Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (May 6, 2020)

Welcome to The Avocado’s weekly discussion of Japanese pop culture! Earlier this year I stumbled upon an article highlighting the fact that someone had just earned the honor of holding the top spot on Japan’s Hot 100 chart two years in a row. I didn’t recognize the name of the artist, Kenshi Yonezu, and I was interested to learn more. The first surprise was that he wasn’t just holding the top spot two years in a row, he was the “first-ever act to score song of the year with the same song, ‘Lemon,’ for two years running.”1 The SAME song two years in a row? Wow, I thought to myself, that must be one heck of a song! I quickly found the song on YouTube and gave it a listen. My first thought was that it was a good song, but top song two years in a row good? I wasn’t sure….Six months later, I’ve easily listened to this song over a hundred times. Is there some kind of mind control parasite in the melody making it so that I need to listen to it over and over again? Maybe! But I don’t care because I love Kenshi Yonezu! With that in mind, I would like to share some of his music with you today.

To start, I think Bootleg is his best album, and everything that he’s released since then has been pretty perfect in my very, very humble opinion. Here are two songs from Bootleg that are particularly great. Both are upbeat and give me a nice boost of energy when I’m feeling tired or down for whatever reason. The videos are also pretty great!

Bootleg

You might recognize this one from the second season of March comes in like a lion.

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He hasn’t released a full album since Bootleg, but every single has been fantastic. Here are two that you might enjoy!

Singles

From the movie Children of the Sea.

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Last, but certainly not least, I have to feature the song that started my Kenshi Yonezu fandom:

If you’ve liked any of these songs, you’ll be happy to know that the rest of his music is on YouTube and streaming services. Enjoy!

And, as always…

What have you been watching/reading/playing/eating/listening to lately?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂