The idols give fans one last gift, and more news from J-Pop this week.
13 Apr 2017 - 4:51 PM  UPDATED 14 Apr 2017 - 7:00 AM

The biggest news out of Japan this week was figure skater Mao Asada announcing her retirement, but a handful of J-Pop news trickled out too, collected here in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup


Many idol groups have come and gone in Japan over the last five years, thanks to the “idol boom” of the first half of the decade which has now subsided in the second half. C-ute weren’t one of those outfits. This unit formed in the mid 2000s, as part of the Hello! Project stable of pop stars best known for Morning Musume. C-ute lasted for over ten years, a rare feat for even a top-tier idol group. But this May, they’ll release their final album, a compilation gathering every single they ever put out across six discs. That one comes out on May 3, and marks a significant moment in recent Japanese idol history.

Yuzu Meets Ikimonogakari

Folky J-Pop duo Yuzu are still going strong 20 years on, and to celebrate they will release a best-of set featuring special collaboration songs with other Japanese groups. One of those, with ballad powerhouse Ikimonogakari, appeared this week. “Irotoridori” is a somewhat silly, bouncy number that features bells, whistles and a lot of shout-together lyrics. It’s two big groups getting together and getting goofy. Listen below.


Feels like an idol-heavy week. Alongside the above C-ute announcement and spotlight given to Keyakizaka46, always peppy unit Babyraids shared a new music video, below. It’s high-energy mix of electronic and rock music might give you a shot in the arm.


Were you a fan of ONE OK ROCK’s latest album, Ambitions? Are you just craving for the chance to play the songs from that collection yourself? Well, good news. On April 28, you can snag the “band score” of numbers from the rock group’s latest, and get to work trying to replicate “Taking Off.”

Japanese Music Charts

Big opening week for Keyakizaka46, whose latest single topped the Oricon singles chart with over 630,000 units sold. Meanwhile, classic rock-leaning singer/songwriter Superfly claimed the number one spot on the album side with her compilation LOVE, PEACE & FIRE (what a trio!). Digitally, the charts were dominated by Austin Mahone’s Dirty Work,” which got a big push over here recently.

Music Video of the Week

Slow motion shots of cucumbers being ripped in half or being thrown around constitute the bulk of City Your City’s “Share” clip. It’s playing off what is described as a “cucumber ritual” at the end of the video, related to dealing with romantic breakups, and that detail adds a catharsis to these sometimes silly looking shots. Great smooth electro R&B song to boot.

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