International Wota Summer Refreshment Program!

August 15, 2011

As some of you may know, International Wota has been hosting a series of posts dedicated to Summer refreshment, Idol style. Since this has been a hot summer, I decided that as long as someone else was paying, I might as well go out, get myself a refreshment, and think about Idols while enjoying it.

To that end I grabbed an old notebook that was laying about next to my bookcase and headed into the only significantly large town in Vermont. Being a Vermonter, a few things are near and dear to my stomach. Maple syrup, cheese, creemees (soft serve to the rest of you), apples, and perhaps our state’s most famous export, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream enough to ignore that I’m lactose intolerant, but today I was feeling like a good girl, so I bought…

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Sorbet! One scoop of Berry Berry Extraordinary and one scoop of Lemonade. Delicious and refreshing, and no stomach-ache later!

After sitting down to eat my guilt-free sorbet,  I opened the notebook and proceeded to write a long, heartfelt something-or-other concerning how much of my history has been inextricably linked to Idols. The idea was good, and I’d still like to turn it into a post, but there was nothing Summer-y,  nor anything refreshing about it. So I scrapped it, and spent a few weeks oscillating between conviction that I’d get my Summer Refreshment post done THAT VERY HOUR, or never get it done at all and be forever ten dollars in debt to Ray, a prospect which terrifies me. The solution to my terror came as I was staring at the cover of Buono!’s mini album, Partenza. Staring, in fact, at Miyabi’s legs. Her pants, to be even more specific. What a great change of pace to see an Idol in pants for once, how intriguing, how… refreshing.

Look at almost any random photo of an Idol. If she is from H!P, she will be wearing a poofy, glitzy tutu-monstrosity with dead birds and beanie-babies glued all over it. If she is from AKB48, she’ll be wearing a bikini. If she’s from any of the other dozens of Idol groups currently on the market, she’ll doubtless be wearing one of those two, or a school-girl uniform. Of course, you say. Why not? Idols thrive on their appearance of cute, attractive femininity. What better way to show that off than in a skirt, dress, or few centimeters of bathing suit?

For that very reason, seeing an Idol wearing pants is extremely refreshing. The look is so rare, so casual and slightly boyish that it can cast the Idol in a new light. Pants make you do a double-take, whether they’re part of an official costume, or a casual snap-shot from a blog entry. In appreciation of that fact, I dedicate my Summer Refreshment post to the Best of Idols wearing Pants.*

First off are the pants that sparked the idea for this post. On further inspection we find that these are, indeed, capris. No matter. Miyabi’s legs look long and slim, especially next to Airi’s giant maxi skirt. As a note, Momoko also wears pants in the alternate outfits for this mini-album. Jeans, even!

Speaking of jeans, Takahashi Ai is our next Idol in Pants. Ai’s blog is a great spot to find these kinds of pictures, since Takahashi’s love affair with denim has been recorded extensively in her near-daily outfit snaps.

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Ai-chan’s jeans tend to be slouchy and boyish. While Ai’s choice in legwear doesn’t rectify the impression she’s been giving off lately that she is G-dragon’s less feminine twin, she still looks great.

Ai’s partner in crime also occasionally dons pantaloons, as seen here:

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See how excited Gaki is? That’s because she can now do a deep-knee bend and a cartwheel without fear of flashing Ai. Not that Ai would mind…

Speaking of giant lesbians, there is one woman whom stylists put in pants at any opportunity. I almost considered not including her in this post, because it would be too easy. Luckily I came to my senses in time to provide you with these excellent images of Yoshizawa:

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Ignoring the fact that she looks vaguely clown-like with those shoes and socks, here we can see Yoshizawa doing what she does best- looking absolutely cool and princely, with just enough of a feminine edge to make EVERYONE question their sexuality. Here, have more:

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I hate jeans with holes in them. I think they’re silly. But those jeans… are good. I like them VERY much. 😀

Ayaka got the picture a long time ago, when she taught Yossy a very useful phrase:

She does, Ayaka. She does.

Let’s keep speaking about giant lesbians for a minute, and move on to Sayumi. Unlike Yossy, it’s nearly impossible to find pictures of Miss SugarPinkBunnyPrincess in pants. But they do exist, and I, dear readers, have found one for you:
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This is one of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite Idols, so if you were planning on scrolling past it quickly on the way to the rest of the post, I must humbly request that you stop and look again. And then again. For a full minute. Or else.**

Now that we’ve moved on to bikini shots, let’s consider the group that’s turned the bikini shot into high art; AKB48. One member of that group in particular is extremely fond of jeans. So fond, in fact, that back in 2009 she felt the need to share her love of jeans in her “private video.” I’m talking, of course, about Miyazawa Sae.
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(Apparently 2009 was also before they invented charisma. OOOOOH.)

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YEAH!

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The rest of AKB48 have worn pants rather more rarely. The most significant instance of it in my (admittedly lacking) memory would be this stage, Himawari-gumi’s first:

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Back when AKB still had the image of Idols you could Meet, I think jeans really suited them. The casual, girl-next-door vibe of denim worked in their favor. They look so relatable. When all is said and done, I think that the relatability factor is what I love the most about seeing Idols in pants. Take away their piles of glitter and enormous costumes, and they’re just girls…

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…albeit extremely beautiful ones. I am practically piddling myself over Koharu’s modeling career. Even more chances to see those legs in gorgeous, tailored pants!

Before I sign off on this post, let me leave you with a few videos that feature Idols in pants, in all of their leggy glory; from the classics, to the new, to the downright horrific:

The moment when Yoshizawa’s fate for the next five years was sealed. Also the last time real men were allowed in a Momusu PV.


Sayaka in paaaaannnntsss…

And now, the truly horrific, only in this post because the lovely Murr reminded me of its existence…

The murdered stuffed animals attached to their hips like war trophies, and Reina’s entire everything (those leggings, those “Say YEAHS”… Uuuugh),  are only saved by how unequivocally sexy Kamei and Gaki are in their jeans. Yum.

This post has been ridiculously fun. Expect to see a part 2 in the future!

Finally, enjoy the last few weeks of your Summer!

*Full-body jumpsuits, overalls, and male Idols are not included. Unless they look REALLY good.

** Or else what, you ask? Well, if you’re a little girl, Sayumi will come and molest you like she has Riho and Mizuki, and if you’re not a little girl, she WON’T come and molest you, and you’ll be sad (this joke was entirely tongue-in-cheek. 😉 )

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Berryz Koubou at Sakura-con: Day Two- In which I learn wotagei and cry some more

July 10, 2011

Oh maaaan this post has been a long time in coming! I’d like to say that it’s because I’ve been out enjoying my summer to its fullest, but in truth I’ve mostly been working or hanging about doing largely uninteresting things. 😛

So with that said, let’s get right into the post. I promise to finish these up before the summer ends!

A note: As with the last post, this one will include few pictures or videos. You can find fan recordings of the concert all over the place now, so if you’re interested, please go check them out! One video that I found amusing was called “Documentary of Sakura Con: An Epic Berryz Kobo Adventure,” if you’re interested in looking something up!

Berryz Koubou at Sakura-con: Day Two- In which I learn wotagei and cry some more

Event: The Concert

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This day was the least packed, event-wise. I woke up early and headed pretty much directly to the Artists’ Alley. The area next to the Alley had become a sort of unofficial congregation point for anyone who was at the con solely for Berryz, and even though the concert wasn’t for another 6 hours or so, many people were already waiting there. I didn’t see the point in staying in one spot, waiting for a concert a half day away (and being held in another room on a different floor, for that matter), so I wandered around the convention for a while. Conventions can be very interesting (in both a bad and good way) if you’re not into anime. I was dressed up in lolita fashion (a Japanse street fashion based on Victorian and Rococo style), so at least I felt like I fit in, looks-wise! I mostly killed time by searching out breakfast and other lolitas to chat with.

As an aside, I should mention that the con staff started to get nervous and edgy about the BK fans during Day 2. I think the staff started to freak out over us the day before, when over 300 people were lined up solely to buy Berryz merchandise an hour before the Dealers’ room opened. Because of that, whenever groups of Berryz fans (easily identified by their t-shirts and uchiwa) were spotted congregating, they were split up and sent elsewhere by the staff. Some were threatened with being kicked out of the con, or even with having to deal with the police should there be any misbehavior… All of which was entirely unfounded, since the fans were generally orderly and well-behaved (at least until later).

More time passed, and the fans began trying to congregate around the concert hall about an hour or so before the concert was due to start. I was there and starting to feel very excited/nervous. I was going to see Berryz Koubou! In person! I spent the time drifting from group to group, trying to keep the door to the hall in sight.  The staff threatened all of us with banishment, but eventually relented and let us begin lining up early, much to my relief.

Certain hotels were affiliated with the convention, and people who stayed in those hotels were eligible to receive wrist-bands. People with wrist-bands were given a spot in a priority line, and would be the first to get into the concert hall. I didn’t have a wristband (because the hotels affiliated with the con were expensive!), but I did end up at the very front of the regular line… where I proceeded to freak out quietly. Every time another group joined the priority line, I freaked out more. I told myself that they didn’t deserve to be in that line, that most of them were just going to the free concert, didn’t even know who Berryz were, and other fun things like that. None of which mattered, but I needed something to focus on while I sat in line and clutched my Saki-yellow glo-sticks.

Then, after an extremely nerve-wracking hour, a voice came on over the loudspeaker (or maybe it was a man with a megaphone. I was in a nervous haze and don’t remember). The voice explained to us in no uncertain terms that they were going to start letting people into the concert hall. They also explained that we would Walk Nicely. They explained that if we did not Walk Nicely, we would Talk with some Police Officers who would Arrest Us. Very melodramatic.

After all of the priority seating people were led in, it was finally my turn! The concert hall was set up with a section of chairs somewhat far from the stage, and then an open, standing area essentially leading right up to the stage. Non-priority people were pretty much supposed to sit in the sits, but I (and many others) slipped out of the line and into the standing area in the front. There were tons of people there already, but somehow I managed to meet up with my friends. We were on the left side of the hall, about five people in length away form the stage. To my left and right were some of the Japanese fans, including a very quiet Saki fan who, with the air of a master showing a novice an ancient trade secret, pulled two glo-sticks out of his bag. I say glo-sticks, but they were practically light-sabers. They made mine look like pencils! After I admired them, he nodded serenely and put them away just as quietly as he’d pulled them out.

A chant began, which everyone quickly took up. My heart was beating faster and faster- I was afraid that I was going to hyperventilate unless the girls came out soon! Then a video screen came on and everyone grew quiet as the girls spoke about the earthquake and their efforts to raise relief funds. After letting the message sink in, the girls came out and lead everyone in singing Ai wa Katsu. That just so happens to be one of my favorite car-singing songs, so I sang along with all my might. And, of course, midway through the first verse, I was crying again. The girls were just as beautiful as I remembered them, and hearing their voices so loud and clear over the singing of the crowd was like a dream.

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The concert began in earnest with Special Generation. I had previously been exasperated with how often that song is performed, but I get it now. The energy in the room was insane. The quiet Saki wota next to me was suddenly shouting and laughing and jumping, and everyone else around me was lit up from all of the lights and power coming from the stage. As the concert was moved forward, the feeling of connection between the fans and the girls onstage never stopped. I tried to spend time focusing on each member, but gave up halfway through Special Generation. Everyone looked simply radiant. Miyabi, Saki and Chinami looked like they were having the time of their lives, Maasa and Risako looked confident and powerful, Yurina looked sweet, and Momoko looked professional.

The setlist was a great mix of old classics like Happiness ~Koufuku Kangei~ and newer songs like Icchoume Rock (which Miyabi performed with so much power!). I had so much fun chanting, although toward the beginning the Saki fan had to explain some of the more intricate chants to me. 😛 The highlight, which has become infamous now, was during the second MC when Chinami disappeared backstage, then reappeared in the fish dress from one of their recent tours, then proceeded to speak English at us! At one point she faltered and the crowd immediately began shouting “kawaii!” and whatnot at her, at which point she smiled and said “thank you” in the most adorably self-assured way. The concert finished with All for One and One for All, the perfect surprise, and finally a long chant of “Berryz Ikube!” (which would’ve been longer if the con staff hadn’t kicked us out to prepare for the next event)

After the concert, things turned a little crazy. I ran out of the concert hall pretty quickly. I was feeling overwhelmed and just wanted a chance to be alone to savor the immense energy and excitement I felt. I made my way out of the concert hall and toward the big open foyer in front of registration. There I sat by a pillar and, inevitably, cried some more. After just a little while of that, I started to hear a thunderous chanting coming toward me. It got louder and louder, and then suddenly the foyer was filled with a veritable parade of screaming, chanting, laughing and crying Berryz fans. Everyone was clearly wound up after the concert and still on a Berryz high, but I found the actions of the crowd to be somewhat mortifying. They were only confirming the opinions that the con staff had of us as dangerous and mob-like. I sat and watched the craziness for a little while, then as it began to disperse, went and met up with another group to go out for dinner. We ended up going to the same restaurant that Berryz reportedly ate at when they first arrived, and through no plan of our own, at the same table!

After dinner I met up with some other friends who had for their part made friends with some of the Japanese fans. The two groups were drinking together (and driving their waitress to distraction, I might add. By the time I showed up she wasn’t even trying to hide how frustrated and horrified she was, which was pretty funny since the group wasn’t being that rowdy). I hung around with that group for a few hours, just soaking up the feeling of being with other fans and chatting with friendly people in English and what little Japanese I speak. Watching the Japanese fans get tipsy was also pretty funny! Then we parted ways and I headed back to the hotel, where the energy that had propelled me through the day suddenly gave out, and I all but dragged myself into bed.

My major take-away from the second day of the convention was finally feeling the true connection between the girls and the fans. There is simply no way to feel it when you’re just watching a concert on your computer. You might recognize it to some degree, but the only way you can feel it yourself in its full power is to go see the girls onstage. Watching Berryz onstage made me understand why a fan would fly halfway across the world to see a bunch of teenagers perform pop songs. The girls exude a kind of magnetism and energy that is practically intoxicating (or maybe it is, if the behavior of the rioting fans is any indication).

Having seen Berryz live, I know for sure now that I simply must see them again. Seeing them on the computer is okay, but it’s a hollow substitute. More than anything now I want to go to Japan and see everyone again in concert.

Up Next: Day 3- in which I meet the girls face to face, and Saki cries with me.


This is why being a fan is so fun

January 2, 2011

Waking up at 4:30 am to hear the news about the Ninth Gen. So. Much. Fun. Being a fan of H!P is one of the more formative things in my life, and it’s the intense moments like this that keep me hooked.

As a whole, I’m highly anticipating this generation. each girl brings a huge wallop of personality to a Morning Musume that many complain is too stale and complacent. I have the feeling that these girls will make the most of even the slightest chances tossed their way, snatching every moment of the spotlight that they can. That should make for an entertaining (and thus profitable) Morning Musume!

Suzuki Kanon

My feelings for Kanon mirror those that I have for Sekine Azusa and Lin. My initial confusion and disgust with this girl has transformed into a burning curiosity. I simply must watch her. I’m desperate to see how she grows and changes. Her goofy acting bit is already on its way to becoming legendary amongst the fans (a movement has sprung up to nicknamed her “Moshimoshi” or just “Moshi,” after her cell-phone skit. I like it). Kanon is, without a doubt, my initial favorite among the 9th generation.

Sayashi Riho

To not put Riho in MM would’ve been idiotic. Takahashi will have to graduate at some point, and there needs to be someone with enough swagger to fill some of her roles. Riho has that swagger. My Gaki, does she. I really want Riho to become the new Bitch of Morning Musume- a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners bitch, just like Miki back in the day. It would be so interesting and fun to see some real conflict happening again.

Ikuta Eri(na)

I’m both surprised and not surprised about this one. I knew that Aina wouldn’t get in, simply because nothing stood out about her. Kanon and Riho were, in my mind, shoo-ins. But then came Mogi and Ikuta. I knew that if anyone else were to get in, it would be one of those two. But which one? Ikuta made much less of an impact than poor Mogi did, but Mogi’s impact seemed to have been mostly negative. In the end, I’ll have to wait and see about Ikuta. I want to see her performing all of the old classics as her personality begins to shine through!

Fukumura Mizuki.

Aaaah, an Egg! Finally, finally, things are happening with the Eggs. her addition to the group balances out the 3 auditionees nicely. She’s more experienced and comfortable onstage. She’s clearly an emotional girl who loves being an Idol. She cried twice during her introduction concert, and she turned on the waterworks again for this occasion. I can’t blame her. Being an Egg must seem occasionally hopeless. I’m fairly sure that Mori Saki or Aoki Erina (oh gaki, another one!) won’t be debuting any time soon, and I’m sure the other girls know that their chances are slim. To see some movement amongst the Eggs (with Mizuki and now Yuu) must be so uplifting. As a fan, it’s certainly promising.

I will make a separate post about Kikkawa soon… because OMGYAYKIKKA!


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.

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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.

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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~♥

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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.

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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.

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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.


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:


♪Here they come to save the day!♫

April 21, 2008

I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to post much lately. This fact was due to my being buried under a pile of homework. Currently I’m on spring break, looking at colleges for my brother (Any Adelphi alums out there? I’m typing from the Adelphi library).

So a little while ago I made a post about duo performances I’d want to see at the upcoming Berryz “Vs.” C-ute concert. Today I saw the setlist and, of course, not one of my predictions came true.

HowEVER! Some did come very close to coming true! I will get to hear Suzuki Airi singing Very Beauty (sadly I’ll have to hear her singing it with Risako instead of Miyabi, but ah well), and YES! I will get to hear a Tokunaga and Okai version of Bokura no Kagayaki! They will be joined by Kumai Yurina and one of my pairings consisting of Arihara Kanna and Sudou Maasa.

Berryz v. C-ute

For those interested, here’s the setlist from Wikki.theppn, along with my comments:

  1. ダーリン I LOVE YOU (Darling I LOVE YOU) {I don’t really like this song. Moving on!}
  2. スッペシャルジェネレ~ション (Special Generation){The classic h!p kids song that doesn’t normally sound that good live. Oh, and what was up with that Berryz/c-ute version of this song at the Hello! Project 2008 Winter ~Wonderful Hearts Nenjuu Mu Kyuu~ concert? Who in their right mind would let Airi do some of Miya’s “Whoa whoa”s? I thought that it was an unspoken rule that no one touched those lines if Miya was present in ANY performance of Special Generation?}
  3. 大きな愛でもてなして (Ooki na Ai de Motenashite) {I’m glad that this is being performed. It’s too weird a song not to like}.
  4. 我ら!Berryz仮面 (Warera! Berryz Kamen) VTR {Doesn’t a VTR mean that it’ll be up on a screen?This could either be very, very interesting or really stupid. Man, and I was looking forward to watching an actual performance of this, what with Risako getting NO LINES and all. Ah, wait. they perform it again at the end.}
  5. MC 1 {Don’t watch these, moving on.}
  6. 涙の色 (Namida no Iro) – °C-ute {So I don’t exactly love this song, but I want to see the dance live. Those cheesy slo-mo parts of the PV kind of ruined the effect of the dance for me}.
  7. 胸さわぎスカーレット (Munasawagi Scarlet) – Berryz Koubou {I love this song. They usually only sound okay singing it live. Oh well}.
  8. MC 2 – Berryz Koubou {Don’t watch these, moving on!}
  9. LALALA 幸せの歌 (LALALA Shiawase no Uta) – °C-ute then All {This song is a monstrosity}.
  10. ジンギスカン (Dschinghis Khan) – All then Berryz Koubou {I kind of want Risako to trip and fall on her face during a performance of this song. Then Chinami and Maasa could “accidentally” stomp on her, forcing her to sit on the sidelines pouting for the rest of the concert.}
  11. 都会っ子 純情 (Tokaikko Junjou) – °C-ute {Disheartened by her friend Risako’s defeat accident, Airi would suddenly find her voice deepening, gaining pitch control and depth. Surprise! She sounds just like she used to back in Aa!}
  12. 付き合ってるのに片思い (Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi) – Berryz Koubou {With no Risako around to make this song even more unbearable, Captain, Maa and Chinami will take her lines and steal the show}
  13. VERY BEAUTY – Sugaya Risako and Suzuki Airi {Silly fools, Risako has just been stepped on! Her little Berryz lungs are probably crushed! But oh, look, here comes Miyabi, bravely offering to take her place and complete this duet.}
  14. 僕らの輝き (Bokura no Kagayaki) – Kumai Yurina, Tokunaga Chinami, Sudou Maasa, Okai Chisato, and Arihara Kanna {Chinami will probably be surprisingly genki during this performance, for someone who just stepped on a fellow member’s fallen body. Oh, wait. Chinami’s always genki…}
  15. サヨナラ 激しき恋 (Sayonara Hageshiki Koi) – Natsuyaki Miyabi, Shimizu Saki, Nakajima Saki, Hagiwara Mai, Tsugunaga Momoko, and Yajima Maimi {They should wear black leather for this performance. Y’know, in mourning over Risako, and all.}
  16. That’s the POWER – All except Buono! {Erika is busy making some important phone calls to ensure that Risako never heals properly, and must thus give up her position as Berryz’ front-runner}
  17. ドドンカドン音頭 (Do Don Ga Don Ondou) – Umeda Erika {Having finished with this imprortant job, Erika shoos the others offstage, kicks ass and proceeds to sing… ondou music?}
  18. ホントのじぶん (Honto no Jibun) – Buono! {I love Buono! and this song too much to make any comments}
  19. 恋愛ライダー (Renai Rider) – Buono! {Ditto. Unless, of course, they learned how to swing on a trapeze and used that to make their entrance. That would be just cool}
  20. 夏 DOKI リップスティック (Natsu DOKI Lipstick) – Yajima Maimi, Nakajima Saki, and Shimizu Saki {During this performance, Saki S. and Maimi will ensure that Saki N. suffers a Sugaya-styled accident and turn this song into a duet. Sorry, Saki N. You’re cute, but your voice makes me cringe. The plus side is that these are three of the better H!P kid dancers…}
  21. まっさらブルージーンズ (Massara Blue Jeans) – °C-ute {The vocally born-again Airi leads the one-member short C-ute in a very nice rendition of this oddly-choreographed song (Pelvic thrusting much?). But from backstage, it seems that the twin evils of Sugaya and Nakajima(‘s vocal chords) are plotting something…}
  22. ジリリ キテル (Jiriri Kiteru) {As the unsuspecting 12-member group performs one of the best Berryz songs ever…}
  23. JUMP {…NakaSaki and Risako JUMP the stage (lame pun, sorry) and attempt to force their way back into the concert in a bloody revolution!}
  24. 友情 純情 oh 青春 (Yuujou Junjou oh Seishun) {Wota chanting reaches a fevered pitch as they root for which girls they wish to survive the coup. Just as Chisato is pulling out one of her numerous concealed knives, management comes in and drags the girls away to calm them down with cupcakes and pocky.}

Encore

  1. Skit {A much bruised Sugaya Risako uses this “skit” as a chance to attempt to re-start the bloodshed, but just when it looks as though her dastardly plot might succeed, we see something in the air! Is it a bird? plane? NO! It’s…}
  2. 我ら!Berryz仮面 (Warera! Berryz Kamen) {SUPER-MAASA! With Chinami the Genki Wonder and Mayuge-girl (Saki S), our masked heroine quickly restores peace and order.}
  3. MC 3{ Super-Maasa and co. take this chance to depart and return to the stage as their idol alter-egoes. Hmm, idol by day, superhero by night… there has to be an anime with that plotline!}
  4. 桜チラリ (Sakura Chirari) {With a final song, everyone calls it a day and heads backstage for some more cake. All is peaceful in the world of the H!P kids! For now…}

That’s all! Thank you for allowing my inner geek to show through. No, I don’t actually wish physical harm to NakaSaki. As for Risako… well…