10) ビッケブランカ – “Slave Of Love” “NEW”
This song is being featured in a brand new commercial for the music streaming service
Google Play in their “Life With Music” series that goes by the title “The Welcome Story.”
Its narrative of a woman from the Western world visiting her friend in Japan becoming
further exposed to the culture through J-Pop will surely hit home for you, our audience.
The mini-album which bears the name of this song was marketed with a campaign that
made the release available in a limited edition that came with an autographed postcard
at select retail locations in the Tōkai region.
9) 西野カナ – “Dear Bride” “NEW”
西野カナ is about to complete her biggest arena tour to date: The Secret Nishino Party
2016, which has already taken her to concert venues across eleven different locations.
The final two shows will be at the end of this month at Saitama Super Arena, which has
actually become famous for hosting some of the most iconic fights in mixed martial-arts
history, and will host the basketball matches for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
8) [Alexandros] – “Feel Like” “NEW”
This song is on the newest album by [Alexandros], EXIST!, which was released earlier
this month. Other songs on this record include a Japan Top 10 chart-topper from earlier
in the year (“New Wall”) and a hit single featured on a countdown from late September,
“Swan.” That song was the theme song for the Fuji TV crime drama ON: 異常犯罪捜査官・藤堂比奈子, based on the novel of the same name by Naito Ryo, which was awarded the
Reader’s Prize in 2014 at the 25th Annual Japan Horror Novel Awards.
Last month, after six years of recording [Alexandros] made their first of likely many
appearances on the NHK music television program SONGS. They performed this song
along with three others live. The show’s producers were cognizant of the fact that this
episode would function as an introduction to the band for some viewers, so a large part
of it is devoted to documentary-style segments detailing the history of [Alexandros].
7) 安室奈美恵 – “Dear Diary” “NEW”
This song is being used as the theme song for the new live-action film Death Note: Light Up The NEW World, which is a sequel to the film Death Note 2: The Last Name,
released ten years ago, which itself was a sequel to the original Death Note film, which
was just an adaptation of the events of the shōnen manga series of the same name.
An English-language remake of the original 2006 film is scheduled for release next year,
and is to be distributed via Netflix and directed by Adam Wingard, whose most recent
credit was the sequel to The Blair Witch Project that was released earlier this
year. The leads are to be played by Nat Wolff (formerly of Naked Brothers Band fame)
and Margaret Qualley, who became a trending topic on social media in late August when
she starred in Spike Jonze’s commercial for the new fragrance, “KENZO World.”
6) 秦基博 – “70億のピース” +2
This song is actually one-half of a double A-side single. The other side is a song entitled
“終わりのない空,” or, in English, “Never-Ending Sky.” It is being used as the theme
song for the film 聖の青春, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by 大崎善生
released sixteen years ago that told the tragic story of shogi master Murayama Satoshi,
who died at the shockingly young age of twenty-nine.
5) RADWIMPS – “前前前世” -1
RADWIMPS will be releasing a limited edition of their newest release with
live concert footage sourced from a show at Makuhari Messe in Chiba
Prefecture from their tenth anniversary tour, which took place late last year. Makuhari
Messe is set to house the fencing, Tae Kwon-Do, karate and wrestling portions of the
2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The long awaited documentary chronicling RADWIMPS’ tenth anniversary tour —HESONOO — will arrive on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 18th of next year.
4) 宇多田ヒカル – “道” -2
Music journalists have praised this song specifically for not only its optimistic
worldview, but also its throwback elements that, to them, signal a return to form for
宇多田ヒカル. They cited the “Nineties house music-inspired” intro and the “vintage
harpsichord” that blends with the synthesizers when the chorus drops as evidence of
宇多田ヒカル chasing a retro sound with this song.
3) THE YELLOW MONKEY – “砂の塔” +2
The magazine Nikkei Entertainment released its annual Concert Attendance Ranking
recently. This was a landmark year because it was the first in the history of the magazine
to include the number of attendees of the artist-specific fan-meets into grand totals.
Although THE YELLOW MONKEY’s comeback tour was a major live event this year, the
band surprisingly failed to even crack the Top Twenty in the ranking.
THE YELLOW MONKEY will be premiering a concert film called THE
YELLOW MONKEY SUPER メカラ ウロコ 27 on December 28th in forty-seven
prefectures. However, it will simultaneously be premiering in limited release in both
Hong Kong and Taiwan.
2) サカナクション – “多分、風。” +1
In addition to archived video footage from two studio sessions live-streamed via the
Japanese messaging app, Line, the DVD that comes with the limited-edition version of
this new CD single also includes a comedic video piece called “BAR サカナクション,” in
which サカナクション’s vocalist/sole songwriter plays bartender for his band-mates.
In February, サカナクション provided the score for a short film called “SEED,” which
was one of a series of shorts by female directors — “Women’s Tales” — sponsored by the
Italian women’s high fashion brand Miu Miu. Interestingly, サカナクション’s score was
recorded in the capital of Nara Prefecture, which was also the film’s shooting location.
1) 星野源 – “恋” =
The music video for this song features special appearances from 星野源’s J-Pop
contemporaries, such as the lead vocalist/guitarist/ primary songwriter for the
three-piece group Petrolz (長岡 亮介), ハマオカモト — the bassist from the J-Rock band
OKAMOTO’s — and 河村智康, who has contributed his talents as a drummer to records
by a host of popular artists, like Do As Infinity and 大塚愛.
The choreography in the music video was done by Mikiko, who is the leader of the
high-tech dance troupe Elevenplay, whose other talented members appear in the video. Mikiko is also the choreographer
responsible for the sick dance moves of internationally known J-Pop vocal trios Babymetal and Perfume.
Listener Request: PERFUME – “時の針” (Song request from David)
The title of the song can be translated into English as “Needle Of Time. ” In the song, 中
田ヤスタカ’s lyrics make use of the nondescript phrase “that day” to impart a
meditation on the fleeting nature of time and how life is about moving forward and
building on past experiences as much as it is about actively trying to make happy
memories in the present.
This song comes from Perfume’s fourth album, JPN, which was also their second studio
album to go platinum. The release of this album also marked their third consecutive
full-length release to hit #1 on the Oricon weekly charts the week of its release, making
Perfume the first J-Pop girl group to achieve this feat since SPEED twelve years before.
2000s J-Pop Throwback: 矢島美容室 feat. プリンセス・セイコ – “アイドルみたいに
歌わせて” (song request from Shu)
矢島美容室 is a vocal trio composed of three men dressing in drag: hip-hop artist and
notorious prankster DJ OZMA, and the members of the sketch comedy duo The Tunnels. 矢島美容室’s fictional backstory is that they were a Vegas-based family dance
act — a mother and her two daughters — discovered by DJ OZMA and The Tunnels.
The featured artist プリンセス・セイコ, as you might guess, is none other than the “Queen
of Idols” herself, 松田聖子!
Anime Extra: 西尾 えつ子 – “じゃじゃ馬にさせないで” (song request from KTop 10’s
newest on-air host, Sharalyn!)
The version of this song you just heard, whose title can be roughly translated as “Don’t
Make Me A Shrew,” is performed by model/singer 西尾えつ子 (who recorded the track
when she was only sixteen), although an alternate version performed by 佐久間 レイ ,
who voices the character Shampoo in the anime, is present on the 1991 album 格闘歌かるた, which features members of Ranma ½’s voice cast singing a mix of covers and