Perfume | Time Warp

Perfume. Is. Back. I repeat! This is not a drill!

Perfume returns with a brand-new single, their first new release in 2020, and the very first physical single in over 2 years. For Perfume fans, like myself, this is amazing. Coming off the heels of a best-album tour and even taking part in Coachella, of all things, Perfume is taking Japan and the world by storm, and now they may just cure 2020 with their 31st single.

Titled ‘Time Warp’, the girls take us back in time with this new release, but is this time warp going to malfunction on us at all? Find out by reading on!

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IZ*ONE (아이즈원) | BLOOM*IZ

Remember sometime last year when I was worried that IZ*ONE was never going to release again when there was the Produce scandal? Remember when we thought this full album was never going to see the light of day? Then somehow, closer to my birthday, I find out that the album was indeed going to proceed and promotions would continue and IZ*ONE would still be a group until the end of their contract. Guess when the album released? I’ll leave you in suspense (P.S. it’s my birthday!).

BLOOM*IZ came and made its impact, fighting against all odds (and eventually selling A LOT, and I mean A LOT, of copies). Was the album worth all the wait? Was it the serene blooming of a group that fought through all the lies and betrayal? Or is this a wilting flower that should have disbanded the group? Carry on…

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ITZY (있지) | Not Shy

August and September seems to be the month of comebacks, as ITZY, JYP Entertainment’s girl-crush and individuality concept girl group, is back! In this latest effort from the five-member group, ITZY takes the concept of not being shy and merges it with a western feel, which they’ve previously incorporated into their music before, but never image-wise.

With this comeback comes six new songs to showcase ITZY’s growth as a girl group since their stellar debut last year. But is the release just the right combination of elements for a perfect comeback or is it just shy of getting there? Let’s take a look!

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玉置成実 | Connect the Truth

August marked the return of a special singer dearest to my nostalgic heart: Tamaki Nami! Her first official solo single in over 5 years, Nami is back with ‘Connect the Truth’, a track that brings you back to the mid-00s, when Nami’s career was at an all-time high and anime music was (and still is) so cool.

Tying itself in with the dorama ‘Ultraman Z’, Nami strives to bring something fun for her older fans and newer fans alike. But is this single going to connect with us, or is the truth far more uglier upon listen? Read on…

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유아 (오마이걸) | Bon Voyage

Guess who’s back? YooA! Well, this is actually her debut as a soloist, rather than as a comeback with OH MY GIRL. An interesting venture, YooA possesses a distinct vocal out of her OMG members, and when I came across the opening trailer for the release, excitement was the word that best described how I felt prior to its arrival. YooA also happens to be my OMG bias, so this was a treat.

In this release, YooA goes on a journey, hence the name ‘Bon Voyage’. With its name, we can only hope that we’re taken on a great journey through all the songs on this mini-album, but this poses a few questions: can YooA succeed as a soloist, and will this mini-album and its title track be a journey worth traveling? Let’s dive into it, below!

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倖田來未 | Someday / Boys♥Girls

We finally made it boys and girls! I thought we would never make it, or that we would make it here someday… but no, we are finally at the end of the single series!

Capping off the 12 Singles of Christmas is the series’ only double A-side single, ‘Someday / Boys♥Girls’, though Someday was promoted with a music video over the other (and interestingly caps off the movie series that the singles had in place). The concept art is also, fittingly, Kuu in Japanese garments, representing Japan in the finale. Now that we are at the end, we have to ponder, was this an appropriate single to end the series, or have we already reached it prior to?

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倖田來未 | WIND

We are nearly done! Having gone through ten singles already, we now land at the eleventh single of the series (and if you haven’t already read the previous ten reviews, what are you doing?!). Titled ‘WIND’, this single takes Kuu into a more conventional J-pop territory, and her concept art goes for an Italian feel.

Let’s keep our question short and simple: is this wind a much-needed breeze from the last single or are we in for stormy weather?

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倖田來未 | KAMEN feat. 石井竜也

We are nearly done with the series; we’re now at number ten, and this time, Koda Kumi enlists the help of Japanese crooner Ishii Tatuya, who some anime fans may be familiar with via Gundam SEED. However, this track has no anime tie-in… instead, we’ve got the makings of a love song!

Contrasting this is the Hawaiian concept art, which has Kuu wearing a garment from Hawaii. While we were given a wintry break-up ballad in the form of ‘you’, the series’ first single, will KAMEN make us fall in love in a heated, sensual love song? Read on!

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倖田來未 | 今すぐ欲しい

I’m going to go against the grain here and say upfront already: this is my favorite of the twelve. Nine singles in, and I’m already revealing it in the introduction? Why, touki, why?!

Because I’m going to gush in this review. That’s all I’m going to do. There really is no surprise here (if you follow my YouTube channel at ‘toukimeiki’, I have a video that shows why). So what makes this, out of all the twelve, where Kuu goes to a French ballet for her concept art theme, and Kuu goes downtown in what is uniquely the only ‘Kuu-does-a-cover’ single of the series, the BEST? I mean… did I put it that way? Read on!

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