Jpop and Jrock have taken over the CD player in my car, booting out Maroon 5 and Green Day. Funny. I didn’t use to listen to songs with lyrics I can’t read nor understand.
But I found myself humming certain tunes after watching anime. From humming I went to buying anime soundtracks then checking out other songs by this singer or that band. And while I’ve picked up some Japanese words and phrases along the way, that hardly qualifies as knowing the language.
It’s actually common to hear an English word or phrase pop up in many a Jpop or Jrock ditty. Don’t ask me why they do this. Let it remain one of the world’s unsolved mysteries.
Then there are bands that actually sing in bad English which fans call “Engrish”. The songs are catchy but the lyrics are bound to give your fourth grade English teacher fits. And the singer usually puts the wrong accent on the wrong syllable. (That borrowed joke is better heard than read.)
Don’t get me wrong. There are Jpop songs in decent English like “Life is Like a Boat” by Rie Fu which was used as the first ending song for “Bleach” and “Wind” by Akeboshi which was the first closing song for “Naruto.”
Spitz is my current favorite Japanese band. I like many of their songs and their lead singer has a nice clear voice. Too bad I have no idea what he’s actually singing about.
Here’s a list of songs from the Land of the Rising Sun you might want to try:
“* (asterisk)” by Orange Range, the first opening song for “Bleach”
“Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Beat Crusaders, used as an opening song for “Bleach”
“Hit in the USA” by Beat Crusaders, opening song for “Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad”
“Salva nos” and “Canta Per me” from “Noir”
“Ichirin no Hana” by High and Mighty Color, used as an opening song for “Bleach”
“Days” by High and Mighty Color
“Shell” by Bana, opening song for “Witch Hunter Robin”
“Movin” by Takacha, used as a closing song for “Bleach”
“Fukisabu Kaze no naka de” by WAG from “Saiyuki Reload”
“Don’t Look Back Again” by WAG, opening song from “Saiyuki Reload Gunlock”
“19sai” by Suga Shikao from “xxxholic”
“Like a Foojin” from “Beck”
“Cherry” by Spitz
“Sugar Guitar” by Skye Sweetnam for Trapnest (fictional band in “Nana”)