Update

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Well, I’m happy to announce that my most popular series – my costume review series – will be updated with three new posts soon. Finals week is coming up next week, so these posts may be spread out between before and after finals week. In fact, since I’m putting off studying until tomorrow, there may even be a post tonight.

In case you were wondering why there’s three posts (other than my lack of posting recently), here are the Categories for the posts:

1. Morning Musume/Dream Morning Musume

2. H!P Kids Costumes

3.  Misc. H!P costumes and Single Costumes

-Midori

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Why Momoiro Clover Z is Growing on Me

Hi!

Skating season is over for the most part, so I’m going to try to fill the void in my schedule with studying and some blogging. (Yay!)

At college, aside from sleeping and studying, I attend the anime club. When the new series for the semester were revealed, I noticed the opening to Moretsu Space Pirates sounded like it was familiar for some reason. Then when the song credits came on, I noticed it was sung by Momoiro Clover. I loved the song, and so I looked more into them. I knew that I loved Mirai Bowl, and that Hayami Akari (one of my favorite idols) was a member until last spring, but I didn’t know much else about them. I’d heard quite a few of their songs, seen their costumes, and watched their very impressive dancing. I followed the mania in blogging community when they released their first major single, and I saw them on various idol specials and music shows with misc. H!P groups from time to time. Now that I had a second song of theirs that I really liked, I knew that I should start paying more attention to them as an idol group. When I realized that the ending to Moretsu Pirates was also a Momoclo song, I just had to look more into the group. When I saw the outfits for their new single, I became a MomoClo stalking zombie for an evening.

So, I asked myself, why do I love MomoClo, and why have they attracted me so much more easily than, say, the ***48 groups or Idolling!!?

That answer seemed easy at first, but then I realized there were a number of factors leading up to my new-found love of them. The first thing I think was the first thing I ever noticed about the group: each girl always wears the same color. It makes each girl very easy to recognize so that you never have to guess which girl is which for your first few days/weeks/months of fandom. (Depending on how easily you recognize faces) This also makes it easy to connect to a girl. Sure, Hello!Project may have member colors, but you aren’t always wearing the same color as your favorite member, and for all you know, your least favorite member might have a costume in your T-shirt color for that tour. Momoiro Clover’s system makes it very easy to feel connected to your favorite girl, or to find a favorite girl. In fact, the reason Momoka is my favorite member now (formerly 2nd behind Akari) is because her color is green, which is my favorite color, so my eye is always drawn to her costumes.

Another thing I noticed, along with everyone else, is their dancing. While their singing isn’t always the most pleasant to listen to, their dancing talent is great for idols. They’re all very flexible and can do some amazing acrobatic leaping. Also, even when they don’t lipsync, they don’t often sound tired after the amazingly complex dances they do! It always impresses me how intense their dances are. While H!P draws me to it for its singing and some of its dancers, Momoclo’s dances never fail to impress me. On the other hand, ***48 groups have neither great dancing (I must admit, some of their members are good dancers individually, but as a whole group, or even in trios, their dancing is always really sloppy) or great singing (sad considering I’ve only seen them lipsync outside of the karaoke contest). Momoka’s singing isn’t that bad, either, and the leader and sub-leader are decent singers for your average idol. They also all have strong personalities, and every single girl gets her screen time and singing in PVs and on TV. Their personalities get to shine quite a bit since they get to have really cool and unique events and TV gigs that no other idol groups take. (Such as wrestling themed shows and indoor water parks)

Even more than their events, though, their recent PVs just draw me in. Pinky Jones had pretty stereotyped costumes, sure, but the PV was hilarious and rather fun – like something off the set of a Japanese variety show. The Mirai Bowl PV’s bowling battle was epic and the simple yet cute plot really drew me in. Their Christmas-themed PV may have had downright bizarre costumes, but it was a very enjoyable PV. And the super hero PV was great! Not to mention their hilarious drunk office-worker costumes or their ninja get-ups. I think everything they do has a humor to it, and that really gets me liking stuff.

I think the biggest thing about MomoClo that makes me like them, though, is the fan base. Most international Momoiro Clover fans seem to be fans of other groups, too, so they’re all very non-competitive in their love for the group. I think it’s so great to be a part of a fan community that doesn’t fight within itself or with other fan communities. I love being able to read a forum or a comments section that isn’t full of “____ sucks!” or “<group/person name here> is so much better,” and of course my ‘favorite’: “____ should have gotten more lines! ____/____ suck because they are attention hogs!” I never have to deal with any of that in any Momoclo fan post of any sort. Even from people who don’t know the group that well. The fans like the group and don’t feel threatened by other groups or members of the group that aren’t their favorite. It makes for reading of discussion that’s easy on my stomach, and doesn’t make me want to throw up every other poster.

Well, don’t worry, I’m still sticking to my Hello!Project fandom as my main one for now, but Momoiro Clover Z is becoming a more and more appealing idol group to support for me every day.

-Midori

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Morning Musume Sales VS. Member Additions/Graduations

Hi!

I decided to make a chart to see if Graduations/Additions of certain members actually had an impact on sales, or if there was a trend at all. Here are my findings.

(I made a second graph from 2007-2011 since that’s when sales became hard to read in the grand scheme of things on the regular chart.)

Note: Red lines are where a graduation happens, and a green line is where a member addition happens

Also: The dates are not even because these are the months of singles released, and the intervals between single releases hasn’t always been even.

-Midori

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New Banners!

So, I’ve made a few new banners for the site. Please vote on which one you want to grace the top of the site from now on!

-Midori

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Morning Musume 10th Generation Thoughts

Hihi!


14 Credits and a week ahead on homework is conducive to blogging. So here’s my initial thoughts on the 10th gen!Iibuko Haruna

Singing: 5/10

Haruna’s definitely one of the weaker singers in the group right now, but she wasn’t chosen for her singing, and will obviously be used more for her modeling/acting than for her singing ability. She has a deep voice, so my ears don’t hurt when she sings, but she can definitely improve on most other aspects of her singing.

Dancing: 6/10

While her dancing is often commented on as being weak or a little behind the other girls’, it appears that she’s doing well enough to not stand out as terrible or off. I think that she’s good at a dance once she learns it. While she’s struggling with lessons, she should be fine for all performances of a dance, and that’s what really matters.

Personality: 9/10

She seems pretty shy compared to the younger girls in her generation, but she can be silly when she needs to be. Haruna also seems pretty mature and smart, which is a definite plus for me. While I do love the young, hyper girls as a shot in the arm to Morning Musume, I think that having an older girl to be  hyper but composed when she needs to is good for the new generations. Now her personality seems to be really winning over fans as she starts appearing on the concert circuit.

Photogenicness: 9.5/10

She was a model for a while, and I can tell why. She doesn’t have the perfect idol face like some of the other girls do, but she knows how to work with her natural beauty. She knows what hairstyles work for her, what poses will make her stand out, and what expressions to put on her face for each mood in a photo shoot.

Reminds me of: Kaori Iida

Her singing isn’t perfect and her dancing is weaker than some of the other girls in her generation, but she finds her strengths and plays to them. She seems like she’ll end up to be a lot like Kaori: a very mature and beautiful woman that can lead and follow as needed.

Overall: 7.5/10

She needs some work, but she’ll be a very mature beauty in a few years.

Ishida Ayumi

Singing: 7/10

She’s not as great of a singer as most of the other aces of the group are, but I think she’ll be like Riho in that she’ll start off as only a decent singer, but with intensive training can become a very good voice of the group.

Dancing: 10/10

She’s done dancing for a while, and was a back-up dancer for the idol group Dorothy Little Happy before she joined Morning Musume. She’s a very good dancer, and even challenged Tsunku to make a song for her to dance to. All I can say is: RIHO-AYUMI DANCE BATTLE.

Personality: 8/10

She seems to be trying hard to stand out, but when she gets to the front, she’s a little shy. I think once she’s more confident in the front, she’ll be able to stand up as a front girl of the group and get a lot of fans. I think the fact that she’s a little less confident in her persona is why she’s still one of the less popular 10kis. (But not by much at all!)

Photogenicness: 8/10

Ayumi has a face that seems to be very idol-ish. The shape of her face and the proportions of her features remind me of many idols that have come before her. Sometimes, though, her poses are awkward and/or not done with confidence. Once she becomes more confident, I think that her posing will improve, and that she’ll be someone that’s well cut-out for photobooks and magazine spreads.

Reminds me of: Riho

She may not have started off miles ahead in popularity like Riho did, but she’s certainly getting “the push” that Riho got. Her dancing is on the level that Riho’s is, and her singing sounds much like Riho’s did when she first joined. I’m really hoping that Ayumi’s singing can get to the level of Riho’s soon.

Overall: 8.25/10

Add a little confidence, and you’ve got a future ace.

Sato Masaki

Singing: 4/10

Her vocal tone is rather annoying, but as seen in the second round of the audition, she could be around an 8 with good training and better vocal tone. Her voice isn’t unbearable, per se, it sounds very young and unpolished. I think if she polished her vocal tone, she could be one of the better singers in the group. Not that I’m saying she’ll do it, but it is possible.

Dancing: 6/10

She’s in the same boat as Haruna right now: she has trouble learning a dance, and seems to struggle slightly doing so, but as soon as she gets it, she’s just as good as any of the other girls in the new generations. Masaki isn’t half-bad when she gets a dance down, and I think she’s doing a good job at learning them faster if the Winter Concert rehearsal videos are any indication.

Personality: 9/10

While the personality she has isn’t my cup of tea, it’s the type that the fans eat up: slightly clumsy, cute, and almost moe. I mean, she’s pretty much a living version of the type of girl that some otaku are known to gravitate towards. Now all she needs is the tsundere aspect of the personality, and she’ll have fans flocking to her. As it stands right now, she’s doing pretty well with the fans this way, and it got her out of the gate quickly on the mixi rankings. I think that if she went on shows aimed at the nerdier part of Japan, she could quickly pick up fans for herself and the group.

Photogenicness: 8/10

Tsunku famously said when she joined that she was the most photogenic of the 1okis. I’d beg to differ. I think that honor goes to Haruna. There’s no doubt after seeing her catch on quickly at her first photo-shoot, though, that she’ll be very good in her future photo shoots, and that she may end up being a great person to promote in magazines spreads.

Reminds me of: Koharu Kusumi

She has a chance to be a good singer, but the vocal coaches seem to be emphasizing the younger and more annoying side of her voice. Also, she seems like she jumped out of an anime and has a good TV personality that could win her a lot of fans.

Overall: 6.75/10

She could be a very good person for promotion outside of the current fanbase, but her dancing and singing need work.

Kudo Haruka

Singing: 8/1o

Sometimes, even when healthy, her “husky” voice makes it sound like she’s sick. I think that if she can overcome that problem, she might be up to a 9. Her voice has a good tone to it, and she has the stamina to sing well live when she’s dancing and at the end of a long set. I think she’ll end up being a vocal ace for Morning Musume in the future.

Dancing: 9/10

While she’s not quite as good at “high-level” dancing like Riho and Ayumi, she learns dances fast, does them very well, and can do everything she needs to dance well by H!P standards. She’ll probably get even better once she’s fully grown up, but for now she’s doing great and rocking every dance move.

Personality: 10/10

She can be anything she needs to be depending on the situation at hand: silly, cute, funny, bratty, kind, mature, etc. That’s probably why they cast her in all of those plays she was in: she can act and pull off any role she’s given. Not only can she act things out, but she can also read any situation well and adapt to the personality that that particular situation dictates. She normally seems to be very mature and disciplined, and I think this will serve her well behind the scenes and in life in general as she moves forward with her career. Maybe some day, she’ll be the poised, beautiful, and mature leader of Morning Musume.

Photogenicness: 9/10

She’s not as photogenic as, say, Haruna, or as talented in this area as Masaki, but she looks good in almost every photo, and she knows how to pull off just about every pose well. She also has a very good sense of what poses looks good for her, and when she should do said poses. I don’t know what to expect in the future from her in this category, but puberty will tell if she could be a photo book queen.

Reminds me of: Asuka Fukuda

She has a good personality, is very mature for her age, can read situations well, and is very talented. Her maturity and poise in particular remind me of Asuka. While her singing is not quite at the level Asuka’s was when she joined, Haruka’s poise makes up for what she lacks. Also, both weren’t the most photogenic in their time, but they both know how to make themselves stand out.

Overall: 9/10

She’s a girl that fits right into Morning Musume and is more than ready to debut. She has a little room to improve, but she’ll be ready to shine when she needs to, however soon that may be.

—————–

I’m looking forward to great things for all four of the 10kis! I hope that they’ll live up to my expectations for them, and that they’ll be successful in Morning Musume!

-Midori

Posted in Generations, Hello!Project, Members, Morning Musume, New Members | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Buono’s Line Distribution Really That Unfair? UPDATE 12/11

I’ve had a request to update this for the mini album and the new single. Here are the numbers by my calculation.

Added Song Lines:

  • Partenza Lyrics (Minus solo songs and previously released A/B-sides)
  • Ice Mermaid
  • DEEP MIND
  • Hatsukoi Cider (Assuming Airi=6, Miyabi=6, and Momoko=4)

A Version of the Above Graph Typed Out

*The boxes highlighted in green indicate the member with the most lines in each category
*The boxes highlighted in yellow indicate the member with neither the most or the least lines in each category
*The boxes highlighted in red indicate the member with the least lines in each category

Pie Chart: Percentage of Total Lines Per Member

—————-
-Midori

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Morning Musume fall 2011 Setlist Preview

So I lied about not posting. I’m a week ahead on my homework, and it’s only Saturday. Two more days of the weekend to get further ahead! So here’s a setlist preview~!!!

(From H!O Thread)

AI Believe

Mr Moonlight ( Ai chan – male role, rest female role, Niigaki sang (Ai o Kudasai)- Awesome! Starting with Ai’s first song with the group is a good way to start her final concert. Also, with Ai’s hairstyle, she totally works the guy thing. Ai’s pimping during this so is so great, too. I love it.
Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa honki de negatterun da you- This will be interesting to see live, but I’m excited to see it live. I’ll have seen the summer version first, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to see another staging of it. Also- the stage costumes from the summer concert would look really nice on that stage.
Kare to Isshouni Misetai- I don’t know about how this song will be live, and there appears to be no real dance, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. I hope it’s going to be really wacky and funny like the PV.
Resonant Blue- So many people are complaining about this being included, and I would be too if it weren’t Ai’s last concert tour. I mean, this is clearly one of the quintessential Ai-era songs for Morning Musume. We’ll partly remember her time as leader by this song because of how much it was performed. I don’t like this song live as much as in the PV, so I usually skip over it in concert DVDs anyway.
Yamette yo Shintobatto- Never liked this one on the single, but maybe it will be better live? It’ll be interesting to see live, and see how much I like it then.
MY WAY Joshi ko no hanamichi– This song’s instrumental reminded me of Pinky Jones from MomoClo. Aside from that, the 9th gen gets SO MANY lines, it’s glorious! I love to see them get lines, and this song is really a fun one for them to get lines in.
Suki da na kimi ga (Michishige, Fukumura)- This song is pretty much a Perfume song given to the two best Morning Musume girls to perform it. It sounds so fun and interesting, and really compliments both girls’ voices so well. The harmonies are also really cool and well integrated into the song. I love this so far. You can also hear some clearly Japanese traditional influences at points during the song, which is quite awesome.
Kono Ai o Kasanete (AiGaki)- Why do the older girls get boring songs? This song could put me to sleep. Really. It was so boring.
Suki na Senpai (AiGaki) Monitor showing 2002 Haru concert gokkies singing to suki na senpai- Another great tribute to Ai’s time in MM- showing where she started with Risa on one screen, while on stage we get to see where she’s gotten to. Also, I always think it’s almost blasphemous when this is performed by anyone but 5th gen members. Just sayin’.
Yume Kara Samete (Takahashi)- Another really boring song. When I first started liking Ai, I tried to listen to this, and I just couldn’t. It was too boring. Maybe people wouldn’t think that she has no personality if she was given songs with personality?
Songs- YES. YES. YES. and YESSSSSSSS! I love this song so much. This song is my life for hours on end sometimes. Can’t wait to see the 9kis go for it!
Give me Love- I haven’t heard a preview for this song yet (I can’t download the concert recording at college, since it’s technically illegal) but I hear it’s awesome, so I can’t wait to hear it.
Special Medley – 
-Jounettsu no KISU (AI, GAKI, REINA) ~ Egao YES NUDO ~ Motto Aishite Hoshi ~ Guru Guru Jump- This medley sounds AWESOME. And does this mean that Chair-san will make another appearance in a concert? I love the editing recently in H!P medleys because of their dance-tastic and creative transitions, so I’m excited to hear this one! Particularly to Guru Guru Jump, since it’s so out of place in a medley of such mature songs.
Okay YEAH (album new song)- TommyVD said this song is epic, so I can’t wait to hear this one either. I hope this isn’t another song that most people love and I hate. The title makes it sound terrible, but it’s been liked so far, so might as well try it.
Only You- Yay! I love this song. Curious to see how this song will be staged with all the stairs and such.
Majidesuka SUKA (member sang while holding onto a green heart shape )- Hmm… holding onto a green heart shape? Is this for Zukki or Risa or something? ‘Cause isn’t this “Ai Believe”? Also, is there one giant heart, or each girl has her own heart? Furthermore, what about that kick line?
BRAVO– This song deserves no bravos. It sucks. It’s a terrible song. Hopefully this isn’t the new Resonant Blue, and it isn’t performed at every tour possible. Resonant Blue was at least a good song. This one, not so much. And this song has been performed at EVERY concert Morning Musume’s been in this year but the H!P summer one. Ugh.
ENCORE
HOW DO YOU LIKE JAPAN? ~Nihon wa Donna Kanji Dekka?~- I like this song, and maybe it will give Zukki a chance to shine, after all, her low voice will really fit this well. This song almost always has great line distribution, so I can’t wait to hear it!
TOMO- This song isn’t bad right away, more like mediocre, but it’s been performed so much, at so many different times, and by the same line up almost every time, that it’s become a terror to me. Seeing this on a setlist is like telling me to stay away from it.

————

-Midori

Posted in concert review, Hello!Project, Morning Musume, News | Tagged , | 1 Comment