by

In seventh grade I had my half-Japanese friend burn me a CD full of her favorite Japanese music. That CD, full of Japanese boy bands, ballads, technopop, and anime themes, was my first introduction to J-Pop. That music was one of the things that inspired me to learn Japanese, and I still listen to the songs on it today in an old-timey thing known as a “CD Player.”

As an exchange student in Japan though, I realized just how few Japanese songs I was actually able to sing when I went to karaoke for the first time. From then on, I have dedicated a lot of time to discovering, listening to, and learning popular Japanese songs. So now, after a few years of experience and keeping up to date with the Japanese music scene, I come to you with a list of my top ten Japanese musicians. I like to listen to a wide variety of styles, so I tried to keep my list diverse. Enjoy!

My Top 10 J-Pop Artists

Here are my top ten artists. Don’t get mad at me if your favorite doesn’t make it (Who are we kidding, of course you’ll get mad at me)! So, put on some nice headphones, sit back, relax and get ready to listen to some good music, no matter where in the world you live.

10. YUI

YUI is one of the first J-Pop artists that I ever listened to. I have a soft spot for female singer/songwriters, and YUI satisfies that with her mix of cheery pop and acoustic ballads. I think I might have enjoyed YUI more before I started to understand Japanese, though. Her voice can be a little annoying at times, and the way she sings can make it pretty hard to understand her lyrics. But overall, YUI is a very accessible girly pop artist. Think Taylor Swift but with less country.

9. Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵)

Namie Amuro, often called the “Queen of J-Pop,” definitely deserves to be on this list even though I don’t listen to her very much. Mostly an R&B singer, her music is more similar to popular hits in the US than AKB-type musicians. Her career has spanned longer than any other female artist- starting in 1992 she continues to make music today despite controversy as a divorced single mother.

8. FUNKY MONKEY BABYS (ファンキーモンキーベイビーズ)

I first heard FMB when I was part of the brass band club at my high school in Japan. We played a lot of pop song covers, and FMB’s “Namida” was one of them. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with their loose, easy to listen to hip-hoppy/pop sound. One thing that makes them stand out is their use of celebrity’s faces on their album covers.

7. aiko

Imagine you are in a fancy club, and a jazzy woman is playing loose breezy piano and singing away. Aiko is usually what I play for friends who don’t listen to J-Pop. Going strong since 1998, most of her albums have peaked at No.1 on the charts. Her unique voice and unique love songs are easy to listen to even if you don’t catch everything she says. Aiko, like YUI, tends to run her words when singing, making comprehension hard if you’re not used to hearing it.

6. SMAP

In terms of boy bands, the  80’s-90’s band SMAP is out of style compared to the more modern and popular boy band, Arashi. But since this is my list, I chose SMAP over Arashi simply because their music is better. SMAP is still active and still getting their singles on the charts, even if they are old. Sing for me, attractive males! Sing!

5. Perfume (パフューム)

Technopop. Technopop with girls. Technopop with three insanely cute girls. Perfume is as bubblegum as it gets. Loud and dancey, Perfume is what I listen to when it is 3 AM and I have an essay due at 8AM. At first just an average singing group, Perfume became what they are today when the genius producer/composer Yasutaka Nakata became their main producer. Nakata has also been responsible for the techno group Capsule and has recently been producing and writing for the ultra-famous Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as well.

4. Mr. Children

Mr. Children (often called ミスチル or “Mischil” for short) may be an old band, but they are a legendary one. In the 90’s they created the “Mischil Phenomenon” by basically taking over the media and showing up everywhere. On the surface they might not seem too different from other pop/rock bands to non-Japanese-speaking J-Pop fans, but if you can understand Japanese lyrics, its easier to appreciate and enjoy Mr. Children for the gem that they are.

3. Angela Aki (アンジェラ・アキ)

My female singer/songwriter bias is showing again, and Angela Aki is my favorite in that genre. A Japanese-American, she was born in Japan, but attended high school in Hawaii and university in Washington DC. She’s released albums in both Japan and the US, but only really took off in Japan. She plays piano for her songs herself (like a Japanese Regina Spektor), and writes superb lyrics.

2. GReeeeN

This rock band is comprised of four members, which is one of the reasons why they have four “e”‘s in their name. The band came together when the men were in dental school, so the e’s also look like a row of teeeeth! In order to keep their music careers separate from their dentistry careers, the members have never revealed their names or faces. So, unlike many other bands or artists with pretty faces attached, you know that it’s GReeeeN’s music that is deserving of the attention they get. GReeeeN’s lyrics tend to be exciting and inspiring, and I have had my share of feels arise from listening to their music.

1. Ikimonogakari (いきものがかり)

Hands down, Ikimonogakari is my favorite Japanese band. Comprised of two male guitarists and one female singer, their songs are surprisingly girl-oriented despite most of their songs being written by Yoshiki Mizuno, one of the male guitarists. The singer, Kiyoe Yoshioka has a voice that is very strong, clear, and never whiny, even when she jumps and runs across the stage while singing at concerts. Ikimonogakari does a fantastic job on their ballads and their up-tempo songs, and have created songs that are both simple and complex at the same time. Oh, Yoshiki Mizuno, sometimes I feel like you understand my feelings better than even my close friends; your lyrics go straight to my heart~ *fangirls*

Honorable Mentions

Some of these are here because they deserve to be mentioned, some are very near and dear to me even though they didn’t make it to the top ten, some are culturally impacting, and some are just worth taking a listen to. Here are the scattered remains:

Ai Otsuka (大塚愛)

Ootsuka Ai has stopped producing music lately, but I love her strange, fun, feel-good songs.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ)

Kyary was very close to making my top ten list, but honestly, I like her for her aesthetics more than her music (although Yasutaka Nakata does a great job composing her sugary tunes).

Kiss-my-ft2

Kiss-my-ft (pronounced kisu mai futto or just Kiss My Foot) is the most ridiculous Johnny’s band I have ever seen. I don’t know if anyone takes their pretty-boy rollerskating display or effeminate manliness seriously, but they’ve become pretty popular lately (maybe it’s because their music videos are gum commercials?). Watch this video all the way through, you won’t be disappointed.

Goosehouse

Goosehouse is a group of singer-songwriters who have gained popularity by posting covers of popular songs on YouTube. Since then, they’ve posted originals and plan on releasing an album this summer. Watching their covers is a great way to discover new songs/artists!

Your Favorite J-Pop Artists

We’re talking about music here… not to mention an ordered Top 10 list. So, you probably have wildly different opinions compared to me. Instead of just saying “what an awful list” I’d love it you shared your top ten list as well, in the comments below. Maybe I’ll discover some new J-Pop favorites along the way! Also, other readers will surely appreciate learning about more J-Pop other than the ones I provided too.

So let’s hear it. What’s your own personal top ten (or top 5, or 3, or whatever I can squeeze from your cold, dead fingers)?

  • pupi

    what’s about Yuzu ゆず? :D

  • Vozreni

    Perfume <3

  • Ginger

    Not a bad list. I would put Kanjani8 on over Kis-My- Ft 2. Also, I think you forgot #4. I will wait until you post #4 to comment more.

  • k

    Bump of Chicken!

  • DAVIDPD

    YUI.

  • Christopher Stilson

    My favorite is Mizuki Nana, mainly because of her vocal range and the fact that her instrumentalists are cool old dudes (the fact that she’s two of my favorite magical girls only has something to do with it insofar as I wouldn’t even know she existed if it weren’t for the ‘Nanoha’ series). I also have a soft spot for the composer Kajiura Yuki, since it was chiefly her music for the .hack//SIGN series that got me interested in anime in the first place (although the fact that few other soundtracks I could find were as good made it a slow evolution).

    Generally I prefer artists who don’t sound like anything I’ve heard over here, and aren’t too peppy-candy sounding (although there is a place for that, and that place is Pretty Cure theme music).

  • sawayaka

    As a solo artist, he’s more funk-rock than pop but I absolutely adore Domoto Tsuyoshi. His voice is perfection and he composes really interesting stuff.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Mmmm, yuzu is delicious.

  • Tora.Silver

    Your inclusion of Perfume and KPP ALMOST excuse your exclusion of Utada Hikaru.
    Almost.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    This list is surprisingly devoid of World Order (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

  • sawayaka

    Yuzu makes me smile! :)

  • Marisa D

    Perfume fan here, just saw them live <3 aside from that I love Nami Tamaki, and TM revolution, there needs to be space in the J-Pop lists of the world for those who make anime OSTs.

  • Ginger

    That’s better. :-) I think I would include Utada Hikaru and Hirai Ken.

  • Tora.Silver

    ARGH
    I was going to use that kaomoji in my comment.
    damn this computer for not having Google IME

  • Flaffer

    Polysics ftw.

  • Flaffer

    Also Yuki, but the shoegaze band not the solo singer.

  • Tabitha

    I can’t believe Shimizu Shota didn’t even get an honorable mention. He writes and composes a lot of his own music and is so young. Also, Fukuhara Miho has a great soul sound. Daichi Miura has a great voice and can dance. I would love to see him in concert. There are so many fabulous artists. There is also Gille. I think she’s rather new, but she has a nice rasp to her voice. Her song “Try Again” is so beautiful! And One OK Rock is by far my fave J-Rock band.

  • Larsa

    神聖かまってちゃん (Shinsei Kamattechan) is my favorite band of all time, no matter the country. It’s such an exciting and unique band with a sound I feel I’ve never heard before, but been looking for always. They bring out real strong emotions ranging from melancholy, extreme depression, pure anger and childlike glee. I love Noko’s lyrics and the way they present themselves. They can be pretty hard to get into with all the pitch shifted vocals, twisted sounds, and sometimes just harsh noise, but they are definitely worth the effort.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs74nK2c4gw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVTxYRuCgyI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qovS8CWlb5M

    Also Noko (vocalist and the creator of all their songs) is a crazy musical genius, emphasis on the crazy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsXTzStQPD8

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    ヽ(///>_<;////)ノ

  • Yuume

    I like this list very much, but I’m surprised that Utada Hikaru, BoA, Mika Nakashima, Yuna Ito, or Ayumi Hamasaki on here. I hope some people find new artists from this article though :3 Thanks for posting this~!

  • Shadz

    Arashi is on top of my list. #2, Koda Kumi. #3 M-Flo. #4 Bennie K #5 Utada Hikaru #6 Crystal Kay

  • Subaru Gomez

    That’s a nice list. I like it because YUI, Perfume and Ikimono are in there. Three of my favorites artists.
    But also it’s true that Utada Hikaru must be in ALMOST everyone’s lists.
    That’s my opinion. I respect your choices.

  • トシ

    I fall way more on the rock side of things, the only artists from the list that I heard and liked at least a little were YUI and Mr Children… and for KPP, I just think she’s awesome and hilarious lol I like her for that, but it’s not my type of music.

    That being said, I highly recommend rock/pop-rock/metal/vk/etc stuff like L’Arc~en~Ciel, MUCC, Maximum the Hormone, SCANDAL, existtrace, Dazzle Vision, B’z, Luna Sea, Unlimits, Kagrra, etc etc (let’s stop before I write the Lord of the Rings here).

  • cosmoblue
  • Rachel

    I really like SCANDAL’s old stuff, but their new music has been a little disappointing, so I didn’t include them. I like B’z too! Maximum the Hormone did that weird chuchublahblahblah song, right?

  • Rachel

    I like Arashi as a cultural things and I appriciate the pretty boys, but there’s only been like one or two of their songs I’ve ever been able to really get into.

  • Rachel

    I’m not a fan of BoA or Ayumi Hamasaki, I don’t really know why. It’s a little too much for me. Thanks for enjoying the article!

  • Chino

    My favorite jpop artists are (in no order since i can’t decide XD)
    1. Morning Musume
    2. Ikimono Gakari
    3. AZU
    4. Kana Nishino
    5. Utada Hikaru
    6. GReeeN
    7. Funky Monkey Baby
    8. Monkey Majik
    9. LiSA
    10. Shimizu Shota

  • Rachel

    I really considered putting Shimizu Shota on there because I have a bunch of friends who really like him, but his stuff never really clicked for me. I put him in the top image though, so at least I acknowledged him!

  • I.C.Wiener

    “So, put on some nice headphones, sit back, relax and get ready to listen
    to some good music, no matter where in the world you live.”

    Nope, not in Germany. Here, youtube is mostly dead when it comes to music. :(

  • Rachel

    This is where I point you in the direction of Mr. Children and, depending on your definition of peppy-candy, Ikimonogakari.

  • Rachel

    Ooh, I really like all of the links that you sent me. They appeal the side of me that used to be an AKB48 fan but without the shame and embarrassment!

  • Rachel

    Oh, did the videos not work in Germany? I’m sure if you just google the artists there should be some other portals that you can listen from.

  • トシ

    To me SCANDAL is getting better and better, I think what got to them were all the issues with Haruna’s voice and so the things that she could or could not sing… Baby Action was kind of a big disappointment (I learned to like it, but I think it’s doomed to be their weakest album ~forever~), but Queens are Trumps is awesome… and the new singles are really good.

    B’z is pure love <333
    And yeah, MTH done that… song. But I still love them lol

  • JoJocelyn

    Love it, Love everything about it.

  • NegaJun

    I’ll never forget back in 2005 when I first heard and saw the Nami Tamaki – Reason PV I was hooked. I still listen to her to this day but her newer stuff isn’t cutting it for me. Also that same day I saw the YUKI – Joy video which grew on me.

  • Rachel

    I kind of gave up on them and never listened to Queens are Trumps, but I see what you mean now! Thanks!!

  • Sarah

    Namie Amuro and Angela Aki are my favs on here, thanks for showing me :DD

  • zachary T

    Thank you Ms. Rachel for giving me some great new groups to listen to! ^_^

  • JoJocelyn

    Perfume, Yui, Namie, Ikimonogakari , Angela Aki AND GOOSEHOUSE? ♪( ´▽`) This list pleases me!

    I love m-flo and Crystal Kay. If I had seriously never heard Motherland in FMA and searched CK to find her singing on REEEWIND/I LIKE IT with m-flo, I wouldn’t be into Japanese Music like I am now. Especially artists like Marcus D and Substantial who worked with VERBAL(m-flo) and Nujabes; and his other collabs with Rie Fu, Miliyah Katou, BoA, YOSHIKA, Namie, Monkey Majik and MINMI. LOVE THEM

  • JoJocelyn

    I would have loved an honorable mention for Shimizu Shota too because he’s talented, but I’ve always found him to be stronger in collabs with other artists than alone. My favorite song by him is actual a cover. But completely agree, Fukuhara Miho is a GODDESS and she did a song with Laura Izabor <3

  • JoJocelyn

    Finally I found a shout out to m-flo and Miss Kuri!

  • Guest

    Uhmmmm…Utada Hikaru anybody??? I’m very surprised she didn’t make the list.

  • Geoff

    I agree with you 99.9% about Shinsei Kamattechan being amazing. I only reserve the .1% because you didn’t link to Kuroi Tamago, which is maybe my favorite song of all time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HoBYVxR8Ns

  • Jessica J.

    Um…Utada Hikaru, anybody?? I’m really surprised she didn’t make the list.
    Other than that, this was a good way for people to explore J-Pop, in spite of some very popular J-Pop that didn’t get mentioned here. But I do like that this is a rather unconventional list! …this coming from someone who is a bigger fan of K-Pop and J-Rock instead of the latter. (;

  • karened

    Agree with most of your picks! What about MISIA and Hirai Ken?

  • karened

    Oh yeah! Down-to-earth country boys style. <3

  • karened

    Utada Hikaru and Nakashima Mika kinda faded away in the past few years…I felt like Ito Yuna lasted even shorter, but I can’t say since I didn’t really pay attention to her until NANA.

  • ricardo248

    did anyone ever heard of heavenstamp i think the vocalist have’s a really good voice, here is a preview of the album decadence album https://soundcloud.com/heavenstamp/my-doll really awesome.

  • Christopher Stilson

    I liked what I heard of them, although I think I liked the sound of YUI best (I don’t have a problem with singers running their lines together – no difference between that and a fast Gilbert & Sullivan patter song as far as I’m concerned :)

  • Rachel

    I’d never heard of Shinsei Kamattechan before, but I’m really really really really liking this. I love music with a unique sound. And holy kittens that dude is crazy. Thank you, kind stranger :D

  • Lazar Ljubenović

    I was expecting spam of an-cafe, Gazelle and the likes. Thanks god. Nice choice. I only heard the new FMB single as it got out, forgot to check out their other songs, thanks for reminding me. I’ll take a look at others from this list as well.

  • Larsa

    Yeah, the chorus in this song is just amazing.

  • Latrice Willis

    I started listening to J-music around 2000. The majority of these artists listed are the ones that got me into J-music so they hold a special place in my heart! LOL also obviously I’m big on J-R&B! XD I got to see a few of these folks in concert. Would love to see a few more.

    In no real order:

    Crystal Kay
    Kubota Toshi
    m-flo
    MISIA
    DOUBLE
    Chemistry
    LHD (EXILE, Saidame J SOUL BROTHERS, DEEP, GENERATIONS, etc….LOL I know this might be cheating)
    Miura Daichi
    Utada HIkaru
    Hirai Ken

  • Rachel

    Yeah, I’ve never really been a fan of visual-kei either. Thanks!

  • Zach Walz

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to get Angela Aki on iTunes in the US? Wow, what a voice.

  • Rachel

    Sadly, she’s not on iTunes at the moment. Although more and more Japanese artists have been popping up on iTunes over the past few years, so it’s probably just a matter of time. Emails to the label might help show that there is interest (or they might be deleted, I don’t know how this stuff works…)

  • Zach Walz

    Yarg. CDs? Who has those anymore…

    Thanks for the list, I love your style! I hate most Jpop but this will definitely give me some things to listen to/memorize :).

  • クリス

    Does Asian kung fu generation counts? It’s just the best band in Japan, the artwork in their albums is amazing

  • gaboru

    What do you think about Shiina Ringo? I thought she was amazing instantly as I listened to her music, although she is a little bit more alternative (does she fit in j-pop I wonder?). I don’t know many Japanes musicians as I’m not such a music fan but I listened to Yui, Shiina Ringo and Asian Kung fu Generation the most.

  • Rachel

    I just looked her up, and it’s definitely my cup of tea. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Megan

    Yay, a fellow Morning musume fan. I thought I was alone :D

  • gaboru

    You are welcome, I’m glad you like it :) Try to listen to the songs “Gibusu” and “Kuuki”, last time I checked though almost all of her songs were deleted from youtube. :/

  • boomfantasticbaby

    Been more into kpop and jrock recently but Sekai no Owari, flumpool, and good old NEWS are nice.

  • Jes

    Some that were already mentioned in the comments: Koda Kumi (my bias forever and ever mmhm,) Shiina Ringo, BoA, m-flo, Namie Amuro (sometimes I like Ayumi and sometimes she’s waaay too poppy.) There were some v-k artists I used to be into (Gazette, Dir en grey, Kagerou, Mucc, Buck-Tick come to mind, mostly.) Ellegarden’s really fun if you’re into pop-punk type sounds ala blink-182 (they disbanded sadly, wahwah.) There’s one artist I’d like to listen to more of, and she went by Etsuko Yakushimaru for Mawaru Penguindrum – she had a really nice, soft sound without sounding too new age-y (not that I mind new age or anything in small doses.)

  • Rachel

    Also which album would you recommend to listen to first?

  • http://www.littlegaijin.net/ アナ

    Funky Monkey Babys and Mr Children!!!!! ♥ I’ve been listening to their music for 4 years now! Monkey Majik is my favorite though.

  • Larsa

    My favorite is either Tsumanne from 2010 or their newest Tanoshiine, even though all of them are good and very different.

  • My personal favourite is Supercell. Really great pop/alt rock band.

  • トシ

    Yay /( ^ – ^ )/

    Also, still on the all-girls rock band side, in the case you didn’t listen to FLiP yet, I found out about them these days, and they’re really cool judging from what I listened so far. Sometimes Sachiko’s voice can be a little bit annoying, but it doesn’t ruin anything.

  • Ai

    Radwimps!!

  • Rachel

    I know this guy who exclusively listens to Monkey Majik and nothing else.

  • Rachel

    Yay for Goosehouse!

  • Scott Lavigne

    Am I the only Ulfuls fan? :(

  • Adam Hargreaves

    I love ねごと (all-girl 4-piece). Great music. I even had a tweet from them too after thanking them for their new album (they can obviously deal with my bad Japanese!

    Also like SCANDAL (Encore Show being my favourite of theirs), and also Stereopony (who recently split – boo!)

    Some good stuff here though… my japanese iTunes account will be low on credit again soon…

  • Ryan Bounedara

    Thank god Gouriki Ayame is nowhere to be found on this list.

  • Jesse

    I like the list!

    As far as other artists, I haven’t listened to much by her, but SNoW seems really good. Actually, “Sakasama no Chou” is the only song I’ve heard by her, and it’s incredible.

    Again, haven’t listened to much by them, but I like Idoling. Try “Sense of Wonder” and “Don’t Think Feel.”

    Maybe I should dig into this music a little bit more instead of listening to the same songs over and over, haha.

  • Christian

    A very good list, but no Spitz? If you don’t know them, you should definitely do yourself a favor and check them out. Maybe leaning a little bit towards J-Rock, but you’ve got Greeen and ミスチル up there, so…I think you’d like them. Their lyrics are beautiful.

  • Rachel

    I do really like Spitz, but I haven’t listened to enough of them to put them on the list

  • http://lazuli-in-paradise.com/ lazuli

    I’m listening to following J-pop artists lately:
    Koda Kumi, Namie Amuro, Funky Monkey Babys, AAA, moumoon, Misia, Kreva, Sounan no Kaze and Yuzu
    and that’s all for POP ;D
    you should do a top 10 artists of Japanese Enka XDDD

  • Lima

    I’m more of a jrock than jpop fan. But I can definitely recommend RADWIMPS to a fan of either genre. Their lyrics are amazing too!

  • Michael Knights

    I’m a bit biased towards singer-songwriters too..maybe just because they get pushed back by all of the idol groups? I love Angela Aki – amazing on the piano. I see Hirai Ken in the top banner but no mention of him in the post?? ToT He has one of the best voices in J-Pop altogether..

    When I saw Ikimono-gakari at the top..wahh!! I absolutely adore them ゚+.(◕ฺ ω◕ฺ )゚+. Sitting patiently waiting for their new album to be delivered that came out very recently!! Love Kiyoe-chan’s energy and great lyrics by Mizuno and Yamashita too ^^

    The extras at the bottom…can you read my mind?? lol. Otsuka Ai is amazing, but what I love the most about her are her ballads. Listen to I ♥ xxx and Planetarium..absolutely breathtaking. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu..obviously has to go on the list but I’d agree that I like her more for the visual side than the musical one. A big fan of Goosehouse too! I love the covers they do..their rendition of またあえる日まで by ゆず is so fun!

    Just disappointed that there is no mention of ゆず..my all time favourite band. 夏色 is a classic..but I’ve been loving their more recent songs such as イロトリドリ and また明日. Definitely check them out!

  • Ana

    Is it just me who is looking forward to seeing a follow-up about Visual Kei? (o゚▽゚)o(o゚▽゚)o(o゚▽゚)o

  • Ana

    JPOP truly is sweeping the world, I can’t WAIT for Jpop Summit Festival 2013! http://www.j-pop.com/2013/

  • DAVIDPD

    Nope. ;)

  • DAVIDPD

    Agreed.

  • Rachel

    I’m not a fan of visual kei, but I’ll be at the concert for the festival for sure! Kyary~!

  • Michael Knights

    Do like myself a bit of enka haha. Kiyoshi Hikawa does some pretty nice enka tunes :) The most famous is probably Ishikawa Sayuri’s classic “Sugaru Kaikyou Fuyugeshiki” I think. Most Japanese people will have heard of it even though it’s quite old!

  • Michael Knights

    Utada Hikaru is really good but she’s been on hiatus for quite a while (correct me if I’m wrong..just haven’t seen any releases from her recently)..but a mention at the end would have been nice :)

  • Rachel

    I’m sorry about the lack of yuzu! I never listened to them much, but I’m checking them out now!

  • Inna

    i’m glad AKB48 was on your list, but Kisumai out of all the Johnny’s? REALLY? smh. haha!

  • Inna

    I. LOVE. YUZU.

  • Stella

    Probably more J-Rock than J-Pop, but I really like L’arc~En~Ciel’s stuff. I only really listen to the music, though… I don’t get into the band much. J-Pop/J-Rock bands are too weird for me. Come to think of it, I don’t get into American bands either. I just like music. *Shrug*
    When it comes to Vocaloid, though… Oh man, don’t get me started on Mothy and Shuujin-P. And let’s not forget dear Manbo either…

  • http://www.dandelion-cha.com/ アマンダ

    Lol yeah I agree about Kisumai..they’re cute and have catchy songs but I don’t understand that group. There’s the three “main” guys and the other four who are kind of just…there. Like, why not just make it about the three?

  • Flora

    I am NOT a Jpop person. While American pop is more nightclub music, Japanese pop is usually so high-pitched & sugary I get insulin spikes from listening to it. But I’m not completely immune to it – my first exposure to Japanese music was anime themes & AMV’s so obviously I found some songs I liked.

    Before I fell off the VK bandwagon, the only bands I knew of were FLOW (famed for doing the Naruto theme “Fighting Dreamers”, but I preferred what they did for Code Geass) and Orange Range (I liked “Locolotion” and one other song I forgot). I knew of Ikimono Gakurai, but the only thing they did that I liked was “Hanabi”.

    But those are all years old. Most recently, I fell for a song by Chatmoncy when they did the OP for Kuragehime.

  • Jess

    In addition to the artists you included, I’m a huge fan of Chihiro Onitsuka, Rurutia, and RADWIMPS.

  • http://www.dandelion-cha.com/ アマンダ

    One of my favorites has got to be Golden Bomber. For an “air” band they’re awesome. Despite not playing instruments live except for the singer, they put on great performances. I also really like Matsushita Yuya. He’s incredibly adorable and has a great voice. I am an Arashi fan as well. I can’t really give a top whatever because I’m still immersing myself in the vast world that is Japanese music…Another band I really like is Big Mama, but they’re not all that well known. Jasmine (R and B singer) is also a good artist. Acid Black Cherry is another one of my favorites.

  • Flora

    “Asterik”! That was the other song Orange Range did that I liked – the first OP for Bleach. It was also where I found Ikimono Gakurai.

    If the song was either an OP or ED for Bleach, I probably liked it.

  • x_stei

    One minor thing: Mr.Children spells their name without a space between the dot and the capital C. I don’t know why =/. http://www.mrchildren.jp/
    And, SMAP over Arashi? Really?

    My favourites…

    Tired for first: Arashi, GARNET CROW, and MONKEY MAJIK <3. The others are Angela Aki, Aqua Timez, Hilcrhyme, Utada Hikaru, RURUTIA, Vanilla Mood, Mr.Children (They're artists, and they're Japanese!).

    The above mentioned are creative artists who not only produce good music but, to me, have deep meaning within their musical and societal identities. Being Chinese-Canadian, I love love love bilingual musicians. I also love bands who strive toward a common goal. Also, artists who are familiar in one genre but predominantly produces music in another are another category of favourites. I share your preference of female singer/songwriters.

    Anyway. Sorry for the babbling. Lol. I tend to get verbose about music. xD.

  • Flora

    If I had to recommend Japanese music to a person, the closest I could come to Jpop would be oshare kei (pop/rock with colorful outifits). The most Jpop-esque bands I listen to are:
    Blu-Billion
    RoNoCro
    Airish
    Awake
    DOG in the PWO
    Yeti
    …and SuG.

    That’s all I got off the top of my head. Everything else on my list is either hard rock or straight up metal

  • Flora

    http://youtu.be/EzJHo7YSMuU

    Sorry, I just couldn’t help sharing this :D

  • Lawrence Jenkins

    I’m more of a fan anime related music. I like too many OST’s to list, but in terms of other stuff I love:
    1. Yanagi Nagi esp. when she was with Supercell
    2. Kashiwa Daisuke (anyone here like 88 ?)
    3. Chelly/EGOIST (that’s Supecell when it’s not Koeda singing)
    4. Nino esp. with Round Table (like Puzzle from NHK)
    5. Koeda/Supercell
    6. Eufonius
    7. Ayako Ikeda (The OP and ED of Dennou Coil)
    8. Etsuko Yakushimaru
    9. Annabel (Sankarea ED)
    10. nano.Ripe (I don’t care what the haters think)

    1,000,000,… ASA CHANG & Junray (jk, but that song is really creepy)

    Oh, and almost forgot,

    0. Nujabes, (the entire Luv Sic hexology, Modal Soul, Arurian Dance, too many to count, RIP Nujabes)

  • Simpli

    This is j-rock, but janne da arc!

  • Inna

    an eighter, i suppose? 8D

  • Inna

    My thoughts exactly. I feel really bad for the other four… and I hear they’re pulling this stunt on Sexy Zone too. meh.

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    I’m actually surprised to see a list without Arashi. It seems everybody loves Arashi! *g*

    I certainly love Funky Monkey Babys!

    I also like GReeeeN and Mr. Children.

    I like so many that it’s hard to make a list. While I like SMAP a lot as entertainers and actors, I’m not too fond of their music! ^^;

    I’m just randomly throwing a few in that come to my mind:

    Arashi, B’z, Zard, Ken Hirai, Exile, Utada Hikaru, Orange Range

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    Yay for Monkey Majik! ^^

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    Oh yeah, almost forgot about them! I like them!

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    Yay somebody else who likes Ken Hirai! ^^

    And yay for Chemistry and m-flo! :D

  • Musicfan

    J-pop isn’t a genre, though. In America, we should simply refer to it as “Japanese music.” Perfume is dance/electronic. FMB is hip-hop(ish). These are multiple genres of music that HAPPEN TO SHARE A country of origin. Together, they do not make one genre. J-pop is an inherently xenophobic term because, instead of appreciating the music as it is, you are going out of your way to point out how “foreign” it is. You’re “othering” it, basically.

    This is, of course, not your fault. Because, you see, J-pop is just a Japanese term of ethnocentrism. In Japan, they refer to music made in Japan, regardless of genre or style, as “wagaku.” Anything else, again, regardless of genre or style, is “yougaku.” Nevermind the fact that the wagaku-rock and yougaku-rock are 90% the same. Or that wagaku-dance is built on yougaku-dance tropes and styles. Wagaku, in essense, IS THE SAME as yogaku in the majority of cases, yet Japanese people insist on separating the two. For…reasons. I mean, heaven forbid that pure, untouched-by-foreign-influence wagaku be tainted by the touch of yougaku CDs. Pfft. J-pop is really a pure nihonjinron term, because it is a conceit – the myth and delusion that Japanese music is somehow uniquely Japanese and therefore different from yougaku. It isn’t. In fact, J-pop is essentially just yougaku with Japanese lyrics (in terms of music theory, there are significant differences, but that merely bolsters my point that J-pop is not a singular genre, but rather a very, very complex conglomeration of genres).

    In Japan, they simply have this need to separate things by nationality – people, food, music. Is it racist? Can we call segregating music racist? The Japanese music industry is weak compared to the international one, so is it simply the easiest way to differentiate between national and foreign artists? Perhaps J-pop is a useful and valuable term to music stores and music promoters. Stylistically, in terms of music theory, it has no meaning whatsoever.

    “J-pop” is not a genre. “Yougaku” is not a genre. It’s lumping disparate things together simply because they share a national origin. The bottom line is: we are not Japanese and we frankly do not have to buy into this myth of Japanese purity. Don’t call it J-pop. Call it what it is: awesome electronic music. Amazing rock music. Kick-ass pop music. World class boy band. Good music.

  • Tim Williams

    Perfume should be on the top of the list.

  • Jennifer

    I feel so old. LOL. I think I’ve only heard of 2 of the artists in the top Rachel’s top 10 and maybe one or two in the Honorable mentions. Maybe it’s more because I listen to more rock than pop these days, but most of the groups I listen to are older muscians or disbanded. My favs are currently ZIGZO, Creature Creature, MoNoLith, SCARECROW, and the GazettE with a bit of L’Arc~en~Ciel and Access thrown in to confuse people. 8-)

  • x_stei

    I love Arashi! There is a weird anti-Arashi vibe at the comment section of every Tofugu post. Everytime I mention them I think I’m going to be ostracized.

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    That’s sad. I think everybody should be free to choose what they like! :/ ….

  • x_stei

    Hehe I know right? Well, it was just the vibe that I got. =/.

  • Hamyo

    Where is Moumoon!! (T^T)

  • Chino

    <3 <3 <3

  • Chino

    YAAAY MOMUSU SISTA <3

  • Chino

    they are simply amazing~
    one of my favorite songs from them is Hero (:

  • Hamyo

    My list:

    1. Moumoon, (Sunshine girl, Chu chu, Wild child, Good night, moon light, 15 doors)

    2. Miwa, (Chasing hearts, Dear days, i don’t cry anymore)

    3. Yui, (Hanamizuki, Make my day)

    4. Haruka Tomatsu, (Yume sekai, Oh my god, Koi no Uta, baby baby love)

    5. Yusuke – (Lemon)

    6. Nozomi Sasaki, (Kamu to funyan >.< )

    7. Supercell, Kimino Shiranai Monogatari

    eeh….. i think that's all, recently really stick on One OK Rock :D

  • Hamyo

    Paaaa…… Manent….. REVOLUUUUUUSION!!

  • Hamyo

    Kyaaaa Yuka-chan >.< Oh thank's god!! i'm not alone here, finally there is someone put moumoon on the list :D

  • Carthegian

    I can go a long, long list about this, seeing that 50% of my music storage comprised by Japanese artists. Mostly are already entioned by others though :) So I’ll just list whatever comes to my mind..

    The Brilliant Green
    Anna Tsuchiya
    Superfly
    B’z
    Tokyo Jihen

    Almost forgot that this article is about J-Pop.. I was about to throw awesome J-Rock bands here.. 笑

  • kgee

    Miu Sakamoto has an entirely wonderful voice.

  • Joshua Chapa

    I agree. But people on the internet can be very mean.

  • Kai Laughlin

    Gotta have Monkey Majik in there as well as Yuzu.

  • x_stei

    My favourite is Yume no Sekai lol. I also really like Headlight <3.

  • http://www.littlegaijin.net/ アナ

    Hahaha, that used to be me! :)

  • Rachel

    please share anyways!

  • Rachel

    Hey, I like Arashi! I just don’t listen to their music.

  • Carthegian

    Hahaha alrighty then..

    X-Japan – this is like the grandfather of J-Rock!
    The Blue Hearts – another band from 80’s but still popular
    Siam Shade
    Janne da Arc + Acid Black Cherry (the former band singer forms the latter band, still good to listen to)
    La’cryma Christi
    The Bawdies – this band specializes in rock ‘n roll.. I have hard time in believing that the singer is Japanese
    Kaela Kimura

    Thanks for the suggestion too Rachel.. I can’t believe I’m stuck with Kyari Pamyu Pamyu now.. PON PON PON!!

  • Hinoema

    I’d love to see an article on bands that tend to straddle genres or to not quite fit the usual western expectations of Japanese music- bands like The Pillows, Acid Android, Monoral, Rankin Taxi, etc.

  • Michael Knights

    Thanks for the link! I actually was told by CDJapan that it was sent out a couple of days ago..bit weird haha.

  • Johnny

    AMURO NAMIE AMURO NAMIE AMURO NAMIE

  • Tom

    Check out Kamiki Aya (上木彩矢) who has one of the strongest voices in the business and offers a fairly broad range of musical styles. Sample here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_lgowTGQrI

  • Nick Hattan

    Okay, I KNOW that they were in the tiny anime series FLCL, but The Pillows’ music is great! I got their whole discography after listening to the soundtrack from it simply because it was one of the best Japanese-music-rock feelings ever.

    I’M MAD. Jk. You were in a brass band in Japan. NOW I’M SUPER MAD.

  • Datte baru

    What about One ok rock ? ಥ_ಥ

  • Mami

    ▁▂▃▅▆▇▆▅▃▂▁( ・ิ∇・ิ) モーニン☀▁▂▃▅▆▇▆▅▃▂▁

  • Zoe

    Not a single mention of SPEED by anyone??

  • SakuraPandaTeaTime

    I’m not sure I can do a whole Top Ten. I’ve tried to get into J-music but I’ve yet to find enough bands I can really get into, and this is mainly because I am too obsessed with my top J-band:
    5. Orange Range
    4. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – damn her catchy tunes
    3. YUI
    2. Ikimonogakari – The only other band here that I would consider myself a fan of. Kiyoe’s vocals are amazingly beautiful.
    1. SCANDAL: Not mentioned at all on this page anywhere, which is why I had to comment. I think part of the reason I love this group so much is I discovered them when they just started. So I fell in love with them and then I watched them grow from high school students on the street to rock stars who’ve conquered the Budokan and Osaka-Jo Hall this year (just 5 years later!) Their songs are so full of energy and catchy, even though my Japanese is rubbish. Plus the combination of vocals is always great, though Tomomi’s voice makes me melt. She’s adorable and so funny, but really shy in person. I’ve seen them live 4 times and I want to go again and again. They will always be my favourite band, in Jpop and all music

  • shokw1

    I MY ME MINE I MY ME MINE I MY ME MINE I MY ME

  • shokw1

    世界の終わり anyone?

  • Hannah

    I’m more of a rock fan, but I listen to pop as well. I love Japanese music, just seem to have odd (or just old??) taste. lol

    B’z are by far my favorite, but I love エレファントカシマシ, Fukuyama Masaharu, ゆず, GreeeeN, Hikawa Kiyoshi, X Japan, モンゴル800 and lately I’ve gotten into Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi. But these days I’m completely crazy for B-Dash. Love their music, love the lyrics when they make sense, love the lyrics just as much when they’re a jumbled mess! And baseball songs…. my team has a ton so right now my play list is just B-Dash and baseball songs. lol

  • Mariana

    That second song by Greeeen made me really happy :3

  • Roentgen Del Mundo

    this list is so gay, no bands?
    TOP 5
    1. NICO touches the Walls
    2. Aqua Timez
    3. Mao Abe
    4. Asian Kung Fu Generation
    5. Green

  • 咲夜P #IDOLSPORTS

    YUI is a great artist, and it makes me wonder why I haven’t been keeping track of her lately.

    Also, needs more LiSA.

  • Min

    I don’t know if it is J-rock or J-pop or whatever… I don’t really care what it is called anyway.

    My top 10

    10 Miyavi

    9 -Oz-

    8 AnCafe

    7 Plastic Tree

    6 Amazarashi

    5 Asian Kung-fu Generation

    4 One Ok Rock

    3 Heidi。

    2 The Back Horn

    1 9mm Parabellum bullet

    Scary how nothing matches your list :) Not to forget that a few years back I had no clue I could even listen to something like Japanese music…

  • 咲夜P #IDOLSPORTS

    I just consolidate them into J-Music, really, but yeah a few of those are Vis Kei (Miyavi and AnCafe) and a few more are actually J-Rock (namely AKFG and 9mm Para).

  • Yo Yo from BeBo

    m-flo!

  • Dimitris Moraitidis

    What about KObukuro?

  • Tina

    Wow~ that song “sakura” from Ikimogakari is very good~Love it!! The lyrics is nice! I might venture the band other songs! My current favorite is Hikasa Youko. I go for her voice. She just debuted but I knew her since she’s a voice actor with a sweet voice & the song currently keep on playing in my head is “Owaranai uta” ^^

  • yuiny

    GReeeeN and Hirai Ken! Funky Monkey Babys has good songs too

    I like Arashi, but I prefer their older songs (especially those circa 2005-2008) to their current ones.
    At the moment I’ve a definite soft spot for Kanjani8 – those kooky guys from Osaka… They give off such an amusing vibe.

    V6 is also great, and sadly, very under-appreciated.

  • laurenhiya21

    You know, I’m not even sure what genre most of my favourite J-artists fall under now that I think about it .__. But here are some of my favourites: (in no particular order, other than Shikata Akiko who is my favourite~)

    Shikata Akiko
    Rurutia
    Kaya
    Bump of Chicken
    KOKIA
    abingdon boys school
    IOSYS
    Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet-

    So… A wide range XD

  • Rachel

    Well since it was a preorder they’re probably right

  • Rachel

    I have a friend who’s been turning me on to J-rock like that lately. She’s shown me Bawdies and Blue Hearts and I’ve really liked them so far :D I’ll check out the others!

  • linniea

    eito is my #1 tbh :’)

  • linniea

    Originally debuted as an enka/j-pop band, I think Kanjani8 has some of the best vocal talent in the Japanese boy band scene. Over the past 2/3 years their popularity has really exploded, and yet they still manage to be as ridiculous and fun as ever <3 also I think if I had to pick a band to represent Osaka, it would probably be them :D (my friend calls Shibutani 'Osaka face' because his face reminds her of Dotonbori XD)

    http://www.downvids.net/-pv-kanjani8-monjai-beat-292498.html#AddBlog

  • Carthegian

    Yeah ^^ Go ahead and check, I’m gonna need to search your recommendation, one artist per day as well hehe.. I’ve always been a fan of J-Rock because I love the way they play the instruments..

    Oh, have anyone mentioned Do As Infinity (DAI) here? They’re good to listen to!

  • Carthegian

    They’re just plain AWESOME!

  • Innermike

    Puffy AmiYumi!

  • Jessica J.

    I haven’t heard much from her either…but I agree, an honorable mention would have sufficed. Oh well! (:

  • sanako

    i LOVE kinoko teikoku but sadly they’re underrated.

  • Jacinda

    My Japanese music isn’t so much JPop as it is just …. Japanese Music >.<

    Shiina Ringo 椎名林檎
    Monkey Majik
    B'z
    Nakajima Mika (中島美嘉)

    Are my most listened to bands

    But then there is also a bit of Kobukoro, Yoshida Kyodai, Maximum the Hormone, The Pillows and alice nine

    More to be discovered soon no doubt :)

  • Jacinda

    OH! And my most recently discovered Baby Metal …. its cute … and yet metal …. and yet cute … and catchy as all hell

  • kate

    Kanon Wakeshima, Nana Kitade, Yousei Teikoku, D=OUT, Angela (a band, members: Atsuko und Katsu), Moon Kana. No particular Order. And no idea, if you can consider all of this pop or if it’s more like rock….
    Thanks for your list! Found a lot of new food for my ears :) My favourites: Greeeen, Angela Aki and Kiss my ft2 :)

  • SakuraPandaTeaTime

    BabyAction was bad? What? That was their best album by far! Temptation Box was their worst. Too much electronic rubbish and boring songs. Baby action was the only album of theirs that I loved every song.

  • トシ

    Well, if you read again, you’ll notice I said I learned to like the album, and I didn’t say it is *bad*. I said I was very disappointed, I expected much more. In the first listen i only loved BURN and one piece, and it took me quite a while to like the rest. The ones with more Mami vocal parts were the ones easier to like faster.
    But even if I really like the album now, I still think it’s by far their weakest… everyone has their opinion lol

    To me Best Scandal and Queens are Trumps are tied as the best ones. Let’s wait the new one and see if it tops all of the previous albums (that’s what I’m hoping for).

  • Datte baru

    I know ! ><

  • Majic

    SunSet Swish – My Pace

  • SakuraPandaTeaTime

    Interesting. You seem to have the opposite taste in Scandal to me. I like Queens Are Trumps, its far better than Temptation Box, but there are only four songs on it I listen to regularly. Baby action I loved from the instant I put it on.. All the songs are so full of energy, great melodies and I listen to it all the way through every time… Tomomi just kills on that album. Tho I sometimes skip One Piece. I loved best Scandal of course but having heard those songs so many times already the album didn’t have a huge impact on me.

    But if you have to learn to like an album, you don’t really like it. You can learn to like anything. I learned to like Temptation Box, but then I accepted that I only liked 3 songs on it and now I don’t torture myself with the rest.

  • Applesauce 21

    Radwimps <3 <3

  • Applesauce 21

    With you on that one :D

  • Applesauce 21

    Also, the pillows?

  • トシ

    Maybe ‘learned’ wasn’t my best choice of a word lol Let’s say the album grew on me with time. I really like it now. Just didn’t love it right away like all the others.

  • Henry

    Ikimono Gakari is also my favorite jpop band. They were the first band I listened to and introduced me to the world of jpop back in seventh grade (4 years ago) my favorite songs are Sakura, Graffiti and Hana Wa Sakura Kimi Wa Utsulushi!!!!! I also Like other jpop artists like Sakanaction, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Miwa, Kylee, Greeeen, (all in descending order from fave to least fave). Right now I’m obsessed with Daisukinanoni by Kylee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJxD1FjFgpc , which is also the OP to the anime Zetsuen no Tempest.

  • Geoff

    Tsumanne, definitely. Minna Shine also, which was (I believe) released the same day as Tsumanne.

  • Lauren

    this is a pretty lazy post. it’s like barely a paragraph for each artist. i get the impression you don’t even like the top 10 j-pop artists you post about because of that and from the songs you chose. did you really listen to their albums or discography or some significant chunk besides some random singles. for example, ikimono gakari have some AMAZING songs from their indie days both lyrically and melodically… sometime after the naruto song they just went to complete crap and this song egao is no exception. i only say crap because the stuff from the indie days were THAT AMAZING.the fact that you posted egao of all the songs make me go ? wtf. if i were to introduce ikimono gakari i would choose their most amazing song.

    I personally recommend these songs:
    真昼の月 – piano cover thing on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEszQdHoNGQ#at=29
    this song is AMAZING。。。
    sample on amazon
    http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%83%8F%E3%82%B8%E3%83%9E%E3%83%AA%E3%83%8E%E3%82%A6%E3%82%BF%E3%80%90%E5%88%9D%E5%9B%9E%E7%94%9F%E7%94%A3%E9%99%90%E5%AE%9A%E7%9B%A4%E3%80%91-%E3%81%84%E3%81%8D%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE%E3%81%8C%E3%81%8B%E3%82%8A/dp/B002U4RQ7Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1375134608&sr=1-1&keywords=%E3%81%84%E3%81%8D%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE%E3%81%8C%E3%81%8B%E3%82%8A%E3%80%80%E3%81%AF%E3%81%98%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AE%E3%81%86%E3%81%9F

    ふたり http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60qIFF4oG_k
    ひなげし https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHUqmmnq6Y
    秋桜,
    からくり https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th-qzEXWhOc

    If I never knew about ikimono gakari and just stumbled on this post i would’ve just ignored them and i would’ve nevre found out about some of their amazing songs that i listed…. just doing this for anyone out there who doesn’t like to miss out on amazing music. the music ikimono gakari make now a days are so boring and banal and watered down. the fact you didn’t even touch on that in the post just shows your lack of interest in them…

    please just spend more time on the entries so it’s not half-assed. if you need to make top 5 that’s fine, just comeo on. this is just so lazy.

  • Elexhad

    Goosehouse seems like the Walk Off the Earth of Japan.

  • Xhirachu

    I must say I felt betrayed when Arashi’s photo was used in the header, but they did not even garner an honorable mention. :(

    I don’t know enough artists to make a proper Top 10 so…
    1. Arashi
    2. Arashi
    3. Arashi
    4. Arashi
    5. Arashi
    6. Arashi
    7. Arashi
    8. Arashi
    9. Fairies
    10. Perfume

    Now I’ll check out the artists on your list. :)

  • Rachel

    Actually I have just about every song by ikimonogakari. My favorite songs were ones that I couldn’t find youtube videos. I thought because SAKURA is their most famous song and a good intro into what they do, I would post it. My actual favorite songs by them are ひなげし、ノスタルジア、花は桜君は美し、コイスルオトメ and 夏・コイ. I love the sound of their indie stuff for sure, but I think they’re creating good stuff now too. They’re creating more upbeat songs but their ballads are still wonderful, and I am in love with their new album. I’m sorry you felt that the descriptions were not long enough, there’s only so much you can do to describe music when it’s easier to just listen to the music itself.

  • Lauren

    i personally feel that they sold out. it’s really obvious from the quality of the music composition and the lyrics like compare lyrics to JOYFUL to mahiru no tsuki. hell compare the song titles, you will notice something very soulless about their new stuff. i mean it’s all subjective it’s great that you enjoy their new stuff as well but i personally am really just bored by them and there are artists coming out with better stuff right now. ikimono gakari just happens to be popular they just been really crappy n comparison to their peak days.
    http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1435946829
    http://exile922.pixnet.net/blog/post/30488289-%E3%81%84%E3%81%8D%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE%E3%81%8C%E3%81%8B%E3%82%8A-%3A-%E3%81%98%E3%82%87%E3%81%84%E3%81%B5%E3%82%8B-%E6%AD%8C%E8%A9%9E
    if this isn’t a solid proof of selling out i don’t know what is!
    if you think that’s an unfair comparison you could do ballad to blalad but even then it’s so obvious. the lyrics in their new ballad song sound really fake to me lol. and in a bad way i don’t what the f they’re talkin’ about in the lyrics…. i like their old ballads because it was so sincere and i felt stuff.

    here’s my recommendations for some japanes emusic! there’s a reason they are the #2 music market. there’s music for anyone.
    http://tsukinofune.tumblr.com/post/56276427245#notes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Asny3y3f1vg#at=41
    hell here’s my tumblr
    http://tsukinofune.tumblr.com/tagged/japanese-music
    http://tsukinofune.tumblr.com/tagged/j-indie
    http://tsukinofune.tumblr.com/tagged/jindie
    http://tsukinofune.tumblr.com/tagged/jrock

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPbB6ZQALRk <3 love this girl.

  • Tyler Pimentel

    Anybody else love サカナクション?

  • Anna

    Can anyone tell me all the songs?

  • Anna

    I mean the song titles of all the songs here

  • ひろみ

    The reason because they’re not on this list is because they’re not that popular or they’re not jpop. I’m pretty sure Alice nine is popular but it’s Kei visual… ^.^

  • Ryan Amparo

    Why isn’t AKB48 on the list?

  • Rachel

    Because I don’t think AKB48 makes good music. Catchy, easy to understand, but not good.

  • Rachel

    Cherry/YUI, Baby Don’t Cry/Namie Amuro, Arigatou/Funky Monkey Babys, Hanabi/Aiko, Orange/SMAP, Spending All My Time/Perfume Gift/Mr.Children Tegami/Angela Aki, Kiseki/Greeeen, Orange/Greeeen, Sakura/Ikimonogakari, Egao/Ikimonogakari, smiley/Ootsuka Ai, Invader Invader/ Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Munasawagi Navigation/Goosehouse.

  • Laughter

    I love Kis-My-Ft2! Other JE I love are Kattun, Arashi, News, HSJ. Love Exile, Generations, Dream, and Flower. Perfume, Bright and Akb48 are great. AAA, Lead, Da-Ice, Miwa, Kana Nishino, Utada, Yuna, ayaka, Beni, jay’ed, jasmine, shota, may j , michi, yuya mats, ai, daichi,…………..so many more I love :P

  • VIolet

    Um..have you guys heard of Yuya Matsushita? He is a J R&B. JPop artist and I find that he’s awesome and deserves more recognition! Also what about Daichi Miura? Both of these guys need more acknowledgement.

  • Jacinda

    Oh yeah I’m not having a whinge that they’re not on the list – They’re just my favourite Japanese musicians

  • ひろみ

    Oh. Okay ^^♥

  • maimai

    hey~~ i just stumbled on this post randomly this morning and i just wanted to say a big thanks for introducng me to Goosehouse! i’ve been listening to them all morning and they’re awesome! they cover some of my all time favourites!! thanks!

  • Prapti Dhaubhadel

    my fav are (not in order)
    -aklo
    -koda kumi
    -keita
    -namie amuro
    -miyavi
    -M-flo
    -jin akanishi
    please do watch minna san

  • rui

    i like tohoshinki and code v. ( though code v is not known much their music is awesome)

  • AlleyBoy81

    Great list, Rachel! Really helpful to expand my J-Pop awareness beyond Kyary and and the odd video game song. Thanks! A

  • Brin

    Miyavi!!

    And Sakanaction.

  • sswotwot

    1: Perfume

    2: Perfume

    3: Perfume

    4: Perfume

    5: Perfume

    6: Perfume

    7: Perfume

    8: Perfume

    9: Perfume

    10: Perfume

    Please get addicted to these girls :D They also inspire me to learn Japanese and study their culture :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhI2mp-WIck

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=birLzegOHyU

  • SuguiNanami

    Kanon Wakeshima, anyone?

  • Zen

    My all-time favourite is Mizuki Nana. I suggest you listen to her songs (I’m currently on a mission to get as many people as possible to listen to her songs xD) but I have to admit, she sounds a little terrible when she sings a new song live for the first time. But otherwise, she’s a great singer. I also listen to Kuraki Mai, ViViD, Naifu, Takasugi Satomi and Daisy X Daisy (who is Nana’s youngrr sister (^○^) )

  • Xenos

    -Abingdon Boys School
    -Akiko Shikata
    -ALTIMA
    -Eir Aoi
    -Kalafina
    -Kanon (Guin Saga ending – This is My Road)
    -KOKIA
    -Kotoko
    -Kuroishi Hitomi
    -May’n
    -Sachi Tainaka.
    -UVERworld

  • widdy

    you’ve just missed one : best band ever, ROUND TABLE!!!!

  • Henriquette

    Ahh I agree with lots of those on your list! I also like flumpool And Ayaka :-)

  • nanilife

    maybe not j-pop but I like Rize, EDO

  • mousuf

    I agree with the group that you put for number one the first time I heard them was when I was watching naruto also I think that you should do a list on k pop

  • Alyssa-Jayne Galea

    That’s what she listed..

  • レアリタツチアノス

    Ikimonogakari is my favorite too. I don’t know much about music, but the thing is ikimono’s music kinda make me feel like ‘these guys is definetely the happiest band in the world’. I believe Kiyoe Yoshioka is one of the best singer on earth. Kimbra is the best one.

  • Sylvia

    No actual order except I do have an absolute favorite.

    1. GreeeN
    2. Ikimonogakari
    3. Utada Hikaru
    4. Nagi Yanagi
    5. Haruna Luna
    6. Egoist
    7. ClariS
    8. Angela Aki
    9. JUJU
    10. My absolute love Maaya Sakamoto(especially when she collabs with Yoko Kanno) – I’m sure there are other artists that have a much more powerful voice than she does, but Maaya Sakamoto is just the kind of voice I really like listening to – sweet and gentle(and those high notes – urghghghg<3). I've listened to many of her songs and I truly believe her best songs are the ones she collaborates with Yoko Kanno on, cause it really just brings the best of her voice.