New Mini Moni, Old Mini Moni… oi!

June 2, 2009

Hi, everybody!

Well, let’s see! I haven’t blogged since Yossy’s birthday, I do believe. Why? Well, I have been mostly enjoying reading the blogs of others- you’re all amazing (yes, you). But something so momentous, so incredible, so unbelievable has happened that I have to come out of my semi-retirement to blog about it:

Tsunku may have actually had a good idea.

I’m sure that you’ve guessed that I’m talking about the revival of MiniMoni. I think that this move is risky but brilliant on the part of the T-man, and if he plays this right (IE composes it of all of the members I want ;3 ), it could be very successful. And if not, wellllll, it’ll at least be fun for the wota!

~~~

(I mean, seriously, look at this man. Ridiculous).

Now, there have been countless times in which Tsunku has appeared to be on drugs when coming up with a new idea involving H!P. Sometimes he seemed to have been on something very good- I’m thinking that this was the case when he came up with The Peace, decided to include children who could barely speak in his project and train them to be superidols bent on draining our wallets, not telling Niigaki Risa to take herself and her bean-shaped head the hell out of his auditions and including Tsuji into the fourth generation at the last minute. But more often the inventions of the insane man behind H!P’s inventions have been, well, insane.

~~

(I mean, seriously, look at this group. Ridiculous).

Take Coconuts Musume. CocoMusu were essentially a bunch of awkward, semi-talented Hawaiians who spoke little to no Japanese and looked gigantic next to the petite and supernaturally pretty MM members. They didn’t sell well, and the line-up bounced around enough to make even the best Wota’s eyes spin. And Tsunku was originally very excited about them. They’re not the only ones, though. Most of H!P has had to deal with Tsunku’s crackosity at one time or another: He treated Melon Kinenbi so badly that they quickly became a running joke amongst fans, and even Berryz fell prey to his lunacy (“HEEEEY! Heeey, man, let’s, like, dress ’em up in MONKEY suits! And have ’em sings songs! About MONKEYS!” “Dude, you’re, like, brilliant.”). So, I’ve learned to take most of what Tsunku says and look at it through a filter- a loving, incredulous but indulgent filter. “Oh, that’s just Tsunku being on ecstasy again, it’ll all turn out fine in a few days, no worries.”

(“TSUNKUUUUUU! I WILL DEVOUR YOUR LIVER!”)

~~

With all that, what makes me think that this revival of a classic group would ever be a good idea, when H!P is stagnant in its popularity and the economy looks like a Johnny’s member without make-up (According to Newsweek, Japan’s economy this year has taken the largest yearlong plunge in decades)?

For one, at least in the beginning, this group should get great publicity. It’s a revival of a group whose old fans are at the right age to look back nostalgically at- “Ah, Mini Moni were so great. I loved listening to their music after school!” In the idol industry, which is all about image, publicity is everything. When people see you, they’re more likely to buy.

Secondly, H!P is moving towards a more mature image. Yes, C-ute’s newest cover single sounds like it was sung by Airi and the Chipmunks, but the other groups are shifting towards a more mature style, Morning Musume especially. At the same time, there’s some holding back. Morning Musume has done dance-y and a little sad in their latest singles, and Dakishimete Dakishimete dabbled in sexiness, but nothing really sultry has come from H!P in a long, long time, whether it be in the form of a song or a group. In fact, the only sultry prodcut of H!P that comes to mind is the original  Tanpopo line-up, and that was back when Morning Musume members were allowed to be real, sexual beings. I feel that with a new Mini Moni to keep up H!P’s playful, childish side, Tsunku may feel more comfortable experimenting with the sultrier side of things. Put those awesome Korean H!P hopefuls to use!

So which H!P members do I think would make this new group a success? Well, that depends.

First, how many members does Tsunku want? Technically there was a time when MiniMoni had five members. I’d like to assume, though, that Tsunku will stick with four.

Will the group have the same theme? Well, we all seem to be assuming that this’ll be a bright, childish group, and that seems about right. If it’s not, then my post is mostly rendered moot. And I hate being made moot.

Second, will he stick with the 150 cm height rule? That seems unlikely, as very few non-Egg members of H!P match that rule. However, since this will be a children’s group (we hope), the members might still stay on the short side.

Third, what groups will the members be from? In my idealized world in which the only drugs Tsunku takes are the ones that he uses to help out in bed with his trophy wife, he’ll choose one girl from each group (BK, C-ute, the Eggs and MM).

The criteria are thus that  there’ll be one member from each group, that the height doesn’t matter but should be shortish, and that the group will be childlike and happy.

So taking that into consideration, here it is:

AOI♥USAGI’S PERFECT NEW MINIMONI FORMATION:

Of course Kanon is already in the group, but I would’ve chosen her anyways: She’s the perfect new Kago. She’s sweet, adorable as hell and has a good voice.

Please let Chisato into the group! She’s little, she’s spunky, and she’s simultaneously able to pull off Tsuji-like levels of mischevousness and Mikitty-like levels of singing ability. She needs to be C-ute’s representative in this group!

Momoko is insane and has a unique, powerful voice. Her personality takes second place to none and she can hold her own on variety shows. She’d be the Mari-figure that this group needs. Plus, she’s tiny! Yay!

Linlove

Yay Linlin! Lin gets to be the crazy foreigner (IE Mika) of this group. She’s a fabulous singer, just like Mika, tiny, full of personality, and can teach us another language! Just please don’t make her wear the Chinese flag on her head in the form of an ugly bandanna, please.

So there you go Tsunku, get off your pills and read my blog. Or stay on your pills and read my blog, for all I care. Just read it!

Disclaimer: Of course, this is the T-man that we’re talking about. It’s completely likely that this group will end up containing Kumai Yurina, Junjun, Umeda Erika, and a half-dozen eggs chosen at random. C’est la vie!

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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!


Because I’m un-creative: TLS blogger survey.

May 18, 2008

I haven’t had the mental power to come up with a worthwhile post lately, but I’ve rather wanted to take this survey… so, here it is.

Goals:Goal

  • Why do you blog? At first, I just really wanted to have a place to talk about Idols with other people who felt as strongly about them as I did. Then I started reading some other people’s blogs (most notably Shanimuni Paradise, Yossha Yossha yossha and Hello!Blog, all of which are linked in the sidebar) and decided that what i really wanted was to voice my opinions and have discussions with people like these.
  • What long-term goals do you hope to accomplish, if any at all? I don’t really blog to accomplish anything. I just… do it to be heard.
  • Where does your blog fail to meet your goals? I have trouble stating what I mean to say concisely. And, of course, I rarely come up with anything original to say…
  • If you do have goals, what will accomplishing them do for yourself? My goals don’t have much to do with my blog…
  • What do you want to gain out of blogging? A creative outlet? Praise from others? Personal satisfaction? Money? No money, sadly, and even if I earned any, it’d go right to H!P merchandise… it is something of a creative outlet for me, because Idols leak into my everyday conversations enough as it is. Praise from others is always an added bonus…
  • Do you feel that your blog should meet a requirement for amount of entries? Do you feel any particular entry should be a certain length? No, that’s a limiting and rather silly thought!~
  • For any particular entry, what motivates you to start and finish blog posts? I start a post because an idea or feeling takes a hold of me and I need to get it out! Finishing is something different entirely. I rarely finish my posts.
  • Do you actively consider long term goals for each individual post? Only if they’re in-depth thought posts.

Subject Material:V-u-den

  • What do you blog about? Asian music. Mainly H!P.
  • Would you be keeping a blog even if it wasn’t about the subjects you tend to cover? …no?
  • Do you write about the material to promote it to others? Sometimes. I don’t tell people to go out and buy something, but I’m not above asking people to give something a listen!

Readership:

  • How much do you care about readership? I’m very grateful that people stop and read my blog. The idea that my words are being read and thought about by others keeps me going!
  • Does it satisfy you to know people are reading, even if they don’t comment? Yes!~ Very much so. Comments are nice, because they offer a different perspective on what I wrote, but just seeing that people visit my blog is enough.
  • What effect does receiving a comment have on you? It makes me a little embarassed, but also very happy.
  • Do you write with a particular audience in mind or an unspecified general audience? Why? I don’t do so… I write for myself.
  • If you write for a particular audience, is it International Wota? If yes, why? At first i was, because it was my goal to have the people at IW notice my blog. When that occured within my second post, I was almost speechless.

Community: (The International Wota section)

  • If International Wota didn’t exist, would you blog? I started blogging after seeing all the blogs on IW, so if it never existed, then no. But if it were to cease existing, then yes, I would.
  • When IW covers an entry of yours, are you encouraged to blog more or less? More! I love seeing what they say about my posts.
  • When IW does not cover an entry, are you encouraged to blog more or less? More. It makes me feel like I need to improve.
  • How often do you read other blogs? Every day! Even more than writing in this blog, I enjoy reading what others say.
  • How often do you comment on other blogs? At least once a week, but not often.
  • If another blog covers a topic that you wanted or wished to cover, do you still blog about that specific topic? Why or why not? I do! Blogging is all about getting out different opinions on the same or a similar topic.

Commitment:

  • How serious is your attitude towards blogging? Do you consider it just as something to do for fun? It’s both serious and fun. I do it for fun, but because other people are reading what I write, I have to put effort into my posts to be respectful of my readers.
  • How often do you blog? How often would you like to blog? I blog at my own pace. Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow. Generally it’s slow… but that’s not so bad!
  • What priorities do you or have you put aside in order to blog? Why? School. I never do homework at home, anyways… blogging is just another thing that I do instead of that (well, I’m doing homework right now…).
  • Do you see yourself blogging in 6 months? Why or why not? Of course. In 6 months, new singles will be out, new scandals, new groups… I want to blog about it all!

Personal:

  • Would you say you blog for yourself? I do, but at the same time, I ensure that I’m not overly offensive to someone who might be reading, and I try to make what I write interesting.
  • What is your feeling after posting an entry? Is it relative to the time and effort you put in an entry? I feel a little nervous, since I’m putting my opinions out there for others to judge.
  • What needs does blogging fulfill? The need to talk about Asian music!
  • Do you consider yourself a writer? Yes, I love to write anything and everything… except this stupid speech for history class.
  • Do you consider yourself good at writing? Good at blogging? I’m good at writing in that I can make up words about any topic and sound like I know exactly what to say. I’m as good a blogger as I can be right now.
  • How much of your personal life do you share on your blog? If none, why do you leave this out? I’ve no real reason to share personal life here, right? You all care more about Takahashi Ai in a bikini than what I had for breakfast this morning, right (French toast and strawberries, thank you very much)?

H!P my way.

March 6, 2008

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things “wrong” with Hello! Project, and seeing Maple GreanTea’s post made me finally make the effort to organize my thoughts. It seems I’ve been replying to Maple GreanTea’s thoughts lately, huh? (Maple GreanTea, let’s be friends!)

Things Aoi♥Usagi would change about h!p:

Morning Musume:

A new graduation would not occur for at least 6 months- 1 year.

There would be auditions held for the 9th generation before ANYONE else leaves. At least three girls would be chosen (no more of this one-member generation nonsense). Personally, I want to see a Korean member, a “mood maker” member (Hi, Yaguchi #2), and… a glasses member?

The T-man would continue releasing music with a sound similar to the disco-ey sound of Resonant Blue.

Kusumi Koharu would not get any more leads until she has intensive vocal lessons. Tanaka would not get any more leads until she stops warping her voice to sound “cute” and goes back to Shabondama-era Tanaka.

Kamei would begin to subtly come to the front more and more. She would not get many leads, but will contribute solid vocals as always.

The expansion into Asia would accelerate to ludicrous speed.

The line distribution would become FAR more even.

Berryz Koubou:

Risako would begin fading to the back. Since that will never happen outside of my dreams, she goes along with Kusumi to begin intensive singing lessons.

After learning to control her voice, Risako would surprise all us non-fans by being somewhat bearable. Like in Munasawagi Scarlet.

Maasa would come to the front during the time in which Risako takes her singing lessons.

Yurina and Chinami would begin to have an interchangeable places singing within the group.

– Yurina would develop a personality beyond space cadet. She’d also begin to take up modeling.

Momoko would begin using her Buono! voice and impressing everyone.

Miyabi would release a solo single but would NOT graduate. This would be a one-time thing, similar to Takahashi’s Yume Kara Samete.

Their musical style… would still remain all over the place.

The line distribution would become FAR more even.

C-ute

Their sound would immediately go back to Tokkaiko-esque. Like, right now.

Airi would remember how she used to sing (or be forced to remember). Like back in Aa!. She misses this style and starts singing that way again. Aoi♥Usagi weeps with joy.

– Okai Chisato, Yajima Maimi and the newly vocally reborn Airi would become the lead singers, with the other girls helping out liberally. No more of this “no lines for the less promoted girls” bit.

Yurina would call up her friend Erika and tells her how much fun modeling is. Erika gives it a try.

The line distribution would become FAR more even.

The rest of h!p:

Melon Kinenbi would either get some real, quality releases SOON or graduates within the year. Before they go, Oohtani would dye her hair every color known to man and be immortalized in the Hair Hall of Fame.

Ogawa would come back to be a soloist. With her new long brown hair and same kick-ass voice and personality, people would kick themselves for not promoting her talent before. They throw themselves at her feet. She laughs and goes on to conquer the charts.

Matsuura Aya would begin to get singles similar to Ki ga Tsukeba Anata; an upbeat mature sound suitable for an adult woman, but not another boring ballad.

GAM would reform and become Aya’a new hope for the future. They’d release music similar to Thanks!.

Ayaka’s Surprise English Lessons would come back in a big way.

Buono!’d continue doing what they’re doing. Eventually they’d move beyond the sphere of Shugo Chara and become a solid group.

Athena and Robbywhatever would stop releasing music for their anime. After a few months, however, the same four girls would team up again for a group with a cool image (Risa really can pull off kakkoi! Honest!). In their first single, Chisato will be featured in a room full of baseballs.

New Units:
– Kumai Yurina, Kamei Eri and Umeda Erika would team up for a group that has a sound similar to 2nd Gen. Tanpopo. I really want to see this group come into being. It’s basically my dream group.

Ai, Airi, and Aika would release one single on Valentine’s Day (please?). But no more after that.

Okada Yui and her boobs would create a new egg-centric group.

-After some rumors of a solo career, Miyoshi Erika would join Yui’s Egg group. Yui jiggles with happiness.


Oh right, C-ute.

February 20, 2008

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.

cute-rankingu.jpg

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.


A Shiawase surprise.

February 6, 2008

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.

schooldance.jpg

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.

cancan.jpg

yes, C-ute can do the Can-can.

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No, Chisato, I don’t see your solo line anywhere in here, either.
huddle-up-gang.jpg

“Here’s the plan, gang! We’ll corner Tsunku-san in the hallway, then push him into the Girl’s bathroom and run!”

chisatochan-lippy.jpg

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!

make-up-both-ways.jpg

I wonder if Maimi could help clear up Captain and Miyabi’s confusion? Just look how nicely she’s helped Kanna!

PS:

beauty.jpg

Seriously, these three are beautiful. Even with my poor screen-cap taking skills.


LALALA… ‘Kay.

February 2, 2008

The previews of C-ute’s newest single, LALALA Shiawase no uta are out.

My initial reactions to this (after seeing it on Kouhaku) were basically apathetic; I just didn’t care. On hearing that C-ute was going to be singing this as their next single, I just felt ripped off and could only hope that Chisato would get many lines this time around.

Now, on listening to the preview (I don’t hear Chisato. Does anyone else?), I’m feeling slightly more optimistic about this. The song is seriously catchy. It’s already driven its chorus into my skull with a hammer, and the incredibly short PV preview at Someboys blog was promising. The make-up bits reminded me of Munasawagi Scarlett, a PV that I like quite a bit. So while my initial feelings towards this song weren’t all that positive, I’m starting to look forward to this more.