Berryz and C-ute, H!P, Love, Morning Musume, Musings, Review

In Which Isilie Reviews 2012 ~~


http://idolgallery.boingo.jp/Well, the world is still around and that means Isilie must write a post to sum up another year of H!P.

I used this picture since I think it kinda sums up how Momusu has been moving. They’re moving forward so rapidly lately, with new members all over the place, new song styles, new colours for certain members and graduations, oh MY, the graduations.

I wanted to do something a little different this year than just simply a bunch of “this is what I liked”s. If you’ve been reading this you probably already know that I’ve not really covered Berryz, C-ute, or anyone else on this blog this year. Working full-time made it much harder to cover things as well as I would have liked. I will give you a short summary of what I loved this year from Momusu and then I thought I’d talk about some things that I never got around to posting about.

Thanks everybody, for stopping by (even if, like about 60% of visitors, you’re just trolling for ‘jailbait’.)! I even had the pleasure and shock of realizing I have adorable people who love this blog and read it regularly. That honestly has made my year. It was so humbling and made me so happy! Thank you!!

Best Single: One Two Three / The Matenrou Show.12300612

I loved this single. I love pretty much all the coupling tracks, but the two A-sides made me so happy. You’ve got your standard H!P fare, with Matenrou Show and your crazy-robot-tuned dance-track that hints at style to come. The costumes were awesome, the dance was interesting and I was so happy to see the new generations stepping forward even amidst the Winky-Ace take-over that we all knew was coming. It showed us that somewhere in Momusu there is rivalry in all the sparkles. I feel like it’s been a long time since we’ve really seen that.

img20120822035611508Best Album: 13 Colourful Character.

Because the cover is awesome, the songs are awesome and the other album has Takahashi Ai and there are too many songs on there that ONLY Takahashi can pull off. Winky singing Give me Ai???? NO! Just…NO! Besides, Colourful was a lesson in their new style. The singles felt like a heightened version of this style, while the album still had lots of Momusu flavour. Best songs: all of them minus track 7 (which I have no patience for).

On Graduations:

Mitsui’s here. Mame’s: here and here.

Winky’s here.
And might I just say one more time, FIIIIIIIINAAAALLY!!!!

Am I cheating and plugging old posts? Hell yes, I am! There also really isn’t anything else I can say that I haven’t already said.

Favourite Headers

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JJ lookin’ hawt. I couldn’t believe it was her.

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Ditto lil’ sis Linlin here. I hope she gets herself a singing career soon because she still blows me away.

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Annnnd the obligatory One.Two.Three header. I just think this turned out really well.

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I really had fun making headers from blog pics this year. And last year too. I suspect this trend will continue.

——~~ And now…

Stuff I didn’t get the Time to Write about in 2012!!!

Chou! Happy Song – BerrikyuuCHOUHAPPYSONGLIMITEDA

I love that Tsunku tried to trick the fans and they figured it out before he could do one of his smug on-stage reveals. Way to go fandom! I don’t mean to mock Tsunku too much here. It is a really cool idea.

As for the pv…I didn’t watch it. I like the song though. I’m actually a fan of mixing H!P songs together. It’s interesting to see when Tsunku repeats himself unintentionally, or to hear a song become something totally different. He should have known that fans do this all the time and someone would have figured out that all those blatant pauses were meant to be filled. The individual songs don’t interest me as much, but I must say the vocals are close to beautiful. This aptly named song made Isilie very happy.

D.I.Y – Forefore ~ Forest for Rest

This is the only one of those Hello! SATOYAMA Life sub-groups I’ve checked out so far and colour me happy and charmed. I love everything about this song. The pv is gorgeous and so are the vocals. I was happy to see Ikubo stand out for once and not just for being a weirdo. She’s very cute here and seems to fit in perfectly.

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We have a good mix of idol-ness (and pretty legs)…

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And pretty nature (with idols)!

Gonna check out the rest of them now…

C-ute

2 ℃-ute Shinsei Naru Best Album2-Shinsei-Naru-Best-Album-Limited-A-Cover-0987

HELL yes! I feel bad that I don’t devote much if any time to C-ute on this blog. They are getting more powerful each year. I don’t think it’s reflected as much in their singles as it is in their concerts. Their concert ℃-ute Concert Tour 2010 Natsu Aki ~Dance Special!! “Chou Uranaito!!”~ blew my mind. I admit I haven’t seen anything more recent (something I will remedy as soon as I can), but this concert made me think that, while I love Momusu more than any other group and will continue to, they’re definitely the most powerful of H!P right now. I didn’t think I could get into it but I was DEADLY WRONG (a million points if you know where that’s from)! This year I haven’t really even registered that they released singles, but whenever they perform…

Anyway, my point with this was to rave about comment on their recent best-of album where they re-recorded a lot of their old singles. I didn’t like the idea, because I thought the arrangements would be the same. Well, they aren’t. And I realized that it’s actually a nice idea with a group that doesn’t change because you can really see who has improved and who sounds exactly the same (I’m looking at YOU Chompy and Brat!).

Chisato and Aiririri are incredible on this album. I don’t mean to exaggerate, but I was so thrilled to hear Chisato’s voice so often. And Airiri has grown so much as a singer. Hands down, my favourite re-recording is Edo no Temari Uta. Loved how they sped it up, made it perhaps even more funky and let her belt it out like the diva she is. Kanashiki Heaven is gorgeous and have you SEEN that pv??

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Divaaaaaaaaaaas!!! Yes please!!!

Their singles keep on being hit or miss for me, but that’s pretty much the same with all the H!P groups. I loved this album and now I want to watch more concerts.

Berryz Koubou

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I feel I should say SOMETHING here…

First of all: Risako’s hair…ok…um…I actually like the red-pink-explosion colour she had for the WANT single, but she can’t seem to make up her mind about what colour it is on any given day. You know what? I kinda like that. Or I would if she didn’t look so smug all the time. Is she just shy? Am I missing something there?

The song is…ok. It’s the only song from them other than ChaCha Sing (which I LOVED) that I even noticed. The dance is interesting and I like the spinning sets pv. I’ve said before that Berryz can do genki or “mature” very well, but something about this one kinda weirds me out. I think the thing with this is that songs like WANT show me the downside of the new Tsunku fixation on robot music. Something about this song feels hollow, like I can’t quite get into it. It’s like something pretty with no substance and no teeth.

I read they went to New Jersey this year…so YAY on that.

Sorry though, they honestly weren’t on my radar this year.

Momochii was a little, but mostly because she’s so damn weird. It’s not even annoying, she just unsettles me.

I felt like I wanted to mention WANT, but there really isn’t enough to say for a full post. I still don’t know quite what I think about it.

Ikinari! Ougon Densetsu & Michishige’s 10,000 Challenge

michishigeon10000yencuteOr, in other words, Michishige’s cooking hour.

Shige and comedian Akiyama Ryuji competed to see who could have the most money left over after living on 10,000 yen for a month. This includes water, electricity and food costs btw. The show mostly focused on food (since about 70% of Japanese television is food porn) but there were other nifty things in there like:

Shige growing her own beansprouts…

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And radishes.

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Shige riding a bike to get water from a spring so she wouldn’t have to use the facet…

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And having a picnic.

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Shige sewing herself a very Shige-esque oven mitt.

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She sews. Who knew?

I won’t go through the entire competition here but needless to say, I really enjoyed it. It’s something I never expected Shige to do, and something I never expected her to KICK ASS at. I didn’t watch it with subtitles, but from what I gathered, Shige’s mom gives her a cookbook and perhaps a few tips, like growing the sprouts and unplugging everything (including, near the end of the month, her fridge). Considering she was doing Takahashi’s graduation tour at the time (something she tears up about during the show), I think she really put in a great effort. She did it so cheerfully, with only a few tears near the end. And her waking-up face is actually quite adorable.

It’s well worth a watch for the food porn alone. Akiyama tends to fry everything and use tons of mayo and cheese, which looks delicious but after awhile it makes your heart hurt. He calls it “man food”. Shige’s food has a lot more vegetables and is, of course, very cute.

Some examples:

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Her adorable bunny-bento – costing only 145 yen (minus I assume, the cost of condiments and rice).

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Her heart-shaped hamburger steak (with adorable veggies).

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And udon crepes with carrot, curry-flavoured veggie and scrambled egg-cabbage fillings.

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Of course, Momusu come by to cook with her one night.

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And they are super noisy.

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They make an udon-pizza of Akiyama’s face…the damn scariest piece of cooking ever!

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It’s ok though. It’s gone to a better place.

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Once they spontaneously burst into song, Akiyama cant take it.

And it’s awesome.

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Shige even makes this pizza with the leaves of the radishes she grows (that’s a steamed egg in the middle there). They aren’t quite big enough, but the leaves are fine. I’m a sap, but I was so proud of her.

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She finished her month with this much. It was awesome.

I read about Kasai Tomomi from AKB not making it past five days. I also read that people should calm down because it’s “probably a publicity stunt” and it doesn’t matter because it matches with her character. Well, that got me thinking about Shige and how much she’s grown as a character beyond just being cute. She’s turned from someone who couldn’t even cook herself an omelette two years ago to someone who can step up and be creative when the situation calls for it. I even saw her cut and gut her own fish. There was some squealing, but she did it. I don’t know how much they are coached in the show, but I was still impressed with her efforts.

This showed me even more how smart Shige is and how she can handle herself on her own. She did shed some tears, saying she wished the members were with her, but that is natural and it also teaches me that she treasures Momusu. She still has fight in her and we need that. It fits her character that she can unexpectedly kick ass when she needs to. It’s like, if she can’t sing or dance well, she’ll excel in anything else you throw at her. It’s great for a Momusu member and even better for the leader.

I am never sure how to end these posts. I had quite a big year. I got a new job and left the one I’d been at for almost three years. It’s been quite a transition for me and I’m still not quite there yet. It definitely feels like a graduation. I kinda get the feeling Takahashi must have had, or Gaki or Mitsui, standing there knowing a place you’d grown up in has to be left behind. I grew at this job, made friends for life and was part of a team. Leaving that behind is very, very hard, but it’s definitely for the best.

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Friends forever, but we move on, ne?

Look forward to the future with me, ne?

Happy New Year everybody! Cheers to 2013!

~Isilie

4 thoughts on “In Which Isilie Reviews 2012 ~~”

  1. Tsunku made the right decision making Sayu the leader… This post just reminds me how important she is to Momusu (and vice versa) Momusu had a really great year too (two gold singles!!!) Definitely looking forward to the reborn Morning Musume!!!
    Happy New Year to you too =)
    Heres to an awesome 2013 filled with lots of Japanese Idol greatness and its lovely Wotasphere!!!

  2. It was also a year in which you discovered my blog and commented on my entry about Koharu standing there and looking pretty. But yeah, with the exception of S/mileage who I think are really going downhill, H!P has had a pretty damn awesome year! Happy New Year, Isilie!

  3. Agree with you on best single especially after hitting 100,000 copies sold! C-ute have done very well this year too, I loved Kanashiki Heaven ;__;

    Chou Happy Song and Forefore Forest for Rest are really good songs indeed!

    “Risako’s hair…ok…um…I actually like the red-pink-explosion colour she had for the WANT single, but she can’t seem to make up her mind about what colour it is on any given day. ” Agreed I like the red a lot as well.

    Happy New Year to you~

  4. as a newbie fan of MM and H!P, it took me a while over the summer to catch up on Morning Musume’s history. I gotta say Sayumi seemed almost destined to lead this group. She’s a natural leader, she has the heart & spirit, she’s loyal and full of devotion. I don’t know why she got a lot of flak for being “honest” when she says things…i thought that was part of her charm as a member? Watching the show, Ikinari! Ougou Densetsu, made me realize this girl is more than just an entertainer, a JPop idol or a member of Momosu. Sayumi has the potential to make it beyond entertainment. She’s intelligent, is very witty & charming, dependable & full of integrity and can really cook:) That’s a plus for any guy wanting to marry the perfect woman. And even if she decides to leave the entertainment world behind, I think she will do well if she decides to live the rest of her life as a regular citizen. She’s the epitome of what every man hopes for in a woman.

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