Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Odd Japanese band names

I swear these are real Japanese band names. For every "Blue Hearts" or "Hi-Standard" there are others with names that . . . sound odd in English.

These aren't necessarily bad bands. I really like a lot of Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, for example. But they're still kind of odd names to a native English speaker.

Maximum the Hormone

Bump of Chicken (do they mean goosebumps? Maybe.)

Thee Michelle Gun Elephant




At least if you go maximum Japanese, like Arashi or AKB48, you're in the clear. Personal names, too, just naturally work. It just sounds foreign. Or if you go one-word English, like Exile or The Pillows, you're generally okay, too. It's the more creative choices that often sound so, so strange. They aren't names aimed at English-speakers but rather Japanese - but like oddly-chosen words on t-shirts, the English-speaking world still consumes this stuff.

What saves a lot of these bands (and others, with equally odd names) is that they are totally sincere and enthusiastic about the music. They're really into it, and they really want to entertain you. They aren't necessarily rock-and-roll like I like it, but they do try, and that counts for something. A band like Babymetal might not really be metal as much as metal-tinged J-Pop, but it's still music with good intentions behind it.

But yeah, you do get names like "Bump of Chicken." Better than Ezra and the Goo Goo Dolls must high-five each other over their name when they hear that one.

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