One of my favorite games of all time (known as Jet Grind Radio in the US) just happens to have one of the best game soundtracks ever. If you’re looking for a good mix of of creative and energetic Japanese music, the best place to start is the soundtracks of the Jet Set Radio series.
Both soundtracks include music that is mostly from Hideki Naganuma and Guitar Vader. It could be mostly classified as in the J-Pop genre, but is a mix Japanese techno, funk, soul, and hip-hop elements that create a very unique and vivid sound.
From Amazon Reviews:
“JGR has some of the sweetest tracks you’ll ever hear. And it’s pretty diverse too. From the techno/dance tracks like ‘Electric Tooth Brush’ to the fresh “classic” types like ‘Grace and Glory’ and ‘Sweet Soul Brother’, there’s not a boring track on here.
This is great music to listen to when you’re on the go, or need something to kick ass to at home. It’s just a shame that people passed this up thinking it was “just game music”. I’ve never heard an album so full of energy like I have here, and I don’t normally listen to music like that.”
“I knew something was up when both I and my brother—who didn’t even play, only watched!—had these catchy numbers stuck in our head for weeks. Jet Set Radio’s got an upbeat, diverse mix of hip-hop, dance, and Japanese-style punk music that is not to be missed.”
And of course, if you liked the first game’s soundtrack, check out Jet Set Radio Future’s soundtrack as well…
From Amazon Reviews:
” ‘Concept of Love’ is the BEST song on the album. That’s the main reason I bought it… but I was taken back with the other ‘new favorites’ I found. I was bummed out to find that this album was missing a few tunes though. Apparently, the U.S. release of the Xbox Game came with a few songs ‘outside the states’ releases didn’t get. “
You can pick up both soundtracks from a number of places. I recommend Amazon.com, but you will probably want to look at the used CD prices as they are MUCH more affordable than the new import copies.