Odds & Ends: Kago in Fanclub DVD, SweetS in Swimsuits, New Harenchi Punch Single, and…

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I’ve been in a bit of a writerly fog for the past week or so. That may not be a surprise, since really long or intensely theory-driven posts tend to drain my desire to blog for a day or two – and last Tuesday saw not one, but two such monstrosities. (Both of which I’m particularly proud of, I should add.) Add to that the usual procrastination of freelance work and attending Kawaii Kon this weekend, and I’ve just been off my game… again. So to help ease me back in,some quick observations on recent developments:

Kago Ai is in the Fanclub-Only Wonderful Hearts Concert DVD. How about that? You can download a rip of the concert from Hello! Online’s tracker. I can be snide and make the obvious comparison that even Stalin had to admit that Trotsky existed – but I’m not even sure if that’s historically accurate or appropriate in this case. I’m hoping that this means some kind of thaw is taking place and that Kago will soon return… but even if she did, she’s already been cut out of projects all the way to the end of summer.

In related news, CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama theorizes that perhaps no W songs are being sung on the Hello Pro Party tour because Tsuji refused to do so out of loyalty for Kago. That’s an intriguing notion, one supported by the fact that Tsujikago are popular precisely because they’re such a tight duo (and thus giving Tsuji some leverage), but it’s not a scenario I’d think likely. And I should stress that CJ isn’t stating this as fact, just a possibility. But for me, the more likely scenario is that UFA decided to just scrap W songs from the setlist because of the Kago scandal, “out of sight, out of mind” being their working modus operandi.

Further, I think if management did tell Tsuji to sing W songs, she’d do it. Loyalty to Kago aside, she’s got a job to do and is contractually bound to do it. I think she may well have the leverage CJ implies in his scenario, but I’d argue that she wouldn’t know how to use it. There’s something about H!P which makes me think you’re either chugging the Kool Aid or you’re simply not in the collective. The gratitude Ayaya has expressed about being allowed a little control over her music shows how tight-fisted UFA can be with their idols, and she’s their single biggest performer. I also think of various H!P defections (most notably Heike Michiyo) and Saki’s odd inability to empathize with Maiha’s decision to leave Berryz.

All that said, remember I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist so take all I say with a huge grain of salt. Like, the size of a basketball.

SweetS in SwimsuitS! Apparently, some announcement has been made that mentions the girls of SweetS will have swimsuit shots in their final photobook. Hopefully this will also happen in the last DVD as well. As stated before, I really want to see Aki in a swimsuit – she used to be my least favorite but her recent appearances have caught my attention.

And from Idolizing St. Anna, it also looks like Haruna, at least, is planning further idol work post-SweetS. That makes me quite happy, though I think she was a given for most fans, just as Aki and Aya laying low for a while is also something of a given. The question still looms for Miori and Mai – and in Miori’s case, specifically of whether she’ll keep being an idol or focus on other things like modeling. I remain hopeful.

Harenchi Punch’s New Single Is Out. Unfortunately, I hadn’t pre-ordered it anywhere but I am excited by this. Hopefully the song will be as solid as “Megaphone” and the PV will follow the story set out in that last single’s video. I want a boxing match, dammit!

Oh, and one last thing: there’ll be a pretty big change on Cult of Pop soon, bringing back something I gave up when the blog switched to WordPress. I’m mentioning this because, as always, I love to tease you folks and make you guess. But the announcement should be ready by this weekend. (Speaking of teases, the members section of the forum has another Zone clip for download and some Easter Egg hints since, y’know, it was Easter.)

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3 Responses to “Odds & Ends: Kago in Fanclub DVD, SweetS in Swimsuits, New Harenchi Punch Single, and…”
  1. Sami says:

    An FYI that should definitely make you happy: the most recent CDJapan newsletter I’ve received said the SweetS DVD had swimsuit footage as well. And they’ve been, in my experience, notoriously accurate with information on future products.

  2. CJ Marsicano says:

    Damn, bro, you’re reading me like a book 😉

  3. Alice says:

    Kago appeared in another Fanclub DVD which had a W live. I forget which one, but I’m pretty sure it came out after her suspension. She also was in the Hello! Kids DVD which featured a lot of Minimoni footage, but it didn’t get the same press than most DVD releases usually do.