Archive for the 'reviews' Category

May 25 2011

Itoshii no Kimi e

Published by under Momusu,reviews

That line is stuck in my head! Morning Musume’s new PV for “Only You” is out. Let’s look at what I feel are the positives and negatives, shall we?

+ I absolutely love the chorus. Best darn chorus Morning Musume has had in a long time.

Not so sure about the verses. They’re… cool, but weird and sort of disconcerting?

+ Gaki-san’s lines are epic!

Gaki-san’s lines have about twice as much autotune as they should. I think a little would be cool and fit with the song, but it’s just way too much

+ I actually like Ai-chan’s hair. I was shocked at first, but she’s really working it.

They could not have picked a less flattering hairstyle for Zukki if they tried. Are they THAT determined to make her unpopular?

+ Nice editing! I love when it quickly switches back and forth between the red and white background during the last chorus. Adds lots of drama.

+ “Boobs grabbing” dance move in the chorus makes me LOL. It’s like they’re saying “Stop bouncing around while I’m dancing!”

Dancing during the bridge is awkward

+ Riho! Yep, I’m happy about what a good position she got. No one can deny she’s a fantastic dancer and has a really cute face, but I was also impressed with her vocals. Certainly not as good as Ai-chan, but she really held her own on that last chorus. Morning Musume needs new front girls, and I fully support Riho being one of them.

All the people who now “hate” Riho because she’s being pushed. Boo to you.

Other observations: More Fuku-chan than expected. She actually got a better spot than Gaki-san during the V formation, and I think she’s center in the “two lines” formation they use a couple times.

I expect this to sell better than Majidesuka ska because this kind of song tends to do better than the happy kind, and the chorus is so strong. (BTW, Maji ska did end up outselling Seishun Collection eventually. HA!)

~Celestia~

3 responses so far

Feb 23 2011

Oh Hi Yurina

Published by under berryz,reviews

Berryz (or should it be Berryz’s?) new PV is out. Overall, a big improvement from their last one (but then, almost anything would be an improvement over that).

A quick review, and then about what really interests me right now: Yurina Kumai.

Costumes are (mostly) great! Cool and flattering street clothes always work well. My only problem is Chinami. She’s dressed like a bartender. Then there’s the Lady Gaga inspired blond wigs and dramatic eye-makeup, which I sort of love sort of hate, but mostly love.

The song is like Dakishimetex2 and Nachuu Koi wo Yatteru You Know?’s love child. It’s no doubt a Berryz song, but it feels like it’s been done by them before. The dance scenes in the PV remind me a lot of DakiDaki too.  Overall, I guess I like it, but that’s about as enthusiastic as I can be.

So, about Yurina. This is the second single in a row that she’s been front and center and featured vocally. In the early days of Berryz, she was one of the 4 featured girls, but for the last few years she had sort of faded back to join “the other three”, with Momo/Sako/Miya remaining at the front. Then, BAM! Shining Power comes along and she’s more featured than she’s ever been. She even got a different costume from everyone else for that one in both the PV and the concert version. Herione ni Narou ka proves that it wasn’t a fluke. The management really is suddenly interested in pushing Yurina a whole lot, and that makes me wonder why. It’s not her vocal talent, because IMHO she’s one of the weakest singers in Berryz. Could it be that they just discovered that she’s the most visually appealing member? (Yeah, I said it. Love Momo, but she’s got nothing on Yurina looks-wise). Maybe (long shot, but I hope it’s true) they’re pushing her because she’s going to be starting a real modeling career. She’d be so good at it! Maybe some of the other front girls are thinking about graduating soon, and they want to get fans used to seeing Yurina in front instead. Maybe Yurina is graduating soon and they want to get her set up for her career after Berryz. Maybe they’re just bored and wanted to try something new. Whatever the reason, I’m curious to see if this trend will continue.


Any other theories?

~Celestia~

2 responses so far

Apr 10 2010

Team K [Reset] Concert Report

Published by under Momusu,Personal,reviews

This post is going to be full of AKB48, so if that’s not your cup of tea, I politely suggest that you stop reading now.

First, the absolute highlight of the day for me. Reina Fujie thinks I’m cute!!!!!!!!! See, since it’s one of the first performances of the new stage, they did a “high touch” meet after the show. That’s where the girls line up, and the audience high fives them as we file out. By the way, they announced that it’s the last time they’re going to do it for this show, so I think I’m super lucky. Anyway, when I got to Reina, she looked at me and said “Ah! Kawaii!” threreby earning her a very high spot on my list of AKB faves. I’ve called many idols cute, but I’ve never had an idol call ME cute. Totally made my day.

Aaaaand backing up. I’ve got to say, the day didn’t start out so great. First, I went all over Tokyo looking for tickets to tonight’s Momusu concert, and failed. Sold out everywhere!! I know, I should have gone after work last week or something, but I’m lazy, and I figured since I’d be in Tokyo early today anyway… Oh well. At least there’s still the Nakano Sun Plaza concerts to look forward to.

Then I got really F%@$ing lost trying to find the AKB theater. I walked up the wrong street, I think. Here’s a hint: If you’re looking for AKB and you find yourself crossing a river, you’ve gone WAY too far. Fortunately, I allowed plenty of time, and I made it the the theater with about 10 minutes before they would have given my ticket to a cancel machi. My impressions of the theater? It’s small. Real small. The whole building it’s in is very narrow and crowded. Also filled with kinda sketchy shops. Once I got to the lobby itself, I was mostly just trying to stay out of people’s way. There was a bit of a crisis when I found out I couldn’t take my bag inside. After checking it, I couldn’t remember which line I had come from, and I was just standing there in front of the entrance, staring at the fans waiting to go in, looking very much like a lost and terrified puppy, until I figured it out.

Inside, I was in the last seated row, absolutely dead center. In fact, the main camera filming the LOD was positioned directly over my head. I can see what people mean about the pillars of death (or is it doom?). My view of both far corners of the stage was blocked, which wasn’t bad, but I can imagine how annoying it would be if one was between you and the middle of the stage. Overall, it just feels like AKB is too good for that performance space. I know, it’s important and nostalgic, and they’re Akihabara 48, so they have to be based in Akihabara but… it just feels like they’ve outgrown it in so many ways.

Now, my personal impression of some of the girls.

Akimoto Sayaka– Amazing to watch on stage, and really funny in the MCs. It’s a shame that she’s not very prominent in K6, but I can kind of understand why. AKB48 is a group for cute girls, and Sayaka is a beautiful woman, not a cute girl. I wish she would become an actress/professional singer or something and stop with this idol stuff. It’s a crime for someone as talented and beautiful as her to be slowly pushed toward the back.

Oshima Yuko- Clearly the favorite from this team, and I think she deserves it. That little buck-toothed smile of hers is ADORABLE. All around, she’s just an excellent performer, and she actually reminds me of my beloved Gaki-san in some ways. Not so much in personality, but in the way she seems to truly feel and embody whatever she’s doing on stage, and she just seems to be so genuinely thrilled to be performing. It bothers me to pick the most popular girl on the team as my favorite, but Yuko’s charm is hard to resist.

Minegeshi Minami- In a team full of good dancers, she clearly stands out as the best. Moved up my personal ranking after tonight’s performance.

Ono Erena- Probably has the prettiest face of any girl on the team, and she’s ruining it by getting chubby. Erena is not a stand-out performer, singing and dancing-wise. Her cuteness is what got her a front-girl spot, and she can’t afford to lose that!

Itano Tomomi- OMG, Tomochin is TINY. Like, at the high touch thing, I swear her hands look like they belong to a kindergartner. I think she’s the best girl on the team at working the “sexy” angle. Something about the way she tosses her hair. Anyway, she looked very happy, and I think she’s really enjoying being the center of attention and having more complex dance routines.

Fujie Reina- Even before the high-touch thing, I was noticing how pretty Reinyan is. She’s rather striking, in a classical Japanese way.

Miyazawa Sae- She has that same way of really throwing herself into a performance as Yuko (and Gaki-san), that draws you in and makes it hard to look away.

Nito Moeno- Good singing, and she did quite well with the sexy or serious songs, not so much in the “cute” songs. Also, not to be mean, but I don’t think she’s very pretty. Her face is too flat or something.

Umeda Ayaka- She’s a very good performer, but unfortunately she just doesn’t have the looks to be front-girl material. Shame really.

Nonoka Misato- Not so much an observation about her, but she had a major fan standing behind me. I got pretty tired of him shrieking her name into my ear.

Nakatsuka Tomomi- Why is there an American on stage? Seriously, is that girl really Japanese?

As for the other girls, I guess nothing in particular stood out to me. This is getting awfully long already, but next is the track-by-track review.

Lemon no Toshigoro- Performing kenkyuusei were Shimazaki Haruka, Ishiguro Atsuki, Takamatsu Eri, and Takeuchi Miyu. I like the idea of a kenkyuusei opening act, and the costumes are cute, but the song is kinda boring.

Overture- Hey, that was exciting!

Reset- Excellent opening number with a kick-ass dance. A good choice as New Team K anthem.

Sentakumonotachi- Okay. I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything here, but the chorus sounds EXACTLY like Tanpopo’s “Otome Pasta ni Kandou”. Well, the dance is cute anyway.

Kanojo ni Naremasu ka?- Least favorite from the opening set, I think. It’s not bad persay, but a little generic.

UHHO UHHOHO- Yes!! This song is awesome!! Sayaka is awesome too.

Seifuku Resistance- Tomochin is perfect for this and Moeno holds her own, but Erena looks really out of place. Also, shouldn’t they be wearing some kind of school uniform?

Kiseki wa Aida ni Awanai- I like this one, but not the costumes. Sae pulled off her hat flipping tricks perfectly this time.

Gyukuten Oujisama- I’m not so into the super-cutesy numbers, and this one is just dripping with sugar. That said, I love the outfits!

Ashita no Tame ni Kiss wo- Tall girls unit? I know some people don’t like it, but I’m happy to see Sayaka in a unit that’s not all rockish. Sure, she’s good at the “cool” thing, but that doesn’t mean she can’t do anything else!

Kokoro no hashi no Sofa- “Lovely” is how I would describe this unit. I like it, because it’s different from anything else in the stage. It really put me in a happy-peaceful mood.

Dokugumo- The dance is cool and well thought-out, but I’m not crazy about the chorus or the tacky spiderweb on the wall.

Okera- Disco flavored awesome! Love the dance, and I love the song too.

White day ni Wa- Just edging into “too generic” territory, but the “Nande ne?” lines save it. That and Yuko’s adorableness.

Jigsaw Puzzle 48- I get what the girls in the back by the mirrors are doing now! They’re pretending to practice and acting out little scenes that might happen during lessons. It’s not AKB’s best ballad ever, but it’s far from being the worst.

Hoshizora no Mistake- Jingle bells? Is it Christmas already? The song is all right I guess. Not too memorable. The best part is when they’re frolicking across the stage at the beginning. And I’ve got to say, I HATE their shoes. They don’t match anything else they’re wearing (even after they change the costume they still don’t match)

Yume no Kane- This one was great! Ripping off those costumes looks complicated. Lots of pieces. Good to see one “dark” song in there.

Hikkoushimashita- Unfortunately, the stage ends with my least favorite song of the whole thing. It’s just so.. blah? I guess the lyrics have a nice meaning.

Overall my top 5 songs are…

1. UHHO UHHOHO

2. Kokoro no Hashi no Sofa

3. Okera

4. Reset

5. Yume no Kane

After the show ended, we were held prisoner in the theater and forced to listen to “Reset” five or six times in a row until they got the high touch thing set up. It was so worth it though! I’ve never gotten to touch a real idol before. Most of the girls seemed really happy, and really surprised to see me there. I got quite a few double takes. I’m guessing that it’s a very rare event for a white female to attend one of their shows.

On the way back, I got hopelessly lost once again. I somehow ended up at the station AFTER Akihabara on the Yamanote line. WTF? I need a personal GPS system or something.

In comparison to Momusu shows, the crowd is rather subdued. No one really dances, and chants only occur in the instrumental breaks of fast songs. It’s mostly just polite clapping and maybe waving. That’s why, IMHO, Morning Musume concerts are just a lot more fun than an AKB show. At a Momusu concert, you feel like you’re participating in something with the girls. At the AKB show, you’re much more just an observer. Then there’s the lipsyncing. I wish they’d at least sing the solo lines live. That’s where it’s the most obvious. I’m not saying AKB did a poor job by any means though. Dancing, energy, and overall performance-wise the two groups are on a similar level. Will I go to any other AKB shows? Maybe if I can get into one of the first performances of the new A and B shows. I’ve high-fived all of Team K now. It’d be cool if I could collect the whole set!

In Soviet Russia, Idol compliments you!

~Celestia~

11 responses so far

Mar 19 2010

Momusu Spring 2010: First Night Review

Published by under Momusu,reviews

Hi all! I just got back from the first performance of Morning Musume’s PikaPika! concert tour!

One thing I want to mention right off the bat: The costumes were all so super cute! I go into a Morning Musume concert expecting at least one complete disaster, but every single outfit was great!

-First order of business after arriving at the concert hall was buying my copy of Momusu’s 10th album. Buying CDs or DVDs at concerts is great because you always get to pick a free poster. I got the poster of the album cover. It’s gorgeous!

-There were people all over the lobby with cameras taking pictures for S/Mileage. They seemed to be getting quite a few takers too. Go S/Mileage!

-From my seat in the front row of the balcony, dead center, I had a great view of the stage. Sure, it’s more fun to jump and dance around, but after 8 hours on my feet at work today, plus the commute to Tokyo, I’m not sure I would have survived the whole concert. I’ll be back in the standing section for the next one for sure though.

-The show starts with a picture of a wolf silhouetted against a moon. Okay… kind of cheesy, but I guess it makes sense since the first song is-

Moonlight Night- Continuing the animal cosplay tradition, the girls appear on stage wearing bunny ears with pink and white loli-style dresses complete with garters and pink heart shaped wands. It’s like the whole group decided to be Rainbow Pink! It doesn’t sound like it would go with the song, but it really did. They were hopping around a lot, and I sort of imagined magical bunnies fending off wolves in the moonlit night with their heart shaped wands? Lol. The singing was awesome. Especially Gaki (yeah I’m biased) and Eri.

Kimagure Princess– Continues to be one of those songs that’s much better live than not.

Renai Revolution 21– Next outfits are black and white, stomach revealing, and a little bit flamenco maybe? Also very cute and stylish. I’m not sure about the placement of this song. It doesn’t feel right.

Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun- My second favorite performance of the night! The dance was really sexy. There was one particularly striking part where they were all dancing on the floor in their own individual spotlights. I’m glad they chose this as their random B-side inclusion.

Nanchatte Renai/ Shouganai Yumeoibito- I still don’t think these songs should be back to back. They’re too similar. I do like them both a lot though.

Ano hi ni Modoretai- Gaki-san and Ai-chan were looking pretty in long sundresses and jean jackets. They used umbrellas as props! Very touching performance.

Osaka Umainen- Sort of funky “normal” clothes. LinLin was really hamming it up, and even though I’m a girl, I must say, she fills out a tight T-shirt quite well. The girls were trying their hardest, but you can tell that the crowd just wasn’t feeling this song, and neither was I.

Ooki Hitomi- Hmm. I don’t remember what they were wearing, but I remember it wasn’t very costumey and it was really stylish. Everyone went crazy for this song! To me, the song itself is sort of forgettable, but the performance was good.

Resonant Blue– NO! Not again!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s almost getting to be funny, except instead of laughing, I’m just pissed off.

PV- Namida Tomaranai Houkago. All the girls leave the stage except for one. The lights go on, and we see that it’s Sayumi. Sudden tension fills the room. A surprise graduation announcement perhaps? Nah. Crisis averted. But seriously, showing a PV? If I wanted to watch PVs, I could have stayed home and gone on youtube. Worse, I don’t even like that song. I wonder if the PV shown will change every show. I get that the girls are changing costumes, but maybe they should take a page out of AKB’s book. Half the girls talk while the others change clothes, then switch places. It’s not that hard to figure out.

Medley- They had blue, short kimono-inspired costumes. Once again, really cute! I just wish the Kanashimi Twilight part of the medley wasn’t so short. I’ve really been wanting to hear that. Hey, here’s an idea. Put Resonant Blue in the medley and give me a full performance of Kanashimi Twilight! There was lots of audience interaction in the medley. They only did the call and response part of Koi no Dance site (Oh! Ha!), and they had the audience sing a chorus of the “Lonely boys and girls” part of Koko ni Iruzee by themselves. That was pretty fun. And Risa was totally bouncing off the walls and spazzing out during Koko ni Iruzee. I don’t even know what she was doing, but it’s sure fun to watch her dance. Overall though, this wasn’t one of their better medleys. The transitions between the songs were a little awkward.

Ame no Furanai- New costumes! White iridescent, very sparkly dresses over light blue with with floofy sleeves. Super pretty! Now, I love this song, but I love it a lot more in Japanese. I can’t sing along when it’s in Chinese *pouts*

Onna ga Mezatte Nande Ikenai- Okay I guess. I don’t like the song much.

3,2,1 Breakin Out- Always fun.

Mikan- I know some people won’t be happy about this, but I am pleased. I can’t say it enough: Mikan is a blast at a live show!

Genki Pika Pika- Lots of cute interactions between the girls and a simple dance that wota can easily follow along with.

Loving You Forever- This is just a really nice song. I know it’s not one of the standouts from the album, and we’re probably never going to hear it again, but I found it to be highly enjoyable tonight.

Encore

How do you Like Japan- The encore costumes are basically flannel shirts over T-shirts and Jeans, but with lots and lots of colorful accessories. Ai-chan in baggy overalls with a big bow in her hair looks like an overgrown toddler. She’s adorable! As for the song, I do feel like they’ve been overusing it lately, but this was probably their fiercest performance of “How do you Like Japan” ever. The use of stand mics took it to the next level.

During the closing MC, when Ai-chan stepped forward, she was crying. A silence fell across the crowd and those of us who were sitting simultaneously moved to the edge of our seats. The one thought on everyone’s mind, “Oh my god, oh my god, please don’t say the word “graduation” Ai-chan”. And she didn’t, and everyone started breathing again. Seems she was just emotional over it being the first performance, Koharu not being there, and the super enthusiastic crowd reaction.

Namidacchi- Hands down favorite performance of the night!!!! The part where they transition from the slow, arms around each other’s shoulders verses to the jumping and rocking out chorus is concert GOLD. The rap part is also excellent. I’m not really capable of describing how awesome this song was live. I predict that this will be one of those songs that keeps popping up in future concerts until everyone is sick of it.

So overall, great costumes, and some great performances, but the set list is a bit “meh”. Most of the songs that aren’t new album songs were performed on their last concert tour. During a MC, one of the girls said they didn’t have much rehearsal time for this concert. I think that with lack of time and needing to teach the album songs from scratch, they had to go with stuff that didn’t take much rehearsal time for the other songs AKA, songs they have performed recently.

Minna-san, goodnight!

~Celestia~

3 responses so far

Feb 11 2010

Recent Opinions

Published by under berryz,buono,c-ute,Momusu,reviews

I haven’t been writing much about the recent happenings in the h!p world lately. Starting with the disappointing and working up to the fantastic.

CUTE-

Oh Cute. I used to like them so much. I still do, but lately I don’t like a single thing they’re putting out. “Bye Bye Bye” was okay for me. Not their best, and the PV sucked, but I enjoyed the early 90’s sound because it reminded me of the music I listened to growing up. Then came a cover song. Bleh. Then “Everyday Zekkouchou”, a total snooze fest. And then, “Shock” which officially surpasses “Lalala Shiawase no Uta” as my least favorite  C-ute song ever. It’s not the fact that it’s pretty much an Airi solo. It’s the weird and disjointed melodic lines. Not pleasing to the ear at all. And from the album previews so far, I’m hearing a bunch of boring mid tempo ballads. There’s nothing I like much except maybe Maimi’s solo.

If Cute keeps up with crappy song after crappy song, it’s going to be hard for me to like them anymore, no matter how adorable Airi is. And by the way, I hate Maimi’s haircut. Sorry, but it makes her look like she belongs in Johnny’s.

MORNING MUSUME-

Okay, first of all, I think “Onna ga Nande Mezatte Ikenai” is total fail on all levels. It’s not catchy, it’s not special, it’s not interesting. The costumes are dated, the PV involves my least favorite idol PV cliche (putting on makeup), and the B-side is totally forgettable. I kind of like the meaning of the lyrics, but that’s it. Frankly, I am not surprised that sales look weak so far. Morning Musume was on such a high with “Shougani” getting number 1 and “Nanchatte” achieving their best sales in years. Then there was “Kimagure”, which I personally liked, but I can understand why it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. At least it was different. At this point they could either hold off on a new single until Tsunku could come up with something fantastic, or they could quickly release a sub-par single and totally kill what was left of their momentum. Guess which they did? I just hope that the new album is good.

S/Mileage-

I’m totally behind this new group and their upcoming official debut. Recently I’ve been listening to “Suki-chan” all the time. If I hadn’t finished my countdown list before it came out, you can bet it’d be on there.

Berryz-

How is it that C-ute keeps getting such poor songs while Berryz is getting enough good material to put out a slew of double A sides? Not only that, but all of them have at least one really good song. ‘Rival’, ‘Watashi no Mirai no Danma-sama’, and now ‘Otakebi Boy WAO” all make my frequently played list, and the other songs aren’t bad either. No surprise that their sales are on the rise, while certain other groups are showing the opposite trend.

Also, I loved watching them do Special Generation dressed as fish, complete with flaily fish-like dancing.

Buono-

I am totally IN LOVE with Buono’s new album. There’s hardly a bad track on it. You know, I’ve heard people say that about their other albums, but somehow they never really clicked with me. This one though, I could listen to “Blue-sky-Blue” and “Koucha no Oishii mise” all day.

And that’s all for recent happenings.

!!!!!!!!!PLEASE SEND ME YOUR TOP 10 SONGS IF YOU HAVEN’T YET!!!!!!!

~Celestia~

3 responses so far

Jan 13 2010

Shuffle Deeto- Mini Review

Published by under reviews

You may be wondering why I haven’t written about the shuffle deeto concert. Well, I did write about it, quite a bit in fact, but then I had computer issues and I ended up losing the whole thing. Then, the next day I went to Kyoto for the weekend, and then I had to plan a semester’s worth of lessons for work, and well, here we are today.

I just can’t type up the whole review again, but suffice it to say that this was my favorite of the “Wonderful Hearts” style concerts I’ve been to so far, though I still prefer straight up Morning Musume concerts.

-I liked alot of the costumes for this concert. The shorts/T-shirts combo everyone wore was simple, but cute, and all the individual shuffle unit costumes really fit each group’s character. Zoku VUDen in particular wore pretty conservitive costumes last concert, but they really whipped out the sexy this time. Yowza.

-Favorite Performances:

Aa!: Both of their songs were great. Miya and Airi are total pros, my two favorite h!p kids. Then there’s Saho Akari, who didn’t stand out much to me when she was just one of the eggs, but has really proven herself as a member of new Aa!. Vocally, she holds her own with the other two, and that’s really saying something. She just still needs more confidence on stage and she’ll have the whole package.

Love Like Crazy: So here’s a song that I barely remembered existed. I’m definetly going to have to give it a second look.

-Least Favorite Performances:

Pen Pen Kyoudai: I love Shin Minimoni, but this song is  annoying. Mini Strawberry Pie was really cute though, so I forgive them.

Destiny Love: I guess there had to be at least one ballad. This one is so thoroughly “blah” though. I don’t even find it to be particularly pretty. On the upside, Yuuka’s vocals were better than I expected.

And I think that’s all you get on that subject. I’m already making plans for the PikaPikaPikachuuu Morning Musume concerts! And I’m already feeling sad that it’ll be the last MM concert tour I can attend. They’d better make it a great one.

~Celestia~

4 responses so far

Oct 04 2009

9 Smile Concert Report- 10/4

Published by under Momusu,reviews

Just got back! Wow! This really is the best Morning Musume concert I’ve been to! The setlist is the best, the goods are the best, the staging is the best, the costumes…. oh. Well, not the costumes, but everything else is awesome!

After a long trip via like 5 trains, I finally arrived at the concert. At the goods table I bought a Gaki-san T-shirt (the kind with all the smileys) and YES! they still had size small. I also got a couple boxes of gummies just for fun.  I ended up getting an Eri picture in one and a Mittsi picture in the other. The cutest mini-wota award for the day goes to the little girl in a Koharu T-shirt that was so big on her it reached her knees. The concert venue was interesting. There was the floor section and then 5 narrow balconies directly on top of each other and they kind of wrapped around the stage.

The stage setup was really cool. There’s a central stairway leading to the back raised area, and there are also two small revolving stages on either side with their own stairways.

I had a female Niigaki fan of the “knows the dance moves to every last song” variety on my right, and strangely, a guy in a suit on my left. He must have come straight from work because his briefcase was on the floor in front of him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone wear a suit to a concert before. He didn’t even take off his jacket until about halfway through. He spent most of the concert awkwardly nodding his head to the music with his arms behind his back. Eventually he got a little more into it, risking a little clapping and bouncing on his heels. I was dying to ask what was going on with him, but I figured that might be kind of rude.

And now to track-by-track mode.

3,2,1 Breakin Out- Cow costumes? Really? I mean, the leopard costumes were kind of cool, but cow costumes?! Ah well. This is a nice song, but I don’t feel like it has quite enough oomph to be the opening number for a concert. I think it would have been better if they’d switched positions with…

How do you like Japan?- Breakin’ Out got us smiling, but this song got us jumping and screaming. Love it. One thing that bothers me about this song though. The title is “How do you like Japan?” but the lyrics go “How do you like this Japan?”. So, are they asking us how we feel about Japan, or are the asking Japan how they feel about Morning Musume/that song? Hmmm?

Kimagure Princess- The dance is sure aggressive and athletic! There seem to be Russian cossack inspired moves in there. It’s really funny to watch the girls open their mouths to sing and hear this chipmunkified version come out. Only complaint is, once again, the costumes. Unless you are working at a ranch, chaps are never ever a good idea. They make their thighs look twice their size, and when they turn around it looks like they’ve ripped their pants.

Nanchatte Renai- Was good, but I don’t remember anything specific.

Genki+- That intro music was kind of creepy, but in a good way. Much better than the Sexy 8 Beat version, I think. They changed the dance. Oh, and if you were wondering, LinLin and Eri shared Miki’s big solo line at the bridge.

Ame no Furanai- I love this song, but not so much the way it was done here. First, I don’t know the Chinese lyrics. Second, it was so short, just verse chorus chorus, that by the time you start to get into it, it’s already over.

Sukiyaki- Oh. my. God. The costumes make last concert’s Guru Guru Jump costumes look subdued and tasteful. There were two hyper rainbow fluffballs with Gaki and Koharu’s heads sticking out of them running around the stage.

Haru Beautiful Everyday- Eri and Aika are so perfect for this song. Eri’s voice is very pure and sweet, and Aika is a lot more confident than she was back during the Sexy 8 Beat show.

Kioku no Meiro- Was cool, but again, nothing specific to share

Aruiteru- So… Sayumi sure is cute, isn’t she? Well, let’s just say I was glad when everybody else came out.

Aki Urara- I don’t like this song even a  little bit.  I wish they would have replaced it with just about anything else. Still, one boring song out of an entire concert isn’t too bad.

Shouganai Yumeoibito- And a good song swoops in to save the day!

Sakura Mankai- This song sort of puts me in a trance.  It’s so peaceful and calming. LinLin’s solo lines are amazing here, not that her solo lines aren’t all amazing. And looking at the crowd, she clearly has the fewest fans out there. Maybe if Risa graduates *knock on wood* I will become a LinLin supporter. It must be discouraging for her to look out there and see hardly anyone wearing her color.

Yuujou~ ect.- Any song that involves jumping around like crazy and lots of general flailing is a winner in my book.

Dekai Ucchu ni Ai ga Aru- Cutest performance of the night! The girls were all peaking out from behind their big smileys and playing around with each other. I liked it when they formed the 9 smile logo at the end. It doesn’t hurt that I like the song a lot too.

Coupling Medley- They did a really great job making the songs flow into each other. During some of the medley, they were showing photos of concert rehearsal on the screen. The best part was when Handmade City started, and they striped the music down to just a “we will rock you”- like beat. Then Ai and Eri came in with the “I love you” “wow wow city” parts, with everyone in the audience screaming the echo. Gradually they added more of the background music until we were back to the normal version of the song again. It was kick-ass! The medley in general was probably the highlight of the concert for me.

Joshi Kashi Mashi- Hilarious! Lots of playing around on stage. It makes me sad that this lineup is going to end soon though. They lit up the stage in each member’s color during her verse.

Naichau Kamo- Okay, but I’m getting a little tired of it.

Resonant Blue- Look, the song still rocks, but PLEASE give it a rest! It’s been in every concert since it came out, including the all h!p concerts. I must, however, note how fierce Gaki-san is in this.

Encore- So, the wota started chanting “Gaki-san!” during the encore chant. Huh? This is Risa’s “hometown” concert?! I guess there did seem to be an unusually large number of Gaki fans in the audience.

Songs- Must be easier to perform without four separate layers of costumes on. Well, except that Koharu’s hat kept almost falling off.

Love Machine- Much more spirited than the version in lasts year’s medley. The members were really having fun with it, playing around and teasing each other all over the place. At the very beginning, when they all freeze in a pose, Ai-chan’s pose involved her grabbing the top of Risa’s head. LoL.

So, clearly, I had a great time! I can’t wait to go again! For now though, I must be off to bed. Hope you enjoyed.

Smile!

~Celestia~

5 responses so far

Aug 09 2009

H!p Summer Concert 2009- Report!

Tonight I attended the 5:30 Hello Project Champaloo show with fellow blogger Tsukiki. It was a great show! Much better than last winter’s h!p concert, in my opinion. I think that the new subgroups have really done something to revitalize Hello Project. Based on what I saw tonight, I have high expectations for many of them. I also appreciate that they’ve largely been faithful to the style and feel of the original groups.

The bad news was that I couldn’t find very good tickets at the last minute, so we ended up in the family section. The 2nd row of the family section, so we had a pretty good view, but these concerts really are less fun when you can’t stand up. Also, one of the hall employees was always standing almost right next to us, frowning and surveying the crowd for people in the family section standing up or raising their arms too high, I guess. I was scared that if I cheered too enthusiastically he would yell at me. And if I’m getting all my complaints out of the way at once, please add that Mai was not there tonight for some reason and there were way too many GIANT hair bows of doom sitting on the girl’s heads. Koharu’s during the last costume set was the worst, but Gaki’s during the ZYX song and Sayu’s during the VUDen song were pretty bad too, and I know there were others.

But other than that, it was a lot of fun. Here’s my track by track run down.

Guru Guru Jump- A very fun way to start things out. Bummer that I couldn’t actually jump though. Momoko was very into her “guru guru” ing. Lol.

Piriri to Yukou- Not my favorite Berryz song, but I like it better in concert. Pretty surprising choice, but I guess it worked.

Ama no Jaku- S/Mileage is sooo cute! They sang live too. I really hope they do well when they make their official debut.

Omakase Gaurdian- Meh. I just don’t like the song.

Minimoni Jankenpyon!- These girls will do the original Minimoni proud, you just watch. I was worried about Miyamoto Karin because she’s so young, but actually, she did an excellent job and she seems really comfortable on stage already.

Sekai wa Summer Party- Mano with no piano. I think I watched S/mileage (the backdancers) more… Her voice may be improving a tiny bit, slowly but surely.

Shochuu Omimai- I would have preferred “Bye Bye Bye”.

Seishun Bus Guide- I would have preferred “Rival”. It was pretty good I guess.

Nanchatte Renai- Yaaay Momusu! I love everything about this song, but Sayumi’s solo part tonight was kind of painful to listen to.

Shouganai Yumeoibito- Hearing these two songs back to back, SYO really is Nanchatte-lite, isn’t it?

Yume to Genjitsu– Aa!.. sort of. I know a lot of people are bemoaning that Saho Akari has taken Reina’s place, but I’ve got to hand it to the girl. She really holds her own in a group with Miyabi and Airi, and that says a lot about her talent. I didn’t know she could sing like that! The new song is great too. It’s plenty good enough to be a single, so I hope they do something with it.

Pira! Otome no Onegai- Out of all the songs tonight, this is the one that’s still stuck in my head. I LOVE this song! Please oh please make it a real single! Please? It’s better than a lot of what h!p has released in the last few years. Mai not being there tonight was too bad though, since she’s the best singer in Pucchimoni V. Pirapaparaparapipopa….

Heya to Y shirts- Cute, but solo ballads don’t tend to hold my interest very well.

Umbrella- What a very Tanpopo-like song. It’s my least favorite of the 3 brand new songs, but it’s still not bad.

My Boy- I was so wanting to head bang during this. I compromised by waving my glowstick like a maniac. One of the best performances of the night.

Jump- Aaaarg! I couldn’t jump during “jump”! Oh the irony. Awesome song that’s even better live.

Cosmos- Ai-chan had a lovely dress. Other than that, just another beautifully sung yet boring solo ballad for Ai-chan.

Only You- One of my personal favorite performances of the night. I know, I was surprised too. Lots of audience participation helped. All three girls sang very well… for being those particular three girls. About Risako’s voice. I can’t stand her in ballads, but in songs like this where the lyrics are belted out at maximum volume, she really shines. And JunJun rocking out of the air guitar while on her knees was 100% certified awesome.  Oh and by the way, Sayumi was center, so I guess she’s officially Rika.

Iku ZYX- ZYX alpha feels like it has too many girls to really be a subunit. I guess there will be one less soon though… Gaki was great as usual, but I wish she was in a subunit where she had less competition for the spotlight.

Diamonds- Was okay, but nothing compared to…

Cinderella Complex- Do you have any idea how excited I was when I saw this on the set list?!? I never thought we’d be hearing this one in concert again, but BAM here it is, and it is FIERCE. This subunit beats all the other new ones in terms of pure on-stage charisma. Also, Maimi dancing in skin tight glittery black pants. Two words: Smokin’ Hot. I couldn’t stop watching her. My other favorite performance of the night.

Special Generation- And my dream of yelling, “Su-pe- su-pe-sha-ru-generation!” in a concert has come true! You know, there’s a reason that certain songs like “Mikan”, “Jump”, and yes, “Special Generation” keep popping up again and again in concert set-lists. It’s because they are a ton of fun live! People watching the DVD at home can’t really appreciate that, but you might want to think about it the next time you groan “(song that gets done a lot) again?

Tokaikko Junjou- Someone, I don’t know who, forgot to sing Mai’s line for her. Now that was an awkward pause. They recovered well though. I’m happy I got to see my favorite C-ute song, even if it was only being performed by 5 people.

Resonant Blue- This however, is one that I can join in on the groans of “again?!” It’s not that it’s bad in concert, but it’s not sufficiently great to merit being in every single concert set list since it has come out. Enough already! Give it a rest and then bring it back.

Sono Bamen de Bibbachi Ikenai Jan- Prime example of a song that is “meh” on CD but awesome live. Fun to see the mass rendition of the “omg she touched my ass” move.

Koko ni Iruze- The big problem here is that there is so much going on on stage that I don’t know where to look! This song is always a blast. Ai-chan absolutely killed her line at the end (in a good way).

Aozora ga blah blah blah- Okay I guess. I don’t know what all the fuss is about this song, but I suppose it’s a nice enough way to end a concert.

Gaki-san was the last one off the stage at the end. Love you Risa!!!

I noticed that they did more with the lighting and staging than usual, kind of like they did with Platinum 9 Disco. Maybe h!p has a new stage manager? If so, keep up the good work!

And now I’m going to bed. Night night everyone!

~Celestia~

EDIT: I almost forgot. Ice Cream musume sang their song (well, some of them), and Jang Dayun showed up to introduce herself. She looked cute, and the ices have gotten better at Japanese. Rei Rei sat down during their performance. I guess she’s injured or something, though she didn’t seem to be having any trouble walking, so hopefully it’s not that bad.

8 responses so far

May 10 2009

Concert Report- Momusu FINAL Platinum 9 Disco Show

Published by under Momusu,reviews

I can`t believe that Platinum 9 Disco tour is over! I`ve been going to see that show for 3 weekends straight. What am I supposed to do with myself now?

My night certainly got off to a bumpy start. First, the guy next to me on the train kept falling asleep on my shoulder. I had to elbow him on 3 separate occasions. Then, partially due to my being dumb and partially due to the Shinjuku station being a hellish maze (raaaaaawr! I hate that place. They couldn`t have made it harder to navigate if they`d tried), I had some trouble meeting up with CK. We found eachother eventually though, so it turned out okay. Oh, and our seats kinda sucked, but what can ya do? It was a very full house, as expected, right up to the corners of the balcony. There was even some poor guy outside holding a sign that said, “Please sell me a ticket”.

From what I could tell from my high vantage point, the final show of Platinum 9 Disco was very much awesome. I`ve never seen the wota crowd so pumped before. More and more people were bringing 9 different colors of glowsticks (well, 8 probably since blue is both Reina and JunJun), in order to properly support each girl during her solo. I was especially surprised with how many people found teal glowsticks for LinLin`s “Aozora” part. The really special light-up displays came out during the encore call though. The best was a group of 9 guys who had lanterns with each girl`s name in her color. I like that they were supporting the whole troupe.

A bit on the MCs. Reina did the rotating solo one. She talked about how she meant to send Eri a text message at midnight on her birthday, but she accidentally fell asleep. However, she ended up sending the message at 12:23, and since Eri`s birthday is 12/23, she pretended that she did it on purpose. Lol.

For some reason JunJun did her MC with Reina instead of Koharu. I wonder if there was something wrong with Koharu or something, because it`s rather odd that Reina would do two MCs in a row. Koha didn`t seem to be singing any worse than usual… but I guess that`s not saying much.

Gaki`s MC was the most terrifying thing I`ve ever experienced at a concert. First, she wasn`t doing the MC GAKI thing, which she had done for every other MC this tour. Then, she started talking about the upcoming h!p`s summer concert, and I swear you could feel everyone in the hall hold their breath. The tension was palpable, because you know everyone was thinking, “Oh my God….is she announcing plans to graduate this summer?!?”. But then she started talking about her nails or something, and everything was okay. Geez Risa. Don`t do that to me!

LinLin`s Chinese MC skit had Eri being a nervous new reporter and failing at it. It was pretty cute.

The final goodbyes were rather long and heartfelt. The girls even came back for a sort of second encore, though it was just for Ai-chan to make a little speech and everyone to wave again.

Look forward to one great concert DVD!

~Celestia~

One response so far

May 02 2009

Morning Musume Concert Report- Tokyo, 5/2, First Show

Published by under Momusu,reviews

I saw the first ever live performance of “Shouganai Yume Oibito”!!! Suck on THAT…you…people who…um…wait, who am I being hostile towards again?
I`m getting ahead of myself. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had 11th row almost center tickets for the first Tokyo show of this Morning Musume tour. On the video screen on the train there was an announcement that there were delays with the line I needed to take to finish the trip to Nakano! Oh no! For a while I panicked, thinking that if the delays were bad enough I might be late for the concert. Fortunately, the train arrived as scheduled, so I guess they cleared up the problem. Phew!
They were kind of late with letting people in, so I amused myself by playing “count the females” again. I got to 78 this time! I saw one girl cosplaying those leopard print costumes, and she did a really good job with it.
So, when I got inside, I noticed that the guy in front of me was wearing a ManoEri T-shirt. An odd thing to wear to a Morning Musume concert unless…yep! Erina opened the concert with her new single, complete with Egg background dancers.
Bullet points from now on.
-I`m sooo glad I bought a good ticket to this show. It`s the first one where I felt zero inclination to look at the big screen because I could see them all so well! I`m positive I made eye-contact with Risa this time. Definitely once, maybe twice. I nearly cried. LOL
-Speaking of female wota, there was a group of girls a ways behind me who would not stop shreiking Ai-chan and Gaki-san`s names during quiet moments. Wota all around me were craning their heads back to try to figure out where the extremely loud female voices were coming from.
-The further down in the crowd you get, the more proficient the wota are at the dances. I mean, most of the crowd knows the prominent hand movements for a lot of the songs, but there were a few guys who knew EVERY move for EVERY song, including those being performed for the first time on this tour. I don`t know whether to be impressed or scared.
-As I said before, they replaced “Egao Yes Nude” with “Shouganai Yume Oibito”. Risa got as far as saying the release date of the single before the crowd started screaming. We knew what was coming! They performed it in those lovely pink and blue costumes too.
-Speaking of costumes, there sure are a lot of different costumes for this tour. 18 in total. Opening marching band costumes, red dresses under those, pink and blue dresses under those, plaid jounetsu no kissu costumes, eri`s solo costume, JunLin`s pastel rainbow fine emotion dresses, Aika`s solo costume (w/huge hair bow), Gaki-san`s purple solo dress, Sayu solo black and red dresses, jun/koha`s MC dresses, group silver zipper dresses (medley), pink kousui dresses (jun/koha), Reina solo costume, Ai solo white dress, Take off is Now costumes, Guru Guru crazy rainbow dresses, leopard print group costumes, and “samba” encore costumes.
-Eri did the solo MC tonight. Interestingly enough, there were an unusualy large number of Eri fans in the crowd, something she commented on herself. I wonder if that was a coincidence.
-I realized this concert that Aika`s solo is a real idol song. Well, duh, but I mean that it`s more of an idol song that most h!p stuff. It`s hard to explain. Maybe it`s just that the beat is especially suited to wota-gei, but in some fundamental way it reminds me of “Romantic Ukari Mode” (another very idol-y idol song).
-I think my favorite song tonight was “How do you like Japan?”. Being in the front section, it`s about the closest to a rock concert that you can expect to get from a Morning Musume live.
And oh my gosh was I tired after that. I barely made it up all the stairs at the various train stations on the way home. Well, I`m looking forward to seeing the show one more time with CK next weekend. It`s the very last show of the tour, so I couldn`t find very good tickets. Still, no doubt it`ll be awesome to see the last show. For future MM concerts, I`ll definitely be shelling out the cash to buy the best seats I can, because it`s totally worth it. Oh, and by the way, I`ve officially renewed my contract, so I will be staying in Japan another year. Here`s to many great concerts to come!
~Celestia~

4 responses so far

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