Hi there, it’s definitely been a while lol
Well it’s December now and I promise this blog will be very active this month since this is very much a special time of the year. Today though, I wanted to do another J-song roundup because I am WAAAAY overdue on another music post (…guess it’s not “weekly” anymore lol). I’ve discovered and listened to a good amount of songs in the past few weeks, thanks to YouTube suggestions and Apple Music, actually! Yeah, Spotify is kind of a pain to pay Premium for when you’re underage and don’t have an actual credit card so I’ve changed to Apple (which might be better tbh).
That being said, let’s jump into today’s roundup!
“I wanna go out” – Fujiwara Sakura
I discovered the lovely Fujiwara Sakura actually from cover duo Groovy groove, since they briefly covered her most popular song and one of the more popular J-pop songs in 2016, “Soup”. Fujiwara Sakura definitely reminds me of popular female and acoustic-style artists you’d hear here in the United States; ones that come to mind are Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, Kina Grannis, etc. Her songs “Soup” and “Kawaii” are great examples of the usual style of Fujiwara Sakura.
However with this song, “I wanna go out”, she changes it up a little and expresses a more jazzy, old-timey track (it honestly reminds me of a song from a Disney movie). The instrument arrangement like the old-timey sounding piano, trumpets, and even Fujiwara changing her voice a little to resemble an American female jazz singer; this song is a really pleasant one to listen to. Also, the song is all in English and I’ve really garnered a liking to J-songs that have all English lyrics (e.g. some of Ohashi Trio’s discography).
“SWEET TWEET” – Official HIGE DANdism
While Official HIGE DANdism recently have composed songs with more of an electronic-feel incorporated into them (like “Stand by You”), here’s a song from them back in 2016 that is more lighthearted and poppy.
“SWEET TWEET” is probably my favorite song from this band, mainly because of the really nice singing abilities of frontman Fujihara Satoshi. His youthful-sounding voice and ability to sing some pretty high notes, I just love how he sings in this song (and other HIGE songs). Also something I noticed was that Satoshi has a lisp and you can sort of hear it while he sings. I just found that interesting since you don’t really see many singers sing with a lisp; you can hear it very clearly when HIGE DANdism performed “Itan na Star” live for the YouTube Music Foundry. But other than that, Satoshi’s keyboard skills and the rest of the band performed a fun song to listen to.
“Last Surprise” – Meguro Shoji
So this past Black Friday, I bought a Playstation 4. I’ve wanted one for a while now, one of the main reasons being that I heard that the Atlus RPG Persona 5 was actually a great game to play. I don’t usually play RPGs but I was for some reason very interested in this particular game (also the fact that I played a little bit of Persona 3 on the PSP). I got Persona 5 and wow, am I having a blast with it. It’s so flashy, unique, and it even has a STACKED Japanese voice cast with A-list seiyuu playing the main roles like Miyano Mamoru and Mizuki Nana. I actually haven’t gotten a chance to play more of it since family came over for the past week but I hope to come back to it soon.
That being said, one of the main reasons why Persona 5 is highly praised is because of it’s music. And holy god, it’s good. Probably my favorite song so far is “Last Surprise”, performed by Inaizumi Lyn and composed by long-time Atlus music composer Meguro Shoji who has done music for both the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series.
This song is the battle theme; the song you hear while you’re battling enemies. I’m no RPG expert and I sure as hell didn’t expect a song like this to be the battle theme of all songs but WOW. It’s such a smooth, jazzy song with a sick bassline, and even though this track plays every single time you encounter an enemy, it’s so good I feel like I’ll never get sick of it. It’s also good to note that the lyrics are all in English, and Inaizumi Lyn does a splendid job performing this song. I actually thought this was sung by an American, but she did fool me good.
“shake it!” – Hatsune Miku
Technically this song is composed by whoever emon is, but Miku basically popularized it.
Well I’m pretty sure everyone knows who Hatsune Miku is so I don’t really need to go too detailed into talking about her. But if you don’t, basically she’s a voice synthesizer (most call it a “vocaloid”) put onto a 3D model of an anime girl and turned into one of the most popular Japanese pop stars ever. That’s basically it lol
Now I was never really into the Vocaloid/Miku craze back when it boomed (mainly cause I was pretty young and wasn’t too interested in her) but I’ve gradually listened to some Vocaloid songs recently, thanks to other people suggesting it to me. I actually really do like Miku as a pop artist and her voice is surprisingly nice, given she’s just a robot. I found this song from some random video of the K-On characters dancing to a cover of it on Instagram… you can find some odd things on Instagram surprisingly. But listening to the Hatsune Miku version, it’s definitely a fun track to listen to with her vocals and overall electronic, disco music arrangement.
“Lifelight (Japanese Version)” – Sakamoto Hideki
Most of you probably don’t know this but I am a huge fan of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. game series. I’ve played all of the Smash Bros. games, watched a ton of videos of competitive players playing at a high level, and especially experienced all the Nintendo Directs where they reveal the next fighter who’ll be joining the already very diverse cast of characters.
If you didn’t know, the newest installment of the Super Smash Bros series for the Nintendo Switch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is actually coming out this Friday, December 7th. I, like many other fans, am excited to finally play this one since there has been so much hype surrounding it.
That being said, last November was the final announcement video revolving around the upcoming game where they revealed more specific details. One thing they showed off was the adventure mode called “World of Light”. The trailer for that mode actually featured the Ultimate theme song but with vocals accompanying it, the song being called “Lifelight”. Most people know the English version of the song (which is still great) but since this is a Japanese song roundup, I had to include the JP version. It’s sung by Koga Erina, who was chosen by Smash director Masahiro Sakurai himself and apparently was only 17-years-old when she was recording this song! That’s insane.
But “Lifelight” is a beautiful song to go alongside this incredible game, it sounds very epic and while the lyrics are a bit cliche (at least the ones in English are), I don’t really mind.
“Ai Eye Ai” – Kubota Miyu
This song is part of the character song collection for an anime that aired last season, Jashin-chan Dropkick. It was a pretty fun show to watch and I would love to see another season of it.
This is the character song of one of the characters, Medusa, who was voiced by Kubota Miyu. If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of Miyutan ever since I saw her being cast as one of the members of the newest Love Live group (as you can see on my Instagram and Twitter). Beautiful, funny, great voice; what’s there not to love about her. Miyutan is also a part of an J-pop seiyuu idol group called i☆Ris and has been featured in anime such as PriPara.
I discovered the Jashin-chan character song collection on Apple Music, and it’s actually really good. But from a Love Liver’s viewpoint, it has to be good since two other characters were voiced by seiyuu from the Love Live groups (Jashin-chan was played by Suzuki Aina of Aqours; Persephone was played by Iida Riho of μ’s). But in all seriousness, I really liked Medusa’s character song because it’s sweet to listen to, and Medusa was my favorite character in that anime. Also because I personally don’t hear a lot of Miyutan in the i☆Ris songs I’ve listened to, so hearing her solo was great.
“MY Mai☆TONIGHT (PolariS Remix)” – Aqours
Speaking of Love Live, I recently found a remix channel that has done remixes of various Aqours songs.
And DAMN, these are fire.
“MY Mai☆TONIGHT” was one of my favorite songs from the second season of Sunshine!! and hearing a trap remix of it opened my eyes and made me ask myself, “why didn’t I discover this earlier?”. But PolariS did a superb job doing a remix of this song and adding a little more traditional Japanese flair to it to make it even better. I have soft spot for trap remixes of songs.
“i Love” – azusa
As you may know, the romance anime Amagami SS is my absolute favorite romance anime and even one of my absolute favorite anime, period. Amagami actually takes place during the month of Christmas and for the past two years, I’ve made it a tradition to re-watch the series every December.
That being said, the Amagami re-watch on the blog will start tomorrow and I just thought it would be nice to include the INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL opening song, “i Love”, by the wonderful azusa. I adore azusa’s voice and I’m super glad she got to do the opening themes to this anime series. The piano-playing by her, as well as the catchiness of the chorus makes this song really memorable to me and is probably my favorite theme songs out of all the ones she has done throughout the Amagami anime series (although “Kimi no Mamade” and “check my soul” aren’t very far away).
And that’s all I wanted to say today!
Thank you for reading today’s roundup and will I write another roundup next week… we’ll see. If you have any of your own song suggestions, by all means leave it in the comments! I am always willing to check out new music.
Thanks for reading again and I’ll see you guys tomorrow for the start of the Amagami re-watch!! 😀