Kurayami Monogatari

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2008 in Review January 7, 2009

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.

AAA

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.

access

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?

alan

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

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.

BONNIE PINK

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.

capsule

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

chatmonchy

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

DRM/Dream

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*

Gackt

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.

GIRL NEXT DOOR

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!

HANGRY & ANGRY

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.

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR

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.

immi

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…

Kalafina

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

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. 

m.o.v.e

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.

MAXIMUM THE HORMONE

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.

MEG

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

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.

metronome

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.

MiChi

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

MilkyWay

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.

misono

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

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

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.

Perfume

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.

Phantasmagoria

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.

portable

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.

RENTRER EN SOI

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.

Saori@destiny

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

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.

T.M.Revolution

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?

 

Best-of 2008: PV’s January 2, 2009

Filed under: ~Best of 2008~ — solarblade @ 2:22 am

You know, PV’s is what really sells the artist’s music luckily i complied to not embed YouTube just for the sake of the blog to not uberly stall hard like me previous post.

Best PV

5. Ai Otsuka – 360°

It’s abstract love with Ai Otsuka here.  I mean Ai Otsuka it that piano classical outfit really struck as original and she looked pretty in it too.  The video also brought some small tidbits of a connection to the song hence the repitition and meaning of the song.  Especially the carousel stuff going on.  One of the more artisitc PVs this year.

4. Kanon Wakeshima – still doll

If the songs darkness, didn’t get to you before, the PV for Kanon’s debut track will definitly put it in you in a most uncomfortable way, but in a good way.  Kanon’s video pretty much deals with pervys and an old guy no less…Anyway this also showed Kanon doing her cello ordeal and it’s beautiful to watch her play it.

3. Anna Tsuchiya feat. AI – Crazy World

Maybe, it’s me but wow Anna and AI really outdid themselves in this dark and gritty song by making a dark and gritty video to go along with it.  I love how Anna sings the first verses in a kind zombie-like state.  It’s great to see that their collaboration looked so good as well, even by adding a lesbian moment in their as well. 

2. Aira Mitsuki – GALAXY BOY

There is nothing like seeing a futuristic video to a song that sounds like it.  Aira really outdid herself with this cookie.  Not many people realize this but she does take a few scenes from an old song “TECHNOPOLIS” by the Yellow Magic Orchestra and adds some nifty other things like laser shooting, car driving in space, colors that would make a gay guy proud, and the biggest shocker 2D Aira.  That was the jaw dropping moment.  Though I questioned the repetitiveness, it was still her best PV so far.

1. capsule – JUMPER

Was this really a big surprise?  capsule definitly won best PV easily this year and was it uberly awesome.  Right from the beginning you knew you were going to be on a ride when Toshiko sang and those famous sunglasses and her frozen look took over.  From there, we go into the song and we see Toshiko actually moving around and Nakata just pretty much poses like he’s the shit and well, he is.  I still love the multiple arms moment, that was WIN!  Hopefully they won’t take too long for the next one.

Notable Mentions

  • GIRL NEXT DOOR – Winter Game
  • Perfume – love the world
  • Ayumi Hamasaki – Marionette
  • Ami Suzuki – ONE
  • Koda Kumi – TABOO

Worst PV

5. Perfume – Dream Fighter

I know I’ll probably get bashed for this but seriously this is one of their worst PV’s.  I mean yeah we get the usual dance moves and glitz and glamour, but once you get past that the video is just a little lifeless.  I mean the whole dancing in you pepsi look just doesn’t help the orange clothes the ladies are wearing and it’s definitly not “love the world” and “Secret Secret”.  Ouch…

4. immi – Klaxon

Yeah, this was just a confusing PV all-around.  Like right at the start she looks like she was kidnapped, but then this video takes a route that just seems creepy and low budget.  I mean we see her singing while blindfolded and showing her cuffs and then at the end someone takes it off and she looks like she’s about to perform…WTF!

3. GIRL NEXT DOOR – Drive away

Uhm, I’m sorry but this PV fails on so many levels.  I don’t want “High School Musical” in my PV’s at all so right there was the first mistake with Drive away’s vid.  Second is that CHISA is trying to look like a damn schoolgirl…like Britney *cough* and fails at that as well. Third is that there’s American people fluorishing this PV, I mean it’s not bad, but it’s so damn cheesy as well.  The only reason this vid isn’t NO.1 is that Drive away is a great track.

2. T.M.Revolution – resonance

So after a long hiatus, Takanori switched from a.b.s back to his quasi-solo work and left us this otherwise lameass PV.  resonance had potential to be an awesome PV, but what we were left with was this reiteration of almost every PV he’s done before resonance.  I think he used all the single PV’s but not the album promotional ones like “Meteor” and “Albireo”.  So the whole vid was like going to every single technologic item and showing these random clips of the PV’s.  Not really what you call original or even worth watching.

1. Ayumi Hamasaki – GREEN

Yeesh, Ayu tried to go Chinese with one of the A-sides to end the year off and was I totally hating this video.  I did like the Chinese stuff they showed but all the wrong present in “Mirrorcle World” was present here as well.  The storyline was wacky and this time Ayu tries lesbianism but fails hugely to the fact that “TABOO” was much better and lot more cooler.  Ayu just needs better PV’s….this year hasn’t been good to her video work (and she usually has good videos)

Notable Mentions

  • Ai Otsuka – Rocket Sneaker
  • misono – Kazoku no Hi
  • HANGRY & ANGRY – Kill Me Kiss Me
  • Ami Suzuki – can’t stop the DISCO
  • Nana Kitade – PUNK&BABY’s
 

Best-of 2008: Albums January 1, 2009

Filed under: ~Best of 2008~ — solarblade @ 9:27 pm

 

Best Album Track

5. Ami Suzuki – Bitter…

 

I think everyone would agree that Bitter… was a surprising promotional track.  It isn’t like the two singles and the mix of ballad and dance really helped it out.  I guess I shouldn’t be bragging that Bitter… is one of Ami smoothest songs.

4. Ai Otsuka – Shachihata

 

Ai even though the album to me is an initial bust, Shachihata is one of my favorite random Ai songs.  Not only is there one word sung twice the rest of the song is under scat singing.  Ai also sounds really good and mature, and possibly the most deepest she’s done altogether. 

3. Utada Hikaru – Fight The Blues

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The first track off of Hikki’s album really set the mood of the album and with Fight The Blues, comes great imagery.  Putting those two thoughts into mind really what made FTB on of Hikki’s album openers. 

2. Ayumi Hamasaki – Marionette

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Ayu really brought her game with Marionette, one of the 3 promotional tracks off the album.  There really hasn’t been a scary/gothic rock tracks since her angsty “Because of You” and was this one powerful track or what? 

1. Aira Mitsuki – GALAXY BOY

 

Aira really showed what J-tek was all about with the song.  Terukado with his superb futuristic sound and Aira lispy vocals worked really well and with how awesome both songs turned out.  Beat out the previous 2 singles.

Worst Album Track

5. Ayumi Hamasaki – GUILTY

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Ayu and title tracks usually never work out and the title track for “GUILTY” was continuing this legacy of bad title tracks.  I didn’t think it had enough focus and interest to keep it interesting.  It’s definitly one of the icky songs.

4. Koda Kumi – Wonderland

 

In an album of strangeness, nothing beats Kumi’s Wonderland track.  It was way sugary and cute especially for an artist like herself to present on an album no less.  I really despised this song for sure. 

3. BoA – BRAVE

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BoA really failed by having this unforgiving track.  Everything just seemed messy and BoA didn’t help by singing in it either.  Yeesh, BoA BRAVE is and will be one of her worst endeavors on an album.

2. Tsukiko Amano – Primal Scream

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Tsukiko really killed me interest with the falsely titled Primal Scream what I thought was an aggressive dark rock tune was in fact a boring ballad.  I wish she didn’t screw us over with such a faily track. 

1. MELL – repeat

 

Weird, an old track first appearing as a track on her debut album.  This one of three tracks that I couldn’t stand.  repeat is bad because MELL didn’t sing with the tune and acted really off and crappy.  Add in the love/hate vocals which this time were on the hate side made it so much worse.

Best Album Cover

5. Koda Kumi – Kingdom

 

Yep, there’s so much gold here that you know it’s a good cover.  I personally love the cover for Kingdom with Kumi being queen bitch and all that.  The cards are a little random, but other than that great cover.

4. Saori@destiny – JAPANESE CHAOS

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How crazy is that Saori mixed traditional looks with vivid colors?  Chaotic is a great way to describe the cover for Saori’s debut.  We see her in a kimono and carrying a parasol like traditional Japanese people do and then splashed on neon colors to add freshness and some shock value to it.  I love it.

3. Ami Suzuki – DOLCE

 

DOLCE’s cover is definitly pink.  It is a little creepy that Ami looks like a 5 year old trying to be innocent and sipping pink juice.  I do love the mirrors adding more of a mind trick to the viewer.

2. Sound Horizon – Moira

 

 I also really liked Sound Horizon’s cover for Moira.  Even though REVO is never on them anyway, this one just looked like something pulled from an RPG.  The whole of the past is nice and OMG fairies FTW

1. Perfume – GAME

 

Yep, nothing like the leading ladies of J-tek wielding huge lightsabers for our viewing pleasure.  I love the girls poses with the lightsabers and the black/blue look totally fits the J-tek sound. 

Worst Album Covers

5. Crystal Kay – Color Change!

 

Kicking off the worst is definitly Crystal Kay’s album cover.  I mean it just seemed really low budget for a cover you know?  It’s can also be blamed on the ew text they used for “Color Change!”  Just poor if you ask me.

4. Mika Nakashima – VOICE

 

Mika’s covers for this era has been really saddening, except for “LIFE” and “ORION”.  VOICE didn’t help the cause because Mika looks almost demonic.  If she’s wearing makeup than this failed even more than normal.  I’ll stick with her past covers.

3. MEG – STEP

 

MEG’s covers aren’t usually good, except for a certain few, but STEP definitly took literal sense into the cover shot.  MEG posing on a 3 step object.  I wished it was a little more fantastically made but ehh.

2. misono – Sei ~say~

 

misono took creepy to a new level with her sophomore album cover.  I mean misono put some damn clothes on please!!!.  Even the pictures in the album were just as freaky and suggestive as ever.  The line breaking through the nipplez area was definitly shocking nonetheless.

1. Tsukiko Amano – ZERO

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 So Tsukiko always have great album covers.  Look at her last two album covers, they were amazing and out of this world.  Her final album was the biggest disappointment in the covers department.  It’s empty and just has the title and album name….Worst ever!

Best Albums of the Year

5. Ami Suzuki – Supreme Show

 

Supreme Show is one of 2 Nakata albums that made the best of this year.  Ami really showed a more sexy side to J-tek with this release and with the singles leading up to this, this was definitly anticipated with high regards.  Great album!

4. HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – ROCK PIT

 

I think one of the biggest surprises of the year is that ROCK PIT was an actually great album for HandMC…Sad it’s the last one with Maaki, ROCK PIT was definitly in more control than “San” ever was.  Songs like “EARTH”, “Rosier”, and “HINATA” really took them to new heights.

3. Sound Horizon – Moira

 

Including a wide variety of styles, Sound Horizon also managed to tell a story throughout the entire album.  Moira is also part of a bigger story with the other singles/albums.  Even to the point that Oricon calls it the best album they heard.  Wow!  I agree this album was da shitz!

2. Perfume – GAME

 

Perfume, this was definitly their year.  GAME has the biggest songs of the year mixed in with even better new songs giving a great J-tek album and the first of the year.  I honestly think this’ll stand the test of time and interest people in the future with their sound.

1. Utada Hikaru – HEART STATION

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Yep, in all honesty Hikki’s HEART STATION album was the first album that I liked all of the songs equally in the first listen.  From the good-messaging sounds of “Fight The Blues” to the original “Flavor Of Life”, Hikki really surprised me and I hope this album continues to get huger!

Worst Albums of the Year

5. Ai Otsuka – LOVE LETTER

 

Honestly, this was one of my many dissapointments this year.  After the great album, “LOVE PiECE”, I was hoping to have a good album was this one.  Sadly one a few songs stood out and the rest was just not memorable enough to harken another full listen. 

4. Leah Dizon – Communication!!!

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Leah’s 2nd album, was just very off for me.  I’m not sure why it was so, but Communication!!! was a ver forgetful album and a step down from her debut.  Still, how do you go on pronouncing “BxKxRxxx”?

3. Morning Musume – COVER YOU

 

I usually like MM’s albums but their cover album was just icky.  None of the songs stood out except the preceding single “Pepper Keibu” and “UFO”.  Other than that, this album was just boring and too safe with the remakes.  Need more pizzazz. 

2. Momoi Haruko – Sunday early Morning

 

Yikes, this album was full of issues brought upon Momoi’s way too cutesy seiyuu voice.  Even my favorite song off the album “Lumica” was seiyuu pitched.  She needs to sing in a more mature tone than kill the songs arrangement with her bad vocals.

1. Hitomi Shimatani – Flare

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Flare took worst album of the year because Hitomi truthfully had three memorable tracks, Neva Eva, Shinku, and Taiyou no Flare.  Everything else was amazingly weak of her and c’mon her past albums 1-ups this album in everyway….Filler album practically.

Best Mini-Album

HANGRY & ANGRY – Kill Me Kiss Me

 

I wasn’t having high hopes for their debut mini, but Kill Me Kiss Me won me over with their gothic punk style kind of music and every track was pretty good and full of energy. 

Worst Mini-Album

SAWA – COLORS

 

SAWA’s debut mini-album was musically and vocally bad.  The promotional track pretty much summed up what the album would sound like.  Very bland and SAWA sucks at singing, luckily she fixed it up with her 2nd mini-album

 

Best-of 2008: Singles December 31, 2008

Filed under: ~Best of 2008~ — solarblade @ 5:14 am

2008 was definitly the year for new sounds and endeavors and the birth of this site of course, so I’m going to rundown through the best of singles in the first post

Best A-side

5. Rina Aiuchi – Sugao no Mama

 

This year has been Rina’s year of releasing things.  What really surprised me was how boring most of the releases were until Sugao no Mama came out.  Not only is it the only upbeat track released this year.  It beats out all the tracks this year with it’s rock style that I’ve personally missed since “PLAYGIRL”.  What a great way to end the year off.

4. Rie fu – romantic

 

Rie fu pulled a fast one over us by releasing romantic, a devious little dance number produced by Taku of m-flo.  Why is it so surprising?  Well, Rie fu is usually that artist who does soft pop/folk songs.  So when news came around that romantic was a dance track, it was heard all over the place.  What got me was how cool and collected Rie fu was in this genre and definitly memorable by all means.

3. Koda Kumi – TABOO

 

Not exactly the best year of releases either for Koda Kumi, but when this bombshell of a dance track was released, everyone perked their ears up and definitly listened and/or watched TABOO.  Kumi being the queen of controversy once again (no pun intended) released the inner sex devient she is by getting more lesbian than ever and throwing two guys kissing for kicks.  Song itself was definity something Americanized and quite hot! 

2. AAA – ZERØ

 

AAA really hit it off with this dark tune, ZERØ.  Sounds of anguish and fear really interested me into the song as well as the accompanying PV.  I think we all know now that Urata is the sexiest member and totally should be gay for us.  Still, ZERØ is just that good with it’s rock sound mixed with synth sounds

1. Ami Suzuki – ONE

 

Yay, So my number one A-side was definitly Ami’s first single for “Supreme Show”.  It’s definitly the “FREE FREE” of this year with aggressive tones and vocoder craziness, it’s also one of the first song that I like with the PV even though Ami can’t dance worth crap.  Still one of the best this year.

Best B-side

5. BONNIE PINK – Pump It up!

 

Lots of artists broke through barriers this year and Kaori is no exception.  She also broke out of her shell doing a great dance track, Pump It Up!  What made it work was all of the small add-ons like ~Let me hear you~ and such.  What a great way to begin this top 5

4. Kalafina – serenato

 

Maybe it’s the Enya-like sound that I wasn’t expecting from this B-side, but serenato is seriously Kalafina’s best song to date as well, which is just as surprising because all of their releases so far have been really good.  Even further is that it’s a winter song so that made it more nicer.

3. portable – Boku no Bunshin

 

Probably surprising to many people, but portable really caught me in their webs with this semi-aggressive J-tek song.  Like the whole roboticness of the verses to the great aggressive beats in the beginning and end, adding in they are an indies group makes this very intriguing.  Here’s hoping they get big!

2. alan – Kagome

 

Another alan B-side?  Yep even better than “My Stage”, Kagome really put it in as the more powerful B-side than “Kaze no Tegami”.  I mean she’s always incorporating Chinese elements in all her singles, but this one won me over with the combination of the pop/rock theme.  Kagome is a great B-side

1. Perfume – edge

 

Yes, ever since it’s leak, edge has and still is one of my favorite Perfume songs. The song itself is a little odd singing about death and stuff, but add in the Nakata touch, that seems to be gone and drowned by the sweet beats. 

Best Cover Art

5. Tsukiko Amano – ZERO no Chouritsu

 

 

ZERO no Chouritsu’s cover begins this list because of how pretty gothic it looks.  I’m not sure why, but the nature mixed with Tsukiko’s dark fashion sense worked and how the title of the track is vertically written.  I really liked this cover

4. T.M.Revolution – resonance

 

Maybe not as grand or beautiful as others,  but the way those colorful wires are attatching and connecting to each other is a great thing, especially with the 3 other covers for this single, it is a nice cover.

3. Aira Mitsuki – China Discotica

 

You know it was going to be on this list.  Aira’s cover for her debut on a major label was amazingly random and yet conveyed that randomness throughout the A-side.  I gotta say though, the mannequins have bigger boobies than she does >>;

2. HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – FLASHBACK/Komorebi no Uta

 

I really love the light/darkness cover and how many opposites are really going on like arm positions the stuff on the hill and the eyes.  Talk about freaky but awesomely great.  Definitly better than the last two covers this year.

1. BONNIE PINK – Kane wo Narashite

 

I really like BONNIE PINK’s covers a lot and this year she didn’t disappoint, even though this was basically her only release this year.  She looks really nice in mid-air and those rainbow feathers…bitch I want some seriously.  Great cover!!!

Best Single Overall

5. Anna Tsuchiya – cocoon

 

cocoon really made me appreciate Anna so much more.  All of the songs are great rock tracks especially the title track and “u”.  This single should be in everyone’s repetoire since it represents the best of Anna other than her Spin Aqua stuff.

4. GIRL NEXT DOOR – Drive away/Shiawase no Jouken

 

My obvious favorite single from this newly joined group got me hooked on them very quickly.  Both original tracks have such great energy and CHISA being all happy added more fun.  There was one song and it was the “maximizor remix” so other than that this was another great single

3. MAXIMUM THE HORMONE – Tsume Tsume Tsume/「F」

 

In a world that was being covered by J-tek, MTH decided to shoot out of the water and release the double A-sided single.  All 3 songs were crazy rock and yet, more complex than previous releases which showed the group was and is getting better.  I wasn’t complaining at all.

2. Kalafina – fairytale

 

Kalafina definitly surprised me with their winter single, fairytale.  All the chanting and soft sounds through both “fairytale” and “serenato” were soothing to the ears and brought me to expect more from them.  For kicks, they also threw in the instrumental to “sprinter” which was a risky but cool move.

1. Perfume – love the world

 

What?  you knew this was coming and for sure, it is to me their best single this year.  love the world was full of J-tek goodness with the a-side being all classy and bleepy, you couldn’t help but love it to death.  edge was what took over the single altogether.  We really weren’t expecting another aggressive track, but this totally made and even included an extended version of “edge” for people who love it that much AKA me.

Worst A-side

5. chatmonchy – Somaru Yo

 

chatmonchy should really stick to more upbeat tracks because the A-side of this single was of terrible issues.  Mostly Eriko’s vocals is what killed the song, she does not do ballads well enough.  Yet, they have worst songs I’ve heard.  Sad huh?

4. capsule – JUMPER

 

I really love the album version of it, but the single/analog version of it is terrible in my opinion.  Like the pitch movement and the other small changes bothered me like crazy that I had to delete it.  I mean is it really shocking that I don’t like it? 

3. HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – HOT LIMIT

 

Yeesh, a cover making the list?  Yeah…HandMC’s cover of a T.M.Revolution track was definitly not the smartest move on the groups career.  HOT LIMIT sounded watered down for them and lacked the energy the original had.  Even the PV wasn’t special to me (even though Takanori is in it).

2. Hitomi Shimatani – Nakitai Nara

 

Nakitai Nara is basically one boring song.  The only thing that really saved it was the fact Hitomi’s vocals are super nice.  It still one of her worst ballads in her career…(it was this one or “AnHnWAnNWKnHnwKnNW”)

1. alan – Megumi no Ame

 

Yeah, an alan A-side failing.  I swear, this is the worst A-side she has had so far and that’s saying something.  It just lacked any interest from alan altogether.  Overusing the ballad card has its payback.

Worst B-side

5. Ai Otsuka – H20

 

I’m probably the only one who didn’t like this B-side.  It’s a little too similar to songs like “Superman” and “U-Boat” which both songs aren’t exactly high on my list either, but this song was just annoying to no end. 

4. Mami Kawada – Ame

 

Mami’s first single that I listened to was an experience, sadly that B-side Ame was not in top shape.  It felt strange hearing her warp and hit these sour notes.  Yea, I’ve gradually learned to hate the song since the initial review and this is becoming a very icky track to me.

3. MEG – CANDY

 

I tried to get into this song, but CANDY was inexplicibly terrible to my ears.  Like how she says CANDYYYYY is so ugh *shivers*  I rather would’ve had CANDY been left and thrown to the trash heaps because that’s what it is.

2. Morning Musume – Sono Bamen de Bibbicha Ikenai Jan!

 

I really wished the next failure wasn’t on this single.  “Resonant Blue” is such a great track, but it’s B-side was so uberly bad.  Like after the previous 3 singles which had good B-sides, they had to idol pop this track so badly.  Like I wanted to barf a little when I heard it.

1. Perfume – Negai

 

Negai will be hailed as Perfume’s worst Nakata track ever.  I mean this beats out “Sweet Donuts” at being bad.  They’ve tried doing J-tek ballads once before and that came out well.  Well, I have no idea what happened but “Negai” is amazingly boring.  Only saving grace is the piano ending.

Worst Single Overall

1. Koda Kumi – MOON

 

MOON overall was a pretty safe single.  Unlike her other two 4-A-sided singles, “4 hot wave” and “FREAKY”, this was definitly the failure between the three.  Moon Crying was a good ballad, but not too memorable, Lady Go! was just like her other happy pop songs, Once Again was reggae which I don’t like honestly and That Ain’t Cool is a sorry mistake of a collaboration.

4. alan – Megumi no Ame

 

This was alan’s worst single IMO as well.  Like I said, Megumi no Ame was way too boring for my needs and “Namida” though better was still not on the likes of her other tracks.  Who knew water could be so damn boring.

3. Hitomi Shimatani – Ame no Hi ni wa Ame no Naka wo Kaze no Hi ni wa Kaze no Naka wo

 

Definitly Hitomi’s worst edition of a single.  Other than the horrendously long name that came with the A-side, the B-side had a long name too and there was a remix with SOFFet.  Both songs aren’t very good or even memorable though.

2. BoA – Vivid

 

Did anyone else think this single screamed bland?  Yeah, Vivid seemed to be rushed in very fast because the songs lacked any interest from BoA.  Not only it was near the after release of “THE FACE” she performed it on the tour.  Definitly sucky-ish.

1. misono – Kazoku no Hi

 

No way…after the great album just before this single, I was expecting more rock stuff.  All we ended up was with a weird A-side.  An 8 minute ballad which bored me to deaf.  “music letter” which was the only good thing on here and a 3 minute TV version of Aburazemi which sounded like country music.  Definitly the worst bunch of songs to put on a single.

Worst Art Cover

5. misono – Kazoku no Hi

 

Why is she in a wedding dress.  Seriously, this was one fugly looking photo from misono.  Like the song isn’t really about marriage, so that makes the cover seem irrelevent. 

4. Aira Mitsuki – ROBOT HONEY

 

Aira, Aira, Aira….Why did you have to make this cover in plaid of all things?  I really dislike the whole thng and well the text is the only thing that actually stood out.  What a poor choice….well “Darling Wondering Staring/STAR FRUITS SURF RIDER” sucked too.  hmmm. 

3. MICA 3 CHU – I DON’T KNOW

 

Yeah, makeup and Mika do not work together hence this outrageous cover.  Even the comedian group looks out of place.  Seriously Mika stop looking anorexic because you sorta do bb.  I love the guitar pick as the emblem of the single.

2. Utada Hikaru – Prisoner of Love

 

Taking a shot from the PV, this was just a crap cover.  Like the cover itself looks like someone can easily take….in the 80’s!!!  Hikki, what happened to the cool cover arts you had?

1. Anna Tsuchiya – Virgin Cat

 

Virgin Cat wins worse cover easily.  Eww, like what the hell was on her mind doing this shot?  I don’t wanna see her in the position and with the tail it’s quite freaky.   xD  Yea, worst cover this year.

 

The Debuters December 7, 2008

Filed under: ~Best of 2008~ — solarblade @ 7:53 pm

So let’s look at our list of who debuted this year!

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Oddly our first group was actually the last to debut this year.  They are heavily citing Perfume as their influence to their music which is quite obvious because of the 3-nin idea.  It’s also pretty early to say what they’ll do

GIRL NEXT DOOR

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To be honest GND has been on avex’s mind all year long. Why? Well they are the 20th Annivarsary group which means AAA became the FU moment when they debuted.  Not only are they really popular because of “Guuzen no Kakuritsu”, but they released two more singles in a matter of two months and an album coming out on Christmas Eve.  I hope they slow down a little bit though and change their music style a bit.  Still one of the cooler bands to debut this year.

HANGRY & ANGRY

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Even though they only released one thing, a mini-album of course, soon-to-be Ex-H!P members Yossie and Rika have found a replacement and what better way as to be Gothic Lolita chikas.  Now, I hope they stick around because the music has been great. 

JERO

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JERO debuted this year and raised many eyebrows, by well, becoming the first African-American/Asian guy singing fluently in Japanese enka.  Now he’s added a twist to his music making it sound a lot more modern and is already quite the celeb.  Even though he released “Umiyuki” in February.  and did a cover album, he’s quite quiet this year.

Kalafina

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Yuki Kajiura got it right starting up this all female group which does change from 3 members to 4, but it seems the 4th member isn’t too permanent.  They brought a pretty calm sound to nullify the other new acts of the year.  With two singles down and a 3rd coming in later this month they really are quite the underdogs.  Also to note that they were the first to debut off this list of artists with “oblivious” in January

Kanon Wakeshima

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Kanon also debuted this summer and did she come out with a bang.  still doll was totally different from anything else that was released at the time.  What was bad about it?  The time stretch between her debut single and her 2nd single, Suna no Oshiro.  Luckily she’s putting out an album next year which is great to know.  Definitly an artist to watch.

MiChi

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MiChi debuted as an indies artist earlier in the yea but she fully debuted on the Japanese charts in October.  Even though all she has is a English-only mini-album and a somewhat Japanese single, she’s also getting pretty popular pretty fast.  She needs to announce a new single sooon though.

MilkyWay

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Considering all of what’s been happening at H!P HQ…There was an actual group that debuted this year.  Even though it’s for a show, MilkyWay is your typical cutesy threesome…oh that came out bad huh?  Anyway only having two released singles, I don’t see much of them going any further than one album.  Hopefully they beat my expectations.

portable

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portable should get an introduction to the site, so here it is.  They are an indies group, but being J-tek, you can’t really tell if they are indies or not since their music is pretty good.  Releasing their debut in October, portable is catching on to many people online, which is good.  I hoped to see more of them next year.

SAWA

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Are you gonna be surprised to know she has not released a single yet?  That’s because this year she’s only released two mini-albums “COLORS” and “TIME&SPACE”. She’s actually getting better since her first release which is amazing.

Shion Tsuji

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Shion’s debut last month actually was a nice surprise and obviously with only one release under her wing with “Candy kicks” There’s mumblings going that she is a bit too much like “YUI” but why are you basing this after one single?  Anyway, I hope to see more of her in the future

 

That’s the list y’all there were gonna be exceptions, but no way, only for this year suckers!!!!!