Kurayami Monogatari

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Up Up Girls – Chopper☆Chopper/Survival Girls December 12, 2012

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 9:16 pm


Track Listing

  1. Chopper☆Chopper
  2. Survival Girls
  3. Chopper☆Chopper (Instrumental)
  4. Survival Girls (Instrumental)

1. Chopper☆Chopper

It’s kind of hard to tell what Chopper☆Chopper was really about because this song is kind of like “Uppercut!” but with a lot more synths present.  It’s feisty and the lyrics are sung pretty fast by the members which is quite something to hear.  I like it, it’s still not up with the bests like “UPPER ROCK” and “Barebare I LOVE YOU”, but it’s better than others so this kind of lies in the middle for me.

2. Survival Girls

Though for enjoying “UPPER ROCK” so much, they seem to have tried it again with Survival Girls which has this clock theme because there’s ticking going on in the beginning of the song.  It was pretty good right up until the chorus where the repetition began and I kind of got annoyed by it all.  Though the verses are really nice to hear by the ladies.  Still that chorus was icky!



As their final single of the year (thank god!) and their first single under the indies label, T-Palette, Chopper☆Chopper/Survival Girls in an average single.  I liked the primary A-side’s energetic arrangement and the girls sounded like they were having fun with this song…Survival Girls though is kind of annoying to listen to so it didn’t really get high marks from that.  I am curious as to how they’ll do next year! ^_^


Daichi Miura – Right Now/Voice

Filed under: Daichi Miura — solarblade @ 8:48 pm


Track Listing

  1. Right Now
  2. Voice
  3. Far away

1. Right Now

Everyone knows I’m a sucker for Daichi’s dance tracks and it seems we get a new one with Right Now which has a really cool arrangement and sort of feels like a follow-up to “Delete My Memories” with it’s energetic tone and and smooth vocals from Daichi as well.  It’s a really cool track and I’ve been waiting for something like this for a while.

2. Voice

As the other A-side of the single, Voice might be a little slower than “Right Now”, but it has a lot of impact to make up for that.  Daichi’s vocals are a bit more risky as he’s singing a lot of higher notes (especially in the chorus) but it fits the nature of the song because it sounds dark and yet, mysterious.  It’s a really cool song as well and totally deserved to be the other A-side.

3. Far away

The lone B-side, Far away I thought was going to be a ballad, but the song kind of grew into another dance track with a cool beat and Daichi under some echo filters here.  It kind of reminds of “DANTE” from SHOW but it could just be coincedence.  I have to say, this is really nice and the song comes from the quiet areas to the dance track so effortlessly…it’s really good!



I knew Daichi was going to eventually release something that I was going to adore from beginning to end and Right Now/Voice is definitely my favorite single from Daichi now!  All three tracks show off the various identities of his style and they all were amazing tracks!  *RECOMMENDED* FOR SURE!


9nine – White Wishes

Filed under: 9nine — solarblade @ 7:56 pm


Track Listing

  1. White Wishes
  2. Romantic moon
  3. Chikutaku☆2NITE (tofubeats renux)
  4. White Wishes (Instrumental)
  5. Romantic moon (Instrumental)

1. White Wishes

Of course, 9nine would be a group to release a Christmas song with White Wishes.  This song is definitely a jolly and simple track from the group which might be cutting it because white this song is a butt ton better than “Yie Ar! Jiang Shi”, it’s still surprisingly to the books.  The members are mostly singing together It’s fitting to the holidays, but as for a song from 9nine?  This is kind of weak.

2. Romantic moon

When Romantic moon comes up, it’s like why wasn’t this promoted as the leading track x.x  It’s a bit slower, but this song has more of that trademark 9nine sound that we’ve got from their last album.  The vocals though on the lower side of the spectrum since they sound rough in various areas and well they sound a bit meh as well.  It’s slightly better than the A-side, but not by much.

3. Chikutaku☆2NITE (tofubeats remix)

Since their last single didn’t have a tofubeats remix, 9nine came back to it with Chikutaku☆2NITE.  The remix like the others are more electronic (since tofubeats is doing, DUH!).  I actually kind of like the cool instrumentation because it retains its cute factor,but has a certain 80’s feel and felt like it’s one of the better remixes to come from them.



9nine’s third single to close out 2012 with is rather bleh.  I mean, if I had to compare it to their last single they’re equal but that single was a lot polarizing unlike here where it’s kind of in the mediocre area in both tracks.  White Wishes though is suited for the season so it makes sense and you can’t really hate it, but it is bleh as a standalone.  Romantic moon had potential but the poor vocals and lack of unity just didn’t work.  The best thing to come off the single is oddly enough the remix which was cute, sparkly, and fun to listen to.  I hope the group gets out of this slump…


Best of 2012! Other Albums not reviewied July through Dec.

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 8:09 am

You know it’s that time of year again where I go through albums that I didn’t review (though there are albums I’m still missing that I wanna review…looking at you access, Bentley Jones, marino etc…).   So let’s start things off!


JERO – Covers 5


You would think JERO would be over this, but here’s his 5th cover album!  7 tracks total though one is and older track from one of his singles which is “Kouya no Hate ni”. 

Is it worth it?: Well, if you’re into JERO than yeah, this might be something to look forward since it is 6 new tracks.  Personally, I kind of want another studio album rather than tons of cover albums but it’s whatever lol.

eufonius – Nejimaki Musica 3


Nejimaki Musica 3 is the third of a series released by anison duo, eufonius.  There seems to be some underlying story involved but otherwise, I don’t know too much about the NM series. 

Is it worth it?: Not sure, because I haven’t paid attention to the released very much.  Though since it is new material, I would assume that it would be worth it if you’re big enough fans ^_^


Koda Kumi – Beach Mix


You might as well had called this Driving Hit’s 5 for what’s it worth but this is Kuu’s 2012 remix album and by god was it heavy on the remixes and they were some good ones though.  It also came with a new song “Whatchu Waitin’ On?”. 

Is it worth it?: For a remix album, there’s new takes on songs so there’s one good thing that came out of it, but with just one new song that might be the main reason to check it out.  It’s not a bad song and it’s a fitting track for all the remixes found.

Ayumi Hamasaki – A SUMMER BEST


Only a week later, the pop empress releases A SUMMER BEST which is a two disc collection of songs pertaining to the summer or something closely released.  The first disc has the more upbeat tracks while Disc 2 is mostly the slower. ballady stuff.  It also features Happening Here in physical format (in which it was first released as a digital single before “Party queen” came out) and one new song in You & Me.

Is it worth it?: It’s a two disc set with a whole bunch of random songs spawned through most of her albums, I would say this is definitely worth it (unless you have everything prior to the release).  Even some songs that have not appeared in anything for a while return which is good reason to get this as well!  Plus the DVD is something to look forward to too, with various lives and PVs…oh yeahhhh.

Genki Rockets – GENKI ROCKETS II -No border between us- Repackage


So Genki Rockets decided to quote-on-quote re-release their sophomore album, they forgot to mention that it’s more of a remix album more than anything else.  There’s a lot of remixes most are from GRII, but there are some from the first album as well.  Also included are two new tracks: Revive and Crystal fall. 

Is it worth it?: The two new tracks are definitely worth the listen but as for the remixes, it’s really a lot of hit and misses and it really depends on tastes.  For me, I’d say it’s worth checking out if you love remixes and/or Genki Rockets.

Sukima Switch – DOUBLES BEST


Sukima Switch kind of randomly threw this best out which was fanpicked ^_^.  Now I’m not sure if there was anything new on it (since I don’t know the band much).  There were some songs I knew like “Ice Cream Syndrome”, “Guarana”, and “Hare Tokidoki Kumori”…

Is it worth it?: Well if it’s a fan-picked best album, then you’re going to get a good portion of the good songs they’ve done.  Though you could be possibly missing out on other well-knowns songs from them as well…so it’s really your decision!

HIROKO – Hitokurabo♪ ~Featuring Collection~


As if it wasn’t strange timing, HIROKO from mihimaru GT released this best-of collection featuring songs that she was featured in with another artist of sorts.  There’s a lot of songs I don’t know and to be honest, the only one I recognize from the tracklist is “Clever Lady” as it was a B-side on her debut solo single. 

Is it worth it?: For a colloborative best album, Hitokurabo♪ might be worth checking out, but if you’re not into HIROKO, then you should probably pass this up since most of the tracks are R&B dittys.


Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “LOVE THE WORLD”


As their final hurrah under Tokuma, the company released this best album chronicalizing the group’s best songs (well most) during their major days (plus “Electro World”).  LOVE THE WORLD also included two new mixes of “Chocolate Disco” and “MY COLOR”.  Plus on the DVD, there’s a PV for “FAKE IT” which makes this a full mix as well.

Is it worth it?: If you aren’t a Perfume fan, then this is a great primer to get fans introduced to Perfume.  You have the big songs present with B-sides and some songs you would have not expected to make the cut (“edge”, “MY COLOR”, “SEVENTH HEAVEN” etc.  Even as an existing fan, this is a great album to get!

T.M.Revolution – T.M.R. LIVE REVOLUTION 11-12 -CLOUD NINE-


Well at first, we were getting two albums, but “UNDER:COVER 2” was pushed back, but we still got a live album from Takanori.  Most of the songs included are from the “CLOUD NINE” album and the single released after it, “FLAGS”.  There are two songs though that aren’t from the album, “ARTERIAL FEAR” from “SEVENTH HEAVEN” and “CHASE / THE THRILL” from “vertical infinity”. 

Is it worth it?: For me, live albums don’t really seem to be really great sellers since the songs included are songs that are from albums, but this might be worth a listen because it’s simply Takanori!

4minute – Best Of 4minute


I’m not sure if this was their way of saying goodbye to Japan, but 4minute release their best album (argued second since “DIAMOND” really was much of the same but…).  It features most of what the singles had (minus all the Korean songs) and the two Japanese tracks from “DIAMOND” as well.  The only new thing to really appear is a Japanese version of “HOT ISSUE”.

Is it worth it?: Not so much IMO.  a JPN version of HOT ISSUE isn’t really worth getting tracks that we’ve all heard before and most were on “DIAMOND” to begin with so this is kind of poor. 

ayaka – ayaka’s BEST -Ballad Collection-


Showing that Warner can be cash cows too, they released a ballad collection from ayaka despite her leaving two years earlier due to Graves.  So we get this load of ehh which is a bunch of ballads from singles and albums, plus two English self-covers of “I believe” and “Mikazuki” the latter being sung back in 2005!

Is it worth it?: If you’ve missed ayaka when she was in Warner, then it’s alright, but I think her first best album did more for her than this one.  If you were a fan before she left, then pass it up it really isn’t worth it, not even for the English tracks included.



While I have reviewed the Korean minis, DORADORA was released in Japan which also included the fanclub mini release THE SPECIAL TO KISSME [Believe].  It meshed both released into one disc (plus the instrumentals).  Though the main thing in this release is Japanese versions of DORADORA and Believe (Believe you) (which btw is a new title because U-KISS already has a track called “Believe”). 

Is it worth it?: Well if you have either of the Korean releases, this might not be worth it and if you have both…then no way.  I haven’t heard either of the Japanese versions of the promo tracks so I can’t say if it’s worth THAT to get it, but overall I don’t think so (unless you have neither, then maybe so but I’d say just stick with looking for THE SPECIAL TO KISSME).




With so many singles and albums out, it was time for BREAKERZ to release a best album!  Three discs are packed in this release making it a full release.  The first two discs go through their singles chronologically while the third is songs picked from the trio which includes two new versions of DESTROY CRASHER and FAKE LOVE. 

Is it worth it?: I would say this is definitely a great album to get for BREAKERZ’ fans and/or for new fans wanting to get into the group.  BREAKERZ BEST is really great and is probably one of the most fulfilling best albums this year,

Hanako Oku – Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-


Well, if BREAKERZ was fulfilling then, Hanako was just overload.  Coming after a year after her last best album, she releases My Letters which is also at a shocking three discs and 2 DVDs in the boxed version.  I’m not sure what’s exactly new minus new versions of “Koi” and “Genki de Ite ne”.  Otherwise huge tracklist!

Is it worth it?: If I knew most of the songs we’re given then yes, this is probably worth it, but I’m not sure if I could handle a 3-disc album filled with mostly piano ballads.  So go in expecting that and you might survive it!



Yup, YUI finally has her first tribute album, YAY!  She definitely got quite a lot of good artists to cover her songs like Kylee, Stereopony, Aoi Eir, SCANDAL, NEGOTO, and even miwa and more artists.  Plus, at the end of the album YUI does a bossa nova version of CHE.R.RY!

Is it worth it?: Of course it’s artists covering YUI songs so it’s all new versions so it’s worth to take a listen and see how they did with what they were given. 


JUJU – BEST STORY ~Love stories~ & BEST STORY ~Life stories~


Because a boxset wasn’t enough of a release last year, JUJU released two best albums that were released simultaneously.  One based of of her love songs and the other about life and the like.  There’s a lot of different songs like A-sides, B-sides and album tracks so there’s a lot of selection…still they are seperate releases.

Is it worth it?: As a casual fan, this might be both good places to start but if you’re already a fan of JUJU, then this might not be worth it because there’s really no new tracks to be heard of in either releases so you’re kind of left with songs that were previously released…

Tsuki Amano – Shizuka no Umi


Man, Tsuki has been on a release schedule ever since she returned from hiatus.  This year she only released one album I didn’t review and it’s this ballad collection, Shizuka no Umi.  It has many of her ballads from both her major and indie labels days with one new song, the title track Shizuka no Umi. 

Is it worth it?: While Tsuki/Tsukiko ballads weren’t her strong point, they are worth a listen since there’s quite a bit of interesting choices to be had like Hisui, Itodenwa, and Fuusen.  So it’s worth checking it out!

You Kikkawa – Vocalist?


Kikka this year did release her first album, but her second idea was to release a cover album, Vocalist?  However, there’s a slight twist to what she’s done.  The people that produced this are well-known VOCALOID producers so her music is catered to more of the fans of that rather than the casuals. 

Is it worth it?: Possibly.  If you want to hear songs like ZONE’s secret base, Momusu’s Daite! HOLD ON ME, and various other well-known track, give it a try, but if you don’t like VOCALOIDs, then you’d prolly avoid this.



Following up her “POWERS OF TEN” earlier this year, YUKI released BETWEEN THE TEN which was appropriately so, A B-side collection.  Most if not all of the B-sides are on this release and it includes a bonus track she did with Jazztronik.

Is it worth it?: Well if you want all her B-sides in one release, then BETWEEN THE TEN is worth the buy, otherwise…not so sure since I only know a couple of songs on here (which is most of the 2nd disc).

Maaya Sakamoto – Single Collection + Mitsubachi


Even though Maaya had released “everywhere” last year, she released another best album this year which is the third of the series she’s doing.  It tackles all the songs she’s released from the beginning of the “Kazeyomi” era up to “More Than Words” (but lacks a representation of “Driving in the silence”).  The new things included are a new version of Kazemachi Jet and two new tracks April Fool and Nekoze. 

Is it worth it?: Well she released a best last year which had most of these songs, but this best included every A-side she’s done for two albums (and the singles after) and added a new take on an A-side and two new tracks.  It might not have as much new material on interesting like “everywhere” but if you need to catch up chronologically, then this is probably the better choice.

°C-ute – ② °C-ute Shin Seinaru Best Album


°C-ute this year managed to finally release their next best album, HOWEVER this was no ordinary released.  The first 11 songs were redone and resung by the current members because the first 11 had more members (and the members were really young).  Most of those tracks are A-side except two tracks (JUMP and Seishun Song).  The remaining tracks are untouched tracks sung by the now 5-nin °C-ute, so songs like Dance de Bakoon! and Kiss me Aishiteru are the same as they were released.  Finally, the final song is the only new track, “Daisuki” no Imi wo Oshiete!. 

Is it worth it?: Yes, just because it’s worth hearing how the group tackled these older songs since everyone replaced Megumi, Kanna, and Erika.  Plus the new arrangements are unique in a way.  Even the new track is surprisingly good…so yes check this out if you were a fan…though most of the °C-ute fans will say that some of the new tracks were a tad unnecessary.

Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku – Ebichu no Zetsuban Best ~Owaranai Seishun~


I thought it was smart for Ebichu to release this best album.  It has all the tracks they’ve done as an indies group so the songs from their debut up to their final indies single, Motto Hashire!! is here.  It’s definitely a filled release and they have the popular songs like The Tissue ~Tomaranai Seishun~ and Oh My Ghost? ~Watashi ga Akuryou ni Nattemo~. 

Is it worth it?: I think it’s great if you want to know what Ebichu was like before “Karikeiyaku no Cinderella” because besides the big time wotas, this group had big songs as an indies group like the songs mentioned above.  So yeah go check it out! WHOO!

Stereopony – BEST of STEREOPONY


As a final hurrah before their disbandment, Stereopony released their lone best album BEST of STEREOPONY which has all of the A-sides and various B-sides and album songs with only one extra addition, Sayonara no Kisetsu (which was a track they did a demo of before their actual debut). 

Is it worth it?: As a fan, I didn’t really see much of getting this album because I had most of it, but for the fans that missed stuff, this would be a great time to get it and Sayonara no Kisetsu while not the most extraordinary track to include it was nice they came to full circle with it.

Tohoshinki – Humanoids


Humanoids by DBSK is really just “Catch Me” rereleased with two extra tracks in the title track and Here I Stand.  Otherwise it’s really the same great album that we got earlier this year.

Is it worth it?: If you are a fan that missed out on Catch Me earlier this year, then this is definitely worth looking at because you get the album plus extra tracks.  However, if you already heard the album, this might be passable as both songs fit the album but they kind of remind me of other similar songs (like Humanoids sounding like Catch Me). 

KARA – KARA Solo Collection


All this release is is “KARA Collection” but in Korean and and with no GO GO Summer! 2012…Yeah it’s that much to explain what this is.

Is it worth it?: Well if you’re a completionist, it does have one quality of being all Korean translated from Japanese.  Though to be honest, that’s the only reason…this release was good but only in Japan…this here is kind of like bleeeeeh.


access – Re-Sync Cluster


So kind of like what they did with “rippin’ GHOST”, they released a remix album of a couple of songs from their album, “Secret Cluster” (mostly the A-sides) for 6 songs total.

Is it worth it?: No…only 6 tracks?  That’s kind of a ripoff for being a remix album…especially since we just came off an album that had 21 tracks!  Pass this up!

Juliet – Fuyubamu


To celebrate December and the holidays, Juliet releases this wintry them…collection album of their winter songs (and B-sides) in Fuyubamu (technically it’s Fuyubum…but that’s odd…).  There are three new tracks (Christmas Date, Kimi ga Inai, and Issho ni) and a new remix of “Daisuki”. 

Is it worth it?: Well, when we have 4 B-sides, two A-sides, 3 new tracks and a remix, I would actually say this is a pretty good release and even though 3/4 of the B-sides included really don’t have anything to do with Winter, this is a fitting release for the trio.



What I think the group was doing with this is releaseing a best album that features tracks that have English in them.  However, the songs that had Japanese in them, have been redone to be fully English like “Headlight”.  It’s a bit hard to tell which songs have been changed because there’s some that haven’t been touched. 

Is it worth it?: Well if you really wanted an English album from the group, then you should check it out because there’s lots of songs present…though I haven’t heard it all but I’m not too big of a fan of what they did with Headlight…awkward…Don’t let that hurt your interest…you might like it!



Like JUJU, YUI also released two best album simultaneously with GREEN GARDEN POP and ORANGE GARDEN POP, though the idea behind having two is a little more than strange so it’s just more fo what she could throw on two discs (though most of it is between A-sides and album tracks). 

Is it worth it?: Well if you needed to get into YUI’s stuff without the discography, this is probably your best bet (though the fact that B-sides weren’t thrown in is surprising (even though they have their own album).  Still not bad, a little random but it was a necessary release.

Yuya Matsushita – U ~BEST of BEST~


Even though I thought this was too early of a release, Yuya releases his first best album, U ~BEST of BEST~ in December and boy this was a filled release.  Two discs where the first one is filled with his ballads and the second with the more danceable tracks.  On each disc comes two new songs with whatever version you got so in all you got 6 new tracks: Key and Naked Night on the Regular, Just the way you are and No rain, No rainbow on LE A, and Ordinary Love and Crazy Funky Holiday on LE B. 

Is it worth it?: Well to get all of the new songs, you’d be paying a LOT for three versions of this 2-disc set.  So if you want the new songs you might as well just look for downloads.  As for the album itself, tons of his best works are on here and it’s great to see that…so it’s a yes!

Aimer – Bitter & Sweet


Like Yuu Kikkawa as well, Aimer after her debut album this year decided to throw out a cover album.  However the twist out of this one is that some of the tracks is from her first cover album “Your favorite things” and the cover tracks from her singles are also here.  There’s new covers too and some interesting choices like Beyonce’s Crazy In Love.

Is it worth it?: Considering I wasn’t too big of a fan of her album, I’m kind of meh about this, but since I did like her cover songs from the singles, it might be interesting.  Plus I am curious to how she treated the new cover songs.

Kaya – Glitter


Wait, Kaya is releasing this AGAIN?!?  Yeah for the third time, Kaya is releasing Glitter but it has some new things.  Once again, the tracks were redone but from ver.2, there’s some new tracks (which is really the “Chocolat” single and the reemergence of Kaleidoscope). 

Is it worth it?: I don’t exactly understand why he chose to do this for a third time, but I am rather curious to know what he changed in the songs this time around and plus adding three songs to the tracklists is a good move as well.  So it migh tbe worth checking out.

RAINBOW – Over The Rainbow Special Edition


Almost a year apart from each other, RAINBOW rereleases their debut Japanese album again!  This time around they included a second disc full of their bigger Korean hits and one new Japanese track, Candy Girls!

Is it worth it?: If you didn’t get to hear the original release then this would be a great way to catch up because you can listen to the full album plus the Korean tracks and the new track that was released in between the original and the rerelease.  It’s pretty good ^^

ikimono-gakari – Balladon


What is up with ballad collection releases this year T.T, ikimino-gakari releases one at the end of 2012 and sadly this comes a little while after their best album (which most of these tracks are also on).  The new versions is in both Kaze ga Fuiteiru and Aruite Ikou.  Otherwise album song and A-sides.

Is it worth it?: It really isn’t worth it since most of the songs from the last best.  There are some tracks that weren’t so there might be some things that worth it, but if you’re only looking at the new things, no…just no.

Mai Kuraki – Mai Kuraki Symphonic Collection in Moscow


Just like the title implies, Mai-K releases a live album that she did while in Moscow with a symphony backing her up in many of the hits she’s had.  There’s also one new track, Hakanasa that’s featured as well. 

Is it worth it?: If you wanna hear Mai’s songs in more of an orchestrated session, then this might be a great way since it’s the first of its kind.  I think it’s worth it even if you’re just a regular fan of Mai’s as well!

Haruka Shimotsuki – canoue ~Mawaru Rashinban~


Haruka closed out the year with two releases.  I’m not too sure what’s behind the release but there it is right?  Oh yeah five songs since it’s a mini-album……..

Is it worth it?: Not really when this is kind of released with a poor direction.  Five songs, but it’s really three songs and two karaoke versions, that sounds more like a single doesn’t it?  Nah, I wouldn’t get this unless you’re a diehard fan and all.

Haruka Shimotsuki – Rakujitsu no Mayoigo


The other album Haruka released this year, Rakujitsu no Mayoigo is mostly a best collection of her tieLeaf releases (most of which come from her 2005 album, “Tsukioi no Toshi”).  Plus there’s one new track which is the title track of the album

Is it worth it?: As a casual fan, there’s probably not a lot of reason to get this unless you want something new to listen, but as a hardcore doujin/Haruka fan this might be a way to catchy up on things ya missed, plus one new track is a nice thing to have right?




WELL THAT’S ALL THE ALBUM’S I DIDN’T REVIEW…So let’s start the Best of the best in a couple weeks!