Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | August 29, 2014

Details Released on Lovendor’s Second Mini Album

Finally, some news about Lovendor’s upcoming mini album!

The mini album will have a CD and a DVD. The DVD includes 2 new MVs, and 3 live performances that were recorded at their most recent tour’s final at ShibuyaWWW on July 24th. The CD will contain five original songs.

Tracklist:

[CD]
1. Ikujinashi
2. UNDERGROUNDER
3. Kono Yo ni Shinjitsu no Ai ga Hitotsu dake Aru Nara
4. Stonez!!
5. Shounen

[DVD]
1. Ikujinashi(MV)
2. Shounen(MV)
3. Stonez!!(Live@WWW)
4. Ai no Gishiki(Live@WWW)
5. Dakedo Mou Ichido Soredemo Mou Ichido(Live@WWW)

I’m excited for this mini album, since their last one was a decent release. I’ll update once covers and other information is released in the coming months!

The mini album will be released November 5th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | August 19, 2014

Juice=Juice New Single Announced!

That was super quick!

A new single for Juice=Juice has been announced! The single is another double a-side, titled Senobi/Date Janai yo Uchi no Jinsei wa.

The second song has been performed in their concert tour (which has been extended until November!) since June, and was originally just an extra song to perform to make the set list have more original material. Now it’s being released as a single alongside a new(er) song. Date Janai is a more upbeat cuter song with a very Juice=Juice feel to it and reminds some of older H!P songs, so with Juice=Juice’s single history, I think it might be safe to assume that Senobi will be the cooler, more powerful song of the two.

I’m happy to see Juice=Juice are pushing out singles so quickly! Hopefully we’ll see an album out at some point later this year, or at the latest, early next year.

Other than the title and release date there isn’t much information currently, but I will update this post once there’s a little bit more information on the release.

The single releases October 1st.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | August 17, 2014

360th Post!

I’ve reached my 360th post, so I thought I’d make this the time for a small “Site Updates” post, since it’s been a very long time since I’ve made one, or even a non-news type of post, for that matter.

I’d like to take a moment to apologize from my lack of posting. During the spring and early summer months I was rushing to finish assignments and school work and had to juggle a lot. Since I graduated high school in late June, I’ve been super busy with babysitting my six year old little sister during the week, which wasn’t something I had planned at all. For the first week, I was the only one watching her for ten hours a day, and my sister is quite the brat and therefore a total handful. For the second and third week of watching her, one of my brothers was forced to help me, because at the end of the day I was so exhausted I was just going straight to bed once my parents got home around 5:30, and sometimes wouldn’t come up for dinner because I was too tired. So, now with me having the morning shift, from8:30am until 12:45pm, I have a little time to myself to dedicate towards doing things I had planned to do this summer.

Well, with all of that said (I feel like that’s the most personal I’ve gotten on this blog), I haven’t had time to do much with this blog aside from quick news posts, and the usual mini-music video reviews every few months. I had a lot of plans for it this summer – I wanted to revamp the entire thing, since in the past four years this blog has never changed in terms of layout/theme. I planned to do a major update of all the discographies and the profiles, which I had started doing in the spring. However, none of that ended up happening, and I became too busy to focus on it. Now, with a few days little sister free, I hope to dedicate more time to this blog, although I can’t really promise anything because as we all know, sometimes life throws us things we just hadn’t expected.

However, I do plan on, gradually in bits and pieces, updating this website’s information and look, and to start posting more opinion pieces and the like, like I used to. I have a whole list of topics I’d like to write about, and I know a lot of you enjoyed those posts, so I’ve always wanted to get back to writing them but never have had the time. On top of that, I’ve been thinking about taking this blog back to its H!P-only roots. I still enjoy other groups, but I don’t post about JUMP so much and even though I have reviews of things outside H!P, the website has mostly stayed strictly H!P, and it just seems odd to me now. So, I was thinking about creating a secondary blog, where it’ll be run similarly – with reviews, news, opinion articles and fun posts, etc. – but will be a non-H!P J-pop blog. Well, that’s been what I’ve been considering. Now that I’m not burdened by school as much anymore and will be taking a year off, and once my sister is in school again starting in September, I’ll have much more time to run my many blogs.

So, these are my thoughts and ideas. Everyone is free to chime in, too! If I make another blog, would you be interested in reading/keeping up with it? And in terms of this blog, what would you like to see me do with it? What posts would you like me to make – what topics, etc. would you like me to write about? I’m interesting in everyone’s thoughts, because you guys have continued to keep up with my blog for a few years now, and so I’d like to make your visits here as enjoyable as possible! Plus, I don’t get many comments, so I think my fun posts and opinion articles would generate some comments and discussions.

Let me know in the comments below!

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | August 16, 2014

Momusu New Single Details and Offical Date for Michishige Graduation

Finally we have news!

The single is a triple a-side release! the single is titled ‘TIKI BUN / Shabadabadoo~ / Mikaeri Bijin‘, and will be released not on September 17th, but on October 15th.

The single will be available in 6 Editions. Michishige described ‘TIKI BUN’ as a cool song. ‘Shabadabadoo~’ is her solo graduation song, ‘Mikaeri Bijin’, which will include everyone except her.

The graduation date was also announced! Michishige will be graduating at Yokohama Arena on November 26th. A special website will open on the 17th of this month featuring photographs, single information and a countdown until Michishige graduates.

I thought she’d get a little longer within the group – like until December, which has been the usual with end of the year graduations. I’m sad that we won’t have that little bit left with her, but at least that gives the girls some time with the upcoming 12th gen to sort things out and get used to things before releasing a new single in the new year. But, this does have me questioning an album – will we be getting one in November, then?

The release date is October 15th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | August 8, 2014

S/mileage New MVs Released!

Both MVs for S/mileage’s next double a-side have been released on their official channel.

I’ll start with Aa, Susukino.

The song itself is good. I wasn’t quite feeling it when I first heard it – it didn’t give me that “Wow, this is amazing!” feeling, where a song instantly grabs you and makes you want to listen to it again. Recently, H!P’s releases haven’t grabbed me right away (C-ute’s Love Take it All, The Power, Berryz’ Diet or Morning Musume’s Password is Zero, to name a few), but recently S/mileage’s past few songs have really got me good, aside from Mystery Night, which I still don’t care for. This song, too, falls into the category of “Meh” on the first listen. After a few more, I’ve come to quite like it. I don’t care for the dialog within the song, although I tend to never like dialog all that much to begin with. The verses are nice and the chorus is catchy enough that I’ll probably listen to it often enough, and maybe eventually go from really liking it to loving it.

As for the music video, it’s simple but special in that it’s shot in an airport! An actual airport, not a set. It’s been closed down, or at least the section they’re filming in has been, of course. But still, it’s nice to see H!P doing more story-driven/outside the studio music videos – first C-ute, then Juice=Juice and now S/mileage, it’s definitely a great change. Having done shooting on a cloudy day, it keeps the colours rather dim and muted, but that works with the atmosphere, I suppose. I got a little bored with it about half way through, because it’s all the same stuff, as usual – close ups of the girl’s singing, dance shot, shots of them looking out longingly… I mean, going to an actual airport and all that is fantastic and the video as a whole is well put together and the shots are lovely, but the whole video is all the same thing, so although I could watch it all the way to the end just fine… I don’t know how to put it. It’s just kinda boring in a way. I liked it, I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best music video’s from H!P this year. But, on the plus side, the dance looks good and so do the girl’s outfits, so those get good points from me.

Overall, the song is great, the girls look and sound great, and dance seems good and the video is good too! This gets 3.5/5 for me.

On to Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hakugumu.

This song was also in the category of “meh” to me. The line “Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hakugumu” is sang to a similar melody as Morning Musume’s Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai, and the way it’s repeated only furthered the feeling of having heard this before, and the song seemed recycled to me at that point. However, as the song moved on, it lost that feeling pretty quickly. I love the saxophone, and the rest of the arraignment is one of the big pluses in this song. The melody of the verses is alright and sorta catchy. The lower notes Ayaka takes on really suits her voice and she does them really well. Even though there’s not too much of a big lead into the chorus and the song stays relatively at the same level the whole way through, it’s not a bad thing with this song because it suits it, and the chorus is probably the most catchiest part of the song that will stay stuck in people’s heads. I liked it!

Because so much of the budget went to renting out the airport for Aa, Susukino, we are back to the studio sets. This isn’t too bad here because they made it work. The usual dance shot and close ups were used, and I kinda liked that they split the group into two for group singing shots, because it’s a nice change to split it up. I also loved the sparkling background with Ayacho and Kanon’s silhouettes! As for the outfits, simple is best, and I really love the deep red they chose because it really fits the song well. All the girls look great! Ayacho’s forehead makes an appearance, and she looks amazing! I wish Meimei would start putting her hair like that again, it suits her more than bangs do. The dance also looks well done, it’s nice to see S/mileage have dances that don’t have any weird or awkward dance moves in them.

Overall, I liked the music video, the girls look and sound great (Ayacho rocked this one, and she’s awesome live!), and the song is great! I give this half a 4/5.

This single is a pretty good one, but I really wouldn’t say it’s their best. Both songs are great, but neither have that “amazing” factor to them for me, although there’s always the chance they may grow on me to that point.

The single releases August 20th.

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!

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