Femme Feature: Ayaka (J-pop) — Friday playlist


Friday evening playlist on repeat: Ayaka’s History 2006-2009 — a two disc compilation album from Iida Ayaka (married to popular actor Mizushima Hiro). Its a great album released months after her disease was made public and before she put her career on hold.

ayaka's history

Ayaka's History 2006-2009 cover

“In September, a compilation album titled Ayaka’s History 2006-2009 was released and contained two discs, the first disc comprising all her single tracks and the second disc comprising songs selected by fans. It sold almost 350,000 copies in its first week, the highest for a female artist of 2009, and ranked number one on the charts for two consecutive weeks. About a month and a half after its release, the album reached a million copies shipped, making it the only album by a solo artist to do so in 2009.[11] (Wikipedia)

Track #1, Disc 1:

Compilation video for 14/16 of the single tracks on Disc 1:

Official website
Official Twitter
Ayaka videos
(Youtube Mix)
Disc 1 tracklist
(music videos and/or lyrics)
yesasia.com purchase page

Ayaka has been battling Grave’s disease since just after her debit in 2006 with fluctuating symptoms and medications.  Symptoms increased over the years and by 2009 she had to step away from the music industry and her career. Luckily, one of her greatest supporters, Hiro (read: HERO — lol), became her husband earlier that year.

Marriage/disease/hiatus announcement 1 2

aparoo says amazing person, true talent and an epic story — hope to see the story continue and more great music in the future.

Battle of the Shades 3 – J-pop version

Nam Sang Mi won last week’s Battle of the Blades 2 – Another Korean pentagon

Keeping up with the summer and sunglasses theme,
this week’s battle features 5 j-pop and j-rock singers which I enjoy equally:

Battle of the Blades 3 – J-pop version

amuro namie - battle of the shades 3

1. Amuro Namie

(Inyuasha ending theme #7 — anime)

Official Site
Youtube videos
Coca Cola Zero
Namie Amuro (photo shoot — 2006)
Namie Amuro – Hide & Seek (live — World Music Awards 2010)
Namie Amuro ft. Afterschool – Make It Happen (HD music video)
Namie Amuro – Fast Car (HD music video)
Namie Amuro – Alarm (HD music video)


Ayumi Hamasaki - battle of the shades 3

2. Hamasaki Ayumi (Ayu)


Official Site (English)
Official Youtube
Youtube videos
CNN Talk Asia interview part 1 part 2
Compilation tribute video
ayu-mi-x 7 – version House
Ayumi Hamasaki – Bluebird (live — 2006)
Ayumi Hamasaki – Microphone (live — a-nation’10)


koda kumi - battle of the shades 3

3. Koda Kumi

Official Site
Youtube videos
Koda Kumi – Black Cherry Tour 2007 (Concert opening — must see)
Koda Kumi ft. Fergie – That Ain’t Cool (live — Trick 2009) or music video here
Koda Kumi – You
(music video)
Koda Kumi – Selfish (music video)


Meisa Kuroki - battle of the shades 3

4. Kuroki Meisa

Official Site
Meisa Kuroki – LOL! (live )
Meisa Kuroki – Shock (music video)
Meisa Kuroki in Milan (Armani photo shoot)


tamaki nami - battle of the shades 3

5. Tamaki Nami

(Gundam Seed opening theme #4 — anime)

Official Site
Nami Tamaki – Get Wild (live — My Graduation tour)
Nami Tamaki – Sanctuary (music video)

aparoo says comment below to vote for your favourite!

Femme Feature: Ueto Aya

Newcomer of the Year to one of the most recognizable faces in Japan.

I can have this song on repeat all day for some reason. (English fan-subbed version of Namida no Niji)

She can J-rock too!

Then there’s the acting. My favourite Aya dramas: Attention Please (clips), Hotelier (Korean remake), Zettai Reido (haven’t seen season 2 yet), Nagareboshi. I think Attention Please is still my favourite comedy.  She can play funny to serious and back again all in the same scene, skills. It must be the short hair. And of course the acclaimed movie Azumi. The Azumi trilogy is just kick-ass. I don’t know what I like better, Aya‘s singing or her acting? I mean its common for these entertainers to have their feet in both but its not often that they’re equally good at them. I wonder which she likes better?


aparoo says Aya so kawaii