Hello! Project

Click to see all the posts related to the whole agency.

Morning Musume.

Click on the title to see all the posts related to Hello! Project's flagship group.

Berryz Kobo

Posts about Hello! Project's heroines.


All the posts about °C-ute's activities.


Everything released about the miniskirts girls.


All the posts about Hello! Project's rockers.

Mano Erina

Hello! Project's soloist also have some activities to check out!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The biggest CD purchase I've made in three years

A couple of months ago CD Japan had a pretty awesome sale where if you spent more than 5000 yen (can't remember the exact number) at their online store, you got free shipping (in order to celebrate their new shipping method - FedEx International Express).

Now that may not sound like much, but most websites that offer free shipping ships it by the slowest method possible. I'm talking about shipping, that when shipped, takes so long to get to your house you completely forgot you ordered it when it does arrive. This wasn't the case with CD Japan's sale. They allowed you to pick any shipping method you wanted, for free. Naturally, I chose the most expensive (and therefore fastest) method - FedEx International Express.

I've had my quirks with FedEx in the past (I'm more of UPS guy), but this package was delivered in record time. CD Japan shipped it on the 29th and it got to my house around 9 AM today, the 30th. Also keep in mind that this package had to go all the way from Japan to the United States East coast. Talk about fast.

Anyway, onto the CDs

8 awesome singles
I bought mainly new releases so I could finally catch up with the singles I missed out on buying when they released.

Obviously one of those singles isn't Hello! Project, so we'll take a closer look at that one first.

Perfume's VOICE single
I very rarely buy non-H!P CDs these days (being broke 99% of the time contributes to that), but I fell in love with both songs on Perfume's 11th single.

The A-Side (VOICE)

The B-side (575).

Now onto Hello! Project.

S/mileage's Ganbaranakutemo ee nende!!

Manoeri's Genkimono de Ikou!
Risako/Ogawa Mana Anime single
The Oshare My Dream (Ogawa Mana) and Elegant Girl (Sugaya Risako) double A-side single is one of my favorites of the bunch. Originally I loved the Ogawa Mana song more, but recently Elegant Girl has been growing on me.

Also, I am now in love with Ogawa Mana's voice after hearing Oshare My Dream.

Eri, Junjun, and Linlin's last single
If you look closely in the very first picture in this post, you'll notice something on top of Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game.

For buying (pre-ordering?) from CD Japan, I got a small photocard. Awesome.

Kaiten Zushi

The back is awesome. Eri and Linlin especially looks great.

Finally onto C-ute.

Campus Life
Aitai Lonely Christmas
Inside Aitai

With Campus Life and Aitai Lonely Christmas, I finally have every C-ute single, including their six indies singles. Now all I need is five of their albums to have all of their CDs.

Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game second week sales

They sold 4,799 copies for their second week, bringing Onna's total to 47,204. It is now officially their highest selling single since the awesomeness that was Nanchatte Renai. If they have a couple more strong weeks, they can outsell Naichau Kamo and Shougani Yume Oibito.

C-ute 2011 Fanclub Tour in Hawaii scheduled

The fanclub news section of the official Hello! Project website has updated information about the newly announced C-ute fanclub tour in Hawaii that will take place on March 23, 2011.

This also likely means a C-ute Alo-Hello 2 will soon follow.

If there is a Dance de Bakoon! bikini ver. then I can die a happy man.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chisato solo single available on iTunes

Yesterday a cover of the Matsuura Aya song, Love Namida Iro, by C-ute member Okai Chisato went on sale at the online iTunes store for $0.99.

Love Namida Iro is not my favorite Ayaya song so I wasn't jumping for joy like some fans, but I went ahead and bought it anyway to encourage more of this for the future (plus, it was only a dollar). If they let Chisato release a solo version of a C-ute song then I'll be more excited. Actually I'd much rather have solo mp3 versions of their singles instead of solo close ups (as seen on Event Vs). Or even better: both.

You can listen to the song here:

And buy it by clicking the "view in iTunes" button on this page: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/id406606714

Saturday, November 27, 2010

C-ute 2010 Cutie Circuit Concert Review

Just in case you didn't know, C-ute does this Cutie Circuit thing at least once a year on the same date: September 10th. The Japanese title is more or less the same every year, "℃-ute Cutie Circuit 2010~9月10日は℃-uteの日~", which translates to "C-ute Cutie Circuit September 10th, 2010 is C-ute's Day."

C-ute's day indeed. They have held their yearly Cutie Circuit every year since 2007 on September 10th. It's become an annual tradition, just like the DJ Maimai, MC Chissa, and MC Kappa skit that I eagerly anticipate.

Yesterday night, I was able to watch the concert DVD in its entirety and before I even write this review, I can tell that there will be a lot of highly rated performances. I'm not ready to crown it just yet, but I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a C-ute concert (or any H!P concert, really) from start to finish as much as I did this one. I've only written reviews for two H!P concerts before, and neither got an overall score higher than 7.5/10. Can C-ute change that trend?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today is awesome news day

It's been a while since I did a news roundup post, but so many great things have been announced lately (especially today).

  • Former C-ute member Kanna opens a Twitter account

I'm not a fan of Twitter at all (my long blog posts and the rules of Twitter do not agree with each other), but with so many people that I care about opening Twitter accounts, I may just have to give in one day. Kanna's message in her first tweet is clear: "i am kanna!!! ^^follow me ^3^". I reckon those with Twitter accounts should do what she says.

It's definitely real because she announced it on her blog. For those that can't read Japanese, let me attempt to translate.


I have opened a Twitter account. ^^

The account is



  •  Chisato continues to be a hot topic

Pictured above is the cover of the limited edition of Chisato's first photobook. To get that special cover, you must pre-order the photobook from the Wanibooks store for 3000 yen. You also get three other extras for ordering from Wanibooks, but I can't read the kanji to figure out what exactly they are. But any Chisato extras must be awesome right?

Also, the official C-ute channel has uploaded yet another Chisato dance cover. This time it's Massara Blue Jeans (complete with a pair of jeans in the background). How much more awesome can one girl get?

  • Shimizu Saki to finally get a photobook

I never thought the day would come. I seriously didn't. So when I heard the news, I had to let out a yell of joy. It was announced on her blog as well as some staff member's twitter account. All of these new releases makes me wish I was rich (or at least not broke). It is set to release January 12th, along with a DVD that will soon follow.

  • Aitai Lonely Christmas Ninki Poll

 Just in case you missed my explanation of what the Ninki poll is, you can read up on it here. As you can see, C-ute is ranked 5th. Kinki Kids will definitely get number one. T.M. Revolution usually sells in the 60,000 range and will probably take the #2 spot, but Sid (#4 on the Ninki poll) and Yuzu (#3 on the Ninki poll) both have hit 60,000 before. #2-4 is really a toss up. C-ute will likely get the 5 spot, which is good considering the competition.

  • Morning Musume Alo-Hello 4 Blu-Ray

I had given up all hope on finding more H!P Blu-Ray isos (or even Blu-Ray DVD rips), but some kind wota uploaded the Morning Musume Alo4 BDISO a couple of days ago. Looking forward to watching it in full 1080p HD (and uploading it to Youtube sometime later). If the Shocking Live Blu-Ray ISO would be uploaded, today would be as close to perfect as possible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recommended J-Drama: At Home Dad

I'd like to take a quick break from all of the Hello! Project blog posts and talk about another aspect of Japanese culture that I love - dramas. Every once in a while I'll talk about some really great Japanese dramas that I have watched over the years. I'll start out with one that I am currently finishing up called At Home Dad (アットホーム・ダッド).

(There are minor spoilers in this review, but everything I mention you'll find out in the first twenty minutes or so of watching.)

Let me start by talking about what At Home Dad is not. This isn't a drama with fight scenes, villains trying to take over the world, or even epic plot twists. If you're looking for some upbeat action flick, this isn't for you. For me, the lack of those qualities is what drew me to At Home Dad. This drama sticks with one thing, everyday Japanese life, and does that one thing really well. It's nice to take a break from all of the in your face mainstream media and take a step back with a calm drama like this.

At Home Dad describes the life of a talented commercial director,Yamamura Kazuyuki, and his family. All things considered, the Yamamuras are a pretty normal Japanese family. Kazuyaki has a typical 9 to 5 job with the occasional opportunity for overtime and his wife Miki stays at home to tend to the house and take care of their young daughter Rie.

However, everything the Yamamuras know is turned upside down one day, when Kazuyaki loses his job and has difficulties quickly finding another.

To support the family, it is decided that Miki will start working again while Kazuyaki tries his hand at being a stay at home dad. Unfortunately for him, Kazuyaki quickly realizes that Miki's job as a housewife wasn't quite as easy as he thought.

The twelve 45 minute episodes revolves around the Yamamuras simply living life and getting through any obstacles that appear.

It's a simple plot but I couldn't help but fall in love with At Home Dad. One of the major things it has going for it is a strong cast. Yamamura Kazuyaki is played by my favorite Japanese male actor, Hiroshi Abe. It is because of his believable acting that I enjoyed this drama as much as I did. He and Shinohara Ryoko (who plays Yamamura Miki) have been in over a hundred of dramas and movies between the two of them and it's easy to see why.

I also cannot forget about the little girl that plays their daughter, Ando Sakura. If there ever was a living definition of cute, it's Ando-chan. Her, along with Hiroshi Abe and Shinohara Ryoko truly make up the perfect family. Even the mundane of scenes are made interesting because of the interactions between the three of them.

I still have one more episode of At Home Dad to watch, but it has already become one of my favorite dramas. It doesn't try to do anything fancy. It just portrays Japanese life in the best way it can. For someone like me that is infinitely interested in just about every aspect of Japanese life, no matter how "normal", this was the perfect drama. I definitely recommend At Home Dad to anyone who just wants a nice, down to earth drama to relax to.

You can watch At Home Dad streaming at Dramacrazy.net or you can download them directly via megaupload using the links on this blog.

Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game weekly Oricon ranking

Morning Musume's 44th single, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game, received a weekly ranking of #6 and sold a total of 42,405 copies.

It's a little off from my predicated sales, but it is still a solid number, especially for one week. Sales aren't as high as I had hoped, but Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game is Morning Musume's highest selling first week since Shougani Yume Oibito and sold higher in its first week than nine of their last thirteen singles (that's four years worth of singles).

This single is definitely a success in my opinion and we haven't even gotten into its second week. There is still a Music Japan performance on Sunday, which will help boost second week sales. Even though they didn't reach 48,000 - 50,000 in the first week as I had hoped, Morning Musume can certainly get to that mark in their second week and possibly even surpass it.

Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game is a great way to end the year for Morning Musume.

Also, just in case anyone is interested in how the other artists stacked up against Morning Musume this week, here is the top six ranking.

1. KAT-TUN (230,829)
2. SKE48 (119,913)
3. Kobukuro (82,143)
4. Arashi's single's 2nd week (50,229)
5. AAA (46,014)
6. Morning Musume (42,405)

Monday, November 22, 2010

A 3rd Morning Musume album preview

This one is more of a group song than the other two previews that we've heard.

It actually sounds like.. dare I say it, an AKB type song. It's hard to explain. It just feels like a big group song.

Anyway it's definitely my least favorite of the bunch, but it's okay.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Airi to star in a new drama

Suzuki Airi along with another idol, Taketomi Seika, will star in a new drama that is set to release in April 2011. Airi's character investigates a mystery behind a cellphone dating sim. Taketomi plays the role of a mysterious murder from the dating sim game.

Airi and Seika
Since I am a Japanese drama addict, I will definitely be checking this out as soon as I can.

Japanese article confirming the news: http://www.sanspo.com/geino/news/101122/gnj1011220504009-n1.htm

Translation: http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-7026

Random C-ute picspam

Just for you, Melisa.

Burnt corn is the best corn
Yurina is so nice to take her daughter out bowling

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One more Fantasy preview

I probably should have waited until today to make that Morning Musume album post, but oh well.

Another song preview aired on a radio station yesterday. It's called Fantasy ga Hajimaru. So far I'm really loving this album. I almost never buy albums (due to price), but these two previews make me want to change that trend.

Also this is completely random, but I love Sayu's radio voice.

Morning Musume's 11th Album song preview

A preview of one of the songs on Morning Musume's upcoming album, titled Itoshiku Kurushii Kono Yoru Ni, was uploaded a couple of days ago.

After listening to it two times, I can safely say that I like it. Really love the intro. Living up to this album's name, it totally sounds like it would fit in some fantasy anime or video game. Listen for yourself if you haven't heard it yet.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get your virtual date on with Berryz Koubou

As expected, Berryz Koubou's second Alo-Hello hit Japanese stores today (or rather yesterday). Their first trip to Hawaii contained some of my favorite moments in Hello! Project history, so naturally I had high hopes for their second trip. Could they create another masterpiece?

The DVD actually starts off really, really well.

Captain staring out into the Hawaiian sunset
The DVD begins as Captain rides a hotel elevator up to the 20th floor. She quickly finds her room and begins to settle in before her phone rings.

Captain's fake ringtone happens to be Maji Bomber, cool

Who could it be?

Miyabi of course!

From here we get a cheap looking intro screen that leads to Captain looking at a map of what I can only assume is Hawaii.

You're not in Japan anymore, Captain
Shortly after, Captain gives the cutest look ever into the camera. I think my heart melted.

Don't worry Captain, keep looking like that and I'll help you
This begins a short introduction of all of the Berryz members. Momoko appears next handing out some sort of pink card to random strangers.

Why aren't the people who hand out random crap in my neighborhood as cute as Momoko?
Afterwards Chinami is shown sitting on a stool smiling, Maasa is looking cool with a surfboard, Miyabi is out posing with a creepy looking stuffed animal, and Yurina and Risako are seen together on a park bench.

Seriously, that creepy bear thing is not cute. Thankfully Miyabi is.
The music dies out and the screen fades to black. Chinami is shown coloring some sort of flyer before Yurina and Risako show up.


Oh well, I guess us boys aren't invited.

Luckily there happens to be a Japanese girl sitting across the table.

Yes, they're talking about you, Captain
One thing that I must say about this DVD is the cinematography and editing is seriously superior to what I'm used to seeing from a normal UFA DVD. It totally feels like I'm watching a movie about Berryz's adventures (you hear that UFA? sounds like an epic idea for 2011).

Anyway, back to the DVD. Chinami asks if Captain is free, but Captain is busy being lost.

Chinami pulls out her ultimate weapon - her smile.

Seriously, what sane human being could resist that face? I know I can't.
Meanwhile, Maasa is bored out of her mind in some yogurt shop, waiting for her order to be made by a familiar face.

Momoko appears to be pleased with her creation
Granted, I don't eat much of the stuff, but is this really what is considered yogurt now-a-days?

Fruit and.. sprinkles? Not sure if want
Momoko plops down next to Maasa to make sure she enjoys every bite of her hard work.

Maybe it isn't that bad after all. Maasa seems to be enjoying it.
However, it seems like working as a yogurt employee was only a disguise for Momoko's real plan.

The return of the beach party. Oh hey this DVD actually has a plot.
Maasa agrees to go, which was exactly what Momoko wanted. Momoko shoves the remaining beach party invites into Maasa's hands and entrusts her to finish the job.

Is that... Miyabi eating and conversing with random Hawaiins? Lucky people.
Like a good girl, Maasa carries on her new job of advertising the mysterious beach party. She runs into Miyabi in some sort of shop. After greeting her with an "aloha!", Maasa decides to do nothing else but stare at Miyabi.

Maasa REALLY wants you to come to her party
The story moves back to Captain's side of things. She is seen using her cellphone once more.

It's Miyabi again. She wants to go with Captain to the party, but Captain declines. This is where the DVD takes a turn for the worst. I was legitimately enjoying the DVD. It wasn't your typical Alo-Hello, but it was something interesting nonetheless.

Instead of continuing on with the story as they did for the first six minutes, each member is filmed staring into the camera for ten minutes each. I'm not kidding.

Seriously, it's like the director of this DVD decided to use the greatest idea ever and then found the best (or should I say worst) way possible to make this DVD suck.

I wanted to like this. I really did. Berryz Koubou was my first love, after all. But this DVD isn't one of my favorites. Honestly, if the DVD had just started off with the members just posing for the camera like they did for the remainder of the DVD, then I probably wouldn't have had such a big problem with it. It's the fact that they teased us with such an epic opening and then decide to pull the rug from underneath us before we even got anywhere.

With that said, it's not the worst video ever. I can certainly think of a million things worse I could be doing than staring at Berryz Koubou for an hour.

And not all hope is lost. After each member is done doing virtually nothing for the camera, they show us a really nice re-interpretation of one of the songs of Berryz's twenty-second single, Tomodachi wa Tomodachi Nanda!

Honestly the whole DVD was worth it just for the awesome opening and this PV. Plus there's the whole thing with Berryz in bikinis together. Win.

After that there is a short offshot/making of (and by short, I mean a couple of seconds). The girls are still in their bikinis, so it's even more win.

After being told by Miyabi to pose for the camera, this is apparently the first thing that popped into Chinami's head, nice.
Overall, this DVD was quite a letdown compared to their first Alo-Hello. If you don't compare it to that, it's okay. There were some pretty nice moments. I skimmed through most of the staring into camera thing, but if you have a favorite Berryz member, you'll almost definitely enjoy watching her onscreen by herself for a couple of minutes. Also, the PV at the end was a very nice touch.

However, UFA's biggest mistake wasn't what is in the DVD; but rather, it's what is not.

Can you spot what's missing?
Oh, the irony.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Morning Musume debuts at #5

The daily rankings are just as I guessed, except for the most important one. Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game debuted one spot lower than I had hoped -- at #5 instead of #4. As expected, they will be in a fight for #4 with AAA the whole week.

There are no estimated sales yet, but #3, Kobukuro, sold 24,000. It's really impossible to guess what Morning Musume sold at this point except that it was less than 24,000 on the first day (which they weren't going to surpass anyway, barring a miracle).

Hoping for around 15,000 for today. Anything above that number is a bonus.

KAT-TUN is #1, SKE48 is #2, Kobukuro is #3, AAA is #4, and Morning Musume is #5.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eri, Junjun, and Linlin's graduation concert to be aired live in 3D

UFA has been on a 3D trip this year, having the first live 3D broadcast in Japan (and even earning an award for it) as well as the various movies featuring H!P members in 3D, but in December they will be taking it to a new level.

Kamei Eri, Junjun, and Linlin's final concert as Morning Musume members will be aired live on Japanese television... in 3D! Sounds pretty cool.

Also, it will air again January 1st in normal 2D for those without a 3D TV. This means that we should be able to see the graduation concert a lot early than whenever the DVD is scheduled to release.

Definitely looking forward to watching!

More information via Tokyograph: http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-6997

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog redesigned

As you can see, I changed the complete look and feel of this blog to make it a bit brighter and all around more attractive.  What do you think? Does it look better than before?



Saturday, November 13, 2010

C-ute's newest indies single

If you haven't heard, C-ute has a new musical called Akuma de Kyuuto na Seishun Grafitti that ended October 22nd.

I'm not a big fan of musicals or plays, even ones that involve Hello! Project members, but the theme song for this musical (also called Akuma de Kyuuto na Seishun Grafitti) caught my attention. It is essentially C-ute's 5th indies single (or 6th if you count the Rakuten Eagles cheer song).

Considering I have all of C-ute's other indies singles, I absolutely had to pick this one up. It also helps that I completely adore everything about this song. Aitai Lonely Christmas is releasing soon, but I think I actually like this song a bit better.

The front cover
Above you can see what the front of the CD looks like. All five C-ute members in really awesome looking devil outfits, complete with horns and a pitchfork. It's definitely one of my favorite C-ute covers.

The back cover

And here you can see what the back looks like. We get a look at the full outfits and everyone gets to pose with their pitchfork. I must say, Chisato looks quite amazing in the full body pose. Also, Maimi appears to be trying to poke Airi in the back with her pitchfork lol.

A look inside the case. On the booklet C-ute is wearing their other outfits from the musical. The actual CD itself contains some weird skull with a bow and wings.

The lyrics booklet
Inside of the insert is lyrics to the song as well as some credits.

Outside of the booklet
And finally here is a scan of the outside and back covers of the booklet.

All in all, this instantly became one of my favorite C-ute songs. To begin with, it's extremely catchy. In the middle of the song C-ute begins to somewhat freestyle and it is pure win. With this single and Aitai Lonely Christmas, C-ute is definitely ending 2010 on a high note.

If you haven't heard the song, you can listen to it here.