Japanese Pop Culture News - Music, Anime, and More


Minori Chihara has just released – “Live 2012 ULTRA-Formation” & “Live 2012 PARTY-Formation” – each comes on two HD Blu-ray and captures her events at Messe Makuhara Event Hall held June 16th & 17th 2012 respectively. A new promotional video digest of the release contents gives fans a peek at the contents. The “Live 2012 ULTRA-Formation” & “Live 2012 PARTY-Formation” releases hit stores on November 14th. Release details and promotional digest video follow.

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Ayumi Hamasaki has exposed the track list for her mini-album “again” – the 2nd of her 15th anniversary celebration 5-consecutive months of releases. The new mini-album includes 4 new songs composed by Tetsuya Komura & Dai Nagao plus more for 12 total tracks. Lead track “Wake me up” has tie-in as the CM theme song for Sumeragi Jun Sports ~ Evergreen Life. Ayu’s new mini-album “again” releases December 8th – more details follow…

~ cover jackets revealed ~

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Annabel has updated the release details on her album “miniscape” – track list and cover jackets are revealed. The album is Annabel’s first since launching her solo career three years ago and includes her previously released anime tie-up songs, game tie-up songs, plus new songs for a total of 14 tracks. Album “miniscape” comes in two editions and hits stores November 28th – read on for more details.

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Kalafina has announced a compilation album “5th Anniversary LIVE SELECTION 2009-2012” consisting of their best songs recorded at concert events from 2009 thru 2012. The release comes on 2 CDs and includes songs from their debut “oblivious” to “to the beginning” and more (full track list pending). Kalafina’s 5th anniversary live album is available in two editions and is scheduled to be in stores January 23rd. Read on for more early release details and pre-order link…

~ updated details ~

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Topping the singles charts is idol group NMB48 with their 6th single “Kitagawa Kenji” – the AKB48 sister group’s 5th #1 single – selling 317,000 copies. Second spot goes to new 5-member EXILE unit The SECOND and their debut single “THINK ‘BOUT IT” with theme song tie-in to film Aku no Kyoten.

Making it into the 8th spot are the voice actresses of Sphere with their 11th single “Pride on Everyday” featured as ending theme for the 3rd season of anime Bakuman. Just out of the top 10 in the 12th spot is GRANRODEO with single “DARK SHAME” OP theme song tie-in to anime CODE:BREAKER and in the 13th spot is Eri Kitamura with her 5th new-solo single “Destiny”. A bit further back in the 20th spot is Nagi Yanagi with single “Laterality” featured as ending theme for second season of anime Jormungand.

On the album charts a double release of greatest hits from R&B singer JUJU taking the top two spots – BEST STORY ~Life~ and BEST STORY ~Love~. Last weeks #1 Arashi and their 11th album “Popcorn” dropped to the 3rd spot and in the 4th spot is pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki with “LOVE” – the first of 5-consecutive month mini-album releases to celebrate her 15th anniversary.

The complete top 10 single and album charts follow.

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Nana Mizuki has updated the details for her 9th album “ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS” – cover jackets and final track list are revealed. The album now includes several new songs including “Lovely Fruit” featured as the next ending theme for ongoing anime Toriko, “LINKAGE” featured as theme song for PSP/PS3 game Unchain Blades EXXiV, and “Happy ☆ Go-Round!” set to be the theme song for Fuji TV drama Switch Girl!! 2. Album “ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS” is set for release on December 12th – read on for the updated release details.

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Unit The MONSTERS are preparing to release their debut single “MONSTERS”. The new unit consists of popular male artists Yamashita Tomohisa (Yamapi) and Katori Shingo of SMAP. The single has tie-in as theme song for TBS drama MONSTERS in which Yamapi and Katori are co-staring. Single “MONSTERS” comes on four editions including a vinyl LP and all editions hit stores November 28th. Read on for more release details.

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JOKER recently announced their first full album “OVER” and have now revealed the cover jackets plus preview music video and commercial message spot. The album includes their first two singles, “No. 1” and “Rolling Life”, several new songs including lead track “OVER”, the duo’s first love ballads “Eternal Snow” and “Singer” plus more for a total of 11 tracks. Album “OVER” comes on three editions and hits stores December 5th – read on for more details and videos.

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Minami Kuribayashi recently updated the release details on her 30th single “Doubt the World” and has just revealed a preview length music video for the title track. Her new single has a tie-in as the second opening theme for anime Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. Single “Doubt the World” comes in three editions and hits stores November 28th – read on for release details and preview music video.

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Yui Horie has updated some release details of her “Secret Mission Tour ~ The Adventure Over YUI HORIE III” live DVD and Blu-ray release. The track list and two promotional videos have been revealed. The release captures Yui Horie’s performance April 27th at Tokyo International Forum Hall during her “Secret Mission Tour ~ The Adventure Over YUI HORIE III”. A theatrical release is also announced in limited cinemas for one week in Japan, premiere is December 7th. The DVD and Blu-ray release is scheduled to be in stores on December 26th – read on for more release details and promotional videos…

~ more updated details and preview videos ~

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Voice actress/singer Haruka Tomatsu recently announced her 2nd solo album! The album, not yet titled, includes her 5 solo singles released since her first album “Rainbow Road” came out nearly 3 years ago. Its scheduled to come on two editions including a Limited with bonus DVD. The release date is set for January 16th – read on for more early details and pre-order link…

~ updated details, “Sunny Side Story ~

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