Best J-Pop/J-Rock Album Covers 2014

Check out J-Generation′s best J-Pop and J-Rock album/single jackets of 2014, chosen by contributors David Cirone and Jen Wang.

Dir en Grey – Sustain the Untruth
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Dave: Demonic-male-sexy as only DIR EN GREY can pull it off. This is the kind of album jacket that makes me buy something right off the shelf without hearing a note.

Aldious – Other World
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Jen: The gorgeous ladies of Aldious look like Disney princesses… ready to rock!

URBANGARDE – Utsukushii Kuni
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Dave: URBANGARDE’s Utsukushii Kuni features artwork by renowned Japanese painter Aida Makoto, a contemporary Japanese artist known for his provocative works of manga, painting, and sculpture. Paired with URBANGARDE’s always counter-culture lyrics, the painting takes on new life as a critique of a schoolgirl-obsessed society.

Man With a Mission – Tale of Purefly
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Jen: The fantastical artwork is reminiscent of The Dark Crystal and Lord of the Rings.

Onmyouza – Fujin Kaiko & Raijin Sosei (double release)
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Dave: EPIC is the word for the awesome double-concept-album artwork served up for Onmyouza’s mythology-themed releases of Fujin Kaiko & Raijin Sosei. This is a band that swings for the fences with their visual imagery, and their fan following worldwide continues to rise.

Rie a.k.a. Suzaku – Sonic City
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Jen: With her brightly-colored hair and goggles, Rie a.k.a. Suzaku looks like a post apocalyptic anime heroine ready to protect the world from aliens and bad music.

THE KIDDIE – DYSTOPIA
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Dave: The Kiddie’s Matrix-like cybernetic moment of capture strikes just the odd balance between horror, androgyny, and straight-on casual cool, tip of the hat included.

Blu BiLLioN – Sincerely Yours
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Jen: There’s nothing more sincere than the heart, and the one of an artist is multifaceted and full of life. The eye in it seems to penetrate the soul.

Sheena Ringo – Gyakuyunyu Kowankyoku
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Dave: Once again flawless and fearless, Sheena Ringo takes charge of her own Ports and Harbors Bureau to “re-import” herself on this album of self-covers for songs written for PUFFY, Chiaki Kuriyama, and SMAP among others.

VAMPS – Bloodsuckers
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Dave: The jacket for VAMPS Bloodsuckers puts you in a dangerous position — save yourself or give in to the tattooed vixen who’s ready to bring your life to a sweet but sudden end.

Perfume – Cling Cling
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David: The ornate doll-like beauty of Perfume is captured perfectly in the artwork for the limited edition release of Cling Cling.

moumoon – Love before we Die
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Jen: The shot has all the making of a typical romantic image even the lens flare, but the cut on her mouth completely subverts it.

Brand New Idol Society (BIS) – STUPIG
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David: Anime/mecha versions of the group’s members reveal BIS to be every fan boy’s dream — poseable, shiny, and ready for takeoff!

Charan-Po-Rantan – Wasurekaketeta Monogatari
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Jen: This cover perfectly captures the band’s whimsical nature. It would interesting to join the sisters for tea.

Mamoru Miyano – New Order
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David: Mamoru Miyano’s tie-in single for the Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life: Awakening Arc anime is ultra-cyber-future-sexy. He’s ready to move fast into some luck girl’s heart.

Tokyo Girls’ Style – Jujika
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David: Tokyo Girls’ Style’s single release for the horror film Gakkou no Kaidan puts you in the perfect frame of mind for schoolgirl ghost stories.

Fudanjuku – BE HERO
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Jen: Rather than another picture of the group, the limited edition album features anime versions of the boys. Like all good heroes, they are ready for adventure.

Sumire Uesaka – Kakumei Teki Broadway Shugisha Doumei
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David: Voice actress Sumire Uesaka delivers an oddly disturbing combination of combat and kawaii in the military version of her single Kakumei Teki Broadway Shugisha Doumei.

Nami Tamaki – NT Gundam Cover
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Jen: Nami here is an otaku’s dream girl with lounging around in her cute PJs, surrounded by Gundam models.

Akina Nakamori – All Time Best
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David: The artwork for Akina Nakamori’s first (hard-to-believe that!) greatest hits album places her square back in the 80s where she debuted.