With the exception of a few artists I seem to like a lot of JPOP groups or artists that are popular for a year or two (or in one case longer) and then either retire, take a break from singing or the most depressing reason of them all…stop singing because they don’t have enough popularity or listeners. This list isn’t particularly ranked but the artists that seemed to have more of a following will be lower numbers and it does not mean that I liked them less by any stretch of the imagination.
6: Rina Aiuchi: Aiuchi Rina is 10 on the list because she had a great fan following for a while and she retired from singing by her own choice two years ago (correct me if I am wrong please). Her last album is titled “Last Scene” so I’d argue that she already knew she was going to retire from music with the release of this album. Not including bonus, single collections, or remix albums Rina Aiuchi released around 8 albums so she was going strong for a while. It probably helped her career that her songs were featured in a few well known Anime, Detective Conan be the only one I know by name but of course there are more titles than that. I am not bitter that Rina Aiuchi stopped singing and I will enjoy the albums she made.
5: Eiko Shimamiya: Many of us know her works from Anime OP themes for the various Higurashi no Naku koro ni (When they cry is the U.S. name, because we can’t tell people it’s when the cicadas cry I guess…) but many of us probably don’t go beyond that spectrum unless you are like me and you fall in love with a certain artist than need to know as much as you can. Eiko Shimamiya is actually part of a sound production group called I’ve Sound and makes some really great songs even outside of Higurashi or Anime songs. Eiko is on here because not only do most people only point out her Higurashi songs but she has only 4 albums. The main reason Eiko stopped singing (at least for now) is that she was sadly diagnosed with thyroid cancer and she wasn’t feeling up to her latest tour…that was about 2 years ago and at this point whether she sings again or not I just want her to feel better.
4: Yellow Generation: Remember that Fullmetal Alchemist Anime that everyone complained about ever since the “Brotherhood” came out? Do you remember the 2nd ending theme to season 1? That song was done by JPOP trio Yellow Generation. The interesting thing about this group is I actually found them before first seeing the Fullmetal Alchemist Anime so about 6 years after I knew about them and finally watched FMA (got into the series late, like I do all Anime lol) I was shocked when “Tobria o mukou e” started playing and I tell my friend “OMG! I know that song it’s by Yellow Generation!” It is depressing to point out but this is probably the only exposure to this group most Americans got (well that and the one song of theirs that is on some kind of Various Artists JPOP CD released 2003). I unfortunately don’t know much about this group as they were always hard for me to find details about, either way this group only released 2 albums which I find extremely depressing because this group deserves more attention even for songs that were never in FMA or other Anime. I recommend “Kitakaze no Taiyou” if I’ve sparked your curiosity, it was like my favorite for the longest time.
3: MAX: (Technically this website thinks MAX is going to keep singing but I haven’t seen anything new so I’m sticking to my guns with this one) I found a CD in a box at Anime Pavilion where there were “IMPORT” CDs that looked interesting to me. This CD was “Emotional History” by the group MAX. It sounded pretty good so I was satisfied in the purchase of what I thought at the time to be too much money for a Japanese CD. Max is a 4-member female pop group who have so far released only 5 albums, the latest one being 2006. This group actually made music up to 2010…sorry about that. They are a good group though with groovy JPOP songs that I’d argue you could dance too, and not the fast-paced PARA PARA stuff either, just good old fashioned JPOP you can dance to.(P.S. in this song they say Peach and Teach, just so you don’t think they are being dirty lol)
3: Changin’ my life: This is a group even I know very little about…the group has three members, a female vocalist, and I am not sure but I think the other two members (guitarist and keyboardist) are male (if I am wrong correct me). Again, I heard a song of theirs before I saw the Anime that got them recognition so I was already a fan of their (what I considered) unique sound. The main singer was also a voice actress and played the part of the main character in the Anime “Fullmoon wo Sagashite” which is appropriately enough about a girl who wants a chance to sing…basically before her disease kills her (depressing when you think about it too much). I like the Manga and the Anime for it but I admit that it made me laugh a bit when they were playing CML’s songs in the first episode because she was auditioning and already she sounds like she’s singing a recorded song complete with male back up…which the male backup vocals were amazing I thought. Sadly, the Anime didn’t get enough viewers and whether it related to the Anime or not the band didn’t get enough listeners and disappeared after only two albums and a best album.
2: Shela: I bet you half of you guys haven’t even heard of this girl! I don’t know much of her background because again I have trouble finding stuff…also before she had a solo career she went under a different name so that suddenly explains why I can’t find much about her. Either way, Shela was one of my favorite JPOP singers starting up. I was introduced to her by a site that gave an introduction to JPOP and I still listen to her songs to this day. Shela sadly only had 2 albums and 2 single collections before she seemed to disappear as well (if you guys find her let me know ^_^). I don’t really want to mention this because I don’t like this song of her’s as much as her non-Anime songs but she did the first ending song of Ikki Tosen (SP?) tittled “Let me be with you” I won’t include that song but probably a non-anime song of her’s. Thanks to what happens with artists like Shela I always shiver whenver an artist I like releases a “Single collection” or “Best singles” Examples of artists this meant a break or end of music for “Max, Yellow Generation, Changin’ my life, Utada Hikaru, etc.”
1: Flame: If there is any male JPOP band I really liked it was Flame…I am (no offence to those who are) not a fan of Arashi or groups similar to them so usually the multiple male groups that sing about love and dance around simlialry to American boy-bands like N’sycnc, ATB, or Backstreet Boys are usually not my cup of tea, FLAME is for some reason an exception. The band had four members, two of which were twins (guess I found that cool) and they had energetic love songs that I’d argue are similar but not the same as the overly popular boy band Arashi. Sadly, they only were heard of for about 4 years, starting in 2001 and fizziling out in 2005. For a reason unknown to me I liked this group despite not liking any other group similar to them and with only two album releases I unfortunately don’t have a lot of music to hear of this under appreciated band.
Ha ha, sorry it’s only 6…couldn’t think of 10 for this category without delving into CPOP as well. Have suggestions for more bands that would actually make this a top 10 list? Let me know, I’d love to take a listen and see if I’d think it’d make a good addition to this list. Do you empathize with my pain over the loss of any of this artists/groups? Let me know so we can share the love together! Want to fix any errors I made or add details? Let me know! Want to comment or give feedback? Please do! Have any questions? Ask Away! I posted videos I could find on youtube for the artist underneath the name.