fly to high

Kouhaku 2008 Artist Lineup

Kohaku’s artist lineup for this year has been released.

Newcomers on the red team (female) are Aoyama Thelma, Akimoto Junko (enka singer who I think made it big this year with her single “Ai no Mama De”), Ikimonogakari, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Perfume, and Fujioka Fujimaki and Ohashi Nozomi (the two men and the little girl who sang the theme to Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).

Newcomers to the white team (male) are Kimaguren, Kiyama Yusaku, Jero, Shuchishin with Pabo, Tohoshinki(DBSK), Mr. Children, and Mizutani Yutaka (enka singer who made a comeback).

Overall, expected additions for the year. I’m not familiar with enka singers, but the female singers who made it big this year all made it onto the show (Perfume! Yes!). I’m surprised and pleased that Ikimonogakari are finally on. For the male artists though, I’m surprised it took this long for Mr. Children to make it on.

Full lineup is

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Ikimonogakari – Planetarium
October 9, 2008, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Ikimonogakari, Jpop

Ikimonogakari’s next single “Planetarium,” used as the ending theme to the NHK drama “Cat Street,” will be released on October 15th.

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Ikimonogakari – Kaeritakunatta Yo
March 29, 2008, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Ikimonogakari, Jpop

Ikimonogakari will be releasing their next single “Kaeritakunatta Yo” on April 16th. The title song will be featured in the movie Sunadokei, and the b-side “Nokori Kaze” will be featured in a Bleach-related DS game.

The movie Sunadokei will be released on April 26th. I know nothing about it except that it appears to be based on a shoujo manga by Ashihara Hineko that dealswith a love story that delves into the present, past, and future. (Besides, anything titled Sunadokei (hourglass) is destined to be a sobfest.) I’m not familiar with the manga, but it looks to be a bitterly romantic movie.

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Sakura Songs of 2008
March 16, 2008, 1:13 am
Filed under: Every Little Thing, Ikimonogakari, Jpop, Nakashima Mika, Yanawaraba | Tags:

I can’t think of any other country’s music that’s so fixated on a flower like Japan is with their sakura. Sure, western artists always release songs crooning about roses and daisies, but only in Japan does everyone clamber to release a blatantly sakura-based song in the springtime, or just a spring song – which inadvertently will reference sakura. They don’t even disguise it: at most they’ll use English and say “Cherry” in the song name, but most times they’ll just have “sakura” somewhere in the name or – the most blatant of all – just call the song “Sakura.”

Despite the predictability, I enjoy the yearly rush of sakura-releases. Whether they’re ballads or rock or dance pop, singing about sakura almost mandates an air of wistfulness in the song since it’s the time of graduation and spring romances, and pink petals floating somewhere in the music video. Something about singing about sakura brings out the best of people, and some of my favorites of artists are their sakura songs. My ranking of this year’s are:

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Ikimonogakari – Hana wa Sakura Kimi wa Utsukishi
January 14, 2008, 4:30 am
Filed under: Ikimonogakari, Jpop | Tags:

Ikimonogakari will be releasing Hana wa Sakura Kimi wa Utsukishi on January 30. It was previously released on their first indie album. (This will also be on their upcoming “Life” album, due to drop February 13th.) So they’re going for another sakura-themed song – although a bit early for spring this time.

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