Berryz and C-ute, C-ute, H!P, Love, PV

Dancing, Singing, Exciting C-uuuuuute!

c-ute-hagiwara-mai-nakajima-saki-okai-chisato-suzuki-airi-yajima-maimi-653941I usually hate doing these list posts.   I feel like I should have more to say about these girls, but since I really can’t think of anything, I can talk about the only thing I know about them: their singles.

One of the best things about C -ute is that when they pop up on the radar they give me something that takes over my life for a little bit, whether that’s an amazing bit of choreography that I can’t stop watching or a song that keeps playing endlessly in my head from the moment I hear it. If Momusu is my H!P home, then C-ute is my exciting vacation: they’re lovely for a time and then I head home feeling refreshed.

So, without further adieu: Isilie’s favourite C-ute pvs/singles!

(WARNING: Lots of youtube embeds. Look out!)

Continue reading “Dancing, Singing, Exciting C-uuuuuute!”

H!P, Morning Musume, PV

Brand New Ace Formation

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We’re back everybody (and once again, I’m absurdly behind in my reviews)! After a brief and glorious respite from the heavy formation choreography and the blatant pushing of an Ace member – it’s all made a comeback in Brand New Morning, Momusu’s declaration of war on 2017.

Ok, well it’s actually not a war declaration. It’s an uplifting song about moving forward in confusing times and using all your power for good and so forth; it’s the usual morning fare with perhaps a whiff of politics (although to say this song is about Trump seems stupid to me). But this is a BRAND NEW morning (get it?) and we have two fabulous new members to shake things up.

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H!P, Morning Musume, Platinum Generation

In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything – Part Two

PART TWO: The Stagnation Situation

After about two years of Platinum generation, with their slowly declining sales and lack of television presence, it seemed like every post about Momusu involved the word ‘stagnation’. The O.Gs were almost always onscreen when Momusu got to appear and as a result, the concept of the Golden Age became a topic of endless, heated debate. This is also the first time I ever encountered the concept of ‘rage-quitting’ a fandom: “They are just so bad that I am QUITTING them dammit!!.

Never mind all the changes that had happened two years ago and how lightning quick O.Gs had graduated or just exited (it was hard to catch your breath after Abe Natsumi graduated); Never mind the unprecedented move of having Chinese members in Momusu, or the fact that long-time shows had ended and new shows had taken their places; Never mind how H!P was slowly condensing, splitting into Elder Club and WonderfulheartsLand only to have a massive Elder Club exodus in only a couple years; Never mind how very different concerts became when there wasn’t that strong emphasis on variety anymore and how each girl had to step up her game.

Nope. All that mattered was Momusu was the same as it was a year ago, and let’s not forget the looming juggernaut of the emerging AKB48!

What was Itsumo Genki, Momusu-Supporter, to do? Was it really that bad? Let’s take a look at some of the things that I can remember people hating about the Platinum era.

Continue reading “In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything – Part Two”

H!P, Morning Musume, Platinum Generation

In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything

PART ONE: The Ace Question

resonant

There is no other period of Morning Musume history that gets more criticism, insults, and terrible reviews than the Platinum Generation. At least there isn’t to my knowledge and I’ve been in this fandom for a decade now (wow, who else feels old?). It’s strange to me, who became a fan in late 2006, that this era is now becoming a bit as mythical as the Golden Age. Obviously it’s nowhere near as admired and lusted after, but people now seem to acknowledge how spoiled we were back in the age of JunLin, Takahashi Ai and, depending on your level of crack-consumption, Miracle-Ace Koharu. Since the kyuukies, the polish of the group with only three newbies has gone down. The vocals aren’t as strong, for example and mileages vary on performance level.

In one of her many awesome posts, Magi-kat made the point that there is a whole generation of new Momusu fans who are used to the conditions of one or two members getting all the solo lines, the relentlessly pushed ‘Ace’ member carrying all the pressure, and members staying in the group for decades. That was simply never the norm until Platinum Era.

So what was the Platinum Generation/Era? Why did people hate it so much if it created a generation of fans? Why is the question of the Ace so important for people now?

Continue reading “In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything”

ANGEL-MAY, Buono, C-ute, H!P, Morning Musume, pic spam, Review, suzuki kannon

In Which Isilie Reviews 2016: New Hope

krwbhicI won’t promise you that I’ll post more next year, because I do that almost every year and fail. I will say that my fandom is not over, even if I don’t post much, and if I have something to talk about, I will talk about it. I think the unceremonious (for me) loss of Idolminded put a huge dent in my motivation. Pretty feeble, I know. I didn’t realize how much I relied on it and took it for granted.

For those unaware, Idolminded (originally International Wota) was a site that gathered different articles/posts from the idol blogosphere for people to easily access. Sometimes they’d just describe the articles, but sometimes they’d comment on them, or feature them specifically, especially if multiple authors had weighed in on a certain subject.

I received so much encouragement, in regards to my writing, and so much information, in regards to the fandom. Because of this site, people started to read mine and I’ve always been humbled and grateful for that. In October 2015 they stopped posting. I hello_project-673768haven’t been able to discover why, but I’m guessing it’s just that real life became more important and that is absolutely understandable.

I just want to thank anyone and everyone involved in that site, if they are reading this, for all the confidence you’ve given me over the years and all your hard work. You have no idea how much you’ve helped this community. And I hope we’ll all keep writing and finding each other as long as this fandom continues. m (_ _) m

I really should try out some forums, huh?

Anyway, I didn’t post much this year, of course, but that’s not to say I didn’t notice anything that happened. Like I said, I felt a distinct lack of motivation. I think I’ve stopped thinking of posting as fun and started to feel obligated. I don’t like that. I don’t see why it can’t be both. H!P is still a great love of mine, after all.

Despite what so many say, I don’t think H!P ever really stagnates, it just doesn’t always change as fast as people want, or in the way that people expect. In fact I think sometimes the problem is the opposite: that H!P stays the same for a while and people have no attention span don’t like that.

Before we look forward, let’s look back a bit, shall we?

Continue reading “In Which Isilie Reviews 2016: New Hope”

H!P, Morning Musume, PV, Review

The Sexy-Cats have Spoken.

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So let’s do the last-minute-a-couple-days-till-the-year-ends reviews! This triple-a side is another one of those record-making, number-one-at-least-for-a-day singles. I am not very surprised. Minus Sou ja Nai, which for me is the weakest, it’s an incredibly strong single.

Sexy Cat Story was the first pv to be released and with such a ridiculous name I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, I expected kitty-ears of course, but not much else. I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, the pv actually has some direction this time! I’ve been waiting to see that since 2015’s Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru.

I just thank my lucky stars that Winky isn’t here anymore.
*shudder*

Continue reading “The Sexy-Cats have Spoken.”

H!P, Morning Musume

Another Reina!? Another Boy!?

kaga-kaede-yokoyama-reina-673651

Here they are! The new members of Morning Musume: on the right we have Kaga Kaede and on the left we have Yokoyama Reina.

Yes. There is now ANOTHER Reina. Will she become Winky-squirrel, or will she rise above the previous one and NOT annoy the living hell out of me? Time will tell.

Kaede immediately appealed to me because I am a sucker for boyish idols (or boyish-looking anyway). She also happens to be cute-as-a-button.

Both of these girls were in (what will for me always be called) H!P Eggs. Kaga has been there four years (!), while our new Reina has only been around for two months.

That is one awkward senpai-kouhai situation, isn’t it? I mean they are the same gen now, but Kaede is still technically a senpai in the company. Then there’s the fact that Reina got in after two months while Kaede has been working hard for FOUR YEARS…

Oooh, this is going to be awesome.

Continue reading “Another Reina!? Another Boy!?”

Berryz and C-ute, Buono, C-ute, H!P

The H!P Kidz are Movin’ On

C ute, cuteHagiwara Mai, Nakajima Saki, Okai Chisato, Suzuki Airi, Yajima Maimi-648353As you’ve no doubt read/heard/are aware, C-ute, the last of the original H!P kids have come to that ever looming question: What do we do when we’re all 20 years old? Well, apparently the agency gave them two options: leave H!P but continue to make music, or disband altogether. Out of loyalty to H!P, or perhaps just a natural desire to try new things now, the girls decided to disband in June 2017, after their giant Super Arena show.

And once again, I called it. I remember writing at some point, I think last year, that C-ute would only last until Brat turned 20, then they’d probably go the way of Berryz. I don’t feel triumphant about knowing this though. Being right in this situation just plain sucks.

(Just a note: I won’t be commenting on what they plan to do after they disband or about their graduated members. I simply don’t know enough to comment. )

Continue reading “The H!P Kidz are Movin’ On”

H!P, Morning Musume, PV, Review

Momusu’s Vision in a Corner of Tokyo…on SATURDAY NIGHT!

tkb6PSEI want you to know I really tried.

I started capping for this pretty early, when the first pv hit. Then came The Vision and then FINALLY our Zukki center (sorta). As always, time got away from me and I wasn’t able to even gather my thoughts before the three pvs were out and the single had already been released. And then time zoomed along even faster and now Zukki has already graduated.

*sigh* I’m so old now.

I think this is a particularly interesting triple-a, because unlike the last three times, it feels like the three singles come from three different times in Momusu history. Allow me to explain…

Continue reading “Momusu’s Vision in a Corner of Tokyo…on SATURDAY NIGHT!”

H!P, Morning Musume, suzuki kannon

In Which it’s too Real

tumblr_o26u13zPvS1rnzpzzo2_1280Zukki is graduating.

To sum up the announcement that I’m sure you’ve all read by now: she’s graduating at the end of the Spring tour to eventually work in “welfare”. It’s unclear if she means social work exactly, but based on her inspiration for the decision (the Satouyama things), it’s probably something humanitarian.

It’s the usual “did my best”, “thought long and hard about this decision”, “please support me” and so forth.

Bro and I were watching Shige’s last Music Station performance the other day (a pitifully short clip) and afterwards he sighed mournfully, like seeing her was painful. I teased him until he reminded me that she didn’t just graduate, she left show business altogether (“It’s over after graduation.”). Zukki is doing the same thing.

In a sense, it’s way too real.

Continue reading “In Which it’s too Real”