Morning Musume-One-Two-Three preview

After Morning Musume performed one of their A-sides off their upcoming double A-side single, One-Two-Three/The Matenrou Show, we finally have the official audio via a radio rip and the dance shot version.

By now this song is so old to the fans, it’s even pretty old to me since I’ve been listening to it since it first came out. But I realized that I haven’t said anything about the song yet on this blog yet. Which is pretty awful, and I absolutely have to write about it here. But that’s all I’ll be doing in this post, writing about the song. Even though at the bottom of this post I will be posting the dance shot version I will not be commenting on it. Mostly because it will spoil my review of this PV.

Now, if you follow me on twitter or tumblr you won’t be surprised when I say right now I am 100% in love with this song. It is absoulte perfection, it’s flawless, it’s incredible, I just love it. If this song was a person we’d be married by now. Yeah, I love it that much.

But of course much like with every idol song that gets released the responce is spilt in half. And I’ve read a few people that just aren’t impressed with this song and do not like it. Which I don’t get. Mostly because  nearly every Momusu fan was head over heels with Renai Hunter and  One-Two-Three is basically the same style. But it’s also the same style as Renai Hunter and about 600 times better. So, I really don’t understand the indifference. When Renai Hunter was out I absoultely loved it, it was my jam. But after hearing this Renai Hunter is a little lame in comparison.

What everyone seems to dislike about this song is everything I love about it. As, I’ve said before I live in the US and the past 3 years or so the popular music has been dance music with heavy auto-tuning. And as I’ve said before, I’ve loved every single second of it. I absolutely love auto-tuning. It just makes songs catchier and more danceable. People hate auto-tuning because it makes mediocre singers sound better, which is true. But that doesn’t really stop me from hating this song or auto-tuning in general. I mean, I know some of the girls of Momusu can sing, so I’m not bothered by it.

And if the song is good people should be able to get over auto-tuning. Personally, I cannot stand dubstep. So, when I first heard Renai Hunter I was a little put off. But once I got past that, the rest of the song was awesome. Just like with this song. I love everything about it. I always thought that Ok Yeah should have been a single, so I’m thrilled to hear a song along the same lines become one. I have been listening to this song nonstop since they first performed it. It’s mature, it’s sexy, it’s fun, it’s energetic, and it’s danceable. You can’t really ask for a better song. I’m not sure how Momusu’s 51st single is going to be able to top this.

Yes, the line distribution is not ideal. But the song is so incredible that I can overlook it. The song is Riho and Reina lead, which we were all expecting so I don’t know why anyone is surprised. What is surprising to me though, is the minor leads of this song are Ayumi and Haruna. Ayumi is obviously the pushed girl of the 10th gen, but why Haruna? I guess they figure fans will respond more to her fashionable/sexy image. Which kind of sucks since she’s the weakest singer of the 10th gen. The rest of the girls seem to just get literally a syllable. Except I don’t think my beloved Zukki or Mizuki get solo lines at all. Which is a little ridiculous. But I’m not really that bothered because Zukki doesn’t really fit this type of song anyway. Hopefully she’ll be able to shine more in The Matenrou Show. And if not at least she’ll stil have the 9th gen B-side.

KAT-TUN-To The Limit preview

A preview for KAT-TUN’s upcoming new single, To The Limit, was recently aired on Kame’s radio show.

Anyone and everyone who happens to be reading this post absoultely MUST listen to this radio rip, whether you’re a KAT-TUN or male idol fan or not. This is by far the greatest KAT-TUN singles I’ve ever heard. And it’s easily one of their best, if not the best, songs period. I have listened to this song about 15 times now. I litererally cannot express in words just how completely phenomenal this song is. I mean, the song is so intense that at one point in the song Koki actually says fucking my mind. Now, normally that would be hilarious, but for some reason it actually works in this song.

If I was to describe this song it’s like old school rockish KAT-TUN, but a hundred times better. It’s like if you somehow mixed Real Face, Gold, Taboo, Lips, and Don’t You Ever Stop and played them simultaneously. The song is just absoultely incredible. It just has this amazing blarring rock music but still sort of heavy dance music mixed in at the same time. I have never been this impressed with a KAT-TUN song ever.

I also really love the way it’s sung. Most of the verse is rapping. But it’s not the usual just Koki rapping. Of course Koki does lead the rapping, but everyone else is also rapping. Which actually sounds better than you would expect. Especially since Koki always tries to get the members to rap in concert and only Taguchi could ever really keep up. But of course like most songs the best part is the chorus, but not really by much because the verse and bridge are seriosuly just as good. It’s just that the chorus is sung extremely powerfully. It’s just just amazing. And it sounds like Koki has some solos in the chorus which is amazing. Featuring Koki so much in the song really adds a nice roughness and gruffness to the song. And Koki bias aside, he’s absoultely perfect for this type of song. Of course Kame does have a lot of solos too, he has this big solo part towards the end of the song. But even during group parts you can hear Koki’s voice the most.

Mano Erina-Song For The Date PV preview

A few days ago the PV preview for Mano Erina’s upcoming 12th single, Song For The Date, was released.

After watching the PV preview there are just no words. I am just literally and absolutely blown away. And I actually uttered a sentence that I don’t say very often, “I’m really impressed with everything ManoEri is doing.” And I really am because everything is just amazing. The song is this wonderful dance track with infectious music. And the song isn’t too big for her voice. It actually compliments her nails on a chalkboard singing voice. Oh, but I kid with ManoEri. The truth is I actually kind of like her now. Her music and personality have slowly been growing on me since Sekai wa Summer Party was released. And her music has gradually gotten better. It’s gone from boring ballads to this happy and energetic dance music that I love.

The PV so far is just perfection. Dear god, there’s actually a storyline. A H!P PV with an actually storyline, surely this is the start of the apocalypse. And not only does this PV have a storyline, it’s actually a really cool one. It’s basically about 2 ManoEri’s in this disaster-stricken or post-apocalyptic world. There’s a bad ManoEri dressed in black, and a good ManoEri dressed in white. Which adds to the characters that she’s playing. And for that alone I give them 500 points for symbolism. And the black ManoEir has her hair down, which makes her look more mature. And the white ManoEri has her hair up makes her look more sweet and innocent. 

Since this is only 30 seconds I can’t be 100% about what’s going on past that, but it seems like white ManoEri is some sort of political figure or revolutionary because she has her posters all over the town. Which angers the black ManoEri who burns and throws her posters and chases after the white ManoEri. Who kinda teases the black one, so maybe this is all just some sort of game? I don’t even know. But whatever is really going on it’s awesome. I mean, there are feathers exploding behind her for no apparent reason! 

If there’s anyone out there who has lost faith in H!P, they seriously need to watch this when the full PV comes out. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to incredible.

Kanjani8-Ai Deshita PV preview

Recently a PV preview for Kanjani8’s upcoming single Ai Deshita was released. The song is currently being used as the theme for Nishikido Ryo’s drama Papadoru.

Now, even before Ryo-chan left NEWS I’ve been saying how I want to get into Kanjnai8 more. But that never really happened. And after Ryo left NEWS obviously that feeling intensified. However, when I was finally going to get into Kanjani8 I put all my effort into Arashi instead. Which is a little sad because I genuinely do want to get into Kanjani8, especially since it’s now the only way I get to see my beloved Ryo-chan.

Since I don’t really follow K8 that closely I never really know about, or care about, when their new single is coming out. So I kind of miss all the excitement of a song and PV preview. But since I’ve been watching Ryo’s drama, Padadoru, Ai Deshita has really grown on me. Just like watching Zenkai Girl made Tsubasa ni Koi grow on me. So, I’ll bite and see what this single is like..

First off, I really like what I see of the PV so far. Kanjani8 always put a lot of effort into their PVs. Whether that effort is a nice storyline or general crazyness. The Ai Deshita PV doesn’t seem to be any different. Most of the PV so far seems to be Kanjani8 playing their instruments in the middle of the road at sunset. Which, in itself, isn’t really any spectacular. But at the end of the PV we do see that the sky continues to get darker until it’s night, which is actually pretty cool. I’m impressed by that. And can I just say that I love the outfits. I have to say that varsity jackets and school cardigans definetly peak my interests.

The rest of the PV is the standard close-up shots and scenes of the members in a house. But you can tell that they are setting up for more elements in the full PV. And is it just me or does that house look like the same exact that they filmed the Glorious PV in?

There is one thing about this song/PV I don’t get. If this is the them for Ryo’s drama why does Subaru get most of the lines and most of the focus in the PV? It’s a little unfair. But my bias towards Ryo is probably making it a bigger deal than it really needs to be.

SUPER GiRLS send a big summer kiss

Ok everyone I am officially back to blogging. I am 100% out of my funk. I think I was officially out of my blogging funk while I was reading some idol related news and felt a little sad and thought to myself, “Oh, look at all the stuff I could be blogging about.” While I was in my funk I was just like, “Oh that’s cool, but lolz I’ll just wait for another day to post it.” So, I’m out of my funk and into this sort of semi blogging depression where I’m sad that I haven’t been blogging. And this is why I’m addicting to blogging and will probably never stop blogging.
I’m also going to take another approach to catching up. Usually when I am behind in blogging, I go in reverse order to catch up on everything I’ve missed. Mostly because I feel obligated to my readers to blog about the things I’ve missed. But quite frankly that approach makes blogging a little stale, and is the reason why I’ve yet to catch up with what I’m behind in. No, this time I’m just going to continue blogging like I’m not behind and then do PV reviews I’m behind in when it tickles my fancy. If it tickles my fancy. There’s 50/50 chance I’ll say screw it and not do them at all. It depends on how lazy I am. But if there’s a PV you really want me review, that I haven’t done yet, just request it on this post and I’ll put it to the top of my list. Just make sure it’s not YuiKaori’s Kimi no Yell, cause that is at the top of my list already.

Starting off with new PVs is SUPER GiRLS’ Puri Puri Summer Kiss. Now, I absolutely adore SUPER GiRLS so it was an obvious choice. Well, not so obvious in the beginning. It was toss up between SUPER GiRLS and Passpo, but since SUPER GiRLS PV looked more fun it was obvious.

One again SUPER GiRLS manage to do everything right with this PV. It’s a standard idol bikini PV which I’ve said several times I’m not a fan of. The fanservice is wasted on me as a female fan. For a bikini PV to impress me there has to be a lot of other elements than “look how sexy I look in this bikini.” Which is the failure of AKB48 bikini PVs. They do have other elements but the non-bikini elements are pretty lame or too short. And in the beginning of SUPER GiRLS’ PV they almost lost me.

Nearly the first half of the PV is nothing more than bikini fanservice. Which is fine, but again not my cup of tea. As the PV went on I was actually pleasantly surprised that there was something else going on in the PV. I’m glad they went down the Max Otomegokoro route. But their Max Otomegokoro PV was more of a games/summer festival PV, with Puri Puri Summer Kiss it’s a complete beach PV. And I absolutely love it. They added a lot of fun summer elements like hitting a watermelon, having a shaved ice eating contest, and playing in the ocean. There are just a lot of fun and silly elements to the PV. Like Reira falling off the ladder,  Hikaru being buried in the sand, and catching Rino eating watermelon out of the fridge.

I really enjoyed watching this PV. I think it’s a really fun summer themed PV. It’s not meant to be anything more. No flashy outfits or expensive sets. Which is fine, sometimes simple PVs are the best. My favorite scenes are when the girls are walking down the table runway.  I think they’re really cute. And of course I also love their unison close-up shots. I’ve come expect them from SUPER GiRLS. This PV really shows the girls acting silly and cute. Which is how I prefer my idol summer PV cute and fun, rather than sexy. Which is how I’ve prefer my idols to be all the time. Which I’ve said, I think, 500 times now.

But if you prefer bikini PVs for fanservice don’t fret they’re still catering to you. Besides the fact that the entire time they’re bikins in the PV, there are still other fanservice elements. But not really as much as you’d excpet. You can decide for yourself if that’s a possitive or a negative. The main fanservice they feature in this PV besides bikinis is the part of the dance where they shake their butts. And there’s like 5 different shots of it. During the dance, random close-up shots, and random close-up shots and the girls smaking them. Which at times is out of place because sometimes the scenes are just randomly thrown in there. The only other fanservice element to this PV is the girls kissing the camera. Which reminds me too much of AKBIdoling’s Chu Shiyou Ze PV. Yes, whenever any idol releases a PV where they kiss the camera I am forever going to compare it to AKBIdoling. They most likely weren’t the first to do it, but I compare them to it because the PV focused so much on it. Obviously SUPER GiRLS are kissing to keep with the title, and most likely, theme of the song which is summer kiss. But it’s still done for fanservice to the fans, who I guess can pretend the girls are kissing them. I don’t know ,I don’t really see the appeal of kissing the camera. Even if it was my male idols doing it, it would still seem stupid and pointless to me.

Am I the only one who thinks the girls only sign screams of lesbian overtones? XD

The PV just started and butt shots already.

I love this diving under dance move, so cute.

It’s cute that Ami and Ruka are in tubes.

This move is stupid. But my god look how gorgeous Reira looks. Is she starting to shed her tomboy image?

Ami is adorable, and I love her bikini.

They seem to be giving a lot of Rina in this PV, which is odd.

I cannot get over how pretty Reira looks.

Adorable Rino. But I’m starting to get annoyed that Mirei gets the same hairstyle in every PV.

Cute.

This is a pretty fun summery scene.

But it just reminds me too much of C-ute’s Shochuu Omimai Moushiagemasu PV.

Fanservice. And gorgeous Reira.

It reminds me too much of AKB48’s Baby Baby Baby PV.

Oh look, more fanservice.

Stupid dance move.

Super cute.

Reira. *O*

Lolz.

Work it Rino.

I don’t know why, but I really love this shot.

Adorable Ami.

Intense kiss close-up.

Will still forever remind me of AKBIdoling’s Chu Shiyou Ze.

What?

Cute move.

Lol.

Saori looks super pretty here.

If you liked  it then you shoulda put a ring on it.

Cute, but where have I seen this before?

Oh that’s right, in the Heavy Rotation PV.

Adorable.

Lol.

Cute.

Rino stole the watermelon from the watermelon jar.

Ruka is just stunning.

Those are actually pretty nice.

Look at Hikaru trying to look sexy.

Ami. *O*

Cute ending pose.

Thoughts on, and expectations for, Momusu’s 11th gen

By now absolutely everyone in the Hello!Project fandom is well aware of the 11th generation auditions. But I’ve been in such a blogging funk lately that I am unbelievably behind in everything idol related. Well, my blog is anyway. I’ve actually still been keeping up with it 100%. My funk is mostly due to the fact that PVs keep piling up and I’m still being pretty bummed out about Aika. Yes, still. Also, I always feel the need to let my beloved readers know that I’m not dead and why I’ve been MIA.

Know let’s regurgitate the facts about the audition now, because I’m so OCD and have to always lay out all the facts of the news before I post about my opinion on the matter. Seriously I do. Read back on all of my posts, there’s always a cheesy opening paragraph or at least a line or two.

During the May 18th joint graduation of Niigaki Risa and Mitsui Aika, Tsunku came out on stage and made a surrpsie announcement. Tsukunu announced that once again Morning Musume would be searching for new members, and announced the 11th Generation ~Suppin Utahime~ Auditions. (Which I thought translated to makeup-less song princess. Which just shows why I seriously need to study Japanese.) The dealine for the audition is June 25th and is open to ages 10-17. You can go to the official site by clicking here.

Now, when I first heard about the 11th gen auditions I was absolutely thrilled, just completely ecstatic. Mostly because when Risa announced her graduation I realzied they needed to bring in an 11th gen shortly. But I really wasn’t expecting the auditions to be announced this quickly. And of course when any sort of unexpected change happens in H!P there are always those fans who are apprehensive to the whole situation. The S/mileage auditions are the best example to date. I mean, there were fans who were really aggressively against them and thought it was going to be one of the worst mistakes in H!P ever. They never actually said that, but some of them certainly acted like it was going to be. I think it’s really funny to look back at the S/mileage auditions because, even though us fans didn’t know it at the time, if they never took place there’s a good chance that S/mileage wouldn’t even be around right now. But as you may recall, I was 100% for them. I am 100% for any change. Shaking things about a bit is one of the most exciting experiences of being a fan of idol music. Right now if they announced 2nd generations for C-ute and Berryz Koubou I wouldn’t even bat an eye. But that’s probably just me.

The 11th gen auditions of course weren’t free from backlash. While I was on twitter talking about it I saw a bunch of people who were against it or warry of it. And I don’t really get that. Obviously we need an 11th gen ASAP. Sayumi and Reina only have 2-3 more years in them max. Maybe even less because apparently Sayumi said she wants to gradute after experiencing being the leader for a bit. So, that possibly means Sayumi will graduate in a 1-1 1/2 years. Now, personally I won’t see it as a great lose because I am nowhere near a Sayumi fan. But that would be a great loss for Morning Musume. Not only is Sayumi currently the most popular member within Morning Musume, she’s also arguably the most popular member in all of Hello!Project. As she gets the most work outside of H!P. Now, her graduation will probably be a pretty decent blow to sales. But that’s not what this post is about. Now that means in, give or take 2 years time, 9th and 10th would have make up the entire group if the 11th gen wasn’t announced now. So, anyone against the 11th gen, do you see how ridiculous that sounds? And honestly how boring that would be. I also have worries if the 9th-11th (and possibly more gens) will be able to carry the group when the 6th gens leave. There’s no doubt in my mind that vocally they will be. I think 2 more years will be plenty of time for the girls to really polish their voices, and work out their kinks. But I do wonder if these girls will be built up enough, and given enough time to shine, that after the 6th gen is gone they will be able to keep the sales at a steady number or even increase them.

I really do hope that Morning Musume keeps up with this pace and holds an audition once a year, you know like they did back in the day. Morning Musume absolutely cannot take another stagnant lineup. Look how much life the 9th and 10th gen have breathed into the group. And I seriously want Morning Musume to be on their 13th gen by the time Reina leaves. Maybe it’s a somewhat unrealistic wish, but it would be the best thing for the group in the long run.

Now, moving along with that type of thinking I want to talk a little bit about my personal hopes and expectations for the 11th gen. First off, the number of girls. I’m going to say it right now I absoultely want four girls. To be perfectly honest, I always want four girls. One or two is completely boring. Three would actually work too, but I’d prefer four because it’s the maximum number that’s ever been let in, and I like to go for the gusto. Now, I really don’t want to hear in the comments that four is too many because I’m going to shoot that down right now. 1: Tsunku did at one time say that Momusu shouldn’t be larger than 9. But that theory was shot to hell when the 10th gen joined and made Momusu 12. And if Aika didn’t have to leave they’d be at 11. And if Aika didn’t leave and they added even 1 more 11th gen they’d be at 12 again. Which means “Momusu not being larger than 9” doesn’t seem like something he really takes to heart. Besides during auditions Tsunku has said a couple of times that he picks whoever he feels deserves to get in, regardless of how many that is. And that’s even if he actually  adds any more girls at all. You never know with Tsunku. He’s constantly doing what you least expect. And 2: Morning Musume needs to compensate for their current loss and future loss. Morning Musume obviously announced these auditions to replace the members they lost. Which is why I’m expecting at least 2 new members. And honestly it seems like the amount of 11th gen girls get in depends on when the 12th gen gets added. Go with me on this one. If  he doesn’t audition for the 12th gen next year we’ll probably see more 11th gen girls to compansate for Sayumi and/or Reina’s impending graduation. But if he keeps up with the yearly audition pace he might add less girls for the 11th gen because he knows that he’s going to add more girls shortly in the 12th gen. Now, if that seems a bit outlandish or over analyzed, need I remind you that Tsunku himself has Momusu’s next few years already planned out. And if Tsunku is thinking that far in the future why can’t I?

On a Hello!Project forum I expressed that I wanted 4 girls for the 10th gen, but people came out with their matter-of-fact logic and shot me down saying: “Tsunku won’t allow such a large Momusu again,” or, “the girls themselves hated when Momusu was that large.” And I have to laugh a bit in retrospect since we all know what happened in the end. Am I confident that we’ll get 4 girls again? Honestly I’m not. This time it feels like it could go either way. But it seems pretty obvious that we’re going to get a least two 11th gen girls.

Now, for the girls themselves I want 90% of it to be based on vocals. I think Momusu right now has plenty of personality. But they’re not really overflowing with singing ability. Yes, in a few years they will be, but not today. So here are the types of girls I personaly would love to see in Momusu: (I promise I won’t whine about how I want Miyamoto Karin to get in so bad yet again.)

A girl like Fujimoto Miki: This one actually has nothing to do with the 11th gen. But it has to do with H!P so I’m sneaking it in here anyway. Remember when Miki auditioned for the 4th gen, but didn’t get in and become a soloist instead? Yeah, I want that to happen again. Except I don’t want them to rip her out of her solo career to join Momusu in a later generation. I’ve said it before it’s really boring only having one solo act in H!P. I miss when H!P had a handful of them. Besides that ManoEri, only has about 4 more years before she starts to be too old to be an idol.

A girl like Yoshizawa Hitomi: Now, I want everything that Yossie was in a new girl. Meaning I want a tomboy with a deep voice. Right now all the girls in Morning Musume have very fluffy, pretty, idol personalities. (Except my baby Zukki) Which is fine, but I think we need a bit more variety in Momusu. This is why I wanted Otsuka Aina for the 9th gen. She was tomboyish and had a good voice. Now, the voice: Morning Musume really needs that just to keep the balance. With both Risa and Aika graduating Morning Musume lost all their deep voices. Who is going to rap now? And please do not tell me one of the current members. Listen to W’s Miss Love Tantei and tell me that’s perfectly acceptable. I love(d) W and the cutest worked for them, it was their theme, but not in my Momusu.

A girl like Goto Maki: Now this has nothing to do with personality. Morning Musume just needs another member like Gocchin who was just an amazing singer immediately. Listen to her audition, she was absolutely flawless without coaching. And she was only 13. It’s really unexpected to find someone like her.

A girl who is a mix of Tanaka Reina and Michishige Sayumi: I really wanted to put a rocker chick, but with Reina’s old yankee image this works too. Now this one is really based on personality. Back in the day Reina really had this tough sort of, “don’t mess with me” image. And she did say a lot of things that annoyed me and made me think she was arrogant. But I really want a member who is totally blunt. A girl with Sayumi’s poison tongue, but without her overbearing, narcissistic, and sugary sweet idol persona that comes along with it. Reina used to have an image like this, but she’s softened over the years. I just want a girl to be like Reina or Miki to say something catty just to keep the other members on their toes. I never really liked any of these members because of their sour personalities, but even I have to admit they are entertaining at times. In small doses.

Has AKB48 reached their tipping point?

The other day I was watching a documentary on Netflix, and in this documentary this guy was talking about peak oil. Now, I’m not sure if everyone is familiar with this term, and if you’re not I’ll just give you the basics of it now. Right now the world’s oil reserves are at 100 billion barrerls. It might even be closer to 1 trillion. But I honestly have no idea, I’m no expert on this. I run an idol blog not an oil blog. Anyway, peak oil is when we reach the peak of oil production. Meaning we’ve used exactly half of the world’s oil supply and are left with the dwindling second half. Now, that got me thinking. Are we then in peak AKB48?

Looking back you can see the exact moment Morning Musume was at their peak. Mostly because we’ve seen the rise and the fall. But it’s a lot trickier with AKB48. It’s a lot harder to spot a peak in present time when it’s all happening. There are so many variables you cannot account for. That any sudden rise in popularity or dramatic full in popularity can happen at any moment for any reason. It’s especially hard to predict with a group like AKB48. A group that shows no signs of slowing down and seems to keep topping itself with each release. But I’m stil inclined to believe that we are in peak AKB48. But don’t quote me on this. This is just more of a personal hunch or feeling. As I said, absolutely anything can happen at any moment. And I’m no precog.

Right now AKB48 is in a extremely good place. They could sell ice to an Eskimo if they wanted to. I mean, they endorsed men’s suits. Mens. When’s the last time you’ve seen a commercial of a girl wearing and selling men’s clothing? I know I’ve never seen one before. It really is astounding, and no one out there can deny their draw and pull. But there is still a peak. A peak of love and tolerance the general public has for something. The closest examples are flashes in the pan. And since the general public is Japan, there’s not really much we can do about it my friends. Sure we can increase sales, but most of us don’t live in Japan we can’t effect TV ratings. And variety shows are how idol groups gain and increase popularity, and inturn fans, to begin with. The minute no one watches your variety show anymore, it’s the beginning of the end. We see that again with Morning Musume.

Now AKB48 has probably the best PR/marketing team I’ve ever seen. Constantly making an already established brand fresh and exciting. But for every victory they make they are also sabatoshing themselves, whether they relaize it or not. Once you reach the top you tend to get cocky and think you’ll never be beaten. Well, that’s probably more of how the fans think then the girls themselves. But every former child star will surely tell you what goes up must come down. And I think the people behind AKB48 probably have a similar mindset as the fans. The biggest and most blatantly obvious mistake is over saturation of the market. Now, I’ve already mentioned this a couple of times before, but that’s because it’s such a huge deal. It seems every 5 minutes there is either a new sub-group or soloist. But the absolute worst oversaturation is the creation, and future creation of, Teams 4 and 8. Which are nothing more than trying to squeeze more money and attention. And nothing to do with having too many great Kenkyuusei and not enough room or Teams. Which is fine. I get that it’s just business as usual. But do you realize that upon completion AKB48 will have 70 members. Wrap your mind around that for a second. As a jaded idol fan 70 members doesn’t phase me nearly as much as it should. I just though, “Oh, AKB48.” But then I imagined trying to explain them to a non-fan. And they would honestly say either, “Why bother?,” or, “How how do you keep up?” Which is the same conclusion I made. I found  myself saying, “70 members and I’m expected to know all of their names? Are you kidding me with this?” There are probably people out there who know all past, present, and trainees’ name for every 48 group. And you know what good for them. But I doubt there’s really a fan out there who knows absolutely everything about every girl, there are just too many. And if the sister groups completely follow AKB48’s footsteps adding 5 teams there will really be too many. And to know everything about AKB48 I’d probably have to give up every other idol group for a few months. And I’d honestly rather cut my own ear off. Which is obviously an overdramatic statement, but that goes to show to what extent that I can’t be bothered to catch up because of how time consuming it would be. I’ll just stick to my AKB48 noob posts while I slowly and gradually catch up. Well, eventually anyway, when I get around to seriously putting effort into it.

And let’s be honest anyway, the Senbatsu pretty much proves they only need 20-30 members. The other 35 members are just gravy. And that is a bit heartless, but that’s business. Now, maybe AKB48 fans will never get sick of seeing the girls, but obviously Japan doesn’t want to be constantly bombarded with them forever. That alone is enough to make them falter, but couple that with what made Morning Musume fall from grace and you have a bad situation indeed.

It’s pretty obvious that Momusu’s fall from grace happened when their beloved and popular members graduated. They were the members that made Morning Musume, Morning Musume. Not only that but it is extremely hard for new members to have the personality and the dynamic that the old members shared. With Acchan graduating it is a sobering fact that popular members are eventually going to start dropping like flies. Maybe even sooner rather than later. AKB48 is in such a seemingly good place right now. The group is 7 years old already and haven’t really lost any substantial members to graduations. And even if they did AKB48 was nowhere near as popular as they are now, so it didn’t really effect them as much as it would now. And we have girls in AKB48 who have either been there from the beginning or close to it. They are either starting to get too old or starting to think it’s been too long and are ready to move on. And you can’t really rule anyone out either. Idols frequently graduate years before they really have to. Kago Ai, Tsuji Nozomi, LinLin, Konno Asami, Sakuma Kaho, Akita Eri, Hayami Akari, etc. Idols also leave because of injuries or medical reasons Kameri Eri, Mitsui Aika, Kosuga Fuyuka, Imade Mai, Matsushita Yui, etc. And you can’t rule out idols being picked off from scandals as in the cases of Kago Ai, Murakami Megumi, Arihara Kanna, and Kato Rubi. Not to mention close to home scandals in the cases of Hirajima Natsumi, Yonezawa Rumi, Ishiguro Atsuki, and Kikuchi Ayaka. (Which obviously worked out for her in the end.) The next few years are probably going to be devestating in the terms of graduations. But even if these things do bring them down, I do still see hope for them. And they can do so by pulling an Arashi.

There’s no doubt that right now Arashi is the top idol group in Japan right now. Yes, the top. AKB48 might sometimes sell twice as much as Arashi does, but Arashi has been on top far longer than AKB48 has. AKB48 didn’t start selling Arashi numbers until 2010. Now, AKB48 is just like Arashi in the aspect that everyone loves them despite their age or gender. Both groups are variety royality with multiple shows and appear on multiple others. Despite the level that Arashi is now, the group wasn’t always on top. Arashi initially was doing good. Their debut single A.RA.SHI. sold over 900,000 copies. Arashi didn’t exactly keep up that pace though. Their next 5-7 singles only sold over 300,000 copies. And then after that their sales took a complete nosedive and their singles for the next few years only sold somewhere between 150,000 and 250,000. So what helped Arashi return from their fall from grace to reach the top? It was 2 things really. Gaining the success and completely striking when the iron is hot and making the most out of their success. Arashi regained their popularity because of Matsumoto Jun’s drama Hana Yori Dango 2. Arashi’s Love So Sweet single was used as the theme. And obviously since the drama was so popular the theme song sold well over 400,000 copies. Personally I don’t know what was so great about Hana Yori Dango 2 for Love So Sweet to sell so much. Arashi did the theme for the first season of Hana Yori Dango as well, but Wish only sold a little over 100,000 copies. And personally I thought the first season of Hana Yori Dango was much better. And their next theme song, Happiness, for the drama Yamada Taro Monogatari sold over 300,000 copies.

Shortly after that Arashi released One Love which was used as the theme song for the Hana Yori Dango movie. Which sold over 500,000 copies. And then that is where Arashi used their regained popularity to their advantage to stay relevant. At the time Arashi did 2 tours. One for their Dream “A” Live album and one Asian Tour. Coming off the popularity of One Love one month after it’s release they released their next single Truth. And the next single after that was Beautiful Days which was used as the theme for the drama Riyusei no Kizuna. And while all of this was going on Arashi also debuted 2  varitey shows that are still airing today, Himitsu no Arashi-chan and VS Arashi. But not only did they debut 2 variety shows the 2 shows premiered in a 2 day spand. Himitsu no Arashi-chan on April 10th and VS Arashi on April 12th. Further solidifying their popularity.

Now this might have seemed like way too much to read about Arashi in an AKB48 related post, but I felt it was important to go through exactly how Arashi regained their popularity. Because it really shows how AKB48 could also rebuild their image when they face their decline. A big chunk of AKB48’s popularity started from dramas to begin with. Oogoe Diamond which was the first big jump in AKB48 sales was most likely due to the fact that it was used as the ending theme to Mendol. Maybe the switch to King Records also helped too, I don’t Know. But AKB48 did start selling Arashi numbers because the theme song to Majisuka Gakuen was included in their Sakura no Shiori single. And then after that the rest is pretty much history. Which goes to show that the right drama can really make or break an idol group. Perhaps that was one of the reasons that Morning Musume never regained their popularity. Until recently the girls never acted in dramas.

So, what was the conclusion of this whole post? For one I absolutely do think AKB48 is in their peak. I don’t see AKB48 really being able to rise that much more above the level they are at now. I mean what really is above their current level? Really, think about it. Another variety show? Even more commercials? Selling 2 million copies? Even if they do achieve that, I think the public will be so fed up with AKB48 at that point. Even though hardcore AKB48 fans will want to see them constantly forever, casual Japanese fans, and non-fans alike, will think enough is enough already. I know it’s certaintly like that in the US. Like Lady Gaga for example. A couple years ago Americans, the media, and to some extent myself, could not get enough of her. But then you started hearing articles of people being sick of seeing her and hearing about her. And after Judas didn’t go as well as expected you didn’t hear from her nearly as much as you used to. Yes, You and I did have slim popularity, but that’s about it. Personally I thought You and I was a let down of a song and I didn’t even bother listening to Marry the Night. To this day I’ve only heard bits and pieces of it the number of odd times it’s been played. And that’s mostly due to the fact that it was her least popular song in the US. So, if someone like Lady Gaga can fade here, what’s stopping AKB48 from fading there?

Aika is really leaving

A few hours ago it was announced that 8th generation member, Mistui Aika will be graduating from Morning Musume. Now that announcement alone came out of nowhere. But in even more shocking turn of events Mitsui Aika will not be graduating sometime in the near future, instead she will be graduating on May 18th same as Niigaki Risa. Mitsui Aika has said the reason for her graduating is because of recouring foot injuries. Even thought she seemed to be healed from her recent set back her doctor told her going back to her previous lifestyle could cause a relapse. So after talking it over with her mother she decided it was important to think about her health. She also said that she will remain a part of Hello!Project and will work with Tsunku when she fully recovers to see what she can do in the future. With Aika leaving this marks the last remaining member of the 8th gen leaving.

I don’t even know what to say right now. I am just at a loss for words. It should be no surprise to people who read my blog or follow me other places that I am a huge Aika fan. I am constantly praising her on my blog. Shouting the love, adoration, and devotion I have for her. Defending her on forums in the past. Recently venting my frustration and distain for Aika haters hating on her for almost no reason on tumblr. I mean, I love Aika. She is my absolute favorite current member of Morning Musume. And to say that I’m upset about Aika graduating is the understatement of the year. I am devastated. Just completely devastated. I am literally typing this post through the tears. And the tears are so heavy I can barely see if I’m typing the right letters.

Now, Aika is nowhere near the most popular or loved members in Morning Musume. So it might be hard for some of you to understand why I’m so upset. But I might remind you that every member in H!P that is the either the least popular or on the bottom tier is someone out there’s number 1. And when it comes to Aika that person is me. And to explain why we have to go all the way back to when I first became a Morning Musume fan.

It was back when Kanashimi Twilight just came out. And as I’ve said 1,000 times before I already knew of, and already was, a fan of Koharu. So watching the PV and the making of, the first person that stood out to me was Aika. I was drawn to her because of her famous smiling face, and back then to me she was completely shining. I very quickly found out her age and felt a kinship to her since we were nearly the same age. After becoming an even bigger fan of Morning Musume she came to represent everything I love about idols and she was the type of idols I love to support. I like to support 2 types of idols: the idols with big personalities and the the underdogs. Back then she was still new and people still were curious about her so in the beginning of becoming a fan she did get a decent amount of lines. No matter how short lived that was.

But when I got more and more into them I saw how Aika was never in the front, she was always shoved to the back in PVs, pictures, and concerts. And I also noticed how she didn’t seem to be a popular member within the group itself. Never really being surrounded by the members or having them being super friendly with her. She kept to her self a bit. Remember when Ai-chan said it was her goal to get to know Aika better in Alo-Hello? It was then that my love and attachment for Aika really grew. I saw an idol that was always doing their best. Actively trying to get more attention and support. Begging for a photobook. And being overshadowed. I saw the girl who cried during Haromoni@’s memory game because her round was hard to remember and she didn’t want to let the members down. I saw an idol who through everything never lost her bright and infectious smile. A lot of people saw Aika as having a sour personality. That she was bossy and that she thought highly of herself.

But I saw the good in Aika. The girl who to me seemed slightly lonely and aware of that fact that she wasn’t popular. I saw that Aika was one of the sweetest members. Really sweet and genuinely cared about the group itself and its members. She always remined me of Konno Asami in that aspect, which is another reason both of them are some of my all time favorite Morning Musume members. I saw the girl who was working through pain and injuries just to be part of the group she loved. And even now I can tell that graduating wasn’t an easy decision for her. You can tell she really wanted to be a member, which is why she’s been pushing through it all as long as she has. I also saw her as the idol who doted on and guided the new 9th and 10th gens.

I love Aika. I love idols in general. It might be silly to care for them so much that I’m crying over them graduating. It’s not like they are dying or something. But idols are very open. In the sense that idols are frequently on TV or writting in their blogs revealing practically everything about them and their day to day life. You watch them grow as a performer and as a person. You’re there through all the laughs and the tears. And that makes it feel like a frienship. And just like I say everytime an idol graduates, it feels like you’re losing a good friend.

And Aika was one of the most important and cherished idols to me. She might of been nothing for a lot of people. She was there for a lot of people to make fun of or call ugly or worthless. She was the easy target for jabs and snark. And that honestly doesn’t bother me. Because everyone has idols they don’t like. I know I do. But people also have to get that graduations are crushing events. It literally feels like my heart was ripped from my chest. I have to be honest with you I haven’t been this devestated since Koharu graduated. With Eri I was fine because she was a veteran and I had just recently stated to really become her fan. With LinLin I was too angry to be sad. But with Aika who I’ve been supporting for 5 years I feel the full force of the sadness and devestation of the graduation. Of her not happily singing and dancing to the songs I love. To not playfully being with the other Morning Musume members anymore. To never personally see her in a Morning Musume concert.

I really love Aika and all these years I really just wanted her to shine. I wanted her to get more popular and to get more lines. And recently that was happening for Aika. She was getting more lines, maybe not in the singles, but she was in concerts. And she was becoming more popular then she ever was before. Since day one I saw the potential in Aika. With her deep voice that wasn’t really common anymore for Morning Musume, I felt she could have really added to the songs and been something special. With her reserved and level-headed personality I saw a leader in the making. And her interactions with the 9th and 10th gen solidified her future leader position in my eyes. Even Yuko saw her potential. And I really did think Aika was going to pull through this. H!P went out of their way to show that Aika was still around, by having her randomly show up every so often when she was resting. And I admit when she showed up at the Mobekimasu release event at Yomiuri Land I teared up. I was so happy to see her because I missed her.

And I feel so completely upset that Aika doesn’t get her own graduation concert. I know it’s impossible with her curent situation. But it’s just much too suden. With graduations you usually get a few months to really cherish every last moment you have with them. And in their final single they usually get attention or at least a line. But in Renai Hunter it’s completely Risa owned and Aika gets nothing. Which makes no sense if you think about it because Tsunku always knows well in advance when members want to leave. And have you seen the setlist for the Ultra Smart concerts? Because Aika can’t dance she’s not in like over half of the songs. In her own graduation concert she’s not really singing. I get one final concert with Aika and she’s not even really in it. I can already tell there’s no way I can watch the concert. I can never bare to watch my favorite members graduation concert, and to this day I have never seen one. Not Koharu, not Eri/LinLin/JunJun, not KonKon, not any of my faves. And it’s sad, I really wanted to see 10th gens first Momusu concert.

Looking to the future right now is so grim. My favorite member in Morning Musume is leaving. Who do I have now in Morning Musume? I don’t like the remaining 6th gen members and the 9th and 10th gen are still so new I hardly know anything about them. I mean, I do have my favorites. But I’m nowhere near as attached to them as I am to Aika yet. It’s just impossible to be. I also hope H!P really does find something for Aika. Maybe put her in a group with Kenshuusei. Kinda like a V-U-DEN or Ongaku Gatas type thing. In my opinion we’re well overdue for a new Kenshuusei group anyway. Or they could make Aika a soloist. If the dancing is to much do what they did with ManoEri. ManoEri isn’t really the best dancer in H!P so all of the dancing she does in her PVs is pretty simple and she has backup dancers dancing more intensly in the back to make up for her lack of skills.

Let’s celebrate Aika one last time and listen to some of my favorite songs were Aika is prominent.

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.

Arashi go hog wild in new PV

About a month ago the PV for Arashi’s new single Wild at Heart was released.

After seeing the PV preview for this song I had high expectations for this PV. I’m not sure if the PV is really as amazing as I was expecting it to be, but I definitely enjoyed it. It’s one of those idol PVs that are relatively cheap, but make up for it because it’s overflowing with personality. And I’ve come to the conclusion that Arashi are the kings of this format. As I was writitng this PV I was thinking of past Arashi PVs to compare it to, and I’ve realized that nearly every Arashi PV had a pretty low budget or was even on a cheaply made set. But most Arashi PVs are exciting to watch otherwise, which shows just how much you can really over look those things is the PV is good enough.

And this PV is no different, there’s only 4 different scenes with 2 different outfits. The main scene in this PV is Arashi standing around in a circle just lip syncing the song. Their also wearing the main outfits for this PV, which I actually like. They’re simple black suits and everyone looks pretty good in them. The only think that irks me about them are the cut of the pants. They’re awful slight capri, or should I say Aiba-length, and who really wears that length with a suit? This scene is pretty much the same format as the Troublemaker PV and even the Happiness PV. Where they were just told to stand and pretty much do whatever they wanted to. There are a lot of cute and funny scenes because of that. And true to form Aiba’s are the most interesting to watch. But Ohno is also really bringing his A game, which is a bit out of character.
Another main part of the PV is the dance scenes. They are probably my least favorite parts of the entire PV. Mostly because the outfits are god awful. They’re wearing this metalic purple jackets with what looks to be leopard print on them. And they’re just disgusting. Let’s be honest those are the jackets that elderly men wear when they go play slots or golf. And pairing that jacket with equally metalic gold pants just doesn’t work, it clashes completely. It’s the same exact color scheme they wore for NTV’s Best Artist 2010. The sunglasses don’t really bother me though, I kinda like them. They remind me of the booklet for their Boku no Miteiru Fuukei album. But I do have to admit the glittering beaded curtains they are standing in front of scream Arashi.
This PV also contains some, what I guess JE considers, fanservice. It’s basically Arashi is trapped in some sort of suitcase, which by the way doesn’t match the rest of the entire PV. I mean, what’s the whole point of these scenes? And the Arashi members are squeezed so tightly in the suitcase that they are all over each other and on top of each other. I’m sure  there’s some Arashi orgy joke in there somewhere, but I leave that up to you.
And though all of that none of those scenes even remotely compare to my favorite, and hands down the best, scenes in the entire PV. Which are: Arashi trying to fit thought a hallway they don’t quite fit into. This is nothing more then brillant camera angles, because at a couple of points you can see they fit perfectly fine. But these scenes are just the best, filled with the members overacting trying to squeeze and push through the walls. Maybe a Indiana Jones-esque scene with the walls closing in would more a little more exciting. But I’d honestly prefer corny overacting any day of the week.

I love how the PV starts out looking old fashioned.

Super awkward Sho dance. It actually looks like he’s falling. Lol.

So, MatsuJun gets to wear a hat as a nod to this drama. Yeah, that’s much better than Aiba’s solo and focus in the Lotus PV.

I’m digging Nino’s two-toned hair.

He looks cute in the hat though.

Overacting already, I love it.

Lol.

Invisible maracas.

Ok, maybe Nino needs to tone it down a bit.

Aiba owning the close-ups per usual.

And you know, whatever Ohno is doing here.

Seriously Sho, a hula move? Lol.

This is familiar somehow.

Oh that’s right, it looks like the same walls from their Believe PV.

Ohno looks cute here for some reason.

Adorable.

Try to be less creepy Jun.

Love it.

WTF is Aiba doing?

Lol.

What? I can’t even with this. Ohno is perfect in this PV.

Oh Aiba.

I’m not quite sure why Nino looks scared, but he looks absolutely adorable.

I do not like this outfits.

I mean, I didn’t realize it was 2010 again.

Oh, trapped in a box?

Miyavi did it first. XD

Nino, what are you doing?

Bit of a Sakurabia moment.

Nino just taking over, and poor Aiba getting a knee to the face.

Go ahead, brush your shoulder off.

How low can you go?

Cute.

Now it’s a complete Sakuraiba moment.

Aiba finally getting into it.

Hot.

I love Nino wants in on the action.

He really does.

Lol.

Sexy Zone-Lady Diamond PV preview

A PV preview for Sexy Zone’s second single, Lady Diamond, was just released.

I’m actually really impressed with the PV. There seems to be a lot more effort put into this PV then for their first single. The set for this PV is amazing. There is so much going on with it, that it almost seems cluttered, but it’s extremely vibrant and adorable. The PV is very cute, childish, and fun. And I can’t help but pay more attention to the Juniors in the background as they are wearing various costumes they don’t really match each other.  I mean what does a Musketeer, a clown, and Uncle Sam really have to do with one another? But they still add an extra fun element to the PV. I’m certainly into Sexy Zone much more when they are doing the age appropriate cute songs instead of trying to be super serious. But I do admit that Fuma and Kento seem a little out of place in this group. But it sure beats staying a Junior.

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Shounen yo Uso wo Tsuke preview

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 prefromed their new song Shounen yo Uso wo Tsuke at the SSA concerts giving us a a nice preview of the song. This song will be used as the ending theme for Crayon Shin-Chan as well as the theme for Eiga Crayon Shin-chan Arashi wo Yobu! Ora to Uchuu no Princess movie. This is also the first single to feature their temporary new member Cindy.

Now maybe it’s because this is the live version and you can’t really fully hear the music for the song, but os far I’m not impressed with the song. The song is missing that spark from their past releases. The song is definitely cute, but it’s not really catchy. It’s a little bland and honestly forgettable.

NMB48 to release new single

NMB48 is going to be releasing their 4th single. The single will be released on May 9th and is titled Nagiichi. One of the B-sides will be a solo song by Watanabe Miyuki. Mostly likely to continue her push as a front girl as she was also temporarily added to AKB48’s Team B.

I have a real love hate relationship with NBM48. But I absolutely loved everything about Junjou U-19. The song and the PV were just perfect. But NMB48 really seems to be picking the wrong songs as A-sides. In nearly all of their releases, in my opinion, their B-side’s are a lot stronger than the A-sides. And maybe that’s an unpopular opinion but I’d seriously take pretty much any of the B-sides over the A-sides. This song seems to be a summer themed song. So, I’m pretty much expecting it to be nothing special and just be their bikini initiation single.

SKE48 to release 9th single

It was recently announced that SKE48 will be releasing their 9th single. The single is currently untitled, but it will be released on May 19th.

I am super excited that SKE48 is releasing another single as my love and interest in the group grows with each release. Kataomoi Finally was a good enough song, but I’m hoping for SKE48 to go back to their old standard of super upbeat energetic songs with amazing dances. I wonder if we’ll see a little less of Jurina in this single since she’s going to be doing double time in both AKB48 and SKE48 for the time being. But seeing as she still remains to be the face of the group, I kind of doubt it. Which sucks because it’s a lot of work for the poor girl.

AKB48 announce 26th single and 2012 Senbatsu

Among the announcments a few days ago at AKB48’s Gyoumu Renraku concert in Saitama Super Arena, AKB48 announced that they will be releasing their 26th single. The single is titled Manatsu no Sounds Good and will be released on May 23rd.

AKB48 really knows how to pump out singles, because it seriously feels like Give Me Five was released yesterday. However, I’m not expecting much from this single at all. Since the title translates to either midsummer sounds good or sounds good in midsummer you can pretty much expect this to be AKB48’s yearly excuse to wear a bikini. Now, I could care less about summer themed bikini PVs. They an actually be very entertaining if done well, like Passpo’s ViVi Natsu PV or SUPER GiRLS’ Max Otome Gokoro. But AKB48’s bikini PVs are all the same. Yes, Everyday Kachuusha was playing homage to past PVs, but I’ve already expressed how I felt that that theme was premature and was done mostly because of lack of creativity and wanted to make another bikini PV. And to match the similar PVs all of their bikini summer singles sound really similar. I want something new and exciting not more of the same. Which is why Give Me Five was so refreshing.
Now, I do realize it’s much to early to judge the song since we’ve never heard it, but I’m mostly just voicing my concerns over how this single could end up being completely bland and predictable. I honestly hope I’m wrong.

And of course the much more exciting news that was announced, was AKB48’s senbatsu for their 27th single. Voting tickets for the senbatsu will most likely be included in the Manatsu no Sounds Good single, which is going to boots that singles sales immensely. AKB48 is at the peak of their popularity which means more people will want to vote in the Senbastu, and the fact that this may or may not be Acchan’s last single I expect records to be broken and this to possibly become AKB48’s highest selling single yet.

In this year’s Senbatsu will include 243 members. This is a huge increase since Teams N and 4 were created as well as HKT48. It really is a mind blowing amount of members. And adds to why I doubt there will ever be a time when I can remember ever single girls name. There are just too many. To compensate fro the staggering amount of members this year’s Senbatsu will be divided into 4 groups instead of the usual 2. And as of right now it is still unclear if Acchan will take part is this year’s Senbatsu.

Arashi to release new single

It was recently announced that Arashi will be relasing a new single. The single is entitled Face Down and will be released on May 9th. The song will be used as the theme to Aiba’s upcoming drama Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri.

I’m always happy to see Arashi release a new single, especially after how amazing Wild at Heart was. And I was pretty much expecting a new single since Aiba and Ohno are starring in spring dramas, it was pretty obvious Arashi was going to do the theme for at least one of them. I really hope that this means Arashi will be keeping us this pace release wise this year. Last year Arashi only released 2 singles 9 months apart. Which was a huge drop from the staggering 6 singles they released in 2010.

MomoClo’s new PV is out of this world

Roughly a month ago the full PV for Momoiro Clover Z’s recent single, Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”, was released.

There’s not too many new elements to the PV that we didn’t already see in the PV preview. But that does not stop me at all from loving every second of this PV. The PV is visually stunning. Right off the bar you notice how colorful and vibrant the PV is because pretty much the only color in the entire PV are the girls outfits and the other scenes featuring the girl’s image colors. Which really make the girls pop against the grungy and desolate moon set as well as the darkness of space.
But of course the main reason why this PV is so striking is because of just how well the CG is done. Now, I’m no expert on CG and this PV probably cost far less to make then I think it did, but I am honestly really impressed with the CG. It’s easily the best CG I’ve ever seen in an idol PV.  The planets and the asteroids look extremely realistic. The wormholes and random energy coming from their bikes are a little poorly done, but that’s really my only complaint for the entire PV. Well, that and the fact that at one point of the PV they move the asteroid belt between the Earth and the Moon. But I’m probably the only person who cares about that.
This PV isn’t even great because of all the fancy effects. No, you could take all of that away and it would still be a decent PV. And that’s because there’s something going on in ever single scene. Epic guitar solos, random alien eyes, having their braind connected to their ufo, having an E.T. moment of flying past the moon, and Reni being pulled into a tractor beam. It’s the right level of insanity that MomoClo has been putting in their PVs since they made their official debut.

That’s a nice guitar.

Cool effect. But they look more like zombies to me.

Lolz at Kanako’s rock face.

MomoClo phone home.

I love how their spaceship has Christmas lights on it. Still better made than the lunar module.

This scene is just beautiful.

Adorable, and I love Reni’s outfit.

Ayaka is super pretty.

Cutie. And Kanako hands down has the best outfit.

Lol.

Look mom no hands.

So cute.

Look how amazing my my Momoka looks.

It’s cute that they have a z on the back of their bike.

And of course fire for no reason.

This reminds me of the blocks they did in the Maji Desu ka Ska PV.

I don’t get what they are supposed to be here.

Kanako is really owning the close-up shots.

So, it’s like some sort of brain transfer or what?

Cute part of the dance.

Why does Reni keep crossing her arms like that?

Super cute.

Talk about high beams.

Love her.

Adorable.

A trophy?

So, if MomoClo has their own spaceship why is Reni still getting abducted?

Or it was just to hold confetti.

Lolz.

Um…ok then.

So they’re connected to the spaceship that took Reni.

Why are there millions of them? o_O

SUPER GiRLS- 1,000,000 Smile PV preview

Recently the short PV for SUPER GiRLS new single, 1,000,000 Smile, was uploaded to Avex’s official youtube channel.

And SUPER GiRLS once again manages to be everything that I want in a idol group. The 1,000,000 Smile PV is absolutely stunning. The lighting is just beautiful, and the PV as a whole is very light and vibrant. The whole theme of the PV are the members working in some sort of cafe. But with the amount of flowers scattered around the set it looks more like a flower shop. But I can’t really complain because the flowers are gorgeous and give the PV a nice spring feel to it. Most of the shots so far are the girls setting up the cafe. And the look amazing while doing it. Everyone has a very pretty hairstyle. Especially Ami, I’m pretty sure this is the first time she’s ever had her hair down in a PV before. And should looks incredible. As for the outfits I’m half impressed. The cafe outfits are a little boring because they look like every other random cafe outfit out there. But I absolutely adore the dance shot dresses. Does anything scream spring more than a floral pattern and peplum skirt?

Fairies-Beat Generation PV preview

A few days ago Fairies’ official youtube channel uploaded the short version of the PV for their upcoming double A-side single, Beat Generation / No More Distance.

And I gotta say, I am completely underwhelmed and unimpressed by what I’m seeing. Fairies seem to have reverted to the exact same PV format of their first single’s PVs.  Were there’s basically nothing going on the PV but dancing, even close-up shots aren’t as often as they should be. After I saw the PVs for Hero and Sweet Jewel I thought that this meant Fairies’ PVs were finally going to live up to how awesome their songs are. But with Beat Generation I’m getting more of the same. I do apperciate that they tried to make the PV interesting with multiple sets and outfits. And I do like the close-up shot outfits and the giant metal flower they sing in front of in the close-up shots is kind of cool. But I’m actually not impressed with any other element of the PV itself. The old school hip hop looking outfits and the orange and yellow outfits are hideous. And I can’t stand the main outfits they wear,  for the mere fact that I’m sick of them wearing jean shorts all the time! In every single single one of their singles they wear jean shorts in at least one of the PVs. Maybe they’re trying to make it their signature piece but it’s really annoying.

There is one element of this PV that I do like, and that’s the dance. Of course it’s very skillfully done per usual, but that’s not what catches my eye about it. I am completely blow away by how effortlessly they dance in heels. I do realize that they’ve been dancing in heels, but in this dance you’re just drawn to it. There’s so much spinning and fast foot work in this dance that I am just really impressed by it.

It’s really a shame that this PV isn’t really anything to write home about, because this is their best song yet.

S/mileage-Dot Bikini preview

Recently the full radio rip for S/mileage’s upcoming new single, Dot Bikini, was released.

I have been addicted to an absolutely in love with this song since the first listen. Not even the first listen I was hooked after the first few seconds after the music kicked in. The main reason I love this song is because it has a very distictive H!P sound. The drumming in the beginning of the song sound almost identical to the drumming in the very beginning of S/mileage’s Asu wa Date na no ni, Imasugu Koe ga Kikitai. And the music itself sounds like a mix between Berryz Koubou’s Halation Summer and Ongaku Gatas Yattarouze. And I absolutely love that about this song. The music is fun and very tropical sounding. I love all the background yays it just adds to very energetic feel of the song. And I also love how they repeat the same words over and over it reminds me of how they sung OO Ganbaranakutemo Eenende.

I’m a little disappointed by the line distribution. Before the 2nd gen joined S/mileage had the most fair line distribution in all of H!P, partly because they were the smallest group. With the 2nd gen here and Yuuka gone we can finally see how the line distribution is going to be, because Dot Bikini is following the exact same format as Chotto Matte Kudasai. Were Ayaka, Kanon, Akari, and Meimi get the most lines and Kana Rina only got one line. I’m pretty sure they only get 1 line. But to be honest it’s still a little hard to distinguish the new member’s voices. Since Meimi has the same tone in her voice as Ayaka. And Akari and Rina have very similar tones in their voices. But I’d like to assume Kana and Rina got at least 1 line a piece.

Big changes to AKB48

As some of you will notice I’ve been a little MIA lately from blogging. I’ve been fairly busy lately, so blogging had to go on the back burner for a bit. And while I was away some huge announcements concerning AKB48 were made. So many that I’m splitting it into 2 post, and lumping all of the important news into this post.

Of course I am starting out with the biggest news, which is Maeda Atsuko is graduating.

Acchan announced this yesterday at AKB48′s Gyoumu Renraku. Tanomu zo, Katayama-buchou concet at Saitama Super Arena. During her announcement she didn’t exactly state her reason for leaving, instead she just said that it’s time to move on toward her next dream. As of right now an official date of her graduation has yet to be be announced.

I can honestly say that I didn’t see this coming. I expected the next graduation to Shinoda Mariko. I am completed shocked by this announcement. Perhaps if I followed AKB48 a bit closer I wouldn’t be so shocked? But as someone who is trying to, but doesn’t really have the time to, become more than just a casual fan, I find this all to be almost surreal. Acchan has been the face of AKB48 for a while now. After she’s been in such a prominent position for so long it’s going to be weird seeing PVs and live performances without her in them. And I really am going to miss hearing her voice. It’s very soft and pretty. I mean Flower is such a beautiful song, and I absolutely love 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi.
I guess this means after Acchan graduates Yuko is going to be the new face of AKB48. I can still remember how big of a deal it was when she beat Acchan in the senbatsu back in 2010. It really is going to be odd to see her as the new face. I also wonder what this means for the senbatsu as a whole? Now that Acchan is leaving, who is going to get her 150,000 votes? Maybe we’ll be seeing a complete shift and change. I honestly hope this means that Sayaka will get to be in the media senbatsu. But I doubt Acchan’s fans are also Sayaka fans.
Even though Acchan is leaving I don’t really think this will hurt them at all. Maybe it would have like 5 years ago, but AKB48 has turned into to such a force in the idol world that I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon. Last senbatsu Acchan got roughly 140,000 votes and her solo single sold roughly 200,000. So, the first Acchanless single will most likely only be a decrease of 175,000 or so. Which is nothing when you’re a group that’s selling over a million copies every release. I also bet that the last single featuring her is going to break some records.

The next piece of news is Matsui Jurina and Watanabe Miyuki are going to temporarily join AKB48.

SKE48 member Matsui Jurina is going to be transfered to AKB48 Team K, and NMB48 member Watanabe Miyuki is going to be transfered to AKB48 Team B. Both girls will remain in their respective groups while this is going on. And for how long this transfer is, is anybody’s guess as an official end date hasn’t been announced.
I have to say that I don’t really see the point in having them transfer over since Matsui Jurina is usually featured in ever AKB48 release anyway, and they could have just added Miyuki to the singles as well. I think having the girls now do stages and singles for both groups is a bit much. And I don’t get why either girls were picked. I know Jurina has been in almost every AKB48 single since Oogoe diamond, but I thought Matsui Rena was more popular then her now? And isn’t Yamamoto Sayaka the face of NMB48? And she was in 2 AKB48 singles and Miyuki was only in 1. And she didn’t even make it to the top 40 of the 2011 senbatsu election.
But there is one aspect of this that I do, and that’s that each girl was placed in the perfect team. Jurina is a good singer an amazing dancer, so she’s perfect for Team K. And Miyuki is adorable and has a fairly cute voice, so she’s perfect for Team B.

The next, and final, piece of news is Team 4 is now complete and Team 8 is going to be created.

During AKB48’s concert at Saitama Super Arena it was also announced that 5 members of were being added to Team 4 to bring Team 4 to it’s full 16 members. The members promoted were Tano Yuka, Iwata Karen, Kato Rena, Takahashi Juri, and Kawaei Rina. Congrates to them. But I don’t follow Research Students at all, so I couldn’t really tell you anything about them.
And if completing Team 4 wasn’t enough, Aki-P announced that the remaining Research Students that weren’t picked for Team 4 will now be working to establish Team 8. Which really comes as no surprise. When Team 4 was announced it was only a matter of time before Team 8 was also announced. Which also means when Team 8 is eventually created and completed that will bring AKB48 to a staggering 80 members.

Here’s a news clip talking about most of these changes. You guys should watch it before it gets taken down.

Kis-My-Mint2 releases new ad with music

Recently the PV for Kis-My-Ft2’s new single She Her Her, was released.

I think Kisumai has successfully made one of the weirdest idol PVs I’ve probably ever seen. I can’t really think of another idol PV that matches it on the “WTF did I just watch?” scale. The PV starts out with an unnecessarily long intro and the members dressed as druids inside of a prison. The prisons then shart chanting She Her Her in their man in the iron mask looking masks as a yellow gas comes out of their mouths. There are also this random numbers and math equations floating in front of Kisumai for no apparent reason. And you’re really left asking yourself why are they there. The PV never really explains it. Taisuke holds up, then eats, a piece of gum and all is right in the world because after that the PV actually starts.

The PV starts out with white glittery sparkles flying out of Kisumai’s mouths, making it incredibly obvious that we’re watching a Johnny’s PV. Then loads more of sparkles and white floating balls fill the air, giving me so much second hand embarassment from watching and a good laugh. They PV is also supposed to feature fanservice, but Johnny’s lame attempts at fanservice don’t really even deserve to be called that. In one scene Taisuke and Yuta kiss the same flower and their faces almost touch. Seriously? That’s all we get? Indirect kisses like this and Ryo and Yamapi drinking out of the same cup in the Summer Time PV are not really what I have in mind. I can’t stand thatt female idol groups parade around in bikinis and kiss each other in PVs and at concerts, but male idols hugs and have their faces really close to each other. It’s ridiculous. Where’s the male idol equivalent? I feel like I’m the lone fangirl in this, because there are people out there that think this level of fanserivce is unnecessary. But I digress.
The main theme of this PV is Kisumai trying to relieve the iron masked prisoners bad breathe. In they do so with such high tech approaches as collecting their breathe as they ride a bike. And of course when they are in this super serious sciene lab they do so in style on their roller skates. Which is exactly what you want to be wearing in a lab. Rolling at high speeds with all that glass and chemicals around, and I can’t fathom what could possibly go wrong. Kisumai also collects data by having them breathe on mannequins. Which makes perfect sense because we all know how mannequins have an extremely low tolerance for bad breath. But it’s all worth it for the scene where Taisuke is all up on a mannequin. I’m pretty sure at one point he even kisses it. You can’t ask for anything better than that.
The finally at towards the end of the PV the toughest prisoner come out with chains,flies, and a giant cloud of bad breath, who by the way is some random guy who isn’t Japanese. You gotta wonder what he was thinkinh of while filming this. But have no fear that guy is no match for Kisumai’s rainbow colored breath.
The PV then tries to end on some high notes with the newly freed prisoners flalling behind the king of bad breathe, which is pretty stupid. But the realy highlight is when Kisumai dance in front of a rainbow filled sky, which immediately reminds me of Arashi’s Kitto Daijoubu PV.

I actually really like this PV. It’s the perfect mixture of WTF and humor. But there is one aspect of this PV that I don’t like, and that that fact that this PV is nothing more then one giant Watering Kissmint commercial. And would you look at that Kisumai were recently in a Watering Kissmint commercial, imagine that. I know JE boys always get endorsements because of how popular they are, but they don’t need to pimp those products in their PVs. They have shamelessly pimped the products they are endorsing outside of a commercial before, but it’s usually done at concerts. Like when Kame ate what I think was Crunky chocolate at one of KAT-TUN’s concerts, and when Hey! Say! 7 danced with fruit at one of their concerts. But I can’t really think of a time it was shamelessly featured in a PV. And that honestly throws the whole PV off. The whole moral of the PV is chew Watering Kissmint it relieves bad breath. Why didn’t they just hide Watering Kissmint in ever other frame too?

Totally getting a man in the iron mask feel, even though this one is made of leather.

Druid Kisumai.

Don’t get why they’re trying to make this all dark and serious.

Why the floating numbers?

The gum, it solves everything.

Now it feels like a Johnny’s PV.

Roller skates, now it feels like a Kisumai PV.

So dazzling that he knocks him over. Seriously?

Intense Hiro face. Lol.

The bird’s eye view kiss is kinda cool, I have to admit.

Taisuke is adorable.

Oh, the big fanservice. It sucks. :/

Taisuke looks pretty hot afterwards though.

Hiro always trys way too hard to look good. And it never works. Though he is growing on me personality wise.

Let me just randomly skate across the lab.

Love Hiro’s reaction. Hate how he’s the only one reacting while everyone else has a blank stare.

The dance is terrible.

And Hiro has the most genuine reaction when the flowers bloom.

Wow, they actually showed the other members for longer than a second. Senga has the best reaction by the way.

This dance, there’s just nothing good about it.

So, Taisuke who’s the hot girl you’re with?

That’s right, you kiss that mannequin.

Is this seriosuly a scene in the PV?

Lol.

Doing the moon walk on roller skates.

Hot.

WTF is with this move?

Swing your partner round and round.

Oh it’s serious now.

He doesn’t really look that tough.

Of course he has to be American or European.

I like how they eat the gum in beat to the song.

Of course rainbow beams! But where have I seen those before?

Oh yeah, in the Watering Kissming commercial.

Cool effect.

Cheap effect.

I don’t even know what to say about this.

They’re free. Hooray I guess.

Miya nose beam. I couldn’t resist. Though I think this is lost on my JE readers. XD

Taisuke looks so good.

Ok then.

Chu.

Passpo’s new PV fizzles

The full PV for Passpo’s newest single, Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru, was released over a month ago. And I’m finally bringing you my delayed PV review.

I’d like to think of myself as a pretty big Passpo fan. Their cute and their music is different than what a lot of other idol groups are doing. And it’s reasons like that, that Passo hasn’t really disappointed me yet. But that pretty much all changed when I watched the PV for their recent single Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru. Both the PV and the song don’t push it far enough. The song has that distinctive sound, and I see what they were trying to do, but it’s just far too slow for my taste and for Passpo’s usual standards. Passpo’s singles are usually guitar heavy rock music overflowing with energy. This song is really lacking the grit that songs like Let it Go and Shoujo Hikou have. While this song does have a clear guitar riff I kept waiting for the singing to get to be a blaring level, where it sounds like they are almost screaming because they have so much energy in their voices. Which most Passpo songs sound like. But that never happens, in fact the song gets slower towards the end of the song. Even Kiss=Suki that starts off slow gets more exciting in the chorus. The song is just really a let down for me, one of my least favorite singles by them, and maybe even song.

Now the PV is equally a let down. Passpo’s best PV to date is ViVi Natsu, so I will forever compare all of their PVs to that one. Just absolutely everything about ViVi Natsu was incredible. It was a fun and cute summer themed PV, with 3 different outfits, filmed in 4 different locations, and filmed in really beautiful natural lighting. Everything the Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru PV lacks. Well, except for the natural lighting. But 8/10 of the PV is shot indoors. This PV is shot in 3 different locations with 2 different outfits, but still I’m just not into it. I mean the PV isn’t awful. The main dance set is actually really nice and their outfits are gorgeous. But what was so great about their past PV were, no matter how bad the lighting was or how cheap the budget was, the girls always went over the top in the close-ups and PV itself. You could really see the girl’s personalities shining through. And they were fun PVs because of that. But in this PV you don’t get any clear personality and all of their close-up shots are choreographed pieces from the dance. The only time you get to see near genuine emotions on the girl’s faces are when they all find each other and hug. And by the way, they just did the same thing in the Kiss=Suki PV. So, I’m honestly over that. And not only that, what’s with only 6/9 girls being in most of those scenes? Are they trying to prepare us for when the new members come in and steal the old members popularity?

Let’s film the skyline, but then hardly shoot near there.

I really like this set, but that’s mostly because it has a pink hue to it.

Ai looks adorable.

I absolutely love this outfits.

Adorable.

Gorgeous. And Natsumi’s makeup looks amazing per usual.

I love Shiori to bits, but I can’t wait until she grows her hair out.

This kissing dance move is really cute.

Why does it seem like Naomi is trying to come off as sexy?

My god, Ai just looks super pretty in this PV.

You barely even noice the skyline. :/

Adorable! Makoto’s doesn’t really have the convincing fake smile down yet. But look how Shiori just glows.

Flawless.

I love Anna’s hair, but it doesn’t really fit with the PV. It’s too elegant.

I love how much they’re overacting.

Cute.

Lolz at Makoto’s lazy kick.

Yukimi kinda fades in the background. This is literally the first time I noticed her in the PV.

Look at Sako being all super cute.

I had no idea their sashes had their nicknames written on them. That’s actually really awesome.

Mio! *O*

Wink.

Cute outfits. And I love how Mio almost has bologna curls.

Um…what?

That’s too much Makoto. You’re looking at your friends, not a meteor hurtling towards Earth.

Adorable.

Still don’t get why we only see 2/3 of Passo.

Ok, here are the rest of the members. They better be running, there’s only about 30 seconds of the PV left.

I always run away from my friends. Totally.

Morning Musume-Renai Hunter preview

A short radio rip of Morning Musume’s upcoming single, and Risa’s graduation single, Renai Hunter has been released.

Well this is certianly something that I would have never expected to come together, Morning Musume and dubstep. And I gotta say that it is throwing me off a bit because I don’t get the appeal of dubstep at all. But luckily the dubstep only lasts for a little bit in the beginning of the song. And most likely during the instrumental break, but since this isn’t the full song I honestly have no idea. After the dubstep ends the music does transform into some awesome dance music along the lines of what Morning Musume has released before. The musics reminds me of a toned down version of C-ute’s Kiss me Aishiteru mixed with Momusu’s Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun. And I really do like the music, it’s danceable and more importantly it’s powerful. It really is the perfect type of song for Risa to graduate with. It’s the type of song that really showcases her powerful and deep voice. I also don’t really mind that Reina is co-leading the song with Risa since she did the same thing with Ai in her graduation single. And I’m pretty much prepared to be bombarded with even more Reina from now on since when Risa leaves Reina will become the best singer in the entire group. I do wish we heard a bit more from the other members, but this is Risa’s song so I get why we don’t.

This song is a nice throwback to Morning Musume’s “Emo Musume” era, and it is nice to hear this type of song again since I became a fan of Momusu just a few singles before that era. But now that we’ve had the throwback singles for the 5th gen, and everyone with a mature image is graduating, they really need to hang up this sound for a while. After this Reina will be the member with the most mature image. Actually I think they are going to give Haruna a cool and fashionable, maybe even slightly sexy, image. But it’s still to early to really tell. Especially since Sayumi told her she should try for a funny or air head character. I know I sound like a broken record over here, but I want super ubeat energetic Morning Musume back! And I won’t be happy until I do. I’ve been waiting 5 years here, I think it’s time.