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!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Yaguchi could be gettting married soon

Tokyograph has translated an article from Japanese online news site Sanspo which reveals that Yaguchi Mari could very well be getting married this Spring to actor Masaya Nakamura.

It was already confirmed (by Yaguchi herself) that Nakamura and her were dating and now it seems like they will be husband and wife before long.

It's not 100% confirmed yet, but I'll update if anything new develops. Congrats Yaguchi!

More info at Tokyograph: http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-7261

CDJapan 3 day sale

Right now CDJapan has a sale that will end January 3rd (Japan time). There are 16 different Hello! Project CDs and DVDs on sale as much as 50%, which are great deals.

I have compiled a complete listing of the H!P sale items for this post:

The Shining Power singles, Berryz Blu-ray concert, and the three C-ute DVDs are very tempting. I'm definitely not getting all six, but I might have to take advantage of this sale before it ends.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

S/mileage wins!!

S/mileage was nominated for a pretty big award - the Best New Artist category of the 52nd Japan Record awards - and won!

They were going against K-pop group SNSD, who sold 100,000+ copies with their last Japanese single. Considering the K-pop mood Japan seems to be on right now, I thought S/mileage had no chance. Oh how wrong I was.

Earlier this year S/mileage made a somewhat controversial statement saying they won't lose to SNSD (because S/mileage wants to be considered a group with great legs and well, SNSD is a popular group with great legs) and they now have their first official victory verses the K-pop group.

This isn't the first time a H!P group has won this award. You don't even have to go too far back in history to find the last time it happened. C-ute won the award in 2007 and now S/mileage has it for 2010.

Also EXILE beat out AKB48 and some other pretty popular J-pop artists for the main award, so I am super happy with the overall results.

More info at Tokyograph: http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-7253

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dance de Bakoon! Autograph

A couple of weeks ago I treated myself to an early birthday/Christmas present and the goods arrived today. I bid on and (obviously) won two Dance de Bakoon! posters at Yahoo! Japan Auctions (the Japanese equivalent to eBay).

First is a normal Bakoon! poster.

Akuma de Kyuuto, Campus Life, Bakoon, and Aitai singles help hold down the fort
But the real star is the signed Bakoon! poster.

1 More Morning Musume Auditions Special Episode

It seems like next week's Bijou Gaku episode will be focused on the member(s) that were chosen in the 9th Generation Auditions. It won't air on this week's episode because, well, there is no episode this week. Bijou Gaku is on vacation. So, only 3 days until the concert!

via the Bijou Gaku website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/bijyogaku/

C-ute 2010 Summer Concert review

Finally released to the internet the other day was C-ute's 2010 Summer Concert Tour (not sure whether to call it fall or summer because the title says "natsu aki", which translates to "summer fall", but since it started in August I just call it their summer tour).

1. Dance de Bakoon!

Surprisingly this was my least favorite performance of this song. I love it to death but a combination of the outfits (makes a hot song like this less hot) and placement of this song (I wouldn't have picked this to open the concert) contributed to my conclusion. This is what inevitably happens with great songs - you play them over and over until you get tired of them. I didn't sense a large level of excitement from Dance de Bakoon! like I usually do. Even the jajajaja~s weren't quite as energetic as usual. But still, a sub-par version of Dance de Bakoon! is better than most other performances.

2. Disco Queen

The intro was pretty cool. It was a remix of sorts where all of the girls got a chance to step up on the higher platforms and do a quick solo dance. The only problem is the solo dances were largely lame. None of them really made me go "wow". Moving on to the actual song, it was business as usual. Great co-leads by Mai and Saki.

3. Tokaikko Junjou

Again, another solid performance, but nothing terribly exciting. We've seen this many times before. I think I prefer this later on in the concert though. The hideous disco jellyfish outfits again take away some of the sexiness of the dance. I hope they burned them after the concert.

4. MC

I usually don't review MCs but I'm writing this to the people who usually skip MCs. If that applies to you, then make sure you listen to this one even if you don't understand a word. If you don't, then you will be confused throughout the whole concert as to why the girls keep pointing to their crotches. Plus Maichan does a pretty epic Beat Takeshi impersonation.

If you watched and are still confused, the komanechi crotch thing is another impersonation of Japanese comedian Beat Takeshi. C-ute is using it as a way to lighten the mood. They do it at least a dozen different times throughout the concert (at least twice per MC), so be on the lookout. Since I have nothing better to do, I will keep a count of it throughout this review. Current komanechi count: 7

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

H!P videos you may have missed, 2010 edition

Staying with this end of the year theme I'm currently on, this post will list some of my favorite videos that have made their way onto the Hello! Online tracker, but either weren't too popular or were released so long ago you may have forgotten about them. This post is going to be really long because, well, tons of great stuff happened in 2010.

Up to Boy is a pretty neat Idol magazine that various H!P members have appeared on in the past. For issue 195, Maimi and Airi shared the stage to make a memorable issue. If you are a fan of photobook making ofs, this is pretty much the same thing. There are some really awesome moments throughout this DVD, like this:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tsuji gives birth to her second child

Yesterday, Tsuji and her husband Taiyo became parents for the second time. Baby Noa now has a little brother to share the house with.

Congrats Tsuji!

More info at Tokyograph: http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-7235

EDIT: Oh hey look, it's Noa holding her brother.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bijou Gaku 9th Generation Auditions Special part two

The second (and final) Bijou Gaku Morning Musume 9th Generation Audition episode aired on TV Tokyo Thursday. Most fans believed that the winners of the auditions would be revealed then, but we all know how that went. Still, this episode was significantly better than the previous "special" (which was four minutes of audition footage max).

The episode starts with a small recap from last week: Tsunku talks about what kind of girl he wants and we are once again reminded that 9000 girls applied, but now only 5 remain.

The first girl mentioned is named Ikuta Erina, 13 years old.
Tsunku then comments on Erina, saying something about her having an imouto ("little sister") character, which is a sharp contrast to Aika (whom I would describe as having an oneesan/big sister character).

Erina singing a Lilpri song.

Suzuki Kanon, age 12, with a winning name.

After the girls are introduced, the next clip of them is of them doing some sort of talent.

Kanon decided to do some sort of weird/funny skit. Yay for personality.
Sayashi Riho, age 12,

is one freaking awesome dancer.

Mogi Minami is the youngest, at 11 years old.

She decided to sing as well, but it wasn't great.

Otsuka Aina is another 12 year old,

that chooses to sing.
There once was 9000, but now only 5 remain. Who will be Morning Musume's newest member?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Suki Sugite Baka Mitai: Blu-Ray style

I had hoped to have a DVD-Rip finished by now, but I've had other things to do that drew my attention away from encoding. Doing a proper Blu-ray rip is a lot harder than a run-of-the-mill DVD and I have very little practice working with BDISOs so it's taking a little longer than expected.

Surprisingly the BDISO has been uploaded to H!O (not by me), so you can grab that if you want (assuming you have 50 GB of free space lol). I still plan on encoding and uploading a 720p rip unless someone beats me to it.

In the meantime, here is a preview of what's to come. I'm 50% done encoding the bonus performances so I went ahead and separately encoded one performance for everyone to see. It's S/mileage's take on the DEF.DIVA song, Suki Sugite Baka Mitai.

But first, I'd quickly like to show off some screenshots. In another post, I said that the Fankora FC limited DVD was one of the worst looking ISOs I've ever seen and watching the Blu-Ray version just confirms it.

Here are two pairs of screenshots I took. On top is the standard definition Fankora FC DVD and on bottom is the Blu-Ray version.

You can click on each photo for its full 1280x720 size.

It was hard getting screencaps to match because it seems like they used different camera angles (or different recordings).

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Limited DVD of Chisato

Included with Okaichan's first photobook (simply titled Chisato, or as the DVD says, Chisato Okai) that releases today, the included DVD contains 14 minutes of making of footage. Let's take a closer look into Chisato's journey.

The DVD opens with Chisato doing what I like to do the most - being lazy.

Chisato is so beautiful

Kikkawa Yuu and Sengoku Minami are no longer Eggs

Before all you Eggs fans faint, it's probably not what you think. For all intents and purposes, Hello! Project Egg members Kikkawa Yuu and Sengoku Minami have graduated (the official statement has been translated as "completed their HelloPro Egg training"). The question is, what exactly does this mean for their future?

In Yuu's case, she almost definitely seems to be staying with H!P (or at least UFA) in some capability. She will be the opening act of the H!P 2011 Winter Concert Tour (similar to S/mileage opening for the recent Morning Musume graduation concert). Sounds like Tsunku is grooming another soloist for H!P.

I much rather would have her as a Morning Musume 9th Generation member, but being a soloist is the next best thing. Whatever happens with her, she needs to be a permanent part of Hello! Project, stat. She's waaaay too talented to go somewhere else. In my opinion, she would enter Hello! Project and instantly become one of their top 5 best singers. That's the main reason why I'd rather her join Morning Musume (to replace Ai's talent, whenever she decides to leave, especially since Linlin is gone).

Minami's case is a lot more cloudy. She will be in a new play next year, but who knows what will happen past that point. Her and Yuu are about the same age, so maybe a new W-ish group will be formed. One can only dream.

And while we're doing all of this shuffling of the Eggs, how about throwing Furukawa Konatsu a bone? She's been an Egg just as long as Minami (six years) and I feel that currently she is one of the most talented Eggs. With the 9th Generation auditions over, Tsunku has plenty of young guns to resupply the Egg pool. I say continue with the rummaging of the Eggs and start a new group or something. Kitahara Sayaka, Tanaka Anri, Morisaki, and a couple others have been waiting patiently for six years for an opportunity. The start of a new year is the perfect time for action.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Best of 2010: Other J-pop

Since there are still two concerts that have not hit the internet yet (C-ute's and S/mileage's), I do not want to work on my top five best live performances of 2010 so I'm making a list of my favorite non-Hello! Project Japanese songs of this year.

5. Say I Love You (Takenaka Rina)

If the name Takenaka Rina is familiar to you, it's probably because you remember her from being in the Eurobeat J-pop group HINOI team from 2005 - 2007. Say I Love You is Rina's soloist debut, which released in March. This song caught me by surprise because I wasn't keeping up with any of the HINOI team members, then suddenly I found out about this song by accident. What's even more surprising is the style. HINOI team had a disco-y, synthesized sound to their music. This song is straight up J-R&B. I don't believe Rina has released anything since then, so I'm pulling for her music label to let her continue to release music.


Jasmine is someone that I had one song of previously, but never really payed attention to her until I found out about her first album, GOLD. If I had to rank it, it would be above some of my top five H!P albums of the year and I don't say that about a non-H!P artist very often. Jasmine is pretty good with English and uses it often throughout most of her songs. L.I.P.S. is no exception. After hearing most of her singles and her album, Jasmine is by far my favorite J-R&B artist right now.

And the winner(s) of the 9th gen auditions is/are...

Stop reading right now if you don't want to be spoiled.
...Only Tsunku knows.

It was announced that the results will be revealed at the H!P 2011 Winter Concert (Jan 2). lulz

Let the waiting game recommence.

EDIT: The results were finally announced. Click here to find out who made the cut!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Watching H!P in full HD: Fankora Blu-ray

My first ever Hello! Project Blu-ray DVD finally came in the mail. I recently bought a Blu-ray burner drive for my PC because my old DVD burner drive is getting old and has been acting weird lately. It's a cheap off-brand that I snatched from my old HP PC so I'm not really surprised.

Newegg has a nice deal on a couple of Blu-ray drives (which is still going on right now) so I jumped at the opportunity to buy one.

$80 for a Blu-ray burner drive plus free software and 3D glasses? Pretty nice deal considering Blu-ray burners are normally at least $100 and usually $120 for a decent one.

So, to test the thing out, I bought the Fankora Blu-ray concert. It has extra performances not on the regular DVD and of course it's in full 1920x1080 HD.

Front cover
We've already seen all of the bonus performances on the Fankora Special FC DVD, but the quality of the ISO is absolutely horrible. I downloaded the .avi DVD-Rip and thought it was the fault of the encoder of the .avi, but after watching some of the ISO, I can safely say that the Fankora FC DVD is one of the worst quality ISOs I've ever seen. Even for UFA standards.

So, at least with this Blu-ray DVD we get to see the performances in near perfect quality. Not to mention they are the full length performances, whereas the FC DVD performances are only 1 minute 30 seconds max.

Since I've stopped Youtube uploading for a while, I have quite a lot of encoding free time, so I might as well put this beast of a encoding PC that I built to the test, encoding a DVD-Rip of this Blu-ray DVD. That way I can (hopefully) sell this DVD on eBay or something and stop my wallet from crying from this purchase.

I already encoded Morning Musume's Alo-Hello 4 Blu-Ray to a .mp4 DVD-Rip, but didn't release it to the public. If I'm satisfied with the results of this encode, I'll probably go ahead and upload it to the tracker.

Just in case anyone is curious as to what kind of encoding power something like this takes, I'll make a follow-up post when I finish. Though I fully expect over a day of non-stop encoding (since it took approx. 25 hours to finish MM's Alo4).

EDIT: This project is currently delayed canceled. I wasn't 100% happy with the results (though I'm sure most people would be okay with them), so it will have to wait until I have more time. In the meantime, you can download the the bonus content if you want to.


Specs: 1280x720 mkv
aac audio
about 1.30 GB each/about 30 minutes each

Best of 2010: PVs

I started off talking about my favorite albums of 2010, then my favorite A and B-sides of this year and now I'm writing about great PVs.

I took into account every single type of PV - normal, dance shots, close ups, and even those kinda creepy lets-stare-at-a-girl-for-four-minutes solo versions. For this ranking, I did not pick PVs because of the quality of the song itself; instead I simply ranked them in order of which I enjoyed watching. So if I really like a particular song's dance, then its dance shot may make the list. Or if I had fun staring at C-ute for four minutes, then a close up could make the list.

Top 5 PVs

5.  Genkimono de Ikou! (Director's Cut Ver. 1) - Mano Erina

One of my very first blog posts talked about this very PV so I won't go into too much detail here, but four months later, this PV is still one of the greatest of 2010. UFA actually got outside help (from a Japanese movie director) to direct Genkimono de Ikou, and his genius showed. Something about it screams star quality. The complete randomness and the fact that I still have no idea what's going on most of the time contributes to its greatness. Also Sahoooooooooooo

4. Our Songs (Close up ver. Air) - Buono!

And the winner for most original PV of the year goes to the Air ver. of Our Songs. If you never watched the making of, they were sitting on the end of this camera crane thing (which terrified Momoko) that lifted them into the air. Even though it was probably scary for the girls to make, I enjoyed it as a nice change-up from the normal close up PVs that we usually get.

3. Onegai Dakara (Dance Shot Ver.) - Mano Erina

I say this every time, but Manoeri is just so darn cool. I think this dance embodies that notion perfectly. She spends half of her time at a piano, which almost makes me forget just how good of a dancer she is. After all, she was an Egg for a while and dancing is pretty much all she did back then. This dance shot PV is one of the single reasons why I love Onegai Dakara so much. I watched this dance so many times, the song was stuck in my head for a long time.

2. Otakebi Boy WAO (Normal ver.) - Berryz Koubou

WAO is right. This PV is great for so many reasons. The main reason being the semi-realistic CGI used. I had no idea that UFA - a company that struggles with basic photoshopping - could pull something so epic off. From burning trees to lightning punches, it's all perfect. Risako's Spirit Bomb was just the cherry on top. I consider both this PV and the song to be the best thing Berryz has ever made, so it took a very amazing effort on the part of the next video to drop Otakebi down a notch.

1. Dance de Bakoon! (Dance Shot Ver.) - C-ute

I knew this was going to be number 1 as soon as I started this list because Dance de Bakoon! instantly became my favorite dance of all time shortly after I saw the whole thing. This dance shot also gets bonus points for not zooming in randomly, letting us see the whole dance unobstructed. Also the outfits are mega awesome.

Making this list was definitely the hardest so far. I really wanted to get a S/mileage PV on here because Ganabaranakutemo was silly fun and Bijin Mama was awesome just because of Tsuji, but ultimately I am happy with this list. H!P PVs are usually pretty bland and boring, but 2010 was overall a great year. I can only hope the PVs of 2011 will be just as great.

I can't make the next post (ranking my favorite live performances) yet because two concerts have yet to release and I want to give them a fair chance, so it will have to wait a week for S/mileage's first concert tour to come out. So instead, I'll take a quick break from H!P and rank my favorite non-H!P J-pop songs of 2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Watching the audition results live

This is basically a reminder of the post I made last week about how to watch the audition results live:


Even if you missed last week's episode, you don't want to miss this week's. At the end of this Bijou Gaku episode, we are suppose to finally find out who passed the 9th Generation auditions.

It will air 1 AM on Friday the 24th, Japan time. That's 11 AM on Thursday the 23rd for United States east coasters.

EDIT: Fixed the time. Was a day ahead.

Best of 2010: Songs (B-sides)

Yesterday I talked about my top five A-sides of 2010, and three days ago I ranked my favorite album songs. Today I'm moving on to B-sides.

Because they almost never gets a PV, B-sides are often forgotten, or simply ignored by far too many people. That is a huge mistake. A lot of the time B-sides are pretty awesome and occasionally I will enjoy it more than the featured single. So anyway, here we go.

Top 5 B-sides

5. Hello! Esper! Hello! (B-side to Mano Erina's Haru no Arashi)

This was also the theme song to her awesome drama Hanbun Esper, which you can watch subbed by Hyakupa. Since I watched the drama, I got a little more exposure to this song that I normally would have alone and I am thankful for that. It's a pretty cool song by Manoeri. Her pronunciation of hello is so cute~

4. Aisare Sugiru Koto wa Nai no yo (B-side to Morning Musume's Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game)

For me, Morning Musume really dominates with their B-sides. Expect another Musume B-side on the list because of that.

Aisare is a really nice upbeat song that compliments Lullaby Game well. It's one of those B-sides that is borderline as good as the feature song. Actually, in light of the graduations, I would have loved to have a double A-side here to maximize the Eri/Jun/Lin exposure with a second PV.

This song isn't quite as catchy as Lullaby Game, which is why I am mostly fine with it being a B-side, but it's still a song you can have fun with.

3. Nakidasu Kamo Shirenai yo (B-side to Morning Musume's Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai)

See, I told you there would be another Musume B-side on the list. This one gets the edge over Aisare because I like the change in style. It's kind of a Japanese take on R&B which is pretty cool. This is a song that I would let my non Japanese obsessed friends listen to and expect them to not make fun of it.

2. MIRACLE HAPPY LOVE SONG (B-side to Buono!'s Our Songs)


But seriously this song is Buono! at their best. Just like the title says, it's quite happy. Makes me want to get up and dance while smiling or something. Also it has like the longest held note I've ever heard a H!P girl sing (@ like 2:55 in the video). And to think I once thought Momoko had no range.

1. Smile Bijin (B-side to S/mileage's Ganbaranakutemo ee nende)

Surprise surprise. Another S/mileage song tops one of my lists. I was guilty of not listening to this song right away, but when I did I was in awe. Ganbara blahblah is a really, really awesome song and so is Smile Bijin.

Next I will rank my top five PVs of 2010.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Best of 2010: Songs (A-sides)

Two days ago I ranked my top five albums of 2010 and today I'm writing about my favorite five A-sides of 2010. Tomorrow will be the top five B-sides.

Top 5 A-sides

5. Akuma de Kyuuto na Seishun Graffiti (C-ute)

I stated before that I'm not a fan of plays or musicals (even if a Hello! Project member is present), but this one is a bit different. It's been a good two years or so since I've watched a play/musical, but I'm sure I'll be watching this one when it releases. As for the song, it really came out of nowhere. Like I said, I don't care much for plays or musicals so I didn't pay much attention to it while they were performing, but I was hooked on this song literally after my first listen so much that I had to impulsively buy it.

4. Onegai Dakara... (Mano Erina)

With most of the focus being on the other artists in Hello! Project, Mano Erina very quietly had a really solid year with her singles. Haru no Arashi, Genkimono de Ikou!, and of course Onegai Dakara are three of my favorite Manoeri singles. I like Onegai Dakara above the rest because it has something extra special that the other two don't. It's just a really cool song. It's also my #3 most played song in iTunes.

3. Otakebi Boy WAO! (Berryz Koubou)

Being the last of Berryz's double A-sides, Otakebi Boy is definitely my favorite. It's another one of those songs where I was instantly hooked the first time I listened to it. I love how it has multiple leads and virtually everyone has a chance to shine. Out of all of the Berryz members, Risako really shines here with a very strong lead. She, along with Miyabi, Momoko (and really the rest of Berryz Koubou) have this kind of angry grit to their voice when they sing Otakebi Boy, which is perfect for a song like this. It brings out the power in their voices and makes for an overall strong vocal performance by the girls.

2. Dance de Bakoon! (C-ute)

Because I am making this list judging only the songs and not the PV, I can't talk about how awesome the dance is (yet), which is why Dance de Bakoon! is number two. But still, even without talking about the dance, Dance de Bakoon! is a great example of C-ute at their best. Lines are shared fairly and the song has multiple memorable moments that are quite catchy and stick in your head far longer than they should. I absolutely love this song to death and hope to see more awesome songs like this from C-ute in 2011 moving forward.

1. Yume Miru 15 (S/mileage)

If you told me last year at this time that a S/mileage song would be my favorite A-side of the year, I probably would have called you crazy, but it's true. In the seven months since it's release, it has become my most played single of all time. I remember listening to this song like crazy in the summertime (probably something to do with the fact that I edited, QC'ed, and encoded the PV like half a dozen times for a couple of friends) as well as in my car in the mornings. I'm not so gaga over it at the moment, but it is still a really solid song from S/mileage and is officially my favorite A-side of 2010.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Reason

Okay so Luna started something interesting on her blog. I'm not really a fan of these tag game things, but this one sounded interesting and I have way too many songs on my iPod, so here goes nothing.

All you have to do is open iTunes (or whatever you use to play music) and hit the shuffle button. This will randomize the order that your songs will play. Click the next button after iTunes has given you a song. Laugh at the results. Continue doing it until iTunes has given you a song to answer all of the questions.

How would you describe yourself?
PYT - Pretty Young Thing (Michael Jackson) -- I swear this really popped up lol

What do you like in a girl/guy
Morning Coffee (Ice creamusume cover) -- um, reminds me of the GTA hot coffee thing (kids don't click). pervy iTunes ftw?

If someone says "Are you okay?"you say?
Linear Motor Girl (Perfume) -- lolwut

How do you feel?
Natsu Remember You (Berryz Koubou) -- wrong, my memory is horrible~

What is your life's purpose?
Dream Fighter (Perfume) -- that's actually a pretty cool choice, thanks iTunes

What do your parents think of you?
Kimi ga Ireba (Buono!) -- translates to "When You're Here".. interesting.

What do you think about very often?
One (Lamb) -- yep, one person. Airi <3

What do you think of your best friend?
Sweet (Lamb) -- congrats kevin

What is your life story?
Suki de, suki de, suki de. (Koda Kumi) -- basically translates to "I like, I like, I like." my iTunes is so cool

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Whatever Life (Haylie Duff) -- apparently iTunes doesn't think that i think that far ahead

What do you think when you see the person you like?
Hitohira no Hanabira (Stereopony) -- translates to something like "a single flower petal"

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Utada Hikaru cover) -- out of all of the H!P songs I have, a Green Day song pops up? my wedding will be so emo

What will they play at your funeral?
Wanna be Startin' Something (Michael Jackson) -- lol okay

What is your passion in life?
Nakanaide (Shuuchishin) -- translates to "won't/don't cry". cool

What is your biggest fear?
You Give Love a Bad Name (Bon Jovi) -- hmm

What is your biggest secret?
still doll (Wakeshima Kanon) -- I'm a motionless puppet?

What do you want right now?
Te wo Nigitte Arukitai (Goto Maki) -- translates to "I want to walk holding hands". with airi, sure.

What does your love think about you?
Dream Wing (Kuribayashi Minami) -- again with the dreams

What will you title this as?
The Reason (Hoobastank) -- the Reason it is

I'm supposed to tag five people, but I don't even think I know five people who blogs. So if you are reading this and you have a blog (Melisa, Raffi, Kylon, I'm looking at you), then tag you're it!

Berryz Koubou to hold a concert in the States

They've technically been to the United States twice (Alo-Hellos), but this will be their first time performing in the mainland USA.

It hasn't been made official by UFA yet, but apparently Captain announced it in an audio recording. They will be guests at Seattle's annual Anime convention called Sakura-Con April 22-24th. Sakura-Con's website confirms the information: http://www.sakuracon.org/

This isn't H!P's (well UFA) first time in Sakura-Con. Hangry&Angry (Yossie and Rika) performed there last year.

The only problem with this announcement is once again its on the West Coast, meaning my chance of attending is pretty close to zero. Come on UFA, the US is bigger than Hawaii, California and Washington state!

Ah well, I guess I'll just have to see my favorite idols the old fashion way - traveling to Japan.

Boyz II Men to release a J-pop cover album

Apparently acappella and R&B legends Boyz II Men will release a cover album of some popular J-pop songs (sung in English) on the 22nd.

I honestly don't know how to feel. I've heard something like this before and that did not go well. At all. But after listening to a quick preview it doesn't make me want to vomit, so that's a good thing.

There's no way I'm buying this (unless I find it in the 99 cent bin at Walmart), but Boyz II Men are normally pretty awesome (It's So Hard to Say Goodbye To Yesterday brings back High School graduation memories) so they've at least warranted a download.

Plus, they are covering a Utada Hikaru song. I must listen to see how that goes.

More info at Tokyograph: http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-7179

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best of 2010: Albums

Well, it's the end of the year so I'm going to look back on nearly everything H!P released in 2010 and rank them. I will re-listen to every song and re-watch every concert and PV to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.

Since there are no more albums releasing this year, I'll start with them.

Top 5 Album Songs

I tried to pick songs from a variety of albums, but a few of the albums had a bunch of really awesome songs so that didn't work out too well.

5.  Grand Demo Rouka Demo Medatsu Kimi (from Berryz Koubou's 6th Otakebi album)

I would not have predicted this when the album first released. I didn't really like any of the songs on it. But slowly and surely, this Yurina/Maasa duet grew on me. Oddly enough, it's the two of them that make the song and not the other way around. If, say Momoko and Miyabi were singing it, I don't think it would have the same impact despite those two being better singers.

4. Aa Koi (from C-ute's Shocking 5 album)

This song is nothing short of amazing. Again this was a song that I didn't really like after hearing it for the first time (surprised?), but now it's one of my favorite C-ute songs. Airi really owns this live (see above). It's songs and performances like this that make me into the Airi fan that I am today.

3. Kataomoi (from Buono!'s We Are Buono! album)

I almost forgot this album was released this year. It seems like forever since Buono! has released new songs. Not only is this one of my favorite album songs of 2010, it's one of my favorite songs period. It is #6 on my iTunes most played song list. It takes a very special song for me to listen to over and over again without tiring, and Kataomoi is exactly that type of song.

2. Namidacchi (from Morning Musume's 10 MY ME album)

And here we have a third song that I didn't like at first. Actually this was the only song from Morning Musume's 10th album that I didn't like. Ironically enough it's now the one that I like the most. You will almost definitely see the performance above in my favorite performances of 2010. It gave new life to the song after I had played it to death on my iPod.

1. Independent Girl ~ Dokuritsu Joshi de Aru Tame ni (from Buono!'s We Are Buono! album)

I don't have much to say about this besides the fact that I absolutely love this song. It's my #1 most played song on iTunes of all time with no competitor in sight. This is Buono! at their best. I'm so glad we will get more Buono! songs in 2011. Hopefully they will be as epic as this one is.

And that's it for this post. When I finish ranking my top 5 songs, performances and PVs, I will make one more post where I reveal my overall #1 album, single, performance, and PV of 2010.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Engrish fun at the grocery store

So the other day I found out about a pretty cool Asian supermarket that is somewhat near me. I scored a couple of pretty nice Japanese food items: frozen Nikuman, Yakiniku Don, Vermont Curry, as well as some typical weeaboo items like Strawberry Pocky and a six pack of Melon Ramune.

But none of those could compare to what I found in the snack section.

That's right, cock da asses.
After seeing the title, I had to buy it. I didn't care what it tastes like; I just knew that life would be better with a box of Couque D'asses.

Oh, Japan. Never change.

H!P Weekly Roundup #7

Doing another one of these to condense all of the new news into one post.

  • Aitai Lonely Christmas 2nd Week Sales

They sold 2,239 for their second week, bringing the total to 25,921 copies sold. This puts Aitai as C-ute's best selling single of 2010. It also has a real short of surpassing Everyday Zekkouchou, which would make Aitai C-ute's best selling single since July 2009.

  • DAWA gets a photobook

S/mileage member Wada Ayaka will be getting her first photobook sometime next year. The actual date is unknown, but the accompanying solo DVD releases on March 2nd.

  • Manoeri's new single PV uploaded

The PV of Seishun no Serenade (Mano Erina's 9th single) was uploaded to the official Mano Erina channel yesterday. I will probably do a full review soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bijou Gaku 9th Generation Auditions Special part one

About seven hours ago the first of two Bijou Gaku Morning Musume 9th Generation Audition Special aired on TV Tokyo. This was something that I was really looking forward to, almost as much as the graduation concert itself. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait at least another week for some sort of closure to the auditions. Continue reading to see why.

The boss man himself. I think the text says something about the members being careless.

A look at Tsunku's desk. Could those pictures down there be the finalists?
A room full of aspiring auditioners.

Three random girls before they go before the judges.

Cool skirt.

Could've sworn I saw this girl somewhere before

She looks cute from far away
 Half-way through, we are shown five girls which could very well be the finalists.

I kinda hope that these aren't the only finalists. Needs more eggs

A look back at the 5th Gen audtion. Gakisaaaaan!

And Aichan <3

Definitely my favorite of the five. In this scene she sang Aitai Lonely Christmas (and forgot the lyrics).

Training in the gym

proves to be a bit much for this contestant. Poor thing.

But she is able to find comfort with another audtioner.

In the final scene, three of the girls are shown

being emotional.

So then, who are the 9th Generation members? Tune into next week to find out!

I took a lot of screencaps, but this whole thing only lasted four minutes of the total twenty-five minutes that Bijou Gaku is on for. Talk about a major letdown.

Now, I didn't exactly expect them to announce the winners this week. I was anticipating a 15-20 minute look into the whole process and a little time to get to know some of the girls and have the episode end with a cliffhanger.

But instead, the first six minutes were of yesterday's graduation concert, and a bunch of stuff most fans already knew. Only four minutes was of new footage (see the above screenshots) and we learned almost nothing about the audition participants. The rest of the time was spent doing some Manoeri palm reading, and with S/mileage eating.

Oh well, at least this means next week will be pretty awesome (fingers crossed).

You can view the video here: