Shoko Nakagawa – Sakasama Sekai/Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta-


Her hair is like a Christmas tree ^^. How lovely.


  1. Sakasama Sekai
  2. Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta-
  3. Satellite Girl
  4. Sakasama Sekai (off vocal)
  5. Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta- (off vocal)
  6. Satellite Girl (off vocal)

1. Sakasama Sekai

I hate it when songs start off awesomely, then turn out meh. I thought this with Shoko’s Tsuzuku Sekai too, and now it seems the Curse Of Sekai has come back to haunt her. The introduction to Sakasama Sekai is great. After quick opening riffs, synths battle with the guitars to make a dramatic, attention-grabbing combination. Then a synth goes wheeee!, up and down and having some fun. Unfortunately, what follows is standard, boring J-Pop. Neither the verse nor chorus are of note. Shoko sounds fine, though her voice isn’t good enough to salvage the song. What I do like, however, is the percussion’s tone, in particular the snare. It’s got a slightly bassy, foreceful sound, as opposed to those soft and piddly snares you sometimes hear in anison. But sadly, the good snare drum’s sound is cancelled out by the annoying ride cymbals in the chorus. Overall, there’s just nothing for me to get into.

2. Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta-

The second track begins awesomely. And also suffers from Sekai Syndrome (well, it doesn’t have “sekai” in its name but who cares, I’m keeping the term). Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta- is very different from most B-sides – instead of being a ballad or anison, it’s a strings-based pop-waltz with wintery feel. Which I always think is bloody weird as it’s heading for stinking hot weather over here in Australia. Back on topic now. Opening with cellos, a xylophone and restrained vocals from Shoko, at first it appears that the song is going to be a controlled and darker piece. Well, it is not to be. While the verses are lovely and tap a bit of gothic, the chorus vocals are uncontrolled and stick out worse than an ahoge. Shoko is to loud for the music. It does not sound nice at all. Her high notes are yelly, and she’s generally inconsistent through the whole chorus, which is a damn shame because the instrumental parts are fabulous. Also, saying “doo doo doo” does not a good song make. A lame song, yes. Please. You’re better off not saying anything at all.

3. Satellite Girl

Sometimes, I wonder if there’s a competition running among J-Pop composers, where the aim is to write the most bland and mind-numbing B-side humanly possible. Satellite Girl is simply not interesting at all, in any way conceivable. Absolutely nothing about it stands out – the arrangement is plain pop-rock, and the vocals are higher and a little sugary. Her head voice is weak in the chorus and transitions poorly, but what can you expect for something so uninspired? Bleh.


Good grief, this was boring. Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta- was the only track of any worth, but even it had major problems. The other two would be a good cure for insomnia though. Gotta look at the positives, right?

Rating: 2 stars


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3 Responses to Shoko Nakagawa – Sakasama Sekai/Once Upon A Time -Kibou no Uta-

  1. You know what, I don’t know why her producers gave her this when she had the strong Zoku Konton earlier. Her edgy rock/metal chick image is so much cooler, hehe 🙂 But then again, she is a mainstream J-Pop artist, so that kind of thing doesn’t come often.

    “… as opposed to those soft and piddly snares you sometimes hear in anison.” Them anison snares. *flips table*

    P.S. How familiar are you with Shoko and her music?

    • 123 says:

      Yeah no idea what they were thinking really. I like her metal image too, I’ve heard a couple more of her metal songs that seemed cool. Also I like actual cover image for Zoku Konton😛

      Lol me going on about random drum details.

      How familiar am I with Shoko? Hmmm, I’ve listened to a bit of her stuff. I basically went through Kurayami and picked out a few of the ones he said were good, but I haven’t listened to any albums of hers or anything. Just some of the recommended ones, so maybe this is like her usual music or something.


        “Also I like actual cover image for Zoku Konton” Lol, of course you do. (¬‿¬)

        Ohhh, I see. I’ve recently familiarised myself with her music. Well, I guess you could say that this is fairly normal for her… I’ve listened to two of her albums (Big☆Bang!!! and Cosmic ♬ Inflation), and perhaps the only reason I keep up with her music is the occasional gem, like Zoku Konton+Guren Doku Nisshoku, Sorairo Days, happily ever after, calling location, Flying Humanoid… stuff like that :] On the other hand, she also has standard J-Pop, which is meh…

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