Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Fitting Farewell - Morning Musume's 'Ren'ai Hunter' Single Review!

All thoughts and opinions on this single and the group are my own and no one else's. If you do not agree with my opinion, or you flat out don't like what I write, then you don't have to read this blog. If you do not respect my opinion, then do not read this blog. I wish to respect everyone's opinion, however, if you don't respect mine, I clearly will not respect yours. Thank you~

Morning Musume's 49th single, and Niigaki Risa's last, is the long awaited 'cool' single that fans anticipated after the rather unpopular (despite everyone bitching for fun, childish song to begin with) and unfairly mis-treated Pyoko Pyoko Ultra. This is also the second single featuring the 10th generation, and really shows off the more mature and cool side to Morning Musume that everyone seems to be really liking right now.

Being Gaki's last single, I really anticipated this release - especially as she would be covering a really great song for her solo in this single. The anticipation was worth it, of course, because this a great single, one of MoMusu's best in a long time (since Nanchatte Renai, in my honest opinion), though the track listing is rather predictable, too. But that is just what I think, personally.

Anyway, after having a good listen to this single, it is time to give my review, and to see how great this single really is!

01. Ren'ai Hunter

The leading track of this single, Ren'ai Hunter, is a cool and mature tune, taking a total 180 from the previous single that showed off the more playful side of Morning Musume. Here, we get a song that brings out the maturity, the seriousness, and the cooler aspect of this group. Basically, this song means business, and shows us that MoMusu are a diverse group in terms of sound, and that they can pull off the cool and mature edginess despite having a few toddlers in the group.

This is the sort of song that needs some really strong vocals in it, and having Gaki as a lead was the best choice for this single, because her vocals in Morning Musume are the strongest of them all, and here we get to hear how well she has developed in terms of singing since she debuted. She really brings power into this song and strengthens it with her beautiful voice, whilst still maintaining that calm and cool image she has created for herself with this single. By far, Gaki's vocals are the best in this single, because she truly delivers the best she can, and you can really hear that passion and her love in this song.

With the rest of the vocals, I guess it's debatable. I mean, I would have honestly preferred someone like Zukki and Haruka to have been featured more predominantly in this song, because their voices could really carry well in this song, and it would show off their strengths for songs which need deeper vocals. However, we are instead given The Winking Squirrel and The Dancing Child to treat us to their voices. Actually, I adore Riho's second solo line in this song - it's just her first solo line which doesn't fit with the coolness and maturity of this song, because she sounds rather whiny and, well, the same as she does in every other single. However, her last solo line is wonderful. She really upped her game with that line, and really put some power into the song. With Winky herself, she sounds with the more powerful lines. She really knows how to work those lines when she puts some strength into them, and sounds great, but I also find that there are times where I thought that she sounded just as whiny and bland as Riho does.

My other major issue with this song is, of course, the shitty line distribution, because seriously, it is fucking bad. However I have already done that rant, and won't do it again, but seriously, I just have an issue with how little shared lines some members get. Solo's are fine, but shared lines are a totally different thing.

Anyway, all in all, this song is strong. Good vocals from Gaki, okay vocals from Winky and The Dancing Child, and a nice solo from Sayu. This cool and mature song really showed how well Morning Musume are at getting back up on their feet just after being kicked down.

02. Watashi ga ite Kimi ga Iru

Watashi ga ite Kimi ga Iru is the coupling track to Renai Hunter that is fun, up-beat and catchy, the total opposite to the A-side track. I think that this is a cute song, one that is really good, but also one that isn't A-side potential either. It compliments Ren'ai Hunter well, and brings more of a carefree, fun outlook to the single and shows off that more playful side to Morning Musume that we know and love, whilst still not being overly childish.

The great thing about this song is that everyone gets a solo line or two in this, and it is great to hear the newer members showing off their vocal skills here. Yes, some of the newer members aren't as good as other members, but it's wonderful to be able to actually hear them and distinguish their voices from the rest. Personally, I really loved Haruka, Fukumura, Zukki and Haruna's lines - the difference between each of their voices is great, and they sounded wonderful in this song - especially Fukumura, who's voice is so soothing against such a catchy and fun instrumental. The biggest surprise, though, was how cute Masaki's voice is here. She sounds so sweet, so cute, and she really made her lines her own in this, and because of that, she stood out to me the most in this song, and I am really impressed by how much she has improved since joining. By far, she has grown the most out of all the other 10th gen members.

This is a good song. It is fun and catchy, and slightly reminds me of Yamete Yo Sindbad. All of the girls sound great, they sound like they had fun, and I love how you can hear everyone's individual voices. All in all, a really good song that compliments the title track well.

03. Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! MY DEAR FRIENDS~

The final track, and only available on the Limited E version of this single, is the solo cover song of Matsuura Aya's Egao ni Namaida ~THANK YOU! MY DEAR FRIENDS~. I love this song. The original is wonderful, and I adore the Niigaki Risa and Okai Chisato cover versions from 2011, but when I heard that Gaki would be releasing this as her 'solo' for her last single, I wondered what Tsunku would do with it, and if Gaki would sing the song in its original form. Well, of course not - instead, we get an updated version of the song, more like a party-beat than the original, that really works with Gaki's vocals.

Thsi is a fun song - okay, not the best update to an already awesome song, but I do like it, though not everyone will. Some people are a bit on the edge with this updated, more modern version of the song, but I quite like it. I like the more poppy, up-beat instrumental, and I also like how it is still really nostalgic. This song just has Niigaki Risa written all over it - it is fun, fresh, and it is strong.

This song really works for Gaki, it just fits her perfectly. It just brings out her feelings and shows off her loving and caring outlook on Morning Musume as well as the love she has for her fans. This is her song that is saying 'Thank you for supporting me all these years, thank you for letting me be in Morning Musume.' - it really speaks for Gaki, and it just suits her as a final song before she leaves Morning Musume and chooses a new career path. It compliments her personality and her voice, and I think that Gaki made a perfect choice by covering this song rather than having a brand new song created for her, because what is better than a nostalgic song that fits her so well?

The Conclusion

This is a strong single. Probably not the strongest, but I love it as a final single for Niigaki. I do find that the song choices are a little predictable, and would love to see everything switched up for the 50th single, but I love that Gaki was able to sing a solo song, because she has covered a really great track. I like the cool sound to Renai Hunter, the fun and quirky beat of Watashi ga ite Kimi ga Iru and the nostalgic, happy sound of Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! MY DEAR FRIENDS~. This single is good, one of the best from Morning Musume in a while - I just wish that they would do something different rather than the predictable Cool-Genki, or Gennki-Cool track list that they have been doing for a while now. Switch it up, Tsunku!

Anyway, what did you all think of this single? Is it a winner or a loser for you? And what do you think of Gaki's cover of an Aya Matsuura song?

Think about it ;)


PING!!! Idol Minded Recommended Reading: April 26th, 2012

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Overwhelming, Wonderful, Amazing... - The Perfection that is Sexy Zone's 'Lady Diamond' Single Review!

All thoughts and opinions on this group and their single are solely my own and no one else's. I have the right to state my opinion, whether it is negative or positive, and wish for you to respect my opinions. If you do not want to respect my opinion, or do not write what I like, then go read a blog that backs up YOUR opinion. Thank you.

Lady, Lady, DIAMOND!~

Lady Diamond is Sexy Zone's 2nd single which was released on April 11th, 2012, and one of my current favourite songs in all of JE. The title track is catchy, fun and absolutely wonderful - When I first heard it, I knew that I had to have this single for myself, and so I ordered it in the form of Limited A, and seriously, I am so happy I bought this, because Lady Diamond is a winning single. I love it so much.

I actually never planned on buying this single. Originally, my first non-H!P purchase was going to be an indies group's single, but after listening to Lady Diamond and watching the PV, I knew that I wanted to purchase it. So, the minute I had money, I went and bought it... because yes, I am a crazy Sexy Zone fangirl now. So much for wanting to dislike them upon their debut... tch.

Anyway, let's get into this review of the wonderful single that is Lady Diamond!

01. Lady Diamond

The leading track is just wonderful - the moment I heard it, I fell in love. It is catchy, playful, fun and just an overall wonderful, colourful tune that is easy to get stuck in your head. It's so different to Sexy Zone, and really shows off a more playful and childish side to the boys that we didn't get to see in their debut single. You can really see how they are boys rather than men in this, and you can hear it too. With such a happy tune, how can you not hear how happy and energetic these guys are? I absolutely adore the energy in this, the plyafulness, the quirky, happy-go-lucky tune and the great voices of the members.

Now, this song is a very obvious Kento/Fuma lead single - Shori gets a bone thrown at him in the form of a Haiku, and Marius and Yo get a few ad-libs in there to give them something, but hell, I don't care that the line distribution sucks, because Fuma and Kento nail this single - their voices really fit the music, they sound great, and they add maturity to the song. I won't lie and say I wouldn't have wanted Marius and Sho to get something a bit more, because really, I would have adored those two to have solo lines in this, but I am quite happy with this distribution here anyway. I think that the people who were right for the lines got those lines.

I adore this song, I will probably keep saying that, but I seriously do - I love the cute, quirky, energetic and happy nature it has, and how fun it seems to be. I think that this song is amazing, and I really have nothing bad to say about it. However, if you do think of listening to this and watching the PV, make sure that your father isn't standing there when Marius Yo mouths to the words Touch Me, because seriously, you don't want to look around awkwardly whilst you try to think about how you can explain just why a 12 year old is singing about you touching, holding or kissing him... Luckily, my father ignores these things.

Anyway, this song a perfect contrast to Renai Hunter by Morning Musume. For these two songs to come out on the same day, and have totally different sounds and a totally different feel is amazing. I love how Lady Diamond is so cute and energetic, with some child-like themes thrown in there as well as the happy tone to the song. For me, this is a perfect song. It's great, and I really do prefer it over Sexy Zone.

02. Kaze wo Kitte

Kaze wo Kitte is a much cooler, more mature song when compared to Lady Diamond, and reminds me slightly of dance remixes that you would get in a club. This is the track that really shows off the more mature and boyish side to this group, and showcases Kento, Fuma and Shori's voices the best. I would not exactly say that this single was made for Sou or Marius at all, because the vocals in this are rather low and need a little more power in order to really carry this song off, and that's why it is predominantly a Kento/Fuma/Shori song.

I was actually expecting a 'cool' track to appear on this single, because it is the best way to compliment a fun and up-beat track like Lady Diamond, and creates a great contrast - and it really does. The maturity, the cool tone and the dance-like track is a great detour from that childish route they took with Lady Diamond, and you are reminded that three out of these five boys are maturing into young men, and they really express their maturity and, let's call it manliness for now, in this song. It's a great song, it really is - and I am glad that it is a lead for the three older members, because I don't think that Marius and Sou could handle this kind of song yet.

I enjoy the dance theme surrounding this song, the ever-changing instrumental, the coolness to the song and how well it shows off certain members voices. It really reminds me of club music, something that you could easily dance to on your own or with friends, and all in all, it is a really great track that compliments Lady Diamond without taking away from the leading track or being better than it.

03. High!! High!! People

High!! High!! People is basically the polar opposite of Kaze wo Kitte, as it goes down the route of that happy-go-lucky, pick-me-up sort of song that really gets you in a good mood if you're feeling a little under the weather. Just like the previous two songs, this is one great song, and has more focus on all of the members rather than a select few. You get a solo line from everyone, and you hear more of the group rather than certain boys on their own. I really loved how the group parts were done in this - I felt like there was more of an emphasis on how they sounded as a group here as opposed to how they sounded solo. I just feel that this song shows off their skills as a group more rather than how they sound as individuals, like the other two songs.

This song is catchy - it is energetic, up-beat, happy and fun. It isn't childish or giddy like Lady Diamond is, but it is just as fun and it has this really happy and energetic feeling to it that can kind of out-run the happiness of Lady Diamond. It is a wonderful song that shows off the guys' vocals well in solo's and really shows off how well they all sound together, and I love how that is expressed through this song. They all sound so happy, and they sound like they are really having a good time with this song. It actually makes me wonder how this song would be with a PV if it were the A-side.

Thinking of the song title, this song really does make me feel like I am high in happiness. It really makes me energetic and gives me a good feeling. It really helps you to feel much better, and it can truly bring a smile to your face. I think that this would have to be my favourite song on this single, because it is so good.

04. Yuuki 100% (Regular Edition only)

Yuuki 100% is the '4th' track on the single, and is only available with the regular edition and is a cover of NYC's version of the song. Now, I have not actually listened to NYC's version, so I can't really compare the songs at all and says who is better, but I really like this song - probably not as much as High!! High!! People, but enough to get me interested in listening to the original version of this song.

Anyway, the opening of this song (and pretty much the rest of it ) reminds me of a Marching Band, in a way, because of the instruments used in the instrumental, and how the guys all sound during the entire song. I could really imagine them all dressed in uniforms, with different instruments, walking along a street and singing this song. It sounds so happy, so friendly and really wonderful. I would have loved to have seen a PV with this, even though this isn't their song, but I think that these guys have really made it their own. They sound so happy, so energetic. They sound like they really had a blast singing this, and you can really hear that in the group parts. Really, they all sound so wonderful. It makes me adore them more as a group, and really makes me like all of them as singers and entertainers. They sound amazing together here.

I also love that everyone gets a chance to shine in this song with a solo line - you can hear each individual member, and even though Marius and Sou sound less experienced than the smooth voices of Kento, Fuma and Shori, you can tell that the two youngest members had so much fun, and that they put their all into this single. Their inexperienced voices actually make this single so much better in my opinion, because they have such enthusiasm, such passion for this, and you can really hear it. They really loved singing this, and you can hear it in every line that they sing.

This is such an enjoyable song - it's energetic, it's happy, and I love that it is heavy on Sou. It sounds amazing, and is quickly becoming one of my favourite songs. I honestly wish that I had purchased the Regular Edition now, because you can't get this song on the Limited A or B.

Overall Conclusion:

This is one amazing single - you get three wonderful, energetic songs, and one amazing but cool song to give you something different. All of these songs are amazing, and in each of them you get to hear different sides of the group. We are treated to not only the quirkyness of Sexy Zone, but also the mature, more manly side of the group as well as being able to hear how amazing they are as a group. This single has really blown me away. All of these songs are strong, they are all wonderful in their own way, and really strengthen the single and the group more. I'm so happy that I was able to purchase this single, because it is really great, and just shows how great Sexy Zone is. From this single, I can really see why they were debuted despite how young some of the members are. Despite their age, this group is really amazing and talented.

I honestly suggest that you all give this a listen - it's a great single, one that is worth listening to and even buying if you are thinking of purchasing it. But, if I had to give you one track to listen to out of all four, it would definitely have to be Yuuki 100%, despite the fact that it is a cover. This song is amazing, and I highly recommend that you listen to it, because it is, in my opinion, great.

Overall, this is a great single. Strong songs, amazing singers and performers, and an overall bundle of absolutely overwhelming perfection. Seriously, I didn't expect Sexy Zone to produce something so wonderful.


PING!!! Idol Minded Recommended Reading: April 25th, 2012

Sexy Zone x Morning Musume GET!!!

Not gunna lie, but I screamed the moment I saw Marius, and let go of the poster with utter happiness!

Recently, or probably a few weeks back, my sister ordered me the Limited E version of Renai Hunter, and, after being completely blown away by the magnificent, sparkling wonder that is Lady Diamond, I decided to order the Limited A version of that single - and, finally, they arrived! Now, I finally have these two epic singles in my hands! I said that they would one day they would be mine, and now, they are! MWAHAHAHAHHAHA!

Anyway, I really anticipated these two CD's showing up on my doorstep, so when I got home today and saw that beautiful, beautiful box that contained the most perfect singles... well, I was happy. But it wasn't until I opened them that I realised I was so excited for Lady Diamond... The moment I saw the CD, I squealed. I really did. I mean, it's my first JE purchase and the first CD purchase I have made outside of H!P, but I was extremely ecstatic to see just Lady Diamond, because that song and PV is amazing!

Oh yeah, I also got the PV with the Limited A version too, mwahahaha!

With Renai Hunter, the reason why I chose to have that certain single, despite the lack of a dance shot or whatever, is because it's Niigaki's last single, and it has her solo version on it. That, and because she means a lot to me as a Morning Musume member. I originally planned to buy at least 3 of the Renai Hunter singles, however that plan (and my money) has gone out the window because I have purchased her photo book instead. Screw the CD's, screw the fact that I bought the Regular and Takahashi Ai edition of Kono Chikyuu, because a photobook costs more, and is, in my opinion, a lot better than a single! I mean, I get to ogle Gaki, for crying out loud! I can't wait for that PB to be in my hands!

Anyway, I need to give you guys more pictures - so here they are, my beautiful, beautiful GET!!!

Marius has a 'Bitch, I'm FABULOUS' sort of smirk going on there!

I want Gaki to marry a JE member! GAAAH! <3 Just not one of these kids!

Bloody lights, ruining my picture!

Mother effing flash! D8< RAWR -I want this as a cover, seriously-

I love that bullet on the single! XD Also, YAY YELLOW!

On another note, my friend has called me a 'Pedonoona' because I like Sexy Zone... seriously, I think of them as brothers, not lovers! The only one I would actually date is Kento! (16 is the legal age here peeps, so nothing wrong for me, MWAHAHAHAHAHA)

Reviews should come along soon! :D


Friday, 20 April 2012

To The Land of the Infected! - AKB48's 'Manatsu no Sounds Good!' PV Review!

Al opinions are solely my own and no one else's, unless otherwise stated. If, for some reason, you are offended by my opinion, then you have the right to not read this blog. If you do read this blog, though, remember that you should respect other people's opinions, and I will in turn respect yours. Thank you.

Ever since the PV preview for Manatsu no Sounds Good! appeared, people have been anticipating AKB48's 26th single with extreme excitement, and for bloody good reason, too - This single features a rather different and very distinct storyline, where the older members are being killed off like the kids in Battle Royale - but that is what the preview is telling us. Is the actual PV worth all of the hype?

Well, I'll get to my opinion on that matter later, but first, I would like to say that even I was excited for this PV. When I saw the preview, I fell in love with the scenes that were presented. They looked epic. AKB48 and the other sister groups have amazing cinematography, but generally, rather generic and okay-ish music. So, I was more so anticipating the video than the music. I know I'm not the only one, either, but there are few who aren't haters who actually admit that AKB have been pretty shit music wise lately.

Anyway, I digress - it's time for a pic spam! I never start with the review, mwahahaha!

Opening shot: Mayuyu killing off Atsuko for the centre position...

Nah, jokes, she's actually trying to save Atsuko's boring ass!

Oh fuck, what's happened? Who's killed who!?

Shit just got real...

In all honesty, this is a cool way to bring in the opening title.

Everyone's down but Aa-chan... -gets out gun-

The members who aren't old and wrinkled are looking young, refreshing and happy...

Mayu: "My Creeper senses are tingling..."

Admit it: This battlefield looks fucking epic!

Oh crap, the mini's found the oldies lying half-dead on the ground!

Don't worry, oldies, help is on the way!

Okay, this PV just got a whole lot better - seriously, I love these death scenes!

How bloody, this is awesome!

... That freaked me out, it honestly did xD

Random member in the centre of a load of corpses? Well, if that is what it takes to get her to be the centre of AKB, I'm game!

Aw, damn, Atsuko's still alive!

Shi--- Mayuyu's a gonner :/

... Are you fucking SERIOUS?

The PV has been ruined for me now :/

Though, admittedly, the dance is quite good, albeit a little weird

... Where the fuck did this scene come from?

Seriously, you were all DEAD? Why are you alive and HAPPY?

Dance your little bikini butts away!

The only two survivors...

Mayuyu: "What's that?"
Atsuko: "Dafuq? Is that my career, failing before my very eyes?"

... Angels?

Mayuyu's happy, as is Aa-chan, you just can't see her emotion behind those dead, dead eyes of hers...

Yup, AKB48 Angels - they're all dead.

And that means that they are, too! OMG!

Okay, so the verdict?

In all honesty, I really enjoyed this PV and how it was shot... until the Bikini dance shot came in. I seriously wondered why the fuck that was even put in there, because it killed the mood for me, and I lost all of my excitement for this video. I mean, I don't mind it - but the epicness of this video was kind of killed when that bikini shot jumped in all of a sudden. The anticipation, the wonder and excitement I felt just died away at that point, and I was pretty much left disappointed with the rest of the PV there after, and that is how I honestly felt when I first watched this, and I still feel that way.

The start of the PV, as I said, is pretty epic - what everyone speculated as a Battle Royale themed video was actually shot on an island that held disease-ridden girls who were left for dead, with the younger members trying to save the girls to only end up dieing themselves because they basically tried to help the other girls, and I honestly think that that is a better idea than the Battle Royale theme that everyone imagined, because it's different, and it just shows how creative AKB48 are when it comes to visual content.

I thought that the cinematography in this was absolutely amazing, and the first part of the video was almost mind-blowing, making this video one of AKB48's best. However I did honestly feel let down by the bikini scenes. I knew they were there, but I didn't think that they would be edited in the way did, heck, when I first started watching the video, I honestly forgot that they would actually appear - but they did, and it ruined the mood of the video, and it kind of fell flat after that. It's still a well shot video, but it kind of went downhill after they brought in the bikini's, so yes, I was disappointed, and so was my sister. In all honesty, it would have been better (and cooler) if the girls were all dancing on the battlefield, in the rain, and then suddenly dieing off one by one randomly. This is actually what my sister thought up, and honestly, I would have loved to see that in this video! It would have been really cool, and it would have fit with the dark mood of the PV.

The end of the PV was a bit better, though, but it didn't make up for the horribly placed bikini scene - I liked how it symbolised that everyone has died. Showing all of the girls on the sunnier side of the island, in white dresses, whilst Mayu and Atsuko were journeying back to them made me think that everyone was, basically, an Angel, and that they were all waiting for Mayu and Atsuko to return to their group - and that actually made me realise that this video wasn't symbolising the death of the new members, but the death of AKB48 in general. Now, I may be thinking too deep when I say that, but it's honestly what I see when I watch this PV. The sudden fall of AKB48, because of Maeda Atsuko's graduation. Everyone in it dies, and Mayuyu and Atsuko are the last to join them. It is very strong, well placed symbolism, and I really like that about this video.

Again, I might be thinking too deeply, but seriously, I can't be the only one who thinks that this video symbolises the death of AKB48, or at least the death of the senbatsu, right?

Well, whatever I think, I do feel that this is a well shot video. I hate the bikini scenes though, they should not have been included (in my opinion), especially since all of these girls are so disgustingly bony and look boring in white bikini's. But the rest of it is beautifully shot, and it looks good. The beginning scenes are awesome, and I was so excited by them. Honestly, those scenes are the best that AKB48 have ever done.

And then there is the song...

Honestly, I really like this song! For a while, I have found that AKB48's songs all sound so similar and generic, but for once, I think that they have produced a good quality, really good song that would sell well on its own without a good PV to back it up. This is a nice song, really fun and a great contrast to the darkness of the video. I was surprised that a rather light-hearted and happy song was the track to the darkness of the beginning of the PV, but they strangely fit together.

Manatsu Sounds Good does have that AKB48 sound to it, though, and does fit into that Idol category in terms of sound, but it is better than a lot of the generic songs they have been releasing recently, and I really enjoy it. A great song for a half good, half bad video.

So all in all, it's enjoyable. There will be people who really love it, and people who will really not like it, but I'm kind of half and half on the video. In the end, we all have our personal tastes, and I know that not everyone will agree with how I view this video.

So, what did you all think about it? Was it worth all the hype and the wait?


PING!!! Idol Minded Recommended Reading: April 21st, 2012

Make Way for these Lovely Train Conductors! - Station♪'s 'Susume.' and 'Let's Go Tetsudo Idol' Single Reviews!

Station♪ are an Indies Idol unit who were created somewhere between September-October 2011, and officially debuted as an Indies Idol Unit under the Indies label 'Jolly Roger', which created the successful all girl group, PASSPO, as well as Pre-Dia, another indies group. So, it really doesn't come as a surprise that the Jolly Roger company has made another themed girl-group, but this time, there are fewer members. Also, they recently announced an 'Apprentice member', and if she eventually gets promoted, the group will become a five member unit.

Anyway, Station♪ have actually been pretty active in terms of bringing out singles since their debut, and as far as I know, they have been to quite a few idol events and also a release event for their first two singles. Their third single will actually be released this month, but currently they have brought out the songs Susume. and Let's Go Tetsudo Idol. There are no B-sides, just the song and the instrumental for both singles, as well as a PV included on the single, however I have not been able to find them at all yet.

I actually aim to buy the three singles that these girls have created, but when I saw that these two songs were available to download, I decided to give them a listen to before deciding if I wanted to buy them or not. I've taken quite a liking to this group already, but I wasn't able to listen to a good-quality MP3 of their songs before hand, so I took the chance that I had and decided to listen to these two songs to see how they fared when the girls weren't singing live. So, here we go!


Susume. is quite a cute song that has that rather generic Idol-like sound to it, but is still charming itself. When I first heard this song, it was during a 'live' performance, where the girls performed in front of the press whilst promoting their single Let's Go Tetsudo Idol. Despite the low quality of the song itself, I thought that the girls and the song were very cute and charming.

In a way, this song's opening slightly reminds me a little of PASSPO, but the rest of it is really cute and idol-ish. It has a sweet sound to it, the girls voices aren't overbearingly 'kawaii' and sickening, and they sound really good together. The beat is easy to get into, and quite catchy, but not overly memorable in any way. I like how it sounds, though, but I doubt that this will appeal to everyone. But for me, it's the right amount of cuteness and energy for a debut song. Is it the best way to debut them? Heck no. I think that Let's Go Tetsudo Idol is a better song, but this is a new group. The quality of their music, however, is good. Cute song, cute girls, nice tune and a very good first-impression. A good start for Station♪ in my opinion.

Let's Go Tetsudo Idol

Let's Go Tetsudo Idol is a lot more up-beat that Susume. is, and expresses more genki happiness and offers more solo's so that we can hear the girls individually as well as together. I really like this song, it is my favourite between the two singles that I have heard from these girls. I love the instrumental to it, I love how quirky it at parts, and when I watched this via the live video for the first time,  I really enjoyed the dance. This is basically a silly song in a way. It's cute and hyped up during certain parts, and it sounds like the girls are all having a blast when they sing this.

I would say that this has less of an Idol beat to it than Susume. does, but it does still sound very Idol-ish. However, it's presented a lot better, and it is a lot catchier than the previous single was, and the energy in this is a lot better and you can hear the effort that the girls put into this single. I really love the chorus because of the energy and effort you can hear, and it sounds so happy and the girls sound so wonderful together. They really blend, and the solo parts are beautiful. I love the solo towards the end where it slows down, then picks up a little afterwards before getting back into the song. It just adds to it and makes it nice to listen to. I think that this is a good single, probably not the best song I have listened to, but it is very good. I think that these girls sound so good together, and the energy in this song is very nice.

In all honesty, I like both of these songs, but I love Let's Go Tetsudo Idol that little bit more. I think that the energy and happiness present in that song are great, and the little bit of silliness we get is very cute, and really adds to the song. These songs are a good start for an indies Idol unit like Station♪, and I hope to hear more from these girls, because I think that they are very talented and really cute. I also hope that 2012 will become the year of 'Themed' idol groups, such as PASSPOand Afilia Saga East, two groups that I really do like who both have themes (Air Hostess and Maid outfits) that appeal to certain audiences. So, I hope that Station♪ will be well received and one day get their big break like PASSPO did.

So, if you have never heard of this group, what were your first impressions if you took a look at that video? Honestly, I do like this group, and I aim to buy their first three indie singles. Yes, I like them that much. I just need to save my money! Anyway, have a nice day everyone!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lost in the Coolness of Fudanjuku! - Fudanjuku's 'Kaze Ikki' Single Review!

All opinions within this blog are my own, and no one else's. Whatever I think or feel about this group, their singles, PV's and/or lyrics are my own thoughts, so please respect that. If you do not like what I write, then you are free to disagree but do not disrespect my opinion! Thank you.

I'm a little bit behind with my posts, because my computer died and I am using my younger sister now - so it's more so a case of getting the time to write and review as I have college, trips, coursework and a period of waiting time to use the computer now. So I'm kind of struggling for time, especially as I need a computer to do all my work for college... DX

Anyway, today I am reviewing Fudanjuku's 7th single, the cool and edgy Kaza Ikki, the song which pretty much helped me to fall in love with this magnificent group. Now, I adore this group already, but not everyone will. Some people don't see the appeal of girls dressing up as men (though when AKB did it, fans were fangirling, so yeah...) but, I actually sometimes forget that these guys are actually girls... But I find them appealing because of how they portray themselves, the way they act and look, and how good they are at performing during a PV as well as how good their music is.

Anyway, I really anticipated this single because of how much I adored Kaze Ikki on its own. I think that the song is great, but the other two songs, I really did want to listen to. So, my overall opinion on the single? Well, let's take a look at the songs!

1. Kaze Ikki

The title track of the single, Kaze Ikki is a really cool, but extremely catchy and fun song. This was the first time that I had seen the cooler side of this group, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this song. It's a strong single, and really shows off the groups talents. This is also the debut single of the two new members, Aiba Kensui and Yukimura Ryouma, and I think that Kaze Ikki was the perfect song for these guys to debut to. This song shows a more masculine and cool side to each of the members, and even with the girlyness of Ryouma's voice, you still get that sense of cool and mature attitude that is needed in the song by him.

Kaze Ikki isn't just cool, though - there are some repetitive parts that I think are absolutely wonderful, such as the repeated Fudanjuku and Kaze Ikki's which are present in the song. It adds a catchy theme to the song, whilst still keeping it edgy and mysterious in its own way. I like that these two elements of a song could be combined to make the song both fun to listen to, and still cool and mysterious, with a little bit of darkness thrown in there. This is a mature song, with some adolescence to show that these guys are still boys, but not yet men.

It's a fun song. I enjoy it, I think it's perfect, and I really like that this was the debut of the two new members! A perfect way to enter the group, in my opinion!

2. Mugen no Procyon

The second track of the single, Mugen no Procyon keeps to the cool side of the group, and whilst not as catchy or cool as Kaze Ikki is, this song is still great. It reminds me of Love Spider in a way, and I find that I like this song the more I listen to it. I love the violin's used in the instrumental breaks where the guys aren't singing, and when their vocals do kick in, you realise that this is a pretty powerful song that the members have really given their all. It sounds amazing when they put in all of their vocal power just to sing this song.

The softer parts of this song are absolutely beautiful as well - it starts off with some very soft, gentle vocals, and just builds up into this powerful instrumental with even more powerful vocals, until finally we come back to a strong beat with the group, and they all sing together just to make the song louder. The anticipation you get when they start off soft, then become louder, is wonderful here - I thought that was an amazing part of the song, especially when they just slowly let their voices become softer when they end the song - it just makes this song even better. It's powerful, but soft, and it has a sort of cool but classical feel to it because of the violins. This is a great song, one that I would definitely listen to on a loop!

3. My Home Town

This song surprised me, because when you think of Japanese songs to do with hometowns, don't you just suddenly think of Furusato by Morning Musume? Maybe it's just me, but that is what I think - so when I first heard this, I was genuinley surprised by how up-beat and catchy it was. Okay, so it isn't the most up-beat, happy song out there - but it is indeed a nice song to listen to, especially if you want something rather fast-paced and happy listen to.

The best thing about this song is that you get to listen to everyone sing about their home town in it - some are slower than others, whilst other members have lines where they sound out of breath, like they are excited to tell you about where they live. And then we get into the group parts - the group parts are great, because everyone sounds so wonderful together. I love that it becomes both slow and up-beat for the group lines, they all sound so happy to sing about their hometowns as a group. I love the parts where they sing with 'Everyday, Every night' because it's more up-beat and happy, but the slower parts are calming, as if the members are thinking about what they want to sing and tell the listener about their hometowns.

This is a really good song. Is it my favourite? Probably not, but I loved listening to it. I like how they were all able to sing separately and tell us about their hometowns, and I love how they sang together. Everyone sounded happy, and they all sounded good. I think that this is a nice song, and I like how it can suddenly go from a rather slow and calm beat to a more excited, happier beat.

This single, in my opinion, is quite good. I like how cool and mature it starts off, then how it ends with a nice, and unexpected, song at the end. Kaze Ikki as a single is a good listen. There will probably be a song or two that you don't like, but I think that what we have here is really good. The songs all show off the guys' voices well, and we get a pretty good mix of catchy, happy and slower songs. I like that My Home Town was used as the last song, because it just kind of slows everything else down and ends the single perfectly.

This single has made me really appreciate the voices of every single member, and I love how it showed off a cooler and more mature side to the group. These guys are all growing up, and they have come so far since their single Katsunda!, which is the total opposite of Kaze Ikki. I feel that this is a strong single. I doubt it will appeal to everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I like all the songs. It may not be to your cup of tea, but I think that Kaze Ikki is a really great, well made single.

Sorry for the delay in my posts, how all-over the place this post is, and I hope that you can all try and give at least Kaze Ikki a listen!


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Full Blown Happiness - BeriKyuu's 'Because Happiness X Shaiawase no Tochuu' Review!


Holy rainbow sprinkles and Nyan cats, Tsunku is a mother-fucking genius!

Okay, so before I really get into this post of craze-filled happiness, I'm sorry for not being on in a while - my computer's decided to officially kill itself and stay that way, so I am currently computer-less (and pissed off) and borrowing my sisters computer instead, which is good because I love her keyboard! But anyway, I've said what I needed to, now onto the review/craze-filled happiness that is this perfect song!

So, Tsunku is a genius - I have said that already, but seriously, I think he is - I mean, it's pretty much common for fans of certain groups to mash up songs together to see what can be created, but for a producer to take on that idea and implement it into two of H!P's most popular groups is something that I think was beyond any fans' imagination. First, Tsunku brought in Dub-step with Morning Musume's newest single, and now he's been trolling the Youtube basement and making what fans do all the time - a song that was made up of two totally different songs. In my mind, that is absolutely genius and also absolutely wonderful.

I actually didn't know about this until my sister told me when I got home from college today, but holy hell, I love it! It's just perfect! The happiness in it is so great, and the girls sound so beautiful! It actually makes me wish that this was the song that Berikyuu brought out instead of that shit piece of fail Amzuppai blahdy blah. I mean, this is just so great... It's beautiful, it makes me think of happy things, rainbows, sparkles, Nyan cat... all that good stuff, you know? It's so sweet, and really original. It's something I haven't heard.

The most surprising thing about this track though, is that the songs are totally different. Now, I haven't heard Berryz'z Because Happiness yet, but from what my sister tells me, it's a very disco-like song, whilst C-ute's Shiawase no Tochuu is a slower and calmer song, so these two tracks are the total opposit eache other - but, they make the perfect song. As my sister said 'The Piano in Shiawase no Tochuu really compliments the disco beat of Because Happiness'. She is totally right - these two songs really do compliment each other. If they didn't, we wouldn't get this absolutely beautiful piece.

I think that this song is the best thing that Tsunku has probably ever created. I love that he has taken what fans do all the time, and create an official song from it. People say he's losing his touch, but look what he has created -- a really great song, on purpose, that is made with two different songs that are totally different to each other. It's amazing that nobody noticed it for so long, especially as at some parts, the two groups say the same lyrics! My sister pointed that out to me, and she was so excited and surprised and happy by it when she told me!

This just shows how amazing Tsunku is, and it shows how amazing both C-ute and Berryz Kobou are. If this doesn't show how close the group is, then nothing else will.

This song is going to become my favourite Berikyuu song, I swear it will. It's filled with full blown happiness!


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Getting High with Ebichu - Ebichu's 'Karikeiyaku no Cinderella' PV Review!

All thoughts and opinions expressed within this blog are my own and no one else's, unless otherwise stated. If you do not like my opinion, then do not read my posts. If you feel offended, you do not have to read what I write. However, if you read my posts, please remember to respect my opinion. I write to give MY opinion, so if you feel offended and think that I am hating, I am not. Thank you.

If you are unaware of just who Ebichu are, they are the 'sister' group of Idol group Momoiro Clover Z, a group which I personally don't like very much. However, I do like Ebichu, but that's probably because all of the members bar one seem to lay off of the helium and actually sing properly, unlike some of the MomoClo members. Or maybe their music just doesn't appeal to my tastes, I dunno.

Anyway... I don't know why, but no one's posted anything about Ebichu's latest PV release for their major debut single, Karikeiyaku no Cinderella, and honestly I wasn't going to either, until I listened to the song more and more and realised I actually liked it. It's also around 7am in the morning and I haven't slept yet, so some comparisons to MomoClo and Ebichu are in my head and I feel like making a PV review.

So, onto the pic spam!

This setting is somewhat recognisable... but I don't know where from...

Hot dang this girl suits being a guy - I'd date her if she was a he o-O

And the 'Shindererra' of the plot. I didn't know that she was a middle schooler...

Fairytales just got a tad bit creepier o-O

Shindererra: The Japanese Re-telling

That is one high as fuck smile

... What the hell is this?

So, it's some sort of contest to determine who gets the shoe and becomes your bride, now? He's a lazy prince...

Not even I can do that!

Her mole is distracting me, but her voice is good.

And here is prince-kun in her female form! I think she'll become my 2nd favourite...

I didn't know that they let boys into Idol Girl groups!

Those outfits are absolutely adorable! <3

"Welcome to the land of the Winking Wota! Kyu~n"

You do know that will be my quote now, right? xD

Absolutely adorable


Looks like someone found the MomoClo helium and special Sake, cos her voice is fucking horrible and she slurs like a sailor.

'K' for me! WHOO

Moolah makes the world go round for this Yakuza prince!

Stop smiling, girls, that kid's gonna beat you to a bloody pulp with that pillow...

This game is popular...


Oh well, at least Ouji-sama of the Yakuza thinks it's hilarious

Hey, she looks as high as fuck!

But she's pretty!

This middle schooler won! WHOO give her the shoe, NOW!

This dance is fucking weird, but it is certainly entertaining!

I like this girl, she's so pretty~

Yes, bitches, Shindererra got that mother-fucking shoe!

... And turned it into a Pumpkin with Servants! Who said shoes were absolutely worthless?

Awww, they're all dancing with each other...

But this girl is lonely, and why is her bow crooked? Slaves, fix her bow!

I think this girl is adorable, and her braces are distracting. But who cares? I want to hug her <3

Much needed High School Musical Jump - it is always relevant in a PV.

This girl is a doll, she has such a pretty face and a bloody good voice

... Who are you? She suddenly appeared

I don't pay much attention

The prince decides 'Meh, I don't need some bitch and her shoe, wasting ma moolah' and tells the girls to get lost.

I'm not going to go as far as saying that I adore Ebichu, because I don't, but I bar far prefer them to MomoClo, and I think that that is mostly because MomoClo has singers who's voices are horribly annoying,whilst Ebichu have one member who's voice grates my ears, and thankfully, that singer only has to slur her way through a few solo lines rather than most of the song, because Ebichu have nine members, not five. So yeah, I prefer Ebichu over MomoClo any day for the reason that they have relatively decent singers, as opposed to helium-sucking kids. So yeah... I just needed to say that for some odd reason.

Anyway, enough about how much I dislike MomoClo - let's get on with this review~

At first, I honestly wasn't that impressed by this video, but the more I watched it, the more I started to like it. This is a really cute and fun PV, and I really like how the creators managed to tie in the story of Cinderella whilst still maintaining some creativity and originality. It was nice that the producers didn't have to rely solely on the simple plot of Cinderella to make this video interesting, because this is quite entertaining. I mean, it's actually quite funny. I like how the girls actually have to fight each other to get to the glass slipper, whilst the prince watches on the sidelines idly whilst counting his money. It was an interesting twist, and showed a more self-centred, sadistic side to the prince and the desperation of the girls who wanted to be with him.

The dance was also a really fun aspect to the video - I thought that it was a really fun and weird dance that fit the song really well. It was very energetic, and during the slower parts of the instrumental, really incorporated the slow ballroom styled dance that the girls did. Whilst the video doesn't focus on the dance as much, the scenes we do get see are fun and energetic, with a lot of jumping and turning as well as changing positions.

The song itself is really fun - it's an up-beat and energetic tune that really gets into your head and makes you feel happy and energised. I think that this is a really cute song, and it's already stuck in my own head! Of course the song does have its problems, such as the one helium-voiced member who slurs her way through this song. Those parts where she had her solo's actually made me feel like I was high (or drunk), and at first sounded really out of place in the song, especially when there are quite a few strong singers in this song - however, after listening to the song on a loop, her voice seems to fit the song, though I still find it weird hearing her slurring.

But yes, a catchy, poppy tune that is sure to fill you with energy! The cute, hyper tone of this song will be sure to make you smile and might even make you a fan of this group!

Before I finish off this review, I would like to point out that, whilst I was watching this, I actually didn't see much of a reflection of MomoClo here - I did, however, see a similarity between Ebichu and S/mileage, and even thought to myself that this is how S/mileage should be now if they weren't flopping around like a Magikarp out of water. I mean, the two groups both share the same quirkyness, and whilst they aren't extremely weird and out of this world like MomoClo are, both Ebichu and S/mileage are quite different to an Idol groups standards, in a tame way. They have the same amount of eccentricity, but, Ebichu are pulling it off better. And when I watched this PV, I noticed that, and couldn't help but realise that  Ebichu are basically what S/mileage are trying to be, but are failing at. Or at least, that is what I think.


This PV and song are seriously cute - the costumes, close up shots, dance and story line really make this a cute and hyperactive video. Whilst I initially wasn't impressed with the video, I have started to see how good it really is. I love the twist to the traditional Cinderella Fairytale, and I love how they have portrayed the Prince as someone who is selfish and money-loving, rather than compassionate and looking for the girl who lost her shoe.It was an interesting take on the storyline, and Ebichu have made it their own.

If you haven't watched this PV yet, then be sure to check it out and see what you think of it!