Monday, 29 February 2016

Boogie Your Way to Love with Today's Diner Special, Country Girls' 'Boogie Woogie Love'! [MV Review]

All thoughts and opinions within this post are completely, totally and 1000% my own, whether you like it or not. I write what I like, and I like what I write. You don't have to like it if you don't wanna, though! Please though, be aware that what is written here is meant for humour and fun, and not to be taken seriously or for you to be offended by. Ta, duck~

Also, everything's subjective. We know this already~

Given that H!P have improved rather impressively in terms of their music video quality, I think it's about high time I take a look at a small piece of their work from one of their youngest - and most promising - units of 2016. Shall we all give them a chance to showcase their moves this evening, and win our hearts?

As I am currently in the process of a Hello! Pro detox of sorts, Country Girls is, so far, the only group within the umbrella company that actually appeals to me. I guess it's because they are actually interesting, their releases are pretty consistent, and each girl brings something to the plate that seems genuine and fun. That, and they're downright innocent and seem to love every single minute of what they do, each and every one of them! It's truly wonderful, and yeah, it gives me high hopes for their future as a group.

Of all H!P groups right now, Country Girls is the one with the most promise, as well as the unit that shines the most. Their appeal is pretty undeniable, if you ask me, hence why I want to review their music videos, as opposed to watching yet never reviewing.

The pull towards them is strong, and yeah, they are currently who I would consider the best H!P has to offer right now, aside from Kobushi, that is, but honestly, I ignore them. The girls in that unit don't really appeal to me in any way shape or form.

So, yeah, we're going to review some Country Girls and see what they have to offer, especially now that they have two new midgets throwing their talent around. So, let's give the 50's another change, and have a little Diner Dance Showdown!

Let's boogie, baby! Yeah~

Sunday, 28 February 2016

A March Revolution Begins! So Let HouPri Steal Your Heart and Candies in 'Junpaku Antoinette'! [MV Review]

All thoughts and opinions that may reside within this blog happen to be mine, ALL MINE!! So yeah, take them as you will~

It's 2am as I write this paragraph, and I am supposed to be doing one of two things; A) a required reading for class tomorrow morning, or B) sleeping so that I am not knackered for said class tomorrow morning. Instead, what am I doing?

I am doing the invisible C) Procrastinating required reading and sleep in order to do a review, because hey, who doesn't love staying awake until God knows when, eh? Let's talk PV's, and procrastinate some more, aye?

*Update; I went to bed. Sleep is my kryptonite.

Okay, so if you know me (and I know you know me), then you may have heard that I am obsessed with HouPri and everything they do. You may have also heard that, with the release of their second major single, Junpaku Antoinette, I have been impatiently awaiting the full mp3's and its accompanying PV in all of its full, watermark-less glory.
 I mean, you can ask why, but y'all know the answer to that already; it's god-damn HouPri, that's why!

-insert random cries of happiness right here-

In all seriousness though, I have been antsy to get my hands on this single and PV. I mean, I've never felt this desperate to see the raw copy of the music video, or to have both mp3's in my hands for the title song and its B-side. I swear, I stayed up one night for a long time trying to find Sakura saku, to no avail of course, and eventually went to bed thinking about what I should do next to try and find it.
 And yeah, I tried itunes and Amazon Japan, but considering I don't own a Japanese credit card, and itunes no longer seems to update with major-debuted HouPri now, I couldn't even buy them online. I was livid.

Luckily, my dear friend Akeda, a wonderful person who also happens to be a HouPri fan, too, sent me the mp3's for both Junpaku Antoinette and its b-side, Sakura saku, after I asked (in complete desperation, with pleases and thank yous and tears to boot) if he could send me them. He did, and now I am in bliss.

... And also, the raw MV was uploaded online recently, too, so now I can review that, too! Really, though, I would have preferred my own copy. I mean... PV's! Practically in my hands! That's what I want!

.... I'm getting hyper and excited, which means I need to shut up and start this review, before I blather on some more and ruin your day. So, without any further babbling, let's get into this post and take a look at the PV I have anticipated since I heard this single was coming out, Junpaku Antoinette.

I wonder what story we will fall into today...?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

[Music Selection] January '16: Music & PV's

'Music Selection' (tentative title) is set to be a monthly series where Angry (of Selective Hearing) and myself deliver unto you all our favourite songs and/or PV's of the month, with some short spiel as to why we enjoyed the song and/or video, as well the reason as to why the Hell it is on our list for the month gone by.

And, whilst this list will generally contain songs released from the month gone by, we may take a little U-turn and choose to look back at an old favourite or three from a different time period, or even a different era, if we dig something up and enjoy it throughout the month.
 Cause that's how we ROLL!

Posts for both parties will be crossed over from here and Selective Hearing, so if you wish to read Angry's own January Selection, please head over to SH (if she has posted, that is~), and read on, little ducklings!

This is a general topic of fun and to be taken lightly. We do not intend to offend with our song choices, nor do we hope to annoy people by not taking interest in any song that may not have featured in this list. We are simply listing what we have enjoyed.

Okay, so, we done? Good, cause I need to get this ball rolling (finally) and begin the actual Selection Process. LET'S GOOOOOOO!

(So this is very very late, given I was supposed to post it way back on Feb 5th, however life called and duties had to be met. Still, I'm gonna do this, cause I can! Let's roll on through!)

Okay, so let's be honest here; January was, for me, a rather 'meh' month when it came to its music and PV's. It was dry. Dull. Bland. Tasteless. Lots of fun adjectives to describe January, because yeah, it was all of the above, and it bored me, save a few beautiful graces that flew down from the Heavens and entertained me. 

Honestly though, my stony soul hurts a little bit when music does not please me, which makes the songs and MV's that I did find enjoyable all the more sweeter and beautiful, if you ask me. 

Anyway, before I get carried away with nonsensical sentences, let's head into my January Music Picks, of which I have no specific order. Enjoy~

Hello? Please Leave A Message at the Beep! - 4TE's 'Leave A Message' Review!

All thoughts and opinions are completely my own to make. If you do not like what is said, you know that you do not have to read. Thank you.

"Leave a message at the tone..."


"Hey guys, I'm just calling to let you know that when you feel the need to take a break from your cute sounding J-pop, why not try something a little more edgy? I feel that it might be well worth your time to tickle your taste buds, and have a go at some 4TE... Just thought I'd let you know."


If you have yet to hear from 4TE, then I do believe it's high time you check them out right now! Based all the way in America, Jenny D, Micchi, Chii and Mei are all passionate about music and Japan, and have collectively come together through the wonder that is the internet to create 4TE, a group who create original Japanese pop content, and not just for fun; this is also a professional endeavour, and you can see that in their music and video production.

I've talked about 4TE previously, back in January 2015 when they debuted with their single MORE / Ippo Zutsu, a cuter, more poppy sound that hooked and awed me, not just in its quality, but also with how fun it was. Needless to say, I am pleased that once again, 4TE reached out to me and asked if I would like to review their latest song release, Leave A Message.

And yes, leave a message, I shall! Let the tone play!


Release Date: January 7th, 2016

Track List:

1. Leave A Message

Monday, 8 February 2016

5th Anniversary Contest: ~Result~

... This is definitely later than it should be...

Hello all, and welcome back to my loverly blog! I hope that your January and beginning of February have thus far been fab and Idol-filled!
 And if they haven't (because certain Graduation Announcements were made, WAAAH!), then hey, let's hope March is a little better, aye? We can all dream, ahaha... waaaah!

ANYWHOO, given that it's been well over a Month since my 5th Anniversary Contest officially ended, I do believe it's high time to formally announce the winner and, basically, to settle your minds on whether or not I forgot about this contest.
 I didn't, seriously. It's just that a lot has been on my mind lately, from anxiety to work, to University and other things. Life is a hectic process, after all!

I also want to clarify that, with this contest and any other I may hold in the near future (I like holding them XD), I do ask for outside help with my judging process. This is to assure that I have more than one opinion on a piece, as well as to choose a suitable winner. Indeed, this is my blog, but asking for other peoples thoughts and views on potential winners helps me to feel a lot more confident in the decision process. It's how I work, and it also results in a fairer judging process.
 My other judges know who they are, so girlies, thank you for looking at what was sent, and for allowing me to make a sound decision! Love you <3

Furthermore, please understand that, whilst I would love to give everyone something for participating, I can't; I am one person who is also a student. A lot of my funds go on rent, food and basic living. So, for this contest, only one Winner has been chosen. I apologise.
 Again though, I hope to hold another contest, so be sure to watch out for that when it eventually happens!

Now... ONTO THE WINNER!!! 8U <3

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Springs Fading Smile: Suzuki Kanon Announces Graduation from Morning Musume '16 and Hello! Project

Okay, so.... that happened o-O
 Please bear with me, I think my 5am brain is still trying to process what the fuck is going on right now.
It's not 6am as I publish this. WOW.

Suzuki Kanon is graduating... Yeah.

Okay, so to clarify (if 'graduation' was not enough to clarify), during these wee hours of the morning (afternoon in Japan, evening of the Americas), it was announced on the official Hello! Project Website that Suzuki Kanon of Morning Musume '15 will be graduating from both the group and Hello! Project come the end of their Spring Tour, in order to work in welfare.

An official translation of the announcement has been posted through the Up-Front Link Facebook page, of which you can find here.
"Thank you for your continued support towards Hello! Project and Morning Musume。'16. Kanon Suzuki, Morning Musume。'16 member, will graduate from Morning Musume。'16 and Hello! Project at the end of Morning Musume。'16 Spring tour. 
Kanon Suzuki entered Morning Musume。 as a member of the 9th generation in 2011 and then performed for more than 5 years. She reported last year “I want to study to have a work related to the welfare”. After a discussion, it came to the conclusion of graduating at the end of the Spring Concert Tour of 2016. 
After her graduation she will follow another road, but I think she can take advantage of those 5 years of activities and experiences and she voluntary leaves with her own cheerfulness character and smile, and we will support her. 
During the remaining time until her graduation, she will try her best more and more as a Morning Musume。’16. Please continue to support Morning Musume。’16 and Kanon Suzuki. 
February 7th 2016UP-FRONT PROMOTIONRepresentative DirectorTakeshi Nishiguchi"
 Zukki's own version has been published through the same link.
"I, Kanon Suzuki, will graduate from Morning Musume。’16 and Hello! Project at the end of the Morning Musume。’16 Spring Tour. 
After I became a member, 5 years have passed, I thought about lots of things since last year about the current version of me and about my future. 
During those 5 years, I have been able to meet many people as Morning Musume。, I had many experiences and I have learned many important things about living.
 I became a member of Morning Musume。 I admired since I was small, and I believe through our activities we made many people smiled with our songs and performances. I do not know how far those feelings reached everyone but I really tried my best at the fullest. 
Since last year I seriously thought about my future, and since I was really small I thought "I want to help people" so from now on, what can I do? Every activities as Morning Musume。was meaningful and fun, and during one of them, the event "SATOYAMA movement", "SATOUMI movement", I have been in contact with people with a beautiful smile and I thought little by little it would be great if I can do the same work. 
There are many forms of "Being helpful to people"... but from now on, I feel strongly that I want to help people in another way, I want to make people smile, I want to make them happy. For this first step, I decided "I want a work related to the welfare" to go towards to my dream. 
For that reason, as a human I have to experience and study various things. 
Not as "Kanon Suzuki from Morning Musume。", but as "Kanon Suzuki", in order to live this life, I have decided to graduate to fulfill my new dream. 
I will continue Morning Musume。 activities to make those activities nourish me, also to cherish the time as Morning Musume。 and to not forget the feeling of gratitude I receive from everyone. 
Thank you for Morning Musume。'16 and for Kanon Suzuki. 
February 7th 2016
Morning Musume。'16
Kanon Suzuki"

... Huh.

Okay, so my immediate reaction to this was a 'what?' kind of attitude. Wide-eyed, pondering and processing it, thinking that it was no surprise and, weirdly, no tears of any sort. Then again, it is past 5am in England right now, and I am tired yet also battling many emotions from a crappy night at work; sadness has little priority here right now.

That said, it's been about a half hour since this news got out, and I'm starting to feel dread. Safe to say, I'm gonna be in tears tomorrow, because now two beloveds of mine are graduating this year, and in the God-damned Spring, no less.

Bye, semi-melted ice heart, it was good to know you beat a few times this year. I'll see you all iced and shiny this coming summer.

Really though, I'm not overly surprised that it's Zukki graduating next. Sad, yes I am, but surprised I am not, unless you count the timing, which yes, that surprises me, because I doubt any of us expected the next graduation from Morning Musume to happen this swiftly.
 Hell, I don't think I've seen an MM Grad this quick since the departure of Gaki months after Ai-butt left, and even then it was a longer period between graduations with those two.

Honestly, it does suck that Zukki's leaving, but I can't really blame her, either. She's 17, for crying out loud, an age where most girls and guys begin to think about potential careers they may want to enter in the future. She's had five years with both Hello! Project and Morning Musume, allowing her a decent amount of time to gain good work ethic as well as wonderful experience in a variety of areas, and she has seen both the good and the bad sides of the Entertainment Industry. Like Riho and her peers before, after and around her, she has experienced a lot in half a decade, and now she's chosen now to be the time she wants to move on. So yeah, I don't blame her; if you ask me, she's making a good decision.
 I won't lie though; I'll miss the crap out of her.

Zukki, sweet girl, was my favourite Morning Musume member, often rivaling for affection with Eripon, and at one point she had been my Top Idol. Since about a year ago things have changed and my love for Hello! Project and Morning Musume has skewed, but I will never forget the love and joy this girl brought me; she still makes me smile now, and I would totally cry if I ever had the chance to shake her hand (no chance of that now, aye?). I adore this girl, and nothing will ever stop me from adoring her, because Zukki will, forever and always, hold a place in my dark, dank heart.
 For me, she is the light of the Idol World, and I will miss her to Heaven and back.

She is a very important Idol to me. Like Gaki and Eripon, Ono Erena and Ayase Miho, she is an Idol I think highly of and adore.

I'm not crying now, but I know I will eventually, because it's freakin' Zukki. She has brought me so much since becoming an Idol fan, and I do know that, come her Graduation Day, I might just be a blubbering wreck, because for a very long time she was #1 in my heart.

I'm numb now, and I feel turmoil. I think the news is finally sinking in properly, and I am grasping what it all truly means. Tomorrow I will feel worse, but I know that Graduations happen, and that they are there for a reason. Zukki needs to move on, and honestly, I do too. I will always love her, but I do accept her departure. It is what I can do as a fan, as well as to continue supporting Morning Musume '16 here on out once she has left us for good.

Zukki is beautiful, and Zukki is strong. She's put up with so much, and now she will take her final path with Morning Musume '16. For five years now, Suzuki Kanon has graced us with her smile, her talent and her beauty, and for the future, she will continue to grace others with all of these things, continuously working in high spirits and a full smile.

But, until that day arrives, let's all simply treasure the time we have with Zukki. Sure, it'll be bittersweet, but at least we have the comfort of knowing that her Graduation won't feel rushed or sudden in any way. For all us Zukki fans, we will at least be able to watch over her for just a little bit longer.

Until next time.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Queens are Born! Houkago Princess Release 'Junpaku Antoinette's' Short MV and Covers!

On February 1st 2016, Houkago Princess released the short Music Video for their second singles title song, Junpaku Antoinette!

And to say that this was a highly anticipated release for the fans of the HouPri Kingdom is certainly an understatement!

A new story is about to begin...

A song that celebrates Odagiri Nana's up-coming 26th Birthday (February 18th, 2016) as well as Japan's White Day (March 14th), Junpaku Antoinette is said to be a song full of beautiful grace and yearning that is pure and enchanting.

Themed around the iconic French Queen, Marie Antoinette, Houkago Princess take their first step into becoming Queens for this beautiful Music Video whilst indulging in the popular confectionery macarons, and singing amidst scattered rose petals.

We also see the return of the story book here, of which was present in Seifuku Cinderella, and are royally transported into a world of beauty and grace that we have yet to see from Houkago Princess, one which I am ready to fall into and indulge in forever more.

I am already in love with this Music video. Honestly, just looking at its preview, I can already see that this is going to be one of the best directed Music Videos from the group since... well, since any of their latest Music Videos, because yeah, HouPri are always improving one way or another, whether its in their choreography, or how their videos look.
 And hey, it seems the terrible lighting situation is gone from Kiete, Shirayukihime, as well as the use of a terrible border... hooray for all!

But really, this is such a pretty Music Video, and the song! It's so sweet and sounds just like a chocolate bar commercial, In some ways, it reminds me of Endless Sky, except it has better vocals and feels that little bit more romanticised. I like that about it, and yeah, hearing this song makes me happy... especially knowing that, dang, Nana sounds really freakin' good! I didn't think that would happen any time soon!
 Also, I am looooving how they went from cute (Seifuku Cinderella) to cool (Kiete, Shirayukihime) to Romantic (Junpaku Antoinette). Their diversity in sound makes me so happy, and their consistency with this Princess / Royal theme makes me even giddier!

By the way, have you guys seen these covers yet? They're so regal and poised!

(Left: Regular Edition  |  Right: Limited DVD)
(Left: Odagiri Nana Solo ver.  |  Right: Miyashita Mayuka Solo ver.)
(Left: Yamaguchi Miran Solo ver.  |  Right: Ayase Miho Solo ver.)
(Left: Kizuki Saori Solo ver.  |  Right: Maika Solo ver.)
(Left: Sirosaki Himari Solo ver.  |  Right: Saho Michishige Solo ver.)

These honestly have to be their best costumes yet, they're so fluffy! I mean, I know they use the same kind of style from their previous two costumes, but I do enjoy seeing what the designers will come up with in the end, and honestly? These happen to by my favourite costumes since the Sailor Moon-esque ones used in Smile x3 ~Egao Zutto Saita mama de~. They are just so gorgeous and fluttery, and they don't look cheap! Score!

Also, I absolutely adore these covers! I felt that the Kiete, Shirayukihime covers seemed a bit doll like and lifeless, but these ones are definitely a step up and feel a lot more real and gentle. Plus, that backdrop! DANG!
 Flowers are becoming a somewhat significant theme in their covers as of late though, huh?

Really though, this PV, the costumes, the song... they make me feel so excited and happy, and I can't wait to see the full version when I can eventually get my hands on it! It's pretty, the video is one of their best, and I think that vocals wise, this is superb for HouPri. They keep stepping up their game, and I am forever left impressed. Seriously, this group... they make me so happy.

On a more somber note, Junpaku Antoinette happens to be the final single for 3rd generation member Ayase Miho, who will be leaving this coming March in order to pursue other things in life outside of the entertainment field. I'm sad, considering she is my Top member of HouPri currently, as well as my favourite Idol from all of 2015, however I know that Graduations happen, and this is meant to be.
 I still love her, and I will miss her, but I know she will have to leave and move on no matter what, and so I will also have to move on, no matter what. I will never forget the happiness she and delight she has brought me.

And rounding that up, the b-side for Junpaku Antoinette was recently revealed to be titled Sakura saku, a song that is about graduation. Sakura Saku will be Houkago Princesses second Graduation themed song after Sotsugyoushiki, released back in 2013. Members have stated that during recordings and performances, they cried many tears through the beauty and sadness of the lyrics.
 And yes, if it's that beautiful, I may cry too... because I will forever know this as Mihotan's final song, her Graduation piece. I pray she gets a solo line in it, at least!

A second story is about to begin, and Houkago Princess want to take you along with them! Will you indulge and fall into this beautiful world of Royalty and enchantment?

Junpaku Antoinette is set to be released on February 17th 2016, and your royal invitation has been delivered! Let's partake in all the sweets and delight HouPri are sure to deliver!

Until next time! Please stay happy, healthy, and always love your Idols!

Much Love,

Junpaku Antoinette / Hokago Princess
Grab your own copy of Junpaku Antoinette (Regular Edition) today, and support HouPri, too! You know you wanna! ;) <3