Sunday Blog Roundup: Origin of the Wota Species, 2007’s Bad Start, and Akon Meets Reina

Filed in American Wota 1.0

Leading off this week, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna has a pair of his trademark pieces on the quirks of modern Japanese society. The first is an entry on a member of the Imperial family who’s become a hip-hop-loving London “club slut” (his term, not mine). The second is about a Hello! Project Death Dive and the origin of the Wota species – again, Santos finds historical roots on what looks like a thoroughly modern phenomenon, tracing the odd behavior of wota to religious customs. That should make the whole idea of worshipping idols more noble, I guess, but in Santos’ hands it just makes wota behavior appear more sublimely ridiculous and wrong-headed.

Thoughtfulness is also the case in two of my other favorite posts this week. Wu-san at My Pleasant Vista has another of his personal essays on the role of music in his life and his recent intense interest in Japanese music. Meanwhile, siaoliao considers three high profile deaths in Asian entertainment, noting dryly, “2007 did not set off on the right foot”. It’s an interesting way to look at recent events, and siaoliao does a good job of capturing the strange tumult of feelings many of us have felt, especially as it prisms the way we experience celebrity – even when it involves celebrities we didn’t know previously. And last on this week’s favorites list, Kd of Iroiro Aru Sa! strings together some random observations – about meeting a fellow J-fan, Pocky, and the dilemma of dueling fandoms – which doesn’t add up to anything substantial, but does have a certain charm in showing different aspects of being into this thing we call Jpop.

On the Hello! Project front, jinryuichi of Hello Non-Pro Hour pulls together all the various tidbits about the 10th anniversary concert, from Country Musume’s graduations to rumors about the breakup of Gatas to a possible Kago-sighting at the show. This leads jinryuichi to look in-depth again at the rumors of Aibon’s comeback. My take on it is if we don’t have her come back at the one year mark, it’s time to let go. Tsuji’s moved on, and so should we. Hello Non-Pro Hour also provides lyrics and translation to the “Bokura ga Ikiru My Asia” single and B-side, as well as reviews a very short preview clip of “Egao Yes Nude”.

In a strange Sing Along With Mitch fashion, CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama shares a homemade video for “Egao” that he found with the lyrics so you can sing along. CJ has made his own homebrewed video featuring his favorite Momusu and a certain rap song, which Craig of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count shares. It almost makes me wish I was still a Reina fan… Ah, speaking of which, CJ continues his series of hot Reina photos, and Tom of Hello! Blog shares the cover to her Alo-Hello!… which almost makes me want to get it. Almost. Meanwhile, Craig of YODC shares a Maimi photo which his fellow magnificent bastard Tsuji Eriku comments on quite correctly.

Julia of Satsumaimo is very impressed by Aika’s concert debut at the 10th anniversary show and how great she looks in her outfit – and I have to say, I’m with her on this, the girl’s as pedolicious as pedolicious can get. Tom of Hello!Blog reviews two recent purchases of his, Mika Todd’s new jazz album (I think this one’s different from the one CJ wrote about a while back?) and Sayumi’s new photobook. Kd considers marketing the H!P soloists with specific phrases and characteristics. I think Ayaya is the “true idol”, but that’s just me… Kon of J-MuNet looks at Melon Kinenbi’s Best Of album, Fruity Killer Tune, while Mitsui of Ikimasshoi has news of MKB’s next single, coming in March. Mitsui also has news of the top photobooks of 2006, which includes Koda Kumi, KAT-TUN, and Takahashi Ai.

CJ Marsicano admits he’s not Nostradamus, as the plans for Morning Musume’s next album have been announced. Ikimasshoi’s Mitsui marks the one-year mark since Matsuura Aya released a solo single, while Maki Kanatsu breaks the news that Yaguchi Mari will be performing in a production of Damn Yankees. MorningBerryz is delighted with the return of Kamei Eri’s alter ego Elizabeth Kyamei on the new Hello! Morning news segment and explains why Kame is his second favorite member of Momusu. He also shares more Up To Boy covers featuring H!P idols here and here.

On the Avex Trax front, Béné of Meganekko writes about Seed, an up-and-coming group who when I last heard about them were a strictly regional group. I guess they’ve been moved up to the national level with SweetS and Parago now gone? At YODC, Langdon chose Hinoi Team’s new PV for J-Music Clip of the Week. All I can say is, it’s all about Hikaru now… Meanwhile J-Pop CD Cover Art’s HANABI.1984 has two new Avex offerings, BoA’s Made in Twenty and Koda Kumi’s latest offering.

In other pop news, Tsuji Eriku shares some Linda Linda Linda, whose movie will soon be Stateside on DVD. Kimitsu of let it beat! examines why she’s a fan of NEWS… but can’t pin it down quite. The end of her post is priceless, as well as prescient:

So what is it that keeps me blindly following them? I don’t know. Fandom is a very strange thing. It’s also the best weapon against the music market that these boys have. But it can only last so long.

But it’s while that uneasy time of adoration and puzzlement lasts that can make a fandom so suit, mais oui?

On the rock front, Aural Candy reviews LM.C’s “Oh My Juliet” single, finding its initial charms wearing off a little. In contrast, Celsius005 of Channel-Ai looks back at Bump of Chicken’s “Planetarium” single from 2005, and apparently its charm hasn’t worn off yet. pengie of unchained shares her love of Zwei, describing her favorite songs and providing media accordingly. At SparkPlugged, Shay shares hare-brained unity while Owen, a new contributor, notes the return of Acidman with a new album and the concomitant marketing push. Shay also looks at free music magazines from Japan, finding they’re not completely useless.

On the rap front, jariten of HALCALI day by day notes the release of the third song from Halcali’s website that I think corresponded to major holidays. jariten isn’t thrilled by it, and considering the duo’s track record as of late, I’m not all that intrigued enough to find out for myself. Meanwhile, Gail of the impressive Himitsu looks at the new Monkey Majik / m-flo PV.

Gail has also been in an anime mood lately, writing up on Trinity Blood and Saiunkoku Monogatari. Also on the anime front, huntherx17 of Furusato Chronicles notes the clear consequence of the Hare Hare Yukai dance being released in full on a Suzumiya Haruhi DVD. usagi of the usagi incidents continues her usual barrage of reviews, including this week the Maria-sama ga Miteru OAV 1 and 2.

On the drama front, Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe is very disappointed in the first two episodes of Kira Kira Kenshui, despite having high hopes for the lead actress, Konishi Manami. On the gaming front, Freefall Jones of YODC praises the Nintendo DS game Hotel Dusk, even as he laments that it isn’t getting the recognition it deserves.

And let me say it again: gravure modeling is hard work! And no, I’m not joking. For proof, check out these two videos shared by Japan Probe: the first shows what Hoshino Aki does to her breasts to remain a top bikini model; the second shows a cute bespectacled model walking around in a thong swimsuit on the streets of Akihabara. The swimsuit iteself is horrendous, but the girl takes her job in relative stride. Other gravure posts come from Japan Sugoi, which looks at Natsukawa Jun, and Barely 18 Movies, which looks at Fukudome Yuko. Barely 18 Movies also notes A new photobobook devoted to high school uniforms, a new Maria Ozawa release where she flies the friendly skies, and video footage of the adorable Nanba Ann playing the PSP (and no, I don’t mean in that way).

Speaking of which, Cute Japanese and Asian Cosplay Idols has a two part series from Maria’s photobook Harvest here and here. It’s not as interesting as watching her have sex, but it’s still AV-licious and quite nude. Meanwhile, sister site Cute Cosplay Angels has devoted a week to Hara Mikie, but the only really interesting part of the series is when she poses with a vaccum player (and no, I don’t mean in that way).

Closing off with some odds and ends… while it’s not Japanese, it’s certainly idol: CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda reviews Chris Daughtry’s album, and the first sentence made me laugh out loud. And at My Pleasant Vista, Wu-san details some recent experiences he’s had, not related to Jpop in any way but an interesting and well-written piece nevertheless. It includes a quote worth recounting here, words of wisdom we should all heed: “Surely theres something wrong when fruit tastes of chicken.”


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3 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: Origin of the Wota Species, 2007’s Bad Start, and Akon Meets Reina”
  1. CJ Marsicano says:

    FYI, the Mika CD Tom from Hello!Blog reviewed is the same one that both myself and fellow Mac-wielding Pennsylvania-living music nerd Marly Jane wrote about a year ago. 😉

  2. wu-san says:

    hey just dropping by, saying thanks for the links, and the read of course 😛


  3. paul.thomas says:

    Yep, it’ll be the same CD, Mika’s only released the one…I’ve just been really slow in getting myself a copy