Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 10 2017 (03012 – 0318)


Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.

This week we have Promotional videos from:

°C-ute – Final Squall

With the first volley from their triple a-side final single, ℃-ute get everyone wet with its “Final Squall”. For fans of Hello! Project, the song is a thank you for the years: the initial frames spell it out in no uncertain terms. Every time the girls sing “sayonara” and “daisuki” it feels like a dagger to the heart. SHOCK EYE gifts ℃-ute with a song dripping with emotion, and ℃-ute delivers with a performance in the round surrounded by lucky fan club members who may or may not have participated in the water works. “Final Squall” sets the bar high for the remaining songs on the group’s 31st single. “To Tomorrow / Final Squall / The Curtain Rises” goes on sale March 29, 2017.

°C-ute To Tomorrow


With the assembled leaders and subleaders of Hello! Project + the Kenshuusei backdancers from the “℃-ute Shinshun Concert 2017 ~℃OMPASS~” tour, the H!P senior group offer this elegant send-off. “To Tomorrow” really emits the graduation vibes with lyrics of atonement, acceptance, and the future. Aside from the dance shots, ℃-ute find themselves on a hill top overlooking the ocean and the oncoming sunset. The cheer and willingness that ℃-ute brings to the sunset, their sunset, is noteworthy in that the group provide a great example of how idols should their transition. Tops in class and talent, the idol world is going to miss this group. ℃-ute’s final single will be released on March 29, 2017. Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 9 2017 (0305 – 0311)


Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.

This week we have Promotional videos from:

Morning Musume。’17 – Morning Misoshiru (Campfire Version)

Say what you want about another version of “Morning Misoshiru”, but I really enjoyed seeing the campfire version. How many times do we get to see the girls act a bit goofy in a release? Not often. The other bonus for this PV is the audio track, which offers the sounds of the girls laughter and occasional wota chants. I’m I sick of it? Not by a long shot!

Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 8 2017 (0226 – 0304)


Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.

This week we have Promotional videos from:

Morning Musume。’17 – Jealousy Jealousy


Looking like an elegant slumber party before the actual slumbering, “Jealousy Jealousy” rounds out the promotional videos for Morning Musume’s 63rd single release. Things look very black and white, although it’s not particularly clear which side is actually which (metaphorically speaking). What I do know is the group makes great use of their anchors: Oda Sakura and Fukumura Mizuki sing with an increasing presence from Nonaka Miki while Ishida Ayumi rightfully anchors the dance team and provides legit skills to the rap interludes (you should also stick around to hear Miki’s English in the rap- always a treat). Perhaps “Jealousy Jealousy” rests on foundations that are more predictable than its counterpart A-side, but man is the song smooth. For those put off by the mortar shells in “Brand New Morning”, “Jealousy Jealousy” feels like coming home to groove laden J-pop butter. “Brand New Morning/Jealousy Jealousy” goes on sale March 8, 2017.

Beyond the Couch

Over at Twitter I ran a poll, Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 7 2017 (0219 – 0225)


Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing. This week I’m really behind, so everything will be brief. I mean SHORT!

This week we have (a long list of) Promotional videos from:

Morning Musume。17 – Brand New Morning


The lead promotional video for the 63rd Morning Musume release finally climbs the horizon. “BRAND NEW MORNING” looks and feels like a declaration of sorts. The girls wear military inspired red with double-breasted buttons and fringed epaulettes. Fukumura Mizuki leads new girls Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina on a march through the idol warring period Continue reading

Makino Maria in Young Magazine 2017.03.20 no. 14


Well, the 12th generation image girl is definitely growing up nicely. This latest set of photos shows off a bit of her (errrr) adult side(?) Honestly, if you haven’t seen these photos yet (they’ve been all over twitter), YOU WILL HAVE YOUR BRAIN MELTED. Morning Musume may have just found another regular for the gravure magazines.
Continue reading

Tsugunaga Momoko – the Last Photobook previews


You should be aware by now that Tsugunaga Momoko, the longtime Hello! Project presence, Berryz Koubou member, and Country Girls playing manager, graduates from H!P and the public eye on June 30, 2017. Post-graduation plans for the idol include a career in education (just think about Momochi with kindergartners …). But, before she makes her way to the Idol Hall of Fame, she graces us with one last photobook: “Momochi”.

And, here are the previews (presumably from FLASH March 7, 2017 and UTB April 2017, both linked below)






— —- —-
Concerning Tsugunaga Momoko [English] [Japanese]

~theNumber244~
TypeC

Tsugunaga Momoko Last Photobook
“Momochi”
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeA

UTB (Up to Boy) April 2017
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeB

FLASH March 7, 2017
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 6 2017 (0212 – 0218)

Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.

This week we have Promotional videos from:

X21 – Beautiful X

Ahead of their 2nd album, X21 release the promotional video for “Beautiful X”. The PV completely envelopes the girls in a white cyc (that white stage with no corners), where the girls either perform their choreography or mug lovingly for the rotating camera. The sense of perspective slowly fades as the girls move towards and away from the camera’s viewfinder. Eventually, I didn’t know which way was up anymore. “Beautiful X” really shines when the girls are given their solo close-ups. True to the Bishoujo Contest origins of the group, X21 members are all pretty in a way that outpaces most other idol groups. With soft lighting and a gentle breeze, you’re sure to find a girl that suits your fancy.

Beyond the Couch

Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 5 2017 (0205 – 0211)

Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.

This week we have Promotional videos from:

Tsubaki Factory,
HKT48,
Team Syachihoko,
Fairies,
Faint★Star [1] and [2],
Why@Doll,
J☆Dee’Z,
HR,
Star☆T, and
243 to Yoshizaki Aya

Tsubaki Factory – The Magnificent Camellia

Well, I’ll be darned. Tsubaki Factory release the promotional video for “Urawashi no Camelia”, and it’s right up my proverbial ally. Starting with a a bit of ragtime from the Victrola and drenched in a faux sepia process, our girls party like its 1899. And, when the girls wake up to 2017 they still Charleston their way through the school yard like rebellious Meiji era teens. When the girls mug their way through the school corridors they look like they are having the time of their lives! For my part, I don’t think we get to see the Tsubaki Factory girls having this much fun together nearly enough. For its incredible fun and cute blend of new and old, I’m giving “Urawashi no Camellia” a 244 badge of distinction. You can find “Urawashi no Camellia” on the group’s debut single (linked below) on February 22, 2017.

Beyond the Couch

Yes, I’m still over the moon with this song. I cannot wait to get it in my hands and onto my iPod! A refreshing change from the electro-pop that permeates these releases, “Urawashi no Camellia” still manages to sound fresh and youthful even though it mimics the musical styles from over 100 years past. Given their brief history, I don’t think Tsubaki Factory will stay with the retro jams for very long, making this song a jewel in their repertoire. Keep blooming, you magnificent camellia! Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 4 2017 (0129 – 0204)


Okay. I’m rebranding a bit. I just don’t want to keep looking at that damn Memorex ad anymore. The concept here is the same, so I hope you still get something new out of reading these little bits of mine. Thanks a bunch!

Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. This is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.

This week we have Promotional videos from:
Country Girls,
Perfume,
Noto Arisa,
Yunomi feat. Toriena,
P.IDL,
RYUTist,
Lyrical Renaissance,
Kimura Tofu Ten (exclusive!),
Maria (exclusive!), and
Yamitsuki Company (exclusive!).

Country Girls – Good Boy Bad Girl

The motorcycle garage fantasy of “Good Boy Bad Girl” got a release today, and it is a ship builder’s dream. The girls pair off and sing to each other much like the guitars duel it out in the instrumentals. The Country Girls embody the titular boy/girl pairing, which means someone needs to play the bad girl girl. While this 50% of the the double A-side doesn’t have the verve of its partner (to me anyways), I do enjoy seeing the group stretch out and try new things. I know someone out there will complain about the incongruous motorcycle garage that isn’t mentioned in the lyrics, but do the visuals really need to match the lyrics exactly? I though we got over that in the 1980s. “Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love” vrooms into stores on February 8, 2017.

Beyond the Couch

Real talk: Continue reading