Recently a PV preview for Kanjani8’s upcoming single Ai Deshita was released. The song is currently being used as the theme for Nishikido Ryo’s drama Papadoru.
Now, even before Ryo-chan left NEWS I’ve been saying how I want to get into Kanjnai8 more. But that never really happened. And after Ryo left NEWS obviously that feeling intensified. However, when I was finally going to get into Kanjani8 I put all my effort into Arashi instead. Which is a little sad because I genuinely do want to get into Kanjani8, especially since it’s now the only way I get to see my beloved Ryo-chan.
Since I don’t really follow K8 that closely I never really know about, or care about, when their new single is coming out. So I kind of miss all the excitement of a song and PV preview. But since I’ve been watching Ryo’s drama, Padadoru, Ai Deshita has really grown on me. Just like watching Zenkai Girl made Tsubasa ni Koi grow on me. So, I’ll bite and see what this single is like..
First off, I really like what I see of the PV so far. Kanjani8 always put a lot of effort into their PVs. Whether that effort is a nice storyline or general crazyness. The Ai Deshita PV doesn’t seem to be any different. Most of the PV so far seems to be Kanjani8 playing their instruments in the middle of the road at sunset. Which, in itself, isn’t really any spectacular. But at the end of the PV we do see that the sky continues to get darker until it’s night, which is actually pretty cool. I’m impressed by that. And can I just say that I love the outfits. I have to say that varsity jackets and school cardigans definetly peak my interests.
The rest of the PV is the standard close-up shots and scenes of the members in a house. But you can tell that they are setting up for more elements in the full PV. And is it just me or does that house look like the same exact that they filmed the Glorious PV in?
There is one thing about this song/PV I don’t get. If this is the them for Ryo’s drama why does Subaru get most of the lines and most of the focus in the PV? It’s a little unfair. But my bias towards Ryo is probably making it a bigger deal than it really needs to be.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
Former NEWS and Kanjani8 member Hiroki Uchi, has just finished his first solo concerts in Yokohama on December 20-21. He will also being doing more solo concerts in Osaka on January 3-4.
Hiroki Uchi was involved in an underage drinking scandal on July, 16 2005 and suspended from Johnny’s. And also was demoted to trainee in December of 2006. Uchi also made his official come back as an actor during the press conference of Isshun no Kaze ni Nare.
It has also yet to be decided whether he will remain solo or rejoin NEWS. It’s obvious that these concerts would decide his fate in Johnny’s Entertainment.
As for my take on the whole situation I have a very distinct opinion, which is I don’t care either way. But if you have to do anything with him give him a solo career. And here’s why.
Reason number 1: Probably the least legit reason of all. NEWS is better as a 6 person unit. It’s been about two years since NEWS came back, so why change now? If they really wanted Uchi or Kusano back wouldn’t they have already? They could have easily let them be on hiatus for a year, like all of NEWS, and had them rejoin in 2006 with a slap on the wrist.
Reason number 2: Uchi isn’t that good of a singer. In my opinion Uchi’s voice is very boring. And I have a lot of trouble even telling when he’s actually singing. His voice fades more into the background. Even his solo lines come off as sounding weird and almost awkward.
Reason number 3: You can’t have one without the other. What’s the point of brining Uchi back without Kusano. They came into NEWS together. They both got suspended for similar reasons. They should both come back at the same time. If you only bring one person back it almost makes it seem like what Uchi did was ok or wasn’t on the same level as what Kusano did. But it was the same crime. So that aspect doesn’t make sense to me.
Reason number 4: Johnny’s is playing favorites. This really seems like a big slap in the face to Kusano. It almost makes it seem like Uchi has been given special treatment. Kusano’s future in Johnny’s has always been very murky but Uchi has had definite plans. He has come back as an actor, while there has been no official word as to what Kusano’s doing. If he wasn’t in Shoentai Playzone with Uchi he wouldn’t have done anything since being suspended.
Reason number 5: If they keep any member it should be Kusano. I can honestly say that Kusano is a better singer than Uchi. If you compare their voices in Teppen or even Fiesta Kusano’s voice outshines Uchi’s. Kusano is a very talented singer and was even given more lines in NEWS than Uchi got.
Reason number 6: Pairing madness. Most fans of NEWS know that the current members of NEWS are paired up for singing and fangirl reasons. The current pairings are RyoPi, KoyaShige, and TegoMass. Uchi being back in NEWS would throw off the whole balance. It really can’t be RyUchiPi. Could it? This reason isn’t really legit either, but it’s just a thought I had.
There is still one aspect I am not clear of. Just how popular is Uchi? Uchi was in both NEWS and Kanjani8. But was that based on vocal ability or just the fact that he was from the Kansai region of Japan. I wasn’t a NEWS fan when Uchi was a member, so I have no idea how popular he was or still is.
There is only one completely stupid and fangir-ish reason why Uchi should return to NEWS. And that reason is Uchi and Ryo were really good friends. And I think Uchi returning to NEWS would make Ryo very happy. I’M LAME!
If Uchi does come back as a member of NEWS, I guess I will just have to grin and bare it. And get used to seeing his bird face again. Sorry Uchi fans, he’s weird looking. But if it was up to me I’d give him the boot. Or excuse me, I mean I’d give him a “solo career.”