Home > Beatmania (and related), Johnny's, Rambling, V6 > When I say broken promises, I really mean to break them.

When I say broken promises, I really mean to break them.

Hi. Me here.

It’s been almost a year, I know. I promised. I tried.

…let’s be honest – no, I didn’t. Okay, end of that.

A lot of things have happened.

I absolutely cannot stand AAA anymore. By no fault of the band. Unless you count the fact that they attracted the fans (and fandom) that ended up putting me off them to begin with. Yes, it’s been a year, and I still want to retch even when I listen to the music that I adored back in 2006 – and believe me, nostalgia goes a long way in how much I like a song. I’m sure there are plenty of nice fans out there. But if you have an inkling of what I’m talking about, you’ll understand.

I still adore V6. I adore the music. I adore the variety shows. I also adore that the fandom is relatively drama free. But mostly I adore Miyake Ken. (Let it never be said that I am not superficial.)

I’ve fallen into the abyss(?) that is Vocaloid music. Sort of. Sort of in that I can tell you I am a definite fan of AVTechNO!, even if his Luka is unintelligible to me about 50% of the time, and Yuyoyuppe. Sort of in that I have about 50 Vocaloid-related albums sitting on my laptop that I should probably listen to. (I’m not exaggerating that number. I wish I were. I’d have more space.)

At some point this past year I delved back into my Japanese music roots. That’s right, anime songs. Not just anison, but seiyuu-related releases as well. Since what got me diving back was Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story, that was a natural matter of course. But I have my own specific preferences for seiyuu and anison is a matter of nostalgia, so I allowed myself to be selective and only have about 30 specifically anison/seiyuu-related releases sitting on my laptop that I should listen to. Not too bad? I think? Can I get some validation here?

And somehow, it also seemed natural to follow up Vocaloid and anison with game music. Might as well cover all the unreal otaku bases, right? Persona 3 Portable came out this year, so that was a major part of it. The Vocaloid interest also extended into the doujin group Halozy, who does vocal remixed covers of music from various Touhou games. (No, not Tohorangers/Tohoshinki.) And face it: once into Beatmania – any part of Beatmania – always into Beatmania.

This one, I’m not entirely sure how I got to. In this past month (that is, December), I started listening to Chinese music. Again? I guess again is appropriate. Seeing as how I’m, y’know, Chinese by birth, speak conversational Cantonese and Mandarin, and my parents immigrated from Hong Kong, which I visited about every few years for most of my life. Yes, definitely not the first time in my life listening to Chinese music. And there was that time in 2009 I found some (two) Fahrenheit songs I liked and downloaded all their albums only to find that those were the only two songs I really liked. (I like to pretend that never happened.) So toss on a few more Chinese artists onto my Chinese song playlist.

But what better way to sum up 2010 than to tell you exactly what I liked? Then you can go hunt it down yourselves. I make no claims that these are the best releases 2010 had to offer – there’s so much that I didn’t listen to and so much bias involved. But I say favorites. Your mileage will obviously vary.

Favorite release of 2010: V6‘s only dreaming/Catch single, hands down. There is so much to love. The vocals. The idyllic covers. The variety in music and tempos. The titular only dreaming is a ballad, done best in Johnny’s by none other than V6. Catch is upbeat energetic pop in that special V6 style that began back with HONEY BEAT. OK and Crank it up!! are both more inspired by the most recent Hallyu wave in Japan, electronic dance songs that come out sexy on the ears. Coming Century’s 12kagetsu is an acoustic pop track that manages to sneak in light rap, and the following New Day takes us back into solid soaring pop that will be amazing encore material if it shows up in concerts. On 20th Century’s side, both Sing! and Chiisana Koi no Ohanashi play to the older trio’s vocal strengths with different tempos. And of course, sure, I love V6. Even with that, despite not usually buying singles, this one was a must because I loved every song.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Inoue Joe’s DOS ANGELES [Album]
  • Perfume’s Fushizen na GIRL/NATURAL ni Koishite [Single]
  • Utada Hikaru’s SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2 [Album]
  • w-inds. ANOTHER WORLD [Album]
  • PERSONA3 PORTABLE Voice Mix Arrange [Album]

Favorite individual songs released in 2010: To clarify, anything in a release in the above category doesn’t get to qualify. I liked and remember pretty much every song on the above releases. (As compared to those songs that are so bland you just don’t remember them even when they’re played for you. You know the ones.) Sure, there’s a bunch not in there because I didn’t listen to the whole release, but them’s the breaks.

Favorite songs to sing at karaoke in 2010: Given that I didn’t actually go karaoke all that often in 2010, this category is a bit pointless. Also given that, uh, despite being female I can’t really sing songs by females, you’ll notice men in my song choices. Or pretty boys. Your call.

Favorite release of 2010 not actually released in 2010: What? It’s a valid category to me. Ryu☆‘s starmine album. To be honest, I created this category entirely for that album. Released in 2009, you’ll probably be familiar with Nakahara Ryutaro (or Ryu☆/Ryu*) more if you like either EXIT TRANCE or Beatmania. The first disc of this album is a glorious celebration of happy hardcore and other electronica, and in more practical terms, a non-stop mix of 20 of his Bemani works since this was released by Konami. The second disc, in Bemani artist release style, is all remixes (14 total) by fellow Bemani composers. And there’s a third disc with 4 more full-length Bemani tracks. While I’ve only listened to the first disc thus far, there isn’t a single track I don’t like. And let’s face it, at 3150 yen (approximately 39 US dollars), even not including overseas shipping, it’s pretty worth it for an album.

…it also helped me stay up all night when I was cramming for a midterm. Which I aced. I think it deserves some credit for that A.

Favorite music video of 2010: Compared to the above categories, this is considerably more biased. Pop music has become much less visual for me.

But Unubore Deka was one hell of a hilarious drama, if not mentally challenging in the least, and the PV for its theme song, Taiyou Nante Iranee (by TOKIO) reflects that. How is Joshima rolling out of a dresser in pajamas ever not going to be?

Honorable Mentions:

Favorite drama of 2010: You may have noticed that on this new blog, rather than posting drama previews and my expectations, I’m just posting quick reviews of what I’ve watched. Or perhaps you didn’t notice because you’re just returning to a dead blog, but whatever. I forgive you. I started off my impression of Tobo Bengoshi by saying “As I’m writing this, I’m not even done with this series. I just can’t stop watching it. […] The only reason I can stop watching this is because I have to wait for the next episode.” No lie. Months later (it aired in the summer season), I still think on it with excitement.

Honorable Mentions:

Favorite Japanese TV Show of 2010: MISSION V6. If you didn’t see this coming, SHAME. ON. YOU. Johnny’s making fools of themselves? ALWAYS WELCOME IN MY WORLD. Also, now that this is V6’s sole group variety show, it becomes all the more dear. I didn’t even realize how much their three week hiatus 5 episodes in almost broke me until I found I was almost crying when it was regularly back on.

  • Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai I absolutely love this anime. (And I don’t watch many now.) If you like dating sims, you will too. End.
  • Misshitsu Nazotoki VARIETY Dasshutsu GAME DERO! An “escape the room” game show, desperate emotions will undoubtedly lead to hilarious situations. Idols of both the male and female persuasions and comedians only add to this. (Thank you, Ruri, for telling me about Sakamoto’s guest appearance to ensure my interest was peaked. I don’t even know if I should be sarcastic about that gratitude.)
  • ONE PIECE Do you seriously need an explanation for this?
  • VVV6 While the show sadly ended this year, the food focus means it will forever be one of my favorites.

Favorite not-on-TV drama of 2010: KAT-TUN fangirls vs. plagiarism hits a home run for this. Thank you, some overseas KAT-TUN fangirls, for being understanding – and even more importantly, understanding that NO ONE WAS BLAMING KAT-TUN THEMSELVES AND THAT YES, IT IS A BIG FUCKING DEAL WHEN THINGS ARE PLAGIARIZED. Thank you, some other overseas KAT-TUN fangirls, for being crazy and COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT. And amazing props to the overseas Vocaloid fandom for being really chill and seeming like such a better place by being primarily concerned for AVTechNO! himself and testing how true the accusations were instead of focusing on the rampant wank. If I hadn’t already grown to like AVTechNO!’s music before, I totally would’ve given him (and Vocaloid as a whole) a try just because they were wonderfully level-headed.

What were you up to/in to over the course of 2010? Have definite problems with some of my choices for favorites? Recommendations that I probably should listen to/play/watch? Let me know!

Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます!See you guys in 2011!

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  1. Azu
    12/31/2010 at 2:54 AM

    Didn’t know you still watch anime. And KamiNomi at that…

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