Poll #20: ANGERME’s 21st Single

April 25, 2016

For the first time in a long time, I’ve added a poll to this blog! This one asks which of the songs from ANGERME‘s latest single is your favorite~. The was a fairly easy choice for me, because I talked about how much I love “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” in my critique of the single, but I did briefly consider “Itoshima Distance” because it’s grown on me quite a bit. I still haven’t listened to “Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru” enough to really, REALLY love it. (^_^”) Well, which one is your favorite? =D

~ Surimu-chan

ANGERME’s 21st Single Critique

April 25, 2016

Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
AAARRGGHHHH THIS SONG IS SO GREAT!!! I loved it after hearing the first few seconds of the live performance shown on Hello! Station~. As for the MV, the setting is pretty simple, but it fits the song well. I like the house of mirrors sort of shots for the solo parts and the crazy fish-eye lens when they’re rapping. =D Speaking of which, I love how enthusiastic Kananan was during her rapping in the second verse; I was a little afraid she was going to slide right into the camera. 😄 There are those slowed down shots that H!P has loved so much lately (though I don’t mind, because they do look cool). 😄 I don’t mind the outfits for this one; I like the tops well enough, but I don’t know what possessed them to give Take-chan and Maho those goofy-looking pants. o_O Doesn’t matter; the song is awesome enough to eclipse the weird pants. 😄 I reeeeaaally would like a dance shot version, but they don’t do those anymore. orz I’d also like to point out that Kamiko does well in this; I thought it was kind of cute when she would look away from the camera during parts of the dance (probably to make sure she didn’t run into anyone XD). This is definitely my favorite song on this single.
Line that gets stuck in my head: Tsugi tsugi zoku zoku (the repeated background lines that are heard at the beginning and end)

Itoshima Distance
At first, I had a hard time concentrating on the song because of their distracting outfits. 😄 I eventually got over it; some of the outfits aren’t actually too terrible. I also liked that they were divided up evenly into red, yellow, and blue. Maho’s hat, though… what in the world… 😄 I was a bit disappointed by most of the dance; it seemed kind of lackluster and, at times, all over the place. =/ The settings are a simple sort of pretty, and the extra shots (of Itoshima, I’m assuming) are a nice addition. The song actually grew on me quite a bit! =)
Line that gets stuck in my head: Chotto matte, nante iita no? Kikitakunai

Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru
First and foremost, I’m so happy that Meimei got such a huge focus in this song since it’s her graduation single and all. ♥ The solo shots with the words appearing on the sides are neat (and they remind me of “Uchouten LOVE” a bit), and the three-person shots in front of the colored backgrounds were nice, too. The shots of them in the red and black outfits seemed kind of random, but I didn’t hate them. (^_^”) The settings were pretty in this one, too. Once again, I’m bemoaning the fact that they don’t have dance shot version anymore. orz Is it just me, or does Rina seem a little more comfortable than usual in this MV? Maybe it’s just me. (^_^”) The only parts of the song that I still haven’t quite gotten used to are the fast solo lines in the chorus; it just seemed like there were too many syllables, so they sounded a bit off to me. =/ Somehow, that last shot of Meimei and Ayacho made me sad; the leader saying goodbye to the graduating member… TT_TT
Line that gets stuck in my head: Naze kimi wa watashi ni yasashii no (though, honestly, I don’t know the lyrics of this one well enough to remember most of the lines even if I can remember the tune (^_^”))

Let’s see, is there anyone I didn’t mention? I love Rikako‘s energy when she dances. =D I’ve also become quite a fan of Murotan; something about her reminds me of Ayappe (Ishiguro Aya from Morning Musume。, for those who don’t know)~. =D Overall, I think this is a great single for Meimei to graduate with. I can’t wait to buy it in a couple of days~! ♥

~ Surimu-chan

°C-ute’s 29th Single Critique

April 25, 2016

Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou?
The first thing I noticed when they previewed this MV on Hello! Station was the jump in production value. What’s this? A big, fancy set? Backup singers? A band?! =D I really like the song, too. It’s nice to see this change of pace from °C-ute once in a while~. The whole MV has a very classy feel. My only gripe is seeing the tired “putting on makeup” scenes again. orz Otherwise, this was lovely!
Line that gets stuck in my head: Hana wa saku no ni naze hito wa kanashiin darou?

Summer Wind
… Can’t say I’m a huge fan of their outfits. (^_^”) Other than that, this is really rather pretty. I really like the overlaid shots and the slowed down parts (though, seriously, they’re using that effect in almost every single H!P video now, it seems XD). It also makes me happy to see outdoor shots in H!P videos every once in a while~. There’s a beautiful, lonely sort of feeling to the music in the beginning and during the verses. Also, Airi‘s vocalizing near the end… ♥
Line that gets stuck in my head: Mabushisugiru along the coast

Jinsei wa STEP!
Here it is! Every multi-A-side single has THE song, and, in my opinion, this is that song for this single~. What’s not to like? Awesome set, fun-looking dance, cool-looking extra scenes (adlfj;aiefjak TAP DANCING), and an amazingly-catchy song! … The outfits are okay. 😄 Besides the tap dancer scenes, I also really like the fact that they had some of the other scenes in black and white. These are the kinds of songs that make me desperately wish for dance shot versions again. orz This is definitely my favorite song from this single~!
Line that gets stuck in my head: Mawaru mawaru yo jinsei

Okay, °C-ute has my attention again. I maybe kinda sorta ignored their last single and only got a couple songs from their last album… but this single was just awesome! =D (Also, just on a random note, though they all look lovely, I would like to point out how gorgeous Maimi looks in these videos~. So pretty!) Well done, °C-ute; you’ve still got it!

~ Surimu-chan

Country Girls 3rd Single Critique

March 6, 2016

Boogie Woogie LOVE
I really love the 50s style used for the outfits and music video~! The diner setting with all of the signs on the wall is so great! MVs always hold my interest more when they have something fun in the background instead of just an empty room (… maybe I should do something about my own YouTube videos if that’s the case… XD). I even liked the “other” shots with the lollipops and cars even though they’re pretty much the type of scenes I don’t usually care for (standing/sitting somewhere and just staring off into space thoughtfully). Once again, thank you, interesting set! I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the dance. I know I really like the leg swing during the beginning of the chorus, and there are a few other moves that look pretty good, but the camera moves around so much. O_O My initial though was, “Wow, they’re kind of all over the place,” but I know there’s some rhyme and reason to it… it would just be easier to confirm if I could see it straight on without any camera changes. orz Overall, I like this video~.
Line that gets stuck in my head: Hold me tight / Dakishimete yo, Fall in love

Koi wa Magnet
This one has a bit of an 80s sound, which gives this single a nice variation. While I didn’t find the background for this one as interesting as “Boogie Woogie LOVE,” it was still pretty neat with the swirling, striped design in the huge windows. I rather liked the “other” shots for this, even though, once again, they’re just sort of staring off into space. The individual settings are pretty though~. I love Manaka and her amazing dancing, but her powerful dance break in this seemed a bit jarring after the relaxed style of the rest of the dance. =/ Overall, I really like this video, too~.
Line that gets stuck in my head: Shall we dance?

Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~
AAAAHHHH! FINALLY! This this this THIS is what I’ve wanted from H!P for so long! This reminds me of older H!P music videos… something like a combination of “I WISH” and a Tanpopo video after Kago and Rika joined with a little “Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band” thrown in for good measure. I love this so much~! It has a fun background, story scenes, cuteness (their dresses and the heart lights in their eyes~!), silliness (most of the video XD), a nice dance (from what I could see of it), and the song is unbelievably catchy~!! =D I know it’s a cover song, but that doesn’t matter in the least; it got stuck in my head right away (not even an exaggeration). This is definitely my favorite video, and it has to be my favorite track from this amazing single!
Line that gets stuck in my head: Ranrarun, anata ni muchuu na no (Let’s be honest; the entire song has gotten stuck in my head multiple times already. XD)

Seriously, Country Girls is absolutely killing it (in a good way)! I’ve loved every single one of their releases since their debut (Country Girls’ debut, not Country Musume‘s)~. I was a little skeptical about them adding Nanami and Funakki because, even though I knew both girls were talented, I thought the lineup was perfect as it was. Lucky for me (and everyone!), 2nd gen. only helps add to the group’s charm. Hooray~!! Momo is doing such an amazing job as their playing manager (Happy Birthday, Momo~!) ♥ Argh, I can’t get over how much I love this single. If you’re at all able, I would definitely recommend buying this; I know I will~!

~ Surimu-chan

H!P Dances with Awkward Moves – A Few Extra Notes

January 28, 2016

Here are a few more Hello! Project dances that had some awkward moves (in my opinion):

Morning Musume
Renai Hunter
– Seriously. That “Renai Hunter” pose. Just. Why. Seriously. 😄
Kimagure Princess
– Yikes. Nothing says awkward like “Look at my butt!/Look at my chest!” dance moves. XDD And of course this was the very first dance cover I did. It was just because it was their latest single at the time, so I thought the timing would be good, I promise! 😄

Berryz Koubou
Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi
– This falls under the category of “Dances I Will Not Do,” because some of the “sexy” moves are just super-awkward-looking. =/ It’s really too bad, because I love the song. orz
WANT!
– Oh, look. More awkward “sexiness.” 😄
Maji Bomber!!
– That froggy move is fun to do, but it definitely looks silly.
MADAYADE
– There’s that one move where they have their knees bent outward and they do a hand movement that reminded me of the “Comaneci!” gag. 😄
Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance
– A few weird poses and faces, but, even though there’s some weirdness to this dance, I actually loved it from the first watch. It was also a super-fun dance to cover. =D
Happiness ~Koufuku Kangei!~
– Mostly the very last pose. It was a bit strange, and I didn’t really think it fit the cutesy-ness of the rest of the dance. O_O

°C-ute
– A good chunk of their releases since 2012 have had “sexy” moves that I felt looked rather awkward, though I’m sure a lot of others would disagree. (^_^”)
Ai tte Motto Zanshin
– Though this one fits in the aforementioned timeline, I thought I’d single it out for its decidedly spazzy moves. orz
Bye Bye Bye!
– Even though I said it in the video, I really want to drive home the fact that the dance break was embarrassingly awkward in this dance. 😄

ANGERME / S/mileage
Mystery Night!
– Aaand the awkward “sexy” moves got ahold of S/mileage, too. 😄 I felt so unbelievably uncomfortable trying to watch this dance shot; I couldn’t get through the whole thing. =/
Dot Bikini
– Most of the dance is fine, but, for about fifteen seconds after the music really kicks in, there are some crazy-awkward moves in there. 😄 Meimei, dear, what ARE you doing?! XDD
OO Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!

– I mentioned this briefly in the video, but this is a really goofy dance. 😄 I’d take this over the “sexy” dances though. *nods*

What the heck; why does Berryz have so many awkward dance moves? 😄 To be fair, though, °C-ute probably has just as many; I just didn’t list them out individually.

Anyway, as I said, this is just my opinion. What do you think? Do you disagree with any of these? Are there some that I missed?

~ Surimu-chan

Kanazawa Tomoko Diagnosed with Endometriosis

January 25, 2016

Kanazawa Tomoko

It was announced today that Kanazawa Tomoko of Juice=Juice has been diagnosed with endometriosis. You may recognize this as the same disease Matsuura Aya was diagnosed with back in 2011.

I personally like Tomo’s voice the most of the Juice=Juice members, so it saddens me to hear that she will need to limit her activities because of this; however, I would much, much, much rather she limit her activities to get better than for her to try to continue on as usual while dealing with the pain.

Last year, Juice=Juice only released one single and one album. “Wonderful World/Ça va ? Ça va ?” wasn’t my favorite single by them, but I was incredibly impressed by their album tracks! That being said, when their next single was first announced, I was curious as to how it would turn out.

Lucky me! Lucky us! Lucky world! This single is amazing! With the release of both of the music videos in the past week, I was happy to see some of the things I missed in a lot of H!P releases: different shots in the music videos besides [close up-dance shot-staring into distance close up-different angle dance shot] and music and lyrics by Tsunku (so great to see him do a single for another group again~!). Also, I was so excited to see the return of the dance shot version in the physical releases that I felt close to tears (I almost gave up hoping that they’d come back T_T).

I really want Juice=Juice to shine this year, not only with their music, but also with their upcoming drama, “Budoukan.” I will definitely find a way to watch it! Feel better, Tomo~! Do your best, Juice=Juice~! ♥

Read more about endometriosis here.

Read Kanazawa Tomoko’s blog post about her situation here.
Read Miyazaki Yuka’s blog post about Tomo’s situation here.
Read Takagi Sayuki’s blog post about Tomo’s situation here.
Read Miyamoto Karin’s blog post about Tomo’s situation here.
Read Uemura Akari’s blog post about Tomo’s situation here.

Watch Juice=Juice’s MV for “Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai” here.
Watch NEXT YOU’s (Juice=Juice’s) MV for “Next is you!” here.

~ Surimu-chan

Sayashi Riho Graduates

December 31, 2015

Let me start out by saying that Riho was never my favorite member. That might sound a bit harsh, but I think it needs to be understood that I was never one of the “RihoRiho can do no wrong!” type of fans. That’s not to say I didn’t like her! Far from it. She is amazingly dedicated in all that she does, and she’s a very talented dancer. Though others might disagree, there were even times I really liked her singing (usually when she was given a lower part). Here’s a big thing, though (and I mentioned it in the video in my previous post): Riho was part of the 9th generation. They were the first generation I was able to follow from the very beginning. I remember watching all of the girls auditioning and being really impressed by her dancing. When she got in, it was like, “I knew it!” I was excited to see how she and the other girls did and what they would add to the group.
I believe that Riho’s early dedication and talent in dance got her pushed to the front so quickly. Fuku-chan had experience, but she was a bit on the quiet side. Eripon was also terribly quiet and a bit awkward at first. Zukki was a lot of fun, but she lacked experience. Right off the bat, Riho seemed up to the challenge. That’s very admirable, I think, for a girl her age.
Bringing the focus to Riho also brought a focus to dance, which is, in my opinion, why they have such a strong focus on formation dancing now. With Riho excelling at dance and having such a prominent role in the group, I feel like it inspired the company (or whoever decides these things) to have dances created that would show off her (and Daishi‘s) ability and bring the other members closer to her level. If you look at it that way, you could say that it’s thanks to Riho that MM’s dances are as impressive as they are now.
I’m probably rambling at this point (I know I am; I’ve been up for about twenty hours and my eyes are tired XD), but I’m really happy to have known the MM lineup with Riho in it. I don’t remember crying quite so much about any other graduation I’ve been through so far. Koharu‘s, Reina‘s, and Sayu‘s didn’t affect me too much (I wasn’t a huge fan of Koha, and Reina an Sayu had been in the group for so long); I felt bad for Mittsi, Junjun, and Linlin (I think they all got a pretty poor deal =/); I still miss Ai-chan, Gaki-san, and Kamei… but, like I said, Riho is the first one I was able to follow since she was just a liiiittle girl (well, you know what I mean XD). It’s like watching my little sister leave (Riho’s only a week older than my little sister orz).
I’m going to miss her in the group, but I know she’s coming back, and I’m sure she’s going to be even better than ever!

Riho Graduation

Riho! Congratulations on your graduation! ♥

~ Surimu-chan

Favorite H!P Songs of 2015 – A Few Extra Notes

December 29, 2015

As I covered in the video, my favorite songs from each group this year were:

Morning Musume。 ’15 – ENDLESS SKY (Honorable Mentions: Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru, SUKATTO My Heart)
°C-ute – Gamusha LIFE (Honorable Mention: Iron Heart)
ANGERME – Marionette 37°C (Honorable Mention: Nanakorobi Yaoki)
Juice=Juice – GIRLS BE AMBITIOUS (Honorable Mentions: Umaretate no Baby Love,   Mirai e, Saa Hashiridase!)
Country Girls – Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne (Honorable Mention: Itooshiku tte Gomen ne)
Kobushi Factory – Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta (Honorable Mentions: Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan, Nen ni wa Nen (Nen’iri Ver.))

For MM’15, I like “Ima Koko Kara,” but I’ve been bouncing back and forth between thinking it’s pretty and uplifting to thinking it’s a bit on the bland side. =/ I do like it though~! “Oh my wish!” is great; I especially like the opening and ending music because it reminds me of “Ai no Gundan” which I think has to be one of my favorite A-sides from Sayu‘s time as leader. I honestly can’t remember the tune of “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki” at the moment… I haven’t listened to the song much, which is funny because I saw so many people declaring it the best song from this single. =/ I’m sure I’ll come to love it eventually. “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi” is an interesting song; I feel like it would have been sung by Ai-chan, Gaki-san, and Reina during the Platinum Era. As for the video, I love the slow-down effects they used (which were also used in ANGERME’s “Nanakorobi Yaoki”). “One and Only” is a lot of fun! Good for Miki getting probably the biggest focus of the 12th gen.! Woohoo, lefties~! 😄
Like I said, I didn’t really listen to most of °C-ute’s music for this year. =/ I learned to really like “The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~” after doing the dance, and “Tsugi no Kado wo Magare” is really good, too. Their last single didn’t really grab me… and “Iron Heart” was the only album track that I felt I needed to buy on iTunes right away.
ANGERME did pretty well this year~. “Taiki Bansei/Otome no Gyakushuu” was actually the first physical copy of a S/mileage or ANGERME single that I got (it was actually a gift). I liked both of those songs, but was a bit miffed with the “Dance Promotion Vers.” of “Taiki Bansei.” (-_-*) “Mahoutsukai Sally” was cute (both in song and MV), but I wouldn’t be able to hum “Gashin Shoutan,” “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai,” ‘or “Dondengaeshi” if you asked me to (well, maybe a little of “Dondengaeshi”‘s chorus…). I can remember just a little of “Watashi,” but I’m pretty proud of Kanon for writing her own lyrics~. ^__^ “Asesaite Carnival” and “Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru” are the only other new songs of theirs that I listened to, and they’re both amazing, which mostly just bugs me because they’re not available on iTunes, and I don’t really want to pay $90 for four songs that I don’t have. O__O
For Juice=Juice, I liked “Wonderful World/Ça va ? Ça va ?,” but my reaction to it getting #1 on Oricon was something like this: “Wow! They got #1 on the charts! Good for them! … With these songs, though…?” I really do like the songs; I just feel like some of their other singles were better. As for their other album tracks, I like them all a lot, though “Erabareshi Watashitachi” is a little forgettable (which makes me feel like a jerk, because that was the only new song Tsunku had on that album orz)…
I love all of Country Girls’ songs~! My only real gripe was the very last line of “Koi Dorobou.” I never care for them using that phrase in songs, but it sounded especially awkward and tacked on in this one. =/
Oh, Kobushi Factory~… The more I think about it, the more “Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta” and “Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan” are tied. I also really liked KoFa’s indies song “SURVIVOR” as well~! =D I’m really looking forward to more of their releases! ^__^
Tsubaki Factory‘s indies single, “Seishun Manmannaka!,” was cute, but I don’t exactly remember how it goes… (^__^”)
BERRYZ! AH, I miss them… orz “Love Together” was such a wonderful video. I was totally shocked when I left my Blu-ray running after the video was done and found out that they left messages for themselves at the very end. TT__TT
Another thing that deserves a crying face… I did literally dozens of takes trying to talk about Morning Musume。 ’15’s final single of the year. Every time I remembered the excitement of 9th gen. joining and all of their singles and performances… and the thought of Riho graduating in just a few days kept making me almost cry. orz TT__TT

All righty, that’s all from me~! What were your favorites from this year? =D

~ Surimu-chan

Berryz Koubou Music Video Rankings – Round 4

October 9, 2015

Guess who finally decided to work on ranking Berryz Koubou’s PVs? Correct! Me. 😄 orz (And I actually had this post written out almost a month ago, but I still didn’t post it. (^__^”)) Let’s see, where did I leave off… ah, yes! This is where it really starts getting difficult, because all singles from here on came out after I became a fan, so they all have fond memories associated with them. Well, I’ll see if I can make up my mind. Here’s Round 4!

Dschinghis Khan

Lots of spazzy cuts and a huge group of tiny kids to start it out! It’s promising! 😄 Is it just me, or did I see some of the little kids doing one of those moves that a lot of wota do (jumping in a circle while clapping hands)…? 😄 I love the solo shots with the girls and their various props (guitar, megaphone, tambourine, pom poms, etc.). Cap, you rock the keytar! XDD Chinami totally won for the solo shots, though; she was so goofy in this, and I loved it! =D

Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance

I remember all of the arguing when this one came out; a lot of people thought it was insulting to the members while others thought it was fun and exactly the kind of craziness that H!P needed to revisit from time to time. I was part of the latter group (not that I had a presence on the Internet at the time to make my opinion knows). Anyway, on to the video! This exhibited effective use of cheesy clip-art swipes with the banana, so that’s appreciated. 😄 The reveal of the monkey costumes was absolutely perfect. Chinami and Maasa were totally owning those costumes! Some of the faces they made… 😄 I think the Monkey Vers. of this music video is one of the most enjoyable group shots of a PV I’ve seen.

MADAYADE

Look! Foreigners! (Somehow, that sounds kind of bad. (^__^”)) When the video first started, I was worried that they would be slightly unpleasant characters in this video (strict or cold or what have you), and, unfortunately, for the most part, they did live up to that expectation, at least when compared with the fun and fancy-free office Berryz. (^__^”) Other than that, thank goodness for an actual set! Also, I call those Berryz’ Starburst outfits, because the colors reminded me of the candy. 😄 I think I remember seeing that this song was the lowest-ranked single on that final fan song ranking they did for Berryz, which is kind of too bad. =/ I like it~. This video actually had something that I always want to see in PVs: a story. Not much of one, granted (Berryz members work in an office), but it’s there.

Dakishimete Dakishimete

2009! Berryz really started to shine this year! I do believe this song/dance might be one of the most popular Berryz singles with Westerners…? It is, at least, the most popular Berryz song on (the US) iTunes. I have reeeeally fond memories of this song. It came out just a couple of months before I graduated from high school and got my two-year degree. Anyway… amazing song, amazing dance, great costumes (… for the most part…). They look really cheesy, but I love the multiplied Berryz with a psychedelic background shots! What else is there… a couple of group “look back at the camera” shots; the DJ shots, of course; a few slowed down parts… I also liked the use of lights to change coloring of the speakers for the backgrounds of their close-up shots.

Final ranking for these four singles…

4. Dschinghis Khan
3. Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance
2. Dakishimete Dakishimete
1. MADAYADE

I know; I was surprised, too. As much as I wanted sentimentality to rule by making “Dakishimete Dakishimete” number one, it still didn’t have the discernible story that “MADAYADE” had. =/ Well, that’s all for this one! Who knows when I’ll get the next one up. orz Until then~!

~ Surimu-chan

What Makes a Good H!P PV? – A Few Extra Notes

September 8, 2015

I made it sound like I really hated the Promotion Edit for “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru,” but I don’t think it was quite as bad as all that. 😄 I had actually forgotten about the umbrella shots and the group shots on the stairs. I also forgot to mention the fact that Karin had so much screen time even though she was just filling in for Zukki also made me like it less. =/ I would also like to point out that I really like the song “Tsuzuiteiku STORY” even though I didn’t care for the PV.
(I also need to point out that, around 5:43, I said, “It had those weird clothing explosions after the… and that, that’s… that was great for the song…”. I kind of garbled my words, so I just wanted to make that clear. XD)

The “Another Version” of “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru” is definitely one of my favorite H!P PVs ever now~. I’ve listed other PVs that I love in the “About Me” page on this blog, but I haven’t updated it in a while… I should do that at some point. 😄

That’s all~!

~ Surimu-chan