Sunday, 11 October 2020

Music Digest: 3rd Quarter


The Autumn and Winter months are on their way and the end of the year is nearing, which means that it is time for the third installment of my Music Digest, otherwise known as the 3rd Quarter. Sure, the sounds of summer may be a faint memory to some, but it's time to reminisce on all that music brought us in the months of July, August and September.

Once again, this quarter of the music digest aims to act as a reflection on the music that I enjoyed these past few months, as well as to introduce everyone to a new singer or group, or maybe give you a reason to catch up on a past Idol you had since abandoned? Whatever it is, I hope that this list ignites your music-loving flame and gives you something different to listen to.

With that said, all indiviual releases listed here are subject to a change in opinion come the end of the year. What I feel now may not be how I feel come December, so whilst I may love it now, I may think differently come my End of Year list. This digest is simply to look back on the music I have enjoyed in the past few months, and to reflect on how it made me feel and why I took to it.

I look forward to bringing you into my world of music once again, and look forward to sharing some new finds with you all. As always, I hope that this quarter's list introduces you to something a little different, or reintroduces you to a lost love within the vast world of Japanese music. Once again, Spotify links are provided at the end of my spiels, and I hope that you all enjoy the music I share with you today.

It's time to invest yourself in music and fill your ears with happiness, and hopefully we can find something to enjoy together. Are you ready to engulf yourself in the warmth of summer's sound before the cold of the Autumn sets in? If yes, then press play and hum a little tune with me~

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Thank You, LONDON BLUE (The Hiatus Appreciation Post)

In which I appreciate LONDON BLUE, a group that has since gone on hiatus from September 27th, 2020...

LONDON BLUE has held a special place in my heart since July of 2018, back when the group - then at five members - made their way to Hyper Japan in London. Though I was aware of their existence at the time, I had kind of lost sight of the group itself due to a lack of interest at the time, but that very interest was reignited when I saw them perform on stage, and I suddenly found myself head over heels for this cute and cool, London themed Japanese Idol group.

My love for them grew even more this year, back when I visited Japan for the first time in late January, where I was able to watchNOA's official stage debut. Sure, my initial aim was to meet my Kamioshi before she could even consider graduating, but I quickly found myself following LONDON BLUE to all of their lives in the two-weeks that I spent in the Holy Land of Idols and crane machines, which ultimately deepened the love I already held for them.

In the blink of an eye, LONDON BLUE became my favourite group, a spot that was originally held by Houkago Princess. It was eye-opening to see how they performed in their own country, and ultimately allowed me to understand just how incredible chika idols can be.

Monday, 27 July 2020

The Rain at the End of the Spring Creates A Brighter Sun in Kimura Yuka's 'rainy' (Mini-Album Review)

*The usual applies: All thoughts and opinions written within this post are my own, unless otherwise stated. Of course, your opinions, thoughts, feelings are all your own, and it is fine to disagree. We are human and do not share the same sentiments in regards to music, but please do respect my opinion and I in turn will respect yours. Thank you for your understanding.

**Of course, I am human and therefore subject to mistakes. This post is most likely riddled with them, so if you notice any, feel free to call me out on them. Thank you once again.

In which Chiima decides to take on the summer heat with a little end of Spring rain...

In her first physical release for the year of 2020, Kimura Yuka brings rainy, a mini-album packed with songs perfect for the end of Spring. From vibrant and energetic tracks to refreshing sounds that will soothe your soul, rainy is the perfect release for those who want something a little more simple in sound, but is still packed full of colour and delight.

Once again I have found someone new to write about on my blog, despite Kimura Yuka having been active as a singer since 2014. So, much like other posts that I have created this year, my review of rainy will serve as an introduction to her music and voice, and my overall thoughts on this mini-album and what it offers me as a listener. Of course, the impending question is - as always - this: is rainy worth the listen, and will it hold up until the end of the year?

Now is the time to talk about rainy and the kind of experience it delivers. Though we are now in the season of Summer, it's nice to think about the rain and look back at the beauty that Spring delivers. So, without further adieu, let's turn back time and return to a cooler time of the year. Oh, and don't forget your umbrella's, dear readers.

Listen with me on Spotify.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

The Mystery of Houkago Princesses 'Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye' and Its Underwhelming Music Video (Pic Spam Review)

*Please note that this music video review is made up of my opinions, and my opinions alone (unless stated otherwise). Feel free to disagree with me, I am open to discussion over this music video and all that it shows, but please respect all thoughts and opinions given. I am not saying I am right, but please do respect that tastes differ, and what I enjoy may be something you dislike, or what I dislike may be what you enjoy. Thank you for your understanding.

In which Chiima laments over Houkago Princess being transported to a computer generated Egypt...

With just a week before the physical release comes out in stores, Houkago Princess saw fit to finally unveil their much-anticipated music video for the first track, Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye, a song with a heated summer dance sound that fans have been enjoying around the world.

But will the music video have the same effect, or will it fall flatter than a drunk tripping up a curb?

This is what we will be finding out today my dear readers, because in a miraculous twist of fate I have manged to pic spam the crap out of this music video just days after its release! This is also my first music video review / pic spam of 2020, as well as one of my first informal reviews in a while, so it's serving as a nice change of pace from everything else I have been doing lately. And hey, what a PV to come back to in regards to pic spams and informal posts, because damn, I couldn't have been formal with Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye even if I tried.

I won't get into the details right now - that's the end of this reviews job, and damn... I kinda went off a bit. You'll see, trust me - but I can't say that I'm mad, because whilst this video is everything that I would have never wanted this MV to be, I have had a lot of fun watching and taking the piss out of it. It's a goldmine of what the heck, and though some may enjoy it, there will definitely be plenty who hate it. Me? Well, I'll leave my thoughts to the end of the post.

So, without further ado, I present my latest PV review, along with a whole lot of nonsense to follow once the pics are over and done with. I hope you all enjoy, and I look forward to the formalities of my single reviews unravel dramatically with, well... this.

Are you ready to travel to Egypt and meet the Queen of the Desert herself, or would you rather fly far, far away from the dusty sand dunes? Let's fine out and read on.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Music Digest: 2nd Quarter 2020

And these are a few of my favourite songs (from the 2nd quarter of the year) ~

With the first half of 2020 complete, it is time to head into the second stage and take a look at the 2nd Quarter edit of my music digest for the year. With a lot of new music to throw myself into, the months of April, May and June have truly been kind when it comes to offering up amazing content, both in the form of digital and physical releases.

Much like the 1st Quarter, the choices made here will not completely reflect how I feel towards these songs come the end of the year. This is simply a list of the songs that I have enjoyed these past few months, but there is always the chance that some of these songs will be forgotten, whilst those that didn't even make the final cut may appear out of nowhere, because I simply enjoyed them later down the line. This is just how I work, but I do think that it is good to reflect on the music I have enjoyed up until now in a list such as this one.

Hopefully with this second quarter, I have introduced a hoard of new groups or singers that you can all enjoy alongside me. Similar to the last post, I have included Spotify links for most of the releases on here, if available at the time of editing. Ultimately I hope that you all enjoy the music that has been included in this list, and of course I pray that you find something new to love and invest your time in.

It's time to read on and sink yourselves into some new music. Maybe you will find something different to listen to, or perhaps a rekindled love of a group you left behind is in the stars? Whatever happens, my only wish is that you come out of this thoroughly entertained, and humming a little tune to yourself.

It's time to press play and throw ourselves into a world filled with music~

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Houkago Princess Reignite The Summer Heat in 'Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye / Zesse Cleopatra' (Single Review)

*As per usual, all thoughts and opinions expressed within this review are mine, and mine alone. Each persons feelings and opinions differ, and I am not different, so please respect my thoughts and feelings that have been written here. I also do not intend to offend, so if you are offended, I do Let's just respect one another's views, and enjoy our Idol music. Thank you.

**To add, I am terrible when it comes to typo's. I also suck at grammar and punctuation, so if there are any mistakes riddled in this review, please call me out on it. Thank you in advance.

In which Chiima battles the heat of the summer with HouPri's latest addition to their song catalogue...

In these trying times of turmoil and uncertainty, Houkago Princess have prepared a brand new song to ignite hope, and bring back your spirit for the summer of 2020. With the strength of Cleopatra embedded in their lyrics, as well as the passion of the members singing these songs, Houkago Princess will bring back the summer heat, and instil hope and liveliness to all who will listen to their music.

Made up of two tracks, the most recent addition to Houkago Princesses discography is also the last for sub-leader Maika, who will be leaving the group after 6 years of activity, and continue to work as a solo artist. With her graduation on the horizon, Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye / Zesse Cleopatra sees Maika and the other members of Houkago Princess transform into the beautiful and strong Cleopatra, the Pharaoh whose legacy is still remembered 3,000 years on.

It's time to tell a story with Houkago Princess once again, but this time we are looking at the history of a desert Queen. Are you ready to step back in time and experience a brilliant summer like no other?

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Fighting Against The Sins of the World Through Music: An Introduction to Satanic Punish (Updated on June 25th, 2020)

As always, I would like to start this post off by saying that this series, An Introduction to, is a passion-driven project in which I research and profile an Idol group that piques my interest. The ultimate goal is to create a semi-detailed piece that helps to introduce the group, its history and its concept to new fans, and to act as a reference for those who want to delve a little deeper into the groups I research. I honestly hope that these kinds of articles can be of some use to other Idol fans, and that they deliver a deeper understanding of a group.

Of course, these types of posts are made just as much for myself as they are for you. The research process, though tiring at times, is an enjoyable and often positive experience for me, and only helps to deepen my connection and interest with a group. The time it takes to finally finish off these kinds of posts is also pretty damn rewarding, and I simply get a thrill out of creating them. Maybe I'm weird, but it's small things like this that really make my time as an Idol fan even better.

With that said, let's take a look at today's group and learn a little more about them! Though information is a little hard to come by (aside from one incident, which was everywhere during research), I am happy to finally introduce my guide to a group that wants to punish the world and its wrongdoings.

Brutal, honest and passionate about music, let's sit down and learn about Satanic Punish!

*Regardless of excessive research and a lot of sifting through Google, there is a high chance that some information may be incorrect, and I am 100% certain that I do not have all necessary information on this group. I am not an expert on Satanic Punish, and still a new fan. At the end of the day, this article was created because I simply enjoy writing and learning about Idols, and sharing this sort of thing with fans. To end this disclaimer, I also acknowledge that there may be grammatical errors and typo's / spelling mistakes here, and some errors regarding group information. Please feel free to call me out on those if you see them. Thank you for your understanding.

The Origin Story

Born from the desire to create music that details the absurdities and inequality of the world, Satanic Punish came to life on June 16th, 2019 with a sound that matched their fighting spirit. With a heavy and powerful melody at the core of their songs, the groups band-sound and use of metal-core, kira-core, Death-core and trance-core has become a key feature of their identity.

With lyrics written by Fudou Gantetsu, Satanic Punish have made it their mission to sing about topics that other idols won't. With a brutal but honest sound, the group and their producer are able to express their frustrations with the world through the power of music, and continue to make use of various genres and topics to get their message across. Because of this, the group has not been held back by any given genre or topic like past groups have, and consider themselves 'genreless' Idols that are bringing something different to the current Idol scene.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

The Night of Resurrection Begins in NECRONOMIDOL's 'TUPILAQ' (Song Review)

*As per usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and all words written within this post are completely subjective. Of course, I will respect your views on the song in question, as long as you respect my views. We are individuals at the end of the day, and our tastes will sometimes clash. My only hope is that we can agree to disagree, and to shape one another's points of view with our opinions, as opposed to trying to force our own feelings down each others throats.

**In addition, I'm human. I make mistakes. So, any typo's or errors that I have left in this post, please feel free to call me out on them. I want to continue improving in any way I can when it comes to fixing my mistakes, so if you see any, again: call me out. There is no shame in wanting to make my blog a tidier, somewhat easier to read place. Thank you, in advance.

Just 10 days shy of a year since their last official music release, NECRONOMIDOL return with TUPILAQ, a song that solidifies the groups resurrection after a turbulent start to the year. With Tsukishiro Himari at the helm, this release brings the dormant group to life, and successfully debuts a shiny new lineup that will either ignite the flames of interest, or quash the remaining fragments of dedication a few fans once held?

As a fan of the group, I am understandably excited for any release they put out, but with the recent changes in the group, there has been a little bit of hesitation from the fans, myself included. Will the sound be consistent with their past releases, and how will the vocals hold up now that some of the core singers are out of the group? Can NECRONOMIDOL withstand such a drastic change, or will their music suffer in the process?

It may be too early to tell right now, but I have a lot of faith in the group and all that they produce. So, with that in mind, it's time to take a look at the latest release from NECRONOMIDOL, and to see if they meet expectation, or fall further from grace.

The time for judgement is now! What will the verdict be...?

Listen with me on Bandcamp.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Fighting For Better Days in 'King for a day' by Merry Bad End (Song Review)

*All thoughts and opinions regarding the song in question are completely my own. Our opinions may / will differ, but ultimately we can not always have the same views on something. So, whether you agree or disagree with me, please respect what is being said here, and I will in turn respect your own views. I love discussing the merits and downsides of a song with others, so if you want a civil dispute, feel free to dispute with me! But, again: don't disrespect my opinion, or feel the need to try and make me think like you. We are individuals, and individuals do not have the same line of thought! Thank you.

**I am but a human, not a robot, therefore I will make mistakes. Any mistakes here, please point them out. I am useless with grammar, and have a tendency to litter my review with typo's. I am thankful for anyone who points them out, and will do my best to fix my mistakes if they are directed to me. Thank you in advance!

In which Chiima checks out Merry Bad End's most recent song release in a quick review...

Resisting the bad end with each passing day, Merry Bad End are back with a new fight song to inspire their fans, one that incites hope and spirit thanks to a powerful instrumental and beautiful vocals!

Acting as the third song release of 2020, King for a day follows a steady pattern of song releases from Merry Bad End, who have now been releasing a new song each month since the end of March this year. With each new track invoking an image of better times, King for a day comes at a perfect time in the year to inspire and uplift its listener, and to deliver a message of hope and resilience for those who need it most.

With its Dystopian sound and beautiful vocals, Merry Bad End are ready to help you resist these hard times, and to pull you forward in a bid to find light during even the darkest of times with their newest fight song. But it's up to you to determine how you feel about it, so here is the question: is it as inspirational as I make it out to be, or will it fall flat and leave you unfulfilled during these times?

It's time to answer that question and give King for a day a listen. Who will be wearing the crown once this is all over...?

Listen with me on Spotify.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

There Is No Violence, Just Cheer in halca's 'Toki Toshite Violence' (Single Review)

*As per, all thoughts and opinions written here are my own. These reviews are subjective, and what I enjoy may not necessarily appeal to you. You do not have to agree with my, nor do you have to like what I like. Let's respect one another's views and interests, and have a jolly ol' time. Thank you.

**I would like to add that, as a human bean and not a robot or AI, I make mistakes. So, if you happen to trip over any mistakes riddled throughout this post, please call me out on it, and I'll clean that mess up. I am fairly sure I have successfully taken care of all the 'hacla's' in here, because halca is clearly a difficult name to spell. Anyway, thank you in advance!

After training for five years to become an anisong singer, halca made her major debut in 2018 with the single Kimi no Tonari, a single that contained the ending theme for the Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii anime. Now in 2020, halca has released her fifth single lead by the song Toki Toshite Violence, an upbeat, pop anime theme tune that currently acts as the opening for the second season of Dropkick on My Devil!.

Much like any artist or idol that has never been posted on this blog before, this single is my introduction to the world of halca's music, and ultimately sets the bar for what I expect from here on out. I've binged this release for a few days already, and after finally getting a good feel of the single, the impending question is this: how much do I enjoy halca's Toki Toshite Violence, and is it worth the listen?

Well, that's up to you to decide, but I will do my best to give you a few reasons for why you should (or shouldn't) listen to it. So, it's time to take a look at halca and her latest release, Toki Toshite Violence. Will it be violently chipper, or will it fall flat and disappoint? Let your judgement be cast and press that play button. It's time to listen to some music~

Listen with me on Spotify or Deezer.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Houkago Princess Transform into Desert Royalty for Maika's Graduation Single

In which 2020 delivers a new single from HouPri, and another Graduation to keep our tears fresh and falling...

Despite the recent pandemic that has the world in a frenzy, Houkago Princess have announced the release of their up-coming single, titled Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye / Zesse Cleopatra, a Double A-side that will focus on the Pharaoh Cleopatra, one of the most well known historical figures in the world.

The single is set for release on July 29th, 2020, and will be available in four editions. It has been described as a summer tune that will bring its listeners energy when they listen to it, and contains the message of remembering the fun you had during the summer in the past, and awaiting that feeling for the up-coming summer.

This will also serve as Maika's last single, as she will be graduating from Houkago Princess once all activities related to the release have ended. She will continue to work as a solo artist under the name Miyashita Maika.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Returning to The Fairies Who Melt Like Ice: Another Introduction to elfloat (Updated On September 3rd, 2020)

'An Introduction to' is my passion-project where I research and compile a profile of a group I am interested in, regardless of their tenure or music style. If I like it, they are probably going to be subject to my research methods at some point or another. Ultimately, my goal here is to create a heavily document post that includes the member profiles, a brief history of the group, and a little bit more if possible.

My reason for publishing these profiles is pretty simple: it gives other fans a window into what a group is about, and is easier for me to find down the line when I either need to look back at something, or for when I'm in need of updating my past research.

I also do this because, believe it or not, I actually find it fun.

With that said, today's group was actually one of the more frustrating that I have tackled, and it's all due to the lack of readily-available information, because all past blogs, old tweets and websites have since been deleted, and not all of it has been archived. Despite all of that, I persisted and did all I could, even if I feel that what I have done is not enough.

Internal frustrations aired, let's get into today's Idol Introducion. Returning to the land of the fairies who melt like ice, let's take an updated look at elfloat and see what they're up to, today.

*Despite excessive research, this post and its contents may be incomplete / incorrect, so I apologise in advance. I am in no way an expert on elfloat or idols in general, and I will never claim to be (unless it's for Houkago Princess). This article was simply made out of my passion and love for research and idols, and is my way of sharing something I enjoy with other fans. I did all I could in this post, and hope that you find it useful in the future. Finally, if any mistakes are found, please let me know. I am still improving with my editing, and appreciate your help. Thank you in advance.

The Origin Story

Prior to the groups inception, the company blue clover Co., Ltd began in 2012 as a music video production company that created high quality content at a low cost. Based in Shibuya and headed by CEO Nishiyama Yūsaku, the company gained a good reputation for its services, and would eventually branch into other forms of video production, such as live and CM works, and even live house management down the line. Most importantly, however, the company would go on to create its own sub-branch that focused on idol production.

It was in n May of 2014 that elfloat (エルフロート) became the first group to debut under the blue forest label. With an initial focus on costumes, lyrics that expressed a different world and a diverse range of music, elfloat were quick to gain success after their live debut, and down the line would be noted for their energetic and intense dance style that takes over the stage. Unsurprisingly, elfloat were considered to be the Ace unit of blue forest, and were the longest running group to come out of the company.

Since their first performance, elfloat has gained and held the status of being a Super Live Idol group, and will perform over 300 lives a year. Including solo and one man shows, the group continues to make a name for themselves, continually proving to be a successful, recognisable group regardless of their indies status. Of their live success, elfloat were able to attract 1,200 attendees to their Zepp Tokyo live in May of 2017, and have also held one-man lives at places such as Akasaka BLITZ and Shibuya O-EAST.

And despite their cute appearance and graceful demeanour, elfloat's music style is extremely diverse when it comes to its genres, and include styles such as pop, new wave, heavy metal, visual and club music. Not including two of the groups songs, former producer Nishiyama has acted as the mastermind behind all of the groups songs in terms of composing and producing their material, and has also written the lyrics for about 90% of their works.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Sounds Of Spring Comes Together in tiny little charm's '2◯2◯4' (Album Review)

*As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed her are my own, and will not necessarily reflect yours. You are not obligated to agree with me based on the fact that we have our own tastes and preferences. All I ask is that you respect what is written here, and I will in turn respect your words. Thank you.

**I am subject to mistakes and therefore subject to being corrected, so if you see any typo's or errors in my posts, please do not fret and simply call me out on it. I want to improve as much as I can to become a better editor here, but I acknowledge that I need the help of others in order to become better at what I do. Thank you in advance.
A review in which Chiima (not so) shockingly enjoys another Spring release...

Made up of former POLU members and vocalist natsune, tiny little charm began its journey in late 2019 with a mission to 'offer a little bit of healing in your everyday life, with the hope that this song becomes your charm'. Despite being in the early stages of their career however, the group has already compiled together 8 songs and released their first album, 2◯2◯4.

Packed with various aspects of Spring - ranging from a romantic spring, to a spring that you experience after a difficult period in your life - 2◯2◯4 acts as a great introduction to the world of tiny little charm and the music that they offer, and includes five of their previously released tracks, a self-cover of a POLU song, and two new tracks that fit the beauty and loneliness that the Spring season can offer.

With songs that paint a canvas of vibrant worlds and others that create feelings of loneliness, 2◯2◯4 has been an album I have yearned to review upon hearing it, both for the love of reviewing the music I enjoy, and to also share this amazing new group with everyone on here. Luckily my desire to write this piece was raring to go, and I managed to finish it in two days; a quick turnaround for me at this point in my life, admittedly. So, I'm happy to finally share my thoughts with you all, and hope that you join me on this venture into the (not so) unknown world of tiny little charm. Of course, links to some streaming services will be included, so listen along with me for the duration of this review.

It's time to find out why this group has intrigued me so, and to get stuck into 2◯2◯4. Are you ready to plug in your ear/headphones and fall into another world, or will you be hard to convert? It's time to be healed as we get stuck into this release. Let's go~

Listen with me on Spotify or deezer.

Friday, 1 May 2020

When A Bad End Evolves Into A New Beginning: An Introduction to Merry Bad End (Updated on June 4th, 2020)

'An Introduction to' is a passion-fueled project of posts in which I assemble together an article of information on a specific idol group that piques my intrigue, with the ultimate goal being that I introduce the history, concept and members of any given group, and more if possible.

Regardless of a groups tenure or status within the industry, my aim is to create a guide for idol fans, as well as myself. If a group piques my interest, then I will feel a desire to research them, and what better way to fuel my research than to write about the group that I have recently discovered, and potentially fallen in love with?

With that said, today's group is one that I struggled to research, simply because they share a name with a former Visual Kei band (Dec. 2015 - Aug 2018) and a Vocaloid song. But with these hurdles I faced myself and hours of dedicated research, I finally managed to compile enough sources and the necessary information to complete this guide, which ultimately gave me a sense of fulfillment and happiness, because idols and research are my passion!

And now, without further ado, it is time to introduce today's group. Resisting the bad end together with their fans, let's take a look at Merry Bad End!

*Despite my research, I am in no way an expert on Merry Bad End, nor do I claim to be one. This article was made out of my love of idols and research, and to share with other fans who may have an interest in the group. I did all I could to include as much research as possible, and tried my best to include accurate dates and details. Of course, mistakes will be made, so please let me know of any that are undoubtedly sprinkled throughout this post. Thank you in advance.

The Origin Story

The evolution of Merry Bad End (メリーバッドエンド ) is an interesting one, because whilst their story has a defined starting point to their career as a group, it isn't the first of their beginnings. If anything, the group that we have come to know as Merry Bad End have had multiple start points in their short history, and it wouldn't be until May of 2018 where the group would finally get the chance to move forward and make a name for themselves.

But in order to understand why Merry Bad End are the group that they are now, we need to rewind a little bit. So, heading back to 2017, let's actually get into their story and learn a bit of Idol History. Are you ready?

Thursday, 30 April 2020

A Moment To Look At The Blue Sky with Gunjou no Sekai's 'Aozora Moment' (Single Review)

*All thoughts and opinions are my own, and you are in no way obligated to agree with me. I have my preferences, you have yours, but the common ground we have is our love of idols and music. Please respect what it is said, and I will in turn respect your thoughts and opinions. Thank you.

**As a human and not a robot, I am subject to mistakes. Typo's, misspellings and the like are more often than not littered here, so if you find any of them, please let me know and I will do my best to quickly edit it! I try to improve each day with catching out my spelling errors, however I have blunders and do not expect any post I publish to be perfect. I also suck at grammar, so there is that. Punctuation placement is also not my strong-suit. In advance, I thank you for pointing out my errors.

In which Chiima finally reviews her favourite single of 2020, thus far...

Marking the second release for the group - and the first single to be distributed nationally - four member idol group Gunjou no Sekai are ready to paint a picture of the blue sky in Aozora Moment, an upbeat and somewhat orthodox idol release. With seven tracks in total, (five of which are variants of the title song) this release will please those who enjoy the simpler songs in life, and enjoy a little sweetness from their J-pop.

Sophisticated and stylish in all they do, Gunjou no Sekai debuted in December of 2018 and have since released 2 physical singles, as well as 10 digital songs, all of which encompass a variety of sounds. From fresh and pretty to cool and refined, there is something to enjoy from the group that look up at the sky.

Their catchphrase is "Looking up, there is still something missing in the endless blue sky".

I have wanted to review this single since hearing it in full, and whilst I took my sweet time doing it - about 4 days, because this is me we're talking about - I'm glad that I was able to finish it juuuuust before April could end. With it being the release month of the single itself, and with my ability to listen to it in full thanks to it being on Spotify, I'm happy that I could actually achieve this goal, and deliver a review to everyone from a group that I know so little about, and for a single that I am absolutely crazy about right now.

I adore it, and Aozora Moment is currently my favourite single of 2020 thus far. But why is it my favourite, and what is it about the release that makes me enjoy it so much? Well, dear readers, let's log in to our Spotify accounts and give this single a listen, and maybe - juuuust maybe - I will convert you to the world of Gunjou no Sekai's Aozora Moment...

Are you ready? It's time to press play and give this single a whirl. Let's go~

Link: Spotify

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Music Digest: 1st Quarter 2020

In which Chiima creates another list-based series where she displays the music she enjoys from the year that is, and shares some thoughts with everyone about the releases...

Around the middle of April an idea sparked in my mind regarding a new form of favoured music updates for the months gone by, one that would essentially allow me the time to compile it without having to dedicate myself every other week, or even within a months period. And because I liked this idea so much, I decided to implement it into my regime for 2020.

Pretty much the love-child of my Music Selection series from 2017, Digest Quarterly was born from the desire to keep myself updated with my favourite releases of the year, whilst also pandering to my laziness in updating this blog. It's a win-win situation here, because I can now keep a log of my favourites from the months gone by, yet still not have to dedicate myself to it every single month. Instead, I will update it every three months, because supreme laziness!

I will have to note that, despite listing my favourite songs here on a quarterly basis, does not mean that they will allbe present in the Year End overview of my favourite songs from 2020. This is because, more often than not, I will fall in love with a single or album well after its release date, or I will fall out of love with something as time goes by. It is just the way it is.

Anyways, the ultimate aim of this list is to:
  1. Log my favourite songs for the impending Favourites of 2020 list.
  2. Share my music favourites with everyone! Because sharing is caring, y'all~
  3. Write my quick thoughts on the release, and why I think it's good (without having to write a full-on review).
  4. Because I wanted to fill a void, one that is ultimately there because I miss my Music Selections.
  5. Mambo #5.
  6. It's also a fun way for me to recommend music to people, and a reason to make lists. Because lists are good.
... And that's it. Those are the reasons why I wanted to create this, though I never needed to explain it. I just wanted to, because words and writing and all that rambling fun.

The ultimate goal of this Quarterly Music Digest is to simply share my favourite music finds with everyone, as well as to keep a log and recommend music that I think people will like. At the end of the day, I think that sharing what we enjoy in J-Pop, K-Pop an any damn bop is a good thing, and will further our music interests along the way. It's also a great way to discover new musicians, idols and artists to follow, or perhaps help you to rekindle a long lost interest in a group you abandoned way back when, for one reason or another. Either way, this Music Digest is here for both myself and my readers as a means to keep ourselves occupied with music, and to find new groups and singers to invest our time (and maybe even money) in.

So please read on, and enjoy! Hopefully you find some new groups and music to lose yourself in, or perhaps rekindle your love with an old favourite. Heck, you might just return to the same old groups, idols and artists you have been following for the last half decade. Whatever it is you happen to enjoy, we won't judge you...

Let's listen to some music~

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Updates in Blogging (19.04.2020)

*This post was created because I personally felt the need to update you all on some things. Though I feel it's not that necessary a post, I needed an outlet for my thoughts on this blog, its updates and a little more. It's a whole-ass word dump if anything, but it's needed. I apologise for the useless drivel that will ensue, haha.

My last Updates in Blogging was in August 2017.

Sounds about right...

It has been almost three years since I posted one of these, and whilst I'm aware that I have not needed to update you all - because I've kind of neglected this blog, oof - I do think that now is better a time than any to at least give you some small updates, let you know what's going on... etc, etc.

So, let's talk about random things and update you all on what is happening. On the internet and real life, let's talk about a few of the things that have brought me to this point.

All The Way Way in LOVE, Mind & Body - KOKORO&KARADA / LOVEpedia / Ningen Kankei No way way (Single Review)

*This is a completely subjective post in which I state my thoughts and opinions on Morning Musume's most recent single. Please do not take what I say as fact, and do not get personally offended by whatever is said just because it does not fit within your own opinions or feelings. I do this for fun, to share my love of J-pop and Idols with others, and to pass the time. It's a hobby, that's all. I don't do this for anything but my own pleasure. At the end of the day your opinions are just as valid as mine, but we are not all made to think the same way, and we should all respect that. Thank you.

**I also make mistakes like any human, so if you see any littered within the post, don't feel shy about calling me out. We all have room to improve, myself included. Thanks for your help and understanding, my loves.

A post in which Chiima finally writes that one review she started in February, but was too lazy to finish until a month into her countries lock down.

With new members to introduce and a new year to tackle, Morning Musume 20's latest single proves to be a refreshing change of pace for the group. With a catchy trio of songs to listen to, the groups 68th single certainly delivers more than we may have bargained for.

But is it really as great as some make it out to be, and is it really worth the repeat listens that some fans put it through? That's up for you to decide, though I'm certainly going to give the single a test-run (or 50) to find out myself.

Though it has been a few months since the singles official release, I'm finally finishing this review in the last quarter of April, because I never got around to writing up this review around the time I initially planned to post it. It's a bad habit of mine to leave review drafts in a pit of uncertainty, but with how the current situation of the world is right now, I decided that now was a better time than never to talk about this single.

It's been present since the start of the year, a frequent visitor on many playlists, I'm sure, and it's a single that I know a fair few people love. Finally, I will tackle the triple A-side that is KOKORO & KARADA / LOVEpedia / Ningen Kankei No way way, and dole out my unwanted thoughts on the release. It's time to plug in the headphones, take in the music and type out the words. Are you ready to forget the world exists and enter a place filled with colour, music and fun?

Let's go~

Saturday, 18 April 2020

An Introduction to MeniPara: The Group That Will Shift the Paradigms of Their Dreams and Possibilities (Updated on August 31st, 2020)

'An Introduction to' is my random, passion-project fueled series here on Okay! Musume Time, - and sometimes Selective Hearing - where I bring together my love of idols and research in order to create a document filled with information and idol goodness.

My aim here is to introduce a variety of groups to my readers, as well as to document and give insight to who they are, what they do and more. It doesn't matter what their tenure within the entertainment world is, nor does it bother me how well-known or unknown they might be; if they pique my interest, I'm probably going to write about them at some point, and what better way to write about them than an introduction post to share with everyone here?

And with that, let's introduce today's group. Shifting the paradigms of their dreams and possibilities to become a group with no boundaries, today's group introduction is MeniPara!

*In no way am I an expert on MeniPara, nor do I claim to be one. I am simply a fan of the group and did all I could in terms of research to get as much as information as possible, though there may be some mistakes. This post was simply made for fun and out of my love for both idols and research, as well as to create awareness for this amazing group. Please be aware that this document is not perfect, but simply a passion project from an over-eager fan.

The Origin Story

Though they would not debut until September of 2019, MeniPara's journey officially began in June of 2019, when general manager Natsuno Kanami made the announcement that she would be returning to her roots as an idol with a new group that would be completely self-produced. In order to find new members for the group, Kanami held 'secret auditions' on her official YouTube channel, where she would invite various guests with different entertainment backgrounds for interviews, only to reveal her intentions at the end of the interview. She would then ask the interviewee if they would join her idol group. Among the interviewees, a former idol, gravure model and voice actress were included.

Kanami revealed the winners of the audition on July 8th 2019, and introduced members Aisawa Rinna, Minami Yuri, Maako Miwa and Ogusu Rienna as the final formation for her up-coming group. On July 10th, Kanami uploaded a video where the members decided on the groups name together, where they revealed that they would be called MeniPara - many many paradigm -. The group is generally known as 'MeniPara'.

After announcing their formation, MeniPara began working on creating the lyrics and choreography for their original songs, all prior to their live debut. The process of the groups up-coming September debut, including costume creation, song recordings, dance rehearsals and MV shootings, were uploaded to the groups official YouTube channel. As a part of their image, the group aims to document as much of their journey as possible, as well as deliver fun content that shows off their bond and individual personalities.

On August 15th, 2019, MeniPara uploaded their first official music video for their song Taiyoukei Cinderella, which has been coined as an orthodox idol song. A month later, the group made their official live debut at Shibuya Star Lounge on September 8th, 2019 with five original songs.

During the New Year of 2020, the characters in MeniPara's name changed from メニぱら to めにぱら. The official reading of the name is めにぱら - many many paradigm -

Completely self-produced, MeniPara's aim is to become a group where each member can realise what they want by working without restriction, and to throw away the stereotypes that are connected to the word 'idol'. As each member has a different age, background, experiences and preferences, the ultimate aim of the group is for MeniPara to become a place in which each member can share their own thoughts and perspectives, whilst also realising what they want to do as individuals. For this reason, MeniPara is a group that has no theme or stereotype attached to it in regards to their image, music genres, etc.

On August 1st, 2020, MeniPara released their first digital mini-album, titled First Paradigm Shift.

As the group is completely self-produced, all funding, event bookings, promotions and music production, etc, is sourced by the members themselves.

MeniPara's official slogan is: 'A paradigm shift of dreams and possibilities'

Monday, 6 April 2020

A Ritual Of Nightmares Continues in Dreamcatcher's 1st Album 'Dystopia: The Tree of Language' (Album Review)

*Where there is room to make mistakes, there is also room to improve. If you see any mistakes riddled throughout this post, please be sure to call me out on them. I am human, therefore imperfect, however I am always wanting to improve my spelling and more. Thank you for your help and understanding.

In which Chiima finally finishes her review about Dreamcatcher's Dystopian album, whilst also experiencing the odd changes within her own world thanks to a certain pandemic...

With an abundance of new songs to experience, Dreamcatcher's latest album Dystopia: The Tree of Language explores the depths of their nightmares with a variety of sounds, dystopian themes and epic vocals.

And yes, it's as incredible as it sounds. Or maybe I'm just biased. Who knows?

Acting as the first release of 2020 for the group, this is the groups long-awaited first feature-length album filled with new tracks, as well as a handful of previous releases. Impressive in its sound and srtyle, atmospheric and appropriately eerie when it needs to be, Dystopia: The Tree of Language is a great addition to Dreamcatcher's discography, and a must-hear for anyone who cares to give it a try.

And before I give any more away, I am finally going to sit my butt down and write out this review, which has been collecting dust since February. With no excuses left to give - because it's clear the real world is as fragile as Dreamcatcher's nightmare world - let's finally get into this review and type my thoughts on the songs, the album and everything that pleases or annoys me about it.

The world isn't ending, but when it feels like things are falling apart we should listen to some music and escape into another universe that parallels our own. Are you ready to fall into this world of dreams and music?

Monday, 30 March 2020

Thank You, Kobushi Factory - The Graduation Appreciation Post

In which Chiima finally reflects on Kobushi, their disbandment and the feelings she has stowed away all this time...

Around the time Kobushi Factory announced their disbandment, a friend asked if I would write about. At the time I said yes with the intent to express my frustration over the groups sudden announcement because, like everyone around me, I wanted to air my grievances about how Kobushi had been neglected by H!P upon becoming a 5 member group, how this disbandment announcement itself seemed extremely sudden and far too short a time frame for a H!P group. I wanted to talk about how unfair it seemed and the sadness I felt regarding Kobushi Factory's short run.

That post never happened, and in the end I went into a period of denial regarding the groups imminent dissolve. I am also aware that I am not alone in this.

Monday, 27 January 2020

"I want this to be a group that doesn't lose to anyone!" - An Interview with LONDON BLUE

Earlier this month, I was contacted by LONDON BLUE asking if I would like to interview the members. With the up-coming debut of newly appointed member, NOA, I knew that I had some questions I wanted to ask the two girls who make up the cool & cute group inspired by Pop, rock and the iconic London landmark.

This interview will mark my 4th time talking with the group, but the first time interviewing both AILI and NOA. Please enjoy the interview below.

Left: NOA, Right: AILI

*I would like to thank LONDON BLUE, their staff and the members for allowing this interview to happen. I would also like to thank LONDON BLUE staff for permitting the use of their images of the members, which can be found on their group and individual Twitter accounts.

The following Interview was conducted via e-mail.

Active since September 2013, LONDON BLUE is a group with a COOL & CUTE image and a sound that will either charm you, or simply rock your socks off. A lot of the groups inspiration undeniably comes from Britain's capital, London, and more often than not you will find that influence infused into the groups sound style, as well as their fashion on-stage.

Similar to most other Idol groups, LONDON BLUE has had its fair share of old and new members, with NOA being the most recent addition this year. Debuting on January 31st, this will end LONDON BLUE's current one-member system, which AILI has dedicated herself to whilst also being active as a member within Ange Mignon.

Before AILI and NOA debut the latest chapter of LONDON BLUE on January 31st however, let's take a look at what the girls have to say in regards to their image of the group, their goals for the new year, and what inspired them to become Idols...

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

"I've stopped calling myself an Idol" - Yoneko Transitions From Idol To Artist in Her New Song, 'SET FIRE TO NOW'

With the new year and a new decade already set in motion, self-produced soloist and former Bellring Shoujo Heart / Migma Shelter member, Yoneko, is set to make her mark this 2020 as she takes a step forward in her career by rebranding herself from 'Idol' to 'Artist'.

"I've stopped calling myself an idol. There's nothing there for me anymore. There is nothing I feel like doing as an idol."
With 2020 marking the fifth anniversary since Yoneko's performance debut, it only feels right that this would be the same year that the singer-songwriter drops the Idol tag completely. Now at a pivotal point in her career, Yoneko is entering the year with the release of a new song and music video that defines her freedom as an artist.

Acting as her first solo release in over 9 months, SET FIRE TO NOW is a statement piece that not only reflects who Yoneko is as a person, but also expresses the raw power and emotion that she has as a singer, lyricist and composer in both a visual and audial manner. Undeniably passionate from beginning to end, SET FIRE TO NOW is Yoneko's brilliant transition from an industry filled with restraints, to one that has no barrier that holds her back.

In sound this is a mesmerising piece, one that is inexplicably freeing thanks to its almost ethereal sound mixed with the textured beauty of the post-rock genre. Though it may seem like a more soothing song from the start, SET FIRE TO NOW progresses in a striking way, and will undoubtedly surprise and impress even Yoneko's most dedicated listeners.

There is a raw, deeply moving vulnerability to this piece that can only be experienced by listening to the song, as well as by watching the music video that accompanies it. Though an artistic visionary already, Yoneko has stepped up her game with the quality of her music video for SET FIRE TO NOW, which captures the artists passion, vulnerability and freedom beautifully. 

Visually this is a stunning MV, one that you will not be able to tear your eyes away from thanks to the passion and honesty that exudes from the video itself. It's intense, with visuals that are textured and complex, often transcending the reality we experience. But this is Yoneko's unfiltered worldview, a peek into the complex mind of an artist who wants to share the vision only she can see, and it is through this very video that we as the viewers can experience and hear her freedom. It is not until the end, however, that we catch a glimpse of Yoneko's true freedom, and it is this very moment of the music video that I want other viewers to experience the most: Yoneko, content and at one with herself.

SET FIRE TO NOW is nothing like the music that Yoneko has released up until now, because what we have here is something that goes beyond 'music'. This is an experience, as well as sound that you will find yourself emotionally invested in. Stimulating, raw and powerful, SET FIRE TO NOW is Yoneko's passionate display that will see her transcend from the world of Idols to the world of artists, and I, for one, look forward to all that she brings after this.

Set for release on January 22nd at 21:00 JST, SET FIRE TO NOW will be available for online distribution only, with no plans to release the single in a physical format at this time.

If you enjoy Yoneko's music or recently became a fan of hers, you can find all of Yoneko's solo and collaborative physical releases, as well as all her other merchandise, at Idol Underworld.

- - -



Lyrics and Composition: Yoneko
Music Arrangement: Kageyama Shōtarō (Studio Caribe)
MV Director: Tomeoki Daisuke
Assistant Director: Kosakai Runa
Kyoryoku: Nakamura Rio
Seisaku Tokyo COLORS TEC

- - -

*I would like to extend my thanks to both Yoneko and Derek Vasconi for providing me with this press release, and look forward to sharing the video and song in full on January 22nd, 2020.

Monday, 13 January 2020

The Definition Of 2019: The Best Of Music Master List

Finalising the defining sounds of 2019, it's time to take a look at the Master List of music that engulfed my year gone by. Though it doesn't seem like I listened to that much, let's take our time to appreciate the individual songs we have enjoyed over the last 365 days.

It's time to dedicate myself to Idols, music and more. Are you ready to experience the Master List?

2019 comes back in another music-heavy list, one that includes my favourites from the year gone by. Though I have not listened to a lot of these throughout, there were many I remembered enjoying a great deal, and many that I wanted to note as favourites. So, through this desire to share the songs that I enjoyed the most, I created what I like to call The Master List, a list that is made up of 70 individual tracks, all of which brought me some form of enjoyment in the year that was 2019.

A little on the excessive side - because when I have ever not been excessive? - this entire list will showcase some of my favourite songs, with the ones at the bottom being those I listened to a lot less, and the ones at the top being the tracks I have been obsessed with throughout 2019.

And to top it all off will be my #1 spot, the song that brought the most joy, had the most plays and also holds the most meaning to me. This is the song that is my Definition of 2019, a song that holds great importance to me as a listener and saw me through the shit storm that was last year. Out of all the songs, this is the one that I consider my favourite. Whether you consider it good or bad, that doesn't matter, because the importance of a song is not defined by analytics; it is defined by how important it is to the individual, and no one else.

So without further ado, I present to you The Definition Of 2019: The Best Of Music Master list.

What songs will you find in here, and which ones did you enjoy that made it onto the list? Read on to find out~

Sunday, 5 January 2020

The Definition Of 2019: The Best Of Debut and Graduation Songs

Continuing the start of our 2020 with our ranks from 2019, it's time to take a look at the debut and graduation songs that swept us away and appreciate what our Idols have given us in terms of their greetings and farewells.

Sometimes it can get emotional, but with every end there is a new beginning. Once again we will define our 2019 in music. Are you ready to say hello to the Idols of the Reiwa era, and goodbye to those from the Heisei period?

Returning to my 2019 rank lists, I thought that this year it would be a good idea to dedicate some time to the debut and graduation songs from the year gone by. With a fair few departures that have rocked both mine and many others' fandoms, I didn't just want to acknowledge these songs flippantly on my full list of favourites from 2019. Likewise, I wanted to celebrate the few Idol group debuts I knew of properly, and showcase groups that you may have overlooked or simply not heard of.

It isn't a massive list, but I had a lot of fun re-discovering a few gems from the year gone by and reliving the fun that was hearing some of these songs over and over again. I also shed a few tears when it came to the graduation tracks, because this is me, and I am a crybaby.

Anyways, behold the list that is made up of Debut and Graduation songs. For the Idols we will get to know and those we must say goodbye to, let's pay a proper amount of respect to each and every group here.

It's time to define 2019 in song once more. Who will you discover, and which Idols will you grieve over in the process? It's time to find in The Definition of 2019: The Best Of Debut and Graduation Songs (According to Chiima).

It's time to check out some Idol music...~

Thursday, 2 January 2020

The Definition Of 2019: The Best Of Singles & Albums

☆★☆★ And A Happy New Year! ☆★☆★

With 2020 now in our grasp, it's time to look back at the year that was and reminisce about the music that we loved.

It's time to define 2019 in music. Have you picked your your favourites as well?

Though I typically do my Year End posts at the end of the year, I decided that this time around I would have a change of pace and begin 2020 by getting all nostalgic and reminiscing over the music of 2019. 

That, and I had no time. With work and life getting busy during the festive period, I have had little time to spare for my blog, writing of any form or even visiting family. It's hectic, but it must be done, however i would never abandon this list - I love writing them, and I love the challenge that a Best Of list brings me. You never know what you're going to consider your favourite until the last moment, and you never truly consider which songs have leaped in ranks since you first heard them, or which ones will fall below the number you initially thought they would stop at.

Anyways... another year, another list. I hope that this one proves just as interesting as past Top Tier of the Year lists that I have created, and I hope you find some singles you yourself loved, as well as those that you you haven't heard of before and hope to check out.

It's time to define 2019 with music, pass our judgements and choose our favourites. Of course we won't all agree on what was good, what wasn't... but that's the fun of these lists. So, let's take a lot at what I've picked for my personal favourites and head into the post.

Welcome to The Definition of 2019: The Best Of Singles & Albums (According to Chiima). I hope you enjoy the music I share with you all today~