From the monthly archives:

December 2005


by Rinoa on December 30, 2005 · 11 comments · AddThis

Sweet 2006
Ayumi on Sweet, January 2006 Issue
Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Product Code:AVCD-30892/3
Release Date: 2005.11.30
Highest Ranking: #1
Genre: Pop/Gospel
Label: avex trax
Format: CD or CD+DVD

Around a little more than two months after the release of “HEAVEN”, Ayumi Hamasaki surprised her fans and released her 38th single which was recorded and filmed in New York. It was titled “Bold&Delicious” and was released only one month prior to her eighth studio album.

This single has created quite a lot of commotion amongst fans of Japanese Pop and Hamasaki alike. It has a very different feel from her previous releases, it sounds rather urban and daring. The music itself sounds rather “American” and this fact was emphasized especially since both of her promotional videos were filmed in New York. Ayu herself admitted in a magazine interview, GirlPop, that she herself did not know how her fans would react to the release of this single. In a way, she released this single as if to test the people’s reactions and to surprise the public with something unexpected.

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Berryz Koubou

by Lainay on December 22, 2005 · 128 comments · AddThis

Saki Saki Shimizu
Birthday: 1991-11-22
Birthplace: Tokyo
Blood type: O
* Leader
Momoko Momoko Tsugunaga
Birthday: 1992-03-06
Birthplace: Tokyo
Blood type: O
Chinami Chinami Tokunaga
Birthday: 1992-05-22
Birthplace: Kanagawa
Blood type: O
Maasa Maasa Sudou
Birthday: 1992-07-03
Birthplace: Tokyo
Blood type: O
Miyabi Miyabi Natsuyaki
Birthday: 1992-08-25
Birthplace: Chiba
Blood type: O
Yurina Yurina Kumai
Birthday: 1993-08-03
Birthplace: Kanagawa
Blood type: B
Risako Risako Sugaya
Birthday: 1994-04-04
Birthplace: Kanagawa
Blood type: A
Maiha Maiha Ishimura
Birthday: 1992-11-20
Birthplace: Chiba
Blood type: O
* Graduated as of October 2nd, 2005.

Berryz Koubou (or sometimes BerryZ Koubou or Berryz Kobo) is the current Hello! Project kids group. It now consists of 7 members: Saki Shimizu (leader, 14), Momoko Tsugunaga (14), Chinami Tokunaga (14), Maasa Sudou (14), Miyabi Natsuyaki (14), Yurina Kumai (13), and Risako Sugaya (12). The former member is Maiha Ishimura (13), who “graduated”, left, in October 2005 to focus on her schoolwork.

Berryz Koubou (which translates to Berryz Workshop) was announced as the newest Hello! Project kids unit in early 2004. They were originally going to constantly rotate member of the Hello! Project kids into this unit, but this didn’t happen and the remaining Hello! Project kids formed their own group, °C-ute (although, °C-ute hasn’t released any singles).

Berryz Koubou is said to be Hello! Projects newest Morning Musume and will grow up very strong, vocally. So far, Berryz has released 9 singles, 2 albums, and a mini-album is coming in early December. This article will mainly focus on their singles, although a complete discography will be included. Sometime later, I’ll post articles on their albums!

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HYDE’s debut: “evergreen”

by Leanne on December 16, 2005 · 11 comments · AddThis

evergreen promo pic evergreen
Release Date: 2001.10.17
Peak Position: #1
Label: HAUNTED RECORDS \ Ki/oon \ SONY Records
Product Code: KSCL-411
First Press: 3″ (8cm) CD with picture label housed in a coffin shaped jewel case (Product Code#: KSDL-1223)
HYDE Official Web Site

In 2000, much to fans’ surprise, L’Arc~en~Ciel announced that they were going to be on a brief hiatus. Future plans for the band were unsure, but the members knew what they wanted to do individually. hyde was the last of the members to release solo material, and his can be considered as the most experimental of the group. In October of 2001 he released his debut single as HYDE titled “evergreen”. No doubt many fans of the band were surprised at the direction HYDE had chosen for his solo project. His singing style was gentler and his whole presentation became more relaxed and calm, and he even took to wearing simple loose clothing and suits. Let’s see how the (then) new HYDE fairs.

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by spellcheck on December 4, 2005 · 25 comments · AddThis

Release Date: 09/11/05
Label: Sony Records
Oricon Debut Rank: 11

Singer/songwriter YUI is back with her 3rd single “LIFE”, released on November 9, 2005. Unlike her 1st and 2nd singles, “feel my soul” and “Tomorrow’s way” (respectively), “LIFE” is an upbeat song with a slight country feel. In addition, this song was chosen as the ending theme song of the popular Japanese anime “Bleach”. YUI, who debuted in February, is now honing her acting skills for a new movie set to come out next year called “Taiyou no Uta” (English title: “A Song to the Sun”). For now, let’s look at “LIFE”!

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Ami Suzuki

by Rinoa on December 4, 2005 · 28 comments · AddThis

Ami Suzuki
Ami Suzuki promoting her 10th anniversary album, Supreme Show

Ami Suzuki is an exceptional artist and role model in many ways. She has defied and challenged the rules of Japanese entertainment, where idols are perceived have no control over their musical career and where they are at the mercy of their record label. She achieved the feat of returning back to the competitive and fickle entertainment scene after being effectively blacklisted, something which is unheard of in Japan. Armed only with sheer persistence, Ami has proven that she is not your average idol who will take a fight lying down.

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