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

SK

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

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

Hello!Project:

H!P3

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

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

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

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

MM2

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

Johnny’s:

Arashi2

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

Koki

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

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

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

HeySayJUMP

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

AKB48 and sister groups:

AKB48

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

Other idol groups:

Dream5

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

MomoCLo

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

Fudanjuku

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

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

IdolSongs

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

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

Slave to SKE48

SKE48ChocoNoDorei

It’s been well over a month since SKE48’s Choco no Dorei PV came out. This is actually a PV I didn’t skip because I thought it was boring. This PV actually just slipped my mind completely. And I do apologize for that.

Since I’ve grown more and more attached to SKE48 musically than AKB48 I really need to make an effort to keep up with them and not overlook them so much.

I’ve liked this PV ever since I first saw the preview and since seeing the PV I just love it all the more. I still think it’s such a clever idea to make this PV a look behind the scenes of what it takes to be an idol, and what each girl’s normal day if full of. It does show that the girls working hard everyday, and that there is hardly a moments rest. They do show a few scenes of the girls hanging out or riding a bike, but 8/10 of the PV is filled with work.

While in reality it probably is really rough to be an idol and have to balance work, and school, and never having free time, and being completely devoid of a normal life or relationship, but the only thing I take from this PV is how much fun it actually it is to be an idol. In this PV anyway, it looks fun. Obviously because they are only showing the fun times. But even when they are working each girl looks like they’re having so much fun. And I love seeing the girls walk around the theater and getting excited by seeing all of the idol pictures hanging up and seeing the stage. Even though it’s all staged you can tell that the sentiment is real. Because honestly I’m sure the girls, even the extremely popular girls, are just amazed and completely appreciate every opportunity they have to perform and just be an idol. I can’t imagine a more exciting experience.

I don’t know as an idol fan I just love seeing those moments when you can see the idols just being so genuinely happy about being an idol. Which is why I love seeing real behind the scenes footage of my idols. I love seeing them get excited for getting solo lines, or appearances on TV shows. I love seeing them being really excited to do concerts and seeing the close relationships they have with the other members. And when I see an idol that is that genuine it makes me want to support them even more. That’s why when I saw how well Sayumi treated the 9th and 10th gen and how much she doted on them, it made me see her in a whole new light. It was like that moment when a tearful Acchan said that you could hate her but don’t hate AKB48. It’s just those moments that are filled with such honest love and emotion for the group that makes being a fan and supporting the group worth it.

This PV is amazing because it evokes all those mushy idol feelings. It shows that the girls love being idols and they work hard every day because they love the group that much. They want to make themselves, and the group as a whole, as great as possible for the fans. In a way it’s how the idols return the love and devotion that the fans give to them. The PV just leaves that sort of sappy and warm feeling after watching it. It just makes me reconfirm my love of idols. Because honestly no other hobby out there leaves the same fulfilling and genuinely happy and good feeling that idols do. It’s that feeling that, despite what anyone else thinks, makes spending all this amount of time on idols not a waste. I don’t regret one minute of the time I put into idols. There are times when people around me trivialize the way I spend my time, but at the end of the day I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Sorry, I got way off topic there and brought it into a whole other subject completely. But that’s because this is exactly how this PV makes me feel! That’s why I think it’s one of the best idol PVs I’ve seen in a while.

Getting back to the actually PV subject, while I do think it’s a great PV I don’t understand what Rena’s scenes are about. The PV tends to focus a lot on Rena, which is too be expected since she’s one of the main faces of the group. But throughout the PV whenever they show Rena she either looks really tired or uninterested. And I was a little annoyed by that halfway through the PV. And to be honest I’m still annoyed by it because they don’t explain why she was acting like that.

Instead they just show her alone in the city with a car flying over her and then jumping over cars. It’s just a weird scene to me. Right before that happens they do show her closing her eyes while on stage, so I suppose she’s just imagining that to gain strength for the performance or something along those lines. It’s still just a weird and out of place scene to me.

ChocoNoDorei

What a nice night scene.

ChocoNoDorei2

I like how this PV is even giving a shout out to the staff.

ChocoNoDorei3

I actually expected their dressing room to be bigger. I only count 8 mirrors.

ChocoNoDorei4

Rena blankly starring off.

ChocoNoDorei5

Dreamers.

ChocoNoDorei6

Poor Rena falling asleep while eating breakfast.

ChocoNoDorei7

Nice outfit, but Jurina doesn’t look to happy. 

ChocoNoDorei8

For a second I forgot that Rie was shuffled into SKE.

ChocoNoDorei9

Can’t imagine anything harder than balancing school and being an idol.

ChocoNoDorei10

Love these outfits so much.

ChocoNoDorei11

Kumi is so adorable, too bad she’s graduating.

ChocoNoDorei12

I always thought the wall of pictures in their theaters was so cool.

ChocoNoDorei13

ROMANSU!

ChocoNoDorei14

The girl with curls is a little cute.

ChocoNoDorei15

I’ve always been super impressed with anyone who could do a split.

ChocoNoDorei16

Why so sad Rena?

ChocoNoDorei17

Oh look Non for 2 seconds.

ChocoNoDorei18

It’s a little sad that Rie has to work even during her plane (or is that a bus?) ride. But then again she can afford Beats headphones, so it’s not all bad.

ChocoNoDorei19

Wow, she’s practicing a dance while sitting down. How?

ChocoNoDorei20

Idol concerts look like so much fun.

ChocoNoDorei21

Cute dance move.

ChocoNoDorei22

Adorable.

ChocoNoDorei23

Acting or not, they looks so genuinely happy.

ChocoNoDorei24

Cutie.

ChocoNoDorei25

Lolz.

ChocoNoDorei26

That girl on the left really stands out.

ChocoNoDorei27

I can’t tell if she’s practicing her intro or singing. Either way it’s cute.

ChocoNoDorei28

This girl is really cute.

ChocoNoDorei29

This part of the dance is weird.

ChocoNoDorei30

They don’t show Non nearly enough during the dance scenes.

ChocoNoDorei31

Rena deep in thought.

ChocoNoDorei32

Who has super powers all of a sudden.

ChocoNoDorei33

Too cute for words.

SKE48 – Choco no Dorei PV preview

SKE48’s official youtube channel uploaded the short version PV to SKE48’s upcoming 11th single, Choco no Dorei. Giving us the first look at the PV.

Since I enjoy SKE48’s music more than AKB48’s I figure I should at least actively try to cover what’s going on with them more.

I’m not the biggest fan of the song, I think they’ve released much better singles. But the song isn’t completely awful. It’s a little catchy. I’m sure it will grow on me over time. But I am a huge fan of the PV already.

I love that the theme of the PV is what the girls do during their normal life as an idol. It shows dance lessons, magazine shoots, theater performances, as well as even showing wotagei. I like that it’s a peak of their normal lives, despite it all being panned and scripted for a PV. I’m sure it’s still pretty much along these lines. I also think that this PV is a nod to their steady rise in popularity. Kind of like, “Thanks for the support, and look how much hard work we put into it everyday.”

I also really love the outfits they wear during the theater performance. It’s very colorful and adorable, it reminds me just a bit of their outfits for Oki Doki.

New AKB48 sub-group No Name announced

It was announced that the members of AKB48, SKE48, and NMB48, that were chosen to voice act in the AKB48 anime, AKB0048, will be forming a new sub-group to release the opening and ending themes. The new sub-group is called No Name and the official release not of their single has yet to be announced. But the opening theme is titled Kibou ni Tsuite and the ending theme is titled Yume wa Nandomo Umarekawaru. AKB0048 begins ariring April 29th, so we should have a preview of the song in a few days.

I am really excited for this, after the 30 members passed the first round of juding for the anime I really wanted Sato Amina, Sato Sumire, and Watanabe Mayu to pass because I had a feeling the winners would also be doing the themes. And I am completely thrilled that it’s actually happening. Despite Amina never getting any attention or lines, she actually has one of my favorite voices in AKB48. She might not be the most vocally talented singer in any 48 group, but she has that adorable idol voice that I absolutely love. But sadly poor Amina is shoved in the back of this promo pic so it’s pretty much guaranteed she’s not going to get a solo line. I’m actually a little confused as to who the center for this single is going to be. Is it going to be Mayu because she’s in the absolute center of the picture or it Kumi because she’s in the center of the front row?  It’s probably going to be Mayu lead and Kumi secondary anyway. Either way I’ll still be happy since both girls have adorable voices.

AKB48 announce 26th single and 2012 Senbatsu

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

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

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

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

Big changes to AKB48

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SKE48-Kataomoi Finally PV preview

SKE48’s official youtube channel has just released a PV preview for their upcoming new single, Katatomoi Finally.

Well, I can honestly say both the song PV are so far off from what I had in mind. I am actually a little disappointed with the song itself. Coming after about such fast paced singles this song doesn’t really compare. I’ve grown so accustomed to SKE48 releasing really energetic and upbeat songs.  While the music is still very heavy and danceable it lacks the overall ebthusiasim and energy of their past singles. This song is sung semi upbeat, but at the same times has this very somber feel to it.
The PV is what really surprised me the most. For the most part it is a very well made PV with a lot of exciting elements. Like car crashes, blasting off a flare, and I even love that the dance shots are filmed on a roof. I could have honestly done with out the scenes of Jurina (I think it’s her. They don’t show her face, but it kinda sounds like her.) laying on and running through the voice. It doesn’t really fit with the intense and dramatic scenes the rest of the PV is filled with.
But then the rest of the PV focuses on the relationships between girls. So, it shows the members having some sort of slumber party, focusing on each other so much that they don’t even notice a car crash, slapping each other, and of course kissing. Which I wasn’t really expecting. This is pretty much the first idol PV that I have ever seen that focuses on an actual lesbian relationship. Most other idol PV usually just have kissing thrown in for fanservice. I do commend them for that. In the aspect that it could make teenage girls who are lesbians feel better about themselves and feel more accepted and normal. However, it’s done less about that and more about catering to the main fanbase as just another act of fanservice. Which, is whatever. It doesn’t really bother me. I love fanservice, just obviously not this type. But overlooking the fanservice aspect I do actually respect the PV a bit more for the deeper meaning it can have. And I actually like to see the PV that way. As yes, fanservice but still something more.

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

SKE48 announce 8th single

It was just announced that SKE48 will be releasing their 8th single. The single is entiled Kataomoi Finally and will be released on January 25th.

I’m always excited for a new SKE48 single, especially since their recent singles have been 100 times better than AKB48’s and NMB48’s. I’m a little confused by the titled though. Unrequited love isn’t really something you want to finally happen, or really at all. I’ve heard people mention that this may be a follow up to Aozora Kataomoi, which doesn’t really make sense. Just because they both use the same word doesn’t mean they are connected to each other. And I wouldn’t really be too happy if it was a follow up song, it’s one of my least favorite SKE48 songs. It’s too slow paced for my liking.

 

SKE48-Okie Dokie PV preview

A few days ago the PV preview for SKE48’s upcoming 7th single, Okie Dokie, was released. I don’t remember them releasing a radio rip for this song, so as far as I’m aware this is the first time us fans are hearing the song as well.

The song itself is really upbeat and happy, and definitely sounds like something SKE48 would release. However, I think a lot of their past singles were a lot stronger. All of SKE48’s past A-sides, excluding Aozora Kataomoi, have had a very similar sound. Which is this very heavy dance music, and it’s something I have honestly come to expect from SKE48. I know obviously all of their songs can’t sound exactly the same, but so far they pretty much have. So, why ruin a good thing? I don’t know about most people, SKE48’s singles are the exact sound I expect from all my idol groups. Which is why I love upbeat groups like Passpo and Momoiro Clover Z, and tend to complain when songs aren’t upbeat. Okie Dokie is pretty upbeat, however the music isn’t quite there yet. They could have pushed it a bit further. And I actually don’t like that this song is called Okie Dokie. Okie dokie isn’t really a “cool” English phrase you really want to incorporate into a song. The phrase okie dokie itself is pretty dorky and slightly childish, and whenever it’s used it’s a phrase people pretty much laugh at because of how dated its become. So, having them say Okie Dokie about 10 times makes me laugh a bit. And can I just say that when Jurina said Okie Dokie Ikuzo, it immediately reminded me of when ManoEri says Genkimono de Ikou. XD

The song might be a little average to me, but there’s one thing SKE48 always gets right and that’s the PV. SKE48 past 4 PVs have been very elaborate and over the top. They have had a lot of elements and have been extremely interesting to watch. And it’s nice to see that they seem to be keeping up the pace. The PV is actually really cheaply made. But it’s one of those PVs that are so interesting you hardly notice how low budget the PV actually is. There is so much going on in this PV. There are cheerleaders in the background, and interesting night life type of setting with neon signs, and really interesting scenes with them dancing in water in 80’s inspiried outfits. And I absolutely love the neon writing overlays on their close-up shots. So far, SKE48 seem to have hot this one out of the park. I doubt there’s much more going on in the full version of this PV, but I’m ok with that. The PV is entertaining enough how it is now.

SKE48 to release 7th single

It was announced at a recent handshake event for Pareo wa Emerald, that SKE48 willl be releasing a 7th single. The single is entitled Okie Dokie and will be released on November 9th. The single will also include a voting card to vote for SKE48′s Request Hour Best 50.

I am actually really excited for this release. SKE48’s last 3 singles have been consistantlly amazing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what type of song this will be. Since it’s called Okie Dokie, it’s pretty obvious that the song is going to be upbeat. If SKE48 releases antother song as good as their last ones, it would further the rivalry even more between AKB48, as to which is my favorite 48 group.