I’d forgotten about you, Vanilla Mood!

December 30, 2008

When I first started getting into Japanese music, the three artists I consistently listened to were Miyavi, Utada Hikaru, and a little-known girl-group called Vanilla Mood. I’d forgotten completely about that last one on the list until today, when my cousin sent me a clip of them playing my favorite childhood song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” (Hush up with the insistence that there’s a drug reference there! Let me have my childhood memories!). So for those of you interested, here’s a bit about this group, and why I love them.

(L to R: The flautist, and my personal favorite, Waka, the cellist, Mariko, the violinist, Yui and the pianist/vocalist, Keiko)

Vanilla Mood are a four-member girl group who play all of their own music. Before you think to yourself, “SCANDAL?” let me assure you that the resemblance ends there. Vanilla Mood has a unique sound all their own, created by blending their talent at classical instruments with elements from more modern genres of music. Unlike most girl groups under the Avex label, these girls can not only play their own instruments, but they also produce and compose their own music.

A few examples of Vanilla Mood’s incredible range of musical styles:

Haku

This PV is beautiful, this song is beautiful, the girls are beautiful. What more does one need? I think that this song is also quintessentially them. it showcases what they’re really good at: Instruments. Often, the pianist, Keiko, provides vocals. While she is actually quite good, well… there are plenty of song-and-dance cute girl groups out there. But few groups can catch and hold our attention without any singing at all.

Day by Day

This song, on the other hand, has more of a generic pop sound. However, you do get to hear Keiko’s lovely vocals, and in the end, I love this song just as much as Haku.

When you compare acts like this with various Hello! Project acts, the gap is shocking. While it’s true that in both groups, girls are making a name for themselves based off of their strengths and talents, the way in which their management treats that talent is radically different. Avex was intelligent enough not to just leave these four as a bunch of somewhat cute girls singing pre-fabricated pop tunes, and allowed them to utilize what they already had. Many people have pointed out that H!P could and should do the same with their girls. Junjun and Captain Saki can play piano, and Kei is Teh Talented Granny when it comes to saxophone. I’m sure there are other talents within H!P that could be utilized to increase each group’s potential!

Thinking back… wasn’t there this one T&C Bomber concert where that… one… gymnast (gah, was it Ruru?) did a bunch of backflips and whatnot all over the stage? That’s the kind of thing that I mean. Although I doubt that Sayumi or Risako could do backflips even with a harness, it’d certainly be more interesting to watch them try that than to hear them sing ANOTHER duet (sorry, fans of that pairing. I love Sayu, but Rii ruins it for me).

As a final comparison:

UFO- Vanilla Mood

UFO- Morning Musume

Cuties

Advertisements

I knew that this would happen…

December 10, 2008

Way back when, I wrote up a little post and gave a few quick thoughts on some of the Eggie-poos that had caught my eye. I had quite a lot of fun tearing apart a certain egg with a rather prominant brow.

sekitty

An hour or so after writing the post, I knew that it was going to happen: I was going to fall in love with that little Eggie-poo. And guess what? I did.

Just like with Mutou Mika, what started off as a sort of horrified fascination turned into a sort of horrified acceptence and then a horrified adoration. The recent Egg concert only proved to me how much win she happens to be full of. She probably hides all her awesomesauce in her forehead.

I’ve been pretty shaky about which Eggs I do and don’t like, so here’s a quick rundown of my favorite Humpty-dumptys.

konnachi

Furukawa Konatsu… why?

Konacchi is one of those girls that I can actually justify liking: she reminds me of Yossy, more specifically, her comedic side reminds me of Yossy’s. During the first Eggie-poo concert, the girls played a game of some sort in which Creepy!Makoto asked them which category they fit under for certain things, and they’d seperate onstage into whichever they thought best suited them. Everytime he asked Konatsu to explain her answer, she was a complete riot. One of the questions was something like “Do you like to drink milk, tea, water or juice?” Konatsu charmingly explained that she liked milk, so as to become taller. Just the way she did that made me burst out laughing.

Plus, she can dance~♥

sahori1

I didn’t really bother with Akari until one day when I woke up and realized that she is kind of gorgeous. I see her as a very gentle person, and I like her voice. And her eyes are HUGE. Inhumanly so. We might have another ManoEri on our hands… and… uh…I really like her when paired with Konacchi.

anri1

This girl’s confidence bowls me over. I don’t love her as much as the others, though. But I always watch out for her during concerts.

you-yuu2

What can I say about you, Yuu (I should be shot for that pun)? I used to like Kitahara Sayaka a lot more than I did Yuu… you… Yuu.  But then Sayaka did that horrible thing to her face and her voice and her HAIR. And you, Yuu, stayed sweet and gentle and lovely. You were also  amazing during Romantic Ukare Mode.

So good for yuu.