Got to say in terms of 2010, it’s been a pretty tiresome year. J-Pop has made me realise some things that I never knew before – in a negative way. K-Pop has just upset me so much despite comebacks of my favourites and news that depressed me. It’s not all been so bad but…I had kind of hoped from all the artists that came back (e.g. Queens of J-Pop were present this year, BoA and Se7en who have been seen for years) that they would have a bigger success than usual.
Best things of J-Pop:
- Utada’s last single before her hiatus: It should be a sad thing yes, but what I like to get out of it is that despite Utada not returning to the Japanese music scene in 2011, her last song Goodbye Happiness and release of Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 2 was something I can be happy about. Take your time coming back Hikki, I can wait!
- Koda Kumi and Perfume’s 10th anniversary: I didn’t know it was Perfume but I knew it was Koda Kumi’s. Kind of hoped UNIVERSE was going to be as spectacular as Kingdom but it still had more songs that I liked on the album compared to Trick. Perfume had some good songs this year that I loved e.g Natural ni Koishite, 575 and ねぇ(Hey) while Kumi had a good winter ballad, 好きで、好きで、好きで。 / あなただけが that was satisfying.
I’m afraid I can’t think of anymore good things in J-Pop. This year, I haven’t really been concentrating much and IMO, it hasn’t been a good year for me in J-Pop.
Worst things of J-Pop:
- Finding out AKB48 rules Japan: I must be so blind because when I went to Japan, I do remember seeing AKB48′s merchandise posted around the country. To think I thought Morning Musume ruled Japan back in 2006 – till now but I can still can’t see why they chose AKB48, the group only really focuses on a few girls of the group because there are too many. The only song I like from them is Skirt Hirai.
- Beckii Cruel, the fact she became a celebrity idol in Japan before me: I wanted to be the first UK (or someone more talented) to be spotted for their talent in singing and dancing. Ok, maybe not me. I dance for fun and it’s not even a career choice for me. She’s not even representing J-Pop and K-Pop fans over here =_= I don’t hate her, just don’t like her and I don’t think she deserves what she is being given. I watched Beckii’s documentary and in my opinion, they choose her because she’s pale and thin. She DOES NOT look like an anime character to me.
- K-Pop girl groups advancing into Japan: Read here and see my point of view.
- Eri, LinLin and JunJun leave Morning Musume: Sad time, I can understand Eri having to go (I have eczema too) but JunJun and LinLin?! They’ve only been there for 3 years. Well, I hope Tsunku brings in more than two girls into the group because I want Morning Musume to increase in popularity and become Japan’s #1 girl group again.
Best things of K-Pop:
- BoA, Se7en, Rain, Lee Hyori…praise the K-Pop Original Royalties!: Thank goodness the King and Queen (Rain and Lee Hyori) along with Prince and Princess (Se7en and BoA) of K-Pop came back this year. I was so happy to hear that BoA and Se7en were coming back and truthfully, it was worth it. However, I expected better from Hyori and Rain and Se7en should have released a full album for goodness sake. It’s been 2 years+ so they both release mini albums?! Out of all four, I think I would say I’m more impressed with Lee Hyori because even her album was plagiarism, some of the songs were quite good and of course because it’s the Queen of K-Pop, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was bound to be a success anyways.
- T-ara, 4minute, SHINee, BEAST, 2NE1: I enjoyed their performances this year. Mainly BEAST and 2NE1 who have improved a lot in the past year. 4minute did well but nothing beats Muzik for me. T-ara at the start of the year was amazing and I do like their change in concept for YaYaYa but…what happened to the group I loved from Lies to I Go Crazy Because of You times? SHINee was great too this year but I kind of forgot the epicness really.
Worst things of K-Pop:
- Andre Kim’s Death: Truly sad he died because I know he was quite an icon in the Korean industry what with Nichkhun, Seul Ong and Minho having modeled his clothes for him. R.I.P Andre Kim, you will be missed. But um, I’ve always wondered about his face and head. Can someone please explain to me…is it surgery or natural??
- 2PM conference never should have happened/Jay’s offical contract termination: 2PM pretty much didn’t do well this year. The conference literally ruined 2PM’s fandom and at the time, anyone who was a Hottest or Hottest Jaywalker was bashed. Can you imagine how I felt going onto 2ONEDAY? Man, to think people are being broken by the situation…I think what I’m only happy about is that they are going back on variety and the song, Tik Tok got me through January – March. I just hope Jay and 2PM in the future can talk to each other again via. Twitter or face-to-face. Whatever the problem is, I still want to know and I have a feeling something is going to erupt in 2011…
- Debuted groups every 2 weeks: I’m surprised I can actually name some really; Nine Muses, SISTAR, GP Basic, ZE:A, Co-Ed etc. All I cared about was miss A and F.Cuz. And people say I should stop saying that well, there is. I’d prefer 2011 to only have comebacks except for that SM and JYP boy group I’ve been hearing about.
- Wonder Girls and 2PM comeback: I do like 2 Different Tears but let’s be honest, it’s a let-down from their on-going concept, I just hope they come back in 2011 with something as strong as Tell Me now. And for 2PM? Well, Without U wasn’t so bad but I’ll Be Back was terrible, I’m just so surprised they gained fans who said they saw 2PM in a different light. Please come back next year with a better song and concept than Drag Queens and please – get another variety show like Wild Bunny!!
- The fact I want to give up K-Pop but it’s a drug: Like reality, I am not doing so well. I have to retake exams and pass even harder ones if I want to get into University. I just kind of wish I hadn’t got to the point where I can go a day without doing work and caring about doing it. So I’m resorting to try and sort out my priorities now before my future has completely failed.
Hana Kimi (First one ^^)
Nobuta wo Produce
Mei-Chan no Shitsuji*
God of Study
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho*
Games completed this year:
Fina Fantasy X (Ps2)
Pokémon Soul Silver (DS)
Broken Sword: Knights of the Templars (DS)
Beyblade G-Revolution (GBA)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Ps2)
Dark Cloud (Ps2)
Final Fantasy X-2 (Ps2)
Overall, 2010 has been a ok/average year for me. The artists I follow in J-Pop were fine I guess because I’m used to the same conditions in the past 2 years and K-Pop – I feel that my expectations have gotten harder this year.
K-Pop has been bombarded with an increase in groups debuting every 2 weeks which is too much compared to last year. Like TOO MUCH! I only really liked miss A and F.Cuz. VNT have good vocals but let’s see how they fare in their next single. Plus, because there were so many people trying to dominate, I don’t really see a song that stood out for me so much this year.
In my own rankings, this was the best for me:
- * J-Pop Solo Artist: Utada Hikaru (even though she only released 1 single and her second best collection album).
- * J-Pop Group: Perfume
- * Best Album in J-Pop: UNIVERSE
- * C-Pop Solo Artist: Jolin Tsai
- * K-Pop Group: 2AM / 2NE1
- * K-Pop Solo Artist: Se7en
- * Best Album in K-Pop: Saint O’Clock/ Mastermind/Lights Go On Again (See what I mean by too much domination? That’s why I cannot quite decide).
So, was this a good year for you? Or was it worse than 2009? I can only hope 2011 is better.
Anyways, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!