I’ve been spending the last few days mainly rewatching Macross since I hadn’t seen it in a long, long time. In-between episodes, I did manage to sneak in a few idol related videos, including the newly fan-subbed Morning Musume DVD Magazine Vol. 39 and the live videos in this post.

Since I seem to have took the time to expose all the warts in the microphone rips of Morning Musume’s “Help Me!!”, I thought now would be an appropriate time to highlight some recent-ish performances that affirms faith in good ol’ Hello! Project.

To start things, you can never go wrong with Buono!. They are the super group of H!P kids, and are not over-rated by any stretch.

Great song, great performance. The Airi, Miyabi, and Momoko are all extremely talented. They are one of the rare few idol acts that can perform with a live band instead of the usual backing tapes. Airi’s harmonies, which almost never happen in idol music, push them way over the edge. I could watch this for hours.

S/mileage seems to receive lots of criticism lately.

I can forgive the off-kilter shakos, even though they drive me crazy. I don’t agree with the faction that would like these girls to “grow up”. Granted, I like this song just fine. I just want to see the new girls enjoy their time in S/mileage and as idols. Part of what made S/mileage entertaining, and what makes the current MoMusu entertaining, is the interplay between the young girls. As far as this performance, I think it’s quite enjoyable!

This is probably an odd choice. However, I really love “My Days for You”

This is a shuffle unit with Shimizu Saki, Kumai Yurina, and Sugaya Risako from Berryz; Okai Chisato from C-ute; and Suzuki Kanon. With the exception of Kanon, they are all have plenty of experience. Risako and Chisato power this group through the song. Risako’s voice in this range is expressive and consistent. The shake that Risako puts on her lines works nicely in this context. Kanon’s solo after bridge has a very sweet tone that I would love to hear more.

And speaking of Kanon

Suki-chan is upbeat, bright, and energetic. Although the song was written for S/mileage, it nicely encapsulates feelings of the new Morning Musume generations as well. The girls sing, jump, twirl, and dance with such enthusiasm that they lift downtrodden spirits. I can’t imagine anyone going home from this performance with depressed. And, they SOUND JUST FINE.

Morning Musume as a whole?

Admittedly, this is a Riho/Reina duet, and there isn’t much to sing in the song. The performance isn’t any less entertaining because of this. You can hear the girls singing live and in context of the performance, and it isn’t bad!

For the new generations, I cannot wait for the girls to develop into great performers. Some of them have a longer road ahead of them than others, but they can all take inspiration from their leader, who began her career in Morning Musume by dropping her microphone mid-performance. Her enthusiasm, dedication and sheer will has turned her into the idol she is today.


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