My Five Favorite Happy Disco Posts!

Is this too much navel-gazing? Well, I can’t be bothered to care, because this is a 100% subjective list! Hooray!

Note that this isn’t my BEST Happy Disco posts. However, when I think back on my five years of Disco-ing, I think about these posts with the most pride and the most pleasure. So here we go~

Honorable Mention: The Tokyo Idol Festival series. Yeaah it fizzled out last year. I realize that. However, writing about TIF is honestly just as much about my personal edification as an idol fan as it is for the readers. Every single year I discover a new group or artist that grabs my attention, that I might not have noticed had it been for TIF. i*Ris, Rhymeberry, RYUTist, Oomori Seiko, the list really goes on and on. Honestly, if you want to expand your horizons with idol music, taking a quick look at all the artists going to TIF is one of the best ways to do it.

There are two reasons why this is an honorable mention – there is no one post that stands out to me as being a personal favorite, and because there have been years where my coverage fizzles out (sorry!!). But it’s perhaps my most personally rewarding articles, so I feel like I want to include these.

Why You (yes, you!) Should Become an Idol Blogger!

I’ve written three of these suckers, but two of them were on Idolminded, and the first one is the one I remember most. While my idol blogging years have had their ups and downs and I haven’t always been the best example to follow, I do really think that blogging has had a major impact on me personally. So in 2011 I chose to share reasons why I liked blogging and why becoming a blogger (specifically about idols) is a great choice.

This is one of the most influential things I’ve written – it was one of the earliest pieces that I wrote that got anyone’s notice. But more than any of that, it carried a message I’m proud of. If it got anyone to even think about writing, then I think I did my job.

The Morning Musume Risk Paradox

While I had written about the industry here and there before this post, this is the post I remember as being my leap into analysis of the industry, moving beyond mere reactionary pieces and reviews into the thought pieces that are a cornerstone of why I love writing for Happy Disco. Is this the best piece of analysis I’ve written? Certainly not. And I had done some analysis here and there. But this is a proto ‘idol thoughts’ piece, and it’s one of the earliest pieces that made me proud as a writer.

Aso Natsuko LIVE (my first live idol event!)

In 2014 I attended two idol events, but the one that made me most excited at the time was seeing Aso Natsuko live. While my Nacchan fandom has grown considerably since then (especially as I explored her albums, which are excellent), I was already a fan by the time Hyper Japan 2012 was around. I was in London, which was exciting, and I went to my first idol live. While my writing on Idol Matsuri and Morning Musume in New York are probably better and more on point, what I think I captured in this piece was the sheer excitement of meeting one of my favorite idols. While the other events I’ve been to were superb, seeing and meeting Aso Natsuko cemented that I love the idol world and that I’m in this for the long haul.

Review: Team Syachihoko – Ii Kurashi

I’ve written other reviews, possibly other better reviews. My review of Team Syachihoko’s Himatsubushi album is incredibly long and took me months. But my review of Ii Kurashi is special because it got me some attention from the songwriter, which was kind of incredible, and it got me some attention from the Japanese Syachihoko fanbase. The idea that Team Syachihoko fans from Japan have looked at my blog is kind of bizarre and wonderful. It’s always fun knowing your blog has an audience, and mine got some small attention that surprised me.

Idol Matsuri: Interview with Beckii Cruel

Honestly, at this point I don’t think I’ll post the other interviews from Idol Matsuri. It’s nothing personal, but I just don’t think I did a good enough job there, and I don’t think that there was much I could share that would be interesting, especially this far after the convention. However, I am very happy with my interview with Beckii. As someone who has been aware of her career for quite some time, sitting down with Beckii was VERY surreal. But I had a ton of fun chatting with Beckii, asking her a few questions, and talking. She is a very kind person, and it felt like she was being very upfront about everything, which was nice. Doing interviews is something I NEVER expected to do with Idol Matsuri, and i’m glad I got this opportunity!

Have any favorite posts from my five years of Happy Disco? Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy 5th Anniversary Happy Disco!

Five years ago today, on February 23rd 2010, I started a blog. It wasn’t on this domain, and not all of my old posts are on this current site (though my old blogspot blog is still up, if you want to sift through it). But it was still Happy Disco. So today is the fifth anniversary of the day that I created Happy Disco.

Throughout this week I’m going to post a few retrospective things. But man, I just want to reflect a bit on this. Because really, I’m not sure I expected to keep doing this for as long as I have been. When I created this blog I was 18 years old and in my freshman year of college. I’ve changed a lot in those five years, and I didn’t know if I would even still be an idol fan five years down the line, much less still wanting to blog about it. But here I am, five full years later. I haven’t always blogged as much as I should have, and I’ve taken breaks here and there, but I am still here.

As much as I have changed over the years, my writing has changed as well. Looking back at the early days of Happy Disco feels like looking back at an embarrassing old photo or, perhaps more accurately, an embarrassing old diary entry. However, I owe most of that change to the mere existence of Happy Disco. Writing on this blog has helped me foster my writing skills by the sheer volume of practice I do on this blog.

Blogging has helped me feel like a bigger part of the idol community. I know I’ve gushed about this community several times before this past year (with Idol Matsuri, Morning Musume in New York and my end of the year review) but it’s so true. While I would have met people without Happy Disco, it’s certainly helped make me feel like part of this community, like I’m contributing what I can. Meeting the people I have in this past year has been a real privilege, and it has me excited for the next big idol event in the US.

The idol world has changed a lot in the past five years. February 2010 was before Momoiro Clover’s major debut, it was just after AKB48 released Sakura no Shiori, it was before Morning Musume’s 9th generation. It was before iDOL Street, E-Girls, Rev. from DVL. It was before the very first Tokyo Idol Festival. It was just at the start of the idol boom, and so much has changed within the major idol collectives. It’s kind of staggering, really, to think about just how different the idol landscape was back then. I became an idol fan when things weren’t looking so great for idols, but things have turned around in a major way.

My personal idol fandom has changed a lot. At the start of Happy Disco I was primarily a Hello!Project fan, just barely starting to consider the idea of following other idol acts. Now, while I still care a lot about Hello!Project, my tastes have veered off to a variety of different acts and groups, major and indie. As much as I like to say I became an idol fan in 2007, my favorite groups are radically different. Part of that is because so many groups were formed in the recent years, but I also like to think that I’ve become a bit more open to trying new things.

Thank you to every single person who has ever read this blog, commented on it, or mentioned it to me. You all mean a lot to me, and I always appreciate the kindness I’ve been shown.

As for the future, well, I look forward to the next five years of Happy Disco.