A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Sekai No Owari
Next month, the animated film Mary And The Witch’s Flower arrives in Japanese theatres. It's the latest from former Studio Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and is an anticipated summer flick. The latest trailer for the film reveals that rock quartet Sekai No Owari will provide the theme song for the film in the form of “Rain.” Can they pull a RADWIMPS in Your Name by getting the glistening number into a major motion picture release? Time will tell, for now check out the trailer below.
Pop outfit E-girls promised a big announcement at the start of the week, and they delivered. The group is forming its own organisation called the E.G. Family, and seven groups will operate under this umbrella. The titular group has gone from 19 members to 11, though most of those who are “graduating” remain within the E.G. Family universe so it isn’t that drastic a change. But a lot of smaller details have indeed shifted, making for some interesting new developments to keep an eye on moving forward.
GENERATIONS From EXILE TRIBE
Do you like ballads? Preferably ones featuring videos filmed in the desert? GENERATIONS From EXILE TRIBE have you covered this week with “Sora,” a big dramatic number for fans of things that unfold at a slow burn.
R&B-meets-hip-hop artist AI released her first album in four years this week, and it is a double-disc affair with one side done mostly in Japanese, and the other all in English. You can get a taste of her return to the J-Pop spotlight below with a preview of the Japanese sides lead-off single, “Justice Will Prevail At Last.”
As expected, AKB48’s election single easily cleaned up on the Oricon singles chart, moving over a million units in its first week. The album side sees idols Shiritsu Ebisu Chugakugo to the top spot with their latest collection. A bit more interesting, when looking at select digital charts, is Beverly taking number one with her number “I Need Your Love.”
Video of the Week
One of the bigger releases of the week comes courtesy of dance-pop project MONDO GROSSO, and to celebrate the video for song “Labyrinth” featuring actor Hikari Mitsushima (who, to tie this all up, will provide a voice in the anime film mentioned in the first entry of this post) appeared online. It finds Mitsushima dancing gracefully through the streets of Hong Kong while the fragile electronic song plays out. It’s very pretty...and a great song...but J-Pop heads might also appreciate seeing the sonic and (especially) visual impact Wednesday Campanella is having on the mainstream right now.
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