The music industry in Japan has long been seen as lagging behind the times. Once every six months there is an article that marvels at the supremacy of CDs, and new albums from acts that were big in the 1990s tend to dominate charts alongside idol-pop groups that few would label "musically progressive."

Despite the news, however, overall music sales continue to drop year after year. Record labels are responding with what they know works, which in 2015 turned out to be yet another Dreams Come True "Best Of" album.

This year, though, saw a welcome disruption in the domestic market. Younger listeners strongly asserted their tastes and helped push earnest rock bands such as Gesu no Kiwami Otome. and Sekai no Owari, and pop group E-girls further into the spotlight.