Fudanjuku “OTOKO” Review
Fudanjuku brings us their latest album "OTOKO." This album contains twelve tracks that range from high beat to smooth songs. In most songs you will notice Fudanjuku features a deeper voice than other pop groups. I know what you are thinking, "isn't a deep voice ideal for a boy group?" Just keep reading and you will find out why I think it's unique. The group has performed anime OP and ED for such series as Yatterman, Katsunda!, and Ginga e kickoff!! The album is a well balanced CD in which they show that they can still, after two albums, keep their energy up. I highly enjoyed "Kaze Ikki" which has a high beat rave style to it. I also liked "Nora Neko Maria" because the beat made me remember Lupin the 3rd, the song and vocals were catchy, and all the members were able to shine. Another song that was enjoyable was "Love Spider" which is a more energetic ballad. Yet another favorite of mine from this album, "Tanada Mai," starts with background music that you would hear in a futuristic themed movie, then warps into a mixture of deep bass and a very catchy chorus by the members which made me feel like I was at a nightclub. Overall, the album was enjoyable with a nice mix of high energy songs with some traces of traditional sounding J-pop idol songs which we are accustomed to hearing.
Fudanjuku is not your average Japanese boy pop group under Teichiku Entertainment Inc. I know what you are thinking, "But the picture on the cover shows them dressed in suits, so what's not average about them?" To which I say, if you look closer you will see that they are actually girls, and not just any girls: they are the famous Nakano Fujo Sisters formerly known as Nakano Fujoshi Sisters. So, Fudanjuku is actually the alter-ego group of Nakano Fujo Sisters and that is why they are unique, so for all those guys who looked at the Fudanjuku album and asked, "Why does that guy look cute to me," you have nothing to worry about: you were indeed looking at a girl. Are you still confused about the groups origins? Lets try to clear some of that up.
First, let's backtrack to the Nakano Fujo Sisters and see how they decided to play with cross dressing in the first place. Nakano Fujo Sisters is an all female pop group who celebrates the Fujoshi culture in the area of Nakano, therefore the first name Nakano Fujoshi Sisters, and now the shortened Nakano Fujo Sisters. In the group the members say they are all otaku and each one has their personal area of interest. The word Fujoshi is sometimes synonymous with the word yaoi, so I have concluded that they wanted to appeal to that audience and so Fudanjuku came to be.
So now that we know a bit about how Fudanjuku came to be, lets move on to the members' alter-ego names. This is where it gets a bit hard to follow, so bear with me. The group is made up by Akazono Kojirou (red), Seto Kouki (yellow), Aiba Kensui (light blue), Bukiya Momotarou (pink), Seimyouji Uramasa (blue), Yukimura Ryouma (grey/white), Ruhara Renji (orange), and Midorikawa Kyouhei (green). If you don't recognize any of these names that's because they are alter-ego names different from the Nakano Fujo Sisters. Still confused? Maybe the table below might help explain a few things.
Some of the most well known members are Kyan Chiaki who is a Japanese gravure model and has appeared in some J-dramas with minor roles. She is an anime otaku and the captain of the group. Next is Kukumi Maki who is also a Japanese gravure model and currently the youngest one of the group; she is a high school baseball otaku. Finally we have Konan Yuka who is also a Japanese model and actress who has been in many Japanese commercials; she is a fashion otaku.
This group has many fans around the world. Just last week, their Facebook page reached 10,000 fans. They post on Facebook in various languages which include Japanese, English, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Chinese and Korean. They also have a twitter account in which they have over 6,000 followers. After seeing both versions of these girls, I just feel like Nakatsu Shuichi from Hana Kimi (Hanazakari no Kimitachi) when he looks at Ashiya Mizuki: really confused with my feelings. (That was a J-drama reference. Look it up!) Oh well. Just enjoy the music and make sure you follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the distributor.