Oh, how I wish I’d thought of this. Sadly, I didn’t, but whoever did is capable of sheer comedic genius.
… at the upcoming Berryz and C-ute joint concert. Although I don’t think it’s very likely that each of the members will get paired into a duet (the “shadow” girls will probably just get tossed into being backdancers for the more popular members, with a solo line here and there), it’d be the most amazing thing ever if there was. At least, that’s what I was thinking during math class today (I do my best thinking when I should be concentrating on my “teacher”). I scribbled my ideas for duets down in my notebook, and here I’ll try to make sense of them.
Shimizu Saki and Yajima Maimi:
Songs to perform: A medley with loads of kickass dancing. Perhaps Tokkaiko Junjou–> Today is my Birthday –> Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai.
Reasoning: Saki and Maimi are the dancers of their groups. They’re both leaders of their respective groups, and they have a similarly low vocal range. Plus, they were my favorites within ZYX, and getting them together again would be like a dream come true. Their songs would need to be very dance-able and have a faster pace.
Tsugunaga Momoko and Nakajima Saki
Songs to perform: 21ji Made no Cinderella or Ookina Ai de Motenashite
Reasoning: While Saki S. and Maimi may be the ones known for dancing, Momoko and Saki N. are my favorites to watch dance. Plus, these two are just so completely cute! Put them together and something whacky and fun is bound to result. I chose 21ji because it’s a song that seems to fit Momo, and it’d be interesting to see whether or not Saki could pull it off. Ookina Ai I picked because… it’s perfect. The oddness of the dance, and those freaky too-high bits are so much fun. Random: While watching that Momoko/Megumi/Reina/Maimi performance of Suki Sugite baka Mitai, my mom came in and asked, of Momo, “Why is that 10 year old dancing like a stripper?”. I still find that funny to this day…
Tokunaga Chinami and Okai Chisato
Songs to perform: Yuujou Junjou Oh Seishun or Bokura no Kagayaki
Reasoning: The idea of Chisato and Chinami performing together at this concert was actually what gave me the idea to do this in the first place! Each has the place of the joker within their group, and both have similarly short hair and tan skin. their performance would have heaps of energy, and lots of jumping around and fist pumping. Those are two of my favorite songs from either group, and total crowd pleasers. Much like these two ladies themselves!
Sudou Maasa and Ariharra Kanna
Song to perform: Fighting Pose wa Date ja nai
Reasoning: these two just seemed to work together nicely in my mind. I’ve no real explanation for this choice, or really even why I chose this song except to say that Maasa was cute in the PV and I wish it were performed more often. Heh…
Natsuyaki Miyabi and Suzuki Airi
Songs to perform: First Kiss or Very Beauty
Reasoning: These are both the “vocally talented” members of their groups (I will admit that Miya is the best in berryz, but Airi for c-ute? Not quite), right? They were both in Aa! together, right? They simply must perform together! Out of all of these pairings, I think this one is most likely to actually occur during the concert. Plus I actually really want to hear Airi sing Very Beauty. And these two might sound nice together on something slower and more ballad-y.
Kumai Yurina and Umeda Erika
Songs to perform: Tsuugaku Vector or Nanchuu Koi wo Yatteruu YOU KNOW?
reasoning: They’re both really tall, okay?! TALLNESS WINS! Joking aside, I think that these two might work nicely together, physically and vocally. I’vealways wanted Yurina to sing a solo or smal group version of Nanchuu Koi because she has the right kind of power in her voice to do a great job. And… I just like Tsuugaku Vector. I can even hear them singing that in my head. That may not be a good thing…
Sugaya Risako and Hagiwara Mai
Songs to perform: Special Generation or Sakura Chirari
Reasoning: They’re both the youngest in their groups. And… when paired up with Mai, Risako suddenly seems bearable. 0_0! Special Generation I chose because it must be performed at some point or other in this concert. And Sakura Chirari I just added randomly on whim. but now that it’s there, I get the feeling Risako would do well singing the line “Miagereba utsukushii yozora ni toketeiku” towards the end. And by well I mean… y’know, how she normally sounds.
I’m sorry! I really did intend to do C-ute (‘s ranking) the day after Berryz, but… y’know, it didn’t happen. SO, I’ll finally finish up with my rankings of the Big Three tonight.
1st: I never really cared about Okai (or any of the Cuties, for that matter). Then I saw that tiny little clip of Chisato sounding EXACTLY like Fujimoto Miki, and realized that this girl was a force to be reckoned with. At the time, there was basically nothing of her singing solo that I could find to listen to, which would have made it hard for me to really like any other girl. Not Chisato! She’s just so darn cute, and so funny. She reminds me a bit of Tokunaga Chinami; they’re both the joke-makers of their respective groups, and they are both tan and short haired. Oh, and Chisato is just begging to be nicknamed Mini-Miki. Their voices are SO similar!
Listen, Tsunku. Chisato’s voice will bring about world peace and make grown men want to skip about and pet little kitties. So if you like world peace and kitties and all that jazz, make Chisato a lead singer.
2nd: Teeny tiny little Mai-mai fought her way into my heart and stayed there. She is adorable. She’s the youngest of the h!p kids and thus automatically the cutest in my mind. If my madness seems to have no method, well… then… MOVING ON!
3rd: I formed the opinion early on that Erika was the one who had made the biggest changes, physically, since joining h!p. She’s certainly grown into her looks; before, she was this gangly kid whose face was so long and thin that she looked like a grasshopper. Now, she’s actually somewhat sexy. Okay, very sexy. Although her voice hasn’t matured at all. It sounds like she’s still 10 years old. You kind of have to admire a 16 year old sexpot that can get away with sounding like a pre-teen, though. No, not Momoko.
4th: Maimi and NakaSaki are tied for me. I only put Maimi higher because…. well, there was no option for a tie (that I could see)! Maimi is good. Not so good that she overshadows the others, but good enough to stand out. Which makes her all the better in my book! Her dancing and singing are not quite on the same level, though. Her voice tends to get a bit manly when she’s tired.
5th: Even though Maimi is the renowned dancer of the h!p kids, Nakajima Saki is my favorite to watch while she dances (aside from Momoko). She gives off this aura of really, truly having a blast! When watching the dance shot for Tokaikko Junjou, Saki caught my eye about 1/3 of the way through, and kept it throughout the rest of the PV. I can’t quite describe what it is, aside from the afore mentioned fun bit. It’s like she adds this extra centimeter to all of the moves that the other girls are doing, throwing herself into it just a bit harder.
6th: I haven’t much of an opinion of Kanna. She’s very pretty, her voice isn’t bad (I loved her on Bokura no Kagayaki. That is, when I could tear my ears away from the amazing Chisato). I’ve heard people say that she seemed to know what she was doing more than the other members of C-ute when she joined, and some people say the exact opposite. Me, I don’t think she stood out as either one. And that may be the problem with Kanna for me; she just doesn’t stand out.
7th: Hello, Airi. Biggest line-hog since Abe on Furusato. And I really don’t like her voice much, either. Something about Airi seems dead to me. Every few performances she seems to really get into it and have a spark in her eyes and an extra bit of kick in her dancing, but at other times she seems so blank. Have I mentioned that I don’t like her voice? It’s a little like Miyabi’s, I suppose. Only lacking the emotion and cool factor.
I was recently looking at some pictures of Konno Asami while listening to Antic Cafe’s wonderful new single, Cherry Saku Yuuki. I can’t listen to anything of Antic Cafe’s without thinking about their wonderful and adorable former guitarist, Bou (he recently left the group for unspecified reasons). So as I sat there, looking at Konno and thinking about Bou, the two just sort of… collided in my mind. Suddenly, all I could think was how similar in looks and, to an extent, character, the two were. Then I wondered, could the reason I like Konkon so much be because she subconsciously reminds me of Bou? After all, I had been a fan of Bou’s for quite a while before even hearing about h!p. And Konno isn’t normally the type of h!p girl I like- she’s super cute, has a voice that isn’t the conventional “good” voice, and her personality is more girly and cute than the cooler roles I normally like.
Could it be that I can thank Bou for helping me to like Konno?
Perhaps I’m just crazy, but I do think that there’s something of a resemblance between the two (or maybe it’s just because they have all the same poses?).
PS: Bou is 100% male. Well, at least 80%. And, because I love it so much and want you all to love it, too, here is a link to Antic Cafe’s newest single/pv : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVb3o6W8Aa4
It’s Berryz Koubou’s turn to be ranked. Berryz was the first h!p group I’d eve heard (Warrachaou yo Boyfriend being the first song), and they’ve remained my favorite group.
1st: The lovely Sudou Maasa! Maa-chan embodies just about everything I look for in an idol. She’s not stick skinny, has an interesting persona and isn’t short as anything. Adding on to that Maasa’s beauty and voice, and she is the perfect member for me. Only recently has Maasa begun to shine within Berryz, but she seems very comfortable in her slightly more focal position.
2ns: For the longest time, Yurina was my unconditional favorite in all of h!p (yes, even above Yossy). This was mostly due to three things: Her height, her voice, and her birthday. As a tall girl myself, Yurina’s height appealed to me. Finding out we had the same birthday made me like her all the more. And her position within the group was comfortable for me; not one of the three “shadow” members, but not so popular that she was overdone. She’s slipped from her reigning position quite a bit. I’m not actually sure why.
3rd: The comedian of Berryz Koubou! oh, how Chinami impresses me constantly with her cute looks and voice. Also, the way in which she sings impresses me. She really tackles her lines head-on with supreme confidence. I never get the feeling that she’s wondering whether or not she’ll be able to hit the note, whether or not she’ll sound bad. She’s just having fun.
4th: This was difficult. Momoko and Miyabi are basically interchangeable in their spots. Miyabi only came out slightly ahead because she was my very first favorite within Berryz, and I like her voice. She always seems a little bit cool to me. Like she could be Matsuura Aya’s voice with Miki’s personality.
5th: Buono! has been good to Momo. I find her more tolerable when she uses a voice that does not sound helium induced (like her wonderful duet with Risako, Watashi ga suru koto nai Hodo Zenbu Shite Kureru Kare). She’s also entertainingly odd. I love her pinkies!~
6th: I feel bad putting Captain all the way down here! She has a good voice most of the time (other times she sounds like a bullfrog, too deep) and is a fantastic dancer. And I am one of the few people who likes her eyebrows and crooked eyes. I think it gives her a sympathetic look. Also, I think that she’s a good leader for the others in Berryz. Quiet but supportive.
7th: Risako. How you make me angry, Risako. I hate watching her in concerts, her voice often makes me cringe (there are exceptions), and her looks aren’t very consistent. I also get this very smug feeling coming off of her in waves. it’s as if she’s saying, “Why yes. Of course I am the most popular member of Berryz. You are all beneath me!”. It’s been said before: She’s just a brat. Another main thing about Risako that makes me mad is that, while the other girls are trying their hardest to sing well and with musicality (which is a word!), Risako just wriggles about and literally screams her lines into the mic. It’s so… infuriating that she doesn’t even appear to be trying! Such as in this performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0XVLJFDusE
None of the girls sound great here, but Risako just sounds utterly crap (I’m sorry, fans of Risako. This is just my own opinion). Especially that last line.
Next is C-ute.
1st: The wonderful Turtely Musume! Kamei caught my eye almost entirely because of her Maple photobook. I’d liked her before that, too, but on seeing that she was actually seriously gorgeous, I decided to pay more attention to Kamei. What I saw was a sweet girl who was funny in such a gentle, unassuming manner that I immediately felt like I could easily talk to her. I also love her voice; some people may find it a bit odd sounding, but she has the most amazing range! Everyone cites “Haru Beautiful Everyday” as an example of her brilliant range, and, well, I agree. If you haven’t heard that song, from the Sexy 8 Beat album, it should be listened to. As soon as possible.
2nd: Next comes Li Chun! I liked her the best out of the two Chinese members, and I just get this… good feeling about her. Her responses to the cruel remarks in her blog really impressed me and what I can hear of her voice does not disappoint. Plus, and I will be entirely shallow here: She has an amazing body. Unlike some other members (Reina) she has a shape to her, and is not stick skinny. It’s a nice change of pace to see someone with a a somewhat more “normal” body type in an Idol group.
3rd: It really was hard for me to pick Junjun over Mittsi. I mean, Aika is just about the cutest creature to be born on this earth in the last few decades or so! Plus, she was the first member of Morning Musume that I could watch grow and change in real time. Her voice… can either be quite nice (Dekiru Onna) or kinda… odd. But I like it. I think her new short haircut suits her very well!
4th: Gaki. Gaki Gaki Gaki! I love Gaki. Her voice, her smile, the huge way in which she’s developed and changed over the years, everything. I feel like her voice is a clearer version of Takahashi Ai’s, and it doesn’t seem to go all deep when she’s exhausted. She always sounds great when she gets lines in singles, albums songs and the like, and so I’d love it if Gaki became a lead singer. Actually, she reminds me a bit of fellow 5th gen member Ogawa Makoto. They’re both very strong vocally, but they seem to fall back on the safe “genki/cute” personality that doesn’t help them to stand out much.
5th: My opinion has changed so much about Sayumi. Seriously, I could not stand this girl. Now? I think she’s too cute for words. I even kind of like her voice. But the best thing about her is her “secret” sexy side (that’s like a tongue twister). It’s this little hidden facet to her personality that I like.
6th: Takitty I like, but I do not love her. She’s very pretty and has a nice voice, but I feel that there’s something missing from her. I don’t know if what everyone says about her personality is true (IE, that she’s lacking one), but… it’s not like she’s Yossy, where you watch one little clip of her and know, immediately, what her character is like. I want to know more about Takahashi.
7th: The one whose face reminds me of a fox! I can’t say too much about Linlin. She kind of got this ranking because she’s not Kusumi or Tanaka. Sorry! But I did like her in that newcomers’ concert from a while ago. She sounded quite good in Special Generation! And there’s this one odd Linlin moment that I like: At the end of the 8th gen+ Kusumi performance of Furusato when Linlin says “Domo arigatou gozaimashita!, the way she says it is so weird that I can’t help loving it.
8th: I don’t hate Kusumi. I used to. I no longer do, and that is simply because she can be very, very entertaining. Actually, at first I adored Kusumi. This was back when Berryz was the only reason I knew of h!p. I was searching for videos of Yurina, and came up with the Yurina/Kusumi/Ogawa version of “Pittari Shitai Christmas” (on looking back, could they have made it any more obvious that Kusumi was to be the new Goto?). I really liked Kusumi in that video, and then I found her (then only two) solo singles and loved her. That later turned into dislike when she started being shoved in our faces all of the time even though she really can’t sing. But now that’s mellowed out, and I don’t mind her.
9th: Ohhhh dear. So, Tanaka is my least favorite member. She’s the only member I dislike, actually (it’s like this with all of the big three. The only member I dislike is the one I put last; all the others are at least okay). I would even go so far as to say she’s my least favorite member in all of H!P. And what really bothers me is I can’t seem to figure out a good reason why, other than that she gives off an air of fake-ness. Please don’t kill me, fans of Reina. But that’s what I feel from her. Out of all of Morning Musume, past and present, she is the only one to remind me of kids at my school, always posturing and all that. Although, like Kusumi, I used to like Reina. I liked her in Aa!. But unlike Kusumi, once I started to dislike her, my opinion didn’t mellow out with time.
Leaving off on that positive note, I thank you for reading. I shall rank Berryz next, and C-ute last.
The first h!p graduation that really affected me was Konno Asami’s in the summer of 2006. I was just beginning to pay attention to individual members, and it was adorable Konno who stood out. So because I realized that she would be leaving h!p and I could no longer watch her grow and perform, it was a very personal graduation for me. After seeing a few more graduation concerts (Ishimura Maiha’s, Nono and Aibon’s and Iida Kaori’s), I came to think of graduations as sources of only negative feelings.
Thus when my all-time h!p favorite (Yossy) announced that she was graduating from Morning Musume, I was sure that nothing good could come of it. After all, I reasoned to myself, wasn’t Yossy the only member of Morning Musume I liked? Could I still listen to Momusu without my favorite member’s presence? I was already preparing to forget about Morning Musume.
However, something amazing happened. Instead of making me lose all interest in the group, Yossy’s graduation helped me to see the potential and talents of other members. Before her graduation, they were all eclipsed by Yossy’s presence and I could see only her. I had no second favorite within the group and couldn’t even tell most of their voices apart. But when Yoshizawa graduated, the other girls presented themselves to me in a whole different light. The first person about whom my opinion changed was Kamei Eri.
Before Yossy’s graduation Kamei was one of the few current members to have caught my attention at all. This was because I had read that she used to have a shy character, then underwent a transformation of sorts and become more social and such. That sort of change appealed to me. However, she didn’t stand out to me physically in any sense; I didn’t think she had much presence within the group and quickly disregarded her to go fangirl over some Yossy performances. Now? She’s my favorite current member, and perhaps my 3rd favorite member of H!P, overall. I would never have discovered just how much I love this girl had Yoshizawa not graduated when she did (Oh, and Eri’s Maple photobook probably helped a bit, too).
Michishige Sayumi was the next girl about whom my opinion changed upon Yossy’s graduation. Before, I held little opinion on Sayu beyond “Oh, she can’t sing very well and thus she annoys me. Plus I don’t know why everyone says she’s so cute”. Now that there’s no Yossy around to overshadow her, Sayu has suddenly taken on another dimension in my eyes: She’s become sexy (Sayumi is secretly the sexiest member of Morning musume). I’ve even started liking her singing voice- to a degree. And now I can see why everyone thinks she’s so cute: She really is!
Reina may be the only member to have not benefited in my mind when Yossy left. I had to take notice of Reina now that Yossy had left, since she began to be pushed to the front more. And I didn’t like what I saw. I could devote a whole page towards figuring out exactly what it is about Reina that grates on me so much- her apparent dropping of the Yanki personality, her constant winking (I’m starting to worry that she should see a doctor about it) or just her voice when she tries to make it sound all cutesy- but that is perhaps the subject of another post.
In short? I’ve come to realize that the graduation of a member- whether they be your favorite, the one you never noticed, or the member you love to hate- is not nessecarily a bad thing. In my case, it was a very, very good thing indeed.
Before writing anything, I’d like to say that I’m really honored to be mentioned on that massive blog-collecting Superblog, International Wota. It’s an honor for someone like me, who used to just sit back and hope that she would one day have a blog that others might look at! Thank you again. Now, on to the main subject.
Dohhh Up! has uploaded the PV for C-ute’s newest single, LALALA Shiawase no Uta (you can also watch it at Hello Online), and I was really pleasantly surprised. I said that I felt slightly optimistic about this song, which was true. But really, slightly optimistic isn’t enough to hook anyone on a song, is it? So I held out my hopes for the PV, and I wasn’t disappointed. Each of the girls looks fabulous (Maimi, Saki and Erika stood out to me in particular), the dance is cute and fun, and there are lots of shiny lights. If there’s one thing I love, it’s pretty shiny lights. Here for your viewing pleasure are some of my favorite screen shots from the PV. I apologize if their quality isn’t that great.
Now, these two shots occur not even 30 seconds into the PV, but they convinced me that it would be wonderful. You see, the dance that the girls are doing here is very reminiscent of a dance that my dear friends spent the majority of the 8th grade trying to teach the eternally clumsy me to perform. Needless to say, C-ute can do it far better than I.
yes, C-ute can do the Can-can.
“Here’s the plan, gang! We’ll corner Tsunku-san in the hallway, then push him into the Girl’s bathroom and run!”
Actually, I have no idea what Chisato is doing here…
And this final screen-cap is my favorite. I already mentioned that the PV had some similarities in my mind with Berryz’ Munasawagi Scarlet. Now I shall prove it!
I wonder if Maimi could help clear up Captain and Miyabi’s confusion? Just look how nicely she’s helped Kanna!
Seriously, these three are beautiful. Even with my poor screen-cap taking skills.