Friday, 21 December 2012

My Love/Hate Affair with Technology [plus poll winners and Idol thoughts]

TechnoMANIA and Me

Yep that's me. Sayaka 2012 poster calendar in the background yooeeh

Ever since I started with Tumblr and got back into using social media eg; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my creativity has taken such a dive. I feel like if I was living in a time before computers my brain would be as active as Noel Fielding on crack, but being so easily distracted by so many different programs at once turns my mind into a big lump of moosh.

I love talking about idols and Japan, and even just rambling on about fitness, food and other things but I have to try and stay focused. In the new year I'd like to make this blog more personal, there will still be plenty of idol talk but it will also be about me and my thoughts. If I don't put them out there and force myself to write I will turn into another social media zombie just like everyone else, and that'd be damn sad.

Smartphones do not help either. I thought to myself 'I won't get addicted' - but of course I did and now I am just 1/100 people checking their phones on the train instead of reading a book or writing in a diary. This I dislike and would like to start some sort of weaning program in the new year. I love my phone and it is extremely handy but I do not want it to become like a third hand to me or something.

Before I started a writing course I thought writing might be something I want to do in the future, it still is but I need to have free rein over my work and not be bound by assignments forcing me to come up with a topic. This is why what I am actually doing is such a good idea, Commerce and Japanese, one of my friends keeps coming up with commerce as a generic degree but I think he means communications. Either way he doesn't realise that getting tertiary education is so important to me.

At this rate, I will now have two degrees before I turn 30 and then I can maybe start on a Masters or MBA depending on what I want to do. I feel, in my situation, the more education I can get, the better.

Here's to the New Year!

Back to Idols!

The winner of the last release round poll was Gingham Check with 5 votes, second was Kiss Datte Hidarikiki with 4 votes, and Virginity and Hashire! Bicycle both with four. Please vote on the new release round!

Graduations have been happening so much lately and now two beloved members of AKB48, second generation's Yuka Masuda and Tomomi Kasai, are leaving. Yuka got caught up in an apparent 'scandal' but it seemed like maybe she was looking for an exit anyway. I have no idea if DiVA will continue but I hope they do in some way as I really love them as a vocal group.

Tomo~omi announced her graduation at the AKB48 Kouhaku song battle, luckily with hers we are getting a solo single and a photobook, so I think perhaps she has thought about this for a long time. I'm still extremely sad that both of them are leaving, the second generation is looking very sparse these days.

Morning Musume's new single covers have been released and they are atrocious. I could do better photo editing myself and I only have gimp. *cue laughter* hey!

Type B Limited, the only decent one, albeit its simplicity. :/

check them all out here

The only good thing I seem to notice about these covers is that everyone gets a go at being in front, which is nice. Maybe now Reina is leaving they will have the chance to distribute lines better, although lets face it, Hello! Project have never been great at that! This is also the first single where Sakura Oda gets a look in, so hopefully she lifts MM to a new level. The members likeability rate is at a high so I'd love to see them actually getting good songs/designs/costumes once in a while.

The idol boom seems like it may have hit it's peak, now with all the former Team 4/KKS members being pushed in AKB48, 2013 might be a big year for graduations, so prepare yourself if you're a fan of any members who have been there a while. Tokyo Girls Style and FLOWER/E-girls are still going strong though so maybe it's time to switch focus to the newer, fresher and more musically-focused groups. Or just ride the wave like we always do and enjoy it! Idols are more addictive and pumping out more music than ever and there's loads to choose from with a personality for every fan. Let's support our favourite idols in 2013 too!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Ichigogo!

[PS: There will be more giveaways in 2013 :D]

Thursday, 27 September 2012

My Love Affair with SKE48


Recently, SKE48 has overtaken AKB48 as my favourite group. Their freshness, hyper-energy and consistently good songs have completely and utterly won me over in every way possible.

Jurina Matsui is my favourite member for so many reasons. She's amazingly talented at such a young age, she's super pretty and energetic, and she's kind and like a teacher to many members, even those older than her. She absorbs instructions like a sponge and also holds a place in AKB's Team K, currently appearing as the front girl for both AKB and SKE's singles. I do, however, think this puts unfair pressure on her, and hope she is put back just in SKE soon.

Akane Takayanagi's gorgeous vocals and constant smile makes me so happy and pumped. She's also such a gutsy person, she asked Aki-P (aka Yasushi Akimoto, producer of the 48's) if Team KII could have their own original stage...IN FRONT OF EVERYONE at the 2011 elections! Girl is perfect! And he delivered later that year! Guts is rewarded!

Currently making their way up my list is many beautiful and amazing girls of SKE, Manatsu Mukaida, Kumi Yagami, Shiori Ogiso, Yukiko Kinoshita and many, many more. I dislike no one. They are all such amazing, hardworking girls.

Being from Nagoya, such a chilled place, also helps the freshness of SKE48 in my opinion. When I visited there, wearing one of my SKE shirts, everyone was so kind and would speak to me about how much they loved the band. Girls, boys, everyone, even at the airport in Tokyo people would be like 'Ah! You like SKE48?' and I would get into a big fan discussion with many lovely people.

Their A-sides have always been impressive, and even if on first listen they don't get you, rest assured by third or fourth you will be absolutely hooked. My favourite A-side is Pareo wa Emerald. I can't get sick of it, no matter how many times I listen to it!

Always looking so joyous and happy when they perform, and giving you a strong urge to get up and dance. SKE48 inspire me to be my best at life, and isn't that what idols are for anyway?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Rino Sashihara

The scandalous girl that divided fans.


The scandal made me sit up, take notice, and I loved what I saw. I even loved her for the scandal. She sent semi-naked pictures to a potential boyfriend when she was 14. This proves she was just a normal teenager, looking for validation like all of us were.

Then she lied about it, which I love her for, as if you'd tell the truth and just admit it was you straight out!

This girl is an energetic and sincere performer. When she pours her heart out on stage, you can read it all over her face. She seems down at times but when she smiles it lights up your heart. Her smile is gorgeous. HKT48 are very lucky to gain such a respectable and beautiful person.

Seeing her last performance with AKB48's Team A about a month and a half ago, she looks straight into the eyes of her fans as we cheer her on. She is a fantastic idol. The 'girl-next-door' idol, even. Someone you can connect with and really feel excited about their next move.

When she was high-fiving her fans after the show, she grasped my hand tightly and smiled at me, I made a heart shape at her and said 'ganbatte!' (good luck/do your best). She truly has made the best out of the situation. Staying in good stead with fans (there was a LOT of fans at her last performance and one man was wearing a 'SASHIHARA QUALITY' shirt.)and definitely gaining new ones.

Now with Rino and Aika Oota in HKT48 along with the AMAZING energy of the original HKT girls, we can anticipate with baited breath what their first single will sound like. I am hoping it is danceable and super fun, with a youthful sound. Nothing too mature yet.

Rino I love you and I will support you forever!

Friday, 22 June 2012

New Artists I have Listened to Recently

- One Direction Five attractive young men with excellent voices and decent dance skills are given an album with generic pop music to attract as many teenage girls as possible. - Adele Woman who sounds like Duffy reaches top of the charts with two very good and emotional albums but it has all been done before, by Duffy. - Marina and the Diamonds Bitchin' awesome woman creates fantastic songs that listener wants to listen to endlessly and be wrapped up with her amazing voice and presence. - Rino Sashihara Girly girl who emulates Aya Matsuura gets transferred to newest AKB-family group and undoubtingly leaves her solo career behind for a while. - miss A Beautiful and talented K-pop girl group kicks ass all over the place. Popularity ensues. This blog is slowly going to become more just music. Not necessarily just Japanese music but still definitely including it.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Winner of the Underloved Girls poll!

Amina Oshi!

Congratulations Amina Sato!

Winning by only a few votes but a very deserving winner indeed, Amina Sato is the one you all want to see in A-sides. I do too. She is stunning, has a lovely voice and bucketloads of personality. She should be in senbatsu far more often then when she's voted in by fans. Clearly, we want more of her, but nobody is listening. :(

Here's the vote breakdown:

Misaki Iwasa - 13 votes (28%)
Shizuka Oya - 5 votes (11%)
Haruka Katayama - 4 votes (8%)
Haruka Nakagawa - 9 votes (20%)
Chisato Nakata - 2 votes (4%)
Sayaka Nakaya - 3 votes (6%)
Ami Maeda - 6 votes (13%)
Natsumi Matsubara - 5 votes (11%)
Mayumi Uchida - 4 votes (8%)
Ayaka Kikuchi - 6 votes (13%)
Miku Tanabe - 3 votes (6%)
Tomomi Natsutaka - 3 votes (6%)
Moeno Nito - 3 votes (6%)
Misato Nonaka - 4 votes (8%)
Reina Fujie - 13 votes (28%)
Sakiko Matsui - 4 votes (8%)
Haruka Ishida - 5 votes (11%)
Kana Kobayashi - 5 votes (11%)
Mika Komori - 5 votes (11%)
Amina Sato - 15 votes (33%)
Sumire Sato - 12 votes (26%)
Natsuki Sato - 6 votes (13%)
Shihori Suzuki - 5 votes (11%)
Mariya Suzuki - 8 votes (17%)
Rina Chikano - 2 votes (4%) - Poor Chikarina! :(
Miho Miyazaki - 7 votes (15%)

Chikarina got the lowest amount of votes, which I find surprising as I think that girl is just fantastic. You all desperately want more Reina, Sumire and Wasamin, which I hope will be expressed in the next senbatsu elections coming up. Don't forget to vote in the new poll.

How many copies of AKB48's new single are you buying?

Senbatsu has come around again and we all want to vote! So let me know how many of Manatsu no Sounds Good! you are ordering!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

NMB48 'Nagiichi' covers out!

NMB48 'Nagiichi' large covers out!

Type A

Type B

Type C

Theatre Edition

Simple but very cute, also quite similar to 'Everyday Kachuusha' or 'Ponytail to Shushu' - NMB's first bikini-style single. I have ordered Type B but I like all the covers. It looks like Japan has some stellar push-up bikini tops as well. Wow.

I think they all look amazing and I am really looking forward to this single.

[Thanks to H!O for the pictures]

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

NMB48's 'Nagiichi' Previews & more Acchan News

NMB48 - Nagiichi!

So cute it's sickening

NMB48 have been on a three-single roll, with great songs, fantastic B-sides and awesome PV's, NMB have been well managed since the start. CAN their 4th single match up? Here's your opportunity to check out the previews for their new song 'Nagiichi' (short for Nagisa de Ichiban Kawaii Girl, translates to 'cutest girl on the beach' which is sweet, I'm glad Aki-P didn't use the full title and pull a Tsunku >.>)

CM. Cute cheer-team style. Seems to be senbatsu vs undergirls.

Another CM. They all still manage to look amazing while dressed as bowling pins.

Tiny, tiny preview. So just watch it!

From the miniscule snippet we heard there, it sounds classically NMB (with that kind of interesting guitar riff that always seems to pop up, although it is welcome as it's awesome) - Lets face it, we all want a bikini PV to come from this, as we're all massive pervs. (Thanks to AramaTheyDidn't for providing the PV previews and CMs)


Next up:

Translation here.
Atsuko Maeda, with her impending graduation is not participating in the 27th single senbatsu election. This will make the game very interesting, as voters have already been speculating whether this means that Yuko has it in the bag.

I honestly hope she does because I would like to see her head another single, and with Acchan's graduation happening, it could start a slew of grads that I'm sure we'd all rather not see. The top 10 could be very, very different though and we will start to see NMB members voted in as well, and perhaps even more SKE members.

Considering that the senbatsu this year will include only 16 members, with the other 48 as undergirls, I think we are going to see a very different list of people this year. I really, really hope it's shown on a live stream this year!

What are your thoughts on Senbatsu 2012 and NMB48's new single?

Saturday, 31 March 2012

[Review] May J - Secret Diary



May J's 6th studio album was released in January with probably not-enough promotion and behind a bevvy of other more publicized releases. May J's style has changed slightly over the years, from R'n'B queen to ballad princess but I think that this is a very good album. Well worth listening to and more layers are peeled away with each relisten.

The bonus DVD (that is still available on the more expensive edition) is packed with extras and over an hour and a half of footage, including: video clips, concert clips and a mini-documentary. It's a great way to get to know May J if you are new to what she's all about. Only some of the tracks were available to preview on Youtube, but I have put up all that I was able to find.

Track by Track Breakdown

1. Only one - May J's clear voice speaks to you straight from the first beat of this angelic song. With smooth beats and a relaxed take on a catchy ballad, this is a gorgeous opener. May J hits all notes effortlessly and sounds incredible. Listen Here

2. OUR FUTURE - Positive lyrics and hard-to-hit notes make this an especially impressive song. An upbeat track that could definitely be remixed club-style, the music channels the early 2000's in a way that shows off old-school style Jpop. A great track. Listen Here

3. Yozora no Yuki - A classic ballad done in a sort of winter style. Piano and chimes resonate through this track. Giving it a really sweet feel. May J's voice is so strong and so controlled, a feast for the ears, this is the track that will give you the shivers. Fantastic. Listen Here

4. No No No - Awesome! An R'n'B style song with a great beat that you find yourself tapping your feet to. A danceable and faster track that belongs on your gym mp3 player. Incorporating synth and even a touch of dubstep, this is a great modern track. Showing her versatility, May J is sounding badass here. Listen Here

5. I'm proud - Another slower-style song, but May J really has an amazing way of conveying a message that transcends all language barriers. She really does sound proud of something or someone, and even though it is slower, it still could have a dance put to it, as it's beat is still has a certain groove to it. This is also a very singalong type song. Listen Here

6. Kimi ga Afuredasu - A beautiful instrumental with vocals that are softer than usual, this song is an 'anytime' - listen to it anytime and you could always be in the mood for it. A lovely slow track. Listen Here

7. Say "Ah!" - This is your party track, electro-heavy and fast compared to all the other tracks, this is a 'getting ready to go out' kind of song, fun and needs to be pumped LOUD. Sounds great on a stereo! Much better than on the weak computer speakers! Unfortunately, this is absolutely nowhere to be found on youtube or youku, so you may have to search a bit to listen to it, but it's so worth it, it's FAB.

8. Futari - A duet with Jay'ed, this has a few English sentences in it including the lovely "I'm never going to give up on your love, no matter how far away you are". Both May J and Jay'ed sound beautiful together and, though the instrumental is simple, piano and clicks, it works for a vocal-heavy song like this. Listen Here

9. 2 Shooting Stars - A beat-heavy track with May J's vocals flowing through and between the beats effortlessly, I can hear a double bass in this and it's presence is welcome. A mid-tempo track that channels American-style R'n'B with a slicker production value. Wouldn't be out of place on a Beyonce album.

10. SECRET DIARY - The title track of this album is a gentle and flowing song. A simple piano plays in the background, as May J's gorgeous voice once again dominates the foreground. I think a live orchestra version of this would be amazing.

11. The Lifelines - Including Taku Takahashi from m-flo, WISE and Maynard Plant from blanc./Monkey Majik, this is a charity song from English TV show in Japan J-Melo, which usually features very bad singers doing versions of Jpop songs. Everyone has been autotuned on this, which I think was unnecessary but perhaps it was to 'enhance' the electronica feel of the song. The instrumental is an awesome synth-fest though. Listen Here

12. Rainy Day - A quirky instrumental that leads into an interesting head-nodding track. May J's vocals never falter. This song also falls into the 'getting ready' category, it reminds me of everyone putting on their makeup in the bathroom and singing out 'IT'S ALRIGHT!' - a fun track.

13. RAINBOW - A really different track! Synth and music that shows the colours that May J is singing about and a hit of violin just when you think you've heard it all. A fantastic lead up and a really danceable chorus. "I'm dreaming, dreaming forever" - So am I! Get up and dance with this one!

14. Kiseki no Uta - DJ Hasebe Remix - - Featuring Sugar Soul, Zeebra, Ryo the Skywalker and SIMON, I can hear rap and extremely polished vocals, another synth and electro-style track that packs a punch. This is a collaboration that works and I think that a bit of reggae-infused rap wouldn't go astray in some future May J. songs! Listen Here

Favourite track - Say "Ah!"

✰✰✰✰ stars

I really do think that with such a great voice and a beautiful image, she needs to get back into the upbeat songs a bit, as they always sound awesome. Too many ballads can become similar to each other, but, saying this, this would be a great album to play at a classy dinner party. It's got great instrumentals and of course, May J's voice is flawless. She is still an R'n'B girl at heart, but with a vastly different style to Namie Amuro's R'n'B.

Check out this link to see extra information and what is on the DVD. It's really worth the purchase, and for only 3240yen you get a lot of material. Support your favourites if you can! ♥

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Atsuko Maeda to Graduate from AKB48

Acchan announces her graduation!

First generation and most popular member Atsuko Maeda yesterday announced her graduation from AKB48. Since she was 14 years old in 2005, Acchan has been a key member of AKB and a major facet in the ...48 company. Coming 1st in the 2009 and 2011 senbatsu elections; Acchan is popular with wota and non-wota alike.

The exact date has not been announced yet but this is a major shock to all AKB48 fans. Turning on the computer this morning, I was not expecting this at ALL. Will this be a new era for AKB48? Will Acchan be voted 1st one last time? Along with the doubling announcement for members Jurina Matsui (who now is in Team S from SKE48 and Team K from AKB48) and Miyuki Watanabe (Team N from NMB48 and Team B from AKB48) and the new voting system, it seems the rest of 2012 will be a very different year from previous.

I for one will miss Acchan very much and am very sad she is leaving, but considering the work she is doing lately, and mentioning on her blog that she only gets 5 hours sleep per night, it probably shouldn't come as that much of a surprise for bigger fans who perhaps know her routine better. I hope to see her in many drama's in the future and maybe with a few more solo singles. - More information (in Japanese)
[Thanks to H!O for the link]

We will miss you Acchan! AKB48 will never be the same!!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

New Poll + Winner of ...48 Poll!

Congratulations SKE48 - [Kataomoi Finally!] ❤

Ha! I knew you'd pick me.

So it seems you all love yuri as much as I do as SKE48 won by a landslide. This release has been their best seller so far and it's not hard to see why, with it's interesting message and girl-girl fanservice, who could say no to the gorgeous ladies of SKE48? I am surprised that NMB48 didn't get a higher amount of votes as they have also had an extremely strong release this round. Here are the stats breakdown:

1st - SKE48 [Kataomoi Finally] = 19 votes (59%)
2nd - AKB48 [Give Me Five!] = 6 votes (18%)
3rd - NMB48 [Junjou U-19] = 3 votes (9%)
4th - Misaki Iwasa [Mujin Eki] = 2 votes (6%)
4th - Mayu Watanabe [Synchro Tokimeki] = 2 votes (6%)

The new poll involves AKB girls who don't seem to get a lot of love. I am not including any girls that have been put in senbatsu and seem to get a decent amount of exposure, aka front girls in sub groups and such. I am also not including Team 4 -as they are very recently promoted and really should work their way up. Also, no other ...48 groups are included. This is pure AKB here. These are the poor, underloved 'theatre girls' that never seem to get in A-sides...ever!

'Who would you like to see featured in the next AKB48 A-side?'

You may also select multiple answers! Select as many as you like! It's a big poll this time, as there are a lot of very underappreciated girls!

If your favourite isn't there or you'd like to suggest someone else, please let me know so I can use them in a future poll!

I apologize for the slight inactive-ness of the past week or so. I am currently using very slow internet and will be back to weekly updates in the next week or so. At the moment. I am working on some new reviews for new releases, both Japanese and Korean, so you will see all of these very shortly. I'm unfortunately having to work on internet explorer right now. So I am sure you all pity me!

Let me know if there's anything in particular that you would like me to review or share on here that is J-pop or K-pop related.

Friday, 10 February 2012

❤ Tommy February6 New Song! ❤

❤ Tommy February6 New Song! 'Hot Chocolat' ❤

Tomoko Kawase - Everyone's favourite double-personality singer is back with a new song from her up and coming collaboration album 'February & Heavenly', pictured above. This album, while some of the songs are covers (as in, Heavenly doing February songs and vice-versa, giving them a new spin) there are a few new songs too. Namely this one, the first in what I hope is a tumble of new PV's for this hotly anticipated album.

Thanks to AramaTheyDidn't for posting the PV.

So what do you think? I think she's really getting back to a great sound here, akin to her album 'Tommy Airline' - her image is really sweet and the video clip is very February. Lollipops and a slight dark undertone. I hope we see some performances of this very soon along with a new Heavenly6 song? Please?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Poll Winner + Graphic Competition!



Sayaka is so pleased with you, she will give you a cake with her face on it.

Realistically, I don't see how there could have been any other winner. Team K are amazing and their performances are often the most energetic out of all of the teams, that said, all 5 options got a good amount of votes. 86 votes all up. Thanks very much for voting everyone! Here's the vote breakdown:

Team A - 20 votes (23%)
Team K - 43 votes (50%)
Team B - 16 votes (18%)
Team 4 - 4 votes (4%)
Team Kenkyuusei - 3 votes (3%)

Now, onto the next ports of business. There are 2 things, a new POLL -
'Which is your favourite ...48 release from this round?' - Please make sure to vote! This poll is shorter than others at only two weeks so get your vote in today!


Yui is listening..

Also, I'm looking for a new style to this blog. So I am starting up a new competition. The prize is promotion on this blog with a special part on it that links straight to your blog or website,(permanently, even after I change the layout) - the entry is going to be slightly harder this time. I want you to design a new look for my blog. Here are the requirements:

- Must be cute and sparkly, and it CAN be AKB48/SKE48/NMB48 themed but it doesn't have to be. Please no Hello Project themes. If you are going with an idol theme it would be a good idea to ask me what members I like first. (Comment below with any questions).

- Must include 'Ichigogo!' on the header in some way, but preferably hiragana. Feel free to incorporate strawberries into the logo or header.

- Include a good space on the sidebar for your own blog link and create something pretty to link to it! (an icon that will fit into the sidebar and not widen it would be perfect)

- Must be compatible with blogspot. I'd also like the dimensions of this blog to stay the same, but I would love an 'easy to access all posts' sidebar of some sort.

- Sidebar has to stay practically the same (Poll first, blog list second, popular links third, pageviews fourth, members fifth, about me and blog archive sixth)

- Header to be no wider than 975 pixels but can be higher or shorter than current.

- Feel free to create a background as well, or to use a current blogspot background.

- Please upload your pictures to your own servers, use imgur or photobucket or tinypic, please don't hotlink!

- NO PLAGIARISM. If I find anyone using someone elses work they will be disqualified.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. This will be a month long competition. So you all have until March 8th to come up with something really pretty and get your blog or website permanently featured on this blog! (As part of it's own section with it's own graphic, not just as part of my blogroll) - Please EMAIL me the html entries to:

Good Luck!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

February Release Month!

February Love!

After being rocked by scandal earlier this year, I hope that the ...48 groups and H!P and all the other idols have a very stable 2012!
This month is a CRAZY month for releases, we had a taste at the end of January with a lot of new stuff like Kumi's 10th album, Momusu's 48th single and SKE48's fantastic 8th single. February seems a huge release month, perhaps because everyone is recovering from Christmas and finally has money again? Unless you're a student in the southern hemisphere, then you are about to become very broke as it's the start of the new school year!

This month we have:

Give Me Five - AKB48

The song where the senbatsu (chosen unfortunately, not voted for, so be prepared for a big lack of Sayaka, Yuka, etc) have all learned to play instruments. A few days ago it was revealed that this had maybe been plagiarized from a classical piece, and was being investigated. They do sound similar and I really hope that nothing bad happens and it's not pushed back, as the pre-order versions have already sold out on all the major websites.

The song is really catchy but I wouldn't say it's the best Sakura single I have heard (Five is the amount of petals a Sakura blossom has, so that's where the title comes from) - I was hoping for something like Sakura no Shiori or Sakura Ki ni Narou, but perhaps that's why it's not like either of these. Aki-P loves a surprise, and this was certainly a good one! They have all worked really hard to make the instrumental sound surprisingly good for only a few months practice. I'm sure it will sell really well and they will get yet another record broken!

Next up:

Mujin Eki - Misaki Iwasa

What a beautiful release this is. I knew hardly anything about Misaki Iwasa (or Wasamin) before this release. I knew she was a stunner after seeing her in Watarirouka Hashiritai 7, but I never realized she was this talented, and she's only 17 too. I wasn't originally going to order this (how many times I've said that I don't even know...) but it's just too awesome not to have as a physical copy. Such a clear voice and a beautiful song. Enka suits her so much and I hope this won't be just a one off, and she will have many more solo outings. Unfortunately most of the PV's available are either previews or mini-versions, but I am sure once all of them are released it will be slightly easier to find full versions on youtube or youku.

Next is:

Junjou U-19 - NMB48

This is a GREAT release, with the couplings being just as good as the A-side. Also, Sayaka's solo song, which we are all hotly anticipating, as she is a gem of a find in the idol world. This song is 'Innocence U-19' - with the juxtaposition that they are all acting positively badass in the video clip. 'They aren't innocent at all!' you may cry, yes that's right, they will kick your ass, and it will hurt. This is the single where NMB are going to come into their own. Hopefully we will see them separated from the other ...48 groups and doing some promotion of their own, standing on their own two feet. I've bought this, and I'm looking forward to seeing the sparkliness of this release on the big screen!


Synchro Tokimeki - Mayu Watanabe

Full PV! Watch it quick before it gets taken down. If it already has, I'm sorry. ;_;
This is a super cute PV and an adorable song, yet her voice is super nasal here and I don't really think she suits solo releases, she definitely works better in a group. That said, she's a great actress and the 4 persona's she portrays in this video clip are all awesome. This is the theme song to her drama, and if it goes well, perhaps they will give her differently themed songs as well? I'd love to see her tackle a slower song, as her voice seems to strain when it goes too fast.


Chotto Mate Kudasai! - S/mileage

The only H!P act still worth listening to in my opinion have released yet another adorable song. First one without Yuuka Maeda but it seems they can still hold their own quite strongly. This has quite an old school sound to it that really works. Their voices collectively have come down an octave, so I can finally appreciate their songs. I wish they'd spent like, 50 more dollars on better outfits that look less like smocks though. :/ S/mileage cannot afford any more graduations, so I hope 2012 is a more stable year for them.


Guru Guru Curtain - Nogizaka46

Thanks Charlotte!

The 'rivals' to AKB48 have their first single coming out on the 22nd. It is adorable, it sounds like Onyanko Club, the costumes are hideous, it will probably reach Number 1. But let's get something straight, you are not AKB's rivals yet. Work for 6 years to get famous, with blood, sweat and tears and a load of graduations and then come back to me. Considering they have performed at AKB's concerts, I cannot consider them rivals just yet. The video above has a few CM's but you can very clearly hear the song in the background. I think good stable PV previews should be out in a few days.

Last Minute Addition!

Sakura Regret - Flower

Flower's second single's preview has come out, and the preorder links have finally come up on YesAsia. Their first single limited edition is already sold out so buying this is an investment if you love FLOWER. I think they are the most entertaining out of all the E-Girls. This song sounds great from the mini-preview above. It comes out on February 29th!

Very looking forward to all of these! Which are you looking forward to? Either these or anyone else who is releasing in February! There are a lot of them!


Monday, 23 January 2012

SKE48 8th Single [Kataomoi Finally] PV's out!

SKE48 are kicking other bands out of the water with this controversial PV and song. I can only hope that this isn't just used for fanservice, but also to highlight awareness for LGBT issues in Japan, a country where it's still considered taboo to be gay, and not many people even understand the background and think it's a lifestyle choice.

This isn't for any religious reasons or anything, as we all know Japan is very secular, it's because they aren't educated. It's not included in any school education, and people who are gay or fall into the 'not straight' category often hide their feelings and live very unhappy lives.

This is more true for girls rather than guys, unfortunately. Gay men are more accepted than lesbians, which doesn't surprise me really. As Japan is still quite backwards when it comes to women's rights, they never had the 60's and 70's feminism age that West went through. So it is taking tiny steps at a time that we can create a better life for LGBT people in Japan.

This release from SKE48 is helping, rather than hindering, as it is very tastefully done and with a really touching story. Aki-P has touched on this kind of subject before (with the Team K song 'Kinjirareta Futari') - but never with this kind of push. I hope this means that he is for LGBT rights and not just after wota's money.

On to the PV's! First we have their title track 'Kataomoi Finally':


Me when I first saw this video clip:

Juritan is a pimp and seems to like all the girls. (Just like in real life?) While Rena and Akane get their hearts broken, there are other pairings and such, and it's very well done. Real emotion is put into this and it shows just how good the girls are at acting as well as singing and dancing. The uniforms for this PV are also unbelievably cute.

Next, onto Shirogumi 'Hanikami Lollipop':


An extremely cute song taking influence from the war years for it's storyline, Juritan has to save everyone from being in black and white. The outfits are gorgeous, and I am glad to see a decent amount of Anna in this clip, she's so pretty and deserves more screentime. Of course Juritan saves the day, as she always does, with her power to turn things back to colour after a little boy (Who seems to be speaking English with a German accent) approaches her in a cafe and gives her what must be a magic flower of some sort. Gorgeous, and in my opinion, the better out of the two B-side PV's, but I may just be being bias.

Next up, Akagumi's 'Koe ga Kisareru Kurai':


A strange PV where each girl seems to be representing a soft drink can in a vending machine. As each girl gets bought by a different customer, she gets warm clothes to survive in. Rena is the last one standing, it seems nobody wants to buy her, her friends offer her warm clothes but she doesn't want them until eventually a kind truck-driver offers her the same clothes and she accepts. Not super sure what is really going on but it's a cool concept nonetheless. Aki-P has also approached this concept before in B-side to 'Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru' - 'Namida Uri no Shoujo' - but again he has changed it slightly and made it a completely different song.

This release is really, really good and we only have a few days left until it's release. So let's all buy a copy and support SKE48!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Winner of SKE48 Giveaway!

Hail to the Chief

I have read all of the entries over and over. I absolutely loved all of them. It was extremely hard to pick a favourite as you all really put an effort in. Thank you all so much for entering and getting involved in my blog! This will probably be the last big giveaway for a while but I promise you will be able to get involved in more projects I am planning for the future.

The Winner is....!


I loved your entry on Morning Musume's longest serving member and how heartfelt you feel about her. All of you, keep supporting your idols! I now need you to comment on this entry with your email address so I can send you the options for SKE48's new single.

Now onto the next item of business. This blog is about to become a shrine to Sayaka Akimoto for 2012. I want to see her in Senbatsu again, and I want to see her HIGHER than her position last year (which I believe was #17) - I also want to bring existing AKB48 fans knowledge of her brilliance and beauty, and the need for her to get recognition. We have to start early, and I am thinking of getting fan shirts and banners made. This is about to turn into an AKParty! Look out for the new look for this blog and the next post, which is going to discuss what WE can do to support Sayaka this year! ❤

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Poll Winner + New Giveaway!

Poll Winner!

The winner of the most recent poll asking the question:

"Which is your favourite Morning Musume album?" is.....

Yeah it's just me, you got a problem?

Fantasy Juuichi!


To say I am confused is an understatement. Picking F11 over 10 My Me or Rainbow 7, or Sexy 8 Beat doesn't make any sense to me, but the fact is, I am an older fan and a lot of you are newer fans. Thinking about this, I don't think this would have gotten this amount of votes if not for the Fantasy DX concert. So it's a credit to the new girls that they can do songs they didn't originally record really well. So I am not going to make any type of judgement. There were a HUGE input of votes this time, so thanks so much everyone for voting! Here is the breakdown of stats.

Fantasy Juuichi - 27% (44 votes)
10 MY ME - 23% (38 votes)
12, Smart - 16% (26 votes)
Platinum 9 DISC - 9% (16 votes)
4th Ikkimasshoi! - 8% (14 votes)
Cover You - 3% (5 votes)
Third Love Paradise - 3% (5 votes)
First Time - 2% (4 votes)
Rainbow 7 - 1% (3 votes)
Ai no Dai 6 Kan - 1% (2 votes)
Sexy 8 Beat - 1% (2 votes)

Second Morning, No. 5 and 7.5 Fuyu Mini-album got one vote each.

Please make sure to vote on the NEW poll!

[Which is your favourite AKB48 Team?]

Right. Now to the giveaway!

Be excited. This is a good one. In celebration of one of my favourite groups, SKE48, putting out a stunning shoujo-ai themed single, I am giving away a BRAND NEW copy of Kataomoi Finally. JUST FOR YOU!


That's right. Whoever wins this competition will be able to choose which version they would like of Kataomoi Finally and have it delivered straight to their house from (This competition is open internationally.)

To enter, you must be a follower of my blog, and answer this question:

What would you say to your favourite idol if you met her?

The winner will be announced 2 weeks from now! Good luck!