[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #418

Title: Seikan Hikou (星間飛行)
Artist: Ranka Lee = Nakajima Megumi (ランカ・リー=中島愛)
Released: 2008
Genre: Pop

Seikan Hikou was one of my favourite parts of Macross Frontier. Unlike the more mature and serious tones that were brought about through the songs by May’n and her character, Sheryl Nome, Nakajima Megumi (as Ranka Lee), provided a more lighthearted, sincere and naive contrast. Seikan Hikou really embodies that with its more simplified idol pop sound. The song is a solid pop song and it has excellent production. It’s like a contemporary version of an 80s idol song. The musical arrangement is superb and mixes well with Nakajima’s sweeter tone. She really does a great job embodying the character’s persona in this song. It’s not one of the best songs, but its a solid one. This song was released as Nakajima Megumi’s debut single and is also her only solo entry on my list.

[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #419

Title: Yuzurenai Negai (ゆずれない願い; Unyielding Wish)
Artist: Tamura Naomi (田村直美)
Released: 1994
Genre: Pop / Rock

Tamura Naomi’s monster hit, Yuzurenai Negai, has been covered several times especially by anisong artists due to its anime tie-in. It’s an old school classic. It’s quite catchy and it embodies a feeling of nostalgia due to its rather outdated sound. The song is primarily pop, but has a glint of rock in its musical arrangement with its dominance of guitar. Tamura’s vocals take some time to get used to, but she has a bright quality to her voice that I really enjoy and she goes with the song quite well. Although there are covers of the song that I really enjoy as well, I don’t think they touch the original’s nostalgic quality. The song was released as Tamura’s fourth single and is also her only entry on my list.

[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #420

Title: My Will
Artist: dream
Released: 2000
Genre: Pop

dream debuted on the scene in 2000 and had a string of Europop hits with three members. Since their debuted, there have been numerous line-up changes with several members joining in 2003 and a rebirth in 2007 that eventually saw the group dwindle down to four. My Will is probably the girl group’s most well known song due to its tie-in with Inuyasha. It’s a stunning highly programmed pop piece. There is definitely something about it that seems out of this world. The overall tone of the song is rather melancholy and dark, but there is something intense and urgent about it. The vocal arrangement especially helps to give this feeling. My favourite part is near the end where the girls take it up a notch and really bring an emotional performance. This is the first of three dream entries on the chart and was released as their sixth single.

[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #421

Title: Kacchoii ze! JAPAN (カッチョイイゼ! JAPAN; Very Cool! JAPAN)
Artist: v-u-den (美勇伝)
Released: 2005
Genre: Pop

As the second and final entry from H!P girl group, v-u-den, Kacchoii ze! JAPAN is definitely a random choice I would think. The song is rather humorous and not quite that straightforward of a song. The song clearly has eastern influences and utilizes an almost chant-like hook. It is quite broken as it goes from a rather serious sound that fits the music to one where it is just bubblegum pop for the choruses. The vocals aren’t the best and the vocalist sound rather weak in the song, especially compared to the last song that was featured (Ajisai Ai Ai Monogatari). I rank it so high though because I just think it is a lot of fun to listen and a guilty-pleasure.

[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #422

Title: Find The Way
Artist: Nakashima Mika (愛内里菜)
Released: 2003
Genre: Pop Ballad

Nakashima Mika has always been a favourite of mine with her deep, but mystical voice and beautiful ballads. Although in her recent years her releases have been more sporadic and not quite to my liking, she has some fantastic songs in her discography. As the first of seven entries on my list and her ninth single, Find The Way is an absolutely gorgeous piano ballad. The best part of this song is just how simplistic it is. It is primarily focused on Nakashima’s voice and a piano, with a nice guitar undertone and strings that help to make the song even grander by the end chorus. It is just an uplifting song that has a sentimental quality to it.

[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #423

Title: Kanpeki Gu~none (完璧ぐ~のね; Totally Lost for Words)
Artist: Watarirouka Hashiritai (渡り廊下走り隊)
Released: 2009
Genre: Bubblegum Pop

I’m a big fan of AKB48, so I of course followed along with the sub units. It also helped that this song was used for the anime, Fairy Tail, which I followed for a while as well. Kanpeki Gu~none is a very upbeat and bubbly pop song. It’s quite cute, which is expected as the members in this subgroup were picked because of their cuteness. The song itself is a lot of fun with its fast-paced guitar chords and explosion of synths. Vocally, the song isn’t the strongest, but all the members fit and blend well with the music. It’s just an exciting listen and the only feature of this subgroup on my list. However, there are definitely more AKB48-related songs coming up.

[Special] Top 500 J-Pop Songs #424

Title: Moon & Sunrise
Artist: BoA
Released: 2003
Genre: Pop Ballad

As the second of nine songs on my list from BoA, Moon & Sunrise is the only to be exclusively found on an album (at least in her Japanese discography). This is one of BoA’s slower songs and while she has had some good ones, she is probably more well-known for those upbeat dance numbers. Moon & Sunrise isn’t much of a power ballad, but relies mostly on its R&B undertone to get the work done. I especially love the gorgeous keyboard riff that pops up every once in a while because it does give the song a starry touch. The song is also interesting cause you can here more of BoA’s lower register when she sings. Definitely one of my favourites from her discography.