Saturday, December 31, 2011

Multiple Kikkas + Sock Puppets = Amazing

When I first starting getting into idol music, I didn't know a lot about Kikkawa Yuu. Well, I did know she got fantastically shafted in Momosu's 8th Generation auditions (which may have been for the better considering how that generation turned out) and she was in a group with Koharu and her voice was fantastically underused! Then this year she got out of Hello Pro Eggs and H!P because they were still underusing her and moved to Universal Music Japan and put her good voice to use! I really do think the move was smart for Kikka, considering she's Mano Erina's age. However, none of her singles have impressed me. I mean, the B-sides are amazing but you're promoting the A-side! Shouldn't it hold up as well as the other songs? Well, none of Kikka's really did for me...

Until now.

After getting preview after preview of Konna Watashi de Yokattara, her third single, I'm finding myself loving it more and more with each listen. To me, it's a happy, fun song done right. It doesn't sound generic and I can tell Kikka's put a lot of her energy and charisma into it. Did I mention she sounds great? Don't get me wrong, she did for her past single but I think because I enjoy this song so much she sounds even better to me! One of the best things about this song is that there's so much going on in it; it starts off very simple with some piano music and some singing/rapping from Kikka but as the song progresses it just keeps building up the energy. It gets to the point where there is so much going on in the song but it never seems like it's being overdone; each addition to it (background vocals, echoes, more music) seems deliberate and I think that's partially because of how well Kikka delivers the song. She has a lot of charisma, an amazing voice, and a really good stage presence and I feel like that was really put to use for this single! In fact, I'd venture to call it her best one yet! Maybe her next one will even top it!

But that's not the main subject at hand. Finally the full PV was released and I was... intrigued. So let's move on to that!

I like these pictures; it's a cute way to open the song!

I was a little thrown off when I heard the first part but it grew on me! Kikka sounds amazing!

I hate to admit it but this set is kind of cheap. Why is she dancing amongst bathroom stalls again? Is it a shout out to The Peace?

I love the hand motions she makes in this. Maybe I'll learn them someday...

See? Adorable!

Oh hi new set! You look a little less cheap than the other one!

I will say the moving Kikka is used pretty neatly. I like how she moves with the beat.

WHOA! Either I have finally lost it or Kikka has cloned herself!

I love this move, even if it's been used thousands of times by other idols.

This move makes me think of rainbows and flowers. Not sure why...

Oh hi new set! I seriously thought this was a green screen at first >.<

Puppets? Okay, I'll go with that...

It brings me back to Goodbye Happiness... and Hikki... why did she have to go on hiatus!? Sorry, back on subject...

Why am I getting Charlotte's Web flashbacks?

I do wish Kikka would smile in this part but I guess she's trying to put more focus on the puppets.

There's that smile!

Oh hey, that isn't a green screen! I feel stupid now...

I feel like I should give these two puppets names... Kikka's lack of a smile is starting to creep me out. It's like Watanabe Mayu in reverse!

Yay! More cute hand motions!!

The more I look at this effect, the more I like it. I wonder if they'll take it even farther...

I love the faces in this shot; she looks like she just ate a lemon!

AGH! Smile already!!! You're scaring me!

BWAH!!! You scare me too!

Awww~ I love this bridge in the song

This key change is done really well.

Mr. Alligator is laying down the LAW!

So if I cut the arm off one Kikka does another Kikka grow back in its place?

This shot really bothers me. You just had to throw in something for the guys, didn't you?

With my personal clone army I shall use it to get revenge on Aika!!! MWAHAHAHA!!!


Take THAT Aika!!!
And there you have it! A entertaining PV for an even more entertaining song! I'll admit, I do wish they had done more with the PV in terms of stuff... I felt like it was lacking something. I'm just not sure what! It also felt like the two scenes in the PV (the puppets and the multiple Kikkas) didn't really go together and they just threw that in to do something with the PV. However, I do like the effects they used and Kikka is what makes this song so fun and she really adds a lot to the music video. Honestly, my philosophy with soloists is I'd rather have an interesting, talented, and really fun idol with a cheap PV than a really boring idol with no personality get an expensive PV (*cough* Manoeri). So yes, the PV is cheap and parts of it seem forced and awkward but Kikka shines just as brightly and the song is really good. I'd give it a listen!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nia's Hopes and Dreams for 2012

This year I don't exactly have New Year's resolutions... more like things I want one 2012 starts! For instance, I don't want the world to end, I want to get into college, and I want to buy a bowler hat! However, for idols I have a few personal hopes and dreams. Does that mean they'll come true? Heh heh... let's be rational, probably not. But don't you dare burst my idealistic bubble! Not until 2013!

AKB48 Blows Me Away

I want my AKBitches to release something good. No, not good great. I want another Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou or Beginner. SKE48 appears to be doing that with Kataomoi Finally (but I've yet to give my final verdict on it) so why doesn't AKB hop on the awesome songs bandwagon too? I'm tired of this formula of singles they've fallen into following and I suppose Aki-P's just following this formula:

Sakura single+summer single+Senbatsu single+dark single+Janken single = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!

And personally that really upsets me. I know that the main purpose of idols is to make money off their fans and the general public, but I want to be surprised this year. I want to look at one of their singles the way I look at Keibetsu or Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru. I think the problem with AKB right now is that they're too scared they're going to lose their fans (and $$$) if they try something new so they've decided "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" However, maybe just maybe Aki-P will be like "Hey! We're making money! Let's do something and see if that'll make us MORE money!!!" I know they have stage songs and other units but I never get to see those; I'm not someone in Japan who can get a ticket. All I can look at are their singles and albums and frankly I was a little let down this year. T

Berryz Koubou Doesn't Graduate

I'm really worried about Berryz. Yeah yeah, I know they're coming to New Jersy (so close.) but singles-wise they haven't announced anything. I know they're releasing an album but I'm kinda worried their days are numbered. Face it; they're getting older (Saki's 20 already) and we all know what happens to idols who get old... They either get into variety shows or drop off the face of the planet! But that's not the point. This is probably the most irrational thing on this list considering they have things planned up until June but I can't get rid of this nagging feeling something big is going to happen to them soon. I don't know if it's for better or worse but they're sales are getting worse, the girls are getting older, what are you going to do, UFA? Like I said, it's probably just me anticipating the worst but eventually they are going to have to graduate, along with C-ute. We just don't know when and I really hope this isn't their final year as a group. Granted, they're not my favorite group in Hello! Project but I still find their songs fairly enjoyable especially if I'm in the right mood. So UFA, please don't pull anything horrible on them, at least not yet.

Morning Musume Finds Their Style

I still feel bad for saying this but the more I listen to PyokoPyoko Ultra, the more I hate it. It's too cutesy, too childish, too awkard, too Reina and her new line whore apprentices Riwhore and Ayumi, and too much focus on members that lack in... vocal talent. I know that Momosu can do genki music well (Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai?) but right now I think they're stuck in the rut that Perfume is. They can't find their style. I think Tsunku just doesn't know how to balance out the songs so that they're not too young for the older members and not too old for the newer members. When the 4th Generation came, he had to do the same thing: tone down the mature image the group had been going on and make it more youthful and fun. But I think right now's he's gone too far and the end result is forced and awkward, especially for the older members. Momosu is a great group and with all these new members they have a lot of potential! UFA just needs to learn how to show off the individual talents of each member and how to showcase the group as a whole. Speaking of showcasing...

One of the Momosu Members Pulls a Chisato On Us

What are you talking about? I'm not biased!
There's no other way I can say this. I'm sick and tired of the front girls of Momosu. One of them's been there for years and is slowly losing her charm on me, one of them looks like she wants to stab the idiot who put her in a mother hen suit, one of them is an overrated brat who's only there because she can dance, and the last one knows she doesn't deserve the vocals but doesnt care! It's how I felt with C-ute last year; I was sick of Airi and Maimi whoring all the screen time and lines. But then one day a girl named Chisato started dancing on the Internet... and suddenly became a front girl! I don't know if that would work in the same way for Momosu but I want a new face in the front. I don't care who (actually not Baggage-chan... or Ayumi, she scares me) but just someone who's voice doesn't sound like it's digging out my ears with a fork! I mean, yes you can keep your precious front girls UFA but why not add someone else to it? Someone with charm, a personality, on-screen charisma, doesn't look bored to be in the front like Riwhore, and actually has a commanding presence in the group. I highly recommend Haruka. Or Zukki. Or Mizuki. Or Eripon!! Just sayin'

Perfume Releases Something Edgy

Don't get me wrong, I loved Spice. I also loved Glitter. And I really like JPN and have all the songs on my iPod! But the closest thing we've seen from Perfume in terms of edginess was FAKE IT and that was last year! And as I've said before JPN is a decent album but it's too safe. I think right now Perfume is just going in too much of a safe direction. There songs are good but they could be so much better. If only I could find a way to magically learn Kanji, obtain Nakata's email, and send him some complaints suggestions about Perfume's music for 2012. Now I know this year they'll probably just release one single, two at the most, due to their tour but I want it to be damn good. I know that Perfume might be stuck in a rut right now but I just want to find some way to tell Nakata and Tokuma that "No, Perfume's fans are not going to leave them in disgust if you dare to try something different!"

S/mileage Doesn't Give Me Another Heart Attack

I nearly fell out of my chair when I read Saki was graduating. I choked on my Sprite when I read about Yuuka's. I swear if these graduations don't stop, S/mileage is going to kill me! And don't get me started on the auditions... this group is going to give me a heart attack if they get any more unpredictable! I'm not saying they have to be cliche but seriously. This year, I want S/mileage to prove they can be successful and triumphant without Yuuka. They have the new members sure only one of them is talented but the others have cute personalities and that's what helps drive S/mileage. I think the closer the group gets the less it'll seem like Ayaka+Kanon and a bunch of newbies. However, in order for that to happen I think the group just needs to play it safe here in terms of lineup. In place of that, I hope they'll try a bunch of crazy stuff with their music! I believe in order for the group to polish itself to the glory of its indies they need to experiment with their style. I think the cute, adorable direction is good but I want to see how far they'll go with it and how the fans will react to it. Chotte Matte Kudasai will hopefully give us a preview of what's to come next year for S/mileage and I hope it's really amazing. So in layman's terms: I want the lineup to be predictable but the music to be unpredictable! Don't disappoint me, S/mileage!

Tokyo Girls' Style Gets Even Awesome-r

2011 was a good year for TGS and a good year for me to get into them. They're young but successfully pull of this very mature and kind of dark style (are you taking notes, Morning Musume?). They had some really strong singles and a very strong album released this year even if they didn't do spectacularly well, saleswise. Limited Addiction was one of my favorite songs of 2011 and their B-sides were very good too! But to be honest... I actually don't want them to be successful. Not because I don't want them to get the attention they so deserve but because I'm afraid they'll go mainstream like so many other groups (ABK48, Perfume, etc.). I think it's best for them if they just stay in the little dark horse spotlight they have now even if they never get beyond that. My only worry is Avex will disband them but at the moment... I think they're safe!

I Write More in This Blog

Well, that's a given. Considering I basically started this at the end of 2011 I missed out on a lot of really good things to write about (graduations, auditions, new groups, etc.) I really want to stay active in the J-Pop/idol world this year and I want to find more groups to stalk enjoy! For the past three years, the only Japanese music I listened to was Perfume (and some Capsule). It wasn't until 2011 I really starting exploring other genres and I've found I really enjoy a lot of idol music! Is it all amazing? No, but I want to write more about; I want to expand my interests to other groups. I've heard Momoiro Clover, Super Girls, Fairies, Idoling!!!, etc. but I've yet to take interest in them and I hope this year I can!

So there you have it! I don't ask for much in terms of quantity but I really do hope at least one of these things comes true! And now I wish you a happy New Year and hope you have fun counting down at a party or staying at home and completely forgetting about it! Either way, let's all hope for the best in 2012! ^.^

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Crack Theory about S/mileage

It's just dawned upon me that Yuuka's graduating in four days. It makes me sad. The initial news was shocking enough especially after Saki's graduation just a few months/weeks before. However... in hindsight I think I saw it coming. Did I expect it? No, but I hadn't ruled that out as a possibility. In every video regarding the 2nd Generation S/mileage with the original members in it, I noticed how devstated Yuuka looked. I think her face pretty summed up the reaction most of the fans had too:

Tsunku you sneaky little-
 Doesn't look like a happy camper to me. It looks like she swallowed a lightbulb and then had to smile and tell Tsunku it tasted good. However, obviously Yuuka's one of if not the most popular member of S/mileage. Her loss to the group is like the loss of Ai to Momosu. Can they carry on? Yes, but it's going to be quite the uphill battle. Yuuka not only has a pretty good voice (personally I prefer Kanon) but she also had looks and a charming personality, what every popular idol seems to have (except Riho).

Now you might be wondering why I'm talking about all this now. Well, it's partially because this blog wasn't around for me to say anything about it when the new first came out. I like putting my two cents into things but that's not the main reason. No, this involves the youngest new addition to S/mileage, Tamura Meimi, aka the Watanabe Mayu of S/mileage. Why? Because they both sound the same, both are equally adorable to me, and both of them have the best creeper smiles in Japanese idol groups.

I'm watching you, Acchan.
 A few days ago, the covers for S/mileage's new single, and their first one with Yuuka, were released. It was then that Meimi was officially established as a front girl in the new S/mileage next to Kanon and Dawa and possibly Akari. But do you know who I thought was on the cover first?


So I can't help but wonder: are they grooming Meimi to be the new Yuuka? In other words, are they looking for Meimi to be the new "face" of S/mileage? And in doing so does UFA think that if they construct her to be like Yuuka then they'll have the same success with the group as they did with Yuuka? And although Meimi is cute as a button does she really have what it takes? Because although she has great charisma and dances very well she's on par with Watanabe Mayu in terms of vocals. Or am I just overthinking this whole thing? After all, I'm just basing this off the way she looks on a single cover. Probably, but it does make me wonder how the new S/mileage is going to be. I'm 95% certain they'll stick with the genki, cute direction that works so well for them but how far will they take it? I'm also pretty positive that Rina and Kana have no chance of ever making it to the front judging how UFA prefers to distribute lines/screen time. I will say the covers to this new song look promising but I can't make any assumptions yet, only wild and crazy ideas that Meimi the Creeper is seamlessly filling in Yuuka's spot!

Well, there's my crack theory! Now to make things even more random, in personal news I got a Russian hat for Christmas! So to celebrate such a triumph I did the only reasonable thing to do: take pictures attempting to look Russian!!

Do I succeed in doing so? Well... let's not talk about that >.< But having such a wonderous hat makes me a happy camper for the rest of my vacation!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to You!

So a few days ago, I decided I wanted to do a Christmas post! Of what? I had absolutely no idea! I was thinking of doing my favorite idol Christmas songs but then I saw some other blogs doing christmas pic spams! Then I thought "Hey! I could do one too!" But as soon as I started out... I realized I wasn't getting anywhere. I had a hard time stick to the Christmas theme hence I've doing something a little bit different

So to celebrate the day of giving and joy, I've still compiled a giant pic spam in suit of all the other pic spammers! However, I'm doing one of the first girl group I ever really got into! Is it very Christmas-y? No... but I really wanted to do a pic spam of a group that I hold a lot of memories of! There music made me laugh, cry, and so many other emotions. So without ado...

Perfume Pic Spam!!!

Oh, and because Kashiyuka turned 23 two days ago, I think that calls for a special Kashiyuka pic spam!!

Happy late Birthday Kashiyuka!!

And Merry Christmas to the rest of you! I'm looking forward to the new year and hopefully doing more blogging since I just started out! I have no idea what 2012 holds for us but I'm still excited!

And... okay, one more picture!