Oct 31 2007
Oct 31 2007
Oct 30 2007
This blog is a Hello Project blog for a reason. I’ve listened to a fair amount of other music from Japan, but I am not nearly as familiar with it as I am with h!p. Chances are that if you showed me a picture of a popular Jpop group outside of h!p I wouldn’t be able to recognize the members. Heck, I might not even be able to recognize the group. Even though I am by no means an expert, I still thought that maybe my non-h!p music interests warranted at least one entry. I’m going to keep it simple: the songs I like best, and why I like them. In no particular order:
Jupiter- Hirahara Ayaka, The vocals in this are really impressive. I like the way it starts off really slowly and simply and gradually builds up more and more energy in the melodic line as the song goes on. Also, I’m a sucker for perfect super-high notes.
Glamorous Sky- Nana staring Mika Nakashima, This song is really energizing, and it has lots of fun engrish in it. Love the rockin’ guitar. “Tobidasu GO!!!”
Life is Like a Boat- Rie Fu, I don’t actually like Bleach, but I do like this song a lot. When I first heard it, I was having a really hard time deciding whether the girl singing it was American or Japanese because her English pronunciation was so perfect. This song is really soothing and relaxing, and I like the lyrics and the message a lot.
Sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana- SMAP, The ‘I want it that way-Backstreet Boys’ of Japan. For a while its super-catchy refrain was on everyone’s lips, and even now that the song is old, if it comes on the radio, you can’t help but jump right in and sing along, complete with hand gestures. I also like this song because it reminds me of my wonderful trip to Japan after high school graduation, the last night of which was spent at karaoke where I attempted to sing this song.
First Love- Utada Hikaru, What a lovely heartfelt song. I love a well sung ballad that’s dripping with emotion. It doesn’t hurt that it reminds me of Aibon’s audition footage too.
The World- Nightmare, Scream if you’re a Death Note fangirl! KYAAAAAAAAAA!!
Oct 27 2007
Now, without further ado… starting at number 10, my favorite Morning Musume Dances!
10. Go Girl Koi no Victory: It’s simple, it’s cute, it fits the song, and I like the way it works with the different colored groups shifting position. It makes for a nice picture.
9. Joshi Kashimashi Mongetari: A really fun dance. I especially like the little “WOW” pops. I actually learned this one myself for fun.
8.Shabondama: I like the freestyle quality of this one. You can look around and see a lot of different things going on, and it worked especially well with the PV and stomping in the water. I also like how it looks unchoreographed, but it’s actually rather complicated with the formation shifts and whatnot.
7.Kanashimi Twilight: Love the rock style, aggressive kicks and headroles, and how everyone isn’t doing the same thing at once for the majority of it.
6. Do it Now!: Lots of very interesting arm movements, and pretty creative with the beginning and end “pulsing” section. It looks great with a large group.
5. Onna ni Sachi are: I didn’t pick this one so much for the main chorus dance (which is okay) but for the musical interlude, particularly with the high kicks over some member’s heads. I didn’t expect that kind of move from MM. This is one of the most challenging looking Momusu dances.
4. Koko ni Iruzee: Another dance that’s kind of freestyle at parts. It’s just so… spastic! I love how much energy always goes into this dance, and watching it just makes me want to stand up and jump up and down or something. It’s pure fun.
3. The Manpower: Pulsing base beat, and agressive hip thrusting to match. This dance just seems powerful. The little finger twirls at “mysterious” are a nice touch too.
2. Renai Revolution: It’s kind of goofy, but it works! This one also has a good dance section in the musical interlude, and while the dance may seem a bit silly, it certainly is memorable.
1. Iroppoi Jirettai: I love this dance! The flourishing of the skirts and the strong movements are combined with a lot of sexy. The very beginning whispered section formations are genious, and the latin style dancing is totally different from any other Morning Musume dance.
There you go! 10 great dances! And now for the… not so great. Starting with the bad and going to the worst
5. The Peace!: I’m sure many of you love this dance,and I really do like the song, but I’m sorry, I think it’s mostly stupid looking. What are they, Charlie Chaplin impersonators/Nazis?
4.Hyoktorri Hontonjima: I probably spelled that wrong, but it’s okay, because I kind of hate the song. I know it’s a kids song, so I should probably be more forgiving, but the stupid repeated chorus with the stupid repeated arm motions really get on my nerves
3.Ambitious: It’s just jerky and awkward. The part where they air play violins looks dumb too.
2.Chokkan2: Miming that you’re fishing wasn’t sexy when Goofy did it in “A Goofy Movie” and it’s not sexy when MM does it either
1.Egao Yes Nude: WTF jigging!?!?!?
Oct 26 2007
Today’s costume hall of shame touches on a topic very near and dear to my heart, marching band uniforms. Yes, I wasn’t always the infathomably cool person you see before you today. No, in high school, I was in marching band. As such, I was occasionally required to wear a marching band uniform. Let me tell you some things about marching band uniforms.
1. They are as uncomfortable as hell
2.They are designed to make everyone’s torso look like an identical box (no hips, no boobs, no waist, wide shoulders)
3. They are not, and never will be cute. Ever.
Which brings me to the distressing reason for today’s entry. Someone at the H!P wardrobe department is designing costumes that look like marching band uniforms. Marching Band uniforms belong in a parade, or possibly a football half time show, but NOT on stage during a Hello Project concert. Behold (sorry for the crappy pics):
I am especially concerned about Maki here. Doesn’t that outfit just look horribly heavy? I’m afraid that she’s about to collapse under the weight of that hybrid “marching band uniform- velvet curtains stolen from an abandoned mansion” monstrosity that she’s wearing.
I know that the Japanese love uniforms, but allow me to suggest some uniform styles that are much cuter than marching band:
school, police, girl scout, boy scout, stewardess, waitress, nurse, soccer, military, postal worker, McDonald’s employee, star trek, prison, and TV repairman. If you run out of ideas, I can come up with more, just please, no more marching band uniforms, okay? I guess it could be worse though. I don’t see any feathery hats.
Oct 25 2007
10. Ookina ai de motenashite-Cute, I don’t mean the whole song. Just the titular super cutesey super high lyrics. Of all the songs that tend to get stuck in my head, this one by far annoys me the most.
9. Dekkai uchuu ni ai ga aru-MM, it’s the chorus. They just sing it over and over and over again.
8.Zutto suki de ii desuka?-Ayaya, I’m not sure why this one is so catchy for me, but the chorus really is
7. Ai no imi wo oshiete-W, “Egao o afureteru mou mainichi daisuki na no” it’s the high cutsey thing again! the second most annoying song to frequently get stuck in my head
6. Balalaika-Kirari, What can I say? I don’t think a list of h!p songs that get stuck in your head could be complete without this one. I believe that it sold so well only because it wouldn’t stop playing in people’s heads until they bought the CD and could play it for real. Clever Koharu…
5. Hare ame nochi suki-MM sakuragumi, mostly the “ne hare dooriame nochi SUKI” line. Yeah, I’m kind of surprised when ballads get stuck in my head, but this one always does.
4. Aruiteru-MM, another ballad? Yeah, but only for the relentlessly repeated “nanananananana” parts.
3. Yuruki! It’s Easy-Maki, Now this one deserves it’s own special place among the songs that annoy me, because it causes only two words to repeat over and over in my head, “daijoubu kitto daijoubu…daijoubu kitto daijoubu…daijoubu kitto daijoubu…etc. until the end of time”
2. Genki jirushi no oomori song- Minimoni, An odd choice I know. I wanted to put this song lower down, but I had to be honest with myself and give it the number 2 spot. Something about the chorus just sticks with me. That, and whenever I hear the word ‘genki’ I have an almost unstopable urge to break into this song.
1. Go girl koi no victory-MM, Easy, easy choice. This song was MADE to get stuck in your head. I honestly don’t see how it could not. This song also holds the dubious honor of being the only song to get its dance stuck in my head. Is that even really possible?
Oct 24 2007
This entry is about Morning Musume’s new single, Mikan! Now that radio rips are out, a few opinions. Let’s start with the good things, then the bad.
~a much more even line distribution than ONSA. It seems that everybody gets to sing alot. There are some MM songs out there were certain girls only actually sing for 2 or 3 lines, but this isn’t one of them. Ai-chan and Reina get the most solos, but they’re the best singers, so that makes sense. Risa and Eri get a couple of solo lines each. Aika and Koharu each get one, and even Sayumi gets a couple of solo lines.
~the song is happy!! I love happy MM songs, and in my opinion, it’s been way too long since we had a genuinely happy MM single. There’s great energy to the song, and the backbeat feels like you would want to jump up and down a bunch to it
~The song also seems to have a really nice message. I love the ‘life is one time’ lines in the chorus. Positive messages seem to appeal well to the Japanese public (looking at Aruiteru), and that combined with the energy of the song should equal a winner
~They kept the ‘rock’ vibe that has been in their past songs but lost the man hating. Their last few songs were more ‘cool’, maybe, but this one is happy while still keeping the guitar instead of using a para-para type feel, which, if this makes any sense, adds more ‘fullness’ to the song. I always find the parapara techno type songs to sound kind of ‘empty’. Ambitious and Sexy Boy did to me anyway. Maybe “not rich enough” is the right way to put it
~I don’t object to Sayumi having solos. She was the only one who didn’t have a single solo line in ONSA, and that made me feel bad for her. But…. can’t they give her an easier line maybe, or something that doesn’t stick out as much? It just doesn’t sound very good at all, in my opinion.
~Not much pandas. I think they might either have one shared line or one very short solo line each, and I know they’re new, but those girls can sing. They really can, so I think they at least deserve a full line each.
~I kind of wish there were more spoken/shouted parts interspersed at the end. I mean, kind of like Ai-araba or Koko ni Iruzee has them. Those lines always add great energy and variety to the last chorus or two, when we’ve already heard the melodic line before so it doesn’t sound like the same old thing again. There are a couple in this song, but I’d like there to be more.
Overall, I really like the song. It’s not going to go down as my favorite song of all time, but I think that this kind of song is just what MM needs right now, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the PV. I have a feeling it’ll be much more interesting than the last couple.
Oct 24 2007
-Cute’s new single released. It’s awesome, great dance, and, as predicted, selling better than any h!p kids single that has come before it. Great to see a h!p group with increasing sales, isn’t it?
-Fan-recording of Mikan posted (today!) and it’s a happy cheerful song with a catchy hook, and, from what I can hear I really like it!
-Footage of the 10th anniversary summer concert comes out, and I love watching concert footage. It’s the best thing about h!p in my opinion, seeing our girls in action! Reina proves that she is capable of filling the spot Miki left behind, especially with her duet with Ai-chan.
-Risa’s single with Aika, Chisato, and Saki PV comes out, and they all look adorable, especially Aika! Come to think of it, given the similar bouncy cheerful nature of Mikan, I predict that she will look super cute in that PV too
-JunJun steals a bananna on Hello Morning, and linlin continues to get cuter by the day.
-Speaking of Risa, it was Risa’s birthday!! See my previous entry for heaps of praise for her.
-The all singles collection is going to be released this week, which is exciting to me, because I really want a full non-concert version of Hello to You
-I’m done with my midterms! (okay, that one isn’t strictly H!P related, but it’s making me happy right now, so )
And since I can’t stop doing them, how’s about another lyrics faceoff! I’ve got to get these out before people get ahold of the Mikan lyrics and my counts are all messed up. Today’s is the closest one yet. The words are: yume(dream), issho(together), and onna(woman) Try to guess which will be the most common, k? I think it’s more fun that way!
Oct 24 2007
Today, in honor of Gaki-san’s birthday, and the fact that I’ve finally reached the top of my list of favorite current Morning Musume members, it’s my thoughts on Risa “mayuge-beam gaki-san mame athena sub-leader nii-nii” Niigaki.
Why do I love Gaki-san so? It’s not because I think she’s the best singer in Morning Musume, or the prettiest in Morning Musume either. She’s one of the best (warm and rich voice) and one of the prettiest (isshun anyone?), but that’s not why I love her. She also happens to be, in my opinion, the most improved in all aspects of being an idol in the history of morning musume, but even that’s not why. It’s because watching her on stage or on tv shows or PVs or whatever never ever fails to make me happy. Risa just projects this aura of genuine radiant happiness and enthusiasm wherever she goes. And on those occasions when she’s not happy, well, she projects that loud and clear too. She’s not called the reaction queen for nothing after all. But most of the time she’s wearing her dazzling smile and practically flying off the stage with the energy she’s putting into her performance, how could anyone not love her? And out of all MM, she’s the girl that seems like she would make the best friend. You can tell everyone in the group loves her, she’s the one the new members seem to be looking to, and from watching her ongoing friendship with Ai-chan, it’s clear how much she values her friends.
Another thing that I love about Risa is that she has that underdog factor going on. For a long time she was the girl who was known for two things, wearing pigtails all the time and… having eyebrows? She had the enthusiasm and the talent, but was rather rough around the edges, and she was pushed aside in 5th gen in favor of the lovely Ai-chan the adorable kon-kon, and the humorous makoto. For her entire time in MM she has, mostly, been in the back or the corner, getting to sing her line or two because she has vocal skills, but she’s never been the star.
Only recently is she getting a bit more recognition with the 10th anniversary unit, and now the anime thing, but she’s still one of the least spotlighted members of the group. Despite all this, she goes on, with that smile on her face, and we never once doubt her passion for being a member of morning musume. That passion doesn’t seem to have wavered since she was openly sobbing with joy on the show where it was revealed that she had passed the audition, and when interviewed about how she felt, her reply was something along the lines of “it’s like my dream has come true”.
Oct 24 2007
Taken seperately, the parts of this costume would be unattractive. Put together, and it’s an awful mess. The worst part is the lime green skirt… thing. It looks like it was trying to be a tutu, but there was a wardrobe malfunction that caused it to start slipping off on one side, and then it begun to unravel over there, so it ended up flapping around their legs. That must be annoying. Since the tutu wasn’t doing the job anymore, they went ahead and slipped a pair of white short-shorts underneath. Then there’s the gigantic gold and rhinestone colar that just screams “I bought this at party depo to go with my Cleopatra costume for Halloween” and is not in the LEAST bit gaudy. And what’s this on the other side of Ai-chan’s leg? Looks like the designers thought the costume was too asymetrical with stuff only hanging down around one leg, so they added a strip of the bedazzled material to the other side to compensate. It almost looks like some kind of tail peaking out from under the skirt, doesn’t it? The finishing touch has got to be the clumps of pastel yellow, blue, and pink ribbons attached to Ai-chan’s back and Reina’s hip. Those things came out of nowhere! Moving on…
Multiple choice quiz time. Ayaya is….
A.The victim of a tragic arts and crafts accident that involved her being doused in glue and dropped into a vat of pom-poms
B.Trying to be more fluffy than all of MorningMusume in the Bonkyu Bomb tour encore combined, because she’s just that good
C.Paying for losing a bet with Mikitty (she would make someone wear this, wouldn’t she?)
D.The Queen of the Rainbow Tribbles! All hail the queen!!!!!
Oct 24 2007
In a closer race than last time, Mirai wins! I’m kind of surprised how common it was. Morning Musume seems to be very future focused. Let’s hope this means that they will have a long future, ne?