More honorable mentions! These are some of the songs I wanted to put on my top list but (for whatever reason) did not.
AKB48 – Halloween Night
For the past couple of years I’ve had a special honorable mention for the least awful AKB song. And, to be fair to AKB, I did come very close to putting Halloween Night on my top 25 list. I like the disco feel to the song a lot, and it’s the AKB single that has had the strongest melody and feel to it since Koisuru Fortune Cookie. However, despite the song’s undeniably catchy chorus (I’ve sung “Halloween night, midnight, boogie night” to myself a LOT this past year), it drags quite a lot and doesn’t have quite enough energy for me to grant it a position in my top 25.
Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 – Mr. Playboy
Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 has become one of my biggest guilty pleasures, especially 2014’s Will You Marry Me and now 2015’s Mr. Playboy. Despite the questionable polygamy theme of the group, the songs are undeniably catchy and fun. Mr. Playboy in particular has a great retro feel to it that will almost make you forget how slightly creepy this group actually is.
Ciao Bella Cinquetti – Omotesando AND Armor Girls – Les Champs-Élysées
This year both Ciao Bella Cinquetti and Armor Girls covered a song – which is a pity, since if these weren’t covers both would have had a chance to make my Top 25. Picking between the two, Armor Girls’ interesting mix of idol pop and Irish music works perfectly here and is a version I like better. However, both versions are great and two of my favorites of the year.
Dempagumi.inc – Ashita Chikyuu ga Konagona ni Natte mo
Despite 2013 and 2014 being great years for Dempagumi.inc, I didn’t like too much of 2015 Dempa. One of their songs will be making my top 25, but in previous years I had to fight to not include every Dempa song. Ashita Chikyuu is a very pretty, slow-paced song that is much improved by its PV. However, while it’s good, it’s not quite up to the standards of Dempa. It’s their best single song of 2015, but that’s a bit of a shame. None of their music was bad, but it didn’t quite live up to 2013 or 2014. Still, Ashita Chikyuu ga Konagona ni Natte mo is very pretty and pleasant to listen to in the vein of previous Dempa songs that were more “normal.” It’s a sweet ballad that I enjoyed quite a bit.
Momoiro Clover Z – Link Link
This song, while not quite as interesting as MomoClo’s most recent output, is adorable and one of the most straight up cute songs I’ve listened to by the group in years. While I can’t justify it on my top 25 list, this is an honorable mention almost entirely because Sasaki Ayaka is delightful in person and I wish I had heard this song helmed by her at their US concert.
Super Girls – Gira Gira Revolution
Gira Gira Revolution is Super Girls at their best but also their most standard. This song is pretty reminiscent of other Super Girls tracks, notably Joshi Ryoku Paradise. However, it’s the best kind of standard – the type of song I listened to a lot this year. This song isn’t breaking any new ground but it’s sure a lot of fun.
Rhymeberry – Mirrorball
Rhymeberry went through quite a few changes, with new members and losing the producer. However, the biggest thing Mirrorball reminds us all of is just how great MC Miri is. I say this as a fan of Misaki (having met her at 2014’s Idol Matsuri), but Miri is going places with her rap game. Mirrorball is a high energy track featuring some truly stellar rapping from Miri and is a lot of fun to listen to. I imagine this song is even better in person. It has a great beat, and while it’s not quite as polished as other Rhymeberry entries on my previous lists, it shows off how great Miri is. I really hope the best for both of them and I hope Rhymeberry can bring itself back up.