Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Best of Hello Project 2016

It's already February and I completely forgot to do one of these this year. Oh well, I guess it's better late than never...

Best Single
Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP!

Runners Up
Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~
Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku / Itoshima Distance / Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru
Utakata Saturday Night! / The Vision / Tokyo to Iu Katasumi
Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~ / KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!! / Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou
Mugen Climax / Ai wa Maru de Seidenki / Singing ~Ano Koro no You ni~
Sexy Cat no Enzetsu / Mukidashi de Mukiatte / Sou ja nai
Best Group

Best Member
Suzuki Kanon

Best New Member (members who debuted in 2016)
Kaga Kaede

Best PV Costume

Best CD Cover (regular)

Best CD Cover (limited)

Best CD Cover (event)

Best Songs
10.Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~
9.Mukidashi de Mukiatte
8.Sakura Night Fever
7.Wasurete Ageru
6.Mugen Climax
5. Summer Wind
4.Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
3.Utakata Saturday Night!
2.Jinsei wa STEP!
1.Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~

Thursday, 15 December 2016

My Top 20 S/mileage/ANGERME Songs!

I started doing these ages ago with the Top 20 Morning Musume songs and promised to do the rest of H!P. Then I promptly forgot all about it... But I'm back now! So here are my top 20 S/mileage/ANGERME songs!
I won't comment on all the songs since it would take too long but I hope you all enjoy this list anyway.

 20. Choto Mate Kudasai

19. aMa no Jaku

18. Dondengaeshi

17. Taiki Bansei

16. Tachiagirl     

(I chose the Submem version of the MV since it's the only one where you get a good look at Fuyuka.)
Short lived 8nin S/mileage... I'm still sad about Fuyuka leaving...

15. Mahou Tsukai Sally  

Catchy, cute, easy to sing along to, what's not to like?

14. Otome no Gyakushuu

Such a cool, creepy atmosphere.

13. Watashi

Kanon's solo song! Why did she have to graduate...

12. Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki

There was a time when this was the only 6nin S/mileage song I would listen to. Times have changed, but I still love this song.

11. Itoshima Distance

10. Eighteen Emotion

9. Gashin Shoutan

8. Yattaruchan

This song is so much fun and it's catchy too. I've never liked Kana that much but this is her song. Meimi's solo lines sound really great here to.

7. Atarashii Watashi ni Nare!

I'll be honest, I kind of hated this song when I first heard it but I find the lyrics really interesting.

Wearing different clothes but I look the same
Anything I do, it's all the same logic
I'm so thick headed
Unless I change myself
Miracle won't happen
Be the new me!
Be the new me!
Throw away my little prejudice
I want to change myself

 So over time the song has grown on me and I often find myself singing along to it now. This song is also important because I consider it the birth of sexy S/mileage (whether that's a good thing or not is for you to decide).

6. Uchouten LOVE

Wahoo! The end of 4nin S/mileage and they went out with a bang! Another cute, Super catchy song.

5. Aa Susukino

The vocals in this song are so beautiful. I usually didn't like it when S/mileage did slower songs but this is just perfect.

4. Suki-chan

4nin S/mileage at their best. This song is so catchy and cute. I especially like the part where they whisper "Suki-chan" over and over again.

3. Ee ka!?

I didn't really like this song when I first heard it. The inspirational lyrics are what caught my attention first and then I realised how catchy this song it. The rest is history and now this is my favorite song of 6nin S/mileage.

2. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai     

Firstly, the lyrics have a really cool message. I think I've mentioned this before but the lyric "the nail that stands out too much will not be hammered down" refers to a popular japanese phrase which basically means, don't stand out, blend into the crowd. This song is about ANGERME saying "hell no, we're going to stand out and be ourselves". What I probably haven't mentioned is how cool the instrumental is. I sometimes miss the old S/mileage but this song (and the one ahead of it) makes me apreciate the awesomness that is ANGERME.
1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku

This song is pure awesomness. That cool whispery bit at the start. That kickass chorus. Just everything about this song is perfect!

 Honourable Mention!
I started this list a long time ago, and since then ANGERME released a new single. I didn't want to redo the entire list, but I also wanted this song to get the recognition it deserves. So without further ado, here's ANGERME's Wasurete Ageru, which I would place in position 3.5 in this list if I could.


Monday, 12 December 2016

13th Gen!!!

So, my darlings, 13th gen has finally been announced. You've probably all heard the news already, but if you haven't, our lucky ladies are Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina. This is MM's first two-member generation and second generation entirely made up of KSS (everyone seems to be forgetting that Sakura did that first). 

Overall,I'm pretty happy with the results. Neither of the girls were my top picks (Takase, Kodama and Ruru) but they were definately in the Top 10 and I'm very excited to see what they bring to the group.
First up is Kaede!
 Maachan said in an interview recently that fans would be "surprised" by the 13th gen results. She was right (as Maachan often is). I don't think even Kaga's biggest fans were expecting her to make it in. She's been in H!P since the 11th gen audition and has failled 3 MM auditions, 2 ANGERME auditions and been ignored in the formations of Juice=Juice, CG, Kobushi and Tsubaki Factory. So yeah, despite her talent, everyone kind of thought H!P had given up on her. She's a pretty great performer and has clearly proved herself to be a hardworker. One complaint I've heard from a lot of her critics is that she seems to be a bit of a crybaby or diva (she once cried for not getting a solo part in a KSS performance) but that doesn't really worry me too much because: 
1. Her being upset doesn't necessarily make her spoilt or a diva, she may just be a very emotional person. 
2. If she was really a diva, I can't imagine her wanting to stay in KSS for 4 years without debuting. If not being the center of attention really upset her that much, I'm sure she would have left by now.  
3. It proves how serious she is about being an idol. 
Overall, I'm super happy and pleasently surprised by this addition to the group.

 Next up is 15 year old Reina, who in many ways is the oposite of Kaga. She's only just joined the KSS after being a runner up in the original 13th gen audition. We don't really know much about her yet, except that she seems to be very music orientated (she plays guitar, alto sax and piano and looks up to Ayaka Hirose and Oda Sakura, two of the best singers in H!P) so me and a lot of fans are looking forward to big things from her.

So there you have it. The 13th gen is finally here. It's surprising to have two "older" girls join, by which I mean this gen is one of those rare instances where the newest generation does not feature the youngest member (which is probably a good thing since Kaga seems pretty comfortable with her little sister persona and making her come up with something new so soon seems a little mean).

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.