Negicco Said That They Love Me!

Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean they only said that to me, though it’s not illegal to disillusion myself with such imagination. Anyway, I was talking about this:

It is Negicco’s latest song: Canale no Madobe (カナールの窓辺), a coupling song from their upcoming single “Attoutekina Style -NEGIBAND version-”. Look at that new outfit for the track cover picture! It looks so simple yet radiant. That’s why I always think that Negicco’s charm is candid, without superficiality attached. There are two points that I consider gladdening in this new track:

  • Negicco’s cute Japan-glish in the track is a good sign for international fans
img_Negicco_2015_winter-400x280
“Hello, world! Konichi negi-negi! This is Negicco, coming directly from T-Palette Records Tokyo. Please listen to our new song: Canale no Madobe. Arigato! We love you!”- That’s what I heard in the intro.

The fact that Nao☆ put her effort to use English in the intro is a sign that Negicco notices their overseas fans; fans that might not understand Japanese, but adore The Never Give Up Girls from Niigata nevertheless. This can be an auspicious precedent for further engagement with international fans which might lead to overseas concerts, something I would love to attend in case they held it in Indonesia.

It might be a small step, but it’s heading to a right direction.

 

  • The track you listen to is provided by official T-Palette Records account

T-Palette gratified Negicco’s fans and appealed to potential fans by providing Negicco’s full song to listen, which is not a standard in the industry, where record companies are quite stingy, providing only preview or short version of the song. T-Palette even shows Negicco’s full MV-s in its Youtube channel, the same MV-s that you can get by buying Negicco’s DVDs. T-Palette certainly deserves an ovation from Negicco fans.

It is safe to say that Negicco is in a good hand.

 

To end this post, let me give you a view on the MV.

Enjoy and share!

Negicco – “Hikari no Spur” with English Sub

Do you think the air is getting colder?

That’s because “Winter’s coming…”

The MV that has Negicco flown so far to Santa’s house; the MV that was praised by Alex Shenmue; the MV that reach top ten singles in the oricon chart in its first week; the MV where you can see Negicco’s warming cuteness on a cold winter setting, now you can understand what they are singing cause it has been translated into English!

 

 

Sub by: me

Translation by: Misa-chan

Please do check her blog (click the link above), it has a lot of Japanese song translations and she’s a really nice translator. In fact, she specially translated “Hikari no Spur” for me because I requested it. Let me show you some extract from our conversation.

conversation with misa 1

Capture 2

She replied in ten days with an awesome translation! While I took more than a month to sub it.

Sorry, Misa-chan! .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.

Enjoy and Share, Negi-Negi!!!

The Latest Mocca’s Album is in My Possession

A Sakura Gakuin fan from Indonesia posted that Amuse Singapore was having a free delivery promo for Amuse artists’ products and so I browsed the BABYMETAL related products on the Amuse SG facebook page. I wanted to buy a BABYMETAL album, but I looked at the price and pondered was it really necessary to buy something that expensive. I mean, I knew I wanted to support BABYMETAL, but was I really sure that in the future I will not regret spending S$40.00 on a CD? No. I decided not to buy it lest I forgot that idols should be enjoyed in moderation.

But somehow, in a split second, I remembered about Mocca. I enjoyed a lot of their songs in the past. I also knew Arina was going abroad and probably the group was on hiatus. I felt quite obliged to consider buying their songs since I realized I have not gave them proper acknowledgement. I browsed mymocca.com and I found that their products were reasonably priced, especially compared to imported Japanese products.

I ordered their latest album, which I knew not of its existence before. My order then swiftly arrived at my office.

Look! what's that?
The package is here!

 

The front cover
The front cover is quite fun to look at. It looks like a children story book with a lot of pictures.

 

A complimentary sticker
A complimentary sticker was also inserted in the package. It a delightful surprise.

 

The inside
Inside the home. You can see that it’s not an ordinary CD case. Mocca wonderfully produced a CD case that match the theme of the album; a home you enter. It feels like arriving home after a busy day and found that you got a surprise. Friends you have not met for a very long time made a sudden visit. Imaginary conversation: How did you guys get inside? Arina, I thought you’re still at US! How are you guys? I missed you all a lot! Get off my sofa now! Hmm..is that cookies you’re baking? Wait… I don’t have an oven, and you can’t bake, Arina!

 

Outside the home
Outside the home. Looks like an exterior of a house in a children book.

 

Zoom-in
Zoom-in: the songs. I never heard all of them but “Goodnight Song”. It’s gonna be a wonderful new experience then.

 

IMG_20151027_200658
Zoom-in: message from Mocca. I like the way Indra thanked me. I feel so flattered. And I think Riko kind of thanked me also; I’m living under the sun too.

 

Build your own home in 5 seconds
Surprise! You can build your own home in 5 seconds! The unique shape of the CD case enables you to fold it up into a 3D home.

 

So that's how the inside of the home in 3D
Take a peek! So, that’s how the inside of the home in 3D mode! It’s pretty!

 

IMG_20151027_214309
Anyone got the “Zeus” Easter Egg? Zeus, where are you? Don’t you dare to poo on the neighbor’s garden again!

The songs are great. My favorite is Good Morning Song. I like to play it every time I drive in the morning; I can get the illusion of a pretty woman greeting me in the morning and flattering me to the moon (you’re sick, Anton!).

Why don’t you buy it too? Get it here! I believe you won’t regret it.

CD Industry is Holding Strong in Japan

You might have thought that physical storage media of music are pretty much doomed since the dawn of digital copy and internet. If one can get a song easily (and often freely) with a click and can store it in all devices one has, why would one ever want to put extra effort and hassle with an old-fashioned medium? Who would do that? Hipsters? Possible. They will always be the minority though.

But in Japan, CD is still the king.

While CD sales are falling worldwide, including in Japan, they still account for about 85 percent of sales here, compared with as little as 20 percent in some countries, like Sweden, where online streaming is dominant.

— Sisario, Ben, CD-Loving Japan Resists Move to Online Music, nytimes.com, 16 Sept. 2014.

How does the Japanese CD industry defend their bastion so well for so long against the assault of online music? As an outsider who has been interested in this matter, I want to share my view on it.

Oricon Chart

oricon chart

Long story short, Oricon Chart is the list of most popular music in Japan that has been used as an indicator of how successful an artist is. Sounds normal? Here is the catch: the data for the chart is based on “physical media sales” and taken from “physical music retail outlets”. Compare it with Billboard Hot 100 which is based on radio play, online streaming, and sales (physical and digital), Oricon Chart puts heavy emphasis in CD (and other physical media) sales figure by outlets as a big factor in determining the names in the chart.

Capture 4
How the chart looks like on their site.

Did I mention that Oricon Chart matters? It matters A LOT for artists. And not only being number 1 in the chart, but the sales figure collected also holds great importance for them. Which means artists will have to encourage their fans to buy their CD-s at the CD stores to put their name on the chart, and fans will have to buy their favorite artists’ CD-s at the CD stores to support their favorite artists; buying or streaming the digital copy is just a waste of time and money in this matter.

CD Industry Players’ Domination

akiba-026-980x653
Tower Records, a record company that also operates physical retail outlets

Creating a temporary cafe to support the artist, holding special event for artists and fans, and having live performance at the CD Store are some efforts executed by CD Industry players to boost not only music sales but also their bonds with the artists and fans (and to sell more CD-s, naturally). They also have outlets, which often also sell merchandises accompanying the CD-s, with distribution across Japan, gripping the whole country on their hands.

Arm Wrestling Championship among idol groups. Why? Because kawaii goddess demands it!

The CD Industry players are taking active steps in  promoting music and becoming more than just CD seller; they are becoming identical with the music industry itself. And these same players collectively resist “foreign invasion” of music streaming and downloads. No wonder the “invaders” are having hard time penetrating the market.

And did I mention that giant record companies also develop record label specialized in idols?

Idols of T-Palette Records, a  family member of Tower Records
Idols of T-Palette Records, a family member of Tower Records

Strategic Alliance with Idol Groups

Idol groups, a popular format of vocal groups in Japan, are undeniably having a big contribution in shooting CD sales through the roof. They use all their charm and wits to get the greatest accomplishment on the Oricon Chart by having their CD-s sold as much as possible. Their methods are creatively manifold, exempli gratia; placing autographed photo as a surprise bonus for buying the CD, putting special event ticket in the CD case, giving voting right for every CD bought, threatening to disband if a sales target is not achieved, simply asking you to buy with kawaiiness, and many others.

Sakura Gakuin members politely ask you to check out their DVD

Furthermore, idol group fans are a multiplier factor in boosting sales figure generated. Die-hard fans who will do almost anything to support their idols, which includes buying multitude copy of a same CD and holding fundraising campaign to buy more CD. They might be not the majority, but they still buy more than average people and that means more CD sold.

Contrary to what some media try to picture, idol fan does not always have to be unmarried adult male. A photo from natalie.mu above shows a fan, which is a little girl, supporting Negicco, an idol group.
Contrary to what some media try to picture, idol fan does not always have to be unmarried adult male. A photo from natalie.mu above shows a fan, which is a little girl, supporting Negicco, an idol group.

All of those factors ensure that CD (and other physical media) will stay dominant in Japan for quite a long time. But they are all based on my opinion. Do you have anything to add? Disagree with my view? Share it in the comment section below or the chat section on the right.

Dewata Anton Festival 2015

I went to Bali on early October to attend an anime festival called Dewata Anime Festival (DAF) 2015.

The festival claimed BABYMETAL will come. Amuse SG confirmed BABYMETAL won’t. (ಥ⌣ಥ)

The venue changed in short notice. ಠ_ಠ

I paid. The ticket didn’t come. ಠ▃ಠ

And at last…the event got cancelled… (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

But the flight and the hotel was already booked, so I still had to go. (ᗒᗣᗕ)՞

A more detailed and complete version of the adventure has been written by my friend over here and here, so I’m just going to share some trivial things that I found noteworthy on my trip. If you can slack, go slack, right? XD

Day 1

At Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport, I rode on a bus refitted for vertically unchallenged sentient beings to reach the plane.

When I got to Ngurah Rai, I found free Japanese brochure and magazine about Bali; titled API magazine, if I’m not mistaken. They were surprisingly very helpful. They are mostly in Japanese, but I advise you to bring it with you. They got map of Bali; detailed map of interesting areas like Ubud, Jimbaran, etc, including the location of shops, restaurants, and points of interest; and they also got discount coupons for selected stores. You really should take it the first time you arrive at Ngurah Rai.

I drove a rented car far from my father supervision for the first time. It was a Daihatsu Agya and it used automatic transmission; I have driven an automatic only once before and it was for less than an hour. So, the experience was quite new for me.

The drive to Ubud was long and tiring.

Arrived at Bebek Bengil. For those who still look at the price of food in the menu, this place is probably not for you.

You don't have to buy food just to take photos
You don’t have to buy food just to take photos

 

Spent a lot of money here. Should enjoy it optimally.
Spent a lot of money here. Should enjoy it optimally.

 

Went to Puri Saren Agung together with Chinese horde.

Unexpectedly, it's not a statue of a god. It's a trophy of a Legong Dance Championship.
Unexpectedly, it’s not a statue of a god. It’s a trophy of a Legong Dance Championship.

Went to Budamarket, kind of store for organic foods. There’s a lot of interesting snacks there.

That's the sign in case you got lost
That’s the sign in case you got lost

Continue driving to Mount Batur.

We got lost and stumbled upon this view
We got lost and stumbled upon this view

Day 2

To the peak of Mount Batur, we went.

sunrise on batur and nekoton
That’s Nekoton on the peak of Mount Batur with sunrise as the background.

Fyi, I still bring my cosplay gears.

We also went to a nearby hot spring
We also went to a nearby hot spring

Then, another long drive to the south. We were going to Uluwatu, since our hotel was there; thx to DAF 2015 who moved its venue to Garuda Wisnu Kencana. Out of curiosity, I went to GWK to take a peek. To anyone of you interested of going there: don’t. You have to pay just to get in and there’s not really much to see there. Go spent your money somewhere else.

At night, we traveled around the hotel by foot and I literally lost my balance and fell, probably due to fatigue.

IMG_20151003_204723
Got a “couple” bonus yakitori at Kiwami Yakitori. Yey!

The hotel where we spent the night has a nightclub on the roof. It was very noisy and the sound got into our room. My advice: don’t choose hotel with rooftop nightclub.

Day 3

I hate sunburn and heat. I hate beach. Oh yeah, we went to Lembongan Island. And then I knew I also hate snorkeling. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go there though. The sea was beautiful; the marine life was lively; the corals were colorful. But I got bad sunburn that’s not going after a month and a scratch mark from a coral. I always prefer mountain.

Look at how happy I am: not really
Look at how happy I am: not really
The scenery around Lembongan Island is great and I wanted to take the underwater photos but the camera just couldn't do a good job for it
The scenery around Lembongan Island is great and I wanted to take underwater photos but the camera just couldn’t do a good job for it

Day 4

We went back to the mainland. And since we returned the rented car the day before, we had to rely on other transportation mode. We were made to believe that taxis in Bali were expensive by some blogs and traveling websites, so I tried Uber for the first time. The driver was very helpful and drove us to a “piesusu” factory which we did not know before and he also escorted us to a restaurant near Ngurah Rai called Budesa.

Of all the meals we had at Bali, I think this one was the most satisfactory
Of all the meals we had at Bali, I think this one was the most satisfactory

Then we used GrabCar to drove us to the airport (also my first time) and rode on an iron bird once more to Jakarta.

That’s my experience travelling to Bali. How’s yours?