[Review] AKB48-related summer releases 2011

Summer is (almost) over, and yours may have been fun or boring, relaxing or stressful… but if you’re an AKB48 fan, sure there’s been at least one good thing about it: the massive amount of releases from them and their subunits and sister groups. From June to August, there was at least one AKB-related release per week (if we include DVDs / BDs and photobooks). As for the music releases, some of them (mostly singles) were really nice, others were not-so-good, but I took my time to listen to them all and now I’m going to share my impressions with you guys!

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First half of 2011 in review: my top 10 Japanese albums of the year so far

So the first half of the year is gone already… time sure flies, doesn’t it? 2011 is turning out to be pretty nice in terms of Japanese music and there have been many albums I enjoyed, even if I’m the kind of person who prefers to listen to individual songs rather than albums as a whole. Are you curious to know which ones have been my favorites? Then, keep reading this post!

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[Review] A few notes on Nana Mizuki’s double single release

As some of you may know, Nana is releasing two singles, titled SCARLET KNIGHT and POP MASTER, this week. Last time she did something like this was back in 2002, that is, 9 years ago, so an occasion like this deserves a post, doesn’t it? Oh, wait, everything Nana releases is worth a post!

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Monthly Japanese Music Review – January 2011 – Part II: Albums

I originally planned to post this shortly after the first part, but since I had some problems with my laptop, I couldn’t do it before. Sorry.

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Monthly Japanese Music Review – January 2011 – Part I: Singles

Yeah, I know this post is coming a little late (partly due to my extreme laziness). But, as I said in my previous entry, better late than never, don’t you think so?

This January there haven’t been many releases, as evidenced by the extremely low sales figures we’ve seen on Oricon these past few weeks (especially on the album charts, in which there have been a couple of weekly number ones with only around 20k copies sold). Out of all the J-pop stuff that has been released this month, there were only like 3 releases I was really anticipating, but that didn’t stop me from listening to a lot of new music! If there’s any good thing about not being too excited for something, it’s that it’s hard to be disappointed by it, and since I was pretty sure from the very beginning that the little stuff I was looking forward to would be good at least, this month’s list of disappointments is going to be rather short.

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[Review] 61st Kouhaku Uta Gassen

First of all, happy new year everyone! (better late than never).

So I finally got to watch this year’s Kouhaku Uta Gassen. In case you’ve never heard of it (even though I highly doubt that), it’s a music show broadcasted every year on New Year’s Eve on the channel NHK in which a bunch of popular artists and groups, divided in two groups (Red Team – female acts; White Team – male acts) perform usually one song each, and, even though the ratings have dropped within the past few years, it’s still the most watched TV show in Japan

On a curious note, this is only my second time watching the full show: my first Kouhaku was the 60th one, and the reason why I initially got interested in watching it was Nana Mizuki’s debut appearance in the show. To be honest, before that year (2009) I hadn’t even heard about the show, but I guess it was normal since I wasn’t as much into the general J-pop scene back then as I am now (I only listened to a certain handful of songs by a few artists; rarely checked the Oricon charts, etc.)

That said, let’s start with the review! Long post coming, be warned.

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10 years of Nana Mizuki


On December 6th, 2000, a 20-year-old seiyuu called Nana Mizuki made her debut as a singer with a single called Omoi. Said single was rather average and it didn’t find any success: actually, it even failed to chart on Oricon, and the singles that followed it didn’t do much better either. Back then, she’d never imagined that 10 years later her music career would be a total success, to the point that she would achieve things nobody else had managed to achieve before.

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