What I’ve missed, how I feel, and what’s to come

SK

Now that I’m back to blogging you’d think I’d have everything perfectly thought out. And you’d be absolutely wrong. I’m like a chicken with my head cut off. I’m running around here in such a daze. I’m like a coma patient who’s suddenly woke up after 6 and a half months who is trying to catch up to all the news he’s missed in the time he was out. Except I was awake the entire time and remember everything, so I’m not like a coma patient at all. It’s like I was looking into a big window…you know what I can’t even get my metaphors in order how am I expected to quickly get my blog in order? Let’s just say it’s not as easy as you’d think.

I’m at this point where I’m not sure if I’m supposed to address everything I’ve missed or pretend nothing has happened and pretend this is a new blog and I start from day 1. Get your tissues ready, because I’m going to do the second one. Mostly because it’s the easiest option. But don’t fret I am still going to go over some important opinions on the big things that I’ve missed. But it’s going to be extremely watered down. because let’s be honest I can’t fully remember every emotion I was feeling at the time and I can’t remember absolutely everything I should have been blogging about. So, let’s break this down by agency.

Hello!Project:

H!P3

As you know H!P is my first great idol love and absolutely nothing or nobody can touch it or top it. Now, I’m sorry if that seems extremely biased. But at the same time I make no apologizes. EVERY idol fan has that one group or one agency they consider their number one. Since I personally follow about 20 idol groups and cover about 25 on this blog in total, give me a break.

That being said it’s mostly to say that I still have very fluffy warm feelings for H!P. However, I am starting to get extremely bored with H!P’s song being more and more interchangeable. For a while H!P groups had a distinct sound. C-ute was the group focused on intense dancing so you could expect great dances and dance numbers from them. Berryz Koubou was this quirky, funky group that got the songs you’d never expect them to get because of their age. It was the group where H!P really went all out and took risks with their music. S/mileage was this full dose of sugary idol cuteness and fun. And perfectly balanced things out and is also my personal favorite type of music. Buono was this interesting rock sound. Morning Musume is this unique entity where there sound is usually constantly changing. You could have a ska song, a mature song, and a dubstep song in close proximity and for some reason it worked. And then Juice=Juice stepped on the scene and we got this jazzy adult themed group which was a breathe of fresh air.

Now, that’s H!P at it’s best to me. But the current state of H!P is nowhere near that glory. Instead every single group is making the same song. It’s danceable, it’s electronic, it’s probably got some autotune, and it’s absolutely mature. Where’s the variety in that? Every once in a while Berryz will throw us a fun song. But it’s not really enough. And S/mileage’s fun songs like Yattaruchan and Ee ka even sound too mature for a fun song. And who’s bright idea was it to give J=J a bland and too sweet song like Hajimete wo Keikenchuu? And don’t even get me started on how they really need to bring Buono back already.

That’s how I feel about the music. And I honestly feel like everyone else loves the overall sound. But why? Hasn’t the dance thing been done to death in H!P? Sadly, I think we’ve got a few more years of this. So, there’s not much I can do about that. I just have to hope when the 12th gen comes or that other Kenshuusei group were promised ever gets formed they’ll inject some much needed young flare. But H!P and Tsunku like to screw us around because they know where in too deep to really make a stink about it.

MM2

That being said my love for Morning Musume has skyrocketed. Morning Musume has always been my favorite H!P group and lately my love for them has been on full blast. Just because I am so incredibly proud of my girls. They are working so hard and it really shows in their improved singing and dancing. They are also slowing clawing their way back to their former glory. They are getting consecutive number one singles, they are getting more opportunists to perform on music shows. They were on Music Station for God’s sake. They are even singing the theme for the Japanese Olympic team. Like wow they are doing so well. And honestly just thinking about this makes me so so happy for them. That I’ve loved this girls for years, and loved them during what’s considered their lowest point in history, and the masses are finally starting to see what’s so great about them. And I honestly couldn’t be happier or more proud.

Johnny’s:

Arashi2

I honestly can’t remember the last things I said about Johnny’s before I took my “hiatus.” But I can say that my love fro Arashi has exploded, but I’m not sure when it started. But Arashi is my absolute top Johnny’s group now. Standing well above the rest. Completely smashing former NEWS to pieces. Though anyone that has ever read my blog is well aware why that wasn’t exactly a hard thing to do. But I love Arashi so much now that it’s hard to ever think of a time when I didn’t. I have so much love for them that it’s impossible to think of how there was ever a time I liked another group more than Arashi. If this 6 month break did anything it was give me enough time to watch a good chunk of Arashi’s variety shows. Way more than I’d seen before. And that’s where the attachment formed. I now consider Arashi to be on the same level as Morning Musume. And if you don’t know anything about me just know that that is HUGE. I’ve said a few times before if I could only listen to 2 idol groups for the rest of my life I would be completely satisfied with Arashi and Morning Musume being them.

Koki

KAT-TUN, oh KAT-TUN where do I even start about? Did you know they actually lost a member? Imagine that? Oh, it was Tanaka Koki, totally not a big deal at all. Except this was the absolute worst thing to happened to KAT-TUN ever. This was the most devastating lose that Johnny’s has experienced since I became a fan. Who cares if Eggplant, dead fish eyes, poison tongue, and smoke stacks left or where fired from their groups. They all stayed within the agency. Except for chimney but hey we still have his brother who was obviously the real golden boy within the Morimoto brothers. This is Koki we’re talking about. Koki, my beloved Koki. Also known as Tanaka the absolute only reason I’ve ever listened to or cared about KAT-TUN in the slightest Koki. This is a gigantic heartbreak. Koki was one of my favorite Johnny’s members of all time. 

And I’ll say it when he was officially fired I did cry. Not full water works. More like I teared up and maybe had a Crybaby moment. (Remember cause he could only cry one tear? No? Go watch the movie then.) It all started with me finding his newest penis pictures released scandal hilarious. Of course right after that legions of fans were whining that this meant the end for him. And with my usual flippant attitude I went, “Nah, that’ll never happen.” Well, someone please remind me to never say that because I’ve never been right about anything ever. (Except calling that Akanishi Jin was leaving KAT-TUN and Arihara Kanna was getting the boot from C-ute)

His firing hit me like a ton of bricks. So, I’m at this weird moment where I have absolutely no reason to listen to KAT-TUN anymore. As you’ll recall I said the same thing about NEWS when Ryo and Yamapi left. But I can honestly say that this time feels different. With NEWS I loved NEWS as a whole first and Ryo second. With KAT-TUN I loved Koki first and KAT-TUN second. So, I don’t know anymore. Hearing his rap cut from the recent episode of Music Station hurt. A lot.

HeySayJUMP

I actually don’t really have anything important to say about the other Johnny’s groups other than: NEWS’ Seven Colors is mediocre and release a new single already! And Hey! Say! JUMP is finally getting a new single, and my beloved Keito actually has a line. Stop the world.

AKB48 and sister groups:

AKB48

I’m gonna be honest with you if I’m not blogging about these groups I don’t pay attention to them that often on my own. I blog about them 90% for my dear readers. As I’ve said 100 times now. However, I do admit I’ve become increasingly addicted to Kitagawa Kenji for the past couple of months. I always thought I just liked SKE48 more than AKB48. But I’ve come to the conclusion that every other group is just better than AKB48. I’m sorry but AKB48 is too used sitting on the female idol throne that they don’t even try anymore musically. It’s SKE48 and NMB48 that have the interesting and fun songs now. Since they are working hard to forge their own name and get out of AKB48’s shadows.

Other idol groups:

Dream5

I have to admit I find it pretty difficult to keep up with the other groups I follow if I’m not blogging about them. Usually I’d have to make sure I checked up on them frequently so I could immediately make a post for my lovely readers. But left on my own I don’t find out about new singles until the PV is out. And I don’t find out about new PVs until about a week or two after they were released. Which is not really good.

MomoCLo

So how do I feel about some of these groups? I’m glad you asked. Momoiro Clover Z is back to impressing me. Coming off of their pretty disappointed 5th Dimension album, their newest single Gounn blew me away. I am in love with absolutely everything about SUPER GiRLS newest singles. I think the songs they chose to cover were perfect, and I of course love that my beloved Ami got her own solo. 

Fudanjuku

Surprisingly I’ve been pretty addicted to Dream5. If you recall before I stopped blogging I said how I discovered 3 new idol groups to love, Dream5 being one of them. Well I am absolutely enamored by them. Their music is fun, upbeat, energetic, and happy. I feel completely at ease and in high spirits just listening to them. Hibi Mikoto has become my favorite member because of her adorable voice and her adorable face. She kind of looks like a mouse, but in a cute way. Fudanjuku has become another one of the new groups that I have been following pretty closely. Danso Revolution has be come one of my favorite songs lately. And I am still having confusing and conflicting feels about Seto Kouki.

So, that’s very quickly my thoughts and feelings on some things. So, what’s o come you ask? Well you can still look forward to the same PV reviews, news pieces, over analyzations, and thought out blog entries you’ve come to love and expect from JM over the years. You can also look forward to my December staples, my idol Christmas picspam and my end of the year countdown. This year may be different, but keep in mind I make no promise. Someone on twitter suggested I do a top 100 singles countdown.

IdolSongs

Since there are close to 100 idol singles of groups that I follow released this year. Let’s see if I’m crazy enough to take the challenge.

I also had a good rant about Sakurai Sho and Johnny’s marriage on twitter. I feel like I can expand that a bit and make it into a really thought out blog post. So, if you’ve read the main points already on twitter I’m sorry. But if you haven’t read it yet, come on man don’t seek it out and spoil it for yourself.

So many idols so little time

TIF

It’s blatantly obvious to anyone that stops by and reads my blog for 5 minutes that I am a gigantic idol fan. But you’d have to be a daily reader of my blog, or someone who just stumbled upon it and reads more than one post, to really get a grasp of just how many idol groups I follow. I cover somewhere in the range of 17 different idols/ idol groups on my blog, not counting sub-groups. Of those 18 I’m extremely dedicated to around 14 of them give or take. Sorry, I just can’t seem to bring myself to be anything more than a casual fan of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, or HKT48. I actually do follow a few more groups, but as I’ve said before I prefer to only cover major idol groups over indie ones. Mostly because indie groups like Up Up Girls don’t release PVs, so what am I really going to blog about?

You can tell which idol groups are my favorite because they are the groups I blog about the most. And despite promising my readers to cover nearly every idol group out there I only end up covering the groups I have a real attachment towards. That’s why I haven’t really made good on my word to cover Kanjani8, Sexy Zone, Fairies, or AAA. Maybe one of these days I’ll have a KAT-TUN moment with them when I go, “No, this group is amazing now. Their music has gotten heaps better, I’m officially a fan now.” But then again, who knows? I actually do like Fairies, but I seem to always forget about them. Maybe I should stop doing that? On the other hand, things seem pretty grim when it comes to Sexy Zone. I almost like Sexy Zone’s Real Sexy, but then I hear Bad Boys, and after I’m done cringing it pushes me 8,000 feet away from the fan side of the invisible line that separates fans of the group from people who could care less.

So, if I make a post about an idol group on this blog it’s serious business. No, really it is. I think the main reason I’m so critical about idol groups is because I follow so many already. You might think it’s an easy task, but it actually isn’t. I’ve seen idol fans out there who literally follow just about every idol groups there is. Which is just mind boggling to me since there’s 30+ idol groups if not more. I’m actually not sure since I don’t keep proper tabs on indie groups. I seriously cannot fathom how people do it. Since I follow so many idol groups following them evenly has become something of well oiled machine. Where I go, “Ok, I’ll watch this DVD magazine now, and save those variety shows for another time. I’ll watch this TV apperance now, and save this one for later. This idol group has a new concert so I’ll watch this today and wait to watch this drama later.” Ironically, I even give up idol time to blog about idols.

But it’s not only that, I feel like I can’t really consider myself a true fan of the group unless I know absolutely every thing about each member’s personalities, know all of their songs, and can recall the entire groups history from memory. But I blame that 100% on blogging. I feel like if I don’t know all of that about a group I have no business blogging about them, which is maybe 85% of the reason I don’t blog about the 48 groups that often. I also feel my readers, as well as potential readers, will write off this blog off entirely if I don’t know enough about the groups. After all I’m blogging about them so shouldn’t I have all of this knowledge down pat?

Since I have so many idol groups I follow it’s always tricky to start listening to new ones. I have to make sure they are idol group I really want to follow, because I can’t just add any old group to the chunk of time I have dedicated to idols. Sadly, I don’t have 24 hours in a day to dedicate to idols, so I get my idol time whenever I can. It’s a sporadic mess really. So, I then think, shaves off a little Arashi time for this groups. A little less Morning Musume attention now so I’ll have time for that group. And I start thinking if I have the time, or want to spare the time, for this group. Which is another reason why I can’t imagine how people follow like 30 groups at a time. Where do they get the time? It feels like I’m drowning in my 14 or so groups sometimes. So, any new groups has to be pretty special.

And that’s really what this blog post is all about. I can confidently say I think I found a few new special groups. And they are special because my interest was sparked in groups like Sakura Gakuin, Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku, LinQ, Dream5, and BiS, and I decided I don’t have time for them now and can go back to them later. It is sad because I’m participatory fond of all of them, but I simply do not have the time to follow every idol group in existence.

That being said, the first group is Fudanjuku.

Fudanjuku

Now Fudanjuku are hardly a new group, or hardly a group no one knows about. I mean, I’ve been aware of them for a few years now. I even made a blog post about them a couple years ago saying that I was fooled and thought they were men and also saying that I didn’t really get the appeal of a danso group, and didn’t really undestand what type of fans were fans of Fudanjuku.

Well, it’s safe to say that I do get the appeal now. I’ve always been meaning to give them another shot coming from a more open minded mindset since I always see people mention them on twitter, tumblr, and idol blogs. And after listening to songs I was suggested on twitter, everything just started to click. For one, their music is good. I mean really really good. So, good that I honestly regret not listening to them sooner. Kaze Ikki is slowly becoming one of my favorite idol songs of all time.

And two, they are seriously one of the best male idol groups without even really being a male idol group. A lot of the time they make everything I want Johnny’s to make but don’t. I like that some of their songs have this gruff/tough sound to them. Don’t get me wrong I do prefer happy upbeat idol music regardless of the gender, but sometimes I do want to hear a tougher, sexier song from Johnny’s. KAT-TUN and Kisumai are in charge of that, but with both groups there’s always a 50/50 chance that their songs are gonna end up being good.

Thirdly, girl crush overload. I guess it’s because they got better wigs and better outfits, but I get their danso appeal now. Because I have such a girl crush on 2 of the members because of how boyish they are. It’s the same girl crush on have of f(x)’s Amber. And probably the reason I’ve been so into Sudou Maasa lately. My interest peeked a lot after her danso H!P Time episode.

I have to say that Akazono Kojirou and Seto Koki are my type, and if they were actually guys I’d probably be a way bigger fan of them. Especially Seto Koki, I probably wish she was a real guy more than I should. Koki also apparently likes conspiracies which makes him (is it better to refer to them as him when they’re in danso?) go up a few points.
I also really appreciate the Onaji Jidai ni Umareta Wakamonotachi PV. Where they are all scruffy and dirty running through dirt and water. It’s a PV I wish Johnny’s would make. Because honestly it’s a lot manlier than a lot of the PVs that come out of Johnny’s.

Also, props to them for being able to sing like men and still sound amazing. I’m a terrible singer with my natural voice, so it’s basically sorcery to me that they are able to sound good singing in both types of voices.

The second group is Cheeky Parade.

CheekyParade

Cheeky Parade is another Avex idol group that debuted right after SUPER GiRLS on their idol sub-label. So, it makes absolute perfect sense why I’m so attached to them already. I absolutely love everything about SUPER GiRLS I think they are a perfect idol group. If you’re an idol fan and aren’t a fan of SUPER GiRLS all I have to say is, “Why not? And you’re really missing out.”

What I like about Cheeky Parade is that they are similar to SUPER GiRLS, but at the same time they are completely different. While Cheeky Parade is a very cutesy idol group image wise, musically they have a more mature and polished sound to them. And I am completely impressed at how talented the girls are at singing. And the girls have a deeper tone compared to most idol singers. Which gives them a very distinct, unique, and maybe even a little harder sound. Which makes Cheeky Parade’s songs this combination of cutesy idol songs with a slightly harder edge. And they are such a joy to listen to.

Out of all the girls I am most impressed with Marin. Let’s be honest she’s like the goddess of Cheeky Parade. She’s absolutely gorgeous and she has the best singing voice in the group, in my opinion. Her voice is just pleasant to listen to and like butter to the ears. It’s hard to decide if I’m captivatedby the perfect idol that is Marin or if I’ll completely fall into the spiral of cuteness of that is Yuria or Seran.

What else is great about Cheeky Parade is that they’ve only released 3 singles, and no album, so it’s incredibly easy to catch up to them. And even easier to follow them.

The third and final idol group is Dempagumi.inc.

DempagumiInc

I’m still not 100% sure how I discovered Dempagumi.inc in the first place. I guess there one of those idol groups that I just stumbled upon. Bit however I did come across them I’m glad I did because they are just so weird, over the top, and ridiculous. And I love every last second of it.

You know how I love the weirdness that MomoClo throws our way, it’s that same weird spirit that draws me to Dempagumi.inc. Their outfits are very elaborate and each PV by them just looks like a hot mess of crazy.

The only real draw back of them is that their singing isn’t exactly that great, even for an idol group. Sometimes their singing is so bad it’s almost hard to listen to. But I’m hoping that their crazy antics and costumes make me overlook that.

It’s really difficult to really find anything on this group. But so far I seem to be drawn to Mirin because of how adorable she is.