Whoa, it looks like you've reached the part of my blog that is not about idol music! If you dare to learn about the overly-enthusiastic girl who runs the inner working of the Wonderland, read on...
Okay, switching to a less melodramatic tone, I'm Nia! Well, I guess that's kind of obvious since my blog is called Nia's Wonderland instead of say, Anne's Wonderland. But what you may not know about my is that I'm a student hoping to pursue a career in writing! Or that's my current plan at least. Really I'm quite undecided on my major right now, but since writing seems to be the only thing I'm actually kinda decent at, I figured that should be a good area to start with. I've got a couple years before I have to figure out my major though. For now, I'm just trying to dabble in classes and areas I might have interest doing in the future. Writing just happens to be one of those things!
When I'm not knee-deep in schoolwork, pursuing extracurricular activities (mainly revolving around theatre), or carousing about with my little circle of friends, I'm usually doing stuff on here, my own little Wonderland of J-pop and idol music. And Perfume. Lots and lots of Perfume. You'll probably notice that I'm kinda-sorta a huge fan of Perfume. In fact, I started writing on this blog for two reasons. The first was to improve my writing. As you can tell, I still have a lot of room for improvement, but the Wonderland is a great place to practice and assert my own strengths and weaknesses that I've developed over the years I've been writing. The second reason is that initially I wanted to review Perfume! Around the time I started blogging, I couldn't find many blogs that actively reviewed Perfume, so I took it upon myself to become a Perfume reviewer. And then it just so happened that this evolved from a Perfume blog to a blog that covers an odd bunch of idol groups that I'm personally interested in. My opinions aren't always the most positive (or acceptable), but at the end of the day, I write about idols because I love doing it.
Of course, there was a time when I knew nothing about idols or Japanese pop music in general. For a very long time, the only J-pop artist I even knew about was Perfume. I got into the technopop trio from Hiroshima when I was in middle school, and to this day, Perfume is one of my favorite artists to listen to in general. I mean, there's a reason every theme I do for the Wonderland is centered around Perfume so... yeah. I can't help that Perfume's music is awesome along with just about every aspect about the group! It was about halfway through my freshman year in high school that I really started getting into idols. Like many other idol fans on the Internet, one of the first idol groups I got into was a Hello! Project group! Can you guess which one? Shockingly enough, it was not Morning Musume. In fact, that was the last Hello! Project group I started following, and by then, Eri, Junjun, and Linlin had graduated, and the 9th Generation auditions were happening.
Nope, my first H!P group was Buono! I stumbled across one of their PVs while I was in the process of searching for a Perfume PV (I believe it was the PV for Voice?). And that was when I found Rottara Rottara, a very catchy, very awesome Buono! song. From that point, my interest in idols grew very slowly, starting with the Hello! Project groups and expanding from there. Throughout the rest of 2010 and 2011, I was falling through a plethora of different idol groups and songs, much like the way Alice fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland! I really think 2011 was the year that I got into a lot of groups. Beyond Hello! Project, two smaller idol groups I really got into were Tokyo Girls' Style and Brand-new Idol Society. As fate would have it, both would go on to become probably my favorite idol groups outside of Perfume. And from there, I just starting finding more and more idols to follow! As of now, these are following idols that I try to blog consistently about.
- Bellring Shoujo Heart
- Perfume (in case you can't tell)
- post-BiS projects (i.e. Pla2me, Terashima Yufu, etc.)
- Tokyo Girls' Style
- Curumi Chronicle
And occasionally, I'll just review some random group! You can find a comprehensive list of singles, albums, and PVs that I've reviewed under my Review Index.
But anyways, back to me! One of the ways that I found out about a lot of idol groups was through reading idol blogs that specifically reviewed idol music. I thought it was really cool that so many people from all over the world had this same crazy interest in idols that I did. So in a weird way I kind of looked up to a lot of idol bloggers. Toward the end of 2011, I was pretty into idols, and very actively following the handful of groups I'd discovered. As each release came out, I found myself developing a lot more thoughts about the music and PVs these idol groups were releasing. Then I realized that I had opinions to share, and I wanted to share them on my own terms in a place where someone could read about them if they wanted to. But where could I find such a place? I shied away from forums for the most part, since I've never been particularly fond of the general mentality regarding other people's opinions on forums.
And then the solution came to me: start an idol blog. It seemed very intimidating at the time; I didn't know how to screencap PVs, how many idol groups I wanted to review, how much news I wanted to cover, barely anything. All I had was a love for Perfume and some other idols. So in November of 2011, my first post on the Wonderland was naturally a list of my favorite Perfume songs. It wasn't until December that I started to try and make an active effort into idol blogging, and even though I had a rather shaky start (and some pretty poorly-written reviews), I had to start at some point. As 2012 progressed, I did find my niche and my own style and voice in my reviews. And I think idol blogging really helped push me into the international idol fanbase and meet some really cool people, both idol bloggers like myself and fans alike.
I pretty much just review idol groups that I have personal interest in. I don't see any point in reviewing a group I don't care about, and doing so would only make blogging on the Wonderland tedious and not-so-fun for me. One of my biggest offsets regarding which idol groups I give a chance is their music. I mainly follow idols for the music, and if a group's music doesn't appeal to me, I'm just not going to follow them. "Bland" idol music is a notorious berserk button for me, because I just can't stand generic-sounding idol songs devoid of any quirks or energy. I'm not saying idol groups that consist of nothing but solely this sound are bad; they just don't personally appeal to me. Basically the only requirement I have for an idol group is that they don't bore me. If they interest me, I'll gladly look into their discography! Nonetheless, if there's a group that you want to see someone review, feel free to drop me a request via my email or comments! The amount of requests I get is next to nonexistent so I can probably fill it pretty quickly! In the meantime, enjoy the Wonderland! I have a Review Index where you can find all my reviews and a growing list of archives!