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ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko

5 February, 2016 - 12:24
ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko
Release Date: 
various
Label: 
various
Today we have mini-reviews of four very diverse artists, Norika Ueda Trio (jazz), tofubeats (electronic/J-Pop), Kary Ng (C-Pop), Majiko (J-Pop)

Noriko Ueda Trio: Debut

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

VIZ MEDIA OPENS FEBRUARY WITH ITS LATEST DIGITAL MANGA UPDATE (New Titles Include NARUTO: SHIKAMARU’S STORY And SCHOOL JUDGMENT)

4 February, 2016 - 13:09
VIZ MEDIA OPENS FEBRUARY WITH ITS LATEST DIGITAL MANGA UPDATE (New Titles Includ VIZ Media starts February with a new digital manga update that features a wide array of series debuts and new additions to scores of other continuing titles.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

4MINUTE: ACT. 7

3 February, 2016 - 15:43
4MINUTE: ACT. 7
Release Date: 
2/8/16
Label: 
Universal Music South Korea
4Minute have returned and they've brought lots of HATE with them. But, in this case, hate is a good thing. A very, very good thing.

It's been a year since Crazy, but 4Minute is back and with a whole lot of attitude. Just give the single, "싫어(HATE)," one listen and you'll hear what I mean. "I hate you!" they exclaim during the hip-hop-laced chorus, dissing cheaters and liars, who, of course, bloody deserve it. If the dubstep/EDM parts of the song sound somewhat familiar, that's probably because the track was produced by none other than dubstep guru Skrillex.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

ASSORTED ALBUM REVIEWS, ALL BY MALE ARTISTS [kohjiro fukuda, Kazuya Yoshii, SHINee, RAP MONSTER]

28 January, 2016 - 16:13
ASSORTED ALBUM REVIEWS, ALL BY MALE ARTISTS [kohjiro fukuda, Kazuya Yoshii, SHINee, RAP MONSTER]
Release Date: 
various
Label: 
various
Today we have four album reviews of records by male artists for a change. Enjoy!

kohjiro fukuda: platform [he doesn't capitalize it]

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

KA-POW!! New Bruce Lee Action Figure Debuts From Bluefin

28 January, 2016 - 11:28
KA-POW!! New Bruce Lee Action Figure Debuts From Bluefin Exciting Latest Addition To The S.H. Figuarts Line Debuts To Retailers In February And Utilizes Advanced Digital Facial Coloring Technology For Impressive Realism And Includes Multiple Weapon Accessories And Other Interchangeable Parts

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES BISCO HATORI’S NEW SHOJO MANGA SERIES BEHIND THE SCENES!!

28 January, 2016 - 11:23
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES BISCO HATORI’S NEW SHOJO MANGA SERIES BEHIND THE SCENES!! Comedy Series About A Social Misfit And College Movie Effects Club Is The Latest From The Acclaimed Creator Of OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB And MILLENNIUM SNOW

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

Azusa Kobayashi: Tear Drop

26 January, 2016 - 09:48
Azusa Kobayashi: Tear Drop
Release Date: 
7/10/15
Label: 
Daksoni
Azusa Kobayashi delivers some shredding hard rock on this single from last July, which I am reviewing now as it should please fans of the current Japanese heavy metal scene (i.e. BABYMETAL, Ladybaby, etc)

Azusa Kobayashi has a rather colorful history. According to Wikia: The Home of Fandom (http://helloproject.wikia.com/wiki/Kobayashi_Azusa), she started her musical journey as a member of the Hello! Project's Country Musume, though only for their debut single, "Futari no Hokkaido." Following that, fellow member Yanagihara Hiromi passed away and Azusa left, stating that the loss was "too great." Some time later, it was believed that she actually left because "adult" pictures of her had leaked.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

G.E.M. Tang: 北京北京 (Beijing)

21 January, 2016 - 12:56
G.E.M. Tang: 北京北京 (Beijing)
Release Date: 
1/1/16
Label: 
Hummingbird Music
It's only been a few months since her last album, but G.E.M. is back with her most powerful ballad to date. If it doesn't make you feel something, you don't have a pulse.

It was only last November that Hong Kong singer/songwriter -- and global superstar -- G.E.M. released her latest album, Heartbeat, but here she is again already with a powerful new digital single in the form of "北京北京" [Beijing]. It was actually released back on January 1st of this year, but I only discovered it on Spotify yesterday. I was planning to write a review of something else today, but "Beijing" is such a moving song that I just had to write about it first.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

Shiori Tomita feat. Ladybeard: バレンタイン・キッス [Valentine Kiss]

20 January, 2016 - 14:38
Shiori Tomita feat. Ladybeard: バレンタイン・キッス [Valentine Kiss]
Release Date: 
1/20/16
Label: 
ESCL
Shiori Tomita teams up with Ladybeard for the best J-Pop meets J-Metal song since BABYMETAL's last single.

Shiori Tomita was born in Takayama, Japan in 1994. Last year she released a fantastic album called Moshimo World, which was a blend of folk, J-Pop and Western pop with a splash of classical. It was very organic sounding and mellow. Well, she's done a complete 180 with her new single, "Valentine Kiss," which features Ladybeard. If you don't know who Ladybeard is, you might want to check out his interview with Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenorsini/2015/07/08/a-qa-with-ladybeard-....

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4TE: "LEAVE A MESSAGE"

18 January, 2016 - 14:13
4TE: "LEAVE A MESSAGE"
4TE are back with their biggest. , most tasty single to date, the funky, electro-treat that is "Leave A Message"!

4TE — pronounced Forte/for-tay — are everyone's favorite new Japanese pop group based out of the U.S. In fact, they're the only U.S.-based J-Pop group I can think of who deserve to have a smash hit single break Japan. (But if you know others, please alert me to them!)

"Leave A Message" begins with an answering machine picking up a few rings, just before we hear the universal voice for anyone who's ever *not* bothered to customize their outgoing message:

"Hello, no one is available to take your call, please leave a message after the tone."

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Dal★Shabet: NATURALNESS (MINI-ALBUM VOL. 9)

13 January, 2016 - 13:56
Dal★Shabet: NATURALNESS (MINI-ALBUM VOL. 9)
Release Date: 
1/7/16
Label: 
Loen Entertainment
If anyone gave up on Dalshabet following the recent exit of Ji Yul and Gae Eun. their new mini-album -- their 9th already -- should easily win them back.

If anyone gave up on Dalshabet following the recent exit of Ji Yul and Gae Eun. their new mini-album -- their 9th already -- should win them back.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

MORNING MUSUME '15: Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only

8 January, 2016 - 11:54
MORNING MUSUME '15: Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only
Release Date: 
12/29/15
Label: 
Epic
On December 29th, 2015, Morning Musume '15 dropped their third and final single of the year, which just so happens to be a magnificent triple A-side.

I think it would have made more sense to delay this single for a few days to have made it the first Morning Musume '16 release, but, nope, for whatever reason(s) it was released on December 29th of last year, making it the J-Pop girl group's third single of 2015. But all that really matters is that it's fantastic!

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MAY'N: 夜明けのロゴス [YOAKE NO LOGOS]

5 January, 2016 - 13:04
MAY'N: 夜明けのロゴス [YOAKE NO LOGOS]
Release Date: 
12/16/15
Label: 
Victor Entertainment
May'N finished celebrating the 10th anniversary of her career with this spectacular single. From subtle electro-pop to scorching guitars, this release has it all.

The 10th year anniversary of May'n's career just ended. But, she couldn't let it pass without treating her fans to another single (her second for 2015). It's called "夜明けのロゴス," which Google translates as "Dawn of Logos," and it's the theme song for the anime series Aquarion Logos, which May'n has made music for in the past, namely the song "Yamaidare Darlin':.

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REPOST: A.Y.A: 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL -- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW COMING SOON!

5 January, 2016 - 11:38
REPOST: A.Y.A: 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL -- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW COMING SOON!
Release Date: 
5/13/15
Label: 
LHW
A.Y.A delivers edgy, alternative J-Pop. If you like pop that is truly artistic and not paint-by-numbers, this album is for you.

Here's something you don't come across every day: an J-Pop album cover with a girl bent over like she's ready for doggy style sex.  Maybe that's not what she's trying to imply, but she's certainly trying to draw attention to her rear in any case.  Anyway, it might be a hot album cover, but the music is even hotter.
 

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

LOVELYZ: LOVELINUS -1ST SINGLE ALBUM-

1 January, 2016 - 12:29
LOVELYZ: LOVELINUS -1ST SINGLE ALBUM-
Release Date: 
12/10/15
Label: 
WOOLLIM
Lovelyz wasted no time after their hit single "Ah-Choo," as they're back already with a three song single album... and, yes, it's lovely. Mostly.

Lovelyz wasted no time after their hit single "Ah-Choo," as they're back already with a three song single album... and, yes, it's lovely. Mostly.

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NAMIE AMURO: RED CARPET

29 December, 2015 - 10:28
NAMIE AMURO: RED CARPET
Release Date: 
12/2/15
Label: 
Avex
Namie Amuro returns with not one but two primo tunes perfect for your New Year's Eve playlist!

"I am the greatest / I make it through," sings Namie Amuro during the chorus of her spicy new single "Red Carpet." I suppose you could regard those lyrics as being very conceited. But I don't think she's trying to brag. (Even though the first lyric of the song is "I'm a VIP".) On the contrary, I feel like she's just trying to inspire her fans, to make everyone feel like they're the greatest. And this translation would seem to back up my opinion: http://shinitakashi.blogspot.com/2015/12/amuro-namie-red-carpet-english-...

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ANNA TSUCHIYA AND THE GROOBEEES: NAKE'd -Soul Issue-

23 December, 2015 - 10:56
ANNA TSUCHIYA AND THE GROOBEEES: NAKE'd -Soul Issue-

After being absent from the music scene for roughly two years, Anna Tsuchiya returns with something very unexpected, an EP of covers -- in English, no less -- recorded live in the studio with a full band in the form of The Groobeees. Perhaps even more surprising is that this is billed as soul, soul being the last thing you'd expect Anna to ever do, but it's mostly just Anna's voice that sounds like soul. The actual music by the band is more like rock 'n' roll. Pretty heavy, to be sure.

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BLUEFIN EXPANDS STAR WARS EGG ATTACK STATUE LINE WITH NEW PREMIUM R2-D2 AND C-3PO STATUES BY BEAST KINGDOM

22 December, 2015 - 11:03
BLUEFIN EXPANDS STAR WARS EGG ATTACK STATUE LINE WITH NEW PREMIUM R2-D2 AND C-3P New Renditions Of The Legendary Droids As They Appeared In The Classic Original Star Wars Film Trilogy Debut This Month And Are The Latest To Join The Egg Attack Line Of Super Deformed Premium Statues

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

J-POP CHRISTMAS SINGLE ROUND-UP:

18 December, 2015 - 10:14
J-POP CHRISTMAS SINGLE ROUND-UP:
Release Date: 
out now
Label: 
various
I reviewed some K-Pop Christmas singles the other day, so I thought it only fair that I review some J-Pop singles now...

I did a K-Pop Christmas songs round-up the other day, so I thought it only fair that I do a J-Pop one.

E-GIRLS: "Merry × Merry Xmas★"

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PSY: 칠집싸이다 THE 7TH ALBUM

16 December, 2015 - 14:17
PSY: 칠집싸이다 THE 7TH ALBUM
Release Date: 
PSY: 칠집싸이다 THE 7TH ALBUM
Label: 
YG Entertainment
In case you haven't heard the instant smash "Daddy" already, let me tell you: PSY is back! And I dare say better than ever.

Are you among the 60 million people who've seen the zany video for Psy's big comeback song "Daddy" yet? If not, here you go: https://youtu.be/FrG4TEcSuRg

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