Archive for February, 2013

Feb 13 2013

C’mon Cute

Published by under c-ute

This post is mostly for the purpose of bitching and moaning. I feel the need to vent about something.

I hate HATE HATE “Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku”. The verses aren’t so bad, but the chorus grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. Like nails scratching on my eardrums until they bleed. I don’t think there has ever been a song in h!p that I so actively disliked. Every time I hear “Kimi wa jitenshaaa” I have the urge to sing it back in the most whiny obnoxious tone possible. In short, I cannot understand how anyone likes that song, much less how lots of people seem to like it.

Then comes “Kono Machi”, C-ute’s latest single. While not horribly annoying, it’s just soooooooooo boring. So boring. I actually fell asleep when I tried to watch the PV. This is not hyperbole. I really did.

So here’s the thing. I get that C-ute has the strongest vocal base in h!p for doing ballads right now. Hell, I don’t even hate ballads. There are lots of h!p ballads I really like, but the ones C-ute has been getting lately are just, IMHO, awful. And putting “Kono Machi” so soon after “Kimi wa Jitensha” was just a really bad move, I think.

Oh well, I do like C-ute’s other style of single, intense dance numbers ala “Kiss Me Aishiteru” and “Aitai Aitai Aitai na”. So C-ute is extremely hot and cold for me right now, but following the current pattern, I should like their next single.

And as long as I’m complaining, since I started this blog I’ve gotten 13,106 comments, 12,050 if which are spam. Seriously?

~Celestia~

8 responses so far

Feb 11 2013

New Group in Town

Published by under eggs

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I wanted to offer some thoughts on the newest addition to the Hello! Project lineup. After all, it’s not every day a new (non-temporary) group or soloist gets added to h!p. The last time this happened was the formation of S/mileage in April 2009. I guess with Mano Erina graduating very soon, there is an open slot on the roster.

Here is the video of the announcement. You can get a good look at the members:

It was said that the members of this group might change before their debut. Well, they said the same thing to pre-debut S/mileage, but their membership wasn’t changed. It could be an empty threat to motivate the girls to work harder, or maybe they actually intend to switch things up this time. I would hope that if there is a change it’s to add a girl or two rather than kicking someone out, because that seems rather cruel, but who knows? There are some girls whom I would have expected to be chosen who were passed over, particularly the girls who were picked to be on the cover of the “Kanjou ni Naritai!” single (Tanabe Nanami, Hamaura Ayano, and Taguchi Natsumi). I’m especially surprised that Nanami hasn’t been included. She’s the second most popular egg after Karin and one of most senior members. Ayano has been given a big push with her inclusion in the Morning Musume 11th gen audition and prominent positions in the trainee concerts. I strongly suspect that she is going to be 3rd gen S/mileage, and if that is indeed the plan it would explain why she isn’t in this group. There has been some speculation about Kaneko Rie, the longest tenured current egg, but honestly, I just don’t see Rie ever getting a major debut in h!p.  To me, she lacks the necessary charisma/ talent.

Anyway, since most of the Eggs are relatively unknown, let’s look at the members who were chosen.

karin

Miyamoto Karin 14yrs- Karin is without a doubt the best known and most popular current H!p trainee. Absolutely adorable of face, strong in singing and dancing, Shin-minimoni member, and with theater and voice-acting experience, when she was announced as a member of this group the fandom gave a collective shout of “FINALLY!” Thank God they’re not letting her go to waste. I expect her to be the “face” of the group. You can watch Karin performing with Shin Minimoni HERE. She’s the one in the long coat.

sayuki

Takagi Sayuki 15yrs-  So, Sayuki is a strong singer, probably the best in the eggs. The thing is… how do I put this nicely?…She’s kind of funny looking. Sort of ugly-cute. Like a troll doll! I mean, sometimes she looks cute and sometimes she looks like an old lady. But like I said, lots of vocal talent, so she should be an asset. You can see her dancing as part of “Team Okai” HERE (light green, Ikuta Erina position, Karin is also here in Kanon’s spot)

tomoko

Kanazawa Tomoko 17yrs- Only added to the trainees a couple months ago, so I don’t know much about her. I can say that if she’s being added to a new group this soon after joining, the powers that be must have seen something very special in her. You can see her introduce herself HERE at 1:16.

yuka

Miyazaki Yuka 18 yrs– Yuka caught many people’s attention during the S/mileage auditions with her charming demeanor and puppy-dog face (I mean that in the best way possible, it’s the same “look” as Konno Asami, and I don’t know how else to describe it). It was pretty clear that she wasn’t a good fit for S/mileage, but she was later picked as an Up Front Trainee and added to h!p Satoyama group “Green Fields”. I’m glad to see her joining H!p proper now. She had too much idol potential to let her slip away to some other group. You can watch Green Field’s PV HERE.

aina

Otsuka Aina 14 yrs- Aina was a finalist in Morning Musume’s 9th generation audition. While I agree that she wasn’t ready to join Morning Musume at that time, her tenure in the Eggs has done her a lot of good. She’s not only become a much better performer, she’s become cuter too! Her voice is sounding quite strong these days, and I’m happy she was selected for this group. You can see Aina performing HERE at 2:00 with Hamaura Ayano and Morning Musume 11th gen member Oda Sakura. Aina is the one standing in the middle.

akari

Uemura Akari 14 yrs– I’ll admit that Akari has really been flying under the radar for me so far. She joined h!p a little under a year ago, and she really hasn’t been pushed or featured at all within the kenshuusei, so I was kind of surprised to see her added to this group. I have no idea how well she performs, but she is rather pretty which is a very helpful trait in the idol world.

I’m very interested to see what direction the as of yet unnamed group will take. Though many of them are pretty young, looking at these members, I don’t see them going the cutsey/humorous route of S/mileage. I’m really looking forward to watching this group develop and find their niche in Hello! Project.

~Celestia~

*I know the trainees are called “Kenshuusei” instead of “Eggs” now, but I still like to call them eggs.

9 responses so far

Feb 07 2013

The Eternal Debate

Published by under Momusu

Ah yes, the popularity question. The recent changes in Morning Musume’s lineup and hierarchy have sparked this tired old debate anew. The thing that has actually caught my attention this time is the complicated question of how a girl’s “push” by the management affects her popularity with the public.

There are two extreme sides to this argument.

1. “You only like (name) because she is pushed by the management! She’s actually not all that great, she just gets shoved in our faces so everyone thinks she must be the best.”

2. “You only hate (name) because she is pushed by management! She totally deserves to be in the front and get lines because she’s the best. You hate her because she’s pushed ahead of some other girl you like and you want to root for the underdog.”

The interesting thing is that both people faced with these arguments will likely deny that a girls’ popularity has anything to do with how much they like that girl. They like her (or dislike her) for her qualities and talents! It’s everyone else who are helpless sheeple making their decisions based on who the management pushes.

The real truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Can we really deny that how much we like one idol or dislike another is entirely independent of how much they are pushed by the management? Surely it has an influence, be it for positive or negative. How about you? If a girl becomes popular and starts getting lots of solo lines, does that make you tend to like her more or like her less? If you say that doesn’t matter to you, I don’t believe you!

I feel like by watching various idol groups over the years, one thing I’ve learned is that management generally knows what they’re doing when they choose to push one girl over another. Believe it or not, there is usually a good reason for that choice. It’s not done arbitrarily to piss off the fans. It is done because they want to make money, so they push the girls the believe are most marketable. In the case of Morning Musume, this means girls who have lots of general appeal to the masses/stage presence AND (when it comes to line distribution) can consistently hit their solo lines while singing live.  Given this criteria, Riho and Reina fit the bill, and Sayu and Mizuki are good choices as secondary leads with Sakura poised to take over for Reina. Who else could be leads right now? Haruna and Erina are cute and funny, but they just can’t sing well enough, Masaki can sing in tune, but her voice is still immature, and Ayumi and Kanon need to work on their vocal control. The only one I can’t quite figure out is Haruka. Maybe they’re “saving her for later” since she’s so young?  Overall, hate all you want, but the line distribution hierarchy of Morning Musume right now makes a lot of sense to me.

~Celestia~

8 responses so far