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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Beautiful Girls from This Girl’s Point of View
August 30, 2008, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Aragaki Yui, Opinion, Otsuka Ai, Perfume

First things first: with some computer problems, I haven’t really been too caught up on the scene and what’s happening – which means I haven’t been blogging much and probably won’t be blogging much for awhile.

But just for fun while I’m borrowing a friend’s computer, here’s a list of the ladies in Japanese entertainment I want to look like the most. I found that many times, talent and popularity doesn’t equal me exactly wanting to look at them – and women that male fans (and some female fans) drool over don’t seem so hot to me.

So based completely on being shallow and judgmental on looks for once, here’s my top ten girls:

10. Toda Erika

Toda Erika used to look a little weird and awkward to me, but it’s mostly her fashion that caught my attention. I’ll admit, I only started liking her after I saw her in her drama Liar Game with a great colorful costume, bright tights and all. Also, recently she’s been going for a more sexy look – and it’s really working for her.

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Otsuka Ai – Kurage, Nagareboshi
August 21, 2008, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Jpop, Otsuka Ai | Tags:

Otsuka Ai’s second single of 2008 “Kurage, Nagareboshi” (Jellyfish, Shooting Star) will be released on September 10th. As it coincides with her fifth anniversary of her music debut, it will not only be released in the standard regular and DVD editions, but also limited anniversary regular and DVD editions as well.

I was honestly not that impressed with neither the music or the visuals on her “Rocket Sneaker/One x Time” single, and although I loved the A-side of “Pocket,” the B-sides didn’t entrace me. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a song like “Kurage, Nagareboshi.” It’s described as a “heartwarming ballad for the summer”, which can really range from a poppy ballad like “Bidama” to a slow piano tune like “Renai Shashin.” Most importantly – would I really like this one?

As the opening notes of the song played, I started tearing up from just how beautiful the song is. Maybe it was an overly emotional day where I was being a sap, but yeah, I’m going to like it.

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Get Your Own Rocket Sneakers
August 19, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: Japan, Otsuka Ai | Tags:

In one of the most brilliant (and expected in a “duh I should’ve known”) promotional schemes, Otsuka Ai is releasing a line of her very own Rocket Sneakers. She has teamed up with shoe company CAUSE shoes for limited collaboration sneakers to commemorate her “Rocket Sneaker/OnexTime” single, with Otsuka participating actively in its creation.

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Which J-pop Lady Can Make It In America?

With Hikki working on her second English album, the question really still stands: if one j-pop diva or female group would make it in the English music industry, who would it be? After all, basing on the American charts, popular songs by female artists are rather limited. Pretty much most are R&B/hip hop hits (Rihanna, Beyonce, Fergie, Danity Kane, Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis), a smattering of pop rock (Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Paramore) and occasionally, a big pop song that makes it (Miley Cyrus).

So if all our favorite j-pop girls give it a try, who has the best chances of breaking into the market?

Utada Hikaru

I love Hikki and I love “Exodus,” but let’s face it – “Exodus” was brilliantly experimental and alternative but nowhere near mainstream. If she does her next English album in her Cubic U style or in her Japanese music style, she’d have a chance, but her idea of American mainstream R&B is a little too alternative. Unless she completely changes her image and sound, she won’t make it in the urban music genre she’s aiming for. But she does have beauty, quirkiness, and her language – she just needs to tailor herself to be more mainstream. Chances: 60%.

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Save the Future with NHK
June 3, 2008, 6:44 pm
Filed under: alan, Japan, Jpop, Otsuka Ai, Perfume, Television, Yanawaraba | Tags:

NHK is launching its Save the Future campaign to raise awareness for global warming. For three days, June 6 to 8, there will be different types of programming on the channel all relating to the issue.

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Otsuka Ai – Rocket Sneaker/One x Time
May 12, 2008, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Jpop, Otsuka Ai | Tags: ,

Otsuka Ai’s double A-side single “Rocket Sneaker/One x Time” (in a CD and a CD+DVD version, each with two covers) will be released May 21st. “Rocket Sneaker” will be used as the theme for the Samma no Mamma television show, while “One x Time” is used as the CM song for Ponds.

During the summer, Ai usually puts out double A-sides with a past paced song matched with a ballad. “Rocket Sneaker/One x Time” is her first single of 2008 since releasing “Pocket” in winter 2007; I was excited to see what she would put out this time.

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