The AW Idol Index – June 3, 2007

Filed in American Wota 1.0

A strictly self-indulgent look at who matters to me right this very moment and why. First, something pretty cool, courtesy of Hello! Blog…

Not that any of these girls are on this week’s index, but it helps me focus on the future of Morning Musume after a rather traumatic week. I expect the top three to appear now and again, however, and maybe even the Sino Musume. Despite – or rather, because of – all the buzz surrounding Mikitty, she didn’t make the index this week, either. Backlash from scandal fatigue. As for those who are on the list…

5. Hagiwara Mai (Pop Idol)
Last Week: –
Total Weeks on Index: 1

I know this is jumping the gun somewhat, but I’m now convinced she’s only a couple of growth spurts away from being one of the loveliest and most enchanting in the H!P stable. She’s not there yet, but the potential just becomes more and more obvious. I’ve been listening a lot to “Sakura Chirarin” and watching the PV am actually quite charmed by Maimai’s performance in both. Beyond that, I’m intrigued by her upcoming duo with Miracle Girl Koharu, which I’m sure will be saccharine sweet but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (especially in H!P land).

4. Yua Aida (AV Idol)
Last Week: –
Total Weeks on Index: 1

Yua has released her third DVD for Moodyz and while it’s more of the same, she’s still a sheer pleasure to watch. There’s a charm to her, a playfulness, that makes her sex scenes even more powerful. Beyond that, I must also add that there’s a certain relief in seeing she hasn’t gone to the extremes (yet) that Maria Ozawa has wholeheartedly embraced. Call me old-fashioned or even a cultural imperialists, but I very much prefer to have my porn stars look like they enjoy having sex…

3. Shihono Ryo (Junior Idol)
Last Week: 1
Total Weeks on Index: 2

I can’t help it, I love her to pieces. I’m still enjoying her recent photobooks, still poring over the pages and just marveling over what she can achieve with a smile, a pose, a twisted bit of underwear… The Ukelele DVD remains a joy to watch, from her showering in the pink bikini to the cowgirl outfit (see above) to that kimono that falls below her shoulders… It’s strange, not being able to get enough of her, but I’m just one of many who are under her legendary thrall.

2. Tsugunaga Momoko (Pop Idol)
Last Week: 2
Total Weeks on Index: 3

Momoko O Momoko, it’s impossible to forget her and why would I ever want to? Call me crazy, but her photobook will be the best of all the H!P Kids. I know it, I can feel it deep down in my soul. But in the meanwhile…

1. Natsuyaki Miyabi (Pop Idol)
Last Week: 5
Total Weeks on Index: 2

First, let me answer Zush’s comment / protest from last week: Miyabi is awkward looking in a bunch of ways. Her jaw isn’t traditionally proportioned to the rest of her face, her smile often has a brittle quality to it (crs of the late and much-lamented 28 hundred hours once called it a “hippo smile”), and she doesn’t always look comfortable in front of the camera. (At least not with still shots – more often than not, she’s wonderfully dynamic in video footage.) She doesn’t have the obvious beauty of, say, Yurina or Maimi – rather, her beauty comes from a certain quirkiness, the same as Momoko or Airi or Micchi. She benefits from being an idol in that her most attractive qualities get a chance to shine and make her more than an average schoolgirl with some talent.

All that said, the above photo is probably the greatest image I’ve seen from any H!P idol since… well, ever. There may be a photo or two of Ayappe that may compare, and I’m sure I can find some Momoko shots that could perhaps give this one a run for its money… But this shot is just sheer perfection. The first time I saw it, I made it the wallpaper on my notebook. (Which is funny, since my current screensaver cycles through five hundred or so Momoko images.) I love the pose, the composition, the outfit, the look on Miyabi’s face, the sexy outfit (the shorts are tight, but thank God no cameltoe’s going on), the glow of her skin, the subtle contours of her body. (And conveniently minimizing her weak point: I can’t get over an MM-BBS member comparing her legs to uncooked hot dogs, because that is what it looks like in several pages of her photobook.) This shot is sexy while still demure, classical yet also energetic. It is a perfect idol image, it should be turned into a poster and hung up on wota walls everywhere. She should be proud of this particular achievement.

Miyabi’s photobook is the best solo H!P Kids so far, not because of consistency (I think Risako’s is actually the most consistent from page to page, and I don’t like her all that much) – rather, because she has a handful of pages that are astoundingly great, that set a standard that all other photobook shots should live by and probably won’t. She also has many mediocre shots, but it’s the rare peaks that I’ll remember, not the plentiful valleys. Seeing these shots also reminded me of just how enchanting Miyabi is as a singer, how her voice can stir me in a manner that only a couple other H!P Kids are able to. (And one of those others has been kicked out, dammit!) She isn’t the easiest sell in the bunch, but she has qualities that are rare for any idol and she’s learning to build on them over time.

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3 Responses to “The AW Idol Index – June 3, 2007”
  1. kde says:

    Finally, Hagitty is on the list! She reminds me of the “W” girls (before they skanked out). She has an innocence and charm about her that cannot be faked.

  2. Hanachan says:

    I’ve never been much of an H!P Kids fan, but I have to say I love Miyabi’s PB. I think she has this sweetness and quirky look that makes her a very interesting idol. I may have to check out the kids more now…^^

  3. Julia says:

    You know, I noticed a bit of a push for MaiMai in C-ute before, but it seems to be there even more now. In their concert that I’m watching right now, it seems that they gave her all of Megumi’s lines in Endless Love. Megumi really OWNED all of those lines – she sounded totally phenomenal in that song – so giving them to Mai is a big compliment, IMO.