2010 In Review

Hello?

Is anyone still following my blog since I’m so bad at posting?

Anyways…

Year in Review, anyone?

So… here we go!!!

Best Songs:

Best C-ute Song: Aitai Lonely Christmas– It’s not often that you get a Christmas song out of H!P, but man, was this one great. Great lyrics, great PV, great line distribution, great song, and just overall epicness. And great costumes. That’s always a plus for me.

Best Berryz Song: Otakebi Boy WAO!– MY GOD. This song. Lots of belting, some pretty epic pink camo, and live performances later, I actually really love this song. In fact, this song is really epic live, and for once, Risako shows that she can at least belt well, if not normal singing.

Best S/mileage Song: Yume Miru 15– This was a tough one. I really loved all of their releases this year. The one factor that broke this one for me was probably that this was the first major song they released, and it really fit the group’s age and character with the lyrics. And it won them an award.

Best Morning Musume song: Hmm… The b-sides this year have been epicness, and Fantasy Ga Hajimaru was so intensely epic, but I think that I’ll have to go with a tie between Nakidasu Kamo Shirenai Yo for it’s great piano track and emotional singing, and Aisare Sugiru Koto wa Nai yo for it’s great beat, melody, and altogether awesomeness.

Best Other Song: MY GOD. WE ARE BUONO OWNS MY LIFE THIS YEAR. But, out of all of the great songs, no matter how much I like Independant Girl, and how I could never stop singing Tabidachi no Uta and doing that crazy awesome dance to Urahara, there’s one song and only one that could possibly take this title. Koucha no Oishii Mise. The harmonies are so amazing, and sound even better live, as do the echoes, and the song itself is just so calming and pleasant while being complex. There’s no album song better than this one from Buono!.

Best Album: We Are Buono!– The only song that I tend to skip over is Blue Sky Blue, and it’s only because I want to hear the next song so badly. That’s how I know I love it.

Best Song overall: Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game– This song is not only Linlin’s graduation song, but it is also the most epic song that I’ve heard all year. The intense Russian-sounding backup track are great, and every line is clearly thought out. The dance break is awesome, and I find myself singing this song in my head at the most random times. And Ai’s amazing pauses during the grad concert were simply breathtaking.

Best Costumes:

Best C-ute Costume: The costumes that C-ute wore to promote their fall tour were just made of awesome. The black-and-white contrast, the not-revealing-but-somehow-sexy outfits as a whole were amazing, mainly because of how good they looked on every single girl, and how un-idollike those costume were.

Best Berryz Costume: The costumes that Berryz wore for Maji Bomber were pretty kickass. Loved ’em. My only complaint would be how unflattering they were. That’s not much of a complaint with Berryz though, considering that 99.9% of the costumes they get are absolutely horrendous.

Best S/mileage Costume: S/mileage always gets really cutesy and girly outfits. Of course, showing off their legs is something that s/mileage does best, so they always have really short skirts. Out of all of their awesome costumes this year, though, Yume Miru 15’s dresses were the best. The colors and the whole suit thing worked out nicely, and the subtle details, such as the chain on the shirts, or the changing fabrics in the skirt made the costumes that much more interesting.

Best Morning Musume Costume: Morning Musume costumes were, in general, ugly this year PV-wise. The Seishun Collection onesies were ugly, and the fluff didn’t help. (Although I did like the color combo) The main Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game dresses, despite being a designer look, weren’t too impressive, and probably would’ve worked better if they were the fan colors, and Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai’s dresses were only impressive if seen up close, otherwise they looked like blood-spattered wedding dresses. But the fall tour costumes were great. And no one can deny that colored camo print that matched that of each girl’s fan t-shirt made the costumes even more epic here.

Best Other Costume: Buono, as usual, takes the cake, with their cafe girl dresses from their spring tour were certainly appreciated. These were the single best dresses of all year from any group. They fit well, they were appropriate to the songs performed, they were cute, they moved well with the dances, and they looked very good together and on stage.

Best PV Costume: A easy one to pick out. These costumes were pretty awesome, as Buono! always is, but they were really nice, fit the PV surroundings, and looked to be something that the girls might actually wear. They look comfortable, non-idolish, and pretty normal. These costumes work really well with each girl’s body type, and each is individual enough, but work together coherently.

Best Stage Costume: While Buono may have had the best dresses of the year, Morning Musume had, by far, the best stage costumes this year, and maybe in Morning Musume’s history. I mean, just look at the picture, it’s worth 1000 words about these costumes.

Best Costume Overall: Morning Musume’s Fantasy 11 dresses. So nice they used them twice. And that’s no understatement.

Best People:

Best Singer: If Linlin got more oppourtunities to belt and sing ballads, then she might win this. Instead, it goes to the perpetual winner, Ai Takahashi

Best Entertainer: Linlin. She can sing, she can dance, and she’s hilarious. She truely knows how to light up a stage, and her acting is very good. Whatever she does in the future, let’s hope that there’s lots of it.

Best Overall Group Singing: Hmm… Morning Musume was really good this year, but I’m going to have to go with Buono!. All three girls are on pitch, and even after a long, tiring set they don’t sound as tired as most of the other groups. They have nice vocal tone, and their harmonies are amazing. They also know when and how to change a song up during lives to make it better than on the recording. And their live band makes the live singing more impressive because of how the band can change the rhythms, feel, and sound of the recorded back-up tape.

Best Group Overall: Morning Musume. Hands down. Buono! may have been awesome, but no one’s had to work nearly as hard as Morning Musume this year. Morning Musume had graduations, solid singles, 2 albums, long tours, an international trip, and who knows how many DVDs/photobooks/TV appearences/radio shows/magazine appearences this year alone.

Most Improved Group: S/mileage, as to be expected, since they’re the new kids on the block H!P-wise. And they can only go up from here.

Most Improved Singer: Risako. I never thought I’d say this, but Risako’s turning out to be a great belter. Mind you, that’s the only singing thing that I appreciate from her, but her belting sure is making her seem like a great singer.

Favorite Group: My favorite group could be Morning Musume, but I’m still getting over Linlin’s graduation, so the only possible alternative would have to be Buono!.

Best Moments:

Best Epic Performance: The performance of Souda! We’re Alive from the graduation concert was epic win. Great dance segments, a new arrangement, great singing, great costumes, epic entrances, and fire coming up from the stage were only some of the highlights.

Funniest Stage Moment: Sorry, Linlin, I love you and all, but watching you fall at the end of Lullaby game at the grad concert showed me you are human- and tickled my liking for schadenfreude.

Best Crying Moment: The graduation speeches. I was crying my eyes out. Even though I can’t understand Japanese.

Most Anticipated Moment (That didn’t come in 2010): I WANTED TO KNOW WHO GOT INTO MORNING MUSUME. BADLY. But now that I know, I’m very pleased with the results, and I can’t wait to see the new members in action. Oh, baby. I’m so psyched up for this one.

Most Shocking News: The graduations and the audition, particularly with how stable Morning Musume’s line-up had been previously.

Best Dance: C-ute’s special dance medley. Hands down. WOW they’re good at dancing, and the way the dances fit with the music? Man, that was awesome.

Worst Songs:

Worst C-ute Song: I really liked all of C-ute’s songs this year, and I don’t want to insult Shock!, which contrary to most fans, I liked, but Airi getting all of the lines was really too much, particularly when there were awkward pauses that made it sound like who was singing the line should change.

Worst Berryz Song: I absolutely hated Shining Power. I liked that someone else got the lead and was the center for once aside from Momo, Miyabi, and Risako, and the singing wasn’t what bugged me, it was more that it’s not anything we haven’t heard before or seen before. It was just bland and boring.

Worst S/mileage Song: I really liked all of S/mileage’s songs this year, but I have to admit that whenever I see Ganbaranakutem Ee Nende‘s PV, I always think of Hitler ‘staches, not the Charlie Chaplin ‘stache. But that’s not the problem with the song. I like it, just not as much as S/mileage’s other songs this year, which is the only reason that it’s here.

Worst Morning Musume song: Seishun Collection was really boring, bland, and compared to their two other singles this year, wasn’t nearly fierce enough. I mean, you want fierce like every other song you’ve released on a single this year, and those songs sound awesome, and then we have boring typical pop music that any J-pop group could perform, and that’s a rare thing these days from Morning Musume.

Worst Other Song: Anything by Mano Erina could’ve easily made this list, but Genkimono de Ikou, was just bad. It was typical, boring, bland, and generic, and Mano’s, umm…, unique singing ability somehow made it worse. I started to hate this song even more since it was released after Onegai Dakara, the only Mano Erina song I have ever liked to this day.

Worst Album: Hmm… Morning Musume’s albums had gems on them, so they’re off the list, and Buono’s album was epic incarnate, so… that leaves More Friends ripe for the picking. Erina’s singing continues to make me want to autotune her, ON AN ALBUM, and none of the songs, with the exception of Onegai Dakara is even close to being Midori-fodder. I know she has fans, but I don’t see what they see in her, appearently.

Worst Song overall: Campus Life by C-ute isn’t necessarilly a bad song. In fact, it may be a good song. It became a bad song BECAUSE it was given to C-ute. C-ute tends to get epic songs with dance beats, intense dances, and a melody that fits all of their voices. This song not only had none of that, but was also just so boring by C-ute’s standards that I completely forgot about it until I had to choose a worst song of the year.

Worst Costumes:

Worst C-ute Costume: C-ute had some pretty awesome costumes this year, but when they had a bad costume, it was bad. The costumes they wore for the medley during the 201o H!P winter costume were horrendous, looked poorly made, and were obvious in hiding what was beneath. If you want to have a cover-up costume, at least make it cover what’s beneath, please?

Worst Berryz Costume: Berryz always gets bad costumes, which is what made this decision so hard, but one costume had to take the prize. And that set would be those terrible pineapple/banana tree costumes from their spring tour. Seriously, whoever put them in these needs some serious help. SERIOUS help.

Worst S/mileage Costume: Their fall concert had quite the fail this year. Any skirt that looks like a pillow should be taken into suspiscion of being bad, but with a horizontal stripe and that fabric, man, these were bad.

Worst Morning Musume Costume: I know some people digged these, but the rabbitt costumes from the spring tour were SO. INCREDIBLY. UGLY. I liked the general design, but the wands looked like something you’d find in a 5-year-old’s toy box, and the fluff didn’t help the cause. The pink fabric was completely off the mark, being made of vinyl, that it just looked worse when the fluff was added to it. And most of all, how did these fit the songs being performed?

*Be prepared for a possible worst costumes of the year post, if I get around to it, which is why this section is so short, and the chief reason why there’s currently no pictures in this section.

Worst People:

Worst Singer: Ayaka Wada. Man, she sucks. At least Risako has improved. Her singing is bad, she’s often off tune, and just… can’t seem to have a pleasant vocal tone for her life. Ayaka’s saving grace is that Tsunku, or whoever distribute’s S/mileage’s lines seems to know this, so he chooses to give her lines that sound half decent with her vocal tone.

Worst Entertainer: Sayumi may be popular, but she just kinda… fell flat this year with me. It might be her constant and annoying voice, or her need to be in front of the camera, but I believe it’s mainly her insistence that she’s THE cutest. Not only is she in her 20’s now, but also, saying that you’re the cutest is pretty annoying and stuck-up. Not that I don’t still love her for some reason.

Worst Overall Group Singing: S/mileage. There’s plenty of talent in Kanon, Yuuka, and Saki, but they still need lots of work to get their voices ready for all of the concerts and long sets that they’ll be doing in the future. I suppose since the H!P kids groups and Morning Musume have had 4+ more years of practice than they have had, it’s unfair to compare, but it had to happen.

Worst Group Overall: C-ute has had an awesome line-up this year, and the girls themselves have been getting more awesome every time I see them, so their bad year wasn’t really their fault. They weren’t given the oppourtunity to shine. All of the attention was on Morning Musume (as usual) and S/mileage because they were new. Even this fall, when their two best singles were released, so much time, money, and effort was focused on Morning Musume’s upcoming auditions and graduation, that C-ute just seemed to be doing nothing. The spring was terrible, but when they were finally back on track, they were completely overshadowed.

Least Improved Group: Berryz Koubou. Hands down. Their singles seemed to all sound similar this year, and none of the singers got any better. Sure, Risako might have gotten better lines for her voice, but it doesn’t mean that she improved enough to make the rest of the group better. Nothing about them has really changed, only what they’ve been given to work with. Sure, some may say that Yurina’s improved since she got the lead, but she hasn’t. She’s just finally gotten the lines that she deserves.

Least Improved Singer: Mano Erina. There’s no debate that her singing could use improvement, but from the moment she sang her first single live, I was thinking that her voice would improve, and that I would like her. I appeared to have been wrong. VERY wrong. Her singing hasn’t improved one bit, and if anything, has gotten worse, possibly because she’s not going to be improving if that’s the way they let her sing.

Least Favorite Group: Berryz Koubou did nothing for me this year at all. C-ute had two great singles, great costumes, great singing, and great dancing. They never seemed to have given up on getting better, and they performed despite always being overshadowed this year. Berryz, on the other hand, made no discernable effort to improve anything this year. They kept doing exactly what they had been doing, and it became boring.

Worst Other:

Worst decision ever: HAVING MY BEAUTIFUL LINLIN GRADUATE!!!! MIDORI IS NOT HAPPY WITH YOU, TSUNKU!

Worst “Are you Trying to Make Me Hate You” Moment: Linlin’s graduation. Again.

Worst Dance: There were so many boring dance this year, but the Campus Life dance was almost too easy for C-ute’s epic dancing ability.

Worst Waste of Time on Idols This Year: I went down to the City to see if the Japanese bookstore had Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game. Bad decision, particularly since it was the day before Christmas eve, and we decided to drive through downtown to pick up my father from work. Cue the 3 hour car ride that should’ve taken 1 hour from hell.

———————–

Well, we’ll see what’s in store for the H!P world this year. Whatever’s going to happen, it will have to be good. More Chisato already means more epicness, and C-ute’s new single sounds like it will be epicness incarnate.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Midori

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