Music Spotlight: All You Wanted to Know About AKB48

The past decade has been dominated by many K-Pop acts–PSY, to BIGBANG, to BLACKPINK, to BTS. Elsewhere, in Japan, the idol industry has been dominated by Japan’s largest girl group, AKB48. They have had more than a dozen songs sitting on top of Japan’s Oricon charts in the several years since their debut. However, their popularity has dipped in the past few years. In this post, a non-AKB48 fan talks about another non-AKB48 fan covering a video that chronicles their rise to fame.

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Music Spotlight: Jang Geun Suk’s “Let Me Cry” and “Amagoi” (雨恋)

Back in late 2011, I wrote a Music Spotlight post (FKA “Ni-Ongaku Spotlight”) highlighting a song released by South Korean actor Jang Geun Suk. At the time of writing he was the most desired actor Japanese fans wanted to see in the midst of the Korean Wave in Japan, trending above even AKB48, and performing at a sold out concert at the Tokyo Dome.

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Music Spotlight: Mai Kuraki – Stepping Out

This is a throwback post from December 2012 featuring Mai Kuraki (倉木麻衣). This a refresher for me after discovering her album again from a vendor several years ago at MTAC Omega, and getting lost in the Hallyu Wave. Returning to my J-Pop roots, I talked about what makes her different from a similar artist in her genre.

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Music Spotlight: Top 5 Favorite Anime Opening & Ending Themes

I originally drafted this article years ago for the old blog, finding the original .txt file in the depths of my Dropbox folders. This is a list, in no particular order, of my Top 5 Favorite Anime Opening and Ending Theme Songs.

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Music Spotlight: Top 7 SEGA Sound Team Tracks You’ve Never Heard

I’m a sucker for music from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. But I also adore the music from Sega in general. I don’t know what it is about it that makes their music magical. It’s not a 90s thing, but the jonesing for even modern SEGA Sound Team sounds is strong.

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Music Spotlight: Taeyang – Wedding Dress

I normally cover songs you may not have heard of before, or rather ones that fall in the indie spectrum, and general obscurity. But this one is a good candidate for those who have just gotten into K-Pop, especially in the current BTS era (or Generation 3, for a veteran such as myself–more to come in another post). One of my favorite K-Pop groups is BIGBANG, which I’ve followed since their debut, and one of the members is Taeyang who released one of his memorable solo singles of his career in 2009.

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Music Spotlight: Jang Geun Suk’s “Crazy Crazy Crazy”

Note: The following was written in November 2011, and it was originally for Jang Geun Suk’s single, “Let Me Cry”. In the time following the original publication of the post, he released his full album, “Just Crazy”, which includes Let Me Cry. However, for republication, I am going to include “Crazy Crazy Crazy” to highlight his aforementioned first album, released in 2012.

I wanted to talk about a popular Korean Wave actor who trends above all the others in Japan (in before AKB48) and had a sold out concert at the Tokyo Dome. His name is Jang Geun Suk (also written as Jang Keun Suk), who rose to fame after starring in the 2009 Korean drama, You’re Beautiful, and had a cameo appearance in the Japanese adaptation of YAB, Ikemen Desu Ne.

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Music Spotlight: Cross Gene’s “La-Di Da-Di”

The next song in Music Spotlight is from Cross Gene, where how I found out about them is interesting through word of mouth. Not many people will understand it, but this is something that makes sense within my circle of friends. Even if it doesn’t make sense, it’s definitely a very catchy song to listen to on regular rotation.

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