Saturday, May 18, 2013

Four Idol Blogs I Wish Were Still Around

The end of a blog is one of the more painful sides to being an idol blogger. But unfortunately, all good things come to an end. There are a lot of great things about idol blogging from the sheer exhilaration of writing reviews, to hearing others opinions, to even getting devoted readers whom you know will always read your posts. However, one of the more painful sides of being an idol blogger is knowing that very likely, you're going to end up dropping it sooner or later. I know, as much as we all hate to think about it, a lot of people aren't going to be running the idol blogs they love so dearly for the rest of their lives. It's completely natural; people grow out of things, phases go by, they lose enthusiasm, they find other endeavors to look into, there are a myriad of reasons why anyone can decide to stop blogging. And they're all perfectly reasonable and understandable. But it's still pretty depressing to think about when the day will come to stop blogging. And I think it's one of those subjects that no one really wants to acknowledge because frankly, it is a rather melancholic topic. Nobody wants to think about when they're going to stop blogging, especially during a time when the hobby is thoroughly enjoyable. Not even I like to think about when I'll stop running the Wonderland, especially now that I'm enjoying it so much. But even I can acknowledge that my own idol blogging experience isn't going to last forever and one day I'm going to end up in the archives and archives of idol blogs that have been left, never to be updated again. Ugh, even just writing that sentence makes me feel depressed. Again, in no way am I condemning anyone's decision to stop being an idol blogger; everyone has their own reasons for deciding to stop and all of those reasons are acceptable.

But damn, if there aren't a few blogs that I wish had stuck around.

I've been following idol blogs for a relatively long amount of time, a little over two years. And from 2011 to now, I've seen my fair share of blogs that have ceased updating. Some of them were already updated pretty sporadically in the first place, but then there were the idol bloggers that were so devoted and so skilled in what they wrote about that when I realized that they hadn't updated in awhile, I got a little sad inside. Of the many defunct, idol blogs, there are four in particular that I followed and that I loved so much, that I leave them on my blogroll despite the fact that none of them have updated in months. I guess I'm just hoping that one day one of those blogs will magically pop up at the top of my blogroll, indicating that finally, after all this time, this blog is still alive. But as each day goes by and each month slips past me, the more I realize the slim chances that any of these blogs are ever going to update again. However, I'm not writing this post so I can wistfully write about the past and put a giant rain cloud over anyone who reads this when I publish it! I'm writing this post to celebrate these four idol blogs because if they're not going to stick around, then they need a sendoff. And I'm gonna give it to each of these four bloggers because... I looked up to some of them and I want to show everyone else just how great they were. These four blogs don't deserve to fade into obscurity without anyone recognizing them for all the content and reviews they contributed into the idolsphere. I'm serious, I would highly recommend checking out all four of the blogs that I talk about in this very miniscule list. You don't even have to look for them because I inserted links into the headers for each entry! All it takes is one click to see just why I appreciated these blogs. Even though the posts on each blog are old, they're still good. So I invite you all to hop on a time travel fish with me to look back and admire these four idol blogs that deserve recognition.

Happy! Go! Lucky!


I actually think I've really started to appreciate Happy! Go! Lucky! just now because I've been getting into Momoiro Clover Z. Jess, the author of H!G!L! is a huge fan of MomoClo, to the level that I'm a huge fan of Perfume. She's reviewed a boatload of their stuff dating back to D'no Junjou. She reviewed a ton of their singles, their Battle and Romance album, and even did lyrics for several of their songs! If that's not a devoted fan, I don't know what is! I think the love Jess had for Momoiro Clover Z is a big part of what made her blog such a joy to read. I could tell that she really loved the group just by the way she wrote about them; her enthusiasm for MomoClo seemed to just shine in every post. Even though at the time she was active, I wasn't a fan of Momoiro Clover Z but I could still acknowledge the enthusiasm she had for the group. I almost wish that I had taken the time to read her MomoClo-related posts and not just focus on her H!P ones because I think if I had, there would have been a good chance that I'd be able to get into the group sooner. But recently, I've been going back through her archives and looking at her reviews of MomoClo's older singles that were pre-5th Dimension era. I also look at her review of Battle and Romance, and the positivity she just radiated in that review has pretty much convinced me that I need to listen to the album. My philosophy about idol blogging is not only to write what you know but also write what you love and Jess clearly loved Momoiro Clover Z. While I know that personally I won't love MomoClo as much as she did, her love for the group was contagious and the way she wrote about them, you could tell how much she loved them. Her blog posts were always very well-written too and easy to read!

Of course, Momoiro Clover Z wasn't the only group Jess reviewed; she was also a big Hello! Project fan! And amongst the sea of MomoClo-related posts, she also wrote a lot of reviews for H!P groups as well! In fact, the H!P reviews on Happy! Go! Lucky! were what made me start reading her blog in the first place. I got into Hello! Project around mid to late 2011 and Happy! Go! Lucky! opened in mid-2011 so her posts helped me get more into H!P along with a slew of other idol blogs. What I liked about Happy! Go! Lucky! was that Jess seemed very on top of things going on in the idolsphere and was always ready to write a news posts or whip out a review at such a fast rate. And the writing didn't feel sloppy or rushed; I loved Jess's writing. It was the kind of writing that could keep you interested because the voice of the writer felt so enthusiastic and positive. Even her more negative reviews were still enjoyable because hey, negative reviews are a guilty pleasure of mine! Whilst Jess didn't write too many editorials on Happy! Go! Lucky the ones she did write are definitely worth a read. What I really liked about Happy! Go! Lucky! was that I agreed with many of the same opinions Jess had and I could see where she was coming from in her reviews. While I love a good idol blog regardless if its opinions mirror my own or not, it is nice to read an idol blog with opinions and views similar to my own. It gives me a blog to relate to, you know? And in that aspect, Happy! Go! Lucky! was a very relatable idol blog for me and I wish it had stuck around for more than just a little over a year. I would have loved to see Happy! Go! Lucky! evolve and change over time and I'd love even more to hear Jess's take on some of the current events brewing in the idolsphere now. Who knows? The last post on Happy! Go! Lucky! was in September 2012 so maybe there's hope that this idol blog will update again!

Recommended Posts:
- D' no Junjou is awesome.
- Review of Momoiro Clover Z's Battle and Romance
- Why Takahashi Ai's Graduation Is The Best Thing For Morning Musume
- A More In-Depth Look at MomoClo's Roudou Sanka
- My Journey Into J-pop
- Jess finally gives Sakura Gakuin a chance!
- My thoughts on Pyoko Pyoko Ultra
- Idols Love Idols Too
- Out with the old, in with the new for Morning Musume!
- My Top Ten Momoiro Clover Songs (for now)

Aitakatta!/Macaroni-i


I'm putting these two blogs under one entry because they're both written by the same person and I miss them both. So I guess this post technically should have been titled, "Five Idol Blogs I Wish Were Still Around" but hey, the post is published and I don't feel like changing the title! I admit, I did kind of hesitate to put Aitakatta! down because Cat, the author of both blogs, did post something on it in March but since then, the blog has yet to be updated. From the looks of it, I don't think Cat has any intentions of putting anything else up on Aitakatta! any time soon either. And that's okay. Sad because Cat is a great writer but still okay. After all, she ran Aitakatta! for five years. That's the equivalent of ten in Internet time. Luckily, because Aitakatta! has been around for such a long time, that means there's a lot of older material you can peruse. And I mean it, in the five (more like four and half) years that Cat ran Aitakatta! she wrote a boatload of posts about who else? AKB48! Why else do you think the name of her blog shares the same name as the iconic AKB song. And AKB48 was pretty much the only idol group Cat wrote about. Sure, every now and then she'd mention H!P or another idol group, but for the most part, Cat blogged what she loved and that was AKB48. Something I always admired about Cat was how much she was devoted to AKB48 and blogging about them. You could just hear the passion and enthusiasm Cat held for the group in the many things she reviewed by them. I'm serious, she reviewed a myriad of material from them ranging from singles to PVs and even stage shows. You guys know how I'm a huge fan of Perfume and how I get really fangirlish over them a lot? That's how Cat was with AKB48 and just knowing how much she loved the group (to the point where when she needed to, she defended them) is what made Aitakatta! such a great blog to read.

And knowing how much Cat loved AKB48 is what makes the decline of Aitakatta! so sad.

Because you see, around mid-to-late 2011, Cat's enthusiasm for AKB48 began to wane. Ironically enough, that was around the time that I was finally getting into AKB48. Even more ironically, now I too am experiencing the same kind of frustration and disillisuionment I could vividly feel in Cat's own posts about it. And in these past few months, when I feel like every move AKB48's been making has irritated the tar out of me, I've been re-reading some of Cat's 2011 posts about her own conflicted emotions towards AKB48. And reading these posts made me realize how much I can relate to Cat and to how she feels towards AKB48. Whenever I read her criticism, I always find myself nodding my head and thinking, "Yeah, I totally get that! I can relate to this!" Still, it's sad to know that Cat doesn't have the passion and enthusiasm she did for AKB48 anymore. I mean, read one of her blog posts from 2009 and then her latest post. Don't the tones feel different? It made me realize that yes, as much as I don't want to think about it, something that I really love for one period of time could be something I lose interest in later, including idol groups. Luckily, my beloved Perfume seems to have withstood the test of time and disillusionment. Speaking of that lovely techno group, Cat is also a fan of Perfume! She talks about Perfume on Macaroni-i, her other blog which focuses on J-pop artists outside of AKB48. Unfortunately the time between now and her last blog post on Macaroni-i is even longer than the time of inactivity with Aitakatta! Macaroni-i hasn't been updated since 2011. But who knows? Maybe one of these days Cat will magically resurface and write another post on that blog! I'd love if there was another active blog that reviewed Perfume! Anyways, as sad as it is to know that Cat's flame for all things AKB48 has diminished, Aitakatta! still had a great run! And there a lot of great reviews you can leaf through in its very extensive archives so... go crazy!

Recommended Posts:

Sora to Kujira


One of the good things about this idol blog is that like Aitakatta! it was active for a few good years so there are 44 pages of archives you can browse through. Yes, from 2008 through 2012, Sora to Kujira was a very well-known idol blog and one of the first ones that I actively started reading. In the days when I was but a mere reader of idol blogs, Sora to Kujira was definitely one of the most entertaining blogs I read. And when I did finally decide to take up idol blogging, Sora to Kujira was one of the blogs that I looked up to alongside other blogs that (thankfully) are still active today! Why? Because it was such a well-written blog! The posts on Sora to Kujira were never terribly long but they always managed to get the point across and in a way that you never got bored when reading them! I think a big part of the appeal of Sora to Kujira was the humorous angle Jin, the author, approached his reviews and posts. I could always count on his writing to at least make me smile and sometimes even laugh! His use of clever titles alongside clever imagery in each post was what drew me in and made me want to read more. And he was hilarious; his posts ranged from insightful to tongue-in-cheek to even satirical at times and all of them were great reads. I remember always getting really excited when Jin updated because I knew that whatever he wrote would be just hilarious and informative at hte same time! The main aspects of idol music that Jin reviewed were all things Hello! Project, with AKB48 and then some K-pop. Obviously, I didn't read too many of his K-pop related posts but what I did read was excellent! Jin has a boatload of H!P single reviews dating all the way back to his first review of Berryz Koubou's Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi. But his review list went beyond just idols; there was also a nice handful of J-pop artists he reviewed as well, even a few that I recognize now!

Something that I always think is kind of cool about an idol blog with an expansive archive, is that there's just a lot of stuff you can dig around in. Not only that, but you can see the viewpoint someone might have had before certain events in the idol world happened like say, a graduation or member auditions or even the disbandment of a group. It's kind of like reading a story and knowing what's already going to happen to the characters but it's a lot more fun than that is! Something else that's really great about an older and longer-lasting idol blog is that you can see how it evolved over time. I think as the years went by, Sora to Kujira really came into its own as an enjoyable and well-liked idol blog, which makes its inactivity even more depressing. I miss reading Jin's snarky comments about the latest Morning Musume release or poking fun at one of the sillier aspects of the idol industry. The editorials on Sora to Kujira were always very different and very interesting to read. I always feel like Jin just had a lot of great ideas about what to write on his blog and he also had the skill to execute them too! If there was anyone I could count on to deliver a fresh and insightful opinion, it was Jin. And I think he really enjoyed idol blogging too; the way he approached his reviews and editorials just felt like he was thoroughly enjoying what he was doing. I really would have liked to know what Jin thinks of the electropop era Morning Musume is in right now, especially since his last post was a review of PyokoPyoko Ultra. And believe me, that review was effing hilarious but there's some other stuff he could review that I think would be just as hilarious. Still, Sora to Kujira hasn't been updated since January 2012 and from the looks of it, I don't think Jin is planning on updating any time soon. So while yes, I miss Sora to Kujira a lot, I also enjoyed it a lot when it was still active.

Recommended Posts:
Top 10 Best H!P Songs of All Time
Confessions of a J-pop Veteran
J-pop Lovers Guide to EVERYTHING
Plastic Surgery in K-pop: SNSD versus MM
I listen to J-music, thus I'm an Otaku
My Morning Musume Story
In Defense Of AKB48
How to NOT Be Successful 
Does Perfume Still Smell Nice?
Girls Get Abused on Game Show

Idol love


Ah, Idol love. When this blog was still active, I effing loved it. Why? Because Idol love has got to be one of the most scathing, blunt and cynical idol blogs that I have ever read. No, it is the most scathing, blunt, and cynical idol blog I've ever read. And I mean that in the best and nicest way possible. Something I've noticed about idol blogging is that generally, we're all pretty positive idol bloggers. Sure, every now and then, we'll rant and rage about a certain group every now and then (such as I've been doing with AKB48) but for the most part, idol bloggers tend to write pretty nice posts regarding their idols. Idol love was not one of those blogs. Danielle, the author of Idol love, was one of those special idol bloggers who could be mean a hornet and I'd still read her latest posts with the excitement of a crack addict who just received his latest shipment. During the time when I was following idol blogs and not writing my own yet, Idol love stood our because many of the posts on it were just so harsh unlike much of the other writings I'd encountered in the blogsphere. And that was honestly very refreshing to read about. And I'm not saying that every single post Danielle wrote was negative (she has many positively worded posts too!) but those negative posts were what stood out to me. What I also loved about Idol love was that Danielle had such a voice when she wrote; you could hear the emotion and the passion that she put into everything she wrote. Even when I disagreed with Danielle's opinions (which believe me, happened a lot), I still couldn't stop reading her writing because she fleshed out and backed up her opinions so well. When it comes to idol blogging, I love reading a different opinion from my own if the blogger can back up said opinion and let me see and acknowledge their different angle on something I liked.

Danielle wrote mainly about J-pop and K-pop idols, especially AKB48 and Hello! Project. I didn't read too many of her K-pop posts but the ones I did read were still very well-written. Danielle was just one of those bloggers who could write posts about artists or subjects that I didn't know or care about and still catch my attention. She wrote a nice mix of reviews and editorials and news posts as well; in fact, Idol love is one of the most editorial-heavy blogs that I've come across. And the editorials are good; they're so well-written and all of them retain the crass voice that Danielle had. Sadly, Danielle hasn't written another blog post since September 2012 but part of me still hopes that by some miracle, she'll post another one of her highly entertaining, highly cynical blog posts again. Idol love was an idol blog that was so different from all the blogs I read today and I miss hearing Danielle's take on all the stuff brewing in the idolsphere. I also have to applaud the fact that Danielle had the nerve to write such biting, sharp-tongued posts and deal with the negative attention that was sometimes garnered from them. Writing negative posts is easy: publishing them is hard. Mainly because you can and probably will get a lot of shit from people who disagree and dislike your opinion. Idol love got a lot of shit which you can see if you scroll through the comments section of any of the blog's more opinionated posts. However, when someone slammed Danielle, she slammed them right back; she did what a lot of idol bloggers don't have the time and patience to do and fought with the many people who she pissed off on her blog. Hell, her replies in the comment sections are almost as entertaining as her blog posts. Daring, hilarious and never trying to sugarcoat opinions, Idol love was truly a standout blog that I so wish was still around today.

Recommended Posts:
- Jpop sucks~

Jess, Cat, Jin, Danielle, I don't know what any of you are doing now and I don't even know if any of you will read this. But if you do, I just want to say how much I appreciate all the devotion you four people put into contributing to the idolsphere. The blogs you ran were entertaining, insightful and informative and I enjoyed them while they lasted. And I hope that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you're enjoying it. I wish you four all the best in whatever you pursue next, whether it be in the idolsphere or in a different field entirely. As an idol from any of the groups you guys reviewed would say: Ganbatte.

12 comments:

  1. I missed Sora to Kujira very much with all those blog posts that r funny nd direct to the point,, I keep on visiting sora to kujira but sadly, it was unupdated :(

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    1. Yeah, it's a shame that the blog has gone un-updated. Still, everyone has their own reasons.

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  2. Do you think it's rude to ask bloggers to, let's say, inform their readers if they(bloggers) are thinking/going into an indefinite hiatus?

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    1. Oh no, not at all! In fact, I'd rather bloggers do that instead of just going cold turkey and not posting anything at all. It gives a better sense of closure and doesn't leave readers wondering if they're ever going to see another post from that blog again or not.

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    2. Thanks for answering. I kinda got "emotional(?)" when this post came up because I also posted a comment on Ray's May 18, 2013 Idol Thought For The Day that I get sad realizing that great bloggers stopped doing what they are good at before I can be their fan. I'm having a blast trying to catch-up on the blogging scene but I really missed out a lot. I just wish those that I'm currently following would stick around much longer.

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    3. No problem! It is sad to think about bloggers going stagnant, but at least you still have a lot of archives to go through! And their are a lot of great blogs that are still active too like Love's Spell, Okay! Musume Time, Delicious Cake Project, Janakya Mottainai, and a lot more out there! I know it can be frustrating when a great blog goes inactive but there are still a lot of other awesome idol blogs updating! You just have to know where to look!

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    4. Hi! It's me again. I'd like to ask for some suggestions about reading blogs. I just read Ray's post that Idolminded will be going on a hiatus. I don't know how to get my daily late-night fix since I'm used to mass opening links at Idolminded. Any suggestions?

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    5. Weeellll, all the blogs listed under my blogroll (on the right sidebar of the Wonderland) are must-reads! And they're sorted by update so the ones that have been updated most recently will appear at the top! It's how I keep up with blogs now that Idolminded is on hiatus! But hopefully Ray will be up and hopping soon!

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  3. Jin is really busy at the moment, I talk quite frequently with him. I keep telling him on Twitter to restore Sora to Kujira and he keeps telling me soon.

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    1. If he's too busy, I understand. I mean, I'd love if Sora to Kujira came back, but everyone has personal obligations outside of what is essentially a hobby!

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  4. Wow. I'm really flattered, and at the same time, feeling a bit guilty for my stagnancy-turned-hiatus over at Happy! Go! Lucky!...

    But seriously, thank you for the kind words, it's really nice to know that people like it. The pessimist in me can feel at times like nobody is really that interested, especially for a niche in a niche blog like mine, haha. H!G!L! doesn't cater at all to some of the most popular groups since they aren't my cup of tea, so I feel sometimes like what I write doesn't matter for most idol fans at all.

    I never really planned to go on a hiatus, it just happened, basically by accident. Reasons I haven't written in so long are a combination of many things - change in job, buying my first home and moving, going periods without internet at all except for on my iPhone, my once-trusty netbook is basically dead (even this comment being posted from my husband's computer, hahaha), and then there is just being out of the routine of writing.

    There have been a lot of things going on for groups I like lately, many of which I actually wanted to write about, but for one reason or another, I just haven't. But now I actually feel like I might. I haven't written lately and yet I haven't lost touch or interest in the idol world at all, I've just been reading others' blogs, and thinking my thoughts to myself instead of expressing them. I just might get out there again and do that.

    Thank you Nia. Sincerely. :)

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    1. Oh, it's okay! I'm just happy that you're still around the idolsphere!

      And you're welcome! I'm certain that I'm not the only one who likes your blog either. Sure, I can't assure you that there are a ton of people who follow your blog and praise it to high heaven but I can assure you that there's at least one person out there who does, someone who cares about what you think and what you write about. And I think it's great that you have your own niche of groups you follow and write about! Your enthusiasm about the groups you follow is what always made your blog so enjoyable to read!

      Like I said, things happen and at the end of the day idol blogging is a hobby for most of us. Sometimes we just have to stop and catch up with the things going on in our real lives and it's perfectly understandable that you had to pause your posting on H!G!L! From the sound of it, you had a lot of stuff on your plate! And if it takes you time to get back in the swing of writing, then that's okay too! What matters if that you enjoy it; after all, that's what blogging in general is all about!

      I'm really *really* happy that you've updated on H!G!L! and that you've been keeping up with idol news! I hope that you're able to update more in the future at whatever pace you feel is comfortable too! It's just nice having your writings back in the blogsphere :)

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