Momoko is batting for that team?

July 29, 2008

I knew there was something between her and Yurina. That hot dog is just there to fake you out. Momoko is really a plaid flannel wearing, tool belt toting, Kanna-loving lesbian. :3 For those of you not as quick on the uptake, I point out the words on her shirt.


This. Is. AWESOME.

July 25, 2008

Hi, boys and girls! Have you seen the PV for Edo no Temari Uta II yet? If you haven’t, you’re missing out, because from the set to the dance to the girls themselves, this PV is amazing. I can barely organize my thoughts to actually review this correctly, so first I’ll just talking about the girls themselves, relatively safe territory.

The very first thing we see in this PV is Airi looking, for lack of better words, magical. I’ve recently come to terms with Airi in my head. I just can’t hate her, and in allowing myself to NOT hate her, I’m actually finding myself liking her. Huh. Throughout this entire PV, Airi is just a bit of cotton candy. She’s fun to watch, but there’s no real substance. But this is J-pop. Who needs substance? Airi’s costume is quite a lot shorter and more revealing than the others, but I’m okay with that. Like I said, I’ve come to terms with her being the star of C-ute, and if that means tiny costumes, that’s fine. The lack of fabric actually comes in handy for her when they do the slower parts of the dance (the little back-and-forth steps, the head rolls, etc.) because it shows off her great posture.

Maimi is… Maimi makes… I’m not sure what to say! Everyone in the PV is having fun, but Maimi seems like she’s really THINKING about it. In a lot of other idols, that would come across as forced and fake, but not Maimi. She’s just great. Her deep vocals acually suit this song and she doesn’t sound as though she’s struggling at all. The only low point would be her costume, which reminds me of a character from The Nutcracker (Y’know, the lady whose children all run out from under her skirt), but somehow, she pulls it off. Also, Maimi + Red = hot.

Gotta love her expressions an acquaintance of mine made an interesting comment about Yajima: “Red–> Definitely seemed like she’s usually the leader and doesn’t want to give that up.” That’s right. Yajima is giving off Leader-vibes.

Erika and her impossibly high cheekbones are difficult to screencap in this PV. All those shadows! That aside, Erika brings the sexy into the PV. She just is a sexbomb. It’s been said before, of course, but I wish she’s stress that more. Her voice is typical for her, kinda squeaky but not bad. But her outfit. Wow. It’s the best outfit of the whole PV, for sure. I would wear that in real life (yes, but Usa-chan, you’ve worn an evening gown to school! You’d wear anything as long as it’s pretty…).

Holy crud, I’m even liking NakaSaki in this PV? I can’t help it! She’s sooo cute. She reminds me of when a young chick when it’s all yellow and fluffy. Even her little Mouse-voice sounds good here. And her dancing is somehow… coy? I think it’s coy. Yes. Her smile goes a little funny in some parts, though. And not good-funny.

Mai was just kinda… Mai for me in this PV. Not bad or good. Just… Mai. Her singing was fine, and her costume was cute, although it seemed more, well, costumey than the others, and of course, she was ADORABLE. But, I’m actually a little worried about The Future of Mai. She’s going to have to stop relying on being the youngest in the group at some point, because pretty soon being the youngest will mean that she’s 14 or 15, and that’s not really all that young in Idol years.

Kanna. Kanna Kanna Kanna! This PV totally cemented her as my #2 C-utie. She just… flirts the entire time. And has fun, and draws you into the PV. I love her expression in the dance-shot right after her line. Like “Yeah, I’m singing for YOU.” -fangirl sigh-

Ah, Chiisan. With your voice that sounds like a 80-year old woman who has smoked a pack a day her whole life… and still just so happens to be a kick-ass singer. Chisato’s having so much fun in this PV. She looks like she’s just having the time of her life, SO happy to finally have a line. And of course, she nails it. I love her crazy expressions. I’m a little disappointed by her outfit color. They manage to wash out someone as tan as Chiisan.  Impressive!

Now for the set, which I believe is what really makes the PV. The set manages to be dark and dreamlike, yet still fun. It’s like a carnival at night, inhabited by spirits wearing cute outfits. The darkness of the background and the bright lights actually reminds me a bit of the Anataboshi set. But this one is many, many times better. In fact, thanks to the set, I can say that this is one of the few H!P singles that I really want to physically own. I want this single!

Score: 9.5/10. Half a point off for the length. I want more Kanna goodness!


Saki, you sexy beast!

July 16, 2008

Alternate title: So, Risako Didn’t Get Beaten to a Berryz Pulp, But After Watching this Concert, I Think She Deserves It.

WARNING: This will be a LONG review.

The Berryz vs. C-ute concert was kindly uploaded to Youtube a little while ago, but I’ve just gotten around to watching it. Each video is about ten minutes long and contains 2-3 songs. I’ll be reviewing every single one! YAY! For each section, I’ll also talk about who stood out, whether good or bad, and whatever else crosses my mind.

1. Huzzah, the opening! And… one of my least favorite H!P kids songs so far, Darling I Love You. There’s nothing interesting or catchy about this song to me. In fact, for some reason it just kinda REALLY annoys me to listen to it. So I’m going to pretend that the next song was actually the opening.

2. Special Generation is a great concert song. It’s fun to watch, the girls get right into it, and the wota are always really enthusiastic in their cheering for it. One thing I’ve learned to look out for when this is performed is the choreography in which Yurina and Momoko touch hands in the air (in this clip, it’s around the 6 minute mark). Just before they let go and Momoko sings “Suki to,” Yurina always mouths something to Momo, and Momo always looks even more under the influence of helium. It’s adorable, really.

3. The next song is Ookina Ai de Motenashite. It was around this point that the energy seems noticeably low. But it’s the beginning of the concert, so I can forgive them.

Stand outs for Part One: So far, no one’s really gotten into it (?)… but Momoko and Yurina both grabbed my attention, not just because they flirt during SpeGe, though that had a lot to do with it, for sure…

4. Part Two begins with a hilarious little video of each of the members suiting up for “battle.” I adore that Maasa and Kanna are their group’s leaders. And I LOVE how Yurina’s special “skill” is her height. That green outfit… she’s the Green Giant (I should be shot for that one). Good lord, Chinami’s got sexy legs. Is it just me, or is C-ute running MUCH faster than Berryz in the group-running scenes?

5. Member Introductions… pah. As if the wota didn’t know the girls already. Furthermore, I think tha- HOLY CRAP, SOMETHING’S EATING MIYABI’S HEAD! Quick, someone get a bucket of water! Kryptonite! A used towel! No, wait, someone go get some HAIR SPRAY, stat!

Oh, and I love Okai’s outfit.

6. Namida No Iro isn’t my favorite song, but I do love the dance. It’s fun to watch and very interesting. Throughout this whole performance, I can’t keep my eyes off of Kanna. She is absolutely spot-on with everything she sings, her expressions, her posture, it’s all great (She retains this throughout the concert, actually). Airi and Maimi do fine with their vocals, as usual. Hey… why do C-ute get those cute, somewhat-matching, modern looking clothes while half of Berryz get plaid lumberjack shirts? Shouldn’t Kanna be the one in a lumberjack outfit?

Standouts: Kanna and Chinami. Kanna, as stated, is solid not just in this clip but throughout the concert. And Chinami… Chinami’s got those killer legs.

7. I love this song! I love Munasawagi Scarlett, but not live. They always skip Chinami’s line, my favorite part of the song, and there’s just never enough ENERGY. They need to practically spit out the words. Another sore spot for me is the Miya/Momo duo line after the intense guitar solo. Their voices just don’t blend at all. but Yurina’s practically leaking sweetness all over the stage. So all is well in my little Berryz kingdom…

Miya Hair Check:

This might look like an innocent dance move, but in reality, if she lets go, it’ll explode.

8. I really am terrified of Tsunku’s voice at the start of La La La Shiawase no Uta. And I don’t like the beginning of it, or the middle, or, really, the end. But I do like the way that the crowd can easily interact with the girls in this song. Check out how simple a dance the chorus has, and how easy it is for the glowsticks to dance along. Nice. Maimi is fantastic here, all smiles and sparkles and… Maimi.

Miya Hair Check:

Is it… getting… BIGGER?!

9. Dschinghis Khan is a Chinami song. No two ways about it. She dominated the PV, and she’s dominating this, too. As for the vocals, well… Risako sounds like crap, Miya sounded really nice, and Momo sounds like a helium creature.  But one with good tone and control. Yurina’s still oozing cuteness, so good for her.

Standouts: Maimi was rather nice, and Yurina.

10. I really like Tokaikko Junjou live, and this was a great performance. Airi in particular had great vocals and her performance level has noticeably improved from the start of the concert. She did really well with that chest-popping move right after the bridge. Mai’s hair, I’m sorry to say, is bordering on Miyabi-like proportions, but the kid makes up for it in energy. She’s like a jack russel terrier, or something. If you’ve never seen one of those in action… Ah ha ha ha… ahem. And check out Kanna during Airi’s final line. I’m going to be singing her praises a lot during this review, because she’s constantly smiling and giving it her all, just like that.

11. I feel like this (Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi) is the song in which Berryz really starts getting their act together as a GROUP. They’re really solid in this performance. HOMG Risako makes the oddest, most awkward smile after her first line. It almost made me forgive her for sucking so much throughout the rest of the concert and for looking so awful in that shirt. Almost. This is also the first performance that inspired the title of this post. Saki begins pulling out the charm here, and it’s really fun to watch. I love her dancing during the instrumental break.

Standouts: Airi for vocals and Saki for sexy.

12. And then up comes Very Beauty… Oh. Mah. Gaki.

Risako, please. Please, just stop hurting my ears like this. Your performance here was sad, really. The “dancing” (slow walk down the stage) was half-hearted, your vocals… your vocals…

Airi. Thank you for trying to save this song from your friend. You almost did it. Well, at least you’re cute. I was right about you sounding good singing this song.

13. I was putting a lot of faith in the Bokura no Kagayaki performance. It contains all of my favorites from both groups, but aside from Chisato’s opening, I was disappointed. I mean, I’m all for Chisai getting lines, but couldn’t they have done a LITTLE bit more spreading around of lines? Most of all, I’m disappointed with Chinami. this could’ve been HER performance. It’s the perfect genki song for her, but she just wasn’t… there for me.

14. CAPTAIN YOU ARE OFFICIALLY AMAZING. Even though all she does is provide the sound effects, Captain is so cool and sexy throughout this performance of Sayonara Hageshiki Koi that she just owns the whole song, for me. This may, in fact, be my favorite performance of the whole concert. Maimi was also rather nice here, as was Miya. As a group, the only one who really doesn’t seem to fit here is Maimai.

Miya Hair Check:

It’s starting to look a little tired… maybe it mated with Mai’s hair-blob? That would explain Saki N.’s hair-do… well, hair-don’t.

Standouts: Saki. Saki Saki Saki Saki… SAKI. That’s Captain Saki, by the way.

15. I don’t totally understand Erika’s Tension Ageko character, but I still love her! I like how the wota get into the MC with the girls, and that makes this MC more fun. My friend and I now shout “used towel!” to each other whenever we see each other. And I certainly wouldn’t mind having Saki’s used towel… no, no, I’m not going to be a pervert. I’m younger then she is, darnit!

16. I was somehow really happy to have this song (That’s the Power) performed at this point in the concert, and whenever Erika interrupts with her “used towel” bits, I can’t help but smile. The atmosphere of this song is just so friendly and laid-back. It’s great. Well, more specifically, Erika is great.

17. See above paragraph, final sentence. Long live Do Don ga Don Ondou!

Standouts: This section is all about Erika, and it’s really nice. She proves herself to be a truly strong performer here. Buono! Stands out in that they’re conspicuously absent.

18. I really love Buono!, and their first single is by far my favorite. But somehow, the Eggs steal the show here. They’re soooo cute!

Miya Hair Check:

Oh, it’s starting to wilt a little…

19. Ouch, Miya had some difficulty in the beginning. And holy crap Airi, those shorts are SHORT. They’re practically panties. Shiny, black, panties. But Airi has really nice le-… Oh, what, the performance?! Yeah, that was pretty good. Nothing great or spectacular, though. The thing that really made this a good performance, however, was that the girls seem to take up with whole stage. They don’t make it feel static and stuck, like some of the other performances, regrettably, did.

20. ASDJKASFkl. Saki. Either Saki. Both Sakis. Whatever. I was totally not expecting them to just dance the whole time during Natsu Doki Lipstick, but I’m incredibly happy that they did. It sort of became a Saki Dance solo, with Maimi singing in the background. My second favorite performance of the concert, for sure. I can’t wait to see the Berryz footage, because that’ll be practically a solo shot of this dance for Captain.

21. Massara Blue Jeans is such a fun song! I’m constantly amazed at the stamina of these girls. Especially Maimi and Saki right now. Wow. Just… wow. And THEN the Berryz come in… SHUTUPRISAKO. Shutupshutupshutupkthx. Actually, her second line made me realize that this could be the PERFECT song for Risako. I mean, all she does is scream, and that’s all that this song requires.

Stand outs: The Sakis (mostly Captain because she’s just a sexy beast), and Airi’s shorts.

22. My first reaction to this performance was that Jiriri Kiteru is a great song to perform with lots of people. Everyone’s energy is through the roof, and the all look and sound great.

23. What the hell? This is barely an MC.

24. JUMP is an inspiring song, and when it’s sung by 14 cute girls in pretty costumes, it’s just that much better. Songs like this make a concert completely worth going to. The girls themselves do the song justice. Chisai’s “Wow!” was adorable.

25. My favorite H!P kids concert song, period, is Yujou Junjou OH Seishun. it’s so much better live than as an mp3, when the Berryz’ voices were still too young and squeaky to really fit the song. And right there confirming that opinion is Kanna, bundle of energy that she is. During the line “Yume nare donna toki mo”, she is completely performing the hell outta this song. Close behind her are Captain and Chinami. Captain is, I swear on my honor as a Yossy-fangirly, channeling the great Yoshizawa here. There’s a part where she points at the camera and just sort of raises her eyebrows, which nearly gave me a heart attack. If Captain started being a cool character within Berryz, I would be so happy. And Chinami, well, she always owns this song.

Stand outs: Everyone. Everyone is just great here.

26. This is just too precious. The H!P kids playing superheroes! Everyone is so adorable. Momo is especially cute with her “White is feeling a little blue” (or something like that) line. This whole MC is pure kitsch. I adore it, really. Maasa continuously cursing, Kanna and Maasa as the leaders, Airi being Airi…

Stand outs: That bat-monster thing. What IS it?

27. Warera! Berryz Kamen & C-utie Ranger. Maasa’s “big” solo is my new god, Kanna and Chisato should’ve gotten lines (especially Kanna, I mean, she’s the “leader”), and Captain is still incredibly managing to remind me of Yossy.

28. What a cute MC, damn this review is getting WAY too long! I’m just going to include the rest of the concert here: I can’t believe they ended with Sakura Chirari. What’s the point? It’s not energetic like Yujou Junjou, it’s not touching or inspiring like JUMP. It’s just… blah, although having Ganbacchae (the song that started it all!) as the ending background music was sweet and nostalgic. In all, this is one of the finest H!P concerts I’ve seen since becoming a fan.

Stand outs for the whole concert: In my mind, this concert was a great one for Captain especially. If she keeps this awesomeness up, she’ll be moving way up in my member rankings.

SO in the end, Berryz Kamen and C-utie Ranger teamed up and defeated their creepy bat-thing enemy. But in the end, we all know what the REAL enemy here was:


Happy Sweet 16, Maasa!

July 3, 2008

It’s that wonderful girl’s birthday today, so let’s celebrate with PICTURES!

Chibi Maasa? Adorable!

Maasa’s clothes were practically bordering on Goth in Very Beauty. Did anyone else notice? Studded (with butterflies) suspenders, black gloves, very minimal colors… just replace that silly flower with a skull and we’re talking.

Maasa’s got the most amazing lips in all of H!P. She could knock down Angelina Jolie with those lips.

This outfit set from Berryz’ concert was LOVE, and Maasa looks so amazing in hers.

Congratulations, Maasa! keep on growing into a strong young woman.


~Bikkuri Survey~

July 1, 2008

Because I’m not at my computer, instead of talking about just how much I LOVE the Yuke yuke mokey dance PV, I’ll be filling out Bikkuri’s blogger survey. Thanks, bikkuri! It was really fun! I’ll be writing a proper, screen-capped write-up about Monkey Dance when I’m at home. Oh, but I will share with you my friend’s reaction to the monkey suits:

Oh. My. Laundry Soap.
That will be giving me nightmares for weeks.
-shivers-“

On to the survey!

1. You have found a magical J-pop genie who will grant you one J-pop related wish (so no wishing for a million dollars or world peace or anything like that). It can be virtually anything as long as it’s directly related to J-pop, and don’t worry, because this is the nice sort of genie, not the kind who will try to find a loop-hole and screw up your wish. So, what do you wish for??? Oh no… my first instinct is completely selfish (I wish for a gift certificate to buy Yossy’s photobooks. ♥) but on thinking about it, what I really want is H!P’s success. Because the more successful they are, the longer I’ll be able to love them!

2. Is there any J-pop artist or group who seriously pisses you off? If yes, who, and why?
Sugaya Risako, is there a Sugaya Risako in the building? I just can’t bear this girl. She reminds me of all the clique-ish brats at my school who get by because people adore them for some odd reason. She’s just so lazy. It’s like she’s purposely trying to insult her fans by putting out 50% effort.

3. Who do you think is the sexiest japanese singer out there?

Hmm, within H!P? I’d say Sayu, because she’s just a sexy beast, but every now and then Kamei catches me off guard and it’s like… “Where did that come from?” I have to go with Kamei. Oh, but not in H!P? Ugh… Leah Dizon-person. I don’t like her music much, but she is rather sexy.

4. How about the cutest?

Difficult. Every time I see Maimai, I just wanna squish her cheeks, and no other H!P girl aside from Fukuda Kanon makes me want to do that. FACIAL CHEEKS.

5. Best personality? Probably… Yossy. She makes me feel at ease just by watching her. But as for a character, I really love Momoko. She’s a perfect Idol.

6. If given the opportunity, would you rather date person 3, person 4, or person 5? So my choices are Eri, the only H!P girl I’ve ever felt sexual at all about, Mai who reminds me of my four year old cousin or Yossy, who I love but in an admiring sort of way (in fact, she makes me think of my mom). Let’s go with Eri!

7. You work for a Japanese music magazine, and you have the opportunity to interview your favorite artist or group. What are a couple of the questions you want to ask them? I’d want to ask Berryz Koubou how they perceive their fans, and how they feel about the choices made by those at UFA, including Tsunku. Do they feel that they could be making better choices regarding the future of the group? Would they like to be my best friends and fly back to America and live with me?!

8. What’s the best (J-pop) song to listen to when you are really sad? I always listen to j-pop when I’m sad, so that’s hard. I generally listen to Ai’s “Yume kara samete”, AKB48’s “Kinjirareta Futari” and Utada Hikaru’s “First love” and “Dare ka no Negai ga Kanau Koro” when I just want to let myself be sad, but when I need to cheer up fast, I listen to W’s “Ai no Imi wo Oshiete.”

9. When you’re really happy? “Ai no Imi wo Oshiete” or Berryz’ “Munasawagi Scarlet” (I associate a really happy event in my life with that song!).

10. Do you often sing along to your favorite songs? Yes! I only sing aloud when others aren’t around (unless it’s Mr. Moonlight, because I can’t help but sing along there), but with others around I still mouth the words.

11. How about dance? No, never.

12. Artistic integrity question!! If someone offered to pay you for blogging, but they were allowed to censor some of your opinions or veto some of your blogging ideas, would you do it?

-inward sob- Yes, I would. Because I have need of money currently (if I get a job in the near future, I would say no). Hey look, I just got a job pet-sitting! So I can safely say “HELLZ NO! Give me blogging liberty or give me death.”

This post is lacking pictures, and lately I’ve been loving Kanna, so… here’s some Kanna for you!