11/15 (Nogizaka46 v. Hoshino Gen)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw KinKi Kids 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: Nogizaka46 – Sayonara no Imi (Recochoku #9 / iTunes #12)

Ronald: I’m normally more keen on Nogizaka46 than their related groups, and this is no exception. However, I don’t feel as keen as I normally do. I just feel bored, like I’ve heard this before. It’s a nice enough song, but it really lacks impact. Very one note. I think a build up to something could’ve been used in this song. 4/10

Sou: This time, Nogizaka46 leans towards a classic idol sounding track, and it doesn’t quite work for me. I’m not able to fully enjoy the continuous cute vocals, nor the instrumental that has been heard thousand times before nor the harmonious “all sing” chorus. While the softness it brings to the song is undeniable, and the quality of these “raw elements” is not bad, the final product doesn’t stand out. Too mellow and simple. In conclusion, “Sayonara no Imi” is quite far from sticking in my mind. 4.5/10


Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi (Oricon #16)

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

Sou: Same review as before: “Koi” definitely got me with its captivating funky sound. The chorus is amusing and catchy and the instrumental perfectly mixes instruments from different worlds. The song finishes with a half minute long outro that maintains you in the mood even after the track ends, which definitely made the song even stronger as a whole. While I generally don’t follow Hoshino Gen, I see myself coming back to this song for some time. 7/10


Ronald’s Rank:

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

2. Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Sayonara no Imi


Sou’s Rank:

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

2. Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Sayonara no Imi


Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Sayonara no Imi
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

Poll Maker