Check out NekoPOP′s best J-Pop album/single jackets for 2015, chosen by NekoPOP contributors David Cirone, Jen Wang, Nhu Nguyen, and Greg Hignight.
Matsushita – Matsushita ga Nijigen ni Koisuru 15 no Riyu
David: Wildly colorful with the promise of light-hearted adventure, Matsushita’s candy-colored artwork sets you up for an electro-pop treat.
Trustrick – Trust
Nhu: The duo are floating in space above the sun. Taking a closer look, you can see the galaxy is made up of layers of different types of flowers placed in a gradient pattern.
Capsule – Wave Runner
Greg: Capsule’s logo, realized as a bold industrial image, reflects the power and high-energy of their EDM-driven Wave Runner.
Color Pointe – First Pointe
Jen: Being a dancer, I really appreciate nice lines, graceful arms, and pointed toes.
AKB48 – Koko ga Rhodes da, Koko de Tobe
David: In stark contrast to recent AKB48 full-color-overload imagery, classic composition and understated beauty are the highlights of this elegant group pose. Added points for simple yet classy wardrobe, plus the black-and-white photo brings our focus to the members’ relaxed beauty and poise.
Takeshi Washizaki – What a Pastaful World
Nhu: Oh, gluttony! The pasta is so good, the two have stains on their clothes from the pasta the other person is eating.
HKT48 feat. Kishidan – Shekarashika!
Jen: It’s great to see a group of cute idols embrace their inner sukeban, and some of them really do look like they can beat you up!
Egoist – Reloaded
Greg: The stunning Reloaded cover captures Egoists’s anime, virtual idol and electronic roots.
Rumi-chan starring Shiori Tomita – 17 Sai no Uta
Jen: No idea why Shiori Tomita is cuddling a fish, but she manages to make it super adorable.
Momoiro Clover Z / KISS – Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina
David: Epic-sized heads dwarf the resilient MomoClo members, but they’re ready to face off against the massive force of KISS.
Gen Hoshino – Yellow Dancer
Nhu: At a quick first glance, the image of a geisha is apparent, but upon closer inspection, the details are impressive. There are dishes stacked on top of books to create the neckline. For the hair, a cat and rolls of black tape. Hair accessories include dangling electronic audio plugs, cords to gloves. You can play a game of “I Spy” with this cover!
Tomomo Itano – Gimme Gimme Luv
Greg: Tomomi Itano’s most recent solo effort Gimme Gimme Luv goes for a classic rock album motif that’s both sexy, and kitschy.
Kryzler & Kompany – NEW WORLD
Nhu: Three white masks against a black background seems too simple. Looking at the details, each mask represents each of the three members and their respective instruments. Can you tell which one is the keyboard, bass, and violin?
Perfume – Relax in the City
Greg: Known for slick, presentational covers focused on the artist themselves, Perfume’s Relax in the City takes the a different approach, evoking the classic rock album covers of the 70s and early 80s.
Death Rabbits – Usagi no Kimochi
David: Equal parts playful and dark, Death Rabbits brings in some apocalyptic comic-book imagery to their fourth single. Says heavy-drinking manager Bucho: “Metal? Rock?Jazz? Fusion? Blues?? NO WAY we’re just doing JAPANESE DEATH POP”.
RAIZENxFReECOol – Yume ni Hajimari
Jen: Even rappers find owls cool. The best part, however, is how the duo’s name is used as an artistic frame for the image.
Kalafina – Far on the Water
Nhu: The three ladies of Kalafina are drawn into a pencil stippled cover posing among flowers, books, and a bird cage. The artwork instigates freedom is a life filled with books and nature.
Yumemiru Adolescence – Summer Nude Adolescence
David: Over the top glamour and glitz put an extra shine on Yumemiru Adolescence, striking a pose balanced between youthful charm and adult sexiness.