Friday, 24 May 2019

The 10-Year Entertainer - A Look at 'Oguma Ayame Full Best Mini Orchestra Album' by Oguma Ayame (Album Review)

*Calling out my mistakes, typo's and spelling errors is appreciated here. Call that shit out, help me a little bit, and make this blog a better place. Thank you.

With 10 years of entertainment under her belt and a desire to perform, Oguma Ayame currently has one physical release to her name, as well as a handful of digital releases. Despite this small pool of songs to her name, Ayame has a dedicated following thanks to her ability to create laughter on and off the stage.

And though we may not have a chance to see her perform, we can instead take a look at her style of music. It's time to experience the tunes of a 10-year entertainer in all her glory. Are you ready to listen to some music?

It has been a while since I yearned to review a single or album this strongly, but ever since receiving Oguma Ayame's first studio mini-album as a gift some months back, I have felt a weird pull and desire to talk about Oguma's music on my blog. Sure, my thoughts regarding her music may not be well-structured when I get to talking about this album in full, but I'm excited to talk about it, nonetheless.

Having owned Oguma Ayame Full Best Mini Orchestra Album for a few months now, I have had my fair share of time to listen to each track more than once, which has in turn allowed me to form a solid opinion of the release in its entirety. And yes, I want to share these very thoughts with you because, dear readers, sharing is caring, and also because I can post what the heck I want on here. So yes, it's another album-esque review, from me to you. Because I can.

And before I spew even more lacey nonsense, let's chitter a little bit about Oguma Ayame herself:

From what has been recorded so far, Oguma Ayame has been active within the entertainment industry for 10 years, starting out as a Maid in Akihabara where she would perform on a small stage for the customers, before deciding that she wanted to take on a live-house stage and act as an idol. In May 2011, Ayame began her idol-career with the group Chocolate☆Whip, where she acted as a 3rd generation member and completed the 4-member lineup. In 2013, Ayame began her solo activities, and in March 2014 went solo full time after Chocolate☆Whip's disbandment.

When she isn't singing live, Ayame also works as an ear-picking and massage specialist, and promotes her work-place to fans on Twitter. Despite holding down a second job, Ayame is serious about performing and not doing anything half-way as an idol, which may be why she has continued going strong for 10 years, despite the set backs she may have faced in her journey as a chika-idol.

And with that short blurb out of the way, it's time to delve into the album itself. It's time to give Oguma Ayame Full Best Mini Orchestra Album a chance, but what will the final verdict be?

Read on and find out~

Saturday, 11 May 2019

The Indie, The Idol & The Infamous Live Overview: The London Side

*All images used have been credited to their original owners. Any photos used without credits are my own images
**Any mistakes present in the post, please do feel free to call me out on that shit. We all have things we gotta improve on, and I definitely need to improve on my Typos.

With idol lives becoming a more frequent phenomena within the UK music scene, it seemed like a no-brainer that Orion Live's next step would be to bring along some of Japan's most mesmirising underground performers, where they would show them off in three of the UK's leading music-savvy scenes.

(Promotional Image owned by OrionLive)

Presented by Orion Live and starting off in London on April 20th, heading over to Manchester on April 22nd and rounding things off in Birmingham on April 23rd, three underground solo idols -  DOUBLE AND (Saki), GARUDA (Sakimura Yuffie) and 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-san (Hanako) - embarked on an Easter-weekend and Bank Holiday tour, with Saki leading the way as the Headlining act of the Indie, Idol & Infamous live shows.

And in a surprise twist just days before the event itself, it was revealed that Rukatama of the group MELON BATAKE A GO GO, of which Yuffie is also a member of, would be joining the girls during the tour. Acting as a goods salesperson for the GARUDA stall, as well as a camera-person for all of Yuffie's live performances, Rukatama took the chance to travel to the UK, whilst also promoting herself and MELON BATAKE A GO GO to the foreign fans who had travelled to see these three girls perform on a brand new stage.

Travelling to three cities and performing at three different venues, the warm Bank holiday event proved to be a loud and messy event for all attendees as Saki, Yuffie and Hanako showcased their own unique performance style, their brand and - of course - their voices to a UK audience.

Friday, 12 April 2019

The Little Idol And Her Big Voice - A Look at 'The Theory Of 2&' by 2& (Album Review)

*Pointing out my typos and mistakes is hella helpful, so feel free to call me out on that shit. Thanks.

With 2&'s second expedition to the UK coming ever closer, I say it's high time to finally get my ass into gear and review Saki's first overseas limited album release, and one of my favourite albums of the year 2018.

She's small, she's cute, and her voice is bigger than you would expect. We're finally reviewing The Theory Of 2&, and gosh darn'it, I'm excited to talk about it. Are ya ready?

It has been a good, long while since I wrote a proper album review - a whole year, almost - so, it's high time I remedied this issue I created for myself. And hey, what better album to resurface with than Saki's very own The Theory Of 2&, especially when you consider that we are just shy of a week before her second UK tour this coming April 20th? I mean, hey - it's better now than never. Plus it feels right to come back and review one of my favourite albums from 2018.

Truth be told, I'm quite surprised that I didn't review this sooner. I mean, I love this album (hi, spoiler alert), and it's an album I keep coming back to despite it being almost a year old. I just don't talk about it much, and I really should. This is such a joyful listen, at least to me it is.

Anyways, background check:

For those unaware of 2& / Saki, here is a little bit what she's all about; initially starting her career in December 2011, Saki became one half of a duo alongside Saya, and both debuted in January 2012 as 2& (DOUBLE AND). The girls went on to release their first two singles, Negaposi monster and Real/Dream, on July 17th, 2013, which would subsequently become their last two singles together as a duo unit, due to Saya leaving the group in September that same year. Despite her partners departure, Saki instead took on 2& as her solo project, ultimately rebranding the meaning of the name to 'Saki + You = 2&'.

Since then, Saki has pursued her solo activities both exclusively and alongside other idol activities. In June 2014 Guso Drop was formed, with Saki acting as the centre. Her solo activities lessened during this point, and though she was given various opportunities as a member of Guso Drop, Saki graduated from the group in December 2016 in order to focus on her solo project. From late 2017 until early 2019, Saki self-managed her activities before being signing to a new agency, REDMusic.

Saki's first expedition abroad was during her travels to Taiwan in 2016 in order to perform as both a soloist and a member of Guso Drop before embarking on her second overseas gig which took place in the UK back in June of 2018. One of two opening acts for the esteemed NECRONOMIDOL, the little idol with a big voice made her UK stage debut and introduced us all to her music and performance style. Through this venture, Saki also managed to produce a limited, UK exclusive album to all who attended the three shows that she would be opening for the headliner act, NECRONOMIDOL. Saki has also performed in Shanghai.

Featuring a compilation of various tracks, the songs included range from Saki's older music, as well as a few previously unreleased tracks and songs she has sung during her live shows in Japan.

Okay, gotta shut up now, otherwise this review will never begin, and Saki will have left England already by the time this piece gets published. SO, are you ready to sit down and read some more spiel on why I like music, because I am.

It's time to listen to some 2&. Will you become a part of the 2& Family by the end of this post? Let me know~

Thursday, 11 April 2019

A New Era Begins, By Royal Decree! ~Updates From The HouPri Royal Court~

With an all-new generation and a renewed lineup, Houkago Princess step into the on-coming Era with a few announcements. From new members to their latest single release, it's time to update ourselves with the going-ons within the Royal Court.

By Royal decree...~

It has been a long while since I last created a post like this, so here I go, updating y'all on the HouPri front once again, because they're my beloved idol group after all. And boy, there are quite e a few updates I need to share with you! From new YOUTH members to their up-coming single, there's quite a bit to cover, and given how long I've sat on some of this news... well, it kinda stumps me as to why it took me so long to remember that - hey! - sometimes I create update-type posts like this.

Sadly, I happened to remember I used to do this frequently very randomly, just before I was about to sleep. Oops XD

Anyways, I'm back with an update for HouPri, and I'm ready to talk about a few things! Let's get this news covered and update ourselves with news from the Royal Court. Are you ready to see what the Princess have been up to just lately?

Saturday, 30 March 2019

KAYANO - The Graduation Appreciation Post

Today on Match 30th, 2019, KAYANO of LONDON BLUE graduates from the Idol world. Despite only being an idol for a short time, I want to take my time to appreciate KAYANO and her time spent with LONDON BLUE. Despite it being a small tenure of just one year. S, for the idols we adore, let's appreciate them as much as we can before they graduate from our world of idols.

It's time to appreciate KAYANO, my 1-year Idol.

Shall we begin?

It has been a while since I created one of these posts, and because of that it is also a struggle. I do not know what to say, I cannot figure out how to word everything I want to express, and I don't know how to introduce this fandangled post of feels... so, let's start it like this:

Meeting KAYANO is one of my most treasured memories. Even though I have not been her fan for long, I feel blessed that I was able to meet and talk to such a cool, fun idol. I am happy I could see her considerate side and learn about her helpful nature, and I am grateful that, even for a short time, I could witness KAYANO's stage of her life where she acted as an idol.

I love Kominato Kayano as an idol and a performer, and it is no lie when I say that I will miss her so freakin' much now that she is graduating from the world of idols. She was a wonderful idol, and I am happy to know that she cherished her time on stage as a member of LONDON BLUE. In return, I will continue to cherish this beloved memory of her as an idol, and I will look back on my interactions with her fondly. No matter what, KAYANO will continue to stay as an idol in my heart.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

An Alternative to The Conventional Idol: An Introduction to NECRONOMIDOL

Cross-posted with Selective Hearing (once again including a spiffy image gallery, a lot less obnoxious commentary, and fewer videos)

An Introduction To is a series of articles on both Selective Hearing and Okay! Musume Time that aims to introduce readers to various groups and musicians, regardless of their time within the industry. Whether they are indies or major, unknown or even relatively well-known, this series is here to give readers an insight into who is who and what they do.

Today's group is an Alternative to your generic and conventional idol. Say hello to NECRONOMIDOL!

*Please note that I am no expert on NECRONOMIDOL, and do not claim to be. I also want to point out that I may have some facts wrong, though I have done my best to ask other people about various facts regarding the members / group. At the end of the day, this is all for fun and from my own research on various fansites, websites and more. This document will not be perfect, but nothing ever is.

The Origin Story

Though I had been aware of NECRONOMIDOL some time before I eventually became a fan of the group, it was not until early 2018 that I started to take notice of the group. After being tasked to review the album DEATHLESS for JaME UK, I came to appreciate the variety and style of NECRONOMIDOL's music, and eventually found myself booking tickets to see the group for their UK tour in June of that same year. It was a rather risky decision, I suppose, especially as I was so new to the group, but it was a risk I was willing to take. Since then, the rest has been a short piece of history, and I am now somewhat dedicated to the group (as a sideline fan).

Now, shortly after my beginnings as a fan, the group has since changed its lineup after the graduations of Sari and Yotsuyu Hina, and with this change I decided that now would be better than ever to create an introduction post for the group. So, without further ado, let's take a look at NECRONOMIDOL, the wonderful alternative to your everyday idol.

Imagined by Ricky Wilson in early 2014, NECRONOMIDOL was originally advertised as an 'occult and paranormal' themed group in February 2014, and the recruitment process began. Just under a month after advertising for members, Ricky interviewed 30 applicants before finalising the lineup with eight members - Kakizaki Risaki, Henmei Setsuko, Tachibana Ruu, Sari, Kaede, Nagata Kagura, Miyano Aisa, and Maeda Rio - four of whom left the group within two months of the audition process for various reasons. With this, NECRONOMIDOL would officially debut in late June of 2014 with four founding members: Risaki, Setsuko, Ruu and Sari.

With a few lineup changes under their belt, six official singles, four albums (one mini, three full-length) as well as a few collaborations, NECRONOMIDOL have truly evolved in both sound and image. True to their ultra dark idol group inspired by HP Lovecraft and Japanese horror image, NECRONOMIDOL has incorporated various styles into their music from the very beginning, from traditional  folk themes mixed with Black Metal, to Dark Wave and Synthwave music to create a catchy and atmospheric piece. In terms of their visuals, the group began with a traditional Japanese shrine maiden image meets paranormal activity, before delving into the aesthetics of the occult, Japanese and Western horror tropes, as well as the Cthulu Mythos.

Now a five-member unit, NECRONOMIDOL is comprised of members Kakizaki Risaki, Imaizumi Rei, Tsukishiro Himari, Kenbishi Kunogi and Michelle. The group is still self-produced by Manager Ricky - as well as his team members - but despite this, the group has become well-known both in Japan and around the world for their stage performances, otherworldly choreography and concert experience.

Their motto is: 'We are NECRONOMIDOL, and we will choke you to death!'.

And with their fifth year coming up in March 2019, NECRONOMIDOL are currently planning their next moves both with music and tours. Though they already have a set of sponsored lives lined up, as well as plans to tour abroad more - the group has already toured eight countries since their humble beginnings! - the year has only just begun for NECRONOMIDOL, but it promises to be a big one as they head towards their 5th anniversary. But what more can they do when they have already accomplished so much?

That is a bridge we will have to cross once it appears, but for now let's take a look at the members of NECRONOMIDOL and get to know them a little bit. Are you ready to see what this group is all about?

Sunday, 13 January 2019

The Quintet's Revival: NECRONOMIDOL Introduce New Members and Reveal Early 2019 Plans

During the later hours of January 13th, 2019, NECRONOMIDOL returned to its quintet status during their sponsored live show, BEYOND vol. 1, held at Shibuya CYCLONE in Tokyo, Japan. With this show, not only were new members were introduced, but announcements for the first quarter of the year were made, marking a busy but entertaining beginning of the year for Japan's ultra-dark Idol group.

Starting with the first announcement, NECRONOMIDOL finally revealed the identities of the newest members to join the group. After much speculation and anticipation, it was revealed that Kunogi Kenbishi and Michelle had joined NECRONOMIDOL, returning the group to its five member formation.