Hello! Project Fankora Concert Review- pt 2

Genkimono de Ikou!

((on a side note, I just learned the grammatical reasons for Ikou. Yeah. Be jealous of my Japanese knowledge))

Speaking of Japanese knowledge, what does Genkimono de Ikou! mean? Why, I’ll tell you! It’s “Let’s go with Energetic Things!” Basically, it’s “yay energy.” Which is why it baffles me that they got Mano Erina of all people to do this song in particular and to get the budget her PV must have gotten, considering they hired a legitimate director and everything.

The vocals are fine for this performance. She has a few pitch issues, but she’s not horrendous, and never sounds too out of breath. However, man, the energy level was low. That’s why I made the point about the title. The song is LITERALLY about energy; the title is rather energetic. So why are you performing this like it’s “let’s go with slightly unenthusiastic things!”?

I’ve never been a huge proponent of H!P needing super strong vocalists. Hell, plenty of my favorites aren’t that great of vocalists, I know that. I think that as a soloist Mano Erina should be stronger than she is now, but she’s not super terrible or anything and that in itself is good. However, if there’s one thing that should not be missing from a lot of H!P songs it’s energy. They don’t always require amazing vocals (though some do; I’m looking at you, Ayaya), but they do require their performer to have the right level of energy and ManoEri just did NOT deliver the genki for this performance.

They also need to start training her on stage presence; I like her well enough as an idol, but man if you ALWAYS need four background dancers to fill the stage and you’re a soloist, then that’s a problem.

I don’t need THAT much from an idol. But come on. It’s the title of the song; energy should be a given.

Dance de Bakoon!

I’ve got it! C-ute stole Mano Erina’s energy!

In all seriousness, THIS is what I’m talking about when I’m talking about energy and what I need from idols. None of the girls here have perfect vocals; not even Airi or Chisato. I’d say that no one here is bad and that they’re all very good in their own right, but it’s not the greatest vocals ever. Why? Because they’re giving it all they’ve got into the dancing and the energy of the song, and so their singing skills suffer just a little.

The dancing here is INTENSE; I swear, these girls gave it their all and I’m beyond impressed. Lately I’ve been really into C-ute, mostly in thanks to my friend Dani who adores Nakky. This is the type of performance that confirms the reasoning behind liking them so much as of late. The energy here is intense.

Maimiiiii <333 and fierce!Airirin

I even like this performance better than in the PV; all the girls are performing their best, they all look very much into it. This is one of those performances that is super fun to watch and that I just have to love. At this point in the concert, only four songs in, I’m just thinking that this is the song and group to live up to. 

Hello! Project Fankora Concert Review- pt 1

I haven’t forgotten about my other review in the works; not at all. I’m still working on finishing my Gatas review. However, I decided I wanted to review Fankora while it was still relevant, whereas Gatas might not have another concert TO review.

So, here’s Fankora! First off the bat I’m a bit disappointed that they only had ONE concert to review, especially since it’s the one I was possibly LEAST excited about. Oh dear God I have to review Zoku. So it’s a bit disappointing I can’t see the Tanpopo# performance I wanted to see, however I still like the idea that they took fan contributions and did a lot of older numbers (even if they didn’t use my super epic suggestion of doing I&YOU&I&YOU&I *grumble*)

All For One and One For All

What a way to start out a concert; this IS the quintessential H!P as a whole song, excluding Hello! no Theme (HELLO HELLO HELLO DANCING…). However, I realized when watching this that it was the first time that we saw All For One without the Elder Club involved (if I recall correctly), and so…

We start with Takahashi and Niigaki. And then I realize. Oh my goodness. This is the Mobekimasu version of All For One. Why do I have to endure this?
This isn’t to say I dislike Mobekimasu; not at all. I like them. However, the fact that it’s not Yuko, Nacchi and Kaorin singing the first line just makes a little bit die inside.
I did like that the beginning started out with all of Morning Musume’s generations; it’s as if H!P’s saying “Yeah, MM>>the rest of them, woo!” I mean, I do miss the old distribution of lines, I really do. But that’s not super feasible without having a few Country Musume members to throw in, good soloists to throw in (why hello there, Yukidon; how’s enka-town?) etc. After a while, this song just gets to be really long. The one thing that made this song so good originally was that it WAS all of H!P; all 45-46 members of Hello!Project, with a bunch of different generations, showing just how vast H!P was but having all of them sing a song. It’s showing H!P’s history and the importance of each generation within the collective whole.
However, after MM’s generations, it just shuffles through the Mobekimasu order; MM, Berryz, C-ute, ManoEri and S/Mileage a few times. It’s slightly repetitive. 
(And goodness, whyyy did the unit I’ve been least impressed with lately have to sing the 4th gen lines? *sigh*)
The performance itself was OK. It was really nothing special, and honestly I got kind of bored part way through it. I mean, a few of them looked like they were into it (C-ute in particular, S/Mileage too) but about half way through there’s really not that much energy left and it’s kind of a let down. This is a song to perform with an abundance of energy, not holding it back. At one point I was looking through the Eggs to try and find my favorite, Sekine Azusa.
C’mon, Sekkii, I know you’re in there somewhere….

All in all (haha, see what I did there?) this is another performance to remind me yet again how much I miss the Elder Club. I don’t care how legit a decision it was, Tsunku, the Mobekimasu groups haven’t gotten better songs or PVs since they left; bring back the Elders. 

It’s a VTR. What do I have to say. Well. A couple of odds and ends.
1. Best MC roster. Ever.
Makoto’s a pimp. Yossy’s the pimp. We all win. Makoto, please never stop being the one male member of Hello!Project. You make everything more epic and more amazing. I hope to study abroad in Japan when the 2012 H!P summer concert will take place. I will cheer hard for Makoto. I was surprised this screen didn’t get more cheers; there’s obviously a deficiency in the Ishiyoshi wota in the audience. Wait, is that picture of Yossy from Tokyo Alice? If so, then that’s over a year older than the concert. Maybe I’m wrong, but I could have SWORN that was a picture from her stage play. Or maybe I’m totally off. 
2. That took a LONG time to get through ManoEri. I get she’s 1/5th of Mobekimasu. But really? 
Yossy’s funny. The first MC should be funny, yes? aaaand no. It’s sadness. Graduations. I’ve already blogged about Eririn/JunJun/LinLin graduating, but it is actually pretty sad to watch happen. JunJun and LinLin look pretty upset; like they haven’t actually accepted it. Because anyone who thinks it was 100% their choice to go back to China needs to get their brain straightened out. 
Aannd to the first main group song, which is….
OO Ganbaranakute mo Ee Nende!

Yay, I like S/Mileage. I’ve actually had a reaally big thing for this song ever since previews came out, and so seeing a live performance of it really warms the heart. I’m seriously really excited for whenever the DVD of S/Mileage’s solo concert comes out; I can see S/Mileage without sitting through ManoEri. It’s perfect!
The girls here are really fantastic; they have some really nice live vocals. Even the admittedly weak link Wada Ayaka (it’s OK, Ayacho, I still love you!) sounds really nice and never sounds too terribly out of place throughout this relatively vocally strong performance. It’s times like this that I’m still amazed at how little they’ve been around so far; they all sound great for debuting not that long ago. I mean, they were all Eggs, but even still; many Eggs still suck. 
You don’t suck! Cute Kanyon is cute!

Energy wise I love these girls. They’re all very energetic and are all very much into it, unless they’re somehow amazing actors. The dance is silly, but they do it well.
Oh, you girls be silly

I seriously have nothing but high hopes for the future of the group; they are all very solid at dancing (or at least the dances choreographed for them), solid at singing, and they jive really well together as a group, which is really important. They all look like they’re having fun with the silliness of this song. I maintain that this is one of the best single songs H!P has had in years, and while I’m not super into the Bijin Mama song.
More later!

Top 5 Idol Promotions!

Idols sell a lot of stuff. A loot. So, here’s my top list of the five idol commercial/cross-promotions that I find to be the most interesting/fun.

5. W Sells Cannibal Pancakes. 

I really wanted to put the one where W sells acne cream instead of this, but the idea of W force feeding pancakes to pancakes is kind of hilarious; W promotes cannibalism folks. No wonder Kago and Tsuji had scandals.

4. Morning Musume sells Pocky!

It’s a classic, what can I say? Ishiyoshi at the end, Morning Musume being chased by a gorilla who is probably Tsunku with his creeper face at the end. Also, Morning Musume did a LOT with Glico and pocky, having Yes! Pocky Girls on the 5th album and a 2 minute video of each member tasting mousse pocky and going “OH IT’S LIKE SEX IN THE MOUTH.” So. Classic gets 4th.

3. “Yes, I need to sell some tea. Or crackers. Or rice. Or soap?” “Call Matsuura Aya!”

Kind of cheating, but seriously. Ayaya can sell ANYTHING. The above is Ayaya singing with a couple of models backdancing. Uh, yeah, that made me want to buy some pretz.

^THAT is to sell tea. I don’t even know what’s going on. But I feel like a lot of the time advertisers are like “what to do to sell tea… CALL AYA.”

She just sings. And pours tea. And this is considered effective sales tactics. Therefore, Ayaya can sell anything to anyone.

2. What do I want for Dinner? Ohhhhhhh MEAT!! 😀

Again, slightly cheating. It’s Rika. But seriously; “Hmm, we want to sell meat… Ishikawa Rika singing and dancing!” And apparently this song (Rika singing different types of beef products) was played in grocery stores. Kind of fantastic. I approve.

1. “Buy this juice to drink it with me!” *WOTA BUY JUICE*

Seriously, this is the best promotion ever. Get the most popular idol group right now and get them to dress up as vegetables and sing a song involving vegetable names. It’s even a catchy song; I’ve found myself going around singing “yasaiiii oh woah woah shisutazu!” to myself before I even realized I was singing about vegetables.

Even though this is really catchy as a song and is really entertaining as a PV (I have this deep love for the costumes; I WANT the asparagus costume Sae is wearing. I’d wear it out and about.) the real genius here is in the other videos that exist.

That’s right. A video that’s JUST your idols drinking juice. The title has “together” in it so I assume the video’s basically “drink juice with me!” If this isn’t an amazing tactic I don’t know what is. “I want to drink juice with my idol! Let’s go out and buy this brand so I can feel connected to Lovetan/Miichan/Acchan/whoever.” The sad thing is, if I were in Japan I’d totally do that.

So therefore, the Yasai Sisters of AKB48 are THE best idol promotions ever!

Silly Akimoto Sayaka, Sleepovers aren’t for Idols!

Recently, many pictures and allegations have appeared of AKB48 member, Team K’s Akimoto Sayaka (22) spending the night with Hiroi Ouji (56), or at least him staying over at her house and leaving in the morning.

The main problem here actually isn’t so much about Sayaka having a man stay the night, even though he is much older than her, more extreme than Kago Ai’s relationship with an older man (in his 30s); it’s that Hiroi Ouji produced the AKB musical (that Sayaka was one of the leads for) and he also wrote a musical this year that Sayaka was in; this is making people wonder if Sayaka got these parts legitimately.

This has caused Sayaka to step down from her position as Team K’s leader, even though she’s still going to be a member of AKB48’s team K.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that this is bringing up all the questions that come up with scandals; is the dating rule fair? Should an idol’s personal life be kept to herself? Are they REALLY just “Playing Playstation?” (though Sayaka and the producer claimed that they were doing work related discussions and he just fell asleep. Needed the Nacchi reference.)

I really think that fans of Sayaka shouldn’t be complaining all that much; I don’t think that being a leader is as big of a deal as the title sounds like, and she’s not leaving AKB48; she just doesn’t have this position anymore. As far as the dating rule goes, I honestly don’t mind it all that much. Sure, it’s a little much; however, since both male and female idols have this rule AND it’s pretty standard, so idols know what they’re getting into when they get into the business, I feel it’s pretty valid. I love to sing, perform and if the chance came up I’d take a chance and become an idol, knowing the restrictions.

I don’t know if I necessarily believe Sayaka’s story or not; it feels rather suspicious. Still, from what I can tell AKB48 treated this well and I don’t think that fans of Sayaka have much to worry about.

v-u-den: Not JUST the Fanservice Group

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Ishikawa Rika, and I enjoy groups she’s in. However, that’s not to say that I like every group she’s ever in; I RARELY listen to EcoMoni and I almost always regret that. I also prefer some groups over her groups.

However, when reading blogs, I almost always see “v-u-den only existed for fanservice” and I have to wonder if they’ve seen all of v-u-den’s songs/PVs; I admit that there’s fanservice to be had in the later singles of v-u-den, but calling it a blanket ‘fanservice group’ really does injustice to a lot of v-u-den’s stuff, especially the earlier stuff that is pretty nearly fanservice free. Aisu Kuriimu to My Purin and Jajauma Paradise have fanservice, yes, but what about some of their less remembered singles, Koi no Nukegara, Hitorijime and Kurenai no Kisestsu?

SO this is a little primer about v-u-den and the fanservice levels. I will rate each single (the main song, not the B-sides, though I don’t necessarily think there’s fanservice in the lyrics of any B-side) by the costume, the dance, the PV itself and the song. I’ll give it an unofficial “how I would feel if young!H!P Kids sang this song” rating and then I’ll give my final remarks with the overall averaged score.

Each rating goes from 1 to 10; 1 is Jankenpyon, most Mini Moni stuff, Piriri to Yukou, etc. If you find this in anyway appealing it’s YOU, not the PV. 10 is Some Boys! Touch, some of the things in Heavy Rotation, etc. REALLY heavy fanservice.

So, let’s go in order and see how each is rated~

Koi no Nukegara

Costumes:  The only thing I can see here that would POSSIBLY offend is that Miyoshi Erika has some midriff showing; otherwise, they’re long and flowy dresses, which is really what I think of as the opposite of fanservice. There’s nothing form fitting or revealing about them, unless you really like shoulders or ankles, and then you’re in luck. I’ll give this a 2 just because of Erika, but really this isn’t fanservice. 2

Dance:  This isn’t very fanservicey; there are a few times where they move their shoulders or bend over slightly (though this doesn’t show any cleavage) that could be perceived in that way, but I really don’t see too much in it. It’s a very swishy (um, new adjective?) dance that plays a lot with their flowing dresses. I’m going to give it a bit of a generous score because there’s some bending over slightly (though not really sexy?) and they sometimes move a bit with their dresses, but really this isn’t. bad. 3

PV:  There are some kinds of smoldering looks, but the PV is MAINLY dance shot+ close ups + them walking + flowers. There are a few low-ish angles and they make some faces but those are more.. concerned/serious than sexy. 2

Song: It’s about love; they ask a “Mr. Doctor Love” to look them over to see if they’re OK. It’s not completely innocent, but it’s a standard song about love. 2

H!P Kids Friendly: It reminds me a lot (PV/dance/costume) of Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi by Berryz. I’d have no qualms about watching H!P Kids (even young’uns) do Koi no Nukegara.

Overall score: 2.25 If you think this is overly fanservicey, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Kacchoiize! Japan

Costumes: These are cut more flatteringly towards the female body; you see some cleavage from Yui, but that’s not really difficult considering she’s Okappai. These are cut lower on Yui and a tiny bit lower on Erika, but Rika’s version’s pretty conservative. The puffy skirt goes down to about their knees. I’ll give it a bit more for Yui, but that’s the only thing I see. 4

Dance:  It’s mostly punching and moving around. They do a bit of light bending but nothing horrific. 3

PV: This is the most fanservicey thing of the bunch. In the PV we have v-u-den as a bit of a love triangle, with both Yui and Erika wanting Rika. In the PV we see a couple of them on a bed, Yui grabbing Rika’s leg, and general “I want you” looks. The reclining and moving to kiss on a bed is what does it. It’s not quite Melodies and it’s a lot more subtle, but it still gets more fanservice points. 5

Song: “Japan is cool!” is essentially what this song is. It was used for Japanese tourism or something, so it’s basically “come visit and we welcome you to Japan!” 1

H!P Kids approved?: I’d be mostly OK with the costumes on a young H!P Kid; I don’t really think there’d be any effect of cleavage because they don’t have Yui’s breasts. I’d be a bit uncomfortable with the whole relationship aspect of the PV, so I don’t think I’d want to see them doing this, but other than that, the dance and the costumes and the song is approved. The PV would be, if they took out the stuff on the bed and the leg grabbing.

Overall score: 3.25.  The PV has some fanservice, but that’s about it. The song, costume and the dance are approved, and I don’t think the PV is all that bad, other than hinting at lesbian relationships.

Ajisai Ai Ai Monogatari

Costumes: Classy girl clothes. I don’t see anything wrong with any of them at all. 1

Dance: It’s the clock dance! I know a lot of people don’t like this dance because it looks strange, but I think it looks fun. Nothing super suggestive here; Rika moves her body a little bit in the seconds after the “yurari yurari” bit when she’s waving her hand back and forth, but it’s nothing suggestive sexually. 2

PV: Nothing I can really see is fanservicy. The PV is made up of close up shots, dance shots and then shots from the v-u-den mini-drama thing that came out around this time. Which I’ve seen but I really do NOT remember what the plot was about because I knew a lot less Japanese than I do now. But I swear, that has them wearing even less revealing clothes than in the dance shot (Yui has a REALLY baggy sweater). 1

Song: On a slightly musical note, this is one of my favorite v-u-den single songs; it’s an excellent song. The lyrics are another love song, singing about a guy, shaking feelings and sadness. Which is interesting, considering how much everyone smiles throughout the PV. There’s one line about how the guy’s favorite girl is one with “delicate arms and a large chest.” And Tsunku HAD to write that one for Yui to sing, I swear; she has this smile as she sings “ooki na mune” like “yeah, I got that!” Anyways, that’s the only suggestive line. 2

H!P Kid Approved?:  Yes. I have no qualms about anyone doing this group. I have general qualms about young girls singing about relationships and heartbreak, but there’s no fanservice in this single.

Overall Score: 1.5; They wear baggy sweaters in half the PV and the other half is in regular sweaters. My goodness, they are practically trying NOT to be sexy.


Now we’re hitting what I like to refer to as the forgotten v-u-den singles; Hitorijime, Kurenai no Kisetsu and, to an extent, Issai Gassai Anata ni A.GE.RU are essentially forgotten by the world, even though they’re great songs/pvs/singles.

Costumes: These are probably the sexiest costumes we’ve gotten yet; there’s some definite leg action and some slightly bare backs. Other than that, they’re not form fitting at all, don’t show cleavage and for sure cover everything up.

Dance:  (on a personal note, I think this is one of the fiercest H!P dances ever. I love the dance shot almost more than the regular PV). This is a sexier dance than we’ve gotten yet; there’s some moving down the other members’ bodies, and some moving hands on their own bodies and smooth movements. It’s a sexy dance, but it’s a lot more subtly sexy; it fits the song perfectly. And is perfectly fierce. Yeah. This is one of my favorite dances ever. 5

PV: To be honest, this is kind of a bit of a boring PV. Close ups and dance shots, and shots of the girls looking all sultry and sad. But nothing fanservicey! There aren’t any weird cleavage shots or anything. Tame. 2

Song: As one would expect from the title, it’s a sad song about wanting someone all to themselves and being sad. There’s a small part about the guy they’re into kissing another girl. Which is hard to imagine, considering it’s the v-u-den girls. I can’t imagine why they’d want to cheat on them. But I digress, it’s not bad; there’s relationship things, which makes it not a 1. But nothing like, sexy. 3

H!P Kid approved?: Everything but the dance. I don’t know if I want to see young!H!P Kids being all sultry and dancing around like v-u-den; it’s not BAD, but it’s definitely more mature than kids stuff.

Overall Rating: 3.5. Another tame v-u-den single. There’s a bit of suggestive dancing but it’s done tastefully and artfully, which is good.

Kurenai no Kisetsu

Um, yeah, this is THE forgotten v-u-den single, which is a shame, because I think it’s amazing. Everything about it. Is love. It’s probably my second favorite H!P PV ever (second to the cool version of Ayaya’s Zutto Suki de Ii Desu Ka).

Costumes:  Long, flowy, purple dresses. They’re really pretty, but I wouldn’t consider them fanservice. Um. They’re pretty? That’s not fanservice, though. 1

Dance:  There’s a bit of the “Arms around my body” thing but I wouldn’t consider it really sexy. It’s not really a super ultra innocent dance in that it’s not childish; it’s very much a dance by adults, but not adult as in sexual content. I’ll give it a bit of a bump due to to moving arms around their own body, but I don’t really think this constitutes fanservice. 2

PV: Pure perfection? Beautiful-ness? This is, IMO, one of THE most beautiful H!P PVs. It’s REALLY gorgeous, with the shots of the mirrors and just the colors in it. There’s some sultry looks and a bit of reclining, but nothing fanservicey. 2

Song: Kurenai no Kisetsu is a bit more suggestive than the previous v-u-den singles; they sing about wanting to meet someone, “I won’t touch you” (implying the alternative), “your voice drives me crazy”; it’s a bit more sensuous than the others and it’s really gorgeous, but there’s a level of fanservice in it. 5

H!P Kid Approved?: While the song would totally make me uncomfortable if H!P Kids sang it, Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (Berryz’s first single) is pretty much like this single in terms of lyrics. No joke. So. Yeah.

Overall Score: 2.5; Mature, yes. A very adult song, yes. Fanservice? Absolutely not.

Issai Gassai Anata ni A.GE.RU

One of the other forgotten v-u-den singles. Which is sad, because I’m kind of in love with the song.

Costumes:  In half the PV they wear sweaters (albeit tighter than in Ajisai) and short skirts (that’s the story portion) and in the other half they wear what’s essentially lingerie. However, I wouldn’t put this in the same category as the lingerie in, say, Heavy Rotation because it’s pretty harmless stuff; Rika’s is definitely shorter and cut differently than Erika or Yui’s, but I don’t think the whole concept is too bad. It sometimes astounds me that people accuse v-u-den of being overly fanservicey when you see the lengths they did in these earlier PVs to hide her breasts. Still, it’s pretty sexy stuff. 6

Dance: It’s very old fashioned, with the way they use the microphones. They were for sure going for an old-fashioned vibe with everything, something I’ll touch a bit more in the PV section. However, I’m not one of the people that automatically sees “MIC=PHALLUS” like I know a lot of people do. There’s a bit in the bridge where they are a bit sexier, but I wouldn’t say there’s much to object about in the dance of the PV. It’s a bit flirty, but nothing too terrible. 4

PV: When I first saw this PV I was all about calling it sexist; it seemed to me the whole “as a woman I screwed up so I need to fix it” wasn’t exactly very complimentary. Then, I saw a comment on YouTube about how this was an homage to the old TV show Bewitched and it ALL MADE SENSE. In the 60s series, the main character was a witch who lived a normal life but had to fix things with magic. When I saw this comment I remembered that Bewitched actually was very popular in Japan, and the homage would make sense. In addition, the song and the dance feel to be from a similar era. With that point of view I’m not bothered with the PV anymore. Fanservice wise there’s no questionable shots, and while you might not like the PV’s message, I think if it’s viewed as an homage then I have little to object to. 2

Song:  I originally was all on the sexist parade with this song (despite loving it from the bottom of my heart), but the lyrics are really cute; it’s a sweet song about the feeling of being in love and wanting to give everything you have to the person you love, which I think is a lovely sentiment. 2

H!P Kid Approved: Well, the dance and the old-fashioned feel’s already done by Berryz in Waracchau yo Boyfriend; I’d be iffy about letting them in the costumes, but the rest is approved.

Overall Score:  3.5- I know a lot of people would disagree, considering the costume choice (which is why this song is sometimes targeted for its fanservice) but the rest of the PV/song is almost overtly innocent, complying with the 60s vibe.

Aisu Kuriimu to MY Purin

Oh goodness. It’s that time. One of the most common “V-U-DEN IS JUST FANSERVICE!!” videos. Probably THE most common one, actually.

Costumes: There are two costumes in here; the bunny girl outfits and the sparkly short dresses that are not at all trying to be reminiscent of Marilyn Munroe, noo. Well, obviously the bunny girl outfits are suggestive because of how our culture perceives it. Even though they’re not SUPER revealing, they’re definitely fanservice. Plus, the dresses are really short. So yes. I admit. this is craaazy fanservice. 8

Dance:  ‘AISU KURIIMU TO MY PURIIIN” has one of the more famous dances in H!P history; I personally find the dance to be kind of goofy, but it’s still admittedly v-u-den pointing at their breasts and ass and shaking around. I think it’s fun, but that doesn’t stop the fanservice. 8

PV:  As a PV it’s not all that bad; there aren’t super blatant sexy shots. Granted, it’s not all that original; dance shot plus close ups plus group shots. Add some homages to Marilyn Munroe (I love Rika’s face when she does it XD So silly) and it’s not all that terrible, I’d argue. 6

Song:  Yes, there’s definitely innuendo; the song’s about wanting to get closer to someone, so I imagine that v-u-den thinks they’ll do this by being blatantly sexually charged. It’s not that bad, really; it has some references to kissing and wanting a crazy night. Oh wait. Berryz already did that. With their first single. But anyways, I don’t think it’s all that. 7

H!P Kid Approved?:  Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha no.

Overall?: 7.25– It’s sexy, yes. However, the whole thing seems like a parody; like it’s parodying the idea of fanservice. Everything goes over the top, they spoof Marilyn Munroe, the lyrics are kind of silly; it’s still very fanservice-y and sexy, but I don’t think it was just for fanservice; I think it was a bit of a spoof, as well.

Koisuru Angel Heart

This is a fairly well known single of v-u-den; in my opinion, singles 7-9 (Aisu Kuriimu, Koisuru Angel Heart, Jajauma Paradise) are THE most well known v-u-den singles, at least from my experience.

Costumes: There are two costumes in the PV; the “white angels” and the “dark angels.” Both are pretty sexy; the short white dress shows off both cleavage and legs, with Rika’s again being cut to be more form fitting than either Erika’s or Yui’s (though I’d be lying if I said I minded, *cough*. The “dark angel” outfits are pretty sexy, not necessarily by what’s shown but by the attitude. It’s definitely both sides of the spectrum; on the one hand cute and sexy and on the other erotic and sexy. Yeah, uh, that’s terrible *cough*. 6

Dance: There’s some bending and you definitely get some cleavage itself, but it’s definitely not as.. glaring as in Aisu Kuriimu. It’s very cute and energetic. The use of it with the particular costumes is sexy, but if it were removed from the costumes it wouldn’t be very fanservicey. 4

PV: The PV itself, once removed from the dance and the costumes isn’t very fanservicey; there’s some alluring glances during the “dark angel” portions and they definitely looked sexy, but it’s nothing too objectionable, I’d say. 3

Song: It’s a cute song about being in love and wanting a wonderful summer. They want to be hugged. Oh the fanservice to be had in a hug. 3

H!P Kid Approved?: The dark angel bit is a little mature-ish, but nothing very objectionable. Honestly, it seems a bit less mature than a lot of the stuff v-u-den does, and while this song and PV is very dear to me it doesn’t really fit that much with the rest of the v-u-den singles.

Overall Score: 4; a cute, sweet song and PV. I don’t have all that much else to say about it.

Jajauma Paradise

Ohhhh yes. Jajauma Paradise. Other than Aisu Kuriimu, this is the main argument for v-u-den having lots of fanservice. Um. There’s not going to be that much argument from me.

Costumes: Again, there are two sets of costumes in place here; the dance shot costumes with the small red skirts and black tops and the “pink version” costumes, which are basically pink tank tops and white shorts. The pink version costumes aren’t terribly offensive; there’s quite a lot of cleavage with Yui especially (which is actually unusual). These are pretty sexy; a bit less sexy than my 10 markers (sexy!Goto Maki and Heavy Rotation), but nevertheless fairly fanservice-ful. 9

Dance: It’s pretty sexy, too; there’s some hip thrusting and false rodeo dancing. Granted, this isn’t too unheard of in H!P (see: C-ute’s first PV, Massara Blue Jeans), but it IS fanservice. I have a difficult time taking the dancing seriously after what I call “Rika Monkey” at 3:45, but this is pretty fanservice-ful. 7

PV: hoooo boy. I really like how this PV was shot; it’s honestly such a CHEAP PV, yet the camera work and the editing manage to make it interesting. However. Sooo many boob shots, bending over cleavage, Erika sticking out her ass because she doesn’t have the greatest cleavage, etc. It occasionally feels somewhat cheap and a bit embarrassing to watch; I love it because it’s v-u-den, but it is really rather extreme. 9

Song:  Not necessarily the most coherent lyrics, but they name a bunch of couples and talk about being together? Am I weird in that this is NOT decipherable to me? There aren’t any lyrics that stick out as being particularly fanservice, but the song itself has gasps and noises. That have been done in Berryz since they were little. But I digress. 5

H!P Kid Approved?: Most certainly not; none of it. Granted, most H!P Kids did something to the equivalent to either the dance (Massara Blue Jeans) or the gasping in the song (Koi no Jubaku, Special Generation) early in their careers, so it’s probably Tsunku approved for young girls.

Overall:  7.5; the song brought down its score quite a bit. But it IS the most fanservice v-u-den ever got.

Nan ni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU

Sad face!! It’s the last v-u-den single before they disbanded. 🙁 The thing I find interesting is that while v-u-den climbed in fanservice as a general rule from their chaste early singles, this is way back at their roots, which I kind of appreciate.

Costumes: Back to the flowy dresses again! You see… shoulders? There are also shots of v-u-den screwing around at the beach where they’re wearing normal clothes, but they show no cleavage and not much leg. It’s kind of incredible how little fanservice there is here. 2

Dance: The dance is not too dance-y, because of the ballad; it doesn’t even show up very much in the regular PV that I’m reviewing. Um. I don’t have much to say about it. I see nothing offensive here. 1

PV: It’s comprised of shots of v-u-den at the beach, the dance shot, them all sitting together and close up shots of all of them. There’s literally nothing offensive I can even remotely find. It’s a very sweet PV. 1

Song: As most people know this is a cover of the song off of Morning Musume’s 4th album and it’s very clean “without saying a word I love you” is what the title literally says. I think there’s a slight reference to the guy potentially cheating but the girls don’t believe it. So that gets us a 3…? I guess. 3

H!P Kids Approved?:  I don’t see why not.

Overall Score: 1.75-  As in. There is SUCH LITTLE FANSERVICE

Overall score of every v-u-den single: 3.7 That’s not so much fanservice. Now, before anyone complains about me being not objective, I’m trying to be. I acknowledge that Aisu Kuriimu to My Purin and Jajauma Paradise are pretty much laced with fanservice. However, two songs/PVs do not make the entire group JUST about fanservice.

To me, v-u-den isn’t a fanservice group, it’s an adult group. And no, I don’t mean adult as in sexy, I mean adult as in mature. Hello!Project, except at the beginning has almost always been focused on youth and young-ness If you get old you get booted from Morning Musume and put into the Elder Club; that’s the way it’s been. At the time v-u-den was around the H!P Kids were younger, and while they’ve never had the success of Morning Musume they are really quite popular and they epitomize just how into youth and youngness that Hello!Project has been. v-u-den took three women that are honestly older than the average idol when she debuts (I believe that Yui was both the youngest AND 16 when Koi no Nukegara came out, but grew older when it got more fanservice-y); these are women who are quite honestly delving into adulthood, and their material reflected that; women. Not girls, women. And sexuality is for sure a part of the experience of a woman.

v-u-den’s done a lot of beautiful things, sexy things, things I originally saw as sexist and just shows a portrait of the WOMAN; not a teenage girl. And for that juxtaposed next to the H!P Kids groups (that are honestly not as innocent as many people like to believe; the older H!P Kids songs and PVs kind of creep me out, sometimes) sometimes v-u-den seems to be the ‘sexy group’ when really they’re the ‘older group’. They were older than Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou and C-ute and, when they were in Wonderful Hearts, they were the most mature group, and for that I admire them. Actually, if I were Tsunku/UFA I would have personally spent a lot of time marketing v-u-den towards a female 20-something audience solely for the relatability issue, which is part of the reason that AKB48 is so popular now with women.

One thing I’d like to add is that even though I didn’t mention v-u-den’s B-sides and album songs (because I was JUST delving into the fanservice aspect), they’re really something special. I recommend Naishin Kyaakyaa da wa!, Fantasy, Aimai Me Mind, Kyou mo Mattemasu, Let’s Live! and Rika’s solo Omoide wa Kanata.

… yeah, and if anyone read all that. I love you. 

"Oh, cool, the PV’s gonna be gorey… never mind."

Just a short entry, but recently it was announced that the PV to AKB48’s latest single, Beginner, was being pulled, not airing on TV and not appearing on DVD anywhere; I’ve heard that it was specifically banned (i.e., someone else did it for them).

Now, I don’t quite know what I think of this. I actually think it could have been a really really cool PV; I’ve seen the preview clips like everyone else, and the blue blood they used (since the setting was video game related) actually did help in making it seem less violent. It looked violent from what I saw, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Then, on the other hand, I’ve heard reports of Acchan’s hand being stabbed, hands and heads getting cut off and worse things happening. I’m not a gore fan, so I really wasn’t looking forward to this aspect of the PV.

Now, I REALLY dislike censorship stopping something from coming about; I’m a big proponent of free speech. However, this doesn’t sound like something that any TV network in the US or Japan would air, other than subscription cable networks or something. I could be wrong; I haven’t seen the full PV.

I’ve actually heard some theories that this is all promotional and that they had this happen SPECIFICALLY so the buzz surrounding Beginner would go up. That’s pretty plausible, but I have to wonder how expensive the original with all it’s effects was, and would that be feasible to spend on “free” publicity in the news and among fans.

I’m kind of torn, because while I do think that it would alienate SOME people (I know if the PV was as gorey as I’ve heard in fan reports, I’d watch it once and be done with it), a lot of other people were really excited about it, so it’s definitely a bummer.

Like Momoiro Clover? You should. You should also go here.

If you’ve read my blog you know I enjoy Momoiro Clover. A lot. I’m firm in saying they ARE my favorite group doing stuff right now; I have a lot of posts about them, including a brief introduction, so if you like cool stuff, check them out.

Buuut. If you’ve done that and went “wow, that MomoClo is really spiffy” (like you should) you really ought to check out this new forum my friend Dani and I have made together, “The Weekend Heroine” (because Momoiro Clover calls themselves “Shuumatsu Hiroin” which is what that translates into).


It’s not much quite yet, because. It’s basically just us and another member. BUT. We’re working hard at making it a really cool community for international fans of the wonderful group, Momoiro Clover. Idol culture spreads to the US pretty much through word of mouth, and that’s what we’re trying to do for MomoClo. The two of us really love this group that’s essentially just starting out, and we want to support them as much as we can (Seriously; Dani owns a copy of every version of Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo. That’s 7 copies.). I don’t think Morning Musume or AKB48 would have the internet following they do without forums where people could find out about things and talk to people about it, so we just want to introduce more people to our favorite idol group.

So yeah. Please join. … I love you?

Momoiro Clover- Pinky Jones

OK, the PV to Pinky Jones, Momoiro Clover’s newest single came out. And I for one am saying what I’ve been saying for months now about MomoClo: They are currently the best idol group our there. I want to hesitate and say Ongaku Gatas, but they’re pretty inactive. Even in Gatas’ case, Momoiro Clover seriously is the best mesh of girls I’ve seen in a long time. They all work well together, are cute, are all about similar levels of vocal skills (good, not great, but they CAN do live singing and have done so), have great dancing and stage presence. Seriously, my praise for MomoClo does not end. They’re at this point my number one group I want to see when I go to Tokyo (though I’d admittedly rather see Rika or Ayaya).

Pinky Jones as a song is really catchy; when I first heard it I wasn’t too sure about it. However, it’s a fun/energetic song that I think is really MomoClo’s forte; energy. I was actually really surprised that there’s a fair amount of Akari in this PV; I have to say hesitantly that all the girls get about equal lines and screen time, which is good. The PV itself is really fun, albeit a tiny bit cheap looking. However, the fun girls more than make up for that. I was personally really happy to see more of Akari (my second favorite) and to see Ayaka (my favorite) get center position for an extended amount of time near the end; more shots for my cute favorite! I also liked that Ayaka and Akari got to do a lot of the non-dance/close up shots together; the two of them are really good friends, as they’re often together in a lot of clips o MomoClo doing things. This is why the two of them and Kanako (who is often hanging around them) are totally my picks if MomoClo ever does subgroup things.

Seriously though, I love all of them and I really love Pinky Jones. I think a lot of people were worried that MomoClo couldn’t beat Ikuze Kaitou Shoujo, and while I don’t know if other people think so, I think that if any song has a shot it’s Pinky Jones.