…Guardians… 4…?

March 28, 2009

A new H!P group for Shugo Chara, H!P’s anime BFF, has been announced! It’s called Guardians 4 and consists of Kumai Yurina, Sugaya Risako, Nakajima Saki and Mitsui Aika.

So my initial reaction to the new group was this:

“Is that a g-word I spy? G as in… GRADUATION?! OHMIGOD. KUMAI’S GRADUATING?!”

After more careful perusal, I figured out that the word was indeed “guardian,” and not “graduation.”

Although I love the idea of a new grouping of H!P girls, I’m none too pleased with this one. All I can say is that as of now, even Yurina cannot save this painful grouping of girls. None of them can sing a jot aside from Yurina, who’s hit-and-miss. I HATE Mittsi’s ugly hair-cut, and Risako cannot dance. What was the inspiration behind this group?! Perhaps it’s a similarity to the characters?

In Shugo Chara, the main character (Amu) is part of what is essentially a souped-up school-council called the School Guardians. The girls in Guardians 4 are wearing the School Guardians’ outfits. Let’s compare the girls to some of the anime/manga’s School Guardians, shall we?

Kumai Yurina:

Comparable School Guardian: Nadeshiko/Nagihiko.

Nadeshiko is the gentle, feminine and reserved best friend of the main character. She has long, black hair and is somewhat tall. She is also a boy. There’s a little side story about how it’s tradition for the boys in his family to be raised as girls until they reach a certain age, to supposedly learn how to play female roles in traditional Japanese dance. Nagihiko is his name as a boy.

Yurina actually fits this character well. Yurina has a very refined, gentle and ladylike aura to her, just like Nadeshiko/Nagihiko. She’s a very traditional Japanese beauty… And if she’s actually a cross-dresser, more power to her.

Nakajima Saki:

Comparable School Guardian: Yaya Yuiko or Nadeshiko/Nagihiko as well.

Yaya is the youngest Guardian. She’s determined to act like a baby (in order to get her parents’ attention back from her baby brother). She is hyper and likes cute things. I say that Saki fits this image because she is sort of tiny and scrappy and cutesy like that.

The only reason that I say that Nadeshiko might suit Nakki is the way that her hair is in the preview images- She’s got it tied back in a bow, which was Nadeshiko’s signature look.

Sugaya Risako

Comparable School Guardian: Mashiro Rima

Rima is the gorgeous but stuck-up and aloof new girl at the school, who eventually joins the Guardians when Nadeshiko leaves to go… er, go away and then return as Nagihiko.

She fits my idea of Sugaya perfectly. Risako exudes this over-confident, aloof aura- she knows people love her, and she thinks that she’s totally deserving of that love no matter what. Many also find her to be indescribably gorgeous. Similarly, Rima stands aloof and doesn’t even try to make friends when she joins the Guardians- she insists that all she needs are her love-struck male “slaves,” the boys in the class who, having a crush on her, will do anything for her. Kinda like wota.

Mitsui Aika:

Comparable School Guardian: Soma Kukai

Kukai is the sporty, jocky, gung-ho character that’s friends with everyone and totally in your face. He’s loud and bright and cheerful, which to me totally fits with the slightly more mischievous, genki side of Mittsi. However, Kukai leaves the Guardian’s early on. What does this say about Mittsi’s prescence within the group?

SO, IN ALL?

Striking as they may be, as far as I’m concerned, these similarities are no excuse for such a tossed-together group. Weren’t Mittsi and Saki together already in that Robby & Kerobby or whatever group? I dunno. This grouping just seems so random. Well, we’ll see. I just hope that they aren’t going to be replacing Buono!


RR2!

March 7, 2009

The second installment of my Rankingu Revolution shall deal with the Berryz- my first and still favorite group of singing-dancing J-pop hamsters!

Last year’s thoughts

#7. Sugaya Risako

Former position: #7

Oooooooooooh C-ko, how I dislike thee! For all the standard reasons, of course; her hotter-than-thou persona, her refusal to sing like a civilized person, and her evident lack of effort when it comes to dancing.

Now, two of those three flaws also could apply to a certain Ishimura Maiha, adorable woodchuck Berry of my dreams (seriously, I love that girl), so what’s the difference, one wonders? Well, look at the difference in line distribution betwixt the two. See it? Good. Now go listen to Yume de Do Wop (Do up? Doo Wop? Uh… Nanchuu Koi wo Yatteru You Know’s b-side) and think about the Woodhchuck Berry, and sigh.

#6. Natsuyaki Miyabi

Former position (one wonders why I don’t say “former rank,” as this is a ranking…): #4

So at this point, rank doesn’t really matter any more. I love every single one of the non-Risako Berryz nearly equally. Where they rank just depends on how I’m feeling that day, or how they performed at the latest live.

So Miyabi gets ranked here, but there’s really very little change in how I feel about her from last year. She’s only getting more and more gorgeous, although lately I feel like she’s expressionless during live performances. I love her new haircut.

chinamilegs#5. Tokunaga Chinami

Former Position: #3

I could say that China and Momo are tied for their position, but that would be boring, wouldn’t it? I basically think that Chinami’s the hottest thing that’s ever walked around on two legs. Especially her two legs… She’s also nearly as funny as Momoko.

#4. Tsugunaga Momoko

Former Position: #5

I NAMED MY IPOD AFTER THIS MONKEYGIRL.

She’s entertaining and has the best singing ability (but not the best voice, that would be Miya) out of all of the Berryz. I absolutely adore her.

Also. What is with the Berryz looking like animals? Momoko is a strange monkeygirl, Miyabi is Seabiscuit, and Maiha was obviously descended from a long lineage of woodchucks. Kumai even has the word “bear” in her name! Hmm…

Idols genetically made to contain animal DNA…

It’s like a cross between Kirarin Revolution and Tokyo Mew Mew. OH GOD. THE SHOUJO. IT BURNS.

009#3. Kumai Yurina

Former Position: #2

After all this time, I still love Yurina. If I had to pick one Berryz member to meet, it would be Saki, and I’d fangirl all over her. But if I had to pick one Berryz member to call up when I was sad, it would be Yurina. Just looking at pictures of her calms me down, and watching her perform always has me sitting there with this stupid happy smile on my face. She exudes a sweet gentleness that always makes me glad to be around.

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maasama#2. Sudou Maasa

Former Position: #1

Before I say anything; Maasa is getting her first photobook! Can I get a Hellz Yeah?! Whoever at UFA made that decision has my eternal love and respect. Then again, that same person might have had the idea to give Rii three (or was it four now?) photobooks before O CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN ever even got one, so… I revoke my respect.

I never download PBs- I’ve only done so on two occasions (That would be Kamei’s Maple and Yurina’s… whatever it’s called. Probably “Yurina” or something. First photobooks in H!P get the lamest titles), but I’m definitely going to find some way to download this one.

Maasa and Captain occasionally change places for first or second, depending on how I’m feeling that day. Maasa makes me laugh. I look at her, and I laugh. I can just feel that funny things are just around the corner. Maa has a strong personality, which is good when compared with such gentle creatures as as Kumai or Miyabi. She stands out. Plus she’s the only Berry who I think might be able to defend herself in a self-defense situation. Being the martial artist that I am, things like that matter to me.

captain-photo-by-chinami#1. ShimiSaki- O Kyaputen, my Kyaputen!

Former Position: #6

ShimiSaki can be so cool at times that I get as giddy as a middle schooler at a HSM concert. It’s like Return of the Yoshizawa Only Shorter and As Of Yet Not Blond. So on days when I want to fangirl my brains out, I look up Captain. She just has this amazing ability to draw one into the performance and keep you there, just like Yossy was always able to do.

The reason she’s come up so far in my Wota ranking is almost entirely the BK vs. C-ute concert. She did amazing things there.

All in all? I love the Berryz. It’s been five years since they came into the J-poposphere, and while they haven’t really made Musume-levlr strides om said microcosm, for this one fangirl, that doesn’t matter.

PS:

COMEBACKWOODCHUCK!