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Best and Worst of 2012: Mini-Albums April 15, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 7:53 am

Yeah, this has been forever in the making so I feel like I should move my ass and finish up these posts eh?


  • Shoko Nakagawa – Tokimeki☆Dreamer (nsum ~Nakagawa Shoko ga Utatte Mita!~)


So here we have the mini-album songs that I liked but didn’t make the top 2, but overall there wasn’t a lot of choices this year.  Just Friends (Can you hear me?) from Kie was a surprisingly fun song to hear from her and is one of her best songs yet!  palm love (Sang) by Eri Takenaka was a definite chill and unique experience, especially with how light and pretty Eri sounded and finally Loveless (Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana) from Asriel definitely was the best the duo released this year with perfect vocals and soft arrangement.

2. Buono! – Mirai Drive (SHERBET)


Buono! released another surprisingly good song in Mirai Drive this year which is a bit lighter but also one of the more pleasant songs as well!  I guess it helped that it had acoustic guitar and all three of the ladies sound good here.  Yeah this was just a great song!

1. D – Like a Black Cat ~Mujitsu no Tsumi~ (Namonaki Mori no Yumegatari)


Strangely enough, I felt like D’s song, Like a Black Cat was definitely the best of the mini songs here.  It was dark and gothic and brought back the things I love about D (especially ASAGI).  There’s a lot to this song that really worked out so I was happy with my decision!



You know, like I said there wasn’t a whole lot of songs this year to really deal with but there were some bad ones.  Melody (LOVE) isn’t totally bad persay, but the song didn’t really make me feel anything for it.  Guruguru* (Yun*chi) would’ve been OK if there wasn’t so much dubstep thrown in alongside Yun*chi’s YUKI-like vocals. AMOYAMO’s theme song from the A☆M☆O☆Y★A★M★O mini-album was pretty damn bad, especially the hook of it is mostly spelling the song out too..yeah that was not a smart move!

2. GO GO Summer! 2012 (KARA Collection)


KARA really didn’t need to do what they did to GO GO Summer!, but they did with this being included on KARA Collection.  GO GO Summer! is already a great JPN KARA song, but seeing it retouched and given another slab of synths did not work this time around.  Just drove me nuts!

1. Asriel – Souyoku Fuuga (Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana)


Asriel knows how to do good songs, but that’s covered with so many bad songs that it’s really strange.  Souyoku Fuuga is definitely the worst they put out this year.  I mean KOKOMI shouldn’t be singing like the banshee she was in this song TBH…Yeah it was bad!



Covers this year have been pretty good for the most part.  Yukino’s You make me blue is such a pretty shot of her in front of some mountains (if they’re photoshopped, then it’s pretty damn good lol).  Namonaki Mori no Yumegatari cover is quite symbol heavy with the deer and the black/white of them showing light and darkness.  I loved that cover though.  Soprano Rain feels like artwork with SAWA standing in front of it and it kind of worked for her lol.  Very colorful yet simple lol.

2. Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SEAPARADISE no Hihou


This kind of fits in with “Shiny tale”, but SEAPARADISE no Hihou had a bit more going on with the showing the members in their ever-changing outfits on a pirate shit!  Still very colorful!

1. Asriel – Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana


Finally I give some positive to Asriel, they always have the most elaborate and beautifully drawn artworks for their mini-albums and Awaki Yumemiru’s is no exception.  Very pretty and innocent looking and just kind of suits with the many other covers they have!



The thing about Sang and LOVE that found themselves here was the fact that they’re just close-up shots of them and neither really do much otherwise XD.  Yun*chi is just a bit plain though its kind of weird that she and her mirrored image kind of creates a lip xD…weird xD

2. Tommy february6 / Tommy heavenly6 – HALLOWEEN ADDICTION


I think the duo covers for Tomoko’s HALLOWEEN ADDICTION were pretty bad, mostly because they look so plain and while the February version has a beige color, both are still kind of meh just from not having to much on it.



MIYAVI took the crown of worst cover of the year…both covers for SAMURAI SESSIONS were a bit too odd looking, but this with the hair in front of his face just made him look psycho XD.  Doesn’t help the text is bad for the album title LOL





Even though the covers are bad, the experimentation MIYAVI did was splendid!  SAMURAI SESSIONS vol. 1 was a great thing for MIYAVI to have especially with having the singles prior included as well.  I love that the songs were all fresh and totally different…I hope there’s a second one in the future because this was a great mini!

1. Yukino – You make me blue


HOWEVER, if there was one artist that blew me away it was new artist Yukino and her debut mini-album, You make me blue.  She sounds AMAZING on the mini and her style was completely refreshing from the pop stantards Japan is slowly fading into.  It was a bit jazzy, but also bright pop too…it was just such a sweet surprise!



Sooo there’s really not a lot of TERRIBLE albums but they were on the lower side of the spectrum.  HALLOWEEN ADDICTION by both Tommys has 3 great songs BUT the killer fact is the those three songs are split into sections (the older songs never had that treatment).  Yeah it just wasn’t very well done or very smart.  KARA’s KARA Collection isn’t bad either, but none of the songs really stood out (plus GG! Summer 2012 was horrendous).  Soprano Rain by SAWA was a bit meh and a bit shaky but it’s because SAWA switched labels.



NIKIIE might have impressed me with “Everytime” but CHROMATOGRAPHY was quite unimpressive overall and seemed like dropouts from her first mini-album which was pretty depressing.  Yeah I mean one REALLY good song and I was just like over it XD

1. Yun*chi – Yun*chi


When I think of my least favorite mini-album of the year it was between NIKIIE and Yun*chi, but NIKIIE was slightly better because her vocals are so much better than Yun*chi’s!  Her self-titled debut was very lackluster and the only good song was the promo track Reverb*.  Yeah the other songs were like zzzzzzzz…



Best and Worst of 2012: Best Single Overall!!!! (and worst…) January 14, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 10:47 am

And here we are, the best and worst singles overall this year!  Let’s kick things off with the top!


  • Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
  • Daichi Miura – Right Now/Voice
  • DiVA – Lost the way
  • Dream Morning Musume – Shining Butterfly
  • Eri Kitamura – Destiny
  • Fairies – Beat Generation/No More Distance
  • faylan – Dead END/Soukyuu no Hikari
  • JASMINE – Best Partner
  • Kavka Shishido – Aisuru Kakugo
  • Kie Kitano – Darl:orz
  • Miliyah Kato – HEART BEAT
  • miwa – Kataomoi
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”
  • Piko – Make My Day!
  • Satsuki – FATE/INSIDE
  • Sayaka Kitahara – Natsu ga Yattekuru
  • Stereopony – stand by me
  • Tohoshinki – ANDROID
  • Up Up Girls (Kari) – Barebare I LOVE YOU
  • Vanilla Beans – Choco Mint Flavor Time

Awwww, just that close to the 10 y’know?


Lots of great singles this year and a lot more impressed as well when compared to last years.  At the 15th spot, Nami Tamaki’s return to music under a new label was a bit risky but she pulled off LADY MIND in such great colors and got me to pay attention to her again.  UVERworld’s 7th Trigger was also a really powerful single from this group.  All three tracks were surprisingly strong and even better since all three tracks made their album in some form.  I knew Kou Shibasaki was capable of impressing me since she usually does that at least once an album era and this year, that single would be Strength.  Especially since the leading track is fun and the B-side is a pretty ballad. Even though she had the best A-side this year in my opinion, Nana Mizuki’s single for Synchrogazer was also pretty good and even the B-side I wasn’t interested in had grown on me this year so it really grew!  Takaramono by Marina Kawano is probably one of the most surprising for me because she still is a new artist and all, but she stepped up to the plate with this single and was very impressed.

10. Leo Ieiri – Shine


I could say all of Leo’s single could’ve made this list, but with Shine, Leo actually had three very strong songs.  The leading track is quite nostalgic, but really showcases her powrful vocals as well as in Hello.  As for Colorful, she definitely went the playful and fun route with it and still stands out strong amongst her current discography.

9. yanaginagi – Laterality


Another surprise to me on this list (well not really) but yanaginagi has had a really solid year in releases so like Leo, any of her three singles could’ve been in this place.  However, I thought Laterality really did the best showcasing Nagi’s vocals and style.  First off the lead song is upbeat and really pushed Nagi to the limit and she pulled it off very well.  Then there’s Shinjitsu no Hane and link which had an experimentive sound and that also worked to her advantage.  What a great single this was for her!

8. Kaya – SALOME


I have to say that, it’s shocking to see me enjoy a Kaya single fully like I did with SALOME (well mostly).  Minus the prologue/epilogue thing,  SALOME was a great way to bring back Kaya’s dark-trance with deep vocals sound that I just LOOOOVE in this single.  Then there’s Babylon which is pretty unique in the way that it sounds like circus music, but also quite mysterious.  Even with the two other songs on there, it still managed to get into the top 10!



I would have never have guessed that MIYAVI would release this electro-rock track as the second of his collaboration era and DAY 1 is so progressive and edgy and relaly true to MIYAVI and the updated take on FUTURISTIC LOVE was not too shappy as well adding more knick-knacks for greater effect!  Then there’s the live versions of songs…nothing could go wrong there…this was definitely strong for MIYAVI and I loved it a lot!

6. Maon Kurosaki – HELL:ium


I have found myself loving Maon as she continued her career and even though she slumped once, she had a lot of great stuff including this single HELL:ium.  If you really love rock songs that mixes a little bit of the anison in, then both Nari Hibita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku and I’m still breathing… are powerful and epic in the terms for Maon.  As for Just believe., she knows also how to work a ballad and this altogether, made my #6 choice!

5. Crystal Kay – Delicious na Kinyoubi/Haru Arashi


When Kuri switched labels, I was curious to see how her music would change and by god was it awesome and I feel like the pinnacle of that is with Delicious na Kinyoubi and Haru Arashi.  Both are upbeat, synth heavy, but fun to listen to.  Luckily it was just those two songs so it was just right with me!

4. Namie Amuro – Go Round/YEAH-OH


Even though this isn’t better than last year’s pick, I feel like Go Round and YEAH-OH were pretty damn good.  I did prefer the latter because it flowed a lot more smoother and left a much bigger mark, but Go Round is pretty good…though I would totally avoid the English versions…talk about redundant!

3. Perfume – Spending all my time


Even though this single did split the fandom quite a bit, I really loved Spending all my time even if it’s essentially a very English-fied sounding track with a whole lot of repeition but that’s where the B-sides kick in.  Point took a more drum n’ bass style and mixes cute with Nakata’s genius for this bright and fluttery track.  Hurly Burly on the hand was more of what we’ve gotten accustomed to, but that’s a good thing and it’s also quite good…awesome single!

2. Nami Tamaki – PARADISE


Yeah it could be my bias talking, but I really loved PARADISE as a whole more so than the other single Nami released this year.  Considering the single is produced by the same two people of “LADY MIND”, I thought it was genius!  That being said, the main track and COLORS exceeded much more than her last single together…I was impressed a lot, and this single brought my crazy fandom back in!

1. KOKIA – New Day, New Life


I’m sure most of you are suprised about this choice, but this single was a bright light in a dark year for KOKIA because all the other singles released this year, were bad and boooooring, but New Day, New Life was like an antithesis of those singles.  It’s bright and sung beautifully by KOKIA who is no stranger to that and then when life ~Seimei no Hibiki~ kicks up, things go in a more frantic and epic sound which I love even MORE than normal and she did that amazingly!  It’s my favorite single of the year for sure!


  • Aimer – Yuki no Furu Machi/Fuyu no Diamond
  • Aki Misato – Ai no Sei de Nemurenai
  • Aki Toyosaki – Shirotsumekusa
  • Annabel – anamnesis
  • chatmonchy – Thermae Roman
  • Dream5 – Kirakira Every day
  • faylan – WHITE justice
  • FLOWER – forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~
  • girl next door – all my life
  • JUJU – sign
  • Kaya – Vampire Requiem
  • KOKIA – Memorial days
  • KOTOKO – Restart
  • Miliyah Kato – AIAIAI
  • moumoon – Wild Child
  • Plastic Tree – Shion
  • Sakanaction – Boku to Hana
  • Sakura Gakuin – WONDERFUL JOURNEY
  • SCANDAL – Pin Heel Surfer
  • SDN48 – Makeoshimi Congratulation
  • SID – Nokoriga
  • Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Shounen wa Uso wo Tsuke!

At least they’re not on the 10!


I was surprised with the amount of singles I just didn’t like this year…I don’t remember having this much last year 0.o  Starting things off, I chose DOES’ Ima wo Ikiru and Rola’s Memories because they both had lackluster songs and that was it (well Rola scored higher, because that at least had an instrumental).  With Juliet’s Himitsu ~Kimi no Soba ni Iru Tame ni~ It was just a forgettable single because both tracks were reminescent to their previous works.  Minori Chihara’s SELF PRODUCER might have had one good song on it, but the rest of the single (which is three tracks) were total borefests.  Last but not least, SuG’s single for sweeToxic was bad had it not been for their touching up of “LOVE SCREAM PARTY”.  Otherwise…it was quite poor.

10. Anna Tsuchiya – Voyagers


Topping the list at #10, Voyagers by Anna Tsuchiya is a good way to start this list.  I felt like the song was pretty damn weak for a Kamen Rider theme and definitely makes her previous one like like a solid winner (even though that wasn’t all that great either).  What’s worse though was that the single looked like a mess and even looked lazy.  I mean one edition had a live version of IS THIS LOVE?. while the other had an orchestrated version of Switch On! and that had 0 vocals.  Tack on a mega-mix that really didn’t make sense in the long run and you get this single…

9. Fairies – Tweet Dream/Sparkle


Oh Fairies, you really need to continue to do things correctly, not veer off the road and throw an absurd amount of auto-tune into your sound as such is the case of Tweet Dream which is made worse by the fact that it’s repetitive and annoying as well.  Sparkle has the auto-tune going as well and while it’s not as terribad as it’s sister A-side, it was still something that was hard to take in.

8. Maon Kurosaki – reimei


I honestly don’t know why Maon went in the direction she did after the amazing “HELL:ium” single but reimei is such a contrast from exciting to mind-numbingly cheap and bland which shows that she can release something so great, but now shows she could release something poor.  As for Hiyoku -Contrast with you-, she tries to come back, but she ended up flat with a very sluggish ballad despite having such soothing vocals…it was just a boring melody.  Hopefully she doesn’t pull this again!

7. Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Shiny tale


One of the more depressing releases, Shiny tale at first was at the top of the list.  Luckily, the song that I was missing was found and the rating went up quite a bit.  The lead track and Capsule were rather horrid songs to listen to but without Pirates of Emerald, this single would’ve been the WORST of the year!

6. ikimono-gakari – Kaze ga Fuiteiru


I wasn’t too thrilled with ikimono-gakari’s music this year and it reached a boiling point with they Olympics theme, Kaze ga Fuiteiru.  You think I wouldn’t be too harsh, but this song was too boring and plain and TOO LONG for its own good…it seriously felt like it was dragging the entire time…plus there was no B-side which made the single even more ridiculous to me.

5. supercell – Kokuhaku/Bokura no Ashiato


I love supercell, I really do, but ever since ryo replaced Nagi with Koeda, I just haven’t been feeling the same about him.  I think the lowest point came in the form of this single and it really is mostly Koeda’s voice that turns me off.  Kokuhaku and Bokura no Ashiato had potential to be good, but I couldn’t stand listening to the single much longer because of the lead.  Kare is strangely enough passable, but it didn’t save the single from getting onto this list.

4. KOKIA – Yume Oibito


Yeah a bad KOKIA single huh?  I really don’t know why she released this as a single, but this song is pretty boring with the typical ballad-formula that not even the pretty vocals from KOKIA.  You know what’s worse, they toned it down even FURTHER by giving Yume Oibito a seperate piano version which is even MORE sleep-inducing…Yeah, this was just an extremely boring single lol.

3. AKB48 – Eien Pressure


Janken single is most of the reason why I don’t like Eien Pressure but the rest of the single is just handled badly.  First AKB’s Totteoki Christmas is pretty boring of a Xmas song and the Theater release of Watashitachi no Reason is literally the only good thing on the single.  HOWEVER AKB did something pretty poorly and that was getting the other ___48 groups together and doing a song which brought me to loathe it because I would rather have an AKB single BE just only AKB.

2. Model Girls – ROCK STAR


This is probably the worst debut I’ve heard ever since I started reviewing the site.  ROCK STAR is just about as lazy as the name of the group is.  It’s like taking the worst things that I don’t like in a song and collide it together.  TIGER LILY is even worse if you can imagine that at all.  LET ME LET ME is a little light on the single, but those vocals were pretty terrible to listen to.  Yeah this was quite embarassing to be honest x.x

1. Yui Sakakibara / Yui Ogura – Manatsu no Cielo/Samurai Girl


Worst single of the year though belongs to these two for putting such a ear-cringing single together.  Sakakibara’s Manatsu no Cielo is back to the loathsome high pitch singing I’ve been listening to for a long time while Ogura’s Samurai Girl was even worse with very squeaky vocals and a lame arrangement…together, this sing was just not at all a good experience (or review for that matter).  Still worst single of the year!





Best and Worst of 2012: Beautiful, Beautiful Art Covers…and Uglys too #oop XD January 9, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 3:45 am

There were quite a lot of covers this year so let’s just dive in before I get bored of typing this one out!


  • AFTERSCHOOL – Rambling girls/Because of you
  • angela – KINGS
  • KOKIA – New Day, New Life
  • Kylee – Mirai
  • May’n – Chase the world
  • Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Shiny tale
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou
  • Shoko Nakagawa – Horoscope
  • SID – V.I.P
  • Sukima Switch – Eureka

So close to making the top 10!


I’ve noticed that the first four mentioned: Angela Aki’s Kokuhaku, KOKIA’s Hikari wo Kasanete, yanaginagi’s Vidro Moyou, and Kana Nishino’s Always kind of has this simplistic yet beautiful concept.  Angela’s with the paper flying around but she’s playing her piano, KOKIA’s being more suble with the light shining in that desolate room she’s sitting in, Nagi’s being a bit more pattern-friendsly and classy and Kanayan’s with the flowery field and bright cover.  As for Larval Stage Planning’s Trip -innocent of D-, I love the wings and the whole chessboard look to it. 



Starting the top 10, we have MiChi’s cover of TOKYO NIGHT and I really liked the all black/night cover with the Tokyo Tower being lit up even with the blur effect on high.  I do question MiChi’s fashion sense but I still like the cover a lot!

9. Berryz Koubou – Be Genki <Naseba Naru!>


I think of all the covers from H!P this year, I thought this one from the Berryz was quite energetic and kind of has this futuristic badassery.  Plus the girls have their colors with those laser beam-ish attacks…it’s pretty awesome!



I know this cover is kind of like another of GACKT’s covers, but I really like the dark tone with GACKT looking up at an eclipse with rose petals raining down while he’s sitting on a throne.  Pretty simple cover but quite effective for the song!

7. Yousei Teikoku – filament


I guess the recurring theme for me is dark covers…Yousei’s single cover for filament was a really cool looking cover from the lady (Yui?) being suspended like she’s in a web in a forested area is kind of freaky…but cool at the same time.  Creepy cover but it’s a great cover for the duo!

6. ALI PROJECT – Kyomu Densen


I guess this is what happens when you escape from the web…you fall to the ground in a cemetary and looking like a zombie it really worked for ALIPRO.  I’m always impressed with how much effort they put into the covers and this was nature-y and creepy!  Lovin’ it!

5. faylan – WHITE justice


Another artist that I’m usually impressed with the art covers, faylan’s cover for WHITE justice is kind of cool…a little simple with her pose but I love the spaceship with a blown out area with a clear view of Earth behing her and the blue space.  Such a wondrous cover though lol.

4. Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SKY HEAVEN


There’s something about the whole storybook-like atmosphere I get with SKY HEAVEN that I thought was so charming.  Plus I think it has a little nod to the whole Jack and the Beanstalk going…Cute and nicely drawn in a way…and the gold border is cute too lol.

3. Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”


There’s nothing wrong with being space pirate and MomocloZ’ cover for Mugen no Ai is nothing short of epicness!  It’s just cool and flashy and seeing Kanako leading the group is really cool though strange seeing Reni being faded out…still this cover is bangin’!

2. Mika Nakashima – Hatsukoi


Once again, simplicity won me over with Mika’s Hatsukoi.  I love the whole floating in space  with stars all around and sitting with a bicycle is sweet, yet classy.  I approve of this cover a lot!



C’mon, I think we all know I was going to choose this because of all the costumes and Halloween goodness this cover has.  Everyone is dressed as a different thing like Kanon being a cross fusion of Little Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf and RINA as a bunny, and etc. etc.  I just really loved this cover and the castle behind then fit the subject at hand too…Yeah this was my favorite cover of the year!


  • ABCHO – Me wo Tojite Gyuushiyou
  • AKB48 – Gingham Check
  • Aki Toyosaki – music
  • Ayahi Takasaki – Meteor Light
  • Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
  • chatmonchy – Thermae Roman
  • ClariS – Naishou no Hanashi
  • Crystal Kay – Delicious na Kinyoubi/Haru Arashi
  • Eiko Shimamiya – Onkalo
  • EVANPONY – Just rock with me
  • girl next door – all my life
  • Hitomi Shimatani – Shiawase Hakoberu You ni
  • ikimono-gakari – Itsudatte Bokura wa
  • JUJU – sign
  • Juliet – “Daisuki”
  • Kana Nishino – SAKURA, I love you?
  • Kaori Mochida – Megumi/Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo
  • Kaori Mochida – Utsukushiki Urawashiki Hito
  • Kie Kitano – Darl:orz
  • Kou Shibasaki – Strength
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – Tsukema Tsukeru
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – Fashion Monster
  • Leo Ieiri – Sabrina
  • Maika – Yada yo…
  • Mami Kawada – Borderland
  • Miliyah Kato – LOVERS II feat. Wakadanna
  • Minami Kizuki – Ai Tsumugi/Shiawase no Tane
  • MISIA – Koi wa Owaranai Zutto
  • misono / Me – Maialino!/”…?” no Tsuzuki ~Eien Nante Nai…Itsuka Owari ga Aru Keredo~
  • moumoon – “Love is Everywhere”
  • NEWS – Chankapana
  • Not yet – Suika BABY
  • Piko – Make my day!
  • Plastic Tree – Shion
  • PUFFY – Tomodachi no Wao!
  • StylipS – MIRACLE RUSH
  • Sukima Switch – Last Scene
  • Suneohair – slow dance
  • Tohoshinki – STILL
  • UVERworld – THE OVER
  • Vanilla Beans – Non-Section
  • Versailles – ROSE
  • YUKI – Watashi no Negaigoto

Close to the worst!


So many bad covers this year!!!  Starting with Vanilla Beans’ Choco Mint Flavor Time, the cover is quite bland for them, plus with them singing into Baskin Robbins ice creams and wearing waffle cone dresses is just quite blah blah.  The blandness continued with Rola and her cover for Memories, which is just too place with her sitting on a platform…nothing else really.  The whole rain on a window shtick on the Kuchizuke cover from Plastic Tree is a bit meh, but their singles covers this year have been weird to say the least.  I’m sorry Kiyoe, but the cover for Haru Uta does not make exactly look any good to be honest.  For FLOW’s Rock Climbers the cover is really plain…and kind of extremely cheap to be honest.

10. Kana Nishino – GO FOR IT!!


I mean Kanayan did have some rather eh covers this year, but GO FOR IT!! was a bit tragic.  I mean the neon colors and quote-on-quote balloons were one thing.  Kana looking a little idol-ish on the cover, the rabbit mascot and the title writing is about as meh as it gets.  I just kind of gave up on it, even if the song is good lol.  This cover was just yikes.



Something about the single looks really cheap and the whole foreground to background backdrop remind me of “Alternative” but was because the colors just didn’t work together…plus what is up with KATSU’s outfit…it looked a bit out of place next to atsuko’s outfit >.<

8. Model Girls – ROCK STAR


Nothing says cheap like Model Girls’ cover for their debut, ROCK STAR.  It might be good for the ladies as they are used to the camera shots and all, but the whole latex outfit and color-coded seperation did clash with the backdrop and while it might help seperating the girls apart (like Momusu and MomocloZ) but this doesn’t seem like it works here for me.  BTW, the shoes don’t match the outfits >.> yeah…

7. Crystal Kay – Forever


Yeah, Kuri didn’t have great single covers but I actually couldn’t guess why she only put her legs for the Forever cover.  Legs only covers are kind of meh and the angle of the shot plus her constipated pose left me rather in a laughable position.  I just can’t with this cover to be honest lol.

6. Chara – Alterna Girlfriend


You know it’s just a little strange when you’re wearing a dress made of plastic masks.  I mean Chara is being a bit more creative with her covers since returing to a major label, but this was just a little too out there for me and it looks so awkward looknig at it lol

5. Ayaka Hirahara – Smile Smile


Oh Ayaka another boring cover this year?  Smile Smile is just plain to me and while she smiles and has a cute hat of flowers, it still didn’t make up for everything else that was plain and just yawn-worthy.

4. POLYSICS – Everybody Say No


Huh…a drumkit with muscles?  I really don’t know where this idea came from but that’s kind of freaky and then to see the design being repeated across the cover is just putting salt on the wound.  Yeah, this is kind of a bad choice.

3. Minori Chihara – SELF PRODUCER


SO MANY SPARKLESSSS…lord Minorin, I enjoy you and all, but this cover seemed so strange for her and her as a businesswoman sitting on purple furniture…what is she playing at exactly?  Icky!!!

2. Miliyah Kato – AIAIAI


SOOO MUCH EYESHADOW…Miliyah I don’t want you looking like you had a rough night on the streets of Chicago, please learn some form of makeup prevention lol….yikes!

1. Morning Musume – Pyocopyoco Ultra


We all knew this was coming!  Momusu took childish to a very horrifying level with the cover of Pyocopyoco Ultra.  While I do like the one I used for the review, the rest of them were pretty much a travesty.  The older members looked rather uncomfortable with the whole idea and the COSTUMES…lord have mercy they had to wear chocobo skins for this…it really was bad and it carried into its PV…oh god was it the worst of the year!




Best and Worst of 2012: B-sides…DEM COUPLINGS!!! January 5, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 5:51 am

This year in B-sides there were quite a bunch of good ones this year and there were also a lot of bad ones…kind of evened out for the most part…so let’s start it!


  • 2PM – Kimi ga Ireba (Beautiful)
  • access – Beyond the Second-D. (Wild Butterfly)
  • ALTIMA – -Indefinitely- (I’ll believe)
  • angela – THE DARK (KINGS)
  • °C-ute – Saikou Music (Aitai Aitai Aitai na)
  • Ceui – Amorossia (Kaze no Naka no Primrose)
  • D – Koori no Bohyou (Danzai no Gunner)
  • DiVA – Kanashimi no Mirage (Lost the way)
  • GRANRODEO – Mesmerize (Can Do)
  • Mami Kawada – Angel // resident of the nightmare (Borderland)
  • Marina Kawano – a long long letter (Takaramono)
  • Mayu Watanabe – Saba no Kanzume (Synchro Tokimeki)
  • Momoiro Clover Z – LOST CHILD (Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”)
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Wee-Tee-Wee-Tee (Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo)
  • Nana Mizuki – Risouron (Synchrogazer)
  • PASSPO☆ – RUIN (Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru)
  • SCANDAL – Welcome home (Taiyou Scandalous)
  • StylipS – Honey Groove (MIRACLE RUSH)
  • StylipS – Fragile Crazy (Choose me♡Darling)
  • Up Up Girls (Kari) – Cyalume (Mecha Kyun♡Summer (‘▽`)ノ)
  • UVERworld – Barbell ~Koutei no Atarashii Fuku ver.~ (7th Trigger)
  • Vanilla Beans – Himitsu (Non-Section)
  • You Kikkawa – 17sai (Koko Kara Hajimarunda!)
  • Yousei Teikoku – Zetsubou plantation (filament)
  • YUI – If you (fight)
  • Yuya Matsushita – Dream on dreamer (Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~)
  • Zwei – MONSTER (Kakuchou Place)

The 5 that missed out!


Like I said above, B-sides have been mostly good this year!  The first song to talk about, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku’s Houkago Getobako Rock ‘n’ Roll MX (Karikeiyaku no Cinderella) is a really unique idol song for being a little more metal heavy and random of sorts…It was pretty awesome!  I’m surprised but Marina Kawano’s February March (Takaramono) was also an interesting song for me as well since Marina’s vocals were pretty and bright and the song was just a happy-go-lucky tune!  ALIPRO might not have had a busy year in comparison to previous ones but Yomi no Tasogare no, Utsurou Naru Aoki Hitomi no. (Kyomu Densen) was really dark and powerful, something I haven’t seen from the duo in a long while…one of their best B-sides!  Me and AKB48 never really see eye to eye on songs, but as a Theater Edition release they surprised me with an extremely nice ballad in Jung ya Freud no Baai (GIVE ME FIVE!).  I don’t remember exactly who was involved, but I liked this!  Last, but not least there was another ballad I loved and that was Kou Shibasaki’s Mou, Inai yo (Strength).  Very soothing to the ears and Kou just sounds lovely in it!



Beginning the top 10, I thought it would be nice to kick things off with an upbeat track in GOING DOWN…which was 10 times better than the leading track.  I love his upbeat songs and I think this was the best one he did.  It’s just cool and catchy and really suits him (though dance tracks are his strong points)! 

9. Kana Nishino – SUMMER TIME (GO FOR IT!!)


Same thing applies when talking about Kanayan’s B-side, SUMMER TIME as well!  I really liked the energy of the song and Kana seems to accels at these songs but somehow doesn’t do this much on albums…That being said, she needs more songs like this leafing her repetoire because I really liked SUMMER TIME.

8. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Discord (ROAD TO BUDOKAN 2012 ~Bad Flower~)


I’m surprsied that a TG’S B-side had impressed me as much as the leading song did this year.  I was also surprised that Discord had a tie-in to the Transformers series…something you don’t see a lot with idol groups….haha.  The song itself is a lot like their other songs…but this was really good and made better knowing the 5-nin are stronger singers too!

7. Eri Kitamura – Shine (Destiny)


Coming after her first album, I’ve kind of wanted something that was just like “re;story” and it came true with Eri’s B-side Shine.  It was very badass and Eri’s vocals are strong and powerful and fitting for such a track.  Definitely an impressive song!

6. Kie Kitano – It’s all right (Darl:orz)


There’s something so cool about Kie’s B-side from Darl:orz with it’s synthpop drive and slight 80’s fixtures.  It’s a really great song and I would’ve never expected that from her because it’s just catchy and fantastic to me!  Great song here!

5. HIMEKA – Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi (Where I belong)


For having such a long time pass by before HIMEKA reappeared on a new label, Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi is surprisingly really good and showed off HIMEKA’s power as a vocalist in a VERY good way this year!  It was even stronger with that rockin’ arrangement, it really worked and I loved this song!

4. Berryz Koubou – Loving you Too much (cha cha SING)


Berryz just had a really good year this year and they released this B-side (though it was being treated as an A-side), Loving you Too much.  As another Thai cover, this song isn’t as wild and crazy like its A-side, but it’s such a happy song and everyone sounds good (even Risako!).  It’s just such a fun song to listen to and always brightens my mood!  Plus the rapping between Captain/Miyabi is lulzy but charming!

3. RAINBOW – Hello (Gonna Gonna GO!)


I would have never expected a K-pop group hitting this high, but Hello is such a great song despite me not having been really interested in the group prior.  It starts off slowly, but gains a lot of momentum once the verses jump in,  It’s a fun song to listen to and hearing all the changes in the track makes it a fun journey…catchy song!

2. Morning Musume – Kanashiki Koi no Melody (Pyocopyoco Ultra)


If you wanted a primer on the Morning Musume members, this would be the song to go to because you get to hear everyone sing a solo line, back it up with a really cool electro arrangement and you get Kanashiki Koi no Melody!  I’m surprised they didn’t get to promote this as the leading track (good lord was it SOOOO much better than Pyoco).

1. KOKIA – life ~Seimei no Hibiki~ (New Day, New Life)


I love KOKIA’s epic songs and life was definitely the B-side of the year just for actually being that.  When KOKIA does these aggressive, but also songs with a life on their own, it really impresses me a lot (like “Fate” and “Road to Glory”.  This fits snuggly with those songs but this has more of that adventurous tone to it….Definitely blew through the other B-sides of the year in one fall swoop!


There wasn’t that many bad B-sides but they were more than 15 xD let’s check them out!

Only 3 songs didn’t make the 15?

  • Aki Toyosaki – anniversary (music)
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – 100% no Jibun ni (Fashion Monster)
  • StylipS – Session Plan! (STUDY×STUDY)

The 5 almost worst!


Yeah not many bad B-sides but there’s still enough! Starting things off, we have angela’s So sweet memories (THE LIGHTS OF HEROES) which is quite bland when compared to their previous works.  It just didn’t have that angela spark besides KATSU…so that’s not good.  Our Love (Sexy, Free, and Single) by SuJu ranks up here as that BOOORING K-pop ballad.  It just wasn’t very good and sounded a lot like their other ballads (which aren’t totally that great either).  I really am starting to dislike AKB and their summer songs and with NEW SHIP (GIVE ME FIVE!), it really came to a head and I really disliked that a LOOOOOOT!  I’m surprised to have a Yuya Matsushita song here, but Virtual World (Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~) had that terrible rapping in it that instantly turned me off from the song.  I just couldn’t believe he would do such a thing and it came out BAAAAD.  Another AKB song?  Yup, Mittsu no Namida (Manatsu no Sounds good!) is incredibly bland and just really doesn’t do much for me, even if the most popular members are there.  Terrible soooong!

10. Perfume – Communication (Spring of Life)


I know there isn’t many that don’t like this song, but I JUST CAN’T TAKE THIS ANNOYANCE of a song!  Perfume does cute sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and this is one of those times.  I mean the arrangement doesn’t really go anywhere and the singing is really annoying as well.  I’m just kind of over this song even before the single was released. 

9. Yui Sakakibara – Heart of Mind (Judge of a Life)


Heart of Mind, Yui’s higher pitch vocals…same reasons as I’ve complained the last couple of years.  Basically, the song I would avoid as a sort-of fan of her stuff.

8. Kana Nishino – Happy Half Year! (Watashitachi)


I just can’t with this song!  It’s so mind-numbingly cheesy and just so pale when compared to many of the other B-sides released this year from Kanayan.  I just disliked this song a lot and loathed that it was chosen for her album!



No ucio!  Don’t be covering Maroon 5’s song because it’s a song that probably shouldn’t be covered…plus LIL’s version was gross…why it was added on the album…I don’t know…bleeh

6. Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas – Break Out Your Stained Brain (Just Awake)


As much as I enjoyed the leading track, Break Out Your Stained Brain was a giant mess in comparison.  I mean the whole DIR EN GREY screamfest was more annoying with auto-tune involved and it just didn’t make much of melodic sense to me…Oh well…>.<

5. Kyarypamyupamyu – Kyary ANAN (Tsukema Tsukeru)


Kind of like with Perfume’s song here, Kyary ANAN is really annoying and the repetitive hooks really just took me out of the song.  I just couldn’t get into it at all and once again questioned why it was on the album ffffff.

4. Super Junior – Way (Opera)


Yeah another SuJu B-side that was even MOOOOORE boring than “Our Love”.  Way was just a borefest from start to finish and I was even starting to get sleepy after the first minute…yeah it was THAT uneventful for them!

3. Model Girls – TIGER LILY (ROCK STAR)


Bad singers + too much auto-tune = why I loathed this song…TIGER LILY had no chance to really get anywhere and I just couldn’t get pasy any of it without cringing! 

2. SCANDAL – Cherry Jam (Taiyou Scandalous)


This single would’ve been great if they had not split into two units.  The one I’m talking about is MAMI/TOMOMI because Cherry Jam is a terrible mess and so VERYYYYY uncharacteristic for them both who tried to rap like they were The Beastie Boys.  It was hilariously bad and I couldnt get through it all the way without gagging almost.

1. Berryz Koubou – Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou (cha cha SING)


Of course there had to be one that was worse than all the others this year and it’s the lone B-side from “cha cha SING”.  Why Momoko got a solo track is beyond me and what’s worse is that the song is based around her catchphrase which is annoying and very childish (c’mon Momoko, how old are you???).  This was just SOOOO frustrating and annoying to listen to….gawd *fires missile launcher at the song*.



THERE YA GO, NEXT TIME, COVER ARTS the + and the -!!!


Best and Worst of 2012: A-sides…them leading songs y’know? January 2, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 2:13 am

This year in A-sides, there seemed to be a lot less impressive songs, but at the same time the good ones were extremely good, so let’s start out with the songs that didn’t make the top 15 T.T


  • 2NE1 – SCREAM
  • AAA – Still Love You
  • AFTERSCHOOL – Rambling girls
  • Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
  • Berryz Koubou – WANT!
  • D – Dying message
  • DiVA – Lost the way
  • Dream Morning Musume – Shining Butterfly
  • faylan – Soukyuu no Hikari
  • faylan – Realization
  • FLOW – Rock Climbers
  • FLOWER – Koibito ga Santa Claus
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – CANDY CANDY
  • Leo Ieiri – Sabrina
  • LM.C – Ah Hah!
  • Mano Erina – Song for the DATE
  • miwa – Hikari e
  • Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SKY HEAVEN
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Nippon Egao Hyakkei
  • moumoon – DREAMER DREAMER
  • Nami Tamaki – LADY MIND
  • Namie Amuro – YEAH-OH
  • PASSPO☆ – Next Flight
  • Perfume – Spring of Life
  • S/mileage – Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki.
  • SID – S
  • Super Junior – Opera
  • U-KISS – Forbidden Love
  • Up Up Girls (Kari) – Barebare I LOVE YOU
  • yanaginagi – Ambivalantidea
  • Yui Sakakibara – Mujuuryoku Aria
  • YuiKaori – Wake Up!!

Now to the songs that barely made the top 10!


There have been a lot of good A-sides this year for me, but not to the whole crowd it seemed like.  Starting at the top, 4minute’s Love Tension was what the group needed after having somewhat a kind of a slump prior with rereleases, boring stuff and just trying to hard…then this came out and I was so pleased with the sound and energy from the song.  KOKIA is also someone who has had a really bad year it seems with music, but one of the three singles she released together, New Day, New Life, actually turned out really well.  It’s the KOKIA everyone loves and it wasn’t just a boring ass ballad!  The resurgance of Morning Musume came to a high this year with the electro-goodness of One Two Three simply because it was such an important release (being their 50th single and all).  It really stuck to me and this electro-musume is something I’m loving right now!  DAY1 was a rather awesome surprise from MIYAVI because I would have never thought he’d go back to this electro/rock sound, but he worked it and that song is really badass which could be said for the same about UZA from the mother idol group AKB48.  I love this fall singles as they bring in the most wonderful sounds and energy that most of the other singles lack. 

10. Up Up Girls (Kari) – UPPER ROCK


You know, considering this group has been releasing like crazy bitches this year, they popped UPPER ROCK out and I was completely surprised and overly happy!  The groups is more known for their rock numbers, but this was heacy electro that had a great party atmosphere along for the ride.  It was a great song from them (and have you seen the choreography for this?  BADASS!!!).

9. moumoon – “Love is Everywhere”


Despite that it does sample a little bit from Martin Solveig’s “Hello”, “Love is Everywhere” was still an amazing moumoon tune with YUKA singing as brightly as she has been for quite a while.  Song is immensely catchy and since most of it is in English makes it easier to connect with!  One of the more fun songs on this list ^_^

8. Berryz Koubou – cha cha SING


Kind of like how moumoon’s song turned out, Berryz released a new cover song, this time a Thai cover!  cha cha SING was such a blast to listen to and it was definitely the earworm of the year because I kept finding myself either doing that dance or sing most of the lines of the song!!!  It was just Berryz way of saying WE STILL GOT THIS!  Great song and definitely is also a party song all the way!

7. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Bad Flower


Last year, “Limited addiction” was at #10 so this year you can tell I was REALLY impressed with Bad Flower and for good reason, all the girls sound SOOO amazing in this song  and it captures this dark and angsty sound the group have been utilizing since the aforementioned song.  Hitomi and Ayano, even the three other ladies just sound exponentially BETTER than they have been which is an instant win!

6. Leo Ieiri – Shine


Leo has really had a great year, it’s something surprising when I say I loved all three A-sides she released but I thought the best one was her second in Shine.  It has a classic kind of tone to it, plus with Leo’s soaring vocals, it really made my year.  I hope she continues to release amazing music into the new year!!!!

5. Crystal Kay – Forever


I didn’t think Crystal would be so strong on my radar like she was this year and Forever was the highpoint of the year.  The song is really refreshing and Crystal actually sounded awesome as well.  She just had fun with this and let things just take its place and I appreciated that (though most of the VIVID era had impressed by leaps and bounds).  This was definitely her strongest year in a long time!

4. Kyarypamyupamyu – Fashion Monster


At one point in the year, I did feel as if Nakata was in a trench with his music, but it seems he had tricks up his sleeves when releasing Fashion Monster because it sounded nothing like anything I heard yet.  This Halloween-themed A-side brought the edgy arrangement alongside Kyary’s cutesy vocals and they blended into this wondrous and quirky song.  Plus the chorus is so catchy too!

3. Nami Tamaki – PARADISE


It feels as if my favorite artist of all time had fell out and kind of become this boring artist under UNI-J, but with her transfer to Teichiku, I was completely wrong!  I love “LADY MIND” let’s not forget that, but PARADISE is what solidified my back to being such a stan for her in the first place.  There was a lot more room for her here and a lot more variety than LM and the song is really bright and kind of sentimental almost.  It’s really one of the strongest songs she’s done in a LOOOOONG time.

2. 9nine – Shoujo Traveler


If you would have told me that 9nine would release something like this, I would laugh because they’ve had a very lackluster year in 2012.  However the single that started the year for them, Shoujo Traveler is definitely their best single since joining SONY.  It’s edgy, electro…super catchy and it really gives such a mature yet futuristic approach.  I just wish that they had kept this sound and not dove into some of the worst songs they’ve done yet…>.<.  Still Shoujo Traveler is my favorite idol song of the year!

1. Nana Mizuki – Synchrogazer


Is it really a surprise that Synchrogazer topped my list?  The bar was placed VERY high when this came out because it was one of the first releases of the year so there was NO ONE that could come close to beating this badass of a song.  I’ve always wanted to see Nana release something more futuristic and not stuff like “METRO BAROQUE” or “BRIGHT STREAM”.  This was perfect this year and Nana deserves a crown for putting out such an amazing calamity of synths and powerful vocals!!! ^_^


Worst A-sides not a part of the 15

  • Anna Tsuchiya – Voyagers
  • Annabel – anamnesis
  • ikimono-gakari – Kaze ga Fuiteiru
  • IMALU – 4751 Nichi Mou Inai Kimi e
  • Kaya – Vampire Requien
  • KOKIA – Memorial days
  • NEWS – Pokopon Pekorya
  • Vanilla Beans – Non-Section


Not a lot of bad A-sides happen this year which is great and the year means that it has gotten better. HOWEVER there was some bad ones to go through!  I enjoy Sayaka Kitahara considering she’s now an ex H!P girl, but she did have one fault in HAJIKE-YO!!. I don’t know why I don”t like it beyond that it’s such a bland and one that lacks an identity when compared to the other singles she’s released!  Aimer’s Fuyu no Diamond is really on here because it got trumped hard by its album version which makes this such a lifeless and boring song from her!  Similar to Aimer’s song, The Matenrou Show from Morning Musume is on her primarily because that there’s a better version of it in the TYPE 0 version…plus the line distribution between Riho and Reina is REALLY offputting here. Minorin hasn’t really had a great A-side since I’ve started reviewing and this year, SELF PRODUCER was kind of her crappy single this year…poor vocals, bland arrangement…nothing to really remember it by.  Even though the PV was great, AKB48’s Gingham Check was a pretty boring ass song this year.  Shocking that it wasn’t the worst (foreshadowing much!)

10. JUJU – Tadaima


To me, JUJU hasn’t had the most interesting releases this year, no doubt people will like her stuff though so this was more like a personal bust because I simply can not remember ANYTHING about Tadaima.  It just really wasn’t anything special and kind of bland when compared to her other singles this year.

9. Yui Sakakibara – Manatsu no Cielo


I’m personally not surprised that a Yui song would be a part of this list somehow.  The song’s arrangement isn’t the bad part though as it’s more of Yui’s pitchy vocals that ruin the song altogether.  It just was a pretty icky song to listen to this year!

8. KOKIA – Yume Oibito


KOKIA was also having an off year having three of the four singles released to really be a boring mess.  Yume Oibito miht not have a part of the simultaneous release with the three other singles, but this might have fit right in because damn this song is SOOOO booooring to listen to.  The only redeeming factor is that it’s KOKIA who can sing amazingly…but the song just didn’t work and it put me to sleep.

7. SuG – Fukanzen Beautyfool Days


When I listen to SuG, I get a sense of wackiness and pure driven energy from the group, but with Fukanzen Beautyfool Days, there was a total lack of that.  Add that it was messy as hell and the lyrics were just weird (plus with the messy sound…it just didnt work very well).  Prolly the worst of the Oshare-kei I heard this year!

6. Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou


I hated “Z Densetsu” so when I was immediately thrown back to that time with Otome Sensou it made me frustrated because they can have such great songs, but all have the WORST.  Otome Sensou is just like the above mentioned track, but it’s over 7 minutes which is like a death sentence to my ears!  Just baaaad!

5. AKB48 – Eien Pressure


Do I even need to explain why a JANKEN single is here…gawd this was a really crappy song for a girl who really couldn’t handle being lead (Sorry, Paruru, but you even have to admit that you really couldn’t handle a song like this)…then again Janken singles always suck so it’s not totally her fault.

4. chatmonchy – Yume Mitai da


As the only cover song on this top 10, Yume Mitai da was everything gone wrong for chatmonchy.  I mean there was “Hatena” which was actually good, but then they made a last minute switch to having this as an A-side as well and it was a shitty move for a shitty song.  I really didn’t like that whole indie rock/experiment shtick here and Eriko sounded BAAAAD as well…what a poor idea!

3. supercell – Bokura no Ashiato


Just like MomocloZ’ song, supercell’s Bokura no Ashiato is a 7 minute torture device for me.  It was a very flat-lining song and mid-tempo tracks that are that long are going to make me feel extremely bored.  What was worse was that we were dealing with Koeda and she sounded TERRIBLE in the song…so add that together and you got the #3 track here…>.>

2. Yui Ogura – Samurai Girl


Why yes, it was a double A-side of FAIL.  The only reason why Sakakibara’s away from the top is because I liked the arrangement….however with Samurai Girl, it was both the arrangement AND Ogura’s vocals which was even more scarier to listen to over Sakakibara’s.  Very gross track and it would’ve been the top if I had not found our #1 before the end of the year!

1. 9nine – Yie Ar! Jiang Shi feat. Hao Hao! Jiang Shi Girl


If there was ONE song that truly annoyed me to death, it had to be Yie Ar! Jiang Shi and it’s really the vocals that went down the crapper alongside the annoying hooks, the poor melodic components, even the arrangement was pretty lackluster…why did 9nine have to crash and burn so harrrrd?!?





Best Of 2012: Korea & America FUSION DANCE!!!! December 28, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 3:44 am

Starting this long amount of posts, like last year I’m beginning with the best Korean and American songs for me personally this year ^_^

  • BOYFRIEND – Love Style
  • CROSS GENE – La-Di-Da-Di
  • miss A – Touch
  • miss A – Lips

The Almost List-making 5


K-pop might have had less impact this year than the last two, but they still managed to put a lot of good releases. Even though I like EXO-M’s version of MAMA a lot more, I can’t deny that the Korean take was also REALLY well done as well.  There was a lot of power and force in it…just badass…but really…those teasers leading up to this was too much hah.  The Grasshopper Song by Sunny Hill was a really fast track that really tested tge group out and it did really well considering their male member was about to leave due to being called into the military.  T-ara’s LOVEY DOVEY was the first song of 2012 that really caught my eye (before the drama started rolling out).  It’s a very catchy song though true to T-ara’s signature style.  2NE1 didn’t have a very exciting year with only a small amount of releases in Korea but I LOVE YOU isn’t a bad song, a lil different as it’s a love song that’s kind of textbook written, but it’s really cool.  Last, but not least, Super Junior’s Sexy, Free, and Single was a great song and even better to reintroduce Kangin.  Awesome song overall ^_^.



Kicking off the top 10, Eyeline is the only song of the ten that was not promoted on its release.  The song itself is also a solo from Nana and it really suits her.  Her vocie is sexy and dark and with the arrangement being all K-pop it was a great song (even better than anything else off the “FLASHBACK” single).  Great song overall and an awesome way to kick off the top 10.

9. PSY – Gangnam Style (PSY 6 Gap Part. 1)


Everyone knows what Gangnam Style is.  It was definitely the song that I would have NEVER in my days as a reviewer and fan of K-pop see this becoming the biggest song in YouTube history or in sheer popularity around the world.  The song is infectious, the beats make you get up and dance and the amount of English is nice and doesn;r fully alienate people.  It isn’t higher because of its popularity, it’s become overplayed, but I still enjoy whenever it comes on…next question is…what could be PSY’s next song….hmmm

8. KARA – Pandora (PANDORA)


I wasn’t sure what KARA was going to do for Korea this year, but Pandora is a really epic song for them (not as good as “STEP” though).  I really love the classy feel and the members sound just as good if not better here.  It’s edgy and quite catchy for sure!

7. 4minute – Volume Up (VOLUME UP)


Volume Up wasn’t a total surprise this year considering 4minute was slightly releasing good stuff in Japan but I really found myself entranced with this song.  It could be from the saxophone heavy arrangement or just hearing HyunA being a badass alongside GaYoon and JiHyun.  It was classy, yet refined 4minute and this came before “Love Tension” in Japan shows how much sexyness the group can bring ^_^

6. Ga-in – Bloom (Talk about S.


Behind this very pretty song with a funky arrangement belies some raunchy lyrics, but what can you really say about Ga-in, she tackled Bloom and despite its controversial ways, it’s still a great song and very easy on the ears to just jam too.  She always makes it so easy to love her songs and she’s definitely my favorite of the BEG girls. ^_^

5. VIXX – Rock Ur Body (ROCK UR BODY)


As the newest boyband to catch my eye, VIXX’s second single really brought up this new group to my attention.  Rock Ur Body is another funky track, but they also kept to the normal K-pop sound mixed in with dubstep.  It’s a quirky number and despite the poor English skills the guys have, I still really enjoyed the track and one of the cooler MVs in Korea.

4. Tohoshinki – Catch Me (Catch Me)


Like VIXX, TVXQ also released a Kpop track with heavy dubstep influences but they handled it 100% better.  This was DEFINITELY what they needed to show that they were even more badass than when they were 5 members.  They just hit everything hard which included the vocals, the choreography, and the edginess of it all.  I was definitely blown away by Yunho and Changmin here!



It was difficult to choose between this or “MONSTER” from the rerelease, but this song brought me into BIGBANG’s music so I had to choose this.  It was a really heavy party song and it was incredibly catchy from G-Dragon’s line to T.O.P’s rap…it was just a hell of a lot of fun.  Definitely a badass song!



Even though U-KISS have been release whores this year, they did manage to release a thank you to their fanclub and with it included this track BELIEVE (or in Japan called Believe (Believe You) because U-KISS already have a song titled the former there.  Believe is a bit sappy in the lyrics, but it’s a cool dance track and hearing AJ blazing this song impressed me a lot! 



HOWEVER, the best song this year for me is really a total surprise because I really never expected INFINITE to release such a badass song in The Chaser.  It’s got this really cool 80’s/Vice City-ish tone to it that really caught my attention and I loved everything about it…though I’m sure I’m the only one who thinks this song deserves the spot over a bunch of songs on this list…but I LOVED THIS SONG!!!!

American time!

  • Childish Gambino – Heartbeat
  • fun. – Some Nights
  • The Lumineers – Hey Ho
  • Max Barskih – Dance
  • MUSE – Madness
  • One Direction – One Thing
  • Walk The Moon – Anna Sun

The 5 that almost touched the top 10!


Starting this list, I knew coming in that there wasn’t many songs that really interested me in the States (yeah strange right?) So kicking things off, I also am not a fan of Rap so seeing Stereo by MGK will surprise many readers of mine.  It’s a pretty tongue-and-cheek kind of track and seeing MGK shoot lyrics out alongside Alex Fitts who takes the chorus…cool song overall.  While Nicki impressed me last year the most, she didn’t really seem to do it this year even though her Roman Reloaded album was pretty good.  Starships was definitely the highlight and I’m starting to think Nicki should sing more than rap in the future as she’s got great vocals.  I love Owl City and it was great to see Adam reappear with Good Time alongside Carly Rae Jepsen…they have great vocal chemistry and I wish to see more of these two doing duets in the future!  I actually got a little surprised when Ke$ha released Die Young because it’s kind of pop but not like the songs she’s known for.  It’s a bit like her older stuff, but a little more pop/generic…I still liked it for what it’s worth.  I know I’m also going to be shunned a little, but I actually liked one Justin Bieber song…Beauty and a Beat might be sung by Justin, but it felt like it was totally different and a lot less cheesy in both lyrics and arrangement.  Plus Nicki was there, what’s so wrong with that?

10. Chris Brown – Turn Up The Music (Fortune)


There’s been times where I’ve loved Chris’ music but then hated other songs he’s done.  Turn Up The Music was badass and the energy from it is probably the fiercest dance track he’s done.  I loved it and is probably my favorite from him since “Forever”.

9. Icona Pop – I Love It (Iconic EP)


Even though the song was mainly popularized because of it’s tie-in with Snooki & Jwoww, Icona Pop’s I Love It was my main electro buzz this year.  From the anthemic lyrics to the gritty synth arrangement, this song was definitely up my alley and it was quirky and cool to listen to…definitely a song I wasn’t expecting but love that it exists.

8. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Red)


I think a lot of people enjoyed Tay’s return with this song.  It was charming, a lot of people went through what the lyrics were about which is a great way to connect with fans…and the video was random as hell.  I just loved the hook of the song and it’s one of Taylor’s fun songs but with a twist so I really liked this song!

7. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (Kiss)


Another song that really got a lot of attention this year, Call Me Maybe was incrdibly addictive and it spawned so many parodies that it’s not even funny.  Carly hit a pretty good song with this as the lyrics are cheeky as is the MV for it (which the ending was total lulz).  One of the most addictive songs this year ^_^

6. Kelly Clarkson – Dark Side (Stronger)


Kelly’s song is also another I would think not many people would’ve guessed I liked, but this was hard and the lyrics were pure as they come because that was the main reason I really liked it next to Kelly’s powerful vocals.  It hit home and I really ended up enjoying this song!

5. P!nk – Try (The Truth About Love)


P!nk is another artist that always makes me smile whenever she releases something new.  So seeing her back, I was ecstatic and I did love the first single, but the second, Try was a lot more personal and lyrically deep for her…which includes the video it got with all the dramatic dancing.  Great song this year!

4. Kylie Minogue – Timebomb


Kind of randomly released, Timebomb was a really cool song and a good thing to release after “Aphrodite” even though it’s only a single and hasn’t exactly appeared on an album quite yet.  It’s got a lot of punch and she hasn’t lost that dance spark quite yet!

3. Owl City – When Can I See You Again? (Wreck-it Ralph Soundtrack)


Isn’t it strange that one of my favorite songs of the year came from a soundtrack?  Owl City gets a second mention with the main promo song, When Can I See You Again?  It’s so cute and charming and Adam sounds axtually strong for such a sparkly setting.  I was just surprised this wasn’t on his recent album o.0

2. Linkin Park – BURN IT DOWN (Living Things)


I love Linkin Park since the beginning so once again hearing a new album made me excited and since they’ve been changing their sound to include more synths, BURN IT DOWN, the first single was a great way to show off this experimenting AND keep the band’s aggressive rock feel.  Didn’t hurt that Mike and Chester sounded badass  Awesome song from the band overall!

1. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know feat. Kimbra (Making Mirrors)


Even I think I was surprised that I loved Gotye’s song as much as I did this year.  It’s so artsy and indies that it’s also kind of eerie and cute at the same time.  Lyrically it’s a bit depressive and hearing Kimbra’s side of the story gives a lot more depth to the song.  Simple is the way to go it seemed and I made this my favorite of the year!





Best Of 2012: ORICON RANKING…of what I reviewed! December 21, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 11:38 pm

Another year comes to a close and ORICON finally released they top 100 singles/albums!  SOOOO LET’S GET TO IT SHALL WE?


  • 100. UVERworld – THE OVER
  • 98. Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Shounen yo Uso wo Tsuke!
  • 96. ONE OK ROCK – The Beginning
  • 95. Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”
  • 94. Namie Amuro – Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!/Love Story
  • 92. Shoujo Jidai – Oh
  • 91. LiSA – crossing field
  • 89. Morning Musume – Wakuteka Take a chance
  • 88. SDN48 – Makeoshimi Congratulation
  • 86. SUPER☆GiRLS – Puripuri♥SUMMER Kiss
  • 84. Momoiro Clover Z – Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo
  • 79. Nana Mizuki – BRIGHT STREAM
  • 78. Perfume – Spending all my time
  • 76. Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou
  • 75. AKB48 – Uekara Mariko
  • 73. Mayu Watanabe – Otona Jelly Beans
  • 70. Morning Musume – One Two Three/The Matenrou Show
  • 69. Mayu Watanabe – Hikaru Monotachi
  • 65. Perfume – Spring of Life
  • 64. no3b – Pedicure Day
  • 59. Super Junior – Sexy, Free, and Single
  • 58. Shoujo Jidai – PAPARAZZI
  • 52. 2PM – Masquerade
  • 50. Mayu Watanabe – Synchro Tokimeki
  • 49. KARA – Speed Up/Girls Power
  • 48. Tohoshinki – STILL
  • 47. 2PM – Beautiful
  • 42. Not yet – Suika BABY
  • 35. Super Junior – Opera
  • 20. NEWS – Chankapana
  • 5. AKB48 – Eien Pressure
  • 4. AKB48 – UZA
  • 3. AKB48 – Gingham Check
  • 2. AKB48 – GIVE ME FIVE!
  • 1. AKB48 – Manatsu no Sounds good!

Once again AKB leads the way this year with a lot of Johnnys and 48 units crowding the front x.x


  • 99. KARA – KARA Collection
  • 98. Leo Ieiri – LEO
  • 86. Jin Akanishi – JAPONICANA
  • 84. – ikimono-gakari – ikimono-bakari ~Members BEST Selection~
  • 82. Porno Graffitti – PANORAMA PORNO
  • 80. Perfume – JPN
  • 79. ClariS – BIRTHDAY
  • 77. Miliyah Kato – TRUE LOVERS
  • 76. Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE
  • 66. KARA – Girls Forever
  • 61. UVERworld – THE ONE
  • 48. Kyarypamyupamyu – Pamyupamyu Revolution
  • 45. NEWS – NEWS BEST
  • 42. Ayumi Hamasaki – A SUMMER BEST
  • 41. Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION II ~Girls&Peace~
  • 38. Ayumi Hamasaki – Party queen
  • 37. Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE
  • 34. Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “LOVE THE WORLD”
  • 32. Acid Black Cherry – “2012”
  • 29. ayaka – The Beginning
  • 28. JUJU – BEST STORY ~Love stories~
  • 25. Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION
  • 21. JUJU – BEST STORY ~Life stories~
  • 18. KARA – Super Girl
  • 17. Kana Nishino – Love Place
  • 12. ikimono-gakari – NEWTRAL
  • 11. Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled
  • 3. AKB48 – 1830m

Well those are the albums…the top two spots were Mr. Children so it was to be expected as such lol….What do you guys think of ORICON’s list this year?


Best of 2012! Other Albums not reviewied July through Dec. December 12, 2012

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!


Best of 2012: Debutees & ARTISTS BLOWOUT (I guess?) December 4, 2012

Filed under: ~Artists Blowouts~,~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 6:33 am

It’s strange, this year there didn’t seem to be a lot of debuts when compared to last year…even with the artists I know that I haven’t reviewed that still is a pretty small number….but I tried to get a couple.



So the first artist that debuted, Leo Ieiri was coined as the next ayaka/YUI and so far she has shown a lot of potential for the future.  This year alone, she has released three singles (Sabrina, Shine, and Bless You) before she released her debut album, LEO in October. She’s rising to be quite popular and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013!


Ever since Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 began, I’ve always said that I wanted Mayuyu to go solo and invade ORICON with her cuteness and she did!  She’s really only released three singles (Synchro Tokimeki, Otona Jelly Beans, and Hikaru Monotachi) and with a possibility of an album looming in the distance, she’s becoming one of the better soloists to come off from AKB48!


Even though she was well-known as part of binaria and she was the lead vocalist during supercell’s second album era, Nagi finally got hold of the reins and debuted with solo works in 2012.  Like the previous artsts, she too has also released three singles in Vidro Moyou, Ambivalentiea, and Laterality.  I hope an album comes soon!


Known better as Show Luo, SHOW is a pretty well-known name in China, but it seems he wanted a taste of Japan and in 2012 kickstarted his career in Nippon with his first single DANTE in February and MAGIC in June before releasing his first original Japanese album, THE SHOW in September.  Not bad, but hopefully he’ll continue in Japan!


Remember Team DEKARIS back in the end of 2009?  Well it seems like the group reformed (Arisa Noto, Maho Matsunaga, Yui Ogura, and Kaori Ishihara) and got renamed to StylipS (of course, this group doesn’t have ties to their old name).  They released three singles this year: STUDY×STUDY, MIRACLE RUSH, and Choose me♡Darling to which they’ve been gradually getting more popular with each release.  They have a mini announced for 2013 titled “Step One!!” so I can’t wait to hear what’ll be on it!


Finally in February we got Yukino who hasn’t fully popped out into the mainstream zone, but she has loads of potential from her debut mini, You make me blue….however the rest of the year has gone by with nothing from her until the announcement of her first single RanTiKi in February of next year!



Up Up Girls (Kari) actually formed in 2011 by a good portion of the Hello Pro! Eggs that had finished training at that time (sans Yuu Kikkawa and Sayaka Kitahara who both went solo).  This lively group consisting of Minami Sengoku, Konatsu Furukawa, Akari Saho, Ayano Sato, Saki Mori, Azusa Sekine, and Manami Arai and they REALLY busted down the doors this year.  With the added fact they are also UFSZ, the group had so much work and it showed with a whopping 8 SINGLES this year.  Which were Going my ↑, Barebare I LOVE YOU, Uppercut!/Yuudachi! Through the Rainbow, Mecha Kyun♡Summer (‘▽`)ノ, Namen na! Ashi Girls/Marvel Hero, End Of The Season, UPPER ROCK/Ichiban Girls, and finally Chopper☆Chopper/Survival Girls (in which the last single was released under their new label T-Palette)….yeah they get the crown for release whores this year XD.


Technically they debuted last year, but they were more of unit that is really only for Sakura Gakuin.  This year though with their surge of popularity, managed to debut as their own unit with their joint release with Kiba of Akiba.  Then released another single Headbanger!! and another single coming up next month with Ijime, Dame, Zettai.  This group is just impressing me on so many levels!



Like Shuhei Kita, HIMEKA, Sayaka Sasaki, and Marina Kawano before her, Konomi Suzuki was the winner of 2011’s ANIMAX competition and finally debuted in April of this year with her single, CHOIR JAIL and then released her second, DAYS of DASH in November.  She kind of reminds me of Sayaka in how she’s releasing the singles but she’ll find her niche soon enough!



Just seems like a lot of models are turning into singers nowadays (there’s a couple that have debuted this year that I haven’t paid attention to)  Kavka Shishido though is impressive since she’s a percussionist and that always wins me over.  She did debut in May with a digital single in Day Dream Rider, but officially released her first physical Aisuru Kakugo in September, I hope to see more of her next year because she’s really got potential too!



So one of the newer Korean groups formed last year, decided to debut in Japan after only one single in Korea and so be that their first song in JPN is their debut in KOR.  They have two singles out here with Message and What’s Up…hope to see more next year!


Not much is known about Rola except she’s a model turned singer and she debuted with Memories which was tied to Pokemon: Best Wishes…after that nothing…one off deal or is she really just waiting for the next thing?



Everyone knows who Tomoko Kawase is right?  Well she’s the creator of our next group who debuted in August with their mini-album, A☆M☆O☆Y☆A☆M☆O.  Then in November they released their true debut, LET’S GO OUT.  Not bad for a duo created by Tommy…hopefully they’ll last MUCH longer that Tommy☆angels.



I don’t know too much about these girls but they’re all models coming together to form this kind of quote-on-quote super group.  Together so far, they’ve only released one single in ROCK STAR.  Let’s hope there’s a second in the works.


It’s hard to find an idol group that’s somewhat original with the amount that are around these days but panache! is trying to be more like a cosplay idol unit which is a bit new to me for sure.  They look bright and cute so it might be cool to hear.  They’ve only released Kirameki Miraizu and I’m excited to hear more.


Like the Weather Girls. I’m not sure what the whole idea of the group is but they’re from Taiwan so that must mean something right?  They’ve only released their first single Koi no Tenki Yohou this year but it sounds like their might be a second in the works…Hopefully they’ll stick on to me.



I really don’t know what’s with avex and their sudden interest in idols groups the last couple of years (I guess they’re just following the trend huh?)  Their newest addition is tagged as an anison idol group and well i☆Ris haven’t been together long enough to show off their personalities or real style with their lone single for the year, Color.  They will probably gain some push next year but right now they don’t stand out to me lol.


The last artist I added that debuted this year is still kind of hard to find much info about, but I know he’s a seiyuu so it’s no surprise his debut, magic words was well anison lol.  Hope to hear more from him in the future!


I was wondering when I’d get a new electro artist to simply enjoy this year and it seems that Yun*chi is another model turned singer but she has the added effect that she’s on asobisystem (the same record company as Kyarypamyupamyu).  She only released her self-titled debut but it’s not true worry as it’s November


2012 must seriously have been the year for models to turn into singers because Yurika debuted at the end of the month of her cover of Ann Lewis’ Roppingi Shinjuu…it’s actually not that bad of a cover and she’s got potential as her voice is powerful enough to do wonders!  Hope to see more!


SOOOO…there you have it….Comment if any of these artists impress you or any other debutees of 2012 have….

(EDIT: since I guess I added a bunch of new artists, why don’t I just call it an ARTISTS BLOWOUT which means writing up a profile for Fairies


Fairies debuted last year so they aren’t with the above artist/groups.  Anyways I added them because while I have a love/hate relationship with them, they got potential to lead avex in with solid vocals and dances (though TG’S seem to be the group that avex spends their cash on clearl) XDDD…I’ve reviewed all 5 of the current singles they’ve released so I hope an album is on the way!+++++++++++


Best of 2012! Other Albums not reviewied Jan. through June August 1, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 1:46 am

I know this is quite late but here we are once again at past a half year and I want to talk about releases that I deliberately passed over just in shorter reviews/info! So let’s begin with January!!!


fripSide – fripSide PC game Ccmpilation vol. 01

Released on New Year’s Day, fripSide opens up 2012 with a compilation of their songs used in PC games!  The good thing about this release is that none of them are on their official releases (exception is “Hidamari Basket”).  This is a pretty good release for dans of fripSide and it means more of Yoshino!

Is it worth it?: I’d say if you’re a fan of fripSide since Yoshino joined, then this is worth a listen so it is new material to most people, to the people that were fans of fripSide prior Yoshino…not so sure, but if you liked “infinite synthesis” then this might be your thing.

Angela Aki – SONGBOOK

Angela Aki also released an interesting album at the beginning of the year in the form of SONGBOOK which is her first cover album!  It features quite a bit of cover songs and some returning ones.  Though I will have to remind you that the final three tracks; “Creep”, “Still Fighting It”, and “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” were NOT resung for this album. 

Is it worth it?: Personally, I’m not a huge fan of cover albums but if you are a fan of Angela Aki (which a lot people are) then this is definitely worth a listen but it might be familiar to people if they heard “WHITE” since that in an odd way was mostly a cover album as well.

Chiaki Kuriyama – CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

The first of questionable albums this year, Chiaki re-released her debut album, CIRCUS in early 2012 and really includes three things.  First off the tracklist is moved around a little bit and included her single “Tsukiyo no Shouzou” and it’s B-side “Seishun no Mabataki”.  Also the PV for the former on the DVD.

Is it worth it?: Honestly, no.  The fact that it really only had added two songs that were already released as a single and STILL lacked “Ryuusei no Namida” made this release still quite underwhelming overall even if the album is still quite solid.  So if you haven’t picked up the original, than this might be a good buy but if you already have the original release, pass this up!

DIR EN GREY – UROBOROS [Remastered & Expanded]

Another strange release, DIR EN GREY decided to re-release their 7th album, UROBOROS but also change things about it.  First off the mastering was redone matching the same mastering as “DUM SPIRO SPERO” has gotten (which is their 8th album).  Next is that the tracklist got a little bit bigger!  Moving the number of tracks from 13 to 15 with the addition of “Hydra -666-” and “BUGABOO RESPIRA” and Japanese versions of “DOZING GREEN” and “GLASS SKIN”.

Is it worth it?: I’m kind of curious to why they did this now to a 2008 release for one thing.  Now I’m not the biggest Diru fan out there but I’m sure this is worth the purchase if you forgot about it and want to get it then yes!  As for the remastering, I’ll leave that for the people that have heard UROBOROS beforehand to tell the difference between the two.

Girls’ Generation – The Boys

Now we all know the group released The Boys in Korea and Japan in 2011 but this is the American album…WAIT…AMERICAN?!?  Yup, the had did some promoting in the states with The Boys (the song) so it was released with no changes in languages so it was still primarily a Korean album.  The only difference was that it came with remixes of the title song (4 actually and one in its original Korean form). 

Is it worth it?: If you already have the Korean release (or Japanese release) then this isn’t really worth buying because the remixes are pretty poor even as big as Snoop Dogg is rapping in your tune…it’s not good.  Now if you’re in the USA/France then it might be worth it since it’s right there.



Celebrating her 10th Anniversary, YUKI decided to commemerate this occasion with her best-of, POWERS OF TEN.  It features most if not all her A-sides and 4 new songs: “Otona ni Natte”, “Rainbow st.”, “MY HAND”, and “Sekai wa Tada, Kagayaite”.  All split into two discs, this is pretty much a filled release!

Is it worth it?: Totally worth it to get a 2-disc best-of of all YUKI’s lead tracks and 4 new ones to enjoy. 

m.o.v.e – m.o.v.e B-SIDE BEST

m.o.v.e went on a rampage releasing albums this year, as in 3 albums.  The first that was released was a digitally released best-of focused on B-sides.  Now of course the album is at a full 20 songs but some of the tracks are actually album songs and the way the tracklist is setup is from the newest to the oldest.

Is it worth it?: I think it hurts that it’s a digital-only release but the selection of songs is pretty good for the most part highlighting a good portion of their good B-sides (even though there are some missing).  I’d say it’s a good release overall but mostly found on iTunes.

Buono! – Buono! Paris Collection

Kind of a quiet release of an album but when Buono! was in Paris to performed they sold a limited releases of a best-of album.  It has every A-side they’ve done since their debut up to “Hatsukoi Cider/DEEP MIND”

Is it worth it?: With this being sold on one night this is HARD to come by but the singles aren’t which is good and there weren’t bonuses on them either which knocks off any incentive to buy (or search for the album).  I will say that the fact it has every A-side does make it stand out more from “The Best Buono!” since that best-of was missing a couple of A-sides but had album tracks and B-sides.  I’d say this is a pass…

chatmonchy – chatmonchy BEST ~2005-2011~

I’m kind of curious why they released this best-of but I’m pretty sure it was due to the fact that they wanted to start on a clean slate when Kumiko left the band.  The album is mostly just the A-sides and leading songs from the mini’s and albums they’ve released as well.  So it’s a pretty basic release.

Is it worth it?: If you want a good starting place for chatmonchy, this would be the album I’d give them next to “Hyoujou: Coupling Collection”.  It shows what the band does best (or well when they were a trio since now they’re doing different things as a duo and all that). 

GRANRODEO – GRANRODEO B-side Collection “W”

Another band releasing a B-side best-of, GRANRODEO surprisingly released a B-side best before an A-side best is kind of strange but kind of cool.  It features one B-side from their debut single up to “ROSE HIP-BULLET”. 

Is it worth it?: I actually do not know if it’s worth it because I haven’t heard anything of theirs before their single, “Koi Oto”.  So I don’t know how their B-sides were before when I started listening to them.  I’m sure it is a good release to get because it is B-sides all in one package.


In Japan, Suju this year released this oddball of an album which is merely a live album of their SUPER SHOW 3.  I’m not too familiar with a lot of the songs on the album but it’s there

Is it worth it?: I’m not a big fan of live albums either so I assume it was released for their big fans to gather up…though it does have some songs done by Suju units so that might be a kick for some.

m.o.v.e – m.o.v.e anim.o.v.e BEST

m.o.v.e’s second of their album releases (the third was their 12th studio album, “XII”) this was a best-of showcasing their anim.o.v.e series featuring the cover songs from all three albums plus two new covers, “Daia no Hana” and “Go Tight!”

Is it worth it?: Errrrr, not so much.  anim.o.v.e BEST might have taken a lot of songs from the three albums that spanned it but there was a lot more better tracks than the ones chosen.  Plus the new songs aren’t that great either…



25 years of BUCK-TICK and we’re celebrating it with two releases!  One celebrating their earlier years with Victor and Mercury and one with Ariola (their current stuff).  They both have two discs in which the second disc contains the PVs for the songs.  I’d say this is a pretty hefty release from this old band!

Is it worth it?: If you are a BUCK-TICK fan, this would be definitely one to get since (especially for the VICTOR→MERCURY set because it’s their old stuff).  For casual fans and more recent, you might wanna to stick with Ariola unless you want to risk it by going further back in their discography.

girl next door – Single Collection

Celebrating 5 years together, gnd also decided it was a good time to release a best-of album having released 4 studio albums.  It has all the primary A-sides on the album (meaning stuff like “Shiawase no Jouken” & “Hoshizora Keikaku” are not on here).  Also there’s a new remix for “Guuzen no Kakuritsu”

Is it worth it?: It’s a toss-up since gnd has always been sameish with their music since their debut but this collection has some great A-sides on it but the fact that the only new thing is just merely a remix is slightly disappointing.  Your decision

KOKIA – Kokorobakari

KOKIA has also been a release hound this year though so far Kokorobakari is the only album so far this year.  It’s actualy a 2-disc B-side collection spanning most of her non-animu singles.  There’s also a couple of surprises like two concert versions of “Otona no Ookami” and “moment ~Ima wo Ikiru~” and a new track, “Sekai wo Tsutsumu Ribbon in our heart”.

Is it worth it?: I’d say so since it’s a lot of B-sides on two discs, plus it’s KOKIA which is always a plus!  3 extra tracks and one of them is new is also a good incentive to buy it (though the “moment” songs are a bit shady and the B-sides from the digital singles might be a little meh lol.


Another best-of, SCANDAL released SCANDAL SHOW in March and it’s an interesting release primarily since there’s an assortment of songs that are A-sides, B-sides, and even some album tracks.  Also included is a new song, “SCANDAL no Theme”. 

Is it worth it?: Well considering the tracks on it, I’m sure there’ll be something that you haven’t heard on the album (sans the new song).  So it might be a good buy and it does have some good tracks on it ^_^

2PM – 2PM BEST ~2008-2011 in Korea~

Kind of a strange released but K-pop boyband 2PM released a best-of of their Korean works in Japan (weird).  I’m not too familiar with their stuff before their debut in Japan so most of the tracklist is rather unknown to me but I see “Without U”, “Hands Up!”, and “Heartbeat” so that should mean something right?

Is it worth it?: Don’t know exactly but I guess if it’s the best of the best from 2PM’s works in Korea then this might be worth getting then.

Koda Kumi – KODA KUMI LIVE TOUR 2011 ~Dejavu~

Released on iTunes and to Fanclub members, LIVE TOUR 2011 ~Dejavu~ is a live album featuring songs the she performed on the tour duuuh.  the iTunes release only has 7 songs but the Fanclub release has 2 discs woth of songs.  Most of the tracklist is stuff from her album “Dejavu” and her cover album “ETERNITY” with little sprinkles of other songs. 

Is it worth it?: Not so much to be honest.  I mean unless you’re a Fanclub member than there’s really no other way to get it.  Sadly the iTunes’ version is severely lacking when it’s just 7 songs. 


At least she released something for the non-fanclub members on the same day ^_^.  Though it’s her 4th in the Driving Hit’s series of remix albums.  Of course a good portion of the tracklist is of the “JAPONESQUE” singles and other random tunes.  Sadly, there’s no unremixed song on this album (the previous three did). 

Is it worth it?: Well…it is a Kuu remix album which are hit or miss so it depends if you love remixes or not.  Personally, it isn’t really worth it but it’s definitely this over the live album.


As a farewell gift, SDN48 released two seperate albums.  First was NEXT ENCORE which is sort of a complete collection of the group’s first 4 singles (don’t know why they left off “Makeoshimi Congratulation”).  Also included is a new track, “1 Gallon no Ase”. 

Is it worth it?: I’d say that if you are a fan and missed their singles, then this is a pretty good buy since four of the five singles are here in complete (and chronological form too) without instrumentals!  The new song is a little bonus but would it be that hard to put their 5th and final single on here too?

AAA – Another side of #AAABEST

I really don’t know why but AAA also released a “B-side” best of album.  I actually don’t think it is because three tracks are legit B-sides while the rest are album tracks, a digital single, and an A-side.  What really is the point of the release is that there is a second disc of songs sung solo by each of the 7 members (a different song of course for each).  Also the DVD has a lot of the great other A-sides that weren’t on “#AAABEST” and a PV for “WISHES”.

Is it worth it?: I think I’d get the 2CD+DVD release only because that seriously is the only reason to even purchase unless you are interested in the first disc which is just a random assortment of songs.  The second disc and DVD is more worth it to be honest.


2NE1 finally released their first album in Japan and sadly it really was a collection of songs they’ve done.  I mean a good portion of “NOLZA” and their singles are here as well as new Japanese versions of other Korean songs are present as well.  There are two bonuses at least.  One is their song they did with m-flo but remixed and the other is a Madonna cover, “LIKE A VIRGIN”.

Is it worth it?: I’d say for the album to be all in Japanese, I’d say a good portion of the songs is worth the listen but their Japanese in the newly translated songs aren’t as good…and the bonus tracks are just kind of meh. 


Anna surprised everyone with a best-of collaborations album and it’s an interesting release.  There’s just a random assortment of songs from A-sides to B-sides to remixes to straight up tracks, it’s got a lot of variety.  There is only two new tracks, “ALL RIGHT NOW” & “IS THIS LOVE?” but there’s a couple of surprises.

Is it worth it?: I kind of liked this release since it had a lot of great tracks on it like “Bangalicious”, “CHECKMATE”, and “GINGER” and the other songs are quite impressive.  Definitely a must-get!

SDN48 – SDN48 1st Stage “Yuuwaku no Garter”

The group’s final release, Yuuwaku no Garter is the group’s only stage release and it looks filled with original songs so it’s not like “NEXT ENCORE”.  However, there is one song that’s on here from that album and that’s “Kodoku no Runner”.  It was also a release split into two discs because the first disc was only for the 1st Generation and the second disc was for the 2nd & 3rd Generation.  Same tracklists though.

Is it worth it?: I can never tell if Stage Albums are studio made or live albums because I frankly haven’t heard one.  I’m sure the sheer fact that this release has songs that has not been on their singles might be interesting enough to take a listen…but I’m not exactly sure how it sounds like.


Sound Horizon – Chronology [2005-2010]

I find it weird that Sound Horizon/REVO would go and release a best-of album (considering that I wouldn’t think they would be possible since their songs are all tied to this story.  10 songs on this best and their mostly of the more important songs (but nothing of the singles). 

Is it worth it?: I’m not sure if it is because the songs chosen were of the more popular songs so it’s more for the hardcore fans.  Though it does have “Meiou” which is pretty wicked!  I would say no but if you wanna hear some of their stuff pre-“Moira” then this is a good place.

Momoiro Clover Z – Momoclo★All Stars 2012

I’m not surprised that Momoclo would once again release a special mini during their lives.  It features 7 new tracks, two being duets and instrumentals of all seven songs.  It’s a pretty unique release for sure.

Is it worth it?Well, big fans of MomocloZ will be able to have this as a completionist since it is 7 original songs and all. 

Haruka Shimotsuki – Koboreru Suna no Aria

I think Koboreru Suna no Aria is a legit release but I didn’t seem to review it.  It seems to continue with a story since the writing is pretty similar to “Griotte no Nemuri Hime”. 

Is it worth it?: New Haruka material is always a good thing so yes, I’m sure this is worth the buy.  Even though it is a short mini-album. 


It’s nice that MEG came out of her short hiatus with a cover album.  A good portion of the album is digital singles she released in a monthly fashion by two.  There’s a bit of new tracks too so it’s npt a bad release.

Is it worth it?: I’d say yes, because the songs are good for the most part but there are some songs that aren’t my favorite.  It’s worth a listen!


Shoko Nakagawa – Shokotan☆Best ――(°∀°) ――!!

Probably one of the most jam-packed best-ofs of the year.  Shokotan’s best-of is 3 filled discs of music and a DVD of one of her performances.  The first disc has all of the A-sides…well all but one…With no “Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu”, “Gozen Rokuji” (A B-side) took its place.  The second disc is the best of songs she’s covered and include 4 new tracks.  A new Chinese version of “Sorairo Days” and new tracks: “Horizont”, “apple universe”, and “Souffle Secret”.  The 3rd disc is a megamix disc gonig through MANY of her songs.  Oh yeah…tons of stuff.

Is it worth it?: Totally! I mean it’s filled to the brim with songs because there’s just so many songs to go through, the megamix CD, and 3 new songs and Shokotan doing Chinese!  Oh yeah, this is pretty awesome!

Chihiro Onitsuka – FAMOUS MICROPHONE

Jeeze so many cover albums this year!  Chihiro is the last for the half year of cover albums too so that’s good.  FAMOUS MICROPHONE is 10 songs chosen and for the most part I recognize quite a bit but another artist covering “Time After Time”?….also there’s an original track as well as the 11th song, “Bitter Flavor Road”. 

Is it worth it? To be honest, besides the original song…no the album is kind of boring and Chihiro has a poor grasp at English which is such a no-no this especially going against other artists like BENI and MEG.  I’d say pass this up.

mihimaru GT – THE BEST of mihimaru GT2

I feel as if they put out more best-ofs than literal studio albums,  even though it’s their second A-side bests, THE BEST of mihimaru GT2 chronicles their A-sides from “Gazen Yeah!” up to “One Time” (though missing “Ai Kotoba”) and added two new tracks and a one-take version of “Shiawase ni Narou”. 

Is it worth it?: I’d say it’s a pretty solid release and to have the A-sides from “mihimarise” to the “One Time” single.  Both “SAY YES” and “Propeller Daikaiten”.  are nice additions to the album and the extra version of “Shiawase ni Narou was unexpected but cool.  I’d say it’s a solid release…but jeeze mihimaru…lay off the bests for a while!

S/mileage – S/mileage Best Album Kanzenban 1

I guess this best-of happened because they wanted a fresh slate to start on because of all the changes that were happening to the group.  It’s great to see all the A-sides here going from most recent, “Dot Bikini”, to their debut single, “aMa no Jaku”.  Add one new song, “Kiiroi Jitensha to Sandwich” and you get this rather surprising release of a best.

Is it worth it? I’m kind of on the fence on this one.  I mean they could’ve easily made a studio album with the current A-sides (even though there’d be Saki, Yuuka, and Fuyuka involved so it would be difficult in some ways.  I would say that this was done to kind of close a chapter and open a new one.  Current S/mileage does have two, soon three singles so it might be just that.  I think it’s a solid best-of but kind of awkward timing.



Also like with NEWS, it felt like they were also closing a chapter in the group’s history by releasing NEWS BEST.  It has the A-sides they’ve done since their debut, a second disc of solos that are sung by the remaining 4 members and a third disc of their fans choosing what songs to be put that aren’t already on the album. 

Is it worth it?: I think for NEWS fans, this is a must-buy because of the second disc being all new (I think) and it’s solos.  The main disc might not be that interesting because it is A-sides and the fan-picked disc is in the middle of things since it’s a lot of songs from different parts of their discography! 

ELISA – rainbow pulsation ~THE BEST OF ELISA~

Even though I haven’t reviewed ELISA yet, I did notice that she released a best-of that has her A-sides and a couple of other songs.  I notice that there’s a couple of interesting things like the full version of “ENDLESS ANTHOLOGY” and her cover of “Ai Oboeteimasuka”. 

Is it worth it?: I have no idea because I haven’t heard the best-of to tell you if it’s good or not.  I guess you might have to be a fan of hers to decide.

Haruka Shimotsuki – Tindharia no Kanade

Closing out the half year, at the end of June, Haruka quitely released Tindharia no Kanade (any connection to “Tindharia no Tane”?). Anyways it’s a compilation of songs she’s done well on the first disc it’s just 7 tracks and their instrumentals while the second disc is merely BGMs

Is it worth it?: Maybe for the first disc because that’s where the meat of this release resides.  The second disc is definitely for the hardcore Haruka fans because I don’t think I could sit through 22 tracks of background music.  I kind of wished there was more to the first disc besides instrumentals but I’ll live.



SO THAT’S IT! IF THERE IS ANYONE I REVIEW THAT I MISSED, Please leave a comment on the page and I’ll add it ^_^