fly to high

What J-Pop Do You Buy?
September 18, 2008, 1:44 am
Filed under: Opinion

Now that my music collection is temporarily out of commission, I’m turning to CDs again – and it hit me how little official Japanese music I own. I love J-pop – I have thousands of J-pop songs by several artists that I love, and I love watching PVs and concert DVDs – but as for the ones I buy, this is it.

Here’s the question: what CDs do you own? Do you buy all releases that you like? Do you buy some releases that you like? Do you only buy overseas versions? Do you only buy pirated versions? Do you not buy anything at all? And if you do buy a lot of releases – how do you afford it?

I know we should support the artists, and I encourage everyone to buy the music if you can, but it’s not realistic for a lot of us. I see photos of some peoples’ extensive J-pop CD collections and is very jealous; I’d love to own the music and support that artistss I love. But when a few singles cost $100 to ship to me when the same $100 feeds me for a month – well, I love J-pop but food still wins out. Sorry, artists. ):

I bought the releases on the bottom row secondhand just to own them because they are music that I truly love or have sentimental value. (Deep River is an amazing album; “Rolling Star’s” b-side is one of my favorite YUI songs; Judy and Mary’s “Sobakasu” was one of my first J-pop songs.) I buy all of NEWS’ things because Johnny’s has effectively sucked me into being their money-offering minion (at least I don’t buy two copies of each release. Yet.) I don’t know why I own “Best of KAT-TUN”. The WaT single was a freebie with the KAT-TUN CD. A lot of those have never been listened to – until now, at least.

I don’t display them (no space), I don’t listen to them (mp3s win out), and I don’t – what else could you do with CDs? I like having them around because they’re nice to take out, look the the booklets, or maybe look up some lyrics – but that’s about it. I do watch the DVDs – that’s the only discs that actually get any playing!

So do you buy your J-pop? And when you buy them, do you listen to them, display them, or just have them for the sake of having, like me?

16 Comments so far
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Well I’m in the same crunch as you. I don’t have enough money to support an expensive CD habit. I do feel bad about just downloading, so I buy a lot from HearJapan. Although they don’t have a lot of JPOP, they are the only digital music store specializing in Japanese music worldwide and they are growing quite quickly. But the service is great, it’s quick, easy and most importantly cheap. They also pay all the proper payments to the artist and are a member of the RIAJ apparently. Cds are nice to have but they are a space waster and too expensive.

Comment by chris

I try and buy CDs but only where possible. I try and keep a balance between downloads and buying because I do want to support the artists- but as you said sometimes it’s pretty impossible.

I can’t really afford to buy everything I want, so when I have some money I might buy a few of my most listened albums- the ones I really really like. I tend to look through the booklets then put them away in the cupboard though. They are so expensive I want to take care of them! And there really isn’t much you can do with CDs. It’s more the pleasure of owning the physical thing. And I love getting first press, though often it’s impossible 😦

ps. Jpop is expensive. Compared to Kpop and even Cpop it’s shocking. That’s why I’ve not ordered Jpop for a little while now, not even pre-ordering the kiyoharu and Ayumi albums I wanted.

Comment by Catherine


I buy way too many CDs. I THINK I own 90+ singles atm, with 20ish albums. I don’t remember all that well.

I buy them cos it has become a hobby/lifestyle. I work to get my money for them, and I love buying them and BAH I’m incoherant. xD

Comment by Raid

i don’t really buy albums but recently i have bought 2 music album. one is wat’s latest single and the other is a taiwanese album sang by da ba [big mouth]. if possible i would not want to buy albums/ singles because it’s a waste of space. so that’s why i have been downloading songs most of the times…. if there’s a library where we could rent these albums.. i don’t even mind paying for the rent as long i obtain those songs legally.

Comment by renaye

[…] [Blogs] fly to high Asks About What J-Pop You Buy What J-Pop Do You Buy? […]

Pingback by [Blogs] fly to high Asks About What J-Pop You Buy | International Wota

hmmmm well lets’ I have many artists I follow. And I use to buy all of them lol but now since I’ve got my own place I’ve cut down buying ALOT. Because it’s either Cds or the roof over my head lol And I’ve got to be responsible 😛

I have the entire discography of Ayumi Hamasaki. Since Moments I’ve been buying Japanese Versions but everything before that I would either buy Overseas Versions and some Japanese Versions but very rarely. I also buy her concerts. They’re expensive ; ; I’ve been thinking of waiting for the O.S. versions of those. Ayumi is one of the artists I will always follow so therefore I will always buy her CDs. I only went crazy a few times. 2 miss understood albums cuz I wanted both Photobooks, 3 Mirrorcle Worlds (Don’t ask it was a mistake ; ; i meant to cancel 2 of them but forgot) and 2 glitter/fated only cuz Avex tricked me lol Other than that I buy the albums (Dvd versions) and her singles when they come out(only cd version). Actually I lucked out pretty good with Ayu Her releases has slowed over the years averaging 2 singles a year where as before it used to be 4 singles a year.

Anyhow There’s also other artists like Koda Kumi
(._.) I almost have everything by her and I use to buy all the editions of her stuff (3 albums cuz they had small differences 2 differ single covers etc. )
Not to mention all those singles (12 week single collection) Now a days I”m settling for jus one cover cuz I realize it was dumb of me to buy 3 of the same thing just to have the different covers. I also buy her concerts ; ; like I stated I’m debating bout just ordering O.S versions of this to save money. Now with Koda Kumi I also ordered the Maroc book and even the Special Oversized book too. Calendars for both Ku and Ayu too. ; ;

So between Ayu and Ku I spent a considerate amount.

Now I use to buy lots of cds but for example YUI I’ve got all her albums but only 4 of her singles and I recently decided to just order her albums and skip singles. Same with other artists like Angela Aki, Got some singles by her and both her albums but skipped both of their new singles. I downloaded them instead ; ; Because of money reasons. I will buy their next albums but I have to skip their singles from now on.

I envy people who only like one artist then all they have to do is buy that artists releases. Where as I like many and I can’t afford to buy all of their stuff. ; ;

Yuna Ito is another one. I’ve only got Heart & Mahaloha. Although I like her alot I can’t afford all her stuff. Utada Hikaru, Ai Otsuka, and Namie Amuro same thing I love their music but don’t have everything. I’ve got only singles from Passion to the present from Hikki (minus Prisoner of Love) and her 3rd album to the Heart Station. Namie both her best albums, Style, Queen of Hip Pop, and Play. I also got 3 concerts of hers. Singles vary really i think I have 7 total. I’ve got all Ai chan albums except the first, and around 5 singles :/

Not to mention all the other artists. I have alot of music but if you take how much I buy and How much I download the % is probably like 80% Downloaded and 20% bought which actually looks kind of bad 😦 I probably own over 700 CDs total and that’s just JPop, I also own many anime and Game ost and American music too.

So if I own that many Cds you can imagine how I download lol by the %

About 2 years ago I use to be receiving 3 packages a week with Cds from Yes Asia. Now I am lucky if I get 1 package a month. lol Like next week I will be expecting Ku’s concert Kingdom, Ayu’s A Complete Collection, & Ai Otsuka’s Kurage Nagareboshi.

Just last week I got alan’s Single. But aside from that there will only be Ku’s TABOO and YUI’s My Short Stories. I’m hoping that’s it for the year. lol

I do buy alot but in comparison to downloading. Not so much 😦 Now I buy because I love having the hard copy of the singles. I love the booklets, and packaging. I open all my cds. I dont keep them in plastic. But I listen to them rarely 😦 most of the time I listen to my ipod. So I’m basically collecting Cds for Collectors Reasons.

Comment by Blue

[…] Do Want What I Have Not Got fly to high recently posted an interesting question about J-Pop buying habits, and since I like answering […]

Pingback by I Do Want What I Have Not Got « The J-Pex: An H!P/J-Pop Music Blog

Interesting questions. I just posted my answers in my blog, but as it doesn’t appear to be doing the pingback thing for some reason, here’s a link to my reply:


Comment by Pex

I’m more likely to buy a Japanese artist over an American one most times anymore. Outside of some good independent label artists and a few reliable name acts, most American music nowadays is a pile of shit. I’ll probably ruminate more at my own blog, but that’s the short version.

Comment by CJ Marsicano


Comment by tartarugaacquatica

Heh, whoops, I guess I should have waited to see if it would show up. I thought those things posted automatically. My bad for cluttering up the comments page. Feel free to delete this response and my earlier one if you want. *embarrassed*

Comment by Pex

It’s been a long time since I’ve bought American Music maybe 5 to 7 years ago so yeah. =P With over 18,000 songs in my collection I think only 500 are American anyways lol

Comment by Blue

I think it depends heavily on the releases. :O When I first started buying Japanese music, my sphere of influence lay mostly in the realm of anime/games – which is why looking at my collection for this comment I’m surprised to see so much J-Pop amidst the anime/game soundtracks and vocal collections. Never mind the ones that I lost (oh, move’s DEEP CALM album. T_T). It started out as a sort of pride “I’ve actually bought the release” during the time when “I downloaded _________’s latest album” was considered a badge of honor.

Then I seriously developed music fandoms (boybands, why do you exist?) and then it became my own way of showing support – but even then, in the interest of value, I mostly bought albums. (AAA’s Friday Party was because I consider it a birthday song of sorts and eventually became worth it when I got it signed, and Arashi’s truth/Kaze no Mukou e? I SWEAR OHNO BRAINWASHED ME.) Most of the non-boyband stuff I own is secondhand, bought within the past two years at places like Book-off, and while I mostly prefer that all my stuff would be original Japanese domestic, I don’t have any problem with overseas. (Pirated, though, I’d much rather not. If I’m going to pay money for it, I want at least some version of the actual thing.) when I buy something, it’s usually out of a combination of “OMG I LOVE THIS ARTIST” or “I love _____ song” – the latter being the only way I can explain my purchase of MAX’s MAXIMUM GROOVE album (the song being Private crime).

At any rate, I don’t have the money to support such an expensive habit either, and it becomes weirder because after being bought I don’t even touch the CDs or rip music from them, much less watch the DVDs or read the booklets, but perhaps it’s just for the sense of owning the thing.

Comment by Kimitsu

I buy very few CDs and instead go for the DVDs since I can rarely go to an actual performance of these groups and would rather watch than listen. My focus is on Hello! Project’s large concerts first, because they feature most of the Hello! Project units in one setting (and it’s a sight cheaper to get the big concerts rather than separate groups).

However, I also have most of Morning Musume’s concert DVDs, C-ute and Berryz Kobo, gathering them calmly over time, using Ebay and trying to avoid paying full YesAsia price for those DVDs if that’s possible.

Yes, I do have one film, “Yo-Yo Girl Cop,” which was actually released in Region 1 format with English dubbed, but few dramas.

These DVDs are my most prized possessions, overriding anything else I’ve ever purchased. And they make for a superb digital history of Hello! Project, a history that changes very quickly as the girls mature and graduate.

It’s been a great ride.

Comment by Rad

I have about 600+ Japanese CDs and I buy a bunch of used discs from Book Off and Book Market whenever I go back to Japan to visit my in-laws (the wife-unit is Japanese). I try to go at least once a year, but it actually works out to every 1.5 years. I have a list of mp3s that I really like and I try to buy the original CD in order to have CD quality songs.

Since I get all my discs used, I like to try things that look interesting when looking over the shelves, but since my budget really isn’t that flush, it tends to be the older titles as the newer ones are more expensive.

Needless to say, since I “experiment”, I’m not always pleased with what I get, so I’ve asked my wife to create a site where I can sell those that I don’t want to keep and I’ve set it up so that others in my situation can sell their used discs for free.

The site isn’t perfect since I’m dependent on my wife to develop the it and this usually means that I have to beg and plead with her which usually devolves into me buying her something like new clothes when we go back to Japan. 😉 Hopefully this site ( will help some of you find what you are looking for at a lower price, or at least provide an outlet for easily off-loading those discs you no longer want.

Comment by UME

I try to buy the jpop that I can. I love to look at the sites, and browse through the music and listen to see if I like anything. My wish list has tons of CD’s in it well over a hundred dollars worth. I charge my CD’s to my credit card.

Comment by someonethatlovesjpop

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