Oricon's list of the 100 top selling singles of 2012 has been released and it may be an indication that Japanese pop music is dying a slow, incestuous death. Over half the songs on this year's singles chart are from two corporate music factories: Johnny's and AKB48.
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If, like me, you love to watch Japanese and Korean dramas that just aren't available in the US, you may have noticed that since late in the afternoon on November 4, 2012, the popular Asian drama torrenting site, D-addcits (www.d-addicts.com) has been down.
Site admin Ruroshin has reported that the site is down due to a technical problem, not because of any legal issues. Furthermore, user AK Bear reported that "At the moment, the server constantly reboots after working for less than a minute. The cause for the problem is still unknown."
Ruroshin reports that he has ordered a replacement server that should arrive sometime on November 6th.
Until then, you'll just have to either go through your backlog on dramas you have downloaded but haven't watched, or you can try the backup site that user Furransu has graciously thrown together in the wake of the crash. Below, I've listed some of the downloads they are hosting as of the writing of this article.
d-addicts2.blogspot.com - Featuring direct downloads of RAW episodes, mostly hosted on Zippyshare. English subs may be made available at http://jdramasubs.x10.mx/ENsubs/
Yuusha Yoshihiko to Akuryou no Kagi- Episode 4
Iron Chef (Reboot) - Episode 2
Ooku ~Tanjou - Episode 4
Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi - Special
Koukou Nyuushi - Episode 5
Akumu-chan - Episode 4
TOKYO Airport - Episode 4
Monsters - Episode 3
The Summer single shakedown has begun in earnest! Twenty of the top thirty singles in the country are brand new on the countdown this week. Of the few with staying power, Arashi's [Face Down] hangs on for the third week at number eight and SKE48 clings to the fourth slot with their Summer anthem [Aishiteraburu]. Notable entries onto the countdown this week-- that aren't anime themes, of which there are a staggering eleven singles this week-- include Glay, BUCK-TICK, and a band I am convinced survives solely based on the mouth-size and gigantic, infectious smile of the lead singer, Dreams Come True. Claiming the top spot this week is AKB48 with their new single [Manatsu no Sounds Good], debuting at number one with a video that makes it look like someone may have died during Field Day.
ANA has partnered with internationally renowned, award-winning pâtissier Pierre Hermé Paris to create 3 exclusive dessert concoctions for its schmanciest clients. Offerings include a matcha green tea custard complemented by chestnut cream, chestnuts pan-fried with pepper and vanilla, passion fruit jelly, and a passion fruit flavored biscuit, a mixed fruit compote with cheese sherbert, and a warm chocolate "Yu" tart that combines the flavor of bittersweet dark chocolate ganache with stewed apples and yuzu.
The three new desserts will be available to international first-class patrons in June and to business class travelers beginning in September.
But if you, like me, are more of the "Paying $1,000 to fly coach is already more than I can afford" persuasion, fear not - you've still got a chance to try out the three amazing desserts, if you've got a hankering and you're already in Tokyo.
All three will be available for a limited period of time at Pierre Hermé's flagship Japan store, Bar Chocolat in Aoyama.
This week two bands managed to land two singles on the countdown. There's every emo goth girl's favorite androgynous glam rocker Sid, with 「Nokoriga」 at #13 and 「S」at #4. But the real oddity this week is Arashi, who have managed to bookend the countdown with 「Wild at Heart」in the #30 position, and their new single, 「Face Down」debuting at #1. I wonder if anyone has ever done that before? Arashi in the front and Arashi in the back. Like a Japanese pop music mullet.
Other notable new singles on the countdown this week include 「Opera」, the new single by KARA's male counterpart, SUPER JUNIOR, debuting at #3, and 「Possible」by HAN-KUN coming in at #17, which is so upbeat and catchy, I can't help but like it.
Countdown staples Mr. Children, SMAP, YUKI, and ikimono-gakari all manage to hang on for another week, which tells me that the crazy, insane, nonstop single onslaught of summertime isn't quite here yet. Memorial Day is this weekend however, which marks the unofficial start of summer for many. And you can bet that as the temperatures rise, the one week-and-done singles will start dropping like flies.