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by Rinoa on February 13, 2006 · 12 comments · AddThis

ViVi 2006
Ayumi on ViVi, January 2006 Issue
Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Product Code: AVCD-17837/8
Release Date: 2006.01.01
Highest Ranking: #1
Genre: Pop
Label: avex trax
Format: CD or CD+DVD
First Press: Photobook

J-Pop diva, Ayumi Hamasaki has walked into 2006 with a brand new album which has again topped the charts and has sold over 817,162 copies to date. avex trax released two versions of this album which were a CD-only and a CD+DVD version. Both had a different cover. The first press edition came with a coloured photobook for each version. The photobook of the CD Version was titled “off my day” and was based on Ayu’s daily life, while the CD+DVD edition photobook was titled “on my way” and was more artistic.

Unlike her previous albums, (miss)understood boasts of having a variety of genres ranging from eighties pop, techno, R&B and even rock which has shown a colourful side of Ayu. In this album we have definitely seen a bolder and more daring side of this singer who has experimented with different genres and broken down the stereotypes of music making this album sound so unusual and transgressive. This album focuses more onto her career, her take on feminism and life itself.

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Be My Last

by Jason on October 9, 2005 · 10 comments · AddThis

Hikki Be My Last
Released Date: 2005/09/28
Debut Ranking: #1
Label: Toshiba-EMI
Product Code: TOCT-5002
Official Site

Utada Hikaru’s 14th single, “Be My Last”, was released on the 28th of September 2005. This single debuted at the top position on the daily Oricon charts on its release day. “Be My Last” also managed to achieve the first position on the weekly chart, selling about 80,043 copies to date. By taking a look at the sales amount of Hikki’s earlier releases, one can notice that, compared to Hikki’s standards this single didn’t fare well, at all.

The reason why this single is selling so poorly, is mainly because there is only one song included in this single. This single doesn’t even include the instrumental version of “Be My Last”. The cover design also is not really attractive and rather plain. So it is not surprising that many J-Pop fans do doubt the worthiness of this single.

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by Rinoa on October 8, 2005 · 24 comments · AddThis

Yuna Ito as Reira Release Title: ENDLESS STORY
Product Code: SRCL-5957
Label: Sony Records
Release date: 2005/09/07
Debut Ranking: #2

Yuna Ito is a relatively new face in the Japanese entertainment scene. She is actually a Hawaiian born artist. Up till the present day, she has only appeared in a couple of variety shows which were broadcasted on television and has been featured on a few magazines. However she has still managed to impress the Japanese audience in many aspects.

Up till her debut Yuna Ito was shrouded in mystery. This has gained Yuna a great deal of attention and fans. All that was known was that Yuna Ito was starring in the highly anticipated movie “NANA” as the lead vocalist of Trapnest, Reira.

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by Rinoa on September 16, 2005 · 13 comments · AddThis

Popteen 2005
Ayumi on Popteen, September 2005 Issue
Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Product Code: AVCD-30842/43
Release Date: 2005.09.14
Highest Ranking: #1
Genre: Pop/Ballad
Label: avex trax
Format: CD or CD+DVD

Ayumi Hamasaki’s 37th single “HEAVEN” was released on the 14th September 2005. Apart from being Ayumi Hamasaki’s 3rd single for this year, it is also the theme song for the highly anticipated movie “SHINOBI -heart under blade-”. For this reason, Ayumi spent a lot of time and energy onto this single for months prior its release due to its importance, making it a highly anticipated release for her fans.

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by Leanne on September 5, 2005 · 7 comments · AddThis

Release Date: 2005.08.31
Peak Position: #1
Label: SONY Associated Records
Product Code: AICL-1650
First Press: none
Other Formats: Vinyl (Product Code: AIJL-5266)
Nakashima Mika’s Official Site

Yazawa Ai’s masterpiece manga “NANA” has been gaining a lot of attention this year: first with its very own tribute album, a dedicated café, and now a movie starring Nakashima Mika herself as the rocker-chick Oosaki Nana. To play with the “realism” of the movie a single has been released entitled “GLAMOROUS SKY” under the psuedonym “NANA starring MIKA NAKASHIMA”. Staying true to the style of Yazawa’s character, the single contains four rock tracks, the title track being composed by the famous rocker HYDE himself.

From the cover you can tell that SONY is trying to remind buyers that this is not Mika, but Nana. Her back turned away from camera shows defiance, while the black cover and minimum lighting represents Nana’s rebellious punk attitude. Let’s see how Mika & Co. did portraying the most popular female in the manga world: Nana.

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