Okay! Musume Time Expands Horizons, Tries Out Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku and Heart2Heart

Rip out your Heart and feed it to The Ebichu Zombies – Ebichu’s ‘Oh My Ghost?’ – Okay! Musume Time
Kpop gets Americanised – Heart2Hearts ‘Facebook Official’ – Okay! Musume Time

Chiima’s become one of my favorite bloggers in the wotasphere – it isn’t so much that I agree with her as that she has a strong personality in her writing and does a great job of explaining her opinions in an engaging, humorous manner. When she tells you she likes something, by the end of the post you’ll know why exactly, and that’s not something everyone does well.

So anyway, Chiima has decided to expand her horizons some and try out a couple of new groups, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku and Heart2Heart. She’s already been going beyond Hello! Project for a while now, but this is further off the beaten path.

The Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku write-up is pretty straightforward, but it’s a fucking HORROR music video starring really cute, really underage idols – so I loved every freakin’ moment of it. Chiima shows she’s having a good time by throwing in plenty of horrible horror puns along the way, adding the right layer of cheesiness to the gouda times. (Get it? Gouda!)

Chiima immediately draws the connection with Momoiro Clover Z – based on surface evidence of sound and look, then digging deeper to find they share the same company. Her write-up is the expected combination of well-chosen screencaps and commentary, and she even gets in a hit on Takitty-era Morning Musume, which is always a plus in my book. I especially like how she picks through each of the girls doing their best to be scary zombie nurses, finding comparisons when possible to help set them apart.

The one thing I’d want is a name for each girl, but I’m not going to fault Chiima for this – we’re both on a learning curve, after all. What matters at this point is enthusiasm, and whether or not this group will stick with Chiima and make her seek more from them. By the end of the write-up, it’s looking like Ebichu did indeed sink their claws deep into Chiima. The group has a new single and video, “Motto Hashire”, so this would be the logical step for a nascent fandom to develop.

Heart2Heart has been generating some buzz among Kpop fans – bad buzz, for the most part – and it’s even more beyond Chiima’s blogging wheelhouse as she doesn’t listen to boy bands and hasn’t really covered Kpop. Still, I’m guessing buzz in the wotasphere got her attention – or maybe she’s just contemplating making it Facebook Official. (Hah!)

Whatever the case, she seems to have enjoyed H2H a great deal – not in any serious manner, but she was willing to get into the goofy spirit of H2H and their, um, unique brand of boy band homage / pastiche. I had to look up “Show Lou” to find out who she was comparing one guy too, but I can see the resemblance. Also, I have to give her MAJOR props for locating the Hitoe / Mutou of the group – he looks more of a Hitoe than a Mutou to me, but that’s a personal call.

In the end, she ends up deciding what the fuck, she likes the band, and that’s actually pretty refreshing. It’s not like this fandom is going anywhere – my money’s on them dropping out of sight before the end of the year – but it’s important to be true to what you enjoy, to admit that there are some pleasures that maybe guilty or simply silly, and to revel in that guilt / silliness for its own sake. If you wota-dom can’t be fun, then what good is it for, after all?

That said, I DO hope Chiima expands her horizons even more. Maybe try out a Johnny’s group or two, or other genres of music from Japan? Chiima is proving herself to be a very insightful blogger, and her curiosity can prove a crucial asset in that regard.