Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nia's Best of the Blogsphere - 2013

Hahaha, thought my megapost was going to suck all the writing juice out me, did you?

Ha! A super-long megapost won't get the best of me! Not completely at least. As I was sitting there, typing out my megapost, and thinking about all my year-end posts, I thought to myself, "Why not do a list of my favorite blog posts this year?" I have a lot of favorite blogs I read that have published some great content, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to take the time to show those favorites to other people. That way you guys all had some great stuff to read! Think of this as Idolminded if it were taken over by me. Although if ran Idolminded, there would probably be a lot more Perfume in it. Yeah... the more I think about it, it's probably a good thing I don't run Idolminded. But what I can do is list all my personal favorite blog posts from 2013! So before we say goodbye to 2013, here is my best of the blogsphere!

Top 25 Most Played Songs on my iPod: 2012

This is a pretty short post, but I still enjoyed reading it! I just really like reading about personal interests of other bloggers, and I think seeing someone's most played songs can really give you insight into their personal taste! And Kioku's just got great taste in music.

My favorite idols

Another post that's just a fun read! I'm always curious as to what people's favorite idols are, and Aim provides a convenient little list of her own favorites, along with her reasoning behind each one! And I personally think she has some great picks!

Group you need to meet: Silent Siren

Even if Silent Siren is on my Idol Blacklist (for entirely benign reasons I assure you), it's always nice to see a group written about by someone who's into them do so. And Mara brings up some very good points about female idols and their creative control over their music!

Idols and Boyfriends

Amongst the many, many posts published about the dating rule around this time, Chiima's is my personal favorite. She just does such a great job of outlining all the double standards and flaws in the no-dating system, it makes for a really great read!

Why I’m Still (Kinda) on Kasai’s Side…

Kioku takes a surprising side on the entire Kasai Tomomi scandal which makes for a very interesting read. Kioku has some really great points about the entire situation, and made me see the entire scandal from a slightly different viewpoint. I always love when bloggers do that!

My thoughts on the Koharu situation

I felt so bad for Aim when this happened. I know that she's a huge fan of Koharu, and you can really hear the pain in her voice as she wrote this. In my opinion, the final conclusion she came to regarding the entire situation was both mature and poignant.

In Which Isilie Weighs in on Koharu's Ramblings

Along with Aim, Isilie also gave her lovely input regarding the Koharu situation! I always love when Isilie writes, because I know it'll always be an engaging and compelling read! And her thoughts about this situation delivered! She has a great, thoroughly back-up opinion she stands by!

WEEKLY #1 F**K YEAH!

I think one of the most touching things is to see a fan get overjoyed about the success of their idols. And Morning Musume getting #1 was a joy for all of us, especially Chiima! It's really heartwarming to hear the joy in her words about one of her favorite groups getting a #1 on Oricon again!

What's your purpose as a Youtube dancer?

Okay so this is technically more about Youtube dancers than J-pop idols, but it's still a really well-written post and I just had to include it! As a Youtube dancer herself, NyNy has some really great personal insight into the topic, and as someone who isn't part of the community, I found it interesting!

The Eternal Debate

Celestia cuts right down to the bullshit of popularity and hierarchy and how fans get pissed off over both. While I don't agree with all the points in this post, I still think Celestia backs up her own opinions nicely in a short read that doesn't waste any time cutting to the main points.

The no dating rule and Johnny's special treatment

Another great post about the no-dating rule along with the Minegishi Minami scandal, Aim also provides a lot of great examples of JE idols skirting the same no-dating rule that so many female idols have lost their careers to. I loved reading this!

On Avex, Idols, "Dance and Vocal" Groups and Tokyo Girls' Style

I knew at some point Krv would get into TGS! Or maybe that's just my delusional brain latching onto anyone who remotely shows interest in TGS... Either way, Krv gives some great opinions about the Avex idols topping it off with great reviews of Tokyo Girls' Style's latest two albums!

[Rambling] Nogizaka46 and the End of the World: But hey, they produced something Amazing... Finally!

We may have all thought she was crazy at the time, but Chiima's words rang true! In a weird way, I think she might have predicted the rise in quality for Nogizaka46! Of course, her confusion at the time was both entertaining and hilarious!

This Isn't Really About Mano...

Mano Erina is just one of many idols Isilie talks about in a post regarding the "glow" of idols soon to graduate. It's very interesting, and I never really thought about this topic until she brought it up. The examples are all great, it's a treat as usual to read something by Isilie!

'Pimping? or Just Cute?' + A Wota Perspective

Whatever happened to Project Idoldome? They were such a good site then they just... stopped writing stuff. Nonetheless, of their short but sweet time in the blogsphere, this editorial is a lovely read about the way idols are marketed and public perception of the titular wotas.

Becoming the Wota I am Today: A Response to Ray's Fandoms Preparing For Other Fandoms

I love reading backstories, and Chiima's backstory about how she got into idols and all the other things that led to it is really interesting! It's a very sentimental and heartwarming post, along with a great story behind one of the blogsphere's loveliest, Chiimiest bloggers!

The Blossomed Idol

Kioku gives a great tribute to graduated idol Mano Erina, going over how much she evolved over her career as an H!P soloist. I agree with a lot of what Kioku talks about, and I think it's really sweet that she gave such a lovely little tribute to Mano Erina!

The Fan Gene

What is the fan gene? I didn't know until I read this post! Of course, this post is about more than just the fan gene; it's a story of how our beloved Morningtime became the fan he is today! As always, I love reading posts like this; it makes me feel like I know the blogger better!

[Guest Post] Spreading One's Juices (by Sarah in Kpopland!)

I don't read much about K-pop, but if I'm to go off Sarah's guest post on Okay! Musume Time, I probably should start reading more of her posts! I think it's really cool that Chiima had someone else guest on her blog; it's a great way of showing alternate opinions!

A Look Into the Mind of Female Wota

All right, something for the ladies! As a girl, I can relate to so much of the ideas projected in this editorial. The ideas, the perceptions, the struggles, all of it is very true and it's nice to see someone write about it. Again, why is this site not writing more stuff?

AKB48's So Long is too long

I don't know why, but over the past year, reading bloggers with equal disdain for AKB48 as I have has become a strangely addicting hobby. And Aim's post ripping into all the problems with So Long! is a glorious read, that I enjoyed thoroughly. And by the way, that song sucks.

C.I.H.A.F.「Whining About Line Distribution」

I do hope Kioku continues her Crap I Hate About Fans series; the first entry was really entertaining! And in this entry, Kioku goes over one of the most heated topics in the idolsphere, taking it on with all the skill and voice that makes me love her writing so much!

The Minegishi Incident and Responsibility

This is a long post, but it's completely worth reading. Coming back to our much-loved topic of the no-dating rule, Todd thoroughly goes beyond that, delving into the sexism and pandering within the idol industry and his own mixed feelings about it.

Precious, hot, hot mess of the week: Linda III Sei

Every once in awhile, it's nice to kick back, relax, and review something truly terrible. I'm not talking painfully bad, I'm talking hilariously bad. Something so atrocious you question if it's real or not. That is exactly what Mara does with Linda III Sei, and trust me, it's entertaining.

Aki-P Loves Riling Up The Fans

A sentiment I can thoroughly agree witih, Kioku goes over the candidacy system put in for AKB48's Senbatsu election and the sheer stupidity of it. And some other miscellaenous news, but the main part is about the candidacy system. I found it hilarious and very to-the-point!

Idolminded Celebrates its First Year Anniversary!

Chiima commemorates the blog that has given most of us so many reads and provided some really high quality content! This is sweet coming from Chiima, and I can tell how much she admires Ray and Idolmidned! Don't we all? Here's to plenty more years of Idolminded!

My thought on AKB48's 5th Senbatsu election

Aim writes (or rants...) about AKB48's candidacy system for the 5th election. Much like Kioku's post, the real meat of this one is Aim's skill at outlining just how foolish that entire incident was. It's so nice that bloggers came together and realized the stupidity of this entire thing!

Hello! Project's Top 11 Most Adorable Smiles ~According to Chiima~

No, this is not an April Fool's joke post! Funny enough, I couldn't find any of those this year... But anyways, I think this post is pretty self-explanatory: it's Chiima's top 11 idol smiles! And the post features much smiles and much adorableness!

2013 is C-ute's year!

Morningtime says what everyone's been thinking and talks about how 2013 went so well for C-ute. Reading this post, this was the first time I realized that hey, C-ute was having a pretty decent year so far. So thanks for making me notice that, Morningtime!

Subtitles -  Yay or Nay?

I feel so much better that I wasn't the only one who thought the subtitles on Hello! Project's PVs were (and are) completely pointless. Chiima perfectly writes about the backward nature of these subtitles, and I couldn't agree with more with everything she wrote in this post!

Through Good Times and Bad

Longtime fan Celestia writes about the joy of Morning Musume's current success and how freaking awesome that is. I can only imagine how veterans like Celestia must feel about Momusu's success; you can practically hear the joy in her voice as she wrote this post!

Idol blogging and social networking: Don't be a TOF

I wasn't sure what a TOF was before this post but hey, I do now! Luckily, I don't think anyone in this list is a TOF... With a spoonful of humor in it, Mara writes a thoroughly engaging post about the perks of social networking and how they opened her up to the world of idol blogging.

Why Shouldn't (should) Morning Musume keep doing the same thing over and over?

If it ain't broke don't fix it, right? Right!? That is the debate with current Morning Musume, and Pata talks about the pitfall that is the Platinum Era and why the Colorful Morning Musume of today is working so well. A very nice read for those both around during the Platinum era and not!

So many idols so little time

There really are a ton of idols out there, and I'm always amazed at the number that Aim covers. But there's always hope she'll cover more! Maybe Perfume? But it looks like she may have found interst in a few groups! Hopefully we'll read more reviews about said groups in 2014 from Aim!

How Otaku Culture can Spoil Idols for Everyone Else & The No Dating Rule

Mina outlines all the flaws with otaku culture, and it is a gratifying, gratifying read. I feel like Mina says everything I want to say about this subject and does it so much better than I ever could. I absolutely recommend reading this, it's both informative and entertaining!

Juice=Juice is Hello! Project's last hope

Amongst all the hype about Juice=Juice back in the beginning of the year, Pata was the voice of reason, comparing the Juice=Juice hype to the S/mileage hype and outlining just why people shouldn't be so quick to label Juice=Juice as H!P's next big thing.

Top 50 Idol Music Videos

Fifty music videos is a long list but Krv goes into great detail listing fifty great idol music videos, some of which I hadn't even watched until reading this. It's always nice seeing bloggers mention or look at older stuff, and the music videos on this list are all worth checking out if you've got time.

A Dummy's Guide To The Senbatsu: What It Is And Why It Is There

I do wish more posts like this existed. I think they'd be really helpful for new fans to idols trying to figure out everything. Besides, Chiima does such a great job of explaining AKB48's Senbatsu in terms that just about anyone who can work a computer can understand!

The AKB48 Eternal Graduation Party

This isn't so much of a review or editorial or news post as it is a highly humorous story showing us mere mortals what happens after the members of AKB48 graduate. It's a short but sweet read, so what are you waiting for!? Don't you want to know the secret behind AKB48's graduations!?

H!P Old School Reviews: Tanpopo's Tanpopo 1

Tanpopo is one of my favorite old Hello! Project groups, especially 1st generation Tanpopo. I loved seeing another blogger review their first album, and I'm even happier that Ash liked it! By the way, Tanpop 1 is a legitimately good album and you all should listen to it. Okay, plug-in's over!

Grab Your Pitch Forks, Airi's now a Whore!!! BURN THE WITCH!!! [RANT TIME!!!!]

One of the best ways to approach a silly scandal is to write about it with just as much silliness as said scandal. This one with Suzuki Airi was just about as silly as they come, and Chiima points that out in the most hilarious ways possible in this post.

H!P Old School Reviews: Coconuts Musume

Coconuts Musume is actually an older group I don't know too much about. That's why reading Ash's post about their history and many member-changes was so interesting! I've always found Coconuts Musume to be fascinating, and reading this only made me more fascinated by their existence!

Idol Group Structure Theory

Mina goes over the various idol structures and how well they work in the long run. She brings up a great point that stable lineups tend to have a longer shelf-life than the constantly lineup changing-ones. Even if you don't agree, the concept of idol structure is still good to think about.

My take on Perfume World Tour 2nd Live in London

I envy those who got to attend one of Perfume's Europe concerts, but luckily NyNy was nice enough to tell us all about the London Tour! I'm always curious to see what goes on in a Perfume concert, and NyNy goes through all the highlights of her Perfume experience!

Bringin' Back HouPri!

To say that Chiima loves Houkago Princess is an understatement. But her enthusiasm for the group is extremely admirable and very sweet too! And this post goes over all the basics you need to know should you ever want to follow HouPri just like the lovely Chiima!

Who Are Starmarie?

Who are they? I didn't know who Starmarie was until Chiima wrote about them! Come to think of it, I should follow this group more closely... they have a really neat concept. Much like the HouPri post, Chiima does another great job of introducing an idol group!

Hiding Idol Fandom?

I can really empathize with what Jess is talking about in this post, and I think a lot of other bloggers can to. The thing we follow is far from normal in any country outside of Japan. Reading Jess's thoughts about it makes me nod my head and think "Yes, I totally get that! I get that too! And that!"

In which Nostalgia is the Problem

Isilie goes over nostalgia and how it correlates to Morning Musume. I wasn't around during the Platinum Era, but what Isilie talks about makes a lot of sense. I think we all have the tendency to let nostalgia cloud our judgement, especially when it comes to idols.

C-ute's Time to Shine

If there is any group that deserves a post heaping praise upon them, it's C-ute. Celestia highlights every reason why C-ute damn well deserves their recent success. Even if you don't like C-ute, I'd think after reading this, you might be able to at least respect them!

On "furusato:" 10 idol songs that make me feel at home

There's no place like home, right? That's how it is for Mara at least! And these are just the tne sogns that remind her of home! It's a very genuinely sweet post, and you guys should all check out the songs she listed! Maybe they'll make you feel at home too!

Morning Musume: the greatest resurrection act since a certain Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. came back from the dead

Do I sense another Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan? Even if that's not the case, Pata makes a great comparison of said agent to Morning Musume's very own career resurrection this year! It's a post of epic proportions, and as always, I love reading Pata's writing!

H!P Old School Reviews: The 2000 Shuffle Units

In case you haven't noticed, I really like Ash's reviews of older H!P groups and songs. It's just so informative! And 2000 H!P shuffle units is a topic that I needed much informing in! And Ash's post gave me all the helpful facts I needed to know about said shuffle units!

Chiima's Top 13 Idol Summer PV's of 2013

A list!? A list of favorite summer PVs at that!? You know I'm down for that! And there are so many different idol summer PVs Chiima could have picked from this year! I think the ones she went with are great, and the variety in her choices is equally great!

So, what I Miss?

Kioku comes back from the dead! Kind of, she had a little bit of trouble with her Internet this year! But her return was enthusiastically welcomed, and this post is just her going through all the things she missed in her time as gone! As always, I love reading her opinions about idol news!

Thoughts on the Current Morning Musume Part 1: It Was the English Subtitles

Danielle makes a brief return (though I still hope that she will one day come back with her sharp, well-written editorials) delving into her opinion about the current Morning Musume while also writing a painful but true analysis of the failure of Platinum Era Momusu.

Berryz Kobo Are Stuck In A Rut

Should every blogger who thinks Berryz is stuck in a rut start some kind of club? Like... I don't know, the Berryz Rut Club? Either way, Abraham says what everyone else is thinking and explains just why the once quirky and lively Berryz Koubou has misplaced their quirkiness and liveliness.

The Issue With Berryz

Chiima joins in with Abraham and chimes in her own opinions about that "issue with Berryz." It's a thought-provoking post, and Chiima does a great job of explaining why Berryz Koubou has been on a decline this year. Maybe Berryz can change her opinion next year!

Review - Perfume - Level3

I love finding other blogs that review Perfume. Kiss Et Music is one of them! And Ellise provides a great, detailed review of Level3, writing all the ups and downs of Perfume's latest album. If you're as much of a fan of Perfume as I am, I totally recommend giving this one a read!

The Consequences of Your Opinion

Shortly after her post about Berryz, our beloved Chiima ran into some trouble on a forum (surprise, surprise, right?). This is just her writing about that experience, along with the frustration of not being able to express opinions wihout such extreme reactions.

After 5 Years, Perfume Deliver

Could it be that Abraham is opening up his heart and letting the Perfume back in? With the release of Level3, it appears so! Well... possibly not anymore considering Sweet Refrain. Still, I love reading reviews of Perfume as it's always nice to read different opinions about them!

Can Morning Musume Be Number One Again?

Can they? At the moment, no one knows, but Kioku speculates on the possibility of such a thing happening again! And she talks about Morning Musume's evolution as a group, their ups and downs, and the uncertainty of just which idol group will reign supreme in the future.

Curumi Chronicle The "Social Network" Technopop Idol

When I was trying to find information on Curumi Chronicle, this post was extremely helpful in giving me the basics! And I feel as though you Wonderlings should also have the privilege of learning more about this lovely technopop idol so here you go! Curumi Chronicle 101!

My Queen Returns

Kioku gushes about former C-ute member Umeda Erika and her return to showbiz! Even if I was never around to see Erika in C-ute, it's nice seeing Kioku so happy about her return! You can tell how much she likes Erika and her joy at seeing her return!

Momoiro Clover Z is back with Gounn!

Even before she published this, I was extremely curious to read Jess's reaction towards Gounn. An enthusiastic Momoiro Clover Z fan, Jess has a mixed-to-positive reaction toward Gounn, highlighting the detailed music video as her favorite part about it!

Sayashi Riho Is The Worst Ace In Momusume History

Abraham details why our Shrieking Spoon just doesn't work as Morning Musume's ace. I've voiced my dislike of Riho as a vocal center numerous times on the Wonderland, and I think Abraham does a thorough job explaining why with all the cutting wit you'd expect from him!

Bellring Shoujo Heart - Bed Head review

You know what I love? When I read a review that gets me into a certain group or album. And that is what this review does. I hadn't heard much of Bellring Shoujo Heart before reading this, but after listening to Bedhead, I definitely want to hear more from them!

On Idols, Rivalry, Image and Idoling!!! by Chiima & Steve - Parts 1 and 2

Chiima and Steve banter back and forth about a variety of things! It's nice reading opinions from two people with extremely different opinions! Keep in mind, this is a long post (so long it's split up into two parts). But if you've got the time, I strongly recommend reading it!

Idol Thoughts: BiS - Avant Garde Idols?

Serenyty delves into the concepts behind the neighborhood unconventional idol group, bringing up a few ideas that not even I would have thought with BiS. I always like seeing bloggers who aren't fans of a certain idol group write bout said group and Serenyty writes splendidly about BiS!

What I've missed, how I feel, and what's to come

Aim also came back from the dead this year! Kind of. But who cares? Aim is back! And this post is just all about the things she missed in the idolsphere. It's pretty quick recap, but everything Aim does go over has her always-nice opinion added to it!

Tsunku makes a terrible decision, just another day in H!P

I just love how the entire blogsphere can come together and bitch about Tsunku being... well, Tsunku. Aim clearly was not happy with the decision to rename Morning Musume, and as usual, it's great to read her opinions about it. I'm certain many people share the same sentiments as she does...

Morning Musume’s Name to Change From Next Year! Introducing: Morning Musume ’14!

Ash also covers Morning Musume's name change, but with a more lighthearted take! He instead goes through Tsunku's translated blog post MST3K-style, poking fun at the crazy man behind H!P and also expressing his own personal thoughts about the... divisive name change.

And there you go! Now you all have a nice list of great things to read! I'm certain there are other blogs I missed, and if you have any personal favorite blog posts, please share them! But all these are my favorites from this year, and I highly recommend reading any of them! Or all of them preferably... Anyways, with that out of the way, let me wish you all a happy new year! Here's to many more great blog posts from some great people in 2014! And hopefully some great posts from some new blogs as well...

8 comments:

  1. Great idea for a post, Nia. Thanks for all the new open tabs! Happy 2014!

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    1. Thank you, Sonda! Happy reading and happy New Year!

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  2. Whoa, I kinda feel a little awkward that you put so many of my posts. But I'm glad that you enjoyed them! XD I do love Perfume, and I did blog about them in the past, but because most people don't consider them to be idols I don't really blog about them.

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    1. I hope it's not *too* awkward! I just really like reading your stuff! Your opinions are so different from mine! That's cool if you don't blog Perfume; the only reason I do is because... well, if you just look at the front page of this blog you can probably figure out why!

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  3. No, I mean it's awkward because I'm so critical of my own writing that I usually feel kinda weird when people say they like it. >< Yeah, I think everyone knows by now just how big of a Perfume fan you are. Lol.

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    1. I completely see what you mean! I do the same thing with my writing! I guess every writer does that... And I'd hope everyone knows how big of a Perfume fan I am! Otherwise, I'm not doing a good enough job... and that would require MORE blogging about Perfume. Not that I'd mind.

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  4. Ugh. So many of my posts. Thanks so much for the recognition, Nia. You're the best. I'll continue to love you and your blog well into 2014! ; A; <33

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    1. Because your posts are AWESOME! And you're welcome! You totally earned it. I hope to see more great posts from you in 2014! <3

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