A while ago a lot of fans were concerned as a new morning musume song was leaked from recordings at sushi restaurants of all places called “Appare! Kaiten Zushi”, a song about rotating conveyor belt sushi. Now, a lot of fans of Eri, JunJun and LinLin were a bit shocked and displeased that Morning Musume would have a silly song like this as the graduation song of their favorites. Luckily for them, it’s been revealed that in a collaboration with a big sushi restaurant corporation, a “new unit” (of all the Morning Musume members) called Muten Musume would be releasing a sushi-themed single; so really, even though it’s Morning Musume doing it, it’s Muten Musume.
Today, a surprising amount of news popped up, but one of my little idol dreams came true today.
AKB48 and Morning Musume (with S/Mileage who I kind of forget are there sometimes ^^;;) performed two things together; a Ghibli medley that I’ll post in just a minute and the B-side to The Peace (and MM’s inspirational song for all time) “Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru.”
Now, in the comments to Dekkai and other places I’ve seen MM fans criticize AKB48 in this performance by saying they have too little energy, but all I see is that AKB looks terribly unpracticed. A couple of them (including Maeda Atsuko notably) just looked a bit confused and hesitant, as if they weren’t 100% sure what was coming up next. While I did enjoy the professionalism of some of them (Oshima Yuko and Kasai Tomomi really stood out to me, here), I honestly can’t blame the AKB girls; they’re incredibly busy, and from the way they’re dancing it looks like they went over the bare basics of it and the management “OK, good enough, let’s go do all the other stuff we need to do.
Despite that, though, I REALLY enjoyed seeing this. There’s a moment where Takahashi Ai and Oshima Yuko looked at each other and smiled and it just warmed my heart. I’m a fan of both Morning Musume/Hello!Project AND AKB48. I love the idol world, idol groups, and most female JPop idols. Even though I liked Morning Musume first, I don’t feel any resentment towards AKB48 for being more popular; it has to be good for the idol industry, which just makes me happy. I’ve also seen a lot of stuff online and heard about a LOT of AKB/MM fan rivalries, and I’ve seen a lot of people go “OH, well, my group’s superior because of THIS” and that just bugs me. The groups are both female idol groups, but they’re both very different, and when one succeeds the other doesn’t necessarily fail because of it.
I don’t expect that this will change the minds of anyone who’s staunchly against Morning Musume or AKB48, and many people will go “OH, well, this group sucks because of THIS”; however, to me it seems like a sign that the girls themselves aren’t resentful towards each other and that the management of both groups aren’t resentful enough to pull one of the groups from the TV show. One of my little fantasies is that either Morning Musume and AKB48 or Momoiro Clover, S/Mileage and Watarirouka Hashiritai would do a TV show together doing all their fun idol things and promoting both groups. This is a HUGE long shot, but I think this dream of mine has never been closer.
I’m working on both the Ongaku Gatas concert review that I am now DETERMINED to finish if it kills me (each post reviewing two songs takes well over an hour and is kind of draining) and on my super awesome new series about what I like about idols and the qualities I personally find important.
However, Happy Disco doesn’t really fit my needs for fangirling, especially about my favorite idol, Ishikawa Rika.
Thus, the new member of what I’ve decided is my Disco blog series is…
I plan on this blog to be basically very in depth about Rika’s career; if she does something big I’ll probably cross-post it or just post it in the Happy Disco (that is, Hangry&Angry news will go here, Ongaku Gatas news will go here, but I might link you to the Charmy Disco if it’s SOLELY Rika related). I just feel like I don’t want to clutter this blog which is supposed to be fairly professional-ish with a lot of fangirly “OH MY GAH LOOK AT THIS PICTURE OF CHARMY <333” posts that I’d like to get out somewhere.
But yes, if that’s something you’re interested in, click the link and visit Charmy Disco. I promise I’ll fix the banner that I made at 3 AM soon.
(Note: This is the first part in the series of entries relating why I like the idols I do and maybe thingking about why other people like their favorite idols. If you want more info check out the posts all labeled What I Like About My Idols)
(Also note that if I mention Ishikawa Rika too much, I’m not trying to be annoying or get you to like her; she’s just my favorite idol by a LONG shot, and so when I think about examples of things like this my mind goes to her.)
OK, so I’m sure there’s some smart ass who reads the title of the blog post and will think “Oh, her favorite idol is Ishikawa Rika, of COURSE she’s just going to say that vocal ability is unimportant.” Well, um, you’re partially right. (though I do think that Rika’s underestimated as a singer, but that’s a different topic). As a whole, when judging which idol in a group is my favorite, I really don’t care about vocal ability. Even when talking about my #2 favorite idol of all time, Matsuura Aya, who’s often lauded for her vocal abilities, that’s usually a few things down the list, and I don’t just say “I like her voice.”
However, this isn’t to say that vocals aren’t important or aren’t a good feature that draws people (including me) in when first discovering an idol. I remember discovering that I really liked Ayaya when I kept hearing about how amazing that she was and when I agreed with them I immediately wanted to watch more of her performances and more of her. However, on the flipside there are certain idols I’m sure I’d be much more tolerant of if I actually could tolerate their voices (I don’t want to be killed by angry wota so I’ll leave it at that). However, it’s not always vocal skill but more of “is their voice listenable to me and do I like the tone?” with the one exception of mine being Ayaya.
In fact, often I think that being an idol with stronger vocals might make it a bit more difficult to be, well, idolly. One of the things that wota like about idols and that I like to a certain degree is the idea that one must support and cheer on their favorite idol (which I think is part of what makes wotagei so popular; idols literally hear a fan’s support). It’s almost easier to support the underdog of the girl with decent vocals but not great vocals. It’s almost as if you start with
something (in this case someone, an idol) that is unpolished, it’s easier to feel proud of cheering that person on and feel pride in their successes.
I manifested that when I posted a small post with a Youtube clip of Rika singing, that I posted mainly because I was proud of her. With most idols (again, with the exception of Ayaya who never ceases to amaze me with her talent) if you have one who’s always good, it’s a bit harder to cheer them on and feel pride like you do with the others. An example of this is if you were a fan of Suzuki Airi, it’d be more of “wow, Airi sounds really good. Like last time” as opposed to a fan of Nakajima Saki being able to go “wow, Nakky has improved so much in the past year!” It’s personal preference, and the way that I feel idol fans can be, but sometimes a singer being too good (though not Aya level XD) can make it harder for me to support them.
However, when push comes to shove, vocal skills can bring me in or push me away, but they are in no way anything that makes me love or hate an idol. A good song with good vocals will pique my interest, but it’s really up to the girl(s) to keep my interest.
Momoiro Clover is the future of the idol world.
I’ve been thinking this for quite some time, actually right after I found out about them. They’re all adorable, the girls are fun, the music is some of the best idol stuff out there right now, they do amazing performances. There are so many reasons right now why I’d actually consider MomoClo to be my favorite idol group right now.
However, my suspicions have been, if not confirmed then validated when I heard the news that it’s recently been announced that MomoClo is signing with King Records. If you aren’t familiar with the name, King Records is the label that, get this, AKB48, THE biggest idol group in Japan since Morning Musume’s peak, is signed to. Holy crap.
(on a slight tangent, to announce this and formally sign with King Records, the girls all wore wedding dresses. This was apparently to show that signing with King is “getting married to the label”. Strange logic, but hey, there are cute pictures of all the girls all dolled up in wedding dresses. It’s too cute to complain about.)
However, Momoiro Clover has a very firm backing in the idol business. They’ve been around for over two years now (they recently did a two year anniversary live) and have released two indies singles and one major single that are pretty successful. In fact, Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo, their major debut single, got #3 on the Oricon weekly charts, something that even AKB didn’t do with their early major label singles. This may be comparing different things because now the Japanese music industry is LOVING female idol groups (which, as a fan, makes me VERY happy), but the fact that they’re doing better than Avex’s attempt to capitalize on the current idol boom in Japan shows that there’s something about MomoClo that appeals to a wide variety of people (including me <3)
So, I found this on another blog entry(http://flyinthefingwine.blogspot.com/2009/11/hello-project-funness-and.html) and I felt like filling it out. Um. Yeah. I am strange.
1. Hobbies that you think are interesting that someone from H!P has:
Yasuda Kei playing every instrument ever, including playing saxophone at Abe Natsumi’s concert tour. I have so much respect for Kemeko. I also find Fukuda Kanon’s hobby of planning concerts interesting.
2. Special skills that you think are actually special:
Rika’s Y-balance XD. I am not very flexible, so I look at that and wonder how that even works. Also, Ayaya and Rika’s yo-yo skills are so cool now…
3. Name 2 members that you DON’T like (or your least favorite). Why are they last?
Natsuyaki Miyabi is my least favorite because I really don’t like her attitude in that when she performs on stage half the time she looks bored out of her mind, which kind of pisses me off.
My other member is Konno Asami, for no apparent reason. Seriously. There’s just something about her that I cannot stand, and for the life of me I can’t understand it. She just seems… smug to me, I guess?
4. Now, say 3 good things about each of those members:
Miyabi is a good singer, a really good friend to Chinami, and is actually pretty funny when she tries.
Konno Asami is smart, seems to try pretty hard, and was fun in the latest Gatas concert.
5. Nickname(s) that you really like:
Kemeko, Johnson, Tettekette (woah, all Utaban), Marippe, Ayappe, Mikitty, Ayaya, Charmy
6. H!P habits you seem to have developed:
I have become much more girly than I was before I became H!P fan. I was pretty girly, but now I’m much much more. Now I also want to collect more stuff.
7. Favorite singles cover looks:
I Wish, Otome Pasta ni Kandou, Ne~e (I WANT THAT HAT)
8. Favourite Member(s):
Ishikawa Rika. Um. Oh, right, others. Matsuura Aya, Mitsui Aika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Yajima Maimi, Nakajima Saki, Tokunaga Chinami, Abe Natsumi, Ishiguro Aya… basically M-Line>all.
9. Something you’re afraid of happening to H!P:
Rika quits showbiz; that’s not really H!P, so Aika leaving H!P.
10. Favourite H!M/HM@/Radio/TV thing- episode:
hmmmmmm….Any H!M with the Ganko family’s alright with me. I also like anything Utaban related, especially when they had the wedding for Kemeko.
11. Favourite photobook(s):
Ishikawa Rika’s “Happy” or “Karen” or “24 Twentyfour”
12. Favourite phrase a member says:
“Haaaaaappyyyyy~~~” (why this blog is the Happy Disco)
13. You have 1.27 seconds to name any random H!P song GO!:
Halation Summer (…what?)
14. Favourite season of the concerts:
um. Winter, I guess. Though I want to say Spring for Gatas Ryuu
15. Favorite food you’ve seen them eat (that maybe you want to try too):
Some of the food they tempted them with on H!M looked SO good. But the plastic ice cream that Maimi tries to eat takes the cake.
16. Most disliked (or weird) food you watched them eat:
When Hard Gay was on H!M and they had to drink bitter tea for a punishment; ew
17. If there was a H!P song you HAD to listen to every morning from now on, what would it be?:
The Peace!; this song does NOT get old to me.
18. Last H!P song you listened to?:
Fantasy by v-u-den
19. How you think they spend their days off:
Going shopping, hanging out with each other, etc.
20. Which 5 H!P members would you take with you to a deserted island (Any reasons?):
Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Yajima Maimi… and I can’t think of others, haha. Basically, Rika’s there to keep me company, but the members I’ve chosen are all athletic as well, and since I’m not then they’d be of great use. Maybe Iida because she’s tall and I’m not? idk.
21. What you want to buy the most right now:
More PBs, and I REALLY want to start collecting some Gatas Cds.
22. Favorite clothes/costume of theirs:
Renai Revolution 21 (the black costumes) and the Narihajimeta Koi no Bell ones
23. Your greatest H!P treasure:
MM Fanclub Solo CDS (released in 2000-2001, it’s a mini disc of each member at the time with their own solo song, sold only to fanclub members at the time).
24. What you would do if you had a chance to spend 1 day with a H!P member and who would it be:
Ishikawa Rika; I’d spend the day hanging out with her, shopping, doing fun things. She has such a fun/silly personality that I feel like doing anything like that would be a hilarious experience.
25. The best overall looking girl in H!P, GO!:
….Ishikawa Rika (my bias knows no bounds… seriously, though, this woman is GORGEOUS)
26. Which H!P song relieves your stress:
Ayaya’s album “Double Rainbow”
27. A moving H!P scene:
Yossy’s speech at Rika’s graduation; about how “dad” wants to talk (since Yossy’s “dad” and Rika’s “mom”), about how both of them will be leading a group at the same time.. and then at the end of the graduation concert, how Rika runs around greeting everyone WITH Yossy, instead of by herself. I love the two of them together.
28. Actually, I…:
had Momoko as my first favorite in H!P; quite a bit ago.
30. What would you want to scream to the members if you knew no one could hear you:
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
31. The thing that’s made you most happy (being a Hello Project fan):
So much. I’ve made wonderful friends because of Hello!Project and I know I’ll make more in the future. I love the music, the idols, and it just lifts my spirits SO mcuh.
32. The thing that’s made you most sad (being a Hello Project fan):
Elder Club graduation. I loved those Elder Club concerts.
33. What do you want H!P to do in the future?
Get better songs, better PVs and be motivated to bring back their reputation.
34. Most respected member(s):
Ishikawa Rika; she’s done multiple TV shows where she’s gone to an impoverished third world country, treated the people she’s met with respect and dignity, and highlighted the need in the place. After I saw her go to Kenya and… forgetting which country and treat everyone she met with such respect and started trying her best to help them with their work, not afraid to get dirty. That’s when I knew that I respected her SO much.
(that, and her stories of how she turned her negativity/depression around and created the Charmy character).
35. Somewhere you’d like the next H!P member to travel to for a PB:
Somewhere fun in the US that ISN’T Hawaii; I’d actually think it would be fun to have a PB with some snow, the H!P member in a jacket and snow pants, playing with snowballs…
36. Favorite song:
37. Your impressions/reactions of your first concert:
….This. is. too. cute.
38. Any changes from ^then^?
39. The most memorable concert:
Elder Club graduation, v-u-densetsu V (AKA the last v-u-den concert)
40. What you’d be doing if you weren’t a fan:
Being a full-time AKB fan. Yeah, I went there.
41. The most fun part of being a fan:
Meeting friends, working on my blog, yay.
42. The hardest part of being a fan:
Not enough people like it in the US.
43. What got you in to H!P?:
I saw a video to Berryz Koubou’s Gag 100Kaibun Aishite Kudasai. Went “THAT IS CUUUUTE” and was a fan.
44. Do you think you will still be a fan 5 years from now?
I’ll definitely still love the OG/M-Line that I love right now, but I really want Tsunku/UFA to work harder. But I’ll for sure still love the members I love right now.
45. A member you miss:
All of the Elder club that left. Rika, Ayaya, Yossy, Nacchi, the works. Gocchin, too.
46. Do you actually understand all of the lyrics to the songs?
I like looking at translations and I can get SOME of it, but not all.
47. Do you actually know another fan in person?
No… my sister likes some songs and listens to Berryz/C-ute sometimes, but I don’t know if she’s a “fan.
48. A message for Tsunku:
Tsunku. Hi. Look at how popular AKB48 is. Japan LIKES female idol groups now. NOW is the time to invest in better songs, better PVs and raise the profile of Hello!Project. Come on.
49. A message for your favorite member(s):
Thank you so much for improving my life significantly and cheering me up when I’m down.
50. A message for your least favorite member(s):
….hi. Can you connect me to my favorites, please?