SCANDAL2013The results are in for the popular J-Pop news site JpopAsia’s recent Music Awards and SCANDAL have managed to win in 6 of the main categories.

The Music Awards were based on over 1 million votes cast by fans against a broad variety of Japanese bands and artists.

4-piece outfit SCANDAL have enjoyed a busy 2012 with the release of 3 singles, a Best Of album with SCANDAL SHOW and a wealth of live dates both in Japan and abroad. Rina also took time out from the band to join VAMPS’s side project, Halloween Junky Orchestra.

As a result SCANDAL topped the Music Awards in the following categories:

Favourite Artist/Band : SCANDAL
This placing is probably the most telling, especially with so much strong competition currently doing the rounds in the wonderful world of J-Pop.

Best MV 2012: ‘Taiyou Scandalous’ – SCANDAL
A feisty slice of pop goodness marked SCANDAL’s 13th single release which reached No. 2 in the Oricon charts.

Best Single 2012: ‘HARUKAZE’ – SCANDAL
Produced by NAOTO from Orange Range, ‘Harukaze’ also featured as the 15th opening theme to Bleach, the popular and long-running anime series (in fact Bleach placed 1st in the recent ‘Best Anime Named Bleach’ poll conducted by the International Hardcore Bleach Fanclub. Amazing).

Best Album 2012: Queens Are Trumps – SCANDAL
SCANDAL’s 4th studio album was released last September and managed to reach No. 4 in the Oricon charts. As well as ‘Taiyou Scandalous’ and ‘Harukaze’, the album also featured the guitar-driven ‘Pin Heel Surfer’.

Best Girlband: SCANDAL

A surprise for those critics convinced that AKB48 would be a shoe-in (AKB48 actually placed 3rd in the poll behind KAT-KUN so everyone is officially allowed to laugh at them). This poll position is an indication of just how far SCANDAL have come in a very short time. J-Pop Go favourites 2NE1 managed to also top the polls in this category for the K-Pop section.

Sexiest Female Singer: Haruna Ono
SCANDAL leader Haruna is the oldest of the 4 members whose powerful voice and striking looks make her a visually arresting, as well as talented, asset to the band. So well done Haruna.

It’s always refreshing to see the acts that J-Pop fans hold in high regard, especially in a time when polls can be viewed as little more than thinly-veiled exercises in favouritism and product placement. Thank goodness nothing like that happens in the world of J-Pop.

A new SCANDAL compilation album ENCORE SHOW, featuring a selection of B-Side tracks, is due for release on 6th February.

Text by Paul Browne
28th January 2013