Saturday, 3 November 2018

The Princesses Farewell: A Princess From Two Worlds - A Look at Houkago Princesses 'Kaguya ni Negai wo' Music Video (Review)


Despite being but a week month or so old, I feel that it is time to sit down and talk bout Houkago Princess and their music video for Kaguya ni Negai wo, the latest tale from the Idols who transform into storybook royalty at exactly 4pm. I am doing this to both discuss the videos themes and meanings, as well as to gain a better understanding of the video and its story overall.

My original intention was to write up the usual; a pic-spam overview. However, after watching the music video back a few times I feel that there is enough here in terms of visual representation to warrant an actual review. Plus, I really do want to stray from the pic-spam style posts for now and create something with a little more body to it, and a lot more theory. So, after a revelation regarding the video by a friend, a bit of scrutiny and a fair few views, it's time to talk about this PV and what it offers.

And before I get into this I do want to point out that this is not a song review, so there will be little to no focus on the music itself. I also want to point out that I am not a professional in analysing film or video, nor do I claim to be a professional of any form. These are just my thoughts, theories and views on what has been showcased in the video in question, and I am open to further discussion and would love to hear your own ideas and opinions based around Kaguya ni Negai wo, too.

With that said and done, let's talk about visuals and over-analyse this PV.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Self-Reflection: Graduating The Hello! Project Fandom

Goodbye does not have to mean this is the end...



I opened this blog in 2010 as an outlet for a deep-rooted love affair that I had begun with Hello! Project, a love that started in August of 2009. A majority of my posts were dedicated to opinionated reviews of PV's and singles, views on up-coming e-Hello DVD's and more. I named my blog Okay! Musume Time as a homage to the group I adored, whilst the Okay! in the title originally represented a play-on-word of 'Okai' for my then-favourite member, Okai Chisato, and it was here that I became comfortable in my love of Hello! Project, idols and Japanese music.

Eight years on and my love for idols is still strong. I still want to write about them and share everything I can regarding the songs, the groups and the videos I love, but I need to say this now:

Hello! Project is no longer a company that I love and adore. The affection I once held for Hello! Project has well and truly gone, and now that affection I once held will be ingrained in this blog forever by name and past posts only. From here on out I will move forward as both an idol fan and an idol writer.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Personal Thoughts: A Decision For Okay! Musume Time

Back in July this year I posted a quick update on my thoughts regarding the graduation of Okay! Musume Time as a blog and my conflicting feelings towards whether I should continue writing here or not. I said I would give myself until the blog's 8th anniversary to give you an answer. It has been 3 months since then, and I finally have an answer to what I wrote back then.

I will keep Okay! Musume Time going, but my content will lessen from here on out. Thankfully I have posted a little more since I wrote that post initially and after a lot of thought and consideration I qrealised that I couldn't leave Okay! Musume Time just yet. There's too much I want to try and do, plus it is my space. It's a space that only I know completely.

I came to the realisation that I could not close the blog or stop writing on it just yet maybe a month or so ago. It took a while, but I feel confident in my abilities to keep Okay! Musume Time open. Of course some content may now be cross-vers from Selective Hearing (with slight differences, as personal commentary on here won't appear on SH's more subdued posts) however I want to continue to try and create content for Okay! Musume Time as well.

This is a blog that I love and care for deeply, so I'm happy that came to the conclusion I would like to keep it open. I am also exceedingly grateful, thankful and blessed that I have readers like you who offered me words of encouragement and understanding during the time where I thought closing this blog was the only option. I am happy that you are here to help and support me when I need it most, so thank you for everything. I love you all and feel like the luckiest writer in the world. Without you I would be nothing.

Be happy and healthy everyone, and of course take care. You are all so amazing and precious to me, and I wish you so much happiness and luck.

Lots of love,
Chiima~

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Oyasumi Hologram WORLD 27 TOUR - An Alternative Music Journey Through The West and East Side of The US!

November is right around the corner, and for American fans of Japanese music and alternative idols this is the time to travel through the US.

9 dates.
8 venues.
3 cities.
3 leading acts.

Now is the time to act everyone, because Oyasumi Hologram and more are coming to a venue near you. Just make sure you're in the East or the West when the time comes...


With only five days until the event big, the Oyasumi Hologram WORLD 27 Tour will be taking the US by storm in a 9-day tour that sees the dynamic indie rock, alternative idol duo travel across the East and West Coast. With only five days before the tour begins, there's still enough time to grab your tickets and join the girls in their amazing music-driven adventure across the US!

From California to New York City, Oyasumi Hologram's latest US tour promises to be one of the biggest yet for an indies act that hails all the way from Japan. This will also be the duo's first overseas tour.

And they won't be coming alone. Joining them on their tour through America's most popular states is Toriena, a 25 year old chip tune artist from Kyoto, Japan who will join the duo for their WEST COAST lives. If that wasn't enough though, it was also revealed that NECRONOMIDOL, the group born from H.P. Lovecraft and all things dark, will also perform alongside Oyasumi Hologram for the tail-end of their EAST COAST side of the tour.

Cheki and buppan sessions will be included at the end of each show.

The tour runs from November 1st, 2018 until November 11th, 2018 and will see Oyasumi Hologram and their support acts in a variety of venues. Tickets are currently available from a variety of online vendors, so be sure to grab yours soon.

*Please note that November 4th's show is VIP exclusive, and includes a class held by Toriena on how she creates her music, as well as an exclusive acoustic solo act by Oyasumi Hologram. Limited to 30 attendees.

**Headlining acts will be different for some of the tour dates.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Who are You, LONDON BLUE? An Introduction to the Idols Inspired by the UK!

Cross-posted from Selective Hearing (Includes a spiffy photo gallery, a lot less commentary and a lack of two extra video links.)

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. For our first post, let's check out a group inspired by the UK.

Who are you? It's LONDON BLUE!

*(This is the first in a new series for Selective Hearing, but the continuation of what I hope will be a revival for Okay! Musume Time's past Introduction articles).


The Origin Story...

Way back when in 2017, back when I actually blogged, I learned about LONDON BLUE. I don't know how I heard of them or where, but I did, and my interest was piqued. One review of their album, We are LONDON BLUE later, I pretty much forgot about them. Of course I still knew of them, but I didn't follow their releases, themembers or anything else. And then 2018 happened.

Announced as one of the groups that would perform at Hyper Japan Festival 2018, I travelled to London to finally meet the group I had reviewed long ago. There I was able to meet the renewed lineup, watch their live performance and take some cheki's with the four members who had attended the event. It was here that I was able to fully appreciate the group I had almost forgotten, and now I am a changed person.

Now I love LONDON BLUE, and here I am, introducing them to you...


With their humble beginnings starting back in 2013, LONDON BLUE began with this audition notice: “We’re looking for girls who can express the world of “pop&rock”. In September of the same year, LONDON BLUE was formed with its four original members - AKANE, MISAKI, MIDORI and HIKARI - and their sound producer Hidemaro Aoki of Kabuki-Rocks fame, who has since been creating music that incorporates a mixture of genres ranging from UK Rock to Bubblegum Pop and more.

Now with a modest 5 years under their belt, LONDON BLUE proudly claim their love for the UK music and fashion scene in both their sound and style. Yet despite the groups significant lineup change over the past five years, the members still tote a 'cool & cute' style in their music, visuals and fashion choices, all of which they showcase frequently with various lives and release events they perform throughout the year.

From February 2018, LONDON BLUE has seen a significant change not only in its lineup but also its status. With their fifth anniversary the group finally held its first performance in London, England at HYPER JAPAN in July 2018 before returning to Japan to prepare for a September major debut under King Records. Since then members have been busy with performances, radio segments and release events. Furthermore, auditions are underway for new members to join the group.

Now made up of five members - KANA, KAYANO, RINA, KYOKA and RINKA - the towel-waving cool & cute group are doing their best to make themselves known both on and off the stage. With various activities to focus on outside of their performances, these five girls are slowly but surely carving out an image for themselves as idols and talents.

But who are the girls of LONDON BLUE? Let's take a moment to find out.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Three's A Crowned - Houkago Princess Debut A New Generation!

Way back when on October 8th, 2018, Houkago Princess crowned three new princesses who aim to continue the legacy of Idols transforming into Royalty after 4pm. With the graduation of Leader Odagiri Nana, 3rd generation member Yamaguchi Miran and 4th generation member Kizuki Saori, these three girls will take on their seniors' responsibility and create a new type of Houkago Princess.

It is time for the second story to begin...


With Nana, Miran and Saori fully graduated from the group as of October 14th, members Kohinata Nanase (22), Yamamoto Natsumi (20) and Tani Nobara (17) were able to begin their activities within Houkago Princess from October 15th of this year. Though crowned 7 days earlier, the members were preparing for their full stage debut behind the scenes and have finally began their activities with the group who transform from idols into real princesses!

It's a fairy tale come true, especially for former trainee members Nanase and Natsumi, both of whom have been a part of Houkago Princess YOUTH since August 2017 when the little sister unit found itself being refreshed with all new members and candidates for the throne that is Houkago Princesses 'Regular' lineup.

For the youngest member to be crowned - in both her generation and within Houkago Princess - Nobara's own Princess dream came true through a once in a chance audition for the Regular title, no training needed. Though this type of audition has never happened before. Nobara was able to beat multiple candidates and become a part of the group, which typically has YOUTH members train for a year before they can completely debut within the group (even the original lineup of Houkago Princess trained for 9 months or more before they could debut on stage).

Though the site has not updated the members' details yet, it can be assumed that the girls will join the 8th generation alongs Yukino Yuria who debuted with Houkago Princess back in July of this year, alongside the re-promotion of Michishige Saho.

And with that said and done... let's take a look at the new members. Who will become your Princess?

First to Charm: Natchi!

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Road to Normality - Odagiri Nana, Yamaguchi Miran and Kizuki Saori Graduate from Houkago Princess!


After a final One-Man Live on October 8th, 2018 at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo, as well as their final live performance on October 14th at the Odaiba Venus Fort church Plaza, Houkago Princess members Odagiri Nana, Yamaguchi Miran and Kizuki Saori successfully graduated from the group, marking one of the biggest lineup changes in the groups 7 year history.

With their graduation, Houkago Princess will lose its final veteran member Odagiri Nana, a first generation member who has acted as the groups leader since its inception in 2010, when the girls were in their training period before a 2011 debut. The group will also lose the last of the third and fourth generations - Yamaguchi Miran and Kizuki Saori - both of whom joined as trainees in 2012.

All three girls have been prominent members since becoming a part of the regular lineup, with Odagiri acting as a lead vocalist and visual, whilst Yamaguchi and Kizuki acted as lead dancers for almost all of the groups performances.