LEGIT & LEGAL, BITCHES.

May 14, 2009 at 12:21 am | Posted in Music, _random rants | 3 Comments

While Yoruko may be the pirate queen of music, whether it be anison, J-Pop, or even the occasional Western album…sometimes she does step down from her throne and joins the throng of hapless buyers out there. This is a peek into my J-Pop journey via the small collection of CDs I’ve amassed over the time period of…5~6 years?

WARNING: LENGTHY & IMAGE HEAVY POST AHEAD…

Not exactly in chronological order, since I can’t remember exactly when I bought everything…

Starting with J-Pop CDs, back in my freshman year of high school, I didn’t really know what torrents were, and the direct download pickings were rather slim, so I turned to buying. I confess to being the whole “OMG NARUTO” weeaboo, since that WAS the first non-dubbed series I had seen. Mizuki Nana caught my attention, and I wrote down a list of her albums for my friend Aki to search for while she was in Japan. I think I was also obsessed with Tamura Yukari and Horie Yui, so I requested some of theirs as well.

She ended up getting me Mizuki Nana’s 3rd album, Dream Skipper. I was excited to the point of being giddy, because it was like…discovering a whole new world of music. Previously, I’d only bought Western albums and downloaded the occasional anime song here and there, and my reaction was OHMIGOSH I HAS A J-POP ALBUM NAO, I DIDN’T KNOW JAPANESE SONGS HAD CDS!!!1111 *sigh* I already knew that Mizuki Nana’s shy-girl seiyuu voice was vastly different from her strong singing voice (having heard Innocent Starter) and I loved the unique quality of it. Dream Skipper is probably the only Nana album in which I have a thorough feel for every single song, because I was so enthusiastic about it. I had read a review of one of Nana’s concerts and wanted to listen to the songs, but when I went back and read it, the songs matched the tracklist of her second album, Magic Attraction…

There you go, problem solved! I didn’t order these together, though. I put my Nana phase on hiatus to go check out some Yukarin for more variety and boy, was that worth it – Hana-furi Tsukiyo to Koi-youbi is a damn solid album. I finally did get Magic Attraction but it didn’t have as much impact as Dream Skipper did.

I think my dad did end up getting DSL for the house at this point, and I downloaded songs more at home than at school…I fell in love with this duo from the song Usual place, which I found on a rotation site. Actually, what really drew me towards them at first was the fact that Chiba Saeko sounded a bit like Mizuki Nana in some parts *shot* I tried LimeWiring a few of their songs, but nobody was uploading so I just decided to buy this album. I got more than I bargained for, this album is nothing but pure gold. WHY, OH WHY DID THEY HAVE TO DISBAND RIGHT BEFORE I BOUGHT THEIR CD…? TT___TT

I must have been craving yet more Nana-chan (doesn’t this make me sound like such a lolipedo) because I sprung on the first press edition of her Hybrid Universe album, again from CDJapan. Around the same time, because I was into more aggressive, rockier female vocals (BeForU’s Kosaka Riyu being one of my favorites), I went through a Tamaki Nami phase. I bought these albums at the then-newly-opened Tokyo Lifestyle at the local mall, so it saved me a LOT of money (they only charged about $16, around the price for a normal Western pop album). The only bad thing about the CD selection there is that there’s not much variety – they usually only seem to carry either J-Rock or Do As Infinity stuff…they DID have a Hocchan album once, but I passed it up. Darn.

Since I started being more on the lookout for J-Pop CDs, I noticed that the CD section in the nearby Life Plaza (which consists mostly of Chinese pop) had a small J-Pop section. I snagged the DCT one a while back because I was obsessed with the song Eternity (that was inspired by the Swan Princess movie). I picked up CAN’T BUY MY LOVE sometime near the end of my YUI phase, I believe. I was actually in my Younha phase and wanted the I WiSH album I spotted a few visits back (Younha auditioned with I WiSH’s signature song), but the store told me they were sold out of that. So I just grabbed the YUI album because it had How crazy, Rolling star, CHE.R.RY, and Goodbye days…now that I think about it, I have no idea how legit these CDs are because they had Chinese translations tucked in folded paper in the booklet and on the back of the YUI one there were some Chinese characters…however, looking at the quality, I doubt they were fakes…

…like these. Ugh. I got the Mizuki Arisa Singles Collection for…$4 at a Chinese bookstore because it was the only artist name I recognized at the time, and I ended up being a little disappointed because Hitomi no Chikara wasn’t on it. I’m not exactly sure if the Arisa CD is really fake, or just old…meh. The songs were still decent, if a little too old-school for me. I got the fake KOKIA album in an actual bookstore IN China when I went back to visit my grandparents last summer. I feel stupid, since I didn’t notice it was a fake (even with the crappily printed booklet) until I realized the tracklist was all wrong ^^;; (c’mon, Shiroi Yuki is on songbird, NOT Uta ga Chikara…). And I just noticed from the photo that I ought to dust my room more often…

Although I also got Nakashima Mika’s collection of songs for the Nana movie (come to think of it, I still have to watch that…) in China, I’m pretty sure it’s legit. The quality of the packaging is at the same level of the YUI and DCT ones…I have no idea why I picked this, but I think it was mainly because my uncle offered to buy me a J-Pop CD for a present and I didn’t really want the other options available at that mall we went to…since they were just Koda Kumi and Otsuka Ai. And there was a LOT of Ayu. Not that i hate any of them, just…I tended to avoid the REALLY mainstream artists…and also because Mika looked really pretty on the cover *bricked*

I used to hold to a rule of only buying albums because singles weren’t worth the money – c’mon, only 2-3 songs? Plus, a single CD still weighed the same as an album so you’d be paying the same shipping. However, I was so excited for the release of Nana’s 3rd Nanoha OP after hearing the TV size and Kosaka Riyu’s anison debut that I jumped on first press. I don’t think the latter had anything special except a Claymore sticker. *shrug* I never seem to buy first press at the right time – I see other bloggers getting their hands on photobooks and posters and the like, haha.

You know what to do after getting into college? Squander some of your hard-earned merit scholarship money on J-Pop. Yes, you heard me. Those two CDs came from the tears and blood shed over hours of slaving over AP prep stuff in high school. I wanted a Hoshimura Mai album, and I decided on her third one because…well, it’s got regret and Sakura Biyori and I didn’t feel like getting either of her previous two because I tended to want to buy newer releases. As for the Rie fu one, I wanted any of her albums, but Tobira Album was the only one I could actually find at the moment (I have to snag Urban Romantic sometime!) – I don’t remember her being that unpopular, so why is she out of print already? Rie fu’s one of the most underrated J-Pop singers, IMO.

Nana-chan invades my mind again! I ended up buying DaisyxDaisy’s pieces because the lead singer is Nana-imouto…well, sort of. I mainly got this for DREAM ROAD, which I scoured the internet for and couldn’t find a download for. That, and listening to Brave your truth (her most recent single) proved to me that Kondou Mika is a capable singer. But if she wants to hold her own as an artist without being associated with her sister, she’ll definitely need a higher production budget for her songs.

During this past spring break, I had a streak of nostalgia for FictionJunction YUUKA – my brief phase of obsession with this duo was after my tiaraway phase, and I pretty much forgot about them until my friend Yin showed me the awesomeness that is Kouya Ruten…I kind of prefer the original to this album full size version, since the intro had more impact, but I couldn’t get enough of Nanri’s powerful, bubbly voice…aikoi’s one of my new favorites. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that this album also has romanesque.

I think the FictionJunction YUUKA CD + watching the live performance of Sajin no Kanata e… sparked this whole new Kajiura Yuki obsession phase – I was obsessed with her anime BGM and See-Saw back in high school, but I’m taking my time to explore her other FictionJunction vocalists and Kalafina. I’ve listened to Kalafina’s album over and over again and I still can’t get enough – I think I’ll get the re/oblivious mini-album sometime. And I need that Everlasting Songs album too…I foresee another wallet breaker. As for the Dream Port single, how could I NOT want to hear Sajin no Kanata e… in the highest quality audio possible? Well, I was also after the booklet because of my inner RevoKaji fangirl :3

The other batch of my recent orders. I needed gentle music after cramming some papers, and Sakamoto Maaya’s Kazeyomi definitely did the trick – it’s such a good album as a whole that I had to get the legal copy. I bought Pinkbeatz’s SUPER VIRGIN mainly because I wanted something to console myself after my shock of having BeForU disband…the new BeForU will never measure up to the 2nd gen, they’re missing out on a lot without Arisawa Miharu there – at least I can enjoy her solo works now! (I’m still a bit sore about not having a copy of BeForU II, but the only one I see right now is freakin’ $112…). Last but not least, there’s aluto’s Uta to Guitar to Violin. I couldn’t get enough of their refreshingly honest acoustic pop (like the album title implies, it’s mainly vocals + guitar + violin) and I know this album will be good even though I haven’t bothered to preview it before ordering~

Anyhow, I’m getting a bit sleepy now so I’m going to head out. Spending so many hours packing and unpacking and moving around heavy bags of random crap around is definitely not my idea of a good day. Especially since I did about 4~5 hours of that on an empty stomach. I apologize if the post is not as witty or amusing as something someone like *cough* Lex from Beyond the Sea would have written, given the nature of his LULZY artist profiles on Fated Light ~FINAL NIGHT~, but I hope it did not bore you completely to tears. I will feel accomplished if you found my choice in CD purchases even remotely interesting XD

Aw crap, I just realized one thing while organizing and unpacking my CDs…I have to buy my classmate Karl a new copy of HONEY SAC’s Rakka Slider. Since I met him in Japanese class, I asked him randomly if he liked J-Pop, and he lent me this CD – it’s rather good; HONEY SAC grew on me quickly because I love girly rock. Only when I was moving my stuff from my friend Nick’s room back to my dorm, the CD slipped out of my arms and the front cover, booklet, and CD tumbled into the gap between the elevator and the door/exit. ARGHHH. So here’s all that’s left.

Moar wallet breaking due to Yoruko’s epic fail…

Anyhow, I can barely keep my eyes open now…oyasumi!

3 Comments »

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  1. O. M. G. You have the actual tiaraway CD. =OOO

    “because they had Chinese translations tucked in folded paper in the booklet and on the back of the YUI one there were some Chinese characters”
    Most likely overseas. I mostly buy overseas versions, and they always come with translation booklets. =O

    Your THE END looks kind of odd though o.o; *has that one*

    I also totally understand about Rie fu. Seriously, I want her first two albums T_T.

    *steals your FJY CD*

    – Megumi

  2. My copy of THE END came in this slipcase. I think the actual CD isn’t as weird looking…

    I just browsed online and I realized that Re/oblivious was only a limited release…nooooo TT___TT

  3. gaaargh. i’m so jealous. i don’t have that much cds here. i only have at least 10. :(


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