Asakawa Nana Special Photobook in Young Gangan 2016 no. 14


As promised, here is the special photobook of the lovely Asakawa Nana. You know, I really like her smile. I know this is probably not what you were expecting, but Naapon’s smile was the thing that first caught my eye with her …
Continue reading

Seran and Momoka Withdraw from Cheeky Parade


Cheeky Parade members Mizorogi Seran (20) and Kodakari Momoka (18) announced the end of their activities with the group they helped found. Through a news item on the official Cheeky Parade website on May 19, 2017, the two girls stated they will conclude their work with Cheeky Parade at the “Cheeky Parade LIVE LIVE LIVE VOL5” at Shibuya WOMB on June 9, 2017. After that date, the group will continue as a five-piece until Yamamoto Marin and Suzuki Mariya return to the group next year. No reasons were given for the two girls’ withdrawals from Cheeky Parade. Continue reading

Notes from the Couch: Idol PVs 2017 Week 13 (0402-0408)


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:

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Iisuta

In the most improbable of improbable, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s newest single is an Easter song. I’m not sure how much Easter saturation the Japanese market experiences, not do I know what Japan is doing with a “Christian” holiday like Easter. But, here we have it! To be fair, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu only celebrates the fun and hijinks side of the Spring Equinox with eggs galore. The eggs in question are pastoral colored claymation beings that look like they belong in the fictional Kingdom of Borovnia. You’ll find egg carnage, a half shell bubble bath, and the puzzling inclusion of capybara in Kyary’s Easter. Bagpipes and fifes call out an interesting musical blend that plays less like a dance floor and more like a jaunty jig. So everyone: march along with Kyary and try not to be abducted by the sunny side up flying saucers. Yes, that makes sense in the context of the PV. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s “Easta” beams down to Earth on April 5, 2017.

Continue reading

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 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

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161225 to 20161231 (Part 1)


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.

A huge push of promotional videos were released on this week, so this week’s Rewind is broken up into two installments. In this first installment we have Promotional videos from: GEM, EbiNegi, You’ll Melt More, Rev.from DVL, BRATS, Kamiyado, and Senanan.

As I struggle to get caught up, unfortunately I won’t be writing any Rewind+ this week. Sorry if you were looking forward to my forgetful look backwards.

GEM – Sugar Baby

GEM start their 2017 with some solid pop music and a keyboard sounds that would make The Cars feel proud. “Sugar Baby” is a schoolyard high school gym fantasy with the girls doing their best both in the class and out at the big dance. Where their previous single “Spotlight” was electric bulbs and mirrored introspection, “Sugar Baby” gets the party started with balloon arches and pom poms. And, while the song doesn’t offer much more than a single riff, that riff is played to perfection and will be with you for days and days. Fun and energetic, “Sugar Baby” begs repeat listens.

Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161225 to 20161231 (Part 2)


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.

A huge push of promotional videos were released on this week, so this week’s Rewind is broken up into two installments. In this second installment we have Promotional videos from: NERFY GUINER BIEBER, Wa-Suta, Zenbu Kimi no Sei da, Party Rockets GT, Pink Babies, Rosario Cross, and tipToe. (1) and (2).

As I struggle to get caught up, unfortunately I won’t be writing any Rewind+ this week. Sorry if you were looking forward to my forgetful look backwards.

NERFY GUINER BIEBER – Shampoo & Conditioner


The Cheeky Parade subunit(?) unleash their latest video “Shampoo & Conditioner”, whether you want it or not. Actually, I don’t see how you wouldn’t want this! “Shampoo & Conditioner” offers you nothing but fun times, strange choreography, and stranger video graphics. It’s not the next single from Cheeky Parade, so it gets a little bit of latitude which is fully exploited in this strange, bathtub strewn, bubble floating, boombox wielding piece of nonsensical fun. Where the hell is my shampoo? Continue reading