Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Haro!Promageddon: Let The Salt Flow! - Hello! Project Group Member Additions!

*I did not coin the term 'Haro!Promageddon; someone on Twitter did, thank them, they are a genius. I have no clue who created the term, however XD

After the shock announcement that Hello! Project would essentially dissolve Country Girls after the graduation of Tsugunaga Momoko, and that both Yamaki Risa and Ozeki Mai would become part-time members of H!P to focus on school (a decision that wasn't theirs, from what Risa's blog post tells), it was then revealed that the remaining members (bankable loli's) would all be entrusted to other groups, and continue activities within CG during school breaks and holidays.

It was also announced that Hello! Project Kenshuusei Danbara Ruru, Ichioka Reina and Kawamura Ayano would make their debut, too, much to the delight of the fans.

And today, on June 26th 2017, the group placements have been announced! Be prepared, dear readers and fellow Idol lovers, because the salt levels are high, and not just from my on-going saltiness at CG's near-disbandment... ¬.¬

From the video we were given today, all members in question, and the leaders who represent the new units they will be under, met for the first time to see just who would be where. It's a similar scenario that we have seen previously, and it allows us fan to watch how other members react to newbies joining their respective groups. It can be super sweet and heartfelt, and I love seeing just what everyone says and how they greet the new members who will become a part of their legacy.

This time, however, something seemed a bit off. Watching it was definitely heart-pounding, and Twitter set me up for the excitement that would be finding out who goes where. More-so, I was excited to see where the three Kenshuusei would end up, because of them all, they are the girls who are going to finally debut and shine on stage!

With Morito Chisaki, Yamagawa Nanami and Funaki Musubu, however, I was a little more wary. I mean, these girls were already in groups, and have already shown themselves to be really cute, hyperactive young girls who have expressed themselves in a way that is so very Country Girls. It's going to be weird to see them elsewhere, and I admit, even after sitting for so many hours on this information and processing it all, I'm still unsure, at least on two of them.

I'm also still super salty about CG, but, this is how H!P want to go. So! It's time to check out who goes where, and my thoughts on it. Whether you like what I say or not, I really don't give a fig, but it's time to share! Let's talk H!P, and bitch and whine as we please. On we go~

Friday, 16 June 2017

After 4pm, Turn Your Uniform into Gowns, And Become A Princess! Houkago Princess to Recruit New Members!

During a live chat on SHOWROOM this June 15th, it was announced by Team Miracle members (Odagiri Nana, Yamaguchi Miranm Kizuki Saori, Maika and Sekine Sasara) that Houkago Princess will be holding auditions for a new generation! And today, on June 16th, the special audition website for aspiring Idols has opened, so if you would like to transform from a school girl to a Princess, this is your chance to do so!

To head over to the official audition website, CLICK HERE!!!

This will be the first time since 2013 that the group will hold auditions publicly. Though it is simple enough to apply via the groups website, the only other time that Houkago Princess have announced a search for new members, was back when Michishige Saho was the only 6th generation member. Usually, all auditions are done silently within the group, and new members are more often than not found from other units, and such.

This will also be the first time that the auditions will be held on SHOWROOM Live, giving potential new Princesses a chance to gain fans, and win over the hearts of both members and staff in the process.

The audition process itself will run from now until mid-August this year. Applications are open until July 10th, and from July 15th, the first review will go underway. The final part of the audition process, which will include the final review for potential members, will happen in mid-August this year, and then the new members will be chosen,a nd make their debut as Apprentices!

So, for all the young ladies out there who want to become a Princess, here's how you can apply! Let's see what you have to do to finally make your dreams come true~

Thursday, 15 June 2017

[Music Selection] May '17

After writing so many music and video reviews based around ℃-ute, it's time to kick back, and listen to something else! From the month of May, what sort of tracks have I listened to, and what do I hope to tune into for the future of June? It's time to enjoy the music, and celebrate our Idols! Are you ready to hear something refreshing from May 2017?

It's time to listen to what our darling Idols have delivered for us from May '17! As per the typical, all songs listed here were chosen by yours truly! As this is a solo blog project, everything is subjective to my tastes! So, if there there are a few songs missing that you enjoyed, or if there is something here you dislike, please do remember, I either did not like it myself, or never heard it! One person can't listen to everything, sadly! I'd need all the time in the world!

Also, my tastes are 100% my own! I do not, and will not, expect anyone else to enjoy what I like! You have the freedom to enjoy your own music, and if what I like does not fit your style, then so be it! I am simply sharing what I enjoy, so that I can expand musical tastes, and invite you all into this wonderful world of Idols, and all the music that they provide!

Thank you, and now, it's time to sit back, and listen ! Are you ready to press play, and fall into this world of Idols?


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Curse Of A Princess! Houkago Princess Transform Into Swans For 'Sayonara Duarena'!

On July 19th 2017, Houkago Princess will once again transform for their up-coming single release, Syaonara Duarena! This time, fans will enter the world of ballet, and experience the tale of a Princess who is cursed to turn into a swan...

After announcing trhe departures of Horii Nina and Tanaka Asami, as well as Michishige Saho's study break, Universal Music and Houkago Princess staff announced the up-coming release of Sayonara Duarena, which will be their sixth major single release, and 13th overall. This time, the members will transform into Princess Odette, an iconic figure in ballet who is known for being cursed to live as both a human and a swan.

The leading track will tell the story of a girl who is suffering with conflicting feelings, and the use of Duarena in the title, which has been coined to mean 'duality' and 'ballerina', fits the idea of the song perfectly. The members' costumes have also been designed to enhance this idea of duality, whilst also representing the characters of Odette and Odile from the ballet. Staff have claimed that the work of Sayonara Duarena will delicately represent the struggles of finding true love. Maika will lead the track, as the single will come out just after her birthday.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Team ℃-ute, ありがとう。

Today on June 12th at 6pm JST, ℃-ute held their final performance at Saitama Super Arena. There, they performed for three hours and 10 minutes, finally closing the set at 9:10pm, where they took their final bows and waved goodbye to all of their beloved fans. It was a concert filled with happiness, tears and memories of ℃-ute, and it will be something for us to look back upon fondly when we want to remember the perseverance and delight of ℃-ute, and the amazing group that they became at the end of their journey.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Final Appreciation Post - Goodbye, ℃-ute.

Before their Graduation tomorrow on June 12th, 2017, let's leave one last message for ℃-ute in a final Appreciation post. It's time to show them our thanks, and deliver our love in as many words as we can before they leave our world, and stop playing their wonderful music...

After 15 years of hard work and dedication, it is time to say goodbye. It's going to be hard, because for so many years this group has graced us with their music, hard work and dedication to the Idol industry, and have faced so many ups and downs, but no matter what, stayed strong and shown us their positive attitudes and brave faces. No matter what was thrown at them, ℃-ute always stood tall and tried their best to show us just how wonderful they are.

Ever since their career as five began, I followed the group as best I could. In the beginning, they were my #2 group in Hello! Project, just after Morning Musume, and even though I have had my own ups and downs with ℃-ute, they have always found a way to entertain me. From their music to their videos, this group has always delivered something that many fans would deem as 'amazing' or 'beautiful', and for so long, they have captured the hearts of many, keeping a firm fanbase and constantly thanking the fans for their support.

I am so glad that, coming into the realm of Idols, I was able to find such a positive, energetic group filled with so many wonderful members.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Hagiwara Mai - The Graduation Appreciation Post

And so we come to the final solo member Graduation Appreciation Post. It is the last goodbye I can give to this member as she stands, so before she departs, I want to take my time and give my thoughts and feelings on her here. Let's share the good times and the memories, and look back with fondness, just before the memories cloud our eyes and spill down our cheeks...

Hagiwara Mai has never really been my favourite, however, I liked her a little more than other people have in the past. Though she may look a little salty in contrast to the other members, and her vocals ridiculed (at least in the Western fandom), I have liked Mai, on more than one occasion. In the past, I thought she was adorable and sweet. Right now, I think that she is a growing young woman, one who is trying her hardest to show that she isn't the little girl we once knew her has.

She mas matured since the early days of ℃-ute, and though she doesn't always look as womanly or even as charming as the other members, there is something about Mai that is likeable. She has her own brand of loveliness, and regardless of how popular she is (or, not), I think that she brings something to the group, and makes it the ℃-ute that we know and love today!

Without Hagiwara Mai, ℃-ute would not be the fun, diverse group that it is. Much like all the other members, Mai is a wonderful addition, and the other four members would not be complete without her.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Okai Chisato - The Graduation Appreciation Post

The hardest Graduation Appreciation Post to write, is always the one that focuses on a cherished member. This is the final goodbye that I do not want to write, but because the day pf this wonderful groups graduation is upon us, it is finally time to say my departing words. Before the stage light fades and she bows out, let's appreciate our dear Idol to the fullest...

I started crying the moment I placed a picture onto this empty post. No words were written, just an image of Chissa and her energetic expression. Out of all the posts thus far, this one will be the hardest to write, because it goes without saying that, of all the members within ℃-ute, Okai Chisato is my favourite. From the very beginning, she was the one I wanted to follow, and for such a long time, she was the sole member I adored. She made the group shine, in my eyes.

Chissa is my ℃-utie rock, and no matter what ups and downs I have had with Hello! Pro or ℃-ute, she has, and always will be, my favourite member. Nothing can change that, and in my mind, no one will ever replace her. She is one of a kind, and will forever hold a place in my heart as one of my original 'Oshimem's'.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Suzuki Airi - The Graduation Appreciation Post

The Graduation Appreciation Posts continue, and as we approach ever closer to the graduation day, let's sit down and appreciate everything about the Idols we love. Though this beloved Idol will be leaving us for greener pastures soon, let's cherish our final moments with her, and remember the good times. Remember to smile, everyone...

Suzuki Airi is everyone's Idol. She is basically *the* idol of Hello! Project, maybe even the whole Idol world, if you wanted to start a fight. For so long, she has been the apple of our eyes, and has been the darling of Up-Front for as long as I can remember, because Suzuki Airi is absolutely amazing. Nobody can - and nobody should even try to - deny it.

From day one, Suzuki Airi has been an incredible force of nature. Not only is she adorable and beautiful, but she is also incredibly talented, and by far Hello! Project's most seasoned, recognisable member. Of all the groups and members within the umbrella company, Airi is definitely the one that everyone knows, even if they aren't fans of H!P or any groups within it. And, though I have never been a big follower of the popular members (I am an underdog supporter, guys), I 100% understand why Airi is the face of H!P, and why she surpasses everyone else in popularity; because she is talented, and because she is amazing. You really can't say that her popularity is just because Up-Front pushed her a lot.

Airi deserves all the recognition she gets.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Nakajima Saki -The Graduation Appreciation Post

Today we continue the Graduation Appreciation Posts, a post where I sit and write my final goodbyes to the Idol(s) and groups in question. Before they let the curtains fall and give their final bow, let's take a moment to look back, remember the good times, and appreciate all that this Idol has given us...

Nakajima Saki has always been 'cute' to me. She is an adorable girl, someone who doesn't seem to age, and who has a very innocent look about her. But she is also incredible, an amazing dancer who has inspired others and proven that there is more to her than just a baby-faced beauty. Surprisingly, she is also one of the most senior members of Hello! Project, as well as the sub-leader for ℃-ute. I think that, if you were to ever look at Nakky for the first time, you would not think that she was one of H!P's best dancers, or that she was 23 years old. You would probably just think 'wow, she's adorable!'.

And she is, it's one of the reasons I like her, but there is so much more to this girl than meets the eye, and that's another thing I love that about Nakky. She is really not what you would expect, upon first sight.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Yajima Maimi - The Graduation Appreciation Post

Here begins the Graduation Appreciation posts, where I sit and write about the Idol(s) in question graduating. This is one of my final goodbyes, so let's sit down, take a trip down memory lane, and remember the good times this Idol has brought us all...

It is universally known within the world of Idols and Western fans that I, Chiima, am not the biggest fan of Yajima Maimi. Of course, I appreciate what she has given to our world of Idols, music and happiness; I'm not blind, nor am I ignorant, however I will not go out of my way to say that she is my #1 member of the group that will be graduating from our lives soon. It is my attitude towards her (she can't sing, she sounds bad, etc.) that has earned me a few glares, and caused some quarrels. Nevertheless, that was (and to a degree, is) my opinion, and I won't quickly turn around and say she's a fantastic singer, just because she is leaving.

That said, I can't deny that my attitude has changed since the early days. Of course, I still stand by my opinion that Maimi is not a great singer, however, she has grown as one these past few years. Gone are the days she sounds like a bland, nasally Idol. Plus, ever since going to the concert and fan meet in Paris, my opinion of her did heighten, but again, it won't drastically change, either. I'm a stubborn old fool, me.

But, looking back at Maimi and the days where I was an early Idol fan, there are definitely bittersweet memories. Over the course of this past week, through reviews and music, I have come to appreciate Maimi even more than before. I think it's something that happens a lot to me, just before an Idol graduates a group I like(d); I realise just how great the Idol or group was, even if I didn't necessarily like them, and begin to realise just what I have missed out on. In a way, it happened with Maimi, because... Maimi?

Let's just say, I know for sure that, deep down, I will miss her.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

[℃-utie Week] And Then The Disc Stops Spinning... ℃-ute's '℃OMPLETE SINGLE COLLECTION Disc 6' Rare Tracks REVIEW!

*[℃-utie Week] is a small, week-long series dedicated to the group that is ℃-ute, to commemorate one of Hello! Projects longest standing units before the members graduate and disband to find their own paths in life. Here, the aim is to cherish and appreciate the joy that ℃-ute has brought to us fans, all in the form of reviews and appreciation posts! So, to celebrate ℃-ute in all their glory before they go, let's look back at some of their releases, and enjoy all that made us love this wonderful group, and think back to why we became fans in the first place. Before the departure of ℃-ute falls upon us, let's enjoy the little time we have left with them, and fall in love all over again!

The final post for [℃-utie Week]  is here, which means we are even closer to the final performance from our beloved ℃-ute, who will disband and part ways this June 12th. But we still have well over a week to go, so until that time comes, we will continue to cherish and enjoy the music and visions of ℃-ute!

Before they go, let's enjoy the rare gems that have been collected together for our listening pleasure! Are you ready to listen to one more ℃-utie Disc from their very last release?

I could have easily reviewed the groups final single release, however, as I only recently reviewed it for Selective Hearing, I thought that would be cheating a little bit. So, when asking my friend, Angel, what I should do, she suggested that I listen to and review Disc 6 from ℃-ute's ℃OMPLETE SINGLE COLLECTION. So today, this is what I will be reviewing!

Because I actually haven't taken the time to listen to the album yet, this will be my first time experiencing some of the songs on this track list. So, we will be looking at a few releases from the past, and a few from the present, and throughout this post I will see what I enjoy, and what I am not as keen on. But, come on! It's ℃-ute; there is very little they can do to disappoint, at this point.

And as a quick note, on the Western Wota grapevine, I heard that there was some backlash with this release from a few fans. When it was revealed that the group would be releasing three new tracks within the entire collection, many fans voiced their annoyance, because Berryz Kobou only received the one song, Love Together. And, at that, I say hush the fuck up, because Berryz received a music video along with that song, as well as three re-recordings. I think the only re-recording ℃-ute have, is Gamusha LIFE, but that's included in the LP for The Middle Management.

There was a lot that Berryz offered with their release, and likewise, ℃-ute offer something here for the fans. They didn't get an MV, nor did they receive re-recordings of tracks that were special to them in any way. No matter what, we're going to 'lose out', but do stop whining because you feel like your group lost out; they didn't, and neither are the fans of ℃-ute.

And with that little rant over and done with, I think we need to get back on track. So, without further ado, it's time to look at some rare tracks by the one and only ℃-ute, and take a look at their ℃OMPLETE SINGLE COLLECTION!

For the final review in [℃-utie Week], let's sit down and listen to the rarest of tracks, and experience some nostalgia and delight! Put on the headphones, sit back, relax, and let the feelings flow...

Are you ready for the sweet sound of music?

Friday, 2 June 2017

[℃-utie Week] Before They Fizzle Out Like A Static Shock, Let's Live In This Dream and Experience ℃-ute's Singing Some More! 'Mugen Climax / Ai wa Maru de Seidenki / Singing ~Ano Koro no You ni~' Single Review!

*[℃-utie Week] is a small, week-long series dedicated to the group that is ℃-ute, to commemorate one of Hello! Projects longest standing units before the members graduate and disband to find their own paths in life. Here, the aim is to cherish and appreciate the joy that ℃-ute has brought to us fans, all in the form of reviews and appreciation posts! So, to celebrate ℃-ute in all their glory before they go, let's look back at some of their releases, and enjoy all that made us love this wonderful group, and think back to why we became fans in the first place. Before the departure of ℃-ute falls upon us, let's enjoy the little time we have left with them, and fall in love all over again!

We are coming to a close on our Week with ℃-ute, but please, do not fret! We still have one more post after this one, and then a collection of Graduation Appreciation posts to look forward to! It is extremely sad, however, to know that the group and their activities will soon come to a close. Until that day happens, however, let's enjoy the small time we have left with them, and listen to the beautiful music they have released.

It's time to appreciate, and feel thankful. Let's sing together, just like we used to back in the day...

I was originally going to make my penultimate post a PV Review, dedicated to Singing ~Ano Koro no You ni~, however after asking the advice of a friend, she deemed the MV too boring, and thought it best to review the single. After some thought on it, actually, I do think it is better to review the single; it's the perfect combination of ℃-utew's music style, showing off their strengths in maturity, playfulness, and nostalgia. Plus, it's their penultimate release before they disband. How could I pass up reviewing the penultimate single, for the penultimate review?

I've actually wanted to review this single, and all of its music videos, for some time now. Though I have only reviewed Mugen Climax, this was one of few releases from H!P where I felt a strong desire to look at each music video individually, and talk about them. I love them all, find them to be great quality, and damn, they all manage to fit their respective songs beautifully! But, because time is precious, and I have little of it left, I will instead focus on the music, and share with you my thoughts on the penultimate release from ℃-ute before they disband and leave our beloved Idol world.

Though we aren't looking back very far, it will still be a bittersweet tone of nostalgia that we are entering today. Before they leave us as suddenly as a static shock, let's enjoy the beauty of ℃-ute's songs, just like we did in the old days!

Let's experience a dream-like climax in music!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

[℃-utie Week] Turn Life Around and Live Recklessly! 'The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~ / Gamusha LIFE / Tsuga no Kado wo Magare' Single Review!

*[℃-utie Week] is a small, week-long series dedicated to the group that is ℃-ute, to commemorate one of Hello! Projects longest standing units before the members graduate and disband to find their own paths in life. Here, the aim is to cherish and appreciate the joy that ℃-ute has brought to us fans, all in the form of reviews and appreciation posts! So, to celebrate ℃-ute in all their glory before they go, let's look back at some of their releases, and enjoy all that made us love this wonderful group, and think back to why we became fans in the first place. Before the departure of ℃-ute falls upon us, let's enjoy the little time we have left with them, and fall in love all over again!

The celebration that is ℃-utie Week continues, and today in our fifth Review, we look back to 2015, a year of Decade Anniversaries and music! Much like the years prior, ℃-ute continued to show their passion and drive in each new song release they came out with, but this time, they brought out something a little more sentimental to commemorate 10 years together! It's a year fans will remember well, and a music release that many have loved, because it's just so wonderful and addictive!

It's time to turn the next corner, and experience a reckless life through music! Are you ready to get lost in the sound of ℃-ute?

With ℃-ute's 10th Anniversary on the horizon in 2015, the group brought out their celebratory single, and amazed fans all over. It became an instant hit, and is the groups best first day sales release since Tokai no Hitorigurashi. Even now, this is a beloved single to many fans, thanks to its varied track list, and its two stand-out songs, Gamusha LIFE and Tsugi no Kado wo Magare. Heck, even though I wasn't a big fan of the group back in 2015, even I appreciated how great this single was, and two years on, I still think it's amazing. I mean, what isn't there to like? This is one of the groups best releases, if you ask me.

Of course, favouritism doesn't come into play for why this single is on this list for my ℃-utie Week reviews; the release of this single is pivotal to the groups career, marking their 10th anniversary and showcasing just how far they had come as a unit. Originally, I intended on only reviewing the music video for Gamusha LIFE, because again, 10th anniversary, however, after re-watching the music video, I knew I wouldn't be able to gouge a lot from it for a full-on MV review. It's pretty, I enjoy it, but... it's not enough. So, I decided to go for a single review, because why the heck not?

For ℃-ute, this release hit a milestone year in their careers as an Idol group, and delivered to us listeners something amazing. In a diverse, entertaining bundle of songs, the triple A-side that is The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~ / Gamusha LIFE / Tsuga no Kado wo Magare plays up to the strengths of H!P's finest, and further proves to us fans that, no matter how old they become or how long they have been around, they will always put their best foot forward, and show us the power that these five contain.

It's time to turn the next corner and check out the music that gives us LIFE! Are you ready? If yes, then it's time to Tsugi no Kado wo Magare, dear readers...~