Archive for the 'Kirari' Category

Jun 24 2010

Live Singing

I’ve finished part one of my redone top 100 project! Now with all live performance clips, easier to read titles, new songs, lots of changes in ranking especially in the bottom half, and more! Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t make the original version with live performances. I just find them so much more interesting to watch.  So first,  the video, then some musing about live singing, so stick around for that if you’re interested. IMHO, it’s some of my better blogging.

I’m at 64,000 video views now. I’m hoping to hit 100,000 with completion of this latest project. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Recently, I’ve been wondering why it is that I dislike lipsyncing so much. I mean, idols are entertainers first, singers second (acting, modeling, or other things might also rank above singing), and I realize that many of them just can’t sing very well. And singing while dancing is hard! I know it is. You get out of breath, you’re trying to concentrate on the dance moves at the same time as you’re trying to control your voice, the stage lights are hot, and the crowd is loud and distracting. Far from ideal conditions to produce the best possible sound. Try it. You’d be surprised how difficult it is. So yes, lipsyncing often sounds “better”. And shouldn’t I prefer listening to better singing?

There’s no way to discuss this topic without bringing up AKB again. See, I’ve heard AKB fans actually criticize h!p for not lipsyncing, saying that it’s better to focus on one task at a time so you don’t do both of them half-assed. But, all that said, I still hate the fact that AKB lipsyncs most of the time. In fact, if they switched to mostly live singing, I’d probably consider becoming a fan of theirs. The lipsyncing is the one major barrier standing in the way of that, and I just can’t get around it.  It’s not because I think it proves their inferiority as singers or anything like that. It’s really that I flat out don’t enjoy watching a lipsynced performance as much as I enjoy watching a live one.

I think the major problem is that in a live performance, a girl can put the emotion she is feeling into her voice. She can reflect the energy of the crowd and her excitement and joy at being on stage. She can really “get into” a song in a way that she can’t in the recording studio. With a lipsynced performance, though her dancing and expressions might say she’s totally feeling it, her voice will have been recorded in a calm studio environment. That mismatch just feels off to me as a viewer. It’s frustrating when I watch a girl giving 100% with her performance, but the energy level in her voice is stuck at 50%.

Another big issue is the “sameyness” of every performance. Every nuance is the same. There are no bad performances, but there are also no extraordinary performances. I can’t get excited because, “Wow! So-and-so sounded great on that solo line tonight!” because she always sounds exactly the same every time. And when AKB performs the same stage for over a year, and every time a girl opens her mouth to sing a certain solo line, it sounds just as she recorded it over a year ago, it honestly just gets boring. I don’t mind watching the same song performed multiple times if it’s actually a different performance.

And lipsyncing removes the pleasure of seeing your favorite idols struggle and improve, at least in the vocal category. And even if singing is not the main point of being an idol, it’s still an important one. If a girl messes up on a line, I can forgive her, especially if she totally nails it the next time. That’s part of why we cheer for idols, isn’t it? Because they’re not perfect, and we love them anyway. Lipsyncing removes the risk of excruciatingly bad singing, but it also takes away the opportunity for “shivers down your back” heart-touching singing. The kind of experience you have as an audience member knowing that that music you are hearing has been created once, in this moment, and it will never exist in the same way again. Imagine if LinLin’s fantastic solo version of Aozora had been lipsynced. Could it have still had the same impact? I’d say definitely not.

End of musing.

Now if there are any AKB fans out there bristling with defensiveness, don’t try to tell me AKB doesn’t lipsync their shows. I’ve been to a couple of them. I’ve seen many LODs, and in recent times, live singing is very much the exception, not the rule. Really, I don’t know why they don’t drop the farce and do it “PV style”. No microphones. They’d have another arm free for dancing! And yes, I realize that MM lipsyncs occasionally too. But in their case, it’s lipsyncing that’s the exception. Live singing is the rule. And I have also heard the argument that AKB performs so much that singing live all the time would be too much strain on their voices. I find that hard to buy, but even if that is truly the case, how about singing live at least half the time? Even just singing the solo and duet lines live would be a major improvement. I don’t believe that AKB lipsyncs because they are terrible singers, at least not by idol standards. They do it because it’s safe. It’s predictable and controllable, and that’s how management likes things. However, by taking that route, I believe they are doing the fans, and the girls themselves, a great disservice.

Thoughts?

~Celestia~

33 responses so far

Nov 01 2009

Top 100 H!P Songs: Part 4

Fore!

Part 4 has a lot of the h!p kids, including a couple of Berryz songs that I didn’t even like much when they first came out. And as for number 69: first, no video footage so I used pictures, and second, I think that for once, the poor singing quality sort of adds to the charm.

Part 5 probably won’t be out until the end of the week, so look forward to that.

~Celestia~

2 responses so far

Oct 31 2009

Top 100 H!P Songs: Part 3

Golly gee, it’s part three!!

New and improved with transitions between the clips. This one was kind of a challenge actually, because for some reason there are a lot of ballady songs in this section, and ballady songs tend to have longer parts, so it’s hard to get all the parts I want into about 1 minute of footage. I’ve ended up with three of them spliced together from separate bits of the song.

I’ve got a three day weekend now, so another part or two will probably be coming soon, and then maybe a bit slower after that. In other news, I’ve got tickets to Morning Musume concerts next weekend!! Yep, concerts plural. And I’ve got 4th row seats for one and 5th for the other. AND, since the 4th row one is on the end and the seats in front wrap around the stage, there won’t be anyone in front of me! No one between me and the stage AND I’m almost as close as the 2nd row. The guy at the ticket store was so excited after he saw what ticket I got (they just tell you the section when you buy them. The seat number is covered), that he came out from behind the counter to show me the seat map and explain it to me. I have a suspicion that he may have been a h!p fan. =p

~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~

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Oct 18 2008

Sweet!

Published by under eye candy,Kirari

I went to the city’s annual festival tonight, and I found some rather interesting cotton candy bags. Look!

Would have bought the Milky Way one, but I kind of hate cotton candy.

~Celestia~

One response so far

Jun 09 2008

Let’s Play Another Game

I had so much fun with my last little contest that I’ve created another. This time the name of the game is identifying which PV the following images were taken from. Give it a try! What have you got to lose?

RULES/INSTRUCTIONS

1. Entries must be submitted via numbered list in the comments section.

2. You may add things/change you submission ONE time so make it count

3. Only the title of the song needs to be submitted, not group, version, or what exactly you’re looking at

4. All images come from h!p single PVs, this means NO ‘Best Shots’ or PVs that were made for album songs of B-sides, but any version of the A-side PV may be used

5. If the single is a double A-side, either PV might be used

6. All images have their number in the file name, so double check that before submitting in case your browser misaligns them

7. Deadline for submissions is June 30th, or whenever someone answers all 30 of them correctly

8. The person with the most correct answers wins

9. PRIZE IS $20 TO YESASIA.COM, IF ALL ARE CORRECT: $30

10. An important hint. Images are from PVs by the following groups: Morning Musume (including Gumis), C-ute, Berryz, Buono, W, Kirari/Kirari-related groups, Matsuura Aya, GAM, Summer shuffle units, Country Musume (any variation), Tanpopo, Minimoni, VUDen, Pucchimoni, Goto Maki, Fujimoto Miki, and Abe Natsumi. If you don’t see a unit or soloist on this list, they are not included. Every unit here appears in the answers at least once. It might seem like a long list, but I’ve actually eliminated quite a few.

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Alternately, if you’re having trouble viewing the images you can download the full set HERE 

Play Ball!

~Celestia~ 

 

5 responses so far

Mar 13 2008

Costume Hall of Shame: Now in Day-glo

Welcome to Bikkuri Project’s new home! It’s just so professional-looking that I almost don’t know what to do with myself. I was torn as to what to write about for the inaugural entry here. I’ve been wanting to do a new costume hall of shame feature for a while (the bad costumes are piling up!), but then I was worried that if I wrote something and people hated it, I’d lose votes for the International Wota awards. I’ve realized that that’s rather silly(because it’s not like anyone would vote for me anyway, lol), and I think it’d be a good way to kick off the blog, so without further ado…

Today’s costume hall of shame is full of costumes that were vomited on by a drunken rainbow. Bikkuri Project is not accountable for any retinal damage that results from viewing these images.

Koharu’s amazing Technicolor dreamcoat!! Papa Tsunku gave the gift of a marvelous coat of many colors to his youngest daughter (this was pre-aika), Kusumi, for she was his favorite. And lo! The other daughters were sorely jealous and so they threw her in a pit and sold her into slavery. What a nice story. It’ll never work though, because I don’t see how any of the Musume could be jealous of this clashing, raggedy homage to a circus tent.

There are so many strange and terrible things going on here; I almost don’t know where to begin. The furry vest, the fingerless shiny gold gloves, the zebra striped cowboy hat, the skirt of polka-dotted multi-colored handkerchiefs… Each item alone is offensive, but together… At my elementary school, every year we’d have spirit week, and one of the days was always “clash day”. The person who came to school clashing the most would win a prize. Congratulations Miss Matsuura, because you just kicked the ass of every kid in my elementary school.

Lastly, say ‘Hello’ to Hello Project’s newest solo artist, ManoEri. I’m trying to come up with something clever to say about the costume, but the only thing that keeps running through my head is “clownclownclownclownclown”. I don’t like clowns. This is not an auspicious start for Erina.

~Celestia~

4 responses so far

Feb 10 2008

Bottom 10

I have listed my very favorite Hello Project songs, so now what’s left for me to do but list my very least favorite? Look forward to seeing my most mediocre h!p songs in the next post! Just kidding on that one (maybe). Did you know that ‘mediocre’ is a rather difficult word to spell? Thank God for spell checkers. Anyway, there are quite a few h!p songs that are bad by virtue of being boring, but I listen to those songs once and then forget about them. The songs on this list are the ones that are either performed often enough that I can’t ignore them or so very bad that I cannot forget about them. Oh, and don’t freak out because I hate your favorite song, okay?

10. Dschingis Khan, Berryz– I haven’t seen the PV yet, so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and putting it at the least worst spot on this list. The song just really makes me cry for the Berryz. Some stupid old European song about a bloodthirsty warlord sung in a range that is far too high for them? It’s a mean joke being played on Berryz Koubou, that’s what it is, and I won’t stand for it!

9.Yeah! Meccha Holiday, Matsuura Aya– It goes on far too long with the “Yeah! Meccha..” lines and every time I hear that line, I’m less enthusiastic about it. It goes like this “Yeah!” “Yeah.” “Meh.” “Okay, knock it off already!” Maybe it’s not really Ayaya’s fault though. It might be all of the bad renditions of this song that have been done by other h!p members.

8.Aoi Sportscar no Otoko, Aoiro 7- I enjoy the “dame dame” part because it was used for the Hello Morning karaoke segments, and I loved those. I don’t like the song though because it’s rather tuneless. The chorus doesn’t even really have a melody. I don’t know how, or why, you would have a chorus without a discernable melody.

7.Dance and Chance, Coconuts Musume- What annoys me here is not the sound of the song, but that it’s full of really really lame English. Lyrics like that would get laughed at in America, and it makes me sad that some poor Japanese people might have been tricked into thinking they were cool. I blame Coconuts Musume as they knew full well how bad those lyrics were and yet they did nothing to stop this.

6. Hyoukkori Hyoutanjima, Morning Musume- Mari’s speech at the beginning of this single is engrish that I can get behind. Unfortunately, my appreciation for the song ends there. I don’t know why Morning Musume suddenly felt the need to release a song aimed at pre-schoolers, but I hope that they never do it again. I don’t even like facial hair on men.

5. Acchi Chikyuu wo Samasunda, Economi- Taking two of the very worst singers in h!p and having them “sing” a song together. Didn’t really think that through, did you Tsunku? “Sing” is in quotes because there’s not much actual singing, is there? Mostly it’s just talking. If I wanted to listen to a recording of people talking, I’d buy a book on tape.

4. Gag 100kaiban Aishitekudasai, Berryz- Don’t laugh, but I feel like this song is mocking me, I really do. The whole “sukinanda” part is done is this cutesy sing-songy voice that makes me feel like they’re repeating something I just said in a super-mocking way. “shuki nyaaan da shuki nyaaan da…” I wish I could gag them every time they go into that part. Hahahaha. I suddenly feel a bit better about the song.

3. Namida Tomaranai Houkago, Morning Musume- If you can stay awake long enough to notice, there are many things wrong with this song beyond how very very boring it is. Three of the four leads are KonKon (bless her heart), Sayu, and Rika (add Koharu, and you’ve got the 4 worse singers MM has ever seen). Worse, almost no one else sings at all, and several of the girls are wearing horrible shiny leisure suits for no apparent reason. Finally, the song is so utterly saccharine that it makes me feel a bit ill. KonKon singing, “My tears won’t stop… because I’m just too happy!” Bleeeeech.

2. Happy, Koharu- The short explanation is that listening to this song causes me to become violent. For the longer explanation: http://celestia-414.livejournal.com/17998.html#cutid2

1.Konnichi Pa, Kirari Kusumi- If worse songs than this exist in the world, I no longer want to be a part of it. Check the link above for further explanation.

Amen,

~Celestia~

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Dec 19 2007

I have journeyed to Kirarin Land and lived to tell about it

Published by under Kirari,reviews

It’s not that I hate Koharu, it’s just that I hate Koharu. Wait. That came out wrong. Let me try again. It’s not that I hate Koharu, it’s just that the sound of her voice when she’s in Kirarin-mode makes me want to hurl my computer speakers across the room and then stomp on them just to make sure they’re really dead. Yeah. That’s better.

Given my innate reaction to Koharu’s voice, I’m not sure what exactly possessed me to download her most recent Kirari album. Morbid curiosity maybe? Whatever it was, I can’t unlisten to it now, so I may as well do a review. I’m rating these songs on a scale of 1 c15.gif (the song is tolerable) to 5 c15.gif ‘s (we are holding a funeral for what’s left of my speakers on Sunday).

Track 1: Happy-

Koharu’s 3rd single, so you’re probably familiar with it. This also just happens to be my least favorite single out on the entirety of Hello Project. The term “musical vomit” comes to mind. She’s barely even singing. Most of the time she’s just kind of shouting at the microphone. I think I have made it clear that I do not hate Koharu, but every time she winds up for another “HAAAAPPY” I find myself wishing her serious bodily harm. Don’t even get me started on the bridge *shudders*. I have a feeling that no matter who was singing this song it would annoy me, but Koharu just pushes it to another level.
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Track 2: Chance

Koharu’s 4th single, mercifully, is a lot less annoying than Happy. I think it’s much better suited to Koharu’s voice, and I’ll have to admit that the song is pretty catchy. I almost like the, “anata yo ne” parts and the “yay!” homage to Koi Kana. Of course, she has to ruin it by baby-talking her way through the chorus. If she had just tried a bit less hard to be cutsey I might like this song.
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Track 3: Olala

Okay, I take back what I said about the verses of “Chance” because Koharu quite literally babytalks the verses of this song. That’s right; there is no attempt at singing whatsoever, just cutesy talking. Ug. She’s 15 years old, not 3. The chorus isn’t too bad, I guess. It’s this album’s first example of Kirari’s preference for choruses that consist almost entirely of nonsense syllables (see “Balalaika”). The whole thing is kind of low-key and forgettable which is probably a good thing, coming from this album.

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Track 4: Himawari

The intro to this song is pretty nice. It sounds very anime, but that’s appropriate. Then Koharu comes in “singing” almost in monotone and ruins it again. I guess having her stick to only 1 or 2 notes is one way to keep her in tune, but it’s still not very pleasing to the ear. Again, the chorus is super-anime, but, listenable. It’s not as much solid-Koharu, which helps, and there are some good guitar bits. I can imagine what this song could have been had Buono sang it. I think it would have fit their style, and they could have sung it sooo much better. With that positive image in my mind, I give this song a good rating.
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Track 5: Konnichi Pa

Holy shit. How can I even describe this song? ‘On crack’ comes to mind, but that just doesn’t do it justice. Let’s see, it’s polka, Koharu is way more hyper/annoying than usual, and she becomes intoxicated somewhere around the middle. I am not joking. The middle is Koharu trying to sing while falling on her ass drunk, and nothing you say can convince me otherwise. If you are ever even the slightest bit annoyed with Kirarin, DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS SONG. It is everything that is obnoxious about Koharu’s singing magnified 1000x. Oh God, please get this song out of my ears!!!
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Track 6: Very Berry Strawberry

Another forgettable generic song made horrible by Koharu’s voice. That’s really all there is to it.
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Track 7: Hana wo Puuun

&nb
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Any track with Maimai to cut the Koharuness couldn’t be that bad, though this one puts up a valiant effort. It’s very very very strange, but there’s nothing here that requires Koharu to hold a long note unaccompanied, so despite being weird, it’s relatively non-offensive. Surprisingly, the background vocals are more terrible than Koharu’s, particularly the “Hana hana hana” part at the beginning.
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Track 8: Koi no Mahou Habibi no bi

Repeated nonsense syllable song number 2. I suppose it’s kind of catchy, and most of it doesn’t bother me much. I was almost thinking I could give this one a favorable rating, but then after the chorus Koharu had to do her trademark shouting at the microphone in lieu of singing move, and it all went out the window. Sigh. I had so much hope.
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Track 9: Futari wa NS

Maimai to the rescue again! To be fair, Kirari ballads give Koharu the least opportunity to act cute/hyper, so they generally are not as bad. The song is kind of boring, sure, but with this album, ‘boring’ is not one of main concerns. It’s kind of funny how clear it is from listening to this that little Mai can sing circles around Koharu.
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Track 10: Ramutara

Nonsense sy
llable song number 3! The sound of this song is kind of Arabic, which makes it stand out. Unfortunately, the chorus is one giant Koharu shout-fest. Ramta
TAramtaTAramtaTA… I actually wince every time she hits one of those “TA’s”. Then at the end it’s just one extended TAAAAAAA! I believe that forcing someone to listen to the chorus of this song more than once counts as torture in most of the developed world.
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Track 11: Shiawase Clover

Just when my courage was faltering, when I felt I could not go on and I may not get through one more Koharu track alive, Shiawase Clover came along. The gentle strains of a ballad hit my ears, and I thanked my lucky stars. As I continued to listen, something very strange happened… I started to like this song. Had Koharu’s voice finally robbed me of my sanity? Could it be that her voice, when paired with this song, sounds cute? Was this actually a good song, or was it but a mirage brought on my Kirari-induced delirium? In order to find out, I did the unthinkable. I voluntarily listened to one of Koharu’s songs twice in a row, and I came to the same conclusion. I like this song. God help me, but I do.
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Nov 16 2007

Weirder than it Odder be

Published by under Ayaya,Kirari,Maki,Momusu,video

I am attempting to institute a poll feature in this blog. I know it’s a dangerous endeavor because a poll that no one votes in is a failed poll. I’m quite scared of failure, but I’m going to push through that to put up this poll. If you don’t vote in it I might be afraid to ever try anything again, so I’ll probably spend the rest of my life hiding under my bed. If you don’t want that on your conscience, you should vote.

We all know that there are some strange h!p promotional videos out there, and with this poll I’m trying to determine which one is the very weirdest. I’ve taken the liberty of selecting 8 PVs that score highly on the bizarrity scale (measured in wtf’s? per minute). I’ve included links to the videos in case you aren’t familiar as well as short commentary about why I picked them. These aren’t PVs that I hate, just some that I find…unusual. I’m excluding Minimoni PVs because they’re aimed specifically at kids, and stuff aimed at kids is always kind of special. In no particular order…

Miki Fujimoto- Romantic Ukare Mode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GscUXNsVMg&feature=related
Miki emerges from some kind of cryogenic chamber and proceeds to play with magical rhythmic gymnastic equipment, sparkly grass, and a golf flag. Includes lots of creepy shots of her in the pod thing staring at you.

Morning Musume- The Peace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8zX21IDtm0
You’re probably familiar with this PV, but have you ever really thought about it? It’s a bunch of girls dancing around and cleaning a men’s restroom (presumably on a ship), emerging from toilet stalls, and, in the grade finale, the toilets start emitting light and the entire restroom turns into a disco paradise.

(Sort of)Melon Kinenbi- Onegai Miwaku no Target Mango Pudding Mix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJYSivO9pEs&feature=related
I don’t know if this actually counts as a Melon Kinenbi PV because they’re not in it, but I guess their voices are. Four black men lip sync to a Melon Kinenbi song. It seemed like a terrible joke…but it wasn’t.

KiraPika- Hana wo Puun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DpHJ5VQDSg
Koharu and Mai come out of a giant nose at the beginning of the PV, and then it goes to hang behind them, dripping snot. I think that whoever made the PV had some kind of nose fetish, because they’re everywhere.

Abe Natsumi- Koi no telephone goal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5Ircnsw1qY
Mild mannered Nacchi by day, evil purple creature fighting master of disguise by night. At one point she uses her magical ring to turn into a stereotypical Mexican, complete with giant sombrero, maracas, and a mustache.

Aya Matsuura- Doki Doki love mail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrZ1Pf_ktNA
There are too many weird and seemingly unrelated scenes here for me to talk about, so just a few of the stranger ones: giant Ayaya frolicking through a city like Godzilla, Ayaya’s magical remote control that causes Tokyo Tower to blast off into space like a rocket, and robot Ayaya who has a shiny red bulb for a nose and does homework.

W- Aa ii na http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBldNjaopEE
The weird/creepiest part of this PV is the monstrous koi thing that keeps popping up. I also like the part where they calmly march through an apartment where some family is having dinner.

Maki Goto- Uwasa no sexy guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS_F7oF_I9o
The video seems pretty standard/futuristic at first. It’s not a goofy song, so why should I expect a goofy video? Sure, the scene with her flying around in the devil costume is weird, but…. Wait! Is Maki holding a baby pig? Why yes, yes she is, and it’s doing the background vocals.

What are you waiting for?? Get voting!

Vote in my poll!
edit: You can’t see the results until you vote, just so you know.

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