#1 Song Review:  Week of 4/20 – 4/26 (Johnny’s WEST v. Utada Hikaru)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Utada Hikaru defeat HKT48. She’s 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: Johnny’s WEST – Gyakuten Winner (not released digitally)

Ronald: This could’ve been cute like 15 – 20 years ago. I hear this and all I hear is a really dated pop song. It’s not taking anything from the past that was good and making it relevant for today. Instead, it’s just a simple, and lazy, retread. Honestly, it’s quite forgettable. A real throwaway song that brings to mind one of those third-tier boybands that Johnny used to be effective at blocking but are now gaining somewhat due to the fact that the company is in turmoil and out of touch with the the realities of today. Which reminds me of how dated this song is… 3/10


Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Utada Hikaru – Hanataba wo Kimi ni (not released physically)

Listen here

Ronald: Same review as before – When I first heard this song, I was quite disappointed. “This isn’t the way to make a comeback after being on hiatus for years”, I thought. And I still do think that. I really expected more from Utada, not something that ayaka would release as a regular single. But the song is decent, and it does give a glimpse of Utada’s musical charm. But after all this time, I wanted more than a glimpse. I wanted to get punched. This song has a simplicity to it which is more akin to a tap on the shoulder. But that tap does get harder at the end, the best part of the song, with the vocal harmonies, strings, piano, and drums coming together to give us the Utada that we’ve come to know over the years. 6.5/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Utada Hikaru – Hanataba wo Kimi ni

2. Oricon #1: Johnny’s WEST – Gyakuten Winner


Which one do you like more?

Oricon #1: Johnny’s WEST – Gyakuten Winner
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Utada Hikaru – Hanataba wo Kimi ni