Arashi-Face Down PV preview

A few days ago the PV preview for Arashi’s upcoming single, Face Down, was released.

The PV seems to be yet another realatively simple PV from Arashi. A majority ofthe PV is nothing more than Arashi either sitting in business chairs or standing in a mirror room that reminds me a lot of Hey! Say! JUMP’s Super Delicate PV. This is also yet another PV without dancing. Which is honestly really sad because Arashi usually has the best and most fun choreography in all of JE.

And you know even thought the PV is completely simple I can’t help, but still like what I’m seeing of the PV. Maybe it’s because the sets are interesting with the colored ceiling or abstract walls, or maybe it’s the colorful outfits they are wearing half the time, or the fact that nearly everyone looks incredible in this PV. I say nearly because I absolutely hate Sho’s hair. It’s too short and it doesn’t work for his face at all. But most likely the real reason I like the video is because the song is really great that I’m looking past the fault of the PV. Then again it could also be the borderline annoying flashing camera angles to make the PV seem more dynamic. Even though it is a little bit annoying I do have to admit I actually think it really works for the PV.

Another plus for the PV is of course that MatsuJun and Nino are looking amazing per usual. But the most surprising thing is how well Ohno looks. He stands out the most to me in this video. It’s probably since the song is for his drama they put him more prominently in the PV.

New AKB48 sub-group No Name announced

It was announced that the members of AKB48, SKE48, and NMB48, that were chosen to voice act in the AKB48 anime, AKB0048, will be forming a new sub-group to release the opening and ending themes. The new sub-group is called No Name and the official release not of their single has yet to be announced. But the opening theme is titled Kibou ni Tsuite and the ending theme is titled Yume wa Nandomo Umarekawaru. AKB0048 begins ariring April 29th, so we should have a preview of the song in a few days.

I am really excited for this, after the 30 members passed the first round of juding for the anime I really wanted Sato Amina, Sato Sumire, and Watanabe Mayu to pass because I had a feeling the winners would also be doing the themes. And I am completely thrilled that it’s actually happening. Despite Amina never getting any attention or lines, she actually has one of my favorite voices in AKB48. She might not be the most vocally talented singer in any 48 group, but she has that adorable idol voice that I absolutely love. But sadly poor Amina is shoved in the back of this promo pic so it’s pretty much guaranteed she’s not going to get a solo line. I’m actually a little confused as to who the center for this single is going to be. Is it going to be Mayu because she’s in the absolute center of the picture or it Kumi because she’s in the center of the front row?  It’s probably going to be Mayu lead and Kumi secondary anyway. Either way I’ll still be happy since both girls have adorable voices.

Hey! Say! JUMP to finally release second album

After almost two years since the release of JUMP No 1, it has been announced that Hey! Say! JUMP will be releasing their long awaited second album. The album is currently untitled, but it will be released on June 6th. The album will of course come in a Limited Edition and Regular edition. The LE will have a DVD that includes footage of the album recording and the jacket shooting. The RE will come with a 3D booklet and messages from the memebers, much like the messages both editions of JUMP No 1 had.

But what’s different about this album from their last one, and most Johnny’s releases, is that the the final 3 songs on each edition will be different. The LE will get 2 old songs: Spicy by Hey! Say! BEST and Endless Dream, as well as new song Uta Utau by Hey! Say! 7. The RE edition will 2 new songs: SNAP by Hey! Say! BEST, and Hana Egao by Hey! Say! 7. The RE will also include another single medley, probably much like the one at the end of Thank You Bokutachi Kara Kimi E, so I don’t really count that as a new song.

Well, I can’t say that I’m shocked by this announcement. After 1 year passed with no new album I was pretty much expecting the announcement to come any day. And once it got to be a year and a half, then almost two years, I started to get pretty annoyed and impatient. I don’t really understand what the management is doing with Hey! Say! JUMP. First they had that whole year of not releasing a single, and then almost 2 years inbetween album releases. NEWS also had this kind of waiting period, but for good reason. There’s absolutely no reason for Hey! Say! JUMP to have these long stretches of nothing.

That small complaint aside, I’m obviously really excited for Hey! Say! JUMP to be releasing another album. HSJ is one of my top 3 favorite JE groups, and I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this release. This album already seems to be a lot better than their first album already since the only difference between LE and RE was the jackets and member messages. I’m glad that they put a lot more effort into each eddition. I can’t really comment on anything else though because most of the albums are new. But I can comment on the old songs. I really love that Hey! Say! JUMP has slowly been releasing old songs as B-sides because as it is right now nearly all of their unreleased songs have been officially released. As for Spicy though I’ve never been a huge fan of the song and I think I’ve only really heard it once ot twice. But relistening to it now it’s actually not that bad of a song. But for the unreleased songs I am way more excited for Endless Dream. I’ve been a huge fan of this song since they first sang it on Shounen Club back in 09. And it was actually one of the unreleased songs I wanted them to include in JUMP No 1. Endless Dream is really a great song. The music is great and the line distribution is almost good. 7/9 of JUMP get a decent amount of lines, but per usual Keito and Inoo are left with nothing. But quite honestly I’m just happy that Yuto has a nice chunk of lines.

And for any new JUMP fan out there, or anyone who just wants to refresh their memory, here are clips of Spicy

and Endless Dream.

AKB48-Manatsu no Sounds Good PV preview

Recently a PV review for AKB48’s upcoming new single, and I’m pretty sure Acchan’s final single, Manatsu no Sounds Good was released.

I’m actually really surprised with this PV preview. I’m actually impressed with it, which I did not expect to happen at all. But at the same time I’m only half impressed. The PV preview is half epic and half predictable. Let’s start off with the awesome part first. And that would be the th scenes of AKB48 on this sort of apocalyptic, or deserted, or Battle Royale type of island. Since the PV preview is really sort it’s hard to get a feel for the storyline. But it seems to be half of the girl appeared injured on this island wearing what looks like the Everyday Kachuusha outfits, but I could be wrong, and the other girls rush to help them. And the girls seem to be releasing some sort of deadly black smoke, which reminds me a lot of Lost. They even show Jurina dying. Well she just falls to the ground but it looks like she’s dead. Which is hilarious since they are killing her off again in another PV. And then Mayu is carrying Acchan off to safety and the other members suddently appear down the road dressed in white dresses. Which doesn’t really make sense as of yet. But I have to say, overall this part of the PV is cool. It’s well though out, it’s interesting, and it’s filmed in this awesome dirty/grungy filter.

And then we have the other half of the PV which is the generic 48 group bikini PV. Where it’s the girls dancing in bikinis on the beach, and that’s pretty much it. At least mix it up and do another poolside one like the Baby Baby Baby PV. And the bikini PV scenes in this PV are probably the worst I’ve ever seen because every single girl is basically in the same bikini. This awful white one, and some of the girls are wearing this off white shade which completely irks me! I miss the other bikini PVs where the girls are at least wearing different bikinis and have some individuality. I’m just over the whole bikini PV thing. Unless of course there is some effort in the theme. Give me some other aspect then just the dancing on a beach. Simply adding a beach ball or a frisbee would make it a lot more enjoyable to watch.

And I feel the need to mention this because the PV preview pointed this out, but why is Mayu the center? Sure Mayu is absolutely adorable and popular enough, but there are still more popular members than her. And why isn’t Acchan right in the center for her last song? It doesn’t make sense to me.

NEWS are finally coming back!

After days of a mysterious countdown on Johnny’s special website, Kei-chan’s radio show, K-chan NEWS, has officially announced that NEWS Will be making their comeback. NEWS is set to release a new single, best album, and a concert tour. As of right now the official date has not been set for any of these. Also, the best album is very hands on as fans can vote for their 4 favorite news songs and the 2nd disc of the best album will consist of the top fan voted songs. I’m not entirely sure how that will work. If it will just be the songs in their original form or not. But I’m guessing they will most likely rerecord the songs like they did for the singles on the Pacific album.

I have to say that I am beyond excited that NEWS is finally making their comeback. And I have to admit after months of us fans being strung along I actually did start to think that NEWS would really just fall by the wayside. But I am of course thrilled that, that wasn’t the case. And I felt such a mixture of shock, surprise, excitement, and was generally overwhelmed, that I actually teared up by this news. I have been sticking by NEWS through all of this. Through them not releasing anything for a year, through the rumor of them breaking up, through losing two members, and through the wait of their comeback announcement. I feel exactly like the NEWS fans who waited for NEWS to comeback after their year long hiatus after the Uchi and Kusano scandals. So yes, as a pretty emotional person I was completely overcome with sheer happiness that one of my favorite idol groups are coming back, and teared up. Tears of joy though, akin to the tears of joy I shed when Kago Ai announced her comeback with her Hong Kong movie Kung Fu Chef.

To anyone that reads my blog reguarly I’m sure you’re aware of the posts I made throughout this whole NEWS ordeal, where I was skeptical about the breaking up, and the post where I raged over Ryo’s departure in general. And if you’re not, I suggest you read them if you care. Anyway, in the first post I voiced how I was devastated by my favorite member leaving, and I even said that I wasn’t sure if I was even going to continue to listen to NEWS. But that was all said in the heat of the moment and written a mere 40 minutes after finding out about it. And I have to say over the months I cooled down. I started to be able to listen to NEWS without feeling sad and I realized I could never abandoned NEWS. NEWS is my first JE group, they opened the doors to so many other artists. And I had a lot of good times with NEWS. And NEWS, in my opinion, releases some of the best music in JE. With other JE groups I feel let down by releases, but with NEWS that hardly ever happens. Pretty much the only single I’m disappointed with is Sakura Girl and the only other songs I really don’t like are Let’s Go To The Planets and Stardust, which is pretty good. And NEWS is still NEWS, no matter what change they go through. They stated off with 9 and are now 4, and I’m honestly just as excited for this lineup as I was for the lineups that included Kusano and Ryo. I could never stop listening to them. I know that there are some fans out there that do abandon idol groups when their favorite members leave. But I think that’s just silly. And if I did that I wouldn’t listen to half the idol groups I listen to now, because I’m super unlucky and my favorite members always leave before their time.

I was also really excited that fans get to vote for their favorite songs. I love fans can participate in things like this. A few years ago I voted for Miyavi’s Fan’s Best album. Though it did suck that pretty much every song I voted for didn’t make it into the album. It was still fun to pick nonetheless. I hope my picks fare better this time. The lovely news-jpop livejournal community have translated instructions for voting located here. Voting ends 12/04/30 23:39 JST, so get your votes in while you can.
And if anyone is curious here are my 4 picks.

I gotta tell you it was incredibly hard to pick just 4 songs. But I definitely picked my favorite songs. And I think these 4 songs really show the full spectrum of NEWS songs.

1. Fiesta. Fiesta has been my favorite NEWS song for as long as I can remember. I remember hearing the song right in the beginning of becoming a fan and was instantly in love with the song. There are 2 reasons I love this song. The first being just how catchy and danceable the song is. And the second reason is honestly because Ryo has a lot of lines in the song. But I still really do love the song. I seriously can’t get enough of it. The lyrics aren’t exactly deep. They’re pretty much just about banging someone, but I love this song because of how fun it is. This song really shows NEWS’ dance side.

2. Mafuyu no Nagareboshi. Now, I picked this song 100% because of the lyrics. I absolutely love them they are sapppy and adorable. “The midwinter shooting star is the afterimage of your smile” Whoever doesn’t think that’s sweet must not have a heart. And I love how bittersweet the song is. It’s about the end of a romance, but still wishing the other person happiness. I also really love how the song is sung. It’s very soft and everyone sounds really amazing. Even Shige’s voice doesn’t sound too out of place. It really shows NEWS’ soft ballad type songs.

3. Koi Yake. Koi Yake was so close to losing to Say Hello. Touch is a great album and I really wanted to include a song from it. Koi Yake has always been one of my favorite songs from this album. And after I listened to it again and remembered I loved it because of it’s undeniably catchy chorus, it became obvious to pick Koi Yake. I love this song because it has a nice rock feel to it, which is rarity in NEWS songs.

4. Minna ga iru Sekai wo Hitotsu ni Ai wo Motto Give & Take Shimashou. I’ll never forget when I first heard this song I was absolutely disappointed. I was actually disappointed by the entire Color album when I first heard it. And while I did give the songs a second chance and have grown to love nearly all of them, Color is still my least favorite NEWS album. But I really love this song. I really emcompasses everything I love about NEWS. The song is super upbeat and the lyrics have a postive message. It’s music like this that is the reason I love NEWS in the first place.

Here are my other favorites I unfortunately had to leave out: Beach Angel, Chiraizumu, Say Hello, D.T.F., Alibi, Baby! Be My Baby!, Gan Gan Ganbatte, Smile Maker, Kirameki no Kanata e, Nantoka Naru Sa, Wonderland, and Why. And of course many more secondary favorites I couldn’t vote for either. XD

The 30 Day Idol Challenge: Day 6

I decided that I needed a nice change of pace for my blog. I’ve been playing a game of catch up on my blog recently. And whenever I have to play catch up I become unmotivated pretty quickly, because then it almost feels like I’m being forced to blog. And it really takes all the fun and enjoyment out of blogging. PV reviews are probably my favorite posts to make, but feeling obligated to do a mad rush of 10 or so in a matter of days is really a drag. However, the push is from no one but myself. I actually feel like I’ll lose readers or people will become disappointed/bored if I don’t review all the PVs, since I’ve made them the main selling point of my blog.

This post has take a rather unpleasant turn, so enough of the talk and onto the main focus of this blog. And that’s continuing the The 30 Day Idol Challenge. Now, I’m constantly playing catch up on my blog and focusing on idol news, that I have completely overlooked this challenge completely. The last post I made about this was back in October. I’m a little bummed about that myself.

Let’s get on with today’s question which is: “Your favorite sub-group?”

Now, there are, and have been, tons of idol sub-groups out there. I mean, I could have picked anything. But over the nearly 4 years of blogging and over 5 years of being an idol fan the answer to this question was extremely obvious. And keeping up with past answers you know I couldn’t pick just one group.

Buono:

Of course Buono is one of my absolute favorite sub-groups. I’ve been a dedicated fan of Buono ever since they first formed. And I think anyone that reads my blog can tell I’m a big Buono fan since I named my blog after one of their songs. Buono is one of those groups that keep getting better. Virtually whatever type of music they have they manage to pull it off. From super cutesy, to rock, to ska, to soft ballads, even auto tuned. Buono is just absolutely perfect! And everyone’s singing in Buono is top notch. I mean, watch some of their concerts. A lot of the time they sound almost identical to the CD. Which is super impressive. And the girl’s voices blend together perfectly. I seriously can never get enough of Buono. Their songs are constantly stuck in my head, and I’m constantly singing them. And their B-sides and album songs are just as catchy as their A-sides, which doesn’t always happen with idol groups.

Watarirouka Hashiritai/7:

Now, I haven’t been a Warota fan for nearly as long as I have been a Buono fan, but that doesn’t mean I love them any less. Watarirouka Hashiritai is just another perfect idol group in my eyes. They have the insanely cutesy idol voices that I absolutely adore, and they are making the exact kind of idol music that is my favorite. Upbeat, happy, cute, and sweet enough to make you lose your teeth. Watarirouka Hashiritai might only have one album, but they make up for it by usually having anywhere from 2-5 B-sides to keep you interested. They might have a few songs that I’m not a fan of, but collectively their songs are amazing and they put me in such a happy mood. And it doesn’t matter if they gain, lose, and then gain members the music never gets effected and they keep coming out with even better songs.

Momusu’s heart stealing new PV

Recently the full PV for Morning Musume’s upcoming new single, Renai Hunter, was released.

After watching the entire PV I could already tell the hate for this PV must be enormous. Well, let’s be real, this is a Morning Musume PV people would hate on it even if it was pure gold. But as always with Momusu, I’m going to go against what everyone else thinks and come out and say that I really love this PV. It was an absolute joy to watch. My girls are always a joy to watch awful PV or not. But the reason that I like this PV is because it looks like their  was some real effort put into this. Is the PV perfect? Absolutely not, there are tons of things which could be improved on, and don’t worry I’ll get to that part. Lately Momusu’s PV have had a lot more effort put into them. I don’t know if they hired a new director, or they realized the 9th and 10th gen are give them a popularity boost that LinLin and JunJun never could. What was it a month after Riho joined she already had double the members on her mixi fanclub or whatever mixi does? Seriously if they really build the 9th and 10h gen Momusu would be in a good place. They have all the perfect idol traits. But that’s another post all together. Whatever UFA is doing with Momusu PVs they really should continue. I feel like the Renai Hunter PV is almost there. To me it seems more like a transition PV in between awful and absolute gold. Now, I personally don’t think Momusu has only ever had a handful of really amazing PVs. But fans seem to forget that every time shiny new idol groups relase something. But the fact that the Renai Hunter PV has more going on than just dancing and close-up singing shots proves that my god they’re actually trying.

Now let’s start off with the main part of the entire PV which is the set. I absolutely don’t like the set at all, it’s just too simple. I mean it’s white, you can’t get anymore bare than that. They are basically dancing in a giant white box. With a box/ladder pattern on the walls and simple fluorescent lights on the ceiling. And it honestly looks like an office building. Not only that, the entire set makes the members look washed up. Since they are wearing silver outfits they some times blend into the background, which is a huge no-no. But there is something great about the set, and that’s that the entire PV was filmed using one set. Now, that actually sounds horrible. But what makes it great is, you can’t really tell everything was filmed in one place. The first close-up uses colored beads which block the background completely. And the second close-up blurs the background and uses a gray filter. It’s just brilliant.
Moving on to the next biggest part, which is actually the psrt you notice the most, which are the outfits. I hate the outfits. Since the song uses dubstep I’m going to assume they tried to go futuristic with the outfits. But why does everyone think futuristic means silver? It doesn’t. Silver, let alone metalic silver, hardly ever works in the present. And I hate that the outfits do not have a shape at all. It makes them all look like flat boards without a single curve. Which isn’t flattering in the slightest. The other thing that irks me is everyone’s outfit is split into colors by their gen. 10th has blue, 9th has red, 6th has black, and 5th has yellow. But Aika is lumped into the 6th gens black. I guess they wanted Risa to standout and be the only person with their own color. But it’s just not working for me. Yellow is the most vibrant color out there anyway, they coukd ahve put Aika in gray and it would have still worked.
Next the dance, which is awful. What happened to Reina’s explination that it’s like a zombie? I see no Thriller-seque moves, or even any moves that are remotely difficult. There’s just a lot of shaking, pointing, and dropping. It’s just really awkwad from start to finish. The 10th gen can handle something more difficult than this.
The close-up shots for me are some of the best scenes. I love the close-up singing scenes because I actually love the random hanging beads. I know they are cheap sets 101, and H!P uses them all the time. They just used them in Dream Morning Musume’s Shining Butterfly PV. But I love the beads in any PV. I think they are really pretty and add a nice effect. They also balance nicely with the lack of set otherwise. The second close-up scenes are nothing more but beauty shots. But I absolutely love them. The girls look stunning. And I love the slight wind on them. It reminds me of the close-ups from the Sexy Boy PV.
And saving the best for last, my favorite scenes. Which are obviously the magazine scenes. I think they’re adorable. A really simple and cheap effect, but it’s undeniably cute. You get to see some cute shots of the girls posing with lollipops, and the magazine itself has a few stats of the girls.

I love this font.

Awkward dancing already.

Gorgeous Risa.

I can’t even with this dance right now.

Even though it’s just pointing I do love this move. Just because of how synchronized it is.

Absolutely stunning.

Oh, Reina’s hair is down. People can finally stop complaining that’s it’s always up.

Sayumi looks really pretty.

Ayumi still comes off as a little creepy to me.

Risa is killing me with these close-ups.

Most awkward move in the history of idol dances. And Zukki can’t really even do it. Lol.

Aika looks amazing.

I don’t like how boyish Erina’s hair looks.

Wow, Zukki looks incredible. *O*

Poor Haruka looks like a deer caught in headlights.

Mizuki is brining it though.

Eh, Reina’s cover is a little boring.

I love Risa’a lollipop.

Adorable.

Riho’s ins’t that spectacular either.

Aika looks super pretty.

Love them.

Adorable.

Love Aika’s wink.

Wow, Mizuki’s is the best so far.

Erina trying to look sexy.

Gorgeous.

Zukki!

Not bad Ayumi, it’s actually kind of cute.

The pose is a little awkward, but still cute.

Absolutely adorable.

Meh.

Realy beautiful.

Mizuki looks so fresh and pretty.

No words.

Haruna needs to work on her posing.

Too sexy Eripon. It doesn’t work with her cute image.

I just wanna hug Masaki.

I love that Risa says she loves Morning Musume.