ELISA to perform at Sakura-Con in Seattle

February 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For more on ELISA, visit our J!-ENT Asian Entertainment/pop culture website,


ELISA, announced as a Musical Guest of Honor for Sakura-Con 2014!

ELISA will be performing at Sakura-Con 2014 which will be taking place on April 18-20 in Seattle, Washington.

ELISA is from Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan and debuted in 2007 with the song “euphoric field”, the opening theme song for the anime series “ef-a tale of memories.”
She is noted for her distinguished singing voice which is rooted in opera and is said to possess a transparent quality.

Her music has been featured as theme songs for hit anime series such as “Hayate the Combat Butler” and “Project Railgun S.”

ELISA is also a successful live performer, showcasing her work at large capacity venues, including Japan’s biggest anime song festival “Animelo Summer Live” for four consecutive years, beginning in 2008. Her most recent live show was at the “Anime Festival Asia 2013″ in Singapore.

Her most recent singles, “Sobani Iruyo” and “REALISM” were used in the anime series “Valvrave the Liberator” as the second and third ending themes, respectively.

Her soon to be released single “Millenario” will be featured as the ending theme for the anime series “The Irregular at Magic High School.”

ELISA kicks off her international activity at Sakura-Con 2014, which will be her first appearance at an anime convention in North America.

Official Website:


Twitter :

[Sakura-Con 2014]
April 18~20
Washington State Convention Center (Seattle, WA)
Registration and more info @


Swinging Popsicle releases digital single Do Your Homework (Remix)

February 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


February 3, 2014 – J-Pop band Swinging Popsicle released their latest digital single “Do Your Homework (Remix)” last week on iTunes worldwide. Featuring vocalist Mineko Fujishima’s crystal-clear vocals and a dreamy, electro-bossa-nova melody, the remix of the original 2011 track was inspired by composer Hironobu Hirata’s recent work producing tracks for Nitroplus mascot and anime star Super Sonico.

“Do Your Homework (Remix)” on iTunes:

Swinging Popsicle Official Website:
Swinging Popsicle Official Facebook:

Swinging Popsicle was formed in 1995 when singer Mineko Fujishima and guitarist Osamu Shimada joined bassist Hironobu Hirata through a newspaper ad. The band’s first effort was the Sunny Silent Park EP.

In 1998, their first self-titled full-length album Swinging Popsicle debuted from Sony Music Entertainment at Number 1 in the New Artists category, producing the hit singles “Joy of Living,” “I Love Your Smile,” and “Parade.” After extensive touring, the band returned to the studio for their second album Fennec! (2000).

After starting strong with multiple Sony-label releases, Swinging Popsicle continued to build their international fan base with their independent releases of “Change” and “Orange.”  Four solid years of writing and performing live throughout Japan produced their most mature and powerful CD titled Transit (2004), featuring signature song “I Just Wanna Kiss You.” In 2005, the band embarked on their first tour to Korea.

2006 marked their United States debut at Fanime MusicFest in San Jose, CA. The same year their song “Clash” was included in a compilation CD with the Korean manga “Cracker.” Performing to regular sold-out one-man live shows in Japan, (some running as long as 3 hours!) the band continued to develop new material for their full-length album Go on (2007), which featured “rainbounds,” “Clash,” and “Chocolate Soul Music.” In June 2007, they returned to America to perform at Anime Mid Atlantic in Richmond, VA, and New York City’s Knitting Factory.

Swinging Popsicle has also contributed music to the NITROPLUS PC games “SUMAGA/STAR MINE GIRL,” “AXANAEL,” “Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo to Koi,” and various songs for the Nitroplus mascot Super Sonico’s band, Daiichi Uchuu Sokudo (First Astronomical Velocity).

Swinging Popsicle members have kept busy in recent years with various solo projects. Guitarist Osamu Shimada formed his own shoegazer band The Caraway, and lends support to Seikama II’s Ace Shimizu Project, Face to Ace, Korean pop vocalist Taru, and popular J-Pop artist Fujii Fumiya. Vocalist Mineko Fujishima has performed backing vocals with top-selling J-Pop R&B artist Kusuo, and performs regularly with the experimental 9-drummer band DQS.

Bassist/band leader Hironobu Hirata has acted as producer for the NITROPLUS games “SUMAGA,” “SUMAGA Special,” “AXANAEL,” and “Sonicomi,” and provided musical arrangements for artists such as 7!!, Kanako Ito, Kazuhiro Watanabe, Taru (Korea), Yozoh (Korea), and Daiichi Uchuu Sokudo. Hirata also plays support bass for Kusuo and DQS, and was the band leader for Kusuo’s 2012 Budokan live concert. His latest producer credit, Super Sonico’s Love & II+ Peace Plus debuted in the Oricon Top 50 in June 2012.

Swinging Popsicle was nominated as Best Japanese Rock Band by Shojo Beat magazine.
USA appearances include: Fanime (San Jose, CA), Anime Mid-Atlantic (Richmond, VA), Knitting Factory (New York City)


Yuko Oshima makes shocking announcement, to graduate from AKB48

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


JAPAN: In a shocking announcement on NHK’s “Kouhaku Uta Gassen” (New Year’s Eve Red-White Battle), popular and longtime AKB48 member Yuko Oshima announced right after the group’s performance of “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”, that she  will be graduating from AKB48 before performing “Heavy Rotation”.

While many people are watching worldwide via Ustream and, people have taken to Twitter to show their displeasure of AKB48 management using the Kouhaku New Year’s Eve special for Yuko to announce her graduation.

Kouhaku Uta Gassen’s second half received over 42% viewership in the ratings in 2012.



December 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Nico Nico Live On Air – Japan’s most popular online live platform seen around the world – examined more than a 1000 of their music programs shown between January 1st 2013 – November 26th to create it’s Top Ranking list for 2013.

Based on viewers and comments, Nico Nico declared the exciting “X JAPAN x NICO LIVE SPECIAL 〜24 Hour Attack In Progress〜 Yoshiki Descends on Nicofarre,” that aired on September 27th and 28th, the #1 program for 2013.

The special was awarded the “Nico Nico Live On Air Music Program Award 2013.”

On September 25th both “Yoshiki Classical,” Yoshiki’s first solo album in 8 years, and X JAPAN’s first Blue-ray was released.

Yoshiki visited Nico Nico headquarters as a surprise late night guest on September 27th. During this live visit, fans were treated to a rare inside look at Yoshiki as he disclosed his own wallet, discussed shopping and eating “Unappetizing Blue Curry” – all of which was captured and aired live on screen.

On the following day – September 28th, X JAPAN members gathered at Nicofarre. With the audience calling out “X”, Yoshiki entered the stage blasting white smoke dramatically. He asked his online fans to join him live resulting in crashing the server with repeated signs of “X” which has never happened in Nico Nico’s history.

The same night, Yoshiki appeared in the center of Shibuya in Tokyo, which caused a sensation amongst the busy crowds while all being captured live on the Internet. The online viewers interactions speculated whether the Yoshiki they were seeing in Shibuya was the real one or not, creating more online activities.

Yoshiki, other than live music performances, has never appeared on any Internet live broadcast. This program attracted not only his fans but also thousands of new and interested viewers, pushing the program to number one out of all of the thousands of 2013 programing.

Beginning yesterday, December 15th Japan time, “X JAPAN x NICO LIVE SPECIAL 〜24 Hour Attack In Progress〜 Yoshiki Descends on Nicofarre” will air on repeat for one week. The celebration is called the “X JAPAN WEEKDAY 1-7″

Yoshiki participated live via telephone last night to introduce this special week. The DJ asked “What do you want to do in the near future?” which Yoshiki replied in closing the show “I’m going to do a solo World Tour … but anyway, I love NICO NICO! Like I would buy out the company!”


Dec 15th (Sun) – Dec 21st (Sat)


7 Days X JAPAN Legendary Live Performance “X JAPAN WEEK”
Sensational “Yoshiki Appears in Shibuya” on Repeat


YOSHIKI Official Site
YOSHIKI Official Twitter
YOSHIKI Official Facebook
YOSHIKI Official YouTube


Man with a Mission signs record deal with Epic Records

December 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


After performing to sold-out crowds at the Nippon Budokan and sports arenas around Japan, the up and coming wolf crew, MAN WITH A MISSION has officially announced their signing with Epic Records and is planning on releasing a full album to hit the U.S. in the fall of 2014!

“All of us Epic are excited to sign with a fun & energetic band like MAN WITH A MISSION. They have the potential to break it here in the U.S. and across the world.” says Scott Seviour, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Artist Development, at Epic Records.
Epic Records is one of the world’s largest record labels and a home of worldwide famous artists such as Avril Lavigne, Ozzy Osbourne, and Michael Jackson.

When asked how the band felt about the signing, band member, Jean-Ken Johnny commented

“One of our dreams is to have people from all over the world listen to our music, we are excited because this is our first step in achieving that goal. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you guys in this whole world”.

MAN WITH A MISSION has been active in Japan, Europe and the U.S., and this signing marks their next step on the international stage.


Eir Aoi new singles “sirius-EP” and “Sanbika” is now available on iTunes & Amazon in twenty countries including the US!

December 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


From the popular animation series “Kill la Kill”, the opening theme song “sirius” and soundtrack “Sanbika” has been released on December 1st in twenty countries including the US.

The song “sirius-EP” also includes a coupling track “Kuroiuta”, the theme song for PS3 game software “Drankenguard 3”.

Eir Aoi download URL list:

Eir Aoi debuted in October 2011 with the song “MEMORIA”, an ending theme song for the TV animation “Fate/ZERO”. Since then, she has been standing out as a singer. In January 2013, Eir released her first full album “BLAU” which debuted No.4 on the Oricon chart, and sold out the tour which included venues such as Akasaka Blitz.

In addition to this, Eir Aoi was invited to attend and perform at events outside Japan, such as U.S., Germany, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Now, Eir is one of the most attractive female singers in the market. Her facebook page has more than 200,000 “like!”s

On Saturday November 30th, which happened to be Eir’s birthday, she announced that her awaited second album “AUBE” will be released on January 29th. This album might become a true daybreak for her. It will also include a soundtrack “Sanbika” from the TV animation series “Kill la Kill”, which will be released in advance on December 1st.

One year has passed from the release of her first album “BLAU” which became a smash hit.

Since then, Eir Aoi has experienced performing in many stages in Japan and in overseas, and she is widely known around the world. Now she has completed creating her long-awaited new album.

The latest album title is “AUBE”, which means “dawn” in French.

This is a powerful album full with Eir’s spirit. It makes the listeners imagine a bright power in the clear air of the dawn, getting ready to face the beginning of a new day.

In this latest album, you will experience Eir’s talent in full volume, along with her astonishing vocal skills. This is an album that music fans should not miss.

【Official Web Site】








December 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


The Bay Area’s Largest Japanese Pop Culture Festival Will Return For 6th Consecutive Year To Showcase The Best In Modern Japanese Film, Food, Fashion, Music And Entertainment At Weekend-Long Celebration Scheduled For July 2014

San Francisco, CA, December 3, 2013 – NEW PEOPLE, a dynamic entertainment destination bringing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North American shores, and the J-POP Summit Festival Committee have announced the dates for the 2014 J-POP Summit Festival.

The popular annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, art, anime, fashion, and film will return to San Francisco’s Japantown and will also present another special J-Pop concert in Union Square the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, July 19th and 20th, 2014.

The J-POP Summit Festival is the Bay Area’s premier annual Japanese pop culture celebration featuring a variety of live bands and artists, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion shows, DJ dance events, interactive games, celebrity appearances, and much more. Many of the attractions are free to attend. The Festival is hosted by J-POP Summit Festival Committee in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. Additional details will be forthcoming at

In 2013, J-POP Summit welcomed more than 80,000 people to Japantown and nearly 10,000 more music fans to the Festival’s first-ever concert held in Union Square that featured Japan’s Ambassador of Kawaii, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, as well as Kylee, Daichi, and LoVendoЯ. The downtown San Francisco Union Square stage will host a compelling line-up of J-Pop artists again next year.

Also returning as part of the 2014 J-POP Summit will be the second annual Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, the only full-fledged Japanese film festival held in the Bay Area. The week-long series of live-action and anime film theatrical premieres will run Saturday, July 19th through Sunday, July 27th at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema and will be highlighted by red carpet events featuring appearances by prominent Japanese directors and actors, as well as several lecture presentations, workshops, autograph sessions, and film industry networking opportunities. Additional information will be available at:

Showcasing cutting edge Japanese fashion has always been a popular aspect of the J-POP Summit. 2013’s theme of “Making Kawaii Universal” resonated with thousands of attendees that savored leading brands as well as live shows featuring top models from the bustling Harajuku fashion scene including Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Next year’s programming will present even more brands and icons to highlight a wide selection of exclusive designs, apparel, and accessories only available for a limited time during the Festival.

The 2014 J-POP Summit Festival also will present the return of the POP GOURMET Food Festival, which will delight attendees with a scrumptious array of innovative Japanese and Asian-influenced cuisine along with Japanese sake and teas. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy popular local gourmet food trucks and exclusive sake tasting by premier sake distillers/distributors on an even bigger scale.

“The growth of the J-POP Summit Festival has been phenomenal since our very first one in 2009 that also marked the Grand Opening of the NEW PEOPLE complex,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival. “The J-POP Summit Festival has become an integral part of San Francisco’s summertime fun and after 2013’s tremendous success we are planning even bigger and more exciting programming for 2014. Stay tuned for news and updates as we begin announcing artists and events early next year!”

The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion, food, art, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2013, the two-day event attracted 80,000 attendees.

About NEW PEOPLE, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, California, NEW PEOPLE, Inc. ( offers the latest films, art, fashion, and retail brands from Japan through its unique entertainment destination as well as through licensing and distribution of selective Japanese films. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment (, a film division of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America.



November 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Edo, Birthplace Of Japan’s Modern Age, Is Also Home To Vengeful Ghosts Of The Past In A Gripping Horror Collection By Acclaimed Author Of BRAVE STORY And ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST

San Francisco, CA, November 19, 2013 – VIZ Media’s Haikasoru literary imprint is proud to announce the North American release of famed Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe’s chilling collection of ghost stories – APPARITIONS: THE GHOSTS OF OLD EDO. The new release carries an MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.

An eBook edition is also available for $8.99 (U.S. / CAN) for the Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks Store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Book Store, and the Kobo eBooks Store.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

In old Edo, the past was never forgotten. It lived alongside the present in dark corners and in the shadows. In these tales, award-winning author Miyuki Miyabe explores the ghosts of early modern Japan and the spaces of the living world – workplaces, families, and the human soul – that they inhabit. Written with a journalistic eye and a fantasist’s heart, APPARITIONS brings the restless dead, and those who encounter them, to life.

“Miyuki Miyabe turns her thorough knowledge of Japan’s rich tradition of horror and genuinely creepy folklore into a unique collection of terrifying stories set amidst the darker shadows of Japan’s old capital in APPARITIONS: THE GHOSTS OF OLD EDO,” says Nick Mamatas, Editor, Haikasoru. “The days draw shorter, the nights longer and more ominous, and it’s a perfect time to take in this remarkable collection of ghost stories set amidst the bustling merchant culture of the classic Edo period!”

Author Miyuki Miyabe’s first novel was published in 1987, and since then she has become one of Japan’s most popular and best-selling authors. In 2007, Miyabe’s novel, BRAVE STORY (also published North America by Haikasoru), notably won the Batchelder Award for Best Children’s Book in Translation from the American Library Association. Her fantasy novels ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST and BRAVE STORY are also available from VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint. APPARITIONS: THE GHOSTS OF OLD EDO is her newest book to be translated into English.

For more information on APPARITIONS: THE GHOSTS OF OLD EDO and the Haikasoru imprint, please visit

For more information on other titles available from VIZ Media, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at


MAN WITH A MISSION announces live performances for the U.S.!

November 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Since their last performance in the U.S. three years ago, MAN WITH A MISSION will return this year with two live shows in New York City and Los Angeles!

Their first show will be kicking off on December 2nd at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, followed by their second show on December 5th, at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.

Don’t miss your chance to experience their unique visuals and energetic live performance!

New York show
Monday, December 2, 2013
Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th Street. New York, NY)
Doors open 7:30pm

Los Angeles show
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Roxy Theatre (9009 W Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA )
Doors open 7:30pm


LiSA, releases 2ND full album “LANDSPACE”in 40 countries internationally

October 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

LiSA, releases 2ND full album “LANDSPACE”


Up and coming female artist, LiSA just released her second full album, “LANDSPACE”, which is now available on iTunes in 40 countries internationally including the U.S.

This brand NEW album includes hit singles, “crossing field”, “best day, best way”, and “träumerei”.

LiSA’s second single “crossing field” was chosen as the opening theme song for the anime series “Sword Art Online”, which sold over 100,000 CDs and 200,000 downloads in Japan.

Her third single “best day, best way” debuted at No.6 on Oricon chart without any promotional tie-ins, and her fourth single “träumerei” was selected as the opening theme song for the anime series “Daybreak Illusion”.
In addition, this album includes several songs with lyrics and music written by LiSA, which showcases another aspect to her talent and personality.

Click HERE for U.S. iTunes link!

[LANDSPACE Track List]

1 Canvas boy x Palette girl
2 Cosmic Jet Coaster
3 crossing field (opening theme song for TV anime series “Sword Art Online”)
5 Bokuno Kotobade
6 best day, best way
7 Hitori Waratte
8 say my name no kataomoi
9 Usotsuki no Namida
10 Gyakkou Orchestra
11 träumerei (opening theme song for TV anime series “Day Break Illusion”)
12 winding road

[About LiSA]
LiSA first came to prominence through the hit anime series, Angel Beats! in 2010 where her vocal abilities shone through her role as Yui, one of the vocalists in the in-show band, “Girls Dead Monster.” Subsequent releases under the band’s name ranked high on the Oricon charts, steadily growing in popularity and fame.

The following year, LiSA made her debut as a solo artist with a mini-album in 2011 and enjoyed further success in chart performance. Her next releases included major tie-ups with anime series, including the iconic “oath sign” for the wildly popular anime series “Fate/Zero” and “crossing field” for the hugely popular anime series, “Sword Art Online” series, strengthening her popularity in both the anime and pop rock world.
LiSA’s fan base continues to grow exponentially in and outside of Japan, thanks to her infectious, energetic live performances, friendly personality, and cute sense of fashion.

Official Facebook Page

Official Twitter account


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