Morito Chisaki in Young Gangan 2016 no. 20


Here’s a nice short photo set from Country Girls’s Morito Chisaki.
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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 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

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170122 to 20170128


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: Morning Musume ’17, Country Girls, Tsubaki Factory, Houkago Princess, 2o Love to Sweet Bullet, FES☆TIVE, Ohara Sakurako (Rewind Exclusive!), PREDIANNA, Ogon Jidai, Yes! Happy, and Sugar & Solt

Morning Musume ’17 – Morning Miso Soup



The first video from Morning Musume ’17 comes in the form of a prootional tie-in with Marukome Miso. “Morning Miso Shiru” is a remake of the group’s 1998 single, “Morning Coffee” re purposed for this 2017 application. The song also marks the debut PV for the new 13th generation: Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina. Things get cozy for the girls as we see them camping in the most glamorous fashion. Decked in fuzzy sweaters and caps, the girls sing along at the campfire, fire up the sparklers, and engage in late night pillow warfare. Of course there’s plenty of Morning Miso Soup to go around. In the first time in quite a while, the Morning Musume seem to be having a lot of fun just being girls in a promotional video, which makes “Morning Miso Shiru” a very refreshing change of pace for the flagship Hello! Project group.

Rewind+

I don’t want to say that Morning Musume ’17 can do no wrong, but really Continue reading

Hello! Project Power Rankings February 2017



Hello everybody, guest contributor TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project Power Rankings. I’ll thank you very kindly for indulging me in my annual vacation, which explains the lack of H!P Power Rankings in January. Hawaii was wonderfully restorative, thank you for asking.

January always puts the girls of Hello! Project through the wringer of the company-wide Winter Concerts. This year brought two different productions: ~Crystal Clear~ and ~Kaleidoscope~. As for comings and goings, one group was suspiciously absent from the annual concerts: a prelude to the future of Hello! Project. Along those same lines, a couple of familiar faces announced their hiatus from the projects- both for health reasons. Of course, we will get to those absences in due course.

In concert news, Buono! will get a last hurrah after all! Tsugunaga Momoko, Natsuyaki Miyabi, and Suzuki Airi make a date with Yokohama Arena on May 22, 2017. No details about the performance have been made public, so you’ll have to wait for more info. For now, you can just mark your calendars.

In other news, Michishige Sayumi finally unveiled some plans for 2017. “SAYUMINGLANDOLL ~Saisei~” will run for 17 performances for M-Line Club members from March 19 through April 2. As yet there are no indications as to what will actually comprise these performances. Also, as a member of M-Line, I probably will not be reporting Sayumi’s latest news in this column after this month. Please follow her blog or Up Front Promotion to stay up-to-date.

And with that,
Rankings come on!

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Hello! Project Power Rankings December 2016



Hello everybody, TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project Power Rankings.

It’s been an eventful month in the projects. November spawned two single releases, an album release, a graduation announcement, a first-time Nippon Budokan concert, and a new generation announcement! And, if that isn’t enough news, Michishige Sayumi revealed (after some numberplay and wordplay) her comeback to the entertainment industry on November 26, a full two years after her graduation. The only thing for certain now is that the pink one will return next year. Details will be announced, so look out for Yummy Sayumi!

And now,
Rankings come on!

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Yamaki Risa in Weekly Big Comic Spirits 2016 vol. 50


I’ve been saying it for a while now. Yamaki Risa is a pretty young thing. Her sweetness and grace come through in this set of photos from Weekly Big Comic Spirits. With any luck this won’t be the last we see of the latest princess of Hello! Project.
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Hello! Project Power Rankings November 2016

morning-musume-16-power-rankings-november-2016


Hello everybody, guest contributor TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project Power Rankings.

October brought with it three single releases, the expectations for two more single releases, overseas concert performances, idol Halloween costumes, and more. But, even with that flurry of activity the news that dominates the here and now is Tsugunaga Momoko’s graduation from Country Girls, Hello! Project, and public life. You saw that correct: Momochi is hanging up the musubi. Technically, this news should belong in next month’s Power Rankings, and it still will appear there. But, in the here and now there is no bigger news. Momoko still has a few months with us- Momoko officially calls it quits on June 30, 2017 – exactly 15 years from the debut of Tsugunaga Momoka and the rest of the Hello! Project Kids.

And now,
Rankings come on!

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Hello! Project Power Rankings September 2016



H!P Power Ranking 201608

Hello everybody, guest contributor TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project Power Rankings.

In Hello! Project news that doesn’t fit in these rankings, Tsubaki Factory gained three new members! The other Factory Girls picked up H!P Kenshuusei Ono Mizuho, Onoda Saori, and Akiyama Mao. These girls are some real jewels in the KSS system. Onoda Saori is an experienced idol having been a part of the local Shizuoka idol group Princess♪Ribbon and is also the voice of one of the main characters in Kopinks COSMOS. Akiyama Mao, meanwhile, is a noted skillful dancer whose KSS rival is/was … Ono Mizuho! Read more about the new members at my blog. Look for this group to accelerate forward in the coming months.

The other monumental event in August took place at Nippon Budokan. After about four years, the super group of the Hello! Project Kids reunited on their biggest stage. Along for the ride were Tsugunaga Momoko’s Country Girls and Suzuki Airi’s C-ute. Natsuyaki Miyabi probably had the biggest day, though. Not only did the August 25 event take place on Miya’s birthday, but the “New Natsuyaki Miyabi Group” finally received it’s name: Pink Cres. (that’s short for Pink Crescendo). Crescendo is a music term that directs musicians to gradually increase volume, which is the hopeful trajectory for this new group with new girls Nihei Yuuka and Kobayashi Hikaru. Best of luck girls!

Take the good with the bad, though. August saw a major announcement in the world of Hello! Project that flavored Buono! Fest with a bit of the bittersweet. We will get to that news shortly, but before we do, let’s look at Tsunku’s Aflac commercial.

And now,
Rankings come on!

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Hello Project Power Rankings August 2016

Kobushi Factory 200160806
Hello everybody, guest contributor TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project rankings. This month in Hello! Project saw a new addition, a future foursome, and a TV Summer Spectacular. In addition, July saw nine performances of the Hello! Project 2016 Summer Tour- “Sunshine Parade” and “Rainbow Carnival”. Throw a new release on top of the mix, and it’s a wonder who will fall on top of the heap! Well, I did some of that work for you, so ease your seat back and get ready for the August Hello! Project Power Rankings!

And now,
Rankings come on!

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