I remember how I used to look forward to this program every year, and though I have lost much hope since its conversion into a  4 hour program, I still bear hope that they will exceed my expectations. I think I should really readjust my expectations because there is no community spirit anymore in the program, and it is now another musical program which just happens to be a little more elaborate and some singers do take the effort to dress up for the occasion. Here are some videos that I found (on tudou because NHK removed all these original Youtube videos, which I am unfortunately unable to embed) which you may enjoy:

アンジェラ・アキ 紅白

One of the best songs in recent years but I think her performance this year is less effective than last year’s because I was moved to tears with her performance last year. A sign that “less is sometimes much more”.


絢香 みんな空の下

Beautiful singing and I think she bucked the trend by not crying, even though she is going on a hiatus to recover from her illness. All the best Ayaka san!


倖田來未 misono 紅白

A special dedication to our Kenji. She’s not a bad singer but I hate her “cheap white trash” look. The song with Misono, her sister, is rubbish.


平原綾香  ミオ・アモーレ

When the news reports mentioned that she has prepared a dress with fresh flowers, I was thinking along the lines of 原田知世 or in a long sense Akina or even Naoko. Commendable effort with the dress, but no where close. I think this classic is ingrained in so many people’s mind that Ayaka doesn’t deliver as effectively as some of her other performances. Or maybe it’s just me.

– unable to locate one at this point.

いきものがかり ♪ YELL(エール)

Up and coming superstars, she showed the Japanese how to deliver a good pop song. I think she was the best singer for the night I’d seen. The chorus is less jarring than in Angela’s performance.



I think Miwa looks really feminine and pretty her and I love her dress and hair. Her performance is a little shaky at times though she saves the day with loads of charisma. Always a fun performer and a joy to swing along to.

I Dreamed A Dream 夢やぶれて / Susan Boyle

紅白’s special guest and she delivers a beautiful rendition of the classic. Nevertheless, I think it sticks out like a sore thumb in a program like this because it just seems to be too “try hard”. Why don’t they just honour their Japanese legends. Invite Akina, Seiko, Kyon2, the 70s evergreens, or the Japanese new music queens Miyuki, Yuming and Mariya. Give me these any day for 紅白.



Surprisingly, the first song is pretty enjoyable and I don’t dislike it. I think their MJ impersonation (not tribute) is commendable, but why bother, really. It is probably more effective just showing a montage and then having singers sing a song for him.


MJ Tribute: hhttp://www.tudou.com/programs/view/XXBLolWWFTU/


I think he looked the best he could with his current ridiculous perm, and the song is good, but I think it breaks the momentum of the program, with the exception of Miyuki, who is a legend, so it is fine to appreciate from afar. Yuming could have achieved the same if she sang a medley of her hits rather than sharing with the other Asian singers.


浜崎あゆみ Rule

I like the outfit but the attitude and the song is a complete joke. So is she. I guess I will never learn to like her. Can someone explain her charm to me? What would foreigners think when we tell her that she is the most successful Japanese singer in history?


大塚愛 Is

I think I have to confess to being a closeted fan of hers. Ever since her 紅白 performance of Chu-Lip (check out the equally crazy MV), I had enjoyed her wacky sense of humour. Though not big on her vocals, I have to commend her for bringing the spirit of Kyon2 back to 紅白. I think Kyon2 would have been very proud of this outfit. Love the bird cage.


中島美嘉 – 流れ星

Out of all the singers that made their debut in the noughties, my favourite has to be Mika. Though she is not a particularly exciting singer, and can be a little gothic at times, her songs speak the most to me. This is just a regular performance from her, but at least the song is nice, if not familiar.


aiko あの子の夢

Another singer I don’t particularly understand the charm of. She’s an okay singer, an okay songwriter, but why people call her a genius is beyond me.


木村カエラ Butterfly

Don’t know enough about her, but nice song.


Perfume – ワンルームディスコ

I like their song “Prism” last year much better, but I soon realise that most of their songs sound similar. I was having my ramen yesterday and they were playing their Budokan concert. I got sick pretty quickly, but I was interested to see how long they could keep their energy up. Youth is precious. Let’s see them rehash this ten years down the track.



First surprise: nice song. Second surprise: 小林幸子 becomes “Mini-me” and watch the white team worship her like a God. Expression from the judges: Priceless. My question: How does she get to pay for all these when her singles and albums don’t sell at all. Please pass the secret manual to Akina, or just pass on details of her garage sale, since Akina loves recycled shit anyway. At least this will be new for us.



The big sing-off. Nothing special about the song, but I thought they picked the best female singers to sing it. Poor Kumi has to sit out and listen.


I wonder if I had been too harsh in some of my reviews above. I can’t wait to hear what all of you have to say and can’t wait to see what 小林幸子 did this year, especially since my Japanese friend Shige (who doesn’t particularly like Jpop) told me to watch out for it. Lastly, I wanted to wish all of you, your loved ones and Akina a very Happy New Year!!! Hope you will have a fabulous 2010!!


8 thoughts on “第60回NHK紅白歌合戦

  1. Hey Jamez! Thanks for the extensive report on Kouhaku 2009! I was busy watching it too! I found a couple of nice performances to higlight – いきものがかり, 坂本冬美 (she did a cover song), ゆず、福山雅治、嵐(the medley was very joyous and enjoyable!!),氷川きよし (was fun). I agree with your comments on the above reviews and lastly, although it is a dream, I still wish Akina to be on the show again soon. Even since that 14年ふり in 2002. I hope we do not have to wait for another 14 years. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!明けましておめでとうございます!

  2. Didn’t take long for the copyright holders to strike…

    I’m hoping that at least her coming 30th anniversary would be sufficient enough to lure her out of her cave of seclusion.

  3. Yes, a terrible shame, and I thought I read that they were going to have a free live stream. Anyway, there is really nothing you missed (too much of that is). I would watch anything prior to 1987 any day.

    It’s Seiko’s 30th Anniversary this year, which means that Akina’s the year after, or so IO believe, but Akina is so erratic with her anniversaries because she can suddenly decide to celebrate twice.

    Anyway, it’s good to learn from Eugin (in spite of his intense anger) that Akina did sand DIVA on her countdown concert, and not only once but twice. Does this spell the promise of a DIVA concert?

  4. Hi Mg,

    I have reposted with Tudou links. Unfortunately, I am unable to embed them but the good news is that I have found new links in the process ass well. Enjoy!

  5. Hi MG,

    I have reposted links to the Tudou site. It isn’t as clear but it will do for now. The good news is that I have found new ones in the process. Enjoy!

  6. aiko used to be great back in the early days when she actually had solid material to publish but nowadays (or actually since 2006) she’s just completely ran out ideas for anything original.

    As for Hirahara, Ave Maria ~Schubert~ would have been a better and more uplifting choice imo. But I suppose she was going for the epicness factor with Mio Amoré, though I find it quite lacking.

    I wish Superfly would sometime join this occasion.
    Was pleasantly suprised to find out who she covered recently lol:

  7. I wonder if she doesn’t want to attend. She is good. I “love” how they always write “井上陽水のカバー” when Akina is actually the original singer (though they did release it on the same day).

    Thanks for the aiko remark and I Hirahara too. It’s good to know I am not alone.

  8. It’s quite a torturous tori to watch with Miwa Yoshida scraping past every single high note in her repertoire.

    all in all a rather lacklustre show this year. everyone’s getting so old and singing the same old songs. doing the same old things, going thru the same old motion. heck, even the hosts are the same year in year out.

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