Friday, 31 August 2012

So... How many chances do I give this one? - Chiima on Wakuteka Take a chance

Please remember that all opinions are my own, and no matter what you say, whether you call me a hater or someone who is biased or whatever, that you can't change my opinions just because you think I am wrong. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, you, me, those who read this blog or that blog, and even your pet dog - our opinions are our own, and they define us. If I don't like what you like, why should you care? If you like it, more power to ya! If I don't like it, more power to me! OPINIONS RULE!!!

...

Excuse me while I go cry tears of disappointment.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Boo hoo hickety HOOOOO

Erm... props to a full blown preview of this song though, am I right?


ANOTHER Auto-tune filled song of... well, auto-tune? Oh why, UFA, why? Are you really going to start a new era, the first that I am a part of, with songs that I am doomed to dislike/hate? Or like on a level of 'I don't care but whatever'? Because I am not liking this deal! Though I admit, yes, Riho needs auto-tune, and so does Sayumin, ChokuBonBon and Eripon, but the rest surely don't, especially the flawless Potato Fukuhime. So why more auto-tune of doom?

Well, it seems that this is what the new era is about - Robo-fying the sound. Okay yes, admittedly it is popular with the fans, as everyone but me (I think there are very few others who don't like it either) seems to really dig this sound that Morning Musume are currently carrying, so yay for Morning Musume finding a sound which works for their current line-up, but honestly... it isn't for me.

Then again, I am a part of a minority, and this part of the minority will be bitched and moaned at by some of the more whiney, bitchy majorities. Not all, but I have seen people bitch at those who hated One Two Three.

In all honestly, I am quite disappointed - but not as disappointed or loathing as I was with One Two Three. I actually don't mind this song as much, because the auto-tune sounds less messy and a lot more well placed, and the song, whilst typically not the sort of song I care for (I like cute songs, not cool songs... though Ren'ai Hunter was a different story of love) is okay, but I keep forgetting the tune and mistaking it for What's Up? Ai wa Dou na no Yo~, which is a song I really like, so I'm thankful that I mix the two songs up and think of this one xD

But yeah... when I first watched this, my sister showed it to me, and was quite excited by, it but once it ended, my first words were 'I don't like this' and she laughed, because she already knew that One Two Three hadn't been to my tastes, though I admitted afterwards that this was better and I could tolerate it more, and anyway, she knows that eventually the song will grow on me, and I will like it more than I do now, but for now... I am content with being okay with the song, but it's going to be like Renai Revolution 21 used to be, and Love Machine before my sister played them to the point where now I find them quite catchy.

But hey... there will be songs I like, and songs I don't no matter what. I love Morning Musume, but it doesn't mean I have to love their entire discography, same with everyone else. Sadly, this song does nothing for me, but that's how it is~

I'm quite content with the songs others seem to hate, thanks very much. (Pyoko time!)

I'm honestly glad that Morning Musume are now going in a new direction and taking on this cool image, because whilst the group has many diverse characters, a lot of these characters are cool, such as Riho's dancing image, Daishi's coolness as both a dancer and a singer, Haruka's cool and feisty nature which demands attention, and the cool beauty who is Fukumura. The image fits this new Morning Musume, and the time for change is ripe, so it's nice to see the group change and take on something new for a new generation.

Yeah, so it doesn't fit my tastes... but that doesn't mean I am ready to jump ship. I love Morning Musume, and if the A-side doesn't satisfy me, then maybe the B-side will. There's still a lot more to see from this group, and I anticipate every new single.

Robo-Musume, you're cool... I just don't like this song so much right now. Give me a few weeks or a month or something, and then come back to me x3

... Or maybe the PV will change my mind. Y'never know (unless UFA are cheap asses again and hate everyone and add sparkles to make crap look like ice cream.)

Lalala~ Its time to listen to something that is both cool and appealing for me~


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Giving AKB48 a Chance: The 3 Day Challenge - Day 3 (Part 2)

Okay, let's get into Part 2 of this post! I've returned home from whatever the hey I was doing, and honestly, I am ready to roll and finish up this challenge before midnight hits! It's 21:50pm here, so let's get on with this post! Just a little over two hours to go!


So, we are on the final part of the final day x3 How does that feel, guys? I dunno about you, but it's getting exciting for me here on out, because the recommendations for these songs have been amazing so far, and I am really liking what you guys have offered for me to listen to. But it's not over yet! Oh no...

Day/Night 3 (The Final Part! For Realz):

So I have a few more songs to go through, and I would like to thank the commenters for suggesting their favourite, or recommended songs, to me so that I can get a taste of what everyone else likes. The suggestions are a lot better than what I picked and chose to listen to, so thanks to you all! x3

So, without further ado, let's get into the final post of this challenge, and see what my opinion of AKB48 is overall after this! Wheee~

Song 7: Jungle Gym (Yamamoto Sayaka)


This song was suggested by Thennary Nak, and whilst I have no idea where to find the performance for this song, I decided to look for the MP3 to see why it was recommended by darling Thennary, and honestly, seeing the title, I thought that this song would be jungle themed for some weird reason.

No, it's in fact themed around a childs Jungle gym, Chiima... though we don't call them Jungle Gym's in England. We call them 'Apparatus' for some odd reason. Forgive my confusion, Yurushite Nyan~ -gets pummeled to death by many of you-.

*Ahem* Anyway, Yamamoto has such a pretty voice, and she really suits the gentle tone of this song, I think. Her vocals just seem to sit so well with the instrumental, allowing the song itself to compliment how she sings and the feel of her voice. She sets the right amount of emotion in the song, too, and I find her voice very likeable.

The song itself is quite cute and likeable, as it looks into the present and past of the person that the song is focused on, talking about her childhood and how she used to be before finding love. It's a song which I can somewhat relate to, as I tend to often think about what I used to be like and how, as a person, I have changed... though in all honesty, I bet many people can relate to the song's lyrics in their own way, cos we all have changed and grown up.

In a way, the song is quite touching, as it reflects on the person and how they feel they have changed. Or am I, once again, reading into this too much...?

Who knows, but it's a nice song. Possibly something I wouldn't listen to that much, but I definitely wouldn't ignore it if it was put on play again.

Song 8: Blue Rose


This song took me a little bit of time to find, because I went to look at a few songs before choosing this one. Among the songs I looked into were Wasshoi B!, Mr. Kissman, Mokugekisha and Arashi no Yoru ni wa, but sadly none of those songs really appealed to me. They were good songs, however they didn't stick out for me personally, and I didn't find myself falling for them. Well, I guess that is the same as this song too, though I like it a bit more...

Blue Rose was suggested by another Anonymous user, and this song is pretty cool... the sort of tone I generally don't care for, because I'm the sort of sugary sweet girl, or ballad girl, but this song is quite nice. The chorus, though, has to be my favourite part of the entire song. It sounds incredibly powerful, and the girls all sound wonderful in this performance It makes me like the song a little more, though not as much as I like other songs.

It stands out because of the performance and the vocals, I guess. I am really enjoying the passion put into this performance and how well the girls deliver their lines.

This won't become a favourite song, but I like the tone and sound of it. It's cool, and the chorus is pretty bad-ass to my ears.

Song 9: Higurashi no Koi


From the same Anonymous who suggested Blue Rose, they also suggested Higurashi no Koi, which when I first heard it made me think of Iroppoi Jirettai slightly, though the instrumental is a lot slower. Also, TakaMina's vocals in this suit this type of song perfectly. When she sang the first time I heard this, I just couldn't help but think 'Wow, her voice fits this song so well'. And then I sqee'd because Masuda Yuka has returned, guys. I am a happy bunny x3

Admittedly this song would not be my first choice if I wanted to randomly listen to a track, but the pure quality and beauty of both TakaMina and Yuka's voices just makes me want to continue to listen to the song. They have beautiful voices, with TakaMina's being the girlier, somewhat softer voice, and Yuka's being stronger and lower too. The combination is quite nice, and they sound lovely together.

It's a nice song... but I wouldn't necessarily listen to it again unless I wanted to hear TakaMina's voice fit an instrumental so perfectly, but the song itself is fine... just not to my taste, really.

Song 10: Glass no I LOVE YOU


Guys... Oh my gosh, guys, I've found my Annoying song!!! I finally found my AKB annoying song to play when I am too tired of Pin Pan Pon Taisou or Konnichipa! YES!!! A song which I will hate because it gives me headaches from the horribly forced voices. Whooo~

Sillyness aside, the opening of this song instantly made me think 'I hate you already!', because it was truly irritating to listen to. This was what, five seconds in, and honestly, it's still an annoying song, but it also an undeniably cute song, despite how much I want to loathe it. Well... rest assured, I won't ever listen to this song again afterwards, but I thought that I would throw in this song here because, hey, this challenge doesn't necessarily mean I have to like everything I watch, and honestly, I would like to give you something I don't care about as well as the songs I do happen to like.

It has some good parts in it, mostly when the girls aren't singing the chorus, but honestly that's it. I guess I just can't stand the instrumental or the girls and their fake voices. Honestly, if I wanted to listen to a fake voice, I would be a fan of Momoko Tsugunaga and a fan of Ogura Yui, but I'm not. Aye aye aye...

Anyway, it's cute, but it's annoying... and I may want to burn this song from my memory after this. So yeah...

Song 11: Rock da yo, jinsei wa...



Mina had suggested some of the 'Loli' songs to me for the stages, and this is the one which stuck out to me the most because of the energy and ball of fun it was! Also, it reminds me of Koko no Iruzee in a way, but only because both songs are a bundle of fun to listen to!

It's loud, crazy and absolute fun and madness... and that's how I will stick to describing it! The instrumental is full of life and absolutely fun, reminding me of the Morning Musume I never knew, and the song itself is quite inspiration in its own way, encouraging youngsters to go on and move ahead no matter what. It's just... it's amazing to watch and listen to, the smiles the girls have is infectious, and the song itself is really catchy. I love the fast pace to it, how loud, energetic and wonderful it is and how much is put into the performance. It's just... well, it's awesome!

It makes me smile, which is what genki songs are meant to do! Oh man... this song... <3

Song 12: Idol nante Yobanaide


Another song from the lovely Mina, this time from a sub-unit(?) or a small grouping from AKB. And boy, is this overly sugary...

... Ow, my tooth!

Also, I feel like I have found a unit (okay, song) which is just as annoying as Glass no I LOVE YOU, though not as sugary and sweet, and not as annoying, either. The girls have horrible fake voices, yes, but at least they aren't as bad as those of the girls singing Glass no I LOVE YOU. Though the voices are still headache worthy, mind you...

It is a really cute song, though, and I honestly think that it helps that I like Mii-chan and Erepyon in this, because I know that those two can sing a lot better than they let on in this performance. However, admittedly, I like the lyrics of the song more than the song itself. The lyrics are the feelings of an Idol who wants people to realise her feelings and to consider her more it seems, and I like how it simply takes on the emotions that the Idol in the song has. It strikes true to any Idol, really, as they are all treated like dolls who aren't allowed to do what they want because of the public's love.

The song's meaning is nice, by far better than the annoying tone to the song itself, and I liked reading the English translation of the lyrics. It's a pity the song doesn't strike me as anything special, though.

Song 13: 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi


A song from another anonymous user, this is actually one of the calmer songs they recommended to me, though also not one of their highly recommended songs... but for me, this one stuck out more and is a song which I am quite enjoying. It's cute, but not overly sweet and tacky, and has the right amount of adorable fluff that you need for a song like this. The lyrics are really cute, too.

The song is about a girl who falls for a boy she briefly meets, and holds an imaginary date with him in her head, but understands that she can't really date him. It's that sort of song that talks about the thoughts and feelings of an innocent girl and her crush on a boy. I swear, we've all been there, where we imagine we are dating someone we barely know, and this song portrays that scenario quite well, I think. The gentle tone and the cute voices just set the song up nicely and make it a good listen. Okay, so it's not the best stage song I have listened to, but I quite like it.

The lyrics are also nice, so that's a bonus!

Song 14: Heart gata Virus


I found this song on the suggested videos on youtube, and you know what? I'm happy that I clicked it, because it's quite a nice song! The name is also really cute, and kind of speaks for the song itself really.

The song is a cute romantic song, portraying the feelings of a girl who didn't want to love a certain guy, but ended up doing that anyway, and now she can't stop thinking about him. It's your basic love story, though written in song, and it's just adorable. It depicts the emotions of a girl well as she goes through a love she didn't want, but can't stop, and the tone of the song matches her romantic feelings perfectly, though it doesn't really match the struggle of her falling in love well, but hey, who cares? It's sweet!

There's a good amount of energy in this song, though not too much that it takes over. The girls also sound nice, and thank goodness they aren't feigning their cuteness! Whew!

Song 15: Skirt, Hirari


I thought that I should throw in a PV for this part of my Challenge, and where better to go than one of the very first songs AKB48 recorded... meaning that this is indeed an Indies single.

A lot of people like this song, but honestly... I can't understand why, but I feel that's because I just don't really like the sound of this song. Upon first hearing it, I'm already bored, though I do like how it is a change of pace from their latest releases. It has a nice pace to it, but the tune really does nothing for me at all. It just... well, it bores me. I have no idea why, but the song just has no appeal for me.

But I doubt every song can grab me. Not even Morning Musume has a full discography which pleases me. I guess I am just immune to some songs x3

Though at some points, it can be catchy, but really... sorry, Skirt, Hirari, but you are not my cup of tea DX Though props on the vocals!

Song 16: Oshibe to meshibe to yoru no chouchou


What were my first thoughts when this song started? None other than 'OMAIGAWD JAMES BOND!'. I kid you not, I thought that the opening sounded familiar to the famous 007 theme. How weird...

Other than the 007 familiarity, this song sounds quite... sexy? It's got that certain beat to it which makes it sound sensual in a way, and that kinda caught me and made me want to continue listening to it. So, of course, I looked up the lyrics... and found out that indeed it was a song based on sex, and more importantly (for those who care) based on the relationship of what seems to be a lady and her mistress, who I think is a young girl? Well... isn't that interesting?

The song seems to depict the love of the young girl, but the lady seems to be a bit moreplayful and has a more carefree nature towards their affiar, seeing it as simple fun. Now, this is one interesting concept... I don't think that I have listened to a Japanese song yet which talks about the forbidden love between to women, so it's quite interesting to read about.

The performance itself is quite sensual too, so for those of you who aren't too fond of same-sex relationships or a performance which insinuates the act of love between two women, then don't go further! Reading this would be bad enough for you I guess xD

Song 17: Baby! Baby! Baby!


My final song for this challenge, and one which I actually avoid a lot, is Baby! Baby! Baby!. Why this song?...

Because it's the first song that youtube brought up when I typed in AKB48 into the search engine, so I decided to talk about this one, because I do have some history with it which will surely bring up my horrible AKB48 hating past.

So, Baby! Baby! Baby! and I have a brief history. I was, at the point in time when I watched this, a person who was heavily into Hello! Project, and slowly creeping into a deep dislike for AKB48. I think that Baby! Baby! Baby! helped me to push myself and my dislike forward because one of my friends online actually greatly disliked AKB too, and made a point of telling me that they were whores and sluts when I asked her what she thought about this group I knew nothing about. The reason she called the sluts and whores?

It was this PV, and pictures or screen caps taken from said PV, that made her say that, and sadly I followed along with it. Well, wasn't I a stupid person? I wouldn't have admitted that back then, mind you, but a lot of people have probably thought the same thing, and heck, some people still do.

So, history lesson over, shall we talk about the song and video itself?

I've never actually watched past the 30 second mark on the song itself, only hearing the catchy Baby! Baby! Baby! parts and some other lines, before turning it off and calling quits, but now that I am actually sitting down to watch it properly, and give the damn song a listen to, it's actually a very nicely shot video with quite a few creative shots, a lot of colour, and fan service. Lots of fan service, though what do you expect from their summer songs?

The retro style scenes are actually my favourite, because I love the colour and clothes in those shots. They really bring a touch of normality to the PV, I guess. Also, I love how happy the girls look here. They really seem like they are having fun, something which I don't really see in their newest summer PV's. I guess the concept has become over-used in a way, but for some reason, seeing the girls in this video is quite refreshing. They don't seem as forced as they do in their other PV's.

The song is nice too, it's catchy and a cute summer song. Okay, so it's not the most memorable song ever, but it's refreshing. It's the sort of AKB48 that I never got to experience due to my poor judgements, and yeah, I regret that.

....

So, that's it! My 3 Day Challenge (Part 2) has come to an official end! 3 days of non-stop AKB48 rocking out my mind, and their stage songs showing me a different side to them, has helped me to give this group the chance that I didn't when I was a few years younger, and has helped me to take a closer look at the girls and how passionate they are about being Idols and about AKB48. So, it's been a nice little journey, eh?

But what's the Conclusion?

The Conclusion



Honestly speaking, I think that I feel the same way towards AKB48 as I did before, though now I will be less judgemental. I'm still on the path into liking them, and whilst I may not be a super fan like other Wota are when it comes to this group, I do think that are genuinely good at what they do, but right now... I'm okay with them, but I don't exactly fawn over them either.

Doing this 3 day challenge has helped me to look into more of their songs, though, and I am happy that I was able to take a look at the other material these girls have and to see that they are actually more diverse than I ever thought they were. If anything, I have taken away the knowledge that AKB48 and the sister groups have better material out there that isn't just their A-side or B-side singles, and that I should really just listen to more of their stage stuff to get a better look at what these girls are capable of.

I've also realised how many good singers are in AKB48 - I've found a liking for Akimoto Sayaka and Masuda Yuka, who I wouldn't have found out about if I hadn't been given links to songs that have these girls in them, and whilst none of these songs haev made me think 'Wow, I love it so so much!' (Candy being the closest to that right now) I do feel like I have more to look forward to from AKB48 music wise, instead of just looking forward to a good PV or two.

So whilst I may still feel the same about them, I do think that eventually I will open up to AKB48 more and like them a lot more in the future. I mean, I've warmed up to them a great deal since I started this blog, and it's going to continue, but I think that there will always be that niggling feeling in the back of my head which reminds me how much I disliked them, and I do think that how I used to feel in the past is what actually holds my back from liking AKB48 a lot more than I do now.

In the end, it's progress into liking them, isn't it? And I'm happy I used 3 days of blogging to talk about what I think of the stage and single songs from AKB48. I've found songs and singers that I like, and songs that I don't like... but no matter what group you are into, there will always be somethin you dislike in the discography or group roster somewhere.

Anyway, it's been a fun three days. Thank you all for sharing your favourite songs with me, and thanks for reading these posts. I hope you've enjoyed, and I hope to see you next time without the pitch forks, because hopefully I will give AKB48 a better chance when something new comes out...

It's 23:59pm. Better go! Bye guys ;D

Giving AKB48 a Chance: The 3 Day Challenge - Day 3 (Part 1)

So today's the last day, huh? The 3rd and final day of this 3 day challenge, the one where I actually look into AKB48 and really give them that chance that I needed to give them, in order to broaden my thoughts on not only the group itself, but also the amount of songs they have and how diverse this group really is (despite what their A-sides sound like).

But let's be honest here; I kinda still feel the same way about AKB48 as I did before this challenge, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because hey, I didn't hate them before, though this challenge helped/allowed me to look into songs that I would have never bothered to looked into unless I forced myself to (which is essentially what this challenge is about - forcing me to care and to see how I am 3 days later) and I feel like I care more about AKB48 right now and I also know that there is a lot more to them than just crappy A-sides with really good MV's. So I have learnt something about AKB, and I guess I can't judge them based on solely their lack-luster A-sides. Whoo~

Anyway, moving on. From Day 2, I had happy feedback, which made me really happy! Coming home from a slow day at work (where I was thinking about what songs to use from a list someone had sent me last night, yaaay!) I was quite surprised to see more comments concerning the post, but one of these comments made me really really happy. It's so sweet! x3 I'm gonna post it, because I feel proud of myself now! xD
"Helloo I just wanted to say that I love how you're covering AKB! I actually am also a Morning Musume fan, and though I don't hate AKB, I've never tried to get into them. Your post is helping me listen to AKB more than I ever have, and I think it's widening my J-Pop world just a little bit. Thanks =D!"
This comment has really brightened my day, and motivated me even more to finish up this 3 Day Challenge! That, and a few people have been sending in little lists of their favourite songs from the 48 groups for me to listen to, which really does help me a lot in this sort of situation! So, I'm really pleased with all the comments and feedback I have been getting from AKB48 fans or non-fans. It spurs me on, and keeps me writing! Yaaay!

I may have to begin a One Week Challenge next, I mean, Ray said something about challenging myself to look into Visual Kei... xD How wonderful that would be for my sister, though tastes change within 3 years, I guess...

Anyway, I am babbling on! I think that it's about time that we get into the third and final (unless there is a part 2, which might just happen!) post for this 3 Day Challenge! It's time to get moving, and listening to some Stage Songs once again! Yipee~

Challenge Accepted!

Day/Night 3 (Final Challenge):



Why bunnies and cuteness, you ask? Because Minegashi Minami, that's why! Seriously, I want to hug that chubby faced beauty!!!

Anyway, back to the real topic on hand (Minami is a cutie!!!), I will be using some of the songs that others have suggested in comments, including the other 48 groups! This includes NMB, a group I dislike greatly for the pure fact that they bore my socks off and in no way entertain me... but that could be because I haven't listened to them in a long time, though their song Virginity failed to entertain me when I first heard it. Hm...

So before I have to scarper off to my Drama thing, I will forget all of my lines and kick back, relax and listen to some Stage songs, a few songs which have been A-sides too, and allow myself to finish this challenge and see just where AKB takes me...

Song 1: Junai no Crescendo



This song was suggested to me by an anonymous sender, who gave a lovely list of different songs which they personally like, with certain songs recommended more than others. Junai no Crescendo was one of the more recommended songs, so I decided to choose this one as the first song to look at.

The opening is really nice, and watching the performance, who is that I see... no, it can't be, can it...? Minami, my chubby cheeked angel! It is you, darling! Well, I'm already liking this song, because the angel is in it, as well as TakaMina, who is a pretty darned good singer may I say? Definitely improved from when she was in her early Idol career (she sounded quite nasally) and she sounds amazing here, though I will say the Angel Minagashi is my favourite voice here. Her voice is surprising against her cute face.

This song is quite cool to my ears, but really easy to listen to as well. It has a lot of appeal actually, and I am quite enjoying it. The opening was what made me want to listen to the song more, but the vocals help to keep my interest. Every one of the three girls sounds great, and I enjoy how perfectly they work together. They all have a certain maturity to their voices, and for this song, I think that maturity is needed.

No wonder this was recommended. It's a pretty song, sung by wonderful singers. I'm liking this, and considering this is a No Sleeves song too, I may just have to look into the group and see how much more I like them...

Song 2: Oogoe Diamond





This song was also recommended by the same Anonymous user, and actually I was quite interested in looking into this song anyway, because the 10th single was the first single to introduce Matsui Jurina in an AKB48 single, as opposed to her own group, SKE48. Now that I've started watching this, I actually remember this from when my sister was into watching videos from AKB48 - and this was one of the songs she liked quite a bit for how catchy and fun it was... and I liked it quite a bit too, but never remembered the name (or never bothered to learn it).

This is a really nice song, and one of the catchiest A-sides I think. It's got a nice beat to it which can get quite infectious if you listen to it enough, and the PV is well made too - I like the performance from the girls in the video and how it shows the work they put into the performance for their 'school'.

The Stage performance itself is pretty bad ass, because there is so much more energy put into the performance than the MV really shows, and you really feel the power and effort these girls put into their stages when you watch them sing live. I also feel like the girls really show more emotion in their stage performances compared to their MV's, which makes them a ot more likeable, admittedly.

I'm enjoying the stage performance of Oogoe Diamond. It's performed wonderfully, and really show cases the true energy of this really good song. Definitely worth a watch, guys! The live I mean, not the PV!

Song 3: Dakishimeraretara



Another song that was trongly recommended, Dakishimeraretara, this song sounds slower than what I expected, honestly, but it sounds extremely promising, especially when the vocals come into play! These girls are all really strong singers, which I am liking a lot!

And the chorus... Okay, this song got a lot prettier! It's absolutely stunning. Oh boy, this song... I might start loving this song, because it actually has to be the prettiest stage song that I have listened to yet. The instrumental is just a pleasure to listen to, and the girls vocals are amazing. For me, this is a true love song, in a way. It has just the right beat, the right amount of power put into it from the vocals, and a good amount of sweetness which makes it just oh so beautiful and such a wonder to listen to.

Ah, I'm falling in love with these girls and this song... help me? Wait, no, don't help me... I like it too much xD

It's a very beautiful song, one which strikes me as the 'perfect' love song. It doesn't sound too sad, nor does it sound overly happy and cheesy. It's cute but also really strong, and honestly, if this came out as an A-side from AKB48, I would probably buy it, because that's just how pretty it is!

It makes me feel happy x3

Song 4: Candy


Aaaaaaand cue the cavity check! It's time for Diabetes and dentist appointments, because this song, or at least how it starts, is extremely sweet and full of sugary goodness! Oh boy, my teeth...

From a love song to something that is filled with cuteness, this is certainly a cute, and a rather nice, change from the beautiful Dakishimeraretara. The girls have such sweet voices which really suit the tone of this song, with a refreshing breath of vocals from Masuda Yuka, who has the best voice out of all three... but that's because she isn't forcing the sugary sweetness and drowning me in the fake cuteness that the other two are.

The song is, in general, a really nice song! I'd say if you hate cuteness to the extent where you feel like you need to visit the dentist, then you should probably avoid this song, unless you want to hear Masuda Yuka with her glorious voice, but yeah... I doubt this would be for everyone, but I'm a sucker for cute songs. I mean, I love Rainbow Pink, so that kinda tells you something about my preference in songs, doesn't it? So yeah, this song is nice! Cute, sugary and tooth-ache worthy! A gloriously cute song, with cute voices and one mature, beautiful voice, to top it all off!

This is definitely my sweet treat dessert from this challenge! Thanks for giving it to me, Anonymous who suggested it >3< Wheeee~~~

Song 5: Yuuwaku no Garter


Another song suggested by the very same Anonymous, and the first SDN48 song I will be looking at... ever. Honestly, I took no interest in this group, and that may have been for the reason that at the time they were around, I was not a fan of AKB and refused to listen to any group associated to them. So yeah...

Anyway, SDN were the more mature group, the girls who really were quite sexy in comparison to their sister groups, and made up of older women. Even the song sounds more mature than most Idol songs, and takes the perspective of an older woman who I think (think think think) has cheated on her boyfriend with her best friend. Wow... risky, right? But hey, whatever works for the group...

The song itself isn't just sexy, but the sound and the feel of the song is sexy. Okay, wait... everything about this song, from the girls singing to the dance, is sexy, mature and risky. And I thought that Baby Baby Baby was bad...

But regardless of the amount of sex this song oozes (how many times will I use that word in this mini review of this song?), it is a good song. I like how mature it sounds, the guitar rifts, the tone... it's all good, and compliments the meaning of the song perfectly. Risky? Oh yes, but it's damn good, so I don't really care. Now, why the hell did these guys graduate? I mean, SDN... wow. I'm liking them already just from this song, as well as mentally kicking myself for never giving them a chance because of my stupid thoughts on AKB48.

Mental KICK!!!!

Song 6: Ame no Pianist


This will have to be my last one for now, but I aim to put up a part 2 as soon as I can because I really need to go, and I want to post this before 7pm England time x3 So, for now, the last song I have chosen to look at is SKE48's stage song, Ame no Pianist.

Why this song? Well, it's SKE, though I was originally going to try out the debut of NMB and see how it fared this time around with my judgement, but I couldn't find a PV which would load quickly enough, so I had to go to plan B: Another song, and this one caught my interest. I like SKE, so I just thought it would be nice to use this as my last song for Part 1 of this post.

So, the song itself is different from most SKE songs. I usually think of bubbly and extremely genki when it comes to any song by SKE, but this one, whilst quite up-beat in its own way, is mild and a lot more toned down, but also a lot more mature and seems to be about a break up (well, it's what I read from the translation of the lyrics...), something which is quite different from my beloved Okie Dokie and Perao Emerald. That said, it is a refrehing and cool kind of song, and I like its tone.

The girls singing all sound very good in this song, and give it that maturity that it needs, but also a bit of innocence with their soft voices. They compliment the instrumental quite well, despite not being the strongest singers... well, if they are strong singers, this song certainly doesn't let their strength come out. But anyway, it's nice, and I like the song enough to not turn it off x3

It's a change from the usual genki songs I hear from AKB, but it's refreshing~

....

And that will be all from me for now, folks! If it wasn't for my drama group tonight, I would probably have about 10 songs written up on here, and then a further 6 on the part two. Alas, it is not meant to be... until later tonight, of course! I have a few more songs to get through, but for now, I hope that these will do~ It's actually becoming a lot of fun doing this!

Curse you, drama group!!! Curses!!!

Chiima~

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Giving AKB48 a Chance: The 3 Day Challenge - Day 2

Okay, so I was actually planning on skipping today and going back to this tomorrow, all because I am feeling quite lazy and... well, I've been watching a few musicals, and I've just been in the mood for movies from my childhood and not Jpop, surprisingly. So let's put the blame on Hairspray for making me prefer musicals over AKB48's music...

Oh, and blogger for being an absolute douche and not allowing me to upload freakin' PICTURES!!!!

Well, it looks like I'm here anyway, after forcing myself to open up blogger, stare at it for a few minutes, and then type. Ah, motivation, where are you when I need you the most? This 3 day challenge won't write itself!

Anyways, I've been told by Nia and a commenter to take a look into AKB's stages, as they aren't present on singles, but are apparently better than most of the stuff that are present on the groups singles, so today I went searching (despite telling myself musicals are what I need for this lazy day) and  found a random topic on a forum that has a list of people's favourite Stage songs by AKB. So, have I watched any of them? No! I'm leaving first impressions to the blog, thank you very much! That, and I've been utterly lazy today!

So let's not hang about, because we need to get into Day 2!

Day/Night 2:


So yeah... today's main focus will mostly be on AKB48s stage songs, though I will add in a regular single song here and there, like RIVER or another song I won't watch because I hated it the first time around.

Thinking about the Stage songs, actually, that's a pretty cool concept - they aren't like regular singles, I'm guessing, and are just performed on stage... I don't know, but that's what I think of when I hear the word Stage. Hopefully, these songs will all prove to be as good as everyone makes them out to be, because from what people say, this is some of their better work.

Then again, most works that aren't used for A-sides are better, aren't they?

Anyway, I need to get into this post... I'm holding it up, and quite frankly, I'm wasting your time! x3 Let's go!

Song 1: Confession


This is the first song I decided to look at, mostly because the title sounds like a slow love song which would appeal to me. Well, slow it definitely isn't. Powerful? Indeed. Cool? You bet! It's a song which is quite different to what I expected, though I probably wouldn't listen to it again anytime soon, admittedly, but I like the overall beat and feel to the song itself.

I'm actually surprised by the lyrics of the song and what they mean. This song is about the confession from someone else, as opposed to the girl, who is receiving the confession but doesn't even want it. The lyrics and the song are both quite strong in meaning and the emotions put into them translate well now that I know what the song is about and the feelings the girl has within the story of the song.

It's cool! But as I said, I probably wouldn't listen to it again... the girls sound wonderful, though, and I like how this song portrays the feelings of someone on the receiving end of a confession rather tan singing about how they feel towards a person and how they are scared about what they will say.

Song 2: Cinderella wa damasarenai


When I see the word 'Cinderella' in the title of a song, I immediately think of something cute, girly and in general, quite fairytale like. So believe my surprise at the sound of this song, and how much I am reminded of Iroppoi Jirettai, Odore Morning Curry, Happy Summer Wedding and any other song that sounds quite exotic, though I quite like the Spanish flare this song has to it, but it isn't really impressing me either.

It's a song which took me by surprise, with its exotic feel and fast-paced sound to it. It's a nice enough song, but it's yet to win me over to the dark side of AKB48's Stages.

Song 3: Boku no Taiyou


I actually remember Boku no Taiyou as one of the songs that my sister showed me in our early Jpop-loving days, back when we were unaware of the presence of any Idol group that wasn't Morning Musume. My sister actually had quite a liking for AKB48 at that time, and had shown me a few of their MV's, including Heavy Rotation, which I had taken a liking to and still like today, but this PV... Yes, I remember Boku no Taiyou from before I became a blogger, an AKB hater and a mega MoMusu fan.

So my history with this song, well what little there is of it, is quite a fond one. I actually really like this song, and looking at a list of stage songs for Himawari Gumi 1st Stage, I saw this listed there and wondered why the name was so recognizable, and found the PV for it.

This is also the 5th single of AKB48, so of course it has to have a PV, and honestly I like this song. It's cute and summery, something I like in my Idol songs. There's a nice feel to the whole song and video itself, showing the girls in an innocent and carefree light as they play about and spend time with each other. Their costumes in this are also really cute and eye-catching, with a retro feel to the entire look which really does appeal to someone like me, who loves colour, dresses and flowing skirts. The girls themselves also look extremely beautiful and really natural. Even Bore-chan, who never has emotion in videos or looks forced, is at ease here! It's refreshing in its own way, and it makes me like this AKB48 even more.

The gentle tone of the song wins me over every time, and it's nice to watch it again after about 2-3 years. It's actually nice to remember that when I didn't know of AKB48 properly, I quite liked something by them before I learned their name and how high up they were in the Idol industry.

Song 4: Heart ga Kaze wo Hiita Yoru


Here's another song I chose based purely on the name of the song... or at least one of the words in the song title, which is Heart, though after reading the english translation of the titled (The night my heart caught a cold) I became even more interested in this song, because with a title like that... well, it sounds good, right?

The song is quite sad in meaning, but the emotion and the sound of the instrumental make it sound a lot cooler and more powerful than the words they are singing, though through the instrumental and how the girls sing, I feel the jealousy and sadness that they are portraying in the song, and just how unhappy they are through not receiving the same feelings as the boy they are singing about.

It's a very good song, one which stands out by how the instrumental contrasts beautifully with the meaning of the song itself whilst being translated ell by the emotion the girls put into their performance. It's nice... but it's still not converted me into liking stage songs at all, which is a shame.

I have yet to find one I truly like... damnit!

Song 5: Mushi no Ballad



I picked this one by closing my eyes and clicking blindly, and lo and behold, Mushi no Ballad had been chosen! Actually, Okera had been chosen, but that was yet another song which I didn't like that much, so I thought that instead of continuing a negative streak, I would wait until something else took my fancy. Luckily, Mushi no Ballad was picked randomly next, and so far so good!

This is a solo song which is performed by Akimoto Sayaka of Team K, and wow her voice is amazing! She has so much power and passion in her, it's absolutely amazing! The song itself, though a ballad, requires some power throughout it and this girl really does deliver and has yet to disappoint me with this song! There is so much feeling and passion put into her performance, and I am really enjoying how she just owns that stage and makes only herself present. Seriously... wow!

The lyrics of this song are actually quite moving in a way, expressing how the person will continue no matter what happens to them and that they will continue to live on. It's a nice song translation wise, but it's beautiful in both the instrumental and the voice. Right now, out of the stage songs I have heard, this is the one I like the most.

Song 6: Ai no Stripper



I saw the word 'Stripper', and I gained interest... and that's really it, though honestly, this is a great song and probably the most interesting, or at least the one that interests me the most, out of the group stage songs right now! It's catchy, up-beat and energetic, and the dance is just wonderfully sexy and full of absolute win. And with a title as winning as Ai no Stripper, you really can't go wrong, can you?

Though despite its name, the song itself isn't all that sexy in sound. More so, it's the dance moves that make the song a bit more sexual. Even the lyrics don't sound sexual, it's more so about seeing the real person beneath a facade as well as the person in question being someone who isn't confident, but wants that certain someone to see them for who they are... well, that's what I took from the lyrics, but I like how the song isn't in anyway sexual as the title suggests, but instead tries to talk about how the person really feels, and how they are hiding behind a facade to create an ideal image.

It's a good song, or even a great song, and I'm glad I found this one! It's not as cool as others, but this is the sort of song I like I guess, and it sticks out to me with how catchy and sincere it sounds.

Now, Mayuyu, come here and be my Ai no Stripper x3

Song 7: Locker Room Boy


Okay, I will finish this post at some point, I swear! But I'm actually having a lot of fun looking into the stage songs by AKB, and also, my sister asked me to allow my niece to slam her hands against my keyboard and choose a song randomly for me... and this is what she found x3

My niece has major finding skills, because Locker Room Boy sounds really good, and my ears are feeling happy at the sounds of this song.

This is a cute and happy sounding song, but it has motivational lyrics, urging the boy in the song to be more confident and to just go on whilst also becoming stronger in a way. I like the meaning behind the lyrics, and I like how the song is one which is motivational, even though the instrumental doesn't fit the tone of the songs meaning.

It's a very nice song, though admittedly I would forget it quite quickly. It doesn't exactly stick in my head like other songs do, so sorry Locker Room Boy! You're a nice song, but I have not been won over!

Song 8: RIVER


I'll make this song my final one for today's challenge post, because I really need to finish it up! Also, this is the song that I told myself I would definitely look at today, because it's the one song I really have not given a chance out of all of AKB48's discography. I listened to it once before, and I claimed I hated it before even finishing it. A lot of people love this song, including my sister, and it's about time I got out from under my rock of AKB dislike and took a look at this video properly, and fully listen to it!

Okay, firstly: DAYUMN MAEDA! Why is Maeda Atsuko so pretty in this!? ARGH! I knew it... I knew I would pay more attention to Bore-chan the moment she ditched AKB. Damn! Anyway, other than absolute beauty from Bore-chan, I admit, I am digging this song. It's a lot more Idol like than I remember it being, though that is what makes it really nice to listen to I guess. The girls sound great, and the song, whilst quite Idol like in sound, isn't painfully generic or over the top cute. It's just the right amount of poppy with a touch of cool added to it.

And the PV rocks. Okay, why, oh WHY past me, did you hate this so much? It's a very good PV, with some army march chants thrown in there, which make it that tiny bit cooler, and some really nice encouraging lyrics as well. Okay, now I understand why people like this song so much, and why AKB48 became a lot more popular after this release. It has a high quality video which matches the tone and overall look of the video (the marching army chants fit the costumes they wear, teehee x3) and the dance is amazing... to my standards xD

The girls also sound great!

Arrrrrgh!!!! What is RIVER doing to me? I'm meltiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing...~

....

Aha, this turning out to be much funner than I thought it would. Honestly, I'm enjoying looking for these songs and seeing how I react to them. It was also nice to go back to RIVER, a song I initially hated for an unknown,  but most likely absured, reason and found out that I really liked it! This challenge is really coming in handy and helping me to let go of bad habits and actually take that chance... though honestly, I was going to ignore RIVER today but forced myself into watching it, thinking 'Yeah, still gonna hate your guts, song'.

I am a little disappointed in the choice of Stage songs today though, because none of these songs really 'wowed' me like I wanted them to. I guess I will just need to find something which really impresses me. Any suggestions...? Anyone?

Anyway, that's going to be all from me today guys. Hopefully I will have a post up tomorrow. If not, it's most likely because work has killed me with tiredness and I went back to bed right after coming home.

Anyway, I'm going back to my musicals! AKB48, I will return to you tomorrow, or maybe even later on this evening!

Ciao, darlings!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Okay! Musume Digest! #14

DIGEST TAIMU!~

Ah, I almost forgot about this again... what the heck is wrong with me? Actually, I'm gonna lay the blame on my sudden urge to watch a movie, and also playing a random dating/Idol sim game called Star Project. My sister, I blame you for this addiction...

ANYWAYS...

Week wise, I'm happy with the news that has been available, but even happier at the amount of posts I have done so far. I feel like I have accomplished something in a way xD I finally updated with a post I wanted to write so long ago, but never got around to it until recently.

So, that's that~ It's been a so-so week news wise, but I found some great pieces which I really liked, as well as a good week in terms of actually posting, or at least good for me.

Sadly I can't post my picture of the week this time around, because blogger has decided that HEY! It's hate Chiima day, so I will only be posting it up on the actual blog (if it lets me) so yeah...

And before I get into what the poll will be, here's something for you all to see...


Amazon are now selling Miyamato Karin! Fans question the motives behind UFA and their Kenshuusei, whilst rabid Wota bid away their life insurance just to try and get hold of this valuable Idol in the making...

Say whaaat?

Honestly, I love ads! They can mean something different if you don't look at it closely. But yeah, UFA have a new way of selling their Idols' image! Holy cow!

Okay, let's get into the poll question for this week!

This weeks Question is: Who is your favourite AKB48 Senbatsu member?

As I am now doing a 3 day challenge concerning AKB48, I thought that this would be a good question to ask, as everyone has a different member that they like. I would also like to see who will be the senbatsu of this poll, woohoo!

So vote away guys! ;D

Now, without further ado, let's get into the...
NEWS OF THE WEEK





(EDIT) This weeks Satoyama Life is definitely one of the best I have seen so far, as it shows footage from Hello! Project's summer concert. Also, this has to be the episode everyone has been waiting for, as it contains footage from Morning Musume's 11th generation auditions.

A lot of hype went into the fact that this episode contained a two minute clip showing off some girls singing or dancing, and admittedly, all of the girls sounded quite good... but, it's most likely a ploy from the editors to get everyone excited, as remember everyone... there is a chance that these girls haven't passed! So far, this is only a taster, and we don't know just how many girls auditioned, or how many passed even. Anyway, I'm not going to excite myself over these auditions until training camp footage, or at least more than two minutes of video, is released.

Anyways, it's a good episode of Satoyama life, and allows us to see this new Hello! Project in all its glory!


A radio rip for Morning Musume's up-coming album song, Be Alive! has been released for everyone to listen to! So listen!

Be Alive! is a ballad, I guess, and a very sweet song which is nice to listen to. I like that Morning Musume now have a low and gentle song under their belts, because whilst they have other songs that are slow, I don't think that we have had a much-needed ballad in a while. The new MoMusu fit this gentle and serene song well, and it makes me happy when I listen to it. The girls all sound absolutely amazing, even Riho in all her ear-grating glory, and Reina is, of course, quite spectacular here.

It's a very pretty song, and well worth the listen if you want to get an idea of this new Morning Musume and how they sound right now. It's a great song, and is heavy on group parts as opposed to solo parts.

Source


Sayashi Riho's up-coming solo DVD is titled HyaaHo~i♪( ´θ`)ノ

Recently the front cover was released for Riho's second photobook, so soon enough, the title would come along for her solo DVD and the cover as well. Well, we have the title, and after reading it, I thought that it was really cute and extremely fitting of Riho, because she seems to be the sort of person who would say something cute like that. Hopefully, the solo DVD itself will be cute and everyone will look forward to watching it!

Source


A preview, or a short PV, for AAA's MV I$M has been uploaded to Avex Network's youtube channel to give us a sneak peak at the official music video for one of AAA's album songs from 777 ~Triple Seven~!

I decided to randomly search for AAA's track listing for their new album, as it was released on the 22nd of this month, and was surprised to see a good amount of MV's available with this release, including an MV for one of the album songs. Looking at it, the video seems to be poker based and pretty cool, and extremely heavy on effects more than anything. Regardless, this preview gives us a glimpse at what to expect, and it looks good so far!

I am looking forward to this MV when it is eventually leaked onto the internet or released, because it seems interesting and I like the poker concept.

Source


The cover to Morning Musume's 9th and 10th generations first official photobook has been released!

The cover, in my opinion is pretty boring and far too formed. I'm the sort of person who prefers PV covers to be natural, or to look glamorous... or something. Anyway, I really wish there was some sort of movement going on in the image, though Zukkini and Eripon's smile are the best in this picture. The girls look cute (Zukkini and Eripon) but the others look bored. Haruna looks happy, and Riho... well, she looks smug. Come on girls, give me happiness!

Riho... EMOTION PLEASE! You too, Fukupon. Smugness and pretty faces don't get you everywhere, sweethearts.

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Idol duo YuiKaori will be releasing their sixth single, titled Ueikatsu!! (Wake Up!!) on October 31st this year. There will be a regular and limited edition available. The Limited edition will include the music video for the title song.

This is the news I have really been waiting for; YuiKaori's next single release. I really like how these two girls sound together, and they have great chemistry, so I'm excited for their next single release! The title sounds like the song itself will be refreshing, however seeing as it will be released on Halloween, I am expecting something thrilling as well.

We won't know until the PV or previews are released, though! Well, whatever it happens to be... I am going to anticipate it! :D

Source | Source


A radio rip for C-ute's Saikou Music has been uploaded to youtube for everyone to listen to!

Saikou Music is one of two of C-ute's B-sides for their up-coming single, Aitai Aitai Aitai na. It is available on the Limited B, C and D singles and is an up-beat and energetic song which really fits the image of C-ute, and is a nice contrast to their A-side song.

I was surprised by how up-beat and happy this song was, but I really enjoy the sound of this song, and I am impressed with all of the girls' vocals, especially Nakky's. They all sound great, and I love the energy and happiness this song has. It's a nice beat which reminds me of the old C-ute before they began to produce more mature music. It's a song which is just really nice to listen to, and really carefree.

I encourage everyone to listen to the song, because of how fun and cute it really is.



AAA have announced that they will be holding an event in Taiwan on October 5th. The news was revealed during the groups release event for their latest album, AAA ~777~ which was held on August 23rd at Lalaport Toyosu in Tokyo.

This is great news for AAA fans, as it means more exposure in other countries for this group. A s a new fan to AAA, I am extremely happy for them because it means that they can present themselves to a new crowd and show off their talents and hopefully gain even more popularity in Taiwan.

Hopefully there will be a full crowd, and when the event comes around, hopefully a few clips will be uploaded online for the fans to see!



Ishida Ayumi and Kudo Haruka will both be taking a break from Morning Musume activities due to injuries. Ayumi has sprained her ankle, and has been told that it will take one month for her ankle to completely recover. Regarding Kudo's condition, she is undergoing detailed examination, and may have a meniscal tear.

When I heard this news I was really sad - I don't wish any hurt upon any MM member, and for two of the stronger singers and dancers in the group to hurt themselves and halt activities is something that every fan dreads to read about.

I was aware of Ayumi's condition before the news about Haruka leaked out, and I was already sad and hoping for Ayumi's recovery, and it's the same case for Haruka now. Even though I like Haruka more, I equally want both of these girls to recover soon and begin activities once again, because they are key members to Morning Musume and I am pretty sure that everyone is worried about them.

Recover soon, girls!



Girl group 9nine have announced that they will be providing the ending theme for a new anime series titled Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun which will begin airing on October 1st. The song will be released as a single sometime in December, just one month after their single Yi Er! Jiang Shi feat. Hao Hao! Jiang Shi Girl! hits the stores.

9nine seem to be getting busier by the day! With two new singles coming out a month apart, as well as a Christmas one-man live and drama's, shows or radio that the girls get to take part in, these girls are really making a name for themselves in the Idol industry with the image that they have now!

I find it amazing how 9nine have come so far after the change in lineup, about the same time I started to take a good look at them as I was getting into the Idol world, despite being around since 2005 (the same time when AKB48 was formed and debuted). These girls have really made a name for themselves now, and it's great to see that they are all doing so well in their activities and getting more recognition!



AKB48's Takahashi Minami will (finally) be making her solo debut!

I've often wondered just why TakaMina was never a soloist in AKB48, and whilst I admittedly don't know what she sound likes, I am sure that she sounds better than Sasshi and Mayu put together.

Anyway, it seems that prayers have been answered, and many wota tears will be shed, because hark! She will become a soloist! FINALLY!!!

The fact that this was apparently one of TakaMina's dreams also makes this sweeter, and a lot more overwhelming, for a casual fan like me. I'm really happy that she is getting this chance, and I hope that her songs are interesting, because I would love to take an interest in her solo debut and whatever happens afterwards.

Anyway, good luck to a happy debut! Hopefully her songs won't bore me as much as Tomomi's do.



Miyamato Karin and Tanabe Nanami have been added to the cast of Sugar Spot.

If people remember, Sugar Spot is a stage play which both Yajima Maimi and Tokunaga Chinami will be appearing in, so to hear news that two Kenshuusei members will also be starring in it is wonderful!

Karin has a lot of experience in acting thanks to stage plays, so many fans will be happy to know that she is continuing with her usual activities and getting her name out there even more. As for Nanami, I don't know if she has been in many stage plays, but they are a great way to gain more experience as well as to promote yourself and gain a few more fans!

Stage plays, I think, are great for Kenshuusei, as it means that the girls will learn more and also they will have the opportunity to talk to their senpai's and gain experience. Also, as I said beforehand, it gets their name out there and will give them more opportunities and possibly even help the girls in making a debut.



Morning Musume and some of the OG members made an appearence on 24 Hour Television, and sang a medley together made up of the songs Love Machine, Happy Summer Wedding and Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru. Ishida Ayumi and Kudo Haryka were absent from this performance due to injuries.

Whilst there aren't many songs, I really love the interaction between the past and present members of Morning Musume. Just seeing how these girls look together is good enough for fans, but their interaction is pretty great, too! Also, I was greatly surprised by how Kanon was allowed to join Mari in her memorable, and rather funny, stint in Happy Summer Wedding where she jumps across the stage yelling Pa Pa Pala no ACHAA!. It was also sweet when the two girls joined Morning Musume in the song Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru. I enjoyed the medley, and I am sure that many other fans will too~



Ikuta Erina and Sayashi Riho have appeared on an episode of J-Melo and learn about the Yosakoi Festival and the dance that people do during the festival.

This is a cute video, and really shows how much Morning Musume members interact with society as Idols, helping fans of Japan learn more about Japan's culture and what different prefectures do for their home town's. The video was really interesting to watch, and I like how well Riho and Eripn interact with each other as a duo. The girls really looked like they were having fun, and the dancing they did looked really fun.

For any fan or Eripon or Riho, please check out the video!~

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Michishige Sayumi and Tanaka Reina appeared on Exile Tamashii where they talked about certain songs from the group as well as performed Reinai Revolution 21 with the group E-girls.

In my opinion, Sayu has really improved in her singing! She sounds great in this live, and I loved that both Sayu and Reina were able to perform such a popular Morning Musume song together on a show, with E-girls backing them up. Whilst I don't much about E-girls, and don't even follow them, it was great to see their interaction with another girl group!

It's a good video, so watch it whilst you can guys! :D

Source

And that's all the news I have for everyone this week! Hopefully some of it was interesting, and may next week be just as informative! YEEEEEAH!~

Chiima~

PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: August 28th, 2012

Giving AKB48 a Chance: The 3 Day Challenge - Day 1

All opinions within this post, and all over this blog, are my own and no one else's. Please respect everyone's opinion, and in return, they will respect yours!

I find it quite strange that I am posting this after Maeda Atsuko's graduation, however I have been wanting to do this for a while, and finally I have done it! After a lot of thinking, and a few comments from fans of AKB48 telling me to give the group a chance, I decided that it was time to do this post.


As a lot of my readers know, I am not an AKB48 fan as such. I am more of a casual fan, someone who dabbles with AKB's music every now and again for a little break from the other Idol groups I listen to, before deciding to call it quits and go back to Morning Musume, though of course how I talk about AKB48 and how I view them has gained me that wonderful pet name 'Hater' on one occasion, but also, it has left AKB fans sometimes asking me if I even listen to other AKB48 songs, and if not, how can I judge them?

Well, I actually judge on what happens in the present, and not the past - the same actually goes for Morning Musume. I care very little for their past songs, though I do like some of them such as I WISH and Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru and a few others, but I don't really care for most of their past songs like I do their present songs, or the ones that I was around when I found the fandom, so honestly, AKB48 is no different than Morning Musume in how I treat their singles. What happens now is what I care about now.

However lately I've been thinking about what I can do in order to familiarise myself with AKB48, and to see just why their fans love them so much, as well as to find out why they are asking me to take a look at their past singles and discographies despite the fact that I am looking at the current formation of AKB and not the past.

And then I remembered...

The 3 Day Challenge. Originally posted in October of '11, The 3 Day Challenge was originally created to help me get into the Jpop boy fandom that others had suggested I try, and to also allow me to give them the chance that I hadn't beforehand. It actually helped me a lot, and I found a liking for some JE groups (I don't follow them faithfully, but I do listen to their songs now and again) and opened me up to a different side of JPop which I had originally intended to ignore and never venture.

And that's basically what I want to do here, but this time with AKB48 and their past singles that I haven't listened to, or parts of their discography which I never cared to look at. This challenge will give me 3 days to look at the old AKB48 and how they worked back then as opposed to now, as well as allowing me to familiarise myself with the group more and to try and fall for them like their fans do, because to be quite honest, yes, I am rather judgemental when it comes to this group - but that's only because some of their songs, as of recent, have been quite poor.

Anyway, it seems that I am venturing back to the 3 Day Challenge in order to give AKB48 the chance I haven't really given them, and to see if I can, or will, change my mind on how I view this group.


Day/Night 1:

To begin with, I will admit that when I first came into this fandom, I did not like AKB48 after I found out more about them from the days where I began taking a fancy to Idols. In a way, I felt threatened by this group - they were best sellers, which meant that they were better than Morning Musume, and as a naive and new fan, I was unhappy with that. I thought that Morning Musume was a great group, and so, I never gave AKB48 a chance. Basically, I was a close-minded fool.

But I have started to like them more and more - if I didn't, I would certainly not take the time to review their works on this blog... or at least the songs and PV's that interest me. I do honestly think that AKB48 are a great group and they have some solid singles, but some I feel are clearly better than others.

In the end of it all, I think that people feel I judge AKB48 too harshly, and honestly, I think I do as well, and I put that down to the fact that I had my little history where I just took to hating on a group I never even listened to. It's the same with male groups - because I didn't like them in the past, I didn't feel the need or want to like them in the present, even though my tastes had ultimately changed.

So, before I ramble off again, I am going to get into this post and the first few songs that I will be taking a look at.

Let the Games Begin...


To start off this challenge, I asked for the help of Nia from Nia's Wonderland, as she is more familiar with AKB48 and has a better understanding of the group than I do. She has suggested songs to me, ranging from her favourites, so that I can get a leg-up in this 3 Day Challenge. The first song that she suggested is actually one I have listened to before, but have not really given my full attention.

Song 1: Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou

Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou is a dark video from AKB48, from the days when being risky didn't involve corsets and bikini's. This PV is definitely haunting, with the dark messages littering the video and the theme of school bullying taking on the plot and showing us the darker side to Japan's youth. What makes the video even more sad, and a lot scarier, is the suicidal reference it has when Oshima Yuko stands on the roof and looks down to her fate, with the song ending in one of the most haunting ways I can think of - a sudden stop to the song, as if it is slowly falling and dieing down, to its death before the girls turn, and look to the camera.

The video for this song is quite dark, and the sound and style of the instrumental suits the emotion of the video as well. It's quite creepy, actually, and has the viewer wondering what must have happened to make these girls targets of bullying. There is a lot of thought and meaning put into the creation of this video, and considering this is one of AKB48's earlier works, it is a rather amazing piece and shows that, even as new Idols who were quite unknown and not as popular as they are today, they still brought a certain quality to their work.

The video is eerie in its own way, with a dark plot and a sad ending. It's a song which speaks out to victims of bullying and the harsh reality of how it can affect people and how they see themselves. It's haunting, yes, but the meaning behind it is a powerful one, and it strikes a chord with me.


The second song that Nia helpfully suggested to me was none other than Keibetsu Shiteita Aijo's b-side, Namida Uri no Shoujo, another sad song depicting the loneliness of a girl as she wishes to be seen by people, and how she views herself as the match-seller girl. The song has no video, but much like the A-side, the song also plays around with the notion of death.

This song has a really nice beat to it, one which is quite saddening but also quite catchy and up-beat in its own way. It has a certain appeal to it, and slightly reminds me of something from Pink Lady with an old-fashioned, familiar feeling to the sound. This sort of beat to the song sets Namida Uri no Shoujo apart from the A-side, and allows it to be its own song. I like the emotion within the song, and how both the A-side and the B-side have dark undertones and deep messages hidden in the lyrics.



Seifuku ga Jama wa Suru is apparently a rather infamous song and video for its sexual undertones, and how it hints at enjo kosai (an act of compensated dating). One of the riskiest songs from AKB48 that I know of, this song and video is certainly interesting to look at in terms of seeing how much AKB48 itself has changed as well as their image. Something this dark and daring is quite intriguing actually, and allows the girls to show the vulnerability they have throughout the video whilst also showing that these girls are no longer innocent and have taken a step to a darker part of their lives.

The video is indeed controversial, with its dark meaning and a well constructed plot to lead the viewers into believing that something took place despite the youth of these girls. From the darkness of underage sex to how the girls carelessly allow themselves to be taken into the world of enjo kosai, this PV is visually and lyrically interesting, and how the video itself was edited is extremely interesting and helps to keep the viewer wondering what has happened to certain girls, and why they are doing this.

The darkness of the video helps to set the tone for the entire song, showing us scenes of the girls dancing in a tunnel with untidy uniforms, hinting at the acts that they have all committed the night before, as well as scenes showing the girls preparing themselves for what they about to do. The video is quite sexualised, even for the early days of AKB48, showing off the girls in a part of their culture that many people don't look into when they think of the country and its Idols. The approach itself is risky, but AKB48 pulled it off well, allowing the girls to look, feel and act vulnerable whilst fully aware of what they are doing.

The video is very good, and whilst it is rather infamous, I actually like the risk that was taken with both the song and the video. It shows us more darkness to Japan that we didn't know about previously, and the video is well edited, and the locations well thought out, giving references to the plot and what the girls have been doing.

Song wise, this has to be one of the best songs I have heard from AKB48. It's catchy and dark, and I am enjoying the sound of AKB48 from this time.


Song 4: Tobenai Agehachou

Tobenai Agehachou is the B-side song to Iiwake Maybe, and the first song to feature the Undergirls. Nia explained that she likes the overall musical feel of this sing, hence why she sent it to me.

Now, I am actually quite unfamiliar with Undergirls - I am not the sort of person who takes a look at B-sides from a group I listen to casually, so of course, I've never really heard any Undergirls songs at all. There was probably a day in the past where I took a look at a PV from the Undergirls, however that would have been long ago when I was just starting to care about AKB48 a little more.

Visually, this video is actually quite appealing. Whilst there is no plot, there are plenty of shots to keep the viewer interested Many of these shots use a lot of movement, following the feet, bodies and overall movement of the girls in the video. The location is also quite nice, showing the girls in a warehouse with a water strewn floor. Even the tone of the video feels quite cool and even sexy when you watch it, and the pacing of the editing and how it fits well with the girls' dance moves and the song itself works in favour of the song, and makes a good video despite the simplicity it has.

The song itself is actually musically interesting. I really enjoy the sound and feel of the song, and how it fits the maturity of the video. It has quite a nice beat to it, something that reminds me of a sexual song watered down with something a bit sweeter and more demure, as if the song is playing a game of hard to get in a way, though the song itself isn't sexual at all, but instead it is about the one sided love of a girl who wants to keep her lover to herself, even though he believes her love to simply feel only passion for him, regardless of what she says.

The song is quite passionate, actually, and very well written. I think that both of the song and the video work quite well together, allowing the viewers to see the passion and love the girls are sharing with us through their dance moves and their emotions.


Song 5: Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara

The last song on my list for today, this is actually a song which I clicked on randomly from the featured videos via AKB48's official youtube channel, and boy am I happy I did! Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara is the b-side to the rather popular RIVER, a song which I tend to ignore but will eventually talk about through this challenge, however right now, I've been drawn in by another Undergirls song, this time with another theme of love, but with a more positive and innocent approach.

The PV is a summery affiar with a carefree feel, showing the girls dancing in a field (it reminds me of NMB48's Oh My God! PV) and cleaning out a pool or hanging out with each other. It's a nice little PV, though nothing special either. It has a summery, carefree feel to it which is really nice to watch, and the energy and happiness in the video is extremely catchy too!

This song is really cute, really catchy... and also, quite generically AKB48! I find that it has that familiar tune that I hear in the new, popular AKB48 now, but it is really pleasant to listen to. It helps that this song is typically quite happy and energetic, with that nice summer feel to it whilst still creating a calming atmosphere with the beautiful blend of voices and the sweetness of the song. I'm really enjoying the sound of the Undergirls in this. They sound cute and happy, and listening to this song and that the energy the girls put in makes me feel happy, and even brings a smile to my face.

It's really cute, and by Gaki am I happy that I clicked on the video out of random curiosity!

....

Once again, I am embarking on a mini-journey which will hopefully help me to come to terms with my dislike for AKB48, and to help me learn more about them as well as to see how the girls started and to also see how much they have changed themselves as Idols. So far, I have liked every song that I have listened to today, and it has helped me quite a bit to look into the beginning of the group and how different they were back then compared to the Idols that they are today.

I know that I am already familiar with AKB48, but I hope that with this challenge I will be more open to the group itself and to become a bigger or better fan. Much like my original JE challenge, I wanted to learn more about the group and try to like them more, and give AKB48 the chance that I keep avoiding to give them. Hopefully I will be able to like them more by the end of this 3 day Challenge, and hopefully I will have a lot more respect and different views on this group, because right now, my opinion on AKB48 as a group is generally not a favourable one.

So, any suggestions from anyone? I do have suggestions from lovely Nia, but if anyone can send in other songs that they enjoy and think that I might like, please send in a suggestion. Any group within the 48 banner is actually welcome, and it might actually help me, or ease me into, liking NMB48.

Anyway, I think that's all for tonight... it's nearly 4:00am here, and I've been up writing this post, but it was honestly worth it for me.

Peace out guys!