Sunday, 27 November 2016

Getting into AKB48 ~ Top 10 48/46 Group Members!

So I haven't talked about AKB48 and Co. for a long time have I? Well, that's because though I've been following them for a couple of years now, I still don't feel confident in my knowlegde about them. However, since my last post about them, I have been able to recognise a lot more of the members and have even decided on some favorites! I decided to include the rival groups in this as well because to be honest I don't really see them as that separate (Sorry any hardcore fans who disagree with this). The members in the running are any girls who are or have been a member of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, SDN48, JKT48, SNH48, Nogizaka46 or Keyakizaka46 before the date of 24th August 2016. GNZ48 and BEJ48 will not be included since they were formed after SNH48 became independent from AKB48 (and I don't follow them anyway).I wanted to include the international sister groups but I don't really know any of the members so they are technically in the running but won't appear on the list.

10. Iwata Karen - AKB48 (graduated)

I'm sad she graduated early in her career. It's like one minute she was there and the next, she was gone. I always thought she was cute but I can't really put her any higher given that she wasn't a member for that long.

9. Nakamoto Himeka (Nogizaka46)

Like most people, I expect, I became interested in Himeka when I found out she is the older sister of BABYMETAL's Nakamoto Suzuka. The talent is clearly a family trait. Below is a video of her and Suzuka singing a duet back when thay were both attending Actor's School Hiroshima (if you know anything about J-Pop, you know that an idol who has attended ASH is destined to be a star).

8. Hirate Yurina (Keyakizaka46)

The main reason I like Techi is because of her relationship with another girl on this list (more on that later). Firstly she's super cute (I love her haircut) and seems to be a serious and dependable type of girl which is shocking when you find out she's the youngest member of Keyakizaka46. She seems like a hard worker who won't take her position as center for granted and for that you can't help but like her.

7. Sashihara Rino (HKT48)

There's a reason Sasshi is the three time queen of AKB. There's just something undeniably awesome about her.

6. Kinoshita Momoka - NMB48

Cute. Badass. Awesome hair. Funny. What's not to like?

5. Minegishi Minami - AKB48

Miichan was the first member I was able to recognise so she holds a special place in my heart.

4. Kojima Haruna - AKB48

I love Kojiharu cus she's pretty. I can't lie. She's probably one of the most beautiful Japanese girls I've ever seen (right up there with Nakajima Saki). I also like the fact she likes morning musume because we agree on that. While researching for this post I only just noticed that we also share the same birthday which excites me way more than it should. I also love her nyan nyan kamen persona from the last election. I'll miss her when she graduates in February.

3. Ogino Yuka - NGT48

Yukarin is clearly the best member of newly formed NGT48, if you can't admit that, I can't help you. Firstly, she's adorable. I mean, Look at her! Secondly she clearly desparately wanted to join the group. First she was a tentative AKB Kenkyuusei but failed to join a team. Then she auditioned for Team 8 but failed. Then she became a member of Baito AKB and after that group came to an end, participated in the 2015 Draft. Finally she was chosen to become a member (and vice-captain) of NGT48. In the lead up to the 2016 senbatsu election, I enjoyed watching her livestreams on Showroom (even though I had no idea what she was saying) and was super sad when she didn't end up ranking. I hope she does well in the future, she definately seems to be popular and is super cute and charismatic so I wish her the best of luck in the next election. 

2. Iwasa Misaki - AKB48 (graduated)

Hands down, favorite member of AKB48 ever. I shouldn't need to explain why, it's her heavenly voice. she's super cute too and it's difficult not to love her. Her ambition to become an enka singer is cool and I'm she's been able to achieve that dream. I think I'll just let Wasamin's latest single speak for her.

1. Nagahama Neru - Keyakizaka46

Dammit this girl is awesome. She only debuted a year ago and she's already one of my favorite idols. First thing's first, she's super cute. She kind of reminds me of a puppy in some pictures. I was intrigued when I heard how she joined the group; she got to the final round of auditions but her mother made her return home before she could complete the final round. Later her parents felt guilty about it and spoke to the managment and she was allowed into the group as the sole origional member of Keyaki's under group Hiragana Keyaki. She may not be the best singer or dancer in the group but she sure is cute. This is her singing a song to memorise the elements of the periodic table (I hope this video doesn't get taken down, I love it)

 Finally we have the MV of her first solo song, Mata atte kudasa. It's a super adorable love story.

Neru is the first idol who I read interviews about almost obsessively. She always has something cool or unexpected to say. This is my favorite interview of her's, where she talks about her relationship with Techi (Hirate Yurina). It's super sweet and heartfelt. Techi and Neru are probably the first time I've ever shipped two idols!

M.O.E new maids!

Two new Maids have joined Maids of England! Their names are Chima and ZiiZii. Chima is an immortal witch who was banished from her village from her village for being too much of an airhead and ZiiZii is a cute alien who came to earth on a "secret mission" and is on the run from the FBI.

 ZiiZii - The Alien

Chima - The cute little witch

Some other maids and butlers have recieved updated profile pictures as well! 

Bae, perfect as always.

The robot, with new hair

Shinzo, with new hair

Monday, 22 August 2016

Shocking News

Why does all the intesting stuff happen when I'm away from home... :(
So let's start with the bad news-
C-ute is dispanding...
I'm super sad about this even though I knew this was coming sooner or later. I'll talk more about my feelings about this when the graduation is closer (I'm not ready to accept it yet) but I'll just say now, C-ute is and always will be my favorite idol group and I hope to continue to support the members for many years to come (even if I won't be able to support them as C-ute).

Okay, now for the good news!
Tsubaki Factory got three new members!
 The three girls are all currant kenshuusei, Akiyama Mao, Onoda Saori and Ono Mizuho. Although none of the girls are favorites of mine among the KSS, I'm super happy with this addition. Mao is probably the one I'm most excited for since she very good at the last test event. Saori is super cute and is pretty talented too. She's also one of the most popular KSS right now so she might give Tsubaki the boost they need. Mizuho is the new member I'm least fond of but she's still very cute and pretty talented so I'm excited to see what she has in store for us.

There's also a new generation of Kenshuusei but I won't write about them until I have more info on them.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hokkaido Kenshuusei and a Surprise Graduation

This post is a little late but I just got back from my holiday in Wales which is not known for it's excellent Wifi.

Let's start with the good news, we finally have results for the Hokkaido audition. Here we have the 7 new Hello Pro Hokkaido Kenshuusei. Points of interest include that they are all on the young side (the oldest being 12) and all but one being from Sapporo.
I'm going to give my first impressions of each member individually but first I should point out my first impresions are almost always exclusively wrong (see my first impressions of the 12th gen compared to my opinions on them now).

Ota Haruka

Aged 12
Enrolled at Theatre Academy where she was a member of the units Ribbon Girls and Clione.
Oldest member but also the shortest.
Seems to be quite sporty (she like skiing, dancing and swimming)

Sato Hikari
Aged 12
Very cute in an unconventional way.
Looks up to Sato Masaki (and shares her surname and home city) .

Ishiguri Kanami
Aged 12
Has a dog called Ruru
Only one day younger than Sato Hikari
Does ballet
Another cutie, I really like that ponytail.

Kawano Minori
Aged 12
Enrolled at Actors Studio and Voice Works Vivo.
Has a lot of interesting hobbies: plays guitar, does calligraphy and enjoys sending messages to radio shows.
It doesn't show well in the picture above but she is quite pretty and has an aura that I like around her.

Kitagawa Ryo
Aged 12 
Only member not from Sapporo. Is from Rankoshi, a town with a population of only 5597 people.
Likes cutting rice crops and caring for stray cats.
Very pretty and looks mature for her age.
I'd like for her to join Country Girls (since she seems like a true Country Girl) or Morning Musume.
Seems to be the most popular member (at least within the English speaking fandom)

Kudo Yume
Age 11
Very cute
Plays Piano 
Loves Hello Project

Yamazaki Mei
Age 11
Tiny Cute Baby! 
I desparately want a unit with her, Kirara and Momohime. It would be too perfect.

 Sadly, this news also has a sour note. Inaba Manaka graduated from Country Girls dues to her asthma.

This news wasn't completely unexpected since it's not uncommon for members to graduate over health issues (Aika, Kanna, Eri, Fuyuka) but it was especially sad since she was my second favorite member (after Momoko). I mean, she was the heart of Country Girls, she was cute, an awesome dancer and she was the only member to uphold the origional ideal of Country Musume members being from Hokkaido. The good news is she doesn't seem to have left the UF so she might return as a soloist or maybe help out the new Hokkaido girls.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

4 KSSs Down

So Nakano Rion, Hashimoto Nagisa, Yokogawa Yumei and Shimano Momoko have left Hello Pro Kenshuusei.

The member I'm saddest about is Momoko since I always liked her but even so, I wasn't really expecting any of these girls to debut. Nagisa was talented but at 19 she was a bit too old unless they planned to form a new group with her as the leader (which seems unlikely since Tsubaki Factory hasn't had a major debut yet). Yumei I will miss because I always thought she was really beautiful but her singing was pretty... unbearable and again, at 17 she was approaching the cut off point for being an idol. I was never a fan of Rion (her singing was bad and I never found her perpetual look of being about to cry cute) so I'm not really very sad about her.

I can totally see these girls showing up in other idol groups someday. Yumei could do well in AKB48 or one of the sister groups. Momoko and Rion are still young so they have plenty of time to debut. Nagisa would make a great addition to any idol group but I get the feeling that since she is in her last year of high school, she might have left to focus on university or getting a real job.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Exciting news

Oh H!P, you do confuse me sometimes. Two exciting bits of news to talk about.

Kasahara Momona has joined ANGERME as a 5th gen member. I hate to brag but I predicted this back in May (not that any of my other predictions have come true). I get the feeling she's going to be very popular, she's the type the wota seem to like.

The Hello! Project "Hokkaido Gentei" Member Audition actually has results! Who knew? For those who are unaware, we hadn't heard anythingabout this audition for almost a year and then out of the blue they announce that it is still a thing. The members are said to be going to be on the 30th, so I'll right about them in detail then. My expectations are pretty high, given the year of absolute secrecy needed to find them.

Team Okai new members.
Okai Chisato (Leader)
Fujii Rio
Hamaura Ayano
Ichioka Reina
Onoda Saori
Horie Kizuki
Ono Mizuho
Maeda Kokoro
Kanatsu Mizuki
Ono Kotomi
Kiyono Momohime

The new Team Okai will debut at Chisato's birthday event performing Brainstorming and Kanojo ni Naritai!!! on the 22nd and I really hope we get footage of it because I've always really liked this group. Plenty of kenshuusei this time around but no Takase... :(    Happy to see Maeda, Kiyono and Kanatsu in a unit.

I need to remember to never forget how crazy and unpredictable this company can be sometimes.

Monday, 20 June 2016

I've fallen in love with Ishida Ayumi...

I've recently found myself becoming a fan of Ishida Ayumi after seeing her perform Naichau Kamo in the last concert tour. Skip to 25:00 to see it.

Okay the singings not perfect but way better than I was expecting given my experiance with Ayumi's voice. That performance though. I must have always known how good a dancer she was (it's all anyone can talk about basically) but I guess this is the first time I've been truly blown away by it. She seems to put her all into the performance like any true idol should and it's wonderful to witness.

 I've only recently noticed how pretty she is too (which is conveniant timing since she has a new photobook coming out). I always thought she was the average looking (and sometimes even ugly) one in Morning Musume. I was amazed by how gorgeous she looked in the Tokyo to Iu Katasumi MV (she was the best part of the MV in my opinion). I wondered when she became so beautiful but looking back at her pictures, it seems she was like that the whole time and I just didn't notice.

 What made this developement of me liking Ayumi even more surprising is that only a couple of months ago she was my least favorite member of Morning Musume. I don't know what I was thinking back then but this change has caused me a problem- It's completely messed up my morning musume member ranking. Every time I try to rank the members, I end up with a different result (always with Miki at the top however). I'm hoping the introduction of the 13th gen will make things start making sense again.

Sunday, 19 June 2016


M.O.E (Momoiro Otome Ensemble) is a British idol unit associated with the maid/butler cafe Maids of England. I became a fan of their's after reading this article on Pure Idol Heart.

I've wanted to write this post for awhile since M.O.E has quickly become one of my favorite Idol groups. I ran into a problem when it came to explaining why I like the group so much. I think I've figured it out now. My relationship with M.O.E is similar to how I imagine japanese fans view their idols. Idol fans who aren't from Japan sometimes have trouble understanding the Japanese Wota. Even though I'm just their fan I feel like I have a relationship with M.O.E. When Japanese wotas said stuff like this I often found it confusing since I don't get the same interactions with their idols that they have (they attend handshake events, talk to them on social media, see them on TV and much more wheras I only watch the MVs and concerts). Sure, I love my J-Idols and want them to succeed but I'm not nearly as dediacated as your average wota. So back to M.O.E, being able to follow them on social media, see them interact with each other and sometimes even interact with them myself makes me feel an attachment to them as a group I don't think I would have with a similar Japanese group.

I recomend that anyone reading this check out their Youtube channel. They have many videos about Miyuu and Nadeshiko's adventures in Japan (which are hilarious) as well as dance covers and the MV for their 1st Single.

I'd really encourage anyone reading this to check out their 1st Single which can be purchassed here.

Members of M.O.E

Miyuu Loid
The Robot

Kyoko Yonebayashi
Pretty! The other Robot

Momoko Piichi
The Little Sister.

Ami Mokaya
The Adventuress.

Nadeshiko Misaki
The Tsundere.

Maid Khao
 My favorite member! The Yakuza Lady.

Maid Yuka
 The shy one.

Former Member of M.O.E

Maid Shizuku 
The Head Maid.

Youtube Channel
Facebook Page