A while back I won a giveaway for 3000 yens on iTunes. However, because I did not have any music I wanted to purchase at that time, especially from Japan, the gift certificate became a lost email in my inbox. I finally remembered to redeem the gift card today while adding some tracks to my playlists.
My knowledge of the Japanese music/ entertainment scene is limited at best. Recognizing only anime openings and endings, original soundtracks, and YUI, I have a narrow and skewed view of Japanese artists. Therefore, when I logged into the Japanese iTunes store, I was really curious about the various music present. I listened to many of the featured albums either in the sample clips or through Youtube/ Google. I had tapped into a new talented world of music and I wanted to explore it as much I could.
Pop and rock are two of the most prevalent genres, although dance music also shows up quite a bit as well. Compared to the Japanese music industry, the US entertainment scene, which I do follow closely, seems to favor slightly different genres. In addition to the popularity of rock and pop music, R&B also regularly tops US charts. In contrast, R&B seems to have less presence in Japan.*
*That is not to say that R&B is absent in Japan. Koda Kumi and Crystal Kay are only two R&B artists I know of, and there are certainly more. While one could argue whether their music is considered genuine R&B, I would rather avoid that debate. Musical genres tend to be very ambiguous in certain cases. Pop is especially hard to define as it is so all encompassing.
There are also several overlaps that surprised me. Lady Gaga is quite popular in Japan as well as in the US, perhaps because she is an avid anime fan… Just kidding. Anyways, it is good to see her do well though since I am a fan.
After this brief exploration and further cross references with Oricon top charts, I decided to buy several tracks from an indie group, Soutaiseiriron (相対性理論), partly because of its awesome album art.
Miss Parallel World (ミス・パラレルワールド) by Soutaiseiriron (相対性理論)
With that, I still have quite a bit of money left in the account… Any suggestions?
Venus to Jesus by Yakushimaru Etsuko
Edit: By the way, I feel like a complete jerk for accidentally leaving out my gratitude to OtakuDan and J-List for the kind gift. I had written something but it got lost after all the editing.
Anyways, thank you so much OtakuDan for hosting the giveaway and J-List for the certificate.