Most of the time I listen to Visual Kei music, who, though they might seem female, are largely male. And by the way I talk about it it might seem that that is what I’ve listened to for ages. Though it has only been just over 2 years since I started listening to it.
My first experience of Japanese music was either Gackt (vocalist) or Malice Mizer (band that Gackt was vocals for for a couple of years) and, while they are both interesting, they aren’t what caught my attention. My real interest in Japanese music comes from Japanese girl groups. I confess, I listen to girl groups.
It all started with one song and snowballed from there.
One thins I would like to mention is that being cute in Japan is seen as sexy and attractive. Japanese people are leg people, so you’d see a lot of shorts jeans and shirts but barely (if any at all) cleavage (the west is mostly a boob place, so lots of cleavage). And, I think this is important to remember, these songs are made for girls, young girls even, and also for older boys and men. This is important to remember when you see some of the videoclips and songs. (It isn’t so obvious in the clips, but you can really hear that most of the public is male when you watch clips from concerts.)
Anyway, onto the music!
My FIRST ever Japanese girl clip was Ne~e by Aya Matsuura. This is what got me hooked.
It’s colourful, happy, jumpy and most of all cute.
After I found Aya (she also uses Ayaya as a stage name in some instances) I went to look for more.
Aya is part of a larger group called Hello!Project (shortened to H!P). They are one large company that have many artist under their wing, spread into a few main groups, a few solo artists and a couple of temporary groups. They do some concerts together but most of them they do on their own. Within the group there are some that I really like.
Temporary group: 3 nin Matsuri – Chu!
Silly and hyper. And Aya is one of the girls in this.
That brings me to one of my all time fav H!P groups, well a duo actually:
They existed for quite a few years before one of the girls got in trouble because of her behaviour. They were often marketed as sort of “twins”/ best friends.
And another group from the same time that I really liked that has had some really silly songs, and W is part of this too.
Minimoni, they were formed because all the girls were at the time of creation 152 cm tall or shorter.
And than there is of course Morning Musume, the main group in Hello!Project. They switch out members regularly and they can change from year to year.
Their song Mr. Moonlight they’ve done many times over. This clip is possibly from the first group to do the song.
After the older girls (most of them who are dressed as men in the clip) moved on from Hello!Project there was one girl who took the place of them during the lives. I personally prefer this version.
And, least but not least. These girls are the whole reason for writing this post.
They used to be a big group of 8 girls, but are now reduced to only 5. They songs are sweet, often romance-y songs and they are my #1 fav group of Hello!Project.
Song from 2006:
Song from 2010 that really stuck with me:
And this is a very recent song that I like:
Well, that is enough of my sharing of crazy music. What do you think, cute or too silly?