Sunday Blog Roundup: Momusu Grows By One, Ikimasshoi Grows By Many

Filed in American Wota 1.0

Holy Crap! What happened to the Jpop blogosphere this past week? And what the heck is Tsunku doing to Morning Musume with his eighth gen pick?

Starting with the big H!P news that has split the Jpop blogosphere in two – okay, not really – Mitsui Aika has been chosen as the single new addition to Morning Musume, meaning we’ll now have a 9-nin line-up (just like in “The Peace!”). This is noted by Béné of Meganekko, who’s glad her favorite won but wishes more girls were added, the latter sentiment shared by pengie of unchained. Also among those who wanted to see more than one member added are Tom at Hello!Blog; Jinryuichi of Hello Non-Pro Hour is happy with the choice as well, then notes that losing finalist Ayami skipped the final day of the eighth gen audition to audition for Avex. For some reason, that delights me to no end… At MySpace, samipiggy is less than thrilled, judging by her “EW OMG EW WHY WHY EW OMG WHY.”

Ikimasshoi has the basic information on Aika and what she sang to make it through the audition process while newcomer Martin looks behind the scenes on this development. 74x reports that Aika will not be in Kouhaku but will be in the spring concerts. After working through what seems to be the Kubler Ross stages at the news of only one person making it through, Julia of Satsumaimo does a nice blow-by-blow description of the relevant part of the Hello! Morning episode and explains how Aika’s cry of “Yume mitai!” helped endear the newly-molded idol to her. Julia also makes an important point worth quoting:

Truthfully, I haven’t been thinking much about how Aika will fit into Morning Musume as a whole, but just about Aika herself. I find it very difficult right now to picture her as a member of the group, but surely I’ll get used to it at some point, right? After all, many surely felt like they could never picture Koharu as a part of the group, but now she just fits.

Meanwhile, in our own little corner of the internets, there’s been a good deal of bulking up at a couple of the notable blogs devoted to Jpop. This is far from a new development, as the magnificent bastards at Your Opinion Doesn’t Count have added new magnificent bastards in the past year – most notably Craig – but it’s particularly noticeable this week, which has seen some highly prolific, high-quality blogging in what seems to be a surge of renewed interest. I find the development interesting because it not only adds variety to blogs and an editorial challenge for the folks who run them, but also provides outlets for multiblogging among the more experienced people as well as a chance for newer bloggers to try out this form of writing to see how well it suits them. Given my less-than-stellar performance these past few months, it makes me wonder if I should take on some like-minded co-bloggers as well… If it wasn’t for the fact that my last two choices have ended up like those poor drummers from Spinal Tap. (I do know who I’d want if this was a big ol’ playground dodgeball game where we all pick sides, but I ain’t saying who.)

Anyways, on the Slow And Low That Is The Tempo tip of group blog development, Angela of Sakuranbo! is now a contributor to the indispensable, starting with a piece comparing idols in Japan and those in America. Also at, wu-san declares ’tis the season to get naked – Ayaya’s Naked Songs, that is. Though as Ikimasshoi notes, sales on the album are surprisingly low – as are those for Hamasaki Ayumi’s new album, as well. Speaking of which, Ikimasshoi went the We Want The World And We Want It Now route and has created the Wu-Tang Clan of the Jpop blogosphere. (YODC are the A-Team, of course, Channel-Ai the Algonquin Roundtable, and I guess is now the Mod Squad of the Jpop blogosphere.) Following this silly analogy, I guess that makes head honcho Shaoron the RZA, and, um, CJ Marsicano (who brings his Momusu in America post to Ikimasshoi) the GZA, and pengie has to be Method Man (she contributes a AAA article), of course… Other contributions worth noting is Gray’s song-by song review of Ayu’s Secret while Mikan recommends some Shiina Ringo, Kisetsu writes a review of Berryz’s latest single and a short but impassioned post by Radicalpatriot leads to a very interesting comments section (which makes him the ODB of Ikimasshoi, perhaps?). Mugen writes a nicely analytical piece on the decline of Momusu though it feels like a very familiar argument that adds little to the usual finger-pointing. One thing Ikimasshoi could do is place the names of their bloggers with each entry, so it would be easier to see who’s saying what and let this new variety of opinions differentiate themselves better.

At her own blog, Angela looks at Ayaya’s “Nee”, while HANABI.1984 of J-Pop CD Cover Art shares the covers to Ayaya’s second and third albums. Angela also notes her Top 5 H!P things this year, with a surprising choice for number one. (Well, maybe not so surprising for some out there, like pengie.) Kd of Iroiro Aru Sa! takes a look back at the year in Hello! Project and has a great quote about the increasing attention paid to males in the H!P fold:

Maybe Tsunku gets up every day, looks at his beautiful wife, goes to work, sees the girls sat around being groped by Miki… and maybe he’s started to think “I can’t keep them chained to radiators forever…”

I don’t know about you, but the idea of Momoko chained to a radiator just gets me all riled up… what? That wasn’t her point? Never mind. Tom has been anticipating the new Viyuden single and Tsuji & Mari’s Alo-Hello DVD, while Noone of Yossittelua has the latest installation of her serial “This Love Continues to Grow”. Jinryuichi looks at why exactly Koharu can make the rest of Momusu her bitches with solo sales to match the group’s current success. Okay, he didn’t phrase it that way – and Mikitty, at least would take exception – but come on… I don’t like her much and even I can see the writing on the wall with how she truly became a miracle girl. Jinryuichi does a good job of breaking it down and explaining it, and maybe the same can be done with Faces With Braces. Jinryuichi also asks something bordering on heretical: what if Aibon doesn’t want to come back to the idol life? All things considered, it’s not inconceivable – and I should add that Aibon’s parents had her when they were even younger than she is now. So maybe, just maybe… He’s also disappointed in the tenth anniversary single line-up, made up of a questionable quintet (where the heck is Yuko, at least?).

For the record, I love Craig of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count like a demented blogging brother who should be tied to a radiator next to Momoko. Anyway, he does a hilariously screencapped review of Berryz’s new PV “Munusawagi Scarlet” noting at one point “Cute! So cute (I am semi erect ROFL).” and then later “8D (American Wota, this review isn’t hehe)”… Words fail me. I’m giggling, but word fail me. Goto Maki has become SanDisk’s spokesidol, as covered by both Ikimasshoi and Johnny of The Mind. Johnny also has shots from Ishikawa Rika’s new photobook, and I have to say this is one of the rare times that looking at Charmy caused a major soft-off, especially with that embarassingly silly gold swimsuit. Pair her up with Sayumi again! Madara of Madara Blog returns with another comparison between Morning Musume and American pop culture, this time looking at Disney Channel musicals as precursors to American Musume. WEBmikey looks back at Morning Musume Sakura Gumi’s first single and PV, enjoying it a great deal… and hey, he still has Otome Gumi’s first single to look forward to, the best of the Gumi bunch!

On the Avex Trax front, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna has great innuendo fun with the latest Koda Kumi project, a collaborative effort with other Rhythm Zone artists called Amazing Nuts!. Really, who could resist? Our Man in Tokyo also went to see misono, AAA and others at Club Citta Kawasaki and is impressed by the return of Yukari, dubbing her breasts “Boobs of Mass Destruction”; further, he explains how AAA at Sunshine Hiroba surprised non-fans in the audience with Chiaki Gangbang styled acrobatics. Really, just get the girls of AAA signed on Moodyz or S1 already, so I can better appreciate their work. Ikimasshoi notes BoA’s fifth Japanese album this coming January, and WEBmikey likes BoA’s “Winter Love” but places it behind other ballads from the performer.

Also in Avex news, Thea of Made in Paradise notes that AAA will be releasing an album of cover songs in February and that Hinoi Team’s next single will be yet another Eurobeat cover. Heaven has its own track-by-track review of Ayu’s Secret, while Kimitsu of Let It Beat! looks at AAA’s Black & White single. Though the duo of The Great Swifty Speaketh! have returned to their respective homelands, Justine continues to write about Sifow in a highly engaging manner, especially with why she’s his focus of interest instead of, say, Hello! Project or the girls of Chase… Karakui has news of a semi-nude photo collection from Lina – throw in the rest of Max and some jello wrestling, and I’d be more than happy to buy a copy. And making me sort of nostalgic and weepy, J-Pop CD Cover Art has the last three musical releases from SweetS, the “Bitter Sweets” single, “Color of Tears” single, and Delicious compilation.

Elsewhere in the world of Japanese music, Gail of the impressive Himitsu loves Kra’s “Artman” single but finds the PV mildly generic and anticipates K’s My Life in Music. Kimitsu of Let It Beat! makes a very compelling argument for RSP, a group I’ve never heard of before but am now interested in seeing much more of. Thea of Made in Paradise does a fun fangirling review of Lead’s Upturn 2006 “4” concert DVD, while Japtard’s Frox is in a Kishimoto Hayami mood, with the Love Drops mini-album and “Go! My Heaven” single available for download. On the rap front, jariten of HALCALI day by day is encouraged by the number 4 ranking of “Look” on Oricon’s popularity charts while Hikaru of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count has a trio of rap videos for the Sunday Video Pick, including Do-Nuts, Kreva, Bennie K… and La Prueve par Trois, which makes it a quartet.

On the rock front, Angela of Sakuranbo! moved on from classic Ayaya to review a song by a very different Aya. Aural Candy notes an official fanclub for D – but what is the deal with the name “Ultimate Lover”? Is that like a response to the UFC? Do they have different rules for grips and holds? Aural Candy then looks at T.M. Revolution’s side project abingdon boys school – I love T.M., that crazy bastard! And he looks quite enticing and scrumptious in that schoolboy outfit doesn’t he? She also encourages you to vote in the First Annual J-Rock Choice Awards and shares her own choices. Go of jrocknyc looks at the viability of Dir en Grey and visual kei in general for American audiences, then notes:

In my eleven years of VK fandom, I cannot tell you the STAGGERING number of people I know who went from ADORING Dir en grey one year to COMPLETELY removing themselves from the entire VK scene the next. The turnover in fans is worse than it was on the Western Front in WWI.

Shay of SparkPlugged has few words for the Back Horn’s PV – but all those words are very positive, while CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama writes a very positive review of Yukki, formed by two former Whiteberrys and two other girls. Are there any PVs? There’s gotta be some video footage of them! Kimitsu of Let It Beat! is concerned about Kitade Nana’s turn to gothic lolita and its influence on her new album I Scream.

On the drama front, Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe is still enjoying Bengoshi no Kuzu despite the lack of attention to legal matters, while YODC’s Hikaru asserts that Nodame Cantabile is quickly becoming his favorite drama. Looking to daily eyecandy, at Irresponsible Pictures, Pata’s 25 Days of Bishoujo continues with Hinoi Asuka (still love that smile!), Nakanomori Ayako, the angelic Belldandy of Oh! My Goddess, voice actress Tomoka Kurokawa (love that T-shirt!), anime cutiew Haruhi Fujioka and Nobue Itoh, and Death Note actress Erika Toda.

CJ listens to some screw tapes while decompressing from his NaNoWriMo victory (I was short of a NanoWriMo victory by roughly 49,000 words…) On his solo blog, Tsuji Eriku is apparently a damned liar. And closing off on a note of solidarity, Aural Candy makes plain a ground rule which should be pretty fucking obvious to anyone who reads blogs: while the incident she describes is unfamiliar to me, the basic tenets she holds are the only kind that make sense for an honestly critical writer (and her readership), in blogging or any other form. So more power to her for standing up like this, and let her smackdown be an example to others!


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7 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: Momusu Grows By One, Ikimasshoi Grows By Many”
  1. CJ Marsicano says:

    Oh, I’m the GZA, huh? Now you’ve got me wondering where the hell my copy of Liquid Swords is. I just got a hankering to listen to “Labels” and “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. XD

  2. pengie says:

    Only on American Wota could I go from Nostradamus to Method Man in the span of a week.

  3. Craig says:

    I love u 2 daddy 🙂

    Empress says ‘Craig FTW’ 😛

  4. Julia says:

    Nice to be quoted. =) Seriously though, no one can say that “Yume mitai!” wasn’t adorable. I liked her post-meeting Momusu reaction better than Koharu’s, really. Koharu didn’t seem like she was about to cry…though her constant enthusiasm ever since her debut more than makes up for it.

  5. jinryuichi says:

    Actually, I DO plan on writing something on Miss “Face with Braces”… ^_^

  6. Kd says:

    Woo, I got quoted! 😛

  7. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    Ikimasshoi gets to be the wu-tang clan! Wu tang clan kicks a lot of ass! Instead of the A-Team I wanna be the Juice Crew of Jpop cause they were a deep crew that had the dopest underated MC of all-time, Craig G & the funniest man in hip hop Biz Markie.