The next era of Hello!Project: the 12th and 3rd gen

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As every H!P fan, and most likely any idol fan in general, knows by now on September 30th after a little over a month of waiting Morning Musume’s 12th generation was finally announced. And I mean finally. Despite only waiting for a month it sure felt like forever. Mostly because the Golden Audition was announced back in March and the Mirai Shoujo audition was announced back in March of 2013. So, that was about a year and a half to wait for the 12th generation. With all this waiting, failed auditions, and years between auditions Morning Musume should honestly be on the 17th gen by now. But that’s a topic for another day.

I’m also sure all of you know that after making a shocking announcement on last week’s Hello!Station S/mileage’s 3rd gen was announced yesterday. All pretty standard information, but I feel like it’s important to get all this on my blog so it can forever be immortalized here. With that being said, and out of the way, let’s get on to my opinions about these results. It’s the whole reason you’re reading this after all.

Let’s start of with Morning Musume. If you’re anything like myself waiting for the results for the 12th gen were almost unbearable. Even when we were told specifically that we’d be getting the results on the 30th I was too impatient and excited to wait any longer. But somehow myself and every other Momusu fan managed to muster through this hardship and have arrived on the other side feeling satisfied. Or at least somewhat satisfied.

Even though this is my 5th audition process since becoming an H!P fan this was the first time I was awake to find out the results in real time as they were happening. And let me tell you the sense of excitement and panic was palpable. Whenever I find out the results for something like this I usually get so nervous about it because I almost put myself in the situation. Even though I’m waiting to see them call my favorite person’s name it almost feels like I’m there myself and I’m waiting for my own name to be called. I usually do this with reality competition shows. I’m in such a fervor over something that simple that when they lose it truly is a crushing defeat. (Is it obvious that I’m just a little dramatic yet?)

The 12th gen auditions weren’t any different and I found myself sitting there with such butterflies in my stomach and practically biting my nails in anticipation. The fact that the results weren’t announced for around 30-45 minutes past the time everyone initially thought they were going to be announced at didn’t help either. But since this was yet another audition without training camp footage I felt like I couldn’t miss the only exciting part of the audition. I guess that’s why in the past I never went out of my way to be awake for the results as soon as they happened. Since I already picked my favorites from the training camp I had an idea of who was going to be picked. But this audition we were going in completely blind, no one even had a clue. The most we could do was hope our favorite Kenshuusei made it. But because no one even knew if their favorite Kenshuusei even made it to the final round of the audition everyone was in the dark.

I have to say it was a really fun moment to see the girls’ names being called one by one. Not knowing who the next person was going to be, or not knowing if there even was going to be a next person. At about the halfway mark everyone was pretty much saying that the 12th gen was going to be a 2 person generation. And that honestly made me sad because I didn’t want only 2 members. To be perfectly honest I went every generation to have 4 members. The more idols the merrier. And thankfully my silent wishes were answered because 2 more girls were announced. The 12th gen then, of course, consisted of: Ogata Haruna, Nonaka Miki, Haga Akane, and Makino Maria.

Let’s talk about these girls a little bit.

Ogata Haruna

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15 years old from Osaka. She also does figure skating which ever wota in the audience went ballistic over for some reason.

Haruna, Haruna, Haruna! No matter how you slice it seems destined that this girl is going to be my favorite 12th generation member. When I first saw a picture of her I was interested in her the most because she was really cute. But once people starting uncovering her twitter accounts, and pictures from her past were released, that was it I was 100% sold on her. She seems like such an absolutely weird girl who’s really living up to being from Osaka. She reminds me so much of Zukki and Kananan who just happen to be 2 of my top current H!P members. And with that my love for her is truly fated and I’m powerless to resist it. But like I said, at most Haruna will become my favorite 12th generation member, much like how Maa-chan is my favorite 10th generation member. My top spot is, and always will be, reserved for Zukki. And unless she decided to randomly graduate tomorrow I don’t see that ever changing.

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Nonaka Miki

14 years old from Shizuoka. Her special skill is English. And boy is she great at it.

The first thing I noticed about Miki was how adorable her speaking voice is. And then once I heard her speaking in English I was blown away. The girl lived in America for 8 years and speaks fluent English. And her English is flawless you can’t even tell that it wasn’t her first language. But that’s to be expected since if she lived in the US for 8 years that means she first started to learn English at just 6 years old. Miki also said that she wanted to be the link between Morning Musume and the foreign fans. I completely approve of that. Go on and do your thing Miki! The only thing that annoys me about Miki is that her official nickname is apparently Mikitty. Not that that has nothing to do with Miki herself, but just the same I hope they either end up changing it or the nickname just never sticks.

Haga Akane:

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12 years old from Nagano. Member of the Kenshuusei who auditioned for both the 11th and 12th gen.

Akane was part of the big group of finalists who failed the Mirai Shoujo audition and were immediately all added to the Kenshuusei in one fell swoop. Now I can honestly say that I don’t know much about Akane. When it comes to the failed Mirai Shoujo audition girls I personally just focused on my favorites Yamaki Risa and Danbara Ruru. Akane has been saying her favorite Morning Musume song is Be Alive and it think it’s pretty obvious that she started to like that song because it was the song used during Morning Musume’s 11th gen auditions. And I think it’s also pretty obvious why Sakura won back then. I honestly don’t think Akane is a very good singer. Her voice is pretty weak and needs a lot of work. Maybe years of work honestly. And with the performance level so high in Morning Musume currently that the 12th gen have to practice for a few months before they can join, I’m a little confused as to why Akane was chosen. If we’re just going based off of singing that is. I think there are a lot more talented Kenshuusei who make more sense than Akane does. And I have to wonder if she was chosen because fans are comparing her to Sayumi? I honestly don’t even see a resemblance between them. I mean a most she looks a splash like Sayu. But she’s certainly as weak at singing as Sayu was when she first joined. Are they that focused on replacing Sayu?

Makino Maria:

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13 years old from Aichi. Member of the Kenshuusei who auditioned for the 11th gen.

Maria is another Kenshuusei that I don’t know much about. But I have to say initially makes more sense as a 12th gen member than Akane does. Maria has a great singing voice. She’s definitely one of the better singer in the Kenshuusei. I wouldn’t say she’s at the top singing wise but she’s somewhere in the middle and she’s someone who I can see blossoming over the years. Maria seems to have a lot of hobbies and reminds me of Maa-chan because they both play the piano and reminds me of Ai-chan because they both did ballet. Beyond that I don’t have much of an impression of her so far. So I guess I’ll have to wait until I see more of her.

Moving on to the S/mileage 3rd gen. Now when this was announced it seemed like most of the fans were apprehensive to the whole situation. And with good reason. This does bring up some real fears of the remaining 1st gen members possibly graduating in the near future or seeing them shoved to the back to make room for the 3rd gen. But I tried not to focus on that to be honest, because I was too excited for the news to let anything spoil it. Ever since the 2nd gen was announced I’ve always expected/have been waiting for the 3rd gen. I mean it made sense that it was going to happen eventually. And when they said that S/mileage was going to make a special announcement on Hello!Station I had an inkling that’s what it was going to be.

The wait for the 3rd gen went a lot quicker not only because we only had to wait about a week but because I also forget that they were going to be announced until about an hour before hand. And I only checked the news about an hour after it happened. So, there was a different feeling completely.

On to the 3rd gen girls.

Sasaki Rikako:

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13 years old from Miyagi.

I was absolutely thrilled about Rikako joining the group, she was one of my favorite Kenshuusei. And while I did think she made a better fit for Morning Musume I am happy that she gets to debut at all. I think Rikako definitely has that idol feel about her. Her seems to be very sweet, soft-spoken, and charming. She’s also one of the best singers among the Kenshuusei. Her voice is a nice mixture of cuteness and power. Kind of like how Kanon’s voice is and like so many past members of H!P. But since Rikako is both talented and popular she was in that awkward Karin situation where she had legions of fans crying about her not debuting already. Which has in turn made a lot of people dislike her. And I honestly think that’s absurd. Overzealous fans exist everywhere, and if you focus on them, or let them bother you, then you’re going to end up not liking anything.

Murota Mizuki

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16 years old from Chiba.

Mizuki is another favorite Kenshuusei of mine. And I’ve been waiting patiently for her to debut because this girl can seriously sing! She’s easily part of the top tier of Kenshuusei singing wise. Over the past year she’s been overshadowed by more popular Kenshuusei so for a while there I was afraid that she was going to keep getting overlooked and wouldn’t debut at all. But I am extremely happy that her talent was recognized. Since this makes her the second debuted Mizuki in H!P I guess I’m gonna have to start calling her by her nickname Murotan to not mix them up.

Aikawa Maho

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15 years old from Kanagawa.

I cannot even begin to tell you about Maho because I simply don’t know anything about her at all. At least with Haga Akane I had heard her name before but I haven’t even heard of Maho before. She’s only been a Kenshuusei for 5 months and it doesn’t look like she’s even participated in a concert before. How that makes her a qualified pick, I have no idea. I really don’t understand how H!P picks the Kenshuusei to debut sometimes. You have girls who have been members for years, girls who just left because they have been waiting for what feel like forever to debut, and then you debut girls like Maho and KanaTomo who have only been members for a few short months. It makes no sense to me. The only other thing I can really tell you about Maho is that her nickname seems to be AiAi, but I’m not sure that I like that so I’m going to keep calling her Maho until I get used to that. If I ever get used to it.

Now with 7 new girls coming in we are experiencing a completely new era in H!P in more ways than one. Back when they announced the Country Musume revival audition and the 12th gen audition at around the same time I was really excited for the outcome because this meant that we were not only going to get a completely new group, but we were going to get both generations at once and it was going to be like a repeat of 2011. But as we all know for some incomprehensible reason no winners were chosen and the audition was considered a failure. But now that we have a Momusu 12th gen and a S/mileage 3rd gen it’s literally a complete repeat of 2011. And truly a new era for Hello!Project.

Let’s look at where H!P stands right now. Sayumi is graduating next month, Berryz is going on hiatus in the spring, and C-ute probably doesn’t have more than 2 years left. In the not so far off future we could be looking at an H!P where the most senior member of Hello!Project only debuted in 2010. (2009 if you want to count S/mileage’s indie era.) Do you realize that in a few years when C-ute disbands, oh I’m sorry goes on “indefinite hiatus,” Ayaka will be the new leader of H!P? Ayaka. Just let that sink in for a minute. Now if that doesn’t show how much drastic changes have been going on in H!P over the past 5 years I don’t know what will. I mean when I, and most of us, became fans of Hello!Project Nakazawa Yuko was the leader and now we’re looking at a future where Wada Ayaka will be the leader. Assuming she doesn’t graduate before then. And that’s seriously mind blowing to me.

On the subject of Ayaka, let’s talk about the possibility about her and Kanon’s future for a minute. The announcement of the 3rd generation sparked a huge fear within the fandom about the aspect of one or both of the 1st generation members graduating. And quite honestly that fear is justified. If you recall Ogawa Saki graduated just days after the 2nd gen were announced and Maeda Yuuka’s graduation single was the 2nd gen’s first official single after being promoted from sub-member to official members. A lot of fans have always resented the 2nd gen in a way because they always thought their presence caused Saki and Yuuka to graduate. But I personally never thought that’s why they graduated at all. I think Saki and Yuuka already planned to graduate and the 2nd gen was announced as a way to save S/mileage. As it was impossible to continue on as a duo or trio.

To me that always explained why Saki left S/mileage in such a rushed manner. I think she was begged to stay a member until at least the 2nd gen were announced. But after that she couldn’t take it and left before she got a proper sendoff. I think they were able to get Yuuka to stay a little bit longer, but not long enough to have a proper graduation concert. But that’s just my opinion on the situation. At least it makes more sense than the fan’s that said Yuuka graduated because she felt 2nd best to Airi who’s puns were far greater than her own. Get real people, girls can be petty sometimes but not that petty.

Ayaka and Kanon did say that the 3rd gen was their idea and that they wanted the 2nd gen to be able to continue with S/mileage even after they graduate. Sounds like it’s a hint to someone’s graduation. Maybe it’s because they both realized there are both in the exact situation that Saki and Yuuka were in a few years back. H!P even added Sasaki who is popular enough to take over the center position if Ayaka and Kanon were to graduate.

If Ayaka and Kanon were to graduate that would even further make this a new era to Hello!Project. And that would mean in a few years the current members of H!P would have all made their debut from 2011 onward and the most senior members would be Morning Musume’s 9th gen. Another shocking realization, but an accurate peek into the future nonetheless.

And I think H!P is making some real strides to prepare for this new era. Why else would they be not only debuting so many new girls in the past 3 years, but also building up the Kenshuusei as much as they are? The Kenshuusei are doing way more than any past H!P trainees have ever done. They’re releasing singles, had their own show, are more prominent at concerts, and are even releasing an album. Back when I became a fan of H!P Egg members were lucky if they ever got the chance to be part of a one-shot group.

But H!P has been planning this for a while as well. It all started with the giant reformation they went through. From the mass graduations of the older members and changing the name from Eggs to Kenshuusei. It did take them a while to get their footing and we lost some great Kenshuusei in the process. But I think H!P has shown that they are finally ready to fully utilize the Kenshuusei.
And I think the best way to do that would be to make another Kenshuusei group. And I really don’t think we’re too far off from that. There’s a lot of raw talent in the Kenshuusei and H!P would be foolish to let even more of them slip away. But more importantly with Berryz going on hiatus that leaves a big opening in H!P that they’re no doubt going to want to fill. And I don’t think it’s too far fetched for it to be another group either partially or fully made up of Kenshuusei. After all, most H!P groups are set up like that anyway. (Also, I’m counting H!P kids are trainees, but let’s be real they basically were until they properly debuted.)

And when you think about things this way it’s incredibly exciting to think about what the future will bring. Personally I want all of this Cool Hello nonsense to end. Let’s bring back individual concepts to groups again shall we? I want to see S/mileage go back to their original cutesy image. I want to Juice=Juice to stick to their jazzy and mature concept they originally had. C-ute is the only group I wouldn’t change at all because they are the only H!P group that hasn’t had their concept messed with. After Erika left C-ute changed to a dance group with fun and refreshing songs. While C-ute’s songs have been on the more mature side, they still have released enough fun songs that it doesn’t seem like they’ve changed much. It seems more like a natural evolution.

I want to see Momusu completely change their concept. Since the Platinum Era Momusu has been doing this thing were they stick to one concept and keep doing it the entire era. The Platinum Era was sad songs and the Colorful Era was EDM. Can they just stop that already? I want Momusu to do what they did in the past where they mixed genres and every single had a different sound. You’d have a sexy song one single and a cute song the next single. You’d have Indian influences here and salsa influences there. You’d have a fierce empowering song in one breath and a sorrowful broken hearted song in the next. I loved that element of playing with different sounds to such an extent that you never knew what kind of song you were going to get next. Let’s bring that feeling back.

I would also obviously love to see a new group be formed and fill the space that Berryz will leave behind. Musically anyway, we all know that Berryz can never be replaced. We need a group to take over Berryz funky and creative sound. You know the sound we haven’t seen in a while? I honestly think that’s the worst thing that happened to Berryz during their last few active years. They pushed them into this mature image that was never what Berryz was about.

Berryz was crazy and over the top. Making songs no one else in H!P was making. Remember when Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance came out and everyone was so annoyed that even though they were older than C-ute they were singing about dancing monkeys while C-ute was singing about heartbreak and relationships? That was Berryz to me. And I’ve always missed that. I just foolishly thought we’d have Berryz around long enough to see them releasing those types of songs again. Which is why I really want to see a new group bring that back.

Morning Musume ’14 announces 12th gen auditions…again

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In mildly shocking turn of events Morning Musume ’14 has announced that they will be holding auditions for their 12th generation yet again, dubbed the the Golden Audition. The age requirements are the same standard H!P ones, girls ages 10-17.  The audition deadline is May 11th, and much like the past 3 Momusu auditions Kenshuusei are allowed to participate. Here’s a link to the audition website. It’s also been announced that the possible winners will take lessons in the meantime, but won’t formally debut until 2015.

Now, getting all of the standard news out of the way I can just jump right into my opinions on the matter. First things first, I said this announcement was mildly shocking, because that’s exactly what it is. It’s shocking because despite everyone knowing the 12th gen was going to be announced at some point there was no way to know when that was unless you worked in H!P. And since there’s never been an elusive mole in H!P leaking information to the public, each piece of news that does come out is shocking. Come to think of it I’m actually a little surprised there’s never been a mole to be completely honest. Wota seem aggressive enough for that to have happened. But I digress.

The auditions are obviously incredibly exciting. I’ve been patiently waiting for the 12th gen to be announced again since it was announced the first 12th gen yielded no winners. I never really talked much about that on my blog because it was during my hiatus, but believe me I was really angry about it. I wasn’t around for the infamous Lucky 7 audition, so I was used to winners being announced and I never thought they’d actually repeat that fiasco. But sure enough they did to mine and everyone else’s dismay. I was even more upset because I live for auditions and I was so pumped for the 12th gen. I streamed the episode of Hello!Satoyama Life that showed the first footage of the audition, which was just  a 10 second glimpse of the auditions. And I even picked a girl I wanted to win in that short amount of time, who happened to be Yamaki Risa. Who I only discovered was her when they shoved all of the 12th gen finalist into the Kenshuusei.

I think it’s also pretty safe to say that this is probably it for Sayumi. I wouldn’t be surprised if she announced her graduation in the next few months. H!P graduations anymore are announced a year in advance. So, I see Sayu announcing she’ll leave around April or May, giving her until April or May of 2015 as a member. Since the 12th gen isn’t going to debut until 2015, that gives Sayu the time to teach the girls a little something something before leaving. Maybe even release a single or two. It would also mean that the 12th gen’s first Morning Musume concert tour would be Sayumi’s graduation tour. Just like 10th gen’s first Morning Musume concert tour was Risa’s and Aika’s graduation tour. While this is just my personal feeling/opinion, I think we can all admit that it seems about right as to what’s going to happen. Sayumi will be 25 this year, and 26 in 2015. It’s obviously her time soon.

I have to admit I’m not really 100% for the whole 12th gen taking lessons in the meantime before officially joining. I get that Sakura did basically the same thing, but it couldn’t be helped in her situation since she was added in the beginning of Morning Musume’s Fall tour. But let’s be real, it’s not like Sakura really needed extra lessons. I just don’t like the idea of having normal girls who are shaky at singing and dancing during the auditions join, only to to not see them for months, and all of a sudden they are polished performers. That takes all of the fun out of auditions in the first place. I want to watch my idols grow in real time. I want to have that motherly feeling of watching over them and seeing how much they’ve improved. If they’re going to train them before they debut why hold auditions at all? Why not just directly add the Kenshuusei into the group?

And I think this ties more into how Morning Musume ’14 as a group has been promoted lately. Ever since Sakura has joined they prided themselves as being a polished idol group. The whole ima no Morning Musume campaign is all about them being the best Morning Musume of all time. To be the best at singing and at dancing, and to be at such a high level that you see them as a separate entity instead of comparing them to the past. And that’s great, no, really it is. I get wanting to be at the top again, I do. But I don’t like that they are so worried about them being at such a high level that they are training the members before they even officially join.

To be perfectly honest I think that’s the main reason they canceled the first 12th auditions to begin with. I think the finalists were probably wonderful girls, but because they weren’t at a high enough level, or perhaps needed time to nurture their abilities, they weren’t added. They were so worried about them being at a high polished level to compete with the current members, that none of the auditionees compared to them and were cut loose. The fact that they immediately joined the Kenshuusei speaks volumes. And I would not be surprised at all if those girls auditioned again.

You can tell that Momusu really is on the attack and is really fighting to regain their former glory. I mean the auditions are called the Golden Audition. If that’s not saying they want to find a girl, or girls, to help them reach a second Golden Era I don’t know what will. It’s not like they’re shy about saying they want another Golden Era anyway.

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What I am looking forward to during these auditions is for more Kenshuusei to be added. Momusu has added 1 Kenshuusei per generation to the group since LinLin joined. So, it’s not like this is a far-fetched idea. And come on, there are way too many Kenshuusei that are too good to be passed up. Personally I’m hoping for either Tanabe Nanami, Ogawa Rena, Murota Mizuki, Hamaura Ayano, Yamaki Risa, Kaga Kaede, or Sasaki Rikako to be added. Since I’m rooting for so many, I think that betters my chances a little.

While this auditions isn’t exactly everything I’ve hoped for, they are still auditions none the less, and I could not be happier. I so want fresh blood in Morning Musume and H!P as a whole. And with the second 12th gen auditions mixed with the Country Musume auditions, H!P is giving me just that. It’s a truly exciting time in H!P to have two separate auditions again. I feel like I’m back in 2011 with the Morning Musume 10th gen auditions and S/mileage 2nd gen auditions happening at the same time. Let’s just hope I have better luck of my favorite members joining the group. As we all know Karin did not join S/mileage and Sara did not join Morning Musume.

Morning Musume ’14, what is this PV?

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I think it’s about time that I stopped avoiding this and finally faced it headfirst. I of course mean Morning Musume ’14’s PV for What Is Love. If you can call it that that is. It’s their 2nd PV from their upcoming triple A-side single Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa/Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai/What Is Love. Though if you ask me it should have stayed a double A-side and What is Love should have just been a B-side.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love What is Love. I didn’t love it initially, but after a few listens it became one of those songs I couldn’t get enough. And I actually started to get angry that the song had been out for a while and there was no conformation about it being a new single. Tsunku did say that it may become a single. But whenever Tsunku is vague about things it usually means they are going to happen. Just like when he blogged about thinking about starting Mini Moni again and boom Shin Mini Moni and the other revamped units were formed. And I’m sure he’s done this many times since.

Though after watching the PV for What is Love I almost regret wanting it to be an A-side. While I do appreciate there being a studio recorded version of the song I’m not so sure I appreciate the PV. But I honestly should have seen it coming. Literally the day before the PV came out I was talking to Kiana about the covers for the single and I asked her something along the lines of, “They are only wearing 2 outfits on the covers, so what outfits are they going to use for the What is Love PV?” We both came to the conclusion that we had no idea but hoped they didn’t pull another One Two Three/The Matenrou Show fiasco and use one of the outfits twice.

And to our horror the PV turned out to be worse than we had feared. Instead of a proper PV, or even an extremely cheap PV that is just a dance shot, we were given one of the least creative and worse PVs know to man. The concert footage video. Now, I’m sure everyone is familiar with this type of PV. But in the US artists only have videos like this when they are either extremely busy or have no idea what to do for a video but still want a new single. And I gotta tell you, they are usually more interesting. In the US it’s usually concert footage mixed with behind the scenes footage and sometimes they’re not completely awful because you see the artist being natural and having fun. Why weren’t we given that? I mean, H!P films all of that stuff anyway for DVD Magazines anyway. I would seriously love to see the girls getting ready for a concert as well. Or something like driving to the venue, eating food, messing around back stage, or practicing their choreography. Even doing their hair and make-up would be more interesting than this!

I really think it’s time to stop blogging and start the career I was destined to have: H!P music video director. I mean seriously, I could do a way better job than whoever is in charge now. This PV is literally nothing more than the girls dancing to the song at a concert. Now where have I seen the exact same thing before? Oh that’s right, that’s exactly what the J-MELO performance of the song was. Except in this they are wearing different outfits and are actually on a concert stage. I’m sorry there is just nothing interesting about this PV. I’m not Chii, different camera angles don’t do anything for me.

Remember the last time Momusu had a live PV? That’s right it was Chokkan 2. Remember what that PV was like? That’s right, it was a mix of live performances. A mix! And they had to make the PV quickly. Remember because Chokkan 2 was supposed to be the B-side, but everyone hated Koi wa Hassou so much that Chokkan 2 became the A-side? Which means they only had days to put this PV together. Which is why it’s fine that it had live footage. But the worst part is, Momusu didn’t have to put the What is Love PV together in a short amount of time, so there’s really no reason for how the PV is. I mean, Chokkan 2 was put together quickly and we still have a PV with close-up shots. And it has 2 different horrible CG backgrounds. And the concert footage they used was from the entire concert! Not just the performance of the song!

I don’t know, maybe there are people out there who are ok with having concert footage as a PV. I, however, am not one of them.

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I have to laugh that font is prettier than the entire PV.

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Look at all the fans though.

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I never really liked these outfits.

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Momusu’s formation dances are the best.

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Oh look another view of the fans. There’s so much going on in this PV I can’t take it.

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Harunan does look cute in this hat I must admit.

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Maa-chan’s hat is a good reminder that it looks like everyone is wearing shiny tennis outfits.

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Riho looks super cute.

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I could do without this part of the dance to be honest.

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Mizuki is super pretty.

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Oh wow now it’s the audience from this angle.

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Look how in sync they are.

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I never noticed before, but they are making a heart.

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There is seriously not enough Zukki in this PV.

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But she still manages to smile. And also, possessed Sakura on the right.

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Haruka is sweating so much her bangs have almost disappeared completely.

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Eripon is only shown for a split moment but she still manages to look gorgeous.

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That Mizuki smile.

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Wink.

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Riho is just incredible at dancing.

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I love how it looks like Haruka is photobombing Sayumi.

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What an odd ending pose.

Did Momusu just release a decent PV for once?

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Recently, to everyone’s great surprise I might add, Morning Musume announced that they would be releasing an unprecedented triple A-side single, Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa/Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai/What is Love to be released on January 29th. Ok, unprecedented is probably way too extravagant of a word. But come on, you tell me the last time an idol group released a triple A-side single? Actually don’t tell me, because there most likely is such a time. But whatever, the groups that I follow have never had such an exciting release before. And to make things even more exciting they released the first PV for Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa on yesterday’s episode of Hello!Station. Over a month before the actual release date of the single.

My immediate reaction when I first head that it was going to be a triple A-side was, “Hey we already know What is Love is a great song, if we get 2 other A-side that are just as good we’re in for an amazing single.” Well, obviously H!P didn’t have the same idea because Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa is a terrible song. I don’t like the song so much that I can’t see myself ever liking it in the future. The music is just horrible it starts out being dubstep and then has this odd We Will Rock you-esque boom calp which just does not fit with the rest of this song. And at that moment I thought it was just going to be like Renai Hunter that has the dubstep in the beginning and the break down in he middle of the song, but that’s it. The rest of the song is just normal dance music.

But we couldn’t be so lucky with this song. Instead of the dubstep music disappearing from the song it stays there the entire time, but just under the pretty typical idol sounding music it switches to. And they make it just soft enough to not overpower the entire song and just loud enough to be absolutely 1,000% annoying. It just linger there like a constant reminder that we’ll never be fully rid of dubstep from H!P songs for a while.

And the music isn’t the only part I don’t like about the song. During the verses the girls are singing in this way that’s like a constant mixture of singing and rapping, which I don’t like. Even the chorus isn’t catchy enough for my taste. The absolute only redeeming quality of the song is the part where it looks like Zukki actually got a solo line. But I’m still not 100% she’s really just singing alone and not just singing with Sakura but taking the higher melody, so her voice is more noticeable. Either way, for the briefest of moments my beloved Zukki was in the spotlight so I’ll take it.

Awful song aside, I really did enjoy the PV. For some reason it feels fresh and different from their other PVs. It has this expensive flare about it. The PV is also so light and pretty that I just love how it looks.

These were my absolute first impressions of the PV after I watched the PV preview. But once I watched the whole PV I realized that even though the PV is cute and enjoyable, it actually isn’t expensive at all. I realized that it’s just more of H!P fooling us into thinking we’re seeing a better PV without really having to improve the quality. Because if you watch the PV it’s the same as every other PV. But there’s just something about it that makes it seem like it’s expensive. So, buckle your seat belts everyone I’m going to point out how H!P is tricking you into thinking you’re watching a better PV than you actually are.

I think we can all agree that the most obvious reason this PV looks vaguely expensive is because the effects in this PV are actually good. They do look fake but not quite as in your face about it as it usually is. But I think it’s funny  H!P PVs are so cheap lately that this is what constitutes for a high budget. Making the same PV they always do but just having CG that doesn’t look like it cost $5. I do admit that it’s a big improvement. But only an improvement because we’re used to such sub-standard quality in the first place. So, when you think about it, is it really an improvement? Probably not, but it is pretty. And the fact that it’s flashing picture of nature in those colorful lines and shapes is just brilliant in my opinion.

I think the other main reason is what they are wearing. The outfits in this PV look pretty high quality. They’re mature, adult like, and therefore look more expensive. However, if you’ve watched every season of Project Runway like I have, they always say how just the design of a dress can make a cheap fabric read expensive. But that’s not the issue here because every group does that. The reason that these outfits are so wonderful is 1. they kind of look like the amazing outfits they wore on FNS and Mezamashi Live.

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And 2. they are a lot better than some of the outfits we’ve seen form them in the past couple of years.

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So, obviously they look better by comparison.

The last main reason that this PV seems more expensive then it really is, is because they are wearing more than one outfit. Remember that post I made a few years back that listed how directors trick you into think you’re watching a better PV than you actually are? You don’t? Well, it’s a great read so click here to read it if you haven’t before. Ah, the multiple outfits trick has been used since the dawn of time. And it is incredibly effective and that’s why it’s a classic.

All of this may seem that I don’t like the PV, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth I actually love it. I really do. The outfits are incredible and the girls look beyond gorgeous. I’m just saying all this because I was initially impressed with how much more effort they put into the PV, only to go, “wait a minute,” and realize they didn’t actually. I just think it’s funny how PVs can create this illusion that something looks better than it actually does without the viewer even being consciously aware of it. Whether or not I was caught in all this Momusu is being so innovative hoopla because I’m biased or because I was simple caught in the Momusu better PV mirage, remains a mystery.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that after being a fan of idol groups that make pretty mediocre PVs I’ve learned over the years to just focus on the member themselves. So, anything that happens in the background is gravy. Not to say that I don’t want a better or higher quality PV, I think it’s pretty obvious that I do. I mean seriously, don’t you read my blog? But at the same I’ve also learned to not let a sub-par PV diminish how much I love the song or how much I enjoy seeing my girls looking lovely.

Because if you focus on how bad the PV is you’ll be so caught up in that you won’t even realize all the good parts of the PV. Instead of the PV being about Zukki’s bright natural smile it would forever be know to you as the PV with the bad costumes.

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You bright smile is like sunshine. I think this is reason 5, 652 why H!P should just drop having official English subs on their videos. 

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For a second I thought they were praying.

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Why is the world would they make some member wear pants? With this particular outfit pants just do not work.

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Boom boom clap. Also, why did they give the girls wearing pants different shoes?

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Hello there decent looking CG.

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Look how cool it is that it’s clouds.

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Wow just gorgeous. is it me or does it feel like Ayumi is the more obvious choice for center? She just has that air about her more than Riho does to me.

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Why the bird’s eye view if they aren’t doing a formation dance?

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Can we just talk about how insanely gorgeous these outfits are?

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Omg, every time they jump the shape on the floor changes.

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Suddenly so many Ayumi feelings. But why she’s all the way toward the end of my raking? She just looks so amazing here. She stand out the most.

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Yeah, can they not keep changing the filter colors during the close-up shots?

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I kinda miss the formation dances. It kinda looks like they’re voguing here.

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Sayumi is such a beauty.

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Wow Mizuki looks so mature here.

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I have to laugh at how smug Riho looks here.

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Ayumi just stop that.

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Whoa, Haruka looks like such a boy here.

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What is this The Manpower all of a sudden? Mysterious.

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I just really love this scene.

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Maa-chan is so adorable.

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Sakura looks so mature is her close-ups.

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But I honestly think she looks much prettier here.

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Wink!

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Harunan’s cuteness making me overlook everyone else.

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Zukki’s bright smile!

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Omg Zukki be still my heart.

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I love how they have the two boys wear hats. And look at Maa-chan!

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Well, this is a lame dance move.

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Ok, Riho looks pretty cute here.

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Wow, this is really pretty.

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Eripon looks so pretty.

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MaaDuu for 2 seconds.

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Cause of death: Zukki smiling again in a PV.

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Even right here, no one can compare to Zukki.

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I think Mizuki looks the cutest with this hairstyle.

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Adorable.

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Whenever Ayumi smiles she looks like a shark.

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My baby.

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Too cute.

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Ayumi’s face.

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Who’s the center of Momusu again? I can’t quite remember.

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Oh come on, this is a bit much!

Tsunku makes a terrible decision, just another day in H!P

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There are some things in life that come along that are such a shock you simply cannot comprehend what has actually happened. Something so tragic you are knocked backwards in disbelief. Something so inconceivable you’re at loss for words. You rub your eyes but it’s still there, you shake your head but there’s no stopping it. There’s no escaping it anymore. You run from it but it catches up to you. It’s useless to fight it now, Morning Musume has decided to change their name

In, what were they possibly thinking news, Morning Musume has in fact decided to change their name. Come January 1st the Morning Musume you know and love will now become Morning Musume ’14. But don’t worry it gets worse from there. Not only are they changing their name now they are going to change their name every. single. year. So come January 1, 2015 they will be Morning Musume ’15 and so forth. Just awe inspiring I tell you.

With such a genius idea surely there’s some genius level thinking behind it.  The logic is as follows: Tsunku doesn’t think your memory is good enough to actually keep up with the group that you’re following. He knows how rough it must be to actually remember which girl was in which generation or what era a single came out. So, he’s making it easier for you by doing the smart thing and renaming the group entirely to reflect this. Remember he’s doing this for you.

Gosh now I’ll never forget that Love Machine was released in 1999. Oh wait that’s not right at all. But that’s impossible, it’s almost as if changing the group name to Morning Musume ’14 won’t tell me when past singles were released at all. And that changing the group name isn’t going to actually do the main thing it’s supposed to do. Because it’s not like he’s stating that all past eras are now being changed to Morning Musume ’02, etc. That would obviously be impossible to do. And if that is impossible now why change the name at all?

I mean to me it seems like one gigantic publicity stunt to really capitalize on the Ima no Morning Musume marketing campaign. He said himself that if it becomes too confusing he’ll just give up. It seems that H!P wants to really separate the present Morning Musume even further from the past one. And I get it, I totally do. The majority of Japanese people know nothing about the present Morning Musume and only know the Morning Musume of the past that was actually relevant. But just because they are separating themselves from the past to became a brand new entity doesn’t necessarily mean people will suddenly know who they are now. It actually doesn’t mean that at all. People aren’t going to know who the present members are until they are popular and relevant enough to know of them. Simple as that. Just like the general public didn’t know the past members so easily. It’ll take another Love Machine moment for the current members to be known.

And I wholeheartedly believe that once Morning Musume achieves their second wind they are going to bring up the past so quickly. Mark my words. And they’d honestly be foolish not to. I can see them now saying things like, Morning Musume has regained their former glory. Or they have become national idols again. Or something like Morning Musume is picking up where they left off so many years ago.

The Ima no Morning Musume campaign is sweet and cute for now. It gets the point across, “Hey even if you’re stuck in the past just give the current era a chance. You might like what you see.” But that kind of marketing only works because they are irrelevant. If they were actually popular it would seem almost disrespectful to discard the past so easily. They would just be this bratty group that’s only in it to be famous and doesn’t care about the members in the past that worked so hard to get them to the level they are at now. The group that built up the name in the fist place. That they don’t appreciate that effort at all. Oh wait never mind, that’s no different than the Ima no Morning Musume campaign. Do I sound too bitter about it?

I have to admit I usually am 100% behind whatever Tsunku does. Well, the things that he is actually in control of. Such as lyrics, music direction, and auditions. (I firmly believe he has a majority say in which girls get added) I usually get where’s he’s going when he adds a girl I would have never chosen, or writes a song that seems like it wouldn’t work. But this is one derision I can’t 100% get behind. Assuming the decision was even up to him. But for the sake of this argument let’s say it was. If we didn’t have to blindly put our faith in him and the agency I’d say he was losing his touch. But it is pretty silly to give on stupid decision that much credit when you think about it.

The only good news that came out of this was at the same time he announced Morning Musume’s 55th single. The single is currently untitled and will be released on January 29th. It’s up in the air now whether What Is Love is going to be included or is going to be an A-side. It’s a great song and I’m really looking forward to a proper recorded version of the song. So, I’d honestly settle for t being just a B-side. But people have been saying a PV for What Is Love has been played during their Chance concert tour. So, it’s starting to look like it might become an A-side after all. But it’s obviously too early to tell.

I think I speak for the entire fandom though when I say it’s about time. Morning Musume has not released a single since August. Now, that doesn’t seem long for a single for a normal group but when H!P usually released singles every 3-4 months 5 months feels like an eternity. But then again maybe that’s just me.

 

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

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Momusu’s newest harebrained PV

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Almost 2 months ago the full PV for Morning Musume’s Brainstorming off their recent double A-side single, Brainstorming / Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai, was released.

And the reason I’ve waited so long is because I was honestly dreading writing this review. Since Morning Musume is my favorite idol group I’m always extra excited to review their PVs. And whether the PV is good or bad I always have a clear opinion on it. But with this PV, and the other PV from this single for that matter, I’m literally drawing a blank. Just completely uninspired to write about it. You know a PV is bad when you can’t even form the words of why you don’t like it.

But much like with any PV review I feel the longer I wait to review them, the more I’m letting my readers down. And it’s that feeling that pushes me. That silently whisper in my ear I can sense of all of my readers in unison saying, “Hey, Amy, what’s going on? I’m tried of waiting to read that review it’s been out for weeks already!” Granted my readers would probably call me Aim, but I feel it’s more dramatic using my real name.

Buy you guys have no idea. I’d take reviewing an awful PV over a mediocre PV any day. At least I can think of sometime to say with an awful PV. And that’s what brings us here now. I’m reviewing this PV for solely for you guys, and I genuinely hope you enjoy it.

Unfortunately what I feared when I watched the loose shot version, the same thing I feared when I watched the dance shot version of One Two Three, sadly became a reality and the loose shot version pretty much became the final version of the PV. Which makes me half angry and half sad. And not because of the reason you think. It’s cool they they keep giving us fans of the PV with having the dance shots uploaded about a month before the full PV is out. But at the same time I hate that it spoils the full PV too much. I prefer when we just used to get 30 second previews of the PV. Remember a time when us fans were satisfied seeing a completely grainy severely low quality PV preview of Naichau Kamo recorded directly off of someone’s cell phone? Oh, how the times have changed.

This PV I can’t even fully explain it. I don’t hate it, but I definitely don’t love it. It does have it’s good parts: the girls look outrageously gorgeous, especially during the close-up shots. My god the close-up shots! The lights are so bright on their faces that’s it’s giving them a flawless completion and overall appearance. My girls just look so incredibly beautiful that I’m almost overcome with emotion at thought of how much they’ve grown. I also absolutely love the outfits. They are tough, but still pretty at the same time. Perfect yankee fashion for Reina’s send off. And they’ve once again given the members who are meant to be sexy the sexier outfits. This time it’s only simple thigh high socks. People have tried to say that it’s the older members who get the socks, but that’s not the case. Because Mizuki and Ayumi are the same age but only Mizuki is wearing socks. And Riho is younger than Ayumi and she is wearing the socks. I literally cannot be the only one who picks up one this.

I also really like the dance. Sure, it’s a similar style to what they’ve been doing lately, but I like it. It’s sharp and polished looking. And completely interesting to watch. I like that lately they’ve been making dancing intensely their thing. I always loved when they switched C-ute to that once they became a 5 member group. I also even like that big screen of lights in the background. I love that throughout the PV it changes from music bars, to something that resembles a heartbeat, and then to just flashes of brightly colored light. It makes the PV a little more vibrant, and a little less dull. I also thought it was brilliant that they turn the lights to each girl’s image color during close-up scenes.

But that’s all I like about the PV. I don’t like that they are just standing on a bare black floor, and on one set the entire PV. I don’t like that it’s another predictable dance shot close-up format. I don’t like that Morning Musume doesn’t, and hasn’t for a while, taken risks with their PVs and at least attempt to make something interesting. Like Seishun Collection. It wasn’t great but at least it was filmed outside and they did more than just dance and show close-ups.

Instead we get another PV that’s only enjoyable because I love the girls and they look pretty. But visuals only go so far, and I prefer something a little better. Even if this PV was painfully simple I’d still like to see the girls being silly and having fun. Or showing their personality somehow. A PV like this gives the girls zero changes to let their true selves shine through. It’s what I loved about PVs like Maji desu ka Ska. It was so cheaply made, but I saw the girls really being themselves in the PV. Lately they’ve had to worry too much about being mature and sexy that they’re not being themselves. And bottom line, that’s why I like my idols, for their personalities not their looks.

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I wanted to make a joke that even this titled screen ins cheap, but who am I kidding this is actually an improvement.

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Gosh this looks oddly familiar.

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Love how intense the dance is.

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I really can’t deny that this is a great dance overall.

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Riho is looking pretty adorable.

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Wow Mizuki.

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Might as well post this, is probably one of the few times I’ll actually see Zukki.

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What’s with the hear no evil pose?

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Wow I’m really paying a lot of attention to Riho in this PV. Well, I don’t really have  a choice considering all the liens she gets.

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This hairstyle is super adorable on Ayumi.

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Gorgeous.

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They gave Sakura such an odd hairstyle.

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Oh look there’s my girl, looking beautiful I might add.

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I love how you can clearly see Maa-chan’s enthusiasm. 

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And I love how cool Haruka is trying to look.

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This is like the only part of the dance that looks awkward in my opinion.

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Is that a smile Haruka?

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Sakura looks so innocent here. I can’t really explain it any other way.

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Just wow.

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Whoa I actually think this is the first time they showed Erina in the entire PV.

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Just random arm flailing at this part of the dance.

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I absolutely love Riho and Ayumi’s little dance battle.

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Fukuhime!

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I just noticed that Reina’s earrings are handcuffs. How cool.

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How can anyone not love Masaki? How can anyone not want to just run up and hug her?

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Why does Haruna look so sad? This is your solo line girl, cheer up.

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Cutie.

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Zukki’s judging you so hard right now.

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What’s with this random smoke scene?

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Are we suddenly in Kis-My-Ft2’s Everybody Go PV?

Morning Musume 12th gen auditions announced!

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Today was the start of Morning Musume’s Spring tour, which marked the start of Reina’s graduation tour as well as Sakura’s first Morning Musume tour. But during the 2nd MC fans were given to yet another treat when Tsunku announced the 12th gen auditions. And I’ve slept through another important announcement. Time zones are the biggest enemy of Foreign fans.

But that aside, it’s time once again for more auditions! Most fans say it’s too soon, some are all for it, but either way it’s happening. So buck up everyone and enjoy the ride.

The requirements for this years auditions are the same as the 11th gen, girls ages 10-17. And the application deadline is April 30th. Click here to go to the official audition website. The title of the audition is Mirai Shoujo, which translates to Future Girl(s) in English.

If you recall the 11th gen auditions were announced at Risa’s and Aika’s graduation concert on May 18th, and the application deadline was June 25th. And Oda Sakura was announced as the sole winner on September 14th. Which means if they keep the same pace of the 11th gen auditions we’ll see the 12th gen winner(s) announcement mid-July the earliest. Which means the 12th gen will most likely be announced at the H!P 2013 Summer concert and the 12th gen will be able to take part in Morning Musume’s 2013 Fall tour.

Now, I can’t say that this announcement comes as a shock I was absolutely expecting the 12th gen to be announced during Reina’s graduation tour, it only made sense. They’re losing a prominent member so they want to replace her, while at the same time keep the old fans, and potential new fans, interested in the group. The only thing I find surprising about the announcement is the timing. I expected it to be announced during the day of Reina’s graduation much like the 11th gen was.

But as fans had said before the tour even started, they thought it was weird to include Sayumi’s name in the title of the tour and that it might point to her announcing her graduation during the tour. At the time I didn’t really believe it or think anything of it. But now that they’ve announced the auditions this early in the tour it actually makes sense now. If the 12th gen join in the summer they can be apart of the fall tour, which would give Sayumi just enough time to lead the new girls for a bit, prepare them for the tour, before handing the ropes over to Mizuki. Sayumi did say that she that after she was the leader for a bit she was going to graduate. It would be the same thing Risa did. Prepared the girls a bit, released 2 singles, and then graduated at their debut Morning Musume tour.

With all that being said, I am absolutely excited for more auditions. Despite Sakura not even being a member for a year yet I don’t feel the auditions are too soon at all. Since Reina, and most likely Sayumi, are graduating really soon they obvious need members to replace them. And even if Sayumi doesn’t graduate until next year, they still need to replace her and why not replace her sooner rather than later. That way they can build her up a bit, and form fan attachments to her, before Sayumi leaves.

And not even just because of the well being of the group, I’m excited because I love auditions and I love having new members added. Since I became a fan right before LinLin and JunJun joined I was a fan during the stagnant no new member era. While I did love those girls to pieces, and the music was amazing, I still hated that no members were added. It was extremely boring to me. So, in my opinion the more auditions the better. It’s the spirit Momusu always had. Which I’ve said 100 times now. But there still seem to be fans that can’t accept that. I guess it’s those Platinum Era fans who think because they were fans at that period that was the only period that mattered. And who cares that Momusu always had yearly auditions because there was that one time that didn’t. Do you realize how foolish that sounds when you stop and think about it? 

The Platinum Era is done, it’s been done for 2 years now. It had it’s run. Fans need to stop holding onto the past. Especially since the Platinum Era actually hindered the group and had lower sales because the group didn’t add any new members at that time. But whatever, I can’t keep ranting about his every time new auditions are announced.

I’m looking forward to new girls joining, I’m hoping we get at least two to replace Reina and Sayumi’s spots. I actually think 1 member generations are boring. Sakura is a great singer, but I still would have loved to see another girl added. I also wonder if they are going to focus on girls with singing ability. In my opinion, Sakura, Mizuki, Riho, Ayumi, and Haruka have strong enough vocals to be main vocalists. Zukki and Masaki have the potential as well, but I don’t know if they’ll get the opportunity to lead vocals. But secondary is fine with me. So, I don’t think the group 100% needs to worry about strong singers. So, I’m hoping to see them add girls with big personalities instead. You guys know those are my favorite type of idols. Who knows maybe a 12th gen girl will be able to rival Zukki for my number 1 spot.

I also wouldn’t mind another Kenshuusei to be added. But since the formation of Juice=Juice, and Tsunku saying that he’s going to make more new groups this year, it seems impossible. But if it is possible, I’d love to see Tanabe Nanami join because she’s the most talented Kenshuusei left. In my opinion of course.

And I’m also going to jump on the Cuca bandwagon and say I would love for her to join. I’ve been watching her for years and I think she’s just great. A lot of people are tired of hearing about her, but I don’t really care so much. I think Cuca is really talented and was sad that she was too young to audition for the 11th gen.

A lot of people think 10 is too young, but I actually have no feeling about age. I don’t really care how old the idol is to be honest. I thought Haruna was too old for the 10th gen, but she joined and it was a perfect decision. She fit perfectly. And on the young side, look at how young Mai was when C-ute was formed. So, as long as the idol is a good fit age doesn’t really matter honestly.

Preview of Morning Musume’s new song Brainstorming

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A loose shot version of a new song by Morning Musume called Brainstorming has been uploaded to their official channel. I saw new song because even though Morning Musume’s 53rd single has been confirmed this song hasn’t officially been confirmed to be a part of it. But right now it seems pretty likely that this song is most likely going to be another A-side for their 53rd single. Since this is Reina’s last single it would only make sense to have a double A-side single, much like what Ai-chan got.

However, we also can’t completely rule out the possibility that this may be part of a yet unannounced Morning Musume album. It’s still 3 months until Reina is graduating. And if you remember Morning Musume’s 11th album was announced just 3 months before the triple graduations of Kamei Eri, JunJun, and LinLin. Granted, the space between the release dates of Momusu’s 10th and 11th albums was 9 months, and that was rushed enough. If this album was released on the exact date of Reina’s graduation it would be released 8 months after their 13th album. It would be the quickest new album in Momusu history, but it’s still in the realm of possibility. No matter how slight it is. Especially since they’ve been squeezing out one final album with their most prominent members. And Reina is both a prominent member and a good singer.

Well enough speculating, and more on the actual song. Since this is a loose shot version we a preview of everything: the song, the outfits, and the dance. Which is really exciting since their 53rd single is being released in a little less than 2 months. Well, assuming it’s part of the 53rd single at all.

Let’s start with the song itself. I have to say it was absolutely love at first listen. The opinions are of course split though. A lot of people are annoyed that it’s yet another dance/electronic song. But I’m with the rest of them who honestly don’t care. Well, it’s not that I don’t care I just love electronic songs, as I’ve said 800 times before. So Momusu could keep on with this pace for 4 more releases and I honestly would love every minute of it.

What I really love about this song is that it’s a mix of 3 different types of music at once. It’s got rock, electronic, and dubstep. And instead of sounding like a disaster it’s actually really great. Mostly because rock is the main instrumental and then the electronic and dubstep parts are perfectly strung throughout the entire song so it’s not too overwhelming. And because of that it sounds a bit like a mix between Renai Hunter, Wakuteka Take A Chance, and Help Me. Which I’m perfectly fine with. Because the prominent rock music makes this song distinguishable and unique. It also makes it a lot more intense and powerful than those songs. Perfect for a possible final song for Reina.

Another thing I am pleased with is this song’s line distribution. Every single member gets a solo line. 8/11 of the members get a decent solo line, where it’s actually a line long and you can fully hear them. Sadly 3/11 of the girls do get Wakuteka Take A Chance type solos where it’s just 2 words at a time. Even sadder that my beloved Zukki and my secondary favorites Haruka and Erina are the members that get hardly any lines. But I am perfectly fine with it because Masaki’s and Sakura’s lines make up for it. Sakura’s lines were my absolute favorite in the entire song.

And I love that Mizuki is getting more of the spotlight, she got almost as many lines as Riho. The girl deserves main singer position. I’m also really impressed by Haruna. She unexpectedly got a solo line and she actually sounded good. Wow, she’s improved so much.

I also want to take about the outfits. I’m gonna skip the dance, since I’ll focus more on that once (if?) the full PV comes out. I absolutely love the outfits. They are these motorcycle jackets/ overall biker outfits, which give off this tough sort of yankee feel. Which is again perfect for Reina. And just like in One Two Three the girls with the sexier image are given a slightly different outfit. Everyone has ankle boots. But Reina, Riho, Mizuki, Haruna, and Sayumi either have thigh-high boots or thigh-high stockings. Which again do work with the outfits better and I kinda wish everyone had them. Also, it’s cute that Haruka is wearing another hat. I guess that’s going to become her thing.

Momusu’s new PV surprisingly doesn’t need much help

About a week ago the full PV for Morning Musume’s new single Help Me was released.

I know, I know this post is a week late and I’m sorry about that. But to all of you people that don’t live in the East Coast of the US we’ve had a severe cold front. So, cold that it was 22 degrees yesterday and I literally said, “Thank god it’s a little warm today.” And if you also didn’t know I still don’t have hear yet. So, lately I haven’t wanted to do anything put drink hot chocolate and curl under blankets. I only made the Koharu post because I began thinking about it and had to rush on the computer before I lost the blog post in my head. But after that I jumped under the covers again and unintentionally took a 12 hour nap, because I’m just too cold. It’s actually only 18 degrees here now, but I can’t wait any longer because the short version of Kisumai’s PV is already out!

Anyway, onto the review.

After watching the full PV, not a lot of my opinion have changed on it. Because, well, not a lot else had happened in the full PV compare to the preview. The PV is still the same incredibly cheap and boring PV with awful CG. I’ll never understand why they couldn’t just go film this at night around the city. Kind of like how Another Version or even just the Night Scene Version of Resonant Blue’s PV was. Do you know how much better the PV would have looked if they filmed in the city and then put those flashing effects over that? My god it would have been fantastic. Tell me this Aika waiting for the train scene doesn’t look perfect for, or could have easily fit into the Help Me PV?

But, sadly, once again the director of the PV dropped the ball completely and we’re left with a sub-par video that leaves us wanting more. So, I guess we’re left with nearly every other Hello!Project PV in existence.

Even though I am disappointed with the PV, I still like it one some level because I think I finally get what they were going for. I guess because the song is so electronic and robotic sounding they probably wanted to go for this surreal, overly bright, sort of computer city. (Get it? XD) I do get the feeling, especially during the dance scenes, of this futuristic Tokyo. And I have to say I absolutely love the PV when the chorus hits, those are my favorite scenes. Because all of the lights in the city move incredibly fast and it looks like when they speed up videos of the city and all of the lights are sort of scrambled and moving incredibly quickly. Which I guess is what they were going for. Maybe to show that Momusu is moving at an even faster speed than the city itself. I have to admit that’s pretty cool.

And this line of thinking also now makes more sense of all of the girls blinking into and out of existence. Keeping with the futuristic them I guess they’re in one giant computer program. There are also some weird microchip looking effect on the dance shot scenes that also point to that. And they seems to flicker a lot during the instrumental parts.

And another thing about this PV that bothers me is how you hardly ever see Haruna, Erina, or Zukki. To be honest, I never really noticed how often certain members get screen time until I became a blogger. I have no idea if screen time has always been this unfair during past PVs. But I do know that it is now. And it really sucks how unpopular and how little screen time my beloved Zukki gets. 

This is probably the only time I really love the CG.

Mizuki looks amazing.

Harunan looks great too. Tbh I never pay much attention to her.

I’m sure it takes so much practice and precision to do this, but it looks awkward to me. Like they’re some sort of spider monster. 

I love Sakura is in the direct center.

Look how horribly cut Sayumi is. Bad CG right there.

I don’t like this part of the dance either.

Ayumi has gotten so much prettier since she dyed her hair brown.

Look how high Haruna’s skirt is cut. Really solidifying the sexy image she wants. 

I love Masaki and all, but this hair does nothing for her.

We finally get to see Zukki and she’s upstaged by Haruna.

This is cute.

Just adorable.

Why do they insist on only putting Zukki in a ponytail?

At least Erina manages to standout in her few shots.

Thanks for pointing this out tumblr.

Love this effect.

Another really awesome effect.

Too bad it reminds me too much of Mikan.

I love that Haruka is wearing a hat. Fits her so well.

This is such an awkward hairstyle. I wonder if it’s because Riho’s hair is thin.

Just wow. *O*

Sayumi is seriously gorgeous.

For some reason Reina’s hair annoys me.

This random dance floor background is pretty cool.

So cute.

Sakura, seriously, ease upon the hands on your face.

Couldn’t help but laugh at the awkward dancing in the background.

Mizuki just looks perfect here.

What?

Computer program flickering.

I love how Sayu points during the otoko no ko line. Not quite.

Oh look, it’s that Momusu font again.

You can really notice all the computer/electronic overlays here.

Morning Musume – Help Me PV preview

About a week ago a PV preview for Morning Musume’s 52nd single, Help Me, aired. Help Me not only marks Momusu’s first single of the year, but also the first single to include 11th gen member Oda Sakura.

First of let me say a little bit about the song because I haven’t said anything about it on my blog yet. When I first heard the song my first impressions were that it was weird. It sounded like a mix between 3 different songs, and the random speaking in it threw me off completely. The only thing I loved about it was Sakura. I don’t even know anything about Sakura yet, but she is perfection in every way. The pipes on this girl, the pipes! I knew she was an absolutely incredible singer since I saw her audition. But her voice in this song is so flawless, so seamless, so smooth, I could literally die. This is the girl that Morning Musume desperately needed, a great singer. In my opinion we haven’t a voice this immediately flawless since Ai-chan joined. And I’m calling it now, in a few years she’s going to give Ai-chan a run for her money as the girl with the best voice in Morning Musume history.

But less about the absolute gift from above that Sakura is, and more about the song. After listening to it more and more I am now officially a fan of this song. This song is wrong and weird, and shouldn’t be great, but it is. It just works on nearly every level. The music is interesting and it’s sung great. However, I still don’t like the speaking parts. I think it’s loads better than Wakuteka Take a Chance.

Now, for my thoughts on the PV so far. In short: I do not like it at all. I might even hate it. From the first 5 seconds it’s obvious that whoever make the Wakuteka Take a Chance PV also made this one. And that person should be replaces ASAP.

Why is it yet another green screen PV? Just why? And if you are going to do a green screen PV why not make it fun like the 231 Breakin’ Out PV? And to make matters worse the cgi is done so poorly that it’s so obvious the girls are overlayed onto images.

And to me the entire PV looks like an anime ending theme video. You know at the end of animes where the ending theme is just the character in random parts of Tokyo like on a train, at school, and then randomly at Tokyo at night. And the night sequences are all overly colorful and brightly lit? Well, that’s exactly what this looks like to me.

I suppose I can’t 100% judge this PV until we see the entire thing. But come on guys, you know it’s probably not gonna get better than this.

Why Momusu’s new PV was the letdown of the year

Last mont the full PV for Morning Musume’s 50th single, and apparent double A-side, One-Two-Three/The Matenrou Show. I say apparent because obviously The Matenrou Show never got a PV at all. Which does fuel the flames a bit.

One-Two-Three was the single that was hyped so much. It seemed every chance they got H!P was teasing us even more with it. The gorgeous outfit preview from Hello!Pro Time. The fancams of the performance of it from Tokyo Girls Collection. And the dance shot that was uploaded weeks before the full PV was out.

Now, between all of this it was enough to absolutely fall in love with everything about this single. The outfits were gorgeous, sexy but still cute at the same time, each girl had unique and pretty hairstyle, making the members look incredible from head to toe. The dance shot showed so much potential, it was finally filmed in a well decorated set. It appeared that they finally put some real effort into it. And of course the song is absolulte perfection in my opinion. All of this gave not just myself, but the entire H!P fandom as a whole, these gigantic expectations for the PV. Expectations that sadly this PV couldn’t fill.

After watching this PV for the first time the only thing I could muster out was, “I’m so disappointed.” And I completely am, I feel like flipping tables over here. Never have I seen a PV set up to be such flawless perfection, and then drop the ball so completely. This PV had everything going for it. Flawless outfits, flawless girls, and an interesting dance set. All they had to do was make sure the close-up scenes weren’t awful and they’d be home free.

But apparently that was too much to ask. Instead the close-up shots consist of them standing in a room of mirrors acting like dolls on display. I don’t think quite possibly anything out there cheaper looks than glass/mirrors. But again I guess there is because if you look really closely I don’t even think they are even in a room filled with glass. To me it look like they just digitally created the effect. Genius. However, the whole dolls on display thing is kind of cool. But at the same time, Fantasy Juuichi’s jacket called and they want their concept back.

It also wasn’t enough to make the close-up scenes awful. No, they had to take it one step further and make it look like the entire PV cost $5 to make. And how does one pull of such a feat? It’s simple really, download some snowflake and splatter brushes for photoshop, cover the entire span of the PV in them, and call it a day. They really need to question however thought that was a good idea. And what really makes me angry is, you could excuse the PV because they had to split the budget for 2 different PVs. Except they didn’t at all. They were supposed to, but didn’t. Did they really give all the budget to promotions? I honestly can’t complain if they did because my girls sold over 100k.

But at the same time we are once again we’re left with a PV that’s only enjoyable to watch because the girls look so pretty. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I just always expect a little more from my idols.

Bored already to be honest.

Oh, dramatic close-ups.

Ayumi looks amazing.

I absolutely love how intense the dance is.

Haruka’s default doll pose just looks so uniterested. Lol.

Oh ew, do they have to stay in the same position for the entire close-up?

They haven’t even shown her face yet and the girls is already bringing it.

Just wow Mizuki, super gorgeous.

Poor Erina gets one of the worst hiarstyles.

Zukki looks a little awkward in her close-ups, but that’s ok.

You know, I never really pay much attention to Haruna, but she looks incredible here.

However, Mizuki is the realy stand out for me. She’s really been stepping it up lately.

I love Ayumi’s hairstyle.

Riho being all flawless.

WTF is with this pose?

Haruka’s close-ups still don’t look natural enough for me.

Adorable.

Sayu is just not standing out in this PV really.

I think  my readers should know by now that I’m a sucker when it comes to idol winks.

My baby Masaki.

She’s just so cute.

Ah, wink again.

They’re killing me over here.

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

Harunan wink.

Simply gorgeous.

Ah Ayumi, you still look a little creepy at times. Lol.

Adorable.

Words cannot describe how much I love Masaki.

Really love this hairstyle, but H!P seems to be overusing it lately.

Morning Musume-The Matenrou Show preview

Recently the radio rip for the second A-side from Morning Musume’s upcoming 50th single, One-Two-Three/The Matenrou Show, was released.

Now, I just made a post about the One-Two-Three radio rip and said how much I absolutely loved the song. So, I was expecting a lot from this song. I was really hoping for their 50th single to be just perfect. However, this song has to come along and ruin that. Coming after the epicness that is One-Two-Three this song is awful in comparison. Just what happened? Tsunku said that this song was going to be funky so I expected it to be a lot of fun. Especially after how sexy and mature One-Two-Three is.

Instead we get a song that is also mature and sounds like a mix between Morning Musume’s Inspiration and Berryz Koubou’s Shining Power. Which sounds like a winning combination. But somehow it’s just not. And I do like disco-esque songs but for some reason I just have no attachment to this song. It just sounds kind of flat and lifeless. I kept waiting for it to get better and it never did. I don’t know why this single is a double A-side because honestly this song is much more suited as a B-side.

And what in the world is going on with the line distribution? I seriously feel like flipping tables over it. Did the entire world teleport back to 2008 when I wasn’t looking or something? The entire song is sung by Riho and Reina. The entire song! Now, when One-Two-Three came out I didn’t care that it was sung by basically no one but Riho and Reina ,because most girls at least got a little solo. And I was also holding out for this single for the other girls to shine. However, that is so far from the case and the other girls get nothing. And my god, my poor baby Zukki doesn’t have a line in either songs! I get it, Reina and Riho are popular. But that’s only because the other memebers aren’t even given a chance to build a fanbase. They added new members but are still making the same mistakes they did in 2008. What in the world is management thinking? I swear if I didn’t love this group and the girls so much stuff like this would make me give up on Momusu. I’m honestly sick of it. It’s absolutely insane that when Morning Musume was at it’s largest the line distribution was more fair than it is now!

Morning Musume-One-Two-Three preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aika is really leaving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momusu’s heart stealing new PV

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

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

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

I love this font.

Awkward dancing already.

Gorgeous Risa.

I can’t even with this dance right now.

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

Absolutely stunning.

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

Sayumi looks really pretty.

Ayumi still comes off as a little creepy to me.

Risa is killing me with these close-ups.

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

Aika looks amazing.

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

Wow, Zukki looks incredible. *O*

Poor Haruka looks like a deer caught in headlights.

Mizuki is brining it though.

Eh, Reina’s cover is a little boring.

I love Risa’a lollipop.

Adorable.

Riho’s ins’t that spectacular either.

Aika looks super pretty.

Love them.

Adorable.

Love Aika’s wink.

Wow, Mizuki’s is the best so far.

Erina trying to look sexy.

Gorgeous.

Zukki!

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

The pose is a little awkward, but still cute.

Absolutely adorable.

Meh.

Realy beautiful.

Mizuki looks so fresh and pretty.

No words.

Haruna needs to work on her posing.

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

I just wanna hug Masaki.

I love that Risa says she loves Morning Musume.

Morning Musume-Renai Hunter preview

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

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

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

Morning Musume announces Risa’s graduation single

Morning Musume recently announced that they will be releasing their 49th single which will be the last single to feature Risa. The single is titled Renai Hunter and will be released on April 11th. Risa will be getting her own special version which will featured a solo cover of a past H!P song.

A lot of fans were worried that Pyoko Pyoko Ultra was going to be Risa’s graduation single. But it was pretty obvious that they would be able to squeeze out one last single. And they are. And Risa is getting her own graduation version so Risa fans can stop whining that it would be unfair if she doesn’t get one too.

The new single makes me pretty excited, the title just sounds amazing.  It sounds like it will have a very powerful, mature, and cool image. Which I would love since a song like that would suit Risa perfectly. But judging from the title they could still make it a very cutesy song. So, obviously it’s far too early to tell.

Another exciting aspect of this is just what song is Risa going to sing. Is it going to be Mr. Moonlight since it was her debut single? Or will it be Suki na Senpai since it was the 5th gen’s song on their first album? I was thinking it might be Manatsu no Kousen since that song just screams Risa to me. But she already did that song for Hello!Cover so I doubt it. Then I was thinking it could be Never Forget since that also screams Risa to me, but Yasuda Kei already got that song for her graduation single. Maybe it will be Yuugure Sakusen Kaigi since she sang it at the Rival Survival concert. They did say a cover of an H!P song, so that makes me think it’s not going to be a Morning Musume song. What do you guys think her cover will be?

Momusu spreads their wings in new PV

Recently the full PV for Morning Musume’s newest single Pyoko Pyoko Ultra was released.

So, I watched the PV and I gotta say I love it. I mean I really love it, 100% love it. And why do I love it so much? Because it’s absolutely perfect! And that is an extremely unpopular opinion because everyone seems to hate it. But I will defend this PV until the end of time because it is better than I could have imagined.
The PV is everything I’ve been hoping for since becoming a fan. The PV is energetic, it’s childish, it’s happy, it’s carefree, it’s just got such a youthful flare. It’s just beautiful. And because the PV is so childish it’s overflowing with cute scenes and close-ups of the members. Now, I don’t know about you personally dear reader, but I prefer my idols to be overly cute and dorky. I want my idols to bring a smile to my face because they are acting so stupid and dorky. I want their music to be so fun and happy that for 3-4 minutes everything else disappears and I’m just in this happy idol induced mood. Now, maybe everyone doesn’t like music like that, but then why are you really an idol fan? Every single idol group, including Johnny’s, releases music like this. It’s pretty much the idol sound. If you’re looking for a more mature look or sound perhaps you should try a group that isn’t made up of teenagers. Stick to Koda Kumi or Kpop I guess. But even those artists still release happy songs and videos occasionally.
But for me, this PV works on ever single level. Let’s start with the outfits. Oh, the outfits. By now they are Morning Musme’s infamous chicken costumes. Most fans dislike the outfits because they feel that only the younger members pull them off. And I do admit I was the same way at first. But after watching the PV ever single member pulls them off, every single one. The 9th and 10th gen obviously pull them off because most of them are so young. And Sayumi was born to be overly cute. But everyone else is working them too. Aika has been acting cutesy lately so her performance in the PV is seamless. Risa is just being her normal self and she’s pulling it off. I’m actually most surprised by Reina. I didn’t think she would be able to do it. But she is just so cute and lively in the PV. Everyone just looks so adorable and charming. But most of all they look natural. Not one member falters or looks embarrassed. And when everyone is working the outfits and looking absolutely adorable, you begin to look at the outfits in a whole new light.
The dance: Now since this is the 10th gens debut, this dance had to be at a pretty low level. Especially since only Ayumi and Haruka are at a high level of dancing. But honestly the simplicity of the dance works because of the childish nature of the song. And just watching the dance you can tell it’s meant for children. And their are a lot of moves that I can tell children will be excited about and want to emulate. I mean most of the moves are spinning around, jumping, flapping your wings, and doing jumping jacks. You can’t really get anymore kid friendly then that.
The set/theme: As I said in my post about the PV preview the set and overall theme for the PV is absolutely perfect. It is seriosuly like a children’s book coming to life. And there are also scenes that look like a children’s puppet show. And it’s just perfect. Now, some of the effects on the set are pretty cheap, but that doesn’t really matter so much. You hardly even notice it to be honest. I was focusing on how cute each members interaction with the set is. Watering the set, playing with the clouds, and cutely dancing in front of it. It just works completely. And I love when their heads are in the set, to me it seems like they are supposed to be eggs or something. But my absolute favorite part of the set is the Rube Goldberg Machine. To me nothing screams childhood more than one of those. I remember when I was a kid I used to watch a TV show called Zoom and once a month or so they would build one of those machines and then at the end of the month they would finally reveal the finished machine. And when I was a kid I always wanted to make one of those. So, to me adding one of those just brought back a really nostalgic feeling.

The dance set is a little cheap, but whatever.

And it kind of reminds me of SM Entertainment’s dance studio. XD

I love this jumping leg move.

Jumping jacks. You can really feel the kid element.

Guru guru. Also, tell me this doesn’t look like a life size pop-up book.

Of course they have a wing flapping move.

Cheap effect.

Adorable.

Masaki is my favorite 10th gen girl, and I’m so proud of her. She always looks nervous when she’s on TV, but she did great in her close-ups.

Why such an extreme close-up of Riho? Her face his cut off half the time.

Adorable. And I love Risa’s long eyelashes.

Lovely Mizuki.

Ayumi needs to work on her close-ups.

Reina looks so bright during her close-ups. Probably because her eyes look bigger than usual. Lol.

I love the little spin Erina does. But I obviously can’t cap that. XD

Sayumi looking as cute as ever.

Kinda weird dance move. Lol.

Cute bouncing heads.

Another random move.

Is that 10 to show how long Risa has been in Momusu? Because she bows right afterwards.

I absolutely love Aika. Aika haters gonna hate.

Cute.

The unofficial leader of the 10th gen is getting hardly any attention.

Zukki! My god she is so cute! *O*

I love the jump move.

Adorable.

Super cute.

Double wink!

Rube Goldberg Machine FTW.

I think  Ayumi is trying to rival Momoko’s creepy close-up faces.

So lovely.

I love Aika’s duck lips.

How cute.

Awww.

I’m not exactly sure what Risa is doing, but she looks cute doing it.

Cake and Zukki’s bright smile.

Adorable.

Everyone being goofy.

So cute.

Momusu down yet another member, Risa to graduate

It was announced at Hello!Project’s summer concert that 5th generation Morning Musume member, and current leader, Niigaki Risa will be graduating from Morning Musume and Hello!Project. She will be graduating at the end of Morning Musume’s spring tour, which wraps up on April 1st. After her graduation Risa intends to focus on acting in dramas as well as theater work.

I honestly don’t know what to say. When I first read that Risa was graduating my actual reaction was, “What. I was not expecting that at all.” And you know what? I honestly wasn’t. It seems everyone out there was waiting for and expecting this announcement. Call me stupid, but I seriously didn’t see Risa graduating until she absolutely had to. Risa is only 23 I thought we would honestly get about 2 more years from her and the 6th gen, considering how unstable the current line up is. But since this was Risa’s choice you can’t really go by what would be best for the group. I am really shocked by this, I obviously do not want Risa to leave the group. I don’t really say this enough in my blog, but Risa has always been one of my favorite members in Morning Musume. I really honestly love the girl. She seems to have so much love for Morning Musume, and she had to work extremely hard to be one of the main singer within the group. And because of that I have so much respect for her. I think Risa is incredibly charming, an all around great idol. Both her singing and performing are very powerful and incredible. To me Risa will always be the Korean loving, Disney freak, and reaction queen.

But you know through this all I am not really sad about this. For some reason I feel really calm and I pretty much accept that it’s her time to go. She’s been a member for 10 years, a front girl, and the leader, regardless of how briefly it was. You know, I saw this now, but no doubt I will be bawling through her graduation concert. If I even manage to get through it. Ai-chan wasn’t really my favorite, but there I was crying during the Suki na Senpai performance.
I do hope they give Risa a proper send off. People are already saying that Pyoko Pyoko Ultra is her graduation single, but I honestly don’t think it is. Pyoko Pyoko Ultra is being released January 25th, and Risa isn’t graduating until April 1st. They can totally squeeze out another single. When Ai-chan was graduating they squeezed out 3 singles and an album in 5 months.

This does leave me worried about Morning Musume’s future a bit. Graduations make me worried about any group. But the recent graduations and the next few graduations really worry me. Losing Ai-chan and Risa very close to one another is a big blow singing wise. They aren’t really any members in Morning Musume who can really take over the lines, or step up to the plate so to speak. None of the new members are really at a high enough singing level. Let’s be honest Zukki, Erina, Haruna can’t really sing at all. It will probably been a while before their voices are at a fairly decent level. Masaki and Ayumi had strong voices during the audition but they still need a bit of time to polish their voices. In Morning Musume we should ideally see Reina, Aika, Riho, Mizuki, and Haruka taking the main singing parts. While the other members have supporting roles. Depening on the song style Sayumi’s voice could work. Like it has in recent singles and album songs. But I doubt that will happen, it will probably just be more of shoving the most popular girls up front. While the good singers are over looked. Aika is more then capable to handle a decent amount of lines now. And don’t even get me statred on Mizuki. When she joined I thought she would immediately be a front girl because of her singing ability. Mizuki’s voice is a lot stronger than you’ve heard in Morning Musume. Go listen to Arigatou ~Ookiku Kansha~, epecially the live version, and tell me the girl’s voice isn’t great. But since Morning Musume is most likely taking a childish direction the songs are most likely going to be super high pitched, which would match the current member’s voices. And this also makes me think we’ll be seeing an 11th gen sooner than you think. I’d see the announcent could be as early as this fall.

But, anyway, good luck to Risa with her new career. It hurts to see her leave, but I do wish her the best. I look forwar to seeing her in a mess of dramas in the future.

Here’s a clip of Risa’s killing a song per usual.

And a clip that, no doubt, Risa has a blast filming.

Morning Musume-Pyoko Pyoko Ultra PV preview

Recently a PV preview for Morning Musume’s upcoming new single, Pyoko Pyoko Ultra, was released.

After watching the PV preivew, I have completely mixed feeling about the PV. I kinda hate it, but at the same time I kinda of like it. Let’s start with my complaints though. After Morning Musume was put into chicken costumes there was a lot of people wondering and joking about what exactly the PV was going to be like. And I have laugh that they really are going for the whole chick theme. Now, for one I do really dislike the chick costumes, they only really work on about 1/3 of the girls. While the rest look completely miserable or extremely awkward. And some members, like Sayumi and Ayumi, are trying too hard to work the outfit. I also don’t like how cheaply made the sky and cloud background set is. I realize it’s most likely intentionally bad, but I can’t help nitpicking that. Another thing I don’t really like is how fast the change in Morning Musume is. It really snuck up on me. I know that Morning Musume usually releases singles that are vastly different from one another single after single. But they haven’t truly done that in a while. Since I became a fan right before the “emo Momusu” phase, I guess I am a bit used to and set into Momusu’s current singles all sounding and being the same. The 9th gen have had 2 completely different sounding singles. But they weren’t really unique. They were more of rehashing the past. But I can honeslty say that Pyoko Pyoko Ultra sounds nothing like Morning Musume has released before. And that’s both a good and bad thing. But I honestly am happy for the change. I want a constantly changing Momusu again. But I just want a unique sounding single that isn’t a terrible song.

Now, on to the positives. To me the PV looks like something Mini Moni or Athena & Robikerottsu would release. Super childish, but at the same time you can still listen to it and watch it without feeling too old or embarrased. And I can honestly say that I loved both groups despite them being some of the most childish groups to ever come out of H!P. And that was mostly because I could step out from everything and take the songs and PVs for what they are. Slightly childish songs that are meant to just be happy, fun, and upbeat. I think any age can appreciate childish music because it’s the only type of music that is truly meant for everyone. And it’s honestly that type of youthful, childish, silly, upbeat flare that made me like idol music in the first place. It’s really an escape from the bombardment of oversexualized American music.
The PV itself for Pyoko Pyoko Ultra is great. It is a little bit cheaply made but it’s also one of the most creative PVs H!P has made in a while. I love that Morning Musume are basically characters in a children’s book. And at the same time are outside the set meant to represent reading the book. I think it’s cute and it’s fun. And it completely works for the younger members of Morning Musume. And I was completely expecting the PV to be like this. Morning Musume hasn’t been this young in a long time, so for someone to think we’d get something more mature than this is silly. I wouldn’t expect Morning Musume to be mature again for a while. And if they were it honestly wouldn’t work. They shoved Koharu and Aika into a mature role far too young and it didn’t work for either of them to be honest. Especially Aika. She’s never seemed more natural than when she was in Guardians 4. And if you’ve noticed she’s been singing and acting pretty much the same since. And she’s never been more popular. This is pretty much a defining moment for Morning Musume. And I think the public will respond well to this new sound.

All in all, the song isn’t my favorite, but I do like the PV and the direction Momusu seems to be going in. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. Since I became a fan 4 and a half years ago, all I ever said was, “man I wish they would release a song like Ai Araba It’s All Right or Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~ again.” Because those are some of my favorite singles.

Morning Musume-Pyoko Pyoko Ultra preview

A radio rip for Morning Musume’s 48th single Pyoko Pyoko Ultra has recently been released. This single is Morning Musume’s first single without Ai-chan, when Risa as the leader, and the debut of the 10th gen.

With that being said I was very anxious to see what kind of song this would be since it’s a completely new Morning Musume. I was expecting a lot from this single, and I am honestly upset that the song didn’t really live up to my high expectations. The song isn’t terrible, but it could have been a lot better. The song is still childish like I wanted it to be, be it’s not fun or overly energetic like I wanted. The song sounds like a B-side. And there isn’t a hook or really anything catchy about it. It it completely impossible to tell the difference between the verse and chorus. I also don’t like all of Tsunku’s background voices. And there seems to be another random deep voice in there. It sounds like the voice from C-ute’s LaLaLa Shiawase no Uta or S/mileage’s Koi Booing Buu. Unless both of those voices were Tsunku, but it honestly don’t think they were. I do understand that the song has to be simple because 3/4 of Morning Musume are unskilled new members, who can’t really handle a bigger song. But 9th gens debut was still energetic. They could have done the same thing for the 10th gen. Where Risa and Reina would have just taken the high notes this time.
And I would love to comment on the line distribution, but I can’t 100% tell who is singing when. I can hear that Reina, Risa, Sayumi, and Riho have solos. But beyond that I can’t really tell. I think I also hear Zukki but I can’t make out the 10th gens voices at all yet. But it sounds like there are at least 2 10th gen members with solo lines. I think it’s Ayumi and Haruna. Because Masaki’s and Haruka’s voices are very distinctive that I would right off the bat tell it was them. Unless Haruna doesn’t always sing with her “husky” voice.

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

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

Momusu announces first single with the 10th Gen

It was announced a while ago that Morning Musume was releasing their 48th single. But I held off on posting it because when I first heard about it, it wasn’t officially confirmed yet. And then by the time it was it just slipped by mind. So, sorry for this post being extremely overdue. But anyway, this single it titled Pyoko Pyoko Ultra and will be released on January 15th.

When I first heard about this single I was obviously excited since it’s the first single to feature the 10th Gen. But when I heard the titled I was ecstatic. I have no idea what pyoko mean, or if it’s even a real word, but I do know that it sounds like the single is going to be upbeat and playful. And hopefully, this means we are finally entering their youthful and energetic era. Momusu has been stringing me along in this aspect. Maji desu ka Ska, Yamette yo Sinbad, Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai, and a few album songs were upbeat and fun, but all of their other songs have been the same mature sounding songs we’re all used to. Which I just want to be over already. But since the young members now outweigh the old, this most likely means we will see a more playful and childish Momusu. And if we still don’t, well, I don’t know what I’m going to do then.

The 30 Day Idol Challenge: Day 5

Are guys ready for yet another exciting and riveting instalment of the 30 day idol challenge? I sure hope you are, because that’s what you’re going to get.

Today’s question is: “Your Favorite Group?”

I’ve been saying what my top 2 idol groups a lot lately in this blog, and even during the 30 day idol challenge. So, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone.

Morning Musume:

Words cannot properly describe just how much I love Morning Musume. I have never followed any band, group, or artist as closely as I follow Momusu. I practically listen to their music religiously. Since I became a fan 4 years ago I have not gone 1 day without listening to at least one song by them. I absolutely love Morning Musume’s music. As a group that is constantly changing, their music is never the same. And they hardly have 2 songs that really truly sound the same. And no matter what I am feeling that day there’s always a song that expresses it perfectly. They pretty much have a song about everything. If I want to listen to songs about curry, Sukiyaki, pocky, or sushi. They have them. If I want to listen to random songs about pink rainbows, nature being good, or Sindbad. Of course they have those as well. There’s just this infecious and addictive quality to Morning Musume’s music. You cannot help but immediately love it and spontaneously become happy. It is physically impossible to feel sad when you’re listening to Morning Musume. Even if that song is Never Forget. I usally just say how beautiful it is when I listen to it.
And if the music wasn’t enough you add the girls into this equation, and being a Morning Musume fan just seems obvious. I absolutely love love love the girls. They are just incredibly charming and entertaning. I feel a close attachment to them, in a weird way they feel like family. Whenever I see past members I get really nostalgic. Even if I wasn’t a fan when they were members, I just get this feeling of the good old days when they were a member. I love all the members, each one has something about them I like. Even if they aren’t my favorites. The members who aren’t my favorite have never failed to make me laugh or smile. Or feel attached to them in some way. I think Nacchi is completely overrated, but watching her cringe and make sad faces during the Bakajo test made me want to hug her. Sayumi is one of my least favorite members of all time, but watching her cry about JunJun on one of her image DVDs almost made me cry.
Morning Musume to me is what idols are. I don’t care if they are selling 5,000 copies and are forced to sing in parks. I will always be a fan of theirs, for as long as they are together. And even beyond that. I seriously can’t imagine when they break up. I will be absolutely devastated. A world without Momusu in it will shine a little less.

NEWS:

Ah, NEWS. My absolute favorite Johnny’s group and my introduction to all things male idol related. NEWS is of course a group I love because of their music. I think they honestly make the best music in all of JE. I haven’t heard an A-side, B-side, or album song I have absolutely hated. Yes, they are songs I’m not into that much like Sakura Girl or Stardust. But you can bet that when I’m in the mood for it I blast those songs. There are even songs I hated but now I absolutely love. I used to pretty much hate Gan Gan Ganbatte. When I first heard it in a concert I thought, “What in the world is this excuse for a song.” But when I rewatched the concert I thought the song was extremely catchy. The exact same thing happened with Beach Angel. I absolutely hated the random beach theme, but now it’s one of my favorite songs. And when I first heard Alibi, I got about 40 seconds in before I skipped the song. But once I actually listened to it I discovered how amazing it really is. The whole reason I’m into NEWS in the first place is because when I heard their songs they immediately reminded me of Morning Musume. NEWS is the upbeat, positive, and happy group within JE. Pretty much all of their songs are upbeat, positive, and happy. Which is exactly why I love NEWS so much. Even their songs that are about being lonely or sad still have unexpectedly cute lyrics. NEWS is just a perfect idol group in my eyes. Always extremely happy and super positive. They are Johnny’s to me. And going through their recent drama of losing 2 members devastated me. Absolutely devastated me. The perfect Johnny’s group in my eyes was being destroyed and I couldn’t bare it, I still can’t. But NEWS is still around, so of course I’m going to full-heartedly supprt them. No matter how painful it is at first. It’s just going to be weird having people ask me who my favorite NEWS member is. And I honestly don’t know how to answer, because I’m not 100% sure who it would be. Ryo was my favorite. I focused 100% on him, made sure I remembered everything about him. And as silly as it sounds being a Ryo fan, to me, said a lot about me and pretty much defined me as a NEWS fan. I suppose now Shige or Kei-chan is my favorite. They were always tied for second place anyway. I’m getting a little off topic now.
I also love everything about each member. I think they are entertaining. Despite people saying how boring they are. I am always entertained by NEWS. They always made me laugh and always made me smile. Tegoshi doing his horrible impressions and skits. Massu being his overly cute glutinous self. Ryo being the loveable jerk. Kei-chan being the airhead. Shige being easily controlled and easy target for jabs, and making it funny instead of serious. Yamapi not really saying much but still remaining incredibly sweet. Concert documentaries are still my absolute favorite thing to watch. They are always hilarious, and you really got to see how close NEWS is as a group. I must admit the Live Live Live documentary, their last concert as NEWS, wasn’t really that good. And I remember being absolutely disappointed that it didn’t have the fun flare of past concert documentaries. Perhaps I should have seen the withdraws coming then?

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.

Introducing Morning Musume’s 10th generation

At today’s Morning Musume concert at Nippon Budokan the 10th generation of Morning Musume was finally announced.

The new member are: Sixteen year old Ikubo Haruna, Fourteen year old Ishida Ayumi, twelve year old Sato Masaki, and eleven year old Kudo Haruna.

Now, if anyone has noticed I’ve been away from blogging for a couple days. (And I will continue to be away until I catch up my TV shows I’ve been missing. XD) However, I wanted to at least write about this because it is huge news.
When I first got onto the computer I got this overwhelming, indescribable rush of excitment. Obviously new memers are always one of the most exciting fan experiences. Second only to actual concerts. But for a poor foreign fan like myself, this is pretty much as good as it gets. So, the excitment was pouring out as I quickly checked to see who had made it in, or if there would be any surprises like the 9th gen had. And as quickly as the excitement was building up and overflowing within me, it was then drained just as fast.
There isn’t really another word to desrcibe how I felt other than flabbergasted. I was so shocked that I wasn’t sure if I was reading it correctly. No Murakami Sara? No surprise Miyamoto Karin? The wave of disappointment hit me like a ton of bricks. And I was suddenly feeling pretty angry. My personal favorites from the audition Fuuka and Sara didn’t make it into the group. Not even my favorite underdog of the group, Miwa Satsuki, made it. Tsunku himself said that he needed strong vocalists to take over for Ai-chan. So, I’m not exactly sure why he only added 1 girl that can actually sing. I’m sorry, I don’t like Haruka’s “husky” voice. When I found out who made it into the group the first thing I did was yell out loud, “Oh come on, she’s too old.” Which was obviously in responce to Haruna. And I honestly mean that.

I don’t know, I’m just upset and frustrated by the whol decision. I guess this is why some fans don’t pick favorites, or skip that auditions all together. Because honestly it sucks right now that my favorite wasn’t picked. Instead things have turned out much like the S/mileage auditions where my favorite didn’t make it, but there was still a member added that I did like. In S/mileage it was Rinapu, and in Morning Musume it’s Masaki.
 I suppose I shouldn’t be too upset until I see the girls in action and their personalities. I mean, as of right now the 9th gen still haven’t copletely carved out their personalities yet. Especially Riho, that girl seems so unsure of herself. Tsunku usually knows what he’s doing, and there’s always been a girl from each gen that I absolutely adore. And I am actually really excited that 4 girls were added. I’m really happy to see Momusu at 12 members. Now, add about 3-4 more and I’ll be ecstatic.

But looking at all the wonderful talent he passed up, I still would love to know what he’s thinking. Honestly, I hope Tsunku has some grand scheme up his sleeve. I mean, he’d better. If he doesn’t I don’t see any reason in the world for him to have passed up both Karin and Sara. The man (techically group of people, you saw the 3 or so judges during the training camp) would have to be crazy. I don’t think it’s just the 8th gen again where Kikka was passed up and had to wait in the Eggs for years until it was her time. Or it should say, I don’t want it to be like that again. But Tsunku always knows what he’s doing. He always picks girls that come from behind and turn out to be incredible. We’ve seen that time and time again. And I actually do have a great deal of faith in Tsunku, or whoever is really calling the shots, because they honeslty are usually spot on. And he does seem to pick the perfect moment to use the girls. Yes, he’s made a lot of mistakes in the past with Eggs. But obviously he’s trying to correct them now. I think S/mileage being formed, and then adding more Eggs to S/mileage again and to Morning Musume twice now (3 times if you count LinLin, but I only really talking about in the last couple of years) shows that now sees their potential. And what their popularity can bring to the group.

 But with the 10th gen announced I can’t help but wonder what he has in store for the future. Because he said has 4 years of Morning Musume already planned. Why does Tsunku care so much about bridging the age gap? Especially since the remaining 5th and 6th gen girl’s days are numbered. And all the older member’s stint in Morning Musume were pretty short lived. Scandal or being Chinese aside, Miki and JunJun were gone pretty quickly. I know Risa has always loved Morning Musume, and it’s probably always been her dream to be the leader ever since she got that dorky Nacchi haircut when she was a child, but I don’t see Risa being the leader longer than a little over a year. And the 6th gen have maybe 2-3 years more. And by then no doubt we’ll be on the 11th gen at least. Which would then pushed Momusu’s age to 20-13. And then whatever the 11th gen are, assuming they are even added. But I don’t think Tsunku is that stupid anymore. With the the lose of both Eri and Ai-chan he knows he has to build up the girls he has now, while adding more, if he wants to keep Morning Musume alive with just the 8th-11th, if not higher, gens. But if they are that age why does it really matter to bridge the gap. Is he planning to make Morning Musume sexy after the 6th gen leaves? I mean, Haruna already has the mature, fashionalbe, sexy vibe now. Haruna will be 18, Aika will be 20, and Ayumi, Mizuki, and Erina will be 16. With Riho, Zukki, Haruna, and Masaki not too far behind. Sadly, it actually kinda seems like that. Or maybe we’d get a whole new sound that’s more appealing to teenagers. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when Morning Musume was nothing but teenagers. Twenty is close enough to a teenager. If a mature Momusu is really his plan, he better execute it better than he did last time.