Jpop Group “NEWS” Soccer Songs Ranked |nihonchique

Since their comeback in 2012 as 4 members, NEWS has been known for their soccer songs with 7 releases and the 8th for this year’s 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, SUPERSTAR, pending a release date. Every year since 2012 member Tegoshi Yuya is the main caster for the FIFA Club World Cup and NEWS is chosen to do the theme song since, totaling 6 songs with 2 songs for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 (ONE -for the win-) and the FIFA World Cup in 2018 (BLUE). With that introduction out of the way, I present my ranking for NEWS’s soccer songs from highest ranking to lowest.

  1. ANTHEM| FIFA Club World Cup Theme Song 2015-2016

ANTHEM was the 2015 and 2016 FIFA Club World Cup theme song and is the ultimate soccer song for me; it’s upbeat and has a powerful sound worthy of a sports song, making it insanely catchy with the “oh oh oh” chant in the chorus where during a concert EVERYONE belts it out. The changing tempo between the chorus and the verses keeps it interesting and the breakdown rap by Masuda is a perfect lead in to the bridge going back into the chorus towards the end of the song. ANTHEM was released on NEWS’s “Yonjyushi” 「四銃士」DVD single and QUARTETTO album. I was SO happy when they brought this song back during their 2017 NEVERLAND tour and it seems to be one of the more popular soccer songs amongst fans.

  1. BLUE| FIFA World Cup Theme Song 2018

BLUE was the FIFA World Cup 2018 theme song and was a “Samurai Blue” Team Japan-themed song, the first time NEWS released a soccer theme song that was specifically cheering on Japan. It begins with the Samurai Japan chant leading into a very upbeat and airy acoustic guitar sound that was perfect for summer when it came out, leading into the incredibly powerful chorus with a call and response. It also has some elements of Shamisen, a traditional Japanese instrument, and flutes making it a very interesting fusion of sounds and changing tempos in the song (See a theme? I like songs that have a change of tempo throughout the song to keep me interested). Can I also draw attention for a moment to the fact they had GLOWING BLUE SHOES for their costume?? Samurai Blue represent!

Unfortunately, BLUE was kind of swept under the rug with few promotions, despite it being a theme song for the FIFA World Cup and being released as a single, because of a scandal involving 2 of the members at the time. Despite the scarce promotions, it still managed to sell 165,000 copies in the first week and made #1 on the Oricon chart.

  1. ONE -for the Win-|FIFA World Cup Theme Song 2014

ONE -for the win- was the 2014 FIFA World Cup theme song and released as its own single, together with the b-side soccer song SEVEN COLORS. Because the host was Brazil it had an upbeat Latin feel to the song and actually contains all the names of the participating countries. the music video included soccer supporters and it was the most “soccer” out of all the music videos (in my opinion) with many soccer shots. It’s ranked for me #3 because it gets stuck in my head SOO easily and I think its a cool touch that all the country names are in the song.

  1. WORLD QUEST|FIFA Club World Cup 2012 Theme Song

WORLD QUEST was their original soccer song debuting in the 2012 FIFA Soccer Club World Cup and was the opening song for their 10 year anniversary tour in 2013. This is the only one of their Club World Cup songs released as a single, all the others either being released as a B-side or on one of the albums. WORLD QUEST has quite a bit of tempo changes to keep it interesting but its actually on the more mellow of the soccer songs. There is a “remix” version that NEWS released on the ONE -for the win- single that gives a fresh take on the song 2 years after its release.

  1. SEVEN COLORS| FIFA Club World Cup Theme Song 2014

SEVEN COLORS is a REALLY upbeat song with a colorful music video released as a B-side with ONE -for the win- and made for the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup. The theme for the song was the 7 colors of the FIFA Club World Cup representing the 7 teams invited to play. SEVEN COLORS is the only b-side side soccer song that has received a music video and it was only released on a disc you could win in a special lottery when purchasing the ONE -for the win- single. Only 10,000 people got it and I was lucky enough hit for a copy! The song is upbeat and I love the bouncy feeling to it, my best memory of it being the final song of NEWS’s WHITE concert. The tempo stays quite the same throughout the song so that is why it is lower on the ranks for me and is not a song I really go back and listen to a lot because it gets repetitive and there is no part of the song I look forward to like the others before this.

  1. SPIRIT| FIFA Club World Cup 2018 Theme Song

A whimsical and light song with the theme of “freedom” and “flight”, the choreography has a lot of flowing movements to it making it great to see live. I LOVE the violin in the song and the tempo change in-between the chorus and the verses, but the rhythmic military-like beat to it is what turns me off to it at some points and it took me a while to warm up to this song, only remotely liking it when I saw it performed in concert during their EPCOTIA ENCORE concert, then the WORLDISTA tour right after that in the spring of this year. It was released on the WORLDISTA album in the “E-sports” section with BLUE. The costumes for EPCOTIA ENCORE are my favorite costumes out of all the soccer songs with the red white and blue Nike tracksuits my favorite member Masuda Takahisa designed.

  1. KINGDOM| FIFA Club World Cup 2017 Theme Song

KINGDOM was the FIFA Club World Cup theme song for 2017 and did not get a lot of promotion at all, simply being released on the EPCOTIA album in March of 2018 and is a song that really didn’t have a big impact on me. I really only listen to it when I listen through the entire EPCOTIA album. After the EPCOTIA tour, it wasn’t performed again and was archived into NEWS’s library of songs that probably won’t see another performance of.

  1. SUPERSTAR| FIFA Club World Cup 2019 Theme Song

SUPERSTAR is the newest soccer song for this year’s Club World Cup and the most mellow out of all of them. I have only seen 2 performances of it, so I don”t really have a good feel of what the song sounds like it but from what I heard from those 2 performances it will probably be ranked pretty low for the mellow-ness of it. I will say though that one of the collaborations was with a famous DJ, DJ松永(Creepy Nuts), which gave a mellow song a good beat to it. Other than that, I also don’t have much else to say about SUPERSTAR and it will probably be released on NEWS’s album STORY pending release probably sometimes in Spring 2020.

What is your ranking for NEWS soccer songs? Let me know in the comments below!

NEWS – “Topgun/ Love Story” Single Review

Top Gun/ Love Story is Double A-side single released on June 12th, 2019 with a pure love ballad paired together with a passionate, upbeat song about longing after an elite, hard to get woman. On release day, it just scrapped by their 4 member comeback single Chankapana in number of copies sold, making it their best selling single as 4 members. Love Story/ Top Gun sold 121,842 copies and Chankapana sold 121,097 on the first day of sales.

The Songs

Love Story

First let me give a bit of background of this song:
Johnny’s and Associates (NEWS’s management) released a dating simulator game app in March 2018 in collaboration with Gree, a game application developer here in Japan called 「NEWSに恋して」, or “Fall in love with NEWS”. For the 1 year anniversary of the app launch in March 2019, they released a series of commercials, which featured Love Story in it, and was the first time us fans had heard it… or so we thought. NEWS fans were surprised that they actually recognized the tune. It had originally been part of the series of New Year’s concerts “EPCOTIA – encore-” that NEWS held at the beginning of the year where NEWS had the fans hum the melody at one point, recorded it, and then put that recording into the single as a surprise for the fans. When I mean surprised, we really were surprised! During NEWS concerts, to transition between different parts of the show NEWS has the fans do all kinds of things to keep us distracted, such as a quiz game, stomping and clapping to the rhythm of something related to the show theme, etc. So this time they had us do the same thing to help everyone “escape from inside a blackhole”, but to the tune of Love Story. So the fans didn’t suspect a thing!

So, Love Story is actually a love song from NEWS to their fans, but it can be interpreted as a love song in general as well. I love how its a ballad, but has a really nice beat and seriously gets stuck in my head. 12/10 would love another song like this again!

Top Gun「トップガン」

Top Guns is a fun, upbeat song with lots of brass and string sounds and old-school disco-esque guitar, making it have a 70’s sort to feel to it. The first few times I heard this song though I wasn’t impressed with it as I had only heard it as the ending song of the drama …… Even after I saw it during the WORLDISTA tour, I wasn’t a fan of it until I heard the studio version of it. I am a fan of brass sounds combined with other modern elements so as soon as I heard the sounds on the studio version I fell in love with it, and the music video just made me love it even more. My favorite part of the song has to be when Massu raps towards the end in a kind of rap-dubstep breakdown.

The Music Videos

Love Story

The music video for Love Story had 5 different versions; 1 for each member and 1 combined video. Each video was made in 1 cut (with the combined one taking cuts from the individual ones) and the theme was a “date” with them. I like cute, but this really took it to another level but it was very tasteful. It was very well shot and reminded me to Tegomassu’s video “Moshimo Kono Sekai kara ○○ ga nakunatara”. I liked Koyama’s look the the most in this video with his hair and the necklace he wore. It was still sickly sweet and I did squeal at some points, so if you are looking for something overly sweet then this the video for you!

Top Gun「トップガン」

The Top Gun music is a piece of art. I love so much about it I don’t even know where to start. The aesthetic of the boys laying in the flower and the transitions between the dance scenes and the “portrait” flower scenes are phenomenal. Massu’s costumes were really a vital part of the video with the red, black and white combined with the white background. I have to point out that only Massu would make them wear Christian Lou Boutin slightly heeled dress shoes to dance and make it work fantastically. This music video really made me fall in love with the song and has to be one of my favorite NEWS music videos to date, only second to Kaguya. I could watch this video over and over again, that’s how much I love it.

The Verdict

Overall I rank this single as one of my top NEWS singles as 4 members, right next to Ikiro and Kaguya. I like how they have 2 different sounding songs on one single, plus the surprise with Love Story and recording the fans at the concert. Because they released a double A-side single, they will probably only release 1 more single or no more singles before their new album “Story” comes out (production is in process and confirmed by the label) probably sometime in Spring 2020. I highly recommend this single to anyone getting into NEWS, as both singles show different sides of NEWS.

What did you guys think of this single? Did you like Love Story or Top Gun better? Let me know in the comments below!

[REVIEW] NEWS Arena Tour 2018 EPCOTIA – DVD/ Blu-Ray


From the world of “NEVERLAND” in 2017, in 2018 NEWS takes you on a journey into outer space onboard the EPCOTIA Liner – flight 009; NEWS hosting as the 4 flight attendants. A tour based around their album released in March 2018, NEWS once again immerses you into the theme of the album, which has been a “thing” for them since their 2015 album “WHITE”.

In this review, I will be discussing 2 categories – Theme and DVD contents – to give an overall rundown of the DVD itself and if its worth it to buy.

Theme – Outer Space??

Let’s begin with Theme! To be honest, I was skeptical of this space theme from the minute I saw the names of the songs on the album that were basically all a bunch of space themed words thrown together like “BLACKHOLE” and “UFO”. Nothing could top NEVERLAND (tour and album) for me… it was the perfect theming for a group like NEWS who is bright and has bouncy songs with some rock thrown in from time to time, so EPCOTIA had a lot to live up to… and I think NEWS was feeling the pressure too.  Before going into the tour itself in April, I liked about only 50% of the songs but after seeing the tour in Hiroshima I was hooked on about 90% of them for the performance.

You can tell NEWS made an extensive effort to separate NEVERLAND from EPCOTIA as themes, and to not make it a continuation (despite NEWS doing theming for N-E-W-S for the next few years) . NEVERLAND had a more steam punk feel to it with the costumes and had a more typical stage setup for NEWS, while EPCOTIA was a center stage and more “futuristic” with monochrome theming and costumes, lots of strobe light affects and a center stage where they really pushed the limits with what they could do with it. (Bungee jumping around the stage in the middle of the concert, hanging from the celling during the opening and having a huge model space shuttle on the stage? Now THAT’S entertainment!) I felt they had a higher budget this year as compared to previous years, as it was their 15th anniversary and probably after the success of the NEVERLAND theming the year previously.

Also, on a side note, the tickets were adorable with “Boarding Pass” written on the back of them with the EPCOTIA logo on it … the theming was on point the entire time from beginning to end. I think with NEVERLAND they pushed the limits for theming where they had fallen short with QUARTETTO the year previous and then with EPCOTIA, they really took what they learned with NEVERLAND and ran with it full speed ahead.

CONTENTS – less than previous DVD’s?

Credit to Johnnys Entertainment Inc.

The contents of the DVD are very straight forward this time around, containing only the final day of the tour in Saitama Arena in May 2018 plus “EPCOTIA MULTI ANGLES LIVE”, which special to just the limited edition of the DVD. The only difference between the Regular Edition and the Limited Edition is this “Multi Angles live” for both the Blu-ray and DVD versions. Click HERE for all the information on what the DVD contains (Japanese Only).

This time the DVD didn’t have as many extras as in the past… more than likely because NEWS had 3 “tours” in 2018 (EPCOTIA Arena Tour,  15th Anniversary Live STRAWBERRY, and EPCOTIA – encore- Dome Tour)  and I predict that because of this, they are wanting to release the arena tour but for a lower price point so that they can release the other concerts later on in 2019. (A double sided DVD between Strawberry and EPCOTIA – encore-? You heard it being called here first, folks!)

I thought the Multi Angles live was a smart move on Johnny’s part to keep the budget low: Take footage of a handful of songs that they already had recorded at the concert and release it at different angles. Essentially, they have cameras pointed at each of the members during the concert at all times and they compiled that footage of 4 of the popular songs, LIVE,  BLACKHOLE, Erotica, and U R not alone for each member’s angle. Not just that, but you don’t have to choose just 1 member for the entire time, you can choose different members for different parts of the song, letting you control the editing of the song and how you want to see it. I thought you could only choose 1 member for the entire song, but I was happily surprised you can choose the angle at each point in the song. Very interactive, as there are so many combinations you can make between the 4 members’ parts.

“Happy Ending”

Overall, Outer Space wasn’t a theme that I was extremely excited about but the execution and how they kept to theming the entire time was extremely impressive. NEVERLAND is close to my heart and for me, unfortunately, EPCOTIA did not surpass that. The content of the DVD was less than previous years, but hopefully there will be some releases of the other 2018 concerts later in 2019 to make up for it. (My wallet is READY!) 

If you can get your hands on the Limited Edition of this DVD, I think it is worth it for the multi-angles lives, but the Regular Edition doesn’t have much to offer besides the actual concert.

 With that being said though,  I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the VR themed “WORLDISTA” for 2019!