“It’s annoying that the chart is nothing but anime and idol music,” said rock band L’Arc-en-Ciel’s singer Hyde, berating Japan’s current hit music charts. “It’s not necessarily bad or something like that, but it gives off the feeling that you don’t need to work harder than other people. If foreigners look at it, I think they’ll get the feeling that it’s a very different, strange music chart. That’s more or less the culture of Japan, but I want it to go on changing, with more blending for instance.”
Of course, the internet piped up on this opinion with many sharing their own reasonings behind such a prominent domination of the charts. While some held a surge in voice actors’ character songs, or the generation gap as accountable, we personally agree with the most popular defence of anisongs and idols. Insinuating that these songs are low quality, just because they’re by idol groups or originate from anime, is a blatant generalisation and tars the talent going into these releases. As we’d also advise anyone who thinks the charts are nothing more than airbrushed guff: take the time and effort to look elsewhere for your music, and stop criticising songs simply for being in tune with the trends.
Hyde is a fine one to talk, at any rate. L’Arc-en-Ciel have several anime songs in their own repertoire, including the powerful ‘Ready Steady GO’ for Fullmetal Alchemist‘s second opening theme, ‘Daybreak’s Bells’ for Gundam 00, and recently ‘Honey’, perfect to round out ReLIFE‘s fraught reminiscence. Their own successes in the Oricon charts include ‘Snow Drop’ and ‘Forbidden Lover’ in 1998, and their album Butterfly which reached number one in 2012.