About the Wonderland

Nia's Wonderland started when a 15-year old girl who really loved Perfume decided to make a blog.

Hijinks ensued.

That's the cliff notes version at least. I did create the Wonderland out of a love for Perfume. At the time, I felt like I couldn't find many blogs that wrote about Perfume. So I decided to take manners into my own hands and write about them myself! From there though, Perfume expanded to other J-pop groups including Hello! Project, the AKS groups, and a handful of other idol groups including Tokyo Girls' Style and the now-defunct BiS. I have a tendency to review idol groups that technically aren't idol groups. I'm not sure why that keeps happening, but it does. I also review a few solo idols/performers including Kyarypamyupamyu and Curumi Chronicle. I try to consistently review groups, but sometimes life gets in the way and I have neither the time or interest to do so. When I'm not reviewing groups, I'm either writing about news (mainly Perfume news) or working on editorials. I don't write editorials quite as much as I'd like to, but I do try to put out one every month or two. Mostly everything on the Wonderland I write out of a love for writing and the subject matter. The reason I created the Wonderland after all was for fun, and I'd like to keep having fun!

Really there's just one important thing you as a reader need to know about the Wonderland: this is an opinion-based blog. Everything on the Wonderland stems from my own thoughts and ideas. For the most part, I think everyone is mature enough to understand that. However, if I don't point that out, then somebody's going to read a review and get completely spun up about it. That'll probably happen anyways, but at least I have a disclaimer. You are going to read something on this blog that you are going to disagree with. And that is completely okay. Everyone has their own opinions. If someone had the exact same opinions as I do, I would be slightly creeped out. All I ask is for respect for both my own writing and for other commenters. I don't always say the nicest things, and if I say something that makes you uncomfortable, tell me. I will extend the same respect to you that you extend to me. In layman's terms: don't be a dick. I should also point out that the music I review on the Wonderland does not reflect my opinion on the idols themselves. I believe in separation of the artist and their art, if that makes sense. Also, I have a tendency to slip in a lot of pop culture references when I'm writing and not just references to other J-pop artists. Mainly to movies and books and literature.

As for reviews, I do have a rating system. The Apple Rating System. It looks like this:

I used to not rate releases, but I felt like the ratings gave a sense of conclusiveness to my reviews. You can take the Apple Rating System as seriously as you want. For music videos, I rate the PV and song collectively. For album and single reviews, I rate each song musically, and the verdict rating is the product overall. The highest rating can be five apples and the lowest can be one half an apple, with half apples in between (i.e. two and half apples, four and half, etc.). Luckily, I've never had a release that warranted zero apples, but hey, anything can happen. This is a basic breakdown of where something stands on the Apple Rating System along with examples!

5 apples - Great (Get the Star/Last Forever)
4 apples - Good (Who Killed Idol?)
3 apples - Okay (Mirai no Museum)
2 apples - Bad (Pin Heel Surfer)
1 apple - Terrible (Labrador Retriever)

I do take requests. Please keep in mind though that I run a blog that review J-pop songs by female artists. I'm not saying I won't review anything K-pop related (I've mentioned it once or twice on my blog), but K-pop is really out of my element. Except for Orange Caramel. I'm kind of familiar with Orange Caramel. On the subject of boy bands, I am not a huge fan of them. Like with K-pop, they're really not my forte, and there are many other great idol blogs that can cover boy bands much better than I ever will. I'm not closed to reviewing either K-pop or boy bands, but female J-pop singers cover much more familiar territory. If you do have something you want me to review, please request a current release. I have a list of current releases I'm trying to review each month, and fitting in an older song or music video is difficult. I wish I could, but I'm only human. So if you're going to request a group to review, the best time to is when they're just about to release something. I love looking at older releases, but I can't create the time to review those along with current releases. Half the time I'm behind on current releases already! If you do want an opinion (a brief, abridged opinion) on something though, just leave a comment or email. It's not a full-fledged review, but it's the best I can offer.

However, there is one alternative: Time Capsule Reviews. I started them back in November 2012, then stopped after March 2013. From the November-March period, Time Capsule Reviews were monthly reviews of older Perfume music videos (with one exception which was a request). The original Time Capsule Reviews were random: I just drew them out of a hat. Then in April 2014, I decided that I should bring the Time Capsule Reviews back. Now though, Time Capsule Reviews are not exclusive to Perfume music videos. Also, they're not longer randomly selected by me. What I do now is hold a poll at the beginning of each month, listing five or six releases from that respective month. Readers get to decided which of these releases should be that month's Time Capsule Review. The poll will stay up for fifteen days, and whichever release gets the most votes gets a review. And that's pretty much the gist of it. So yes, if you have something older you want me to review that falls within the right month, I'll add it to the poll. That doesn't guarantee it'll be reviewed, but again, it's the best I can do with time constraints. This is the basic breakdown of Time Capsule Review requirements:

Criteria for Time Capsule Reviews:
  1. Anything older than a year is eligible for a Time Capsule Review.
  2. It has to be a single, album, or music video. I can't do concerts or movies.
  3. The single/album/PV must have been released in the month you want me to review it.
  4. The artist can't already have a release scheduled for the same month.
  5. If two releases tie in the number of votes, both are put in a Sudden Death poll. Whichever one gets the most votes after a day gets a Time Capsule Review.
For example, say it's July 2014, and you want me to review Perfume's Love the world. Since Love the world was released in July 2008, it would be eligible for a Time Capsule Review. However, the fact that Perfume is releasing Cling Cling in that same month trumps that previous rule. Now if you wanted me to review Morning Musume's Shabondama in that same month, that would be okay. Momusu had nothing released in July 2014, so I could add it to the poll. Make sense? I hope so!

While I am fairly open to reviewing new groups, there is a handful of idols that I will not review. Those are the idols on my Idol Blacklist. The Idol Blacklist consists of only a few idol groups that for whatever reason, I don't want to review. Some for lack of personal interest and others because I simply do not want to devote time to reviewing them. I won't cover any news from them either (unless it's really huge, impactful news). Also, I'll barely mention them if at all. Especially the groups I dislike. I have this belief that life is a whole lot better when you're not wasting energy on things you don't like or care about. I write on this blog out of enjoyment, and reviewing any of the groups on the Blacklist would only make blogging feel like a chore. Just because a group is on the Blacklist does not mean it is a bad group. As I said earlier, everyone has their own likes and dislikes. As long as none of those likes are illegal or harmful, that's okay. The only reason I even made an Idol Blacklist is so someone doesn't request an idol group I have no heart to review.

Anyways, the following groups are on my Idol Blacklist:

- AKB48
- Ayaman Japan
- Dorothy Little Happy
- Fairies
- Palet
- Silent Siren
- Super Girls
- Youtube idols

If you want to know why these groups are on the Blacklist, check this post out.

And that's pretty much everything. I have a Review Index and an archival, so feel free to browse through both! Also there's a contact page that has my email and other media outlets I'm available on. The Wonderland is ultimately my way of working on my writing in a stress-free environment. I hope you find something you like on here, but if you don't, that's okay too!

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