I’m not one for pic. spam, but GUH! (was the sound of my eyes popping out like a cartoon) Is anyone prettier than Sayumi? Like, ever in the history of the world?? There’s a lot of pretty girls out there, but Sayu… she’s something special. She’s also, apparently, a killer bunny dominatrix. Probably should have suspected that all along.
Sayu by Day….
Sayu by Night
This photo book looks to be a lot more creative than most!
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.
-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
-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.
Stage Presence: 10. Bright, bubbly, and always looks like she’s having a fabulous time on stage.
Notes: The eldest Egg, and therefore their leader. I think it’s almost impossible not to love this girl. She just seems so genuinely nice and enthusiastic about everything to do with being an idol.
video- Arisa has on a yellow top with her hair half-up and curly.
Name: Okai Asuna
Singing: 5. Nice low voice, but needs more power. Maybe that will come with age.
Stage Presence: 1. Asuna hardly ever even cracks a smile on stage, a cardinal sin for a cute little girl idol. Also, her dancing is pretty listless.
Notes: Chisato Okai’s little sister, though I don’t see too much of a resemblance.
video-Works for both Asuna and Arai Manami (below). Asuna is the one in the pink top with pigtails. Manami has a blue top and glasses.
Name: Arai Manami
Singing: 4. Good at times, but usually unsteady.
Stage Presence: 3. Seems rather shy and unsure of herself, but has improved since the last concert. At least she smiles sometimes.
Notes: Was the youngest egg for a while until the newest batch came along. Easy to recognize, because she usually wears glasses. Not one of the eggs who gets much attention.
video- Again, works for both Manami and Okai Asuna (above). Manami is the one with the glasses. Asuna is the one with pigtails without the little round decorations in them (who isn’t singing Mai’s lines and doesn’t start out in the middle)
Name: Sekine Azusa
Singing: 10. Amazing, and only 12 years old too!
Stage Presence: 7. I don’t tend to notice her much…but I think that’s because she’s pushed to the back in group egg stuff.
Notes: One of the best singers of the Eggs, but hasn’t gotten much attention so far. This may be because when she first joined and for a while after she was kind of unfortunate looking. She’s grown prettier though, so I hope we’ll see more of her in the future.
video- okay, this time pay attention to Azusa. She’s the one in yellow.
Name: Aoki Erina
Singing/Stage Presence: I think she’s pretty average in both respects, but I don’t have a whole lot to go off of, so I don’t really feel comfortable assigning numbers (see below).
Notes: The second oldest Egg (subleader maybe?). She’s been in quite a few stage plays, but hasn’t been focused on that much within the Eggs, not getting very much in the way of solo lines. She’s missed several of the egg concerts, including the last one, so I have a little bit less to go on about “Enna”.
video- since she wasn’t in the last concert video, I’m using a video from the first egg concert. Erina has her hair in two half pigtails in this and is wearing one of the long sleeved jackets. She starts out in the middle.
Singing: 3. She has good range, but her voice is notably weak when compared with the other Eggs. She really needs to learn to project (and sing in tune more).
Stage Presence: 7. She’s not bad with this part, especially in more “seductive” songs.
Notes: She seems to be promoted more lately, getting many main lines and appearing in Berryz stage play, but she’s just not one of my favorites. *shrugs*
video- okay, she’s one of the two with the fancier dresses (the three in the middle are the newbies), and she’s the one of the two with straight hair and side-swept bangs. (Noto Arisa is the one with the curly hair and straight across bangs). There are 5 people, but the newbies don’t get any of the solo lines.
Name: Miyamoto Karin (sorry, no official pictures yet. she’s on the right)
Singing/Stage Presence: Way too soon to tell
Notes: The very newest baby Egg. Also the very youngest current member of h!p. She hasn’t appeared in anything yet, so all we know so far is that she’s seriously cute.
Name: Fukuda Kanon
Units: Shugo Chara Egg (the green one)
Singing: 9. One of the few Eggs who was a competent singer even back when they were all pretty rough around the edges. She’s only improved since then.
Stage Presence: 10. Just adorable, confident, and spunky. She looks like a little girl, but she performs like a veteran.
Notes: One of the most popular eggs, and she has a lot of on-stage experience outside of h!p (stage plays/musicals and such). Yeah, she looks a hell of a lot like a young Aibon, especially in her Shugo Chara get up. Let’s just hope that she doesn’t make the same life choices.
video- Kanon doing some ridiculously cute little rabbit dance with some preschoolers. <3 <3 <3
Name: Komine Momoka
Singing: 4. She’s gotten better, but I don’t see much real potential there.
Stage Presence: 3. Doesn’t stand out at all.
Notes: I used to kind of dislike Momoka, maybe because I think she’s a little bit funny-looking, but she’s grown on me. That said, she’s just not one of eggs I see ever really going anywhere or getting much attention.
Singing: 7, she’s good, but there isn’t anything very special about her voice
Stage Presence: 6, there’s something there, but she doesn’t really stand out
Notes: She’s one of the last eggs I learned to recognize. She’s another that has some talent but just seems to blend in with the crowd, unfortunately.
video- Same video as Kitahara Sayaka, so it’s embedded under her. Anri is the one in yellow.
Name: Sawada Yuri
Units: Ongaku Gatas
Singing: 7, probably the strongest singer out of the gatas eggs
Stage Presence: 6, could be better, could be worse
Notes: She wasn’t in the Eggs latest concert tour DVD, but fortunately she is in Gatas.
video- Her version of Gatas “Come Together” PV
Name: Wada Ayaka (Dawa)
Units: Shugo Chara Egg
Singing: 2, I’m sorry to her fans, but she has the most annoying and childish voice out of all the eggs. Her singing stood out, in a very very bad way, in the Shugo Chara Egg single.
Stage Presence: 9, yeah, she’s cute and bouncy and a good dancer. Still doesn’t make up for that voice.
Notes: She has a funny and ditzy personality, and you can’t deny her good looks. I’m afraid I’ve developed a sort of grudge against her though because I can’t stand her voice. Maybe I’ll get over it. I did learn to love Sayumi eventually.
video- A solo? Ug. At least she sounds better than this than she does in Shugo Chara Egg.
Name: Kitahara Sayaka
Units: Milky Way
Singing: 8, Sayaka has a very strong and distinctive voice. She can be brilliant at times, but she’s lacking in control.
Stage Presence: 9, she is fierce on stage. No wonder the wota call her Sayaka-sama.
Notes: What can I say. I luv this girl!
video- She’s the one in blue with her hair half up. Remember this video is for Anri too (in yellow)
Name: Kaneko Rie
Singing/Stage Presence: Too soon to tell.
Notes: Another brand new little cutey. She makes really adorable expressions sometimes, and I look forward to seeing what she can do.
Units: Shugo Chara Egg (the blue one), Tomoiki wo Utetai
Singing: 7, She really surprised me with her solo lines in the Shugo Chara Egg group. She probably sounded the best of the four of them. She’ll have to prove herself able to replicate that live before I’ll want to bump her up another point though.
Stage Presence: 4, Akari always fades into the background when she’s with a group of eggs. I’m really fond of the girl, but sometimes even I have a lot of trouble spotting her. I can’t pinpoint anything she’s doing wrong, but I’ll have to knock off points for that.
Notes: She’s a good egg, maybe not the best, but there is something very likable and relatable about her.
video- this is just the Shugo Chara Egg PV, since I think it shows some of Akari’s best singing. To remind you again, she’s the blue one (amulet spade)
Name: Takeuchi Akari
Age: 11 (she has the same birthday as me!)
Singing/Stage Presence: Too soon to tell…
Notes: One of the brand new Eggs, so I don’t know much about her yet. I’ve got a good feeling about this one though. Despite her age and inexperience, she seems very comfortable on stage and in front of the camera, already showing more spunk than many of the girls who have been doing this for years.
Name: Sainen Mia
Singing: It’s hard to tell. She wasn’t in the last 2 concerts, and she hardly ever seems to get any solo lines in gereral
Stage Presence: 2, To be brutally honest, I tend to forget that she even exists. Her movements are kind of subdued, and she looks lost a lot of the time, but she does seem to have a nice smile.
Notes: I’m not trying to be mean to Mia, but as far as eggs who get pushed to the back, she seems to be one of the pushed to the backest. I mean, in the delivery station that she participated in (with only 5 other girls), she managed to get all of 1, single, short solo line. One.
Video: No video because she hasn’t been in the most recent concerts, and I can’t find any video clips where she has more than one solo line. If anyone has a link to one it would be appreciated though.
Name: Kikkawa Yuu
Units: Milky Way
Singing: 10, in the short time she’s been in the Eggs she’s easily become one of their best vocalists. Hearing her sing in this video clip makes me mourn anew the fact that she didn’t make it into Momusu (not instead of Aika, with her). You know Tsunku, it’s not too late!
Stage Presence: 5, still lacking a bit in that department, but getting better. Needs to show more personality
Notes: Seriously, just listen to her.
video- She’s the one in red. The other girl (Sekine Azusa) is also great, but let’s focus on Kikka for now.
Name: Furukawa Konatsu
Units: Tomoiki wo Uetai
Singing: 5, She’s not terrible, but she’s certainly not one of the best
Stage Presence: 9, She really knows how to ham it up on stage, and she can pull off ‘sexy’ for the more serious songs too. The only problem is that she seems to overact it sometimes.
video- she’s wearing the same top as in the picture I posted of her
Too long I’ve been hearing h!p fans complain about how they can’t tell the Eggs apart, so I’m going to try to put a stop to that with this new feature. The Eggs are on their second concert DVD release now, they’ve been in 4 major h!p units (Milky Way, High King, Ongaku Gatas and Shugo Chara Egg), and they’re definitely getting more attention at the Wonderful Hearts concerts, being given real singing lines for the first time. The Eggs are going places for real now, especially with Elder Club graduating. In my last post, I predicted that they would soon become something akin to H!p’s answer to AKB48, and I stand by that prediction.
In short, it’s about time you all figured out who they are, so I’m going to profile them here in groups of 4 or 5. These are in no particular order.
Singing and stage presence are rated on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best (in Egg terms). So let’s jump right in with one of the best known eggs…
Name: Maeda Yuuka
Age: 13 (almost 14)
Units: High King, Shugo Chara Egg (the pink one), Tomoeki wo Uetai
Singing: 8, she’s developed good control, and lost most of the childish tone lately (check out the video), but her voice is still really lacking in power. Despite that, has quickly become one of the better Egg vocalists.
Stage Presence: 7, good dancer (held her own with High King) just needs that extra pop of energy
Notes: If there is one only egg you can recognize, it should probably be her. She’s the only Egg to be in two non-indie units to date, and she’s one of the cutest eggs, maybe even the cutest.
Name: Maeda Irori (there’s two Maedas’. Don’t get confused!)
Units: None yet
Singing: 6, I thought she was one of the weakest singers, but she surprised me at the most recent concert. Her voice was pretty good on both the video I’ve embedded and the ZYX Fly High. I think as she grows older we can expect to see her voice improve even more.
Stage Presence: 8, charming and energetic
Notes: Originally entered h!p with SI*NA (Kansai unit) and did activities with them before moving to Tokyo. I’ve put up a picture of Irori with her hair down, but keep in mind that usually she wears it in bicycle-handlebar pigtails, making her look years younger. Watch the video for her more typical hairstyle. I’d say that Irori is one to watch. She’s mostly been in the background up until now, but her being given the lead part on this song may be sign that we’ll see more of her in the future.
Video -she’s the one usually in the center with round things on her hair ties, singing Mai’s lines
Name: Mori Saki (usually called Morisaki)
Units: Tomoeki wo Uetai
Singing: 4, her voice is very flat (vibrattoless) which makes her one of the less pleasing eggs to listen to, and she cuts off her notes too early
Stage Presence: 6, makes strange exaggerated faces sometimes (and is the egg in charge of doing ‘the face’ in Love Machine), funny
Notes: Well, not one of the stand out eggs in my book, but she seems like a nice girl.
Video- she’s the one wearing red
Name: Fukumura Mizuki
Singing/Stage Presence: Too soon to tell…
Notes: One of the four brand new eggs, so I haven’t seen much of her yet. All I can say for now is that she’s quite pretty and she was crying a lot after finishing her first concert tour (awww).
Name: Ogawa Saki (Sakitty)
Units: None yet
Singing: 10. There’s a reason she’s so prominently featured in the egg concerts and why she got so sing a trio with LinLin and Airi in the latest h!p concert
Stage Presence: 9. Despite being so tiny, she can even hold her own in mature songs
Notes: Why this girl hasn’t been in a unit yet is anyone’s guess. I think we’re all assuming that Tsunku has big plans for her in the future.
Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve had some friends from America staying with me, and they’ve kept me pretty busy, but they’re gone now, so I’m free to catch up with my blogging again.
The one good thing (from this blog’s perspective) about my friends visiting, was that when we were wandering harajuku, I happened upon Ameba Studios. It took me forever to remember where I knew that name from, but then I realized that it’s the radio studio with a window to the public, so people can see celebrities being interviewed, and that h!p girls sometimes go there.
There were autographed Polaroids of everyone who’s been there recently in the window, so I took pictures of the h!p big 3.
Now some super-quick reactions to other recent news.
Shugo Chara Egg PV- Cuuuuuuuuuuute, and more effort seems to have gone into it than I expected. Unfortunately, just as I thought, Wada Ayaka is far and away the worst singer of the 4.
New MM Single- Awesome! I’m glad we don’t have to wait forever for this one.
New Buono single/album and new C-ute album- Cool I guess, but in all 3 cases already??
Kaorin’s baby died- Losing a young child is one of the most horrible things that can happen to a person. My prayers go out to her and her family.
Cover You Album- Maybe it’s because it lacks nostalgia for me, but I’m just not super into that early Japanese pop music. Not MM’s fault. Their singing was lovely, especially Gaki-san (everywhere) and the pandas (on that samba song). Getting beyond impatient for MM to release a real album.
Egg Concert DVD- Wow! Dramatic improvement from their first concert DVD on all counts. Getting some concert experience has done them good. More and more I am wondering if the Eggs are going to stop being considered “trainees” and start being considered “H!p’s answer to lotsa member idol groups like AKB48 and Idoling”. I predict that in the next year or two the Eggs are going to become even more prominent, forming many temporary subgroups (like Shugo Chara Egg), but generally remaining as one large performing unit and even releasing group singles as “Hello Pro Eggs”.
Bikkuri Project’s one year anniversary passed a while ago and I didn’t even notice- I’ll make sure to get a cake next year!
I think that’s everything of dire importance. I’m already working on a “best of the year” post for later.
Picspam coming, but first, another closing thought on the whole “elders graduating” thing. A lot of people have been going around saying that this graduation= very bad things for h!p, including huge loses in fanbase. To which I say…um…what fanbase? The thing is, if the elders had a sizable fanbase supporting them, their CD’s would sell more than a measly few thousand copies. There are a lot of people who were fans of these girls, but either lost interest in h!p all together or moved on to the more active groups. If there were a sizable fanbase to be lost, these girls probably wouldn’t be graduating anyway.
Oh, and I looked at a newspaper article on the “graduation” which showed pictures of the members graduating, and the 3 gatas eggs weren’t among them. I’d say there’s strong evidence that Ongaku Gatas is over and those eggs will be returning to the egg fold rather than graduating with the rest of them. Just speculation though.
And now the pretty pictures! One nice picture for each and every nasty picture I posted a few entries ago.