Hello there, and welcome back to another J-Song roundup! If you’re new here, basically I give you a list of songs from various Japanese artists that I’ve listened to in the past week and believe are some solid choices for you to listen to. Some of these songs come from Spotify, YouTube, or other occurrences regarding an anime voice actress, for example. I would think this is a pretty fun and informative segment, and I hope you think the same!
Without further a do, let’s jump right in!
“3cm” – MINT mate box
I found this band, MINT mate box, actually from a SHISHAMO fan account on Instagram (sadly they just disappeared from the face of the earth one day and deleted their account for some reason) who also had an interest in other bands like Polkadot Stingray, go!go!vanillas, and MMB. The first song I heard from them was “Recycle / リサイクル”, and immediately I loved their sound.
They released a new song and music video about a day ago called “3cm”. It’s pretty different from their other songs like “Recycle” and “Run / 走れ”, as it’s more mellow and affectionate. The addition of a violin and piano, the lyrics like “Notice that I cut my hair 3cm, and we get closer for just 3cm”, really do make this song sound like a sweet romantic ballad, and mixed in with mahocato’s vocals, it’s quite a nice track to listen to.
Also, fun fact, the main vocalist/guitarist, mahocato, is actually very fluent in English and she makes small English lesson videos on her Instagram for her Japanese fans. You can follow her IG @mahocato!
“セツナ Ring a Bell / Setsuna Ring a Bell” – Uchida Maaya
Most likely you’ll know popular seiyuu Uchida Maaya for voicing characters like Takanashi Rikka from the Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai series or Kirima Sharo in Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?. Also fun fact, she’s the older sister of Uchida Yuuma, who’s most notable for playing Immelmann Hayate in Macross Delta. They have a pretty close sibling relationship together, and it’s been shown to be sweet to watch.
Anyways, it looks like Mayayan has had a pretty big devotion to her solo musical career, as she has released a single every year since 2014 and has two full length albums so far.
Now that I think about it, this is probably the first time I’ve ever heard Mayayan actually sing solo and not in an OP/ED with other seiyuu (e.g. the ED to Chuunibyou). She has a very beautiful voice like with many other female seiyuu, but she definitely has a much more mature tone compared to her fellow voice actresses like Uesaka Sumire or Sakura Ayane, at least in this particular song. The variety of instruments and the catchy chorus; I could totally see this track being an opening to some anime.
(You can listen to the full version of this song off her album “Magic Hour” on Spotify!)
“VORACITY” – MYTH & ROID
This pick is a special one since a good friend I know personally requested to have a song on this week’s list. I won’t disclose his name just because I didn’t ask him beforehand, but he’s probably one of the few people I know who has the same amount of interest in anime/otaku topics as myself and discussing said topics with him is always great.
He requested one of the openings to the Overlord series, more specifically the OP from the recently aired third season, “VORACITY” (also I’d like to note that fellow aniblogger Luminous Mongoose told me about this band as well!). It’s certainly very different from the usual music I listen to, but I’m pretty open to discovering and listening to brand new genres. “VORACITY” has a pretty crazy and aggressive vibe to it, with the distorted sounds and loud vocals. But that hint of a old-timey piano in the background, it adds a nice touch/difference to the rest of the song’s nature. There’s a lot of English mixed in as well, I noticed.
It seems like fans of the Overlord series consider this OP to be the best one out of all of them, and I definitely agree it’s a good song!
“Asayake to Nettaigyo / 朝焼けと熱帯魚” – Boku no Lyric no Bouyomi
From my past experiences with J-music, I don’t think I’ve actually listened to Japanese rap/rappers. Maybe it’s because I usually listen to certain types of music, but I just haven’t discovered that much rap in my cycle of Japanese songs… until I discovered Yokohama-based Boku no Lyric no Bouyomi.
A dude who discovered the greatness of rap music, he (his actual name is unknown) originally wanted to a form a band during his high school years but had no friends who had serious interest in doing so. He then pursued rap, started releasing tracks online, and has become pretty big in the last few years. One of his songs was even featured as the theme to the live action adaptation of March Comes in like a Lion. What’s crazy to me though is that about five days ago, just right around when I discovered this guy, he announced his departure from the music scene and plans to release his final album in December.
Focusing back to this song, “Asayake to Nettaigyo” is pretty nice of a track. BNLNB (i’m just gonna call him that from now out) gives off a mellow tone with this song, whether that be with the beats in the background or his vocal performance. I also noticed that he has some reeeeeeally nice flow when rapping. Great song overall!
“Escort” – Hayami Saori
Here’s my jazz selection for this week. It’s a lot more traditional rather than an artist like LUCKY TAPES but it’s a superb choice, if I’d say so myself.
I found this song thanks to one of the seiyuu video translation gods, Potastic Fansubs, uploading it to YouTube. Hayami Saori, if you didn’t know, is probably considered one of the most popular female voice actresses in the industry. She has had many major roles throughout her career, being in various anime such as Koe no Katachi and the Monogatari series. I don’t want to get too into Hayamin’s background because I wrote a whole Seiyuu Spotlight post about her, which you should check out if you’re interested!
Hayami Saori has such a beautiful voice in both voice acting and in songs she has performed, and her performance in this song is no different. It’s very apparent that Hayamin can hit those high notes super well, and the jazzy music from the instruments like the piano and bass accompanying her is incredible to listen to.
It would be a blessing to walk into a club or restaurant and hear someone like Hayami Saori sing a song like this.
“Baddest” – BRADIO
BRADIO is probably one of my all-time favorite Japanese bands, now that I think about it. They combine rock with soul and funk EXTREMELY well, and there are so many great songs in their discography. Like many others, I discovered BRADIO from the drama anime Death Parade, as they performed that seriously catchy and funky opening, “Flyers”.
I’ve kinda fell off the BRADIO train after their drummer, Tanabe Yuki, left the band earlier this year and also after “LA PA PARADISE” came out. However when coming back, they still are really enjoyable to listen to. “Baddest” is probably the one song that “popped out” to me in their recent discography; it’s less loud, I’d say, than their previous tracks but definitely still has their usual funky/soul tone thanks to the overall instrumentation and Shingyoji Takaaki’s incredible vocals (which he can certainly hit those high notes, there’s no question there!). It’s a great song to listen to if you’re in the mood for some funky music.
BONUS: “Melting Love” – AOA
“…this isn’t a Japanese song, al”, you’re probably thinking to yourself.
I know, I know. However, after I wrote that post about the Korean pop group AOA a few weeks ago, I started to dive deeper in their discography and found some serious bops that I regret not discovering earlier. And so, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show you guys one of my favorites out of the new discoveries I’ve found. This might not be the best place/occasion to include this song, but screw it, we’re talking about music anyways.
“Melting Love”, from my perspective, has that slow romantic/seductive kind of vibe to it while still being a really nice pop song. The vocal performances of all the ladies are nice as usual and they definitely blend well together; probably my favorite part is the chorus being sung by Yuna and Choa, my goodness, they nailed it in this song. The overall musical composition and swoony beats also play a big part in making this track really enjoyable.
I could go on and on about AOA right now, but I’ll save you the trouble of my fanboying… but I should really start listening to other K-pop groups now lol
And that’s all I wanted to talk about today!
Hopefully you thought this week’s selection was enjoyable; it’s been pretty weird lately in my personal life, plus I’ve been listening to K-pop and DADARAY more so I kinda had to pick out songs I’ve listened in the past to fulfill this list (lol). But I think these are pretty solid choices!
And as always, if you have any of your own Japanese music recommendations, definitely leave them in the comments! I’m always happy to listen to some good music suggestions from my peers.
Thanks for reading!! 😀