The Oricon rankings last week were sort of depressing to look at, but October offers a revival of sorts – a fresh influx of new and exciting singles, though only a smattering of albums (though certainly at least one that I’m excited about). There’s plenty to talk about in this month.

This list has selected single and album releases for the month, not all of them (i.e. releases from groups that I’m interested in tracking or at least recognize). My apologies if I missed a significant release  – please mention the artist and title in a comment and I’ll update the list.

More complete listings are available on merchant websites (I use CD Japan’s list).

October 2nd

NMB48 – Kamonegikkusu

Akanishi Jin – Ainaru Ho e

flumpool/flumpool x Mayday – Tsuyoku Hakanaku/Belief – Haru wo Matsu Kimi e –

Berryz Kobo – Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta/ROCK Erotic

E-girls – Gomennasai no Kissing You

Perfume – LEVEL3 (album)

Kalafina – Allelujah

October 9th

Sexy Zone – Bye Bye Dubai – See You Again -/A My Girl Friend

SKE48 (team S) – Party ga Hajimaru yo (album)

SKE48 (team KII) – Aitakatta (album)

SKE48 (team E) – Pajamas Drive (album)

SKE48 (team E) – Sakaagari (album)

Generations from EXILE TRIBE – Hot Shot

misono – symphony with misono BEST (mini-album)

Otsuka Ai – Re: Name

T.M.Revolution – Geisha Boy – Anime Song Experience – (album)

Galileo Galilei – ALARMS (album)

Yamashita Tatsuro – Hikari to Kimi e no Requiem

October 16th

Kanjani8 – Juke Box

RADWIMPS – Gogatsu no Hae/Last Virgin

Kashiwagi Yuki – Birthday wedding

MONKEY MAJIK – DNA (album)

Porno Graffitti – Tokyo Destiny

EXILE ATSUSHI & Joe Hisaishi – Zange

PASSPO – Growing Up

October 23rd

Arashi – Love (album)

KinKi Kids – Mada Namida ni Naranai Kanashimi ga/Koi wa Nioeto Chirinuru wo

Nana Mizuki x T.M.Revolution – Kakumei Dualism

May J. – Love Ballad (mini-album)

Nishino Kana – Sayonara

Kuriyama Chiaki – 0

BoA – Message/Call my name

October 30th

AKB48 – Heart Ereki

TOKIO – Hontontoko/Future

Sandaime J Soul Brothers – Fuyu Monogatari

Matsuda Seiko & Chris Hart – Yume ga Samete

KANA-BOON – DOPPEL (album)

Kimura Kaela – Rock (album)

w-inds – (Title TBA)

November 6th

Momoiro Clover Z – GOUNN

Ieiri Leo – Taiyo no Megami

Cute – (Title TBA)

An Cafe – Hikagyaku ZiprocK

Like I said – there’s a lot to talk about. First of all, there’s obviously the string of -48 family releases from NMB48, SKE48, Kashiwagi Yuki-san, and finally AKB48 itself. So . . . I think I know what the number one singles in the week of October 2nd and October 30th will be.

But the Johnny’s releases are even more robust. Akanishi Jin-kun kicks things off with a fresh single shortly after his comeback release. I guess he’s catching up for lost time, which is fair enough, but will this one come close to the sales figures as its predecessor?

I have to admit that I’m looking forward to “Bye Bye Dubai” from SZ, because it’s such an interesting risk to take, picking a bizarre theme like this. I like to see innovation rewarded. I’m still scratching my head about how they decided to go with the Dubai thing – does some wealthy oil magnate in Dubai have a daughter who happens to be an SZ fan? (and did Johnny’s get a money-backed request from said magnate?) Anyway, I think this might be good fun (as long as Marius-kun and Matsushima-kun are part of the performances).

I feel like a while has passed since the last Kanjani8 release, so nice to see one from them in the heart of the month. That October 16th release date looks great – between them, Kashiwagi Yuki-san, Monkey Majik, Porno Graffiti and EXILE ATSUSHI, the Music Stations around that week will be must-see stuff. But my eyebrows went up when I saw that “Zange” was credited to EXILE ATSUSHI & Joe Hisaishi. For those who don’t know, Joe Hisaishi composed all of the soundtracks for the Hayao Miyazaki anime films including Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. So, seeing his name attached to a piece of music makes it a must-listen for me.

Aside from the AKB48 single, the big release of the month is the new album from Arashi. I will probably aim to review it shortly after its release.

And we’ve got KinKi Kids and TOKIO with new singles, too! Hope to catch them making the rounds on the TV shows.

With all these releases, I think I’m forgetting one that I wanted to talk about . . . .

Oh yeah! The Nana Mizuki x T.M. Revolution one! That turned out to be quite a successful collaboration in their previous single together, to it’s nice to see another one from the pair relatively soon.

So enjoy October, everyone!