Be warned, this post could get long! xD And also, prepare for my 2011 Year End recaps!!! This is just my Top 5 (but it gives you a good idea of what my 2011 year end recaps will be about in a way)
Top 5 Singles of 2011
There have been a lot of singles released this year, and whilst I may not have listened to every single that Japan has released, I have listened to a few that tickled my fancy. And with this list, you will be surprised that it isn't all Hello! Project based. (I can hear a few YAYs from somewhere, I swear!) Actually, I'm not surprised with my choices at all, because... well, I'm predictable, and I know what I like. So! Have fun reading my Top 5 Singles of 2011!!!
Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 may not be my favourite group in the entire world, but I will admit that their songs can be damned catchy. I discovered this AKB sub-unit back when they brought out their single Valentine Kiss, and found myself falling in love with Hetappi Winku when it came out. I will admit that this is probably one of my most played songs right now, as I can't get enough of it. The girls' voices are adorable, and I surprisingly don't get annoyed by how squeaky they are at all. The song itself is incredibly catchy and fun to sing along to, if you know the lyrics.
Hetappi Winku has actually become one of my few go-to songs for when I want to listen to something extremely happy and lively. This is just the sort of song that makes you feel really lively and happy the more you listen to it, and for me, it is a song that I will probably never hate.
Sea☆A have become a favourite group for me, thanks to their latest (and second) single, DELI-DELI☆DELICIOUS. Whilst the group is still new and breaking into the Japanese scene, this Singaporean/Malaysian girl-group has already proven how talented they are. Though their first single was cute, it wasn't as fun and up-beat as this one.
DELI-DELI☆DELICIOUS is a favourite song for 2011 for me purely because of the nostalgia it brings me, as well as the cuteness that it has. When you watch and listen to this song, there is a high professional quality from both the video and the vocals. The girls sound amazing in the song, and for an Anime ending (I think it's an ending, correct me if I am wrong please), this is really good. It doesn't sound like an anime song at all - more like a song that is used for a really fun game (like the one the girls are in throughout the video).
This is one of the most memorable songs for me from 2011. It is an amazing single, and if you still haven't checked it out, go and watch this video! It is awesome and amazingly cute. You wouldn't believe that their first PV was so tame.
S/mileage started their year with Short Cut, and I remember that when it came out, I was against the PV, even though I liked the song a little. However, since then Short Cut has actually grown a lot on me. I really adore the song now, and I have found myself listening to this more and more, especially if I want some Sakitty nostalgia. Her ending solo is just so powerful and immense that it is hard not to love.
Whilst the PV isn't the best (let's admit it), the song is just so powerful and beautiful. It's highly energetic, and I can really feel my energy rising when I sing along to it. It's my go-to song for singing as well as for some Sakitty goodness. The song is one of my S/mileage guilty pleasures, and I really adore it. It began my 2011, and it will end my 2011 with the real S/mileage.
C-ute's Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko became one of my favourite singles for 2011 because of the time period that it came out. The video was fully released back in August - actually, it was released a day before something happened in my family which was really sad. This song somewhat helped me to retrieve my happiness throughout that period of time, which is why I adore the song so much. The song is very memorable for me, because it came out at a time where I was more so in misery rather than happiness.
To be honest, I loved the song from the get-go. It's extremely fun and catchy, and whilst some may really dislike the cheap PV setting, I think it's wonderful. It makes me think of how the girls are living dolls, and the bright and fun costumes are absolutely eye-catching and just brighten everything up. I honestly can't help but smile whenever I see this PV. It's amazing in my eyes, and is one of my most memorable songs of 2011.
If I didn't like it so much, I wouldn't have the CD. Enough said.
I had a hard time trying to think of what song would be number one on this list, however, I knew for sure that no matter what, S/mileage's Uchoten LOVE would appear on the list, because I consider it to be one of the best releases for Hello! Project this year. In all honesty, I wasn't sure of what singles would go on this list other than Uchoten LOVE, so I guess it is truly deserving of the number 1 spot here for my top 5 singles of 2011.
S/mileage absolutely blew me away with this single when they released it. I was reminded of one of my first experiences with Jpop, Hinoi Team, when I listened to this song. Both the video and the song are really cool and catchy, and it showed a different, more mature, side to the S/mileage that we know and love. This may have been S/mileage's best song of the year, but I think that it is their best song of all time. It's catchy, cute and fun, and it showcased how great these girls are together.
Sadly, this also happens to be the last single featuring Ogawa Saki, which makes it a little sadder to watch now. However, it is still an awesome single, and deserves my #1 spot here.
Top 5 Hello! Project Idols of 2011
Hello! Project has quite a few Idols which I love, but there are 5 of those who I love and admire the most. I doubt you will be surprised by who I have chosen in this post, as you probably already know who I am biased with from reading this blog. If you don't know, then you may be in for a surprise. So keep on reading to find out who ranks where!!!
Niigaki Risa. I absolutely adore this girl, I have ever since late 2009, but I really started to admire her this year. She is now the leader of both Morning Musume and all of Hello! Project, and is currently the longest serving member of MoMusu. Even though she isn't the most popular member of H!P, she is still one of strongest, and prettiest, singers within her group. I think that this year, she's really shined as both a member and a mentor to the 9th and 10th Generation. She's done a lot, and I hope that in 2012 she can continue to show us how good of a leader she is.
Hagiwara Mai really started to stand out this year. Finally, she has grown into her looks and has become really beautiful. When I watched the BeriKyuu collab MV, she was the girl who stood out the most to me. She seems to have grown up in terms of how she looks, and it's really made me like the girl more.I've found myself liking Mai more and more in C-ute now, and she has become my second favourite member in the group. I just hope that this girl continues to shine like she is doing now, because whatever is making her change is good!
Ogawa Saki is my number 1 S/mileage member, and she always will be. I feel that this year, though she looked tired half the time, she was doing her best. Her vocals were stronger than ever, and she gave all her energy in her performances. Whilst she was not the most popular member in S/mileage, she was the strongest vocally and had the most talent. Saki juggled both her Hello! Project life and Oha! Suta life well before her sudden graduation back in August. I really miss this girl, but in 2011, she really stood out to me.
Okai Chisato is just amazing. She's my C-ute favourite, and I absolutely adore her voice and how gorgeous she is. This girl is a really good performer, and I am really happy that she has raised to popularity this year. She finally got her first photobook as well as a lead in this years singles, and is no longer shoved to the back. I love it that she is being pushed forward so much this year, and that she's finally getting her chance to shine. Chisato really deserves it, because she is an excellent singer. I hope that 2012 is just as good a year as 2011 has been for Chissa <3
Ikuta Erina really came out of her shell after her debut, and has continued to show her character and personality on camera for the wota. I wasn't exactly a fan of Ikuta at first when I watched her audition process, however, I always knew that she had the ass for Morning Musume. She has really grown on me since her debut, and has since become my favourite Morning Musume member, just before Gaki, and probably tied with Iikubo Haruna. This girl is stunning, and she has really proven herself to be a TV personality more than a singer or dancer. In short, I love the girl. She has really captured my heart with her cuteness, and I love how much of a geek she is with Idols, especially Maeda Yuuka.
Top 5 Female/Boy Groups of 2011
This is honestly a tough one to fill, considering I liked quite a few groups this year... However, in the end, I tend to go with who impressed me the most in terms of their presentation, theme or their songs. So, read on to find out which 5 groups impressed me the most this year!!! Mwahahaha~
Whilst I am still a noob with boy groups, I thought that I needed to post at least one group for this category, so I decided to post the group that impressed me the most with their single and overall approach. In the end, I chose Sexy Zone. Despite this being their debut year, the kids really impressed me with how professional and overly polished they looked. The only downer was Marius' pained expressions and looks of utter discomfort. But, despite that, these kids really pulled off the song...
Even if 4/5 of them aren't as sexy as the name claims they are :/
Though I like S/mileage, I have put them pretty low on the list purely because of the amount of change and loss that the group has had this year. Whilst 2011 was their first year as a group, and they were selling pretty damned well, they soon lost the loyalty of their fans when a 2nd generation audition was announced. After that, they gained some sub-members (two of which were former eggs, and two were regular girls) and then lost an original member in the form of the perfect Ogawa Saki. Then the girls released their weakest single to date this year, before announcing their next single, and then revealing another shocked - Maeda Yuuka was graduating. Well, if the 3-day warning that was Sakitty's graduation wasn't enough, then this would add to the blow.
I love S/mileage, but with the amount of changes they have had this year, I don't really rank them that high anymore... But their new song is pretty catchy.
Morning Musume really got their act together this year. With one single that wasn't so great, this group produced some really good material. With 3 singles, plus an album, released this year, the group is trying to step up their game. And with two new generations added, Morning Musume have grown since the loss of a turtle and two pandas. This year, I came to love Morning Musume even more. Maybe that's because I finally experienced the auditions that everyone else knew about except me. I got to experience the utter excitement and anticipation of the auditions, as well as the anger and sadness of finding out that the member I liked hadn't gotten in. During 9th Gen auditions, I was pissed off that Mogi didn't get in - but in the end of it, I just got on with my life and fell for first Zukki, then Ikupon. But I think that 10th Gen is probably the best thing to happen to MoMusu this year. I mean, they were more anticipated than 9th gen, had better auditions than 9th gen, and had more talent than 9th gen. Oh, and there was a graduation this year too, and Lord Gaki finally became the ruler of Morning Musume.
It's been a good year in terms of gaining rather than losing.
Afilia Saga East is a group that I have mentioned so much recently, but that's because I really like them. Not only do they make me question my sexuality, but they also make me love maids even more. I already really liked the idea of cute maid costumes, but now I like the idea even more. What really interests me about this group is their whole concept: Idols who are actually Maids. These girls are awesome performers, and really cute as well, and they make all of their videos charming in their own way. I guess one thing to watch out for, though, is how they can exploit their sexuality through their videos - but then again, they aren't a kid friendly company like Hello! Project.
But if Tsunku decides to do a Maid-inspired video with Gaki-sama, I won't object!!!! (I'm referencing to the fact that Tsunku is in cahoots with Afillia Saga East's manager, so to say)
PASSPO☆ debuted just this year, and they are already gaining a good amount of popularity, thanks to their flight-attendant theme. These girls are extremely talented and really cute, but to be honest, it is their theme which makes me like them. This year, I think that they produced some really good music, and overall they just presented themselves so well. These girlies impressed me in 2011, which is why I made them my Numer 1 group for my Top 5 Groups. These girls are seriously awesome, and I hope that 2012 is just as kind to them as 2011 has been.
Sadly, this year also marks a graduation for these girls as well in the form of the beautiful Sakuma Kaho. ;(
Top 5 Idols of 2011
Not to be confused with my Top 5 Hello! Project Idols of 2011, this is just the Idols that, in general, impressed me the most, whether they are from Hello! Project themselves or not.
I have no idea why, but Sakuma Kaho has become one of the Idols I have really come to adore this year. She charmed me in PASSPO☆'s debut single, but even before that, I was somewhat impressed with her. She was the first PASSPO☆ member that I noticed, so I have come to really idolise her in a way. It makes me sad that my first favourite member of such a cool group will be leaving at the end of the year, but I can't really do anything about it, can I?
If you're surprised, imagine how weirded out I feel right now. I mean, Mayuyu? Really? Well, it seems that I somehow feel really impressed by Watanabe Mayu this year, and I never actually wanted to like her - but for some reason, she has really impressed me with her activities in that sub-group whos' name I forget. And, she's adorable. Her chin just annoys me a little bit. But then again... meh. I find that Mayuyu is really hard to not like, and I actually hope to see more of her in 2012.
... I put an AKB member into my Top 5 Idols list... e.e oh dear lord...
Tekeuchi Akari and Fukumura Mizuki. I don't know why I decided to tie them, but I felt that these two really impressed me this year. With Akari, it was mor eso how quickly she adapted to becoming a member of S/mileage as well as trying to prove herself into becoming a worthy member whilst still trying to be professional about it all. With Fukuhime, I just really like her. She has such a shy and sweet nature, and you can tell that she truly loves Morning Musume. Okay, she needs to break out of her shell a bit and pummel Haruka to the ground, but I really like the girl. And, if you haven't noticed, she's already getting the sexy charm on.
I do not feel ashamed that I said that.
If you didn't know by now, then I had better tell you this: I am biased towards Koharu Kusumi. She is my #1 Idol, but for now, she will be placed at #2 because, whilst I adore her, she did not impress me the most this year in terms of what she did. However, I was very happy to find out that she had become a model as well as continuing her activities in singing, through both Oha Suta and Dream Morning Musume. I am really happy that Koharu is getting to experience so many different things as an Idol, and that she is finding where she is most comfortable. She's truly amazing, in my eyes.
I didn't intend to do a tie for the nu,mber 1 spot 9kinda like number 3), but in the end, I couldn't make up my mind - so here we are! With Iikubo Haruna, I'm impressed and enamoured with her charm and absolute beauty. This may just be my bias with her, but I love how dedicated she is to doing something, and how innocent she is despite being 17 years old. I think that girl is a real winner for the 10th Gen, and she was my favourite auditionee throughout the 10th Gen auditions because of how hard she tried and how genuinely interested in Morning Musume she seemed.
With Ikuta Erina, I just adore her. She was also my #1 Idol for my top 5 Hello! Pro Idols, and she is back again, pretty much. I just find that I really enjoy this girl, from her absolute love of Idols to how much she seems to be improving in both singing and dancing. Okay, her voice is not the best, I will admit, but she has shown great improvement since she debuted, and is continuing to strengthen her voice. I love this girl, and she will continue to be my #1 unless I fall out of dedication, which I really hope I don't.
Top 5 Highlights of 2011
And now it is time for the highlights! It is going to be hard to choose 5, considering there were a lot of good things that happened this year that were the high point of Hello! Project and the rest of the Idol industry. Anyway, time to make my choices and see who/what are in my top 5!!!
9th & 10th Generation are added. This is probably one of the biggest highlights of the year, considering it is 2 generations that have been added. 9th Gen wasn't really surprising, whilst 10th Gen was. With the unexpected announcement that new members would appear before Ai-chan's graduation, a lot of people were anticipating this new era for Morning Musume. I was really excited, and experienced the full anticipation of the auditions. 9th Gen were a great addition to bring youth and numbers back into Morning Musume, whilst 10th Gen brought in both talent as well as youth, maturity and all around great girls.
I love these generations >:o
MoBeKiMaSu was formed. I think that this is a big highlight for 2011, considering the fact that UFA got to work on promotion for this group. It was a great way to get each of the groups known, as well as to get all of these girls individually known. With promotion being on many different TV shows around Japan, the girls were split into different groups and sent around Japan to promote the new single. Even 10th Gen got to have a go at being on TV. So really, this was a great way to promote everyone as well as the single. I really like that this group was made, and the song is pretty darned good, too!
Niigaki Risa became Morning Musume's leader. Enough said.
Morning Musume's latest single didn't suck in terms of PV. It was the best PV they have had in a while, and it really showed the childish side of the group that has been missing since... well, I don't know since when. Both PVs were fun and playful, though a bit on the CG side. I think that both songs were wonderfully executed, and it really made a great graduation single for Takahashi. Why is this not in my top singles? Because it's a highlight and is ranked higher in my mind, so whoot!
Oh, and it also meant that Shige got to linewhore more, rather than camwhore. Yaaay!
Koharu Kusumi became an official model. This made my year, because it was one of my 2011 predictions (I can no longer find the original post on Hello! Online, sadly) and I am happy that it came true. It's been Koharu's dream, so I wanted it to happen. It really made my year when I found out that she had done some modelling for CanCam, and now that she is an official model, I am just deliriously happy.
Top 5 Worst Singles of 2011
Aaaaand what's a Top 5 post without a post about the singles I have hated, or at least really disliked, this past year? Yeah, it wouldn't be a post by me, would it? We need at least a little bit of bitching in there!
So, let's bitch!
Aa, Yo ga Akeru was not a single I liked. I actually did like the past two releases Berryz had, Heroine ni Narou Ka and Ai no Dangan, though the latters PV was absolutely horrible. However, with this release from the more mature group of Hello! Project, I found it bland and tasteless. However, I did like the dresses and the setting for the PV. The song, however - it sucked in my opinion. I don't like Berryz to begin with, but I do listen to the songs I like from them. This is not one of them.
... URGH! I hate this PV, and the song isn't so great either. Tachiaa Girl is the 'debut' of the sub-members, and graduation single for Fuu-chan, who left just 26 days after becoming a part of the S/mileage family. Tthis song was mean to showcase the sub-members in action. Well, it honestly didn't, and the song fell flat. The vocals were meh, the song wasn't as great as any other S.mileage song and it was just overall weak in my opinion. Okay, I like the song more now, but for me, it is the weakest single that this group released this year.
Yes. I even regard Koi ni Booing BUU higher than this piece of...
Flying Get... I seriously didn't understand all the hype for this single. When it came out, I listened, and I preferred the PV over the song. The vocals were sub-par and sounded generic, and I didn't like it as much as Everyday Kachuusha. Now, I might actually get bitched at for ranking this 3rd, but seriously? I have more Hello Project singles that I dislike than AKB ones on here, and considering I don't hate AKB, this isn't out of spite - this is out of pure 'I truly do not like this song'. So, for me, the song was another generic AKB song, and it bored me.
Oh, and I get tired of Maeda Atsuko playing the hero in everything. But I understand that it's cos she's the 'face' of AKB.
Maji Desu Ka Ska!? I loved it in the beginning, and don't get me wrong, I still love it, but this is not the best song that Morning Musume produced this year. Whilst it was energetic and different to what they had been doing since back in 2008-09, this was a fresh start for Morning Musume and their new bundles of joy. It's a catchy song, but in the end of it all, it is the weakest single of 2011. The PV is cheap and tacky, and the song itself isn't as memorable as Kare to Issho ni Omise Ga Shitai or Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun. It may be a cute song, and it was a great start for the 9th Gen, but even I admit that the single isn't as good as other Morning Musume singles.
Amazuppai Haru ni Sakurasaku is probably, in my opinion, the worst single to come from Hello! Project this year. I really did not enjoy this single. The song is meh, and I sometimes like to listen to it, but I think that it isn't really... that great. If you like it, fine, but I don't. Before I started this post, I actually asked my sister what she thought was the worst single from Hello! Project for 2011, and she answered with: "That shit BeriKyuu song... it's really bad and it shouldn't have happened.', and I agreed with her. I don't really care for the song, the PV is atrocious (Mai was the saving grace, as was Airi) and Risako looks uglier than usual in the video. I don't like the song.
I think I've stated enough about my pure dislike for this single. Grrrrrrrrr...
SO! With that I will end my Top 5 of the Year, where I showed you my loves as well as my dislikes that went on. These were all the Top 5 things I either enjoyed this year, or was impressed by.
Do you guys have a Top 5? If you do, will you blog about it and send me a link? I like reading other peoples opinions, Mwaha!
Anyway, I hope you have all had a good 2011 so far, and I hope this post didn't bore you too much!
Have a nice day guys~