Friday 29 January 2021

The Last Appreciation Post: Thank You

How do I begin a post like this?

Dearest Readers, fellow Idol fans, friends from across the screen and those who have read this blog and visited this page for whatever reason, thank you for everything up until this point in time and for becoming a part of this blogs foundation. Since the first time I posted a review up until today, I want to shower you with the endless gratitude for both the silent and vocal support you have given to a fan that simply wanted to express her enthusiasm for the Idols she loved in a way that fit her best.

This will be my final post on Okay! Musume Time. As of today - January 29th, 2021 - I will no longer be posting on or updating this blog. Thank you for reading and being a part of this blog until the very end.

My decision to close Okay! Musume Time is one that I have been contemplating for a while now, and even before reaching a milestone such as the 10th Anniversary, I began to think about all of the things that I have written and had the ability to do thanks to the creation of this blog, as well as the things I would like to accomplish in the future. What began as a passion project for my fandom eventually became something a little bigger, and whilst there are many things that I would like to continue doing as both a writer and content creator, I have come to an understanding within myself that as of the year 2020, I have done all that I can and more with Okay! Musume Time.

Of course there will be many aspects of Okay! Musume Time that I will miss as time moves forward, but I know that I can continue certain series and themes elsewhere in the future. At this moment in time, I will continue writing for Selective Hearing as well, however I do plan to step down from my role as a staff writer on the website come the end of the year.

With that said, I have no desire to stop writing about Idols or Japanese music any time soon despite the end of the blog, but it would be stupid of me to deny that my focus on music and reviews has shifted greatly over the past ten years since I began Okay! Musume Time. With this in mind, my desire is to work towards becoming a better editor both for myself and other writers, as well as to become a better writer who can be both informative and expressive with her words.

Please know that becoming a blogger is one of my most treasured experiences, and despite the obstacles I placed in front of myself during these past ten years of writing, I can safely say that this has been one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. I am more than thankful that I could reach this point where I can close this blog with a content and positive mindset.

Of course the desire to blog is still there, but I am aware that if I choose to revisit this path in the near future, then I can create a new blog which suits my current personality and love of Idols more. When it comes to Okay! Musume Time however, I simply believe that it is time to move forward and take a break from Idol blogging for now, and to focus on other aspects of my writing, as well as myself.

In November of 2010 I began Okay! Musume Time to talk about idols and share my love of Hello! Project in the only way that I could, and now ten years and 2 months on I have become the blogger I had always aspired to be, and I think that the reason I could make it this far is because of everyone who became a part of Okay! Musume Time, regardless of whether they supported me or not.

So, my Dear Readers, this is for you:

To all who have read my posts, to those that have commented and those who criticised or chastised, aided and encouraged me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are all a reason for my desire to continue, and without the words of others I would not have become the writer that I am today. You are now - and always have been - a part of this blogs history. Thank you for being a part of this journey.

Now it is time to start a new chapter of my life and move forward as a writer and content creator. Thank you for reading and being a part of this wonderful Idol fandom my dear friends, and thank you for supporting me as Chiima of Okay! Musume Time for 10 wonderful years. I can only hope that I will see you again soon.

Sincerely yours,
Kelly, the blogger formerly known as Chiima.

Okay! Musume Time:
18.11.2010 ~ 29.01.2021

Thursday 28 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Final Digest

In the final digest for the year of 2020 that comes in the form of a very long list of tracks, it's time to listen to the songs that created a world of colour and escape when we needed it the most.

It's time to leave 2020 behind us and look towards the future, but take the songs into the future. Are you ready to endure the beautiful music of yester-year?

After listening to a whopping 600+ songs last year alone, with about 500 of them being in my playlist of songs I enjoyed, it's no wonder I had a hard time figuring out this list. It will also come as no surprise that it took so long because I - the Queen of No Taste and Idiocy - decided it would be a great idea to, oh I don't know, rank 100 songs for the year of 2020.

The last time I did something like this was back in 2016, and there is a damn good reason why I didn't do it again after that; it takes too much time, I get stressed out, and I eventually figure out what a dumb idea it was. Yeah, it's satisfying to know I ranked 100 songs at the end of it all, but during the time of making the list? Er, I'm dead. I am also fairly sure that I don't want to listen to some of these songs for a few weeks now, but that's by the by.

Griping out of the way, I've done it guys. This is the end of the road for my Year End lists, and whilst it was definitely a time consuming struggle, I have to say that I am happy with the end result and that yes, it was worth it. In fact, despite spitting feathers about it and the mental toll that this Master List has put me through, I am sad to see it come to an end and deliver the final product to you, bad writing and all. I am also nervous because, like anything I put all of my worth into, I care about it and feel scared to share it with the world.

But sharing is caring, right?

So, before heading into this list I have my final list of criteria for you to read through, and then we can dive into the list itself and bore you all with my words and placements. Let's take a look, shall we:

⮞ The songs that I remember enjoying the most
⮞ My fondness towards the song, and the emotions it makes me feel
⮞ How incredibly catchy it is, to the point of singing and dancing along like a div
⮞ The happiness factor of course
⮞ That strong desire to never, ever skip it
⮞ The Loop-the-fuck-outta-it factor
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020
⮞ All releases from 2020 are subject to this list; Singles, Albums and Digital releases, it doesn't matter. Anything can be included, at this point.

As always, the ranking of these songs are not determined by the ranks of the previous lists. A song that appeared elsewhere may not even get a look in the Master List, and songs that probably didn't appear in the other lists can make their way into this one. It's all about my preference at the end of the day, and how attached I am to a certain song.

Also: some songs that had certain placements in the previous lists might lose to or beat out other songs from that list, so... yeah. Consistency who? We don't know her here.

I hope that you enjoy this list my dearest readers, and I hope that you find something new to enjoy as you read through it. Thank you for sticking with me throughout 2020, and thank you for coming to this list to find something new. Now, go forth my friends, and I will see you on the other side.

Let's experience the sound of the 2020 Music Edit together in the this final digest, everyone. What will you find today?

Tuesday 12 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 10 Albums

During a time where falling into the sound of music was one of our greatest escapes, I make a bid to continue yet another stupidly long Year End list in order to throw you into a world of music courtesy of some wonderful albums in all of their glory.

It is time to embrace the albums and truly immerse ourselves in the sound of 2020.

Though I question why I create these lists at times thanks to the stress they cause me, I am happy to finally deliver my third and penultimate list for the music of 2020, yet again filled with nonsense and words that you will likely skip over in favour of finding out how poor my taste is in my #1 choice.

Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty of this list, I do want to point out that this is my first dedicated album year end list, mostly because I had an inability to acknowledge albums in the past. Now, after the ass-kicking of a year we've had, I finally took the time to fully understand and appreciate the merits that an album has, and thanks to finally listening to quite a few of them - maybe around 30? - from beginning to end, I was able to come up with Top 10 Albums of the year, thus allowing its own dedicated list, finally.

Granted, I still think some albums are pointless - I mean, look at Houkago Princess My Princess II, an album that serves no other purpose than to just exist for the sake of sales. Yeah, I bought it just because, but I'm a sucker for anything HouPri at this point, and despite some albums serving the purpose of only making ¥¥¥, a lot of the albums I listened to served the purpose of either introducing me to the singer, group or act in question, as well as entertaining me with new, album-exclusive songs alongside those familiar tunes from previous releases.

In one way or another, these albums have offered all who listen to them a sense of escapism and happiness, and in the year of 2020 that has been sorely needed, and with that all said and done, I am here to talk about the Top 10 album releases of the year gone by that allowed me to enter a new world and escape the reality we are experiencing for a little while.

Before we get into the list however, let's check my annoyingly present criteria that you can easily ignore:

⮞ Albums that I enjoy either in their entirety, or most of
⮞ Replay it til the CD breaks-factor
⮞ The time and emotional investment I throw into that album
⮞ How memorable the release is as a whole
⮞ Nostalgia, mate
⮞ Mini-Albums included. We don't discriminate here, loves.
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020
⮞ It can be a physical or digital album release.


As per, just because an album ranks high on this list or not at all, does not mean the albums songs will be featured higher up or lower on my final Master List of songs. How I feel about the individual tracks is a whole different kettle of fish, to put it simply. Whether they appear on the final list or not though, it does not matter; in one way or another, these albums and the songs featured within them have brought me some form of joy throughout the year.

Of course I hope that you find a new album or something interested to delve into from this list, or perhaps a rediscovery that you will happily fall into once again. I also implore you to think of your own favourite album from 2020, and hope that you enjoy this list of album releases that I enjoyed from yester-year.

Turn up the volume for the 2020 Music Edit: Albums Edition. Where will the music take you today?

Thursday 7 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 20 Singles

In a year filled with music that broke away the silence, I return with another obnoxiously long Year End list of the singles that truly made my 2020 so much brighter.

Let's celebrate the happiness these single releases have brought us in such a tiring year.

In one of the easier lists that I have tackled I bring you my second post of the New Year, as well as the second music of 2020 list that took far too long to complete because I have an inability to contain my words.

Anyway, despite the difficulties of 2020 in regards to our favourite musicians, idols and artists releasing music, the year gone by has actually been very fruitful in regards to releases and the variety that it has given us. Yes, some groups and singers delayed the release of their singles until much later in the year for the sake of release events, but we got them one way or another and cherished said releases all the more.

Much like the digital tracks released throughout the year, these singles have aided us in one way or another and allowed us to look forward to something from our favourite groups and singers. It has also been a way of support in a very trying year, and whilst we certainly could not listen to or even buy everything that all of these groups and singers have released, we have done our best in keeping up with and supporting those that are important to us all.

I have lost count of how many singles I heard in 2020 alone, but I can honestly say that with a lot of time on my hands I was able to sit through plenty, to a point where I could pin-point the 20 favourite singles of a year gone by. Before I bore you with the actual list though, I have some criteria for this list that you will probably skip over:

⮞ Singles that I have enjoyed the entirety - or most - of
⮞ The Loop Factor
⮞ How invested I am in the entirety of the single
⮞ How intense my emotions are when I listen to it
⮞ How memorable the single is as a whole
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020
⮞ It can be a physical or digital release. If digital, multiple songs must be included; it can not be a stand-alone song.

I like listing the criteria, for some reason.

As always, just because a single has ranked highly in this list does not mean that all songs will appear in my Master List for my favourite songs of 2020. This list is purely based on the single as a whole and the joy it brought me, and how much I enjoyed the single from beginning to end. Honestly, some of these songs may not appear on the final list at all, but that's okay; it's all about the entertainment these singles delivered when I needed to feel happiness or even sadness at any given moment.

I hope that you all find something interesting in this list, and perhaps something new to enjoy as well. I also hope that it inspires you to think about the single that dominated your 2020, so please enjoy this list that I have created and indulge in some wonderful releases.

Let's dive into The 2020 Music Edit: Singles Edition. What will you discover this time?

Friday 1 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 25 Digital Songs

With so many digital releases to enjoy and many new artists and groups to discover in the year gone by, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly which song has become one of many favourites...

Are you ready to endure another Year End list from Okay! Musume Time?

It has been a long time coming everyone, but we finally made it to this point. Happy New Year. I hope you are all safe and well and celebrating in an appropriate manner~

After a heavy year that has taken a toll not only our mental wellbeing, but also our physical and financial well-beings, music has become a much needed solace for many of us. Whether we use it for escapism, relaxation or to simply help us keep calm, the music that has been delivered to us from around the world has been a much appreciated gift. For the Japanese music industry especially, the current state of the world became a topic of inspiration and allowed Idols and artists alike to create music that delivered hope for their fans and the people around them.

With live shows halted and an order to stay at home, it was no surprise to see digital tracks becoming a popular way to release music for many that would typically release their music physically, and whilst we could not hear every track that has been released, these digital songs have aided us in one way or another. So, for my first End of Year list for the year that was 2020, I will introduce my first 'Top Digital Songs' ranking and share with you all the songs that made my 2020 a little more bearable.

With well over 40+ songs to enjoy and many more that did not even clock onto my radar, I will take a look at the 25 Digital tracks that delighted me the most throughout 2020. As always, I have certain criteria that I go by when creating these kinds of lists, so without further ado:

⮞ The song was released by itself digitally
⮞ It can be a part of a single or album release later on
⮞ Replay factor
⮞ How invested I am in the song and the emotions I have tied to it
⮞ How memorable the song itself is
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020

As always, my criteria is fairly basic and self-explanatory, but it's nice to keep it here as a refresher for myself when creating these types of lists.

Of course I hope that you all find something new or interesting to check out in this list, regardless of what is mentioned here, and I hope that this list allows you to think about your own favourites from 2020 when it comes to Digital music. For now though, it's time for this opinionated blogger to pass her own judgement on the Digital tracks of 2020 and share her favourites with you all. Are you ready to head into a brand new Year End list?

Welcome to The 2020 Music Edit: Digital Songs Edition. What will we tune into today?

Thursday 24 December 2020

Idols of Advent: Spending This Winter Holiday with You - Celebrating A 'Very Merry Happy Christmas' with Ogura Yui (Pic Spam Review)

Despite all that is going on in the world, we can still celebrate the winter holidays with our loved ones even when they are a screen away...

Before the bell tolls and the festivities begin despite the harsh realities of the world at present, let's take a look at a heartwarming and intimate celebration of the winter season. Yes, most of us will be taking the time to celebrate with family and friends either in-person or a screen away, but for some today will be about joy we share with our significant others, wherever they might be.

In todays Idols of Advent review we celebrate with the cute and charismatic Ogura Yui, who has gifted us with the wonderfully merry Very Merry Happy Christmas, which celebrates the close bonds of a couple in love as they prepare for their own holiday festivities. Though the holiday season is certainly different to ones that we have previously experienced, Yui will instill a sense of hope within us all that we can spend our days with our beloved ones again sometime soon.

Let's prepare for the day ahead and get ready to celebrate the most festive day of the year in Ogura Yui's sweet yet intimate Very Merry Happy Christmas. Are you ready to get into the winter spirit and celebrate with the ones you love?

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Idols of Advent: The Tranquility of A Winter's Day - A Gentle 'Snow Flake Remind' by Jewel☆Neige (Pic Spam Review)

Despite the world being askew and the loss we feel from the disconnect and distance, let's come together in a moment of quiet and find the peace that we have all been craving since life was thrown off-balance for us all...

In a hectic and uncertain world it can become difficult to find time for yourself. Where peace feels fleeting and moments of solace are so few and far between, we must not forget that we need to take a moment and breathe. Of course our Idols are working hard to create a brighter world for us all, one where we can relax and forget about the news and strife that other people are putting us through right now.

In todays Idols of Advent review I want to allow these idols to give me that peace of mind I need and step back to take a moment of quiet and beauty this winter. Away from the bright lights and cold snow, I now look to Jewel☆Neige to deliver a reminder of the peace and tranquility a snow flake can bring, and the longing I hold for a relaxing winter day at home without the worries of the world weighing down my mind.

It's time to close the door on the world and find solace with Snow Flake Remind. Are you ready to remember the beauty of a quiet winter's day?