My Top 25 Songs of 2014 – 10 to 6

10. Morning Musume ’14 – What is Love?

One of the coolest, most surreal experiences of my year was seeing Morning Musume perform live and meeting the members. That was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime weekend that I will never forget. However, I might not have decided to fly to New York for a weekend and stand in line for six hours if Morning Musume hadn’t really upped their game in 2013 and 2014.

Morning Musume’s unevenness is it’s greatest asset and its greatest weakness. It’s always an interesting group, to follow, but there are some lineups and some musical eras that I like better than others. Morning Musume has really hit its stride in the post-10th gen era with catchy, fun music, and What is Love is my favorite MM song in several years.

I think what initially made me love What is Love is the way it bends genres, taking Morning Musume’s current electronic music and mixing it with swing. It’s a delight to hear two genres that don’t get too much mixing and putting them together. Aside from that, What is Love is just a successful song; the pacing is perfect and with a catchy melody. I might have liked some real instruments, but the dubstep instrumentation works just fine here.

What is Love was the first song I got really excited about in 2014, and I think it’s going to be a favorite for years to come.

9. Especia – No 1 Sweeper

While i haven’t explored Especia as much as I might like, there’s no denying that they’re one of the most unique groups out there, in terms of sound and aesthetic. While I’m not entirely familiar enough with vaporwave as a movement, it’s clear that they are inspired by vaporwave. They are clearly influenced by the 80s and early 90s, but often the aspects that aren’t the most fondly remembered, like the saxophone.

While I have been intrigued by Especia for a while, No 1 Sweeper is the first song that really spoke to me (though I am also very fond of Kuru ka na). It’s arguably the most listenable of Especia’s songs, with a catchy melody that shines through all the intentional cheesiness and weirdness of the instrumentation.

That said, I do like how ambitious Especia is as a group. A lot of idol groups are doing some fantastic things with music, but Especia has such a distinct and unique sound and feel to them that it makes them intriguing. I like that they have relatively cheesy instrumentation; I might have a high tolerance for cheese, but it gives them a unique appeal.

Especia is going for something unique and I have to love it. No 1 Sweeper is an addicting song and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

8. Dempagumi.inc – Sakura Apparition

Oh man, did Dempagumi.inc start the year out right. Sakura Apparition isn’t perhaps as ambitious or interesting as the W.W.D series (or the next Dempa song on this list), but it’s a well-constructed, fun, song. I especially enjoy the brief snippets of traditional Japanese music, especially the extended bit that sounds like it’s inspired a lot by ondo music. This isn’t a route Dempagumi.inc goes down too often (preferring to surround themselves much more with a modern identity of Japan rather than a traditional one), but I do like the combination of sounds. It makes me wonder what a dempa enka ballad might sound like.

The melody is, as always from Dempagumi, catchy and strong. It feels a lot more unified and standard than some of their other songs, but I think it works here. The arrangement isn’t a very stand out one (though I often find myself listening to the bass line of this song) but focuses more on supporting the melody in a fairly unobtrusive way. There are some snippets of what sounds like some traditional instruments, so kudos to Dempa for this.

Sakura Apparition isn’t the most interesting or most out there Dempagumi.inc, but it’s a really solid, really enjoyable listen that I’ve enjoyed since it came out.

7. Takoyaki Rainbow – Zesshou! Naniwa de Umareta Shoujotachi

When Takoyaki Rainbow’s center, Towa, graduated the group, I wasn’t too worried. Stardust does a solid job of promoting every member in its groups, so while Towa is missed it’s not a fatal strike the group. However, I did wonder what would happen to the group. As it turns out, they got another song by Hyadain, and an introduction song.

The song I’d most easily be able to compare this to is Dempagumi.inc’s W.W.D, except much more joyful. W.W.D was about Dempagumi.inc’s members coming from less than zero, while Zesshou is much more of an upbeat introduction song focusing on the group being from Osaka. Much like W.W.D, each member gets a separate introduction piece, which then all comes together into the chorus. It’s the type of thing that you don’t think will work, but somehow all the weird pieces of this song come together in a much cohesive whole than I thought it would.

All of Takoyaki Rainbow are still growing as singers and performers, but there is a real confidence to Zesshou. Sakura, Karen and Kurumi all show off some solid vocal skills. This group is growing very rapidly and it’s really fun to watch.

Listen, just seeing the word “Hyadain” should clue you in. This is another really fun, quality song by Hyadain that does a great job of introducing the group. I am so excited to see more of Takoniji.

6. Team Syachihoko – Akamiso Blood

I love this song. I briefly considered putting it at the very top of this year’s list, but held off. But man, Akamiso Blood is one of the most unique songs that came out this year.

Essentially, this is the collaboration of Team Syachihoko and Daichi, a beatboxer who got a lot of recognition off of YouTube. So this is a very minimalist track of Daichi, a keyboard, and Team Syachihoko, who provide both the main vocals and some of the other rhythm and sounds found in the piece.

This is incredibly minimalist, a completely unusual idol song. While some idols have done acapella before, I don’t know any groups that did something this minimalist and had it as an album track. Of course, this is reinforced by the vocals, piano and melody all working well together, but the fact that this even got made shows incredible trust in the songwriter (Shihori, who also did MomoClo’s GOUNN), Daichi, and the members.

 

Idol Thoughts: Is it possible to have an “accurate” Request Hour?

I will probably write more about AKB48’s Request Hour after the top 200 songs are performed later this week, but this year deserves some special notice because, for the first time, they are doing a request hour 1035. This is every single AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, JKT48, SNH48, SDN48, solo and unit songs, ranked by fan votes. Since performing all of these songs live is pretty impossible, everything up to 200 is put on YouTube. This is a fascinating look at AKB48 for anyone, so I’d consider taking a look.

The first thing that’s pretty easy to notice is how much the 48 groups have changed in terms of structure. The low ranked songs from 2006 – 2009 are almost all stage songs. The low ranked songs from 2010 – 2014 are usually the B-sides to singles. Any AKB fan could tell you that the focus has moved from the theater to other venues, but this is a clear reminder that stage performances have taken a backseat.

However, the main thing I was complaining about is that this ranking does not seem to be about quality at all. I know that must seem incredibly obvious, since this is a fan ranking, but it got me wondering if there was a way to “fix” this.

Essentially, voting for Request Hour is a second Senbatsu Sousenkyo – it’s a popularity contest for members, hidden in the trappings of voting for songs. People tend to vote for the songs that feature their favorite member most heavily, which is why Itoshiki no Natasha ranked so highly for quite a while (because Sashihara Rino fans were voting it up high). There are always some very highly ranked stage songs because of that very reason.

However, is there a way to have a more accurate fan vote focusing more on quality of songs? Fan voting is always going to have an element of bias towards favorite members. I’ve listened to many more Watarirouka Hashiritai songs than I have listened to no3b songs, for example, because I much prefer Watarirouka as a group, and that’s the case. Newer songs are going to have an advantage because current fans will have more likely listened to them than older songs. Older fans are smaller in number, and many of them may have moved on from 48 groups.

Further, there is an incentive to vote for recent songs because of the changing lineup of members in the groups. Say your all-time favorite member graduated. You might vote for the song featuring your current member, because you know that at least they will be there to perform the song.

I don’t think there’s a way to get away from this affecting the rankings, especially the top spots, as long as you have fan voting. However, ranking every song gives an interesting opportunity to see all the songs voted higher. I’m not sure if AKB will do this again next year, since they are making a big deal that this is the 10th anniversary of AKB48. However, if they do it again, the “fix” that might make things more interesting – allowing each vote to vote for multiple songs.

Now, I doubt that AKB48 will do this. Since votes are limited to fans who either members of a subscription or for fans who bought a copy of the most recent single, there are financial stakes in the request hour. That said, there are financial stakes for the fans, too. If you are going to buy a single and have a limited number of votes based off of what you are willing to pay, you aren’t going to throw away those votes

However, if you got a ballot that allowed for, say, 10 songs without repeats, you might be inclined to vote for songs you like to listen to in addition to songs that feature your favorite. Weighting these might make the results even more reliable; have fans rank the songs 1 – 10, and weight it at 10 points for 1, 9 points for 2, etc. I know this is how a lot of foreign fans tend to weigh voting systems, but it works pretty well. So that way, fans could definitely vote for their favorite member’s biggest song, but they might be inclined to give their #10 vote for a song they just like to listen to.

The biggest issue with this list is the lowest songs have too many ties; I’m assuming they’re songs that got 1 vote, then two votes. This system could help break those up and get a more solid ranking, as well as allowing for more popular group songs get further (Party ga Hajimaru yo and Wasshoi B do not belong in the 400s, I’m sorry).

No system is going to be perfect for getting an accurate ranking of 48 groups songs, especially if you want a ranking that is about quality rather than who is in the song. However, allowing for more songs per voting system might give people the perceived ability to vote for more songs, and get a more varied and more interesting Request Hour.

My Top 25 Songs of 2014 – 15 to 11

15.  Takoyaki Rainbow –  Naniwa no Haniwa

While the song has grown on me, I didn’t like Takoyaki Rainbow’s debut single Under the Takoyaki Rainbow much initially. I like it now, but it felt disappointing. So, when Naniwa no Haniwa came out, the one thing that struck me immediately was that it was written by Maeyamada Kenichi. Well, this song turned my impression of Takoyaki Rainbow around, fast.
Like many Hyadain-penned songs for Stardust groups, Naniwa no Haniwa is fast paced and weird. However, starting from the drums, it has a bit of a traditional feel to it. While they haven’t stuck with this in their next single, I like that a lot.
There are so many odd elements in here; some melodramatic singing, the shouting, singing “nyan nyan nyan,” the recorders, etc. I feel like written by anyone else, this song could be unlistenable in its annoyingness. However, in Hyadain’s hands, he is able to put together several disjointed elements and weird things to make a cohesive, fun song that put Takoniji on the map.
14. Dempagumi.inc – Dempari Night

My first instinct in writing this was to claim that 2014 was a less than stellar year for Dempa, though that is blatantly false. Dempagumi.inc in 2014 is still one of the most consistently interesting and consistently fun idol groups out there. Even though I wasn’t terribly fond of Dear Stage e Youkoso (it was fine but not to the level of the rest of Dempa’s output), their musical output was fantastic all around.
While Dempari Night isn’t my highest ranking Dempagumi song of the year, it has a lot of interesting elements going for it. It’s a lot more cohesive than some of my favorites of 2013, namely the W.W.D series, but it still has some odd, interesting elements to it. I especially enjoyed the Russian influenced section and the use of the ticking clock as a percussive instrument. The entire arrangement of this is top notch and solid.
While I preferred other Dempa songs, there’s no way I couldn’t include this on my list.
13. i*Ris – Itazura Taiyou

i*Ris is one of those groups that, when I first listened to them this year, I immediately wondered why there wasn’t more buzz surrounding this group, especially among foreign fans. Their music is great, but more notably, i*Ris has strong vocalists and high production values. Their music is really fun and sounds great. While the group’s masterpiece is 2013’s Gensoukyoku Wonderland (a song, had I known its existence, would have been easily in my top 10 songs of the year), 2014’s Itazura Taiyou is fantastic.
While the overall production value is arguably the strongest part of Itazura Taiyou (the vocals are mixed very well), the entire instrumentation and arrangement is very well done. The way that the heavy drums and guitar is mixed with some electronic sounds reminds me a bit of Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra. However, the vocal arrangement is really the top, here. The background vocals and the harmonies sound fantastic. On top of all this production value is a solid melody and hook.
i*Ris is a group that I’d recommend checking out if you haven’t already. I haven’t heard a great amount of buzz about this group with foreign fans, but if you value any kind of production value, I’d give i*Ris a shot.
12. Rhymeberry – Idol Illmatic

Going into 2014, Rhymeberry had me worried. Their early single, Winter Jam, was fine but not anywhere near the heights of something like SUPERMCZTOKYO. Then one of their members, Yuka, graduated from the group. Then they left their label, T-Palette (whether they left on their own volition or were booted, I have no idea). Things weren’t looking good for Rhymeberry. Then they put out Idol Illmatic and all my worries were assuaged, because Rhymeberry came back better than ever. A cliche? yes. However, it doesn’t stop it from being true.
The biggest thing that sets Idol Illmatic apart from Rhymeberry’s earlier singles is that there are only two members; yet, their skills as MCs have improved, even since the release of SUPERMCZTOKYO. Miri in particular has a great flow, but Hime is more than pulling her weight. This track goes back and forth between both Miri and Hime, adding a great energy to the track. Even DJ Hikaru gets in and sings, adding a sung hook in the middle of the song.
Idol Illmatic is not as inventive as Sekaichuu ni I Love You or as polished as SUPERMCZTOKYO, but it focuses on the raw skill of the members of the group. It reminds me a little of Rhymeberry’s first single, Hey! Brother, but with a lot more skill involved. Miri and Hime are legitimately skilled as MCs and fun to listen to.
While I started 2014 worried for Rhymeberry’s future, Idol Illmatic has me excited.
11. Team Syachihoko – Ii Kurashi

 I’ve written about Ii Kurashi twice already, so I’ll keep this short. Going into listening Ii Kurashi, if you told  me “Team Syachihoko will do an acid house song as their latest single,” I would be unsure of what to think. Ii Kurashi is not a song I would normally listen to, but it made me intrigued in the genre and allowed Syachi to do a song that isn’t very idol-like. It’s a long song that never outstays its welcome. While it’s not my top Syachi song of the year, I do think it’s a very well-written song and one that I’m glad that my favorite idol group got to perform.

My Top 25 Songs of 2014 – 20 to 16

20. Rev. from DVL – Step by Step

I can’t find a video link that contains this song, but if you haven’t checked out the B-Sides to the Rev. from DVL singles, please do! There are some really surprising and excellent songs in there. One song in particular is Kimi Dake no Story, a duet between members Nagisa and Miki, and Eien Puzzle. But man, Step by Step is one of my favorite songs of the year and ended up being my favorite Rev song, after a year of three really solid groups.

It’s hard to explain why I latched onto this song so much. The back and forth in the vocals during the verses is great, the (admittedly fake) strings in the instrumentation sound great, and everything has a nice energy to it. But really, it’s the repetition of “step by step” in the chorus that got to me. The back and forth between “step by step” and the other words of the chorus have a great, infectious effect. I first really listened to this song during one of their performances at Tokyo Idol Festival and since then I had the song stuck in my head. This is one of the catchiest, most infectious melodies of the year.

This isn’t one of the most groundbreaking singles, but Rev wasn’t one of the most groundbreaking groups. Yet, despite that, Rev has succeeded by having a discography of really solid pop tunes with catchy melodies. So while I might not think they are the most interesting songs of the year, they are some of the songs I’ll be listening to in the future.

19. Aso Natsuko – My Starlit Point

This is a very bittersweet placement on my list, as Natsuko announced this year that she was putting her music career on hiatus. I don’t blame her; last I checked she was studying law at a prestigious university as well as being a television presenter. However it is bittersweet that her last album ended up being so good, possibly her best album. Natsuko’s music has always been a very high standard, but My Starlit Point as an album was cohesive, well-written music, and its titular song is no exception. While not as strong as her recent singles Moonrise Romance and Never Ending Voyage, My Starlit Point goes heavy on the strings and guitar to create a fast-paced yet beautiful song. It’s arranged beautifully, and Natsuko is at her finest, vocally. It’s more laidback than something dramatic like Never Ending Voyage, but it does a lot to show off how strong Natsuko is. I’ll definitely miss her, as she was a bright spot in the idol business.

18. RYUTist – Chu-la-la

One of the best moments of my year was seeing RYUTist live, but man do I wish they had put out this song before the live because this is fantastic! I love a good deal of RYUTist’s music, but I don’t think I would complain if they veered more to the style of Chu-La-La. This is definitely old-school, but what it reminds me of more than anything is 2nd generation Tanpopo, stuff like Otome Pasta ni Kandou. This song gets that style perfectly, down to the background vocals of “ooh la la.” Deciding to do this song is one thing, but the execution of it is near perfect, from the vocals to the melody to the arrangement. The back and forth between the main vocals and the background, for example, is stellar. This song chose to have a specific style and just aced it, and it happens to be a style of song I really love. This is a big highlight of the year, and I hope that RYUTist can keep it up!

17. Team Syachihoko – It’s New Sekai

Choosing a selection of Team Syachihoko songs to include on this list was no easy feat. So there are going to be others higher up on this list. This is a late addition, a B-Side off their newest single, Shampoo Hat. When Shampoo Hat, a much more normal song, came out, I think a lot of people wondered how Syachi’s music would end up in the future, since Syachihoko has long been a group known for upbeat, weird music. However, It’s New Sekai proves that they aren’t completely doing a new thing. It’s New Sekai is fast paced and catchy from the getgo; it’s hard to not get the “Wow wow wow” stuck in your head. The further you go into the song, thought, the more interesting it gets, with tempo and style changes. The slower sections are very beautiful, with piano-heavy instrumentation. I also love the execution of this song; the members really growl out the word “ishibashi” for example, and get into this.

I really don’t like using the word “epic” because it’s really overused, but that’s how I feel like I have to describe this song. It feels like there is a sense of scale to it; even the title, “It’s New World” has a sense of scale. Immediately after this song was first played, people started saying it sounded like an anime ending, and I think it’s because of that sense of weight the song has.

It’s New Sekai is a fantastic song, and one I’m glad to have in the Team Syachihoko discography.

16. LinQ – Uessai! Gassai!

I believe I said this last year, but I want to get more into LinQ. I really like the leader, Amano Natsu, and the group is a bundle of fun, as in Uessai! Gassai!. This single had quite a bit of hype surrounding it, as it was produced by Dempagumi.inc’s producer. And, by the vast amount of energy in this song, it shows. This song is very high energy, with a great melody and a really fun back and forth between the members. It reminds me a bit of SKE48’s 1 2 3 4 Yoroshiku, which is one of SKE’s best singles in my opinion. This song is very well produced, with tons of energy and fun. There’s never a dull moment, and even at it’s slowest it still feels like there’s a good deal of energy at play. Uessai! Gassai! is one of the most fun songs of 2014, and one I will keep listening to for quite a while.

2014 in Review

The end of the year is always a great time for reflection. While I don’t necessarily get serious about resolutions or anything, I like doing end of the year lists because I think it’s a great way of summing up the year and taking a big picture look at things. It’s hard to think about these things while the year is going on, but I do like thinking about these things. As such, here are some of my assorted thoughts about 2014.

AKB48 is falling – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As someone who has been a big AKB fan in the past, 2014 was not a great year. In addition to having subpar musical output, the attack of Kawaei Rina seriously put into doubt one of the cornerstones of AKB’s fandom, the handshake event. Things are slowly cooling down, but right around the time of the event there was serious doubt thrown into it. Members are graduating left and right, and the last real notable single was, by my count, Koisuru Fortune Cookie. Kokoro no Placard was really trying hard to replicate the viral success of Koichun, but not working.

In 2015, AKB48 is going to seriously have to do something – Takahashi Minami is graduating, and while she hasn’t been to the level of Maeda Atsuko, she is probably the biggest grad since Acchan. Nothing against Yuko or Mariko, but Takamina is a huge influence within the group as well as outside of the group. They will have to seriously work if AKB is to remain the biggest group out there.

That said, while the 48 groups have been starting to struggle (and, mind you, this is while they are maintaining their chart dominance – by no means has the 48 groups failed YET), I don’t know if this is a bad thing. While I have maintained in the past that the 48 groups dominance is a pretty good thing, for bringing idols into the public eye, this might also not be a bad thing. We are at the point where there are several groups out there that have big followings. Idol groups are out in the public eye, and a decline in popularity for AKB might not be terrible. If even half of the current AKB fans decided to support other idol groups, should AKB fall, that would be a huge boon to smaller groups. While I’m sure there are a lot of AKB fans that are just fans of AKB and nothing else, there are certainly fans that are mostly interested in idols and might be inclined to move on.

The point is, even though I do think it’s possible to point at AKB and say it’s the beginning of the end (unless they make some big changes to make themselves more relevant) I don’t think this will necessarily be a bad thing for the idol industry as a whole.

Lesser known idol groups keep on growing and doing great things for the industry

More and more idol groups are going major; I recently saw that Yumemiru Adolescence is going major, for example. While working on my top 25 list of songs, I was really amazed at the variety of the groups, and how many groups I’m enjoying that either just went major or are fairly recent groups. The idol boom is really paying off for a vast number of idol groups who are managing to do good things with it.

I think this could be excused by the idol boom, which I would say started at the end of 2009 with AKB48’s River but really came into its own in 2010 with Heavy Rotation. So it’s been several years, and groups that were formed around that time are finally coming into their own. That said, these groups are often diverse musically, and there’s a ton of really quality stuff out there. Beyond idols being a trend, there are a ton of groups that are filling musical niches and doing really interesting stuff. These are the groups I think can stand the test of time, but I think beyond that they are showing that idol groups don’t just have to exist as a trend or as nerd culture, but can fill musical niches as well.

I’m really satisfied with where the idol industry is going, and I have high hopes for the future, even as idols become less trendy.

International appeal is gaining notice, which is good for me!

As a live music fan, being a fan of idol music can kind of suck. I love going to live concerts, but I’m at the point where I have to fly out somewhere to see shows. That said, the distance I would have to go is shortening.

This year, Morning Musume, Babymetal, Cheeky Parade, Tokyo Girls Style, Itano Tomomi, RYUTist and Aither all performed live in the United States. That is quite a lineup. With Babymetal’s huge fan following outside of Japan, with Morning Musume’s successful live at a decently sized concert venue, with Cheeky Parade making a PV and performing at a non-Japanese themed event, things are going well for Japanese artists in the United States. These are all still incredibly niche followings, of course, but slowly but surely Japanese groups are starting to realize they have a passionate following outside of Japan.

I really hope this trend can continue, partially for my sake, but also so that idol music can possibly expand and grow.

My 2014

On a personal level, 2014 is the best year I’ve experienced as an idol fan. While my blog writing has definite room for improvement, I had a lot of really great things happen this year. The big two were Idol Matsuri and seeing Morning Musume in New York. Honestly, thinking back, it’s hard to fathom the things I did this year. I flew to both coasts of the United States on my own, stayed in a hotel with friends, met idol groups, met more friends, and had two incredible weekends.

Idol Matsuri was another level of fun. It was a very small event, but that lead to a really fun, intimate atmosphere. It’s a little surreal, hanging around at the hotel, and seeing the idols you are into hanging around the hotel as well. Or being in the front row for two indie lives. It was a really full weekend of fun. Even beyond the idol moments, of which there were many (Chatting with Aither’s Misaki about Morning Musume and her singing Ikuze Kaitou Shoujo, RYUTist doing their intro to me during their interview), this is the first time I really hung out with idol fans I know online in person, and it was ridiculously fun.

It’s easy to imagine how fun going to an idol live, but almost equally memorable are things like going out to a late night meal with a bunch of idol fans, fellow bloggers and twitter buddies. Being able to mention to people at the con that I love Team Syachihoko, and have other people go “OH Team Syachihoko is great!” is a weirdly amazing kind of thing that I don’t get in my personal life. I don’t want to list everyone I met because that would get boring fast, but if I met you it was an absolute pleasure. Talking idols was so much fun, and I want to hang out again sometime.

New York was another really fun time because, while RYUTist and Aither were really fun, Morning Musume is really the group that got me into idols in the first place. Seeing Renai Revolution 21 and The Peace performed, two of my long-standing favorite idol songs, was a moving experience. Even though this group is very different from the group that I became a fan of, and even though they performed updated versions of my favorite songs, it was still an amazing experience. Hell, even waiting in line for over six hours was totally worth it, because it allowed me to meet more people and chat with more people. Waiting in Times Square and seeing this concert was practically surreal, as was meeting the members. Even though I can barely remember meeting half the members, because it all went so fast, it was really wonderful. Ishida Ayumi has been a favorite for a couple of years, now, so telling her that I was a big fan of hers and getting to wear her colors was so fun.

Again, meeting people was just as big of a deal, if I’m being real. I stayed with my friend, Dani, who I’ve been good friends with for easily over 5 years at this point. I had a lot of fun hanging out in New York with her, and being able to meet her was really special. Hello! Party was very fun, as well, and it’s also exciting being able to see all sorts of fans and people I knew (I also got to see the trophy the Koisuru Fortune Cookie Fan Version won, which was pretty nifty). I got to meet and hang out with people I’ve known for a while on Facebook and Twitter, which was both fun and surreal. Even standing in line, I met twitter friends who I didn’t even know I would meet. Again, I won’t list everyone, but wow it was fun.

2014 was a year of meeting friends, seeing idols, and having a great time. I think it has pulled me even deeper into the idol fandom, really. I just feel so privileged to have met so many amazing people, done so many great things, met idols. I just can’t put into words how grateful I am to everyone in this fandom and for the amount of fun I had. While I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in 2015, if it’s anywhere near as fun as 2014 then I am looking forward to it!