Sunday Blog Roundup: Paradise Regained

Filed in American Wota 1.0

The big news in the Jpop blogosphere this week is the return of Thea and Made in Paradise! It’s great to have her back – and I’m sure she’s still making school and nursing her top priority – but her dedicated mix of news, personal insights, and all-around enthusiasm has indeed been sorely missed. And of course, the return of Thea also means the return of the Thea / Santos tag team of Avex blogging goodness, as Santos does a nice summary of Hinoi Team’s appearance on Nakagawa Shoko’s otaku-fest TV show Yumegaoka Residence, followed by Thea providing clips from the same show. Thea is also keeping a running account on how Hinochi’s new single is doing on the Oricon charts, while Santos addresses rumors of Paradise Go!! Go!!’s possible kaisan. Our Man in Tokyo also continues his dedication to Anna Santos of B3, going to Shiga to watch her on a radio show and watching Bon Bon Blanco perform a show at Bunka Houso. He also goes to see them perform at NHK, where Mako states in English, “I’m… I’m… Anime!” Isn’t that cute?

Santos also has news of a drama about a fourteen-year-old who gets pregnant. On an unrelated note that I can’t help but match up with this piece, covers the Chibi Ero-Kawaii Championship on Utawara, where girls up to twelve years old do their best Koda Kumi impressions… also reports that Utada Hikaru’s next single is called “Boku wa Kuma” (I’m a bear? what the heck…?) and Gocchin gets to keep her “Glass no Pumps” dancers. And while it’s clearly labeled as a rumor and nothing else, I’m intrigued by the notion of Hello! Morning being replaced by a show hosted by Berryz Koubo, Viyuden, and Country Musume. I’m absolutely enthralled by Berryz, and even I see this as nothing more than wishful thinking of the most desperate kind. At least, not until Berryz starts clocking better sales than Momusu, which hasn’t happened… yet…

Zush of has fallen hard for that most talented of Berryz, Natsuyaki Miyabi – ahh, I know that feeling very well now. He also marks a sad anniversary, as it’s now been six months since Kago Ai’s been suspended. Six. Freaking. Months. Skawt of jankenpyon! is not at all pleased with the PV for GAM’s “Thanks!”, while namida of is more forgiving. Yossittelua has episodes seven and eight of her ongoing comic strip fanfic drama, “This love continues to grow”, but it looks like there’ll be a few weeks’ break before the next installment.

An interesting new blog is Kd’s Hello!Project Blog – Iroiro Aru Sa! –. It’s got the right mix of strong opinions and interesting insights, with a bracingly honest look at “Gaijin Fandom – A Double Edged Novelty Samurai Sword”. It got me to thinking, and I might as well state here: I think it’s a huge plus that Jpop songs have lyrics I can’t quite understand. After all, Jpop song lyrics are often about the same subjects and thus risk being as insipid cliched as English-language pop songs – but thanks to the language barrier, they remain cute and engaging by dint of being not completely intelligible. I honestly don’t think I’d love “Go Girl! Koi no Victory” if those lyrics were entirely in English, for example. And while I’m at it, every time I hear Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” I want to scream, “Grow the fuck up! Stop being hysterical about a simple fucking break-up! It is not murder, it’s not even analogous to murder, and you sound like a self-absorbed twelve-year-old for even thinking like that!” Which doesn’t have much to do with anything, but that song grates at my very last nerve whenever I hear it on the radio at my various workplaces.

In an unexpected consolidation of power, Craig of All in 1 has joined the Your Opinion Doesn’t Count crew, meaning there’s yet another Filipino to kick around on that blog. Craig meanwhile keeps All in 1 for stuff that won’t fit YODC… like more feelings of guilt about what a half-Japanese child from him would look like. Hey, hapa kids can look beautiful, too! Anyway, Your Opinion Doesn’t Count is even more of a repository of wota goodness – and strangeness – than it was before. We’ve got Tsuji Eriku going wild over Ogura Yuko crying on some game show (though admittedly, I was pretty charmed by that as well), Craig doing the dance for Berryz Koubo’s “Waracchaou yo Boyfriend”, and Langdon Alger mooning over… Morning Musume sucking on pacifiers? I have zero freakin’ clue on what that is about. And for some reason, they have three J-Music Clips of the Week: GAM’s “Thanks!” (with plenty of screencaps), Def. Diva’s PV for “Let’s Go Rakuten Eagles!”, and a Craig edition with the dance shot version of “Waracchaou yo Boyfriend” (of course).

Go of jrockynyc knows all about attending concerts. He again dispenses helpful advice for concertgoers visiting Japan and Stateside gets a chance to see Poison live along with Blood at the Knitting Factory. Go also reviews new releases from Tourbillon, ellegarden, vidoll,D, and Tsuchiya Anna. pengie of unchained also takes a very detailed look at Tsuchiya Anna’s DVD Sing or Die that accompanied her first full album, focusing a whole lot on Anna’s hair and opining (rightly) that Melon Kinenbi’s Masae may have a rival in that department… unchained also looks at AAA’s “Let It Beat!” PV and apparently Chiaki is like cowbell, because pengie thinks the video needs more of her. Gail of the impressive Himitsu looks at the anime Ouran Koukou Host Club as well as the PV for GYM’s “Fever to Future” – which looks a whole lot like the new Bennie K… WEBmikey gives a glowing review of Heartsdales’ swan song CD-DVD, The Legend; it’s almost enough to make me want to pick it up next time I go to Hakubundo…

Shay of SparkPlugged looks at a disaster movie where Japan sinks and something equally unthinkable, Hard Gay’s real-life marriage to a woman. imolestjyanniz of Into the Sky is thrilled at the news of a solo Domoto Koichi album, and Heaven has a new Upcoming Releases list. HANABI.1984 of J-Pop CD Cover Art has visual goodness from Tamaki Nami’s third album and eleventh single, as well as UVERworld’s “Colors of the Heart”. There’s also BoA’s “Key of Heart / DOTCH” (wow! check out those shorts and those boots!), and two from Shibasaki Kou – “Invitation” and “Katachi Aru Mono”.

Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe finally admits the obvious: Isoyama Sayaka has replaced Ogura Yuko as his favorite gravure idol. (But has he seen Ogura cry lately?) Meanwhile, despite admiration for Sora Aoi’s sucking, he admits that her first musical release sucked in a whole different – and much less enjoyable – way. I guess she’s no Oikawa Nao… Over at Insyte’s Insights, Taiyou no Uta is highly recommended, especially for YUI fans, while Béné of Béné Blog delights in the fashion of Penty. Patachu of Irresponsible Pictures provides Your Summer 2006 Anime Guide (with a very cute picture of Ishikawa Rika) and a hot picture of a batting-helmet-wearing Inoue Mao to accompany a look at upcoming manga-derived doramas. Itoh Misaki is going to be in a live-action Maison Ikkoku? Wow, that certainly got my attention…

On the American music scene, CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama looks at the departure of Hawthorne Heights from Victory Records, as well as reviews the return of Ice-T’s rock group Body Count. Meanwhile, regarding the upcoming American TV season, usagi of the usagi incidents looks at a couple of shows that are quite popular here at the Mescallado home. She reviews Prison Break Season 1 and provides a sneak peek at Season 2. usagi also takes a sneak peek at the new season of House (I like the use of the term “fuckfest”) and looks at Hugh Laurie’s appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio (do they spend a lot of time on Jeeves & Wooster?). Last but not least, she also looks at the original Witchblade comic and compares it to the anime.

Last but by no means least, Johnny of The Mind is enjoying his vacation in the Philippines, though I’m surprised he can’t find balut back home in Toronto… Glad that he continues to blog, even while in Manila.

Before I go, let me note the first American Wota contest, where you can win a gift certificate from CDJapan. Also, I’ve added two new sections in the American Wota forum, Eyecandy and Eyecandy Extreme. You can figure out for yourselves what they’re all about… (And I do hope some members will post up hot pictures of Gackt and SMAP’s Shingo for me. Eyecandy is a gender-neutral term, after all.)


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8 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: Paradise Regained”
  1. pengie says:

    Maybe it’s because it’s 1 in the morning, but “Chiaki is like cowbell” sent me into a bordering-on-hysterical gigglefit.

    Or maybe it’s because the idea of AAA members with cowbe… okay, there I go again.

  2. Johnny says:

    Haha, it’s not that I couldn’t find any balut in Toronto.

    I just refuse to eat balut in Toronto.

    Eating balut on Manila streets at nightime is as Filipino as it gets.

    I did that just the other night. Yummy!

  3. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    Thanks HANABI.1984…..tears well up in my eyes everytime I hear Shibasaki Kou’s Kitachi aru mono. Poor, poor Aki! AND BoA was my very first jpop crush.

    While I’ll agree that Thanks! isn’t the best PV I’ve seen as of late, for some strange reason I keep watching it, wierd.

  4. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    Sorry for commenting again but if any of you have seen Hikaru OR Kagofeet tell him Tsuji’s been looking for him & to come back home Ja. =)

  5. Kd says:

    Ooh, I’ve never been called “bracingly honest” before. Thankyou. I try to cover the random stuff about H!P that maybe nobody else has commented on yet. All the important news gets taken up by at least 4 or 5 other blogs, so I stick to the refreshing things. Refreshing like squeezing lemon juice into an open wound. 🙂

  6. Craig says:

    “squeezing lemon juice into an open wound” XD

    “Eyecandy is a gender-neutral term” 🙂

    “hapa” 😛

  7. I personally love the GAM video simply for two reasons, Aya and Miki..different STROKES for different folks I guess…heh heh heh…

  8. thea says:

    lol for me lyrics are important f^_^; the language barrier still helps tho (and i have to agree i am not used to songs in English anymore… the lyrics are too generic and i feel like i can’t sympathize with what they are trying to deliver lol)

    and i’m still on vacation so i’ll probably go away for 16 weeks to focus on studies lol