Regarding this Top 50 Songs in J-pop list for the Year of 2015 that I have compiled, please remember that all songs listed are songs that I have personally enjoyed over the course of the year. I do not expect anyone to follow this list with the expectations that it contains 'the best', nor do I expect you all to like what I have chosen here. These song choices are, first and foremost, subject to my own tastes, and no one else's. I am simply listing what I have enjoyed, with the hopes of also introducing you all to some groups, soloists and songs that I have found great over the course of the year gone by.
To clarify; y'all don't need to agree with this list, nor do you have to like it. Just remember that this is what I have chosen, and that all music here is subject to my own shitty tastes. Thank you.
PS, I haven't listened to every song released this year. I mean, it would be amazing if I did hear every track ever released, however for me, it is impossible, so for that, I apologise, but what I have listened to... well, it was all kinds of awesome! So yeah, if y'all don't see a song you liked on here, it's probably because I didn't like it, or I didn't get to hear it. Either or.
2015 is flying away like the hawk that it was, and rushing in swiftly like a coursing river (with all the strength of a great typhoon) is the year of 2016. However! However, the year is not up just yet, meaning that we still have some time to ourselves to take a look back at what has been, as well as time to truly appreciate and enjoy the music that we have loved from the year gone by, because damn, what a year it has been in terms of music!
Like, seriously... I've not really even hated that many songs this year. I can't even warrant a Top ~ list of my most disliked songs because it's so freakin' short! That makes me a little sad inside, actually... DX Chiima likes her dislike posts DX DX
Anyway, with that said, let's go ahead and introduce this years Top so many list of 2015... WITH A PRETTY BANNER, YAY!
... Okay, so yeah, this is a Top 50 post this year, because I've actually been really hyped with Idols this year, and there has been a tonne of great music released that I kind of could not bear to part with on a Top 30 or so list, because I am clingy, and also, I like big lists. Y'all know me; go big, or go home, because Chiima is the type to do things in excess.
Makes up for my lack of a brain, y'see.
In all seriousness though, this was pretty damn hard to compile. Any list is if you think about, but when it's 50 songs, it gets increasingly harder, and whilst I do not regret creating this list (because through all the pain, it is super fun to do), I must admit that it is annoying to do, as well, because there is a lot of chopping and changing, moving around of songs, much writing, and more. I mean, I could have made this easier on myself and not written about the songs chosen and why I like them, that would save a lot of time and it would mean you have less bullshit to read, but come on; this is me. I love writing, I love defining why I like a song, and let's be real, this blog would not be O!MT without me harping on in the background about why I liked something. It is what it is, and yeah, it'd be easier on my poor fingers to cut out all my dribble, however this is what I love to do, and it's that challenge that spurs me on to make these posts what they are.
Oh, and regarding this list, seriously, I am happy with all that I have chosen here. Some were complete surprises on this list (see: #50), and quite a few were no-brainers. I also think that, for me, this is pretty diverse in the acts that have been listed, with some old-timers returning, as well as a few newbies making their way in and staking their claim on certain spots within this list. There are a lot of faces, a hell of a lot of songs, and certainly some fun times to be had here, music-wise.
Also, because this is a giant-ass post, bigger than last years for sure (here's to hoping I don't go any further than 50 for next year, cause that might actually kill me), I would like you to take your time in getting a drink (alcoholic, hot or soft, depending on your taste buds, age and tolerance), maybe a small snack (or a big one; this is a big list, after all!), as well as a toilet break and finding somewhere comfy to sit, because yeah, we might be here for a while... or not, depending on your lighting-speed Ninja reading level. Either way, sip something, nibble a cookie, and prepare yourselves, for we are heading into a territory known as...
2015 in Song: The Top 50 Countdown in J-pop!
~According to Chiima~
For these Top 50 songs in my list, who do you think will appear, and who will reign supreme? It's time to find out! Let's... GO!
Ima Koko Kara by Morning Musume '15
Okay okay, so here me out with this one; when I first heard MoMusu '15's opening single of the year, I hated it with a fiery passion, labeling the entire single as a piece of trash and, in my mind, vowing to never like this pile of blah that started the year off for the group so poorly. It was a catastrophe, I disliked it, end of story.
... And then I eventually came to like one of the songs. Shit.
Honestly, it kills me a little inside to know that I have succumbed to the shit yet catchy simplicity of Ima Koko Kara, and though I still stand by the notion that this is a very poor song in both quality and execution, I have to admit that , somehow, this track has made me go from hating it one minute, to remembering it fondly the next, and then eventually to looping the hell out of it for a few hours straight every so often when I feel like tuning into this bland piece of happiness.
So, yeah, it's got that going for it; bland, yet stupidly catchy in an annoying but fun way.
I have to give props to whoever created Ima Koko Kara, because by-gawd, it made me change my mind about it without me even realising until I began to like it. So, yeah, it's deserving of a spot on this list... even if it is the #50 spot.
Kiss me Happy by Ange☆Reve
Okay, so here's a group I rarely pay attention to, only because I honestly forget they're a thing... until my brain decides to play bloody Kiss me Happy randomly, because why the heck not?
Their second single release, and the first to be released this year, has been stuck in my head since it came out in February this year. It's catchy, cute, at times a little tuneless because few of these girls can sing well, and basically, it's all around fun and games, and you can't help but love and sing along to it whenever it's on. It's infectious, and though I often forget Ange☆Reve are actually a thing right now, you can bet my memory will remind me by playing the opening bars of this damn track.
I like it, I really do, though I hate myself a little for liking it, kind of like I hate myself for liking Ima Koko Kara and the next track on this Top 50 list, because y'know, I'm a sadist when it comes to my music.
-grumble grumble, bitch and whine-
Case in point; it's fuckin' cute and y'all should give it a go, just so you can get this ear crack stuck in your heads, too.
Idol wa Unyanya no Ken by NYAKB
Okay, so before my brain reminded me that Kiss me Happy actually existed, Idol wa Unyanya no Ken, otherwise known as the Unyan song for the sake of ease, was at #49, however now it's one step higher, though it's still in that category of 'sickeningly annoying to the point where I hate myself for even daring to like it' . That said... this song, like Ima Koko Kara and Kiss me Happy has been stuck in my head nearly all. Bloody. Year, which is why it is on this list.
If it can stay in my head, and if I like it enough, it warrants being on the list, and honestly, I do like this song. In fact, I kind of... urgh, love it, even.
It's catchy as heck and, hell, the PV is even a fun watch if you give it a chance, though I curse the anime it's for for yet again creating something so brilliant and entertaining that hooks you right away. Last year it was Dream5 with their hit Youkai Taisou Daiichi song, and now this year it's Paruru feat. the Basics, except this time, this song is actually decent and not a pile of garb.
But maybe that's just me thinking this sounds good because I'm so hooked on it, and y'know, Paruru...
Seriously though, this song is like crack to my ears, and I can't see myself getting tired of it any time soon. It's energetic and fun, and it has Paruru in it, for crying out loud, plus it's easy to follow, which makes the simpleton in me a rather happy Chiima... yeah~
Fight Victory by Parallel Dream
I found this by complete accident, as I do most songs and groups actually, but when I first heard Fight Victory, I found it rather cute and endearing. Granted, it's not the most well made song, nor does it have the best vocals or even the catchiest of tunes. In fact, it's downright generic, but hell, it has some spirit to it, and I enjoy it for its easy listen and the fact these girls, bless their hearts, sound so adorable and are clearly trying their hardest. Again, endearing!
It's a soothing song, if anything, but I do find myself dancing around to it sometimes if I'm really feeling the mood of the track. I enjoy it, and I've found that, the more I happen to listen to it, the more I like the song and want to hear more from these girls... which is what you guys should do, too, because they are adorable!
A smaller, more generic group, but a cute one nonetheless, and certainly worth your time when checking out new, unknown groups! So, yeah,,, give 'em a go and see whether you like them or not.
Taikibansei by ANGERME
I can see it now; the rabid H!P fans, pitch forks and torches in hand, ready to blaze my blog because, gasp, Taikibansei, the great Taikibansei, is so bloody low on this list.
Well, sweet cheeks, I just so happened to like other songs better than this, so there!
Seriously, I do not fault this song at all, in fact I love this song; It's energetic, fun to listen to, a blast when I decide to have a sing along, and certainly something I find myself busting out the moves to when I put it on for a random jam sesh. It's definitely an A+ track for ANGERME, however, it is also one of their weaker tracks from the year gone by, too, but it's catch quality is one you cannot deny. I enjoy it rather wholeheartedly, but again... it's this low, simply because there were songs I liked a lot more, and certainly, there are better songs out there.
This song started ANGERME's year with a blast, and I have looped it a bunch, that's for damn sure! If y'all have yet to hear it, I suggest you go check it out... now!
Kiete, Shirayukihime by Houkago Princess
Ahh, Kiete, Shirayukihime, the first major debut single from HouPri, and for many, one of their better songs. I admit, this is definitely one of their most well made songs, right next to the likes of PURE HEART, Itoshikute BALLOON and Manatsu no Yoru no Yume, but for me, this happens to also be one of their more forgettable songs, despite how damn catchy and singable it is whenever I listen to it.
That said, I have actually been remembering this one a lot more lately, so it's possible the catch quality takes a little time before you actually begin to remember it at all, hm...
I like this song a lot, regardless of the fact I also forget it quite a bit. It's mature, cool and definitely one of the best vocally, thanks to HouPri's managers finally making the wise decision to give Nana only one solo line, and Maika a majority of the solos in it. It's also very sing-worthy, as I mentioned before, plus easy to get into. I love it for that purpose, plus, it was an unexpected tune; when it was announced that this single would be about Snow White, I expected something cutesy and romantic like Seifuku Cinderella, but nope. We got a really cool track, and one that was beautifully done, to boot!
Kiete, Shirayukihime, though forgettable at times, is definitely great in its own right, and I enjoy it a bunch, hence why it made it on the list.
Otsukare Summer! by Denpagumi.inc
... Another annoying song, one that I really freaking enjoy to pieces, has made it into my list, and hell, it's Denpagumi.inc! Who woulda thought they'd ever make it into any of my lists, considering I find them so annoying singing-wise I can barely finish their songs. Seriously, half the time I cannot stand these girls, purely because they sing like they're drunk. They cause headaches and earaches, and that's on a good day, but for some reason, Otsukare Summer!... well, it got to me, and I enjoy it.
Bugger it all!
Okay, so this song is still annoying, but not as bad as some of their other songs, and it's also the first song of theirs I could completely finish without wanting to rip my ears off. It was also the one Summer song I could not stop listening to, despite the fact I had a few other songs I enjoyed during the summer of 2k15. It's infectious, and it wormed itself into my brain, though I do admit that, once Summer wore away into Autumn, this song was replaced by others pretty quickly. So, it's lasting power isn't really that long, but the fact it dominated my entire summer, as well as the fact it's the first Denpagumi.inc song I actively liked, is more than deserving of being on this list.
And, listening to it all over again... Hell, I love this song! It's annoying, but whatever, I love singing along to it too much to care! Summer! Baka! Summer Baka Baka Baka!!!
Just a warning, though; if you hate high-pitched singing, definitely give this one a miss, but if you can hack it, attempt the weirdness that is Denpagumi.inc in all their hyperactive glory.
Munasawagi no Himitsu! by Denpagumi.inc
(from the single Otsukare Summer!)
I feel pretty damn cheeky (hurr hurr, next rank foreshadow~) for placing another Denpagumi.inc song next to another, however, there are songs on here that I prefer over this one, despite the fact that I happen to find Munasawagi no Himitsu! damn fun and catchy, to the point where I actually wish that I listened to it more, it's that fun.
It's also a lot better than Otsukare Summer!, I have to admit, and somehow it doesn't annoy me! SUCCESS!!!
Really, I just have a great time listening to this track. It makes me want to run around, jump a little, dance like a maniac and basically have a good time. It's encouraging in its sound, which allows me to think this would be a great workout track if ever I did that sort of thing, and, yeah, it's yet another ear crack worthy track, though this one doesn't annoy me like the others do... in fact, I truly do adore this song in all its glory. It's wonderful, and it is definitely one to check out from the Denpagumi clan.
M.O.N.ST@R by Cheeky Parade
... Cheeky Parade, you have finally infiltrated my Top List. Well done!!!
Seriously though, when I first heard M.O.N.ST@R, I wondered what the heck I was going into. Afterwards, I was captured by its pacing, the catchy and undeniably great chorus, and then I fell in love with how the tone changed completely between both verse and chorus. It amazed me, boggled me a little, too, but I was definitely enjoying this song for how hyperactive it seemed to be. It's fun, quirky, and something I wasn't expecting, either.
If anything, what I expected was to not like it, yet I ended up adoring it, instead.
If it wasn't for the fact that I like and listened to other songs a lot more, M.O.N.ST@R would actually be a lot higher, however where it places does not change how I feel about it; this is a rocking song, one that keeps my attention, has me pumping my hands along to it in the air, and one hell of an amusing track that I think everyone would like, if given a listen. So, yeah... listen, you won't regret it! ;)
Yakusoku no ano sora no hate e by Afilia Saga
(from the single Embrace Blade)
It's been a good while since I've enjoyed a song this much from the Afilia Saga group, so when I eventually tuned into Embrace Blade, I was hoping that I'd find something I enjoyed from it. Big shock, the song bored me, and I don't even remember it, however it's b-side... well, that's a whole other story, because it somehow wormed its way onto this list!
Basically, yes, I like it. Quite a bit, in fact!
Yakusoku no ano sora no hate e is a cutesy, sweet little ditty that is reminiscent of anime openings and happy times, and basically gives me nostalgia for Afilia Saga before they became too bland for my taste buds. Like, I still like the girls, don't get me wrong, they've just fallen out of flavour with me music wise as of late, so hearing Yakusoku no blah was pretty nostalgic for me, because it's reminiscent of good ol' Afilia with their cute, catchy music that you can't help but fall in love with.
I like it a lot, and I've listened to it a lot, but I won't lie and say it's my favourite; there are better tracks from 2015 out there for my ears, for sure, but this one definitely pleased me a great deal, especially considering I've found this group to be dry as of late. Ah, well.
Survivor by Kobushi Factory
Okay, so whilst I have actually ignored this group a great deal since their debut, there is one song that was forced upon me by my dear friend, Calli, who is persistent as feck and always asking me to look at this group because, well, she kinda freakin' loves them. So of course, to keep her happy (and to shut her up a bit, hehe), I eventually listened to Survivor. I wasn't instantly bowled over by it, in fact I didn't care for it much at all in the beginning, however I have to admit that, after a few listens, it grows on you.
These growers are always the deadliest, I tell ya!
I do like Survivor, though probably not as much as other people do. I mean, it's cool, it's catchy, and all of these girls are actually pretty good singers; that is something you rarely get in H!P, a group full of decent to good singers, because a majority of the time, you get a handful of great singers, and then a bigger handful of awful ones, leading the group with their vocal ineptness. Luckily, Kobushi are all talented in this field, which is a god-send for the ears, I tell you!
Survivor is a great song, and it's a good one to debut with, too, though a bit risky on H!P's part, if you ask me. I only say this because, whilst they have left that cutesy image behind in favour of a more mature one these past years, the tone of Survivor is one that is a lot darker in tone than previous releases, and certainly the edgiest they have come out with in a long time. However, it works, and Kobushi rock it spectacularly, and honestly? I doubt any other group could have pulled this off, not this well, at least.
Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby by AKB48
... *whispers* Crack soooong!!!
Oh look, another generic yet catchy song has drifted into my list, and, oh! Wait, could it be? Yes, it's AKB, finally enchanting me with something this year, even though I have tried my darndest to ignore them! Dang nabbit, they've foiled me again! Harumph!!!
So, Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby, yet another ear crack song to add to my ever-growing list of annoyingly good songs that are fun, catchy and downright enjoyable to listen to, despite the fact I want to slap myself for daring to like something so cheesy and lacking in creativity. I mean, it's nice that I like something by AKB again, don't get me wrong, because they've been boring as dirt song-wise this year, however it's annoying that the song happens to be recycled trash once again.
... This isn't getting any more positive, is it? Oops.
Okay, regardless of the fact I seem to dis this song left and right, yes, I like it. I think it's fun to listen to, and it hails back to the simple yet fun sound that AKB do best. Sure, it's a bit gimmicky and definitely lacking in creativity, but it's still nice to listen to with its carefree sound and energetic beat. So, yeah. It has that going for it. Whoo!
EDIT* Oh, and to quote my darling Hannah, a 48G fangirl, to boot...
"... you can call it sucking on one's own dick. It's literally a self-cover. It's the most masturbatory thing you could do as an artist."
Seifuku Cinderella by Houkago Princess
Gracing us all with their major debut this very year, Houkago Princess' mini-album Seifuku Cinderella has been one of my undeniable favourites, though I will be the first to admit it does not contain their best in terms of songs, either. That said, the title track of their firs tmini-album is, in itself, a great track. It twinkles, it chimes, and it sounds like a fairy tale song should; hopeful, cute, cheery and promising.
I adore this song, like I adore every other song on this list, because it's catchy and energetic, and it's something I can sing along and dance to easily. Heck, the choreography for this is wonderful, and I find myself copying it whenever I put Seifuku Cinderella on, because it's such a dance-able tune, and you really get caught up in the vibrancy of the music. It really is a great listen, and though it isn't my favourite from the album per say, I can see why they chose this one as the title track, because it is a nice sound, and it definitely grabs the attention it needs from you.
This is a great opener for HouPri's debut mini-album, and it's one I have yet to tire of, and one I wholeheartedly enjoy from beginning till end.
Itoshiku tte Gomen ne by Country Girls
Okay, so this song was originally going to forego this list, because though I know I like it, I was unsure as to whether or not it was truly worth the list. Then I though, heck, if Survivor can make it on, then so can Itoshiku tte Gomen ne, because it's a great song, and it's also a return to the adorably cute songs that H!P have been neglecting for a while now! So, yeah, it's here, and I'm pretty happy with its position.
... Even if y'all might find it to be a little too low for your liking~
This is a nice song, it truly is, and I was honestly surprised when H!P came out with this wonderfully adorable song that was so vibrant and full of life and happiness, because I was at a point where I only ever expected bland or mature songs from them. It's the direction H!P were, or are, going in, however Itoshiku tte Gomen ne emerged, thus returning to the good ol' sound of the past; carefree, wonderful happiness that is youthful and joyful in all it shows. The atmosphere feels genuine, the girls do a great job at bringing the song to life, and you as the listener cannot help but be taken in by the music and girls singing behind the mic. It's wonderful, heck, it's perfect for H!P, and it's something I hope they continue to do with not only Country Girls, but their other groups, too, because this type of charm and atmosphere is seriously needed in the company right now, I believe.
What more can I say? This bundle of joy really brought H!P back to life, and I can see why many love Country Girls, because they continue to breathe happiness into what was becoming a stale company.
Tsugi no kado o magare by Nakajima Takui
(from the album Renga no ie)
Nakajima Takui has had a pretty solid year so far; he's become a recognised face within H!P thanks to his contributions in music, with Taikibansei by ANGERME, and Tsugi no kado o magare by C-ute being two of his better known pieces, as well as released a pretty solid album in the form of Renga no ie. Of course, I happened to love his version of Tsugi no kado o magare most here, but that's because it is a stellar song, whether it is Takui's version, or C-ute's.
Seriously, this is a wicked song, one that sounds both cool and romantic at the same time. I don't know what it is, but Takui's voice just sounds so passionate and caring here, as if he's caressing this song lovingly with his words. It's absolutely beautiful, and yeah, I've totally fallen for him after listening to his version of this song, I won't deny it. He has a wonderful voice, and is a great composer to boot. I can see why H!P wanted to snag this song for C-ute, too, because it's pretty damn awesome.
I love this song because the tone is absolutely gorgeous, and it's one I will not be tired of any time soon, that's for sure!
ENDLESS SKY by Morning Musume '15
Okay, so, I don't know what happened, but after the flop that was their first single of 2015, Morning Musume '15 somehow got a lot better, and very quickly at that. ENDLESS SKY, though one third of their final single for the year of 2015 (as well as the last for Sayashi Riho), is certainly one of the best songs they have delivered this year, though not by much, because the other five songs they have since released after Ima Koko Kara / Seishun something / whatever the other one was, all six have been absolutely stunning in sound, composition, tone, etc... and that surprised me, because I truly believed that MoMusu would flop hard this year.
In fact, I thought most of H!P would flop hard. Turns out, they screwed over my plans of abandoning ship, and released some awesome shit worth listening to. Goes to show I shouldn't judge future releases based on the crap they pull out for MM '15's first single.
ENDLESS SKY is a nice song, and I love the message it gives, as well as the undertones of both sadness and hope it has. It's definitely a graduation song, if there ever was one, though I do believe it would work better as a chorus based song than one that has split solo lines for specific girls. It just sounded a lot more flawless when they were all singing, except for that final Riho line which, as we all know, fits beautifully into the song, creating that atmosphere of a final goodbye, of sorts.
It's a gentle, heartwarming farewell song, one that has been my loop-bait for a good week or so now after first listening to it. I love its sound, message and the feels it gives me when I hear it, and even if there are some things I don't like about it, such as one badly given Sakura line and Masaki's overly squeaky solo, I do think it's a great song regardless of the little niggles I have with it. It's beautiful, heartfelt, and it's definitely one of the best from MoMusu this year. Let's just hope they stick to this formula of releasing good songs, otherwise I might just cry.
Kimipedia by Houkago Princess
(from the mini-album Seifuku Cinderella)
I love it when HouPri bring out songs that, once you hear them, you know were made specifically for concerts, and honestly, that's what Kimipedia is; a song made for a concert, with it's own built in follow-along fu fu's for the fans! Seriously, I love listening to this song and joining in, because it makes me feel a part of it all, and when a song can do that... well, to me it's magical, and it just makes my listening experience that little bit brighter.
Now I won't say that, on the album, this is the best song, because it isn't... in fact, Kimipedia is probably the weakest next to Nanairo Photograph, yet it's the fan participation element that makes it good, plus it's really damn catchy and fun. It has some awesome rifts and great instrumental breaks that I enjoy the heck out of, and I love how all the girls sound in this, but seriously, this is one of their more 'generic' songs, one that sounds like a bunch of other HouPri tracks I've heard a few times before, with a bit of a twist. Not to say that's bad, cause I love the HouPri sound (much like fans of the 48's love their sound, and H!P fans love that sound, etc, etc...), but it's nothing new. So, yeah.
It's a cute song, one that is positive, energetic and a future crowd pleaser for the HouPri bunch. It's great to tag along to when the fu fu's come up, and the bubbly, positive, yet gentle sound will certainly please the ears for many, especially the seasoned HouPri fans...
Basically, me! :D
Dream Parade by i☆RiS
MOTHERFUCKIN' i☆RiS ARE BACK!!! YAAASSS!!!
After reigning supreme last year with Make it, which is still one of my favourites to loop like crazy, it would probably be a crime to not include another track of theirs on this here list, because let's be honest, i☆RiS are pretty damn awesome, and their music is catchy as all heck! And luckily for me, this year they managed to pump out some catchy tunes, one being the colourful track that is Dream Parade!
Seriously, I love it so much, even if it isn't a patch on Make it!
This song is just adorable, much like everything else i☆RiS has released since they began their PriPara stint, and it is bursting with character and colour whilst screaming happiness, fluff, rainbows and friendship galore. It's sugary sweet, to the point where you fear a few cavities from listening to it too much, but it's also just as addictive, so you kind of can't stop listening to it! For that, I adore it, though I do wish it didn't sound so much like some of their other songs...
That said, I am happy that i☆RiS are being consistent with their songs and releasing tracks that are energetic and full of heart and happiness. Their cheer makes me happy, the colour they bring brightens the darkest of days, and these girls just bring a smile to my face even when I'm feeling down! Much like the group i☆RiS themselves, Dream Parade is a song that, even if I'm sad or angry, will always bring a smile to my face and have me dancing along to it with energy and cheer. It's a song I can count on, which is why it's on my list as a favourite of 2015.
Hajimete Girls by Ray
Speaking of songs that can bring a smile to my face even when I'm in the grayest of moods, Hajimete Girls! is one of those tracks that instantly brightens my mood, and makes me feel a little lighter in heart and soul. It's quirky-cute sound is one that gets to me right away, and you can be sure that when it's on, I am singing along to it with passion and cheer in my voice!
Ray is a singer I found out about this year whilst browsing youtube, and boy am I happy I found this girl! She is a bundle of sunshine and joy, always bringing forth a display of cuteness, energy and happiness to the screen whenever she performs, never failing to entertain or amuse with her array of expressions, cute antics and sunny smile. Seriously, Ray is a dream to watch, as well as fun to listen to. There is a lot to enjoy about her, and in Hajimete Girls!, you can get an idea of why she is so great at what she does.
Expression, passion, emotion and cheer are key elements for this song, and honestly, Ray as a performer nails all of these points each time. She really brings this song to life, never once letting the mood or atmosphere drop. She sounds like she wholeheartedly enjoys singing this song, and that is amazing. It's a voice like Ray's that makes me truly appreciate a song, because honestly, I don't think this song is the best, and without Ray's voice, I would probably not remember it like I do.
I love it because Ray is singing it, and I honestly believe that if anyone else had sung it, I would not care so much. Ray really makes this song amazing.
Seriously, if you haven't given Ray a chance yet, do so now, because this girl is wonderful. I just wish I had found her sooner!
Tsugi no kado o magare by C-ute
... Oh, hai thar, C-ute. Finally making it onto my Top End of Year List for the first time in 4 years? Good on you. I've been waiting >o>
Okay okay, I know. I know. Nakajima Takui's version made it onto this list already, but hey, if it's by another group, I don't class it as cheating. Plus, as I've already stated with Takui's version of the song, I like both forms a great deal... I just happen to like C-ute's a lot more, because they give it an edge that I can't quite define. They keep that mature, rather romantic sound tone, too, but they add something else to the song that makes it theirs, you know?
Actually, thinking about it, when paired with C-ute, Tsugi no kado o magare is a damn sexy song that is really cool to listen to, as well as fun to sing along to. It also suits each member beautifully in terms of vocals, and sounds spectacular when they sing the chorus together. This song paired with C-ute is almost like a dream come true, and yeah, I can see why H!P wanted Takui to hand over this piece for C-ute to sing, because it works, as if this song was made for them. It is truly amazing how well these two have come together, creating something so beautiful and mesmirising.
This is a quality song, hence why it has shown up on this list twice, and honestly, it should be higher on this list based on quality alone, but... well, there are other songs I like more, songs that I have looped a lot more than this one. If I was doing a Top 10 H!P list, however, you can rest assured knowing that this would break the Top 5, at least, because it is just so damn good.
LOVE by MACO
I found out about MACO this year, which is the very same year she happened to debut her first original single, LOVE, a heartwarming song that is romantic and lovely in sound. With a polished, gorgeous voice accompanying a sweet and loving instrumental, I feel head over heels for this track like a love-struck teenager crushing on her classmate, or something like that.
Either way, I fell for this song, and can you blame me!? MACO is a beautiful singer!
Seriously, her voice is heavenly to listen to, and though she doesn't have as much character in her voice as, say, Ray does, MACO certainly has passion, delivering a performance that feels romantic and sentimental, as well as professional and polished. She is truly amazing, and it was her gorgeous tone and the passion behind her voice that had me hooked when I first stumbled upon a preview for LOVE way back when this song was released.
LOVE is the perfect love song, if you ask me, and what makes it so wonderful is MACO's stellar performance. Her voice is superb, and this song was certainly made for her. If you have yet to listen to MACO, please, do so, because you will love what you hear, I am sure (at least, I hope, haha).
Shiny Days! by Ari Misato
(from the mini-album C of C)
Reeling in yet another new face for the year of 2015, Ari Misato is an indies soloist who made her presence known this year after winning a singing contest to become a solo Idol. Her prize was the release of her debut mini-album, C of C, of which the song Shiny Days is present, and really, it's a song worth listening to.
This entire album is actually one of my favourites from the year 2015. It's varied, the songs are all pretty damn good, and Ari Misato has a great voice that, though not polished, is still a treat to listen to, even when some imperfections come into play. She sounds wonderful, and it's that raw potential that really charms me with this album, because you know this girl isn't perfect, but she's got the talent to become great. Shiny Days is a song that shows off that potential beautifully, I think.
It's a cute, very Idol-y song, one that sounds pretty, hopeful, positive and sweet, though it's rather tame in terms of energy and jumpiness. That's not to say it isn't energetic, because it is in a way, it just doesn't pounce out at you like Dream Parade would. It is a lot more gentle, relaxed and caring in that sense, but this type of song works in perfect harmony with Ari Misato's voice, and yeah... I love it.
I really hope to hear more from this girl, because she is fun to listen to, and I look forward to gradually hearing her already good voice get better as time goes on.
Colors of the Wind by Q;indivi starring Rin Okinawa
(from the cover album Princess Celebration)
I love Q;indivi. We cannot deny this, ever, because oh gosh, Q;indivi is a beautiful group who create beautiful covers of songs like Colors of the Wind, and it's these covers that make me happy, because what better is there than a cover of a great Disney song from a group you've come to adore over these past few years?
I know this is an English cover, however Q;indivi are a Japanese trio, so I feel like I can cheat my way with this one, because daaaamn, this is an amazing cover, onw that has been a great favourite of mine this year. I keep listening to it for its absolute beauty; it's breathy and calming and magical. It flows, the pacing is perfect, and Rin Okinawa paints a beautiful picture with this song, creating images in my mind and allowing me to feel as if I am falling into a dream. It's so sweet, and honestly, I never want to stop listening.
I feel absolutely sappy, but this is how I genuinely feel about most of Q;indivi's works; they create dream-like covers, ones that you can't help but fall into. These songs, though calming and sentimental in sound, are still an absolute joy to listen to, and yeah, I fall in love with them each time. This year especially, I feel like I have fallen for Q;indivi more and more, and when they release a song like Colors of the Wind, I am reminded of why I think these guys are amazing.
Engage by Numakura Manami (Trident)
(from the mini-album Blue Snow)
Okay, so aside from both Seifuku Cinderella and C of C, Blue Snow is yet another mini-album that I have loved to pieces this year, and yeah, it's one of my favourites. It contains a lot of songs that I have adored throughout the year, from when they first came out until now, and they have lasting impact, to boot. Heck, I'm enamoured by this mini-album, and you can bet that, right now, Blue Snow is one of my favourite mini-albuma of the year 2015, because it is pretty damn wonderful.
One of those fabulous songs featured on here happens to be Engage, a solo which is powerful in execution, kind of like a whirlwind, though you wouldn't think that going into Engage; it starts of like the calm before a storm, and then... well, it breaks loose, and the whirlwind begins, creating a flurry of sounds that create images of the ground rumbling, buildings crumbling, and more. It's absolutely wonderful, and the song amazes me greatly. I just love how it can go from being calm one second, to absolutely mind-blowing powerhouse the next.
Let's just say, Engage is certainly engaging, especially in how it keeps you hooked from beginning until end. Certainly a surprise when I first heard it, it has now become one of my favourites for how beautiful yet turbulent it can be.
Listen to it, yo!
Harmonize Clover by Maon Kurosaki
Oh gosh, this song... it's my Carousel song, I swear. (Because I totally own a carousel, not xD)
Like many soloists this year, I only just discovered Maon Kurosaki by ways of fate and youtube, and through that, I feel in love with what was her latest release, Harmonize Clover / Afterglow, and since then, I've been looping both tracks like crazy, because it's what I do best, and also because these songs are absolutely gorgeous tracks to listen to, whether it's for background music, or for general pleasure. They work either way, if you ask me.
Harmonize Clover, for me, sounds like a song I would hear in my childhood; it has a fairground feel that is nostalgic and romantic, yet magical at the same time. For some reason, it makes me want to cry, too, though not in a bad way; it just makes me feel sentimental, is all, and the fact this song, in all its pretty glory, can evoke such emotions out of me from simply listening to it means it's doing a good job at not only keeping me invested, but also good at portraying nostalgia in its instrumental whilst also conveying emotion through the voice of the singer. Both are working together perfectly here, with Maon's gentle, sincere vocals delivering memories of bittersweet, sentimental days, whilst the instrumental brings forth nostalgia that is both happy and saddening in tone, as well as innocent and carefree thanks to that carousel music quality it has to it.
Dream Door by Houkago Princess
I love Dream Door, and it is by far my favourite song from the Seifuku Cinderella mini-album. It's cute, it's magical in sound, the song is a positive and hopeful one, and it sounds exactly like I expected it to when I read the title; a dream, one that has been reached, one where goals have finally been achieved. To me, this is the perfect song for HouPri after achieving their dream major debut after four years of being indies.
This song makes me really happy when I listen to it, and that's because the song itself feels cheery and joyful at the fact a dream has been conquered. It's a song that makes me smile like crazy when I sing along to it, and really, I feel like this is the song where all the members sound their best; you can hear how high in spirits they are, the excitement in their delivery and, basically, just how grateful and glad they are at being given this opportunity. It's a great song in that respect, one that is optimistic and vibrant, even if it isn't necessarily the best on this list.
Dream Door has been one of my most beloved tracks since it came out this year, and I highly doubt I am not going to tire of it any time soon!
Colourful Starlight by Cheeky Parade
(from the single M.O.N.ST@R)
Okay, I admit, this song was a very recent addition to this list, because I found it during the time I was constructing this Top so many list together. I was looking at a variety of singles and listening to the b-sides along with the chosen A-sides, and when Colourful Starlight came on... well, I kind of really sorta liked it. A lot.
In fact I may even love it, a lot more than M.O.N.ST@R, which is a bit hard to fathom. This one struck me a little more, however. It's spunky!
This is basic idol bait in terms of songs if you ask me; it's peppy, cheery, jumpy and downright fun to listen to and dance along with. It has a pretty awesome bridge, too, one that kind of doesn't fit in with the rest of the songs fun tone, yet it doesn't detract from its overall appeal, either. It's fun throughout, with a tinge of cool added to it for some added depth, and though it isn't as original as what M.O.N.ST@R is, I do enjoy this song for all it has to offer in terms of happiness and energy, even if it is a little more generic than its A-side counterpart.
And, despite the fact this song is so 'new' in terms of my listening to it, I can't help but place it this high for the pure fact that it's so addictive to listen to, and that I enjoy it a bunch when I pop it on. It makes me feel a lot more lively and productive, if anything, and that's always a bonus in my book!
... Hey, maybe I should finally start following Cheeky Parade? I mean, it's been a long while coming, and all...
Nippon Manju by LADYBABY
Oh gosh, where to start with Nippon Manju!? I mean, it's amazing. Catchy as fuck, great pacing and rhythm, fun to listen to, weird, ear-crack, wonderful... basically, it's awesome, and I adore the heck out of this song. It's such a joy to listen to, and that kind of feels weird to say, given it has some metal thrown in there, and I don't generally care for metal, especially the kind that includes screaming or growling of any kind.
Goes to show that, when the right song comes along, you can thoroughly enjoy it for all its worth!
Now, I like gimmick songs, especially the over-the-top ones, and I love gimmick groups, too, however given these guys are kind of reminiscent of BABYMETAL, a gimmick group I don't actively care about, I was actually rather surprised by how much I enjoyed LADYBABY. When I thought I would be weirded out, I wasn't - I was instead intrigued, especially by the leading lady himself, LADY BEARD, who, by the way, is kawaii as fuck. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, k? xD
Seriously, this is a fun song, and ever since it came out I've been addicted to it and listened to it a lot. It's cute, vigorous, a little manly, and overall a great listen if you want to spice up your day with something a little different. It's this high on my list because I enjoy all it has to offer, and also because the weirdness is something I totally dig about this group. I just hope that they stay this addictive and good, because this is a group that is too great to stop liking so early on in their career!
Sudachi Passion by Yuuka Ueno
(from the single Hoshitachi no moment / Slow Motion)
I have to say, it feels like from now on, no Top whatever list will ever be complete without a little Yuuka Ueno thrown in there, because heck, she's been in here since her year of debut! It would feel so wrong to not include her from this point on...
That, and her songs are far too great to neglect!
Really, I adore Yuuka. She's my favourite solo singer, after all, and that's because she is a fabulous singer, one who just seems to get better with each release. Her voice has become a lot more well-rounded, and the passion in her voice is clear. It sounds as if she really does love singing, and in Sudachi Passion, the passion is certainly there. Yuuka's voice is vibrant and proud, and you can truly feel that she is giving it her all in this performance, with no restraint in her voice whatsoever. I love that about this song, and it's that drive in Yuuka's vocals that makes me want to do better, too. It's a great motivational song, if anything, and certainly gets me out of my procrastinating slump!
Sudachi Passion is, quite possibly, my favourite track from this single. It's bright and energetic, and it offers us a look into the happy, carefree side of Yuuka as opposed to the mellow and bittersweet side that her recent A-side tracks have displayed. It's a change of pace, and it's one I enjoy wholeheartedly.
Critical Massive Attack by Saishuu Mirai Heiki mofu
Okay, this. Song. It's brilliant. The vocals are wonderful, the sound is absolutely mesmirising, and yeah, I just really like it. I'm so glad I watched this PV when I did, otherwise I would not know of the joys this group could bring. Seriously, they are pretty damn cool, and they truly own every part of this song.
This song is, in my mind, a bit like an 'attack' as the title states. It's a flurry of modern and old tones, a traditional twist to a modern instrumental. It mixes a flurry of dramatic, forceful tones that certainly pack a punch with the calming sound of traditional Japanese instruments. It's loud and brash sound evades your ears, yet leaves you feeling delighted after hearing it. The song feels massive in its sound, too, and it definitely deals a critical blow.
No wonder it was named Critical Massive Attack, because it does just that once you hear it.
I couldn't get this song out of my head for a long while, and honestly, why would I want to forget it? It has impact and punch, it's loud and vibrant, and it leaves an impression on the listener right away thanks to its traditional yet modern sound. It's like a whirlwind; once it sweeps you up, it makes sure that you can never get out, and so you become hooked. forever wanting more.
Lil' Infinity by AAA
I won't say that Lil' Infinity is one of 2015's best, because it isn't, however it's been one of those songs that I found myself turning to when I wanted something a little more sentimental and gentle. It's very soothing, if anything, and on both sad and happy days, this is one those songs that I would turn to because of how beautiful it sounds. It's truly a gorgeous sounding song.
I enjoy most of what AAA produces to be honest, because it's AAA and they are amazing, however Lil' Infinity was the song that was trapped in my head the most year, and one that I would remember frequently out of the blue. It's serene sound truly calms the listener and, for me, makes me feel at peace with myself when I'm feeling stressed or anxious. It's a sweet track, one that really speaks to me as a listener.
Basically, it's just beautiful.
It is a wonderful song, and I love how wonderful everyone in AAA sounds. It's a perfect spring-time song that truly allows you to feel at ease, and it will continue to please and soothe me even after we head into 2016, because it's far too good to let go of in 2015.
Arpeggio by Blue Steels
(from the mini-album Blue Snow)
My immediate reaction when putting this song on is 'Yes! Arpeggio! Fuckin' Arpeggio!', and if that doesn't speak volumes for y'all, then I don't know what will!
Arpeggio is a great song, a beautiful one for sure, as well as a surprise addition to the mostly female lead mini-album that is Blue Snow, and yeah, I didn't expect this song at all. It has to be said, though, that Arpeggio by Blue Steels is a great addition to the mini-albums track list thanks to how well it balances out the other songs, whilst also delivering a slight contrast due to it being sung by some really talented guys.
It's stellar, to say the least.
I really enjoy Arpeggio. It has a great sound that hooks me, and the fact some light rapping is included thrills me to no end, because who doesn't like a bit of rap in their anime music? It's catchy as heck, the guys singing it sound awesome, and overall, I just sorta kinda love this track and can totally see myself looping it for another 500 hours, because I'm kind of obsessed with its sexy, beautiful sound. Yessss!
Ho de sagasu anata no ondo by KissBee
This is another one of those songs that, despite only finding out about and hearing it recently, managed to make its way pretty damn high up on this list because it's so damn great to play. Really, I didn't think I would be this happy with a KissBee song, because even if I do like them, I wasn't prepared for much I would fall in love with their first winter ballad, Ho de sagasu anata no ondo. It is freakin' beautiful, and I am so happy that I was able to come across it for the winter season.
Actually, I thought KissBee as a group had died off, so when I found this song and its accompanying music video (which gives me the feels like nobody knows, guh!), I was coloured surprised, yet delighted at the same time. They are a cute group, however this song and video showed great improvement in the girls since I had last seen them at the beginning of this year. Their performance has improved in videos, and as singers they sound pretty damn solid, though that could be more to do with the fact they sing in chorus. Regardless, they sound amazing, and they all really suit this winter-themed song perfectly. Seriously, they do this ballad justice, and I am really happy I was able to hear it.
It's a good song, probably their strongest so far in terms of A-side songs, and definitely a favourite for not only the winter, but for a long time to come, too. It's a pretty ballad that captured my heart, and I don't want to let it disappear from my mind any time soon.
Itsuka no Hate by TRUSTRICK
(from the album TRUST)
Speaking of songs I only recently found and fell in love with... here's another one!
Okay, Itsuka no Hate... this song is helluva beautiful. I know, I've said a lot of songs are beautiful, but this one takes the cake, and if it wasn't for the fact I only found out about this song this very month, I would have actually placed this pretty damn high on the list, possibly in the Top 5, because I like it that much. It's gorgeous, the lead singer, Sayaka, has a wonderful voice that is not always perfect, yet still sounds amazing even when her voice breaks off. Emotional and powerful, this is a song that is truly a piece of art.
Again, it's a shame that I didn't find this until the end of the year, because I do love it, however there are other songs on this list that rank higher because of the lasting impact they have had on me. Still, I cannot deny how much of an impact this brilliant song has had on me, and I will continue listening to it for a while after this.
Imasugu Tobikomu Yuuki by Morning Musume '15
I think that, if there were one song to define just how great Morning Musume '15 was this year, Imasugu Tobikumu Yuuki is the song that you should think of when looking back to MoMusu this year. Where their first single of the year was weak, the single that contained this very song was certainly their best, with Imasugu truly taking the spotlight thanks to its quality, vocal prowess and overall beauty.
Like it's PV, this song reads just like a dream. It's quite heavenly to listen to, and whoah, those vocals. This is some of the best work I have seen from this group vocally, especially when it comes to Sato Masaki, who completely dominates and owns this song like no other. She is totally in her element here, and you can hear it in each of her solo lines. It's truly amazing how in just one song, her star power shines so brightly. She is incredible.
Where her voice worked less than desirably in ENDLESS SKY, here, she truly brought her A-game.
Also, can we just take a moment to truly appreciate how well distributed this song is in terms of solo lines. Whoo!
It's a great song, one that, for me, is the best from Morning Musume '15 this year. I enjoy it so much that, in many ways, I kind of feel annoyed with myself for not purchasing it already. Gosh darnit, Chii!
My Future by Ray
(from the single Hajimete Girls!)
If we're going to get anything out of this list, it's that this year I really liked quite a few soloists, and one of those soloists was, of course, Ray. Seriously, this girl is going to be sparring with Yuuka Ueno for my affections if I don't watch out come 2016, because in whatever single she produces, you can bet she brings her A-game, and for her b-side My Future, her game is certainly strong!
In comparison to Hajimete Girls! from the same single release, I feel like My Future is certainly the better song, despite the fact both are cheery, peppy and cute in all they display. This one happens to be catchier though, and the instrumental is definitely a lot stronger in sound. As I said in my run-down of Hajimete Girls!, the song is great because Ray is singing it, but with My Future, I feel like it's still great, even when Ray herself isn't singing it. I could listen to this instrumental without tiring of it because it's fun and flouncy, whereas Hajimete Girls!, without the charm of Ray and her amazing charisma and superb vocals, simply falls flat, which is why as a song, it isn't anywhere near the position that My Future is, because it's just not as good.
Ray is great, and she does bring this song to life much like she did Hajimete Girls!, and it's that passion and drive that I enjoy most about her in this song.
Lovely Storm by Ray
(from the single Secret arms)
... Oh, look. Another Ray song :p How'd that get in here...?
Seriously, this girl. She is amazing, and her b-side song Lovely Storm was the second I had heard from her this year, after first discovering Secret arms when browsing the youtubes for new groups and songs to listen to, and heck, I've been hooked on this song since. It's absolutely adorable, an easy listen, and just all around fun to sing along and dance to. It never fails to make me smile or shimmy even a little bit, successfully raising my mood when I hear those opening bars if I'm feeling a bit annoyed or sad.
That said, this won't be the best song to listen to when you have a headache. Just saying...
I've played this song a lot since discovering it, hence why it's so high on this list, and honestly, the more I play it, the more I love it. It's an enjoyable bundle of cuteness, with Ray upping her cuteness factor for this song and showing you that she can become 10x more adorable than you ever though she could!
It's a fun song, and though it isn't her best from the year gone by, I've played this song enough to know that it has a place in my heart as one of my solid favourites.
Renai WARS by Bitter&Sweet
This song wins my love for how funny it is, because seriously, this is one hilarious song, and I have to applaud whoever wrote the lyrics for Renai WARS, for they are a genius who had me laughing when I first listened to this song. It's so good!
Renai WARS is basically a song about two girls who are both in love, but with the same guy, so they throw insults at each other throughout with hope that the other will eventually back down. It's a quirky battle of words, and you can hear the fun both Asahi and Moemi are having here in the song. It's great, and in my opinion, it's a brilliant song, too.
The fun this song has and the laughter it brings is something what I enjoy the most about Renai WARS. It speaks to the feelings of girls in love, whilst also parodying that affection in a way, too, yet continues to have a good time with what it does. It never takes itself too seriously, nor does it try and be over-the-top funny. It's subtly comedic, and it's this type of song that fits the atmosphere of Bitter&Sweet perfectly. The friendly feud between the two is hilarious to watch and listen to, and I can only hope that UFP come out with something this great in their next release, because seriously, this is genius and it works like a charm!
Atatakai Basho by Yuuka Ueno
(from the single Tada, Anata no Soba de)
I had a pretty hard time trying to place Atatakai Basho, because I certainly wanted it in a high position, but I had other songs I liked just as much, too... however, the #13 spot is a pretty solid place, if you ask me, especially when you consider I have chosen 50 songs for this past year alone. So, yeah, this is a great position for Yuuka and one of her prettiest song releases this year.
Atatakai Basho is, of course, a ballad, and is the second A-side from Yuuka's 6th single released back in October. It's a sentimental piece that has beautiful rhythm and pacing, and Yuuka herself sounds absolutely stunning here, her voice passionate and intense. She has amazing control, and honestly, I think she sounds absolutely breathtaking here, more-so than ever before. This performance of hers really wows me, and listening to this song makes me feel so glad that I became a fan of hers.
Yuuka Ueno is wonderful, and Atatakai Basho is a great display of just how talented this girl is. She keeps improving and showing us all that, with each release, she is only going to get better. I love this song, I love Yuuka Ueno, and I hope that she continues into the year of 2016 with more drive and passion in future single releases.
Afterglow by Maon Kurosaki
(from the single Harmonize Clover)
Oh gosh, this song... all the feels. All the love. It's beautiful!
Where Harmonize Clover brought forth nostalgic feelings, Afterglow is a song that brings out the emotional feelings of someone who, supposedly, is in love. It's very deep and expressive in its sound, and the instrumental is just gorgeous to listen to. It's a sentimental, powerful track that takes me to another place when I listen to it, a beach, actually, whilst also producing beautiful images of water rippling, colour bursting and sepia-toned walks. It awakens my imagination, and it paints me a story whenever I hear it, and I love it when a song can do that for me.
This song feels nostalgic, too, reminding me of a favourite track from way back when that, I swear, I can never remember the name to. Honestly though, this is a beautiful piece from Maon Kurosaki, and her voice only enhances the song further. She is emotional and powerful, and truly allows you to fall in love with the song just by the tone of her voice. I hope that, come 2016, I continue to listen to her music, because from this single alone I have been highly impressed by her voice and the magic she can create with it.
Shiawase no Hajimari by MACO
(from the single LOVE)
MACO is fantastic, much like the other four soloists who have appeared on this list, and her song Shiawase no Hajimari, like previous songs, is so deserving of this spot on my list, because it's one of those songs that pulls at your heart strings, and aims to never let go until you're a little bit of a blubbering mess.
... Or, maybe that's just me, because we all know I am a permanent mess of blubbering idiocy.
This song gets to me though, and yeah, I've cried whilst listening to it more times than I can count. In fact, when I first heard it I cried, because it's so emotional in how it sounds, and MACO's singing is absolutely stunning here. She sounds so invested in this song that I myself become invested. Really, if there was one song I had to fall in love with that came from MACO, it is a good thing that it was this one, because Shiawase no Hajimari is the most gorgeous piece on the entire LOVE single, period.
It makes me cry, but in a good way. I love that about this song, that it can bring me to my knees and make me feel so emotional that I need to let it all out. It's wonderful, and honestly, if you haven't listened to anything by MACO yet... what rock are you under so I can drag you out from it?
Gamusha LIFE by C-ute
The FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS!!!!!!!!!! Waaaaah!!!
Get me a hankie... I'm gonna cry TT^TT
Also, let's take a moment to realise that this was originally at spot #33... Yeah, it jumped. A lot.
Gamusha LIFE is a song that, basically, describes C-ute after 10 years of being together. Their struggles, the happiness they have, the things that keep them going... everything. This is a song about them, and it is filled with the ups and downs they have faced, and perfectly reflects everything that is C-ute the group. A defining song, it is certainly one that I found great beauty and sentimentality it when I first heard it. Even now, I still find those things there, and it just gets better the more I listen to it.
It's an emotional song, and catchy to boot. I generally can't get this out of my head after listening to it, it has such impact and depth to it. Heck, why would I want this out of my head? It's an awesome song, one that is energetic in delivery despite the emotions underlying it. Actually, that's what is great about this song; it's happy, yet it speaks of hardships that have been overcome, delivering a positive message as it goes on. Listening to it, I think of how, when life pulls you down, you must get back up, because there will always be something around the corner that will make you smile. I feel like that message is echoed in Gamusha Life, because despite their hardships, after 10 long years, C-ute are still standing, and they are doing better than ever.
It's an amazing song, what more can I say?
Realize! by i☆RiS
Crackin' into the Top 10 with style, here comes i☆RiS once again with a stellar release in the form of Realize!, a song that I literally didn't realise would be this great until I finally listened to the full thing. Seriously, I was ready to pass this one off as a 'meh' piece, thinking it was no patch on any of the groups other releases, but honestly, Realize! is better than I originally gave it credit for.
The song has staying power, which is a given being an i☆RiS at this point in their career, and for a long time it was stuck in my head, as well as a song I would unintentionally sing without warning, all because it's so god-damned catchy. Seriously, it's ear-crack, but it's amazing ear-crack, hence why it broke the Top 10 and placed so high on this list. Heck, this could have even been a contender for one of the Top 5 (which it most likely was, because it's me), however there are more powerful forces I have had to deal with, and whilst I do adore i☆RiS completely, and Realize! is certainly their best A-side of the year, I can't deny the other songs.
In short, I do love this song, and I tune into it a lot for the funsies and love of it all. I dance along to it, I sing with it, and I just all around adore it. It's wonderful, full of zest and joy, and it's certainly a favourite to be reckoned with!
Mayomayo Compass by StylipS
I am obsessed with this song. Obsessed I say! Why? Because it's StylipS, and they are wonderful, and this song just so happens to be amazing, too. I swear, this group is blessed with wonder and greatness.
Okay, I admit, as the year has wore on, this song has a lot less impact than it did when I first heard it, HOWEVER!!! I still like it a lot, and it is still one of my favourites. Heck, it's one of my many go-to favourites, as well as one of my first picks for a crazy good song to perk me up and put me in a great mood. It's fun and powerful, and I love how alive the StylipS girls sound here. Seriously, they are giving their all in Mayomayo Compass, and you know it. I can feel the effort and dedication in their voices, and it really pays off; they all sound amazing together, and it is definitely a track I won't be forgetting.
I like this song so much because it is full of the power that is StylipS. It has their personality written all over it, and whilst it doesn't hit me like it did back when I first heard it, there is no denying that this song is one of my solid favourites from the year of 2015. I keep going back to it, and I am sure I will continue listening to it throughout 2016.
Tada, Anata no Soba de by Yuuka Ueno
If y'all didn't think Yuuka Ueno, my Queen and Saviour of the Idol Soloist world, would crack the Top 10, then you're clearly smoking something I ain't, because let's be real; I'm way too obsessed with this girl and her fabulous discography to let her get any lower than a #10 on my End of Year lists. Seriously.
Though if it ever does get to a point where she is lower than that #10 spot, I might just cry, that, or I might have fallen out of favor with her. Who knows? Either way, I stan her music hard, even if this hasn't been her best year yet (though I've yet to actually hear some b-sides, which doesn't help. Harumph).
Anyway, moving on to the song that places at #8, Tada, Anata no Soba de is the leading track on Yuuka Ueno's sixth single release, and honestly, I fell hard for this song when it was first released. It's a ballad, which always gets a thumbs up from me, but it's a very beautifully crafted one that fits Yuuka's angelic voice perfectly. It sounds bittersweet and emotional, yet still a little hopeful despite its saddening sound. Yuuka herself delivers a great performance, one that is memorable and heartfelt, and you can clearly feel the expression she holds in her for this song. It feels real and true, and is certainly one of her most powerful performances since the beginning of her career back in 2013.
Like Atatakai Basho, Yuuka's performance of Tada, Anata no Soba de is brilliant and shining, as well as one of her best. This girl is a force to be reckoned with, and I can only hope that, with future releases, more and more people will come to realise how great she truly is and the potential she holds.
If you haven't discovered Yuuka's music yet, please, do so now, and in the process, I hope that you fall in love with her as I have, to.
Nanakorobi Yaoki by ANGERME
We're already into the top 5, and breaking that first wall down in this list happens to be H!P's latest powerhouse group, ANGERME, and wow do they deserve to be this high on the list! In fact, they were a little bit higher in my original list, at least until I realised that I liked four other songs a lot better than this one.
That does not mean I think any less of this song, by the way, because it still kicks ass, as do ANGERME in general... at least, for 2015.
Seriously, before they became ANGERME, S/mileage were a ship sinking faster than the Berryz one before everyone jumped and swam their separate ways, and I had little to no hope for them at all, not even when the new generation came in or the new name was announced. I was ready to be done with them, to drop them like a hot potato, ready for greener, sunnier HouPri pastures...
And then they became awesome, and I came paddling back like the little bitch I am. Fuuuu---!!!
I didn't anticipate enjoying the group, or this song for that matter, this much, however ANGERME have so far rocked our worlds and proven to us all that, even after being kicked down time and again, they can still get back up, fighting and ready for whatever else people throw at them. This song display that sentiment perfectly if you ask me, and ANGERME rock it like no other. They're powerful, far stronger than they have ever been, and better than before. They have certainly thrown away the mask of the past and donned a new one, ready to face the present and show us all just how vigorous and fierce they can truly be. And yeah, it's amazing. They're amazing, and I would be an idiot to say otherwise.
Nanakorobi Yaoki, though not my #1, is still a kickass song that shows the true power of ANGERME and what they stand for. They're mature, cool and ready for a fight, and you can feel their blazing attitude from a mile away. This is great, and I really do feel like this song is the dawn of a new era for the group and H!P as a whole. Furthermore, it speaks to its listeners on so many levels, whilst also striking true to ANGERME and their past as a group.
It's not just a cool song, but an inspiring one too, a song that gives you the courage to do better and to never give up. As a song, it's undeniable that this is one of ANGERME's best, and I honestly can't wait to see what more they can do come 2016.
Bring it, ANGERME.
Blue Snow by Trident
Seriously. This has to be my favourite mini-album of 2015, because it is just so wonderful. If I had known I would fall for this release so hard... well, I don't know what I would have done. I mean, I've already looped the entire album like crazy, it's just so good. Seriously, I love it.
And Blue Snow, the title track of this fabulous release, is definitely the favourite of them all.
It's a song that I know for sure I have sung a few times by accident, and it is the one song from the entire album that I remember frequently. Heck, even when I hadn't listened to this album for about four months, I kept thinking about the song and humming it to myself until, eventually, I went back to the songs and revisited the splendor that is Blue Snow, reminding myself just how good this song is, as well as how enchanting these girls can be when singing. It's a damn pretty song, and I give it props for how long it sticks in my mind.
As a whole though, Blue Snow is truly a fantastic mini-album, and I am so happy that I came across it, because it has introduced me to three great singers, as well as an array of fun, enjoyable songs that have all left a strong impression on me. I know I only listed about three of this mini-albums six tracks on here, but rest assured, they are all fantastic, however the three I have picked to add into my Top 50 are the three that have left a big impression on me, with the title track impressing the most. It's just so charming, and I listen to with fondness and adoration.
I'm quite enamoured by this song, as you might have guessed.
Blue Snow is a gorgeous song, as well as a great opener for the mini-album it leads. Listening to it, I feel so happy and fulfilled, and I can't help but continue to fall in love with this track the more I listen to it. Whenever I hear it, I feel very glad that I found both Trident and Blue Snow, because it is certainly a song that has made my year great musically, hence why it is my #4.
Top Secret ~Setsunai Gokuhijikou~ by READY to KISS
I'm gonna admit that this was, from the get-go, my original #1 pick, however after much contemplation, and then a sudden realisation, I realised that there was a song far more deserving, though it won't lessen my love of R2K's Top Secret any less, because seriously, I adore this song and all it does for me.
It just so happens that, for the year of 2015, it isn't exactly #1 material.
What I love about this song, first and foremost, is how fun and active it sounds. Secondly, I love the vocal diversity with the members. There are some great sounding girls in this group, ranging from really cute to really low, which makes me as a listener ecstatic, because there is nothing worse than a bunch of girls in one group sounding exactly the same, or really freakin' similar, so the fact these girls are diverse vocally is great for me. And thirdly, this song is catchy as heck, and ever since it was released, I have been shamelessly looping it, because this song is like a drug. A very good drug, at that.
I really did not anticipate enjoying this song so much actually, because whilst I do like R2K, they are not my absolute favourite group, so I thought that, with their major debut, they might have something fun for me to listen to, but certainly not something I would, y'know, fall in love.
Well, colour me crazy, because guess what happened? I fell hook, line and sinker for this one, and heck, I don't regret it one bit! This song is amazing!
I listen to this song at least twice a week, possibly more, because it's so gosh darned good! It's easy to sing along to, perfect for dancing along to in a silly fashion, and even better for singing and dancing along to when listening to this track! Seriously, it's addictive, more-so than the other 47 songs listed here, as well as a great major debut track for the R2K girls. I love it, and I think that if you give it a try, you will love it, too.
... And, yet again, I am experiencing the regrets of not buying this single for myself. D-oh!
Secret arms by Ray
Ray keeps moving up, and honestly, with her finishing at #2 in this massive list of 50 amazing J-pop songs of the Year 2015, I feel rather content with her position, because seriously, this girl has been amazing this year, and she has totally made it a good one for me, music wise.
And, given that all four of her songs from the year gone by have appeared on this list, I think it goes without saying that right now, I kind of love this girl, and that Yuuka Ueno has some competition for my affections. Oooh...~
Honestly though, Secrets arms was, forever and always, going to be on the top of this list, whether it would break the Top 10 or Top 5, because ever since this song was released in July of this year, I have been hooked, probably to the point where I sat it up on a pedestal and worshiped the crap out of it. It's addictive and catchy, much like every other song Ray has released this year, but it's also a song that is both cool and cute at the same time, as well as invigorating in its sound. Oh, and Ray of course sounds absolutely wonderful here, switching from cool to cute in seconds. Her voice is absolutely mesmirising, captivating me as a listener and allowing me to fall in love with Ray completely, as both a singer and performer.
Isn't it funny how much you can fall for a song in just under half a year, and not even realise it, huh?
Truly, this song is amazing. I can't help but enjoy it the more I listen to it, and heck, it goes without saying that I haven't tired of it at all, not yet, anyway. In fact, I doubt I ever will, because it's just so much fun! As a singer, Ray really entertains me. Her passion and charisma is astounding, certainly above all of the other soloists that made it onto this list, and she just has this thing about her that keeps me coming back. Maybe it's the emotion she drives into her songs, or the powerful performance she puts on, no matter what the sound of the song, or something more... either way, there is something there that keeps me coming back for more, and I hope that it is this something that keeps me loving this amazing singer well into 2016 and beyond, because I do not want to lose sight of this talented girl. I mean, she's too bloody amazing to let go!
I have not felt this strongly about a soloist since Yuuka Ueno or Ono Erena, and I really adore those two as singers, so to feel that pull once again, this time for Ray, is wonderful. Thing is, this time around, that feeling of adoration and like for this soloist is stronger than before, and that is a little shocking. Erena is, forever and always, my #1 soloist, even after leaving the entertainment industry, so to know that she may soon meet her match... well, it scares me, yet makes me a little happy, too, because it means I can finally fill that void completely, if it does ever come to that point where, potentially, Ray could take her place as my #1. I mean... she just makes me so happy!
Well, we shall see, for we shall certainly cross that bridge when we come to it. No matter what, though, I cannot deny that Ray is, for the year of 2015, my absolute favourite soloist, and I hope that I continue to follow her more hereafter.
And so comes the final song, the one that beat out 49 other Japanese pop songs from the year of 2015. It's the song that, for me, defined the year and made it wonderful musically.
So, after much chopping and changing, tweaking and picking, this is my very Top pick of the list. It was a tough decision, but after thinking it over long and hard, this is the song that I knew, deep down in my heart, was the song that made 2015 great. Always there to make me smile and keep me content, this is my Holy Grail song of 2015, the Number 1 of them all! Are you all ready to meet the winner?
Song of 2015!
Song of 2015!
Kimi to Mirai Tsukuritai! by Doll☆Elements
Kimi to Mirai Tsukuritai! has been my rock. I have loved this song all throughout the year, and each time I play it, I just begin to love it more and relish in how perfect it is. A song befitting of Spring, Doll☆Elements have delivered unto us all a track that will surely lift our spirits as we listen, allowing us to feel happier and at ease.
I feel emotionally invested in this song. I don't know what it is, and I don't know why, but Kimi to Mirai Tsukuritai! is one of those songs that, despite its happy demeanour and energetic approach, makes me cry. It overwhelms me in many ways, to a point where I can no longer hold in the love I feel for this song, and so I turn into a puddle of teary happiness. Simply put, I connect with this song, and it leaves me a mess of happy tears and smiley faces galore, because I adore it so damn much.
I really cannot explain just why this song makes me feel this way, because it's so hard to describe my adoration of the song and the feelings I feel for it, but believe me when I say that it is a song I love completely, one that brightens my day, keeps me smiling and happy, and has encouraged me to keep going throughout this long year. When there were dark days, I knew I could listen to this song and feel solace. When I was feeling anxious and stressed, I knew that if I heard this beautiful song, I would calm down and feel at peace again, and when I was struggling and wanting to cry, it was this song that brought me back down to Earth, reminding me of the great things that life holds.
As I have already said; this song has been my rock.
I must admit, I was originally going to place this as my #2 or #3 track on the Top 50 list, however it wasn't until I began writing and thinking about this song properly that I realised, truly, Kimi to Mirai Tsukuritai! has always been #1 in my heart for 2015. Why? Because it is the song that I have relied on most this year, both emotionally and for the sake fun. I love this song with all of my heart, for it doesn't just please me as a listener, but it also aims to please me emotionally and to keep me smiling. I am constantly overwhelmed by this track, for all of its beauty and the happiness it brings me. For the year of 2015, it is this song that has defined the joy and happiness I have felt throughout.
When I say 'I love this song', I truly mean it, and much like Make it! the year before, Kimi to Mirai Tsukuritai! has become one of my holy grail songs, a favourite amongst gems like Koi ING and more. It is a perfect song, and for 2015, it is my #1, a title it is more than deserving of.
And there we have it, the Top 50 songs in the world of J-pop for the year of 2015, according to Chiima. By no means does this list have to correspond with your own, nor does it mean that you have to like these songs either, because as well know, music is subjective, and it is a personal thing for us all, however I do hope that you come out of this with a few new songs in your head, and maybe a new group or four to love, too. For me, however, these were the songs, groups and soloists that made my 2015 magical in terms of music, and it is these very songs that have kept me smiling throughout the year gone by.
Hopefully you all have your own list of songs, too, and I would be extremely happy if y'all shared them all with me! Yes, they are hard to write, these Top so-many lists, but they are fun to think about too, and once done, you feel fulfilled that you remembered so many glorious songs from the year that you have enjoyed. So, please, leave your favourite songs here, whether there may be two of them, or a whole 50 like my own list! If you loved them, then please, list them!!!
And now, before I dare to even leave this already lengthy post, it's about high-time for some of those wonderful Honorable Mentions I like to do! So, without further interruption from me, myself and I, let's take a little looksy into what songs didn't make it onto my list, yet still left a good enough impression on me to get a sweet little mention. Shall we~?
Kimi to Pecan Natsu Sengen!!! by Otome Shinto
(Originally placed on the list at #46)
ULTRA LUCKY (from the single Nippon Manju!) by LADYBABY
(Originally placed on the list in the 30's)
Waku Doki Shitai (from the single Realize!) by i☆RiS
(Originally placed on the list in the 30's)
Hoshitachi no Moment by Yuuka Ueno
(Originally tied with Harmonize Clover)
Taikibansei (from the album Renag no ie) by Nakajima Takui
Otome no Gyakushii by ANGERME
Calendar Girl by Lovely★DOLL
Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne by Country Girls
And with that, this Top 50 Countdown in J-pop comes to a close. Indeed, it was a very long list, one that contained a lot of artists, a hell of a lot of songs, and even more words than I can imagine. Sure, it was hard to think about and place, but it is a list that I have had a lot of fun with, and one that I am extremely proud of, for it contains the music that I have loved over the course of the year, and it is a list that I have really wanted to share with you all since starting it since before December even hit. So, despite all the hardships of chopping and changing this list into what it is, I am happy with my final decisions, especially the #1 song, which is, and always will be, the hardest song to place until the very last moment.
It has been a wonderful year in music, one that has left me fulfilled and happy beyond reason. I am walking out of 2015 smiling, and heading into 2016 with a positive outlook for many groups that, when coming into 2015, I had doubts about. This year has been brilliant, and I can't help but feel so grateful for being an Idol fan during such an amazing year.
And to slowly close an already long post, I want to thank you all for reading my Top 50 J-pop songs of 2015 list, as well as to thank you all for spending another year in Japanese Idol music with me. It has been a fantastic year for sure, one I have loved every moment of, and I truly look forward to walking with you all into 2016, ready for a new dawn of music, Idols and happiness.
This is the end of a great year in Idol music, but don't fret, for more greatness is to come! Until then, however, please think about the songs you have loved too, and think of the song that has made your year amazing in music. If you know what it is, please, share it with me and let the world know! Loved songs must be shared, otherwise how would we learn of them?
Until next time everyone, be sure to take care, live life happily, stay healthy and, of course, love Idols and Music with all of your heart!
Much Love and a Happy New Year,