Berryz Koubou announce indefinite hiatus

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It was announced at today’s Hello!Project 2014 summer concert Korezo that Berryz Koubou will go on an indefinite hiatus. After the girls started thoroughly discussing their future amongst themselves a year ago, and talking things over with the staff, they concluded this was the best option to take. The indefinite hiatus will take place in the spring of 2015. All of Berryz’ upcoming concerts and singles will continue as scheduled.

The girls, especially Saki and Maasa, have refused to officially call this a breakup or disbandment, as saying so would make it seem like the group itself would disappear. Berryz Koubou is too important and too irreplaceable to call it a disbandment.

I just…I don’t even know what to say to this. What can you even say to this? Berryz are leaving and never coming back. And sure you guys can hold onto, “but it’s just a hiatus and not an official disbandment so have hope,” or, “Saki said that she wants to continue Berryz in the future.” However, I don’t believe, trust, count on, or remain hopeful about any of that. I am far too cynical and too much of a realist to get my hopes up over that. Because honestly, to me, it seems like the girls are just saying these things to soften the blow either to us fans, or to themselves, that it’s really happening. Or to intentionally get everyone’s hopes up, so that they will never stop listening to or never stop remembering or will never give up hope that this will be the year that they finally come back. Because just like Maasa said, if they call it a disbandment the group itself will disappear.

And quite honestly it will, and that’s something that’s inevitable. With each year that passes people will start listening to the group less and less, until it gets to a point where only a small fraction of the former fanbase even takes time to remember them. They will be a group that will just be carved into idol history. A group that is by no means forgotten but at the same time no means remembered. And within the H!P fandom slowly and slowly less and less fans will even know who they are. They will become part of H!P’s obscure past that new fans won’t bother listening to. And a group that will be hailed as legends by the fans who were around during their active years.

This is the fate of any disbanded idol group. Even dedicated fans won’t listen to nothing but an inactive group forever. Remember SweetS? Remember how upset fans were a while after their disbandment? Now think about how many people still talk about them, it’s not many. Even myself, I was such a dedicated Hinoi Team (not an idol group I know, but let’s pretend for the sake of argument.) fan back in the day. But now the only time I listen to them is when I’m feeling nostalgic. Now, I know that this post has taken somewhat of a depressing turn that most fans don’t even want to think about right now. But I can’t think about it in any other way. I’m not going to sit here getting my hopes up for a reunion that either won’t happen or will be years and years in the future.

Think about all the H!P groups that went on indefinite hiatus or never officially disbanded. Their comeback fate was either concert revival units or a complete revamp of the group in Country Musume’s case. The only realistic hope for a Berryz return is years from now for them to have a Dream Morning Musume style type of return. Or for them to appear as Hello!Project OG members on TV. Or the most likely of all, for them to make surprising guest appearances years from now at Hello!Project concerts. Kind of like what happened with the Hello!Project Countdown Party concert.

And even though all of these things are the painful truth for Berryz’ future they still refuse to call it a disbandment because no matter how unrealistic it is they don’t want you to give up hope of their return. Because no hope truly does equal disappearance. And the girls cannot bear for that to happen to their group. The group that every member is so proud of. The group the girls spent so long building up and cultivating. The group that the girls love more than anyone else in the entire world does. The group that the girls spent nearly half their lives in. The group that is so precious to them.

And you know what, it took me a long time to get to this level of where I can think clearly and rationally about this situation. I had to let all of my emotions pour out of me completely. I had to stop them before I let them cloud my judgement. And believe me there were a lot of them. When I first heard that Berryz were going on indefinite hiatus I laughed. And I’m still not 100% sure why that was my first response. Maybe I thought the ideal of them breaking up was so comical I couldn’t hold it back? Or maybe it was just because it was such a shocking announcement my mind didn’t know what to do? That seems more likely honestly.

And much like with any upsetting idol news, immediately after my laughter came a mess of emotions spilling out of me and crashing over me like a tidal wave. There was grief, there was shock, there was anger, there was sadness, there was surprise, there was even a slight underline tinge of excitement for being right about it happening so soon.

And I truly did see this coming. But that’s not really anything to boast about because WE ALL saw it coming. But as soon as Futsuu, Idol 10nen Yatterannai Desho was announced as an A-side I knew that it spelled the end for Berryz. Why else make a song called that with the lyrics that it had? I could see the Melon Kinenbi parallels a mile away.

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And for the first time ever that mix of emotions I was feeling was so intense it felt like I was having a panic attack. Then I moved onto frantically fanning myself to keep the tear from spilling. But that was short lived as they poured out of me like a geyser. Then I had this horrible sensation of being punched in the stomach. I could’t breathe and it felt like I was just sick to my stomach.

Recently I might’ve complained that their music lately was hit or miss, but I have never for one second, or even one nanosecond, stopped loving or supporting them. It wasn’t really their fault anyway. Berryz used to be a force to be reckoned with within H!P, but once C-ute started shooting up in popularity they started to get the raw end of the stick. And I think that was blatantly obvious to anyone who was in the H!P fandom. Everyone affectionately used to say Berryz was the funky group in H!P. But I think that was just everyone’s secret code for them being stuck with the weaker singles and album songs. H!P even gave priority to a newly debuted group when they gave Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no Kiss to Juice=Juice when it was originally intended to be a Berryz single. And don’t get me wrong, I in no way, shape, or form am angry or bitter against any other H!P group because of this. I love the entire entity that is H!P pretty much equally. But I’m also not going to pretend that these thing didn’t happen.

I don’t know, I’m just really upset now. These girls are just so special and important to me. These girls hold such an important place in my heart. I have always felt a genuine closeness and kinship to these girls from the moment I became an H!P fan. They were made up of girls that were mostly the exact same age as me so I always felt like I was growing up beside them. And technically I was, just on the other side of the world and with no real contact with them. But I supported them and in return they supported me through music. When I was going through unrequited love, when I had friendships that turned sour, when I wished I had someone to love, when I felt I was looked down on for being a girl, when I wanted be energized, or when I just wanted to smile, they always had a song for that. And through variety shows and TV appearances I found girls that would make me laugh. Girls that I could relate to and look up to. Girls that reminded me of myself or I shared interest with.

And it’s because of moments like this that Berryz Koubou will always been a precious and irreplaceable idol group to me. Maybe someday in the future I’ll hardly listen to them ,or hardly even think of them, but I’ll always remember them. Even if it’s just in the very back of my mind and even if it’s just for the briefest of seconds, I’ll never forget them.

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Miyabi appointed sub-Captain and the panic that follows

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Berryz Koubou Captain Shimizu Saki made an unexpected and equally shocking announcement on her blog that fellow Berryz member Natsuyaki Miyabi will helping her lead the group as Sub-Captain. In her blog post, which you can read translated here, Saki said her reasoning behind appointing Miyabi was because she feels that she’s not doing a proper job of leading them since C-ute is holding concerts in the Budokan and Berryz has yet to hold concerts there themselves. And has now personally said she’s aiming for Berryz to perform at the Budokan this year or next year.

Now when I first read her blog post I was overcome with two emotions. The first was sadness for Saki because she, and the rest of Berryz, have been trying their best and still there’s no result. Not only that but you see how the idol themselves are painfully aware of how unpopular they are which is a whole other kind of empathetic pain I feel for idols. And I also feel sad because Berryz are losing to a younger group. Which has got to make them feel bad about themselves. The second emotion I was feeling was admiration for Saki. Here’s a leader who sees what’s wrong and really wants to fix it. And also an idol that has such love for their group that they want everyone else to know how great their group is. As a fan I’m touched and get slightly choked up thinking of her love for Berryz being so genuine and caring so much about the fans that she says she’s also doing this so the fans see the best Berryz that’s possible. 

I have to say I am not entirely surprised that C-ute are getting to perform Budokan. Tsunku did say either in the beginning of the year, or maybe the end of last year, that 2013 was going to be C-ute’s year. And that fact that C-ute are performing at the Budokan and having their first overseas concert means that Tsunku wasn’t kidding. But it is obviously sad for the other groups in H!P who would love to have a year as good as C-ute’s.

That being said, in my second paragraph I did say those were the emotions I was feeling when I read her blog post because when I first heard the news I certainly has different feelings. When I first heard this news I was completely confused. And the one though that I kept having was simply why. “Why now after all these years without one? And why at all?” Sure, I guess it could make sense that Saki feels that she’s incapable of leading the group on her own and really does need help. But let’s be honest, leaders in idol groups don’t really do anything. Sure they make sure the girls are actually working and not goofing off, and they gather the girls all together. But beyond that there’s really nothing else. They don’t choreograph the song or teach the girls the dance. They don’t write the lyrics or give the girls vocal lessons. And they certainty aren’t in charge of line distribution or how much promotions the group gets. Captain or leader is a fancy name and some honor, but it’s really nothing more than that. Because honestly the only time a group needs a leader is when new girls join the group. But Berryz has never had new members.

So, after realizing that Saki doesn’t really need help to do a virtually nonexistent job, what was the point in announcing this at all? And then it hit me and came over me as one fell swoop of fear and panic. This seems like it’s only being done because Saki plans to graduate soon. I honestly wouldn’t blame her or be too surprised. For one, Saki is the oldest member so I always figured she would leave the group first. And secondly, 2014 will mark her 12th year as an idol. 10 years in Berrys and 2 years in H!P Kids. That also marks nearly half of her life. Not many idols out there have started off so young and been an idol for so long. And this announcement does make it seem like Saki wants to graduate on a high note after accomplishing something big.

All of this just seems way too convenient. In nearly 10 years Berryz has never felt the need to have a sub-Captain, but now all of a sudden they do. It seems way too perfect if you ask me. Because the first question that would be asked if Captain graduated  would obviously be who’s the Captain now? And the answer to that question should have been Momoko. As the second oldest she’s the most logical choice. Miyabi actually makes no sense. There are 3 members older than her who should have been picked instead. Which either makes me think that some of those girls might want to graduate too or perhaps Saki really did have the final say in choosing.

I have to say the thought of Saki graduating does frighten me. Not because she’s my favorite member, which she isn’t. I don’t dislike her, she’s just floating somewhere in the middle to me. No, it frightens me because this would be the sobering realization that Berryz Koubou and C-ute eventually aren’t going to exist anymore.

Yes, one day when the girls are too old they are either going to drop like flies one by one or just graduate the entire group. The girls in Berryz Koubou are starting to reach that “too old to be an idol” age. This year the girls will be 19-22. Which doesn’t seem old, but in means some of the girls only have 2-3 more years as idols tops. I said on twitter recently, “what if Berryz announce their disbandment during their 10th anniversary?” I said it during one of my half serious “what if?” scenarios. But now I’m starting to think about it more seriously because honestly they could. They could seriously announce next year that 2015 is going to be their final year. Or they could just simply announce that a member is leaving. But having been members for so long in an almost unchanged line-up, wouldn’t one member leaving feel like the end of the group?

This whole station has put me on high Berryz alert. I love Berryz and consider Berryz to be my 3rd favorite H!P group. I guess now I’m going to treasure them even more just in case someone is leaving or the group is going to disband. Because honestly, even if it isn’t this year or next year, it’s going to happen eventually. And probably sooner than you realize or are prepared for. I really don’t want to be in one of those I didn’t care about them enough and now they’re gone situations.

I’m going to end this blog post with a cryptic piece of advise: Enjoy every idol moment like it’s their last because for all you know it’s going to be.

Berryz Celebration

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Recently Berryz Koubou’s PV for Asian Celebration was released.

And I have to admit I’ve really been waiting for this PV to be released. I’ve been instantly in love with the song since I first heard it. Just everything about it is just perfect. And it’s a real improvement from their lackluster Want.

Even thought the song is incredible, I’m only mildly impressed with the PV. Since the song is an electronic dance song they went for the most obvious PV theme, a dance club. In my review for Kisumai’s Shake It Baby PV I said how I find club PV to be boring because of how similar every club PV ever made is. And that’s painfully true in Asian Celebration’s case. Not only did they copy most club PVs, they copied their own club PV.

When I first watched this all I could think of is how incredibly similar to their Dakishimete Dakishimete PV.

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To such an extent it kind of looks like the sequel to Dakishimete Dakishimete, rather than its own PV.

The sets are understandably not 100% the same. Instead of speakers being prominent instead the Asian Celebration PV is filled with disco balls. Both PVs also have vibrant club lights.

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In Dakishimete Dakishimete it’s lasers and lights from disco balls, while in Asian Celebration it’s sparkles and lights from the disco balls.

And of course the most blatant similarity is the DJ booth.

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In both PVs it’s in the same exact place, and throughout each PV the members take turns being the DJ. And the sad part is, the Dakishimete Dakishimete PV is actually a better PV. It just has more things going on to make it more fun.

H!P PV directors have just brought lack of creativity to a whole new level. Nothing says “I’m out of ideas,” quite like copying a PV you’ve already made. But in Berryz defense it is hard to make a club themed PV anymore that’s completely original. I think NEWS’ Koi no ABO is one of the few cases where they had a club PV that was unique. Having them be hosts in the club made for a lot of different elements in the PV and interesting scenes. But it’s not like Berryz could make a PV like that. Especially since that’s the exact theme Dream Morning Musume used for their Shining Butterfly PV.

There is a plus to this PV however, and that’s how fun the PV actually looks. I really like that they girls look like they genuinely had fun shooting this PV. The girls just look so natural and pretty. I think everyone is styled exceptionally well. Those outfits are amazing, mostly because I’m a sucker for zebra print. And I have to say that surprisingly Captain stood out the most for me. As much as they were shoving Miyabi in my face every second I think Saki really shined in this PV. She actually did have quite a big of focus on her this PV, and she used what screen time she had really well.

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Nice DJ equipment. 

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A lot of people don’t like Miya’s hair in this PV, but I think she looks adorable with it.

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Wait, is she wearing circle lenses? Her eyes look different here.

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Love love love these outfits. I also really love the rainbow colored floor.

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Adorable Chii.

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Risako sexing up the place.

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Yurina looks simply gorgeous here.

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Wow Momoko doesn’t have her Momochi hair. How is the world still spinning?

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So cute. But I don’t really like this hair on her.

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Never mind, I change my mind. Miya looks pretty sexy here.

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Flawless Rii.

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This PV is overflowing with Miyabi.

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Too such an extent it’s hard to even seen the other members.

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Cuteness overload.

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I love how carefree Chinami looks.

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Wow Saki looks fantastic here.

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Just so gorgeous.

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Momoko still looks cute without her usual hairstyle.

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You’re killing me here.

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Even here Saki is bringing it.

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Adorable.

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Maasa is so pretty.

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Yurina. *O*

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This is such an awkward part of the dance.

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Just wow Saki.

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Super cute.

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Gorgeous.

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Saki. *O*

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Adorable.

Berryz are Thai princesses in new PV

Last month the full PV for Berryz Koubous’ recent single, Cha Cha Sing, was released.

After watching the PV I am super impressed by it. To be honest, I’ve been really excited to see the PV since the profile pics with their PV outfits were revealed. I absolutely love the outfits they are wearing. They’re Thai princesses. Princesses! I mean, what’s not amazing and perfect about that? The girls look just beyond gorgeous in them. Though if you notice the most popular members are wearing red, while the rest of the girls are wearing blue. Obviously since Berryz has an uneven number of members when they wear 2 different colors it’s gonna be split 3-4, but it’s just interesting the way they decided to pick who got what color.

Moving on to the actual PV, the main set, oh who am I kidding, the only set looks really amazing. First off it’s huge and they really took advantage of that. The back drop is draped in this really vibrant, sheer fabric. While parts of the walls and stairs are covered with, what honestly look more Indian then Thai, cloths. The close-up shots set is a little more unimpressive, as it’s just orange fabric with stars. But overall the PV is very vibrant and colorful, which makes it eye catching. Between the girls acting silly, the group close-ups, and the sporadic floating gold text, the PV is also really fun and adorable. Hello!Project never makes expensive or impressive PVs, but they are sill usually enjoyable to watch. But that’s mostly because while I’m watching a PV, after I think critics, I usually pretty much think, “My god, my girls are so fantastic.” 

I love the set. But it also kinda looks like they took the fabric from their Koi no Jubaku costumes and threw it up there.

Perfect outfits.

Not really a fan of how it keeps switching from light to dark.

I like how even the dance is Thai inspired.

 

Hope they don’t use this gold filter too often.

Love this floating text. Ad Chinami looks positively adorable.

My god, could Yurina be anymore gorgeous?

Adorable.

I don’t like that Risako’s hair is more grey than purple. If she was dying purple, she should have done it 100%.

Yurina just looks incredible per usual. Adorable and gorgeous at the same time.

Saki looks great, I love her hair.

I think Maasa looks the best overall though.

Cute.

Lol.

So cute.

Wow Risako.

Oh Chinami, this is why I love you.

Yurina looks so amazing in this I could cry.

Himitsu.

Miyabi is pretty and all, but this hair does nothing for her.

Love this scene.

So adorable! *O*

Walk like an Egyptian.

Cute.

What is Momoko doing?

Love how they incorporate Thai writing in there.

Of course she had to get yurushite nyan in there.

Super cute.

*O*

Adorable ending.

Berryz to release new single

It was announced that Berryz Koubou will be releasing a new single. The single is titled Be Genki < Naseba naru and will be released on March 21st.

It’s always extremely exciting to hear that Berryz is releasing something new. And I’m glad to hear that it’s such a lively song. Berryz has been releasing a lot of mature songs lately, so it’s nice to see them going back to releasing fun songs again. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved Heroine ni Narou ka and Aa, Yo ga Akeru, but upbeat idol songs are still my favorite. And I’ve been really looking forward to Berryz having another song like Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance.

The concert rip for this song has been released, you can listen to it here. But I prefer to wait for the rip before I comment on it.

Berryz Koubou announces 8th album

It was recently announced that Berryz Koubou will be releasing their 8th album. The album is titled Ai no Uta 8, and will be released on February 22nd.

I am excited that Berryz is going to be releasing another album since they are my second favorite H!P group after Morning Musume. And the timing makes sense since it was be released 11 months after their 7th album. I’m also really excited for this album because I’m hoping Berryz will be able to redeem themselves after releasing their worst album to date, 7 Berryz Times. 7 Berryz Times had it’s moments but overall was pretty awful. Obviously from the title we can expect nothing but love songs, which isnt really shocking since 9.5/10 idol songs are love songs.

But whatever the songs are about or like all I can say is I hope there are tons of Chinami and Yurina lines. And songs along the lines of what was on the 6th Otakebi Album since that was my favorite Berryz album. Or something along the lines of Baka Ni Shinaide since that’s one of my all times favoite Berryz songs.

Best Album Songs of 2011

Now, I am bringing you my conclusion to my 2011 ranking, countdown extravaganza: Best Album songs of 2011.

This was the hardest list to write, there have been so many good album songs released this year. This list alone to be roughly 3 hours just to rank. I relistened to every album released in 2011 and wrote down every song that I liked. At that point I was at 26, and I then had to relisten to each song and painstakingly narrow it down even further. While some songs were more obvious then others, it was overall a pretty difficult task.

I actually wanted to add a part 4 this year: Best PVs of 2011. But these posts took way longer than I anticipated already, so I was completely uninspired to write it. But there’s always next year I suppose.

10. Renai Circus

AKB48’s first original album was pretty dismal at best. Renai Circus is pretty much one of the only decent songs on the entire album. But even this song isn’t all that spectacular, which is why it’s so low. I think the best way to desribe this song is adorable, but I’d expect nothing less from Team B. The music is pretty upbeat and silly, I do wish they incorporated more of a circus element into though. My absolute favorite part of the song is the chorus that’s when the song really picks up and is super cute. I also really love all the background speaking in noises throughout the song, it just adds the unseriousness of the song. The lyrics are also pretty cute. For the most part it’s just describing what a circus is, but I still think love and a circus is a cute comparison. Though I do think the trapeze parts describe love better. The song is just fun, and silly the type of song that I like.

9. Santa Maria

Yamapi’s solo album is another album I wasn’t really all that impressed with. His voice just does not fit with club music. So, I can just imagine how bad his solo career is going to be. But that’s off topic. But when I listened to this album this song just immediately stuck out to me. It’s probably one of the most meaningful songs on the entire album. It’s basically Yamapi losing, or about to lose, his girlfriend, and then begging Santa Maria to bring her back because he can’t bare to be without her. I think the song is incredibly sad and heartbreaking. And I’ll admit the reason I do like this song so much is because the lyrics remind me of Last Kiss by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. But the lyrics still are good. The club music does kind of ruin the song a bit. It’s basically like saying, “I’m so sad that I feel like dying, but you know I could still dance.”

8. Icchoume Rock

I really love this song, I think it’s definitely the best song from the album. But that’s not really saying much as I consider 7 Berryz Times to be one of their weakest albums. But Icchoume Rock is really fun, and upbeat. It’s got a subtle rock beat and is extremely easy to dance to. The super positive message of the song is another reason why I like it. It’s basically a song about being and happy, and to just jumpi into things instead of waiting. I like idol songs like that, songs that just instantly cheer you up.

7. Tooku Made

Arashi’s Beautiful World album had a very a dance/electronic theme to it, I thought it just completely worked for them. As, a whole the entire album was great so it was super difficult to pick which songs were the best. But I picked Tooku Made because it has the unique Arashi sound. It’s slow paced, but at the same time it’s still upbeat. And the n the chrous hits and it’s just incredibly catchy and amazing. The song is pretty simple, but it’s simplicity is another reason I like it. It’s light, fresh, and really pretty. And since this is Arashi we get the pretty typical love lyrics. It’s about any mundane moment being significantly better because you’re with the person you love. It’s just really adorable.

6. Kakenukete Blue

I absolutely love YuiKaori because they encompass everything I love about idol music. Upbeat music and sugary sweet voices. And this song doesn’t disappoint. The music has heavy anime sounding music which is pretty much a standard with YuiKaori. The song is pretty upbeat for the whole song, but of course it really picks up during the chorus. Where you really get the full effect of their adorable voices and how well that they blend together. I just enjoy every second of this song. It is so fun and cute that I don’t even mind that I have no idea what the song is about.

5. Ok Yeah

Here comes Morning Musume delivering a hard-hitting, heart pumping dance song. This song is just perfect in every way. It is insanely upbeat and incredible to dance to. The music is amazing, and I love all the voice and sound effects. Like all the woos straight out of eurobeat. (Or Uchouten Love.) And I love when Reina’s, Risa’s, and Sayumi’s high hotes are distorted and extened with the robot effect. I think it completely works with the song. And I love the intense music break where it’s just nothing but electronic trance music for like 30 seconds. The song is about enjoying your youth and going all out chasing your dreams and life. While I am not really in my youth (Technically I am since I’m only 19, but I’m not in my high school youth, which is what they most likely mean.) But the lyrics are still good if you disregard all the youth and young girl aspects. The song then just means being confident and not living without regrets.

4. Mada minu sekai e

This song is just incredible. Which is why they made a PV for it. The music has this futuristic, electronic sound to it. And it’s not too much. It’s like the perfect balance of intense music and soft parts. I absolutely love the autotune they put on Sho’s rap parts, it’s added at the perfect part of the song and it’s done perfectly. The entire song is catchy from start to finish. I have not been able to get this song out of my head for months. They lyrics are pretty encouraging too. Basically telling you to keep going no matter how usure you are of the future.

3. Suki da na kimi ga

This song, I have been absolutely in love with this song since I first heard the radio rip. It’s just perfect. You Mainly hear Sayumi’s voice and instead of ruining it she actually enhances it. Which is a complete rarity for her. This song just completely compliments Sayumi’s and Mizuki’s voices. And Sayumi and Mizuki blend together so seamlessly it almost sounds like one voice. People have complained that you can only hear Sayumi, but that completely isn’t true. Really listen and you can hear Mizuki. She’s just taking the lower parts and is harmonizing, like what Aibon used to do in W. Songs like Juushichi no Natsu you mainly hear Nono.Off topic, I know. This song is just amazing! It’s cuteness overload. It is soft, airy, and pretty, while still have upbeat and interesting elements to the song. The lyrics are also equally cute. It’s about liking someone no matter what their falts are and still thinking they are cute. And wanting to be with them no matter what.

2. Iza, Susume! Steady go!

Iza, Susume! Steady go! has always been one of my favorite songs off of C-ute’s 6th album. But I didn’t realize just how much I loved this song until I saw them perform it live. And it is incedible! This song is nonstop energy from start to finish. The music is heavy and intesnse and the singing matches. Airi sounds just amazing in this song, you can really hear the emotion in her lines. This song is so positive, and upbeat, and fun, and just everything about it is amazing. Everyone’s singing is just so powerful. This song is just so engaging on every level from start to finish. I can’t get tired of this song or get it out of my head. The lyrics are great too. About going full force no matter what. And to always be positive and dream endlessly.

1. Wani to Shampoo

And MomoClo manages to come out on top! After I heard Battle and Romance for the first there was no doubt in my mind that Wani to Shampoo was one of the best idol songs. When I first heard it I wasn’t even thiking about my 2011 top 10 posts, I just thought it was one of the best idol songs I’d heard in a while. Momoiro Clover Z really is the most energetic idols out there. This song hits you with a powerful punch of energy as soon as the chorus hits. And you can’t help but being as over the top as the song itself is. I just can’t properly put into words how much I love this song. The intensity of the song, the energy, the singing, how danceable it is, it’s just an amazing song. If anyone ever asked me why I liked idol music this is the song I’d have them listen to. I don’t even care that this song is about forgetting to do you summer homework. It just shows that idol music is supposed to be fun, and not serious. Especially from an idol group that wears panda makeup and wears power rangers costumes in their PVs. Whenever I’m in a bad mood or just want and instant shot of energy, I play this song.

 

Honorable mentions:

1. Berryz Koubou – Onna No Pride
2. C-ute Chou Wonderful
3. C-ute Midnight Temptation
4. Morning Musume – Silver no udedokei
5. Morning Musume – Kaiketsu positive A
6. Arashi – Morning Light
7. Arashi – Negai
8. Arashi – Always
9. Arashi – Shake It
10. Arashi – Doko ni Demo Aru Uta
11. Momoiro Clover Z – MomoClo no Nippon Manzai!
12. YuiKaori – Magic Starter
13. YuiKaori – Puppy Love
14. YuiKaori – Crystal no Chikai
15. AKB48 – High School Days
16. Yamashita Tomohisa – Kuchizuke de Adios
17. no3b – Cloudy Sky

Worst Singles of 2011

Continuing on with my 2011 countdown extravaganza I bring you part 2: Worst singles of 2011.

Unlikes last year, this actually wasn’t the hardest list to make. I already had a general idea of which songs I didn’t like as much. Mostly because I’ve been making a mental note of it all year because I knew I’d be doing this countdown. I would also like to stress that I don’t hate any of these songs. They are just not as good as some of the other idols songs releases this year, and therefore make the bottom half of songs. Of course I still do occasionally listen to them when I am in the mood, it’s just a rare occassion.

10. Momoiro Sparkling

When this song first came out I did like it. But over the months I’ve been liking it less and less. It is definitely the weakest single C-ute released this year. Overall the song is pretty bland. There aren’t any extreme high notes, there’s not a catchy chorus, and the music is just a bit too generic. And I’m afraid that the lyrics aren’t really any better. I think the nonsensical words thrown in are what makes the lyrics the most annoying for me. The song is basically about going boldly into love during the summer. Which is pretty much a summer love song standard, but there’s nothing really special about the lyrics. No heartbreaking moments or absolutely adorable moments that make you think it’s a great song. For the most part is sounds like ever other summer themed idol song.

9. My Home

Since the first time I’ve heard this song I’ve never really been a fan of it. At first it was because of how soft the song is. As I’ve said before I’m not a big fan of ballads or slow songs. The song stays pretty soft the entire song, even during the chorus it hardly picks up. And I honestly find it boring, it doesn’t really hold my interest. And once I read the translation it pretty much sealed my indifference of the song. I think the lyrics are equally boring. They basically talk about what a year of average family life is about. I mean, I guess the song is telling me to appreciate the small things in life. And that something as simple as a family is important, so I should treasure it. That’s all well and good, but I don’t have a family. (Of my own, I mean. Obviously everyone has a family.) So, the lyrics aren’t all that meaningful to me. Ask me if I like the song in about 10 years, then I’ll probably be singing a different tune.

8. Ai no Dangan

This was also a song that I liked at first. I actually liked this song, a whole lot. The music is intense and it’s sung very well. On some level I do like this song. But what ruins the song completely for me are the lyrics. As soon as I found out what the  lyrics were actually about it knocked the song down a few pegs. I just think the lyrics are pretty terrible. The song is about wanting to make some one love you by shooting them with your love bullet. But being upset beause they always dodge it. The song seems a bit pathetic to me. To me it sounds like they are about trying to get someone who’s not into you to reciprocate your feelings. I mean the lyrics talk about wanting to thrown yourself at them and even though you’ve been together a lot they’re not getting the message. I don’t know, songs about being desperate aren’t really my thing.

7. Yume Tamago

I do think this song is incredibly cute and pretty much the type of songs that NYC always release. I also think the singing is pretty good. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s still good. Well, at least Ryosuke and Yuma sound good. Chinen is in their ruinging the song with his terrible voice per usual. At the same time I think this song is also incredibly immature. There’s a fine line between childish songs and soungs for children, this song obviously crosses that line. The song is about reaching your dream which is childish, but still not really. However, the lyrics explain how to reach your dream in such a childish manner. Like it will grow in your heart, and to pick and choose your colorful dream. I can’t say it’s a song I would proudly proclaim my love for.

6. Min Min Min

I’ve always thought Min Min Min was a pretty werid song. I honestly don’t get it at all. The verses are sung in SDN48’s “sexy” voices like all their past A-sides have. But then the chorus comes on and it’s trying to be all cutesy. There’s a total disconnect there. It honestly sounds like 2 completely different songs were shoved together. And I also have no idea what the noise that cicadas make has to do with anything. Is it because cicadas are heat bugs? And SDN48 calling out Min is basically saying that SDN48 are hot or made hot when someone they like is near? It has to be something stupid like that. I also don’t like the song because the lyrics are as pathetic and desperate as Ai no Dangan. But this song is even worse. It is actually about clinging onto someone after they’ve left you. The whole song is basically not taking no for an answer after you’ve been dumped. Am I the only one who sees how clinging on is just embarrassing yourself?

5. Cry

I am just so disappointed with DiVA as a whole. They take some of the best singers in AKB48 and then they never give them a decent single. I guess management thinks that giving them simple songs will make people focus on their singing ability, but it honestly has the opposite effect. And I just think their talent is being wasted on mediocre songs. This song is obviously sung incredibly well. But there’s nothing really special about this song. The same exact beat is booming through the entire song, and as a whole it’s not really enough to keep my attention. The lyrics also come off a little whiny to me. As they are about literally crying over lost love. Which is an extremely sad moment. But I don’t really think the lyrics were touching enough.

4. Kaze wa Fuiteiru

This song, I don’t really know what more I can say about it. I pretty much ripped it to shreads in my blog already. And with good reason, this song is just so horribly bland and lackluster. It’s somber, and it’s sad, and I just don’t care for it. They put hardly any effort into it. Like I said before, it seems lately AKB48 has been riding their fame wave to sell singles instead of actually making great songs. They’ve gotten so big and popular that now any mediocre song they throw out will sell a million copies just becasue their fanbase is so large. Which is the type of fame Arashi is resting on. And it honestly makes both artist’s music suffer. Both groups release 1 or 2 really good singles a year, and then the rest are mediocre at best. I also don’t find the lyrics to be all that great. Since it was a song for the tsunami they really tried to make it meaningful, but I don’t think it’s quite there. It’s about picking yourself up after a disaster, but the lyrics feel empty to me.

3. Sakura no Ki ni Narou

I’m going to voice an unpopular opinion here and say I do not like this song at all, not one bit. For some strange reason, that I absolutely cannot fathom, everyone seems to really love this song. First, off I think the song is far too soft. I don’t like ballads. Not in English and certainly not in Japanese. They are just boring, and they lose my attention quite easily. The song is only a ballad to get out the deep emotion of the song, of course. But the way it’s sung has nothing to do with my dislike of the song, No, much like every other song on this list it’s all about the lyrics. It’s a sad song about graduating, taking a step further, but the eternal cherry blossom tree with always been there so you can recapture your school days. Which is perfectly fine, if the lyrics weren’t strikingly similar to the song they released last year Sakura no Shiori. Read the translation to these songs back to back and tell me they aren’t 80% the same exact song! That is just lazy writting on Aki-P’s part. All graduation songs do not have to sound the same or be completely sad. I mean look at 10nen Zakura, I love that song because of how upbeat it is and how it’s such a positive reflection of graduation. Just like Last Forever by Buono and Cherry Saku Yuuki by An Cafe are.

2. My Days For You

Oh, ManoEri why did you have to release this sad excuse for a single when I was finally starting to really get used to and like your songs? There isn’t one good aspect to this song. The music is very soft and bland and ManoEri’s voice sounds horrid. During the chorus her voice sounds so strained and squeeky because she’s hitting notes and singing in a tone that doesn’t work for her voice. She should stick to cute sounds, her voice is bearable in those. This song, however, is so forgettable that I honestly forgot it even existed until I watched H!P’s summer concerts. And of course the lyrics match the song. This is yet another song that is begging someone to love you. Granted this is done is a slightly cute way that you almost feel sorry for her. I still don’t like the overall meaning.

1. No Cry No More

And the worst song of the year goes to AAA. Just like it was obvious which songs I would pick for the best single of 2011, this was also a no brainer. But honestly, I’m not really sure why I dislike this song so much. But I just do. Maybe it’s due to the fact that Misako sings most of the song, per usual, and her voice is especially ear piercing in this song. Misako is fine in moderation, but for the most part I can’t stand her voice. And it really rubs me the wrong way in this song, and just ruins the song completely. The lyrics are a little meaningful, telling you not to cry and to face everything head on. But be that as it may, I just do not like this song.

Best Singles of 2011

Since I had so much fun doing my best and worst of 2010 extravaganza posts, I knew it was something I wanted to make a yearly event on my blog. So, here I am doing it again! In this post I’ll be ranking my personal favorite 10 singles of 2011. This list was a lot harder than last year. I started following more idol groups which added to the number of singles I had to pick through. I counted and there are about 81 singles from idols that I follow. Which is an insane amount of music to go through, so these rankings took me a few days to do.

So, without further ado I bring you part 1 of my 2011 ranking extravaganza.

10. Kakkowarui I love you!

Believe it or not, number 10 is the hardest song to pick. Mainly because it’s the absolute last song I can pick, and I have to really think about what last song I want to add. Originally number 10 was going to be Not Yet’s Naminori Kakigoori, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Kakkowarui I love you. And from that it became obvious that I had to pick it. I absolutely love this song. From the hard rock and electronic beat that it has to the way it’s sung. I think everyone in French Kiss are amazing singers, and everyone has a very similar tone to their voice so they blend together amazingly well. I love how soft every 2nd line of the verse sounds. But the real reason I picked this song is because of the chorus. The song is pretty slow for the most part, but when that chorus hits it takes the song to whole new level. The chorus is is just incredible and extremely catchy. Just the way it’s sung it’s very entrancing. And of course the cute lyrics also add to my love of the song. I just love that it’s about stumbling though an accidental love. It’s really cute. But also sad at the same time, because it’s also about not being able to say I love you because you feel like it’s too late.

9. Ganbatte Seishun

To me SUPER GiRLS has always been the Frankenstein monster of idol groups. Collectively, and shameless, copying elements of other idol groups to heighten their own popularity. While, that might annoy people I say, “do what you gotta do.” And that reason is pretty much why I’m so drawn to SUPER GiRLS. They make the typical, or generic to some, idol songs which are my favorite. And Ganbatte Seishun is 100% an idol song right down to it’s core. This song is upbeat and happy, with encouraging lyrics that tell you to always do your best. And that’s pretty much all there is to the song, but that’s honestly all it needs. Ganbatte Seisun is one of those mood maker songs that instantly cheer you up. And that’s all you can really ask from music.

8. Maji Desu ka Ska!

Since I first heard this song I wasn’t shy about praising it or professing my absolute love for the song. And that hasn’t changed one bit. I’ve listened to this song constantly throughout the year and have not grown tired of it once. A song like this is just Morning Musume at it’s best to me. It’s upbeat, happy, energetic, and just over the top fun. The song has an infectious ska beat and even more infectious chorus. Each line might not correlate to the next, and the song might not actually have an overall meaning, but that doesn’t stop me from loving every second of it. From start to finish you just can’t help but want to dance and sing along to it. And not every song has that effect. 

7. Valentine Kiss

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 is one of my favorite idol groups out there because they make nothing but adorable songs. And that’s exactly why Vanlentine Kiss landed a spot on my list. This song was definitely one of the, if not the, cutest idol songs released this year. Even though this song is a cover I think Warota really made it their own. And I honestly think it surpasses the original. If only on the cuteness factor alone. But who doesn’t love a song about trying to get someone’s attention to have a kiss on Valentine’s Day? Especially if it’s sung by the always adorable Watarirouka Hashiritai 7.

SWF file 

6. Heroine ni Narou ka!

I never really realized just how much I love this song until I started making this list. But looking back at the year this has been one of those songs that I couldn’t get enough of. And the reason I love this song so much is because it’s powerful. Just everything about it is powerful. The electronic/dance dance music is very strong, as well as the singing being extremely powerful. There’s a lot of intensity in the way it’s sung, it’s honestly one of Berryz’s best vocal performances. Especially Miaybi’s whoa towards the end of the song, that was just incredible. I was also really inpressed with Yurina’s harmonizing and Risako’s high note. As well as loving Massa’s echoed mirai. The lyrics are also pretty powerful. They have these empowering undertones to them. To just step on out the street and just be super confident because tonight you can do it. And because, hey, everyone notices you tonight.

5. Vivi Natsu

Ever since I first discovered Passpo they’ve been impressing me with their unique sound. And because of that they becoming one of my favorite idol groups out there. I think Vivi Natsu really encompasses what makes Passpo so great. The music is a great combination of a great guitar riff and still that sweet idol music sound. And it also features awesome rapping parts by Naomi, Shiori, and Anna. Though honestly Noami’s raps are hands down the best. And it also has that really beautiful part where Mio Mio sings softly and sounds absolutely amazing.

4. T.W.L.

I’m a little sad that T.W.L. is the only Johnny’s song to make the list this year. It was actually a pretty good year of JE, there were just other songs that were better. T.W.L. is one of those songs that I didn’t expect to like as much as I do. When I first heard it I was kinda indifferent towards it, and thought it was just ok. This song is really fun and extremely catchy. It captures the crazyness and over the topness of Kanjani8 without going to overboard. And can I just say that I absolutely love Subaru’s solo at the end with the microphone effect. That is definitely the highlight of the song. The lyrics however are honestly all over the place, so it’s hard to really get the message. I mean, I’m not even sure what T.W.L. even means. What I take away from the song is that it’s about facing your future no matter how unsure it might be. And to just honestly cope with life. If things are hard say they are, instead of just pretending to be happy.

3. Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~

When I was picking my top singles of 2011 it was a complete no brainer to add Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~ to my list. MomoClo is one of the most energetic idols out there, and this is probably the most energetic songs they have every released. I absolutely love this song. It’s just nonstop energy and excitment from start to finish. It’s one of those songs that is fun to listen to. It’s a song that isn’t trying to be serious, it’s just trying to make you happy. I also really love the lryrics to this song. I love how they are about each member’s personality. And then the rest of the song really matches their weekend heroines theme. And the lyrics go into say how MomoClo won’t lose and will protect fans. And will sing with all their hearts and might to cheer up fans. I think that’s really sweet. And it really seems like MomoClo really means what they are singing.

2. Uchouten Love

It’s a bit bittersweet to pick the last song featuring the original line up of S/mileage. But hey, at least they went out with a bang. And it really was a bang indeed. This song is absolutely incredible in every single way. From start to finish this song is a nonstop party. The heavy eurobeat music doesn’t let up for even a second throughout the song. Ever during the soft solos towards the end of the song. You can hear the beat growing in the background, waiting to make it’s blaring return. And I love the song for it. The song is incredibly fun and so loud that it almost demands you dance along. And S/mileage’s sugary sweet voices really work with this type of techno music. It’s one of those combinations that sounds terrible on paper, but then you actually hear it and you’re blown away. The lyrics are the typical idol fare of falling in love and being excited every second because of that. The overly cute lyrics we’ve come to expect from S/mileage.

1. Banzai Venus

It was completely obvious to me which song was number one, it was so obvious it was the first song I wrote down. When it comes to 2011 I cannot think of one song that surpasses Banzai Venus. SKE48 is really starting to surpass AKB48 for me. Mostly because of their constant upbeat releases lately. The song is actually pretty slow for most of the song, but once the chorus starts that’s it. You just get this punch of pure energy that you can’t help but be drawn into the song. It’s so mesmerizing and addicting that just the power from the song’s small chorus beat every other song this year. No other song this year gets me as pumped or happy as Banzai Venus does. The only real drawback to this is that some of this song;s lyrics are so random that they are laughable. A cart full of toliet paper, and an old lady being delayed in line. What does that have to do with anything? Lucky the rest of the lyrics are much better. And it’s a pretty cute song about to have the courage to go for it and confess your feelings.

 

Honorable mentions: (Because yet again, I had way too many favorites.)

1. Morning Musume – Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai
2. C-ute – Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko
3. Mano Erina – Seishun no Serenade
2. S/mileage – Please Miniskirt Postwoman!
4. Arashi – Meikyuu Love Song
5. KAT-TUN – Ultimate Wheels
6. Tegomass – Aoi Bench
7. Hey! Say! JUMP – Over
8. AKB48 – Flying Get
9. Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Hetappi Wink
10. Not Yet – Naminori Kakigoori
11. SKE48 – Oki Doki
12. NMB48 – Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo
13. YuiKaori – Shooting Smile
14. AAA – Daiji na Koto
15. SUPER GiRLS – Joshiryoku Paradise
16. Yamashita Tomohisa – Hadakanbo

The Berryz are coming! The Berryz are coming!

I have just heard the single most exciting piece of news I’ve heard in my entire life. Yes, my entire life. You’d probably think I was exaggerating, but I honestly don’t think I am. Berryz Koubou have just announced during their Berikyuu concert that they will be performing at the AnimeNEXT anime convention in New Jersey. The convention will take place from June 6th-10th 2012 at the Garden State Exhibit Center. You can visit their official site by clicking here.

Now, I haven’t been on the computer for more than about a half hour the last couple of days, as you’ll notice from my lack of updates on this blog. So, when I went on today and casually checked my twitter I was in for a huge surprise. I noticed on my feed that people where talking about Berryz coming to the US, which I didn’t really give much though to. But then someone mentioned Jersey. And my heart started to race. I started basically yelling in my head, “Jersey! What are they talking about?!” After 5 seconds of looking it up, I completely had a mini heart attack. Berryz Kobou are coming to New Jersey. Not an obvious place like New York City or LA. But to New Jersey to a fairly small convention. And also to the state I am currently live in. There is no other way to explain them coming to AnimeNEXT except it being fate. This is unmei! Well, obviously it’s not fate, but it certainly feels like it.

This is exactly what I have been waiting for, for pretty much forever. As a Japanese music fan the groups and bands I like hardly ever come to the United States. And when they do it is hardly ever the East Coast, let alone my state.  So, being the poor teenager I was, and still am, I had to pretty much miss everything. I missed Miyavi’s first US show in Las Vegas (which I wasn’t even old enough to get into anyway) S.K.I.N’s pretty much only performance ever at Anime Expo, Morning Musume at Anime Expo, Berryz Koubou in Seattle, and many many more concerts and events that were devastating at the time, but I cannot remember anymore. There are even events in New York I didn’t go to because I didn’t know anyone who would go with me. Like AKB48 at New York Anime Festival and the recent SMTown concert in NYC. But you know, screw that. This is Berryz Koubou! This is serious! They will literally be a couple of hours away from me. Not thousands of miles, mere hours! That’s enough to make my head explode. This is seriously the first time I can say I am thrilled and proud to be from New Jersey. All the years of jokes about it being a giant swamp, and the recent Jersey Shore jokes, none of those matter anymore. Berryz are here!

And I gotta say the level of excitement I am feeling is indescribable. It feels like pure adrenaline is pumping through my veins. I don’t have to worry about coming up with money to fly halfway around the world or the country. I don’t even have to worry about hopping on a train. I can basically just hop in a car and go. Which is pretty much all I can afford. I’m a modest fan and that hasn’t, and doesn’t, bother me. Which is why I have always measured a fan in  the level of support and love for the artist and not the biggest collection. And because of that I never imagined that  I would be able to actually see them in concert for years. But the fact that I don’t have to wait to see them until I can afford to go to Japan is such a happy and overwhelming feeling that I almost feel like crying.

I remember being extremely sad when Morning Musume was performing at Anime Expo. At the time I was talking to another fan from New Jersey about it on Hello-Online. And I jokingly said that I wanted Morning Musume to come to AnimeNEXT instead. And we both pretty much came to the realization that Morning Musume would never come to a convention as small as AnimeNEXT. And I find it both exciting and hilarious that a mere 2 years later a Hello!Project act is actually coming to AnimeNEXT.

Even though AnimeNEXT is 7 months away, I am still completely pumped, amped, and absolutely thrilled. What’s a 7 month wait when I pretty much accepted that I would be waiting years? I remember when I first became a H!P fan my dream was to go to an H!P concert wearing red to support by beloved reds, Kusumi Koharu and Arihara Kanna. Which is will obviously never happen now. But back then I held onto that dream, even though I knew it was years a way and would never happen. And today it kinda feels like my dream is going to come true. Even though it’s a different group, a different dream, and a different country, it still feels like I’m getting exactly what I want. Because it’s Hello!Project. There isn’t any idol agency or group that can even halfway compare to my love of H!P. I love all the groups nearly evenly. If this was C-ute, or Smileage, or even a revival of Melon Kinenbi (which is my least favorite H!P group of all time) I would be just as excited. And being able to see any H!P group in my home state seems so surreal. If you told me this back in 2007 I would have never believed you.

So, I hope people that are reading my blog right not that are going come up to me and say hi. I would absolutely love to meet people who read my blog. I’m actually looking forward to meeting anyone who likes H!P or idols period. To just be around like minded people, so I don’t have to feel so weird and slightly embarrassed anymore, even if that moment is fleeting. I will totally update people days before what to look out for to find me. I’ll most likely post a picture of my outfit for that day or what meetup I’m going to. Since someone always starts a meet up for these conventions. I was also thinking of setting up a booth or something. But then I realized my booth would have no point, as I’m not selling anything and can’t afford to run a game to give something away.
And anyone reading this completely bummed from Texas, Africa, Turkey, Australia, or anywhere at all, you guys should just be patient. I’ve waited years for this moment. You’ll eventually get your’s too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have 7 months to memorize all the chants and dances for Berryz Koubou songs. And I have to work on getting a poster or shirt for them to sign. Can you believe I don’t even own a CD yet for them to sign? XD Also, I’m going to meet and most likely shake hands with Momoko, Chinami, and Yurina. Someone pinch me!

Mobekimasu show off the H!P philosophy

The full PV for Mobekimasu’s first single, Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku, was finally released a few days ago.

After seeing the PV previews it was pretty obvious, what the PV was going to be like. And because of that I didn’t really expect the PV to be spectacular. Which after seeing the full PV it’s pretty obvious to see that the PV isn’t. However, I am not disappointed in the least by it. And the reason for that is, is because this PV is set up the same way that the H!P All Stars’ All For One And One For All PV. I’m pretty sure that H!P fans are crying that this will never compare to H!P All Stars. But I guess those fans don’t understand that both PVs are almost exactly the same. The only real difference between the 2 is All For One And One For All had an actualy set, and this PV doesn’t. But let’s not act like the H!P All Stars set was incredible, because it wasn’t. It was a giant globe and a few hanging white lights. And the close-ups weren’t much better as they hung a few inflatable globes over head and called it a day. Which was as equally cheap as Mobekimasu’s PV. Another difference you would notice righ off the bat is lighting. The All For One And One For All has extremely bright lights giving it a more cheerful and happy theme. While the Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku goes for dimer lighting giving it a more mature theme. Which I do admit does make it look a bit more washed up compared to the All For One And One For All PV. But at the same time it shows how H!P has evolved over the years.
But pretty much every other aspect of this PV is exactly the same. Both PVs are pretty much just dance shots. With a few group close-ups thrown in. The Mobekimasu PV even mimicks the shots where they show each members name. However, the Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku doesn’t actually show the members name. I do like this PV for keeping the spirit of All For One And One For All PV. I do think the H!P All Stars did have a better PV, but only because they has actual sets, regardless of how cheaply made they were. If Mobekimasu added anything to their set their PV would probably be better than the H!P All Stars PV. Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku  is actually better made than All For One And One For All, because they have 2 different outfits and actual close-ups of the girls.
There is honestly not really a difference between Mobekimasu and H!P All Stars. And if you don’t like the PV, I really question if you ever really like H!P. This PV is set up exactly like one of their, in my opinion, most well known PVs. I can understand wanting the PV to be a littler brighter, because that’s the biggest draw back to me, but other than that it’s the exact same.  But Mobekimasu on the old H!P All Stars set and there’s absolutely no difference between the 2 PVs. Things are done slightly differently then before, but overall it’s the same PV.

Hate the set.

It’s too Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game.

It’s nothing but dancing where have I seen that before? By the way I hate that Riho is in the absolute center of the dance. It’s way too soon for her.

Oh right, that’s exactly how All For One And One For All is.

The dance is a little weird, but I actually like it.

They also sing in front of the entire group of girls, in a line waiting to step in fron when it’s their line.

Which is pretty much what half of the All For One And One For All PV was like.

Which is a cool effect they also did in the Hey Mirai PV. XD

Airi is super cute, but I feel like there’s too much Riho already.

Adorable.

Oh how I miss Miya’s long hair.

Cute. This has always been one of my favorite idol moves.

Ok, maybe the entire dance isn’t great.

What’s with the Swan Lake move? Lol.

Risa looks great here. I prefer her with lighter hair.

Risako looks gorgeous! *O*

I don’t get why they are looking up. Is the sky falling?

This nai move is cute though.

Here’s the equivalent of the name scenes from All For One And One For All.

Seriously, just slap her name there. It’s the same thing.

The shot does remind me of what they did in the Cinderella Complex PV though.

Cute.

Lol.

Aika! I’ve been missing her lately.

Momoko always looks cute.

Even with that weird face Maimi still looks gorgeous.

I kinda feel bad for Erina. She’s shown the least in this PV.

Saki always knows how to pose so that she’ll stand out.

Oh, Yuuka. XD

Love Maasa’s pose.

I absolutely love these outfits.

Cute.

Reminds me of the All For One And One For All PV.

Adorable Riho.

Why did they switch back into these outfits?

Momoko sneaking in and stealing the scene.

London Bridge is falling down!

Get it Yuuka!

Um..curtsying? Really?

Airi!

Lolz at Maimi.

I spot Mizuki. But she’s the only gen girl, besides Riho, I’ve seen in the whole PV.

Love the face.

Yurina looks stunning.

Everyone is pretty much making the same face. XD

Wow, Chisa looks bad here.

I love that Zukki trolls us and doesn’t make a weird face.

ManoEri looks adorable here. Why is Risako looking down though?

Meimi’s adorable fangs.

Mai looks so pretty.

Mobekimasu-Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku radio rip

A few days ago the full radio rip for Mobekimasu’s first single, Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku, was released. And this really slipped through the cracks. I don’t know what I missed this.

After listneing to this song a few times, I am actually starting to really like it. Which is a big jump than how I felt about it after the first preview. I actually kind of hated this song. But after hearing it all the way through your really get to hear all the interesting music throughout. There’s no way to really describe it. It’s like disco, funk, and electro all rolled into one. What I really like about this song is the singing and music changed completely during the verse, bridge, and chorus. Which is really fun, and gives the song an interesting unique feel from start to finish.
They only part of the song I don’t like is how extremely unfair the line distribution is. I’m pretty sure that only Reina, Risako, and Airi have solos. Which is ridiculous. They should have at least given all the leaders a line. But H!P All Stars wasn’t fair either, so I guess they were sticking with how things always were.

Berryz Koubou’s and C-ute’s bittersweet collaboration

A high quality version of Berryz Koubou’s and C-ute’s firstcollab sinlge, Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku, has finally been released. A little over a week ago the PV was released, but it was in such low quality I decided to wait to make my review.

I have to admit I have been disappointed with Berikyuu’s collab pretty much from the get go. The idea was exciting, but they did not execute it well at all. The song itself is bland, and we are also given an equally lack luster PV. The PV isn’t cheap, and it’s not that it’s boring. But I just don’t like they story that it’s portraying. The ironic thing is I’m always complaining that H!P PVs don’t have enough of a storyline, and now that they release a PV with a cleat story I still don’t like it. I guess I’m a little hard to please. But that’s because I have very distinct tastes.
I do give Berikyuu and absolute A for effort because there is a a crystal clear story going on. The PV follows the girls getting ready for the Japanese Cultural Festival at their school. The girls are, I’m guessing part of the choir or some sort of singing club, and the PV depicts them getting ready for their performance. They are shown picking the music, setting thing up, practicing, and their actual performance. Pretty much the whole shebang. But it also randomly shows them getting their diplomas. So, they might actually be singing at their graduation. But then why are they in kimonos. Ok, so maybe the PV itself isn’t 100% crystal clear. But it’s about 95%.
I am just completely bored of school settings. They have done this theme to death in idol PVs. AKB48 alone has had about 5 or more school PVs. And unless they are going to do something unexpecting with the school setting like AKB48’s Namida Surprise PV, SKE48’s 1234 Yoroshiku PV, or even Buono’s Kiss Kiss Kiss PV, I would really care if I saw another school themed PV again. Especially ones about ones to appear to be about school festivals. An actual school festival looks amazingly fun, and I am extremely jealous the US doesn’t do things like that. However, recreating one never comes off as fun or interesting. AKB48’s Oogoe Diamond PV had a festival theme and was a little interesting. But I only really liked the parts where they were practicing their dances. All the other scenes were a little boring to be honest.

I wish I could read what that said. But it’s most likely a generic school name. If I made the PV I would have given it a clever name. XD

Of course there has to be cherry blossoms.

The outfits are horrible. Couldn’t they have given them pretty kimonos at least?

Cheap effect, but I love it. And I love that everyone but Airi and Maasa are doing peace signs. Lol.

Wow, Maimi looks gorgeous. *O*

I’m sure Yurina does too. But right here she’s forcing her smile too much. And it’s way too big and noticeably fake.

I don’t like Miaybi with short hair.

My god, Airi is so beautiful and cute at the same time!

That hair does absolutely nothing for Risako. She looks awful.

Momoko looking as adorable as ever.

Saki does look pretty here. I love her hairstyle.

Yurina! Simply gorgeous!

Chisato honestly looks a little frumpy here.

Setting things up, how interesting. XD

I love how lively Chinami looks.

Adorable. This new hair really suits Mai. She’s never looked prettier.

Oh, practicing. They really know how to make an exciting PV that just grabs you in.

Adorable Momoko.

This looks more like teasing then scolding.

Yurina should have been in the back, she’s just towering over everyone. Lol.

MaiMai just looks so cute in this PV.

Look at all the random extras.

Airi!

So, a graduation afterall?

I hate that this song doesn’t have a dance.

These were the best close-ups in the whole PV.

Berryz Koubou/C-ute-Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku preview

A full radio rip for Berryz Koubou’s and C-ute’s first ever collaboration single, Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku, has been released.

I absolutely fell in love with this song the moment I heard it. It’s completely upbeat and happy. It honestly sounds like a song for an anime. It’s not really the type of song I had in mind when their collab was first announced. To be quite honest, I’m not exactly sure what type of song I had in mind. But it wasn’t this. I am pleasantly surprised by how much I like this song. The song actually reminds me of something Mano Erina would release. Which just shows how much more I’d like ManoEri if she was a better singer. I love this song so much that I’m not even bothered that the entire song repeats the same clapping beat.
I am a little disappointed that their aren’t any solo lines. I guess they didn’t want to upset fans if the line distribution wasn’t fair. Because let’s be honest, it would be extremely Berryz heavy since they have 2 more members. I can’t even really tell who’s singing when. I am completely not used to their voices being mixed together. You’d think that with all of the concerts I’ve seen I would be able to. I honestly think giving no one a solo was the easy way out. I’m hoping that the Berryz Koubou and C-ute versions of the PV means we’ll get Berryz Koubou and C-ute versions of the song. If not I’ll be utterly disappoined.

All in all, I think the song is great. It’s a lot better than Mobekimasu’s song.

Berryz Koubou gets monthly show

It was announced recently that Berryz Koubou will be getting their own monthly show titled Kaette Kita Berryz Kamen. The show will air on TBS every 3rd Saturday of the month. The first episode is going to air in October.

It’s really exciting to see that Berryz will be getting their own show. Even if it is monthly instead of weekly. And it’s on TBS, which I think is fairly popular. But I do wonder how long the show will last for. Obviously if you’re only going to have a monthly show, the station doesn’t really believe that you will pull in many ratings. But I’m much more interested in what the show is going to be abut rather than how long it is going to last. H!P shows come and go so fast anymore, that I honestly don’t let it bother me anymore when they end.

Berryz Koubou and C-ute to release collab single

It was announced recently that Berryz Koubou and C-ute will be releasing their first ever collab single for their upcoming collaboration concert. The single is entitled Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku and will be released on November 9th. This song will also be used as the ending theme for the movie Oosama Game, which Berryz Koubou and C-ute are featured in.

It seems that H!P is doing some pretty interesting things recently. With the Mobekimasu single, and this one, there’s a lot more going on then the usual random single ever 3 months or so. I am excited for a C-ute collab single, but I don’t think it will work as well as it would have when Berryz Koubou and C-ute were the same size and were doing their first collav concert. But for the Berryz Kamen vs Cuite Ranger they only shared a B-side, which was a bit lack luster in my opinion. Apparently there is going to be a C-ute version and a Berryz version of the PV. Does that mean their won’t be a join version ar all? Which makes it basically an exact copy of what they did with Darling I Love You. If you’re doing a collaboration wouldn’t it make sense to have just 1 version?

But I will wait until the single comes out before I judge it.

You can buy this single from CDJapan by clicking the links below.


Berryz Koubou x C-ute -Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku [w/DVD, Limited Edition / Type A]

Berryz Koubou x C-ute -Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku [w/DVD, Limited Edition / Type B]

Berryz Koubou x C-ute -Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku [Regular Edition]

Mobekimasu to release first single

It was announced recently that Mobekimasu will be releasing their first single. (I don’t really count a song you could only purchase at concerts a single.) For any relatively new fans, Mobekimasu is what the current members of Hello!Project are called. They took the first character of each groups name, to form an anagram. Their debut single is entitled Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku and will be released on November 16th. I also read that Morning Musume 10th gen and the H!P Eggs will also take part in this single, but as of right now there’s no way to confirm that.

I don’t know what to say about this other than I am absolutely ecstatic. Since I started to listen to H!P in 2007, I wasn’t around for any of the summer shuffles. And because of that I’ve always hoped that they would do something like that again. So, I am thrilled that H!P is finally rehashing the H!P All Stars idea. Though I actually wish they would have releashed a final H!P All Stars single right before the Elder Club graduation. That would have been huge, and would have featured nearly every H!P member of all time, at the time. But I don’t dwell on the past. (Unless it’s about Koharu) I am completely looking forward to this single. The PV, the song, live performances, just everything about it. It does feel a little empty and small compaired to H!P All Stars, but that honestly doesn’t bother me. Having Mobekimasu is a brilliant idea for both fans and from a marketing point of view. This single will probably get decent air play and radio play because it features H!P as a whole. And will also probably sell well because of all of the fans combined. Just a perfect move for post Ai-chan UFA. I also love that we finally get to see all the H!P girls together doing an official single, rather than just at concerts. I think H!P is one of the only idol agencies that could include all of their idols together without the fans hating it. (Possibly the 48 groups could do it as as well, but I honestly don’t know that much about their generanl fanbase) Could you imagine the backlash of a JE agency single? Most JE fans don’t get along, and hate fans of other groups. They constantly cause petty fights. Mostly on the Arashi and KAT-TUN sides. XD

Despite this single not being released until November we already have a sneak peek of both the song and PV from PON via the PV shooting. However, it is an extremely short clip where you can barely even hear the song.
I’m not really too impressed with what I see so far. I absolutely love the main latex outfits for this single, but I actually hate the dresses. Am I the only one who thinks they look strikingly similar to the outfits they wore in the H!P 2010 Summer Fankora concert?

Just make them full dresses and change the color scheme around, and they are more or less the same dresses. The PV so far also looks like it’s pretty cheap. The dance shot and group close-ups are filmed in the same room. Why isn’t the PV budget bigger? I mean it features all of the members, you’d figure because of that they would have a fairly large budget.

As for the song you can only hear a small chunk of it, but it sounds pretty H!P generic so far. The chorus actually reminds me of Aa, Yo ga Akeru from the way it’s sung. But I’m actually more interested in line distribution. So far we can only hear Reina and Risako singing. If the line distribution isn’t somewhat fair it will completely ruin this single for me. Yes, H!P All Stars didn’t really have fair line distribution, but H!P All Stars was twice the size Mobekimasu is.

You can, of course, purchase this single from CDJapan by clicking the links below.


Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A]

Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Limited Edition / Type B]


Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Limited Edition / Type C]


Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Limited Edition / Type D]

Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Limited Edition / Type E]

Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Limited Edition / Type F]

Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Regular Edition]

Maasa’s first photobook

Berryz Koubou member Sudou Maasa is getting her first photobook. It will be titled Maasa. And to many Massa fans this has been long awaited.

Now I’m not really a big Massa fan, but this is exciting news. It’s about time someone other than the most popular members get a photobook. I mean Momoko already has 3 and Risako has 2. I hope this means that the remaining Berryz, C-ute, and Momusu members will get photobooks soon.

I’m dying to see a Mitsui Aika and Arihara Kanna photobook. Mittsi has been in Momusu for a while now. It’s about time she gets one! And as for Kanna. Come on Tsunku, the girls going through foot surgery. Give her something to ease her pain!

Anyway, congrates to Massa. Hopefully this will make her popularity go up.

Hold me, Berryz!

Berryz Koubou’s 19th single, Dakishimete Dakishimete, is being released March 18th. But the PV is already out, more than a month away from the release date. The covers aren’t even out yet. But this is exciting news for Berryz fans. It’s a potential move in a different direction for Berryz Koubou. This might be a new mature era for them. Who knows. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Until then we just have Dakishimete Dakishimete to focus on. The concert preview of this song didn’t instantly blow me away, but I still had high hopes for the song. The song is slowly growing on me but for now it’s really just mediocre at best. If it wasn’t for the awesome trance like music I think this song might have been a miss for me. As we know it’s yet another Risako overdose, but they other girls do sing. Each member gets a minimum of 2 solo lines. Which I’m ok with. To me Miyavi, Momoko, Saki, and Chinami shined vocally in this song. The other girls weren’t necessarily bad they just lacked something for this song. After watching the video this song will always remind me of a fun dance song. Which at first listen, the thought didn’t even cross my mind. This song may turn out to be one of my favorite Berryz songs. I mean I hated Madayade when I first heard it and now I can’t get enough of it.

I’m actually really surprised by the PV. I didn’t really expect a dance club themed video. And the video is very impressive, and it looks like it cost a pretty penny. And there’s a lot going on. The club scene with speakers and a dj booth. Disco balls and raving lazor lights. Glittery backdrop and multicolored stars. And even green screen parts. Berryz had an obvious big budget and it shows. The PV looks fantastic! Easily the best Berryz video so far. Maybe graduating the Elder Club was a good idea. All the groups seem to have nice video budgets. C-ute’s upcoming single is the real budget test though.

The video has so much more to offer than just the background visual aspect of it. The girls look absolutely gorgeous. The rocker themed outfits and the beautiful hairstyles make for amazing close up shots. And the dance is really cool too. It’s visually intricate and difficult yet simple and fun enough to learn yourself. Everything is just working in Berryz favor with this video. It’s better than I expected it to be! Everything just blows me away.

 

Even though I’m not a fan of Saki’s hair she has the
best outfit in the whole PV.

Miyabi looks so gorgeous. Her scrunched curls give her

a soft and pretty feel, while at the same time giving her
a mature and sexy vibe.
Momoko somehow manages to make any rocker outfit look
cute. She looks so adorable in this video. I love her hair up
like that.
Wow does Yurina look mature and goregous or what? It’s
amazing what a few curls can do.

This hair and outfit makes Chinami look very sleek and

chic. Her up-do makes her look sexy but still classy.

I’m not a fan of Maasa’s outfit. It’s the least rockish of

them all. But her blown out curls pinned to one side really
show off her face. She looks great.
There’s not really much of a change for Risako. She looks
like her same old cute self. But I really love her red zebra
print jacket. It’s defiantly the one peice of clothing I’d
like to steal from the video.

Yorosen Ending?!

Yet another H!P show is ending. Of course this time it’s none other than Yorosen. Yorosen’s last episode will be sometime in the spring. It seems everything in H!P is ending and Yorosen is no exception. The producer for SSM posted it on his blog. Apparently SSM produced all of H!P shows. So of course there’s a rumor that the C-ute Hitler incident made Up-Front end the contract, but I don’t necessarily believe that. Since it wasn’t that big of a deal. There’s another rumor that they already hired another production crew. Which if is true, is awesome. Maybe this new production crew will give us a great show and not another Yorosen.

All I can really say about this is not again! Ok, so Yorosen wasn’t that great of a show it was even border line boring. But I liked watching it and was keeping up with the episodes. Yorosen made me realize that Chisato isn’t that bad. But she’s still my least favorite in C-ute.

But all I want right now is the announcement of another H!P show. Maybe even each groups own solo show, but that’s unlikely. We probably won’t know about the next show for a few more months. I really hope their is a next show. And not with a stupid theme like teaching.

Berryz Koubou preview

Berryz Koubou preformed their upcoming single, Dakishimete Dakishimete, at the H!P Winter Concert. So, a very poor quality clip of the song has been posted online.

This song seems to be more mature song and a step away from the childish songs they’ve been doing lately. But I prefer Berryz more immature songs, so I’m still on the fence about this song. I’m really liking the music of the song, it’s really catchy. I can’t wait to hear a high quality recording. I’m also pretty upset that the line distribution went back to how it normally is. Which means there’s an overdose of Risako and hardly anyone else. So far Yurina only has one solo line. Which is not enough! I’d also like to hear less Miyabi and more Momoko.

Madayade

 

I’ve been a little m.i.a. from blogging the past days. Mostly because of Halloween and Election stuff. So you know what the means, mass updates spam! Starting with the Madayade pv that I neglected to review.

I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting the PV to look anything like it does. I’m not completely sure what working in an office has to do with anything. And I also can’t believe those really were the outfits. They kind of look like a cross between a flight attendant and a super hero. Which is fine if that’s what your into. But I’m not a big fan of them. The PV is a slight disappointment. But I shouldn’t really be too upset. I’m sure a beach themed Berryz video wasn’t even a possibility.


I am still completely in love with the song. And it turns out it was Maasa that sounds like Airi a little. This song is pushing Miyabi in the back even further. She still gets a decent ammount of lines, but it’s not the Miyabi overload it usually is. Instead the song and video is focusing more on the girls who are usually in the back. Saki, Yurina, Maasa, and Chinami. Which I’m not really complaining about, since I’ve been becoming a big fan of Yurina lately. She’s the main reason I’ve been paying attention to Berryz more lately.

Berryz Koubou keeps having one good song after another. Now if we could only do something for Morning Musume. Because compaired to this and Buono’s song, Pepper Keibu just doesn’t cut it.

Kowabunga Berryz

The preview for Berryz Koubou’s 18th single Madayade is out. It’s got that 60’s surfer vibe to it. I actually really like the chorus part. At first listen the song sounds weird, but it’s growing on me. And it’s nice to hear almost everyone get a solo line. And it’s only 1:30 in. But the lyrics sound kinda weird. It could just be my bad Japanese.

I can’t wait to see the video. I think the surfer dances they do in those old beach movies would be cute for this song.

Full remix

Just as speculated that wasn’t the full version of the Dschinghis Khan remix. The full PV is less weird and more watch able. It’s a completely different version entirely. So I guess the other one is the crazy sheep version. Even though the full PV has sheep they are cuter cartoon sheep. I think it’s awesome that Maasa is the one with cape. It’s a good way for her to subtly stand out more. At one point in the video it where they are dancing with the German group it just looks weird to me. And for literally 5 seconds they dance in different outfits, which is hardly enough time to even notice them.

So check out the PV you sheep loving weirdos.

Sheep-tastic

So Berryz Koubou released a remix of their song Dschinghis Khan. And the video is very interesting to say the least. If it wasn’t crazy enough mixing the original German song, the drug induced dancing sheep bring it to a whole new level of madness. I don’t think anything is more random then a 70’s German disco group singing with a group of Japanese teenage girls. I understand they wanted to do an homage to the ordinal but this is very weird. And yet at the same time strangely addicting. It’s insane and random but I love every minute of it. And I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything like this before. I do really love the techno music, I kinda wish they had just a Berryz version of the it. Maybe this will make Berryz poular in Germany, who knows.