Saturday, December 31, 2011

Most Shocking/Disappointing/WTF Asian Music Moments of 2011

It doesn't seem like many scandalous things have been happening in the jrock world, so this year I decided to include a couple jpop and kpop excerpts. Perhaps this is a good thing that the dark cloud over jrock is slowly turning white (or at least light gray). But nothing will top the tragedy Japan had to face on 3/11 and I hope that 2012 will turn things around for the nation.

QUAFF disbanding
Last year, this band made the list with the news of all the members leaving, excluding leader Makito, and a new set of members joined shortly after. Without any new releases, the band dissolved once again. Perhaps Makito is in a bit of bad luck, but I hope things turn around for him and the other former members as well. On the other hand, congratulations to Shingo on his marriage and Makito on his engagement!

Aoi and Ryouhei Reunite
It was announced at the end of 2010 that these former Ayabie members would be reuniting for a little side project. I was looking forward to this collaboration considering I was fan of Ayabie from the beginning when Ryouhei was leader and Aoi's voice wasn't quite up to par as it is now. They made their first single and PV release this year, then started doing a few lives together. I hope both Aoi and Ryouhei continue to work together more, but I want them to continue focusing on their main projects as well.

D's Double American Appearance
It started in Texas where Babel Entertainment announced that they were bringing D, along with Blood Stain Child, to the oldest anime convention in North America called A-Kon. Fans were super excited, especially southern jrock fans. What was more surprising was when the band was returning in the same year for California's PMX. I hope D isn't sick of the U.S. and that they return in the future for another amazing show.

DOREMIdan disbanding
I haven't been following this band very closely, but when I did pay attention, I was not disappointed, especially their last album. It was recently announced that the band will be breaking up on their 10th anniversary. I hope everyone makes the best out of this celebration and departure and I wish the members luck in the future.

chariots Reboot
This was announced recently on the LiveJournal community under_code. It's a bit of "controversial" topic it seems, but it looks like the disbandment of chariots has been put off and the revival is starting in 2012. Some fans are worried that Rin will suffer from this revival and they are also concerned about Riku's well being with the whole situation. I suppose we'll wait and see what comes of this restart.

Kibum and Alexander's Dismissal
U-KISS was having a little trouble making a name for themselves, but they finally stuck out with "Man Man Ha Hi". They continued to get better and better and they were loved internationally. Unfortunately, the company didn't believe Kibum and Alexander were putting enough talent into the U-KISS pot, so they made an excuse for their departure which was clearly a lie. Kibum and Alexander spoke out about the situation. I'm not completely sure what Kibum is up to nowadays, but Alexander is returning to the music scene with a collaborative and solo work.

Jui Going Solo
After the disbandment of Vidoll, it was announced that their precious vocalist would "be the next Gackt". I thought the comment was laughable, but overall I was concerned for Jui's well being since Hizumi left/took a break from the music scene due to similar reasons Vidoll was on hiatus...vocal issues. When Jui debuted, I was disappointed with the results. I still remain a Jui fan, but I'm hoping that he rests his voice for bigger and better things in his solo endeavors.

Big Bang Scandals
All eyes were on this kpop group and their anticipated comeback. Too bad the mini-album fell short of talent, in my opinion. Somehow fans ate it up and even welcomed the new version of the release that included two new songs and a solo track from Daesung. If you're like me and consider their latest release a start of their downfall, then we can proceed to Daesung's car accident. Fortunately, he wasn't arrested for the incident, but all activities for him were put on hold for him to reflect. As the year went on, the group continued to be involved in advertisement activities and the like as a foursome, but G-Dragon got caught in some drug trouble. This little situation postponed the debut of G-Dragon and T.O.P's duo promotions in Japan. Nonetheless, the group moved on and they have recently announced that they would be making a comeback as five in 2012.

D'espairsRay disbanding
There was so much sorrow hovering over the band between their tour getting cut short and the announcement that Hizumi's voice was in danger. The band made a safe move by taking a hiatus. I believe Hizumi underwent surgery while the other members busied themselves with various projects. It was saddening when they decided to disband completely as opposed to waiting around until Hizumi recovered. Nonetheless, Hizumi opened an online design shop by the name of umbrella, Zero and Tsukasa became part of THE MICRO HEAD 4N'S, and Karyu joined Angelo (along with ex-Vidoll guitarist Giru).

Ayumi Hamasaki's marriage
I'm not really a fan of Ayumi, but she is a big icon in Japanese pop music. When the news came out earlier this year about her marriage to Austrian actor Manuel Schwarz, fans were surprised. Perhaps non-fans who know about her were surprised like I was. I wish their marriage all the best and that their love lasts forever.

DELUHI disbanding
Things were looking up and up for the j-indies band. They just released three consecutive singles and "The farthest" showed a great emotional strength within the band's music that no one has ever witnessed before. Unfortunately, Aggy was pulling out and the other members felt they couldn't continue without the original four, which I respect them for. In the end, Sujk closed out the year by releasing a solo album, Arkhelist, which the other members had a part of.

Koda Kumi & BACK-ON's KENJIO3 Tie the Knot
This month Koda Kumi and BACK-ON's guitarist and vocalist KENJIO3 announced that they would be getting married in the near future. Their message of love for each was posted online for the fans to admire and further support this union. Then the rumor came up that the pop goddess may be hiding a little secret. Unfortunately, a "friend" of Koda's discussed the situation on a tabloid pressuring her to release a confirmation that she is indeed pregnant. Honestly, this is the first marriage in the Asian music industry that I'm seriously approving of. I wish them all the best and that the pregnancy goes smoothly.

Taiji's Passing
Former X Japan bassist had a lot of things going on in the music industry. It was reported he was on a plane with his assistant or manager, but was arrested when a violent incident occurred on the plane. While being held, he passed on. It's still unclear whether his death was an accident or not, but nonetheless, my condolences go out to his family and friends.

Isshi Passes Away
Last year's list included the "demise" of PS Company's beloved Neo Japanesque band Kagrra,. Isshi later announced that he would be starting a solo project by the name of shiki∞project~志鬼陰謀~ and some time later Naoki and Shin formed PLAYERS under PSC. It was some time after the release of shiki∞project~志鬼陰謀~'s first release and the eve of the release of his first album that the vocalist passed on. Isshi's legacy and voice will continue to live on.

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