Watching Hello Pro Party! 2005

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I was going to do a Chokkan 2 Close-Up write-up on the loveliest of all current Musumes and so put on my new Hello Pro Party! 2005 DVD to get me in an H!P kind of mood… And then I realized, Hey, I hadn’t mentioned that I got this DVD yesterday.

So yeah, I bought this DVD yesterday. I hadn’t been to the local Japanese bookstore, Hakubundo, in a while – too busy or too broke, often both at the same time. My last splurge (lotsof SweetS mail order, Koda Kumi’s Best Of) was back around my birthday, I think, so at least a month-plus of virtuous denial. With that in mind, I caved in and went to the store…

… looking for the new Amuro Namie PV collection. Because I knew they wouldn’t have the new SweetS concert DVD, though I guess I’ll special order it sooner or later, but I really wanted the new Amuro collection. With "Alarm" and "Want Me Want Me" and "Wo Wa".

Except they didn’t have it, and instead there was the HPP! 2005, and some other stuff. A regular edition of the "Chokkan 2" single; the most recent single, album, and mini-album from Berryz Koubo; calendars for next year, including Morning Musume and Viyuden but no Berryz Koubo (which I really really want and need to order); and even the DVD Single for Viyuden’s "Hitorijime". The HPP! 2005 DVD was pretty expensive, so I picked it up, put it back down, then picked it up again and finally decided, What the heck.

Of course, all this hemming and hawing is probably boring you, but it could be worse: I could be describing how I go about picking what comics to read on any given New Comics Wednesday.

Anyway, while the Sayumi Chokkan 2 post is just read to burst from my heart to the screen like an anxious H.R. Giger Alien, it’ll wait a little longer as I try something different: watch the DVD and make note of what interests me as I go along. I’d call it blogcasting, but I find the term strange still.

I watched most of the DVD at work yesterday but couldn’t pay full attention since I was at work… so I have a good idea of what to expect but not a full idea, if that distinction matters.

Note: Luna Tech has the playlist of the DVD, and you can download a rip of it from the tracker at Hello! Online. Or buy it from YesAsia or CD Japan!

00:00:00. Why the fuck is there graduation music playing in the background? And why are the girls all wearing robes like boxers entering the ring?

00:01:14. Someone threw their robe into the audience?

00:01:36. "Yeah! Meccha Holiday!" I like this song a lot, and glad this DVD is heavy on older Ayaya material. My hands move in a pseudo-Arabic dance gesture during the appropriate moments in this song.

00:03:20. I love Masae’s cowboy hat. But then, H!P Girl + cowboy hat = hot in all situations. Sayaka in "Koi no Dance Site", Kei in RR21, Mikitty in "Go Girl", Chinami in the new Berryz single…

00:04:30. "The Peace!" I love this song. Makes me want to join the Self Defense Force. There’s a nice shot of a Melon’s crotch all of a sudden…

00:05:58. Melon Kinenbi was what convinced me to get this DVD by the way. I like Ayaya and W a whole heckuva lot, as you all know, but being able to watch MK live with them made it a must-have.

00:06:30. The girls start all tugging on Ayaya’s dress.

00:07:53. The first MC section takes place. Since I don’t know much Japanese (still) and won’t ask my wife to translate right now, I’m out of my depth.

00:08:45. Tsuji calls herself W’s leader, Kago calls herself the sub-leader. That always puzzles me, are they planning to add more girls?

00:09:40. Melon Kinenbi’s turn to introduce themselves. They call look good, and Masae is in a pretty butch mood as she addresses the audience. Megumi takes off her glasses. Saito strikes a sexy pose… Ayaya is impressed.

00:10:50. W return from off-stage to sing a Happy Birthday song to Ayaya and help her out of her outer dress. Now the three girls are wearing matching blue-and-white outfits. 

00:11:39. Robokiss! Ah… I love this song. Ayaya works so damn well with the TsujiKago team, it’s a shame they don’t do this more often. And why didn’t they do "Chu Natsu Party", dammit!

00:12:49. Tsuji Kago spank Ayaya’s ass. *sigh*

00:13:20. Kago and Ayaya are laughing together and they all look like they’re having so much fun.

00:13:40. Tsuji spanks Ayaya’s ass some more.

00:14:55. W by themselves now, doing that single I wasn’t too thrilled by. No, that other single I wasn’t too thrilled by, with the Sanrio Matrix PV. Actually, this song is cute and fun, and I like the "Egao" part a lot. Also, the blue pockets on Kago’s shorts do a nice job of making her ass look absolutely luscious. 

00:18:27. The dance for this song is typical TsujiKago cute. No complaints on that

00:18:44. "Dekoboko Seventeen." This song was on the second album, right? I listened to that maybe twice.

00:20:16. The dance for this song is a little too melodramatic for me, but so is the song itself. It has the same kind of goofy, stilted posing as a Viyuden PV…

00:23:05. "Daite!" by Ayaya, Megumi, Saitou, and Tsuji. One of my favorite of early Momusu songs. Makes me miss Ayappe though…

00:23:50. Watching Saitou bounce in her outfit is lots of fun. They’re all wearing white tops with big red stars, with red skirts and white stars.

00:25:48. Kago solos on "Boogie Train 03" wearing a cute outfit. She does a great job of this song, and really works the flirtatious cutie thing. But dammit, this only makes me think Mikitty should be singing it for Ayaya’s birthday! 

00:27:00. Kago doesn’t strain for the high notes the way Mikitty does…

00:28:15. Kago is working the crowd. Wow. I love her all over again.

00:29:10. Another MC sequence… just Ayaya and Kago. 

00:30:10. Saitou and Megumi run on stage as Ayaya runs off… Saitou talks about being the sexy captain of MK.

00:31:19. Megumi makes observations on the audience and how they went "hoo hoo!" in the last number. 

00:32:09. The girls take off their robes and "Eros" begins… this with Ayaya.

00:32:25. What’s with the Mister Roboto voice at the beginning?

00:32:50. I love this song, and watching the girls dance live to it is money well-spent, I am glad to report. 

00:33:50. Crotch-thrusting at each other, followed by that spread-leg squatting…

00:34:40. It could just be me, but Ayaya put a little extra groan in her line just now.

00:35:16. Hey, Shibata’s actually a really good singer! Okay, I knew that before, but I like to focus on Masae’s singing more. She’s doing great too on this song.

00:36:00. This performance makes plain why MK is the H!P group that hardcore H!P fans love so much. Never mind the relief of a stable line-up, they’re a very solid combination of talent, period.

00:37:00. "Akai Freesia" now. Not a MK song I really latched onto.

00:37:20. Saitou’s chest bounces some more while she’s pointing. Fucking genius. And hey, Ayaya ran off stage for this song. 

00:39:00. The injustice done to Melon Kinenbi this year… Jesus, they should’ve had three or four singles.

00:39:50. Shibata’s got most of this song, doesn’t she?

00:40:38. The spotlight on her at the end of the song kinda proves it.

00:40:51. Unmei! I love this song, though its gimmick is kinda strange.

00:41:09. The crowd chants along. Ahh, gotta love H!P audiences!

00:41:38. The girls of MK are really worked up for this song. Every shot of Saitou steams my DVD player.

00:43:57. Megumi and Saitou look really worked up as they sing. The audience is in a frenzy. Have I mentioned how I hate that MK got shafted this year?

00:44:54. Tsuji does "Nee"! Watching her do Ayaya’s moves is kind of strange, but fun.

00:45:36. The shorts on Tsuji are wonderful. And that stomach is just… wow.

00:46:00. Lsistening to her solo, it’s clear her voice isn’t that good technically…

00:46:20. "Jankenpyon!" Huh? 

00:46:48. … technically, but it doesn’t matter. She makes it work and really knows how to play the crowd. Not as good as "Boogie Train 03" but just as fun.

00:47:30. The first Berryz single! Ahh… WHen I first heard this, I just about flipped. But that’s because I’m in a Berryz phase right now.

00:48:00. It’s being done by the three who didn’t do "Daite": Kago, Shibata, Masae.

00:48:36. Kago’s leads on this brings chills through me. The perfect voice for the song!

00:48:57. They’re wearing short robes, which is okay. I liked Kago’s shorts with the blue pockets better.

00:49:35. Kago isn’t touching the two Melons… How odd, I’m so used to seeing her manhandle Tsuji and vice-versa. 

00:50:19. Stupid robotic voice again.

00:50:30. That does it. I want to hear a Kago solo of this song. Ayumi and Masae are great, but this is a perfect Kago song. 

00:51:10. The dance moves are lifted off Berryz, by the way. Works just as well with adults. 

00:51:43. Another MC, with Tsuji and Ayaya joining the three on stage. Actually, it looks like Kago ran backstage.

00:52:10. "Pah-tee! Pah-tee!" The "Pah" said with a higher pitch. Tsuji teases Ayaya. 

00:52:50. The audience sings Happy Birthday to Ayaya! How I wish I was there…

00:53:19. The other girls bring the cake out, with the candles lit.

00:53:44. Masae and Tsuji goof with the audience.

00:54:00. Tsuji just proves she can do the spread-split squat from "Eros". I’ll be rewinding that one often…

00:54:30. They keep having to relight the candles. The audience is singing in a softer tone… 

00:55:06. How drafty is it in that theater?

00:55:27. Ayaya blows out the candles! Everyone whoops and congratulates her.

00:55:48. A chant of "Ayaya!" She thanks the audience.

00:56:43. Ayaya has a strawberry (I think), then gives one to Kago, then Tsuji… 

00:57:45. They’re singing "Unmei" to her now.

00:58:00. Ayaya gets her nose covered in frosting.

00:58:24. The Captain has run off-stage. Why didn’t Ayaya try to feed the Melons?

00:58:50. Ayaya returns with a clean nose, thanks everyone again. At a loss for words. 

00:59:25. Masae and Tsuji introduce "Zutto"…

00:59:42. I never gave Ayaya’s ballads much of a chance… but really, after all the fun and energy, why this song now? 

01:00:30. I really need to do one of those H!P Science entries this coming week…

01:01:31. Stopped the DVD briefly to see to the wife… She’s doing fine, thanks for asking.

01:02:04. Do my nails need to be cut yet? Nope, not yet.

01:02:20. I don’t like Ayaya when she tries to look mature and thoughtful all at once. I don’t doubt she can be like that in real life, but…

01:03:04. Actually, she looks mature and thoughtful on "Ki ga Tsukeba Anata" and liked it. So I guess it’s just this song I don’t like.

01:03:36. Ahh! "Love Namida Iro"! I fall in love with Ayaya all over again.

01:04:10. The audience shows their appreciation by chanting. 

01:04:32. "akippoi akippoi"…! Love that line!

01:05:32. This is just so fucking good, and Ayaya doesn’t have to do much beyond sing it to make it work. 

01:06:02. That said, the glitter in her eyeshadow is mildly distracting right now. 

01:06:52. Ayaya climbs to the top of the stage to finish off the song.

01:07:16. Even better than Kago’s "Boogie Train 03"… but not as good as Kago’s Berryz cover.

01:07:54. W join her for "Momoiro Kataomoi".

01:08:30. This seems much more choreographed than "Namida Iro"… W are basically back-up dancers for Ayaya here. 

01:09:38. Ahh, now Kago sings! And Tsuji! 

01:09:55. Ayaya tries to recreate an echo.. sorta.

01:10:16. Again, lots of horsing around between the trio. Really, can’t Ayaya spend more time with them? They play so well together!

01:11:19. Ayaya stops the song, encourages the audience.

01:11:30. And flirts big-time with the audience. "Aishitemasu ka?"

01:11:40. Tsuji does the same…

01:11:53. And Kago tops them both!

01:12:05. Kago windmills her arms in front of Ayaya, then the song resumes. 

01:13:04. Now "The Bigaku" with MK… a song I hadn’t ever gotten into.

01:13:54. MK are wearing very pretty outfits… but what’s with the outfit Ayaya has on? It’s nice and shiney and all, but…

01:14:36. Megumi’s not wearing glasses.

01:15:30. The choreography’s straightforward but I like it a lot.

01:16:08. I think it’s another MC sequence… say "Oh yeah!"

01:16:40. "Uwaki na Honey Pie" with all seven girls!

01:17:00. They do the swim, then that strange leg dance from the PV.

01:17:32. Red leather pants with black stripes, glittery red tops. 

01:17:57. This is pretty damn good – but I’d been listening to this song a lot lately.

01:18:10. Camera focuses on the leg movements. It actually looks more jazzercise than anything.

01:19:01. For some reason, Ayaya looks really really sexy in this outfit. All that midriff, I guess.

01:19:30. The girls all tear off their pants to reveal shorts underneath.

01:19:45.< /strong> Ahh… "Love Machine".

01:19:58. The girls throw their pants in unison.

01:20:24. Thank God, no shoving around at the "nice body" line. It always disturbed me.

01:20:44. Because really, why shove even if it’s part of the choreography? That’s just rude.

01:21:06. Saito has the sexy Yuko line. Ayumi picks up Ayaya by the waist and swings her around.

01:21:40. Ohh, Kago flirts with the camera big-time.

01:21:56. Saitou shakes it big time.

01:22:11. This is a pretty good version of "Love Machine"… 

01:22:23. Great line by Kago!

01:22:43. I am so looking forward to Kouhaku this year!

01:23:09. The shorts are really tight on these girls. Like, Tsuji "Nee" tight.

01:23:25. Call-and-response with the audience. "Fu fu fu fu!" It goes on a bit too long for my taste.

01:24:00. Tsuji is so grown up! Just occurred to me, seeing her sing this song now.

01:24:32. "Dancing allll the night!" 

01:24:07. I’m not sure if Ayaya showed this much skin in her Alo-Hellos…

01:25:23. Angels descend – well, huge cardboard cutouts of them. "Thank You My Dear Friends".

01:25:50. Odd, watching Kago and Saito pat their stomachs at the same time.

01:26:16. This is a pleasant enough song… When did the set turn so Vegas? Oh yeah, when the angels descended.

01:27:13. Kago is in really fine vocal form tonight.

01:27:25. Kago and Saitou handwrestle briefly.

01:28:49. The girls start shooting hoops? What the fuck is this, a Berryz PV?

01:29:19. The girls go all chorus line suddenly. 

01:29:30. The basketball hoops make it look like they’ve been performing in a gymnasium.

01:30:11. Megumi looks nice without glasses. But I prefer her with.

01:30:33. Domo Arigatou! I guess they’re closing it before the encores…

01:31:05. Chants of "Ayaya!" from the audience.

01:31:22. They’re back onstage and seem shocked to see people are still there.

01:32:00. Chants of "Ayaya!" again.

01:32:30. Ayaya thanks the audience again. She seems genuinely overwhelmed…

01:33:30. She repeats hontoni several times in this arigatou.

01:33:53. W do something silly on demand.

01:34:24. Melon Kinenbi’s turn, and they say thanks.

01:34:34. Ayumi takes a deep bow. I saw that… wait, no, that’s a Nanba An video I was thinking of.

01:35:27. The girls gather together for an acapella "Doki Doki Love Mail".

01:36:01. Ayaya stops everyone short and they make sure she’s okay.

01:36:48. Take two…

01:37:08. It’s cute but not particularly interesting. The voices are very nice, especially Ayaya’s lead.

01:37:43. The finger-snapping in the Vegas hotpants outfits is kind of weird, like gravure barbershop harmonizing. 

01:38:24. Take back what I said, this is pretty good, vocals are excellent from everyone. There should’ve been more MK this year, dammit!

01:39:10. The girls speed up the tempo a lot suddenly. Huh?

01:39:50. Ayaya’s scatting? What?

01:40:05. Ahh, Happy Birthday to Aya-chan again! Now this is just wonderful and the harmonies are gorgeous. She seems genuinely overwhelmed. Again. Or maybe she’s just very good at faking it – but I don’t think so.

01:41:00. All this gratitude is turning the concert into Pride of the Yankees

01:41:33. Ayaya pronounces "All for One and One for All" with a heavy accent. I’m reminded of Tsuji on Utaban.

01:41:54. I love this song, and it’s great to close with it.

01:42:23. Of course, it’s easier to keep track of everyone in this version.

01:42:59. Ayaya doesn’t sing her line here, she’s just overwhelmed.

01:43:40. Tsuji and Ayaya play around some more.

01:43:57. I’m imagining the full H!P All-Stars singing this song dressed in the same outfits as the girls onstage right now. Noses would bleed across the entire concert hall…

01:44:36. They all catch towels and there’s a reggae beat to the song now?

01:44:56. As long as they don’t lapse into "Summer Reggae Rainbow"…

01:45:15. Back to the regular beat for the song.

01:45:23. Lights on among the audience, it’s a lot smaller venue than I thought. But it’s packed tight with happy fans!

01:46:00. Curtains descend. Audience waits, lights now on. 

01:46:20. Curtains go back up for the girls to say thanks again. 

01:46:45. Ayumi is really adorable here. And looks great in that outfit. 

01:47:15. Masae horses around in her thank you.

01:47:27. Just noticed, Megumi has her glasses again.

01:47:36. Saitou’s turn, on behalf of Melon Kinenbi as a whole.

01:47:55. Tsuji’s turn to thank the audience. I can see the straps on her bra.

01:48:31. Kago’s turn to thank the audience, she keeps it brief.

01:48:50. Kago flubs her sub-leader line and laughs, apologizing.

01:49:15. Ayaya’s turn again. She keeps asking, "Doishiyo?" as she has several times tonight.

01:49:55. Nice shot of her ass in those shorts. Another rewind moment for future reference.

01:50:40. They walk off-stage to chants of Ayaya… no, they go to the edge of the stage to take a bow.

01:51:30. The audience / performer love seems so strong here…

01:52:04. Ayaya tells them she loves them! 

01:52:24. Last bows to the audience! I think…

01:52:49. Screen goes dark.

01:52:56. Backstage, whip cream on plates are being set up?

01:53:10. The workers are planning to ambush Ayaya!

01:53:23. One worker has a mask on.

01:53:30. Ayaya gets creamed, but it’s no fun since she has a raincoat on.

01:53:48. The girls walking off-stage, apparently, starting with Shibata. So the pie-creaming happened when…?

01:54:20. Megumi gets the last word in, "Omodetto!" 

01:54:50. So why are the credits in English if this is for a Japanese audience? 

I really, really like this DVD. Part of it is definitely because it’s so singles-oriented, so I knew most all the songs. But the performances were strong, the performers are some of my favorite H!P acts, and they gelled together quite well. I especially enjoyed watching Ayaya with W, though Melon Kinenbi were quite impressive in their own right. Kago was the particular vocal standout for me, though I think the girls all deserve a round of applause for those red hotpants.

I’d still like to know when they creamed Ayaya, though. It was just totally outside the timestream. 


Comments (Comments are closed)

4 Responses to “Watching Hello Pro Party! 2005”
  1. Alice says:

    Not really related to this post, but as I’m sure you saw on mm-bbs, the graduated members still active in H!P will join the existing MM members on Kouhaku this year to perform Love Machine. INCLUDING Yaguchi even!

  2. I saw it, and it leads this week’s blog roundup! I should post on it but I’m waiting for the further news of Sayaka and Ayappe joining the present nineteen… (I can dream, can’t I?)

  3. S says:

    I just finished watching it (and reading along with what you wrote at the appropriate times), and this is probably the best H!P concert I’ve watched. Most everything I thought while watching you had written down, heh.

    01:42:59. Ayaya doesn’t sing her line here, she’s just overwhelmed.
    She just flat-out forgot it. She’s done that before, most notably during the Concert Tour 2003 Haru ~Matsu Ring Pink~, where she forgot her lines in I know multiple times. She finally picked it up from the audience chants the second time, and it was the most adorable thing ever.

  4. Alice says:

    Okay, so I’m watching this just now. Ayaya wasn’t scatting, she was imitating one of her commercials where she does a song like that while making black tea. I think “Ki ga Tsukeba Anata” replaced this song as the new version, although the original wasn’t much of a song.