Archive for January, 2009

Jan 29 2009

Proof that Tsunku is Reading My Blog

Published by under Momusu

Just a day after I ranted about the lack of announcement of Morning Musume’s next album…we have a release date!!!! It’s almost creepy actually.

Platinum 9 Disco, on sale March 18th. By the way, I think that the “9” in the title pretty well proves that “Cover You” isn’t MM’s 9th album, but something in more of an “other” category.

~Celestia~

3 responses so far

Jan 27 2009

C-ute 4 Akogare My Star: TBT Review with bonus rant

Published by under c-ute,reviews

Before I get to the review, can I just say that the lack of announcement of Morning Musume’s 9th album is absolutely driving me nuts?!!!!. We’ve got the title (Platinum 9 Disco), we’ve heard most of the new tracks already in concert (Ame Furanai, Guru Guru Jump, Take off is Now, and that Mittsi solo), in fact, we’ve heard several of them in two different concert tours. All we’re missing is a Sayu/Eri duet (by process of elimination. I’d bet money on it), and another group song and we’re set. We have everything…except for an official announcement. Why? I can only imagine that they are waiting because they’re going to announce something big at the same time (graduations? auditions? both? who knows??), which makes the suspense even worse. If they dare to start the concert tour named after the album without admitting to the existence of the album though… I just don’t know anymore. The clock is ticking.

Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest. Anyway, I’m only reviewing the new songs from C-ute’s album here, not the singles.

Akogare My Star- The title track has a very catchy hook…that gets old very fast. Still, not a bad song, and the high energy feel should make for a good concert number. Reminds me somehow of the music I used to listen to when I was a kid in the early 90’s. 4/5

One’s Life (Chisato/Mai/Erika)What a surprisingly creative song! I’m more than a little miffed that Chisato (and Erika) don’t get any singing solo lines, but I really enjoy listening to this song. It makes me feel like chillin’ in a park somewhere on a summer day, maybe throwing a ball around or flying a kite or something. It’s like Tanpopo’s “Be Happy Koi no Yajirobee”, but better! 4.5/5

Yes! All my Family (Airi)Hmm. Pretty darn generic, even for H!p. It doesn’t start off too badly, but the chorus is a letdown. Nothing against Airi or her voice, which I both love, but this song just does nothing for me. 2/5

Aishiteru Aishiteru (Nakki/Kanna)- Using that old fashioned “Waracchau Boyfriend”/”Shining Itoshiki Anata” sound again. It’s a nice sound, very soothing,  Maybe a little too soothing, getting into “boring” and “man, is this ever going to end?” territory in fact. Also, while Kanna sounds nice, I’m not sure how well Nakki’s voice matches the song. 2.5/5

Seishun Song (Maimi)- Man, Maimi always gets the best solos! First Natsu Doki Lipstick, then this, which has a very different feel but is still totally awesome! It’s a fist pumping, cutey idol anthem! I predict this to be a major crowd favorite when it’s concert performed. 5/5

Big Dreams- By far, my least favorite of the new full group songs. Total filler, and more generic than the discount cereal my mom used to make me eat even though I wanted real Frosted Flakes. And now, to top it all off, the song is pissing me off by making me relive bad childhood memories! Next please. 1/5

Shines- Woo! Immediately followed by my favorite of the new full group songs! Genki, but also pretty,  nice build up to the chorus, lines for everyone, and the whole thing makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside. 5/5

Yakusoku wa Toku ni Shinai wa- A genuine ballad for C-ute. I love Chisato’s voice so much! The song isn’t bad. I’ve heard better h!p ballads, but I’ve heard much much worse too.  Seem like it could use just a bit more interest. Maybe a key change toward the end would have been good? 3/5

Overall, this album is way WAY better than C-ute’s 3rd which was mostly just disappointing and forgettable. The cover art is nice too. I think I’ll buy it!

~Celestia~

5 responses so far

Jan 27 2009

Hi Mom

Published by under Momusu,Personal

I’m watching the Resonant Live DVD, and I’m more excited than usual because I WAS THERE! At that exact concert. In that DVD, somewhere in the audience near front and center on the second floor is a gaijin girl waving a Gaki-san green glowstick, and her cheering is part of the crowd noise. It’s really really stupid, but I somehow feel like I just became a tiny itty-bitty part of Morning Musume history.

~Celestia~

One response so far

Jan 24 2009

Desperation is Not Pretty

Published by under Uncategorized

A quick warning. This post is probably neither work safe nor kid friendly.

Sigh. I debated whether or not to show these pictures/ write about this, but in the end, I felt like something had to be said. That something is as follows: What the hell is Kago Ai thinking? A series of increasingly porny “preview” photos of her have been surfacing recently. At first, people were arguing that they are “artistic” and “trying to adopt a more mature image” which is all well and good, but the most recent photos to appear have been undeniably trashy like so…

I mean, c’mon. This could have been taken directly from some cheap porno, just add a few white streaks. Sorry if that’s in bad taste, but this whole affair is in bad taste, so I think it’s warranted.

Not to mention that she really doesn’t have the figure for grauve work like this. It’s not that she’s fat. She’s lost a lot of weight, it’s just that her proportions are wrong for it. Her waist is too short, her breasts are too small, her legs are shapeless, and her shoulders are too broad. The sad truth is that no matter how skinny she is, she will never have a nice enough figure to be able to compete with the real grauve models.

It’s worse than being porny though. These shots are just so utterly unflattering to poor Ai. The lighting is terrible and the poses are worse. She looks sickly, and possibly drugged.

It’s like her pimp just threw her against that wall for being uppity and then a car drove by and splashed her with icy gutter water.

My problems with Aibon doing this kind of work go way beyond her previous childish image. If she wants to prance around in her underware, more power to her, but could she at least try to do it with a tiny bit of class or dignity? Without looking cheap? Without making faces like this?

I feel bad for this girl. She just seems so…lost. She’s kind of like the Japanese version of Britney Spears only (thankfully) without the kids. She’s trying to make a comeback at a time where it seems like she still might be kind of emotionally unstable, and I’m afraid that she’s making choices that she will regret later.

Okay. End rant.

Sigh,

~Celestia~

9 responses so far

Jan 22 2009

Morning Musume PV Ranking

Published by under Momusu,top lists

Finding myself one evening with too much time and too little to do, and remembering that I had set out to rank H!p PVs at some point, I decided to turn to ranking all 38 of Morning Musume PVs. Three days later, I’m finished. Here’s the whole list, with commentary only on the top 10 and bottom 5, or it might take you three days to read this.  For Resonant Blue and The Manpower, I’m using the “another version” since I kind of consider those to be the real PVs. Also, I haven’t included Chokkan 2 because everyone knows that the PV was just thrown together on the fly since the song changed at the last minute, and it didn’t seem quite fair.

37. Namida Tomaranai Houkouga- Pretty much the biggest pile of fail on all levels that Morning Musume has ever produced: song, vocals, and PV. Since we’re only focusing on the PV here though, let me just say that the bubble effect is really cheap and stupid-looking, the dance is no help in pepping up the snooze-fest of a song, the whole thing is shot in front of an utterly plain grey background (get a set! or a background color! or something for God’s sake), and those horrible shiny suit things that some of the girls have to wear are a crime against idoldom.

36. Oosaka Koi no Uta- Main complaint is that you can’t see anyone during the dance shots. It could be a team of AKB48 out there doing the dance and no one would be able to tell the difference. Also, the background is nonexistent, everything is back lit in red (at least it’s not grey), drawing to mind hell-fire (something that should almost never be used in an idol PV), and I really truly hate the girls having their names swirling around them. It’s such a cheap and stupid computer effect. Makes them look like screen savers or something.

34/35. Summer Night Town/Daite Hold Me- The reason why these have the same place and part of the reason that they’re so low is that they are, for all intents and purposes, the same PV. Sure, Daite has more red and SNT has more blue, but everything else from the “lonely in the big city shots” to the camera whipping around so much that it makes me dizzy, to the languid and pathetic dance shots, to the girls staring blank-faced at the camera in various outfits is totally interchangeable between the PVs.

33. Sexy Boy- There’s only one real problem here, but it’s a big one. TOO MUCH WHITE.

32. Pepper Keibu

31. Ambitious

30. Egao Yes Nude

29. Morning Coffee

28. Manatsu no Kousen

27. Hyokkori Hontanjima

26. Koi no Dance Site

25. Onna ni Sachi Are

24. Kanashimi Twilight

23. Mikan

22. Iroppoi Jirettai

21. Furusato

20. Do It Now

19. As for One Day

18. Memory Seishun no Hikari

17. Shabondama

16. Resonant Blue (another version)

15. Ai Araba it’s all right

14. Happy Summer Wedding

13. Aruiteru

12. Souda We’re Alive

11. Renai Revolution 21

10. Naichau Kamo- A full perusal of Morning Musume’s PV library has further convinced me that this is the best PV Morning Musume has released for a long long time. For more, see the post before this.

9.Roman My Dear Boy- A lot of people would argue that it deserves higher than this because it has a “plot”, but frankly, I don’t really get the plot. Morning Musume goes to speak to the council of sucky people (who meet in a warehouse), causing them to alternately start shouting or break into raucous laughter, and eventually MM takes their places? Okay. Well, points for being entertaining and the girls looking hot when they have taken over the council, but not enough for it to be on top of the list.

8. Love Machine- I didn’t remember the CG being that bad, but in a way, it’s so bad that it’s good. There’s a lot of interesting and funny stuff going on. Kaori in a wedding dress freaking out, Mari towering over the tiny version of Morning Musume, and all of the bizarre outfits.

7. The Peace- Lol toilets.

6. The Manpower- The girls all look gorgeous in the firelight shots, and all that vegetable chomping is pure unintentional comedy gold. I especially like Rika biting into a whole pineapple. I wonder if she managed to get through the skin or not?

5. I Wish- Everyone loves a PV with a sweet story line. Such a cute and random series of scenes too, especially how in the end everyone’s problems are solved by how pretty Rika is. They really captured the “Story book” look well.

4. Go Girl Koi no Victory- Earns such a high spot purely for the utterly charming individual shots of the girls being giggly and embarrassed. That’s just about the cutest darn thing I’ve ever seen.

3. Mr. Moonlight- A jazz band, CG put to good use (sparkling smiles and magic romance dust), and the part that seals the deal, the end scene where they all descend the grand staircase. Not one of my favorite songs, but certainly one of my favorite PVs.

2. Koko ni Iruzee- The parts where they quite literally “break through” the scenery is awesome, as are the dirt smudging parts. The end is like The Peace Part 2. Morning Musume has already conquered the high seas, now on to the mighty mountains!

1. Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari- I don’t think any other Morning Musume PV is full of quite as much fun and craziness. The best part is that you can watch it 10 times and still notice new things going on.

Yay finished! A few things before I go. First, if you feel like I’ve been unfair and you simply don’t understand how PV A could possibly have ranked above PV B, leave a comment and I’ll explain my reasoning. Secondly, for those of you who complain that Reina or Ai-chan get too much screen time, have you ever watched Morning Musume’s early PVs? Even if we exclude Furusato, every PV MM did up until “Love Machine” was like “NACCHI!!! & friends”

Kthnksby,


~Celestia~

2 responses so far

Jan 18 2009

Kamo Kamo Kamo Kamo Kamo Cameleon

Published by under eye candy,Momusu,reviews,video

I seem to have gotten in the habit of doing these little good vs bad reviews for Morning Musume PVs. I see no reason to stop that tradition now. I’ve even thrown in some screen-caps as a bonus. First, here’s the PV if you haven’t seen it yet. The quality will be better if you watch it from the dohhhup site though.

Since feel like ending on a positive not, let’s start with the bad.

BAD

The song’s not as catchy as I would like. I mean, it’s not bad per say. I enjoy listening to it, but I don’t feel any need to put it on a constant loop right now. Song-wise, I like it better than Keibu but less than Resonant.

-The dance is also not as exciting as I could have hoped for. Again, not bad but not great. Too much of that clapping shuffling thing. I do like the little head snap at the beginning though.

-I wish, oh I wish for more 8th gen, especially JunJun.

-Not the silver streamers again! At least they weren’t hiding the girl’s faces like they were in the Egao Yes Nude PV

-Small detail, but I really prefer Gaki’s hair down

GOOD

-Waaaay less Koharu than usual, or at least way less of her voice. I have no objection to looking at her. In fact, I think she looked quite hot in her rain shots.

-There were 3, count-em, 3 different kinds of shots: dance, close-ups behind glass, and full body looking semi-transparent standing in the rain. Pepper Keibu had two types of shots (group dance and paired dance), while RB just had one (dance). We’re seeing a steady improvement here! Dare we hope for four different kind of shots in Momusu’s next PV????

-Eri wore her scarf around her neck, where it ought to be, instead of on her head like some wanna-be fortune teller.

-Ai-chan and especially Reina are good little actresses. They really look like they’re crying. They both get props for not being afraid to scrunch up their faces a little, like some one who is truly upset would. The rest of the girls didn’t seem to want to risk going beyond “forlorn” and into “distraught”.

-Sayumi’s close up shots. Damn she’s gorgeous.

-JunJun standing in the rain. Worth it’s own point. She looks very sad, but in an, “I’m about to kick the ass of the guy who did this to me” sort of way.

Overall, I’d say there’s a lot more to like here than dislike. I see this PV as a step in the right direction anyway. Probably the best PV (though not the best song) MM has released since, oh I dunno, at least Iroppoi. Maybe even The Manpower.

Warachau Kamo

~Celestia~

4 responses so far

Jan 16 2009

Oh no, has Hell frozen over already?

Published by under Kirari,video

I’m just going to come right out and say it. I like Koharu’s new solo single. In the past there have been a few of her singles I’ve tolerated, and a lot of her singles I wanted to stab to death with a blunt stick, but this is the first time I actually like one. I like it enough to embed it! Look!

What is so special about Happy Happy Sunday? I dunno. I think that maybe Koharu releases some kind of spores that lodge in your brain and cause you to like her singing. Since I saw her live in concert, I must have been infected! It explains so much. Before you know it I’ll be always wearing my hair in pigtails and happily listening to her squawk about pancakes. Oh God, I’m so scared!!!

Happy Happy!

~Celestia~

Comments Off on Oh no, has Hell frozen over already?

Jan 14 2009

I told you there would be a test!

Published by under eggs

So you think you’ve got the Eggs all figured out, huh? Well let’s find out! I’ve created a “Name that Egg!” quiz for you. 20 questions, most of which are simple matching a name to a face type stuff. Not all of the Eggs are in there, but most of them are.  I used different pictures from my “Meet the Eggs” posts though. Thought that would be too easy. *evil laugh*

Remember, no cheating! Now get to it!

Pencils Down!

~Celestia~

One response so far

Jan 09 2009

Top 10 of 2008

Is it too late for a “Favorite of 2008” type post? It is? Well, I’m doing it anyway. I decided to follow Raid’s example and keep it simple and categoryless. So, here are my 10 favorite h!p songs of 2008.

10. Wasuretakunai Natsu– C-ute: A surprisingly good B-side. Bonus points for the long Chisato solo part.

9. Koi no Dial 6700- Momusu: Won me over with LinLin on the Rinrin’s.

8. Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance- Berryz: Kind of a guilty pleasure. I might like more because I tend to associate it with my amazing visit to the monkey part in Kyoto (I couldn’t stop singing it the entire time I was hiking up there). What? There were lots of baby monkeys!!

7. Gachinko de Ikou– Buono: Was my favorite Buono song until Rottara dethroned it. Still good though.

6. Ah! Merry go Round– Berryz (Momoko/Captain): My favorite song from the only h!p album that I really liked this year.

5. Pepper Keibu– Momusu: I don’t love the fact that it’s a cover, but I do love the musical interlude, and the song has a way of sticking with you.

4. Namida no Iro- C-ute: It’s been steadily growing on me since it came out. I seem to like it more every time I hear it.

3. Rottara Rottata- Buono: The very bestest Buono song with the very worstest Buono PV.

2. Cinderella Complex- High King: Best 1-shot unit in recent memory. I love the unusual beat, I love the Yuuka, and I really really love the dance.

1. Resonant Blue– Momusu: Yeah, I now that only 3 girls actually sing, but when it comes down to it, this is the song of 2008 that I most often want to listen to.

Lastly, a small personal dilemma I’m having. Should, or shouldn’t I try to get tickets to the first concert of Morning Musume’s 2009 Spring concert tour?? I was thinking that it’d be really cool to be at the first one when no one has any idea yet what songs, costumes, etc. to expect. Not to mention that I’d get to see the concert a month earlier than I would otherwise. The main problem with this is that it’s in Chiba, a good two hours away by train. Four hours really, because I’ll need to get back home afterwords too. It’s not like this is my only chance to catch the concert…just my only chance to be among the first to catch the concert.

At any rate, I will definitely definitely be going to a couple of the Tokyo concerts (May 2nd/3rd) . I’m an expert at finding the Nakano Sun Plaza now! Anyway, it’s a bit early to be thinking about this, but if anyone is positive that they will be in Tokyo then, well, it’s pretty easy for me to get a pair of tickets, and I always appreciate having someone who speaks English to talk to! *nudge nudge*

Happy New Year!

~Celestia~

One response so far

Jan 05 2009

Wonderful Hearts 2009 Winter- Concert Report!

Just got back from the Wonderful Hearts concert! As expected, I had an awesome time (though not quite so great as the Momusu concerts. I’ll explain why near the end of this post). I spent most of the MCs jotting down notes by the light of my glowstick so I could write a good review for you. Am I really that obsessed with my blog? Why yes, yes I am.

Let’s jump right in with the story. Unlike the Shinjuku venue, Nakano Sun Plaza was extremely easy to find, only about a block away from the station. While I was looking around confusedly for the goods line, a pair of girls noticed my distress and asked me if I needed help. (all this conversation is in Japanese, but I’m translating). When I said I was looking to buy a T-shirt they personally escorted me over to the goods tables (I bought a Momusu T-shirt, and it came with a photo set of all the girls!). We chatted for a while about who we liked, where I was from, etc. The girls were Reina fans. They had been to the afternoon show and were looking for someone selling tickets to the evening show. I wished them luck before heading inside. They were really sweet and helpful to me! I hope they found tickets.

Security was tight! They not only searched our bags, we were actually patted down. The good news was that there had to be a separate line for girls (so we could be searched by female security employees), and of course, it was way shorter than the line for the guys. I do want to mention that I saw quite a few girls at this concert, more than I saw at the Momusu concerts. I’d estimate that there were at least a hundred. In fact, at the end, Makoto even commented that there seemed to be a lot of girls in the audience tonight. I’m proud to count myself as one of them!

I found my seat, on the first floor, but way in the back =( . I swear, next time I will shell out the cash to buy myself a good seat. A lot of the people around me spent much of the concert watching through binoculars. I don’t think we were that far away, but still. Okay, now for some song by song commentary.

Resonant Blue (All)- I really like this song…but I question the wisdom of opening a Wonderful Hearts concert with a song where only 3 girls really sing. It was cool watching everyone do the dance though. You know what would be amazing? An all h!p performance of Shabondama! Can you imagine that many girls thrashing about on stage?

Lalalala Shiawase no Uta (All)- No. Just no. Stop shoving this stupid song down our throats.

Minna no Tamago (Shugo Chara Egg)- They sang live! I was surprised at how good they sounded. Go Eggs!!

Happy Happy Sundae (Koharu)- You know I have a hate/hate relationship with Koharu’s voice, but I’ve got to admit that this song is catchy, and loads better than Pa pa pancake. I just wish she hadn’t tried to sing it partially live. *shudders*

Tan Tan Taaan (Milky Way)- Yuu and Sayaka are so pretty! I’m newly thankful to Koharu, because without her, Milky Way wouldn’t be.

Forever Love (C-ute)- Omg, C-ute looks HAWT in those suits. Seriously. Maimi especially. Also, I love Nakki for dancing her little butt off out there. The shyest and quietest of the H!p kids when she joined has become one of the fiercest performers. Oh, I should mention that Kanna was out sick today. Poor thing. Erika did her lines.

Meguru Koi no Kisetsu (C-ute minus Airi/Maimi +Aika/Reina)- Reina seemed to really enjoy this, and the audience did too. Total win!

Madayade (Berryz)- The dance to this is pretty fun, isn’t it? The HAHAHA parts especially.

Koi no Jubaku (Berryz minus Buono +Eri/Sayu)- This was the first song I’ve seen performed with a “L-o-v-e lovely so and so” chant. Yay! Not too sure about Sayu’s lines here though.

Lalala Sososo (ManoEri)- I’m sorry, but this is by far my least favorite of Erina’s indie singles. The words “hella boring” come to mind. Nothing against Erina, but I think the audience was half asleep by the time she finished.

Rottara Rottara (Buono)- And everyone wakes up! The sudden shift in energy was kind of ridiculous. This is my favorite Buono song, and it didn’t disappoint. Oh, for the record, I think Miya’s new haircut rocks.

Naichau Kamo (MM)- I feel lucky to be among the first to see this performed live. Good song, maybe not great. It was funny to watch the wota be so confused about what to do. It hasn’t been out long enough for them to learn the dance or when to shout member’s names and stuff, you see.

Mikan (MM minus Ai/Reina + Maimi/Risako)- I can’t believe how much fun this song is live. You really have to see it live to understand. In fact, it was one of the two songs (the other being RR21) to get the most enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. After a just a couple of concert performances I’ve gone from being kind of lukewarm about Mikan to “OMG I LOVE Mikan!!!”

Jinguisukan (All)- Not my favorite Berryz song. I do remember that Momo did a good job with her big solo line.

Shiroi Tokyo (Risa, Maimi, Chinami, Saki N., Mai, Mano)- One word: Gaki-saaaaaaaaaan!!!

Natsu Doki Lipstick (Maimi/some eggs)- Maimi is hot. I have never been so convinced of that fact.

Baka ni Shinaide (Risako, Saki S., Yurina, Miyabi)- Berryz album track, huh? The staging for this was pretty epic, especially the black and white thing they did with Risako’s face during the last line of her solo at the bridge. I was really impressed with Saki’s harmonization during the last chorus too.

Mr. Moonlight (Ai-chan w/ Erika, Chinami, Saki N., Chisato, Saho Akari, and Sekine Azusa)- Chinami did the opening line (not as well as Gaki-san does it, but that’s okay). Ai-chan makes a very charming guy, even in an awful yellow-plaid suit. The best part was her romancing Chisato during the monologue in the middle. I almost didn’t recognize Chisato with her longer hair acting all girly and shy! C-ute’s token little boy is starting to become a woman!

Soku Dakishimete (C-ute)- I was never a huge Megumi fan, but even I can recognize that this song just isn’t the same since she left.

Gag 100 whatever (Berryz)- Ug. Another one of my least favorite Berryz songs. Is this payback for costume hall of shaming them? Never realized what a Momo-fest this is. That helps me to like it just a bit better.

Darling I Love You (Berryz/C-ute)- Kinda boring if you ask me. Risako and Airi singing together was really cute though.

Take off is Now (Risa/Ai/Reina)- Liked it better at the Momusu concert (more fitting costumes), but it’s still hot!

Renai Revolution 21 (MM)- Yes! I’ve always wanted to see this live. It got a huge response from the crowd too.

Guru Guru Jump (All, but mostly JunJun, Koharu, and LinLin)- Jun, Lin, and Koha do all the vocals still, but it was a master stroke having the whole gang in the background doing the ridiculous dance. This one was really really fun.

Ame no Furanai (All)- Beautiful beautiful song. Still just as touching no matter how many times I hear it, though Risako’s completely out of tune solo line almost ruined it for me this time. I’m not a Risako-hater, but that was just BAD.

Go Girl Koi no Victory (All)- A great high-energy ender.  I’m glad I taught myself the dance a while back!

Now, for why I enjoyed the Momusu concert more. Basically, there quite a few people there who you could tell were primarily only fans of one group, and that sort of brought down the energy level of each individual performance. When only part of the audience is really cheering and jumping around with a song and quite a few people are not very familiar with it or not very into it, it’s just not as fun. In fact, there were a some fans (and I noticed them from all 3 main groups), who would sit down and look bored when their favorite group or members weren’t performing! I’m sorry, but I think that’s just plain rude. It’s not a Berryz or C-ute or Morning Musume concert. It’s all of their concert, and they all deserve at least the respect of you paying attention when they’re performing and cheering for them. It was a pretty small minority of people who were doing this, but enough that it was noticeable, and enough that it detracted from the atmosphere for me.

Okay. End rant. Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time! I wish I could go again right now, but I guess I just prefer concerts where everyone is more on the same page.

Going to bed now,

~Celestia~

7 responses so far

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