Thursday, 31 October 2013

Okay! Musume Digest ~Halloween Dayo~ #75

Minna, Halloween Dayo!? Who wants to Digest this Halloween Treat!?

This week, in Idol News...

Ono Erena will appear in a new Movie! The Digest for Blue Rose is out! Nakajima Saki Blooms... wait, she always blooms! New Profile images for Juice=Juice! AKB48 Request Hour Set List Details! 9nine, Perfume and Yumemiru Adolescence reveal Jacket covers! PASSPO☆ and Shoujo Jidai to release new albums, and a bit more! Are you ready to Digest?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Morning Musume - The Ambassadors of the 2014 Japanese Olympic Team!

I was originally going to go to sleep, because I am currently fighting tiredness and illness right now, but I saw this news and I just had to write something... so here we go! KYAAA!!!

It has been confirmed that Morning Musume have been appointed by the JOC as the official Ambassadors for the 2014 Japanese Olympic Team! They will be called the Nippon! Call Project Ambassadors and will cheer on and sing an official song produced by Tsunku for the Japanese Olympic Team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia for February 2014!

There is also a goal behind the idea of the Nippon! Call Project, where the team hope to collect the voice of the supporters. With the application, which you can find through iTunes Japan and for the Android as well, you can give our name and scream 'Nippon!!!' into your phone. The screams and cheers of the supporters will be collected like this, and transferred to the Japanese Sports Team.




I didn't think this would happen... heck, I never even anticipated it! I know some people were hoping for it, and I thought it would be nice, but I didn't really put much thought towards it... AND YET IT HAS HAPPENED! Morning Musume, who have worked so hard to climb back up to the ranks of being recognised again and trying to make a new name for themselves, stepping away from their past and the shadows they have had to grow up in, have become the Official Ambassadors for the Winter 2014 Japanese Olympic Team! What's more, they are singing a song specifically for this event! This is amazing!

I... I want to cry... (I also need to tell my sister!)

This is wonderful news, absolutely amazing! It makes me so happy! First they are able to commemorate 400 episodes with J-Melo, as well as sing a special song, and now this... it's so amazing! These girls have come so far now, and they are just continuing to prove themselves more and more, and it makes me so so happy as a fan... I am so glad that they got this, because Morning Musume do really deserve it. Any group deserves it, they really do, but Morning Musume, who have been around for around 16 years and are still going now, are as strong as ever! They are just continuing to prove that they are a phoenix rising from the flames, continuously coming back to life and showing us that they are here still, and just as bright and as amazing as ever...

I. AM. SO. HAPPY!!!!

And I hope that their son is amazing! And filled with cheers! AND AWESOME!!!!

... Morla of the post: Chiima is happy, and I bet many others are, too!

Now, it's time to go to my sister, see if she has heard the news, rejoice a bit, then sleep and try to get better...



PING!!! Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: October 30, 2013

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Navigation to Happiness with Juliet's 'Shiawase Navi'

As always, all thoughts, feelings and opinions towards this group and their music is totally my own and no one else's. Don't like it, don't read. Simple as!!!

The fact that I have yet to formally introduce you guys to Juliet, as well as dedicate an entire review to this wonderful trio, is a crime! I mean, I have loved this group for a while now, so I am kind of questioning why I have yet to actually write about them... actually, saying that, let's write about them today!

Okay, so I have actually talked about this group before, but only briefly. Last year on my 11th Digest, way back when that thing was new and still turning into what it has become now, I looked at the group and what was then their latest single, Daisuki. I was still relatively new to the group and trying out their sound and style. Needless to say, I have fallen in love with them more since then.

So, given that a year has passed and all that jazz, I will give a brief re-introduction to Juliet right here and right now, just so that we know who they are, and to allow you all to take in a bit of information about this group before I delve into the Review.

Juliet is a pop-R&B trio that was created back in August 2009, and is made up of three former Gyaru models; Hami, Maiko and Yumi. The girls debuted with the single Natsu Love, which reached #1 on the Recochoku ringtone charts and #24 on the Oricon. Since then, the girls have gone on to release 16 singles, 4 albums, 1 mini-album, 1 Best album and 13 Digital singles. They have also had their songs appear on various compilation albums.

So as you have probably guessed, Juliet are not an Idol group, but in fact a very talented trio of pop-R&B artists. Yes yes, I know... I am kind of branching out a bit within the music field, rather than sticking to the status quo of cutesy Idol music, but I can't help it! I love music, whether it is pop or rock (seriously... I do like rock sometimes. HALLOWEEN PARTY, anyone?) and Juliet is one of those groups that I can't help but love. They have great music, and their voices are just wonderful... also, they have looks to die for! I guess that comes with being former models though, aye?

That all said and done though, let's take a look at Juliet's latest single release, Shiawase Navi. Will you Navigate me to Happiness as we listen to this single?

1. Shiawase Navi

The title track of the single, Shiawase Navi is an up-beat, happy tune that deviates from the usual tone of their singles. No strangers to mellow tones or ballads like Sotsurenka or Daisuki, this is a pleasant change from the usual sound that we are used to Juliet creating as an A-side track.

When I first heard this song, I was surprised by the up-tempo, carefree sound that it portrayed. I am rather used to songs like Daisuki and 23:45 by Juliet, so to hear something so cheerful and energetic from the group was different, but it was extremely refreshing as well. It is nice to hear how cheerful and alive the members sound in this song. Now, I'm not saying that they don't sound alive or cheerful in other songs, because they do, but this is such a new sound for them that it really changes the feeling of the song for me, and it just sounds so great to hear the girls take on this kind of song.

The interval of the song, however, is completely different to the rest of the song. It's slower, with only a guitar to accompany the girls as they sing before slowly rising back up into that energetic song that we have come to enjoy. For a brief moment, we do come back to the sound that Juliet do so well, but we are quickly reunited with the burst of fresh air that Shiawase Navi is. It's a pleasant change, and really focuses on the vocals and the emotion behind the girls' voices, and it is probably the most amazing part of the song for me, because you can really hear how happy and satisfied the singers, especially Yumi, sound. They relish that moment, and you can really hear it in their voices in my opinion.

As a song, Shiawase Navi is such a fun sound to listen to. It is definitely a change from what we usually hear from Juliet, but it works wonders for them. This song really allows us to see Juliet in a more energetic and carefree light, and allows us to listen to a more poppy tune that we aren't used to hearing from them. It is a great song, not only to listen to, but also to sing along to. I can really see this becoming Juliet's crowd song, one where fans can chant and sing along to during the chorus and opening points, because it is the sort of song that you can really get involved in when you hear it; the backing vocals allow for that, and with a song as lively and energetic as Shiawase Navi is, this would be a great song to really liven up a crowd when performed live.

2. Namida

Namida is the coupling track to Shiawase Navi, and returns to a more familiar sound that I have grown accustomed to with Juliet. It is a slower, more ballad-like sound that really focuses on the beautiful voices of the members and the unison of their amazing vocals.

The opening of the instrumental for Namida is absolutely beautiful, however once the vocals kick in it quickly changes. Honestly speaking, I am not a fan of the sudden change; it sounds far too rushed and is out of place, and the new sound is not my favourite. Thankfully, the song picks up after this for the chorus and we are once again introduced a beautiful, powerful instrumental that is truly amazing. It sounds so sad but wonderful at the same time, and I can really hear the emotion in both the instrumental and the vocals. I absolutely love the chorus for this song, it just sounds gorgeous.

I also absolutely love Juliet's vocals in this; all of the girls are amazing singers, and they really bring forth the emotion of the song and put so much power and emphasis behind it. They make this song sound wonderful, and I just love how the beautiful sound they create when they sing together. I swear, these three girls create magic when they perform together, and much like their other singles, they have once again created a beautiful track.

Namida is a beautiful song, much like a good majority of the groups discography, and whilst I do not care for that one change in the pace and tone of the instrumental, I do think that this is a gorgeous song. It enhances their vocals and really brings forth how powerful the girls sound together. It is a lovely song, and one that everyone should check out. A beautiful contrast to the happy and delightful Shiawase Navi, but also a great song itself that could easily stand alone.

The Verdict!

I think that this is a great single. Both of the songs present are wonderfully composed and deliver different emotions that are clear to the listener, and are accompanied by the powerful and beautiful vocals of Juliet. They are both great songs in their own right, with Shiawase Navi being a happy and enjoyable song that speaks to the listener, whilst Namida is a more emotional and moving song that brings us back to the songs that we usually hear Juliet sing.

Both of the songs are, in my opinion, strong and wonderful. They are both beautiful and are amazing to listen to, and I just can't help but fall in love with Juliet the more I listen to them. I do think, however, that Namida is the stronger track of the two, but that is probably because this is the sound that is associated with Juliet, as well as the sound that they are strongest in. That said, I do think that Shiawase Navi is a breath of fresh air for their discography. A change of pace is always good, and I feel that Juliet pulled off such a happy, energetic sound so well. It would be nice to see them venture into a more poppy, energetic sound again, even if I do prefer their more emotional, R&B sounds.

It is a great single, one which you should give a chance. I think that Juliet are an amazing trio, one which needs to be heard and talked about more. They are beautiful, talented and wonderful, and this single is only one of many other great songs.

Give them a try. You might just like them as much as I do.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #74

Minna, Digest Dayo! Are you ready to Digest the week away?

This week, in Idol News...

Previews for Sayumi's up-coming photobook! The covers for Miyabi's photobook, revealed! Riho to get a third photobook!? Dream5 and E-girls reveal PV's for their new singles! Weather Girls to release their fourth single! Tasaki Asahi returns to her hometown! SKE48 watches!? Niigaki Risa in a new stageplay! READY TO KISS have their live debut! Bakusute Sotokande Icchome reveal covers to their new single! Yumemiru Adolescence to release their second mini-album, and more! Are you ready to Digest?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Morning Musume's Alleged 'Best of' Album 'The Best! ~Updated Morning Musume~' Review!

All thoughts and opinions concerning the group and songs within this review are my own, and no one else's. If my review brings up personal issues you have with the group, then seriously... don't read my damn blog. End of story.

Here I come, Robo-Reborn-Colourful-Dance Machine-Musume. Are there any other names we have given them as of late?

I have been meaning to review this album for a while now, but me being me, I decided to wait until I had the damned thing in my possession before I really got down and dirty with it. Admittedly, I've had the album for a while now, however did not review it because I was busy with other things, like life. And work. And being a lazy cow. Yep...

Surprisingly, I decided to do it today, because I told myself I had to and also because I need to write something, and want to talk about this album. So, nattering and chitter chatter aside, let's take a look at The Best! ~Updated Morning Musume~, shall we? LET'S GO!!!

1. LOVE Machine (Updated)

I'm honestly quite surprised that Tsunku has yet to parody this song and re-dub it as DANCE Machine to humour the new era of Morning Musume, because really, that is what this group is right now; a dancing machine, and not just in the way they move their arms like they are mechanical or whatever.

Anyway, parody names aside (and my dreams, of course) this is the first track on the new Best of album, and really, who didn't see this song appearing on the track list? It's pretty much a given, seeing as they use it in almost every concert and live appearance they make. The thing is, this is the updated version, and I think that many of us fans, new and old, have wanted to see this song go through a new makeover of sorts, because it has become old pretty damn fast thanks to the new electro-dance style that Morning Musume are going for nowadays, and also seems like MoMusu are clinging to their past fame, when right now they are heading for a new direction and claiming to leave behind their old image and style, and going for something that is akin to this new, reborn era that is energetic, young and dance heavy. So yeah, a revamp was very much in line for this old-school song that was once popular.
 And boy, does this makeover work!

Now, I don't know what everyone else feels about this song and the new electro-dance sound to it, but personally I quite like it... and this is coming from someone who barely gave LOVE Machine's original tune a passing thought. I really did not care for that song, so it came as quite a surprise when I really fell in love with this remixed sound. Admittedly, this is also the most played track of the album for me, and I absolutely love the beginning of it. Sure, it isn't the best track of the entire playlist, and the remix of it isn't my favourite I think, but I like how catchy, up-beat and dance-heavy the song sounds. This revamped tune brings such a youthful and energetic feel to an outdated disco song, and really livens it up. The only thing I find a bit off about the entire thing, other than Haruka's robotic LOVE Machine ending line, is how grating Riho sounds against everyone else. But, I can live with that, because I like the song a lot, and because I am used to Riho's lack of singing ability by now.

I managed to get a dig in there, whoop whoop!

2. I WISH (Updated)

The second song on the tracklist is the ever-so iconic I WISH, which I think a good majority of us love. This song was given to the younger generations of the group, meaning that Sayumi wasn't a part of it... which, if you ask me, is a damn shame because I do think that Sayumi would have fit this song perfectly along with everyone else. In fact, I actually wish that the 9/10/11ki were given another song to sing without Sayu, but we'll get to that later...

So this song is sung by the new generation of Morning Musume, and when I first heard it I was pleasantly surprised by how it sounded. I expected it to be more up-beat and auto-tuned, like every other track on this album, but instead it sounds more like a retuned ballad with a few fun effects thrown in there. This is also one of the songs I play a lot, because I am genuinely in love with it. I mean, I love the original I WISH as well, but I think I like this one more because it is an absolute breath of fresh air, not just in how it sounds, but it is also refreshing on this album filled with auto-tune and electronic sound effects. It's a nice change to everything else.

I also quite liked the singers they used to lead the song, those being Riho, Fukumura and Sakura. Now, I will say I like Riho as a lead loosely, because Riho as a lead in an up-beat, slow tempo song like this can be rather... erm, grating. I use that word again, because against voices like Fukumura and Sakura, who both have clear, gentle voices that work with this sound, Riho sounds very raw, nasally and unrefined. In short, she sounds terrible when singing alongside those two, and she comes out the worst as one of the leads if you ask me. Not saying she is the worst singer in Morning Musume, but as a lead she is certainly not up to standards, and I would have honestly preferred to hear Masaki as a lead in this song, or better yet, Haruka or even Sayumi if she was in it. If you ask me, both Haruka and Sayumi would sound amazing leading the song... it fits their style of voice. But that's just me.

Either way, I like this song, even with Riho as a lead with her lack of vocal ability. It sounds pleasant, but I do wish that there was more variety in who lead the song. It gets pretty predictable.

... And the predictability won't stop here, either! Whoop-fucking-ee!!!

3. Ren'ai Revolution 21 (Updated)

Here's another original song I rarely gave the time of day, and even updated, I don't pay much attention to it. However, I do like the revamped sound more than I do the original... but that's because it finally sounds interesting!

It's not that I don't like the original or find it fun, because the song is genuinely catchy and enjoyable, but I have little to no interest in it, and I have always felt that way towards the song. Thankfully, the revamped version has a lot more to offer if you ask me, and it is a lot more enjoyable and just overall very fun to listen to. It's also nice to hear Riho's vocals finally being given the auto-tune treatment. It's a little late to the game to auto-tune her voice, but hey! IT HAPPENED!!! And yes, I am stupidly happy with this development.

Riho's vocals aside (of course I will go back to her later on, because her vocals are so heavily used in this entire damn album) I find the revamp of this outdated song really fun and refreshing. It is so up-beat, energetic and happy, and I can't deny that when I do listen to, I go all out. I sing along, I start dancing with my arms like an idiot, and I even do head bobs and crazy faces if I feel like it. It's just so catchy and easy to lose yourself in, how can I not act like some idiot who is high on cola when I hear that catchy opening and the ever-increasing, adrenaline-filled chorus of the song!? I mean, I don't listen to this track a lot, but when I do... I revel in it, and I become a mad woman.

Though it isn't all jumping beats and up-beat fuelled wonder, because after the dance-break interval, we are treated with a down tempo break towards the 3:30 mark of the song, where the vocals are slower but still just as energetic, before driving right back into that fast paced, energy-infused instrumental we have known since the beginning of this song. It's energetic, funky and fun, and yes, I like it!

... I actually think I will start listening to this one more now. I like it more than I let on, I believe...

4. The☆Pea~ce! (Updated)

The☆Pea~ce! introduces one of my favourite opening changes to the instrumental, and when I first heard the update, I really could not get my head around which song this was... until we got into it, that was, but even now I am still amazed by the instrumentals opening... it sounds so pretty!

Much like the original, the updated version of this wonderful song (I love the original too. I know, surprising, right?) is very up-beat and fun to listen to. It still has that energy, that youthful feel to the sound, and it really works for this generation of Morning Musume. Where it wouldn't have worked for the Platinum era, it works for the energy and enthusiasm of this new generation with all of their young and refreshing members. It also works beautifully for Mizuki, who surprised me in this; her vocals, thought gentle and sweet at the best of times, brings a refreshing clearness to the song that works in her favour. Also, Sayumi sounds amazing in this, and whilst I am a bit bummed at the fact she was given Rika's iconic speaking line (I wanted Misaki to have it, I'll be honest with you) I did like how she sounded here. She works well with the song, and sounds brilliant.

Now, because this is The☆Pea~ce!, and it is such an energetic and fun song anyway, I did kind of hope for a little more vocal diversity here, rather than the usual Riho-Fukuhime-Sakura-Sayumi lineup we have been given up to now in this album, but sadly we are still going down that route, with the other members given a bone of sorts in one solo. Of course it would have been amazing to hear Zukki and Masaki dominate this song, because they would really suit the loud energy it has, but with the girls we do have leading the song... I am impressed, more so by both Riho and Fukuhime, because I didn't expect either of them to sound brilliant in this, but they truly did work the song to their favour, especially Fukuhime who sounds astounding here. Sakura was, however, rather underwhelming and I barely gave her lines much notice. If anything, she sounded uninterested in the song, and I would have preferred Ayumi, even in her vocal rawness, to have her lines. That, or give them to Masaki. PLEASE!!!!

Other than who sings what (and who I want to sing in this), I like the track itself. It has a beautiful opening to the instrumental, with an even better dance break if you ask me. I like this song a lot, but admittedly, I listen to it very little... and that has to do with the ending, where we trail off into that well-known continuous repetition of the last whoa whoa's and ha ha ha's. Honestly, I never thought that they could make that line any more annoying than it already was, but they did, and I hate it. With a loving passion. Loving, I say, because I like the rest of the song, but that last line... yeah, they managed to somehow screw up an otherwise perfect (or near perfect) remix of an already awesome song.

Urgh. Why?

5. Souda! We're ALIVE! (Updated)

Okay, back when I was praising I WISH, I said that there was one song I would have preferred the 9/10/11ki to sing together without Sayumi. Well... this is that song, and that's because I believe it would have matched the energy that everyone has in the newer generations, and also because I really can't see why Sayumi would be in this song at all. It doesn't seem like a song she would fit as well as the young'ins, you know?

Now, I like the original of this song, the remix less so. But that's mostly because I find the new generation of Morning Musume lack the essential fierceness that Souda! We're ALIVE! needs in order to sound as good as it does. I mean, the opening come on now! was so weak and lacking, and should have been given to either Zukki, Ayumi or even Erina... you know, the girls who can deliver a fierce and believable growl that adds to the effect of how this song sounds.

Also, I hate this remix. It's one of the worst on the entire tracklist, and one of the most lacking in sound and energy. Whilst I do wish only the young'ins were given this song, I also wish that it had a better, more up-beat remix, because it sounds like it has been given a bit of a downsize in how it sounds in order to fit with Sakura, Fukuhime and Riho's vocals. Because of this, the song itself sounds like it lacks energy and personality, a far cry from the original and how wonderful that song sounded. It is utterly disappointing, and honestly pains me to say that I dislike it, because I adore the original of this song so much... but it really does lack the enthusiasm that I think the new generation could have brought to it.

But, that is life, as they say, and we have to live with life and the crap it tries to throw at us... including this song.

6. THE Manpower!!! (Updated)

Okay, hold onto your hats, Chimians... I'm going to praise Riho in this. Shock-damn-horror, I know!!!

So THE Manpower!!! is one of those awesome songs that I, at one point, looped to death, and I still like it when I hear it. It's also a song I attempt to sing, and utterly fail at, so it was going to be interesting to hear how the remix sounded with the new generation, and with Riho as an inevitable, unsurprising lead. To say I was shocked by how well she did in this song is an understatement, believe me.

If you ask me, Riho makes this song. The raw and unrefined sound of her vocals, not to mention that grating sound, works wonders for this song... and no, I am not kidding! There is a rough sound to her voice in general, but for THE Manpower!!! it works because the song was, already, a rather rough sounding song with vocals that were raw, tough and deep in sound. That's why Yossie lead that song, because the tone fit her, and she had a rough and rugged sound to her voice, much like Riho has now. The only thing Riho lacked was an energetic impact to her voice, and power. Either way, though, she sounded amazing here, and was undeniably the highlight of the entire song.

Which leads me to question why Fukumura, and possibly Sakura (I don't know, her vocals change too much) were even given lines in this to lead the song. Whilst Sakura can have a powerful set of pipes on here, both girls sounded rather soft here, and they did not fit with Riho in this song. Their vocals worked wonders in I WISH, where Riho pretty much flopped, but here the two girls are undeniably out of place. Their vocals, crystal clear and refined, do not work with this sound. Sure, they can sing, but their voices just do not work this sound, and they are just so underwhelming when compared to how great Riho sounds here.
 Honestly, I would have loved this song to have been lead by the vocally-inept girls, like Ayumi and Erina, who have such rough vocals, and possibly even Zukki, who has such a loud voice. It would have worked wonders, as opposed to the prim and proper vocals of Sakura and Fukuhime.

That all said, I do like the song itself. The update of the song is still as powerful and chant-heavy as the original song is, and it even has an interesting opening to the instrumental! It sounds disjointed and funky, but it works, and whilst it may not be as interesting as other instrumental openings, it works well, and I do like it. But really, my main focus for this entire song was on Riho... seriously, hot damn, she sounds good!

... Yeah, can I stop praising her now? This is killing my street cred, guys.

7. Aruiteru (Updated)

So, it was pretty obvious that there would be at least one solo song on this entire album... I was just highly surprised that it was Sayumi given the solo and not Riho. Seriously, given the stupidly big push she has had since her debut, I'm surprised that Riho has yet to be granted an album solo song.
 Oh well, I'm not complaining... just sayin'.

So Sayumi was granted to sing a revamped, heavily auto-tuned Aruiteru, and really, what other song could be more perfect for her? This song suits Sayumi to a T, and with an updated, more electronic sound and so much auto-tune covering her vocals, it sounds pretty good and a lot more poppy than what the original did. In fact, I find this version a lot more interesting... mostly because the original, whilst a good song (I like it, I really do... Mostly for Yossie) was not as interesting as this one was, and because Sayumi fits this song a lot better than the original lineup leading this song did. Just saying!!!!

Honestly, Sayumi sounds so adorable in this song, and I think that even without the auto-tune, she would sound great because the song is in a range that fits her tone of voice, and she really allows the instrumental to work in her favour. It sounds cute, up-beat and fun, and whilst I don't understand why Aruiteru was put in this Best-of album, because I don't think it is one of Morning Musume's best songs in any way (Where is Shouganai Yue Oibito or Nanchatte Ren'ai? Emo songs!!!) I can see why they decided to use it as a solo song for Sayumi, because it is one of the few songs on their A-side discography that works for her vocally and sounds wonderful using auto-tune and reverb.

... And that is really all I have to say about it. So yeah...

YAY, SAYU!!!! -waves flag-

8. Ren'ai Hunter (Updated)

Now, here's a song I really wish that they had not updated, mostly because it was already perfect in my eyes (and for my ears). Ren'ai Hunter is a good song, and the start of the Robo-Musume era, so why take something so wonderful already and butcher it?
 Well, luckily enough, it works regardless of the update. Thank goodness the update of this song is only minor. YAY!!!

Now, this is the first of the 'new' era songs that has been updated, and as I said previously, there really isn't much to the update other than added auto-tune and a new opening, and possibly a few effects thrown in there, but really... it's so minor I can barely notice it, other than the new voices taking over Reina and Risa's lines. Sure, I'm a tad pissed that Riho is a major lead in this (I was fine that she was so minor in the original, because that was at the start of her vocal ineptness back in 2012) but I think I am more annoyed by the fact that, once again, Fukumura and Sakura have been given a lead in this... which surprises me a lot, because those two have wonderful vocals, but once again, they don't work for the song. Fukumura especially, because she is so crystal clear and pristine, it just works in the wrong way for such a fierce and up-beat song. Where Riho's vocal weakness does not work in other songs, it works here because the rough sound to her voice suits the song, whilst the sweet tone of Fukumura just sounds off and out of place.

Other than that, I still like the song, but the effects and updates of it are so minor, I really have little to say about it. I just wish they had used a few more raw voices, like Ayumi (especially Ayumi) to sing the song, rather than use Fukumura or Sakura. They don't work this song the way Riho does, as shocking as that may seem (coming from me, at least...), but that's how I feel.

As happy as I am for a Sakura-Fukuhime lead alongside Riho, sometimes, they just do not work. This is one of those times.

9. One Two Three (Updated)

Mentally, I am banging my head against a wall, wondering just why this song is even on the tracklist for this discography. Then again, I hate this song, and tolerate it only because I have forced myself to.
 Yes, I still dislike this song with a strong passion. Why so many people hated me for hating this song so strongly is beyond me, because shock horror, I have an opinion and finally found myself hating a song by Morning Musume with a strong passion. Urgh.

Anyway, all of that aside, this isn't the worst track on this album (Souda! We're ALIVE! is) because it still has an up-beat and catchy sound, and whilst the effects are still as astonishing as when I first heard it, it is tolerable at best. I mean, it's fun as a sound I think, and I am glad that they have finally seemed to auto-tune Riho in this, but there really is nothing new about this song other than a few vocal effect additions, and a change of who dominates the song alongside Riho now that Reina has gone.

Basically: I still hate the song, and there is nothing new about it other than a lineup mis-mash of new vocals to stand beside Dayashi. End of story, time to move along.

10. Wakuteka Take a chance (Updated)

Has anyone else noticed how little I have been writing since I started to hit the more current songs on this album? Yeah, I noticed as well. But really, it's because I have already reviewed these before now, and the changes are so minor it isn't even worth mentioning.
 I also question just why these songs need 'updating', when they were already heavily edited with sound effects before this album came about, but I guess H!P felt we needed to auto-tune them more to make them sound somewhat better. Hm...

Anyway, that aside, I love this song in both original and updated forms. I mean, from the few updates we do get, I do like them. They work with the song, and sound good if you ask me. I like that some of the solo lines have been given a bit more of an electronic, amped feel to them, but other than that... I hear no other additions to the song. I mean, really... what more can they do? Wakuteka Take a chance was already electrified to begin with, it already had effects and auto-tune, and it was already new, so what else was there to add? Nothing, really.

I still love the song, and I like the updated version (or lack of), but really... what is the point in having these songs on here to update? Other than to familiarise the new generation of fans with the group, that is.
 There is no point.


11. Help me!! (Updated)

... Do I even need to talk about these songs now? I've already established that these updates aren't really 'updates', just vocally enhanced songs with an extra layer of auto-tune thrown in there. Heck, we don't even have much of a change from the lineup in these songs! Its all Riho-Fukuhime-Sayu-Sakura with a bit of Ayumi and Masaki on the side sometimes. That's pretty much it.

... Also, once again, this isn't really an update. Just Auto-tune on auto-tune. And maybe some jagged, jumpy lines that are repeated over each other for effect. But that's it.

... Wow, these reviews get shorter every single time. Then again, I've already reviewed the current sounds. I don't need to do it all over again.

12. Brainstorming (Updated)

Other than vocal differences... I really do not hear anything 'Updated' about this song. In fact, why is it even on here? We could have had Naichau Kamo or Resonant Blue on here instead! Urgh...

I love the song and all, but really, there is nothing updated this compared to the other songs.

... I wonder if the next song will receive an even shorter review? Who bloody knows?

13. Kimi Sae Ireba Nai mo Iranai (Updated)

Surprisingly enough, Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai is the only Double A-side to have both songs featured on this entire album, which is surprising. I like both songs a lot (I know not many were fans of Kimi Sae, but I love it) but I do wonder why The Matenrou Show was not featured on here, either (I would go on to say I would want Matenrou over the horror of One Two Three, but we all know I hate that piece of trash and am biased). Then again, this was the first Double A-side of 2013, so of course they would feature it.

Anyway, that all said and done, I hear no 'updated' difference other than the possibility of Masakins and Ayumi taking over Reina's lines. Wow, what an update. Not.

14. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke

Surprisingly enough, this isn't an update... mostly because this single came out a month before the album did, which also brings up a few questions, but yes. This is one of two tracks which has not been 'updated' in any way possible. Thank God, I say, because it doesn't need updating as it is so shiny and new, and also because it is fine as is.
 Now, that all said, onto what I am questioning (not that it matters, but I like to whine).

So, this single came out a month before the Best of album did, which honestly has raised the question of why, oh why, is it even on the album? Maybe it's just added as a 'new song' to add that new Morning Musume flavour to the album, to hopefully aid the single (or even album) in selling... or maybe it's because UFP were damn hopeful it would sell well as a single, so they slapped it onto the new Best of track listing. All of the above, or it is there for a filler. Who knows? Either way, I find it rather pretentious of UFP/H!P to add such a new song to the album track listing when the single itself was barely a month old by the release of The Best ~Updated Morning Musume~ but whatever... they do what they wanna do.

... Yeah, I'm done.

15. Wolf Boy

The first, and only, original track on the entire album, Wolf Boy is a new addition to Morning Musume's ever-growing discography track listing, and takes on that heavily auto-tuned sound we have all come to expect of the group. Plenty have fallen in love with this new song that we have been treated to, because it is a cool sound that shows off that sassy, mature side to Morning Musume we rarely see thanks to their innocent and childish faces, and those raw, prepubescent vocals that some of them have.
 Ad, to be quite frank with you all, I am rather indifferent to the song.

It's neither good nor bad for me. It's a middle ground song, if anything, not too impressive but it isn't dull either, however it doesn't entertain me in the slightest and I'm honestly only listening to it for the sake of this review. I mean, I actually find it pretty boring... the effects are far too heavy, and the instrumental drowns the girls out and the whole sound of it sounds like it has been amped up far too much so that we are given that fuzzy, annoying sound you get when you turn the volume up too high. Whilst some do enjoy it, I find that I don't. In a way, it's a song that doesn't just bore me, but a song that also annoys me.

Again, I don't think that it's a bad song, but I will not go out of my way to listen to it for fun. It does not have that effect on me at all, and I think it is truly a sound that, whilst cool and to the standards of current MoMusu, does not suit this stage of Morning Musume. The girls are too young to sing it, I think, or their voices are not at the stage where they can sing it. If anything, the only one who could possibly sing this is Kanon, because she has that energy and loudness to her voice that would work with the loud instrumental given for Wolf Boy. However, that won't happen, because UFP are adamant on using weaker vocalists like Riho and Ayumi. Oh well.

At the end of the day, people enjoy the song, and that's great that they do. I just don't like it, but that's my problem.


I did enjoy the album, but there were songs that I didn't care for, with a few disappointments along the way. The biggest disappointment for me was, of course, Souda! We're ALIVE!, because it is truly a fantastic song and cold have been done so much better, but was instead given a weaker sound whilst still trying to portray a fun and energetic tune. It did not work, and lacked on so many levels for me. It truly is saddening.

I also found that, within this album, there were a few songs that really did not need to be updated, and that was of course, all of the new songs featured. I understand why some of the songs were included in here, such as One Two Three which brought about a new image for Morning Musume and helped them to sell more, and the other few songs which were recognised as No. 1's, but really now, was there any need for updating them? There really was no difference in their sound other than some added effects and a change in vocals (squeaky Reina is no more, whoopee!) and they were already brand new, with all but Ren'ai Hunter and One Two Three being less than a year old, so why even add them into the Best of album? Of course it is all a marketing ploy, to get the new fans to buy it in order to listen to songs they already know, whilst also listening to older songs that have been remastered and reconstructed to fit the new sound and image of Morning Musume, but other than that purpose... there really is no reason for MoMusu to feature such new songs on a Best of, not when they are still fresh in peoples' minds. That's kind of like AKB48 creating a Best of every year, featuring that years singles. It does not compute, and really... they only need to be on a regular album, not a Best of.

... Okay, so that all said and done...

The rest of the album songs, other than Souda! We're ALIVE! and Wolf Boy, however, were pretty great! I was surprised by how well Riho did on certain songs compared to two of the stronger singers in Morning Musume, but it was nice to finally hear a few sounds that worked well with her and that she could easily adapt to her voice, allowing for her to sound strong and impressive. I think my favourite song to feature Riho was definitely The MANPOWER!!! because it truly did showcase one of her few strengths in singing. She really did stand out for me, and usually I have very little to say about Riho's voice in terms of how impressive it can be, but she really did stand out in a few songs and make herself known and heard. It was great!
 Of course, I do have to elaborate on how unimpressive I found both Mizuki and Sakura in this. Sadly, I can't speak much about anyone else because there were few featured heavily as lead vocalists aside from the Big Three, but of the Big Three, it was Mizuki and Sakura who failed to impress me here. Sure, they sounded good in songs like I WISH and The☆Pea~ce, but in songs where attitude, sass and a fierce growl were needed, they really did not live up to the standards that are pretty much expected of them. They sound nice, sure, but they did not have what Riho undeniably has, and that was the attitude to pull off fierce songs that need someone with a raw and unrefined quality to their vocals. I really did just wish that they weren't leading those songs, because they were rather disappointing.

That all said and done, I quite like the album. It only has a few misses for me, but most of the songs are hits, and I listen to them quite a bit. Some more than others, but I do listen to them. For a Best of cover album of their own songs, I think that the new generation of Morning Musume have done pretty well. I just wish that, in terms of vocals, there had been a lot more diversity. The same old same old became pretty boring far too quickly.

However, as a final note, I do want to say that this is, in my opinion, not a Best of Album. It is more like a mini Best of, because it only features a handful of songs that can be classed as 'Best of's'. The handful of songs that are older and have been remixed and remastered are the true Best of's in the entire track list, with the newer songs only thrown in there as if this was a regular album. I like the album and all, don't get me wrong, but I do not think it should have been called a 'Best of' when 7 of the 15 songs featured are new and less or just over a year old, and one song being new. There are only 7 songs from Morning Musume's 16 year history featured hear that have been redone, and they could have done more, but they didn't. So in a way, I am disappointed, because this Best of lacks some of MoMusu's best.


So, what are your thoughts on Morning Musume's The Best ~Updated Morning Musume~? Did you enjoy it, or did you really not care for the songs? Also, which song is your favourite? Be sure to let me know!

Until next time, though!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #73

Minna, Digest Dayo! Do you want to Digest with me?

In this Weeks Idol News Digest...

Houkago Princess members have been promoted! READY TO KISS to have their live debut! Beckii Cruel is releasing a game!? Song previews from Green Tea Amabassadors Airi and Yurina, and also Idoling!!! Palet's major debut PV Preview! Mitsui Aika is excited by topless Ikemen! A former NMB48 member returns as a Kenkyuusei, and more! Are you ready to Digest?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I have some News... It's Good, I Promise!

I have news for everyone! So, back in my last Digest, I mentioned that I had something to tell you all. Whether you saw it or not is beyond me (Sonda, I know you did ;D) but, when I wrote that, I was waiting for the 'right time', which was essentially when whatever I am going to talk about went live/public, and now that it has, I will tell you all.

The News is this... Sonda, drum roll, please... I am now a writer for NekoPOP! WHOOP WHOOP! -hears only silence-

... Whether you find it exciting or not is up to you, but for me, it truly is exciting!

So basically, yes, I am going to be contributing for another site. After thinking about it for a while when I first found the site NekoPOP, I decided to contact David, the owner, explaining my desire to write for the site. This was in September, and after a week, I thought that I was not what they looked for in a writer, and put it to the back of the my mind. However, I was surprised to find an e-mail from David in early October, and even more surprised to find out that I had been successful in my application (I say application, but really, I just e-mailed haha!). Needless to say, I am still really happy about it!

Now, I know what some may think; am I really going to do this? I mean, I already contribute to Idolminded and Selective Hearing, as well as Pure Idol Heart sometimes, as well as have my own blog... so is it necessary to go for another blog? Taking on one blog, let alone another four, will become quite a busy task and hobby (especially come the time that I head off to University... yikes!) and I may have to start dividing what I do between sites. Of course, I did think of this before thinking of applying for a writers position with NekoPOP, and I know that I will become a bit busier, especially given that I have work as well now and also planning for future things, but this is honestly what I want to do.

My plan is to become a writer in the future; I want to write as a profession, whether that position is as an author, a script writer, journalist or movie critic, this is what I want. I love writing, and I love sharing writing with people. I especially love sharing my thoughts and feelings on the things I love, Japanese Idols, the music and the videos, with all of you. Being a writer on not just this blog, but Idolminded, Selective Hearing, Pure Idol Heart and now NekoPOP allows me to do this on a larger platform, and also allows me to gain experience. Before now, I really thought nothing of actually using all of these blogs as potential references to my writing on a CV or resume, but after thinking seriously about wanting to take up writing as a full time career, I have realised how valuable all of this writing experience on all of these sites has become. Thanks to these sites, I have learned a lot about writing from those who own the sites; they guide me, and enable me to give my thoughts whilst trying to keep my writing clean and thoughtful, as well as offence-free (completely different to my free-style writing on here).

So yes, I have joined another site, but this time I joined with the knowledge that I would become busy, but I am happy to take on a new site to write for. I really want to become a writer, and being a part of these blogs is enabling me to do that already. I am gaining such wonderful and valuable experience, and I am really happy that I am able to write with so many great people whilst also writing for you guys on here. I hope that you will read what I write on NekoPOP, or just check the site out and see what it has to offer. You may be surprised by how different my writing is! The site itself has been around since early 2012, so it is younger than Okay! Musume Time is (weird, I know!) but it is an exciting new chapter for me.

Also, it seems that from today on, I am starting to use the term 'freelance writer' for myself. Before now I never saw myself that way, but Ray of Idolminded once said 'You are a Freelance writer' in a message to me (there was more, but that's the part I must highlight) and now that I think about it, I am indeed a freelance writer. It is exciting to think that way, because writing is something I have loved since I was a little girl, and that is the career path I am taking on.

I will be busy from now on, but I will try my best! Thank you very much for reading everyone!!! I love you all! >3<

Writing, like music, is Universal, and I want to share both with many others, regardless of my whereabouts.


Relevant Links:

NekoPOP Berryz Kobo Single Review (by Chiima (My real name is used XD))
NekoPOP Facebook
NekoPOP Twitter

PING!!! Recommended Community Reading: October 2013

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Michishige Saho becomes Houkago Princesses 6th Generation Cadet!

All thoughts within this post are my own. Thank you~

*One Gigantic THANK YOOU to Neruru ;w; I LUBS YOU, GURL <3

Through Odagiri Nana's official Twitter, is was announced that Houkago Princess had a new sith generation Cadet member. The member has been revealed to be Saho Michishige, the second cousin of Morning Musume's Michishige Sayumi.
"I have forgotten to write something important!!! The 6th generation Cadet Apprentice member (she is the second cousin of Sayumi) Michishige Saho-chan, who I was taking lessons with before she joined Houkago Princess! This is the new, cute members first serious pre-release! Please come and support us with your love!" (A rough translation by Chiima)
Nana also tweeted a picture of the two during a photoshoot together.


So, I found out about this news on Facebook, where one of my friends Neru linked me to a French fan page for Hello! Project that had released the news. I was, at first, very confused by the news, because there was nothing on the groups websites or blogs that had revealed Michishige Saho to be a new member. In the end, I found an article on a Japanese forum ( and also found Saho's official Facebook, as well as her blog, which she seems to have closed down for now. From her images on her Facebook page, she seems to have been doing a bit of modelling before becoming a part of Houkago Princess as a 6th Generation Cadet Apprentice (what a damn mouthful... @.@), so she seems to have some experience behind her.

Of course, the most interesting thing about Saho is not that she is a new member, but a second cousin of Morning Musume's Leader and Chou-Kawaii Sayumi. This has, for some H!P fans, expressed interest in following Houkago Princess, which I don't mind... but also do, in a way (xD). I love Houkago Princess a lot, and I am so happy to see that Sayumi's second cousin has expressed such an interest to join an Idol group I follow and enjoy so much (in fact, I can't wait to see her in a PV or the HouPri uniform *^*) but I would like fans to follow HouPri because they want to, not just because Sayu's second cousin is a part of the group.

I also think that this is a pretty smart move on HouPri staffs part, because Michishige Sayumi is still pretty well known in Japan thanks to her TV appearances, and now also Morning Musume's revival, so it could garner quite a bit of attention towards Houkago Princess, who knows? Either way, she is a new member, and it seems that she has sparked interest in people who previously did not follow HouPri.

Anyway, that all said and done, here's a little bit on Saho Michishige.

Name: Michishige Saho
D.O.B: May 13th, 1991
Age: 22
Blood Type: O
Hometown: Yamaguchi
Height: 163cm
Traits: Optimistic (advantage), Honest to a fault (disadvantage)
Favourite Food: Curry, meat stuffed with peppers, Natto, meat and tomatoes.
Favourite Songs/Groups: Hello! Project, R&B
Favourite Type: Those who share favourite foods, people who have sex appeal.
Type you Hate: People who can forgive anything.
Occupation you wanted as a child: To become Sailor Mars
Other: She was a model for Orange-Photo, she is the second cousin of Michishige Sayumi, she had an official blog on RUNWAY channel (fashion blog)


Hopefully, this will interest those who do follow Houkago Princess, and also those who don't. Adding Michishige Sayumi's second cousin is an interesting choice, but it is nice to see that she also has had previous experience in the entertainment industry before joining Houkago Princess. I am glad she joined though, because I love HouPri, and it is wonderful to see that girls are interested enough to join them.

... It's also nice to see a 22 year old Idol! I mean, seriously, they get too young nowadays! But yeah... good luck, Michishige Saho! I am sure that you will have an abundance of fans now... XD

Relevant Links:
Michishige Saho Facebook
Michishige Saho Ameblo
Michishige Saho Twitter
RUNWAY channel
Hello! Project News Fanpage


PING!!! Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: October 2013, Part Two

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #72

Minna, Digest Dayo? Are you ready to Digest today?

This week, in Idol News...

Kago Ai is recruiting for a new girl group! KAT-TUN lose a member, and continue as a 4nin group! Previews for Afilia Saga, AKB48 and PASSPO! Sayashi Riho to appear in a magazine! Matsunaga Maho to hold a release event! Berryz Kobou perform on Music Dragon! Houkago Princess to release a new single! And more! Are you ready to get your Digest on?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Wait, this isn't Sexy! - Sexy Zone's 'Real Sexy!' PV Review!

All thoughts and opinions regarding the group, song and video are mine and mine alone. Don't like what I have to say? Then don't read it. Problem solved!!!

It's been a while since I reviewed something by Sexy Zone, but that's down to the fact that I attempted to boycott them when I realised how terrible JE management was by basically shafting Marius (my adopted son in another life) and Sou (My adopted son's friend in another life) in this song... like, really shafting them, to the point where Marius and Sou became background characters like the Juniors are in their PV's sometimes.

It hurt me. A lot. Hell, it still hurts me, but in the end, whilst Management can go screw themselves, I do support Sexy Zone, and I like them more than their shitty Management, so to Hell with it! I will love them, and not boycott them... unless Management make me want to shoot them again, that is.

So, now that my Sexy Zone withdrawal has been tackled, and my thirst for Management's blood as well, today I will be reviewing the PV for the groups fourth single, Real Sexy!/BAD BOYS, which is not sexy at all, given just who this group is made up of, and how un-sexy they all are. Except for Fuma. Fuma is sexy.

... Er, what was I talking about before Fuma popped up in the topic? Oh, yeah. The PV.

Today I will be looking at the PV for Real Sexy! which is the first song on this Double A-side single, and also the only song to have a PV accompany it. Weird, I know, but we'll go with the flow for now. To be honest, I originally had no idea that this PV existed until I went looking for it, and I was surprised that there had been one made... and it's been a few weeks since I found it, so I thought that I would share it with you all, you know, to remind you that these guys still exist, and that I still have a soft spot for them.

Also, I think it's about time for my mandatory Boy-band review in over a stupid amount of months. I barely have these, so whilst it's here, treasure it like you have never treasured anything before~

That all said and done, let's dive into the PV of Real Sexy!, one of the least sexy PV's you will find! Are you ready for some boyish wonder? No? Me neither! Let's go!!!

Opening with a shot of Marius is always a positive thing, if you ask me.

... Sexy Zone needs more Marius.

Actually, more Sou is needed as well! Also, when the hell did you hit puberty, boy!?

I am gonna go out on a limb here, but I am pretty damn sure that this will be the least Sexy PV in JE History... Okay, probably not the least sexy, but you get it... I mean, none of the members are really men yet, are they?

Breakin' it down, Juniors feat. MariusSou style!

Stand to Attention, Men! Er, boys...

This is what Sexy Zone is missing <3 More Marius, less Shori...

Oh shit, Ominous lightning! Help!

Marius: "Holy crap, what the fuck was that!?"

Erm... Lightning...

Sou: "... I sense shit graphics are a'coming..."

I love that Sou is entirely indifferent to what the Hell is happening here.

Aw damnit! Not the glowy graphics! Whatever can we do!?

Hey, this is actually really pretty! It reminds me of a Fairytale Fantasy world, actually!

... Okay, now it's as ominous as that lightning was. Well, I'll be damned!

Now, I don't think it's intentional or anything, but whoever directed this PV has managed to make Shori look like a pompous ass. Just sayin'.

Shori: "... Something is a'miss in Shori... I mean Sexy... Land!"

OMFG, WATER! Is Kento a Water Bender in this? Also, I like this graphic. It's damn pretty scenery~

... Oh great, Kento's caught wind of the fact that Sexy Zone's pre-pubescent members are in trouble!

Now, I wonder who this moody person is...? Also, that bridge leads off to nowhere, unless a suicide attempt is within this persons mind, that is...

Eramgerd, it's Fuma. Who woulda thunk it? Hi, Fufu!!! <3

Marius... Marius, darling, don't touch it. The graphics don't want to be touched...

Marius, what the fuck did I just tell you!? DON'T. TOUCH. THE GRAPHICS!!!!

Marius: "Sou-kun... what is that?"
Sou: "Shit graphics, Marius. Shit graphics."
Marius: "... Fuck."
Sou: "Yup."

Sou is clearly ignoring the shitty creature graphic. He truly is ashamed of what has become of Sexy Zone's PV's, I think.

Oh crap, shitty Graphics beware, The Knight's are a'coming!!!

I actually really like their outfits for this, pretty swish and cool.

Kento, you are beautiful, I just want to let you know that~

And however moody you may be, Fufu, you are fabulous~

Shori: "Welcome to my Crib!"

Your crib looks a little, erm... dishevelled...

Shori: "And these are my Homies!"

You know that JE want to remind you how important Shori is, because they make sure to give him a Posse to make him look even more important than Kento and Fufu. That, or they need the Juniors to babysit him.

Ooooh, buuuuurn!

Marius: "Wh-what are we going to do, Sou-kun...?"
Sou: "For the last time, Marius, I DON'T know, and I DON'T fuckin' care... Jesus..."

Sou is so tired of the amount of nothing he gets in SZ, you can see it on his face.

Epic slow-mo running scenes...

This would also be pretty epic-looking if it wasn't for the face on the Junior to Shori's right (his left).

Junior: "Daaaamn, look at dat ass, boy... mhm mhm!"

I didn't know that the Titanic made a special appearance in this music video.



Why you're so damn shocked about it repelling you is beyond me, Marius, because you tried it once before and the result was the damn same.

Sou, on the other hand, gives no fucks.

Kento sports a massive Ball.

From this scene alone, I think that Kento would make a pretty epic evil Witch. He would look so pretty~

Kento: "Nyahahaha, fly my pretties, FLY!!!"

Kento is having fun with the shiny purple things~

This is like Skype, but better. Also, it is very obvious that all superheroes now need to incorporate a dance sequence into their plan when saving someone. It works, we swear.

... So, basically, Shori is doing nothing to help aid Kento and Fufu in finding what they need to find?

... And yet he's the one JE are pushing and trying to make the hero.

Sou still gives no shit.

Marius is still cute, though, and a better actor than Sou. My son <3

So, dancing aids you in finding locations, now? Did not know that.

Fufu is so laid back and cool about everything, he almost looks gangsta. I like him.

Not gonna lie, these are some pretty snazzy graphics!

... Well, isn't this convenient. An ice cavern, and Shori, from the land of Fire. Pretty. Damn. Convenient.

Oh look, Kento, who is a water bender, and fire. No convenient in the damn slightest, is it?

But wait a second... what the heck is Fufu's element!? Seriously, all I got from his scene was suicide, and clouds, and... Oh wait a minute, it's air. BINGO!!!

So I'm guessing this is Earth. Typical.

Oh shit, the Graphics are getting worse! Quick, boys, save the Graphics!!!

Fufu does not give a damn.

And neither does Sou, but hey! At least Marius is hopeful that he will be saved!

I have to say, Marius has an intense look here! You can seriously see the concentration on his face!

Shori: "Holy fuck no, don't touch me!"

Shori is offended by these shit graphics.

Kento: "What the fuck...?"

Fufu: "... Is this what our budget has come down to? Hello! Project-styled graphics? Seriously?"

Well, that was easy...

Oh shit, Kento is bringing out his Water Bending skillz, prepare yourselves...!!!

HELL YEEEEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait, that ain't epic. Whoops~

Fufu, the Last Air Bender~

Kento: "Good Job~"

Kento approves of Fufu being the Last Air Bender.

Shori, you barely did anything. Stop pretending you are the Hero.

Holy crap, am I watching Thunderbirds now!?

Oh for fuck's sake... -head desks-

Also, is that belt encrusted with rhinestones...?

Hey, look! Sou has a little bit of care in his eyes... oh no wait,, that was just dust. Move along, he still gives no shit.

Holy crap, why can't Fufu be the Hero/Lea in this? It's clear he has the confidence, sass and the hair badassery to pull it off =____=

So, these stones, they give you more power, right? Can I have one?

... Kento looks like the stone is pleasuring him, not gonna lie. Fufu, too. Shori just looks drunk.


Okay, Fufu looks pretty camp here... Is it just me? XD



Why the fuck is it PINK!?!?

Sparkles!!! Glorious, cheap-tastic SPARKLES!!!! It brings out the sun!

Holy shit, Sou, calm the fuck down with the emotion!!! Boy, what has gotten into you!?

Sou: "I can be alone with Fufu again!!!"

Oh, okay. I get it.

Marius: "... Shit."

Well, it looks like Marius has realised that Shori has returned, meaning less screen time for him. Damn.

... Why is that pink thing still THERE!?!?

Urgh, you ruined the good graphics of this PV, you... you THING!!! -shakes fist angrily-

Okay, so un-sexyness and crap-tastic 'monster' graphics aside, how was the rest of the PV?

To be honest, I really like the video. Aside from the failure of the monster in this, and the graphics that created it, the rest of the graphics present in the video are fantastically designed and look pretty damn amazing and scenic. Sure, you know that they are graphics, but there is a lot of attention to detail, and it gives you that Fantasy-like quality that the PV has in the storyline the video provides. At times, I did find the graphics and CGI glaringly obvious, but I don't mind too much because that is how it's supposed to look, I think. We aren't meant to have a realistic view, here, but a made-up one. I mean, we're in a land of Fantasy and magic, right? We're not exactly going to get amazingly real graphics, though these are pretty damn good if you ask me!

Actually, upon first seeing this PV, I remember being pretty impressed by the visual aspect of it when I first saw it. Okay, the monster-thing was nothing amazing and really made the PV look worse than it actually is, but other than that the PV really made me like the song. I mean, the song isn't amazing, in fact it's the worst A-side song from Sexy Zone, but the PV is better, and really sells this lack-lustre, boring sound that has no personality or drive to it, so I was thankful that the video was absolutely wonderful... despite that one setback.

Also, rather surprisingly, I was amazed by the amount of screen time that Sou and Marius were given. Of course it's nothing big like the last few singles, where the boys were actually featured with Fuma, Kento and Shori instead of with the Juniors, but I was glad to see that they were shown a lot... even if they were portrayed as the Damsels in Distress of the entire video, but whatever. I was also entertained by Marius' acting skills. He isn't amazing, but he shows a lot of emotion (more than Sou, at least) and looks like he is truly trying hard to make effort for this video, and I liked that. He also looked pretty cool when dancing, too, because you could see he was concentrating hard to get everything right. Sou also looked pretty cool dancing, actually. I think hes becoming my third favourite, or tying with Fufu. Either way, I like Sou. He is really cool, and reminds me of Fuma in terms of moodiness in this.

Other than that, I did like the story aspect of the video, as well as the visuals. I think it added to that element of a Fantasy-like story, where the brave heroes do what they can to bring their power together in order to save the lesser-knowns/victims. Okay, so the fact that they are represented by elements was a tad predictable and probably over-done, but it worked in their favour I guess. The only thing about the storyline that was really questionable had to be the 'Boss fight', though. I mean, if there was a dragon that they needed to defeat, sure, but a small purple thing that they could have easily spit fire at from Shori's hand? Er... no. That's a bit pathetic, if you ask me. I mean, we saw in the video when they went to get their Emblem crest things that they just blew the minions away with water, fire and air, and yet when it comes to the big fight where they save Sou and Maroius, they have to combine their powers together to defeat another puny purple minion... Like, seriously? There is a pretty decent, over-done storyline, and that's the monster they are going to fight?
 Also, that said, you have these amazing graphics for the background, and yet your little flying thing is painfully obvious and un-threatening in terms of how good the CGI/Graphics are? Are you shitting me? Seriously?

Obviously not, because this was the finalised PV, and this is what I screencapped. Aye aye aye...

Either way, it's in the PV, and it did take down the production value in my eyes, but the rest of the PV was pretty good, and the storyline, though bland and overdone, is right up my alley in a way. It's storybook like, it has some great costumes, the backdrops are great to look at, and I really like Kento and Fufu in this. The only things that irked me were the flying blob of graphics fail, and the fact that Shori seemed to barely do anything, and yet was still made out to be the Hero of it all. Erlack.

Now, the PV has been reviewed, but what about the song...?

Well, it's boring. It's the blandest, most unoriginal A-side I have heard from this group, and in general their songs are generic Idol pop, so this one takes the cake in being generic and bland. I mean, it's catchy, sure, but only just, and the only reason I seem to care for it is because the PV is pretty good, but that's it. I also have a serious issue with how the instrumental suddenly change at what seems to be the climatic scene in the PV, where the Heroes walk towards their foe (pfft). It was a really weird change, and it did not fit at all with the song. It was just so... misplaced, and sounded bad, if you ask me. I did not like that part one bit.
 Also, I am seriously surprised that Shori didn't get a line in this. Or at least, it doesn't sound like he did. I am pretty sure if he did, I would recognise that nasal-tone anywhere.

Anyway, that all said and done (such a short Music review... XD) I do like the PV, and really, it does pull along the song, because damn, that song needs this video... however, a more original storyline and look could have been picked, but for me, I do think that the video summarises how JE feels about Sexy Zone as a whole right now; Three Money-makers, and two children they want to put back in Juniors. Whether that is truly the case is beyond me, but that's what I see when I look at this PV. Sadly, the same treatment seems to be applied in the groups next PV, which I should get to reviewing at some point...

But yeah, I'm still a sucker for Sexy Zone. I guess I am truly a fan of theirs.

This is not Sexy. Stop trying to make Sexy happen!!!


PING!!! Recommended Jpop♂ Reading: October 2013