Hello!Project, Top 5 Series on December 24th, 2008 21:23 by Henkka
Tags: aoiro 7, berryz koubou, ck, morning musume, pengie, pucchimoni, secondblossoming, sugapp, wonderful hearts, °c-ute
This Top 5 is very special. You see, I forced four other people to participate and we all write about one song each, but the real fun part about it all is that I didn’t tell any of these people what the theme of this ranking was. The only thing I told them was their song title and to write me something on it! So, while I personally consider all these songs guilty pleasures each for different reasons… for the guest writers it probably isn’t so at all. Instead of writing about feeling guilty and hating themselves for liking the track in question, they’ll probably all just focus more on how much they love it. Amazing, isn’t it?! Oh those silly, clueless people. If only they knew…
Well, joining me in this experiment today are several notable lab rats of interest. To begin with the guys since I’m an asshole like that… firstly there’s the magnificent, fellow vodka and Beatles aficionado, CK from Sunny California. He is joined by everyones’ favorite closet homo child molester, the lovely SecondBlossoming. As far as the ladies go, we have sugapp, who’s not a blogger (yet?) but a real life acquaintance, or semi-girlfriend as I personally like to call her on the better days. Last but most certainly not least, one of the single most terrifying, annoying but most lovable website admins ever, pengie. Kudos to you all for taking the time to do this! Love all of you guys in varying degrees, except for pengie of course. pengie is someone I love to hate, but I know she feels the same way so it’s alright. Truthfully though, all this constant violence-flavored friction between me and her makes me feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable as in incredibly turned on. I was thinking I should suggest hate sex to her sometime. Moving on.
The Top 5 H!P guilty pleasures, aka the top 5 most embarrassing H!P songs, in the sense that you would not want your friends or family know you’ve ever even heard them. First things first: all songs of both Minimoni and Kirarin Revolution are entirely disqualified from this one. That’d be too easy.
I am generally not afraid to let people know what I like in terms of music and it’s no problem for me to let my friends hear most Hello! Project stuff. However, sometimes there are some songs that I’d just rather not let them in on. I can always let them hear stuff like Resonant Blue or Shabondama without problems, stuff like that is no problem; I’m a guy rather confident in my sexuality, let them think what they’ll think. But, if they were to hear stuff like, let’s say, Minihamuzu no Ai no Uta or Hana wo Puun? If someone got to know I actually listen to that stuff…? Hmm. It’d create an interesting scenario where I’d have to try and sort of say something in defense of both myself and H!P. You know what I mean, stuff like: “…B-b-but it’s not all like that!” or “This song is different from the others!” or the old classic “No no no, this chick, Koharu Kusumi, she’s just some random whore!”
But really now, come on, what could you say? What can anyone say to properly defend themselves after your friends have seen you watching and enjoying the PV to Hana wo Puun? Well, apart from “I’m only ten, I’m only ten!” There’s just no way you could weasel your way out of a situation like that. You have to stop lying to yourself because there are no proper excuses; it’s Hana wo Puun! There’s no rational or viable reason for you to be listening to this, let alone enjoying yourself. You have to face it: YOU are in the wrong here. You. Not your friends.
This is a list of such songs… though the other four might not agree with me on that!
First off, I have an honorary mention. Hello! no Theme. Rarely does a track ever piss me off quite as much as this one. The three Shuffle Units of 2000 (Akagumi 4, Kiiro 5 and Aoiro 7) all released their own versions of this song as B-sides on their singles, but the more educated of you bunch will recognize this as the first theme song of the Hello! Morning TV show. You can find that version (subtitled as “16nin Ver.“) on the first Pucchi Best album. Thankfully, there is one tiny good bit to be found here, and that is the hidden little CM jingle at the end of the track.
Speaking of fucked up theme songs, here’s another:
5th: Hello! Project Wonderful Hearts – LALALA Shiawase no Uta / Observations by myself:
Coincidentally, Siggy of Conflict Productions just chose this song as their song of the week. My opinion of it is going to be a little bit different. But just a tiny bit.
You know, when I asked these four to help me write this top five with me and they started sending in their parts one by one, I quickly noticed I had become the last to start writing mine. A part of it was due to laziness as always, but more than that it was the fact that this song is, quite simply put, horrible beyond belief. I couldn’t just pick another, more bearable song and write about that one, not in good conscience. I would’ve been lying to both myself and you. I was hoping so very badly for one of the others to write about this one instead. I begged them on my knees like a miserable, lamentuous heroin addict looking to score just one more hit, but to no avail. “Just suck it up and write about your goddamn song already, Henkka.” Hah, easy for you to say! That’s like asking me to “just” accept SecondBlossoming‘s filthy cock into my mouth and be a good sport about it. Have you actually even heard this hideous beast of an anthem song, or alternatively given SB oral sex?
In fact, I consider this to be among the most annoying songs ever released by Hello! Project. Seeing it performed for the first time at the 2007 Kouhaku left me shocked and appalled, hearing and seeing the °C-ute version made me loathe it even more, and then hearing this version just released on the latest Pucchi Best finally sealed the deal and made feel sick to my stomach, strengthening my hate for it to a laughable extreme. Admittedly, the difference between the °C-ute and Wonderful Hearts versions of the song isn’t much. The latter is only a tiny bit more louder and a hell of a lot more obnoxious, thus more deserving of its inclusion in this ranking. There’s no doubt this is one of the most fitting tunes imaginable for the title of “guilty pleasure.”
I’m not sure how to properly express my thoughts on this song. It makes me doubt my sanity. It has made me look at my life and everything I do in an entirely new light, and it’s not a pleasant one. Like one of those nasty, cheap blue-hued ones they like to put in public bathrooms. This track depresses the shit out of me, but at the same time gives me a uniquely perverted feeling of content. By all means, seek this song out if you want to experience a certain kind of loss of faith in all humankind and modern life as we know it.
I’m trying to write down my innermost thoughts on the song, but I have to admit my mind is devoid of appropriate words to say on this piece of music. It’s not that I feel neutral about it or that it doesn’t make me feel anything. I’m merely lost for words.
As I silently listen to the song on repeat, I can but blankly stare at the wall with my mouth slightly open, occasionally remembering to blink and breathe again. The only one thing I’m painfully aware of is my left leg steadily keeping the beat of the song. It is followed by my right index and middle fingers joining in as the chorus picks up. I stop typing so I can bring my other middle finger to the side of the keyboard to do a tasteless drum fill. The song stops, and with it my table drumming.
The song starts. I have a distinct feeling of wanting to die. My left leg starts bopping up and down approximately eight seconds into the song.
4th: Pucchimoni – Chokotto LOVE / Observations by pengie:
(Henkka’s comment: Your friends would kick your ass if they saw you listening to this. pengie will help you decide if the song is worth it.)
Pucchi Moni’s first single, “Chokotto LOVE,” was released on November 25th, 1999. Around the same time, my mother told me that my parents were getting a divorce.
These two events are really not related at all. It seems unlikely that anyone would think of them in the same context. However, for me, “Chokotto LOVE” and the fallout from the divorce of my parents will always be linked tightly together.
My mother and father officially filed for divorce on the day before my 14th birthday in June of 2000. In that summer, I busied myself with writing, website building, and my growing fascination with Japanese anime and music–anything to get my mind off of the rift that had come between the two sides of my family. Don’t get me wrong, my mother and father were still on good terms, but I don’t think they were capable of living together. That isn’t what bothered me, because I saw the divorce coming for years. What bothered me was only being able to see one side of my family at once, hearing my grandfather badmouth my father, seeing my mother try to start dating again, hearing my grandmother get upset about not being able to see my mother as often, and watching my sister get caught in a tug-of-war over which parent was her “favorite.” I didn’t want to think about any of that, so instead I focused myself on my new hobbies and interests.
Sometime in 2000, my friend AJ showed me the video to Morning Musume’s “Koi no Dance Site.” From there, I’m not sure how I stumbled upon the rest of Morning Musume or its subgroups. But when I was 15, my father remarried, and one of my first memories of the sumer of 2001 is sitting in the basement of his new house listening to Pucchi Moni’s “Chokotto LOVE.” At the time, I depended on music to get me through my tough times, to take my mind off of the stress of family, high school, and an awkward transition into my teenage years. “Chokotto Love” ended up on a burned CD of H!P songs that summer, and I literally wore out the CD-R by playing it so much in between houses and CD players. I listened to a lot of “Koi no Dance Site” and “Love Machine,” but I kept coming back to “Chokotto LOVE” whenever my mood needed a boost.
Back then, Japanese music was one of the things that kept me grounded, maybe even kept me sane. Something about this song always cheered me up. I think it was one of the first songs I heard that had English lyrics among the Japanese, so I was more easily able to interpret meaning from the “ma-ma-ma-my darling” and “all you need is love.” The positive energy, silly sound effects (“wah ha ha ha!”), and repetitive phrases (“maru, maru, maru maru maru”) added to the overall “genki” feel. And of course, although I had no idea who the members were at the time, Gotou Maki’s youthful voice was closer to my own than Yasuda Kei’s or Ichii Sayaka’s, so I was especially fond of her parts. I will shamefully admit that I sang loudly (and off-key) to this one many, many times…
At a time when I was undergoing a lot of change and confusion, this song was like a rock for me. I think the part that I enjoyed the most (even without knowing a translation) was the line that went “itoshii hito, all you need is love.” That was a phrase I kept locked in my mind for several months–”all you need is love.” I think it’s that sentiment that makes me relate this song with what I was going through at the time. I strongly believed that as long as I loved my family, no matter what they said or what they were going through, things would be okay. And in the end, they were. That positive energy helped me, I think, and I have an H!P song to thank for it!
3rd: Berryz Koubou – Piriri to Yukou! / Observations by SecondBlossoming:
(H: This song is just laughably and tastelessly cute. Not only would your friends kick your ass if they saw you listening to this, they would also destroy all physical and non-physical copies you might have of it, burn down your house and send you into rehab for a coke addiction. After vomiting on you. SB, what do you have to say for yourself?)
When Henkka asked me personally to contribute to his blog, I was pretty stoked so I immediately took on the challenge. It’s strange to write about Hello! Project since I’ve tried to keep Hello! Project away from my blog since I’d like to introduce new bands here and there, rather than write about something that god knows how many have written on about. I’ll try to keep my paedophilic tendencies to a minimum, but knowing that I’m going to write about Piriri To Yukou…it probably won’t happen.
It’s quite funny; I thought I would be fapping at the sight of Captain and Chinami when they were like 12 or 14, but I didn’t reach for my cock…at all. But I don’t know what’s happened to me, the girls are too cute. They’re like the forbidden fruit almost, but the fruit hasn’t ripened. It’s almost like the fruit is encaged within a glass box, you can only look at it and gaze at its beauty. The urge to grope them has disappeared completely, they’re too cute to be touched, it’s almost like I would rather let them grow up a bit, admire their cuteness for the moment, play along with their childish games and when they grown up, it’s when the fun begins.
When Henkka said this song is one of their best sellers and one of their catchiest, he wasn’t wrong. This song is bloody catchy, it has a childish flair to it and I totally love that. They aren’t trying to be someone they aren’t, instead they focus on being who they are and they make the most of it. I would be pretty disturbed if they started to pull of some provocative dance moves because they are only children. The girls have no idea people want to horseram them to high heaven or squeeze their breasts for milk in order to use it to eat cereal with or even crushing their undeveloped soft pelvis for unspeakable pleasures…the joys of being young and naïve.
This song makes me smile, mainly because I love seeing these girls act their age. They’re having fun while singing, they’re enjoying dancing. I think that’s why I love this PV so much. Seeing children running around, playing and eating cookies until they vomit while oblivious to what is happening in the world is a beautiful sight. I personally think every single child should have this right.
By watching this PV for the first time I come across the infamous graduated Berryz Koubou member, Ishimura Maiha. I couldn’t divulge myself in the aspects of her graduation because I didn’t follow Berryz earlier. But just from first impressions, she doesn’t seem like a performer when compared to her fellow members. It’s not like she’s shy when placed in front of a camera, but when compared to Momoko or Chinami, she lacks in, I dare say, in something unique except for being unquestionably cute. Momoko is ecstatic; Chinami makes awesome faces; Saki looks like a tomboy; Miya and Risako need to get braces; Maasa and Yurina are wearing platform shoes even though they’re the tallest out of the group whereas Maiha is just…cute. She’s probably more than just “cute”, but by first impressions that’s how it seems.
While she seems like she wasn’t built to perform, she’s the type of girl I can see live a happy normal life, away from the stresses of entertainment business, which she hopefully fulfilled after her graduation.
UFA has definitely capitalised on such a simple but ingenious PV. This PV can make folks reminisce or even dream of their childhood that they had or they wish they had. It’s a fun and exciting PV, a perfect companion to the song like burgers and wu’s delicious body.
2nd: Morning Musume – Akogare My Boy / Observations by sugapp:
(H: Quite the same deal as with LALALA, only worse. I say it is a guilty pleasure, yes, but not for myself: I consider this song fucking awful and, unlike with LALALA, I like to think this song doesn’t possess a single redeeming quality in all its monstrosity. I call it a guilty pleasure because it damn well should be one if you like it! However, obviously someone disagrees with me… Care to elaborate, sugapp?)
The only suitable situation to listen to this song is when:
A) You feel tired.
B) You want to listen to some young girls sounding bored and singing kinda badly. Some trying out a nasal voice to sound cuter, with varying results.
Here are the three things that make this song extremely good:
1. The weird sound in the first and second verse.
When you first hear the weird sound in the background (is it some Chinese instrument? I don’t know.) at 00:43-00:45, you’re like “WTF THAT DIDN’T REALLY FIT IN” and start hoping that it wouldn’t appear again. But of course it does, at 00:53-00:55.
And yeah, it doesn’t really fit. It’s kinda ridiculous, but you start to accept it as it appears again and again and again in each verse. It sounds especially ridiculous when it comes in at the same time as Rika’s line (about… hamburgers?) with the notes which she doesn’t really hit…
2. The starry, glimmering sound in the beginning of every chorus.
… and the rest of the chorus, of course, when the rhythm changes and all. It reminds me of the game Rayman, especially the atmosphere in the Picture City stage.
Rayman is a good game by the way. You should play it, and not only because the music is similar to old school Morning Musume, lol. But if you decide to play it now and don’t enjoy it, don’t blame me. You see, people usually get over these types of games as their mental faculties develop. I was 10 when I last played Rayman…… so if you DO prefer World of Warcraft or more mathematic/strategic games over Rayman, I understand. ( Frankly, if you really do prefer any games for children such as Rayman or Katamari Damacy over games for adults, you’re making me a bit… concerned, you know. Very concerned, actually. You see, the evolution of your brain should really be reflected in the games you enjoy. If you are over 20 and still think rally games are the best games ever made… just take a deep breath and look in the mirror. On the other hand, music is a totally different thing. You can listen to the same music you did in your pre-teens, and it’s only healthy if you do. Trust me. )
Especially the way she sings the ending line. Why didn’t she sing like that when she was in W and Gyaruru? Oh well…
1st: Aoiro 7 – Aoi Sportscar no Otoko / Observations by CK:
(H: This song is so, so, so very cheesy. Out of all the songs released by H!P, I feel the sound of this song is something that just does NOT stand the test of time. This was a very ambitious sound to go for (Tsunku described it as something like proto/cyber-punk metal on ASAYAN) and it just… it doesn’t work for me. I consider it the ultimate guilty pleasure. As it just so happens, CK doesn’t agree as you will now read.)
Anytime Henkka comes into wotachat and says “Hey guys, I have an idea!”, most of us run screaming for the exit button. Henkka is great! He is like the Ralph Kramden of IW, with one “hair-brained” scheme after another!
Henkka: CK, do you like Aoi Sportscar no Otoko?
Henkka: Okay, then I want you to write something about it. It is for a post. I am having a few people write about different songs.
CK: What’s the post about?
Henkka: You’ll see when it’s done.
CK: In what context am I writing it?
Henkka: Don’t worry about that.
CK: Is there a theme of some sort?
Henkka: I haven’t entirely figured that out yet.
Okayyyyy, Ya know I still have scars from the Beatles/H!P experiment. But here goes nothin’…
When I think about Aoi Sportscar no Otoko by Aoiro 7, the first thing that comes to mind is when I was a J-pop newbie discovering all of the old TV specials on YouTube. One of my favorites was the H!P “Is this Heaven or Hell?” Hawaii Battle, which pitted the three 2000 Shuffle units against one another in a competition of waterports, dancing and cooking. My two favorite moments were Kago crying when she was denied dinner for coming in last place (a recurring theme for Kago-chan) and Yaguchi defiantly saying she was a really good dancer when she narrowly avoided last place in the Hula competition. Oh, and who can forget everyone calling Yuko a drunk, LOL!!! Now I see why Henkka likes her so much. Anyhow, back on point… Aoiro 7.
I love when J-pop goes hard rock. It is just so cool to me when idols let their hair down and go crazy for a song. My favorite H!P rock song is Tsuyoki de Yukoze! AKB48 has a few too, including Team K’s incredible Blue Rose. But this song is right up there with those. Part of the reason is the almost perfect set of girls performing it. Sayaka, Mari, Atsuko and Lehua were excellent choices for this team because all four have sort of a “rock and roll” attitude. And Miwa and Kaori pulled it off quite well too. The only change I would have made was to trade Mika to Kiiro 5 for Michiyo Heike. Then the unit would have been perfect!!! The interesting thing is when I was researching this writeup I found an old Utaban episode where Taka-san called Aoiro 7 Hello Project’s “clearance sale”. It is funny, but I respectfully disagree.
The song is not supposed to sweet or melodic. It’s supposed to be tough. I mean how many Hello! Project melodies can be described as a cross between Mach GoGoGo and the Batman Theme? And the PV is filled with snarls and sexy looks. I mean everyone looked hot! And they all appear much tougher to the comparably wimpy Makoto from Sharam Q, who plays the Otoko.
To me it is the best song of the 2000 Shuffles, but I know I am in the minority with that statement. I dunno, it just stands out as something completely unique to H!P. Anyhow, most everyone reading this has probably seen the PV and has their own opinion of it. So what I really mean to say is check out that old Hawaii Battle TV special if you haven’t seen it. It is really funny!
Midori Sportscar no Otoko, aka CK in California
Merry Christmas, guys! Now it’s time to start preparing for Anti-Christmas! Anyway, I hope you found the post entertaining. There are only two more top fives to go and it’s going to be a fun one next time. Look forward to it!