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.

An amazing S/mileage PV has arrived

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A few hours ago the PV for S/mileage’s new single, Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita, was uploaded onto S/mileage’s official youtube channel.

I wanted to review this PV pretty quickly because S/mileage PVs always seem to fall by the wayside on my blog anymore. And I do apologize for that. I do want to go back and review PVs that I’ve missed. Once I have time of course.

But I also wanted to review this PV quickly because I really really love it. It is such a change, and such a breath of fresh air, from recent H!P PVs. This PV is pretty simple and literally only has 2 sets, but what I love about this PV is that it’s so natural. The last few H!P PVs have all been filmed on sets and/or used a lot of cheap CG effects. Which makes for these stuffy sort of boring, predictable PVs. What I love about the Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita PV is that it is filled on sets, but it uses natural lighting which gives it this airy and light feeling. Usually Kikka gets all the natural lighting PVs. Do you realize how much better C-ute’s Kono Machi PV or Morning Musume’s Help Me PV would have been if they uses natural lighting or were filmed outside? A lot.

I also love that this PV isn’t the standard dance and close-up shot PVs. The do spice up the video, if only a little bit, by having the girls in a room. Granted they do mostly just sit around or do mundane things stretch or hide behind plants. Oh Kanana. But it still is a nice change and a little bit more than what we’ve been seeing lately.

And the girls just look completely natural and beautiful in these scenes. They’re styled in very normal clothes and just look like regular girls. To me each outfits and set is like 2 sides of the spectrum of S/mileage. The glamorous idol side, and the normal girl side. And maybe I’m in the minority for this, but I do love when idols are styled in normal clothes and look normal every once in a while. And not always over-styled and overly made-up. Don’t get me wrong I do love that aspect, but every now and then it’s nice to see them as natural beauties.

The other set is kind of boring because it’s just a white set. But it does get a few extra points for the natural light beaming throughout it. But I absolutely love the outfits. I guess H!P designers are really getting inspired from marching bands lately because S/mileage is wearing a marching band inspired top. Which is obviously a way different style than C-ute’s marching band inspired top. Especially since it’s like a mix between marching band and a sailor uniform. The skirt is really cute too, but it kinda looks a bit like the jackets from Suki yo Junjou Hankouki in skirt form. And double points for Take-chan wearing shorts to fit her tomboy image.

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Glad to see that H!P finally gets a legit set in a PV again. But whoa, Dawa’s shoes are gigantic.

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The suit case in the corner reminds me of ManoEri’s Sekai wa Summer Party PV.

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Gorgeous Ayaka.

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What a tease, they make you think it’s gonna be filmed outside.

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Love love love these outfits.

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Take-chan adorable in shorts.

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What a cutie.

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So glad Kanon has been keeping her hair this long lately. She looks so much better with longer hair.

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Meimi looks so mature in this PV.

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My love. *O* She’s so cute. 

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Rina is so adorable. I just wish she’d get a new hairstyle soon.

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Flawless.

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This part of the dance is so cute.

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Now where have I seen this dance move before?

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Oh yeah, I remember now.

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Kanyon is so adorable.

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Just so so adorable.

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This is a cute dance move too.

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Oh  Mei Mei and her vampire teeth.

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Gorgeous.

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What a cutie.

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Love love.

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Ayaka’s smile always looks so genuine, which is rare for an idol.

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Love that dress.

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Why do idols always hold up their pinky when they say the word onna? I don’t get it.

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Super cute.

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Look at Akari’s face.

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Such a Kana thing to do. Lol.

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Oh Mei Mei, such a bright smile.

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Adorable.

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Wow Meimi can jump pretty high.

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Look at the legs on Ayaka.

S/mileage – Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita preview

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A few days ago a short radio rip for S/mileage’s upcoming new single Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita was released.

So, I like to listen to radio rips at least 6 times before I ever start writing my posts on them, mostly because you don’t notice things like line distribution the first time around, or it takes a time or two to really get a feel for the song. But the time time I was listening to this song I kept thinking how it sounded really familiar especially the dun dun dun dun  in the music while they sing tabidachi no, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what song also did that, and then it hit me. 

This entire song sounds like a way toned down version of Morning Musume’s The Matenrou Show. Which explains why I’ve loved this song from the first listen. Obviously The Matenrou Show has more, what I’m guessing are horns, and has a more funk sound to it. But you can’t even deny that Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita as a whole sounds like something Morning Musume would sing. There are even parts where I hear a little bit of Seishun Collection in it. Both songs have those 2 or so violin notes right before they start singing the verse.

I do really like the sound of the song so far. Even if it reminds me of a few other songs. It’s a very sweet and light song. I enjoy it 100% more than I did Samui Ne. And it really does fit the feeling of spring.

S/mileage-Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki preview

A couple of days ago the full radio rip for S/mileage’s upcoming new single Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki was released. Just because I haven’t mentioned it before, this new single is being released on August 22nd.

Since their major debut S/mileage has been releasing a lot of singles with heavy electronic music, hnd this single isn’t any different. However, I don’t think it’s as strong as their past singles such as Yumemiru 15 sai or Uchouten Love. The overall sound is just ok. It’s honestly a little bit of a letdown for me since S/mileage is usually really consistent with their singles, nearly all of them have been great. This single just falls flat. And it’s another one of those songs where it doesn’t really sound like there’s a chorus. The music barely changes during the chorus and the singing only gets a fraction higher. And even then it’s only for the first 3 lines, then the rest of the chorus sounds exactly like the verse.

The only aspect of this song that I really like is of course the line distribution. It’s actually fair. Which is amazing I was being to forget S/mileage actually has more than 4 members. It sounds like everyone gets a nice amount of lines. But it sounds like poor Meimi and Kana get the least. The most exciting part is that Rinapu actually gets to sing, and a lot. It seems like H!P finally realized they had her join because she can sing. Rinapu gets a lot of her because of her looks, but I was rooting for her to join because of her amazing voice. And she does sound great in this song. Akari and Rina honestly sound the best in this song. It’s just more suited for a deeper voice. And at one part of the song someone’s singing sounds really similar to Chisato’s. It’s either Akari or Kana, I can’t really tell. But, I hope I’m not the only one who hears it.

S/mileage-Dot Bikini preview

Recently the full radio rip for S/mileage’s upcoming new single, Dot Bikini, was released.

I have been addicted to an absolutely in love with this song since the first listen. Not even the first listen I was hooked after the first few seconds after the music kicked in. The main reason I love this song is because it has a very distictive H!P sound. The drumming in the beginning of the song sound almost identical to the drumming in the very beginning of S/mileage’s Asu wa Date na no ni, Imasugu Koe ga Kikitai. And the music itself sounds like a mix between Berryz Koubou’s Halation Summer and Ongaku Gatas Yattarouze. And I absolutely love that about this song. The music is fun and very tropical sounding. I love all the background yays it just adds to very energetic feel of the song. And I also love how they repeat the same words over and over it reminds me of how they sung OO Ganbaranakutemo Eenende.

I’m a little disappointed by the line distribution. Before the 2nd gen joined S/mileage had the most fair line distribution in all of H!P, partly because they were the smallest group. With the 2nd gen here and Yuuka gone we can finally see how the line distribution is going to be, because Dot Bikini is following the exact same format as Chotto Matte Kudasai. Were Ayaka, Kanon, Akari, and Meimi get the most lines and Kana Rina only got one line. I’m pretty sure they only get 1 line. But to be honest it’s still a little hard to distinguish the new member’s voices. Since Meimi has the same tone in her voice as Ayaka. And Akari and Rina have very similar tones in their voices. But I’d like to assume Kana and Rina got at least 1 line a piece.

Was S/mileage’s new PV really worth the wait?

A few weeks ago the full PV for S/mileage’s recent single Chotto Matte Kudasai was released.

After the absolutely incedible and adorable PV that was Please Miniskirt Postwoman, I was expecting a lot from this PV. But sadly it didn’t really live up to expectations. The PV was extremely cheaply made, and it seemed to be one of those PVs that were relying more on the girls’ personalities to sell the PV. But it didn’t really work this time. Mostly because the set was too bare. The reason PVs that Pvs like Hatsukoi Cider and Sekaiichi Happy Onna no Ko worked was because there was more going on than just the sets. Hatsukoi Cider had intersting angles and editing effects, while Sekaiichi Happy Onna no Ko completely utilized their set completely and made it fun by showing each rooms next to each other as they panned across the set. Which was very similar to Perfume’s One Room Disco or even Hey! Say! JUMP’s Mayonaka no Shadow Boy. But in Chotto Matte Kudasai they just stayed in the same Anataboshi-esque set for the entire PV. The close-up shots even look like they were filmed in the exact spot as their positions in the dance. Which is really cutting corners.
While I do love S/mileage to pieces and find them to be really adorable and down right charming in this PV, I do need a little something more from this PV to push it over the top. They used the exact same format as they did for the Tachiagaaru PV. And let’s be honest it didn’t work at all for that PV either. And we all know how I was dissapointed by that PV.
Also, I have to take a minute and talk about the dresses. Oh, the dresses. From the minute they were first shown fans have been comparing them to Morning Musume’s Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game dresses. And I can’t really blame them, they do look strikingly similar. Obviously they aren’t 100% the same. The shape and the overall silhouette of the dresses are different. But they are about half similar as they are both pretty ugly and are just solid colors with white accents. I personally do not like either dresses, but what do I know? We should see what Dior thinks of them. If Dior sees them now they can still replicate them in time for Fall Fashion Week.
Now, I can’t completely rip this PV apart because the director of the PV did attempt to add some interesting scenes. But sadly, those scenes weren’t really cutting it for me either. There are these scenes were the members are multiplied about 5 times which are kind of cool, but they would probably be a lot cooler if they didn’t remind me of Berryz Koubou’s Dakishimete Dakishimete PV. And then there are the scenes I just don’t get. And those are the scenes were S/mileage hits the “screen” and then slowly slides down as if they are raindrops or flies. I just have no idea what that’s about.
But throught all of this there are scenes that I do like, and that’s the scenes were the members are writing on the board. I don’t know, I just think those scenes are adorable. And they are very Buono-esque.

I might as well get the dress comparing out of the way.

Decide for yourself if they are similar.

Kana is so adorable.

I should also get the set comparisons out of the way.

It looks pretty similar to Milky Way’s Anataboshi set.

Don’t get it. XD

The dance is a little weird.

Kanana times 10.

Reminds me of Dakishimete Dakishimete though. Also Chu Natsu Party.

I think Meimi looks cute with bangs. I don’t get why fans care so much that she changed her hair. The girl is 13, she’s got years of new hairstyles coming.

Ayaka looking cute as usual.

I do like this dance move though just because it’s so sharp.

I’m trying so hard to like Akari, but I just don’t see her appeal.

Kanon’s adorable pouty face.

So Kanon’s winning or? I don’t get these scens at all.

I just adore Rinapu.

Cute.

Umm, moustache move? o_O

And chicken move? This isn’t Pyoko Pyoko Ultra.

So lovely.

Rina is such a cutie.

I don’t like that they make Kana intentionally off in the dance. For what reason? To make fans root for her more or something? It’s completely pointless.

Adorable! *O*

This move is cute.

But WTF is up with this move. Seriously.

I love how happy Kana always looks.

Sleeping beauty.

Super cute.

I mean Kana definitely needs to improve, but she is in synch with the other girls.

Cute.

It’s cute that Kanon is losing against herself at tic-tac-toe.

Lol.

I love how serious Meimi is trying to look.

Kana’s face plant is the best.

Hair flip.

Mei Mei overracting again.

This move. XD

Only Meimi is falling. Lol.

S/mileage-Chotto Matte Kudasai PV preview

S/mileage was recently promoting their new single on a morning show, brining along with them the first PV preview for their upcoming new single Chotto Matte Kudasai.

Now, the PV preview is only about 9 seconds long so you can’t really get a feel for the PV. So far we have only seen the dance shot and them wearing their Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game-esque dresses. However, I am pretty disappointed that the dance shot set looks nearly identical to Milky Way’s Anataboshi set. Except that the cardboard buildings are different and there’s a giant moon instead of giant stars.
I really wish I could comment on the preview beyond that, but there’s really nothing else to say.

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

S/mileage’s new PV really delivers

A few day ago the full PV for S/mileage’s upcoming single, Please Miniskirt Postwoman was released.

The full PV is a lot different than the first PV preview showed. And perhaps I jumped the gun a bit when I wrote the PV off as being awful. Surprisingly the PV actually turned out to be pretty amazing, and it actually does have a storyline. The PV follows the members of S/mileage around as they gather packages to deliver on their mail route. The whole PV is shot beautifully in extremely bright lighting. It was done in such a way that it almost looks like it really is shot using natural lighting but it’s not. I’m actually really impressed with the PV. I think they could have pushed it just a little farther, but overall I love the PV. The girls look amazing in the close-up shots, and the screen time is pretty even for the most part. The PV does revolve around Ayaka, which makes it seem like she will become the new face of S/mileage now that Yuuka is graduating. Her and Meimi so sing most of the song. So, most likelyAyaka and Meimi will be the new faces of Smileage. Which I’m not too thrilled about as neither are my favorite members.
Even though the PV is great there are still two elements I could do without. The first one obviously being the dance scenes. I still do not like them. It’s a completely cop out to have them film indoors with the illusion of it being outdoors. Would it really cost that much more to film outside? Their Suki-chan PV was filmed outside and that was once of their indies singles.
The other aspect I don’t like is that the beginning reminds me a lot of Fujimoto Miki’s Boogie Train 2003 PV though. Which is slightly unoriginal. The first few scenes are nearly identical. Which isn’t really a huge deal since the rest of the PV is nothing like it. It just irks me a bit.

Randomly sleeping.

Just like Miki.

I absolutely love these outfits.

Future top 2.

Ayaka looks pretty here.

OMG.

Too similar though.

This is an adorable dance move.

This set is cute.

Aww.

It’s magic!

This has to be the lyrics to the song, because I can read that it says kini naru.

I’m gonna miss Yuuka.

Meimi’s jacked up teeth.

Kanon is adorable.

Love her.

Cute.

Kana is slowing becoming my favorite new member.

Kanon looks so angry here. Lol.

Yuuka is so adorable.

Rinapu!

Kana is just so cute, and this hair is perfect on her.

Fragile, it must be Italian. Sorry, I’ve got Christmas on the brain.

Kana stealing the spotlight. Lolz at Meimi’s random shocked face.

Lol. Kanon of course making a stupid face.

Of course they have to focus on their legs.

Ring around the mailbox.

Cute.

Adorable Rinapu.

I love how over the top Mei Mei is. Lol.

What? Lol.

Extreme close-up of Take-chan, and also th first cap of her on this post cause I don’t really like her that much. XD

See, this is why I love Kanon.

Kanyon. *O*

S/mileage-Please Mini Skirt Post Woman PV preview

A commercial for S/mileage’s up coming new single, Please Mini Skirt Post Woman, has begun airing. Giving us fans the first peek at the PV.

This single has so much going for it. The song is incredible and the oufits are extremely cute and well made. The only draw back is the PV itself. Because I love the song so much I was expecting a lot from this PV, and sadly it doesn’t deliver at all. From what we can see of the PV so far it looks incredibly simple. The dance shots and close-ups are filming on the exact same set, which is always a no-no. Especially if your PV is nothing much dance scenes and close-ups. And if that’s not bad enough the set itself is incredible simple and cheap. S/mileage is dancing on a green floor with a blue wall, I guess to make it look like they are outside. Which is ridiculous, why not just film outside? And behind them are presents, balloons, and one of those old fashion mail boxes.
I am just so disappointed by this PV so far. But you know what? I’m not even that upset that the PV is terrible. The song is so great that I could care less what the PV looks like. I don’t think anything could ruin this single for me.

S/mileage to release 9th single

It was just announced that S/mileage will be releasing their 9th single. The single is titled Chotto Matte Kudasai and will be released on February 1st.

Can you say too soon? I absolutely love S/mileage, but even I can see that they are releasing too many singles at once. S/mileage released 5 singles in 2011 and this single will be released exactly 1 month and 4 days after their 8th single, Please Miniskirt Postwoman. Luckily, despite having a rush of releases this year the quality of their singles haven’t suffered. Actually, their singles keep getting better and better. Tsunku seems to really be putting his full creativity and force into S/mileage. Not to say that the rest of H!P’s releases were terrible because they weren’t at all. It’s just the S/mileage has really been on fire this year. I have 100% faith that this new single will be just as good, maybe even better.

Would telling the truth be so awful?

Lying, absolutely everyone in the world does it. Some people on a daily basis. And if they tell you otherwise, well then it’s pretty obvious that they’re lying. However, there are certain people in this world that if they lie to you, you feel a high level of betrayal. When it comes to people you don’t know, it’s usually done by politicians or bankers. But I’m going to my cards on the table and say I feel just as betrayed when my favorite idol lies to me. Obviously idols tell tons of white lies on a daily basis. Mostly for the fan’s benefit to enhance the idol fantasy or overall experience. And most fans don’t mind. They’ll just eat up whatever their idol says. However, I think we can all agree that everyone hates the lies about graduating. If idols are leaving, or withdrawing, anyway, aren’t us fans at least entitled to an honest reason? Other then the vauge I need to continue my studies or the workload was too much.

The worst part is when the lie is so blatantly in your face obvious. Like saying you want to graduate to become a model, but then turn around and join Dream Morning Musume. But there’s no point in talking about past occurrences when there are fresh ones to complain about.

Like with Nishikido Ryo.

When Ryo announced his withdrawal from NEWS I was too devestated to think clearly let alone feel angry about it. But after I thought about it for a bit, it made absolutely zero sense. Being in 2 groups is too hard? First of all, since when? You’ve been doing it for 8 years now. And second of all, how in the world does Buono even exist then? I thought poor Ryo-chan was overworked because he had both NEWS and Kanjani8, he’s in dramas, and is extremely popular therefore in high demand. But then I started to think about the girls of Buono. If anyone is overworked it’s them. But for the sake of comparison let’s just say Suzuki Airi is extremely overworked. Buono has been around for 4 years, which is only half the spand of Kanjani8, and yet Airi is about 1,000 times more overworked.
In 2011 Airi was in 6 different concert tours. Hello!Project’s summer and winter concerts, C-ute’s spring concerts, C-ute’s and Berryz Koubou’s joint fall concert, and Buono’s winter and summer concerts. Airi was in 3 movies: Vampire Stories, Ousama Game, and Gomennasai. Released 2 DVDs: Kibun Tenkan and Natsu Karada. Released 2 photobooks: Meguru Haru and OASIS. Is on the show HelloPro!Time. (and Bijou Gaku technically, but it was only a couple months in 2011) Released 2 albums. A full C-ute album and a mini album with Buono. Released 8 singles. 3 with Buono, 3 with C-ute, 1 with C-ute and Berryz Koubou, and 1 with Mobekimasu. Not to mention the 2 digital singles as part of H!P cover song releases. She was also in a few magazine spreads.
Now, what has Ryo been up to this year that is too much for him to take? He released 4 singles. 4 with Kanjani8 and none with NEWS. He will be apart of exactly one concert tour this year, Kanjani8’s dome shows which haven’t even started yet. He’ll release 1 album with Kanjani8. He is in monthly magazine spreads as both NEWS and Kanjani8 in Myojo, Potato, Popolo, etc. He was in 1 drama, Zenkai Girl. He’s on 3 variety shows, all with Kanjani8 and none with NEWS: Boken Japan! Kanjani8 Map, Kanpani, and Jani-Ben.

All this really proves is that Airi deserves a medal. So how is it that a 17 year old girl can handle doing triple the work of a 26 year old man? It makes no sense. It’s pretty apparent that Ryo wanted out of NEWS for selfish reasons. Which is whatever, it’s his life. I honeslty would not have cared if he just said he didn’t want to be in NEWS anymore. Rather then pretending it’s because he’s too overworked. Because honestly he’s not. If NEWS was active at the same time, then possibly he would be. But since Kanjani8 was the only group active in 2011, how does that even make sense? And why wasn’t it too much for him in 2007 or 2008 when both groups were pretty active? Oh, the inconsistencies!

 Another noted liar is Maeda Yuuka.

Now, this isn’t really anything against her personally, it’s just a rant against the “continue my studies” excuse H!P girls have been using for years. And since Yuuka is the most recent person to use it, all my anger at everyone from the past is directed at her. For the time being of course. Because if she honestly would prefer to be a student over an idol, good for her. And if she truly doesn’t to, want not just plainly say it? She’s leaving the agency as well, so she now has zero ties to it. So, even if she says it’s becasue she finds wota to be disgusting, it won’t affect her. But the main reason they don’t honestly say it is because they still want to be idols or in the entertaiment industry, but just not in their group. Just like with Kusumi Koharu who’s now in Dream Morning Musume. Or Hayami Akari who is in the movie Cheerfully, and is in a comedy show. Which to me, honestly, it seems a bit vindictive.
Now, not being able to balance school life and idol life is absolutely 100% utter garbage. Johnny’s idols do it all the time. Johnny’s idols who are far more popular and would have a harder time of being treated as normal students. Koyama Keiichiro, Yamashita Tomohisa, and Inoo Kei are either curently going to or have graduated from Meiji University. Meiji is a pretty prestigious school. Which means most likely the work there is extremely difficult and there’s most likely a big work load. And if that’s still not good enough for you, what about Kato Shigeaki who graduated from law school? Do you realize just how difficult that is for a normal person, let alone for someone who is basically working full time? So, Shige can handle becoming a lawyer while still a NEWS member, but Yuuka can’t handle the entrance exams while in S/mileage? I find that incredibly hard to believe. For it to be true it would have to mean Johnny’s idol are super intelligent beings who never get tired. And H!P idols are frail, stupid little girls who dont know the meaning of time management. I find that incredibly hard to believe. Maybe there have been girls who legit can’t do it. But 6 or so girls have used this excuse. You’re telling me it’s true everytime? Give me a break.

 This whole post was extremely obvious, as EVERYONE knows the H!P “leave to continue my studies” reason is a complete lie. But I really needed to rant about this to get out all my pent-up frustration.

S/mileage loses another original member

It was just announced the S/mileage member Maeda Yuuka will be graduating fro S/mileage and Hello!Project on December 31st. Making Please Miniskirt Postwoman the last release to feature Yuukarin. Yuuka stated the reason for her departure is to focus on university entrance exams, and her studies in general.

I am in utter shock right now. I did not see this coming at all. After Saki left and the sub-member became official members, I thought S/mileage was in a good place now. That the line up would be stable for a while, and we could bask in the awesomeness that is the new S/mileage. Instead we are faced with heartbreak, and having to wait until 2012 for S/mileage’s next chapter to begin. Anyone who thinks the auditions was a one time thing, I think graduating the most popular member pretty much confirms that we’ll eventually see a 3rd gen for S/mileage.
I this is just completely sad news. I’ve liked Yuuka ever since I laid eyes on her in the Cinderella Complex PV. And since then I’ve always rooted for her success. And I do really like Yuuka as an idol. Even if her jokes to fall flat at times, and she’s hardly the reigning queen of puns. I just find Yuuka to be incredibly charming. She is also one of the most adorable idols I have ever seen. And beyond that she’s has my favorite voice in S/mileage, and one of my favorites in all of H!P. It’s adorable and powerful at the same time, it’s just perfect.
This graduation makes me worried for S/mileage as a whole now. Yuukarin was the most popular and pushed member. Who’s going to be the face now? Kanon? Meimi? This also makes me worried that any day now my beloved Kanyon will graduate. Even if Ayaka graduated soon, I’m not sure how I’d feel about a group of nothing but new members.

But regardless of anything Yuuka will be sorely missed, and I do wish her the best of luck on her entrance exams.

S/mileage announce 8th single

At the same event where S/mileage announced the fate of the sub-member they also announced their 8th single. S/mileage’s 8th single will be entitled Please Mini Skirt Post Woman and will be released on December 28th. This single will obviously also be the first single to feature the new S/mileage members.

I wasn’t expecting a new single to be announced so soon. S/mileage seem to really be rushing singles out recently. But I’m ok with that. Rushed release or not Tachiagaaru managed to be a pretty decent single.
I am really looking forward to seeing the first single with the new members. To see how their voices really flow in S/mileage. You couldn’t hear them at all in Tachiagaaru. They were obviously in the chorus, but you couldn’t even tell. As a small group, S/mileage’s singles have been extremely fair lines wise. So, I’m hoping that doesn’t change. Pretty much every member is at a high enough singing level that they are able to handle a lot of lines. Even Kana, who is the worst signer out of the bunch. After hearing her sing at S/mileage’s fall concert, she actually not a terrible singer.

S/mileage is now a 7 member group

At yesterday’s release event for S/mileage’s recent single, Tachiagaaru, the fate of the sub-members was announced. In less than shocking turn of events, it was announced that all 4 sub-members are now officially full-fledged members.

I can’t say that I am exactly surprised. When the sub-members were first announced I didn’t doubt for a minute that all of the members would be added. I am actually really excited that S/mileage is a 7 person group now. I don’t think S/mileage would have been as fun as a trio.
This whole sub-members campaign has really made me change my mind about the sub-members. Well, actually just one member in particular. Because I was always pro sub-members. My interest wained when I couldn’t help with their smile campaign. But I’m back to being 100% for them when they were announced. This whole time I was swayed into liking a member I disliked right off the bat. I went from not understanding why Kana was picked, to rooting for her to make it into S/mileage. And I have to say the foundations have been laid for me to be a fan of hers. Right now all I know about her is she seems energetic and S/mileage love her Osaka dialect. But that’s enough to make me interested.

What I’m actually most excited about is the members all wearing the same outfits now. All these different outfits have annoyed for a while.

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.

Will the real S/mileage please stand up

The full PV for Smileage’s first single to single to feature the sub-members, Tachiagaaru, has finally been released. I also wanted to say that this is the onyl single to feature the recently left member, Kosuga Fukuya, but I’m pretty sure Fukuya is also in the Mobekimasu single.

I am actually really disappointed by the PV. There’s pretty much nothing else going on besides dancing. There are 2 different close-up shots, and yet for some reason a good chunk of the close-ups are filmed during the dance scenes. Which makes for a really stale PV. Which is sad because S/mileage PVs are usually always interesting. S/mileage hardly has a large budget for their PVs, but they somehow manage to take cheap PVs and make them exciting to watch. Mostly because of Smileage’s weird, youthful, and playful charm. And it just seems like S/mileage wasn’t going at it full force in this one. And it’s not really their fault either. There weren’t many scenes in the PV where S/mileage’s personalities had a chance to shine. And there was even less opportunities for the sub-members to shine.
When I heard the radio rip I could have sworn I heard Meimi and Rina sing, but obviously it was wishful thinking because not one sub-member got a solo line. And for all of the PV, even the group close-up shots, the sub-members are shoved into the back. I understand that they aren’t full fledge members yet, but is it really necessary for the divide between old and new members to be so great? Wasn’t it enough that they are wearing completely different outfits with skirts that are twice as long to symbolize that they are different? How are the sub-members really supposed to gain fans if they are completely useless in their “debut” PV? See, I can’t even say debut without quotes because it’s not techincally their debut PV until they are officially members. I wish the line distrubution was exactly like their recent concert, where the original lineup got most of the lines and the sub-members got at least one.  If I was a casual fan of S/mileage, and was judging the sub-members from this PV alone, I wouldn’t have a favorite and I wouldn’t even know they were a part of S/mileage. I would most likely wonder why the backup dancers are in the close-up shots. Which is sad. I want it to be October 16th already, so we can get passed this whole sub-members thing.  I was completely excited about the sub-members when I furst heard about them. As recently as their youtube concert stream I was still excited. I became slightly less excited about them when I watched this PV, and when I found out international fans can’t take part in the sub-member smile campaign. Which, for fans like me that took part in the first campaign, makes me pretty angry that I can’t help my girls again. The sub-members thing is, and always has been, really exciting. But they are just not handling it correctly. Well at least not the single anyway, because the concert was perfect.

Awesome an UFO, too bad they hardly ever use it.

The costume group divide. Honestly, both are cute but obviously the original member’s are better.

It’s not exactly one of the best dances I’ve ever seen.

Adorable Dawa.

Yuuka always looks amazing.

A rare occasion when the sub-members are up front.

Sub-members? What sub-members?

Extreme leg close-up.

The dance keeps getting worse. XD

Seeing Fukuya makes me sad. She’s actually pretty cute too.

Lol.

I love that Kanon is the only one doing that bowing move.

Yuuka’s a cutie.

Absolutely adorable.

Cute.

Rinapu!

Sub-members FTW.

I never understood this dance move.

This is why I love Kanon.

I really hope Rina becomes a full member.

Even though Kana isn’t the best singer, she does seem pretty cute and energetic.

MeiMei! I love this girl!

And all of a sudden it’s night.

Awesome.

Adorable.

Lol.

That’s seriosuly all they are doing with the UFOs?

Best part of the PV.

I wish the PV started with them getting abducted. It would have taken a completely different direction.

S/mileage-Tachiagaaru 2nd PV preview

A commercial for S/mileage’s upcoming single, Tachiagaaru, has been released. Giving us fans a second sneek peak of the PV.

There isn’t really anything new in this PV preiview. If anything this PV preview actually shows less than the first PV preview did. The only thing that we haven’t seen before is the random crashed UFO in the background. Which explains why they are dancing in the desert. I guess to give the PV a Roswell theme. But I don’t like that they aren’t playing off the whole UFO thing more. They could have made S/mileage Aliens that crashed their UFO on Earth. And why not? If they have a UFO in the PV anyway, why not take it one step further? That would have probably made the PV a lot more interesting than it seems to be now.

S/mileage down one yet again

It was announced over a week ago that S/mileage sub-member, Kosuga Fukuya, will be stopping all her activities as a S/mileage sub-member. While practicing for her first S/mileage concert she was diagnosed with acute anemia.  Fukuya will be focusing on her treatment, and afterwards will officially join the Eggs.

II can’t really say that Fukuya is my favorite Smileage sub-member, since I don’t know much about her. But I do feel incredibly sorry for Fukuya. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have just fulfilled your dream to be an idol, only for it to be snatched away before you really even got a chance. She must be incredibly heartbroken. I also wonder if she’ll be able to be an Egg at all. Anemia isn’t a disease you get over. She’ll have it for the rest of her life, and will be weaker than other people because of it.

But whatever happens to Fukuya I wish her the best. Even if she does stay and Egg forever. Which would be a tragedy, since she did win the audition.

S/mileage-Tachiagaaru song and PV preview

Recently the radio rip and PV preview for Smileage’s upcoming 7th single, Tachiagaaru, has been released. Which is the first single to feature the new sub-members and is the first single without Saki.

When the sub-members were first announced I was completely eager to hear the new members in action. I know a lot of S/mileage fans were worried that the new single wouldn’t even be worth buying. But I wasn’t concerned in the least about that, I knew it wasn’t likely that S/mileage was going to dissapoint me. And after listening to the song, it once again proved that S/mileage hardly ever messes up. The song isn’t anywhere near as over the top, and energetic as Uchouten Love. But it is an extremely cute song. They most likely had to have a tamer song to make it more comfortable for the new members. Especially since some of them aren’t the best singers. But on the other hand Maji Desu ka Ska wasn’t really that easy for the 9th gen. Even though the song is sung softly, it definitely has the S/mileage feel to it. The music sounds pretty much like their other songs jumbled together, and there’s a lot of background vocalizations that S/mileage seems to include in their songs a lot. And S/mileage seem to be taking this whole sub member thing to heart. The song is heavily lead by the 3 remaining original members. It seems like the sub-members only get one solo line each, which is to be expected. I’m not even sure if all the sub-members get a solo line because I’m not familiar enough with their voices yet. It sounds like Akari, Rina, and Meimi have lines. So, if they have solos most likely Kana and Fukuya have ones as well.

S/mileage was recently on Sakigake to promote their new single, so we get a short PV preview because of that. The preview is only about 20 seconds long, which is hardly enough time to really get a feel for the PV. Mostly because in that 20 seconds all we can see is the dance shot. and some small close-ups. And you can never tell if that’s all the PV is, or if there is more to it. However, the one thing you can tell about the PV is that it’s cheap. So far all we can see is S/mileage dancing on sand in front of some sort of desert background during the night and day. The set honestly reminds me of the Shortcut set, since both times they were dancing on sand. The PV also shows 2 different close-ups. One in the dance set and one group close-up. Which kind of makes it seem like that’s all there is to the PV. I wish that wasn’t the case, but we all know that idol PVs in general are usually less than spectacular.

By the way, this video is their entire apperance on Sakigake, the PV preview doesn’t start until 7:21 and than again at 7:56. But you should also be sure to watch Rinapuu singing a line of the chorus at 7:31 and sounding absolutely adorable and nearly flawless.

Mobekimasu to release first single

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku [Regular Edition]

Ogawa Saki announces graduation

A completely shocking and unexpected announcement, that honestly feels like a punch to the stomach, was made today on S/mileage’s official website. The announcment was that the youngest member, Ogawa Saki, will be graduating from both S/mileage and Hello!Project. Ogawa Saki will be graduating on August 27th without an official graduation concert. Her official reason for leaving is wanting to be a normal junior high student.

I don’t even know what to say. I am honestly at a loss for words and am literally on the verge of tears. Saki was never my favorite member. That top spot always was, and always will be, reserved for Kanon. But lately I’ve been growing more and more attached to this cute and gluttonous girl. I have always loved Saki’s voice though. She’s in the top 2 singers in S/mileage. Her voice isn’t perfect, but you could tell that it had the potential to develope into something great.

And suddenly the S/mileage auditions make a lot more sense. When they were first announced I thought it was done merely because Tsunku saw the potential in them to become a long lasting, revolving door idol group like Morning Musume. But it turns out that Tsunku was freaking out when Saki asked to graduate and had hastily announced the auditions. Just by the fact that Tsunku used the word hastily, makes me think that auditions weren’t always S/mileage’s game plan. Or if they were, he hadn’t expected to hold until years down the road. Some bloggers out there had even said where there’s auditions, there’s graduations. But I just brushed those comments off as fans overanalyzing the situation more than I was. But in all honesty, I brushed them off because I didn’t want to think like that. S/mileage for me, since day one, has always been incredible. They haven’t really dissapointed me yet. Which is rare for an idol group.

I don’t know what to make of this. Saki wasn’t my absolute favorite member, but that doesn’t really make this announcment any less painful. It’s always sad to see an idol graduate. Like I’ve said before, it honestly feels like you’re losing a friend. This person doesn’t know you, but you know so much about them, so there’s a bond between you. Even if it is a one-sided bond. With Saki I just started to like her, so the bond wasn’t really that strong. But now that she’s leaving, it feels like I’ve wasted a lot of time. And it really makes me sad that I’ll never get the chance to become a bigger fan of hers. (And this oddly reminds me of aMa no Jaku. XD)

I do wonder how this announcment will affect the new members. Even though Saki told Tsunku she wanted to leave 1 month before the new member auditions, it still feels like there could be so some animosity towards the new members from Saki wota. For the mere fact that their beloved Sakitty is gone, and in her place are random newbies. That, or it could help the new members. With Saki leaving, I’m sure all the Saki wota have a void to fill. Maybe they’ll fill it with a new member.

But there an aspect I don’t like about this whole situation. Why isn’t she getting an official graduation concert? Did she want to leave so badly she couldn’t even handle one more S/mileage concert tour? Every member of H!P that graduates, who isn’t leaving because of a scandal, gets a graduation concert. Even Ishimura Maiha, who I think is seriously the only H!P member to legitimately leave to continue their studies, had a graduation concert. I’m not saying I think Saki was in a scandal, because I honestly don’t. But I just don’t understand why this was announced 3 days before the date of her graduation, without a proper send off event. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

But right now none of that matters. As the shock, sadness, and overall numbness kick in, I can only think about the happy times. Right now all I can think of is Saki crying when the members of S/mileage were announced. Her being full of energy after finishing her practice for the S/mileage and C-ute joint concert. Her always overeating. And most of all her smiling face. That apparently had been hiding feelings of longing for a normal life, but her smile never faltered. Which adds to the unexpectedness of this announcment. But, idols never really show that they are graduating in their faces. Even if their graduating was planned for months ahead.