Archive for July, 2008

Jul 30 2008

A Super Quick Update

Published by under c-ute,Momusu

Just to reassure you that this blog hasn’t been abandoned, a very quick reactions post to some recent happenings. I’m due to catch a monorail for Tokyo DisneySea in just a little while.

-Kanna scandal. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Why do scandals break out every time I leave? If I really cared about Hello Project, I would never leave my computer, because bad things only happen when I’m not looking. Will she be okay? I mean, she’s probably the most dispensable member of C-ute (no offense to Kanna fans. I mean in terms of her role within the group and popularity level), but they seem to like the idea of C-ute and Berryz having the same number of members…

-Mysterious new Momusu song being sung at the end of the Wonderful Hearts concert. Is it a single? An album song? Whatever it is, I hope it’s a sign that Morning Musume will be releasing new music soon. And by soon, I mean like yesterday. It’s a very pretty song. Also, go LinLin! Her lines in the fan recordings are really impressive.

-New C-ute single/PV. Too happy over Chisato finally getting a chance to shine to care about how short it is. I’m in the camp that likes the costumes, even if Airi’s doesn’t really match.

-One of my friends who I’m traveling with has been living here for a year and finds herself more interested in Jpop after hearing so much of it. She even likes a handful of h!p songs especially Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance, Cinderella Complex, and the Genki Jirushii no Oomori song. Yay!

-New Koharu photobook. Uhmmmm… since when is Koha a dominatrix. Leather and fishnets? Really??

-Lookit what I found in a bookshop! Have I mentioned how much of a kick I get out of seeing pictures of my favorite idols/ occasionally hearing their songs playing?

Ug. I am so behind!

~Celestia~

4 responses so far

Jul 20 2008

Japan Journal

Published by under Personal

Just to let you know, I’m converting my old livejournal into a journal detailing the non-Jpop related portions of my experience in Japan. I don’t want to clutter my J-pop blogs with that kind of stuff. If you are interested, the link is HERE

Happy Reading,

~Celestia~

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Jul 18 2008

Japan Day 1

Published by under Momusu

I tried to stay away from blogging. I really did. That lasted all of a day. Turns out that the town I’m staying in is known for its second hand stores. I can buy used CDs for about a dollar!!! How much more would that cost in America (with shipping)?? Of course, the selection is pretty limited, but this is what I bought.

  • I WISH
  • The Peace!
  • Koko ni Iruzee
  • The Minimoni movie soundtrack
  • Hare Ame Nochi Suki
  • Souda We’re Alive
  • Ai Araba It’s All Right
  • Do It Now
  • Best! Morning Musume One
  • Petit Best 6 DVD

The total cost for all of these items? Less than $20. In short, my first day in Japan was awesome!

Jealous?

~Celestia~

3 responses so far

Jul 15 2008

Status Update

Published by under c-ute,Personal

Just so ya’ know, I leave for Japan tomorrow, which means you can’t expect any real updates from me for a little while. I haven’t been writing much lately because I’ve been busy preparing, and I don’t plan of getting back to blogging until I’m settled in Japan. Don’t worry! I am not abandoning this blog at all, and I’ll be back just as soon as I have a chance.

Before I go, this just in: Chisato has solo lines in C-ute’s new single!!!!!!!!!!! My prayers have finally been answered. I’ll take this as a good omen for my trip.

See you on the other side,

~Celestia~ 

4 responses so far

Jul 11 2008

My Job in Japan (Oh no, This Isn’t H!p Related At All)

Published by under Personal

I just found out a lot of information about my new job (finally). I’ll be teaching at 2 elementary schools and a Junior High. At the Junior High I’ll be assisting the real teacher, but at the elementary schools, I’m in charge. Like, I’m THE English teacher. OMG! Alone in a classroom full of little Japanese kids. Scary! And you know they hardly speak any English at all… I think I’ll be at each of the elementary schools one day a week and at the Junior High the other 3 days.
My new apartment sounds great too. No more than 5 minutes from the station, grocery store, and my workplace, and it has a balcony and everything. Air-conditioning, internet, washing machine, TV, fully furnished kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. Nice right? Also, no key deposit, and first month’s rent isn’t due until I get my first paycheck, so looks like I’ll be just fine during my little two week mini-vacation before I move in.

I’m getting so excited I can hardly stand it!!!

~Celestia~

EDIT: I fixed it! I meant to include this clip in the post about the berryz/c-ute concert, but I was having some trouble with the video uploading, but I’ve got it now. Maimi’s “Natsu Doki Lipstick” with both Sakis having a dance off. One of my favorite performances of the concert!

Online Videos by Veoh.com

2 responses so far

Jul 09 2008

Goals For Japan

Published by under Personal

I am officially leaving for Japan in one week. One week!!! I’m having trouble sleeping at night because I’m just too excited. I figured that it would be a good idea to write down some goals for my time there. If I post them here I might be held slightly more accountable, you see.

-Sing Hello Project/Other Japanese songs at Karaoke. No wussing out and singing only American songs!!

-On that same note (lol), try to go to Karaoke as much as possible. It’s fun, and a good bonding experience

-Use Japanese. For reals. No falling back on English unless I absolutely must, and no keeping silent instead of saying something that I want to because I’m not entirely sure I’ve got all the grammar right. (this might be the most difficult goal)

-Never be late for work. Ever. They really don’t like that, and I’ve gotten used to sleeping in over here. That’s gotta stop.

-Save some money. Don’t blow it all on Jpop stuff. (this one pains me, but it must be done)

-Go to as many concerts as possible (has been my stated intention all along. may be at odds with that last one though…)

-Meet up with Yohei, Eri, Marumi, Yuka, Sayaka, and Mayu and other Japanese friends at least once

-Locate and visit a h!p store

-Go to hot springs at least once, soak nakedly and without shame

-Try every new food. Just one bite to see if I like it.

-Find a way to exercise regularly

-Remember to call home once in a while so Mom doesn’t think I’m dead

Likely I will think of more later, but this seems like a good start.

Resolutely,

~Celestia~ 

4 responses so far

Jul 08 2008

~Berryz Kamen vs Cutie Ranger~ Concert Review

Published by under berryz,c-ute,reviews,video

The Berryz Kamen vs Cutie Rangers concert promised to be spectacular, and it did not disappoint. I love the entire concept of this concert. I’ll say right up front that this is one of the best h!p concerts I’ve ever seen, and certainly the best since Momusu’s glory days. This concert also makes me happy, because setting up a “versus” concert like this means that C-ute are finally considered to be Berryz equals. I mean, Berryz will always have a bit higher status, but the fact that C-ute can be their legitimate rivals means that their days of being “the girls who didn’t get into Berryz” are really finally over. I wonder whether Berryz are happy for them or a bit miffed.

As usual, I’ve picked a “winner” for each performance just for fun.

Darling I Love You, All- Of course, the song that both Berryz and C-ute covered is a fitting way to start the concert since it belongs to neither group. These dresses are just superb. If the costume department is capable of designing costumes like this, then why are there so many making it into my costume hall of shame? Risako’s singing is a little shaky on her first line, but other than that it’s a good solid beginning for the concert.
Winner: Chinami. Hard one to pick since they seemed to be trying really hard to feature all of the girls equally, but she had the cutest expression during her singing close-up.

Special Generation, All- The addition of C-ute and the super-charged atmosphere brings new life to Special Generation! Sometimes it can fall a bit flat lately, probably because the Berryz could do it in their sleep by now, but everyone seemed really into it today. It’s weird watching C-ute members sing Berryz lines (and visa versa) but I guess I’ll have to get used to that with this concert.
Winner: Mai/Yurina. They’re doubled on Yurina’s lines in the chorus, and I never realized how good their voices sound together. MaiMai also did a good job with her solo line at the beginning.

I enjoyed this performance so much, I’ve embedded it.

Online Videos by Veoh.com
Ookina Ai de Motenashite, All- I think that all of their songs are better with both Berryz and C-ute performing them. This song is usually only Maimi and Airi, but now it’s also Momoko, Yurina, and Miyabi. Yay!
Winner: Momoko. She only has one short line, but I’m pretty sure she was born to sing this song.

If you ever watched Power Rangers or any of its spawn, you will get a kick out of the VTR. Their props are ridiculous, especially Risako looking so serious with her little toy bow and arrow. I like how they made Maasa and Kanna the leaders of their respective ranger groups as those two don’t tend to get much attention.

After the awesome VTR there are member introductions. They have nice “street clothes” style costumes. The fact that Berryz is in bright colors while C-ute has black and white with high boots just seems to emphasize that, despite being younger on average, C-ute ‘s music is really less “kiddie” than Berryz. The two groups are placed on opposite stages (great set-up) and each swearing not to lose…

Namida no Iro, Cute- Man. The girls are really on tonight. Perhaps this “rivalry” has motivated them. The dancing looks energetic, and the singing is great as well. The costumes are once again very nice, though I wish they didn’t always insist on dressing Chisato as a little boy.
Winner: Maimai. Someone so young should not be able to look that sassy. I guess she hasbeen trained to be an idol since the age of six. A full half of her life actually.

Munasawagi Scarlet, Berryz- My favorite Berryz song! The singing was good, but after C-ute’s performance I felt like the dancing was a bit lacking in energy. It was a good performance, but the bar has already been set so high on this concert that I’m being extra critical.
Winner: Risako. This is just one of those songs that’s in the perfect range for her, and those “oooh yes my love” lines get me every time.

Lalala Shiawase no Uta, C-ute- Oh great. My least favorite C-ute song. Guess it had to come up sometime. It does look better without the jellyfish dresses. I’ll give them that. When they were in their little can-can line it was humorously obvious how much shorter Chisato is than everyone else now.
Winner: Nakki. She didn’t screw up her line, and she looked the happiest out there. When you’re singing ‘lalalala’ over and over and over again, being able to continue smiling so genuinely throughout is an accomplishment.

Dschingis Khan, Berryz- Oh great. My second least favorite Berrryz song. Well, again, it had to come up sometime. I still think this is set in too high a key for them.
Winner: Chinami, because the only thing that really stood out to me was how great Chinami looked in her shorts. She really does have great legs, doesn’t she?

Tokkaiko Junjou, C-ute- I like how they’re sort of alternating and facing off in this section. It really adds to the “rivalry” theme. Also, the girls only have to perform one song between breaks, so they’re less tired for each song. This one was a GREAT performance of an already great song. I can’t say enough about how much I love that dance.
Winner: Airi. She doesn’t always get her lines perfectly with this song, but she nailed them this time.

Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi, Berryz- Ya know, this song has grown on me. Lots of pretty smiles in this performance. Maybe it’s grown on the Berryz too.
Winner: Captain. I noticed her bright smile in particular.

Very Beauty, Risako/Airi- Shuffled groups and it’s not even a Wonderful Hearts concert. Yay! Wish it had been Miyabi instead of Risako though. Oh well. I guess she wasn’t too bad. Her voice has become more powerful, but sometimes it gets shouty. I’d been wanting to see what Airi could do with this song, because she’s all about the falsetto thing.
Winner: Airi. Her voice was like a breath of fresh air after Risako. I was right. This song is perfect for her.

Bokura no Kagayaki, Kanna/Chisato/Maasa/Yurina/Chinami- Isn’t Erika supposed to be in this? I guess she gets her solo thing later though. Most of the lines were done in groups, but Chisa got to keep her solos (the ones that Airi stole from her at the last c-ute concert. I’m still not really over that).
Winner: Chisato! She really stole the show with her exuberance, and her solo lines are the best part of the song. Hearing it makes me start lamenting her lack of lines in their singles once again.

Sayonara Hageshiki Koi, Nakki/Captain/Momo/Miya/Maimi/Mai- Watch out Wotas. This song has a fast tempo, and your ‘L-O-V-E Lovely’ chants were a little off. I’m glad they chose to perform this song. It’s rapidly becoming one of my favorites from Berryz albums.
Winner: Captain. For her dancing and little coy looks at the camera.

That’s the POWER, All- I still like it better without all the towel waving, and I didn’t even like it that much then. Not my favorite part of this concert.
Winner: Nakki. Just like she was super-happy to sing “Lalala” she manages to look genuinely thrilled about telling people to wave towels.

Do Don ga Don Ondou, All ft.Erika- Silly silly song, but there’s something special about it that made this the only track from C-ute’s new album to make the cut.
Winner: It’s gotta be Erika, right? I’m glad she’s developing her comedic talent and standing out more. She’s full of confidence.

Honto no Jibun, Buono- Buono’s sure looking hot in their black leather costumes. It was a really really short version of the song though.
Winner: Miyabi. Goggles+Huge Ponytail=Win

Renai Rider, Buono- Started a little rough, but got it back by the end. Very spirited and adorable dancing.
Winner: Airi. Momo and Miyabi’s first solo lines both sounded weak, so Airi by default.

Natsu DOKI Lipstick, Maimi/Captain/Nakki- I see they’ve gathered the best dancers out of the h!p kids. Sweet! As a big fan of dancing, I approve. The Saki’s are both awesome.
Winner: Maimi. Despite the Saki’s exuberant dancing, it’s really Maimi’s song after all, and her own dancing is just as good.

Massara Blue Jeans, C-ute then All- Lol at Airi sounding kind of manly on the “warratte let’s go” line. Also Lol at all of the h!p kids (plus 1 kanna) air-humping together like total pro’s.
Winner: Risako. She took Maimi’s solo and did a nice job with it. Good for her. Her shouty singing works for this song.

Jiriri Kiteru, AllStill good, but they’re starting to look a little tired.
Winner:
Momoko. I liked her singing

Jump, All- Love this song, and I think I love this version even more than when just c-ute performs it. It seems like it shows up at the end or encore of every C-ute concert nowadays. I have no problem with that. Interesting that they didn’t change the “jumpjumpjumpjump c-ute” line.
Winner: Kanna. Of the three girls who had solo lines (Kanna, Erika, and Nakki), I think Kanna did the best.

Yuujou Junjou oh Seishun, All- I’ve always thought of “Jump” as the “Yuujou Junjou oh Seishun” of C-ute, so it makes sense to me to put both of these back to back. On the other hand, both of these songs require huge amounts of energy from the girls, so it also makes sense that they did shortened versions. Looks like the girls are having fun.
Winner: Miya for being able to deliver her solo lines that well after all the jumping around.

I don’t usually review MCs, but the ‘Cutie Ranger and Berryz Kamen vs music stealing monster’ skit was great. It reminded me of those old Sailor Moon musicals, complete with flashing colored lights for “attacks”, making this one of the best thought-out h!p MCs. It was pretty darn funny too.

Warera! Berryz Kamen, All- Some of the “Berryz Kamen” lines were changed to “Cutie Rangers” so it wasn’t too weird seeing this performed with C-ute. Musical dance fighting! I’m being reminded of the Sailor Moon musicals again. I wonder if that song was written with this concert specifically in mind or if they decided to do a concert with a ranger theme after writing the song. Special props to Yurina for wearing very tight, shiny, vinyl, bright green capri pants. That takes courage, even if you are as skinny as she is.
Winner:
Maasa. She had a very exposed solo there in the middle, and frankly, I was surprised at how well she sang. I wanted to slap her on the back and say, “Way to go Maasa!”

Sakura Chirari, All- Not the song I would pick to end a concert at all. Sakura Chirari is so… anticlimactic. The girls are cute, but the last song needs to be more energetic or more emotional or more something. Oh well. Guess they wanted to end it on a cute note.
Winner: Everybody! Thanks for a great concert girls!

I hope they do another joint concert while I’m in Japan. They’d have a tough time topping this one though. It still amazes me to look at how far these girls have come from when they first auditioned. In their first interviews they’re all whispering, fidgeting, and extremely camera-shy. Looking at them back then, I’d never think they’d amount to more than cute little novelty background dancers, and most or all of them would be “graduated” by the time they hit puberty. Today they’re confident, charismatic, and accomplished idols. I wonder if even Tsunku foresaw how far they would someday go.

Now, to tally the votes. Please enjoy this clip of Momoko spazzing while trying to help lost little Mai-chan find her mommy.

Online Videos by Veoh.com
The ballots have been counted, and the concert winner is…. Suzuki Airi with 3 wins! Congrats to Airi.

Henshin!

~Celestia~

2 responses so far

Jul 06 2008

Who got shafted by the wardrobe department this time?

Published by under eye candy,Momusu

When Morning Musume’s Bonkyu concert was going on I wrote THIS, and I’d like to do something similar here for Haru Single Daizenshuu. The focus is on the sets where every girl is wearing something similar but different, because, inevitably, some girls are going to end up with something a lot nicer than others. So, who has pissed off the costume designers today? I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a quick review of the costumes that are too much the same to declare a winner and loser. Oh, and just so there isn’t any confusion, this entry is not meant to be part of the hall of shame series. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that I’m not a heartless bitch who hates every costume ever. Plus, it’s a good excuse to post a whole bunch of Momusu eye-candy.

These are pretty!! Since they’re being used for a flamenco-ish song (Iroppoi Jirettai), I don’t even mind all the ruffles.

I’m very “meh” about the warrior princess costumes.

These are probably my least favorite from this concert. I think they all might be a little different, but it just looks like a big zebra-like mesh of fake flowers and breeches to me (breeches not shown in this picture, but who really wants to look at breeches anyway?), so I’m not going to try to discern which ones are the best.

Oh yes. Sayu the smexy school-girl. My one gripe is that Ai-chan looks kind of ridiculous in this. She’s really too old to be dressed as a schoolgirl anymore.

Technically these are different for each girl because the sash is in each girl’s designated color, but other than that they are the same. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that rainbow fabric somewhere before…(hint: purple feathers). If you don’t remember their colors: Ai-chan=yellow, Risa=green, Eri=orange, Sayu=pink, Reina=light blue, Koha=red, Mittsi=purple, JunJun=dark blue, and LinLin=turquoise. This becomes important later.

Peace! Peace!

Encore costumes are blue or pink t-shirts with their names on them, denim bottoms, and…feathery bustles. This is another example of a costume that was so close to being cute. I should “hall of shame” them for the bustle infraction, but I’m in a good mood today, so I’ll let it slide this time.

And now for the fun part! These dresses aren’t all that different, so we’ll start with this set. First, the “also rans”

They’re cute, right? The only problem is that I couldn’t find a picture of Koha’s. Sorry about that.

And now! The worst costume in this set is……

It’s not horrible, but she’s the only one with sleeves, and I just don’t think it works with the dress. I don’t know why, but I’m somehow reminded of Star Trek.

That means the winner is….

The horizontal stripes with the chevron shape are flattering. I also like the see-through collar.

Now for the “Mr. Moonlight” set. The girls are all wearing “their” color again. See? I told you it would become important later.

“Also rans!”

And this time the costume designers hate….

JunJun! Is it just me, or does she not match the others very well? They’ve all got patterned fabric and lace and frills everywhere, so her costume looks downright plain and (were the skirt longer) school marm-ish. The high collar in particular is almost severe. To be fair, Reina’s almost took this spot for going too far in the opposite direction.

Who slipped those designers a crisp $100 bill?

Gaki-san is wearing a costume that I would be happy to wear in public as a dress. That might be a Morning Musume first! Just look at how cute this is!

For the last set, I’d like to do something a little bit different. The current poll has been up for a long while, so I think it’s time for a change! This time, you can play the fashion police and help determine the winners and losers of this set! Here are the costumes:

So, is Sayu’s baby-doll dress the cutest of the bunch? Does Reina’s pirate-wench costume float your boat? Vote for best dressed in the handy poll on the left side!

L8r,

~Celestia~

PS. The winner of the “favorite egg” poll was Arisa Noto with Yuu Kikkawa in second and Sayaka Kitihara in third. The most surprising thing for me was that Minami Sengoku did not get a single vote. I thought she had some fans out there somewhere? *scratches head*

PPS. When is Morning Musume going to get a new single? Berrysz and C-ute are both on their third for the year plus an album, and MM has only had one single and no albums!! The one single they had has easily out-sold anything either of the kids groups has ever done, so why are the kids groups getting so many more releases? It’s injustice!! Injustice I tell you!!

8 responses so far