NSK Mid-Year Staff Picks: Garry


We’re half way through the year so now is as good a time as any to do a little mid-year review. Check out my thoughts on how the year is shaping up so far in idol music. (Spoilers, that’s me in the above screenshot. Looking for the good PVs from the first 6 months of the year)


Top Songs No One Is Talking About

Matsushita Yui – Shooting Star

Negicco – Ai no Tower of Love

Tasaki Asahi – Rolling Days

Vanilla Beans – Muscat Slope Love

This one should be pretty self-explanatory, these are the songs that I think people aren’t talking about enough (or at all). If you aren’t familiar with any of them then I’ve made it as easy as possible for you to find out more about them.


Top A-sides

BiS – BiSimulation

Cheeky Parade – BUNBUN NINE9

Matsushita Yui – Shooting Star

Ono Erena – Fighting☆Hero

These are, for my money anyway the best a-sides of the year so far. All of these are contenders for my top 10 at the end of the year but it’s still way too early to make any kind of definitive call on stuff like that. Who knows what could happen in the next 6 months. Still, these are the front-runners at this point.


Top B-sides

BiS – Mura Mura

Kasai Tomomi & Team K – Enjoy Your Life

Nogizaka46 – 13hi no Kinyobi

Nogizaka46 – Dekopin

Passpo – BABY JUMP ~Tengoku he no Toujoubin~

SKE48 – Darkness

The b-sides have really been kicking the a-sides’ asses this year. It just feels like the more interesting songs (or the songs that take more risks) end up being relegated to b-side status. I suppose that’s to be expected though when groups are trying to appeal to a more mainstream audience. At least we still get these songs even if we have to dig around a bit for them.


Top PVs

AKB48 – Hashire Penguin

BABYMETAL – Megitsune

Kasai Tomomi & Team K – Enjoy Your Life

PVs have been fairly forgettable across the board for me in the first half of this year. The three above are the only ones that ended up standing out in any real way. I’m not looking forward to trying to put together a list of top 10 PVs at the end of the year.


First Half Sad Face

Momoiro Clover Z



I’m not really sure what happened with these groups this year. Momoiro Clover Z have put out one new album and an indies album and that’s it, it’s really hard to get excited about a group that doesn’t release very often. NMB48 shot themselves in the foot with their “Teppen Tottande!” declaration which was then followed by an incredibly mediocre album and a single that I didn’t care for very much. While Momoclo didn’t release enough, Passpo☆ went way too far in the opposite direction and released too many singles with the quality taking a massive hit as a result. A really disappointing start to the year from three of my favorite groups.


First Half Stokes



Matsushita Yui


Ono Erena

All of these artists put out some great music in the first 6 months of the year. Most of them have even been doing it consistently for a while now. You might disagree with these picks but that’s the great thing about art, it’s completely subjective.


Second Half Sad Face


Momoiro Clover Z


I don’t know man, NMB48 aren’t exactly on a hot streak for me right now and what I can only assume will be their last single of the year is going to have to be really something else to change my mind. Momoiro Clover Z have 1, maybe 2 singles left in them this year and I just don’t know where they’re going to go with it. Too much uncertainty for me to have a good feeling in my gut. SKE48 might be a surprise pick here from me but with the prospect of their next single coming out some time in December, I really don’t have anything to smile about.


Second Half Stokes






These picks are based purely on the fact that I like the musical direction in which all of these groups are going right now. Yes, even Hello!Project despite most of you being quick to call everything they release shit or some other form of “sick burn” if you will. Overall I just think that these groups are the most solid right now and I can say with reasonable confidence that I expect that to remain the fact for the next 6 months.

Well there you have it, my mid-year picks. Let me know what you think about them in the comment section below. I’m curious to see if we share the same sentiments or if I’m completely out of touch with what the kids find popular these days.


5 thoughts on “NSK Mid-Year Staff Picks: Garry”

  1. The thing about idol music, and to some extent, pop music in general is that usually it boils down to personal taste. It really is different stroke for different folk, I believe. I agree with some of your picks (BiS, the latest two singles are amazing indeed), haven’t listen to some, and disagree with some other (I find Teppen Tottande album and Bokura no Eureka pretty enjoyable), I guess it’s only normal.
    One thing for sure, it seems that this isn’t a good year in terms of musical quality for AKS groups. I always enjoy NMB output, can’t really say the same for the other groups.

    1. The thing is, in my opinion SKE have put out two really solid singles this year. The problem is that there was 6 months between their release. I’m a pretty big SKE fan but it’s really tough to maintain your hype when things like new music and television shows are few and far between.

      I completely agree that it all boils down to taste though. More people need to realize that you’re not “wrong” just because you don’t like the same things as everyone else.

  2. Realizing picking favorites and such is purely subjective, I would argue with you on Momoiro Clover Z’s behalf. While single releases, yes have been lacking, they did release two PV’s for the album, 5th Dimension, Neo Stargate and Birth=Birth. They performed these on many TV shows and then as if it had been released as a single started doing Ksou Dystopia all over the place too! They opened the Japanese MTV Video Music Awards and performed with Carly Rae Jespen during her performance of “Call Me Maybe”, albeit they were sorely underused it was surreal to see them doing this together…

    BUT…most of all and I truly believe in my heart of hearts to be true, they released the greatest and most ambitious Idol album ever. And they introduced it by doing it in it’s entirety LIVE. BEFORE it even came out! An old fashioned concept album writ large on the stage with all the pomp and circumstance and overblown theatrics that entails. Genius, imho and it is and will be THE release of the year, 5th Dimension.

    So in straying form the Idol norm of releasing a single every 2-3 months, MCZ continue to play by their own rules, changing the game and making everyone step up THEIR game along with it. Brilliance.

  3. on another note, I agree with N46, Cheeky Parade, Erena Ono and Ashai Tasaki. Also love that Negico song. Indie Idols really made a splash this year and for money it was all about BELLRING Shoujou Heart, ANNA☆S, Lyrical School and Rhymeberry, not to mention Sakura Gakuin and BABYMETAL.

    Another story of the year is the continued growing success and reemergence of H!P with Morning Musume and now C-ute doing fantastically. With Juice=Juice and more I continue to enjoy almost everything they do as well.

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