Also, big scary finals are done! Whoopee!
In honor of these two recent successes, and as a compensation for the slight lag in activity lately, I have for you a feature about my personal history with Japanese pop music.
5 Songs [in no particular order] that Got Me into J-Pop
Utada Hikaru – “Simple and Clean”
I know it’s a cliché for a J-Pop blogger to say that Utada Hikaru played a role in their interest in Japanese music, but in my case it is nonetheless true. I was a wee lass when I heard the PlanitB remix of “Simple and Clean” in the original Kingdom Hearts promo and was totally enamored by it. To this day I haven’t forgotten that incident and am now a big fan of both Hikki and the Kingdom Hearts series. (How typical XD)
Nami Tamaki – “Believe”
I was only about 10 or 11 when I first laid ears on Nami Tamaki’s debut single, and at the time all I could think was, “Wow, she has such an amazing voice!” I immediately signed on to multiple fan communities dedicated to Nami, and the rest, as they say, is history. I don’t consider it any kind of a stretch to say that Nami’s music influenced me somewhat more directly toward becoming a blogger.
T.M. Revolution – “Heart of Sword ~夜明け前~”
For those of you who have not read any of my earlier posts, I am a big anime fan and have been for a while. That said, a lot of the J-Pop songs that are make me feel nostalgic are anime theme songs; one such song would be T.M.R’s “Heart of Sword ~夜明け前~”, one of the ending themes to Rurouni Kenshin, which is one of my favorite anime ever. This song has some very pleasant memories attached to it and I don’t see that sentimentality fading any time soon.
Ayumi Hamasaki – “Dearest”
So you guys are probably thinking, “Another anime theme? Sheesh, this chick needs a life.” Well, in my defense, this list would not be complete if I were not to mention this song as Ayumi Hamasaki is one of my favorite singers ever. Once I started seriously getting up to date with the who’s-who of the J-Pop world, I was hearing Ayumi Hamasaki’s name quite a lot, and immediately remembered her as having sung one of the ending themes to the anime InuYasha. I’m not such a big fan of the anime series as I am of this song, and still to this day consider it one of her most beautiful ballads as well as one of my favorite songs, period. This is the first song I remember making me feel seriously curious about Japanese culture and music.
Mika Nakashima – “雪の華”
Mika Nakashima’s incredible voice, I believe, was responsible for being the straw that broke the camel’s back in forging in me a lifelong obsession with J-Pop. A wintry ballad, 雪の華 is a flawless love song and proof of how excellent music can be. I’ll never be ashamed to have this one on my iPod.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully now you know a thing or two about how I got my start in loving Japanese music. Obviously my tastes have branched out since then, but we all have to start somewhere, right?