Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2018

It’s been a fairly underwhelming year for Japanese music for me, at least as far as full studio albums are concerned. While plenty of my favourite artists released compilation or best of albums during 2018, far fewer released studio albums; as a result, I listened to only 11 of them total, while just 3 of these made the cut. As always, the following list is arranged in order of release date and comprises only full and original studio albums by a single artist or band – no cover, compilation, EP, or live albums have been included. Read More

Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2013

It’s been an interesting year for Japanese music. At the beginning of drafting this article I was actually feeling rather daunted, finding myself with a far larger number of titles on my potential top albums list than this time last year – many of which I hadn’t yet had the chance to listen to in full. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), I quickly ended up crossing a lot of these off said list when considering my top choices. Plenty of variety there may have been, but comparatively very few of these albums were anywhere near as good as I had gone in expecting. As a result, there are exactly the same number of titles listed here as last year’s selections. Read More

Limited Edition Taste Testing: Fanta Grapefruit and Fanta Ume

Ahh, Japanese summer. The season where I frantically try to keep bugs out of my apartment and spend the majority of my time sweating like a pig. In fact, I really love summer even if I do rack up quite the aircon-induced electricity bill, and one of the reasons why is because of all the limited edition goodness that comes out when the weather heats up. For today’s Otaku Lounge I’ll be reviewing two such limited edition drinks, both released by Coca Cola Japan – Fanta Grapefruit and Fanta Ume. Read More

Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2012

It’s only five months overdue, but better late than never right? Musically-speaking, I still have about as much respect for the likes of AKB48 and Arashi as I did when I first started really getting into Japanese music a few years back but despite the usual predictable chart-toppers, 2012 saw some excellent J-pop and J-rock albums released, so I’ll be going over a few of what I consider to be the best of them. For the sake of originality and fairness, I’ll be counting full studio albums only and excluding any best of and compilation albums. Read More