Friday, 29 November 2013

Houkago Princess LOVE! ~Houkago Princess Fansite~

So yeah... remember that Project I briefly told you about in my Digest? The one that I ever so subtly skimmed over, and noted that I didn't know how long it would take/keep my interest? Yeah... you don't remember? Well dum-diddy-dum, that's not fun!

Regardless though, I've decided to let the cat out of the bag, or the Idol so to speak, and let my Project be known, even if it IS still a work in progress! So, let's go!


So, after a long time wondering, umming, ahhing and debating, I decided to look for free website builders to create my own Houkago Princess English Fansite! Why, you ask? Because I am pretty much obsessed with this group right now, and recently on Facebook my online friends have gained interest in this group (thanks to the addition of Michishige Saho, that is) and have been asking about the Members, who is who, what they have done, etc... so I decided that it was time to basically revive the fan site, but this time in the form of a site, not a fan-blog that I once had.

... Yeah, does anyone remember my Wordpress HouPri Fansite? If you do, you probably don't remember I made it, or you never knew of it. This was back when the group was insanely obscure, and during their early days before they disappeared off of the face of the internet for a good while. Sadly, I couldn't hack Google Translate either, and so I just stopped posting on there all together... I wasn't happy with myself for that, but also, it was hard to try and keep up to date with this stuff because it was simply a blog; I really couldn't do much more than a few extra pages for profiles, and the rest was just blogging, which I love to pieces, but daily updates was a no-go for me!

Look at that... it's horrible, I know.
However, thanks to the interest the group seems to have been getting (I can toot my own horn here and say my promotion of them has helped a little... I think I am the only one who blogs about them, actually) I did finally decide that it was high-time I start working on a fan-made fansite for the group. Sure, I did pander with the idea of restarting the blog, but I knew I would ant to kill it after a while, and for me a website looks a little bit more classy, and it can be more informative too; also, Websites cater to the basic information you need, such as Member Profiles, access to videos, single details and such... and that's what I wanted. So I did it. I made one. Okay, so I sill have a lot to do to it (Former Members' profiles, Discography details and probably a few other tweaks here and there...) but I have the basic stuff down, most importantly the current member profiles and the important links leading to the official blog, staff blog, youtube, twitter... all that stuff.

So, without further ado, here it is... THE LINK!!!

Before I even decided to publish this website, I asked others to look at it, and when I had a good amount of opinions on it (all positive, weirdly enough...) as well as the member profiles done and dusted, I thought that it was time to publish it and let others view it.

I have wanted to do this for a while; I love Houkago Princess and I want to share them with the Wota World and let them decide for themselves what they think, but because of how small they are in comparison to other awesome Indies Idols, it's a little harder for others to really see them, I think... so I created this because I know not a lot of fans know that much about the current members, or they don't follow them as actively as I do and so miss out on the more important updates such as new members, graduations (even with Graduations, I am late XD) and such. I also created this for new fans or those who are interested so that they can take a look for themselves in an easy format... and in a language that I hope they understand! Luckily it was easy to build, as the style of the website creator I used is similar to what I used in my Media Classes, so I didn't have much of a problem making this... so yeah.

I know that not a lot of my readers follow the group, and many of you probably have little to no interest in them, but for those who do, please check out the site; I created it so that we have a place to look for information on the girls and to share the love with the fans. It's a big thing for me to make this, and I am happy I did because it means that I am sharing the Houkago Princess Love with more fans and hopefully allowing newer fans to find out about them. Hopefully it helps, even just a little, in getting HouPri known more in the Wota world.

And that is all I have to say for now~

Much Love and HouPri goodness,

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Reader's Voice: Perfume and Homophobia

All thoughts and opinions... they are YOURS!!! Thank you for sharing them. I love you all!!! <3

So about a week to two weeks ago, I posted about Perfume and Homophobia and my thoughts on the entire matter. The subject on Homophobia itself is a sensitive, delicate matter, and I knew I needed to tread carefully... but I was overwhelmed by the responses you all gave, and because of how open-minded and wonderful you all are, I really did want to share your thoughts with everyone else, so in this post I will do exactly that.

Much like Serenyty of Happy Disco's Your Thoughts posts (sorry my love, I am borrowing your idea for now ;_____; but honestly, it's a fantastic idea!) this is where I will post your comments, so with that all said and done... let's go!!!

The first comment is from Jenny: (who is a sweetling in general, I love her >3> <3)
"To be honest when I read that little snippet of the article I wasn't offended in any way. A-chan is a girl from a country that hasn't really tackled the subject of LGBT so of course when she comes to countries that are much more passionate about it she will get confused due to cultural differences. 
However, I can empathize a little with how some people got a little upset. She didn't word it the right way and that was A-Chan's mistake. One thing that does bother me however is how OTT some people's reactions are that they have decided to boycott Perfume. And the people on the Arama or whatever it's called site? They are all judgmental individuals and they like to twist anything to make people look bad so they can keep on bashing and judging in their free time."
Jenny brought up an important point that we generally forget when it comes to our Idols; they live in Japan, where LGBT is not really a subject that they focus on. Sadly, a lot of people do forget that in Japan, LGBT isn't as big of a thing as it is here in England or in the States. We see it in a different light to A-chan, and for her, she was wording it in the way that would be deemed acceptable in Japan, I believe. But she was in another country, and so, she was bashed for it by foreign fans because of that cultural difference... it's sad, really >___<

Also, Jenny's totally right about Arama in a way; they do have a habit of twisting stories and such to turn it in their favour, and to watch the bloodbath flow. It's weird... but it's their charm(?) I guess.

Next up is Sarah: (Whom I also know and love. Hey baby~ <3)

"So, when I opened this I did kinda expect to be offended and/or enraged by what I read... Well, that was a let down XD Here I am, getting all ready to be angry with some group I barely know, only to find out they didn't do anything (I percieve as) wrong. Such an anti-climax! If I'm completely honest, I think that people who got offended (yup, your initial self included xD) just didn't take the time to properly read it and let their bias get in the way~ It's a pure case of confirmation bias (omg, Sarah learned a term in her psychology class today). People want to see something to get angry at, so they'll just twist the words to fit that expectation. And that bias was probably set up by the title/tone of the article on Arama.
"If you carefully look to the 'offensive' text, you'll not really see anything bad:The group also discovered that their fan base demographic in European countries was somewhat different to Japan, where the ratio of male and female fans is almost equal. - Oh, so they're going to mention the differences between European and Japanese fan bases, that's useful to know. They're comparing conservative Japan, to not so conservative Europe
“Overseas, there were more men than women, and also people who were neither!” says A-Chan. - Oh cool, so there were gender non-binary people at the concert? Amazing! 
“A gay couple came to our singing session and one of the guys introduced to us his ‘girlfriend.’ - So he probably introduced them to either a man who was dressed up with a feminine style, or used the term girlfriend himself, right?
"But the guy gave me a huge rose saying, ‘I love you so much! – I also love him (a guy), which means I like guys, but because I love you so much he doesn’t believe I like guys! Tell him something to convince him that I like guys!’ and I was like, ‘what in the world am I supposed to say to that!’ - So she was asked to convince someone that despite them loving her, they were still totally gay. I think anyone would be flabbergasted at such a request, right?
"A lot of extraordinary things happened.”- Yes it did. They saw a guy with tattoo's, which is quite something for someone from a country where tattoo's are quite an exclusive thing for the Yukaza. And they saw gay couples, which is quite something for someone from a country where homosexuality is greatly oppressed.
"So yeah, I'm not saying that she wasn't homophobic. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't. The words can be interpreted both ways, just depends on what you are expecting and how you are reading it. Obviously you already figured that out... But I just wanted to give my 2 cents~<3"
The fact that Sarah is bringing her psychology into this shows that she's really thought everything out... and I do wonder why the Heck she didn't write my article for me, because she's so much better with words than I am... but honestly, she really did look at the post and take everything into account, dissecting it and making sure that she understood it fully herself before she made her verdict, and she did it so well! And, as she says, the people who do read this would probably have initially read it just so that they could get angry at something because it truly is a reaction post, in a sense; it's made to get a reaction, a bad one at most.

I loved Sarah's comment, because she really did think it through and allowed me to see how the post was truly laid out. She analysed it, and analysed it thoroughly and well... and I think that she should have a blog. (GET ONE NOW!!!)

Oh, and Janjan (Another one of my beautiful online buddies, who is <3) posted a response to Sarah's comment, so away we go!

"Thank you for saying what I thought. I agree with your points 100%, thank you for typing all of that for me lol.
"A-chan could have done a better job with word choice, yes. Did she do anything other than pove she is a human instead of a robot programmed to be a perfect idol? I don't think so. 
"As a member of the LGBTQA community, I came here expecting to be mad at an idol for actually having an opinion, not other fans for twisting a moment of poor word choice."
Pretty much what we all wanted... to get mad at an Idol, I expect, only to get mad at the fandom itself. But it seems we will always get mad over a fandom for silly little niggles like this, right? And as Janjan says here, A-chan did nothing wrong, she just expressed an opinion... which is her human right. She may look like a robot and sing like one on singles and in MV's, but as far as we all know... she has a heart, a brain (and some courage, too... who gets my references?) so she has a right to her opinion.

The next comment is from Sonda Kamil: (One of my commenting comrades! I can count on Sonda so much I think! Very polite and always cheers me up if I'm in need of a fun comment!)

"Well said Chiima, Jenny, Sarah, Jrocknpoppingirl (the comments so far!). Sarah's thoughts closely matched my own, being that I didn't have to wade through a biased tirade at Arama and relied solely on the "offensive" excerpt above. What's the problem?
"When you take what A-chan was discussing in context it was about fans that are more full-on than she is normally exposed to in polite Japan. Culture shock, I believe is the apt term. Screaming fans long before start time blew her away. A tattoo'd fan exposing themself was a shock. And a stranger putting her on the spot and asking her to convince their loved one of their devotion was making quite a demand. I wouldn't know what to say. I'd be thinking: "Dude, I don't know you! How could anything I say sound convincing?" Every example she gave went to fleshing out that theme of different countries, different boundaries. Those who missed this and got all uppity either severely lack reading comprehension skills or were born without empathy. Possibly both.
"Excellent dissection, Chiima, and I've been saying "like the song/movie/book/whatever despite the attitude of the artist/director/actor/writer/whatever" since forever so it's wonderful to see I'm not the only one with that attitude! However, I believe you made a mistake in your post when you crossed out "Shit stirrer." That statement perfectly encapsulated how this storm got out of the teacup."
As you can see, Sonda looked at everyone's comments before commenting, which is great because it allowed him to compare more on what had been said, and to see who's thoughts (Sarah's, clearly) matched his own more. Luckily, Sonda has not had to focus on the Aramians and their own comments on the matter... a lucky soul he is, I think! XD

What hit home though for this response was that Sonda brought up 'Culture Shock', and explained that what we perceived as rude, offensive and simply uncouth (word of the day!) is actually seen as politeness in Japan... and honestly, I had never even thought of that until Sonda brought it up! Whilst most/some of us are fully aware that A-chan is from another country, therefore she has a different way of saying/seeing things and a different style of living, I am guessing that not a lot of us thought about how her actions could be perceived in her own country, and in this case, she has been deemed as tolerable and polite. I know that could be a bit eyebrow-raising for some, but what Sonda says is pretty true I believe... and I am glad he brought it up, because it brings light to those of us who didn't think of that, and it really makes you think that A-chan really was not being rude... she was being polite in her own way, just not our way.

Also, I am happy that Sonda picked up on the bit about liking what you like, regardless of who does it bit... I know not a lot of people go by that theory or method, but I do, and it's nice to see that Sonda is on the same page as me there! And that last line... I love it XD

Next up is a new commenter, someone who came all the way from Idolminded (YEEEEAH!!!) and commented on the post. This is from Derek, who did also post a similar comment on Happy Disco, but it is a great comment, regardless:
"Hello...I am a reader of idolminded, which brought me to this blog. I really can't thank you enough for bringing such a well written and thoughtful article to light regarding this completely idiotic scandal. Here's the deal, and maybe this will help people understand some things a little better:
"First, Perfume is not anti-gay or anti-lesbian or anything of the sort. How can they be when they work with people in these communities on a regular basis? I know this for a fact. I've seen virtually every single interview and behind the scenes programs released by the Perfume camp and TV stations since 2006, when Perfume first came onto the Japanese national media map. I have followed them religiously and consider myself to be one of their biggest fans. I have seen them, REPEATEDLY, work with, smile with, joke with, and be friendly with MANY MANY openly gay Japanese celebrities in all the aforementioned interviews and behind the scenes docs! There isn't a single shred of anti anything by them! And if there was, trust me, they wouldn't show that to the general public no matter what! 
"That leads me to my next point...they are Showa style artists, meaning they conduct themselves in a manner that has bordered mostly on being stoic and unaffected by the world around them. They have been virtually perfect up until this point and though they don't consider themselves as Jpop idols but rather J-artists, they still have even kept close their personal relationships with men out of the spotlight. They wouldn't DARE dream of committing career suicide by exposing anything hateful about their personalities. They've worked too hard for the past decade you really think A-chan would say something purposefully demeaning, even if it was to a gaijin who put her in an impossibly awkward spot to begin with?
"That brings me to my final and most demanding point to consider about what A-chan said. She was talking about the whole PEOPLE WHO ARE NEITHER because she was simply emulating her idol AIKO. Now if you don't know who AIKO is, go look her up. You'll see that AIKO popularized this type of affectionate statement towards people who bend genders and what sexuality means...AIKO used to use this in her call and response at live shows. A-chan has said many times that AIKO is her idol...wouldn't it make sense that she was borrowing this phrase from somebody she and the whole of JAPAN has accepted as a successful J-artist? Think about it. A-chan didn't read anymore into that statement beyond the fact that she was echoing somebody she looks up to, and AIKO has talked about how she made this statement to be one of LOVE towards gays and lesbians and gender benders/transvestites, not one of hate. I mean, for crying out loud, in Japan a bi-racial kid is referred to as a "halfie!" Does that mean that Japanese people think of bi-racial people as only half humans? But to the outside and stupid eye, people would construe this as offensive, which is what happens when you take it out of the cultural context of Japan and its usage of language.
"I will be at the Tokyo Dome supporting Perfume on Christmas Eve AND Christmas night. I am flying 15 hours and spending over 6 thousand dollars just to see them. I've saved up so much money for this once in a lifetime experience. I love them with all my heart and have been a fan since 2006. I know I don't know them personally, but I feel in my heart I can honestly say that this comment by A-chan was taken WAAAAY out of context and also completely misunderstood. And I bet if you asked A-chan today how she honestly felt about gays and lesbians, she would smile and say that she LOVES THEM JUST AS MUCH AS SHE LOVES EVERYONE IN THE WORLD. I would bet my life on it."
This itself is one strong opinion, and it's clear that Derek is a dedicated fan of Perfume, which is nice to see, and whilst crucial points are indeed brought up, there are also points that I don't agree with... but I highly doubt I will agree with everyone anyway, so there we go.

.. If you read the Happy Disco article where this comment also comes to light, I want to say first and foremost that I agree with Serenyty a lot when she comments on the response herself. I do think that, when A-chan calls some of the fans 'neither' in the article, it could be being used in a good way... but like Serenyty herself says, it's not exactly an argument that I myself agree with or find myself favouring. For most people who read the article for the first time, and have no clue that A-chan looks up to the singer AIKO, they will not immediately think 'Oh, so she is using a term from someone she respects, who uses the phrase respectively... so it's okay' because sadly, they won't.

In fact, I'm going to quote what Serenyty says, because she says it so much better than I can and basically voices what I think;
"As for the saying coming from aiko, I agree that does give it a lot of perspective. That’s why I linked those Perfume City posts; it was something that made me think, beyond what the other English-articles had been saying. However, I don’t think that’s necessarily an excuse. For example, I love comedy. I follow some comedy podcasts, and I watch stand-up for comedians I like. But say I repeated some jokes that had homophobic undertones, especially if I didn’t immediately cite the source. It would be easy to go “Oh, so and so said it first,” but it doesn’t change that I said it, or that I implicitly agree with it. I mean, it’s a tenuous situation at best, and I do think that aiko and A-chan both mean well with using it. I just don’t see “aiko said it first” as an argument I agree with."
But other than that, Derek did bring up points and also showed his dedication and love towards Perfume, which is something I respect when it comes to fans. It did indeed clear things up for me as a reader, and hopefully it clears up a little bit for everyone else who read about Perfume and their apparent Homophobic tendencies.

And... that is all of the comments! I really wanted to share the opinions of the Readers here who had commented on the original post, because I liked what everyone had said, and felt it was a shame you weren't being heard as much as I was... I really valued your input guys, and you all brought up amazing, crucial points, and just showed me that you looked into it deeper than many others, including myself, did.

You are all amazing, I love you... and I may do this again sometime! Thank you for commenting, sharing your opinions and thoughts with me, and for just being great people! I love you a lot, as I have said already!

Much love and hugs and tea with crumpets on the side!


Okay! Musume Digest #79

Everyone, what time is it? DIGEST TIME, DAYO!!! Let's digest!

This week, in Digest News...

Flower to release a single on Christmas Day! Berryz release CM's for their DVD magazines! Sengoku Minami to grce the cover of Young Gangan... alone! Dawa has balls on the cover of Baseball GAME magazine! MomoClo to release a collaboration single! Station♪ to release a new single! Babyraids to release a new single! And more! Are you ready to get yo' DIGEST on!?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #78

Minna-san, Genki? It's DIGEST TIME!!! Do you want to Digest with me today, too?

This week, in Idol News...

Hello! Pro Station release the PV for S/mileage's ee ka!? The return of Shibata Ayumi is nigh! Up Up Girls (Kari) to release a new single in December! Maeda Atsuko and Kasai Tomomi to release new singles, too! Bump.y to release their first original album! Details on Yuka Ueno's Winter single have been revealed! LinQ gain a member, two announce their graduations! And more!!! Are you ready to Digest?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Perfume and Homophobia

Grass is Green, Sky is Blue. I have an Opinion, and so do you... AND SO DO IDOLS!!! So basically, suck it up or go!!!

IMPORTANT NOTE* Before I dare dive into this post, I want you all to know that I am touching on the subject of homosexuality, LGBTQA and homophobia. This in itself is a serious topic for many, and may offend people if taken out of context. Please read this knowing that I do not mean to offend anyone, and if I do happen to by just mere words, then I am sorry! This subject is not to be taken lightly, mostly because it can get so iffy depending on who reads it or who writes concerning this topic. So, if you do decide to read on, please go into this post knowing that, despite not being a part of the LGBTQA community myself, I do respect people within that community, and I fully support it... but also remember that not everyone is like that, either. Thank you.

Monday, 18 November 2013

And a Merry Blogday to YOU!... and ME!!! Okay! Musume Time's 3rd Cake Day Bonanaza!!!

It's here... Okay! Musume Time's Blogday is upon us...

So of course, I made a Banner! HECK YEAH! Gotta make a banner...

... You can kinda guess that my creativity seriously lacked this year, but WHATEVER!!! I like this banner~

So yeah... It's my blogs 3rd Anniversary/Birthday/Cake Day/Blogday! Today on November 18th 2013, I have hit 3 years since I started Okay! Musume Time... and yeah, like last year, and the year before that... I did not think that I would even make it here. Heck, one Month was a stretch for me back when I began this blog! I just was not convinced that I would ever like blogging. But I do... and I love it so much now, as we all bloody know!

Of course earlier this week, Nia of Nia's Wonderland celebrated her own Blog's Birthday as well! She hit Year Numero 2 on November 14th, and because she is one awesome cookie, she made cupcakes to celebrate her blog day! Now, I am not that original, nor am I good at cooking... in fact, never let me near a stove. EVER... and so I don't have anything amazing to share with you guys on this day, which is saddening because really, I wanted this blog day to be amazing. Though saying that, this blog still being here is amazing...

What's even more amazing is that I share this week with Nia's own Cake Day/Blogaversary/Blogday/Anniversary/Birthday... so I guess it's become amazing all by itself, right? That, and I get to share it with you all. Cheers~

lso, guess who else my Blog shares its birthday with...?

FUCK YEAH, SAKITTY!!! I Miss you... ;^; </3

Honestly though, the 3rd year... it's amazing. I don't know what it is, but every time I looked at this blog and wrote on it, I always thought "It would be amazing to get to my third year on O!MT. That will be a true milestone to hit". That number, despite being so small, is actually so important. I've always felt that blogs that get to their 3rd year are incredible, because it's like a passing point where you have successfully ran a blog with dedication and love for an amazing amount of time... and right now, I feel like I have hit a milestone and come to an incredible point in my time as a blogger for Idols. I mean, the blog itself isn't incredible, but the time frame that it has been around now is incredible for me. I am so amazed that I have been able to do it for so long now, and I am so happy that I have hit my Blog's 3rd Anniversary as Okay! Musume Time.

Thank you all for being a part of this day with me and for continuing to read my blog, even though I am intolerable and annoying, with bad grammar and so many typos... thank you for sticking through for all these years and putting up with me. You are all amazing people, and I hope to thank you properly soon, because you deserve it.

This isn't just my Blog's Birthday, or just a 3rd Anniversary for me to share with you all. It's a day to celebrate with you guys and give thanks to everyone who reads, comments, flames and helps me, because you have all helped me to get to this point, and I am so thankful for what you have given me. I am so grateful for all of you!

Okay! Musume Time: 3rd Anniversary of 2013 and posted at 3:00am UK time... Minna? Tanjoubi Omedetou!!! Let's Celebrate! Se no...

Happy Birthday!!!

... AND NOW ONTO THE BIRTHDAY CAKE BONANAZA!!! Get your spons and forks ready, because damn, you're gonna need 'em!

Of course, we must celebrate with some cake as well. Courtesy of our gorgeous, brick-wall personality Pengin, PARURU!!! <3

And look! Three of MoMusu's best have brought me a cake, too! But I gotta admit, nothing beats cake more than Zukki looking so damn bloody adorable as she celebrates my blogs special day!

Now, let's take a closer look at this delicious-looking motherfucker... and I mean the cake, not Zukki, Eripon or MasaKissu, though take a closer look if you will!

Damn, that is one sexy cake~ Can't wait to nom on it later!

Wait, what... MORE CAKE!? How can I choose from all of these delicious cakes that you have all delivered to me!? I simple can not!!! -faints-

Okay Sayu, not one, not two, but THREE cakes!? You truly do wish to celebrate my Blog's special day in deliciously scrumptious style, don't you...? Om nom nom... And I don't just mean the cake... >o>

You always know that the cake tastes better when it's smothered on your beloved Idols, right?

Well, I think that Lord Gaki truly does take the cake with the amount she has decided to bring me...

And look, another one! Why Gaki, thank you!!! <3

This cake is to share with the SHINee fans out there who stumbled on to my blog~ OM NOM NOM, LOOK AT DAT CAKE!

Look, even Riho has Maid me a cake! Prejudices behind us, Dayashi and I shall celebrate together!

f course with all this cake, we may need some Juice to wash it all down!!! Oh my!

Just try not to choke on your piece as I horribly remind you of Aina's departure~

Birthday Burgers, anyone? I tend to have them served by Bikini-clad 9ki's.

"Screw Birthday Cake, here's a Watermelon!"

Oh look! A Lolita and a Watermelon!!!

Now now, Yuka... my blog isn't that old...

Hey, look! Even HKT48's cutie-pie Sakura dropped by with cake and friends!!! YAY!!!

... OH SHIT!!!! Maachun's not happy that I forgot to invite her to my Blog Parteh!!! CRAP!!!

... But fuck it, she don't care no more. She's too fabulous to curr. Just having her here... it makes this blog day better...


Damn, we gonna be bloated by the end of this! But whatever, who cares? BLOG DAY!!!

Either Christmas has come early, or AKB just decided to dress as Santa for me whilst handing me Blog day gifts... hm... <3

Okay, time to party!!! Get your Cake hats on, people and DANCE!!!

Dance like you mean it!!!

Awwww, yeeeeeeah...~

We got dat groove going on, guys! Clap dem hands!

Okay, we're getting tired now, so let's wind it down with...

MORE CAKE!!! Hells to the YEAH!!!

And of course, a little music...~

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You... Minna Arigatou... Happy Birthday to You...~

Thank you for your Love!!!

Much love...


A Less-Than Grand Heaven Top Combine's 'Grandness Equal to Heaven' PV Review [Request Chronicles]

All opinions within this blog post, and on this blog entirely, are my own unless otherwise stated. Thanks, case closed, you may leave the courtroom now.

... Oh good lord, it's been a while... Shit >o>

So, we're back to the Request Chronicles, which I started all the way back last year in November... like, I have yet to hit the 1-year mark for when I started this, but it's close... too close, and I haven't even finished this thing. I do blame procrastination, of course.
 Life, too. But Life is procrastination in itself!

Of course, I have been procrastinating so hard on it, I have had people comment asking when I would get back to it. Well, I'm back on it, I just need to keep it consistent, which I am terrible at... we'll see how it goes for now though, but I hope to keep on Top of it for a while. Speaking of Top...

Today I shall be taking a look at Top Combine! The next group on my list, this Mandopop boy band was requested by an Anonymous commenter, who suggested four PV's from two different groups (two PV's per group, to be exact!) with Top Combine's Grandness Equal to Heaven being the first song on the list, so the first to review it is! Though, as you may know, I will only review three of these songs... depending on how much I have to say about them, that is.

So... Top Combine. Just who are they? Well, Top Combine are a Mandopop group made up of four (formerly five) members, and the group itself was created in 2007, with a 2008 debut. The group is still around now, and the group specialises in Mandopop and dance-pop sounds. So far, the group has released four albums to date, with Grandness Equal to Heaven being their second album release since their debut.

And, given that I have already told you we are reviewing this PV today, this is the song and video I shall be looking at. Just how will the group fare this time around? Will they rise to the Top of my list, or crumble to the ground from their grand mountain to Heaven? Let's take a look and see with Grandness Equal to Heaven. Let's START!!!

... I swear, all boy bands have tried to pull this style of opening off before. Heck, girl groups have even done it!

Wait a second... this isn't Heaven! This is the fiery blue depths of Hades dungeons!

You tricked me!!!

Eyebrows: "Baby, don't cry... I'll hold you."

Hey... are those Adobe After Effects behind you?

Eyebrows: "What!? How the heck did you know that!?"

It's called shitty effects and Chroma key.

Oh fucking yay, lens flare/background lighting... my absolute favourite!!!


Oh Christ, it looks like the Matrix meets H!P in here!

Damn, those effects...

And is this a mandatory Mandopop/Korean boyband thing to wear some form of a leather jacket/bolero? Yeah, I thought as much.

Sekushii-Hurr: "... I hate these effects so much, please, just... shoot me..."

Nope, not gonna, you're the hottest damn fine fella in this entire thing. Yowch, you turned up the heat in here! <3

Sekushii-Hurr: "Look into ma EYES!!!"

I would, but the damn effects are kinda distracting me from looking at you~

... I swear, this dude just popped out from Grease! Hey, Danny Zukko!

Oh good Lord, it's Mushroom Head!!!

That's the damn finest mushroom haircut I have actually seen, tbh

So many... effects... it almost stops me from noticing... the men...


Yummy McNumNums: "Come hither, darling~"

Okay, you're pretty yummy looking... hi~

Okay, where the fuck are my Pelvic thrusts? I mean, sure, do the whole upper-body turn thing, whatever, but where are my Pelvic THRUSTS?

Oh, I didn't realise that we had entered the Chocolate Disco era of Perfume in this PV. My bad.

Mushroom Head: "Hey, baby... wanna get with this?"

I have to say, he works that hideous 'do.

Awww yeah, Water bending time!

Eyebrows: "Hello, camera~ I missed you <3"

"Come and get it, baby~"

Okay, if you beckon me that way... I might just pounce...

"But you shoulda put a ring on it!!!"

We gettin' our Beyonce on in here! Oh yeah, baby!

Is it ridiculous of me to immediately think of Sayumi's little "HELP ME!!!" line from Resonant Blue when I see this image?

Hell, I'm even imagining her voice coming from his mouth now!!! Argh!!!

Awww shit, these effects are the bomb-diggity! Look at how expensive they are!


BOOM! Lightning! It's almost like the elements have all come into the PV!


I don't know what it is with men in Korea or China and this hair-do... but dayumn, you da sexy, Mushroom-Head! Work dat hideous hair like it's sexy!

Not even Show Luo could pull off this style! This guy is a miracle worker!

Mushroom Head takes centre stage in Chocolate Disco... I mean Grandness Equal to Heaven!

Yeah... you earned that Centre spot, Mushroom Head. Work that hair and work that group!

Closest thing I'll ever get to Pelvic Thrusts and being driven insane in this music video.

... Oh shit, the fiery gates of Hell have opened! Quick, Top Cobine, RUN! Save your Hair and your leather jackets!!!

... Nope, not gonna. Instead, they decide to walk away from Adobe After Effects. Good choice, men. Good choice.

Okay, so honestly speaking (er... writing), I have to admit that the first time I saw this PV, I really was not impressed. In fact, I'm still not overly won over by Top Combine... at all. Neither this song nor Lucky Boy, which I actually don't care for at all, have really appealed to me, which is pretty saddening because I quite like Mandopop when I do listen to it, and these guys have a good sound, but... they just have yet to win me over, is all. I guess the video and the quality of Grandness Equal to Heaven is a reason behind why I'm not overly set on the group, though they did manage to keep me inerested in the video thanks to one grand little quirk they seem to have... but more on that later.

So, the video; unlike many modern videos we see from groups today, Grandness Equal to Heaven is one of those heavily-chroma keyed videos that tries to put a focus on the dance, but instead overwhelms the viewer with the editors overuse of effects within the background of the PV. This brings us back to when the use of such effects seemed to be pretty popular, but right now, it's pretty outdated and of course overly tacky... and sadly, given that this is pretty much 100% of what the PV is made up of, it does cloud my judgement greatly, especially when it distracts me a good 80% of the time when watching it.
 Yep. The effects basically captured my attention more than the members of Top Combine, because they were just so outrageously noticeable and down right gaudy. Not fun, if you ask me. Then again, I seem to have a vendetta against horrible, tacky effects...

Of course I do take into consideration that this was made back in 2009, probably around the time when a videos quality was only just coming into play in the Jpop and Kpop scene, mostly. Also, the groups budget probably wasn't that big either around that time, as this is only their second release, but still... my judgement on the PV is still based on the tacky effects used, and yeah, it is what I notice the most in the video. Never a good thing, if you ask me.

That said... the members do grab my attention at certain points in the video, mostly when they have a solo shot. I mean, the solo shots are pretty cool themselves, and they work better with the effects of the background than they do during the group sequences. I like that it seems each guy has a different background/element to work with that represents the personality of that person, though this seems to be a rather frequent thing within Chinese boy groups, because I swear, MAMA had a few elements thrown in there...

Fucking FIRE!!!

It's all about the comparisons today, boys and girls.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the members themselves... as I said, they did grab my attention, but mostly when they went solo. And it had nothing to do with how cool or sexy they looked, because on the contrary, it was how funny an silly they looked.
 I don't think that I have ever seen a less serious PV from a boygroup, and yet... I think they were taking it seriously, but it translated so differently to the point where it was just so funny to watch. I mean, the way they express themselves through their facial features at some points, and even the dance, it became fun for me to watch because it looked a little silly to watch! This was basically the high point of the video for me, because despite all of the crappy background effects, there are some seriously funny facial expressions thrown in there that just add charm and personality to the video, and allow me to kind of forget (not completely, of course) how bad I originally thought it was, and lets me enjoy the added bit of fun that this video has. Forget professionalism, forget the lack of pelvic thrusts in the dance and forget how bad the video itself looks... the expressions make up for it, and so does that mushroom-shaped hairdo. Mhm!

Also, before I dissolve into a mess of words about the song itself, that opening is also pretty awesome; it starts off as if the video is like a cheesey 80's Inspector Gadget-esque show, before rewinding and heading into this rather cool-sounding song... and then the monkey laughter. Oh lord, the background monkey laughter.

... I was a gonna by that point, I believe. I won't look back, either!

Okay, fangirling over the opening over, I want to talk about the song, which is honestly the strongest thing about this entire PV/Song release... other than Mushroom Head and the wonderful facial expressions, that is. But I digress (even more)!!!

The song has grown on me. I admit it, it grew on me. Like the tree in MAMA. I at first was unsure about it, I wondered if I liked it or not, but after a few more listens, I have found that I enjoy it quite a bit... especially those vocals. The vocals make me melt, I swear.
 I don't think that the song is the best or worst, in fact it's a rather generic tone in my opinion, but it has it's little charm points that make it likeable, such as the random laughter and background noise in the beginning of the song as well as the different tones of the members' voices and the random use of auto-tune and effects on the vocals. It's also pretty catchy and memorable I guess, because even after the song stops I'm still playing it in my head and enjoying it... though I doubt I will listen to it again unless pushed to, because it isn't as memorable or catchy to listen to as other songs I have heard. I mean, it's certainly no AOA GET OUT, but it's still a pretty good song. It has a nice dance beat behind it, and it's fun to listen to.

... And that's all I have to say about the song. Pretty short, I know, but that is all I want to talk about when it comes to the sound. I like it, but not enough to continue pursing Top Combine in terms of their music.

In fact, whilst I found charm and hilarity in this song and PV, I'm not overly keen on Top Combine as a whole right now. I guess it's because of my personal music taste, as well as my personal opinion towards the PV. They are an okay group, and they have a quirk about them that I quite like, but they just aren't my cup of tea... the video is a bit of a let down (then again, EXO's MAMA has obscured how I think and feel towards Mandarin boy groups thanks to their high-ass quality) and the effects of said video drown out the boys and their talent thanks to how in your face everything is.

I think that, if the video were kept simple and instead only used the effects for the solo shots, with a regular studio or backdrop for the dance shot, this would have been a better PV, because it would have given us as the viewers more of a focus on the members themselves rather than drowning them out with bright colours and shapes that drag us away from their dance sequence, ultimately forcing us to look at something that is just so obnoxiously obvious and tacky.
 It truly is a pity that this group was overtaken by the effects of their backdrop, because I really paid little attention to them thanks to that, as the group is pretty good at dancing and they have some wonderful vocals. At the end of the day though, they were overshadowed... and it kind of proved to be their downfall with me as a viewer.

Grandness Equal to Heaven? More like the crumbling of Heaven and its untimely downfall with this PV.