Hitomi Arai

Avex Is Trying to Find the Pop to Push Through the Pandemic

Avex is hurting. The Max Matsuura-helmed Japanese entertainment company, as with many companies across the globe, is reportedly struggling to adapt to the New Normal™ and stay afloat amid the pandemic. According to the latest news, the company recently asked 100 employees over the age of 40 to…


Ayumi Hamasaki, Gay Icon, Performs at 2018 Tokyo Rainbow Pride

When it comes to Gay Icons™, I count a fair share of the usual suspects as my own: Madonna, Britney Spears, The Sisters Minogue. Perhaps you've heard of a few of them. But I also grew up hovering in the fan forums of pop stars from across the world in Japan and South Korea - something that I've…


The Tracklisting For The 'Utada Hikaru No Uta' Tribute Album Has Been Announced

In the absence of the actual Utada Hikaru herself, a collection of some of the world's most talented artists paying tribute to Hikki's back catalogue will have to suffice. We've known about Utada Hikaru no Uta (宇多田ヒカルのうた) for at least over a month now, including the jaw-dropping roster, but the…


Ayumi Hamasaki, Shiina Ringo And More To Pay Tribute To Utada Hikaru On 'Utada Hikaru no Uta'

Deep breaths... And...okay. Utada Hikaru, my personal spirit animal, has been away for a minute on hiatus — or rather, about two years since the release of "Sakura Nagashi" for Evangelion —  and the world's been a little less beautiful without her around. Luckily, the music industry seems intent…


Korean Girl Group Girls' Generation Prepares for Global Domination with 'The Boys'

It's been a long time coming (and something that'll make my K-pop Krazy friend Prophet Blog wet himself with delight), but it's time I finally acknowledged the wonder and splendor of the force known as Girls' Generation. Now, I myself am more of a J-Pop connoisseur than K-Pop girl group guru (I go…


Ayumi Hamasaki Prepares Eleventh Studio Album, Rock 'n' Roll Circus

It's another year, which means it must be time for Ayumi Hamasaki to release a new album. The Empress of J-Pop will be releasing her eleventh studio album on April 14, entitled Rock 'n' Roll Circus. The tracklisting is as follows: 01.THE introduction 02.Microphone 03.count down 04.Sunset ~LOVE…


Ayu Ready For The Next Level?

Here we have the official cover and tracklisting for Ayumi Hamasaki's tenth studio album, NEXT LEVEL, featuring a handful of tracks with names worthy of competition for the most absurd J-Pop titles in history (Pieces of SEVEN being a shining example.) I'm also rather confused about this cover,…


Ayu, Is That YOU?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsiAo3ubipM Who says you can't teach an old J-Pop superstar new tricks? "SPARKLE" is the second A-side from Ayumi Hamasaki's forty fifth single, "RULE/SPARKLE." And, though I never thought I'd find myself blogging these words: Koda Kumi--watch yourself. While…


Ayumi Hamasaki: RULE

It's the New Year...Must be time for another Ayumi Hamasaki release! "RULE" is Hamasaki's forty-fifth (sweet Jesus) single, planned as the international theme song for upcoming film, Dragonball Evolution. With this new release, we find our Ayu returning once more to her classic rock roots,…


Ayumi Hamasaki: Days

Check out Ayu's special acoustic performance of "SEASONS" last night on FNS Kayousai, followed by an orchestral rendition of her latest single, "DAYS." The new song is pretty much the standard stuff of Ayumi's winter releases, a haunting, cyclical ballad that threatens to reduce the woman to tears…


Ayumi Hamasaki: Going GREEN

Though it feels as though it's been years, Ayumi Hamasaki's last single, "Mirrorcle World," was released a mere seven months ago. Nonetheless, this is Ayumi we're talking about...A life without a constant, relentless barrage of Ayu singles and albums, one after the other on a monthly basis? That's…


Koda Kumi: Better Than Best

At the age of 25, Koda Kumi is set to release her fourth (count them, four) greatest hits album according to her fan club. BEST~third trial~, will be released on Dec. 17th, only eight years after Kumi's debut. Don't be fooled by the title, non-Kumi enthusiasts...It's the fourth compilation.…