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Best J-Pop Album Covers 2016

Check out NekoPOP′s best J-Pop album/single jackets for 2016, chosen by NekoPOP contributors David Cirone, Jen Wang, Nhu Nguyen, and Greg Hignight.

Koda Kumi – Winter of Love
David: Fierce. Fierce. Fierce. Even in a moment of repose, the Queen’s presence is electric.

Leo Ieiri – Hello To The World
David: The perfect microsecond between inhale an exhale, Leo Ieiri’s reach transmits a world of feeling in emotional surrender.

Yukueshirezu Tsurezure – Post Katastrophe
David: Sitting on their alt-idol thrones, Yukueshirezu Tsurezure (Not Secured, Loose Ends) lord over the devastation caused by the collision of sprite-like vocals, nigtmarish intensity, and dark, manic screams.

Walküre – Walküre Attack!
Greg: This lively cover conveys the energy of the newest addition to the music of the “Macross” franchise, the “Tactical Sound Unit” Walküre. The idol group is a key part of the anime series, and front and center on this first of their two albums released in 2016.

Greg: BiSH got their conquest of 2016 off to an early start with the second album, released in January. Great, simple cover showing off the members and the group’s wry sense of humor.

Jen: The normally tough-looking EXILE member is displaying a vulnerability in his eyes and pose that just ramps up his sex appeal.

Kanon Wakeshima – Luminescence Q.E.D.
Jen: It’s great seeing Kanon show off a more mature and rock ‘n’ roll side, but the pink envelops are a reminder of the sweet, whimsical girl we all know and love.

Yumi Matsutoya – Uchuu Toshokan
Nhu: Yumi Matsutoya looks like a fabulous alien queen from a 1960s sci-fi movie as she steps out from a time warp into a modern day library.
NekoPOP-Yumi-Matsutoya-Space-Library-best-cover – Aidoro C
David: MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi have always displayed a special kind of synchronicity, but the cover for Aidoro C proves they’re truly joined at the head.

Namie Amuro – Dear Diary/Fighter
David: As far as epic pairings go, you’d be hard pressed to find any duo more fearsome than Namie Amuro and Death Note’s shinigami-supreme Ryuk, ready to out-smart and out-dance any and all foes.