Sunday, 29 December 2019

Of Album Releases and Graduations: Houkago Princess to Release 2nd Album as Three Members Descend The Throne!

On December 22nd 2019, Houkago Princess finally revealed the covers for their second studio-album release. Ttitled My Princess II, the album will act as a sequel to the groups first album, My Princess.

Two editions will be available to purchase, both in a Regular Edition form and a Limited edition release. The Limited version will include a DVD that contains the groups three most recent music videos. Both editions will come with 13 tracks from the groups latest releases, as well as three '2020' renditions of their more popular and recognisable songs.

Left: Regular Edition  |  Right: Limited Edition

Taking on the theme of My Princess, My Hero, My Princess II aims to showcase both the cute and strong sides to a Princess. By creating an expression of strength on both covers, whilst still maintaining the individual cuteness of each girl,  My Princess II is the groups representation of a Princess who will face adversity head-on and become her own type of Hero.

The Regular Edition cover features the groups most recent costumes from their single releases for Abrakatabu Luv!, Kaguya ni Negai wo and Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi. The Limited Edition, on the other hand, includes costumes from the groups major debut release Seifuku Cinderella up until Shin Jidai Princess, with the only costume missing being the outfit for Sayonara Duarena.

This will also be the last release for members Yukino Yuria, Yamamoto Natsumi and Takano Hiyori, who will all be graduating from the group at the end of the release events for My Princess II.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Idols Of Advent: The Sparkling Snow's Illumination - SODA's 'ILLUMINATE☆SNOW' (Quick-Spam Review)

Sometimes it is just nice to watch it snow...

Merry Pic-Spam, and a Giffy New Year!

Corny? Yes, but it had to be done, because this is acting as my Christmas Eve / Christmas Day hybrid post, and also 'cause it includes a few gifs and pics in a smaller quantity than usual. Which leads me to my next bit...

This is a Quick-Spam, a brand new kind of post that I may never return to, because I am a one-off kinda gal with these sorts of posts. With that said, the reason for this being a Quick-Spam kind of post is mostly due to the fact that the PV in question - SODA's ILLUMINATE☆SNOW - is very short at only 1 minute and 40 seconds long. And I will be whizzing through this, so please don't expect a hefty post this time around.

My main reason for choosing such a short music video for review (which I never do) is mostly down to time, but also because I found this one pretty endearing. Sure, it doesn't have that much depth in terms of story line or editing, but it has charm. It's an easy video to watch as well, and the song is darned cute. So, yeah... I chose it because it's cute. What more do I need for Christmas Eve / Day? After all, it's a day that is about fun, spending time with others, eating food and spending stupid amounts of money on sometimes pointless presents.

And before I head into this Quick-Spam Review, SODA is a 3-piece Idol unit that was created for the purpose of singing for and promoting AppFreaks' smartphone game, Idol Girls. Each of the girls are voice actors for the game itself, which will explain their high-pitched, chipper tone of voices. Debuting just this year, ILLUMINATESNOW is the groups second single. They are managed by SubZero.

Now it's time to start the review. In order to celebrate Christmas, let's get into the spirit with something cute, fun and... foody! Are you ready to celebrate Christmas the right way this year by eating plenty of delicious food, just like the SODA girls? Or will you spend it watching Idol videos all day long, singing and dancing to the beat...

It's time to dig in and have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Idols Of Advent: A Memory Of One Snowy Night... - 26ji no Masquerade's 'Snow Memory' (PV Review)

Winter is that one time of the year where everyone is expected to be happy. Eating delicious food, listening to and singing along with festive songs and spending time with those you love are a part of the winter appeal, and throughout the world winter and christmas is broadcasted as a fun, festive season that all can enjoy.

But what if the cold nights and gentle snow fall only bring you sorrow? With memories buried deep beneath a blanket of snow, each snowflake that drifts down from the sky pierces your thoughts until all of the memories you had buried away resurface, as fresh as newly fallen snow...

With time constraints galore, work taking over my life and tiredness engulfing me, I was originally going to forfeit writing any additional posts related to winter, snow and Christmas after posting my review of Nan kini!'s Snow Dome. I am just too tired... BUT! But, but but, I really wanted to review this music video in particular , firstly because it has 'Snow' within the title, and secondly because it's one of my favourite song and PV releases from 26ji no Masquerade.

It was with this strong desire that, despite my lack of sleep since 14:00pm yesterday afternoon and having worked all day, I sat myself down and began screen-grabbing and giffing the heck out of this music video, all with the intent of creating a smaller, more compiled pic spam related post.

Well, that never went to plan, because what we have here is another hefty, 83 piece set of images in one bulky ol' post. Condensing? Don't know her. Whittling down my content for efficiency? Who the heck is that? No matter what, I seem to forget all reasoning when it comes to these types of posts, because in my mind the lengthier it is, the better. After all, my pic spams are created for fun, to showcase the visuals of the PV and to create some weird commentary along the way. These posts were never meant to be about efficient reviewing or elegant script - it's all about the pictures, the commentary and the quick end-of-review that I tack onto the end of it all.

So, yes - this is a hefty post once more, though I managed to do everything in record time in regards to gifs and screen captures of the music video in question. Honestly, I just couldn't help myself; Snow Memory is extremely pretty. It is honestly mesmerising to watch, as well as a great track to listen to. And hey, don't let the gorgeous environment and well-edited shots fool you: This is an indies PV, and a mighty fine one that that!

Yet unlike the previous PV I reviewed - Snow Dome by Nan kini! - Snow Memory stands on the opposite end when it comes to what it portrays and the emotion it sets out to deliver. With a melancholy sound and even sadder story line, 26ji no Masquerade create a beautiful piece that depicts the sadness the snow can bring, as well as the bitter memories you had hoped would fade away in the years gone by.

No matter how much time has passed, no matter how much the snow melts away and the seasons change, these memories will stay with you. And even when you try and stop time to ease the memories you locked away, one way or another, the past will always come back to haunt you...

Times change, but even when you grow older you will always remember that Snow Memory you buried all those years ago...

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Idols Of Advent: Under The Snowy Dome - Nan kini's! 'Snow Dome' (PV Review)

... Oh crap, Christmas is four days away. *cue cheesy spiel*

As the night grows dark and the air begins to bite at your cheeks, with cotton gloves clinging to your finger tips, the scent of winter falls upon you. Crisp and fresh, a smile or a grimace might fall upon your lips. Like it or not, with the tell-tale signs of winter comes one thought:

"The holiday season is upon us."

And if you're lucky, this season will come with the magic of snow...

Let's get ready to celebrate~

Nan kini! are new to both this blog and myself, mostly because i discovered this PV last year and only happened to rediscover it in the run towards December, back when I was figuring out what PV's I would be reviewing for this year's set of festive posts. Immediately this one stood out for its name, look and sound, which happens to full under the category of: Very Christmas Idol.

Or something like that. It makes 0 sense, I know, but let's just go with that for now.

Anyway, I fell in love with this music video after watching it, and during my adventures in screen grabbing and gif-ing the heck out of this PV for the fun of this post, I decided to learn about the group in question whilst also checking up on the members themselves to see if my favourite from the video was still in the group. As it so happens, none of the members present within this music video are apart of the group, with all of them having graduated by April of 2019. To further that slight blow, I also came to learn that this video has also been unlisted, something that confused me at first... until I started digging, that is.

Here's a run down of the graduations and events, just to keep everyone up to speed before we delve into this adorable Christmas music video:

Inui Michiko, a second generation member, left in January of this year to pursue academics, whilst the other three - founding members Shiratori Yuuna and Nagisa Hoshino, as well as 2nd generations Chonan Mai - left the group in early May, however the groups activities had been suspended from April 27th, with all of their activities being cancelled up until May 10th this year.

The group has since been restarted with 7 members, and a CD debut is set for January 2020, however the sudden departure of the Nan kini! system that we see in this music video was not a happy one. With issues regarding how the management treated the members being cited as one of the reasons for the members' quick leave of the group, it makes sense why the video in question has been unlisted, especially as management are now 'restarting' Nan kini! as a whole with this new generation and single release. So,if you decide to search for this PV on YouTube, please be aware that you will have a hard time finding it thanks to its 'Unlisted' status.

As luck would have it, however, I had previously saved the link in a draft I keep specifically for Christmas videos, ultimately allowing me access to the video despite it being hidden from general viewing.

With that said, I didn't actually know it was unlisted or even find out about the drama behind the group until I had finished the task of screen grabbing and gif-ing the PV itself. Yet once I found everything out about the groups history and all that had happened, I was of two minds: scrap the review altogether, or go on with it. Given that I am currently writing this, you can see that I chose the latter, and it's mostly because I love the video itself, and I find the song charming in a cute-but-weak type of way.

What can I say, it charmed me.

Anyways, in regards to the song: Snow Dome comes from the groups first album, Boku no mado ni, kimi no kazegafuku, and may have been one of a few PV's from the album, which actually dropped on January 13th this year, and is still available to buy on Amazon Japan, as well as to listen to on Spotify.

Now it's time to watch a cute music video and get ready for the festive season! Snuggle up in your PJ's and get the hot chocolate out, because winter is coming and we need to keep warm!

As the nights get colder and the snow starts falling, you snuggle up all warm and cosy inside your house. And then when you put your favourite Idol winter songs on you can't but think "Ah, the festive season has finally begun...~"