J-Pop

Ad has triple helping of Japanese commercial, anime, and music stereotypes, is still awesome

Ad has triple helping of Japanese commercial, anime, and music stereotypes, is still awesome

Commercials in Japan often portray Japanese products as being far and away the best in the world, and are so overly earnest in doing so they frequently make no sense. Anime is packed with cute characters who, again, make no sense. And a lot of J-pop songs are hyperactive melodies with lyrics that, you guessed it, make no sense.

So how is it combining all three makes for just about the perfect ad for Japanese meat?

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American-born J-POP singer Nicholas Edwards’ first concert delights fans!

American-born J-POP singer Nicholas Edwards’ first concert delights fans!

You may recall that we ran an article about two months ago featuring American-born J-POP singer Nicholas Edwards, who studied Japanese and moved from Oregon to Japan in pursuit of his dream to become a singer here. Now, three years after his move, his singing career certainly seems to be moving in the right direction.

This year, he released his debut single from a major Japanese music label in July, followed by a double mini album in  October, and as mentioned in our previous article, he also performed at his very first concert this past Sunday at The Garden Hall in Ebisu. And yes, we were able to get tickets and see and hear Edwards live! So, to follow up on our article from October, here’s our report on Edward’s debut concert, “Silent Night 2013“.

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Rising J-POP star is talented, good-looking and certainly not your typical Japanese musician!

Rising J-POP star is talented, good-looking and certainly not your typical Japanese musician!

I just happened to be watching TV the other day when a young man’s singing performance suddenly and utterly grabbed my attention. Having been a member of the Glee Club during junior high and high school (an experience which, by the way, was no where near as crazy as the TV series), I have to say that hearing talented people sing is a huge source of pleasure for me, and a pleasure it was indeed to listen to this man perform a well-known Japanese pop song, his voice ringing clear and true.

I soon found out that the man I saw performing on TV had just released his debut single from a major Japanese music label a few months ago. His star seems to have been rising quickly, which wasn’t surprising considering his amazing voice and striking looks. Plus, there was also something else that made him stand out in the Japanese music scene. Ladies and gentlemen, meet 21-year-old Nicholas Edwards, the blond J-POP singer from Oregon, U.S.A.

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Pre-fame videos of pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu reveal she once looked like an ordinary teenager

Pre-fame videos of pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu reveal she once looked like an ordinary teenager

So let’s say you’re a high school girl growing up in Tokyo, the undisputed mecca of fashion and pop music in Japan. You want to break into the industry, but what can you do to make yourself stand out from all the other teens with the same ambitions, especially if you’ve got a fairly pedestrian name like Kiriko Takemura?

Simple: you slip on an outfit that’s as colorful as it is outlandish, adopt the stage name Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and bask in the adoration of fans both in Japan and abroad.

Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. Kyary’s success is the result of several years spent developing her persona and image, as we can see in a pair of pre-fame videos showing her as a high-schooler still at the midpoint of her path to stardom.

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Senior pop group Rice Girls release new song ‘Rice-Colored Unrequited Love’ 【Video】

Senior pop group Rice Girls release new song ‘Rice-Colored Unrequited Love’ 【Video】

Where their younger counterparts may have fallen by the wayside, a senior pop group from Niigata, Japan, is going strong. Their new song, ‘Rice-Colored Unrequited Love’, expresses their fierce love for the famed Koshihikari rice of Niigata Prefecture. In particular, the rice from Uonuma in Niigata is so delicious and sought-after, it usually fetches the highest prices in Japan, so it’s not surprising that the locals are passionate about it. But the Rice Girls take it a step further. In fact, they sing that ‘rice is better than love‘!

Well, love is patient. Love is a battlefield. Love is blindness. (According to Google Predictive Search.) Rice? Rice is nice!

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Meet Les Romanesques: The most famous Japanese people in France

Meet Les Romanesques: The most famous Japanese people in France

This is Tobi and Miya. Together they make up the music duo, Les Romanesques, whose intriguing stage performances have made them a huge hit in France. Their appearance on France’s Got Talent became the most watched YouTube video in all of France, and the 4th most watched video worldwide. Since then, they’ve appeared in French TV commercials for Mazda, and even helped promote the Paris International Film Festival with Jane Fonda and the Mayor of Paris. Their entertaining performances and music videos have just the right mix of talent and zany Japanese appeal that’s got audiences around the world asking for more.

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‘Die die die die die die!’ Fans rage after variety show host ‘kicks’ AKB48 starlet

‘Die die die die die die!’ Fans rage after variety show host ‘kicks’ AKB48 starlet

The passion and loyalty of J-Pop group AKB48′s fans is well documented online, with incidents of disgruntled individuals threatening sarin gas attacks over trifling matters such as the group’s involvement in particular advertising campaigns, and grown men tearing up whenever one of the more popular members is caught breaking the group’s code of conduct by having a secret boyfriend.

Most of the time these eruptions amount to nothing, and we have all learned to ignore them for the most part, but an incident that occurred this past weekend has prompted an explosion of AKB fan rage online, with many openly declaring their desire to kill a well-known presenter for ‘kicking’ leading member Mayu Watanabe in the head during a live broadcast.

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“Heavy Metal Idols” Perform for Audience of One Lucky Yahoo Auction Winner, Not a Dry Eye in the House

“Heavy Metal Idols” Perform for Audience of One Lucky Yahoo Auction Winner, Not a Dry Eye in the House

This photo might make you think that times are tough for the “heavy metal idols” in Alice Juban, oft referred to as the “sisters of rock.” Actually, it was an unprecedented promotion for the innovative idol group.

This September, major auction site Yahoo Auction opened a new category, Knowledge and Skills. Tucked away in there was a very special item up for bid: the girls of Alice Juban.

That didn’t sound right.  I didn’t mean the girls were selling themselves. They were selling the rights to an exclusive live performance for the winning bid in Shibaura, Tokyo on 10 October.

It turned out to be a really surreal event, and I don’t mean because of the usual hockey masks, chainsaws, and stage diving. It was a surprisingly touching performance that moved everyone in the room to tears.

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Are You in the Sexy Zone? If So the Police Would Like a Word with You

Are You in the Sexy Zone? If So the Police Would Like a Word with You

Johnny Kitagawa, 80 year-old former teen idol and boy band mogul is celebrating his 50th year in the industry.  And what a better way to do it than with Johnny and Associates’ newest smash hit makers, Sexy Zone!

Shori Sato (16), Kento Nakajima (18), Fuma Kikuchi (17), So Matsushima (15), and fresh young Marius Yo (12) formed Sexy Zone after graduating from Johnny’s Juniors, an extensive school for talented and strapping young men who will do whatever it takes to become stars.

By the way, all previous allegations by former Johnny’s Juniors with regards to inappropriate advances and abuse published in books and newspaper have never been proven in a criminal court of law.  I have no idea why I wrote that, but it seemed like it was necessary.

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Taiwan’s Weather Girls Form Girl Group in Japan, First Single “Weather Forecast of Love” Coming This October!

Taiwan’s Weather Girls Form Girl Group in Japan, First Single “Weather Forecast of Love” Coming This October!

Taiwan’s adorable dancing meteorologist girl group Weather Girls have been a lot of things: Japanese school girls, ninjas, super sentai heroes…wait, notice anything similar?

Since it launched in summer 2010, the series has taken off in Japan more than any other country, likely because most of the monthly video themes are taken from Japanese culture. Many of the themes even have the girls speaking endearingly broken Japanese, which just scores them more kawaii points.

Now, as if to capitalize on that popularity, the Weather Girls have sent seven of their best to Japan to form a brand new idol group called…Weather Girls!

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