Welcome to GLITTER-One’s first entry in 2013 – which actually should have been one of the final entries in 2012, but anyway… I guess you can’t have it all. So, with the new year already having advanced past its second week, I want to have a short look on the most important things that happened to Perfume – as well as myself in relation to Japan and its culture – in 2012. Let’s start with the happenings I’ve missed, due to only beginning to follow the group’s activities at the end of March last year:
At first: They did it! In order to finally acknowledge their existing fans outside of Japan, who they probably first became aware of when they were invited to the 「Cars 2」world premiere back in summer of 2011, A-chan, Nocchi and Kashiyuka changed record labels from Tokuma Japan Communications to Universal Japan, ultimately also founding their own sub-label Perfume Records. The first single release, 「Spring of Life」wasn’t one to wait for too long, hitting record stores and all the well-known online retailers a mere six weeks after its announcement, claiming another number two spot in the end. Furthermore, the title track was also released globally in fifty countries through iTunes, something that was to become a standard for Perfume’s upcoming releases, also extending to all tracks of future release being made available.
The promotion for the new single took place at a time, during which Perfume also held concert performances in various cities across Japan, labeled as 「3rd Tour JPN」, in order to promote their third studio album. Having already started back in January, additional dates at the famous 日本武道館 (Nippon Budoukan) as well as the tour final in Okinawa were announced at a later stage. Taking some time off afterwards, Kashiyuka, A-chan and Nocchi then prepared for their appearance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan, not only being hosts to the event, but also delivering an amazing performance and ultimately claiming both awards they were nominated for.
And that’s when this small space – known as 「GLITTER-One」 on the world wide web – came onto the scene, with me having already got more interested in Perfume, their members, their releases, etc. at the beginning of April and their MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2012 performance only being the decisive element in creating the site. Therefore, I’d like to share my favorite Perfume picture of 2012 – early visitors to the site may recognize it:
Not only is this the one picture I’d choose for describing Perfume’s 2012, but it also is the choice for my favorite live performance outfits of the group last year. The purple dresses from the second part of their 「3rd Tour JPN」’s main show ultimately end up really close at second position.
But wait, wasn’t there even more? Of course there was, and this even on the very same day the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2012 took place, as Perfume announced the release of their second single with Universal Japan – known to most people as 「Spending all my time」. However, there were also fans that were a bit disappointed by the general sound of the single’s lead track, being too similar to most western pop tunes at that time, while the other two tracks featured on the release, the long-awaited 「ポイント」as well as 「Hurly Burly」, were generally praised. Being the first release by Perfume with all the tracks – except for the instrumental edition of each song – available on iTunes, it claimed yet another number two spot on the Orion chart. Yet, it didn’t stop here…
… in preparation for their newly announced 「WORLD TOUR 1st」 – visiting four different venues in Asia over a period of one month – Perfume were to release the second compilation album of their career. Surprisingly being published by their former label Tokuma Japan Communications, it closely secured the group’s streak of number one albums, albeit facing tough challenge by folk-pop band Kobukuro and their 「ALL SINGLES BEST 2」. And the surprises in 2012 didn’t seem to come to an end…
… because overseas fans of Perfume were finally given the chance to be a part of the group’s fan club 「P.T.A.」. Announcing the so-called 「Perfume OFFICIAL WORLD FANCLUB」at the end of their first overseas concert in Taiwan, there was a pre-register period at first, mostly to determine the demand by fans outside of Japan, but also to give Perfume and their management some time to finalize important details like the membership fee, accepted payment methods or which contents and benefits of the original 「P.T.A.」are given to members of the 「Perfume OFFICIAL WORLD FANCLUB」.
Completing Perfume’s 「WORLD TOUR 1st」with the final concert in Singapore, Nocchi, Kashiyuka and A-chan announced their next single – the first to be released in 2013. Going by the name 「未来のミュージアム」, the title track features a tie-in with the latest movie by one of Japan’s most famous anime characters – ドラえもん.
Well, that was Perfume’s 2012, but how about the blog authors’ experiences during the last twelve months?
Aside from the fact, that my previous notebook computer, being exactly just one year of age, decided to leave its service and was also damaged beyond repair, resulting in the purchase of a new one at the beginning of April, 2012 was quite a successful year for myself – in real life as well as on the world wide web.
First of all, there were of course Perfume eventually taking over the place as my favorite group from モーニング娘。in April, after I already had gotten a bit more into their music back in July 2011. Yet, I finally did take a look at the whole package, including the group’s history dating back as far as to the year 2002 and, of course, the amazing personalities of Kashiyuka, Nocchi and A-chan. How could anyone not like them after having acquired all this knowledge, also being aware of all the things these three young, beautiful, humble and honest women have already gone through to finally achieve their dreams?
Furthermore, by creating an iTunes Store account, in order to also buy Perfume’s releases digitally, I encountered many other new artists for my music library, like capsule, PAX JAPONICA GROOVE, Hiroshi Watanabe or Chieko Kinbara. Therefore, a quarter of all the albums I purchased in 2012 accounted for digital releases. I think, it’s a nice way to support an artist without going through the trouble of having a physical copy shipped from Japan to your home, especially with the possibility of customs holding the desired package back for a longer period and even charging taxes. Though, there will always be artists from whom I’ll buy the physical releases no matter what.
2012 has also been the year when I got even more into Japanese culture, notably anime and manga. Having already seen 「サマーウォーズ」on DVD, I got myself the three-part manga series, an exact re-narration of the movie. July then saw me watching the “Rebuild” films of 「新世紀エヴァンゲリオン」on TV, probably more known outside of Japan as “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, one of Japan’s most successful media franchises with, of course, the famous anime series from 1995, but also manga, books, a radio drama as well as various music CD albums. Having already known about this series since 2007, it wasn’t until the “Rebuild” movies that I got more interested in it, ultimately resulting in acquiring all the manga volumes available in Germany. Lately, I also started to collect the DVD box sets featuring the original anime series, though it’s a pretty pricey venture. Though, I guess, this applies to many things related to Japan, just like…
… my first journey to the “Land of the Rising Sun” in April this year. After being interested in Japan since late 2006, I finally booked a flight in order to discover some of the countries’ cities like, of course, the capital Tokyo, but also Hiroshima or Kyoto. Not the mention my first ride with the world-famous 新幹線 (Shinkansen), which I’m really excited for, as well as meeting precious friends who I also got to know during last year.
So, already three weeks into the new year, I was finally able to sum up pretty much all the important happenings to Perfume and myself in 2012. Since lately, new things and precious people have stepped into my life and have become way more important than this blog. Therefore, I will retire this site and it’s Twitter account from now on and would like to thank everybody who got to know about my (more or less) small and insignificant opinion. For all the important news in the future, be sure to follow Perfume COMPLEX as well as Perfume City. Both sites are essentially all you need to not miss any important happenings about one of Japan’s most successful female electro-pop groups.Nevertheless, I would like to wish Perfume, but also A-chan, Kashiyuka and Nocchi as individuals, all the best and much success in 2013 and beyond. Finally, again to all the visitors to the site – thanks for coming around to – and staying with – GLITTER-One.