Kurayami Monogatari

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Uh oh, first ARTISTS BLOWOUT of the year….x.x January 7, 2009

Filed under: ~Artists Blowouts~ — solarblade @ 9:57 pm

So yes, I’ve decided to add two more additions to the KM family



Yep, I caved and added another H!P group thanks to Jinny-kun of Sora to Kujira, they aren’t as uber cute as MilkyWay which nice, I’ll start with their debut single.

Shion Tsuji


Already being deemed as the next YUI, Shion has that acoustic flare going on and well, since YUI is taking a hiatus, I decided to give this upcoming artist try



So, ayaka eh?  Interesting pick right?  Well, I pretty much got into her because of her inclusion in Final Fantasy: Crisis Core.  So I’m basically starting with her debut.

Ayaka Hirahara


The other Ayaka is being added and also is a first listen artist actually, so be prepared with the singles leading to her recent album “Path of Independence” as well as her best-of



Wait, JERO is an enka singer?  OMFG, I have to hear this.  I was interested, and still am so reviewing “Umiyuki”

Chihiro Onitsuka


Yep this was even more of a random pick, but I hear her name quite a lot.  So I’m beginning with her first single.


2008 in Review

Filed under: ~Best of 2008~ — solarblade @ 6:45 am

So to finish off this year, I’m gonna go through all my artists and a few others and see what’s has happened this year with them….well to people who are still active, and if there’s any 09′ stuff ill manage to sneak it in here.


Not really much happened that would be considered major news for avex’s boy/girl group.  I mean there was 3 singles, an album, and a guys only mini-album, but other than that there wasn’t anything too big. 

Biggest surprise though is when their leader Urata got a solo deal and is releasing his debut album later this month.  Also Tabidachi no Uta and an unnamed album is releasing in early 09.

abingdon boys school

Actually the only thing they release this year was a concert DVD during the summer, other than that, they’ve been on the back burner with Takanori releasing his single since the band started up. 

In 09′ we’ll be able to finally get some a.b.s music in a single called “STRENGTH” coming out in February.


Another group that otherwise has been quiet this year, access managed to release a single, “Dream Runner” sadly that single was a bust and left the year for them with a bad single…

Ai Otsuka

Releasing two singles; Rocket Sneaker/OnexTime and Kurage, Nagareboshi (the latter was the 5th annivarsary single for Ai) and an album “LOVE LETTER” it seemed she had a pretty good year of releases…Sadly those releases weren’t exactly good for her and a lot of people were otherwise disappointed in it.  Sadly sales weren’t too high either and it could’ve been possibly due to the album leaking a month too early.

In 09′ Ai will release her 2nd re-cut single in her career, “Bye Bye” in February

Aira Mitsuki

Aira has definitly has a great year overall.  She released 3 singles; “China Discotica”, “Darling Wondering Staring/STAR FRUITS SURF RIDER”, and “ROBOT HONEY”.  and one confusing album, “C.O.P.Y”  I was totally surprised at how good everything was in each release, well maybe except DWS/SFSR. 

In 2009, she’s already got two singles upcoming “Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS” and “Valentine STEP” (the latter is a HMV limited release)  Already going good eh?


Jesus, alan has been a releasing hog this year, releasing 6 singles and 1 internet single, she’s really becoming everyone’s favorite artist.  Hitotsu and Shiawase no Kane were normal singles but when she started the whole 5 elements era that being:  Natsukishii Mirai ~longing future~, Sora Uta, Kaze no Tegami, RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~, and Megumi no Ame.  It was a one month period between each release an they were all strong, well except for the last one…

alan in 2009…3 more singles?  That’s just pushing everyone’s buttons…she needs an album fast.  I’m starting to doubt Liberty’s existance because se hasn’t talked about it and the cover for “Gunjou no Tani” is out.

Ami Suzuki

She’s definitly had one of the biggest years in her career.  Not only she released two singles ONE and can’t stop the DISCO, she actually managed two full albums this year with DOLCE and Supreme Show.  DOLCE was her last collaboration album which was a godsend to many when they heard that Supreme Show was a Nakata-produced album. 

So it’s known that her next single will not be with the J-tek mastermind, Nakata, but with Taku of m-flo which will definitly test if she can do dance music without the vocoder.

Anna Tsuchiya

She’s has a pretty good year of releases.  3 singles, an online single, and a full album.  I was so surprised that she actually released Guilty before the end of the year.  The album was alright, but with all of the mistakes the album really had, she’s got better albums.  Poor cocoon.

So supposedly there’s a mini-album in the works for a release in March which will be interesting especially right after the release of NUDY SHOW!

Aural Vampire

After being on a hiatus for a while, they released their self-titled EP this year, which pretty much is a remake of a few songs they’ve done in their indies era.

Releasing their 2nd EP some time in Spring this year

Aya Hirano

Quieter side of releasing things, Aya released Unnamed World as the single preceding her album RIOT GIRL and then her after single Namida NAMIDA Namida a bit after.  Other than that I haven’t heard anything else in terms of releasing music. 

Ayumi Hamasaki

New Year’s Day starte off with the release of GUILTY which was surprisingly better than her last few albums which is great.  After that came the summer re-cut single, Mirrorcle World then took a break before we got Days/GREEN.  This would be the first time in a while where she doesn’t release a bunch of single before an album in the early 09′ season.

On that topic, us fans got news that Rule will be used as the tie-in for Dragonball (personally which will fail) and Sparkle which was use in a car commercial.  So we might get a single soon.


BoA has had a wild year.  Starting things off was her single be with you. that came out a few weeks prior to THE FACE which was a bit different than normal but it was alright.  Then like right after was her forced single Vivid which was terrible.  Then she went quiet for a little bit and then dropped a bomb by saying she was hitting America and so far she’s doing a good job with her song Eat You Up released in November. 

What I know now is that Look Who’s Talking is the next single and the albun title most likely due this year.  As for Japanese releases, Eien is the next release from her.


I guess she’s had a quiet release schedule this year.  Ring A Bell (an online release) was released to show its tie-in to Tales of Vesperia and then got a JPN version Kane wo Narashite in the summer months and released a Christmas mini-album, CHAIN near the end of the year.  Other than that, nothing else from Kaori.


They filled their quota for the year.  A single and an album release, they always do it.  JUMPER and More! More! More! was released and I think it’s their best album release in a great while.  Awesome year for them since Nakata was producer of the year xD


A full era of singles were released by chatmonchy this year; Hira Hira Hiraku Himitsu no Tobira, Kaze Fukeba Koi, and Somaru Yo.  Even though all 3 singles are pretty shaky at how good they really sound, they were releases.

Already 2 releases known from them this year, their single, Last Love Letter and their album Kokuhaku with the released singles of 08 and this year, this might be an intereting album.

Crystal Kay

From the start of the year til the middle Crystal has had a good half-year with singles, Namida no Saki ni and two versions of ONE and her album Color Change!  I thought she’d have a bigger year, because after the album she basically dropped off from the face of the Earth. 

Rumors are saying that she’s pulling a BoA and actually going for a career in the Americas and honestly, she might actually do better than BoA IMO


They’ve kind of had a strange year.  First they released four online singles and then went on a quiet hiatus for a while to come back as “Dream” and lose two members along the year (who were both part of the original 3-nin dream)

Not much is known what they’ll do this year, but they did open up a website, so who knows what’ll happen.

Eri Nobuchika

Who knows what happened to Eri, What’s rumored was that she was dropped from the label, so we might not hear from her again…*cries*


We almost had another quiet year from Gackt, not releasing anything in the first half of the year.  Luckily, he announced that a new single, Jesus would be coming out in November.  Finally, something awesome to listen to from him since I was getting tired of not having anything new from him.

As of now, his next release, GHOST has been announced and from the song is definitly strange for Gackt lovers cuz it’s techno.  Also known is that he’s singing a track for a tie-in to Kamen Rider which is great.  Very busy year for him.


They debuted to commemerate avex’s 20th year in the biz, they came out strong with Guuzen no Kakuritsu and 2 months after more single popped out from them, Drive away/Shiawase no Jouken and Jounetsu no Daishou/ESCAPE and ended the year by releasing their self-titled debut album.  Even though people will say they are the replacement to day after tomorrow, I agree with that statement. 

People said that from getting one of the editions of the album harkens an announcement of a new single, which is great!


People were initially shocked to see both Yossy and Rika get all gothy lolita on the fans, but they didn’t know about the news that happened a bit later.  H&A only had one release and it’s their debut mini-album, Kill Me Kiss Me, which blew fans away and is a great album. 

The only news that’s really well known is that they are coming to the states to perform at Sakura-con, which means their might be another release soon.

Hitomi Shimatani

Even though she released quite a bit this year, 3 singles and an album.  It just wasn’t that good all year.  The boring Nakitai Nara began the year off and then their was the triple A-side that I won’t name and it’s alternate edition which I won’t name either…Then came the album Flare, which I personally was way disappointed with. 

Luckily, Hitomi is releasing a Best-of this year as it’s her 10th annivarsary and putting out a single, SMILES as well.


They had a big year.  Starting off with FLASH BACK/Komorebi no Uta to represent the final single before the great album ROCK PIT.  It seemed they really came back as a great group, that is until the fail single of HOT LIMIT.  Then as if things couldn’t get worse, Maaki announces she’s leaving the group to basically become a damn housewife, which sucks and released Remember their last single and BEEEEEEST which is a fan chosen best-of album which signified as Maaki’s last connected album

HandMCs is right now on a hiatus until they find a new singer to replace Maaki, which sucks IMO.


She’s a pretty new artist, being that she debuted in 07 but she’s been rather quiet on the releases this year.  I’m not sure, but with only the single Klaxon and they album SWiTCH, I can’t help but she’s this has been a crappy year of releases. 

So, immi went blond for the remix single Rimmix and to be honest, I want an actual single…


Debuting this year was Kalafina and is also one of those brand new sounds that Japan needed.  Releasing only 3 singles this year, they’re starting to make a name of themselves.  I still find it strange that oblivious and Fairytale have 3 members and sprinter/ARIA had 4….strange idea.

Kanon Wakeshima

I think, with only still doll and Suna no Oshiro Kanon just wasn’t good at releasing and especially with how short the songs were…it was hard keeping myself to like her.  Also debuting this year, she did pull the music sound into a new foray of music.  

Shockingly, Kanon is releasing her debut album, Shinshoku Dolce in February and I can’t wait.


Kaya actually kind of had a busy year.  He released Chocolat first this year and then released his quote on quote “best-of” album, which it really wasn’t more of like a reiteration of his debut album and the ended the year with Last Snow.

Nothing major to report since their wouldn’t be news since the time of when Last Snow was released.

Koda Kumi

Koda was all over the place this year.  First she released anytime about a week before her album Kingdom was released, but she totally ruined Kingdom’s sales by doing her amniotic fluid speech and spent the first half of the year under scrutiny.  Then she popped out a rather disappointing single in MOON, but came back later to release the singles TABOO and stay with me.  

Trick her next upcoming album will release later in the month which is awesome.  

Leah Dizon

A full era was released this year from Leah.  Love Paradox and Vanilla as the singles and Communication!!! which includes the two A-sides.  Sadly, she went on tour and it looked like it was bad especially for how much the tickets cost.  Then she dropped a bigger bomb by saying she was pregnant and getting married, so I bet this year she won’t be releasing anything new…maybe a DVD of her tour, but that’s it. 


I guess you don’t see many live album releases, but they did it.  Then in the summer they released a new single and another tie-in to Initial D, DIVE INTO STREAM and then they went quiet for pretty the rest of the year.  Sadly, when then announced the album T.Kimura also announced that practically, he’s leaving the group.  He’s basically their producer since their debut and it’ll be hard watching m.o.v.e without him. 

So, pretty much the trio’s final album together, Humanizer will come out later this month.

Mai Kuraki

Like Ayu, Mai released ONE LIFE on New Year’s and then proceded to release 3 singles, Yume ga Saku Haru/You and Music and Dream, Ichibyou Goto ni Love For You, and 24 Xmas time.  Basically she’s had a pretty good year.

touch Me! will be Mai’s next album release this month.  What a good start.

Maki Goto

So, she’s basically been dead this year, not releasing anything, but she has been doing things this year.  She performed at A-Nation and she’s officially transferred to avex as well. 

Now, what’s know is that she’s doing a track called Believe in You with BoA so we’ll see how this goes.

Mami Kawada

Only two releases happened this year for Mami, her sophomore album, SAVIA an after single, PSI-missing.  Otherwise it’s’ been a pretty quiet year.

masterpiece, Mami’s next single is out in early February.

Masami Okui

Just as quiet as Mami, she only had two releases, Best-of album, Ooku and single Melted Snow.  Now, considering what’s been released Ooku was her indies release and Melted Snow was a Lantis release.

First album under the Lantis label, Akasha releases in February.


Only one lonely release this year, Tsume Tsume Tsume/F was released during the summer and other than that, they’ve been rather very quiet this year. 

Sadly, Daisuke-han has had throat surgery furthering the band’s small hiatus.  Hope he gets better because I want more MTH music.


Singles, MAGIC, HEART, and PRECIOUS filled up this year for MEG and her album STEP was thrown in there.  I actually think she’s had a pretty good year and had the most memorable PV in PRECIOUS.  The whole thing was freaky and it was the director’s final PV before she died like two weeks after the PV premiered.

In a freaky sense, FREAK, MEG’s next single is due out in February and is produced by Hadouken!, a pretty well-known group from the UK.


MELL finally released her debut album, MELLSCOPE in summer of this year and then her single after KILL near the end of the year.  Honestly, why did it take this long to release this album.  Red fraction was in 2005….

Anyways, Rideback is due on at the beginning of March.


3 album releases this year.  Starting with HIGH TO LOW ELECTRO which was an original album and then COLLECTION and COLLECTION II which are yes, best-of albums, well actually the first one was that, while the 2nd was more of a live album.  So it works out.


How great to see another artist debut this year.  Started as an indies aritst by releasing her only mini-album under it MiChi MadNesS.  Then came her official Sony debut, PROMiSE which was a pretty good hit for her. 

We kickstart this year by her release of ChaNge the WoRlD in February

Mika Nakashima

She’s had a pretty normal release schedule this year with SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ and ORION being her single releases and VOICE being the album release, you have to say, she’s had it good this year.

Already, there’s NO MORE RULES coming out soon, what’s it to be, it up in question.  So I don’y know if it’s a mini-album or best-of or even a full album…so hmmmm


Anataboshi and Tan Tan Taan! were the only releases this year by H!P’s mini group.  Other than that, there hasn’t been anything since they aren’t affected by the loss of the Elder Club.


She’s had a busy year this year releasing 3 singles and an album.  Mugen Kigen and Ninin Sankyaku finishing the whole Rock Project era and then the release of her sophomore album Sei ~say~.  Then came the terrible, Kazoku no Hi.  Add to that her being in Mai Satoda’s first collab single with Hexagon, Mou Sugu Christmas and you got a busy year

Also starting this year busy with the 2nd Mai Satoda/Hexagon release Bye Bye and a double A-side Tenbin/Kyuukon releasing in February, it’ll be a good year.


miyavi was so amazingly busy this year.  Beginning this year off was Hi no Hikari Sae Todokanai Kono Basho De and then releasing This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock album right after two months later in March.  Interestinly he also released a different edition overseas called AZN Pride which had a few differences, like different tracks and no instrumentals in it.  That was in June, Then finishing the year was an interesting remix album featuring tracks from both his indies and major label tracks.  Great album BTW

Momoi Haruko

Momoi also has been quite busy.  Releasing Sunday early Morning in March, then taking a small break until releasing a new anime single Feel So Easy in August and then ending the year off by releasing a best-of her UNDER17 stuff and another cover album.  Which I want to review -_-

Morning Musume

This year was pretty quiet from H!P’s most popular group.  For the first time in the groups history, no one has graduated or left the group which is great.  Add that they only released Resonant Blue and Pepper Keibu as singles this year added to the quietness the group showed.  They also released their first cover album, COVER YOU and it turned out to be a bad album on Oricon, surprisingly.

Nami Tamaki

For the first time in her career, Nami has been very quiet this year, mostly due to the fact that she left Sony for Universal this year.  The only release she had was her 4th album, Don’t Stay.  I hope she doesn’t stay quiet for long.


Nana Kitade

She’s actually released quite a bit this year.  SUICIDES LOVE STORY, Siren, and PUNK&BABYs were all released this year and created a more hardcore version of Nana than usual this year. Weird that she released all these singles pretty hecticly this summer.  Add to the fact that she sang on a Cyndi Lauper track.

Finally a release for tsukihana in February which the PV was released in October….strange timing right?  and finally an album, Bondage in early March.

Nana Mizuki

STARCAMP EP and Trickster represented the releases this year for Nana which is pretty small, but given the fact that she works so much as it is, is pretty explainable. 

We get her next single, Shin Ai this month


Nichika has had a good 08′ year.  Atarashii Mizu early in the year, their self-titled debut album this summer and Aijou in November (which if it wasn’t for Noah) would’ve been a harder wait.

They will be releasing next single, River’s Edge in February.


Wow, what a year it has been for them.  I mean they shot up in popularity in 08′.  Starting with Baby cruising Love/Macaroni then, GAME which was No.1 on the Oricon charts which is amazing.  Then came the No.1 single love the world released in the summer and finishing off with Dream Fighter in November, they are just having the best year in 2008.


Yep, they officially split in 07′, but they did a farewell tour and released their final single “Vanish…” this year so you will definitly not be seeing anymore releases from them.


I haven’t gotten a clue what else is happening, but they did start off as  a 3-member group, then adding a way younger 4th member to the ranks, then releasing their indies debut single Hajimesasenai to the public, which is surprisingly great.


Like Phantasmagoria, they too are breaking up, but they had a busy busy year.  Stigmata and Unending Sanctuary were release as singles,  Megiddo as a mini-album and the 2-disc Ain Soph Aur best-of.  Now that’s what I call a busy V-kei group. 

Rie fu

Rie fu began 2008 with her single HOME, than a best-of album Who is Rie fu? in March.  Then we took a little break from her before she released a surpring single romantic which was produced by Taku of m-flo which was a surprise to many fans. 

Present will be released in February

Rina Aiuchi

Unlike 2007, which was a pretty slow year for her, 2008 became crazy for her.  Beginning with I believe you ~Ai no Hana~ in early May and finishing the month with her 7th album, TRIP, we thought she’d take a break for a long time, then she surprised us with two more releases in the year, Kimi to no Deai ~good bye my days~ in October and Friend/Sugao no Mama in December. 

Continuing this string of singles is Ai no Kotoba set to come out in February.


Unlike Aira, who’s had a busy year, Saori was pretty much quiet only releasing the sakura single and then JAPANESE CHAOS near the end of the year, you’d think they’d be busy releasing stuff for her.

WOW WAR TECHNO looks to be like a HMV limited single, so this’ll be pretty interesting.


SAWA released pretty much an album’s worth of releases cut between two mini-albums.  COLORS which was pretty terrible and TIME&SPACE which was quite the opposite.  Hmmm, let’s just see what lies in the future for SAWA.

Shoko Nakagawa


What a year this has been for Shoko.  She started off by releasing snow tears late January followed by her debut album, BigBang!!! in March, then a slew of singles: Shiny GATE, Tsuzuku Sekai, and Kirei A la Mode to finish up the year.

Shoko released first out of my artists with her sophomore album Magic Time which was pretty good. 

Sound Horizon

Their only release this year was Oricon’s favorite Moira in September.  Other than that, nothing from them except a tour DVD in March.


After taking a really long hiatus from this persona, Takanori returned with his summer hit resonance which was such a good track with a bad PV.  Then he fell back into hiatus world again.

Only new news is that in March, he’ll release a singles box.  So that’ll interest me.

The Candy Spooky Theater

The didn’t release anything this year due to the fact the members have left the group and more came in and Jack Spooky got terribly sick and so, the fate of the group is unknown right now with SCARY WONDERLAND supposedly their next album.

Tommy february6

Continuing her inactiveness in this persona, feb has only been seen in minor songs and well, it’s just quite sad.

Though, oddly enough there’s a best-of coming out under this persona.  Normally people would be just kind of like w/e with it and it’s true, there’s actually a new track on it!  Makes me wonder it’ll be a single…

Tommy heavenly6

She actually got active with this persona near the end of the year with the release of PAPERMOON which was awesome. 

In 2009, she will also release a Best-of album, but won’t exactly feature anything new since we already have the PV for Unlimited Sky which will also be released as a single in late February.

Tsukiko Amano

Tsukiko, what a sad year.  All year were these indies releases and like none of them were memorable, HEAVEN’S GATE and ZERO no Chouritsu were her final two singles before the album ZERO was released.  Then quietly she released an indies best-of called NOISE which featured NOISE and one new track, Sakana.  Sad that 2008 was her last year as an artist.

Utada Hikaru

Yea, early 2008 was huge for her with HEART STATION/Stay Gold and album HEART STATION and re-cut single Prisoner of Love…Then she just went quiet for the rest of the year.  She did write that she was in the works of her 3rd American album, and she had that ugly pic middle of the year and the whole “Apple and Cinnamon” thing.

Luckily we were blessed to get Come Back To Me, her first single off the album.  So we’re finally getting something for 2009.

Yousei Teikoku

So actually 3 singles this year was quite understandable.  Schwarzer Sarg, Hades: the bloody rage, and Weiß Flügel were pretty solid releases for the duo.

Great they are releasing Sai no Nai Sekai, a mini-album in January which is awesome




Others worth mentioning

Do As Infinity reunites is great and I can’t wait to hear new stuff from them.

melody. retiring from the music business sucks cause I love her music, well since Ready To Go.  Still, OMG what the hell, she should’ve stayed

Elder Club disappearing isn’t exactly surprising, but everyone?  damn that was a bad decision, some of the artists should’ve had the chance to release something (Makoto Ogawa) especially.  Luckily Aya Matsuura, Natsumi Abe, Hitomi Yoshizawa, and Rika Ishikawa are doing fine now, but everyone else is just questionable on their futures.

Shion Tsuji also debuted and is already being called the next YUI basically, because their music sounds similar…I might review her actually. 

As for YUI she’s also going on a hiatus for a while….sad huh?