Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Coronation of Smiles! Houkago Princess Crown A New Class of Royalty!

On September 22nd, Houkago Princess took to the stage at Zepp Diver City in Tokyo, perform two one-man lives titled ~Twinkle~ (day performance) and ~Miracle~ (evening) respectively. It was during these very performances that Nagasawa Marina, Sekine Sasara and Kojima Mayumi held their coronation ceremony, the final step in crowning them as 'princesses' of the Regular Lineup for Houkago Princess.

Throughout the ~Twinkle~ performance, members wore their seifuku uniform, as well as newly debuted sports costumes, whilst in the evening, the members transformed into their Idol and Princess costumes. It was close to the end of the ~Miracle~ performance that the three former Candidate members were crowned, and fully initiated into the Regular Lineup along with the senior members of Houkago Princess.

It was also during the ~Miracle~ performance that the four members of Houpriyusu, Nagasawa Marina, Sekine Sasara, Kojima Mayumi and Horii Nina held their final performance together, before the three latest members were crowned. It was a heartfelt moment for the three new princesses, who were taking their steps forward whilst leaving Horii Nina behind as the sole member of Houpriyusu.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Thing with Hello! Project... (and my waning interest in the company itself)

Okay, so recently I opened up an Ask.FM account for this blog and myself, so if people wanted to ask me a question, it's there to do so. I haven't done such a thing in a long while, so it would be intriguing to see what people have to say to me... though, it could also open up a can of worms, because whilst I may be charming and all that crap, I also have a few who dislike me heavily for the fact I bash some groups, and say what is on my mind. I don't own a filter, and for many, that is a big issue. So, yeah, this can be a double edged sword, but hey-ho, there we go!

Anyways, in regards to my Ask.FM account, I currently only have one question and answer, which goes as follows:
What do you think it would take to peak your interest in H!P again? Or do you think the thought is futile at this point?
I honestly don't think it's futile, because I'm pretty sure they'll bounce back again and peak my interest. However, as of late, their music (aside from that of CG and ANGERME) is a bit rehashed, and my interest in their sound has waned considerably because of it. I think if they finally changed their sound after so many years of what they've been producing, it'll interest me. That, or a new group that is consistent in producing quality sound like Country Girls, and one that won't become boring and stagnant after their first five releases.
Now, I really want to change this answer, because I've realised quite quickly that, when it comes to H!P and me voicing my dislike for them as well as my waning interest, people immediately think that I hate the music, and that I hate the PV's, which, actually, I do not. If 2016 is indicative of anything, Hello! Project has actually had a fabulous year, and I have liked a good chunk of the music they have put out. Some I don't like, granted, but that comes with anything you get in the music industry - you don't like everything thrown out there, no matter how much you want to. Music is subjective, as are music videos. Your opinions also happen to change over time, so what you might not like now, you could like in a few years.

Like, for example, Dot Bikini is a song I hated way back when, however I quite like it now. Same with Moonlight Night by Morning Musume; I really did not like that song, however now, I find it really great. This is how it goes sometimes, and for me it is no different. It's a 50/50 chance, always.

What I don't like about Hello! Project is the Management. What I don't like is the constant abuse of recycling songs and refusing to change up their leads. What I don't like is how they're slowing down their releases - for ALL groups - or how they only bother with pushing one or two groups and leaving the other so many floundering. The way they make it very clear that one group is getting better PV's than the others is also highly annoying to see, though sometimes their cheap ways are nice to look at, too, because they can get creative... if they want to.

There is also that issue where, as of late, Hello! Project really do not seem to push their members as personalities. This may be more to do with the fact I myself do not keep up with current affairs, or watch variety shows and TV specials, however, I very rarely see many members outside of Iikubo Haruna, Kudo Haruka and Ikuta Erina doing much outside of Hello! Project itself. Reasons why other groups prosper are because the agencies and companies allow their members to flourish on TV, and let them shine elsewhere, away from the stage and PV camera lens.

Even though I hardly watch variety shows, I know this can be an issue for a group when they don't do it, and it really is becoming a big one for H!P. There is only so much that can be done with concert MC's and weekly questionnaires, both of which I hardly look at, but really, that's my issue there.

So, when I say that I dislike Hello! Project, it honestly has nothing to do with the girls or the music they put out, but the management itself. The music and videos are 100% subjective to you, but the management these girls are under is, in my opinion, shocking, and that is what is pulling me away from them altogether. They are doing the bare-minimum, if that, and I honestly ignored it long enough, until finally that piece of string snapped in two, leaving me at this point.

So, to answer that Ask.FM question again; To get me interested in Hello! Project as a collective again, management would need to start caring. They would need to start pushing all their groups, showing off all the girls, and basically start showcasing the many talents that lie within Hello! Project, because Hell, it is there, you just need to look closely and pray they make use of such talent and personality, because when they don't, it's wasted, and when they do, it's highly overused to a point where the girls have just had enough - just look at what happened with Suzuki Kanon and Sayashi Riho.

And no, this does not just go for Hello! Project; all companies and units have their own issues. Heck, if I said CuteBlack - of which holds Houkago Princess - was perfect, I would be lying. It's just that in this time where Idols shine and stand out amid the crowd, everyone but Hello! Project is doing what they can to get their girls noticed, and that's... well, that is pretty devastating, if you ask me.

I want to say I hope that Hello! Project will turn around, that they will push other girls and start giving all groups a fair chance in single and video releases, but right now, I don't think that's ever going to be the case. Sure, they are currently pushing Makino Maria of Morning Musume to being a center, however that's been a clear promotion since Sayashi Riho graduated. So, I don't hold much faith, and for a long time I probably won't, because this is Hello! Project, and I just seem to feel disappointed by them time, and time, again.

If you want to ask me any questions or throw out a general inquiry, feel free to go to my Ask.FM and fire away. It'll be interesting to see what you have on your minds in regards to Idols, Blogging, or general stuff. Until I see you next time, though, take care, and live long and prosper!

Toodle pip~

Friday, 23 September 2016

[Single Selection 2016] Single Recommendations So Far (According to Chiima)

... So, it is September already, and soon it will be October. Already I have failed in what I originally planned to do; create a post called a 'Single Selection', where I had aimed to post my favourite singles from the Half-Year gone by. I wanted to recommend to everyone what I found the most entertaining in terms of single releases from the first 6 months of 2016, however... I didn't. I don't know why. Time was not an issue, so it comes down to the fact I procrastinated. For that, I'm sorry.

However, I am not going to let that stop me from posting these recommendations, even if the post itself is 3 months late. No, instead I will just throw in some singles from the other months that I have enjoyed, because I still want to recommend to you all the single releases I have thoroughly enjoyed, and let you know what I consider the pinnacle of 2016 thus far.

Also, I like lists, and I like explaining why I like things, so I won't let this go to waste! No. Freakin'. WAY! It's too good to let go, y'know!?

So, with this list, I will follow a similar pattern to my Music x PV Selection posts. Here, I will give you the singles I find worth your time, and I will try my darndest to explain just why they are so great. So, for the past 9 months of 2016, what have I been listening to, and which singles listed here will you recognise?

Are you ready to play some music?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

[PV Selection] August 2016

Though August is certainly away from us, and Summer is coming to its end, I still have some music videos to share with you all from the month gone away, from groups we know and love, and a few new faces, too! Will there be a few in here you like or love, and will there be a few you don't enjoy as much?

As per the usual with these types of posts, the videos and music shared in either the [Music Selection] or [PV Selection] are completely subjective to my own tastes, and may not reflect yours. When reading, do not feel offended that I have not included something you yourself personally enjoy, because there is a good chance I either did not like it myself, or did not see it, or that I found it too mainstream / typical / ordinary to include here. I am one person, this is one blog, and I don't always have the same mindset as you guys.

Basically, this is my opinion on my blog, and what I say, goes. If you want me to be a little bit more contained and less subjective, then this isn't the place for you. I ain't no robot, and I ain't no sheep. My mind is my own, and if y'all don't like it, y'all don't have to read it. Kay? KAY!

And with that said and done, this is my August Selection, these are the PV's I have viewed and enjoyed, and if you want to continue with the post, we will do a little less talky, and a little more watchy. Ya ready for the list!?


Let's get this post rollin', shall we?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

[Updates in Life] Birthdays and Froyo and Doughnuts, Oh My!

24 years, and still no Zimmer Frame! Well, the fact I've been on this Earth so long is amazing in itself, and I've still not screwed up my life! Early days, though, early days...

And, because I'm oh-so modest and not that into myself, I thought it'd be nice to (once again) celebrate my bday just a little bit on my blog today because it's just something I like to do, plus it gives me some time to talk about anything big or small that's happening in my life, and to basically keep y'all updated on... well, anything that's happened that I think is nice to let you all know about!

Firstly... let's get that random bday selfie feat. Pikachu pillow and Eeyore plushie out the way, shall we!? I swear, every year, I wanna take a seflie because A) I am shameless, and B) I like to see if I've aged any since the last year, aha! Also, it's just nice to commemorate the day with a picture! Sadly, I don't have an updated image of me or my sister to share with everyone, however, just so ya know;

IT'S MA SISTERS BDAY, TOO! She's 23 (the age I was just yesterday, sniff!) and we have shared our birthdays for 23 years now! I'm not with her right now, as you can guess, what with me being in Uni Land and all, however I know she's having a splendid day today, so I'm happy for her! ^o^ She knows I love her, I know she loves me (I hope...), and I will see her soon-ish, anyways, so we can say Happy Barfday whenever I get back home next, and then ignore each other for the rest of the visit. You know, as siblings do! ;)

And, before I round off the Birthday portion of this post, I've had a pretty nice day thus far! I've not done much, honestly, because being an adult means my friends and even myself have things to do. For me, I've not started work (yet), so I've been free as a bird the past month, however my friends are all busy bees. So, today my time was spent with my wonderful roommate and best friend, Z, and we went for food, did some shopping for the flat we live in (ha!), and then I bought a bunch of notebooks, colourful pens, and a pikachu pillow! Ahhh, presents <3 Happy Birthday to Me... ha!

Z was so lovely and bought me a small teal (MA COLOUR! <3) notebook, nad some Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Om, nom, nom, nom...!!!

Basically, this is what I bought... the cards from family and friends though are my favourite <3 I don't need presents to be happy honestly, just so long as I have people around me, however when buying notebooks for myself, they're handy for things like University and dissertation, you know, the stuff that's important for a student... if you take University and / or college seriously, that is! :p

And, in regards to University...


... Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I'm heading into, because final year = final presentations / dissertations / final projects, and whilst I am certain I will adore my dissertation prep (of which I started in July, so, I'm a bit ahead XD), the rest of the essays I will have in-between that, plus Publication for Creative Writing and more... I can see this being a year of Hell and procrastination. Le, sigh.

Also, to do with Uni Land, but not exactly University... I have secured another job, meaning I will have some form of income this year. This will mostly go towards food / things I don't need / holidays I may want to plan, like... Belgium. And seeing friends in another part of England. And maybe Japan for 2017, and stuff I don't need. You know, the luxuries in life I am trying my best to get whilst I still can, before a job I might not like halts me from doing that too much... all the fun stuff! :D

I have yet to start said job, but I have a shift coming up this month, so yeah... let's get this ball rolling, and have a good 3rd year! Hopefully I won't stress too much, and hopefully I can juggle this blog, Selective Hearing, JaME world and Hashire! Idol Manic as I go! If not... well, I'm kinda screwed, aren't I?

Super Chiima... WHERE ARE YOU!? Come out from hiding, I need you this year, for sure! );

... And until next time, I want to bid you all adieu. It's time to love you and leave you, but now, take care, stay happy and healthy, live life to the fullest, and of course, LOVE YO IDOLS!!! Take care and peace out, guys!

Thank you for reading, always, and thank you for being here! <3

Much Love and Happiness,
Chiima <3

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Gelato is no Secret, but their Royal Identity is! Houkago Princess Reveal their 4th Single Covers!

*This is a quick update. If it feels rushed... yeah, it's kind of cause it is! Whoops!

With their 4th single out on October 12th this year, Houkago Princess have finally revealed the covers for their up-coming release, Himitsu no Tiara to Gelato! The latest single in the groups fun Princess-themed lineup is one that is inspired by a movie, Roman Holiday, released in 1953 and starring Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann, who runs away from the palace for a day to experience the true hustle and bustle of life in Rome, from trying gelato to cutting her hair in a fashionable bob.

With so little time until the release date, will Houkago Princess win over fans of the original film with their homage?

With this new release, Houkago Princess will debut a new generation of members. Nagasawa Marina, the sole 5th generation member, Sekine Sasara and Kojima Mayumi, 7th generation members, will make their first appearance (second, for Marina) as well as their own major debut with Himitsu no Tiara to Gelato. It is also the first single to feature costumes in each girls' member colours since the groups inception.

Though the music video has yet to be released, information regarding the song has said that it tells the story of a painful love within the space of a 24 hour time limit, and that the members of Houkago Princess will bring colour to a black and white world with their 'regular' costumes. In this story, the members undergo a 'reverse transformation', where instead of turning into princesses, they go from royalty to regular girls.

Odagiri Nana and Maika are said to take the lead vocals once again, and though I am unsure about it, it seems that Sekine Sasara will be given sub-vocals, as she has performed as a lead regularly even in Cadet performances. Kizuki Saori will, once again, perform a solo piece with choreography, if what I am reading is correct from the sources I have been looking at. It is also the date of Saori's birthday the single will be released on.

Currently, information regarding the coupling song has yet to be released.

And before I blather on any further, be sure to check out the covers below, and see if you like them or not!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

[Music Selection] August 2016

I went through a complete writing buzz at the beginning of August which, of course, drastically dropped once I came back to Uni Land. I think it's because I had the time to do stuff, and honestly, when I have time... I do nothing. I'm terrible with that. When I don't have time, I'm the most productive person ever, and I get shit done even if I don't have the time to do it. Ah, the joys of being able to work effectively under pressure...

Unless it's for, y'know, an assignment; then I panic, and I panic hard.

That said...

Welcome back to the Music Selection post, where I try and post two articles a month featuring the music tracks and music videos that I have enjoyed from the month gone by! Here I share with you the music I have loved and enjoyed, in the hopes that you will love and enjoy it, too! Of course I am only one person, so I will not have listened to every bit of Japanese music that has come out, so if I have missed out on something you enjoyed greatly, well... that's how it is.

If you have any music that you have enjoyed that is not listed here, though, please feel free to share and let me know about it! Sharing is caring, and the more we share, the more we can let great music be known, and then we can give the groups and singers creating these songs the love and support they deserve!

And with that said and done... shall we listen to some Idol Pop? LET'S GO!!!