Friday, 15 December 2017

Idols of Advent: Ring, Ring, Ring! Let The X'Mas Party Begin! - Flap Girls' School 'Happy Merry² X'mas' (MV Review)

IT'S CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!

-World implodes-

It's the jolliest time of the year, and once again I am back to writing up some festive reviews! Whether the videos or songs in question are based around winter, Christmas or snow, it doesn't matter, so long as it reminds me of one of the many seasons I enjoy most!

So, with the Christmas posts here (finally!), let's count our way down to Advent List, and check out the Idols who will make our December merry! Are you ready to feel the warmth of the winter season this year?


Though I won't have as many days this year as I typically do, I still want to try for a few posts to round the season off, before the big day of Christmas itself arrives! I may not post every day, mind, due to a packed schedule and a lot of work... I will of course, try! So wish me luck~

To kick-start this cheerful set of posts (well, one can hope it's cheerful!), let's begin with the festive treat of a Christmas Party, courtesy of Flap Girls' School! Though it's a small gathering of four, don't be perturbed by that, because it's still a fun party filled with cuteness and, of course, CAKE!

It's time to prepare for the Christmas that's to come, so put on your Santa hats, take out the Christmas Cake and hot chocolate, warm yourselves by the fire, and snuggle close to your loved ones. Even when we are together or alone on Christmas Day, let the sounds and visions of our Idols warm our hearts...

A cute Christmas is about to begin! Are you ready to fall into a world of presents, parties and Idols?

Rin' Rin' Rin'! It's time to begin!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Kudo Haruka - The Graduation Appreciation Post

In my final post for my Duupreciation series, it's time to talk about the girl you love and adore. No reviews, no songs. Just our memories, and beautiful pictures of Kudo Haruka. It's time to appreciate the Idol we will all surely miss...


On September 29th, 2011, Iikubo Haruna, Ishida Ayumi, Sato Masaki and Kudo Haruka were revealed to be the 10th generation. At the time, I was a huge fan of Morning Musume, anticipating the newest generation who would become a part of a group I enjoyed the most. I was excited to see these girls join the group, and to have Kudo Haruka - an egg with some experience under her belt, a husky voice and charm to boot - seemed to be a dream come true for some. From Egg to Morning Musume, Duu was a fan favourite, and even until the day she leaves the entertainment industry, she will continue to hold a place in many people's hearts.

It's hard to think that now, a few days on, she has officially graduated from Morning Musume '17 and Hello! Project, and will forge a new path for herself hereon. Until the next single and music videos come along, I don't think I'll be able to process the fact she is well and truly gone from a group so many people adore.

Monday, 11 December 2017

The Beginning Of A Limitless Sky... Kudo Haruka Graduates Morning Musume '17 and Hello! Project


Today on December 11th, 2017, Kudo Haruka performed on her final stage as a member of Morning Musume '17. Now, after five years of being a Morning Musume member, and a further year as a Hello! Pro Egg, this Idol has spread her wings, and will move on to a brand new future in acting.

It's so weird to think that Duu has left Morning Musume and Hello! Project. It almost feels unreal, at this moment in time. How can she have graduated so soon?

Sunday, 10 December 2017

[This Is Duu!] Her Final Journey. Goodbye, Duu... 'Wakain da shi!' (Music Video Review)

[This Is Duu!], also known as [A Week with Duu], is a series of posts dedicated to Kudo Haruka and her impending graduation on December 11th 2017. It is a series that will look at the wonders of Duu, whether it is in the form of a music video, sketches, live performances or even her photo books!

To celebrate all that is Duu, let's take a look back at everything she has given us, and remember the joy that she has delivered since debuting in Morning Musume, all those years ago! Are you ready to celebrate all that is Duu?


It's the end of the road, dear readers. Today I post my final review that features Kudo Haruka as a member of Morning Musume. All other reviews from past singles hereafter will include a graduated member, someone that many of you have cherished all these years. Somehow, this day has caught up with us far too fast.

Knowing that by tomorrow, Kudo Haruka will have graduated Morning Musume and Hello! Project, brings about a feeling of great sadness and despair. Though I have told myself countless times that this is the right thing for Duu to do, pursuing a dream of hers that I have no doubt she will do well in, I still have a melancholy feeling about it all. After all, Duu is an incredible Idol. She was never my Oshimem, but I liked her a lot. I always found her to be a bright, talented girl, someone who was worthy of the title 'Idol'.

This road of hers is coming to its end, though, and that path of 'Idol' will become a path for an actress. I do look forward to watching Duu grow in that area, but I wish she could stay in Morning Musume, too. I know, I know - Idols have a limited shelf life, and Duu is only doing what many other Idols have done before her. Still, I wish we would have had more time with her.

Today marks my final review for [This Is Duu!], and after a week of posts and thinking about Duu, dedicating my time and energy into all of these posts, I know now that I am going to miss this girl greatly. Kudo Haruka is amazing, and I feel like Wakain da shi!, the final music video that was specifically crafted for Duu, is a perfect representation of why we all love this girl, and why she is such a cherished member of Morning Musume.

It's time to say our goodbyes, everyone. Though she is only at the height of her youth, it's time for Kudo Haruka to walk a new direction, and become a person more incredible than the one that stands before us.

As we stand behind her and wave, Duu will walk towards a bright future, but she knows we're there. She knows that we will always cheer her on from behind...

Saturday, 9 December 2017

[This Is Duu!] Visions of Duu (I-Candy à la Duu)

*This Post contains images that might be classed as Not Safe For Work (NSFW). As this is a photobook, all images included are classed as Gravure. Some will depict bikini-clad scenes, therefore, I have put this warning in place, just in case. Thank you.

[This Is Duu!], also known as [A Week with Duu], is a series of posts dedicated to Kudo Haruka and her impending graduation on December 11th 2017. It is a series that will look at the wonders of Duu, whether it is in the form of a music video, sketches, live performances or even her photo books!

To celebrate all that is Duu, let's take a look back at everything she has given us, and remember the joy that she has delivered since debuting in Morning Musume, all those years ago! Are you ready to celebrate all that is Duu?


We have come to the penultimate post in [This Is Duu!], which means that we are stepping even closer to the graduation date of Kudo Haruka. How has time gone by so fast?

There is a lot to Duu that I haven't captured, but with so few days in the week, you really can't encompass all that is Kudo Haruka in seven, short posts. I've tried my best, and today I will continue that journey in capturing and realising just who Duu is, the Idol that many have fallen in love with. Hopefully I have done her at least a little justice since beginning this series.

Already we have seen Duu the Idol, the singer, the performer and the actress, and today I want to finally take a look at Duu the model. Even though she is already a vision to behold on the stage, there is a side to her that I rarely care to look at, but one I am ready to embrace this moment, so that I can continue to understand the glory of Duu.

Today we are going to look at visions of Duu, and enjoy sweet moments captured for our entertainment and delight. Featuring imagery from her third photobook, Harukaze, let's enjoy these images of Duu, the Idol and the model.

Are you ready to fall into a Wonderland filled with Duu?

Friday, 8 December 2017

[This Is Duu!] The Endless Sky is Duu's - 'ENDLESS SKY' (Music Video Review)

[This Is Duu!], also known as [A Week with Duu], is a series of posts dedicated to Kudo Haruka and her impending graduation on December 11th 2017. It is a series that will look at the wonders of Duu, whether it is in the form of a music video, sketches, live performances or even her photo books!

To celebrate all that is Duu, let's take a look back at everything she has given us, and remember the joy that she has delivered since debuting in Morning Musume, all those years ago! Are you ready to celebrate all that is Duu?


When looking back at the glory of Duu in music videos, I wondered which video I would use for the penultimate music video review. It had to capture aspects of Duu that made her so lovable and sweet, a moment that displays her humanity. As many fans already know, Kudo Haruka is a compassionate and honest person, a girl who will not hide her feelings and will always run forward with her emotions present at all times.

I know that there are a lot of videos out there that show the cool and mature side to Duu, but it is that delicate, girlish side of hers that I adore most, and that is the Duu I wish to capture. So, after looking back at some videos - The Vision and ENDLESS SKY especially - I finally decided which one I would review, and of course, it has to be ENDLESS SKY.

Because Duu cries, and Duu's tears are a precious embodiment of her character. She is one of the only members who has really cried during any graduation single, not for herself, but for the members she will no longer be performing beside.

It's time to continue our road towards Kudo Haruka's graduation date, but before we get to that crossroads and part ways, let's enjoy the little time we have left with her.

Even though this world has an endless sky, it is an ever-changing canvas. Soon, Duu's own canvas will change, and she will look up to see a sky that is different from the one her peers are watching. That is when she knows her own Endless Sky is no longer theirs...

Thursday, 7 December 2017

[This Is Duu!] LILIUM ~The Falsehood of Duu~ (Stage Play Recap & Review)

[This Is Duu!], also known as [A Week with Duu], is a series of posts dedicated to Kudo Haruka and her impending graduation on December 11th 2017. It is a series that will look at the wonders of Duu, whether it is in the form of a music video, sketches, live performances or even her photo books!

To celebrate all that is Duu, let's take a look back at everything she has given us, and remember the joy that she has delivered since debuting in Morning Musume, all those years ago! Are you ready to celebrate all that is Duu?


hOLY SHIT, HOW HAVE I NOT WATCH THIS UNTIL NOW? HOW!?!?!?!?

Seriously, this shit would put Shakespeare to shame. What the heck, it took me well over three years to finally watch LILIUM -Lilium Shoujo Junketsu Kageki- in its entirety? I'm either lazy (check), or just ignorant of the great things in life (check again), because holy shit... Holy shit, this is amazing.

Good thing I decided to talk about a play that Duu had a key role in, because damn, if I didn't (and it hadn't been suggested to review Lilium) then I wouldn't have taken a look at this. In all honesty, the sole reason I did watch this one over Pharaoh no Haka, is because this one actually has a subtitled version, thanks to the dedicated fans.

And yes, I am wallowing in my own self loathing, because I dared to neglect this stage play for this long. Still, it's a damn good thing Duu is worth a whole day on this play, otherwise we wouldn't be here, and I would have continued to neglect Lilium for another three or more years. That's just the way this cinnamon rolls.

Oh, and once again, this Duu-related review comes at an oddly convenient time, as I am reviewing it just a day after the latest Magnolia Factory departure. Though no members of the group make an appearance here, I think that the heavy metaphor regarding flowers and how all flowers will eventually wilt, is quite significant to the current state of the group. It's horribly fitting, given the circumstance of these woeful times in HaroPromageddon.

That thought about Kobushi ran through my mind as the story of Lilium progressed, but it's also a truth that we acknowledge as human beings. Eventually, we will all die, for there is no eternity. Despite its fictional setting, Lilium hits home with the truth that death is an unstoppable act, and that loneliness comes with the loss of your loved ones, and that loneliness can even come with age . The symbolism of flowers only makes these things feel a tad bittersweet, if not a little romantic, in its weird and twisted way.

Because like flowers, even the most beautiful will eventually wither and die.

Today we are taking a look at LILIUM -Lilium Shoujo Junketsu Kageki-. Sometimes, we will cling to that moment of forever when the ones we love most disappear...