Sunday Blog Roundup: A Whole Lotta H!P Love

Filed in American Wota 1.0

There is a whole lotta love for Hello! Project in the Jpop blogosphere this week, with a great range of news, reviews, and opinions. For me, the best is from Pata of Irresponsible Pictures, who has a wonderful blog entry about Berryz Koubo called “Inside the Workshop” which is magnificently written and packed with insights like this:

I mean, if the world of Japanese pop idols is a Factory, whose chief product is Manufactured Hits (a hoary vulgarity of Music-Criticese if there ever was one), then Berryz Koubou must be Research and Development.

Mandatory reading for Berryz fans, and a refreshingly candid angle on the whole H!P Kids thing. For more Berryz goodness, jankenpyon! has a review of their summer mini-album. And for a more intimate kind of Berryz fandom, Craig of All in 1 is apparently keeping his promise to avoid self-pollution, based on his rather interesting angle on the girls: he sees toplessness in a Risako picture and makes some very choice screencaps from the Switch On! concert DVD. I especially like the one with the hands on the microphone stand…

Among other deep thinkers about matters H!P, Channel-Ai’s Lainay reviews Morning Musume Sakura Gumi and Otome Gumi. I think she was too kind on Sakura Gumi but her assessment of Otome Gumi was spot-on. At Tonari dooshi anata to atashi sakuranbo!, Angela looks at the future of Morning Musume and pays special attention to Sayumi’s options.

In the forbidden H!P love department, Yossittelua has completely charmed me with its comic strips featuring Yossi and… Mikitty? Does Ayaya know about this? (Or Rika?) Anyway, here’s the first, second, and third strips – and I hope there’ll be much more! Johnny of The Mind has clips of Yuuko and Nacchi almost-smooching (Yuko could’ve forced the issue a little more vigorously, right?), then more liplock action from earlier Momusu days. Asian Sex Gazette is carrying a Mainichi article about Yada Akiko behaving somewhat inappropriately in Hawaii – hey, that’s what we’re here for, to let Japanese celebs run loose. Except you’re not supposed to get caught… What may be of special interest is that the tattooed Japanese talento boyfriend she was seen with was apparently linked to Natsumi Abe. Nacchi? With some Yakuza-looking dude? The mind boggles. has news of Yaguchi Mari heading a new music unit… to promote a turtle toy. This was also picked up and commented upon by Langdon Alger at Your Opinion Doesn’t Count and jankenpyon!. Better not let Nacchi near that group, especially if her Yakuza-looking boyfriend is around! In other H!P news, a South Korean member has been announced: her name is Simmin and she’s cute for someone over eighteen. Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe is pleased by the first episode of Gal Circle – the dorama featuring Yaguchi Mari, shiller of toy turtles. And Your Opinion Doesn’t Count’s Langdon Alger has chosen Takahashi Ai’s solo release for the J-Music Clip of the Week.

And here’s something useful for the dedicated mo-wota: Zaeleus of Luna Tech has the Perpetual Hello! Project Age Calculator. Now you never need to worry about forgetting which H!P idol has a birthday coming up, or figuring out how old any of them are. Speaking of which, fourteenth birthday wishes to Koharu are extended this week by Johnny of The Mind and CJ of Stuck in a Pagoda, while Sayumi gets seventeenth birthday wishes from Johnny and Langdon of Your Opinion.

Several of these H!P bloggers cover different matters as well this week. Asian Sex Gazette notes that transexual Korean pop diva Harisu is actively pursuing an internet pirate circulating a nude video of her. I’m more of a fan of Lady – didn’t they do a nude photo album and DVD, too? Anyone know where I can get it? Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe is enchanted by the first few episodes of dancing housewife dorama Primadam but is disappointed with the subsequent episodes. has the results of a favorite Japanese music show poll and Utaban came out on top! That’s good news here at American Wota, as Utaban factors into Saturday’s subtitle release (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Tsuji_Eriku of Your Opinion waxes poetic on the beauty of para para dancing and the sheer wrongness of Hinoi Team, while Tia-kun of Channel-Ai looks at YUI’s new single “Good-bye Days”. CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama notes the passing of rock legend / legendary weirdo Syd Barrett, and goes to a Bon Jovi concert. No, you read that right – Bon Jovi. His account of it is nicely detailed and a lot of fun, definitely a great read. And special thanks to my blogging brother for noting the passing of Cult of Pop in his own inimitable way.

Gail of the impressive Himitsu has lots of eyecandy of w-inds here and here, as well as her always-helpful analysis of upcoming releases. Kagofeet of Don’t touch my jpop! is in a loving and harmonious mood, based on his sharing of the Voice of Love PV, and then choosing several more videos about “spreading the love” (I think I saw that AV once…) in his KF Sunday PV Picks.

Santos of Idolizing St. Anna steels himself for the summer of idol otaku madness he faces, providing details for many groups’s activities and releases, including Hinoi Team, dream, Perfume… and of course, Bon Bon Blanco. Santos also tells the bizarre story of a Kumada Yoko lookalike idol who’s also an arsonist and discusses AKB48’s very own official yukata (it’s ugly). Also on the Avex tip, Béné of Béné Blog has the lyrics to Hinoi Team’s “Jam Jam Jam”.

Go of jrocknyc is very much taken by Heavy Metal-san host Marty Friedman’s new album, believing it’s great enough to convert non-Jrock fans. Anyone care to take him up on this challenge? Go also reviews dir en grey’s latest video and writes about a twenty thousand dollar Fender Custom Shop Hello Kitty Stratocaster guitar. Twenty thousand dollars? For that much, I’d expect Kumada Yoko (the real one, not some pyro wannabe) in a leather Hello Kitty costume delivering the guitar and staying the night.

Jariten of HALCALI day by day has news that Halcali may well release their third album before Christmas this year! Now, that would be a great present to fans! Shay of SparkPlugged has chosen Def Tech’s “Catch the Wave” as this summer’s theme. For the more experimental type, Shay reviews goatbed’s Technicontrastron 01, the first solo project from ex-Cali=Guri Shuuji Isshi. shiroi heya covers new releases from dir en grey, miyavi, and Glay.

the usagi incidents covers the first arc of a Witchblade anime – hell, I didn’t even know there was one, though it’s maybe because I don’t care about that comic. memento has two anime-related PVs with nice screencaps to accompany them, Yuki’s “Fugainaiya” for Honey and Clover and Oku Hanako’s “Garnet” PV for Toki w Kakeru Shoujo.

And ending on a high note, Cute Cosplay has some very nice shots of Natsukawa Jun here (in a pair of tight denim short-shorts that are just this side of heaven) and here, while sister site Japanese Idol Photobooks has a very enjoyable set of photos featuring race queen Morishita Chisato. Definitely check out the denim short-shorts, you won’t regret it.


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4 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: A Whole Lotta H!P Love”
  1. CJ Marsicano says:

    Damn, how did I miss Sayumi’s birthday? Maybe it’s because she doesn’t share hers with any punk rock legends? XD

  2. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    There’s no way in hell I could forget Sayumi’s birthday because Langdon text messaged everyone on the team at 12 midnite the day of her birthday.

  3. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    oh, and I absolutely love Akiko Yada & I am curious does anyone have the photos that the press is making such a big deal about? Just curious….wanted to have a looksee myself hehe.

  4. Craig says:

    Sorry I deleted my Switch On screencap entry 🙁 Not sure why 🙂

    Man it’s really easy to lose pictures on imageshack. I had better create an account next time… Anyway this is all that’s left because I also put on a forum (which is easy to find :)): It’s the 1 Ray especially likes 🙂.

    Again sorry about that… I’m going to go back and finish going through the Roundup now :).