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.

°C-ute

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

S/Mileage

Everything released about the miniskirts girls.

Buono!

All the posts about Hello! Project's rockers.

Mano Erina

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Furukawa Konatsu has finished her Egg training

YES!



If you recall, Konatsu is one of the Eggs that I originally wanted to be added to Morning Musume's 9th Generation. After I realized that wasn't going to happen, I then hoped that Konatsu would follow in Kikkawa's footsteps and "finish her Egg training". Sengoku Minami and later Mori Saki completed their Egg training, which gave me hope for Konatsu.

Now, finally, Furukawa Konatsu also has completed her Egg training and will no longer be a Hello! Project Egg.

Though once again we do not know what the future holds for Konatsu. I am happy at the moment because of what has happened with Kikkawa Yuu, but there is no guarantee that Minami, Morisaki, and Konatsu will follow her lead.

I have my fingers crossed that Minami, Morisaki, and Konatsu form one awesome group. I literally would pre-order their single the minute I heard about it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kikkawa Yuu to make her debut March 30

Not wasting any time, Kikkawa Yuu's debut single will release on March 30th, 2011.

It will be available in four different versions (Regular, and Limited A + B + C), all of which will have a different B-side.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Berryz's 7th album announced + American release planned

Announced today, Berryz Koubou's 7th album will hit Japanese stores on March 30, 2011. The tracklist is still unknown, but it will definitely contain Maji Bomber, Shining Power, and new songs.



HelloStoreUSA has also announced they will have an official American release of this album.

I normally don't buy albums (due to their price), but I'll definitely pick up a copy of this since it's only $16.

You can pre-order it at HSU here: http://www.hellostoreusa.com/cds/berryz-kobo-untitled-regular-edition-pre-order.html

OhMyGoshCaptainWithLongHair

I have no idea what this is for, but I don't really care.


....It's Captain with long hair!

Excuse me while I go faint now. Kyaa~

Buono! - Zassou no Uta PV

After nearly a year between their last single, Buono! is back and better than ever. Here is their new single, Zassou no Uta, via their official Youtube channel.



The cutest mechanics I've ever seen. Oh Buono! <3

The only thing missing is Dolce. Hopefully they'll still be around in concerts.

But seriously, this is instantly one of my favorite Buono! songs ever. I haven't bought multiple copies of the same single since.. hmm.. Kimagure Princess, but I have a feeling this single will break that streak.

I think that Buono!, more than any current Hello! Project group (yes even moreso than Morning Musume), is the most mainstream. If I showed someone who didn't know better a PV from Stereopony, from Scandal, and from Buono!, I bet they would have a hard time telling which was the Hello! Project group.

If only UFA would promote their artists more, Buono! could reach new heights. After all, their debut single did sell 42,000 copies (that's similar to what Morning Musume sells, folks).

Newest Hello! Cover release

UFA has uploaded an Okai Chisato cover of Mikitty's Romantic Ukare Mode to iTunes. If you live in the US, you can buy it through this link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/id415603829

Just click "view in iTunes" and iTunes will open where you can buy the song for 99 cents.

I never really got into this song (I just liked it because it is a legendary wota song) but Chisato sings really well here.

Buy it if you can!

And that's another thing to scratch off of my 2011 Hopes and Predictions list.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Learn about Japan with Japancast

It's no secret that I love Japan. If you're reading this blog, then you probably feel the same way. So today I want to share a website that I really enjoy visiting called Japancast.

If you were to look at my subscription list on Youtube, you would find that around 80% of my subscriptions are of people who either live in or blog about Japan. Japancast is similar; they just aren't on Youtube.

Every week they upload a video in HD which lasts about 25 minutes. In each video, they talk about recent news from Japan, give a short Japanese lesson, answer fanmail, and talk a little about Japanese culture. Japancast truly is a place for anyone interested in Japan.

Here is Japancast's latest episode, where they talk about things to say in the morning and Japanese onsens, among other things.


Japancast HD Video Episode 030 from Hitomi Griswold on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Full length concerts on Youtube

A while back, Youtube removed the upload limit for a select few accounts and shanmar33 has one of those special accounts.

This wota has kindly been uploading full-length Hello! Project concerts in one part. Some are even in HD.

Here is one of my favorite concerts, Buono!'s We Are Buono! concert in 720p.



You can watch more concerts on his channel. Though you'd better hurry and watch since UFA has been cracking down on Youtube uploaders lately.

Here are links to more of my favorites:

Berryz + C-ute 2008 joint concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Iw2qzKyuSA
H!P 2006 Winter Wonderful Hearts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcQBMXGFkt0
C-ute 2010 Spring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kziDArFH3a0
H!P 2010 Winter Shuffle Date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19zRru0ZIZk
Morning Musume 2009 B-side concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtTFyZ0ro4I

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Aichan drama + her future plans

Tokyograph has translated an article describing what Aichan will be up to later this year and also what she plans to do post-Musume.


She will be co-staring in a short drama with some guy, which tells the story of Aichan randomly falling in love.

I don't really care about the drama itself (but you're more than welcome to read more about it at Tokyograph); instead, the real part of the article that drew my attention was Aichan's plans for when she leaves Morning Musume at the end of this year.

She says that she wants to continue acting and also study languages (I think we can all guess which one) so she can travel abroad.

It's no secret that she's a huge Takarazuka fan so I'm not surprised at her wanting to continue life as an actress. I just hope she is able to get roles in better dramas. Her work in Hanbun Esper was pretty good, but everything else I didn't care for. I'd love to see her try her hand at a slice-of-life/school life drama, but maybe that's just me.

She also has let her love for English show on multiple occasions, so I'd expect her to continue her studies with that. It would be pretty cool if she comes to the U.S. to train like many of her senpais (Kago, Gomaki, T&C Bomber) have done in the past.

Whatever she decides to do in the future, you know this guy will continue to support her!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun with Japanese tongue twisters

It's still pretty slow with news right now, so here is something kinda fun (if you like failing, that is)!

Learning Japanese (and any new language really) can be tough at times so it's a good idea to have some fun with it.

While I was studying Japanese earlier, I was reminded of a word that gave me big troubles when I first learned it: atatakakunakatta.

Which brings me to actual Japanese tongue twisters. My favorite one is:

Kaeru pyoko pyoko mi pyoko pyoko awasete pyoko pyoko mu pyoko pyoko

By the way, that's an easy one. Here's how it's pronounced:


Ready for more?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Morisaki too has completed her Egg training

First Sengoku Minami and then Kikkawa Yuu, now Hello! Project Egg member Mori Saki has also finished her Egg training and will no longer be an Egg.



Yuu's future seems to be pretty bright, with her just beginning her career as a soloist, but Minami and now Morisaki's future with the company is still uncertain.

I doubt they would just kick both Minami and Morisaki to the curb after they've both been in UFA for over half a decade, so I'm excited to see exactly what they will be doing. In the post I linked to above, I also mentioned Tanaka Anri as well as Kitahara Sayaka being in the same position that Morisaki once was in. Could we be in the process of seeing a brand new group being formed? I sure hope so! Throw in Saho Akari, Furukawa Konatsu and another young-ish Egg like Okai Asuna or Maeda Irori and it would be perfect.

I'm excited to see what happens to all of these graduated Eggs!

YES YES MIYABI YES

Excuse my excitement for a moment, but it's been far too long (four years to be exact) since we've seen gravure Miya.

That's right, Natsuyaki Miyabi will have a solo DVD sometime next month. Right now only an e-LineUP special edition DVD is announced (Called Natural & Cool), but I still have my fingers crossed for a photobook, too.


Preview from Berryz's official channel:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My picture collection part one

This is the final part of my collection. I have already photographed my CDs and my DVDs and here are my photocards. This post will mostly contain Aichan photos because that is what the bulk of my collection is made of. I was a huge Aichan fan from 2008-2010 until Airi took over the top idol spot in my ranking.

First you get to look at one of the actual albums that some of the photocards are located in.


I'm not going to comment on every single picture, so enjoy.





Saturday, January 15, 2011

100 Truths

Oh joy, more tag games. This time it's super long. thanks melisa

WHAT WAS YOUR:

1. Last Beverage: Pepsi (ew)
2. Last Phone Call : my school telling me that the school is open friday (nooooo)
3. Last Text Message: from the phone company telling me i need to renew my subscription (pre-paid ftw?)
4. Last Kiss: ひ。み。つ。
5. Last time you Cried: Pretty recently actually. After hearing the Aichan announcement and reading Airi's blog post about how much Aichan means to her made me shed a couple of tears, I won't lie.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kiss Me Aishiteru radio rip

Airing on Maimi's radio show was the radio version of C-ute's new single. I edited it and uploaded it to Youtube. You can listen here:



And don't forget to support C-ute if you like this song!

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=EPCE-5760

Mail from your waifus

News in general seemed to completely die out since Aichan's graduation announcement on Sunday so here's something fun (for some).

Samuel-san over at his Chisato Intellegence Agency blog (CIA for short.. best blog name ever) found an entertaining wota-made website:

It's completely in Japanese, but don't freak out just yet (save the freak outs for later). There is a box in the middle of the page for you to type your name. Do it.

Click the 診断する button and you will get "mail" from a random Hello! Project member (and possibly from an Egg). No, this isn't really from a Hello! Project member, but it's quite amusing to see the results nonetheless.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mano Erina - Seishun no Serenade full PV

Uploaded to the official Manoeri channel yesterday is the full PV (..MV?) of Manoeri's latest single, Seishun no Serenade.




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two ways to make iTunes better: Smart Playlists

Part two of my iTunes improvement post. Right now I'll tell you what smart playlists are and how they can make your life easier.

For someone like me (that has thousands of songs and loves playlists), I find iTunes's smart playlist feature to be really useful. So what is it exactly?

Smart playlists takes the work out of organizing your music library and makes making playlists so much easier. For me, one of my smart playlists is titled J-pop. Inside that playlist is, yep, J-pop songs. Now normally I'd have to add the thousand or so J-pop songs that exists in my music collection manually. Smart playlists makes this so much easier. All you have to do is set a couple of settings, and iTunes will automatically fill your new playlist for you.

Two ways to make iTunes better: Half-star ratings

Because I have nothing better to talk about, here is another tutorial, this time involving my favorite music player: iTunes.

The first thing I'll talk about isn't supported by iTunes by default, but it is something that is relatively easy to enable. I'm talking about half-star ratings. Let's take a look at iTunes to see exactly what I'm talking about.


As you can see, I have some songs rated 4.5 and 3.5. If you've read any of my concert reviews, you'll know that I love my half scores. Sometimes a song isn't quite perfect, but is still better than a 4, which is why I'll rate a song 4.5.

Here is how to turn this feature on in roughly five steps.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow days are awesome

It's been a while since I posted about my personal life, eh?

For the past couple of days I've been sick in bed, but I've actually been pretty happy (except for the Aichan announcement of course). It's because my college (along with pretty much all of mid to north Georgia) has been shut down since Monday. The 10th was supposed to be the start of the Spring semester, but I just got news from school that they will be closed again tomorrow.

A pretty significant snow storm hit the southeast Sunday and most of Georgia is still feeling the effects.

My backyard, as seen through a window (hey, I told you I'm sick. I'm not going out there~)
I'm sure people from the north are chuckling because it doesn't look like much. And honestly it isn't, but the roads are incredibly icy and considering the fact that it snows here like once every five years (and even then, it's always super tiny snowflakes that never stick to the ground), Georgia really isn't equipped to handle a storm of this caliber (news said it's like the worst storm the state has seen in like the past two decades). My dad just came back from the grocery store and scored the last two loaves of bread lol.


Needless to say, I'd much rather be fully healthy so that I can actually enjoy this unexpected time off, but hey, I'll take being sick and having school closed than being sick and at school. Snow days are awesome.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts on Aichan's impending graduation

I didn't want to say too much on the subject yesterday because I honestly didn't know what to say. Airi may be my #1 love for now, but Aichan was one of my very first Hello! Project crushes. She is the sole reason for me getting into Morning Musume. And most importantly, Aichan is a huge reason for me becoming the fan that I am today.

So then, a day has passed since news broke. How do I feel now?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Don't get too used to 9nin Morning Musume

I didn't expect one of my predictions to come crashing down so quickly (though I did write that blog post about a week ago and just finished editing it yesterday night), but at the end of the year Morning Musume will be down to 8 members.

Current Hello! Project and Morning Musume leader Takahashi Ai will graduate during Morning Musume's 2011 Fall Concert Tour.

Normally this is the time where I would write a long post about what this means for Morning Musume's future and draw information from various sources, but for now I'll just defer to the Hello! Online article: http://www.hello-online.org/index.php?app=helloapp&CODE=article&topic=1213

Tomorrow I'll write about my thoughts and feelings when I have some time to think this through. Until then I leave you all with a translation of an Airi blog post. It's truly poetic. (thanks to snoboat for the translation)

And amidst all that, today it was announced that Takahashi Ai-san will be graduating from Morning Musume at the Fall Tour.

Takahashi-san is a senpai I've always admired since before I entered H!P Kids.

Whether at the rehearsals, or the actual performances, on stage, or during the musicals, the more I watched her, the more my admiration increased. It was frustrating that I couldn't catch up to her, but one day I wanted her to admire me too. That was the kind of person she was to me.

I truly believe that because Takahashi-san stood at the top of Hello! we are here now.

Backstage, I don't really trade compliments that much with the other members (lol). I've met a lot of the different members at the Hello concerts and all, and they've said a lot of nice things to me. I remember that Takahashi-san praised my dancing.

When she saw that I was unsure of myself, she said "You should be more confident. You look very cool when you dance."

For the person I admired to say something like that to me... at the time, I just said Oh, thank you, or something, but inside I was so happy.

I wanted her to recognize me more.

Because I felt that way, I thought I'm not going to call her Ai-chan.

I only want to call her Takahashi-san. [Takahashi-san can seem more distant than the friendly, affectionate Ai-chan, which is why Ai probably has everyone call her Ai-chan, but Airi wants to communicate how much she respects her and doesn't take her lightly by using it]

Aaa...
In the time we have left together, I'm going to be watching her like crazy during rehearsal. I'm going to try to absorb as much of her as possible, so that I can become just like her.

I'm going to look her right in the face
and say "I want to be like you, Takahashi-san!"

Maybe I should give that idea up, lol.
Even though I say that, I won't give it up.

Also, during the last song we sang together, I held Takahashi-san's hand.
During that moment, all the tears I had tried to hold back couldn't be held back anymore.

I love her!

I can't finish all my thoughts but we'll have memories up through the fall tour.
Today I took 2 pictures with Takahashi-san.





















Thanks Airi, now you're going to make me cry.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Hopes and Predictions

Now that 2010 is over, it's time for my predictions for the new year. I'll break this up into two categories - what I want to happen and what I actually think/predict will happen in 2011.

What I want to happen in 2011
  • Shuffle groups used more
There was a small revival of the old shuffles last year, but they didn't really do much besides perform a song or two at H!P concerts. At the 2011 H!P Winter concerts, the shuffle groups have performed, but no replacements have been made to make up for the recently graduated members. I'd like for new members to be added to the shuffle groups and for the shuffle groups to actually release new songs, like the olden days.

  • Return of H!M
We've had so many different H!P television shows after H!M and HM@ ended, but none has come close to being on the level of those original two. I don't care if it airs 3 in the morning, I just want the old Hello! Morning back. Download + watch this episode and don't laugh. I dare you.

  • C-ute's 2nd Alo-Hello that won't suck
Morning Musume's and Berryz Koubou's latest incarnations of Alo-Hello were glorified image videos (idols posing/staring into the camera) instead of the super wacky fun that Alo-Hellos used to be. Even if half of the DVD is IV style (which I'd actually welcome), I just want the other half to be of them playing games or just doing something.

  • One more new group
Some of the Eggs are getting old and I don't want to lose them just because they feel like they won't get an opportunity in Hello! Project. Furukawa Konatsu, Sekine Azusa, Morisaki, Tanaka Anri, Kitahara Sayaka, Sainen Mia, Saho Akari, and Okai Asuna have all been a part of Hello! Project just as long as all of C-ute, and Berryz has. They actually have been in H!P longer than Aika (and obviously the 9th gen members), and Sayu and Reina have only been there longer by one year.

They've "trained" long enough. I'd like to see at least half of them joined together to make a new group. Maybe even with an adult-ish image like v-u-den and Gotomaki had.

  • Second Miyabi PB
Okay it's been almost four years since she's last had one. If it's a self-confidence issue, well I'm sure she has that problem squared away (and she seemed to be perfectly fine in Berryz Alo-Hello 2). If it's a parent permission/age thing, well she will be 19 this year. I would definitely rank Miyabi in my top five most beautiful H!P members. Get that girl another photobook.

  • Berryz or C-ute weekly #1
Morning Musume has multiple #1 singles under their belt, but no other current group has even one. I think C-ute has the best shot of doing it due to their consistent sales and they seem to have the most amount of nontraditional fans (female and casual). If competition is low (i.e. no big name groups releasing the same week) and they use the extended lottery tactic (offering wota the chance to attend events for two or even three weeks as opposed to just the first week and/or signed poster drawings), I think they can do it. I put this under the "want" category instead of the "think" category because UFA normally doesn't pick release weeks strategically like some other companies do.

  •  H!P x other J-pop group collab
I'd like to see a H!P group and another J-pop group make a single together, similar to the Melon Kinenbi's Melon's Not Dead album. It would be cool to see Buono! x random J-rock band. 

  • Return of H!P Sports Festival
Anyone remember the Sports Festivals a couple of years ago? I'd like to see it make a comeback. I'd actually rather see this than the H!P Summer concerts. It's not that I don't like concerts, but the girls already do so many things throughout the year and we already have multiple versions of the H!P Winter concerts. The sports festival would be a one or two day thing and have a mini-live at the end, which would provide the girls with most of the summer off and still give us Hello! Project DVD awesomeness.

What I think will happen in 2011
  • S/mileage PBs
DAWA already has a photobook announced and with literally every other H!P member (not including 9th gen, but a Mizuki PB is certainly welcome) now having at least one photobook, I expect Sakichy and Kanyon to follow.

  • Morning Musume sells 50,000 again
They almost did it with Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (barely missing by 2000 copies), but officially the last time they sold 50,000 copies of a single was their magical 2009 year, in which 3 out of 4 singles sold more than 50,000. I'm thinking that the new members will get casual fans to check out Morning Musume again, pushing them over the 50,000 edge.

  • No graduations
There have been rumors that more graduations are on the horizon, but I highly doubt that. The Hello! Project roster may not be set in stone just yet (I'm hoping for even more additions), but I don't foresee any subtractions for 2011.

  • Promotion for Kikkawa Yuu
One thing that UFA does really well is promoting the crap out of their new artists and groups. It happened when Berryz debuted, when C-ute debuted, when Manoeri debuted, when S/mileage debuted, and it will happen whenever Kikkawa debuts (assuming she does stay on as part of H!P). The only problem is continuing that promotion. After about a year or so, UFA just gets by with the bare minimum promotion and lets the groups fend for themselves to see if they will sink or swim.

  • More use of technology
In 2010 alone, UFA took huge leaps on the technology front like creating a bunch of official H!P Youtube channels, making multiple 3D broadcasts, releasing Blu-ray DVDs, original iTunes content (Hello! Cover), Ustream shows, live broadcasts, and many more random things (like the S/mileage webcam palm dancing thing). I'd look for more of the same in 2011. More Blu-ray is definitely on the way. Maybe we'll see a 3D Blu-ray release? Personally, I'd like to see bi-weekly Hello! Cover releases and Blu-ray releases of old concerts and stuff (would kill for Elder Club graduation blu-ray).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Hello! Project DVD Collection

Last year I showed you my Hello! Project CDs in two parts and left photographing my DVDs and official photocards for another day. Well, that day is today, for the DVDs at least. I have at least 500 photocards so they will have to wait.

I'll start with my concerts that came in normal sized DVD cases (you'll see what the alternative looks like later).

H!P Concerts. All three are FC DVDs and all three are some of my favorite concerts of all time.

Bijou Gaku Morning Musume 9th Generation Special Episode (2011-01-07)

Earlier today another Bijou Gaku special aired on Japanese television. This time, the focus moved from the auditions to the audition winners themselves.

The episode begins announcing the winners again.




And then a short preview of the contents of this episode.

The audition winners are watching Aichan

with a look of excitement on their faces.

Tsunku shaking Riho's hand.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fukumura Mizuki had no idea

that she would become the fourth member added to Morning Musume's 9th Generation.

video

Daww, Mizuki almost made me cry too.

You can watch the full video here. Or read my thoughts on the auditions in my other blog post.

Don't forget to tune into Bijou Gaku

There is another Bijou Gaku Morning Musume 9th generation special episode that will air Friday the 7th at the usual 1 AM Japan time (that's 11 AM Thursday the 6th for all of you United States east coasters).

I'm assuming that this will be the last 9th gen special, but I certainly won't be complaining of there are more.

Just in cased you missed it, here is how to watch Bijou Gaku live on your computer: http://airiindeshou.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-watch-9th-gen-audtions-live.html

Monday, January 3, 2011

New H!P TV show featuring S/mileage

Starting in April 2011, S/mileage will get their own monthly TV show on Japanese television station Space Shower TV.

S/mileage will perform a special live in March to promote this new TV show.

via the Hello! Project website: http://www.helloproject.com/event/1012281500_live_smileage.html

With this news, I hope that Bijou Gaku will go in another direction. I really like the show and it's probably my favorite since Haromoni@ went off the air but I still can't help but miss the old Hello! Morning. It would be really awesome to break in the new Morning Musume members the traditional H!M way and then move forward with the show the way it used to be - a long game that takes up the bulk of the time, some acting, a random segment, and promotion of the upcoming H!P releases.

With all of the changes going on in H!P right now, a H!M revival is the only thing keeping me from being at an all-time high, excitement wise. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

C-ute's new single: Kiss Me Aishiteru, Berryz's new single: Heroine ni Narou ka

In all of the excitement from the 9th gen announcement, I almost forgot about C-ute's new song. It was performed at the concert, which means concert rip time! (thanks to Chobineko @ H!O for the mp3)


I like it. C-ute is on roll lately. Aishiteru~

Morning Musume 9th Generation members finally announced + You?

The long process is finally over. Three of the audition finalists made it and Tsunku threw a bone to one of the Eggs and added her too.

Sayashi Riho, Suzuki Kanon, Ikuta Erina as well as Hello! Project Egg Fukumura Mizuki are officially your new Morning Musume 9th Generation members.

Now before I start the rest of the post, let me go ahead and get the I-told-you-so's out of the way. In my original post about the matter, I wanted 3 Eggs and 1 or 2 audition members to join. That obviously didn't come true, but hey, at least I got the number right.

And then in my Bijou Gaku 9th Gen Auditions Special Episode 2 recap post I said, "With that said, I'm thinking three of them makes it. Riho should make it, no question. Either Aina or Erina should also make it (I'd pick Aina). For the last member, I'd take a chance on either Kanon or Minami. Right now Kanon seems to have the most upside, so I'd go with her. Minami is still very young (11 years old) and along with Erina, they would make great Eggs."

2 out of 3 right, go me. Let's see if the second half of my prediction (the part about Mogichan and Aina becoming Eggs) comes true. I have my fingers crossed for them.

Overall I am extremely happy with this decision. Kikkawa didn't join, but has better things in her future (more on that soon). Saho and Konatsu didn't join, but Saho is still very young and as for Konatsu, well I just hope she's the next Egg to "complete her Egg training".

As stated above, the audition winners are almost exactly how I would have it (I'd just switch Erina with Aina but honestly that was a toss up) so no real complaints there. I can't pretend to know even a tenth of what Tsunku knows about music, but at least he finally picked the no-brainer of the bunch - Riho. It seems like every audition, one member stands out (for all the right reasons), only to be passed on by Tsunku (I would consider Kikkawa to be 8th gen's).

Good for Riho. In my opinion, she absolutely dominated the auditions.

Riho singing for Tsunku
She stood out with her dancing skills (honestly I'm ready to say she's the fourth best dancer in Morning Musume right now) and her singing isn't too far behind. I compared her to a younger Takahashi in that Bijou Gaku recap post I linked to above and I stand by that statement. I was really worried about Morning Musume's vocal future (whenever Aichan and/or Gakisan leaves), but now I'm a little less worried now that Riho has joined.

But even with all of this praise I'm giving her, it won't matter if Riho doesn't grow with Morning Musume over the years. Right now she's good - especially for someone who was basically taken off the street and now is a part of a professional idol group - but I know that she can become great. It will be interesting to see if/when that happens for her. For Takahashi, I think she made the leap around Roman My Dear Boy, which was about three years after she joined.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best of 2010: Live Performances

With all of the Hello! Project concert DVDs finally released (I was just waiting on S/mileage's DVD release two days ago), I can finally make my top five live performances of 2010. I wanted to make sure that every single concert had a chance to make the list.

Speaking of this list, I had so much trouble making it. I went through all of the setlists of the concerts released this year, picked out all of the memorable performances and came up with about 15 performances that I felt worthy. Then I re-watched each performance so that I could narrow the list down more. That was the easy part. I was able to get it down to nine before I got stuck. There were about six performances that I really wanted to include no matter what, but the other three were so amazing that I didn't want to leave them off the list either. Eventually I decided to go with the original six and I managed to drop one to make the final product.

5. Cinderella\Complex (C\C) - by C-ute (Welcome to Cutie Gakuen Vol. 1)



Cinderella\Complex is one of my favorite shuffle songs of all time. Naturally, I was extremely excited when I saw C-ute performing this song. A little background info: the songs of this FC event's setlist were picked by C-ute via a lottery system (blindly picking a numbered ball from a box). Because they literally had no idea what they were about to sing (besides a list of a couple dozen songs), there are mistakes. Despite this being a rare imperfect performance, I enjoyed it so much that I had to put it on the list.

4. Love Like Crazy - by Takahashi Ai, Kamei Eri, and Shimizu Saki (H!P 2010 Winter: Shuffle Date)



I actually own the CD that this song appears on, but this was my first time listening to it and seeing it performed live. One of my many mistakes. This song is so awesome on so many levels. Its style is totally different from most of the H!P songs of today. Captain's last "kisu ni shite" line makes the whole thing worth watching over and over again. I love it when current H!P members breath new life into old H!P songs.