Sunday Blog Roundup: Disband Momusu! Perfume Songs Sound the Same! And Murakami Sucks!

Filed in American Wota 1.0

Let’s start the week off right with a couple of gutsy statements. At unchained, pengie proposes that Morning Musume disbands, since the flagship unit isn’t getting the same love as other units in the collective. I’m intrigued by her ideas – hypothetical as they are (and she’ll be the first to admit that) – if only because it exposes a seeming shift in the strategy of Hello! Project’s management. Her breakdown of possible post-Momusu careers for the current eight members is also enjoyable, again on a purely hypothetical what-if level. Even if pengie doesn’t understand the genius that is Sayumi. Meanwhile, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna goes to see Perfume perform… at Musashino Art University! Apparently, the show as a great success and held some surprises. Santos notes Kashiyuka actually saying, “If you like techno, this album will be interesting. But if you don’t, all the songs sound same.” That takes guts to admit, as Santos observes – and I agree completely. Anyway, it’s a very fun account – the kind Santos is best at writing – with a nice twist in his perspective on the different audiences involved.

On the Hello! Project front, Langdon Alger, one of the magnificent bastards of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count, shares a great picture of Takahashi Ai while Johnny of The Mind is also taken by Takitty’s new, more mature look. I must confess to being intrigued, though not completely won over just yet. Speaking of which, “The miracle girl and the Russian instrument” sounds like the title of a classic Penthouse photo spread, but it’s actually unchained’s pengie looking at Koharu’s newest solo PV. And apparently,from a clip that Craig of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count shares, Koharu is now part of an Orange Commie Revolution. wu-san of the indispensable writes a very personal entry about his favorite Momusu, Kamei Eri. It’s a well-rendered, thoughtful piece, and shows the gentler side of being a fan committed to a particular idol.

Ikimasshoi looks forward to the concerts celebrating the tenth anniversary of Hello! Project in January 2007. By that time we should see a new Momusu line-up, and Kd of Iriro Aru Sa! muses on the current eight gen auditions and is rethinking the joys of photobooks and fangirling. Angela’s blog Sakuranbohas renamed and redesigned itself, and takes an appreciative look at GAM’s kiss. Along similar lines, Jinryuichi of Hello Non-Pro Hour looks at the two most prominent duos of Hello! Project’s history, W and GAM, then proposes some other possible duos that can be formed. Myself, I want to see Yurina and Maasa re-enact the “Melodies” PV – just kidding! (I actually want to see Mai and Chisato do that…)

Switch-On! News announces that the Berryz stage play will be released on DVD in January! Count down the days, wota boys and wota girls! Over at Tsuji No Uchi, Tsuji takes a very commonsensical view on Yajima Maimi and also brags about a kind of otaku achievement that is impressive in its ow, weirdly wota way. And taking a step in the wayback machine, WEBmikey looks back at Morning Musume Otome Gumi and Sakura Gumi. CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama continues his look at W’s roots with Betsy & Chris. Last but not least, Ikimasshoi also reminds readers that Morning Musume’s new single is available for download.

On the Avex Trax front, Miyounghee of !rice_box looks at BoA’s past couple of years of releases in light of her upcoming single, and closes with a zinger that’s both deeply meaningful and ridiculously funny. Once again, essential reading – even if you’re not a fan of BoA (which I’m not). Thea of Made in Paradise notes Bright’s appearance at Rhythm Nation 2006 and wonders if they’re finally heading for their debut. has news of Koda Kumi’s next full-length album – with the extra-special edition featuring two extra DVDs! – and also provides a very good review of Ku-chin’s latest single. And Santos of Idolizing St. Anna notes that the latest Girl’s Box concert has replaced SweetS and Parago with lots and lots of gravure idols. If they’d only bring in AV idols, that would at least deepen the name of the concert series somewhat…

Elsewhere in the pop world, Gail of the impressive Himitsu is pleased with the upcoming release of Chemistry’s greatest hits album and anticipates Nakashima Mika’s upcoming Nana single. Gail also has her latest batch of magazine scans from Shoxx magazine. Béné of Meganekko has an informative review of Bon Bon Blanco, Ikimasshoi notes KinKi Kids’ upcoming Christmas single, and Karakui notes that Yamada Yu is far from the only looker in her family.

Go of jrocknyc takes a look at Dir en Grey’s new album cover, noting that “it looks like how Dir’s music sounds”. I’m sure he meant that in a good way, though judging by the cover… Go also reviews 12012’s wana album, Nightmare’s “The World” PV, Gazette’s “Regret” single, Aural Vampire’s “Death Folder” single (a group which features a sezzy goth chick!), and mucc’s “horizont” PV. Over at MySpace, nishi is losing interest in jrock… but finds new hope in 12012, while Aural Candy breaks the news of Kagrra possibly performing in the United States. Aural Candy also basks in her copy of D’s Tafel Anatomie, freshly arrived and much loved as it is. Jarret of I’m bad at naming things has news of Sambomaster’s music video collection, along with some broader observations of the role PVs play in the Japanese music industry.

If you’re looking for a Halloween J-thrill, Shay of SparkPlugged recommendsThe Candy Spooky Theater, who look like Nightmare Before Christmas cosplayers with too much time on their hands… Shay also looks at the rock band Mass Missile, enjoying the group’s refusal to be pinned down to a single genre. So is that a trick or a treat?

On the rap front, Shay of SparkPlugged has started a new PV of the Week feature with m-flo loves Bonnie Pink’s “Love Song”, while Your Opinion Doesn’t Count chooses Rip Slyme’s “Blow” for its J-Music Clip of the Week, courtesy of Langdon Alger. And jariten of HALCALI day by day has the cover to their next single as well as news of other recent activity.

On the drama front, Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe takes brief looks at three different dramas, finding little to be enthused about in the batch, though he is more pleased with the lates episode of Bengoshi no Kuzu. On the manga front, Pata of Irresponsible Pictures takes issue with the way Japanese manga publishers define their audiences, while Shay of SparkPlugged sings the praises for Mainichi’s Manglish online manga reader. Among other things this week, usagi of the usagi incidents looks at the anime Air Gear, the second novel in the Dexter series, as well as the latest episodes of the Death Note anime here and here.

Over at The Great Swifty Speaketh, Justin and Swifty engage in a strangely vitriolic attack on Murakami Haruki and his sadly misguided opinion on ganguro fashion. I’m not sure what to make of it, exactly, as they are attributing cowardly motives where none may exist and crowning their argument with the kind of generational warfare rhetoric that sounds great in college but makes you wince when you look back at it years later. (The part about Murakami being strictly middlebrow intrigues me especially, since it involves a specific kind of class warfare that again flourishes best in academia.) Their specific criticism of Murakami’s take on ganguro strikes me as spot-on correct and worth considering – I’d’ve loved to have read more on that instead of making it a coda to a rather involved bit of character assassination. That said, the reformed lit-crit junkie in me found the bare-fisted knuckle-dusting of a literary giant intriguing in its own right, so I’m not complaining as much as throwing in my own two cents’ worth. And just for the record, I happen to like Murakami’s books a lot, though his latest novel didn’t grab me. If there’s any writer guilty of getting a free ride on reputation in recent years, I’d have to say it’s Don DeLillo – I’d love to hear Justin and Swifty’s take on him, actually. (And Vollmann! Come on, how can you ignore Vollmann, guys?)

And closing off the week: on the American music front, CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda reviews the New York Dolls reunion album (well, if having the only two surviving members together counts as a reunion), and Janet Jackson’s 20 Y.O.. Janet Jackson? I’d have never guessed, CJ…


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9 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: Disband Momusu! Perfume Songs Sound the Same! And Murakami Sucks!”
  1. Shinji says:

    thanks for the round up Ray. I only recently discovered American Wota and its so now easy to get a feel of how the current blogs are and where to read them.

    enjoyed most of the blogs this week. especially enjoying wu-san of recently and this week. I’m a big Eri Fan ya see 😉

    ‘pengie proposes that Morning Musume disbands’ another great read.

  2. CJ Marsicano says:

    OK, Brother Ray, why wouldn’t you have guessed Janet Jackson? This oughta be good…

  3. Kd says:

    Thanky for the roundup. Am I the only one who’s not actually liking the new layout? Must I always be the voice of complaint in a sea of idol fans? :p

  4. Julia says:

    When I read “Murakami” I immediately thought of Megukami and went “wtf?!” Glad to see you meant someone else; I should have known better, though.

  5. Ray Mescallado says:


    Glad to have you here!


    I could say that I thought you didn’t care for modern American pop music (you wrote about that a while back), but that’d be only partially true. The absolute truth of the matter is, your tastes and background are so strikingly similar in some ways to mine (guys in their thirties with a love of punk, alt rock, and Jpop) that I often project my own tastes on yours and am surprised when that isn’t so. I swear to God, if you ever write a glowing review of Rascal Flatts, my head will explode.


    I’m not sure how long this new theme will last, but I needed a radical change to help spur me into doing more than just the SBR every week. That said, it’s SO different from what I’ve chosen before, I kind of like the novelty of it for the moment.


    I would NEVER says Megukami sucks. Never ever ever ever.

  6. CJ Marsicano says:


    The glowing review of Rascal Flatts would have to come from my girlfriend, who flowed me a digital copy of the iTunes version of their current album.

    Now, Terri Clark or Hank Williams III, on the other hand…

  7. Garamond says:

    I think the new layout is pretty good, because of it’s “tidyness”. I don’t like all the blue though, it almost hurts my eyes – maybe it’s because it contrasts too much with the “beige” background.

  8. Johnny says:

    I agree with Garamond. The blue’s too bright. Maybe an olive green would look better. It’s easier on the eyes.

    But that’s just me.

  9. Ray Mescallado says:

    I’m thinking of turning it to black and white this weekend…