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Is City Pop Popular in Japan?

(Written by Deku)

There are endless genres in music, with new jargons popping up every now and then. City Pop is one such genre from Japan, which rose to popularity in the early 1980s, with the arrival of car-stereos. But do the Japanese folks still remember it today? Let’s ask some people and check this out!

We asked few people if they knew about ‘City Pop’:

None of them were familiar with the term but they attempted to make some clever guesses.

“I haven’t heard of it. It’s probably pop music, with something to do with the city”, one of the guys guessed.

“I’m not sure. I have a feeling it’s upbeat”, another one guessed.

“I’m not sure but is it ambient Western music?”, a person asked us.

We met a lady who had a feeling that she had already heard about the genre before (Spoiler alert: She was right!). “I think I’ve heard of it but maybe I haven’t”, she said.

Another interviewee wasn’t sure, like others so we asked him to make his guess about the genre. “Well it’s ‘pop’, so I think it’s Western music”, he answered.

“Not sure, but I think it’s J-Pop from the 90s”, a lady grinned while she made a close guess of the era.

Our last interviewee guessed that it’s probably some cheerful music, while admitting that he wasn’t sure about it.

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We asked them to guess the artists that belong to the genre…

Once again, they tried to make some guesses since they had no idea about the genre.

“Hmm, someone young…?”, said a young lady. “I can’t think of anyone”, another lady standing next to her said.

“Nothing comes to mind”, a young guy seemed confused.

“I’m not familiar with the genre, so I don’t know”, a youngster smiled.

“I have no idea, sorry. But I would imagine that young people listen to it”, a lady guessed.

“Maybe someone young who plays the guitar or something”, another man made his guess.

“Hmm… Hirose Kohmi?”, a lady answered.

Mariya Takeuchi’s Plastic Love: The Song that Popularised City Pop!

Mariya Takeuchi (1984, Credits: Alan Levenson)

If you have been an avid internet user since the past 4 years, chances are that you must have seen the above image. The picture has been used as the cover image for the song: Plastic Love, several times and has also spawned in the form of several fan arts on the internet! The person in the picture is none other than Mariya Takeuchi, the artist of the song.

An extended, fan-made rendition of Plastic Love suddenly became viral in 2017, thanks to YouTube’s algorithm. It was created by a user who goes by the name Plastic Lover. But a copyright claim during the same period, only served to increase the gossip and the sudden spread of the song. Turns out that the claim wasn’t from the music label, but from the photographer (Alan Levenson) who took the above picture which was used in the song. The claim was soon removed after the photographer was credited.

Warner Music Japan created a music video in 2019 due to it’s sudden rise to fame, 35 years after the song was released!

The song has now become the face of City Pop. But the question is: Is it popular in Japan? We played the song to find out!

Once again, a few people hadn’t heard about her before.

While it clicked for a handful of folks, especially for those who had heard her songs before.

The above person was unable to identify the song but felt that he might have heard it before. We asked him if he listens to Mariya Takeuchi’s music. “No, not really. But I know who she is”, he replied. He later admitted that he might have listened to it in the past. “It sounded nostalgic to me”, he said.

“I don’t know, but it sounds like Yumi Matsutoya from my generation”, a person said. “This is actually Mariya Takeuchi”, we told him. “Oh, Mariya Takeuchi”, he replied back, instantly recognizing the personality.

“I’ve heard of Mariya Takeuchi before but I didn’t know of this song”, said a guy.

Another lady didn’t know about the song but recognized the singer. “I listened to her when I was young, along with other mainstream artists. So I listened to a lot of artists like Mariya Takeuchi and Tatsuro Yamashita”, she explained.

An elderly person was familiar with the artist but hadn’t listened to the song previously. “She’s from my generation, right? I don’t listen to her these days, but I did when I was younger”, he told us.

Have they listened to City Pop before?

Since our interviewees are now familiar with what City Pop sounds like, we decided to ask them if they had heard similar songs before.

“Back when I was very young”, an old lady chuckled. “The previous song sounded like Anri”, she added. Anri is the stage name of Eiko Kawashima, another Japanese singer who made her debut in 1978 with the song Oribia o Kikinagara (While Listening to Olivia). She was quite active in the 80s too. Just like most other City Pop songs, her works have been categorized into vaporwave and future funk genres too.

A youngster mentioned that he ‘would not go out of his way’ to listen to this genre. “It sounds like something that would be playing at a fancy shop”, he explained.

One of the guys stated that he probably hadn’t heard the song or anything similar to it before, anywhere in the city.

A lady said that she might have heard Plastic Love or a similar song, playing in a place like a cafe, especially because of it’s romantic tone.

“I don’t listen to ‘City Pop’, but I have listened to Mariya Takeuchi before”, a person replied back confidently.

Another lady smiled back, saying that she doesn’t listen to a lot of music anymore but she did listen to it in her childhood days. “It’s something I’d hear on the radio and think: This is old school!”, she gleamed.

We asked them if they were familiar with the genre’s popularity overseas?

Once again, most natives of Japan weren’t familiar with its popularity overseas. We asked them to give their opinions of why they think it is popular. “Because it doesn’t exist overseas?”, guessed a lady.

“It has an exotic feel, so maybe that’s why it’s popular”, said another guy.

One of the youngsters had an interesting opinion about this: “I didn’t know that but There’s a time lag for Japanese culture to be accepted abroad. Things that were popular here in the past are now becoming popular abroad. I learned about it on TV, so maybe this is an example of that”.

An elderly person had a somewhat similar opinion. “Music comes and goes in a 20- or 30-year cycle, and old songs can become “new”, or foreign songs can sound new to us. So, I think that’s what happened. This is just my imagination”, he explained his theory.

“I didn’t know that. Maybe because the songs are catchy”, another elderly person made a guess.

We got to know some more interesting facts from our interviewees. “Many people from abroad sing old Japanese hit songs at Karaoke because they’re used as themes in popular Japanese dramas, and are broadcasted in other countries”, one of them answered.

A lady stated that she was familiar with Mariya Takeuchi’s recent popularity on YouTube. “I don’t know the details, but I heard that the melody line was very catchy”, she stated.

Our last interviewee was surprised to know about Plastic Love’s surge in popularity among non-Asian countries like the United States. “Wow, around the world! I wonder why!? Maybe they just like Japanese things!”, he exclaimed.

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What Japanese Think of Weeaboos?

(Written by Deku)

What is weeaboo? Urban Dictionary defines it as an individual who is overly obsessed with anime and Japanese culture, to the point that they shun their real identity and speak make-believe Japanese. Not to mention that the term is quite controversial and often considered derogatory, although there are people who love the word and use it to describe themselves! Other variations like weeb, weaboo, Wapanese (a portmanteau of Japanese and Weeb) etc. have similar definitions.

We asked a bunch of people if they had heard about the word before and if they knew its meaning.

What Japanese Think of Weeaboos (Interview Re-upload) – YouTube

Here’s what they said:

“I seriously don’t know. ‘Weea’ can mean something, but what is ‘boo’?”, said one of our interviewees. “It’s just a random sound to me”, he further added.

The word didn’t ring a bell for most folks! And so, we had to give some hints to a couple of peeps:

“Any hint? Is it an everyday word or an object?”, they asked us. “It’s related to Japan and it’s about the people”, we answered. “Is it otaku? Or something else related to Japan… like samurai?”, he questioned back. “No that’s less close”, we hinted. “It’s close to otakus, right? MAIDS!”, they joked.

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Is weeaboo a positive word?

“A positive word? I think it can be ironic, though. It might imply something like: Oh, you like Japan more than your own country?”, an interviewee explained. “Or people might make fun of them like: Oh, you like Japan so much but you are not even Japanese!”, his friend added further to his statement.

‘Boo’ sounded like a negative word to these girls.

These guys second their opinion. “It’s a negative word. Because they forget their own culture”, one of them said, while thinking more about the question. His friend said that it sounds phonetically negative. “‘Weeaboo’ sounds negative”, he said while agreeing with others.

It is to be noted that a similar variation of the word, Koreaboo, exists for people who are obsessively into K-Pop, K-Dramas and Korean culture. Koreaboo is also the name of a popular K-Pop news portal and is currently one of the largest content platforms for international K-Pop readers. Once again, the term might be controversial like Weeaboo.

What do the Japanese people think of ‘weeaboos’ personally?

“Being a Japanese myself, I think it’s totally fine. I will be quite happy if they come to like Japan more and more, and introduce Japanese culture to the world”, gleamed one of the peeps.

“I think they are fine because they like Japan”, a girl said. “I think they are fine. I don’t have any reason to criticize them”, her friend added.

Another person thought that it was a good thing even though the word had a negative weight attached to it. “The sole fact that they are interested in Japan makes me happy”, he explained. “If you are from Europe or other countries, Japan looks really far, right? But if they become interested in Japan, by watching YouTube videos, for example, and if they come to Japan it would be a good thing even if the word might have a negative meaning”, his friend smiled as he explained.

One of the examples on Urban Dictionary read: “If you love and respect Japanese culture and your own, you are not a weeaboo. Merely liking anime or wanting to learn Japanese does not make you a weeaboo”.

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What Anime Characters Do Japanese People Like?

(Written by Deku)

Naruto, Goku, Midoriya, Miyazaki, Mikasa! If any of these names ring a bell, then you are definitely a fan of anime! Kawaii (cute) anime characters can often get you hooked to the shows. But have you ever wondered which characters are adored by the native fans in Japan? We decided to go to the Akihabara District, and ask them ourselves! Why Akihabara? Cause it’s quite a popular market among anime lovers and is often associated with modern Japanese pop-culture! And the results are quite surprising, cause they not only include anime from the current era, but also the classic ones!

LLENN – Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (GGO)

“She is fast and her fighting abilities are top-notch, so I like her!”. Guess who’s he talking about? That’s right, it’s none other than LLENN from the popular SAO (Sword Art Online) spin-off: Gun Gale Online. Known as Kohiruimaki Karen in real life, she is often called the ‘Pink Devil’ in the GGO game, due to her choice of equipment color.

Kirito, Suguha, Yuuki, Asuna – Sword Art Online

Of course, we have some fan-faves from the original SAO too! Kirito, the main character, is quite popular among the audiences. “He really embodies a protagonist”, one of them said.

Kirito’s sister was also the favorite character of one of the SAO fans. “Even though they’re actually cousins, I like how she has feelings for him. Her facial expressions are cute”, he told us.

Yuuki and Asuna were among other fan favorites from the show.

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Shiina Mayuri – Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate is an anime that absolutely needs no introduction! But for those who are unfamiliar with it, the series revolves around the concept of time travel and starts with the infamous legend of John Titor, a supposedly real lifetime traveller who became an internet sensation in the early 2000s. Shiina Mayuri, one of the tritagonists from the show, was the favorite character of two passersby we interviewed. Although being a 16-year-old teen, Shiina possesses an extremely child-like and playful persona for her age.

Takumi Fujiwara – Initial D

Takumi Fujiwara, the main character from Initial D. He’s calm and cool.”, said one of the enthusiastic fans. Usually, characters who are calm and remain unfazed even in the most perilous situations are perceived as badasses or natural leaders, and Takumi is one such character. If you are into street racing franchises like the Fast & Furious, do give a try to Initial D.

Goku – Dragon Ball Z

If you watched Dragon Ball Z in your childhood and adapted the ‘Never Give Up’ attitude in your life, chances are that you learnt it from Goku. “He never gives up and cares about his friends”, a fan commented. Standing up for your close ones makes you instantly attractive, and the same goes for the protagonist of the show! The popular franchise was first created by Akira Toriyama in 1984 and still produces content in the form of various media today.

Zoro & Chopper – One Piece

First published in July 1997, One Piece is one of the mangas which is known for being too long. It’s still ongoing and is expected to end sometime between 2024-2025. The Pirate King, aka Roronoa Zoro, is quite popular among the fans of the franchise. He has a muscular design. “He’s so cool”, one of the female fans commented. Tony Tony Chopper is an anthropomorphic reindeer from the show, known for his cute design. He ate a fruit that gave him the ability to transform into a human-hybrid at will.

Colonel Mustang – Fullmetal Alchemist

One of the Fullmetal Alchemist fans had Colonel Mustang as his favorite characters. “He has the maturity of an adult, and he’s cute when he becomes upset when he gets called ‘useless’. It’s like his weakness”, he said. We would all agree that he’s such a relatable character! 😝

Domon Kasshu, Banagher Links – Gundam Franchise

We met a couple of Gundam fans during our session. “He’s passionate, and that’s something I don’t have”, said one of the guys while referring to his favorite dramatis personae, Domon Kasshu from the classic hit: Mobile Fighter G Gundam.

Banagher Links was another fan-fave from the franchise’s show Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. “He’s a character who doesn’t know who his father is at first, but later is given the Unicorn Gundam from his father, and overcomes many obstacles”, the second fan told us.

With several media publications and giant mecha statues, Gundam is one of those franchises which has now become the face of anime culture in Japan. The country recently inaugurated a gigantic moving 60-foot-tall Gundam robot in Yokohama.

Some Unique Choices:

Sometimes we are just spoiled for choices and hence become indecisive when asked to choose. This happened with one of the passersby when we asked him about his favorite character. “Character… I can’t think of any…”, he said. “It’s hard but there’s got to be one!”, we nudged and encouraged him a bit. And what he said after this, was something really unique:  “Ah, Iskandar from Fate. He’s really cool!”. Iskandar has appeared in several games from the Fate franchise, especially Fate/Grand Order.

Matou Sakura from another Fate game (Fate/Stay Night) was also loved by one of the fans. “I’m not sure why, but she’s cute”, he chuckled. She was also a part of the television series.

Snake, a character from the Metal Gear Solid video game series, was also his favorite. “He’s handsome with a beard like this”, he added.

One of the avid Kantai Collection fans even carried the merch bag of the show. Inazuma was his favorite character.

“I like girls that are cheerful and energetic”, said a fan, referring to Cocoa Hoto from Is the Order a Rabbit? She is portrayed as an optimistic girl whose high spirited attitude is often infectious and makes others join her.

Cardcaptor Sakura’s titular character reminded us of Goku and Cocoa Hoto, as her fan described: “I love her because she’s cheerful and always caring about the people around her”.

Tsunderes in anime has gained their own fan following over the ages. For those who haven’t heard the jargon before, tsunderes refer to characters with cold, angry and irritable personality but showing a more affectionate and friendly side over time. Rin from Kemurikusa is one such tritagonist. “I like how she’s a tsundere”, a fan told us.

“I like Misaka Mikoto, she’s my type”, an interviewee grinned. She is the protagonist of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun).

If you are into characters who act too mature for their age and think they ‘know it all’, then you would definitely love Yoshiko ‘Yohane’ from Love Live!. This mindset is often called the ‘Chuunibyou Syndrome’, which roughly translates to ‘Middle School 2nd Year Syndrome’.

We found another mature character, Hinata-chan, from the show Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita! Her fan described what he liked about her: “She’s still in elementary school, but she’s already so grown up. She’s so manly and I think men have a lot to learn from her. So she’s ‘handsome’, but also cute”. An interesting choice indeed!

We found an American anime fan and asked him about his anime biases. “I’m not too familiar, but things like Yu Yu Hakusho or Rurouni Kenshin. I grew up in America and they were broadcasted there, with dubs of course”, he replied.

One of the buffs loved Tanizaki Junichiro from Bungou Stray Dogs for the fact that he really cared about his younger sister.

While her friend admired Onzai Momotaro from B-Project. “He’s very easy going, and doesn’t talk much”, she described.

Sometimes we love the characters solely because they have a cute character design. And so was the case for this Nadeko-chan fan (from Bakemonogatari).

And the same goes for a Yu Yu Hakusho buff who loved Youko Kurama. He is portrayed as a silver-haired fox demon in the show, who obtains the body of the red-haired Shuichi Minamino, after he is badly wounded and chased. “I like his good looks”, she chuckled.

“I like the gap between her looks and personality”, said a person while describing Sakura Kyoko from Madoka Magica.

An IDOLiSH7 fan loved Nanase Riku for his hardworking nature and his cute and attractive smile.

Her friend admired Kashuu Kiyomitsu. “He’s a character from Touken Ranbu. He’s so cool! Touken Ranbu is a game where the player plays the role of the ‘master’, and he’s always fighting for the master, which I think is cute”, she giggled.

“She wears pink and has dog ears, but I really like her”. Guess who’s he describing? No! He isn’t talking about the Pink Demon from GGO! It’s Millhiore from the 2011 fantasy anime: DOG DAYS. So we had a wonderful time talking to these nice folks at Akihabara, but we wonder how different would be the choices of people outside the area. Maybe we continue with this next time at a different place… Who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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What Music Are Japanese People into in 2020?

(Written by Deku)

Japan is full of rich art & culture! And thanks to the anime culture and their OSTs, people all around the globe are now interested in Japanese music.

And not just humans, Japan has singers that don’t even exist! That’s right, we are talking about Hatsune Miku, the face of Vocaloid!

But, this is what the youngsters outside Japan enjoy! So, we had this burning question:

What do the Japanese youth listen to these days?

And what better way to find out than to ask the folks of Japan themselves!? It’s time to hit the streets for some interviews! Here’s what we found…

You can watch the entire video here or continue reading further:

Spoiler Alert: It’s a lot of K-Pop & J-Pop! 😝

1. Aimyon

Aimyon is a popular Japanese singer and songwriter, known for her soothing voice and producing hits like Marigold (マリーゴールド), from her 2018 album: Momentary Sixth Sense.

“What song are you into recently?”, we asked the fan. “Aimyon’s Hadaka no Kokoro (Naked Heart). I liked Aimyon from before, and her voice is very soothing. Her lyrics are very eccentric.”, he answered.

Her unconventional lyrics set her apart from other singers and apparently, people love her for it! “She says things like ‘die’ in her songs, and that’s what I like about her”, the fan added.

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2. BTS

BTS isn’t just a K-pop band anymore, it’s a global sensation! So it’s no surprise to see the Bulletproof Boy Scouts on the list! And BTS isn’t just about music; They have worked closely with UNICEF for the Love Myself Campaign to spread the message of self-love among the youths of the world. Their songs focus heavily on themes related to self-love, mental health, suicide, woman empowerment and more. This made them the first artist in the Republic of Korea to raise funds for a global campaign!

“I think they are so cool, even as a guy. I really like them”, the BTS fan stated.


YOASOBI is a Japanese music duo and the interesting fact about them is that most of their work is based on novels and short stories. Their debut, Yoru ni Kakeru (Racing into the Night) is based on the novel Thanatos no Yūwaku (Temptation of Thanatos), written by Mayo Hoshino. “It’s upbeat, and the lyrics are based on a novel. It’s fun to compare the song to the actual book”, a fan commented.

Legend has it that Thanatos was the personification of death in ancient Greek folklore. And as per the book and the lyrics, the protagonist’s lover perceives him as Thanatos. Due to this delusion, she tries to commit suicide several times, so as to please the ‘dreaded entity’, aka her boyfriend, only to be saved by him after each attempt. In the end, the protagonist finally decides to jump off the cliff with her to please her, realizing that they were Thanatos for each other and can rest forever peacefully.

YOASOBI consists of Ayase (who is responsible for lyrics, composition, and production) and Ikura (the vocalist). They also have few supporting members who are responsible for guitar, drums, bass and keyboard chorus.

“The vocalist (Ikura) is cute and I like her”, the avid fan told us.


TWICE is a Girls K-Pop band with 9 members, formed by JYP Entertainment. We asked one of the fans about her bias, which turned out to be Sana. “I like a member called Sana. She’s a bit airheaded, but her actions and her voice are cute”, she said. Sometimes we are attracted to our idols for being awkward and vulnerable, probably because it reminds us that they are human beings like us and makes their behaviour quite relatable!

We asked a TWICE fan about her favorite song. “It’s a new song by TWICE called Fanfare. I like the rhythm and dancing.”

5. Michael Jackson

The King of Pop: MJ, is one of the most popular singers and dancers to have ever lived! His charisma and the musical imprint he left has crossed international borders. But to our surprise, this is the only western musical thing we stumbled upon in our interview, other than Rihanna! “My guy said MJ wow did not expect that”, a user (FenerX) commented.

Even after he passed away in 2009, Michael Jackson still has a big, loyal fandom and will always be remembered for his iconic Moonwalk. Smooth Criminal, Thriller and Billie Jean are some of his popular singles. “I like his Moonwalk and Zero Gravity Dance in Smooth Criminal”, the fan stated.


It’s not just songs, boy bands and their members are also loved for their quirky trait, and SixTONES, a J-Pop boy band created by Johnny & Associates in 2015, falls under this category. “They all get along well and they are funny too”, a SixTONES fan said. “Which member do you like the most?”, we asked her. “Hokuto Matsumura. He looks cool, but he’s also funny”, she replied back.

We asked these folks about their favorite SixTONES hits, and they would recommend you to try Navigator, JAPONICA STYLE & Imitation Rain.

“They (SixTones and Snow Man) are different from other Johnny’s groups in a good way!”, a fan giggled.

7. GOT7

Despite the rumors of GOT7’s probable disbanding after their contract with JYP Entertainment came to an end this January, the boy band’s popularity continues to grow worldwide.

The band members are currently focusing on their solo projects. Also, Park Jinyoung has recently signed a contract with BigHit Entertainment, which may come as good news for multiple K-Pop fans.

RUN AWAY by GOT7 is adored by their fans:

“I like the lyrics. It goes- Run away with me”, a GOT7 fan grinned.  

BONUS: Of course, we had some non-mainstream and lesser-known recommendations! And they are worth checking out!

ZOC’s Danshari Kareshi (Throwaway Boyfriend) is an interesting song and tells the story of how a girl ends her toxic relationship and gets revenge on the boy who cheated on her. “It gets quite messy!”, the ZOC fan told us. “Their faces are cute, and their voices are very feminine and cute too”, she further added.

ATEEZ is a boy band from South Korean, known for their dancing skills and producing hits like WONDERLAND, INCEPTION and more.

Niji (Rainbow) is a popular song by the Japanese Pop group, AAA. “I get excited listening to it,

and I like the voices of all the members”, a fan commented. And not to mention, they have a catchy name: Attack All Around (AAA).

If you want to enter the less explored world of Japanese Hip-Hop, do try Shogen (Testimony) by Lamp Eye. “It’s the root of Japanese Hip-Hop. If you listen to this, you get hip-hop. It is the pinnacle of hip-hop”, a fan mentioned.

Check out Irotoridori (Multi-colored) by Yuzu! They have a whacky music video and also made another version of the song with the pop-rock band, Ikimono Gakari. The Ikimono Gakari version has some touch of the acapella style to it. “I like the voices that flow from their faces”, a Yuzu fan stated.

Groups like Arashi and Johnny’s West are admired for their funny personalities. “When they sing, they really shine, but they also have funny aspects too”, the Arashi fan remarked. “The song I’m into right now is called One Love. Also, Dear Snow. “One Love” is a mainstream love song and it makes my heart pound”, she further added. Her friend was a Johnny’s West fan and here’s what she admired about them: “They’re not ‘cool’ in a conventional way, but they’re still cool. They can also do funny things so casually”, she added. Her favorite Johnny’s West song is Shouko (Evidence). “Until now, the band only sang silly songs, but they finally made a cool one”, she laughed.

Sometimes people can also admire the agencies behind the bands. “It’s not an artist, but I like groups under Stardust agency, like Super Dragon for example. I’m into groups like that. I can tell that the members get along very well. Their songs are good, and their faces are handsome”, the above person told us.

We asked another person about her favorite songs. “I like everything by Rihanna. Recently, I’m into songs by Iri; Like Sparkle, because it’s cool!”, she said.

We found an enthusiastic fan sporting a T-Shirt of his favorite band. “I’m into a song called Baseball Bat (by SiM). There’s a lot going on in the world, but listening to this is refreshing”, he told us. “It’s by a band called SiM, and I’m wearing their shirt right now. They’re a reggae-punk band, but they incorporate many different styles and genres in their music. Their songs give off a completely new feeling and really hit you hard or pierce your heart. The lyrics are extreme too, but still good”, he added further.

We found a fan of yet another Johnny’s boy band. And it’s none other than Naniwa Danshi! Diamond Smile was her favorite song by the band. “They’re cool, cute, funny, and hard-working. I like it all!”, she giggled.

A fan chuckled and said, “I listen to a lot of K-Pop. Artists like AB6IX and Wanna One. At first, I just liked the members but their songs are good too and they are good at singing.”

TikTok is also popularizing numerous songs:

“I listen to a lot of songs that are on TikTok. For example, Kinmokusei (Osmanthus). I like songs that are easy-going.”, the above guy said.

Energy boosters or calmers, these fans got you covered with their recommendations:

Kenshi Yonezu’s Kanden (Electric Shock) is as electrifying and energetic as it’s name!

For those who want to dance off to a refreshing summer song, Kasukani Kimidatta (It Was Faintly You) by Milk is the perfect recommendation for you! Interesting choices, right? So we asked more about her favorite artists. “Official Hige Dandism, Kenshi Yonezu, and also a bit of TWICE. They’re easy to listen to and the melody enters your ears naturally”, she answered.

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5.All the content and information at our website is completely under copyright, license and international treaties to avoid copying and re-usage. It is completely forbidden to copy our content and graphics as per the derived copyright law. Our editorial content and graphics strictly belong to us.

6.A buyer is prohibited from sub-licensing or assigning or transferring the product licensed to others, and this will require prior written consent from us without fail.

7.There is no possibility to have exclusive ownership or intellectual claim over a product through the paid purchase. The products and extensions sold from this site belongs to the website and these are sold “as is” basis with no scope for warranty. We will hold no responsibility for the damages and losses incurred through our extensions and products directly or indirectly. Also, we will not hold responsibility for the buyer’s inability in using the purchased extensions or products too.

8.Every successful payment will be entitled to receive deliverables in time. Your order information will be securely stored in our servers besides successfully sending a download link to the registered email address. Any failure to receive this link is suggested to inform us without any delay to ensure necessary arrangements in this regard. We encourage registered members while using valid email address for this purpose.

9.Our site deals through non-tangible irrevocable purchase procedure. We accept the refund within 60 days of the purchase. Refund will be performed through 2Checkout only. And, it is the responsibility of the user to bear the transaction and administrative fee for 2Checkout.

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Privacy Policy

At, we ensure utmost privacy to all our customers’ information that is being collected at the time of purchase. We collect e-mail addresses, names and some more information while making payment through PayPal. We do not collect your credit card information, as it is already handled by PayPal.

We are always committed to exercise needful measures to protect the customers’ information while keeping their privacy needs in mind. We sincerely value and respect the faith that you show in our website. Therefore, we diligently and duly make sure that your privacy and confidentiality is safeguarded and protected. This privacy policy is applicable for all the services offered by us. It is a clear assumption that you are agreeing to our policy while signing up and using our services.

The data or information collected from the visitors will be used more effectively by our website to improve the users’ experience to a significant extent. We always exercise quality measures to make good use of this information for the website improvements, and will not be shared to third parties unless mentioning in the privacy policy.

There is a provision to opt-out or opt-in for this data sharing, and this will provide us required consent in this regard. Also, there is a chance to use this personal information for the required legal issues based up on the involvement of law enforcement authority. Our Privacy Policy will come into force to protect our legal rights when a user violates the usage at the website. In addition to it, any third party that purchases through this site will be having complete rights to use this information in the similar manner according to our policy.

It is a common practice to collect the IP address and browser information of the visitors to our website. You may request to modify your personal information, if you get any anomalies. You can also ask us to remove your personal information if you would like it to be deleted from our database.

We use cookies when someone accesses our website. Cookie is a small amount of site’s data, which is placed on the visitor’s computer. These are also used to recognize users who are revisiting the website.

This kind of property will make these cookies completely harmless, and thus there is no scope for any affect or adverse results.

We regularly use server logs for our official analytical purpose. We use HTTP headers and server logs for these analytics. This will not create any adverse effect over your regular visits, but it keeps us informed about the multiple visits of a single visitor to create our analytics more realistic. Analytics is almost an internal process of our website with no harm at your part.

Protecting personal information of our customers is always our primary motto with predetermined safe approach. Our system is completely safe with no scope for storing credit card information during and after the purchase process. We always keep our customers’ information protected and it will not be shared with any third party.

We reserve all the rights to modify the usage of cookies as well. Therefore, this statement might be modified as per the requirements in order to display the latest modifications in our systems.

It is highly imperative to mention that our privacy policy is subjected to change on timely basis. We are authorized and rightful to modify or change this Privacy Policy at any time. These changes will be instantly posted on this page and some of the significant changes will be informed through a prominent notice or via mails to our registered members.

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New ‘About Me’ Page!

Hey guys, I wrote a new About Me page. I talk about how I grew up in Hiroshima, how I learnt English, and how I made so many international friends. I you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

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Being Awkward is Freedom – On LAHWF (Andrew Hales)

If you are a normal person who has good social skills, this video will make you feel very uncomfortable.

The title is ‘Staring at people 3’. Basically he stares at random people in public without saying (or saying some creepy) words. He tries both men and women.

It is almost too painful to watch. He is breaking all kinds of social codes here; when you look at somebody for longer than a few seconds, you are expected to say something. Otherwise, it will be very awkward. He is intentionally creating this awkward situation for fun and making people uncomfortable.

But, on the other hand, there’s something else in this video: people’s reaction is not that bad. They try to cope with this situation and say, ‘Can I help you?’ which, they hope, eases the tension. Some of them smile and keep smiling as he continues to stare.

When you create an awkward situation (intentionally or accidentally), people will help you by trying to make the situation better. Being awkward should not be that bad.

Now, watch this ‘Awkward Birthday’.

In this video, Andrew Hales (the guy in the video) tells random people that it’s his birthday and invites them to his imaginary birthday party.

As you can see, this is completely random. The first thing he says to a stranger is ‘Hey, it’s my birthday.’  Everybody knows that this is not how you are supposed to talk. A proper way of talking to people you don’t know would be introducing yourself, explaining the situation, and asking people a favour etc. Again, he is breaking the social rules, which is awkward.

Despite that, people are really nice with him. Most of them say ‘happy birthday’ at least (which by the way is an expected response when somebody tells you that it’s their birthday). Some of them even show some interest in his awkward birthday party, even though he deliberately makes it uninviting (‘at my parents’, just me and my sister’).

If you haven’t done something like this before (and I bet many people haven’t), would you expect people to be this friendly? Probably not.

One thing that separates Andrew from other people is that he is comfortable being awkward. Sure, he knows that he is on camera and he is acting, but people don’t know about this; their reaction is real.

People are naturally social. Even if you are awkward, if you just talk to them and carry on the conversation, they will respond to you positively.

You can even approach people like in the next video. It’s called ‘Picking Fights With People’.

What he does in this video is even more random than previous ones. Naturally, people get quite confused and don’t know how to react. Even then, some people are amazingly friendly and happy to interact with him. The girl with peanut butter and honey is the most interesting example. She is extremely cool about Andrew’s weird fighting act and starts talking to him as if she already knew him. They end up talking for a while. (He actually edits the first few seconds of the interaction. If you want to see what happened, you can see it here.)

What I like about Andrew is that, unlike other pranksters, he is always nice and doesn’t offend people too much. He is a likable guy and I can relate to him.

The following video is funny and will put a smile on your face.

This video is titled ‘Whispering Nerdy Things To People’, but he mostly says ‘I love you’. Obviously, it creeps people out, but it’s hard to get annoyed when somebody tells you they love you, even if they don’t really mean it.

Andrew’s channel tells us that you can get away with doing many things that we think we are not supposed to do.

This one is called ‘Taking People’s Umbrellas’, which he literally does. In this video, he casually approaches unsuspecting people and just takes their umbrellas as if it was the most normal thing in the world to do.

The people in the video are surprisingly complying. This prank is shot in China. The city is called Chengdu, which is ‘hardly a touristy town’ as Andrew puts. Therefore, you may think that it’s just Chinese people who are so complying.

But, apparently, American people are not that different. Watch the video ‘Stealing People’s Cell Phone‘. Phones are far more valuable than umbrellas. Not only are they more expensive, but they also contain personal information. Even so, when Andrew steals their phone, some of them just watch what’s happening and don’t really do anything about it. Sure, he gets knocked down once but that kind of reaction seems quite rare.

His videos remind me that most of people are quite nice and tolerating, and you never know what will happen until you start interacting with them.

He meets amazing people along the way. He gets a warm hug from this nice lady. He meets this nerdy girl who the audiences love. He gets a number from this pretty girl (and eventually a date, according to his video description.)

His YouTube name is LAHWF, which stands for ‘Losing All Hope Was Freedom’, a quote from Fight Club (1999). To me, his videos are saying that being awkward is freedom. Being OK with being awkward is freedom. If you stop caring how people might react and start being social, you will meet amazing people.


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I Thought I Would Never Bike all the Way

My colleagues were teasing me. They were insisting that I should come to the office by bicycle the next day. I always took the train, but they were riding their bikes to the office regularly. It was no big deal for them, but I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

‘Look, it’s only 13.6 km (8.5mi)!’ said one of them, showing me Google Maps.

‘Yeah, but you guys are used to biking. I am not,’ I said.

‘Come on. This is the kind of thing that will give you a man-point,’ he said. ‘Just come here by bike tomorrow. It’s not that hard. It only takes 45 minutes for me to get here,’ he insisted.

But I wasn’t convinced.

The Various Excuses I Came up with

I had good reasons why I didn’t bike. In fact, someone (the CEO) had already encouraged me to do so a few times before. But I always said no. For me, taking the train was definitely the most obvious choice and biking was not a practical way to commute.

Here are some of the things I thought:

  • I’d taken the train to work for as long as I could remember. It wasn’t just unimaginable that I could bike instead of taking the train.
  • It took me nearly 10 minutes (at least it felt like it) to get to the nearest station from home. Then how long would it take to get to the office which was 13 stations away?
  • Some of the employees (and the CEO especially) had been biking already. I thought they were incredibly tough people, if not crazy.
  • I had biked a few times to get to a few stations away and it had taken quite some time. From my rough estimation, it would take at least one and a half hour to get to the office.
  • I remembered that there were slopes somewhere along the way. I would get tired very quickly if I had to bike all my way up.
  • What would happen if you got too tired halfway? You wouldn’t be able to just take the train because you cannot leave your bike in a random place.
  • Even if you could bike all the way to the office, what would happen if you decided to go out after work and the place is even farther than home? Sure, you can leave the bike at the office. But it would mean that when you took the train to go home, you would have to walk from the nearest station to your place. You wouldn’t want to do that when you were tired from work and the party would you?

The thing is, it is very easy to come up with reasons that you can’t do something.

But then, I began to see things differently.

How I Changed my Mind

After I had that conversation with my colleagues, the idea of biking to the office was stuck in my head. So I gave it a bit of thought.

Then, the idea started to sound much more feasible.

  • As far as I remembered, the average cycling speed was around 20 km/h (12 mph). If Google says that the walking distance between my place and the office is 13.6km, it would take less than an hour if there were no traffic lights. Less than an hour was not that bad at all.
  • Even if it took longer, I could always leave the bike at the office and take the train back home. Sure, I would have to walk from the train station to home but I’d done that countless times already and it was bearable.
  • If I got tired halfway, I could take a break.
  • Even if the other guys at the office were tougher, it wouldn’t take me twice as long as them. Even if it did take twice the time, it still wouldn’t be that serious.

Before I knew it, I had decided that I would ride my bike the next day.

What Happened the Following Day

So I did bike. And it was nothing.

The roads were quite straightforward and very easy to navigate. Even though there were slopes, they weren’t as bad as I thought. As for the time, to my surprise, it didn’t even take me an hour. (It took 56 minutes, to be precise.)

In short, it was far easier done than said. The only reason that I was thinking that it wouldn’t be possible was because it was something I had never done before.

People often think that things are not possible because they are things they are not used to doing. It seems like I was just too lazy to give it a serious thought.

And who knows? I am already thinking of biking a couple of days a week. It’s actually a very good way to exercise. You don’t have to pay for the gym; obviously, biking’s completely free. And you have to commute anyway so you don’t have to dedicate special time to it. It seems like it has many upsides and very few downsides.

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