JRock247’s picks of the best J-Rock album/single jackets for 2012.
Yellow Fried Chickenz – One
Dave: You can’t beat Gackt’s capacity for self-depricating humor. With these dual covers for his (now RIP) YFC project, Gackt shows us he gets the joke.
Man with a Mission – Mash up the World
Nhu: Rocking wolves plotting world domination.
Tokyo Jihen – Tokyo Collection
Dave: Elegant and perfectly poised, Shiina Ringo embodies the band’s famous crane symbol. Tokyo Jihen (again, another RIP) went out with class.
L’arc-en-ciel – Butterfly
Nhu: A gorgeous cover of butterflies hugging the model’s body like a gown.
Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas – All That We Have Now
Nhu: This cover shows a lone figure walking into an ominous future. Above the figure and the clouds, the sun and album title are breaking through, and a colorful cosmic heaven framing the earth’s landscape. The message I get from it: Your future ahead is unknown, but bright.
KISHIDAN – Nipponjin
Dave: Outrageous and over-the-top, who else would have the balls to to try to out-Sgt-Pepper the Beatles?
TsuShiMaMiRe – SHOCKING
Dave: Posing as their alter-egos THE SHOCKINGS, the 50’s glam sci-fi pin-up style is a great re-birth for TsuShiMaMiRe on their new self-owned label.
Halloween Junky Orchestra – Halloween Party
Dave: Capital-“E” Epic cover for the utterly mad collaboration by HYDE (VAMPS), Acid Black Cherry, DAIGO (BREAKERZ), kyo (D’ERLANGER), Tommy february6/Tommy heavenly6, Tatsurou (MUCC), Tsuchiya Anna, Aoki Ryuuji, K.A.Z (VAMPS), Hitsugi (Nightmare), Aki (SID), RINA (SCANDAL) and Kanon Wakeshima.
Gacharic Spin – Nudism
Nhu: I’m tempted to say these are strategically-placed instruments, but really, the ladies are small, and those instruments are huge. I wonder what went through their minds when taking this photo — each member has a different expression on her face. From left to right, they’re giving us serious, content, dead-pan, and cute — probably the same faces I made when I first saw this cover!
SEKAI NO OWARI – Nemurihime (CD/Book)
Dave: A classy special package with cool design and subtle elegance… plus clown-headed DJ Love.
LM.C –Strong Pop
Nhu: “Strong Pop’s” psychedelic cover is fun and vibrant, just like the duo.
amazarashi – Love Song
Dave: I hadn’t followed amazarashi until this jacket grabbed my attention and invited me into their trippy, alt-rock world.
FLiP – XX emotion
Dave: All boys are secretly afraid of the girls’ bathroom. This jacket scared me right away — somebody in that room’s about to get a beat-down.
girugamesh – Zecchou BANG!!
Dave: girugamesh goes full-Kurosawa in this Seven Samurai-inspired cover.
Shonannokaze – Entenka
Dave: Seriously, I give props to a band for not even trying to hide the truth — they just want to sell some CDs!
Tommy February6 & Tommy Heavenly6 – FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY
Dave: Tomoko Kawase’s overt gluttony is on full display for the (evil-)twin-album set celebrating her 10th anniversary as solo “Tommy”.
Animetal USA – W
Dave: Wicked “Ghost Rider-ish” tribute fully embraces Animetal USA’s over-the-top nostalgia for head-banging days gone by.