Neo Kei

For fans of Japanese Popular Music. From para para to visual kei and every genre inbetween!

NYE 2014 / New Year’s Day 2015 Playlist

Sure it’s a little late to listen to whilst counting down to midnight, this still sounds just as good to listen to at the start of 2015.

This is a hour’s work of great music with a selection of my favourite party tracks and songs from 2014.

Original image from

AKB48 resume performances at Akihabara Theater

Thankfully AKB48 have resumed their performances at the Akihabara Theater.

It’s great when UK news station report on Japanese artists. But it’s such a shame that it had to be over a vicious attack. If you need a reminder, here’s how the UK newspaper The Independent reported it.

I won’t pretend to understand the details of the Japanese music industry, but it’s very admirable how the idol group hold performances at the theater nearly day. I’m sure this is a big revenue stream for them, and with the number of members in the group it would be important/fair to give each member chances to perform. But how many Anglo-American bands do you know who would perform that much? Performance is a very important foundation for AKB48.

When I started reading Tokyo Girls Update article, I was surprised at the level of increased security to the venue. Not just the increase  in security staff (from 8 to 17 on the first day) but also the addition of elements like metal detectors (well that’s understandable), iron railings and restricting access to the first rows. However that was before I saw images of the Theater and where the girls perform. There are no barriers to begin with and it looks like a metre or two between the stage and the first row. That’s extremely close. I can’t remember ever going to a concert or gig where  I could be that close. If you did manage to navigate the multiple barriers, blocks and raised staging the security guards would have already seen you coming and drop on you like a ton of bricks.

I will be very careful to try and not make any judgments. Their music is very accessible, energetic, upbeat pop. In UK it should be said that pop acts that sound and look like this would be considered just for children. It probably is appreciated by all generations. But in the audience photos there is a very recognisable social demographic, some of these girls are not even yet 20 and can easily attract unwanted attention. If the girls were nervous about going back on that stage as it was I can completely understand. As young women they deserve to not be harassed, be treated with respect and protected to allow to do fulfill their musical dreams

When I do visit Japan, one of the numerous things I will have to do and if I’m in the area is to see one of their performance. They are a dominating force in the industry and one of the most influential and popular idol groups in history!

You can read Tokyo Girls Update’s article on AKB48 resuming performances here.


Be Genki

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Neo Kei – 9 May 2012

Hi everyone, how you doing?

A lot of news this week relates to new releases. But I’m making the committment to weekly news updates, so it’d be better to get the latest news in small bites than have more news stories that are weeks ago. It seems to be all about the visual kei bands this week with lots of single, mini-album and full album news. But everyone can also be happy about more US and European releases, less importing required! As always it’d be great to hear your feedback.

Artist News

  • On 07/05/2012 it was announced that idol group Nogizaka46 will be the first ’sightseeing envoy’ of Oita City, joining AKB48’s Sashihara Rino in promoting the city.
  • Sowelu will be going on hiatus after her latest album 29 Tonight is released on 30/05/2012.

Concert News

  • Girl unit 9nine hosted their first hall one-man live at Nippon Seinenkan on 06/05/2012. As well as singing they also completed their first live band performance. Miura Daichi also held a first, his first live at Nippon Budoukan on 03/05/2012.
  • Seiyuu Miyano Mamoru (acted in Death Note and Mobile Suit Gundam oo) hosted a special live called ‘MAMORU MIYANO SPECIAL LIVE 2012 ~FIGHTING!~‘ at Pacifico Yokohama on 06/05/2012. The concert will be released on DVD and Blu-ray along with his summer tour from last year on 22/08/2012.
  • On 07/05/2012 YUKI celebrated her 10th anniversary with a live at Tokyo Dome. YUKI LIVE ‘SOUNDS OF TEN’ was her first solo concert at the Dome. Also celebrating a 10 year anniversary was Nakagawa Shoko, who held her  10gen Toppa! SHOKO NAKAGAWA LV UP LIVE Cho☆Yaonsai live for her birthday on 05/05/2012.

Music News

  • Visual kei group ALSDEAD will release their FLASH BACK single on 11/07/2012.
  • BONNIE PINK is making her single Machi no Namae available on 04/07/2012. The track was produced by by her current tour bandleader Suzuki Masato from LITTLE CREATURES.
  • Punk-rockers CLEAVE‘s mini-album The Circele EP is getting it’s European release on 16/06/2012 through Street Machine Records and the exclusive track In Our Times.
  • Post-hardcore group coldrain will release mini-album Through Clarity on 04/07/2012, which features the track No Escape that featured in the video game BIOHAZARD Operation Raccoon City.
  • Even before their single Dying Message on 30/05/2012, D have another single Danzai no gunner in 3 different versions out on 18/07/2012.
  • flumpool will release their single Because… I am, on 04/07/2012. This is also the name of their national tour which started on 31/03/2012.
  • May’n is getting US iTune releases of her albums HEAT, If you… and her single Chase the World on 16/05/2012.
  • Too old to be called a boy band really, pop man collective EXILE will release a new single on June 20th.
  • Visual kei band Mix Speaker’s,Inc. have their mini-album SEAPARADISE no Hiho due on 23/05/2012, with an untitled single in September and full album in November. Clearly for them Halloween is for life, not just October.
  • Momoiro Clover Z announced on 05/05/2012 (on Children’s Day) that their track MiteMite☆KoCchiCchi will be the ending theme for anime Pokémon: Best Wishes! and movie Meloetta no kirakira recital(Meloetta’s Sparkling Recital). Pika Pika!
  • Sakamoto Maaya will release the theme song More Than Words for anime film Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito on 25/07/2012. She worked with the same writer and arranger who composed her debut single.
  • Girl-punk-rockers Shonen Knife‘s new album Pop Tune is out on 06/06/2012, with a North American release through labl Good Charamel Records and European release through damnably.
  • Rock group STRAIGHTENER have announced details about their acoustic album. The tracks will be new arrangements of 14 previously released songs and 2 new songs, although no release date yet.
  • More visual kei news, THE SOUND BEE HD have their mini-album SOU available from 11/07/2012, which apparently is a return to their origins.
  • Visual kei-ers vistlip have their new single, simply called B, out on 04/07/2012, with the B-side PERFECT CRIME.
  • ViViD have completed their first full-album, due on 27/06/2012, which will include the latest single REAL out on 16/05/2012.

Be Genki (^o^)y