Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Dearest Readers,

After some thought, I have decided to put Okay! Musume Time into hibernation mode. How long it will last, may it be a month or longer, I don't know, but during this time away I want to try and put things into perspective.

Lately I have been stressed, to a point where it has affected my work life. I have stayed up late and performed badly at work, become irate and anxious, and until very recently, I wasn't aware of why I was like this. Then, as I was working on my Christmas and Year End ranking posts, I realised that the stress I am under is something that I have pushed onto myself, all for the sake of my blog.

This blog is supposed to be a happy place, one that relaxes and delights me. However, one of my shortcomings is that I push myself too hard to meet my own expectations, and I slowly exhaust myself and grow anxious that everything I do is never good enough. Because of that, I have been losing sleep in order to maintain the blog and keep monthly posts up, thinking that it's for the best and that it will make me happier. Instead it has left me tired and worrisome, and my anxiety has risen because I think I am not writing or posting as much as I should be.

Publishing reviews about Idols does make me happy, and I feel so content when I see the comments and support you provide. However, this lifestyle I have created for myself is not healthy, and it's beginning to affect my personal and work life, too. So, in order to balance myself and to improve my frame of mind, it's time for me to take a step back from Okay! Musume Time, and rest.

This is a decision I have been thinking about for a while now, but until today, I hadn't implemented my blogs hibernation. I'm sorry that I am doing this so suddenly, especially when I planned to write up my final two Year End posts, but right now, I can't. I just don't feel like I can post any more at this time.

Because I don't want to hate blogging or writing about Idols, this period of hibernation will be for the best. I cannot live a life where I worry because I think the post count is not high enough, or because I am scared my posts are terrible. I don't want to cry because I can't provide a post that I really wanted to do, or become stressed at work because I am only thinking of this blog.

I will still be writing on Selective Hearing, and hopefully JaME, but the writing on those sites is so much less stressful, for the fact that the sites do not solely rely on me to provide content. So, whilst I am away from here, I hope that you can look forward to future posts from me on those sites.

Someday soon, I hope to see you all again. You are my dear Readers, and I am going to miss you so much. Thank you for everything.

Until the next post, whenever that may be.

Take care, and love your Idols.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Images From '17: The PV Awards Of The Year

2017 is ending, and 2018 is on its way, but before the year wraps up and leaves us to start anew, it's time to take another look back at just a few of the PV's that made our year of Idols wonderful, and just a tad disappointing.

It's my favourite post of the Year End series, and it's all about the things I pretend to know about best. We're heading into the PV Awards of the year, people, and we're gonna see which ones made it. ARE YA READY, READERS?

SURPRISE! There's a bunch of H!P in here, and boy oh boy, I hate myself for it. Not because I think my taste in videos is lacking (dude, I'm actually confident in that area. I pride myself on liking good videos), but because there seems to be a lack of diversity here, at least to me. Still, it is what it is - H!P released some solid music videos in the Year gone by, ones that I have thoroughly enjoyed and remembered since they made their debut.

At least there's that positive to come out of H!P for this year, amongst all the fuck-ups and whatnot. They had to get one thing right, at least.

Anyways, with this post, I'm going to do my usual course of action, and rank the PV's based on random titles. I really see no point in doing a Top 10~20 of videos, because I like so many of them throughout the year, and I can never place them in a numbered order. Plus, I like doing the titles.

Of course I have a definitive favourite that stood out more than the others, even a nope or two from 2017, and they will be rewarded accordingly, just as I did last year. For the rest, though, I have grouped them into categories, based on various factors. Some categories will have more than others, and a few will have less, but that's how it is. Depending on the category, I can be stupidly picky.

As with music and most things, all videos included in this Ranking of sorts are the videos that, throughout the year, I have remembered the most. They are the ones that I recall out of all that I have seen, and the ones that are so impressive, I just had to include them. Of course, I won't list every video I have seen; that would take ages, and I don't have the time, and obviously, I won't include all your personal favourites.

As one blogger, and this being my blog, all videos included are subject to my own, acquired tastes. You may not agree with me on any of these listings, but I do hope that you respect what I have chosen to put in this list. I am catering to my own love for videos, though catering to your love for videos is an added bonus.

This is it, Reader dears. The PV Awards of the year 2017, in full. Which videos stuck out to me, and which ones are left in the dusty depths of the Honorable Mentions? Just who ranks the highest of them all, and who has hit rock bottom?

Plug in your earphones, grab a drink and get your viewing eyes switched on. These are the Images of '17, and it's time to press play...~

Will your group reign supreme in this unofficial ranking? Read on, find out, and enjoy~

Aikawa Maho Decides To Graduate ANGERME and Hello! Project

H!P Execs: "Okay, guys, how should we end the year? Low note or high?"
H!P Management: "I dunno, it's been a pretty shit year. Maybe we should go out with something positive, like, say... a beloved members return?"
H!P Execs: "Nope. She's decided to graduate."
H!P Management: "Well, fuck. Low note it is, then. Things can't get any shitter for us in 2017, at least."
H!P Execs: "Here, here." -sips bubbly champagne and hits PUBLISH on the official announcements page-

A look into the End of Year discussions at Up-Front HQ, because they gotta go big, or go home, despite the multiple nope moments they've already experienced this year.

Aikawa Maho is graduating ANGERME and Hello! Project, and no, this is not how I want to end my year. Hell, it's not even how I wanted to wake up on the final day of 2017, but, there we go. Life just doesn't cater to our desires, does it, now?

Le sigh.

So, yeah... It was announced only recently, and though I've not seen a whole lot online about it, the few comments I have come across are heartfelt and sad. I can see that it's disappointed so many fans, regardless of which member they happen to support. However, there is also a lot of understanding as well, with fans acknowledging that this choice of Maho's is probably for the best, and I respect this. It's so nice to see the community actually respecting Maho's decision and praising her for taking herself into consideration.

You can read the official announcement here.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Sound From '17: The Final Selection ~Music Selection '17 Ver.~

My creativity is lacking. This post is late. I have work in just under three hours. So, what am I going to do?

Aggravate my carpel tunnel, all for the sake of being ~kind of~ on time. Plus, I really would love to see this one out, because hey! It's the Music Selection Post: Year End version! Finally, I can crack on, and rank a bunch of tracks that I've loved from the year gone by, possibly piss a few people off when the beloved's don't rank, and focus on the songs that have delighted me this year.

It's time to put our Ranking pants on (that... sounds gross, lol) and take a look back at what 2017 has delivered! In sound and song, what has pleased you, and who has ranked high?

My darling Readers, it's time. Let's blast this music!

Whenever the End of Year posts roll around, it's a struggle to think up the titles and concepts to make each yearly post a little different. In 2016, I tackled my first Top 100 Songs of the Year post, and though I did enjoy doing that... Yeah, it's not happening again this year.

There are two reasons for why I won't be doing a Top 100. Firstly, and most crucially, I didn't listen to as many songs this year as I did last, and secondly, the time to do it just isn't there. I mean, what I'm doing for this year's post is time consuming anyway (especially after missing the previous days post). So, this time around, it will be a tad more condensed, though a little different than before.

This year, I'm also ranking my favourite Albums and Singles, as well as a final ranking of my favourite songs. It won't be enormous, but, it'll be enough. After all, it's actually somewhat harder to rank a smaller number of songs, than a multitude. At least, that's what I think.

As with any other Ranking themed post, I would like to point out that, as this is my blog, and I am one blogger, a lot of (all) these songs are all based on my preference, and therefore will not cater to most of your tastes. I have tried to make the list as diverse as I possibly can, but I also haven't listened to every single, album or track out there that was released this year. So, if a song you loved hasn't appeared, or a single and album have been neglected from my list, all I can say is this: Suck it up, and make your own list. That way, at least the things you loved can appear on a Ranking of sorts, somewhere.

I cater to my own music joys, first and foremost, but satisfying your own musical tastes is a bonus, as well. Still... My list, my choice! That is the way it will always be (until I do a fan-ranking, then it's totally your call).

So, this is it! A bunch of music, a few Top Ranking lists, and one overall winner for 'Song of The Year', or whatever I title it. Which song will come out on top, and just who pleased my ears from the year gone by?

It's time to listen to some music and find out, dearest Readers. Are you ready to enjoy the Sound of '17 in all its glory, and see if your favoured songs made it.

It's time to listen and enjoy! Are ya reader, beloved Readers?

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Promise of '17: Idols Of The Year

I swear, this is a yearly feeling, but I really am not prepared for these Year End posts. How has it come around so quick? It feels like there is so much to do, and so little time to prepare, especially with work and life throwing themselves into the mix...

Well, what can I do, aside from get on with it, and throw out these posts like they are hot potatoes? It's time to get my head in the game, sit back, work my typing fingers, and unleash the posts that will celebrate the Year's End.

Dear Readers, it's that time of the year again. Are you ready to look back at 2017, before running into 2018 head-on?

Let's do this!

Another Year (almost) over, another set of posts to type up! And to kick-start it all, we're going to look back on some of the shining stars of 2017, the groups, artists and Idols who made it all worthwhile in the year gone by. Of course, as with any other post from years gone by, this article includes the groups, artists and Idols that I have personally enjoyed. Though I might include a few that have been suggested by friends, I can't say for sure that I will include every single group you have agreed with and adored from the year gone by.

I am one blogger, and this is all based on my opinion, as well as my feelings towards these specific groups. Of course, a little help from my friends allowed me to make this list a tad more diverse, but otherwise, all of the Top suggestions are entirely my own.

Also, I would like to point out that, despite this being a ranking of sorts, there is no clear order about which I group I preferred over others. Though I do have a winner in mind for 'Idol(s) Of The Year', everyone else is just as wonderful, and can't rank any higher or lower than others for those that are listed.

So. One winner. A whole bunch of amazing groups. But who will come out on top, and which groups will I be looking out for in the year to be? Let's whittle it down, and take a look at just who made my 2017 worth the while.

Are your favourites going to appear, too, and will your Idol(s) of The Year come out on Top, and find themselves crowned as The Promise of '17?

Read on and find out. Are ya ready, Readers?

Monday, 25 December 2017

And A Jolly Christmas To You! Merry Winter and A Festive New Year!


And A Happy, soon-to-be, NEW YEAR!

No matter where you are in the world, and no matter how you celebrate this day - or if you don't - I hope that everyone is having a wonderful, merry day, and enjoying themselves to the fullest! Whatever it is you are doing - eating, spending time with your family, talking to friends or sitting in front of the TV - I want you to know that I wish you all a Happy Holiday, and that I wish for your happiness and well-being.

Once again, Christmas is a hectic day for the family. The children open their presents and make a mess (a good mess), play with toys, and then we eat and have dessert, pull crackers, tell those silly jokes and wear paper crowns. Today, my crown continuously fell off, meaning that I lost the battle about who could keep their crown between myself and one of my older nephews.

However, I gave him his original crown. Apparently I once ran two imaginary Kingdoms in this household.

I've also done the usual: Hoarding gifts onto the staircase (last year: the living room), and going under the tree to get said gifts. I feel like this is now my designated role, the gift-giver, so to speak XD But it's fun, and the kids are really enjoying this time of the year. The fact they all loved their presents, is wonderful.

The best part, though? One of my tiny nephews was so excited with one present (a bike), he was silent and dancing, eyes wide and sparkling. Even after he got off it, he looked at it again, did the same thing, and returned to the bike. He really couldn't believe it. That was amazing.

OH, and the chicken was actually cooked this year. I GOT CHICKEN! XD

Okay, I won't keep you all too long. Once again, please have a wonderful, warm Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and a lovely day. No matter where you are, no matter how you spend this day, please stay merry and smiling, and love your Idols.

I hope that your day has been pleasant and good. Thank you for popping up to see me this Christmas day <3

And now it's time for... THE CHRISTMAS IDOLS! Who will appear today, hm? ;)

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Idols of Advent: This Love Filled Christmas Eve - =LOVE's 'Bokura no Seifuku Christmas' (MV Review)

All around the world, the theme of Christmas Eve can differ. Some celebrate the night before Christmas as you would Christmas Day, whilst some treat it as a celebration of love. In Japan especially, the day is similar to that of Valentine's, where lovers unite to show off their love as they walk beneath the Christmas lights. The magic of the season brings out the true feelings of young and old alike, and beneath the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, even more love can blossom...

'Tis the season to be loved, dear Readers, and tonight in our final review for the Idols of Advent, let's celebrate with yet another pic spam, and love all that our Idols deliver from the past, the present, and the near future. Are you ready to wave your Christmas Eve away with a beautiful song by your darling Idols?

The first music video for Christmas 2017 that I saw was Bokura no Seifuku Christmas by =LOVE, and from the moment I saw it, I knew that this would be my Christmas Eve finale. Though I haven't done as many reviews as I would have liked, from the get-go, I knew that I would have =LOVE on my list, because it's just so cheerful and cute, and the epitome of a Japanese Christmas!

Plus, I just love the visuals, and the girls. And =LOVE. I like everything about it, basically.

There are a great deal many videos based around this time of the year, of course, but for Winter / Christmas '17, Bokura no Seifuku Christmas has to be my #1 song and video for the season! With its upbeat nature, cute sound and lovey vibe, I have become endeared to the second single by this wonderful seiyuu group, and it has truly lifted my spirits and prepared me for Christmas day.

So, finally, let's get this review on a roll and finish Idols of Advent for 2017! Even if it was a small series, I hope that the Christmas spirit has shown, and that we can celebrate Christmas Day with some wonderful Idol songs, and some beautiful videos!

Grab your konbini cake, buy yourself a bucket of KFC chicken, and trail the streets beneath the lights with your loved one(s). It's time to celebrate Christmas Eve the romantic way, and confess your love to that special someone...