Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Return of LONDON BLUE - An Interview with LONDON BLUE (Part II)

*The interview was conducted via e-mail on October 24th as a look back at LONDON BLUE's Hyper Japan debut and their thoughts on the event, as well as a look at how their current events are going to celebrate their major debut release. A big thank you to LONDON BLUE and Kiyoshi Hayashi for allowing Selective Hearing to have this opportunity once again.

**Unfortunately, due to RINA's hiatus taking effect during the time this interview was conducted, she could not take part in answering the questions alongside the other members.

This post has been cross-posted from Selective Hearing. Please be sure to check out the official post on the website!

Made up of five members with a passion for the UK in both its sound and fashion sense, LONDON BLUE are a group known for their towel-waving moves and guitar-riff fuelled instrumentals in more than a few of their tracks. Though the group has been around since 2013, LONDON BLUE have only recently begun to make a name for themselves within the idol fandom thanks to their recent major debut with the King Records label, a company that distributes music for the likes of AKB48Uesaka Sumire, TeddyLoid, Ogura Yui and more.

Since the groups major debut on September 5th 2018, LONDON BLUE have been actively performing and promoting their single through in-store events and live performances whilst also taking on outside activities to further promote themselves individually. Unfortunately, member RINA announced her hiatus from the group on October 12th, 2018 in order to focus on her current acting projects. Furthermore, the youngest member RINKA announced her own period of rest on November 7th, 2018 in order to focus on her exam period and other side projects. Due to both RINA and RINKA's respective breaks, LONDON BLUE is now operating as a three-member unit and actively promoting their new single to get their name out there.

Now, just months after their UK debut at Hyper Japan Festival 2018 and a major release, LONDON BLUE return to Selective Hearing for a second round of questions to discuss their major debut single, fashion and their plans for the future as a group. What will we learn about the London-loving group today?

Monday, 26 November 2018

Welcome to London, LONDON BLUE! A HYPER JAPAN Festival 2018 Interview with LONDON BLUE (via Selective Hearing)

*The following Interview took place on July 15th, 2018 at HYPER JAPAN FESTIVAL at the Kensington Olympia in London, England. Four members of LONDON BLUE - KANA, KAYANO, KYOKA and RINKA - were in attendance for their London stage debut. The following write-up of the interview was published on September 4th, 2018, just a day before the groups major debut event with KING RECORDS.

You can find the original write-up on the Selective Hearing website! Thank you for visiting, reading and supporting this blog and any other website I might be affiliated with.

With a cool & cute image, as well as soundtracks inspired by UK Rock, bubblegum pop and R&R, LONDON BLUE is an all-female idol unit inspired by the UK! With five years to their name, as well as their up-coming major debut, the group has seen hardships and highlights since their beginnings in 2013, with the most recent highlight being their major debut with KING RECORDS on September 5th.

Made up of five members - KANA, KAYANO, KYOKA, RINA and RINKA - LONDON BLUE are known for their catchy songs mixed with 'cool and cute' visuals, as well as their entertaining stage presence. With three singles (two indies, one major) and an indies album to their name, there is no denying that LONDON BLUE are a little under the radar, but the group have found mild success in the past with their album track MIDNIGHT LOVER, which reached the #5 spot on the Japan weekly Usen hits back in 2016.

Yet it is this year alone that has been one of LONDON BLUE's busiest. From the recent lineup change that introduced KYOKA, RINA and RINKA, LONDON BLUE also announced that they would make their UK stage debut at HYPER JAPAN in London, finally realising the groups dream of performing in the city that they are named after. With so much going on, from a UK stage debut to a major record deal for their up-coming single, LONDON CALLING, it seems like LONDON BLUE are heading towards a new stage, one that might have seemed impossible to reach five years ago.

But it is the Hyper Stage where LONDON BLUE truly shined this year. With their towels in hand and energy boosted, four of the five members - RINA was absent due to a schedule conflict - took to their first London stage and dazzled the audience. With an updated God Save The Queenopening their act, cute and cool songs at their disposal and an enthusiastic audience, it's no surprise that LONDON BLUE found mild success during their two-day stint at HYPER JAPAN, particularly when it came to their meet and greet.
It was after their first performance and meet & greet on the Saturday that Selective Hearing had the chance to catch up with LONDON BLUE to talk about the groups 5th anniversary, their up-coming single and the plans they had for touring London.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Self-Reflection: Graduating The Hello! Project Fandom

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

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

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

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