Sunday Blog Roundup: Fallen Idols Make Me Go Squee!

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

This was a great week for Jpop blogging. Astoundingly so, I have to say. Part of it is the rush of events and anticipation of upcoming releases. But it also looks to me like the actual quality of Jpop blogging’s improved – and broadened – since I first started paying attention to it less than a year ago. The stalwarts who blog regularly are growing more confident and comfortable week by week, while more sporadic bloggers deliver very solid, thoughtful pieces that make their occasional offerings more than worth the wait. The best find their niche, what they’re best at delivering to eager readers like myself, and share their love accordingly.

Thea of Made in Paradise has the best post of the week, assessing the low sales of Saito Michi’s second single. By comparing to other Avex releases – and we’re talking Parago’s debut single, not something truly unfair like recent releases by Otsuka Ai and Koda Kumi – we see how woefully pitiful 370 (wait, 371) copies sold can be. It’s all in good fun, as she follows up with a plea to buy the single… but the first post remains wicked fun.

Speaking of proper perspectives, crs of 28hundred hours comes in a close second this week as she takes an entertainingly caustic look at the Kago Ai scandal, among other things. My favorite paragraph is this one:

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Ai Kago. Not because of all this “smoking is disgusting neener neener” bullshit, because yeah it’s bad for you. A lot of things are bad for you. These things include spending hours searching for, watching, squeeing over, sharing and blogging about Jpop when you could be feeding the homeless or curing cancer or exercising to counteract all the blockage in your arteries from sitting on your ass all day, watching promotional videos.

I must confess, I just went squee! over that last part. She makes several nice points and wraps it in the rhythm of a truly funny sentence. This is why crs is still the gold standard for Jpop blogging to me, and the rest of her analysis of the situation is just as insightful. Meanwhile, Renzeta at Sagaliminal finally looks back at 2005 with his look at best singles, album, PV, and group… and also a look at the most disappointing PV, Ayaya’s “Ki Ga Tsukeba Anata” to excellent effect.

Morning Musume’s new album and upcoming single has garnered the expected attention. ikimasshoi features a handy review of Morning Musume’s new album Rainbow 7 and preview of their upcoming single. CJ Marsicano of Stuck In A Pagoda With Motoko Aoyama also looks at the new Momusu album, as well as SweetS, Nakanomori Band, and… Willie Nelson? At Koppie Dip!!, bagofpeanuts’ faith in Momusu is renewed with Rainbow 7. Your Opinion Doesn’t Count features Rainbow 7 songs for their J-Music Clip of the Week. Go of jrocknyc likes the new Rainbow Six game, Lockdown. Wait, that’s not Momusu-related. Go also has a great review of Nanase Aikawa’s latest PV, which features Marty Friedman of Heavy Metal San and Shinya of Luna Sea (that’s Mr. Ishiguro Aya for Morning Musume fans like me)… so that’s kind of H!P related.

In other H!P coverage, Lainay of Channel Ai looks at the 2001 H!P summer shuffles in her ongoing series. At Ai no Tane Freya asks Yaguchi Mari to keep her new hairstyle. Madara of Madara Blog muses on how an interest in one Jpop artist blooms into another and then another… Your Opinion Doesn’t Count has some nice H!P photos for Valentine’s Day; of course, my favorite’s the bottom one. Beth of Paint It Gold has an excellent media-heavy series of posts to celebrate Valentine’s Day,featuring Tanaka Reina, BoA, and SweetS.

Speaking of the Penty Five, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna looks at the appearance of SweetS’ Miori in Weekly Playboy and Avex releasing Sweet Kiss’s first single on the same day as the next SweetS single. Sally of Made in Paradise has more news of SweetS’ upcoming single while Cute Cosplay Angels has photos of Jessica of Sweet Kiss – also known as “that white girl who hangs out with Irie Saaya”. The Jessica shots are especially guilt-inducing – I direct your attention to the one of her on a pool table – but they are well done.

Uno Misako of AAA will be appearing in the U.S. version of The Grudge 2, as reported by Idolizing St. Anna, ikimasshoi, and Thea of Made in Paradise; Santos also notes that AAA isn’t as good without her. gaki of has put new downloads on his blog of Ueto Aya CMs! Ahh, I hope he’ll put up the Gundam one with the broom! At HALCALI day day by jariten looks forward to Halcali’s upcoming performance on Music Station.

Rinoa of Channel Ai looks at Hamsaki Ayumi’s recent album (miss)understood. The usagi incidents considers the Hard Gay single, and I quote, “I never thought it was possible for a man this queer to make the queerest song ever even queerer”. I’d say there are other songs out there that are better contenders for queerest song – like “MacArthur Park” – but I love the rhythm of that sentence. She also looks at the new Utada Hikaru single, “Keep Tryin'”, a PV which Johnny at The Mind: My Own Personal Idea Factory has added to to his video library. Morning Scene has the Japanese artists line-up for SXSW and Karakui looks at an up-and-coming group from Okinawa, gulff.

Kono Sono ~ This That has a great Top 10 Celebrity Girlfriend list that is traced through usagi to Wapiko to me… except I got it from Akiramike who got it from a Japanese news article. Speaking of which, Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe is ready to die from the kawaii-ness of a Yukorin concert DVD. K’s Lounge has some really nice photos of Ogura Yuko, Barely 18 Movies has news of an upcoming Monbu Ran release, and Cute Cosplay Angels has some incredible Hoshino Aki photos.

I read non-Jpop blogs as well, and one of my current favorites, Legal Fiction, has a wonderful piece about the nature of art and Hank Williams Senior as the “hillbilly Shakespeare”. And while this isn’t a blog, I was fascinated by this article on American men who’ve wear kimonos and call themselves “nawashi” when engaging in shibari – basically, it’s embarrassing for all involved. And not because of the naked person tied up like a Thanksgiving turkey.


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2 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: Fallen Idols Make Me Go Squee!”
  1. Os says:

    Wow. The top 10 chain goes on even further. I should update my post with the new links… and Ishihara Satomi… I feel ashamed for forgetting her.

  2. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    That crs/28 hundred hours post had me smiling from ear to ear. BTW 1 third of my day is dedicated to saving the world from itself while only 2 thirds of the day is reserved for Jpop, so there.