Top Ten Worst J-Music Artist Names

List by Andrew Monkelban, Explanations by Tanya Peacock

Japanese music (J-Music), much like American is categorized into numerous genres — JPop, JHip-Hop, JRock, etc. I listen to a lot of J-Music, so I’ve come across quite a few artists and bands with bad names over the years. I decided to make a top ten list of some of those names. Narrowing it down to ten was difficult, because there are so many that come to mind.

This was inspired by a recent post by fellow contributor Dan.

Note: Much like Dan’s post, this does not reflect on their musical abilities. In fact, I’m a fan of some of these artists and/or bands; I’ve marked those with a *.

(Click on the artist/band names to go to their Wiki page.)


I’m not particularly a fan of this group. But the name. The name just spells all sorts of trouble. Is it machine guns having sex? Or is it people having sex with machine guns?


Not a fan of this group either, though they’re gaining in noteraiety in various circles of the J-music fandom. I really want to know how they come up with the name, KICK THE CAN CREW? Did they come up with it during that Kick The Can song? Are they just all fans of that song?

At any rate, I suppose we don’t have to really think about it much as the group broke up in 2004.


Mmmm… Chicken…

No. Wait. Not supposed to be thinking about food. I’m supposed to be thinking about this group. BUMP OF CHICKEN. Where did they get that name from? Is it supposed to symbolize a chicken with a cancerous lump?


Now, MONKEY MAJIK is a great band. I’m not saying that EVERYTHING they put out is solid gold, but they have a number of really good gems out there. According to the Jpop Stop wiki the name MONKEY MAJIK was derived from the English dub of the 1970s drama Saiyuki called Monkey. The theme song from that was “Monkey Magic” by GODIEGO and the band took that. Apparently, it was supposed to be Monkey Cosmic but the rest of the band decided that MONKEY MAJIK related more to Japan.

I’m not sure how they came up with that. But more power to them for that leap of logic.


FUNKY MONKEY BABYS is a hip-hop group under the Dreamusic label that’s known for producing other artists such as Hirahara Ayaka and MELIN. I have a hypothesis on how they got their name. Or at least how they got half of it. The leader and one of the MC’s of the group is called FUNKY Kato. The other MC is called MONKICHI. So we know where FUNKY and MONKEY come from. Where on earth does BABYS come from? Seriously? I really want to know where it came from!


This group, to me, has the weirdest name. This rock group is headed up by Ken and Sakura both of L’Arc~en~Ciel fame. They created this group as a no frills rock group. The perverted sense of humor, however, makes me question their sanity every time I see the group’s name.


Great group, bad name. I wonder if this is one of those cases where Engrish and drunkenness coagulated into someone coming into this idea. You’d think that they would figure out how bad it is once they all sobered up.

Personally, I believe that someone is holding blackmail over someone else. You never know what you get up to when the drinks start pouring.


TERIYAKI BOYZ. How on earth does this supergroup get its name? Not only do they have their international recognition from the soundtrack for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but they get a weird name to boot? I think it has something to do with a member liking Teriyaki just a little too much. Maybe even a member liking “Boyz” just a little too much as well.

Ah, well… I guess all the great groups have strange names.

2. school food punishment

Let’s just say that I love love love love school food punishment. I never get tired of their ambient fusion sound that’s produced a number of great gems.

But the name? I wonder if they all disliked school food and thought that lunch every day was punishment?

Or could it be that perhaps they have some sort of secret group punishment that’s made up of school food? That has to be it! They must employ a legion of cafeteria workers that makes the worst school food possible and forces it on those who hate their music.


This.. This is just too weird, even for me. In my mind, so that I don’t die from thinking too much, I’ll just say that they got really really drunk before they signed the contract and their record company thought it’d be funny for a hard rock group to invoke a chorus of insults.

I pity you if your name is Ogre.

Andrew Monkelban

Andrew Monkelban is an avid gamer and writer, who has been featured in Second Skin, and on Wired's GameLife and The Escapist. He is also really into the Japanese entertainment scene. Even though he has Cerebral Palsy, he does not let it stop him from doing what he loves, although he's always on the look-out for technology that would help him with difficult tasks. He came to PopTen in the Summer of 2009, where he's now able to combine his passions.

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