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17 April 2015 @ 12:41 am
[sticky post] PIMP POST: Yuzu (ゆず)  
UPDATED (OCTOBER 23, 2015)
I'm not going to update this a lot, don't worry


Yuzu is a Japanese folk-pop rock duo, consisting of Kitagawa Yujin and Iwasawa Koji. They started as street musicians back in 1996 until 1998. Since then, they released 12 full-length albums and 43 singles, all except for the first ones consecutively peaked in Oricon's weekly Top 10 chart, and now they're one of the most beloved artists in Japan.
DISCLAIMER BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE: 1.) I don't own any of the stuffs here. I mean, I made some gifs and edited some photos but that's it; 2.) Aside from the obviously factual information, most of the things I said here are based on my personal observations and opinion (a.k.a. very biased) so I apologize in advance if I disappoint in any way; 3.) IMPORTANTLY, I don't know this amazing band personally. I'm just a fan. P.S. I'm sorry about any grammatical error orz
WARNING: KINDA NOT BANDWIDTH-FRIENDLY

★ A LITTLE BACKGROUND


If not for that giveaway where this came from, people would probably think this is from a PV of a serious love song or some kind of mellow summer song (LOVE & PEACH is definitely not either of those two LMAO)
  • They're from Yokohama (No, srsly, you need to know where they came from; they love their hometown so much... it loves them back ♥) and know each other since they're in elementary school
  • One time, Kitagawa was eating a yuzu sherbet...
  • Started playing on the streets in 1996. Here are some videos of their street performances (If I'm not mistaken, these are all from their last month/year as street musicians, thus the large audience and the fact that they're recorded):
    • Ame to Namida (SO GOOD!)
    • Soramoyou (Personal favorite; very sad but still so beautiful)
    • Gaito~Tokorode (Very fun performance, plus look at that energy! They didn't change. at. all. Bless ♥)
    • Hajimari no Basho (Another fun song)
    • Shooby Do Bop (One of their most popular early songs and I can see why: it's so cute and fun to sing-along to; the audience joining in is just... ♥)
    • Karappo (Another personal favorite and yes, I'm really into sad songs)
  • They played on the streets until 1998 when they have to stop because they're getting popular and their audience is getting too large for the streets to handle (and their company wants their lives to generate more ka-ching aaaand I'm kidding). Their last performance as street musicians gathered an audience of approximately 7000 people. Also, apparently, the weather that time is so bad so... wow.
  • Released their debut single and one of their most popular songs, Natsuiro, in 1998
  • Since then, all of their singles (incidentally except Natsuiro) peaked in Oricon's Top 10 Weekly Chart, only 5 didn't peak in the Top 5
  • On the other hand, all of their full-length (except the first one, Yuzuikka), live, and compilation albums peaked in Oricon's Top 3 Weekly Chart
  • Appeared on NHK's Kouhaku Uta Gassen for the first time in 2003
    • Other years they appeared on: 2004 (see below), 2009, 2011, 2013
  • NHK used Eikou no Kakehashi as their 2004 Athens Olympics coverage theme song, also making it one of their most popular songs ever because of its inspiring lyrics and melody.
  • Three of their songs (REASON, Nagareboshi Kirari, Hyori Ittai) are used as ending songs to the 2011 TV anime adaptation and two 2013 anime films of HUNTER×HUNTER
  • In 2013, their song Ame Nochi Hareruya is used as the theme song to NHK's Asadora Gochisousan

★ THE MEMBERS


Some guy asked Yuzu who is who in this thing aired in 2009.


2009! That's 12 years since their debut, 11 years since Natsuiro, and 5 years since Eikou no Kakehashi. I MEAN...

I (and Kitagawa, I guess lol) am kidding, guys... pleASEDONTGOAWAY okay let's proceed...






KITAGAWA YUJIN / 北川悠仁 (Leader)
...LMAO Ikr with the leader stuff? How...?
Nickname: Yujin, Jin-san-chan | Birthday: January 14, 1977 | Blood Type: A
You might know him as: "The handsome one"(?) jk he is *strokes monitor*, That guy with a painfully cute smile in Innocent Love
Distinguishing Features: Taller / The smile that could light up this whole town / Those lips / Ever-changing hairstyle / Lower voice in harmonies
Vocals, Guitar, Tambourine, Pianica, Kazoo, sometimes Drums, sometimes Piano (and more), MC-ing and srsly all the talking (He's kinda Yuzu's spokesperson lmao OOOOH MAYBE THAT'S PART OF BEING THE LEADER!), Dancing, Jumping, Screaming, Hogging the camera in concerts




IWASAWA KOJI / 岩沢厚治 (Sub-Leader)
Oh yes, the two-leader system in this two-man band is real.
Nickname: Gan-chan, Kou-chan | Birthday: October 14, 1976 | Type: O
You might know him as: Yuzu's "The Voice," The one who can't doesn't talk a lot because the other won't shut up
Distinguishing Features: Shorter / Mole near right eye / Dem eyebrows / Never-changing hairstyle / Higher voice in harmonies
Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo, Kazoo, Doing GLORIOUS reaction shots in concerts and stuffs, Laughing at the back, Writing incredibly random and vague (but also occasionally beautiful) songs


★ WHY AM I PIMPING THEM


  • They're a pair of down-to-earth guys. Not saying they don't have the ~aura of stars~ or something like that, but they're so simple you can easily warm up to them.
  • They can perform in domes and arenas with just the two of them and a pair of guitar and maybe a pianica or kazoo and harmonica (I mean, that's how they started after all) and still be freaking amazing
  • They did, although there are parts they have dancers and an orchestra but the rest, just them and the mentioned instruments... and a toy car...?
  • Almost all of their songs have only one songwriting and composing credit and that person is either Kitagawa or Iwasawa. They have collaboration with other artist once in a while, but aside from that, it's either one of them. (Fun fact: they rarely write together. I know, I'm shocked too.)
  • They're more than just a folk band; they have a wide variety of songs in terms of genre. I mean, the folk songs outweigh everything else but if you're not into that, no worries, they also have a lot of non-folk stuffs.
  • Iwasawa's voice. His usual high singing voice is probably one of the most distinctive things about Yuzu but his range is actually more than that; he can lower it as well and still sounds SO GOOD. Also, that voice is coming from a heavy smoker and drinker so...
  • THEIR HARMONIZATION IS EARGASM TBH
  • They have the simplest yet cutest and most fun-to-watch PVs ever, as well as some of the most visually stunning PVs out there. But, of course, there are also weird ones! /excuse to link the sort-of-WTF-fest that are Shish Kebab and Ichigo; actually both are fun PVs so srsly, check them out.
  • Kitagawa is so, so pretty it hurts. Well, sometimes not lmao. But really, he is such an eye candy plus that smiLE JFC HIS SMILE (♥ω♥*)
  • Iwasawa is soooo adorable (SQUISHY ♥) as well and he has this very cute laugh. Oh and he doesn't talk a lot but his reaction shots in concerts are some of the things to look forward to when watching one!
  • Speaking of, their concerts are so much fun. I mentioned before how they can perform amazingly with just the two of them. But my goodness, they really know how to entertain people. The MCs although sometimes only Kitagawa talks..., the sing-alongs and their general interaction with the audience even though it's just the two of them, the dance-able or "towel-able" songs, NATSUIRO, the obvious passion they have for their music and performing... Their experience as street musicians serves them well.
  • They're two huge dorks.
    • A video guide on everything you need to know about Natsuiro performances (It's 20-minute long but watch it. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.)
    • MUSIC EDGE episode (pt. 2) where they played some games and literally ate shish kebab (and looked so silly and cute at doing it ♥)
    • HAPPY MUSIC ep where they tried some yuzu stuffs. Literally yuzu, the fruit.
    • 5LDK - some friends talked about the two, they talked about their previous band, and showed old pictures and they're all so glorious lmao
    • Music video for their song Kyojo where Iwasawa just wanted to drink his coffee peacefully but keep being interrupted by, like, 7 Kitagawas lol
  • Seriously. Look at them. ♥

    trolling TM Revolution lol
  • BUT ARE THEY OTP-MATERIAL? [Short answer]Nah... [Kinda long answer]Yes, they are. I gave in. I ship them now. Decide for yourself.

★ SONG RECS



The color thing kinda indicates the ~mood of the song, with this site used as some kind of guidance; I didn't follow some tho orz so feel free to suggest other colors / tell me what colors you think of when you heard the songs and if they're similar to what I put ^^ Anyway, because they're both 38 years old as of the time this is posted, here are 38 song recommendations / songs for starters:
Sakuragi-chou
Natsuiro
Sumire That's the color because "Sumire"... GET ITTTT?
Hyori Ittai
Niji
LOVE & PEACH
Sayonara Bus
REASON
Yesterday and Tomorrow
Shish Kebab
HeyWa
from
Daiku no Ben-san
with you
Harukaze
Ao Oh look, another one! *hides*
Mamotte Agetai
Tobenai Tori
3 Count
Sugao no mama de
Mousugu 30-sai
Senaka
LAND
Hajimari no Basho
Geranium
Umaku Ienai
Kanabun
Ichigo
Mirai
Ki ni Naru Ki
Shinshin
Tsukikage
Mizoreyuki
Zenmai
Okamura-mura-mura Boogie Woogie
Hamo
Boukansha
Getsuyoubi no Shuumatsu

[putting these here just in case anyone is still interested]Songs I removed from the recs after the update thing:
Kanata / Shinkirou / Kaisatsuguchi



You love and/or miss your hometown a lot? Listen to Mirai or GOING HOME. Love to go to the sauna after a stressful time at work? GO★GO!! Sauna! Want to confess to someone? Harukaze, Chikagai, Over, or Umaku Ienai can do. Does the kids in your town used to have the same haircut? Monte is the most-fitting song, ever. Feeling mad at the world, or empty or just, really, shitty? Go with Karappo, or Kamen Writer or Kinou no Ore wa Ore ni Arazu for something darker. Feeling horny or dirty? Ichigo or Ultra Lover Soul, baby. Miss someone you will never see again? Give Gasoline Stand or Aitai a listen. Want to thank someone for being there for you all the time? The perfect song is Ao. Want to be the one to motivate or inspire someone else? Itsuka, REASON, or Yorokobi no Uta, then. Can't get over your ex or miss someone you loved? Koi no Kayoubi for something retro, Sha-La-La for something cute, or Shinshin for something angst-y. Self-Actualization? New Beginnings? Try passionate songs like Kokoro no Mama ni or Inochi Hateru Made, or something mellow like Atarashii Asa. Are you almost 30 years old? Mousugu 30-sai probably tells your life perfectly. Need something to inspire you regarding this cold-hearted bitch called life? Eikou no Kakehashi is the one. Speaking of, they have a song called 1 and it's so awesome.


★ YUZU × PEOPLE YOU PROBABLY LOVE
some COLLABORATIONS



× aiko - Natsuiro / Tomodachi no uta / Kabutomushi
× AKB48 - Irotoridori
× Fukuyama Masaharu - Ue o Muite Arukou
× Hyadain - Hyori ittai
× Ikimonogakari - Sayonara Bus, SAKURA, Harukaze
× Joe Hisaishi - Wonderful World
× JUJU - Mamotte Agetai / Kotoba ni dekinai
× Kanjani∞ - Natsuiro, T.W.L
× Katori Shingo (SMAP) - Sakuragi-chou / Eikou no Kakehashi
× Kimaguren as "Yuzuguren" - two you
× Kimaguren & Ikimonogakari - Natsuiro
× Koike Teppei (WaT) - Harukaze
× Matsushita Nao - with you
× Nankai Candies - Cherry Train (they have a short skit in the middle of the song)
× Neptune & Teraoka Yohito - Nipponjin wa ichou ga yowai
× Oda Kazumasa as "Yuzuoda" - Christmas no Yakusoku
× Sakurai Kazutoshi (Mr. Children) & Teraoka Yohito - Hoshi ni naretara (and more)
× Sandaime J Soul Brothers - Natsuiro, Hanabi
× SEKAI NO OWARI - Karappo / Itsuka
× SMAP - Natsuiro, Sayonara Bus, Itsuka, Tomodachi no Uta, Aitai / Niji, OLA!!
× Tegomass - Natsuiro
× TRICERATOPS as "the fevers" - Daiku no Ben-san

+ Kitagawa wrote a song for Kanjani∞ titled T.W.L (Yuzu released a self-cover of it that is included in their 4th Best-Of Album, YUZU YOU 2006-2011).
+ He also wrote a song called Ue o Muite Aruite Yukou for popular comedy trio, Neptune.
+ Iwasawa co-wrote Shikuramen's Manazashi (theme song to the drama Keiji no Manazashi).
+ Aside from Hyori ittai, Yuzu also wrote and composed REASON with popular composer, lyricist, and musician, Hyadain; he also arranged some of their recent songs like OLA!! ( Out now! ) and the single version of Yogiri no Isezaki-chou.

SOME OF YUZU'S FAMOUS FANS

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


ARE YOU NOW A FAN or at least more interested about them? WELCOME TO THE FANDOM *HUGS* (OH AND JOIN yuzukko, a Yuzu LJ comm. Also follow loveyuzulove, a Yuzu appreciation tumblr :D) And if you're not...

justkiddingILOVEEVERYONEpleasedontbemad... I'm sorry I didn't convince you enough orz

That's all for now. Thanks to everyone who read or even just skim this post until the end ♥ If anyone has any suggestion, comment, or violent peaceful reaction (because HeyWa amirite), just comment in this post or pm me :) Thank you again!


★ LINKS


Official Website, Youtube, Twitter | Wikipedia (JA, EN) | Generasia | YuzuBR (PT) | soapdoll (KO) | Baidu (ZH) | all those streaming sites iTunes (JA) Amazon (JA) cdjapan

Even though I don't think she'll ever read this: Special thanks to whoever the awesome Yuzukko that used to run the now-defunct yuzujpoptranslations tumblr! ♥♥

 
 
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: ゆず - GO★GO!!サウナ | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
 
tilmontilmon on April 17th, 2015 08:01 am (UTC)
Every post you make on them makes them more intriguing. Street musicians, huh? Dang, I loves me some street musicians.

BTW, the comment box is still showing white on white. But if I go straight to Preview Comment, I can see what I type.
Anastasia Beaverhausen: {smap} bbcastelfranca on April 17th, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC)
Yepp! They started as street musicians but even though they're now this big, they still kinda go back to how they started and do some acoustic, two-man sessions (plus you'll really see they have the talent *proud*).

I can't tell what the problem is orz I've been tweaking the css for a while now but whenever I test it in FF, the text is still white. For For now, I guess, go with Chrome when commenting (or type it in Notepad first /yup, I do that sometimes lol). I'm sorry! orz
ao_hiji: ShinGoro GAKI GAKI GAKIao_hiji on April 17th, 2015 10:27 am (UTC)
Hello Aika-chan :)
Since 2013, I was pretty into Yuzu but dunno how to start with the fandom.
I got hooked by their Tomo song. And now, I really into Eikou no Kakehashi :)
I like Kitagawa a lot!
And Aika-chan, could you suggest me some Yuzu's songs that has touching lyrics? :)
I love that kind of song^^

And thank you for making this post^^
Anastasia Beaverhausen: {smap} *clapclap*castelfranca on April 17th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC)
And this post (hopefully) can help you with that starting thing ^^

It seems like I despise him most of the time, but I also like Yujin so much as well :3 but really, I love them both ♥

Well, touching lyrics... there's a lot omg. There are some in the list I gave like from (so sweet), Niji (this one's more of a "don't give up" song), Ao (rock-ish but the lyrics is really something ♥), and Senaka (Kinda like a child-to-parent song, some situation may not apply to everyone but idk I think it's still relatable in general and the song is really beautiful). Or try Itsuka, REASON, Yorokobi no Uta, or GOING HOME. Not in the list: Jiai e no Tabiji, Kokoro no tomo yo, Haruka.

I'M SORRY THERE'S A LOT. I'M STOPPING MYSELF NOW orz but if you want, I'll try to think of more ^^'

You're welcome ^^ And thank you too for checking it and Yuzu themselves out :D
tomi-ntominn on May 10th, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC)
Start reading your LJ is the good way for know about Yuzu.
I really happy that I found someone is yuzu's fans like you ;w;
I read your entry, then I knew it, something that I guess for long time ago. Its about they rarely write together because I curious how Sound engineer manage their voice (I mean tone,rhythms something like that, sorry I don't know how to use the words that make sense.)

I think about it many times and check about tracklist. Which songs that Kitagawa wrote, he will be main vocal, and which songs Iwasawa wrote, he will be main vocal also.

I'm sorry if I cannot say something clearly
because my english is so poor ^^ THANK YOU

/And I love how you use their .gif very much>< very funny haha
Anastasia Beaverhausen: {yuzu} HOW WHEN WHY HNNGcastelfranca on May 11th, 2015 10:01 am (UTC)
Yey! Thank you for reading. I'm glad you think this post helps :D I'm also really happy to know more Yuzukkos out there :')

It's okay, I understand what you're saying. They're that good in harmonizing; it doesn't matter who wrote the song, their voices will blend amazingly anyway ♥

Which songs that Kitagawa wrote, he will be main vocal, and which songs Iwasawa wrote, he will be main vocal also. So true! I think it's the major way of knowing who wrote the song lol, although there are some exceptions (like "Harukaze"... I really thought Yujin wrote that one because he's the main vocal but it's actually Ganchan's)

And it's okay, my English isn't really that good as well ^^'

And yey again, I'm glad you find them funny :'D *success*
tomi-ntominn on May 11th, 2015 01:19 pm (UTC)

That's right. Who wrote A song, he will be main, who wrote B song he will be main also. However, the fact is Kitagawa always be a main vocal hahaha

Anastasia Beaverhausen: {yuzu} HOW WHEN WHY HNNGcastelfranca on May 11th, 2015 07:33 pm (UTC)
That is true XD Maybe it has something to do with most of the A-sides in their recent singles are written by him? I prefer Ganchan's voice tho I still love both ♥
tomi-ntominn on May 12th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
I prefer too, actually I can say I like Kou-chan more than Yu-chan, but I don't know why I always talk about Yu-chan more than Kou-chan LOL so I still love both too X3 Ganchan's voice is amazing, he's so talented!

Edited at 2015-05-12 01:10 am (UTC)
Anastasia Beaverhausen: {yuzu}castelfranca on May 12th, 2015 07:58 am (UTC)
Same here! I mean both are very different and I love them the same for that but somehow I just tend to say that I love Ganchan more, but always end up talking about Yujin a lot (Seriously tho, with that face... *melts*).

He really is. They both are ;) ♥

Btw, I already pm'd you the link for the introduction gif in this post. I'm wondering if you already received it because I'm afraid LJ marked it as spam ^^'