Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | July 26, 2014

S/mileage Covers and Tracklist for New Single Released

Covers and tracklist for S/mileage’s upcoming double a-side have been released! The single has 6 editions, two regular and four limited, with limited A-D containing bonus DVDs. Covers and tracklists below!

Regular A:

*CD tracklist is the same for Limited Edition A and C editions

1. Aa Susukino
2. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu
3. Aa Susukino (Instrumental)
4. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu (Instrumental)

Regular B:

*CD tracklist is the same for Limited Edition B and D editions

1. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu
2. Aa Susukino
3. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu (Instrumental)
4. Aa Susukino (Instrumental)

Limited A:

DVD:

1. Aa Susukino (Music Video)

Limited B:

DVD:

1. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu (Music Video)

Limited C:

DVD:

1. Aa Susukino (Dance Shot ver.)
2. Aa Susukino (Jacket, MV making, Off-shot)

Limited D:

DVD:

1. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu (Dance Shot ver.)
2. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu (Jacket, MV making, Off-shot)

The covers seem a little lacking, to me. Out of the ‘Aa, Susukino’ ones, I like Limited A the best, but I like Limited C, too. For Chikyuu wa Kyou, I really like Limited B a lot! Limited D is great too. The only ones that seem more on the ‘okay’ side are the regular editions, really. But, compared to other H!P group’s covers this year so far, these are probably the worst, even if they’re simply ‘okay’. I’m interested in the ‘off shot’ part of the DVDs for Limited C and D!

The single releases August 20th!

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | July 26, 2014

Juice=Juice New Single MVs Released!

Once again, Juice=Juice have impressed me! The MVs for their upcoming double a-side have both been released on their YouTube channel, so here I am with a post on my thoughts.

Starting with Black Butterfly.

Wow. Where to begin? When watching the preview on Hello! Station, I was seriously jaw-dropped in awe. I just wasn’t expecting… this. Black Butterfly has a sexy and mature feeling to it, with tango flair. The lyrics are sort of mysterious, and the girl’s vocals are awesome. I do feel Karin’s “Black Butterfly” during the final chorus sounds a little odd to me, I think it wasn’t really needed, even though I did feel the last chorus was in need of a little oomph to end the song. But this song rocks! I was liking Hadaka no Kiss and the flamenco style it had, but this song is even better! [Edit: Karin's line has grown on me after a few listens.]

The music video is awesome too. The video is a mix of the dance shot, close up, and a shot with the girls in two groups sitting among flowers. The video is very dark, with only the pink, red, blue, and violet flowers contrasting, which looks brilliant. I was immediately reminded of Morning Musume’s Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game for some reason when I saw them sitting in the bed of flowers with the dark background. The music video has good camera angles and is visually impressive, absolutely great. I love the part during the instrumental break where it’s black and white, but the pink flowers around them on the chain-link fence keep their colour, it’s just an awesome addition to the video. Their outfits, although I liked them enough already, look even better in the video, and the girls all look stunning! The dance looks like another great Juice=Juice dance, which leaves me really wanting the dance shot! Just another great, but simple, music video from Juice=Juice!

Overall the song is fantastic (probably a new favourite of mine), the outfits are great, the girls look and sound lovely, and the music video is awesome! 5/5 from me!

 

So, on to Kaze ni Fukarete.

This song is another wow from me! I love the way the song  opens, it’s awesome. This song has a sort of Irish feel to it to me throughout the song (but especially so during the instrumental sections), and I love that Tsunku is experimenting with Juice=Juice’s sound a little bit, because it’s rare we get “cultural” influences aside from flamenco-styled songs within H!P. The bagpipes, I believe is what’s being used. I also love the sort of electronic voice-like sound after the choruses. Just lovely arraignment as a whole! In terms of lyrics and vocals, just lovely as well. The girls really pulled this song off well, and I really find the melody catchy. A great song over all!

As for the music video, it’s great, too. I like the outside shots – H!P doing more music videos outside the studios is great! This music video has some type of storyline, which everyone’s pretty excited about, and I do enjoy story-driven music videos. However, I’m having trouble figuring out what the story being told is? Karin throws a paper airplane off the roof of a building, looking sad. Akari finds it, reads it, and begins running. She passed Yuka, who after sharing a brief look at one another, begins running, too. Tomoko’s already running. And then, Sayubee finds another thrown airplane, and begins running. All girls reach Karin at the top of the building in the end. But what for? What did the airplanes say? Why was Tomo, who never saw the airplane or at least was connected to any of the girls (unlike Yuka, with Akari), running to Karin? A few people made “Suicidal Karin” comments, and I suppose the lyrics sort of match that idea, but I highly doubt that was what was happening? Was she just assembling J=J for a emergency meeting? Although I’m normally not picky with H!P music videos, I do like my story-driven music videos to actually have detail in it that TELLS a story, not just vague scenes passed off as a storyline of sorts, like this one has. It’s a breath of fresh air from the usual studio settings I guess, and it’s visually appealing and an okay video to watch, but I think more could have been done with it in terms of storyline that wouldn’t have taken much effort, at least to have it make obvious sense.

Aside from that, I really like the girl’s outfits here. This song has a more powerful feel to it. J=J’s double a-side releases have always had a cool/sexy song paired with a cute/lighter song, with matching music videos. But, for this release, both songs have a cool sound to them, and although Black Butterfly has that sexiness to it, this song has more power, if you get what I mean. So, originally, seeing the outfits and the covers, I was expecting something more light and summery from this song and video, but it reminds me very much of C-ute’s Aitai Aitai Aitai na in that it’s a cool and powerful song, but it’s visual components – the outfits, the music video, etc. – are the opposite. Had I listened to this song on it’s own, I wouldn’t have imagined a video like this for it at all. However, I like it this way! It’s refreshing, somehow, and I think it in a way fits with it much better than something darker, now that I’ve seen it this way. The outfits are super cute and all the girls look great, and the dance looks like a usual great Juice=Juice dance!

Overall, the music video is good, the dance looks good, the outfits are cute and the song rocks! The girls did a great job with this one!

I’m impressed with this release. Both songs are awesome! Normally, I like one song more than the other when it comes to double a-side releases, but with this single, I really enjoy both songs pretty equally.

The single releases July 30th!

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | July 21, 2014

Goto Maki is Getting Married!!

Well the day has finally come!!

Goto will be getting married! So who’s the lucky guy?

She is marrying a 25-year old man who is an office worker in Tokyo, and is a friend from her hometown. They met about 7 or 8 years ago, and according to sources, is said to be her “ex-boyfriend that she dated for a period of time”.

According to a few reports, they’ve met each other’s families and have been engaged since sometime before June. She has an engagement ring and has been seen wearing it on her left ring finger.

The couple will be submitting their marriage registration soon, but according to friends, they will not be having a wedding ceremony or reception.

I’m so happy for Maki. She’s a favourite of mine and I love her music, and I hope maybe once all of this is completed she may return to her singing activities. I’m sure we’ll see a few love songs from her in the future. She’s such a great person and I’m happy to see she’s found someone to share her life with. I wish them all the happiness in the world!

Congratulations!

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | July 11, 2014

Morning Musume New Single Announced!

A new single for Morning Musume has been announced!

There isn’t much information yet, so I’ll be updating this post once more info is available.

The single is set for release September 17th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | July 11, 2014

Juice=Juice Covers and Tracklist Released

The covers and Tracklist for Juice=Juice’s upcoming single Black Butterfly/Kaze ga have been released!

Regular A:

20140711-092038.jpg

* CD tracklist is the same for the Limited A and C editions

1. Black Butterfly
2. Kaze ni Fukarete
3. Black Butterfly (Instrumental)
4. Kaze ni Fukarete (Instrumental)

Regular B:

20140711-092044.jpg

*CD Tracklist is the same for Limited B and D editions

1. Kaze ni Fukarete
2. Black Butterfly
3. Kaze ni Fukarete (Instrumental)
4. Black Butterfly (Instrumental)

Limited A;

20140711-092622.jpg

DVD:

1. Black Butterfly (Music Video)

Limited B:

20140711-092629.jpg

DVD:

1. Kaze ni Fukarete (Music Video)

Limited C:

20140711-092729.jpg

DVD:

1. Black Butterfly (Dance Shot ver.)
2. Black Butterfly (Jacket & MV Making, Off-shot)

Limited D:

20140711-092735.jpg

DVD:

1. Kaze ni Fukarete (Dance Shot ver.)
2. Kaze ni Fukarete (Jacket & MV Making, Off-shot)

Overall, these covers are alright. I love Regular A and Limited A and B editions, but I feel like the rest look rather cheesy and rushed to me, although I suppose Regular B is okay.

The release date is July 30th!

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | July 3, 2014

C-ute The Power/Kanashiki Heavn (Single Version) MVs Released!

Hello! Today I bring you C-ute’s new MV’s and my thoughts. This might be a bit long.

Let’s start with The Power.

This song is still growing on me. I was hoping for something cool, given the title, but when people said it was more upbeat, I was expecting a fun song that will be energetic and great in concerts. The song we did get, though… It’s not as energetic, but upbeat wouldn’t be a bad word. The opening instrumental gave me good expectations but then the song began and I wasn’t sure anymore. It’s repetitive, which isn’t too much of a problem, but the chorus lacks that “oomph”. It’s like it stays at the same level, when normally the chorus has something more… wow about it, like it speeds up or it changes course or something. But this song doesn’t really have that. The quickening music makes you feel like it’s leading into a awesome energetic chorus, only to lead you into something that just doesn’t fit very well and doesn’t go anywhere. It’s still catchy and a good song, but it’s nothing amazing, or something I’ll listen to all the time. A lot of people said it was very Berryz-ish, and I have to say I agree. The song would have fit Berryz better, and I probably would have enjoyed it more as a Berryz song.

The music video didn’t fail me, though. It looks as though they did it in a hotel or a spa of some sort. I like the various shots used, a nice mix between close up and dance, and the different scenes (like the “It’s so deep, so deep” sections of the song, I liked those scene changes a lot). I like the super close-ups and things too, but when the girls are dancing, the camera getting so close seems a bit awkward to me. The outfits are nice, I kinda like them. The dance is a bit less than what we normally see from C-ute (once again, very Berryz-ish) but it’s not too bad. As for line distribution, I liked that it was pretty spread out. MaiMai seems to have a lead in the song, she’s more in the center for the dance as well. Also, as for the part where they have the girls dancing in that spiral thing (forgive me, I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it!), it’s a nice added touch.

Overall, the song is okay, as is the dance, but the music video and outfits get pluses from me. I give this half of the single a 3/5.

 

On to Kanashiki Heaven! The MV hasn’t been released on their channel yet,  but it’s been played on M-ON, so the link is below.

The song… Wow. Okay. So, this song has been release three times now, which is fine by me because I love this song. They changed the instrumental, which was fine, and I like it. They added in lalala’s in the opening lines, and Airi and Chisato still hold the main vocals, the others just chime in during the chorus and a few parts during the second verse and such. I don’t mind this too much, really, but I think if Kanashiki Heaven was going to be one of the a-sides, the other one should have been another song that had Maimi/Nacky/Mai main vocals to even it out (even if it was still The Power). I like the acoustics and violins used in the instrumental, and all the girls sound good especially Airi and Chisa (I’m happy they re-sang it). I think the song is great!

As for the music video, it has to be the best from C-ute so far. There are tons of different scenes used, and it’s shot outside for about half of it, and the rest are still on-location rather than studio sets. The camera work jumps around and is pretty busy for the most part, but I think it fits the song. The muted colouring is amazing, and all the girls rock the outfits they’re in. Just a very visually appealing music video as a whole with a lot of stunning scenes and shots (the girls dancing outside with the sunset/sunrise in the background is awesome, and the AiriChisa scenes with the sky above them looks amazing too). The only thing I disliked about this music video was the pole dancing during the instrumental break. When C-ute did that during their recent concert tour, that was fine – it was a one-time thing and it was cool for them to try, despite me feeling that it was a bit inappropriate for them as a H!P group. But whatever. But now, featuring it in this music video just seems… wrong to me. First, I don’t think it fits the song at all and is a completely unnecessary scene. Second, I think if C-ute does the pole dancing thing too much, it may give them a bad image. It’s one thing to do it once, but with C-ute’s popularity rising, if they do it too often it could become something they’re known for, or something that could give them bad criticism that could damage their rising popularity or even sales. People new to C-ute, or even current fans, might see it as something… inappropriate, I’ll say. I don’t think this is the image C-ute needs to have or should want. Anyways, I just feel it was unnecessary in my opinion, and I hope this doesn’t become a C-ute staple.

Overall, the song is awesome, the video (aside from the pole dancing parts) is awesome and stunning, all the girls look amazing, amazing dance and awesome vocals – this video gets a strong 5/5 from me.

 

I think this single is alright. Kanashiki Heaven (Single ver.) is the stronger half for me, but this single is pretty lackluster overall and I’m not sure how well this single will sell – I think getting number 1 isn’t likely (considering they’re up against Perfume’s new single, which in all honesty is ten times better than C-ute’s). But good luck to them anyways. I think this is the first single in a while where I’ve felt simply ‘Okay’ about a C-ute release, not since… well, Aitai Aitai Aitai na, which I grew to like a lot more after the single’s release. I just can’t see The Power growing on me too much.

The single releases July 16th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | June 30, 2014

S/mileage New Single Announced!

A new single for S/mileage has been announced!

The next single is another double a-side! The single is titled Aa Susukino / Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu.

Aside from the title and release date, there isn’t any other information on the release. I’ll update once more info surfaces!

The single is set for release August 20th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | June 30, 2014

C-ute New Single Covers and Tracklist Released

The covers and tracklists have been released for C-ute’s upcoming double a-side single, The Power/Kanashiki Heaven (Single ver.).

Regular A:

20140630-103935.jpg

*CD tracklist is the same for Limited A and C editions.

1. The Power
2. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version)
3. The Power (Instrumental)
4. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version) (Instrumental)

Regular B:

20140630-103944.jpg

*CD tracklist is the same for Limited B and D editions.

1. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version)
2. The Power
3. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version) (Instrumental)
4. The Power (Instrumental)

Limited A:

20140630-104512.jpg

DVD:

1. The Power (Music Video)

Limited B:

20140630-104520.jpg

DVD:

1. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version) (Music Video)

Limited C:

20140630-104638.jpg

DVD:

1. The Power Dance shot Ver.
2. The Power Making of

Limited D:

20140630-104646.jpg

DVD:

1. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version) Dance shot Ver.
2. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version) Making of

These covers are amazing!! I really love the Kanashiki Heaven ones (Regular B, Limited B and D editions). They’re just so cool and very pretty. The Power ones are alright, I find the title of the single and group name almost blend into the cover and make them hard to see in Regular A. The Power ones looks a little thrown together and too much of what we normally see in standard H!P covers, but the Kanashiki ones are more creative.

I’m looking forward to the music videos that should be coming soon, and the dance shots! I’m hoping this will be another amazing release from C-ute, even if one of the songs have been released three times now. :)

The single releases July 16th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | June 12, 2014

Juice=Juice and C-ute New Singles Announced!

I’ll start with C-ute.

C-ute’s next single is another double a-side! The first song is titled The Power, while the second is one we’ve seen before, Kanashiki Heaven (single version).

It will have 4 limited editions and 2 regular editions.

In a blog post, Tsunku claimed The Power had an oriental EDM sound to it, so that sounds interesting! As for Kanashiki Heaven, the music is rearranged (acoustic guitar slow start, then rush into intense rock), but the main vocals in are still Airi and Chisato. Maimi, Nakki and Mai will be participating the “unison”. I can’t wait to hear and see the MV for both songs, even thought I would have preferred two completely new songs.

The release date is July 16th (the same day as Perfume, so there’s competion for number 1 on the charts there!)

On to Juice=Juice!

There next single is a double a-side as well, titled Black Butterfly / Kaze ni Fukarete.

Laze ni Fukarete is described of having an Irish flair to it by fans, although some hear an Indian, scottish, or other influences.

The single will be released in six versions, four limited editions including DVDs and two regular editions.

The outfits for the songs have been released:

Black Butterfly:

20140612-164432.jpg

Kaze ni Fukarete:

20140612-164509.jpg

I’m excited to see what Juice=Juice has for us this time! They have yet to disappoint me. :)

The release date is set for July 30th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | June 6, 2014

[UPDATED] Info on Kago Ai’s Girl Group

Remember how Kago was having auditions for a new girl group? Well, news has finally been released!

20140605-112147.jpg

The group is called Girls Beat and features two other members aside from herself (currently nameless – I’ll update with names).

UPDATES: Their first single will be titled Sekai Seifuku.

I forgot to add, in case anyone has forgotten by now, the group is a unit project in which the members, songs, lyrics, costumes, choreography, and performance will be decided by the fans! The other two members are Kita Remi, and Himeno Ryona, but from what I understand members could be added in the future. They will hold their debut live on July 26 at Asakusa Rokku Yumemachi Gekijou, and following the unit’s concept “one member, one talent”, the girls will each show off their special skill during the live.

I’m excited to see how they sound and what kind of image they have. I like her solo work so I was hoping she would continue that, but I’ll have to wait to see how this group turns out before I judge anything!

What do you all think about this? Let me know in the comments!

Their debut single will be released July 22nd!

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