UPDATE: As of August 2016, Golden House Family KTV no longer uses KY machines and have switched to TJ Media
With our love for karaoke and the sizable number of otaku in our country, Japanese music karaoke should've been something as big as figure collection and cosplay.
But as we all know, it isn't.
However, we can't just rush into it carelessly. We've seen many movements try similar things in the past but end up fizzling out. To avoid that, we need to do some research first.
And that's where the trial sessions come in: to get feedback from local J-music fans, nothing really beats holding some free/cheap karaoke sessions and learn from them.
We held the first trial session at Golden House Family KTV last Saturday, March 5, 2015. Out of the 25 who registered, only 12 showed up. This was expected as free events tend to have more people backing out at the last minute. On the plus side, this meant that we had money to spare and we decided to spend it on more free drinks and extend the karaoke hours.
The event was supposed to start at 7 PM, but people arrived early so we went ahead and started at 6:15 PM. We went on through the night and tapped out at around 12:30 AM. All in all, we sang 80+ songs in the span of those 6+ hours.
The time frame and the high number of songs highlight some advantages of karaoke to the usual J-music gigs, namely, there's a lot less prep time between songs and the flexible time means that you can have an enjoyable experience whether you're an early (no wait time) or late (still get to sing/hear a lot of songs) comer.
The almost complete song list can be found in the sortable table below. As expected, theme songs were pretty popular. It wasn't a J-Pop night, though, as most of the songs were J-Rock.
With over 1/5th of the songs related to L'Arc~en~Ciel (e.g. hyde, Glamorous Sky, Careless Whisper), the night was practically a mini-#LArcMNL session. Janne Da Arc, ONE OK ROCK, SPYAIR, and UVERworld had good number of songs, but some of our favorites either had poor showing (e.g. Gackt and Asian Kung-fu Generation) or weren't even sung at all (e.g. Glay and Luna Sea, though KY's poor selection for the latter is also at fault).
This lead to a realization: local Japanese music fans have come to the point that karaoke sessions will not be boring and repetitive even if we do it weekly. We know so many songs that we can have a session where participants sing a crazy amount of songs and still miss singing some of the most popular songs. No Hohoemi no Bakudan, no Zankoku no Tenshi no TEEZE, no Heart of Sword ~Yoake Mae~, no The Beginning.
Just imagine of how many more songs we could've missed if there were more J-Pop fans in attendance.
There were, however, repeated songs: New World, ALONES, D-tecnolife, and IMAGINATION. Blame the early birds taking the good songs before others could even arrive.
We've also made other observations. Telling people to prepare their songs and search for their numbers in Kumyoung's site and this site before the event was a very good idea. It made sure that the reserve list was up at least 5 songs by the second hour and no time was wasted. Also, the KTV disabled scoring - that's how we got to to sing so many songs in so little time.
The non-stop singing also had some non-obvious side-effects. First is being so engrossed in singing that you lose track of everything. Not having the chance to sing their favorite songs in public outside cons, first time singers will get continuous hits of "Holy shit, I have to sing this song!" and many hours will pass before they realize it. They won't even feel hungry as long as the drinks keep coming.
Non-stop singing also means that the remote control's "search by title/singer" function isn't that useful because you can only use it when there are no songs playing (furigana eats up the screen so the menu can't open). In the end the physical song books proved to be more useful for browsing songs than the remote or the KY song search site (which is slow to access over mobile internet).
The singers also didn't have any time to search for lyrics in between songs. But they eventually found out that it didn't matter - if you're not a person with a mic, you can just sing whatever lyric you remember or can read from the screen. The main singers do need to have a copy of lyrics on their phones, though. But as mentioned above, we had them prepare the songs and lyrics before the event.
All in all, it was a good night. There's still a lot of room for improvement and we'll see if we can address them in the next trial session.
The venue will probably be the same, but we're always looking for a bigger venue (e.g. bar, restaurant). Message the admins over at the FB group or Meetup site if you know of a good affordable and accessible place.
Here are random videos from the event. We didn't rename the videos so you can play Name that Tune on some of them.
And finally, the song list:
|2||43431||Amanojaku||164 feat. GUMI||Vocaloid|
|3||42334||Kokoro E||ROAD OF MAJOR||Anime||Major S1 & S6 OP|
|4||41762||Jiyuu e no Shoutai||L'Arc~en~Ciel|
|5||41163||DIVE TO BLUE||L'Arc~en~Ciel|
|7||43889||Seven Deadly Sins||MAN WITH A MISSION||Anime||Nanatsu no Taizai OP2|
|8||43265||Fast Forward||MONKEY MAJIK||Anime||Nurarihyon no Mago OP1|
|9||43438||oath sign||LiSA||Anime||Fate/Zero OP|
|10||43698||Wherever you are||ONE OK ROCK|
|11||43709||Hengen Jizai no MAGICAL STAR||GRANRODEO||Anime||Kuroko no BASUKE S2 OP2|
|12||61950||Do You Want To||Franz Ferdinand||Anime||Paradise Kiss ED|
|13||42507||ALONES||Aqua Timez||Anime||Bleach OP6|
|14||42967||Journey through the Decade||Gackt||Tokusatsu||Kamen Rider Decade OP|
|15||41793||Rewrite||ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION||Anime||Fullmetal Alchemist ED4|
|16||41812||RIVER||Tatsuya Ishii||Anime||Gundam Seed ED2|
|17||41185||Driver's High||L'Arc~en~Ciel||Anime||GTO OP1|
|18||42646||Ash Like Snow||the brilliant green||Anime||Gundam 00 OP2|
|19||41215||Sobakasu||JUDY AND MARY||Anime||Rurouni Kenshin OP1|
|20||43856||Diver||NICO Touches the Walls||Anime||Naruto Shippuden OP8|
|21||41891||Gekkouka||Janne Da Arc||Anime||Black Jack OP1|
|22||43285||QUALIA||UVERworld||Anime||Gundam 00 Movie OST|
|23||40355||SEASON'S CALL||hyde||Anime||Blood+ OP2|
|24||41239||Blurry Eyes||L'Arc~en~Ciel||Anime||DNA^2 OST|
|26||42582||DAYBREAK'S BELL||L'Arc~en~Ciel||Anime||Gundam 00 OP1|
|28||43734||Rising Hope||LiSA||Anime||Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei OP1|
|29||43372||SAMURAI HEART (Some Like It Hot!!)||SPYAIR||Anime||Gintama ED17|
|30||43298||One day||The ROOTLESS||Anime||One Piece OP13|
|32||43821||Mighty Long Fall||ONE OK ROCK||Movie||Rurouni Kenshin LA Movie 2 OST|
|33||42676||DRINK IT DOWN||L'Arc~en~Ciel||Game||Devil May Cry 4 OST|
|34||43825||unravel||TK from Ling Tosite Sigure||Anime||Tokyo Ghoul OP|
|35||43872||Sign||FLOW||Anime||Naruto Shippuden OP6|
|36||41636||MELISSA||Porno Graffitti||Anime||Fullmetal Alchemist OP1|
|37||43387||Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer||ONE OK ROCK|
|38||42285||INNOCENT SORROW||abingdon boys school||Anime||D.Gray-man OP1|
|39||43886||Heartache||ONE OK ROCK||Movie||Rurouni Kenshin LA Movie 3 OST|
|40||41981||Link||L'Arc~en~Ciel||Anime||Fullmetal Alchemist Movie OP|
|41||42296||Rolling star||YUI||Anime||Bleach OP5|
|42||40593||Good-bye Days||YUI||Movie||Taiyou no Uta OST|
|44||41469||Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai||BAAD||Anime||Slam Dunk OP|
|45||43153||from Y to Y||JimmyThumb-P feat. Hatsune Miku||Vocaloid|
|46||43596||SAKURA MITSUTSUKI||SPYAIR||Anime||Gintama OP13|
|47||42507||ALONES||Aqua Timez||Anime||Bleach OP6|
|48||42455||One More Time, One More Chance||Masayoshi Yamazaki||Anime||5 Centimeters Per Second ED|
|50||42240||Sen no Yoru who Koete||Aqua Timez||Anime||Bleach Movie 1 OST|
|51||43634||Jiyuu no Tsubasa||Linked Horizon||Anime||Shingeki no Kyojin OP2|
|52||43633||Guren no Yumiya||Linked Horizon||Anime||Shingeki no Kyojin OP1|
|53||41264||the Fourth Avenue Cafe||L'Arc~en~Ciel||Anime||Rurouni Kenshin ED4|
|54||42937||STRENGTH.||abingdon boys school||Anime||Soul Eater ED4|
|57||42294||COLORS||FLOW||Anime||Code Geass OP1|
|58||43879||Let Me Hear||Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas||Anime||Parasyte OP|
|59||41344||1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou||SIAM SHADE||Anime||Rurouni Kenshin ED6|
|60||41475||CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA||Hironobu Kageyama||Anime||Dragon Ball Z OP|
|61||43140||Tsubasa wo Kudasai||HO-KAGO TEA TIME||Anime||K-On! OST|
|62||43123||Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari||supercell||Anime||Bakemonogatari ED|
|63||41682||Sekai ga Owaru made wa...||WANDS||Anime||Slam Dunk ED2|
|64||42144||Ohayou||Keno||Anime||Hunter X Hunter OP1|
|65||43711||C.h.a.o.s.m.y.t.h.||ONE OK ROCK|
|66||41611||Ueta Taiyou||Janne Da Arc|
|67||42639||Fuyu no Maboroshi||Acid Black Cherry|
|68||43141||modern strange cowboy||GRANRODEO||Anime||Needless OP1|
|69||43089||Fuwa Fuwa TIME||HO-KAGO TEA TIME||Anime||K-On! Insert Song|
|71||42935||Koi wa Sensou||supercell feat. Hatsune Miku||Vocaloid|
|72||41998||GLAMOROUS SKY||Mika Nakashima||Movie||Nana LA Movie OST|
|73||41497||Shining ray||Janne Da Arc||Anime||One Piece ED8|
|74||41381||A DROP OF COLOUR||hyde||Movie||KEWAISHI OST|
|75||43299||Tengaku||Yuuyu-P feat. Kagamine Rin||Vocaloid|
|76||43849||ideal white||Mashiro Ayano||Anime||Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works OP 1|
|79||40798||God knows...||Haruhi Suzumiya (Aya Hirano)||Anime||The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Insert Song|
|80||43120||VAMPIRE||Janne Da Arc|
|81||41817||DOLLS||Janne Da Arc|
|83||41103||FINAL DISTANCE||Hikaru Utada|
|85||42355||gravity||Maaya Sakamoto||Anime||Wolf's Rain ED|