Thursday, 31 March 2016

Alumni Royalty: Ayase Miho has Successfully Graduated from Houkago Princess

On March 27th 2016, Ayase Miho officially Graduated from Houkago Princess and Universal Music in order to pursue a life outside of the entertainment industry. For many who know of the group and this wonderful girl, there is no doubt that this was a day filled with both smiles and tears.

Mihotan came into HouPri looking sweet and shy, and for me, she just seemed to be a relatively calming member in terms of looks. She did not stand out to me, she was not my favourite, and for a while, I did not really care much for her, because I was in a weird spot with HouPri by the time she came in.

Despite all of that though, she was the one who happened to stand out to me in the end.

I honestly don't know when my love for Mihotan started, but around 2014, I was kind of oshi-ing most HouPri members, with no absolute favourite (though Himari and Saori battled it out for a long while as my ultimate #1's). And then, suddenly, Miho intrigued me. Her twitter was fun to follow, the pictures she put up had me laughing quite a bit sometimes (that mirror picture, for instance. Love it XD), and she seemed pretty sincere. Plus, she and Miran had this incredibly endearing love affair thing going on.

I started to like her more and more, and then without realising it, she became my #1, and stayed that way for a good year.

So of course, when she announced her graduation back in February, it broke my heart. She was the first HouPri member that I was completely nuts about, more than Hitomi ever was

I cried a lot, because this girl is just as important to me as Koharu, Gaki and Ono Erena are. She is my Kami Oshi in HouPri.

Reading her final message to both the other members and fans, I couldn't help but cry even more. This girl is incredible. Sure, she can't sing for toffee, nor is she the best performer within the group. What she has though is persistence. She strived long and hard for a goal, and she reached it, and she never gave up, either.

Despite being the last member of her generation to be promoted, despite watching others leave her side to be promoted, to graduate or through being dismissed, she never once stopped aiming for her goal, and she never gave up on wanting to become a regular member of Houkago Princess.
"For about one year I was a candidate. I began from a small place. 
Initially, I was bad at synchronization and dancing, always at the very end of the row in the back, behind all of the regular students and watching everyone leave or get promoted. 
As a 3rd generation cadet student, there were a lot of frustrating things, and soon there was only me. I felt lonely. 
But I never gave up, because I wanted to give back to everyone who supported and cheered me on. I absolutely did not want to lose.
I felt so much joy when I was promoted to the Regular lineup, and I will never forget that joy. It was a big step for me."

Mihotan is an Idol who not only makes me happy, but also inspires and motivates me. She is sweet, caring and charming, and she is one of the most lovable Idols I have come across. I mean, how can you not want to love this girl? She may not look like much, and she may not have been pushed as much, but she is definitely present, and she is certainly persistent. If she wasn't, then she would not have come as far as she did in Houkago Princess.

For all that she has done, and for being a part of this wonderful group, I feel so happy that she was the one who stood out to me and became my Kami-Oshi within HouPri. It took a while, but it happened, and I adored this girl so much in the short time I realised she was 'the one'.

I am going to miss Mihotan so much, and I am sure everyone else, the other members and her fans, will too. She did everything she could, she moved forward and persisted through all the hardships, found happiness in her time as a member, and finally, she passed and graduated with flying colours, becoming one of the few, rare HouPri Alumni.

"For this last day, I decided with my heart that I should wear this, because it is what I entered Houkago Princess with. So, I wanted to wear it for my last performance. 
Thank you for shining.
Ayase Miho
Much Love,

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Say Hello, Say Goodbye; Classmates Come and Go for Houpriyusu

Yoohoo, I am back~ A day after coming home from Hong Kong, and I am ready for some updates! And giv en that the world of HouPri has a few to talk about... well, we're going to talk about them! So, let's get updated, shall we? :D

These will go in chronological order, just for the ease of things! Let's get crackin'!

On February 7th 2016, staff revealed that Houpriyusu members Nagasawa Marina, Kamiya Airi, Sekine Sasara and Izumi Sakura would all leave the group and pursue different things. Both Marina and Sasara were revealed to begin a unit together after parting ways with Houpriyusu.

Kamiya Airi, who was originally supposed to be a part of the new unit with both Marina and Sasara, later declined it and chose to instead graduate.

Izumi Sakura also chose to graduate in order to pursue solo activities within the entertainment industry.

On March 9th 2016, Houpriyusu introduced their latest member, Makihara Yuyu (牧原ゆゆ). 19 years old and 153cm in height, Yuyu is a (possibly former) cosplay model who has previously cosplayed as Nico from Love Live! and Hashimoto Kanna from Rev. from DVL. She looks up to Nagasaw Marina of Houpriyusu the most.

There is not a lot else about Yuyu for now, however here are a few pictures of this cutie doing her cosplay thang~ Enjoy!

Next up;

On March 20th 2016, Kamiya Airi of Houpriyusu (Houpri Youth) graduated from the group. Though her original intention was to join both Marina and Sasara in a new unit outside of Houpriyusu, it was later revealed on March 19th that she had instead chosen to simply decline becoming a part of it, and to graduate Houpriyusu altogether.

Her reasons for declining a position within the new unit was because, compared to others, Airi felt that she was being half-hearted in her pursuit as an Idol, and that her interest in this career has waned for her since she first began last year. She felt this would be rude to the staff and other members if she could not put all of her effort in, and so, she chose to just graduate instead of pursuing a new unit.

(This is a real rough translation, just so you know. Google translate is not the most reliable, so take all of this with a grain of salt XD)

She apologiesed to her fans for betraying their expectations with this new unit, and thanked everyone for liking the clumsy girl that she is and for supporting her. She is thankful for what she has learned, and for all the experiences she has gained as a member of Houpriyusu.

Airi's blog will cease to update, whilst her Twitter profile will be deleted within a month.

On March 20th, Izumi Sakura of Houpriyusu also graduated from the group in order to pursue other activities within the entertainment industry. Whilst the activities she hopes to pursue are yet to be made clear, it can be assumed that she will head into the gravure career as Marina has done.

The DVD cover for her up-coming debut DVD was also released on March 24th, just so ya know~

Also on March 20th;

A signifigant announcement was made during Houpriyusu's performance by both Odagiri Nana and Yamaguchi Miran, who revealed that Kojima Mayumi had been promoted from an Apprentice to a Cadet! She is the first of the Houpriyusu group to be promoted.

Now after being promoted, Mayumi states that her goal is to receive a crown as a part of the Regular lineup.


Regarding Mihotan's graduation, I will write a separate post for that. For now, though, I hope that these few updates regarding HouPri have sated you all, if this is what interests you! For now though, I will leave you be, and also wish you all a wonderful day!

Until I see you next, please do take care, live life to the fullest, stay happy and, of course, LOVE THEM IDOLS!!! <3

Much Love,

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Ayase Miho - The Graduation Appreciation Post

*Due to being abroad from March 19th until the 28th, I have decided that, for Ayase Miho's impending Graduation this month, I will deliver my thoughts and feelings on her earlier than planned. As her official Graduation date is set for the 27th of this very March month, this post will be about 10 days ahead.

No matter where I am within the world though, I will be thinking of Miho no matter what on her graduation day.

Continuing in what has been a long line of Graduation posts starting back in 2012 with Mitsui Aika and Niigaki Risa's graduations from Morning Musume, I bring to you the first Appreciation Post for the year of 2016, as well as the first to feature an Idol who is not from the Hello! Project lineup, but instead a group I hold even closer to my heart.

Here I will share my thoughts and feelings, and reflect on the Idol that is Ayase Miho of Houkago Princess, a girl I love and adore, and someone who I will never forget. Right here, right now, I will think of her and only her, and appreciate all I can, for she is an amazing girl, and deserves to be appreciated like those before her.

So, shall we let the tears flow...

In this giant community of Western Idol Fans, I know all too well that Ayase Miho is one of the lesser known Japanese Idols on the radar. Within Houkago Princess, she is not a front member, nor is she a featured vocalist. She is, however, a beloved member of the group she stands with, and she is kind.

Though she is not known so well in the Western fandom we are a part of, there is no denying that she is loved by those who do know of her.

I love Mihotan, there is no doubt about that. She is my current #1 Idol and a Queen in my eyes, the one Idol I want to look out for over the rest. The thing is, by thinking so highly of her, it makes this post a lot harder to write out; what can I say, what should I write to appreciate this Idol I adore? Honestly, I don't know, because there is so much I want to say for and about her, because she is just so wonderful.

But I also want to cry, because my heart is breaking. I have not felt this sense of devastation and loss with a graduation since... well, since Gaki left MoMusu and Erepyon left the Entertainment world.

It's because Mihotan is my Kamioshi, and within this world abundant with Idols, she is the one I stand above the rest, and when she does finally leave, I know that I will really miss her with all of my heart, because she is just so important to me.

She has been my favourite Idol for well over a year now, entertaining me with her rather placid features yet entertaining twitter picture antics. Her sweet nature was always apparent and charmed me immediately, whilst her obvious 'my pace' nature was cute but fun to watch develop as she grew into being an Idol. In my eyes, she was one of those Idols worth watching, because whilst she did fade into the background for some time in her short career, she soon grew into an Idol with presence and grace that could rival that of the other members, making her pretty amazing in every way possible.

Originally the classic underdog within the Idol world, Mihotan really was a background member until her promotion back in 2013; plain in looks, few outstanding qualities and the last of her generation to be promoted, many would have pegged Mihotan to be one of the many 3rd gen members to drop out before a year was up. Thing is, she didn't leave. She was never kicked out, nor was she suspended. Mihotan stayed, and she has stayed a long time for a HouPri member, all the while going at her own pace and taking everything in her stride.

Not once did she give up on being an Idol. Now, four years strong, she has decided that, at 25 years of age, it is her time to graduate and pursue a new path, one that she will take at her own pace once again.

Mihotan has grown so much since joining HouPri. Sure, her voice isn't that strong (or that pretty), and her dancing is not as great as everyone else's, but what is wonderful about her growth is that she's become a lot more self-assured. Her performances on stage are confident and bright, her charisma on camera is better, and she herself shines in a way that makes you notice her. Sure, she's not the most shining Idol within HouPri, but she still stands out in her own way, and she grabs your attention with her demure looks and sweet disposition.

And then, when she smiles, it's as if the world lights up, because Mihotan smiles with both her eyes and her mouth. In everything she does, she is genuinely happy, and she is always putting in 100%. For me as a fan, that makes her incredible.

I adore this girl so much, I can't even begin with why. She just makes my world a happier place in a way because, when I look at her, when I watch her perform on my HouPri PV's, I feel elated and energised. This relaxed and gentle looking girl, who puts everything into her performance for the fans and her supporters, gives me life. She makes me want to put effort into everything I do and to go forward with a smile. Mihotan, of all the HouPri members, is the one who inspires and encourages me just by being there.

I feel so lucky by just being her fan. Whatever she does, Mihotan succeeds in making me feel so happy whenever I watch or listen to her.

In four short years, Ayase Miho has blossomed. She has become a better performer, and an Idol who truly loves what she does. She creates memories and happiness, pursuing what she enjoys the most with 100% energy and effort. From one of the weakest 3rd generation members who debuted back in 2012, Mihotan has proven herself to be more than we would ever think. Now, she stands tall as one of HouPri's longer running members, a girl who has seen the ups and downs of the Idol world, the pains of multiple graduations and member suspensions, as well as the joys of seeing the fans' smiling faces and coming to know the members she stands beside today.

In these past four years, Ayase Miho has become one of HouPri's loved and recognised. She exceeded in all they gave her, became a regular member and, thankfully, never let the sadness of losing so many members over the past few years deter her. Mihotan stood strong, and finally, she was able to come to the decision herself to graduate with happy memories and a smile on her face.

Mihotan is truly a wonderful Idol, and for these past four years she has brought joy to many. She makes me feel so happy when I look at and watch her, and now, knowing that she has left the Idol group I love, I can't help but feel sad and lost. She is my kamioshi, and she will be for a long time, because Mihotan is someone to appreciate, respect and admire in many ways. She pursued a dream, she lived through the ups and downs of the Idol world, and now, she is ready to leave and pursue other things, ready to go through life at her own pace once again, ready to live through and grow a new dream.

I have cried so much knowing that her graduation is near, because I will miss her so much once she is gone. The thing is, I am also happy that Miho is graduating, because of this; graduation is a chance and a choice that so few within HouPri have experienced before this. With such a bumpy history, one rife in suspensions and dismissals, Ayase Miho is one of those rare few who will leave this group with a formal ceremony, as opposed to a sudden notice announcing her permanent absence.

On March 27th 2016, she will leave Houkago Princess with no regrets and a smile upon her face, and walk down her path towards a new future where she will write her own story, and support Houkago Princess not as a former member, but as a new fan.

I will miss you so much, Mihotan, but I am glad that this is what you wanted for yourself. Being an Idol does not last forever, no, but the memories your fans will have with you, as well as the memories you have created for yourself , will be with you for a life time.

For being a part of Houkago Princess and for becoming our wonderful Idol, I thank you. I don't think you realise just how many people you have made happy, not only in Japan, but in other parts of this world, too.

Walking this Earth at her own pace, Ayase Miho became an Idol who shone just as brightly as those around her. Now, she will continue to walk on at her own pace, but without Houkago Princess to lead her. From here on out, our own My Pace Chairman will live a life that is completely her own, but through it all, I know for sure that she will continue smiling and that she will never give up on whatever she pursues.

She is HouPri's hidden treasure, a member who grew from their hardships and found happiness in all they experienced together. Living with no regrets, Ayase Miho will pass through the school gates and graduate with flying colours.

さようなら 美穂、私はあなたを欠場します。


Ayase Miho, Sotsugyou Omedetou! As an Idol or an Ordinary Girl, Please Move Forward at Your Own Pace!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Life Updated: Travel Time

Though I typically do not update on when I will publish a new post or PV Review - or even post what I am doing in general - I thought that it would be a good idea to let you all know that for about 9~10 days, I will not be online at all (bar facebook), because I am going abroad.

I have only been abroad once in my life, and that was when I visited the Netherlands where I was able to meet my friends, Sarah and My-chan, for the first time. It was a big step, as I had never really been anywhere before that without my family, so another country was a little daunting. Thing is, the Netherlands is a 2 hour flight from the UK, if that, and where I am going next is a little more... well, it's a whole ocean off, I believe.

Basically, I'm going on a trip to Hong Kong, and I am pretty damn nervous.

I'm going because, as a part of my University course, students (so long as they are accepted) are able to go on a variety of trips. As a Film student, the ones I can undertake usually involve Film Festivals or Conventions, and for this trip to Hong Kong, I will be visiting the Film Festival there, as well as looking around Hong Kong itself in my spare time.
 It's an exciting opportunity, and honestly, I am so happy I get to do this. I'm just really, really scared, too.

So yeah, I won't be online for just over a week, because I will be taking in a whole other culture and watching films. That said, I probably won't miss the internet that much, given I will be doing a lot of different things over in Hong Kong.
 Sure, I will be online sometimes, like going onto my personal facebook to let my family know I'm okay, or to post pictures on instagram, etc, but honestly, most of that time will be dedicated to being in Hong Kong, not looking at or through my phones camera lens.

So, in short; I'm excited, but I'm scared. Most of all though, I am happy I will get to go to Hong Kong and experience even just a little bit of it, and to take part in a Film Festival, too. Hopefully I will learn a little more about Hong Kong and its culture, and to enjoy every aspect of it.
 And, once I come back, I hope to share a part of it here too, even if it is just a few photographs.

Before I go however, I will be posting a regular kind of post. I just wanted to update y'all and let you know that, in the next 9 days, I am not sleeping my days away or wallowing in self pity. I will simply be in Hong Kong, enjoying my time and taking in all I can along the way.

Until I return, please take care and love the life you live!

Much Love,

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

On This Star Filled Paris Night, Love Shall Surely Bloom! - Country Girls' 'Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~' PV Story-Review!

All thoughts are my own. Thanks.

I might not write as much as usual, due to my carpel tunnel syndrome acting up. My dominant hand really hurts right now, so typing and any sudden movements are painful, though tolerable. That said, I may limit what I do, which is annoying considering this week, I planned on writing a good deal... well, what can you do? Sigh~

Anywhoo... That said and done, let's (properly) start with this;

After casting a poll where I asked you guys to choose one of three PV's for me to review next, a choice was made, and now I am ready to deliver unto you all the result - and the pic spam review itself - as voted by you! Are you ready, oh my darling?

With a majority of the votes, Country Girls' Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~ was the winner for the poll I set up in order to help me decide which video to review, and boy, what a cute PV you all wanted to see me talk about! I mean it's just adorable, right?

A cover of I've Told Every Little Star, the third and final track on Country Girls' latest single release is a cute, nostalgic tune that is sure to please a lot of people with its gentle tone and classic sound, plus the delight that is the accompanying PV. Set in a sleepy little Paris town where the moon shines bright, one does wonder what kind of love story will unfold in this pursuit for a heartfelt relationship...

If you're ready, then grab your cupids bow and aim it at the nearest cutie you see, because we're aiming big, and we're gonna let that arrow fly far. Who will you strike right in the heart today?

Monday, 7 March 2016

Saving the World, One Idol Group at a Time! Wa→Suta's Magical Journey Begins Here in the Magical 'Ultra Mirakurukuru Ultimate Choco Beam' MV! [Review]

All thoughts and opinions regarding the group, song and music video are my own. Don't expect me to change my mind just because you disliked an opinion that did not agree with yours. Ta.

When I regenerate to my last save point, I can't help but wonder if all of my found items were saved, too? Ahhh, it would so annoying if I had to go back and find all those ether's again! Ah! My potions! Nooooo, please don't say I lost them!?

Right! Time to start this journey again. Save Point: LOAD!

As I took on one of my many magical journeys through the mountains of Youtubetopia, searching for the mystical beings of life known simply as 'Idols', I came across a new breed of these wonderful creatures who can only bring happiness and delight. Shrouded in pastel and riddled in magic, I came to know these cute beings of Love and Music as Wa→Suta, girls with power beyond belief, and smiles that could repair any HP damage known to man!

In this world where the distant realms of Google Chromia and Firefoxtropolis have been destroyed by the Internet Explorians, I have chosen to enlist the help of these magically cute Idols, harnessing their amazing power to take down those who destroyed our beloved lands, and bring greatness back to the world we know as the Internet!

Together, on our adventure to take down the Internet Explorians and their mythical 'Triceratops', we will return Google Chromia and Firefoxtopalis to what they once were, and save Youtubetopia before the Explorians can get their hands on it! Together, we will fight, but to do that, Wa→Suta needs everyone's help! Are you in?

If you are, then please... press START!!!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

[Music Selection] February '16: Music & PV's

Music Selection is what I hope to be a monthly series I will deliver unto you all my personal Japanese pop picks for the month gone by, in both music and video. Included will be a little bout of spiel as to why I enjoy the songs and / or videos included in this list, as well as to give you an idea of what songs to look out for.
 Of course, just so you know, all songs and videos are subject to my personal opinion, and I do not expect you to enjoy what I like. I simply want to share here what I love, and to hopefully introduce you to something new and different to listen to if you have yet to hear it.

Also, just to note, there may be a point in some monthly posts where I may take a U-turn and look back at older songs released from other months or years, even eras, that I have revisited during a specific month. It's a bit like a nostalgia kick, and may potentially introduce you to a song that you may have never known existed! Woo!

Song Selections is the name, and suggesting is the game!... Kinda.

And please, do remember this; The Monthly Selection is a general series of posts that is meant to be created with a fun mindset, and to share songs I have personally enjoyed. I do not mean to offend by not listing a song you may have enjoyed throughout a certain month, nor do I intend to annoy anyon. I simply want to make a list, and share it with the world. It's how I roll, yo~

And finally, if you yourself have any songs you loved for February, then please, comment them below, and let us all know what you loved for the month gone by! Thank you~

The month of February was an abundance of good music. I enjoyed a good deal to be honest, though some stood out more than others, and were definitely played a good deal over the rest. So, for February 2016, I have gathered my favourites, handpicking those that were, to me, the cream of the crop. Wanna get rolling? Let's take a listen!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

So, You Want to be an Idol Blogger? An Introduction to Idol Blogging: Part 3 (Content & Promotion)

You can find parts 1 and 2 of this Idol Blogging Introduction series HERE and HERE!

When it comes to the Idols that we love, there is no denying that we gather our information and insight into these wonderful performers through an abundant selection of Idol Blogs. Whether you read them for News, Picture Scans, Video Uploads, Ranking Posts, Reviews or more, there is always going to be something out there to cater to you, old or new! But wait! What about writing these Idol Blogs? Sure, it's fun and all to read them, but creating and writing your own posts is just amazing, too!

Here, I hope to share with you all just why you should be an Idol Blogger, and how to help you with post ideas that you may want to write for yourself one day. So, if you're ready to get started, grab a pen and paper, or your own computer, and let's start writing our posts out and make them a reality!

Throughout this small series of Blogging-themed posts, I hope to introduce you all to the key starting points of blogging, all in the hopes of inspiring future bloggers to the wonders of Idols and writing online. Written here is my very own experience in my five years of Idol Blogging, of which I want to pass on to others who have asked what it is like to be a Blogger, and what they can do to get noticed in this ever-expanding platform that is the online world.
 If I can help only just a little bit, then that is all I can ask for!

I am no expert, nor do I feel like I am capable of giving good advice, however as long as I can share my insight and let you know from my own experience what I know, then I will of course help you as best I can. Throughout this series, I hope that I can show you all the joys of writing, whilst also helping to bring forth new writers for Idols and music in general! Let's write what we love, and share it with the world! Thank you~