Archive for November, 2008

Nov 17 2008

Let’s Talk About Forever Love

Published by under c-ute,reviews

It figures, right as I finish ranking C-ute’s PVs they just have to go and come out with a new one. I’ve barely started ranking PVs and it’s already out of date. Usual review style with good points and bad points. I’m considering the song too, BTW, not just the PV.

=) !Good! =)

-How hot is Nakki in this PV? I mean, when she has her usual side ponytail during the casual-wear, not so much, but in that suit with her hair down. Wowza. She’s sure grown up a lot in this past year or so.

-Speaking of Nakki, the dance is an ovbious win, and I’m not surprised that she’s placed center for it. She’s not even my favorite member of C-ute, but my eyes keep going right to her. It occurs to me that C-ute are probably the best dancers, on average, out of the 3 main Wonderful Hearts groups right now. Tokkaiko Junjou, Namida no Iro, and now Forever Love. They always seem to have the best and most challenging dance routines. Berryz, I’m afraid to say, tends to have the simplest.

-The suits in general are also very nice, especially with the wallet chains.

-OMG C-ute really loves using their assigned member colors. There were 2 costumes from the last concert featuring them, two from the last concert as well, and now check out the background colors in their closeup shots. Notice anything???? I put this in the positive because I’m so proud of myself for noticing.

-The intro to the song is rocking, and the verses aren’t bad but….

=( Bad =(

-the chorus is a huge letdown. The intro led me to expect something strong and rock-flavored. Instead I got sugary sweet My darling! and I love you“. No no no no! Does not match!! I wouldn’t hate the chorus so much if I didn’t feel so cheated.

-Whining about line distribution=bad and annoying, and yet, come on. The most popular singers get the most lines. I get that. I love Airi, and I’m fond of Maimi as well. On the other hand, would C-ute explode if instead of 20 solo lines each (yes I counted) they got like 15 each so the others could sing a bit more? Would even the most die-hard Airi/Maimi fans complain if the song had been arranged that way? I think not, and the fans of the other girls would be a hell of a lot happier.

-The outfits for the “casual wear” are a bit hit and miss. Kanna in particular is 100% miss. Who in their right mind thought that hat was a good idea? Who even out of their right mind would think that baggy, brown, plaid overalls were a good idea?

-Finally, the usual complaint you get with all the h!p PVs lately: there’s just not much going on. More variety in the types of scenes is and always will be appreciated.


5 responses so far

Nov 15 2008

C-ute PV Ranking

Published by under c-ute,top lists

It seems like a while since I’ve ranked anything, and I kind of miss it. Maybe my OCD tendencies are coming out, but there’s something satisfying about putting things in order, so I’m starting a new rankings series, this one for PVs. I’m trying to judge just the PV while ignoring how much I like the song, which may not be totally possible, but that’s the goal anyway.

C-ute is first because I’ve got C-ute on the brain since their new concert DVD just came out. For the groups like MM who have a lot of PVs I probably won’t comment on every single one like this, but C-ute has few enough that it’s manageable.

9.Lalala Shiawase no Uta- Lalala, girls putting on makeup in front of a mirror. We’ve never seen that in a h!p PV before. They could at least be doing it on an interesting set or something.

8.Sakura Chirari- Close-ups are just too close, the box background isn’t very appealing, the costumes and dance suck, and I wonder if Maimi knows Airi cheating on her by doing pair scenes with Kanna on the side.

7.Ookina Ai de Motenashite- God…it’s so CUTE. Love Nakki’s hair, btw, but the set looks super duper cheap, even by h!p standards.

6.Massara Blue Jeans- They’re outside, so I guess MaiMai’s sunglasses make sense for once. Or maybe she’s just trying to hide the fact that she’s waaaay too young for that aggressive air humping.

5.Edo no Temari no Uta- It fits the song, I’ll give them that. After watching the “dancer shot” version of the PV though all I can see are the creepy asexual background dancers.

4.Namida no Iro- So the girls look hot, which is good, but all we’ve got here is the usual dance shot/close-up rotation.

3.Soku Dakishimete- This PV is almost verging on having a plot. In what must be the lowest scoring game in the history of basketball, the clock is running out, C-ute is behind “ENEMY” 8-9, and Megumi makes the basket to give C-ute the victory. Unfortunately, she later tested positive for steroids and was forced to retire, but that has nothing to do with this particular PV. The freeze jump shots are a nice touch, particularly Maimi’s graceful leap to the basket and Mai’s adorable failure.

2.Tokkaiko Junjou- There’s lots of good things about this PV: Maimi’s back against the city skyline, the night dance scenes, and Chisato’s “WTF, that’s my ball bitch” face. However… the little girl gang walk thing is awkward, they make some strange faces at the camera in their close-ups, and it’s just not as fun as Meguru.

1.Meguru Koi no Kisetsu- I love the fact that they were actually rolling the different backdrops and girls in and out of view. They could have done the background changes with CG, but I like it a lot better this way. All the little scenes and the “snap shots” are great. The best PVs are the ones where you get a glimpse of the girls just goofing around together.



4 responses so far

Nov 12 2008

C-ute English

Published by under c-ute,video

Video of the English MC from C-ute’s concert DVD that was released today. I swear, it’s exactly like sitting in my junior high English classroom where I teach.

“Look! Look! What. is. this?”

“This. is. a. pen!”

“Yes! This. is. a. pen!”

and so on. They sound like such cute little robots. “He. Llo. Chi. Sa. To.”

The concert itself is…okay. I’m not the biggest fan of C-ute’s newest album though. On the bright side, most of the costumes are great! I am starting to think that C-ute is bribing the wardrobe department to give them good costumes and Berryz bad ones. Maybe more on that later.

Oh, and at one point Airi and Maimi have a tap dance battle. One of the most surprising things I’ve seen in a h!p concert so far.

Very Fine! Very Excellent!


2 responses so far

Nov 03 2008

Concert Reflection and Looking to the Future

Published by under Momusu

Waaa. Post-concert let down has set in. Sux. I want to go againnnnnn! Ah well, fortunately I will be in Japan for quite some time still, so there will be other opportunities.

As with the KAT-TUN concert I attended, it is a little bit surreal to see these people in real life that you’ve been worshiping from afar for so long. It’s almost like I don’t quite truly believe that they’re real people until I see them for myself. Oh but yes, they are very real, and every bit as sparkly as you imagined them to be.

Seeing Momusu live and in concert has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in Japan so far. I think you really have to do it for yourself to understand the kind of crazy electric energy that suffuses these concerts. The girls feeding off of the audience’s enthusiasm and the audience feeding off of the girl’s energy. If it is within your power to attend your favorite group’s concert in Japan, DO IT. That’s all I can say. It will be an experience you will not soon forget.

Which leads me to my next concert plans. I want to see the Winter Wonderful Hearts show, but the dates are really tricky. There will be performances in Tokyo on January 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The 5th isn’t mentioned in the PPN, but it lies. I have a flyer from yesterday’s concert to prove it. Anyway, the problem here is that I’m going home (to the US) for Christmas, and I will be arriving back in Japan in the evening on January 3rd. I will be here on the 4th and 5th, but getting tickets is now an issue. I don’t think they will go on sale before I leave for America (December 14th) and waiting to buy them from a reseller or scalper until the 4th seems risky. I could order tickets online, but I have a window of exactly 1 day for them to be delivered, January 4th. I won’t be home on the 3rd until late, and the 5th would be the day of the concert. If for some reason there is a problem with delivering them on that exact day, I will be left without tickets!

Ga! What to do?? I can’t wait until next spring to see Momusu again!


2 responses so far

Nov 03 2008

Resonant Live: Concert Report

Published by under Momusu

How to write this? Everything is all a crazy blur. So much to process…I think I’ll write a full disclosure of Day 1, and then anything different or notable will be under Day 2.


Well, let’s start at the beginning. For the first night’s concert, after an exciting day of vacuuming, washing dishes, and doing laundry, I caught a train to Shinjuku. I’d never been to Shinjuku before, and it was quite overwhelming. Tons of people, flashing lights everywhere, pretty typical Tokyo stuff really. Check out my Japan blog if you want more on that. Well, I was supposed to take the “East” exit to meet CK, but unfortunately, there were 3 “East” exits. “East”, “Central East”, and “South East”. I found the latter one first, and then had to spend a while wandering around the building trying to figure out which way was East. For the record,  the correct exit would have been “Central East” and my sense of direction is horrible. Well, we managed to meet up without further mishap and arrived at the concert venue just as they were starting to let people in.

Our seats were pretty high up in the balcony section =( The good news was that we were almost exactly dead center, and we were seated in front of an aisle, meaning there was no one standing up directly in front of us. The concert started a bit late, but when they brought a keyboard out on set, we knew that it was time for some Mano.

Lucky Aura– I’m really glad that Erina sang her new song, because I like it much better than Mano Piano. For the record, she did indeed play the keyboard in this one too, and it looked more difficult than her piano part in Mano Piano. ManoEri as adorable. Absolutely adorable. I’m not totally sure, but it looked like she was getting teary-eyed when she thanked everyone at the end.

Sono Bamen de Bibicha Ikenai Jan!Surprisingly, a great song to open the concert. It’s not my favorite just for listening to, but it worked well live. Lots of fun energy.

Mikan- Another surprise here, how much I enjoyed this. I finally get Mikan. It’s so much more fun to dance along to during a concert than it is to listen to on its own.

MC– Member introductions. JunJun was so cute, because she forgot to go when it was her turn. She had the most adorable puzzled look on her face when the others were trying to get her to go. After the introductions were over, Gaki-san said, “Hold on! JunJun, are you asleep??” Lol.

Pepper Keibu- Outfits are hot, and so was the dancing at the bridge.

Top/YAH Aishita!- I enjoyed both of these, but nothing specific stands out right now.

Inspiration- Least favorite song of the concert. Sorry.

Ambitious- Second least favorite song of the concert. Sorry again.

Purple Wind- Okay, but still not my favorite.

Lemon Iro to Milk Tea- Yay Rokkies! Eri lead tonight (Reina lead on night 2) I thought I would hate the outfits, but somehow I didn’t. Really cute.

MC– What I got from this MC was Reina making some kind of horrible pun on her name “Amoreina” as in “Amore” fused with her name, and throwing a fit when the others didn’t get it.

Tan Tan Taaan- I was so excited when Sayaka and Yuu walked out with Koharu. They were all singing live too! I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m in the minority who really likes this song. I like it a lot better than Anataboshi in fact.

That Aika solo with a really long name- I like the song. I don’t love it, but I like it. Aika is cute, so is her outfit, and yes she’s improved a lot, though there were still a few questionable notes in there.

GuruGuru Jump- This one had such a silly dance. It was almost MiniMoni-esque. MM’s next original album is shaping up great, if only they’d announce it.

Ai-chan Solo- Boring. I blame the song, not the girl. Also, her white foofy dress was ruined by the black boots she was wearing underneath.

Take off is Now- Oh my! This had some sexy dancing. The girls were even feeling each other up at several points. LOVE the dance, and the song’s not half bad either.

MC- JunJun demonstrated how she can make herself cry, earning many shouts of “Moe~!” from the audience. Koharu tried to do it. The first time she just yelled “Waaa!”, and on the second attempt she broke into a grin after trying for about 2 seconds. Failure Koharu.

Dou ni mo Tomaranai- Don’t remember a whole lot about this.

Koi no Dial 6700- One of the highlights of the concert. LinLin was so great starting off with the “Rinrinrinrin” part. I love that they gave her the part that’s essentially chanting her own nickname over and over. The girls seemed to have a lot of fun hamming it up for this song. At one point they spell out 6700 with their bodies.

MC- Ai and Risa. They’re very cute together, but they talked a lot. At one point, Risa mentioned Reina, and she suddenly popped out from backstage and waved.

Souda! We’re Alive– And now we enter the “classics” portion of the concert. This song was my personal favorite of the night, mostly because I loved shouting the “go! go! go! go!” parts. Needless to say, the audience got really into it.

Roman My Dear Boy/ Onna ni Sachi Are- Good good. Nothing like a round of high-energy singles to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

Koko ni Iruzee– And said frenzy reaches its peak. So much fuuuuun live. Everyone is jumping all over the place, audience and girls alike. One thing I did notice was that Aika delivered her “break through” line the best I’ve heard her do it.

Resonant Blue– Yay! I love this song, and I love it even more live.

Encore- And now, I shout myself hoarse on “encore!!”. It takes quite a while for the encore to happen, you know. They make it seem so short on the DVDs.

Ame no Furanai- Beautiful. Just beautiful. JunLin solos FTW.

Aozora ga Itsumademo- Kind of overused as a closer, isn’t this? Ah well, it leaves everyone in a happy mood, so I guess it’s good.


Arrived at Shinjuku and still couldn’t find that damn Central East Gate, so I gave up and took the South East gate and then trotted around the building again. I got to the concert venue just as the afternoon show was getting out and waited a surprisingly short time in line to buy a proper Gaki-san green glowstick and some lovely pictures of her. My seat today was still in the balcony and central, but another block of seats down, right behind the family section. Since I was there a bit earlier today, I had some time to really take note of which T-shirts the fans were wearing. I think that Ai-chan and Eri were the most common. Then Reina, Risa, and Sayumi all looked pretty even. Next would probably be Koharu and Aika, and the pandas last. It really surprised me how few red (koharu) shirts I saw. However, every single little girl I saw had some kind of Koharu souvenir. No doubt she is popular with the kids.

Now some bullet points of the night.

-No ManoEri. Aw, too bad.

-Overall, I’d say the girls sang better tonight but danced a bit less energetically. It’s the last show of the weekend, so they were probably pretty beat.

-The wota next to me were once again quite considerate. The guy on my left apologized profusely and asked me for permission when he wanted to change into his new Eri shirt while we were waiting for the show to start, and the guy on my right helped me figure out how to make my glowstick glow. I was trying to shake it into submission and was clearly getting nowhere. Lol.

-I forgot to mention before, but there’s this part toward the end of “Inspiration” where Gaki-san and Ai-chan are singing something together, and they’re like pushing their faces together and trying to sing into each other’s microphones. It’s really cute.

-During the 7th/8th gen MC JunJun and Koharu got into an argument over who loves Morning Musume the most. I don’t remember Koha’s exact words, but it was something like “sugoi suki!” or “daisuki!” and she held it out so long she started to sound like a balloon that someone was slowly letting the air out of. JunJun countered that she has everyone’s posters on her walls and she says goodbye to them before she leaves. Koharu asked if she had a Koharu poster, and JunJun said no! LOLOLOL

-The Rokkies MC had Eri and Sayu trying to guess the name of a shrine from Reina. They both wanted to answer at once, so Reina sat at the front and held out her hands, first person to grab her hand got to answer. Eri got there first, but Sayu started hugging and cuddling Reina, so she let Sayu answer.

And finally, I just want to say, GAKI-SAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!! I thought I loved Risa before, but I love even more now. She’s such an amazing performer, really. Sweet, dead sexy when the song calls for it, and always practically bouncing off the stage. For example, during Koko ni Iruze on the “lonely boys and girls” part everyone is standing in a line and doing the waving thing, but only Risa wasn’t just waving but also jumping up and down. Love love love love love her!



8 responses so far

Nov 02 2008

Morning Musume Concert!

Published by under Momusu,Personal

Just got back! I had a BLAST, and I can’t wait to write all about it BUT….

I’m not going to write about it right now. You see, CK (who is a really nice guy in person, btw) has been kind enough to trade me one of my tickets for tonight’s show for one of his tickets for tomorrow night’s show, so I’ll be writing about both concert experiences tomorrow night or day after tomorrow morning. Sorry!

One thing I do want to comment on now is not the concert itself, but the wota in attendance. First of all, it is true fact that not only wota attend Morning Musume concerts. I witnessed quite a few girls as well as parents with kids. Well, some of the girls were probably female wota, at least judging by the girl in the Aika T-shirt with matching giant sequined purple hairbow, but whatever. Much feared, often disdained, I myself was a bit unsure about encountering mass numbers of wota.

I’ve got to say, my opinion of them has improved  after this concert experience. I was standing next to a couple of guys who were dancing quite enthusiastically, but not once did a stray elbow fling my way or a hand obscure my view. The Sayumi fan on the other side of us noticed that we had nothing to wave and kindly gave us a pair of his pink glowsticks. I did not hear anything resembling disrespect for any of the girls performing (something that sadly is all too common among Johnny’s fangirls). Really, everyone behaved themselves perfectly and seemed to have a great time. I’m sure there are some “bad” wota out there, but as a group they just aren’t the frightening and pathetic creatures they are often portrayed as.

There was almost a sense of brotherhood, or at least a sort of team bond among the wota. We were working for a common cause (to support the Musume). After the concert was over, I got the sense that a we had just finished a big sporting event. Everyone slapping each other on the back, chanting “we’re number 1!”, telling each other “good game”. Of course, instead of “we’re number 1!” it was actually “Momusu saikou!” and instead of “good game!” it was “Otsuka-Reina!”. We left just as the “Oya-Sayumi”s kicked in.

I’ve learned that in Japan, a lot of people are really really into their hobbies. Maybe it’s pottery or flower arranging or basketball. In these guy’s case, that hobby is Morning Musume. I say, they picked a damn fun hobby to devote themselves to!



PS: Both ManoEri (singing her new song) and the eggs from Milky Way performed at the show tonight. What a nice bonus!

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