I only found out about the Happy! Style website a few days ago whilst having a quick flick through the Hello!Online forums at the time there was much speculation as to what the Hello! Style was going to be, a H!P fashion label seemed to be a popular choice as did a new record label similar to TNX. What it looks like is that Happy! Style is a new unit former from H!P Egg Leader and Ongaku Gatas member Nocchi, the members of Hello! Pro Kansai; Abe Asami (not that Abe Asami), Nakayama Nana, Iwashima Manami and Suma Ai and two new rookies (lol, not my wording), Aoi and Yui.
I'm a little unsure as to whether the unit will be part of H!P or if it will be something to the likes The Possible on TNX. It doesn't look like they will be managed by Up Front Agency but by Up Front Style. The company description makes me even more curious as to the purpose of the unit and what other girls the Up Front Style will have involved, as well as the usual talent management and promotion, there's a whole heap of other activities going on within it, voice acting and movie production to name two. This is all very interesting!
It certainly seems that the lessed known members of H!P are slowly being brought to forefront lately, lol the only problem being I have no idea who anyone is, with the obvious exception of the Eggs within Ongaku Gatas. So I had a hunt around to see if I could find some clips of the Hello! Pro Kansai girls. What I found was a 15 minute clip of the girls on their Girls Kiss radio show, also I noticed they have a blog at Kiss FM website. Personally I'm really looking forward to finding out more about the unit and the girls and with their first live perfomance coming up on the 6th of May, my fingers are crossed that :::Dohhh Up!::: will have some clips for us to watch, in the mean time if anyone has any more information on the group and the girls I'd love to hear it.
I still can't believe that V-u-den are disbanding, to me it just doesn't feel right. I'm also still curious as to what the reasoning behind it is, sales must play some part of it, but there are other units (Melon Kinenbi for example) selling less and they seem to be carrying on with no (as yet) signs of disbandment. Initially the thought was that Rika may want to put more of her efforts into Ongaku Gatas, but with Manoeri leaving and Nocchi being part of the new Happy! Style unit it seems less likely that this is the case. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Originally when I heard about this release I was a little disappointed, rather than having a new track the song chosen is a cover of a Morning Musume song, Nanni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU which originally featured on the 4th Ikimasshoi! album. Having seen and heard the PV of their cover I can't help but think the song is very fitting and the PV again is very fitting for the last single. Rika, Yui and Erika all look really good in the the outfits for the main part of the PV, but it's the other sections that I think suit the PV best, done to give the impression that it was filmed on a camcorder these shots give a more 'personal' feel to the PV from the girls and really does help give across the good times that the girls have had whilst being in the unit.
But my interest with this release is not with the title track, it's with the other tracks included, three solo tracks. This is a great addition to the release and a really fitting farewell, this way we have no problems with lines and favouritism with who get's them as each get their own song to sing, it's also a slightly promising that with these three solo releases we may have a couple of solo careers coming? It would be really nice to see this release do well in the charts.
I love it when I'm wrong about things like these! I was so sure that C-ute couldn't pull off looking good in these baseball outfits, but they do, amazingly so! It even got me scratching my head as to how I could even think that they wouldn't look good, I guess the image that comes to mind when I think of baseball players doesn't really lend itself to looking good, chewing tobacco and beer bellies, lol as you've probably guessed my knowledge of baseball is limited to 80's movies!! The outfits are made that extra but cute by adding a cap to the side of the costumes, it's amazing how these little touches can add a lot.
The PV follows a very similar style to that of GAM's release last year, basically dance sections with clips of the players. It's a very basic and simple PV but it works really well, the plain white background works well with the colour of the outfits and really hopes show the dance routine, which is great, I love the leg tapping hand pointing bits, although at times I wished it focused a little more on Erika as she's looking great in this PV, I'm really loving her hair!
The thing I really like about this song (and the other releases for Rakuten Eagles that I've heard) is the quality, they're every bit as good and listenable as a normal H!P release. When you consider that any release for a sports related song in the UK (with the exception of Three Lions) is complete toilet it does make you feel thankful that so much effort goes in to making sure that these releases are always of a high standard.
If you're interested in getting a copy of the Koero! RAKUTEN Eagles single head over to Ohta's eBay Store where he has it up for order.
I'm a fan on Anime it's just that I don't ever have the time to sit down and watch any, I occasionally watch the odd episode of Bleach, much like I force H!P upon Chris he does much the same with Bleach. You would imagine with me being a huge fan of Koha I'd make the effort to fit in an episode of Kiran Revolution every now and then? Lol, I wouldn't even know where to look to download an episode. For me the great thing about these H!P Anime tie ins is the new units that form out of them; Koha's solo career, Kira☆Pika, Buono! and Athena & Robikerots can't knock any of them, I love them all! We've now got a new Koahchan unit and the potential for Reina to start a solo career.
Reina is now voicing the character Kirara in Sanrio's Onegai My Melody Kirara!.
A preview clip has been uploaded on the TV Osaka website, this is the first time I've seen or heard of the show, apparently the previous (current?) series plays before Robby & Kerobby. As yet I haven't found any details as to whether Reina will be releasing a track for the opening or closing credits, but I'd imagine the likelyhood is high, you'd imagine with her getting the joint lead in the soon to be released Morning Musume single a msucial tie in seems likely. I'm wondering if the new series will continue to air before Athena & Robikerots, I also wonder if it does and Reina sings the credits how this will effect Robby & Kerobby and Gaki's Athena & Robikerots unit. In a recent post (Sweet Valentine and Hello Pro Award Photo Sets) a comment was made by omame about rumours that the Anime will be ending soon, which in turn I'm guessing would mean an end to Athena & Robikerots. I really hope that this isn't the case as I really want the unit to stay around for awhile, all the girls within the unit deserve the attention that they are getting through the unit, especially the likes of Nakki and Chisato, with Airi and Maimi getting most of the attention within C-ute it's good to see these two getting the attention they deserve. My fingers are crossed that the introduction of Reina into an Anime doesn't mean we lose Gaki and Athena & Robikerots.
So I was reading yesterday that Gocchin's blog was back up and running, I did check it a couple of times throughout the day but I'm guessing due to the huge amount of traffic it was getting I wasn't able to access it, today however I'm having no problems.
It's good to see that Maki is back in action and obviously with some direction in her career again, for those who haven't heard yet she's currently in LA taking dancing and vocal lessons. I wonder if she gave Aibon a heads up to her trip to America? I wonder if Aibon is even still in America?
I guess the only question to ask is what is she doing there? Reading the translations on Hello!Online she doesn't exactly say what the purpose of the trip is, sure she's over there for dancing and voice training, but it raises the question, couldn't she do that in Japan? Which then in turn raises the question, is she planning to further her career outside of Japan?
Looking through the styles of dance that she's been training in, krumping, ballet, jazz and hip hop it seems more than feasible that she's gone over to learn from experts in the field. Certainly if we're looking at krumping, LA is the obvious place to learn as this is where it was first formed. The voice training is the thing that makes me raise my eyebrows and think that perhaps she's planning something more than just returning to Japan to further her career, although I guess it's possible she's in LA just for the dance and the voice coach has been brought over from Japan with her. I guess at the moment it's too early to tell what's happening with her career, but just the fact that she's active and promoting herself, even if it is just through her blog, is a good sign at least it means she will be making a return.
If Maki was to return to the Japanese market I wonder if she can ever break away from the H!P fan base, I wonder if she needs to? Obviously fans of Maki will support her no matter what, but could the tag that she carries with her be a hindrance? Will ordinary non H!P fans have an interest in her? From the people I met whilst in Tokyo, Maki seems to be one of the few members of H!P that non fans were aware of, for obvious reasons. Is this a good or bad thing I don't know, I'm siding with it being a good thing and the fact that she left H!P of what appeared to be her own accord swings in her favour as well.
My iPod has recently only been playing two albums the past week and a bit, Cafe Buono! and 3rd ~ LOVE Escalation ~. I haven't quite decided which album I prefer, they're both on equal footing at the moment, both superb albums! This post (obviously by the time) I'll be concentrating on C-ute's album.
First impressions when I opened the bubble wrap envelope when this arrived was of sheer amazement at how wonderful the girls looked, it seems that with every release everyone is not only looking better but the outfits worn go up a notch as well. If we ignore the Rakuten Eagles single as I'm sure only GAM can look good wearing baseball jerseys, and this trend continues the next release is going to have the girls looking so unbelievably good!
Update: I've just seen the covers for the next single on strawberries blog (Tokaikko Junjou Part 2)...WOW!
But back to this release, the cover for the album has ever one in what has to be some of my favourites outfits that I've seen, personally I think they kick the arse of those worn by Morning Musume in Kanshimi Twilight. Standing on their little stands and in the poses they pull they come across as looking like figurines, in fact originally when I opened up the inlay and saw the images I thought that they were actually supposed to be figures, Nakki's bracelet pushed half way up her arm made it look like that her arm was jointed and positionable, I can't help but think that UFA have missed out on a massive amount of merchandise, I'd be putting in my order right now for the whole set! I can't decide who looks the best in the photos but it's toss up between Nakki, Hagitty and Kannachan. On the cover I think Hagitty wins, that has to be the cutest pose ever! Inside I'd have to say Nakki pulls it off, the hat, the facial expression, the rigid arm pose :)
The actual album itself is just as the good artwork featured in the inlay, it really doesn't disappoint, it did however get me thinking as to why I only have this album and none of the previous ones. My favourite track on the album has to be Erika's Do Don Ga Don Ondou, when I first heard it really wasn't what I was expecting and as I was just skipping through the album giving each song about 5 seconds to play I was really worried that I wasn't going to like it. But it's not only got me tapping my feet when it comes on but singing along to the "Do Don Ga Don" sections and it leaves one thought in my head, more Erika please! Also on relistening to LA LA LA Shiawase no Uta, a comment made by Pickle in the single post (LALALA Shiawase no Uta Limited Edition Single) got me thinking that in fact the voice isn't a retarded monster, but in fact that unmasker of monsters Scooby Doo.
As with the majority of Limited Edition releases now a DVD was included, it features a live performance of LALALA Shiawase no Uta, what makes this special is that it features 8 versions of the performance; the group performance and then solo camera shot versions. Personally I'm a fan of the group shot version over the solo shot versions, although I have my favourites I enjoy watching the performance as a whole, although there's an added pleasure in watching the the solo ones as normally I'd be watching who ever would be singing, it gives a good opportunity to watch some dancing and just seeing the girls just generally enjoying themselves, they're all smiles!
Ohta yet again comes up a selection of tempting Morning Musume tour merchandise. The first thing I noticed about the tour merchandise when checking it out on the Hello! Project website was how good the images look, I know this is really minor thing but it's something that always bugs me the pages showing the concert goods normally really poor quality images all cut to different sizes, it basically means that it when it comes to me putting them up here I have to spend 30 minutes cutting them up and resizing them so that each type of image is the same size, it looks like whoever looks after this side of the H!P site is finally putting some effort into their work!
The quality of the tour merchandise carries on from the photos and into the actual goods themselves, the T-Shirts have a great flame design on them and I think I'll be getting a tour shirt as well as a member shirt, it's been ages since I bought a tour shirt as the recent ones have been coming with metallic print on them, however this one 'looks' like it doesn't the red flame on a black background looks amazing. As for a member shirt I can't quite make up my mind the choice is between JunJun and Koha, although there's a little voice in my head telling me to get Sayu's...hmmm, as usual a tough decision. Also available are the DVD Pamphlet and Visual Book, towels, photos and phone chains. Although it's not up on Ohta's eBay store there is what looks like a folder available for storing your photos in, I'm in desperate need of a new folder so I'll be asking to see whether these are available for order as well, bulmasman I'm guessing you'll probably be joining me!
Although not related to the tour C-ute's special release single Koero! Rakuten Eagles is also available for order, fingers crossed :::Dohhh Up!::: will be putting up a PV for this release soon.
You can order all the items below from Ohta's eBay Store and if there's something you're after but can't find on there you can contact him via his Online Store.
I still can't get over the fact that I really (really) like this song, the whole Eurovision thing threw me and I was certain that it was something that even H!P couldn't make work, I was wrong but I still feel the initial worry was well justified, why?...well let's take a second before going any further to look at the only qualifying entrant to this years contest that I'm aware of, Ireland's entry Irlande Douze Pointe by Dustin the Turkey.
Lol, maybe this will be Berryz next single?...But seriously this is what Eurovision is all about, a bit of fun, no one really takes themselves too seriously and that's what makes it a great program to watch, if I actually get around to voting, in my years of watching it I never have so far, I think Ireland will get my vote, it's a crazy song, which has made me laugh I can't wait to hear Terry Wogan's comments about the lines about his wig whilst he's doing the commentary, but most importantly if they do win there's the potential of an excuse to go over to Ireland next year and get drunk on Guinness!!
But let's get on topic, Dschinghis Khan. I got my copy of the single a few days ago (I think it was Wednesday) and I still love it as much as the first time I heard it and it's really pleasing to see that it's sold so well, Berryz really are going from strength to strength.
Personally I've never seen Berryz looking as attractive as they do in this single release, the shots on the cover and inside the sleeve are both amazing and everyone is looking really good. The thing that I especially like about this release, this includes both the CD shots and the PVs, is that it's really brought to my attention the other members within the group that I pay very little attention to. This especially shows when listening to the single and not watching the PV, when listening to songs I don't normally have a mental image of whats going on I just sit back relax and that's about it, but with Dschinghis Khan it's very different. As I'm typing this I have the single playing and all I have my in my head is Captain Saki and Chinami doing their little dances in their close up sections of the PV, and let's not forget the Keytar!!! I think that has to be the main reason why I like this release, the fact that it's making me pay attention to more members other than Risako and Momo.
This version of the single also came with a DVD featuring the Dance Shot Version of the PV, it's a great watch, and much like the normal version my attention is drawn to the usual suspects it really is all about Saki and Chinami. Interestingly this isn't the only Dance Shot version of the PV as :::Dohhh Up!::: recently put up a Mongolian Dance Shot Version of the PV, although the dance remains similar and the original costumes feature in it the rest is a little different. First off the location isn't the stage as in the previous version, it's in what I'm guessing is some sort of Mongolian hut/tent type thing and during the dance routine the costumes worn change, it's quite an entertaining PV with some great shots of Chinami and Momo wearing the most oddest looking hat for someone so short, lol it actually makes her look the same height as everyone else. But although we now have three PVs for this release I get a feeling it's going to be all about the 4th version on the Single V release, the Close Up version. My favourite parts of the original PV aren't the group dance sections it's all the little individual bits within the corridor and although I wasn't planning on ordering the Single V release, I get the feeling that I will be over the next couple of days! Below I've included both Dance Shot versions of the PV.
Last week I got a few items in the post from Ohta, my Sweet Valentine 2008 set and few photos from the recent Hello Pro Award concert. So first up is the Umeda Erika Sweet Valentine, to be honest I wasn't entierly sure what to expect with this purchase and I was mostly going on the photos and what I saw of last years. Last year I emailed Ohta about getting some Nono Valentines merchandise, unfortunately I found out about the items a little too late and they were all sold out by the time I got around to asking, Ohta suggested he could purchase one through Yahoo Auctions but on looking the prices they were going were stupidly high. This time around I just managed to get an order in before they were sold out. This time around I decided to go for an Umechan set, I know the obvious one for me to have got would be Koha's but I'm trying to make a conscious effort to start buying other members merchandise, I really want to start buying stuff from my other favourite members, and Erika is one of these members that I really want to start to build up a collection of.
I was expecting when the item arrived to contain a couple of chocolates, but unfortunately (and yet thankfully) it didn't, I think my confusion came from the fact that the accompanying image has Umechan holding a heart shape box of chocolates, this really was a blessing in disguise as I no longer need to decide as to whether I would eat the chocolate or not. When it comes to collecting items like figures I'm a nightmare, I could keep it in it's original packaging with the potential of selling it on in the future but nearly always the figure will come out of the box and out on display, but when it comes to H!P I'm a little but more protective of my items, I like to try and keep everything in tact and in good condition, I don't know if I could have brought myself to eat them...but then what would have been the advantage on holding onto it?? Mmmmm, nasty old chocolate!
What was included with the set, was a really nice looking box, inside of which was an amazing cute photo of Erika and a stand up sparkly cut out. In my last post I commented briefly on Erika's hairstyle, now although I like her current style, I much prefer the style in the Sweet Valentine set (and the Hello Pro Award photo) with it tied back (in bunches?) she looks so much better, I'd even go so far to say that it may be worth giving her a proper haircut and giving her something similar to Ayaya's current style. Her shape of face really suits this style a lot better than having it down I think.
Although Ohta was selling a large number of photo sets from the Hello Pro Awards Concert for some reason I only decided to get sets for Morning Musume, C-ute and Ongaku Gatas after seeing how good the photos are I'm kicking myself that I didn't order the other two sets as well. In particular I would have loved to get the Elder Club set, which have the members wearing similar maid costumes as the ones in the Ongaku Gatas photos, what was going through my head? Seriously, passing up an opportunity to have a photo of Ayaya in a maid outfit...I think I need to go see a doctor straight away!
In my last post about Momo's PB towards the end I commented that I didn't think a Limited Edition Making of DVD was going to be released as the usual details weren't printed up on :::Dohhh Up!:::, well yesterday a clip was uploaded with all the usual details and it looks like Momo's PB will indeed be getting a seperate Making Of release. Orders for the release are already being excepted through e-LineUP! up until the 8th April. 50 minutes of Momo, it's very very tempting!
Aside from a couple of pages of magazine scans this preview clip is the first real look I've had of the content in the PB, I'm still not to sure if Momo suits bikini shots, she seems a little too short and stocky, but I'll wait until I see the PB release before I make any definite decisions. I do love the little section in the preview where she has hair in bunches, I think this style of haircut really suits her more than her usual style, it really goes with the shape of her face. But then that brings us back to UFA hairstylists and I'm sure most of the time they have no idea what they're doing. Which reminds, I received my Sweet Valentine Box awhile ago off Ohta (I should be hopefully posting about it over the next couple of days) and it struck me that Erika looks so much better with her hair tied back, and when I say better I mean amazingly better!! I can understand that UFA want to try and stick with a certain style with each member and gradually build up an image around it, but if a certain style looks so much better why not just go with it?
Double celebrations today, first up International Wota is having it's first birthday today, well I say that fingers crossed I can get the post out before today turns into tomorrow :S
For those not familiar with International Wota you need to go and check it out, the easiest way to describe it is as the back bone to our little blog community, without this site I wouldn't have been able to find and read half the blogs I visit on a regular basis. So congrats to Ray and everyone else contributing to the site, the amount of effort put in to it is amazing!
I remember when I first started my blog, at the time it was Feed of Pop and the Sunday Round Up on American Wota, I remember the feeling when I was first mentioned on the Round Up, it was a great, as it is now when I'm linked to on International Wota, it's always nice to read peoples comments and views. Unfortunately I have had a fairly busy day and have only managed to fit in one granola bar and a couple of cups of tea...nothing resembling a cake, so unfortunately I'm going to have to pass on the pictures of a cake, but if we're talking H!P and cakes the obvious option is to chuck in some Nono and Aibon clips as they're the biggest cake lovers that I know of. So I've uploaded some cute little green screen shots from Mini Moni ja Movie Okashi na Daibouken!, nothing is cuter or funnier than Nono and Aibon eating cakes, they rule!!
Secondly, the results for the Intl Wota Awards Winners were published today (Intl Wota Awards Winners) and Hello!Blog somehow managed to win Best H!P Blog and jointly win Best Established Blog along with American Wota. The fact that this site has been put alongside American Wota is something that I can't quite believe, as it was one of two sites that had originally inspired me to start my own blog, the other site being Kd's original Iroiro Aru Sa! site.
Thanks for the votes, congrats to all the winners and Happy Birthday to International Wota, thanks for all the time and effort put into the site.
So my PB collection is now breaking out of the ranks of Morning Musume and into Berryz. It's quite an important step as it really goes to show that Berryz are having quite an impact on me, much the same could be said about C-ute, but I'm still waiting for them to release PBs of my favourite members within the unit.
I've placed an order for both Risako's and Momo's latest books. Now Risako is a given, ever since I really started showing an interest in Berryz, which was when I first heard Munasawagi Scarlet, Risako has always stood out and has remained my favourite member since. Momo on the other hand has always been a member that I've rated least, her voice and look has always freaked me out a little and because of this I generally used to stay clear. When it was announced that Momo was going to be a part of Buono! I wasn't overly excitied...but now I'm so thankful for the formation of the unit as without it I (probably) wouldn't be giving Momo the attention she so rightly deserves.
The interesting thing is how much I'm starting to like Momo, I really can't wait to get her PB, the last time I was this excitited about a PB release was Koharu's PB POP. The things that used to put me off Momo have swung around to be the things that make me like her. Her voice and looks are now the things I love about her and when combined with her amazing personality it's a mix that makes me wonder...is Risako still my favourite Berry? It's an extremly close call to make and at the moment I'd say they were almost level with Risako just in the lead, but who knows perhaps after I have a flick through their PB releases it'll be a different story.
I read somewhere that Momo's latest PB, momo16 -Momoiro- would be featuring one of the Limited Edition Making Of DVD Releases (I forget where, really should start bookmarking sties) but I don't think that it is. :::Dohhh Up!::: has recently put up a clip promoting the book and although a DVD is mentioned there's no reference on the page to the usual e-LineUP! site or any mention of a Limited DVD, so I'm guessing the only Making Of will be included with the PB. It really does make me wonder how it's determined who gets the Limtied DVD releases. I would have thought with the amount of attention Momo has been getting lately through Buono! she would have been a prime candidate.
I have this ongoing fear that one day I'll walk into the Japan Centre in London only to find that they've stopped stocking Up to Boy, I guess I should finally get around to putting it on subscription, they'll also be the added bonus that I wouldn't have to go in their on a whim, I'd get a phone call and a copy would be put aside...lol, but that seems to easy, no doubt the only thing that will motivate me to do it is the day I walk in and there aren't any copies on the shelves. I only mention it as the fear is creeping in as I type this, it just seems such along time ago that I bought this issue (sorry for the delay in posting it up) that I really feel that a more recent issue should be out, I bought this issue whilst in Tokyo at the start of the year (the first time I actually paid the cover price for it) and I think that's half the problem, the trip seems so long ago now, certainly longer than 2 months, the other half of the reason is the content within it, Nacchi's PB Cam On and Sayu's Sousou ~Sousou~, both released last year, then there's the section at the back on Ongaku Gatas featuring Konkon, Nocchi and Manoeri, all in the outfits from the previous single and with Manoeri not even in the unit any more and going solo, it really does make the magazine feel so outdated. Annoyingly, I've still to get a copy of Sayumi's latest PB release, I had the clever idea of not putting an order in and getting it whilst in Tokyo, unfortunatly for me every single shop I went in to buy it was sold out, so I've had to resort to putting an order in on YesAsia in the hope that one day it will be back in stock and shipped to me, at the moment it's been on order for quite some time now and every week I get an email letting me know that the expected shipping date is getting pushed back, that's the last time I leave ordering a PB that I really want. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Nacchi's PB Cam On, whilst out there, but at the moment I'm not entierly sure where I've put it, it's in my concert bag...I've just no idea where that is either.
As well as the PB previews, this issue also features The Berryz Times, it's a shame that this doesn't feature on the included DVD as it looks like it would be quite entertaining, oh well at least I have a 4 minute clip being her usual too cute self to help pass the time until YesAsia can find me a copy of her PB.
Today I've had the day off of work, well that's not entierly true as I've spent the day working but on personal stuff, but it gave me the opportunity to spend the majority sat on my laptop doing my work constantly checking all my regular H!P sites every hour or so. For some reason I just knew that something was going to appear on :::Dohhh Up!::: today and I spent most of the day with a tab open on my browser with it loaded and refreshing it whenever I had the urge for a break. For about an hour (maybe more) it went down, this always means one thing...a new video upload. Whoop! Whoop! Resonant Blue!!
My feelings towards this release are slightly mixed, the song itself I love, there's no problems there, but the PV has me in a love it/hate it type of mood, I'm going to try and type exactly what I was thinking when I first watched it, sorry if it the text jumps around a bit.
It all looks very black. Hmmm, Mittsi, her hair has really grown on me, so much so that I'm now preferring it to when she had it longer, I'm finding it really suits her shape of face. A sexy black dress, knee hi's ( have I mentioned how I love anything knee high?...I must have), damn Mittsi looks hot! I wonder if we'll be seeing some more of her...oh she's wandered off into the back, but I'm sure she'll be back.
Koha, Reina and Aichan come to the front. Their costumes stand out quite a lot against the blackness of the rest of the PV, must be the touches of white in them. Koha...in trousers! Where's the knee hi's? Oh well, despite the outfit she's looking great, her hair reminds a little of what she had going on in Kanashimi Twilight. Aichan and Reina...why are they wearing the same costumes? Not that I'm complaining, that's a good costume! Gakisan, makes a quick appearance, much like Koha with a haircut similar to the one she had in Kanashimi Twilight, not much to sing though "Whoah! Whoah!" but still sounds good and she looks damn cool.
But hang on, I'm a minute into the PV and apart from Mittsi, Koha, Reina, Aichan and Gaki everyone else has just sort of merged into the background and then even with Mittsi and Gaki is hard to see them now, perhaps it's the quality of the file? Ah, I've just seen Sayu. Argh!, get your arm out of the way of your face! Ah, too late Gaki's back, with a "Baby! Baby!" again, looking and sounding cool. Eri makes her first appearance dancing along with Gaki infront of Koha both singing there little parts to the song, it looks really cool with Koha behind them doing her dancing, it just really adds to it.
I love the joint Army type grunt that all the girls (at least I think it's the girls) do during the song and you even get the added visual bonus in the PV of everyone doing a little jump, nice! Another nice little touch is the bits where Aichan sings "Oweaahho, Oweaahho", or how ever it's spelt.
Time for a fancy little dance, forming an orderly queue they all do a little arm dance thing, it then splits into two and well I can really only make out Aichan and Reina, everyone else either is too far back (it has to be the quality of this clip I'm sure of it) or has there arms or hair infront of the their face, Sayu seems to be the queen of the arm in the front of the face, whilst Kamei loves to do this strange thing with her face totally obscured with her hair. Talking of Sayu, just as I'm beginning to get a little bit peeved that so far all of seeing of her is some dancing at the corner of the screen or with her arm across her face, we get treated to the best in the whole PV, a close up of Sayu and now for the oddest thought I've had whilst watching a Morning Musume PV, her lips look really nice, the tone of her skin and the light pink of her lips...it looks good...it looks more than good! Then 5 minutes in, we finish.
Hope that made sense, sorry if it doesn't. The thing that sounds at the most throughout the whole of this PV is I don't recall ever seeing either Linlin or Junjun once. I'm sure that when I get the PV on DVD they'll be more visible as I think the biggest reason (at least I hope it's the reason) for not spotting them is with everything so dark and the quality of the PV not being the greatest everything just sort of blurs into one. But it's not just them, everyone aside from Koha, Aichan and Reina, are barely noticeable, Gaki and Sayu have their moments, but these are only brief. Amazingly though, this doesn't stop me loving the PV, it lasts five minutes and at no point was I bored, it would have been nice to see the focus on the other members, but then it works as it is although I'd definitely be up for some more Mittsi, perhaps we'll see another version come out? With this release available in four flavours, one Regular CD, two Limited CDs with DVDs and a Single V as well, that's a total of 3 DVDs, each with different material on them, with the Single V coming with (I'm guessing) a version of the PV and the Making Of, what's going to be featured on the other two DVDs?? Theirs always the possibility of a variety of PV styles I guess, although I'd imagine it'll be something like an alternative PV on one and interviews on the other, it'll be a real shame if they muck this double limited edition DVD thing up, personally I loved the casing and little booklets that the other releases had and with some of the DVDs included with the H!P releases (the worst being GAM's Limited album) it would be a shame to put such a great release in a shoddy package.
CD Release Date : 16 - 04 - 2008 DVD Release Date : 23 - 04 - 2008
I received my copy of C-ute's latest single LALALA Shiawase no Uta last week, but with sorting out the data from the poll results (Poll Results Continued) I haven't had enough time to have a proper sit down and listen to it and check out the Dance Shot Version of the PV, but now all the results are up I'm planning on getting back in the swing of things and getting some more posts up, starting with this one.
First thing I noticed about the single was how amazing the shots on the inlay were, the girls look amazing, the pink costumes are spot on, the purples ones not so much, but more on them later, but in general all the girls look great, even Airi who I've never really thought of as attractive has a certain eye pleasing nature to her.
When I originally saw the small thumbnail covers for this release, I was really impressed, but not as impressed as when I had my hands on a copy, the images are so crisp and clear. The cover with it's clouds in the background and the large images of the girls really helps it stand out. Then you open up the sleeve and see the image inside. Again, everyone is looking great and the white background really helps to push forward the great image of the girls. Although the outfits worn in Tokaikko Junjou made the girls look more mature, I'd have to say that I prefer the outfits worn in this release more, well for the most part. It's with quality shot's like this, that I wish that UFA released more cardboard cases and more mini booklets, this release would have been amazing in a Morning Musume Limited Edition style case and booklet, although they seem to becoming a thing of the past which is quite sad, as I don't think that the new Morning Musume single will feature this, this time around.
I want to talk a little bit more of the outfits for this release. Now the pink ones are superb, Maimi, Hagitty and Kanna look beautiful and the colour and movement of the dresses really work well not only in the photos, but in the actual PV itself, the colour adds something to them, it makes them stand out above everybody else. Then we have the purple ones. First off the colour although nice, when compared to the pink seems a little dull, perhaps a lighter shade may of looked better? But what I really dislike about the purple costumes is that there is no two-tone colour. The darker shade of pink combined with the lighter shade for the fluffy feathery bit really helps not only define the girls bodies but really adds to the whole look. The purple ones however have no difference in colour at all and are just a continual shade. Surely sticking to a common colour pattern is the aim of the game when it comes to costume design? The pink ones are two shade, so the purple ones must in turn be two shades? The real problem I have with these outfits is how they both add a different effect to the body image of the girls, the purple just makes them look fat...well ok, fat is an extreme word it's more like it just don't give their bodies any definition. The best example of this has to be Erika who to me in this PV looks huge, obviously there's the height difference she has above everybody else, but in the cover shot her chest looks huge (lol, it's not all bad ;p) and throughout the PV she just looks chunky even though she clearly isn't.
I prefer the Dance Shot version of the PV over the normal version, the dance routine is lively and held my attention throughout and when watching the orinial version back, I felt that the bits at the dressing table just seemed to break up the flow a little too much and didn't really fit in with the song too well, the song is lively and jumpy and that's exactly the image the Dance Shot Version gives.
The coupling song Saikoukyuu no Enjoy GIRLS doesn't appeal to me as much as the A-side, there's the odd little bit that makes me smile, the "Yo da la he!" that they sing. A thought that crossed my mind when I listened to this song was how much I really like Hagitty's voice (lol, recently it's a thought I have whenever I listen to anything by C-ute), the more I hear it the more I want to hear, it's a shame that with the formation of Milky Way it looks like that Kira?Pika won't be making any more releases as I can't see Haggity making into any other units any time soon.
Before I finish up, I just want to chuck in part of a Skype conversation I had with Chris whilst typing this out, proof that he is indeed a secret fan of H!P;
[01:31:20] Paul says: im not doing to bad had a great sleep last night
[01:31:36] Paul says: although want to sleep in a bit, get my post up and then i'll fall right asleep
[01:36:31] Chris says: whats the post about
[01:36:42] Paul says: the new c-ute song
[01:36:54] Chris says: have i heard it?
[01:37:00] Chris says: i dont like it do I??
[01:37:06] Paul says: you love it
[01:37:16] Chris says: what lalala
[01:37:18] Paul says: it's a bit of a late post
[01:37:20] Paul says: yeah
[01:37:25] Chris says: ohhhhhhh lalalalalalalalala
[01:45:55] Chris says: hang on your not going to mention me are you
[01:46:08] Paul says: cut and paste, cut and paste
[01:46:25] Chris says: oh
[01:46:27] Chris says: shit
[01:51:17] Chris says: i hate you
I visited :::Dohhh Up!::: earlier today and I have to admit to getting a little bit emotional. There's a preview clip of the Hello Project 2008 Winter Live DVD Box Set up on the site and although I was already excited about it, I'm even more so now. Why? Well check out the dates. January 4th at Nakano Sun Plaza, that's the day I went!! I've had my fingers crossed ever since I went to the concert that it would be the one that would be put on DVD and it looks like that chances are that is, although I can't be 100% certain that it's the exact concert I attended, as there were a couple performed on that day, I've decided that even if it isn't, in my head it is! So for all of you buying the Box Set keep your eyes peeled for an English guy really poorly attempting to keep up with the glow stick waves and badly mouthing along to the songs standing next to someone slumped asleep in the chair next to him, that'll be me! Also you may also catch a glimpse of Radicalpatriot at the Kettei! HaroPro Award '08 concert as well, as this also features on one of the DVDs as well, although I'm not to sure if he attended the one on the 27th which features on the DVD.
This is so exciting, never have I been to a concert and then been able to buy it and re-watch it and this being such a special memory to be able to go over it again will be so much fun, to be able to go "I was there". I'm going to have to pop down to the local pound shop and grab some glow sticks to get myself back in the mood when I watch it!!
So Mikitty is back and with a solo single planned already things are looking up for her. It's good to see that she has actually come back into H!P and is performing, although I'm curious as to whether she's still dating whoever it was she was dating, I guess it's something we'll never know unless the media decide to start digging around...or Mikitty decides to go and buy some Wii games again.
:::Dohhh Up!::: have put a short preview clip of Mikitty's single and after watching it I have to say I'm not entierly sure what to think of it.
She look uncomfortable throughout the majority of the performance, the outfit is strange and doesn't really suit her, the actual quality of the clip isn't too great and then there's the song itself. It just doesn't seem to fit together. It's Mikitty, but not as we know her.
I've learnt my lesson from the comments I made about Buono!'s first single, when :::Dohhh Up!::: put up a clip of a live performance from a shopping center, how I ate my words when I heard and saw the PV, so I don't want to jump in and start saying how I dislike it, but...I don't like it, lol, but please don't hold me to that, chances are when I hear a decent version of it I'll be a fan. It just doesn't suit her, to me it looks like UFA have looked at the whole Mikitty situation and thought to themselves "This will put her in her place", it's not exactly the kind of song you'd hope for for your return on the H!P scene now is it? I may be wrong and this may be the style that she wants to go with, but for me it's kind of a disappointing return song, but at least it's a return.
From what I understand about the release, the single will also be released by Takao Horiuchi at the same time in a sort of battle to see who can sell more copies. When I look at it this way it makes the return slightly more exciting, but I still can't really understand why they went with this release. I'm curious to see what her next release will be.
Following from the Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, ºC-ute Poll Results post, I want to take a look little further into the data submitted by everyone taking part. To start with I want to look at what is possibly the most interesting and surprising result from the poll, the fact that the girls out weighed the guys. Then I want to break down the original results and try looking at them from a different angles, lol I'll think of any excuse to get Koha closer to the top ;p
I want to have a look at how not ony how the votes went according to country but how they went compared to age and sex. I'm typing this up and as yet I've yet to see these results...at the moment I've still to write the pieces of MySQL to extract the data, time for a cup of tea, a couple of hob nobs and a pen of paper. I'm going to try keep my comments on the results to a minimum, mainly because this post is going to be long and picture heavy.
I mentioned in the original post that I was surprised about the results of gender, I thought for definite that the results would come in favour of the males, after all we're talking about 3 groups consisting of girls, a total of 23 girls, 23 girls each with their own look and personality, 23 girls of which half have photobooks releases where at some point they are in a bikini...can you see where I'm going with this? Personally I'm not only shocked at my trail of thought but a little disappointed in myself, I've done exactly what almost every person has done when I mention H!P. I've gone down the route of the perv, I've presumed the results of the poll would work out something like this, 23 attractive girls+male obsession with attractive girls=lot's of male fans. Now I'm not saying that this isn't true, there's no denying the girls have looks and I'm sure there are people out there that like the girls purely and solely for this reason but I'd like to think for the majority of us this isn't the reason, where's the fun in watching a PV or concert with the sound on mute? But still even with this I would have thought that the results would have shown more male fans over females, even if it was only a little. To be honest this result has been a pleasant surprise.
To look into this a little further I've combined the results of Age and Sex together to create a graph to show how the two look when combined. I did this for two reasons, the first out of plain curiosity, what was the average person who took the poll, but secondly because of a comment Gummi posted, which included an image to quote Gummi "Taken from Best Artist 2007 07-12-11 It (the image) shows the stats of all the Japanese Fans that voted for Morning Musume to be on Best Artist", now although these results are for an entierly different poll I thought it might be interesting to compare results, after all they both look at the fans that have voted. The first image shows the results for this poll, the next is the results from the Best Artist.
Annoyingly I've just realised that I've put the female above male whilst the other image has it the other way around! But anyway.
To make the images even harder to compare the bottom image has no labelled X axis, we can only literally go by comparing the length of the bars and unfortunately there's no way of knowing how accurate this is, and for this reason I don't want to spend too long commenting on the results, there's so many differences between the two that it would be hard to properly compare in any great detail, but it's good for a quick comparison.
The most noticeable and obvious difference is the fact that the majority of fans voting on our poll we're between the ages of 11-30, whereas the other poll has a fairly consistent fan base throughout the whole of the age ranges. I was going to comment on possible reasons as to why this could be, but I think I'm going to leave it as I can see myself taking the jump with the results that I don't really want to do and turning the results of the 'average person that took the poll' into the 'average H!P/Morning Musume/Berryz/C-ute fan' which personally I think is too big a step to take, although I'm up for discussing it in the comments if anyone feels like it.
Next I want to look at point raised by Strawberrie and how the difference in gender may affect the results of the poll. In her comment she observes that Koha is more liked by male fans, this comment has got me wondering how we rate the members of each unit according to gender, I'll also split the results into age as well. Below you will find the images reflecting male and female voting for each unit, the left hand side is male and the right is female.
Interestingly with these results it shows that both male and female fans have a very similar preferance to members within a unit, certainly with the results for Berryz and C-ute both sexes voted in a very similar way, with only 2 members changing position and in both these weren't drastic changes and only involve two adjescent members switching positions. We see Risako gaining a place in male voting raising to 2nd place, whilst in C-ute we Nakki gain a position to 5th in the male vote.
It's the Morning Musume that most changes have been made when comparing. Again it's noting drastic, we don't find Koha jumping up 5 position or anything like that but we do see 6 members shift their position. The female vote is very similar to that of the final results, the only difference being that in the final results Sayumi raises up a position from the female voted position of 6 to 5th. The male vote however has a number of changes. In these results, Gakisan who come first overall and in the female vote falls down to 3rd place and is replaced by last years favourite Aichan, compartively to the female results we see Sayu rise above Junjun and Koha above Mittsi. It looks like the male fan base does rate Koharu more than the female fan base does, although not by much it would seem.
The above images, shows a break down of the results through ages, the images read from left to right starting with -10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50 and 50+ this order will be carried on with both the Berryz and C-ute results below. Looking through the Morning Musume results it's clear to see that there is one slightly sad constant, Linlin is always at the bottom, even Koha and Mittsi make it in to the top three at one point, but poor old Linlin constantly falls into last place.
My worry with the Berryz votes, esepcially after seeing Linlin's positioning in the previous lot of results, was that Maasa would face a similar situation, but thankfully this isn't the case and she even manages to break into the top 3, on the 41-50 results.
I find the C-ute results most interesting out of all of them. Right from the start of the poll I always though that these results would be vaired, looking through the age results we can see that this is the case, Maimi who overall comes out in the top position rises and falls throughout the results and is one of the few members to be not only in the first position but within the age results last as well. Off topic, lately I find myself more drawn to C-ute than I do Morning Musume, overall it would have to be Morning Musume as my favourite H!P group, but at this very moment in time my favourite group would have to be C-ute. It makes me semi glad that I never added the 'Rank the Group' section at the end of the poll as it would have really been a difficult dicission to make.
Now to look at the results accoriding to country. This time around votes were submitted from quite a few countries, 51 in total. Right at the top of this list is the USA with 349 voters, which is just over double the number of American voters from last last year, the number of UK voters has also risen, from 44 too 66. The Japanese voters have decreased this time around, from 43 down to 11. Unfortunatly these are the only country results I have from the previous poll, so I can't compare any others, but this time around I've included the list of countries and the number of voters for each below. Because people have been requesting to see individual country results I'll display the results for each of the countries that reached double voting figures, if you want to see the results for a country that hasen't reached double figures let me know and I will post it up.
The greatness of Ohta's email magazine is a wonderful thing, although it's taken me sometime to actually check out the items there's no need to be popping over to the eBay store to see if there are any new Reservation items to be had...although it doesn't stop me popping over when ever I get the chance, just to see if anything new is in...all that's done now is a quick email with a notification of the items being put up. Amazingly I've resisted the urge to buy anything as yet, mainly because I want to save a bit of cash and grab a couple of the Hello!Project Winter 2008 Concert Solo Photobooks, but seeing the new Berryz items in stock I'm wondering if I can fight the urge to order a 70" Visual Banner of Chinami, with her looking amazing in the new PV it would just be wrong to think about getting anyone's elses first...although next on the list would have to be Momo's followed by Risako's. These are amazing, seriously 70 inches it's HUGE! Momo only comes in at just under 49 inches so I'd imagine these would have to be life size prints, you could buy all 7 tie them to your ceiling open a window and let the wind gently sway them from side to side run to the back of your room, slap on a copy of 4th Ai no Nanchara Shisuu, start flashing the lights on and off, squint a little and you've made your own personal Berryz concert, although I imagine the effect might be even more realistic is you add some alcohol into the mix...wicked!
Another lot of items which I missed out recently are the Oijigi 30° On Stage merchandise. I've seen clips of this up on :::Dohhh Up!::: but I haven't followed it at all, I've only even watched the clips because the girls look cute in their outfits. But there's a selection of items up on the store, from what I'm presuming is the stage version of the show. Quite a few photos, an interesting looking shirt (I wonder if the writing on it is in silver or white?...the black shirts lately have all been a little to shiny lately for me), towels, pamphlet and a really good looking Menu Booklet. Seeing all of this brings back the question that is always sitting in the back of my mind, do any of the members of H!P get any spare time? Perhaps that's what's happened with the likes of Yasuda, after working a completely hectic schedule for so many years when you're done, you just sit back and relax and chill whilst getting paid, like an early retirement with a nice little pension???
Yesterday I had a brief email conversation with Ohta about his site and he wanted to know what I thought of the site, if the pricing was understandable, what sort of items there are demands for etc etc, basically he wants to improve the service and make the site easier for everybody to use and being only one person I suggested that I should post his questions here so that everyone can leave/pass on feedback about the site and service that he's offering. So go for it, leave your feedback about the site (links below) and let's help Ohta out, he's certainly helped the majority of us out with our H!P shopping, let's repay the favour.
It seems only a little while ago that I was getting excited over Ongaku Gatas's first single, it was good to see that after Yossie's graduation she was continuing her career within H!P and not being neglected, we had the return of Konkon which has brought back many a smile to my face seeing her back and active. Add to this that the single releases were great, both the songs and PVs didn't need a second listen to know how good they were. Then add all of this together and include into the mix the introduction of the H!P Eggs, now although they've been around in concerts and other such things, I've never really paid any attention to them, to be honest I still pay little attention to the rest of the H!P Eggs's and the members of Ongaku Gatas are the only ones that I can put names to faces. To say I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were would be an understatement, the mix of the more popular members and these newer and unheard of (well for me at least) members, was something that had me hooked right from the beginning. And out of all of the members one in particular caught my attention from the get go, as she did with almost everyone no doubt, Manoeri. And I'm sure this instant popularity is the reasoning behind her short stay within the unit and her graduation from not only Ongaku Gatas but H!P Eggs as well, to take up the challenge of a solo career.
It's a sad day for Ongaku Gatas, I'm hoping that this graduation doesn't mean that the unit is going to come to an end, but it's a great day for Manoeri and her fans. With Koha being the only other young soloist within H!P I'm hoping that Manoeri will follow a similar musical style. We have the likes of Ayaya and Nacchi, who as they've matured so has their music from fun JPop style to more slower ballads and I really would like to see Manoeri take on a similar style to their earlier releases. Fingers crossed she won't be tied down to an Anime show as I'm sure this really limits the style of songs produced, fingers crossed Manoeri will blow our socks off!
As for Ongaku Gatas, I wonder what will become of them, fingers crossed releases will still be made and perhaps with there now a position within the line up to be filled we may see a new member appear and as the unit is formed from the Gatas Brilhantes H.P there's quite a selection of possible members left within the team to choose from. I'm guessing Mikitty would be the obvious choice, she is after all the Sub-Captain but personally I'd like to see her stay out of the unit, I'd rather she focused on her solo career and bringing GAM back into the spotlight. Nono could be another option, but then we don't know if and when she'll be returning, although this does seem like a good opportunity with Gakisan and the other members of Athena & Robikerottsu taking up her position this looks like a great way to not only get the attention she deserves but to add something back to Ongaku Gatas after Manoeri leaving. I was wondering whether there was the possibilty of replacing her with another Egg, but as far as I can see there's all the current Eggs in Gatas Brilhantes H.P are already in the unit, which only leaves the possibilty of including one of the other girls who only members of H!P bue to the fact that they are on the football team, personally I'm looking at Fukaya Ai, I've never seen her before but from checking out her photos on theppn she certainly looks the part as to whether she can sing is another thing altogether.