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IW Charity Auction: Featured Item #41 – no3b “Tane” Limited Edition CD-DVD Single

no3b “Tane” Limited Edition CD-DVD Single from Amy of International Wota
North American auction, ends Apr 26th @ 9pm EDT

no3b’s “Tane” Single, the Limited Edition with CD and DVD. Like new condition. CD Track List:

1. Tane (タネ)
2. Girl’s talk
3. Tane (Instrumental) (タネ)
4. Girl’s talk (Instrumental)

DVD Track List:

1. Tane (Music Video)
2. Tane (Making)
3. Tane (Karaoke Practice Video)

A great addition to your Jpop collection! This auction item available only in United States and Canada.

For those who don’t know, no3b, pronounced “No Sleeves”, is a unit from AKB48 consisting of Takahashi Minami, Kojima Haruna, and Minegishi Minami. Tane was their 2nd single and topped at #9 on Oricon. In the Annual AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 100, Girl’s talk hit 89th with Tane up to 28th in 2010. In 2011, Tane placed at 82nd.

It’s an upbeat JPop song showcasing 3 of the biggest names in the super idol group. It’s a personal favourite of mine and the first AKB48-related single I purchased. Highly recommended!

And Now For Something Completely Different. Affordable Internet Access Threatened In Canada.

Stop The Meter On Your Internet Use (OpenMedia.ca)
Bell, Rogers, Shaw and others want to kill the Internet (antiubb.com)

Hello readers! This post has absolutely nothing to do with Japanese music or idols but it has everything to do with a decent chunk of the IW readership, some of the bloggers featured on IW, one of your IW editors, and an IW admin. Bell Canada (one of the major telecommunications companies and ISP) has proposed an aggressive form of “Usage-Based Billing”. Reports have said that there are plans to set nationwide bandwidth caps to 25GB/mth and overage charges as high as $2.00/GB after that. This CANNOT happen if you still want to see Canada on the internet.

You’d think that anyone with common sense would see how absurd this is with our information-based society, however, the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) has already passed this proposal to allow such outrageous charges for a service that is already fairly expensive. Bell (Sympatico) users may see a change in their service / billing as soon as March 1st, 2011 then trickle into the other big ISPs as soon as this summer.

OpenMedia.ca has started a petition to oppose Usage-Based Billing (UBB) which has grown to 180,000+ signatures. You can sign the petition here.

For more information on UBB and its effects and what you can do, please visit antiubb.com for their in-depth posts.

Your support and signatures are HIGHLY APPRECIATED.

AKB48 Official Myspace Opens, Possibly Coming to a City Near You?

AKB48 Official Myspace

Just this past Sunday (December 19th), AKB48 opened their official Myspace page. Yeah, yeah, Myspace — “People still use that?” Apparently, Japan thinks so. Normally, news like this would just get reported and we wouldn’t think twice. However, the reasoning as to why they opened a Myspace was quite intriguing. It read:

In preparation to become active overseas, a popular idol group AKB48 is opening their profile page on Myspace in order to reach out to the fans around the world and send out their information.

On AKB48’s official [Myspace] page, their newest songs are available for sampling and their newest information will be regularly updated in English as they are eager to communicate with the overseas fans.

In my head, this translates to the girls making even more international excursions (as if New York, Los Angeles, France, Macau, and South Korea wasn’t enough in the past 2 years). If you haven’t been able to save up enough money to go to Tokyo and attend a stage or concert, this might be your CHANCE to actually see them live without needing to go. Is anyone as excite about this as I am?

MEG leaving the music biz. TechnoPop cries.

Bad MEG news, everyone. 🙁 (contemode LJ Community)

Community member tiaraways shares her translation of the rather sudden news of MEG leaving the music scene. Non-fans may find it a little tl;dr but personally, reading this just makes me love the TechnoPop sweetheart even more. MEG admits to being in a place in her career where new ideas can’t be born. In a glass-half-full way of looking at it, she’s doing us a favor by leaving now and not x number of half-assed singles down the road. For that, MEG, I thank you.

On a personal level, I’m sure a lot of us can relate to how MEG is feeling and why she feels the need to break off from her current situation. Like most of the commenters in the post said, you’ve got to admit that she’s got guts to drop everything and follow her heart and reset like this.

Towards the end of the post, MEG hints that she may return with a new record label or create a new label for herself. No matter what she decides for her future, I know I’ll be watching. BTW, I liked MEG more than Perfume

For Your Reading Pleasure: Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential Press Release
“Japanese Schoolgirl CONFIDENTIAL”; A Perfect Explanation for Japanese Schoolgirls (Gigazine)

We are all aware of the iconic presence of the seifuku in all forms of Japanese media, especially in JPop and Idols, but have you ever wondered about how far spread its popularity is outside of the music business and why it is as iconic as it is? Husband and wife team Brian Ashcraft (Senior Contributing Editor of Kotaku.com and Contributing Editor to Wired magazine) and Shoko Ueda set out to show the many sides of the seifuku in their book: “Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential”.

While covering its impact on fashion, movies, and manga, the part that really interests me the most is the chapter on Idol Worship. The book features interviews from members of AKB48 (Sashihara Rino, Nito Moeno, and Nakatsuka Tomomi) and Morning Musume members (Michishige Sayumi, Tanaka Reina, Mitsui Aika). Other interviewees include Kago Ai, scandal, Kuriyama Chiaki, Juria Kawakami, and many more.

Gigazine‘s article has preview pictures of the book’s highly stylized pages and also specifically mentions each chapter’s title for those curious.

The book is set to release in North America in mid to late July, which happens to be right about now, so keep an eye out for it at your local bookstores!

As if the AKB48 girls weren’t yummy enough as is…

Yasai48 – Idols you can EAT! (no akb no life)

Little explanation is needed with idols and product promotion. This is very much the case with one of AKB48’s latest CMs where they cosplay as vegetables for a vegetable beverage. hina over at no akb no life shares a few pictures from the CM itself as well as side by side comparisons with each girl and their vegetable with some cute commentary. A key is also provided in case you don’t know who’s representing what (I know I had trouble trying to identify some).

Some personal favorites would have to be Rena, Acchan, Kitarie, Mayuyu, Lovetan, Sasshi, and Jurina.

Who would you like as the side dish to your next meal?

UPDATE: IW Attacked By AKB Wota. Page Recovered.

For those of you who viewed the page on April 1st at 2AM EST – 2:30PM EST, the site layout was compromised by unknown AKB48 wotas, defacing our IW blue with AKB pink, complete with AKB member background and only showing AKB related posts on the homepage. They also posted fake news under “NoteWorthy” causing many to question the validity of our sources. We’re doing our best to find out how these vandals gained access to my account.

We’ll be going through logs and site tracking stats to possibly track the IP of the vandals and report them as soon as we can. We’re sorry for the hiccup in unbiased and broad coverage of Japanese music and will do our best to not let that happen again.

Here’s the original text from the fake blog post:

The War Is OVER! AKB48 and Hello! Project Merger.

H!P+AKB: A Reality. WTF? (IDOLNews)

All things idol blog, IDOLNews reports that, believe it or not, female idol groups Hello! Project and AKB48 have been set to merge into super idol group AKB!P.

According to the press release they uncovered, the super group is going to be based in Akihabara and still perform stages at the theater. There will now be 7 teams (A, K, H, B, R, SDN, and SDM for SunDay Morning).

To encourage fans to support this new venture, a beginning-of-summer concert entitled “NatsuHajimaruYo!” will take place with a brand new set of units! You can expect all of the old favorites from each of the groups but with all of the shuffling, expect a totally new vocal sound, or everything to just be pre-recorded. Wild speculation is that Takahashi Ai and Maeda Atsuko are to be the headlining unit. Also, an H!P 8th Gen Audition Unit consisting of Mitsui Aika, Kashiwagi Yuki, and Sato Sumire is to perform together.

If I may, I suppose we should say goodbye to Hello! and hello to the new project. I wonder who’s going to get all the lines during the shuffle groups…

Update: Perfume Returns With A Contrasting Double A-Side

New single details:「Fushizen na Girl / Natural ni Koishite」 (Perfume City)

Contrary to initial interpretations, Natural ni Koishite is actually one half of Perfume’s latest single… a DOUBLE A-SIDE SINGLE! According to the news from Perfume City, ekuseru points out that Fushizen translates to “unnatural” or “artificial” contrasting with the “Natural” kind of love that we’ve been introduced to from its PV and Natural Beauty Basic CM clips.

To those who weren’t completely satisfied with how Natural ni Koishite turned out, here’s hoping that the contrast in titles also carries into a contrast of emotion conveyed in the music.

To the rest of us that just enjoy the fact that Perfume’s releasing new stuff, YAY FOR US 😀

Reactions to Perfume’s Natural ni Koishite

All Natural Perfume (23ji no ongaku)
Perfume – Natural ni Koishite (musical ramblings of a dreamer)

The Natural ni Koishite PV has been up for a little while now and some reaction posts have popped up.

Nicole of 23ji no ongaku sees this latest track as unnaturally cheery for the girls.

“…something makes the song seem so un-serious that it’s almost silly.”

I definitely see parts of the PV being silly but musically, I’m kinda not seeing where she’s coming from. It could just be the sound system I’m listening to it with: every thump of the kick drum rumbles seriousness. There are no un-serious kick drum thumps here ;D. If acchan of Maji High ever came over and heard the seriousness of my bass, she’d take off her glasses and destroy it. まじすか? </lulz>

A new challenger has appeared going by the pen name “dreamtiny” and reviews the PV and has a bit of commentary on the use of autotune and its appropriateness. It’s a fun read but the very last sentence caught my eye:

“Anyway, their new single releases on April 14, and I bet they’ll sell well! (though probably nowhere near as well as AKB did)”

It’s always been in my head that Perfume is one of the better selling Japanese artists, especially after TRIANGLE. It’s just been a while since they’ve released anything so those who follow sales don’t have much to judge with based off the release silence. Considering the release gap and contrasting that with the touring and what not that happened during the release gap, where are they going to be for first day / first week sales?

On one side, we have the Perfume die-hards that have been fans since the indies days; has the release gap taken its toll on the fan base? On the other side, Perfume’s popularity with the new fans (from the touring and what not) should be high and their exposure should be up there too especially with the Natural Beauty Basic CM campaign; is this enough to boost their sales?

AKB48’s latest single “Sakura no Shiori” sold over 317,000* copies in its first week. The single before that, “RIVER”, sold over 178,000* in its first week and was their first single to hit #1. From my understanding, RIVER was responsible for hooking a considerable amount of fans all over the world which would partially explain the huge jump in sales. Consider that Perfume’s TRIANGLE sold 210,000* in its first week. While Perfume’s first major fan explosion was over Polyrhythm, do you think that Natural ni Koishite could outsell 317,000? </tl;dr>

Anyway, dreamtiny just started blogging at the start of the year but has reviews and comments on a lot of the JPop and KPop artists we know and love here at IW so be sure to check out the rest of the blog!

* sales stats from Oricon via jpopstop’s wiki

A Late Layered Eyecandy Cake Day from Siggy

Late Cake Day (Conflict Productions)

Siggy wishes IW a belated happy Cake Day with a massive layered eyecandy “cake”! It starts off with a layer of Perfume, then a layer of some old school nono and aibon, then a HUGE helping of various H!P members. Don’t forget to hover over each picture for his alternate text!

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