The Beauty of the Graduation Single

I was listening to Kudo Haruka’s graduation single the other day…

Oddly enough the thing that made me feel a bit emotional about it, aside from the beautiful, light, airy tune, was the thought that we’re never going to hear this song in concert again (and of course, how that also means Kudo isn’t there anymore).

I mean, think about it. It was so very much centered on Kudo Haruka that there is even a ‘Duu’ (her nickname) call. They could still sing it, but that call without its namesake? Would there be a point?

I’m nitpicking a bit, I know. And I’m not saying that it would be bad to have a call out to an O.G.
I just don’t think it’s likely.

Continue reading “The Beauty of the Graduation Single”

In Which Itsumo Genki has Lasted a Decade

Well, it’s been TEN YEARS! Ten years! I started this blog January 4th, 2008! And this little milestone coincides with H!P’s TWENTY YEAR anniversary! How insane is that!? That was not planned, but I think it’s really awesome.

And, as per usual, I COMPLETELY MISSED IT!
So let’s just make this my tenth anniversary…uh…YEAR.
(Warning: this is gonna be long and about Isilie more than idols – you’ve been warned.)

I think it very Isilie of me to have completely forgotten about the milestone of ten years of H!P blogging. I’ve missed my “anniversary” basically every single year for the past nine years. That’s pretty ridiculous. It suits my personality very much. An anecdotal example: on my birthday a few years ago, I met a friend for coffee. She was sitting at a table with a small bouquet of flowers. The first thing I said was, “Oh! Who gave you flowers?” She just burst out laughing and handed them to me.

*takes a bow*

Continue reading “In Which Itsumo Genki has Lasted a Decade”

The Strange Case of Maa-Duu

Maa-Duu began during the auditions for Morning Musume. Masaki-kins went around the room and asked the other applicants their names and where they were from. She encountered Kudo Haruka for the first time and asked her, “What’s your name?”

“KUDO HARUKA,” came the blunt reply.

Taken aback, Masaki continued, “Oh. Where are you from?”

“HELLO PRO EGGS,” Kudo said.
Then silence.
Zero explanation.

Masaki, thinking maybe Kudo hadn’t exactly understood the question asked, with a bit more timidity, “Where is that?”

“RIGHT HERE.”

From that, Masaki-kins concluded that Kudo was probably a bit of a weirdo (reference).

Later on, she was happy to discover that this weirdo had also made it into the group. During their subsequent encounters, Kudo was bossy and blunt, but she was someone that Masaki really liked.

And thus a friendship, odd and cantankerous, was born.

After years of antics, possessiveness, and tsundere-pimpin’, Kudo graduated and Masaki-kins wrote a troubling blog post about it. And the speculation began. In my case, the first time I read a translation of Masaki’s blog post, I remember thinking, “Oh man, I hope she doesn’t quit.”

(all gifs from random google searches; not mine)

Continue reading “The Strange Case of Maa-Duu”

The Strange Case of Eri-pon

ikuta-erina-669712The first time I ever met Ikuta Erina…ok, well, the only time I likely will ever meet her, was during the handshake portion of 2014’s New York concert.

I remember I’d just been overwhelmed by my Zukki moment and then floored by how warm and sweet Riho had been, then there was Eri-pon.

And I just froze, dumbfounded. She’s so very, very small. I’ve never seen a human that is that small. I mean, short, yes, but skinny, with a tiny face. This isn’t a criticism, by the way. It honestly shocked me. I had sort of expected BOSS and Oda to be small and gorgeous, but this level of tiny was entirely different.

Eri-pon spoke, saying, “arigatou gozaimasu” and her voice was incredibly high-pitched. I looked in her eyes as I shakily remembered to take her hand and saw that wince. She had smiled, but her eyes had that ‘I think that went badly’ wince that I kept seeing in variety shows or dvd magazines. Before I could say anything, apologize for what I’m sure was a strange, nonplussed face, I was pushed on

When Bro and I compared notes later, he said that he’d basically burst out laughing the second she spoke and he’d felt terrible, but couldn’t stop laughing. It was that high-pitched voice and the wince that you can’t un-see once you start to notice it.

And it’s not that either of us are mocking her or think she’s somehow laughable.
There was just something so odd about her. Continue reading “The Strange Case of Eri-pon”

In Which the Inevitable Still Smarts.

2da824ee28b817a225f8c9580865d52fSo, as most people who are, or used to be, fans of H!P have already heard, Tsunku stepped down, or “graduated” from being a producer way back in 2014, after Momusu went to New York. We are only now hearing about it because (I think) of Tsunku’s book. He confesses that he’d quietly stepped down after that concert, no trademark mid-concert announcement or any sort of fanfare.

I suppose it’s been fairly obvious with the amount of non-tsunku songs lately and the lack of “produced by Tsunku” stamps on productions.

The reaction seems to be a resounding ‘meh’, at least from the blogs or discussions I’ve read. People don’t seem to care much because so many have rage-quit or lost interest in the past few years. While they are sorry about Tsunku’s suffering, they seem to feel it’s a good decision and a long time coming.

*sigh* I hate moments like this.

Continue reading “In Which the Inevitable Still Smarts.”

Happy New Year!

Hello_Project-431518Just as I thought – I didn’t make it in time for a full year-end post – at least not before the actual new year begins.

You know what? That’s ok. Because I want this year to end. I want to start over again.

I started this year with good intentions – I had a lot more time to write and I vowed to post more.

That didn’t happen.

Real life happened instead. I’d switched jobs and while that was exciting, it was also the scariest decision I’ve made in a long time. Friendships were changed or almost lost forever, I worried myself sick over many things and felt depressed about many others. Beyond the emotions though, I had the very practical problem of not getting enough hours anymore. This led to some rude awakenings, one being I had little time and little desire for blogging.

I got the hours, but lost my motivation.

As always though, Bro was the gentle persistent voice beside me, asking me if I was working on any posts and reminding me of new concerts or DVD magazines I needed to see. When we’d watch something it would stir my desire to post again.

He still reads this, you see. He’s also very patient with my tendency to read over his shoulder.
For most of what I wrote here in 2013, you can probably thank him. I certainly do.

No more excuses. 2013 is over.

It’s been a wonderful year for H!P, just not a wonderful year for Isilie.

Don’t worry though. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not ready to end it yet.

I’ll see you in 2014.

Everybody celebrate tonight! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

~Isilie

In Which Isilie Returns #3

tumblr_mgju4pNa3I1r0hvhzo1_500

Pic that has nothing to do with anything: There is just never a bad time for Zukkiri! (from wondermusume@ tumblr)

In these entries, I will write about things that I’m thinking about that don’t require a full post. I will try to make it more interesting with pics, caps, gifs and by limiting myself to 100 words or less for each thought.It’s called a ‘return’ because I frequently seem to go too long without posting, mainly because my thoughts don’t always require a full post. Well – NO MORE!

Seriously. I suck at posting more. I do have an excuse though.
Work.
My hours are all over the place right now.
Forgive me? ^_^’

Continue reading “In Which Isilie Returns #3”

In Which Isilie is behind the Momusu Updates

img20130903031225This is actually a really smart, really good move.

I love this idea a lot. And yes, I have heard the two radio rips.

Before you get upset at the idea of all these new kids taking on classics like Renai Revolution (which has already been done to death) or Love Machine (that one too), think for a moment.

I assume, as a fan, you’d be happy if more people could appreciate Momusu as it is now and stop going on and on about the ‘Golden Age’ that people have been going on about since the Platinum Era. At the same time, forgetting those days, or trying to pretend that they aren’t affecting the current Momusu is just silly. What Tsunku (he’s getting the credit no matter what you say) has decided to do is not only re-record these classics, but try and update them.

Stay with me.

Continue reading “In Which Isilie is behind the Momusu Updates”

In which Nostalgia is the Problem

mm4It’s been far too long. Sorry. I fail so hard at posting more…

Read this @ Wota in Translation (what might be the best site in the world).

It seems a lot of Japanese wota consider the “platinum era” one of the strongest and most memorable in the group’s history. They seem to agree with my own opinion that it didn’t really begin until Resonant Blue (yay!) and that it ended with Lullaby Game and the gorgeous Rival Survival Concert.

It made me think about being a fan of Momusu and how different it is from other groups and how I’m realizing the paradoxical nature of this fandom: MM’s strength is their biggest weakness.

Continue reading “In which Nostalgia is the Problem”

In Which Isilie Returns # 2 (sorta)

vlcsnap-2013-01-21-04h24m23s11 Intro post here.

Pic that has nothing to do with anything: This time around, we have Mitsui Aika loudly proclaiming her love to a bunch of dogs.

…Really, it’s much more adorable than I make it sound.

In these entries, I will write about things that I’m thinking about that don’t require a full post. I will try to make it more interesting with pics, caps, gifs and by limiting myself to 100 words or less for each thought.It’s called a ‘return’ because I frequently seem to go too long without posting, mainly because my thoughts don’t always require a full post. Well – NO MORE!

Thanks for the title Chiima!

Continue reading “In Which Isilie Returns # 2 (sorta)”