“Pharaoh no Haka” costume reveals!

The Morning Musume ’17 musical just released photos of the girls in costume! Here’s a look at the girls in their regalia …

Sariokis

(double cast)
Kudo Haruka (Taiyou no Shinden Hen)

Oda Sakura (Sabaku no Tsuki Hen)
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

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

Morning Musume 13th Generation Announcement!

Morning Musume 13th Gen

Announced a few moments ago at Morning Musume ’16’s Fall ~My Vision~ Tour Finale …

The 13th Generation Morning Musume Members are Yokoyama Reina and Kaga Kaede!

Firstly, congratulations to Reina and Kaede!  There’s never been a two-person generation in Morning Musume, so 13th generation is breaking new ground in a way.  As for my little poll, Kaede came in 5th place and Reina followed in 8th place. Not too bad, but the pundits were wrong.

And now, how about we learn a little about the new members?
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Kaga Kaede
加賀楓

Birthday: November 20, 1999
Hometown: Tokyo
Height: 162 cm
Nickname: Kaedy (かえでぃー)
Hobbies: Karaoke, Reading, Listen to Hello! Project’s songs
Specialty: Trumpet, Kendo
Favorite Music Genre: Rock and Anime songs
Favorite Foods: Natto, Cucumbers, Ground Meat
Favorite Subject: Cooking class
Worst Subject: Social Studies
Favorite Color: Orange
Favorite Sports: Kendo, Foot race, Football, Martial arts
Favorite School Lunch Item: Daikon Miso Soup
Favorite Animal: Guinea Pig
Charm Point: Being an anime otaku
Motto: Nanigoto mo tsukiru made! (何事も尽きるまで!; Do everything until the end!)
kaedy

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kaga20169full

Kaedy is a 17th generation Hello! Project Kenshuusei who has been with the organization since 2012. She originally auditioned for Morning Musume’s 11th generation. As one of the most experienced trainees, she is a bit of a known quantity. I remember tweeting about her excessively upon seeing her fail an audition for a Kenshuusei small group performance showcase. Also, as one of the older members, it felt like the clock was against her and this 13th gen audition was her last regardless of the outcome. I’m glad to have her aboard, and I hope she flourishes.

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Yokoyama Reina
横山玲奈

reina

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Birthdate: February 22, 2001
Homeown: Saitama, Japan
Height: 153cm
Hobbies: Listening to music and dancing
Special Skill: Playing various instruments
Favorite Music Genre: J-Pop
Favorite Food: Shougayaki
Favorite Sports: Dance and Soccer
Charm Points: Her bangs, her eyes, her loud laughing, and sneezing
Motto: Jikan wo taisetsu ni! (時間を大切に!; Time is important!)

Much less is known about Yokoyama Reina. The girl only joined Hello! Project in August 2016, so there hasn’t been much time to learn about her. From some additional reference, Reina sounds like very musical girl:

  • In middle school, she wanted to form a band and tried invite her friends. Nobody was interested in her interests. Her guitar broke and she lost interest in forming one.
  • She played percussion instruments in elementary school with a brass club.
  • She played Alto Sax in junior high school with a brass club.
  • She learned piano at home.
  • Her future goal is become a cool idol like her seniors.
  • From what I’ve heard, fans have been crazy about her since her debut. I have to admit that she is very cute. Like, very cute lol.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    This 13th generation audition seemed much more suspenseful than the last two. This owes mainly to the fact that we knew all the candidates, and the betting pool was off and running. It was difficult to build much anticipation when everything was unknown. Maybe my poll also was a source of echo chamber hype …

    Again, good luck to the new generation of Morning Musume!

    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!

    Read More…

    Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161113 to 20161119


    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 ’16, P.IDL Nagoya, Happippi, Wakita Monari, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku (REWIND EXCLUSIVE!), DEAR KISS, Yunomi feat. Nicamoq, and Tokyo Girls’ Style


    Morning Musume ’16 – Confront with Bare Nakedness


    With “Confront with Bare Nakedness”, Morning Musume ’16 play their entire hand for their November 23rd single. The synthy dance number sees the girls in vaguely pink camouflage patterned dresses and short bolero jackets in front of bare, skeletal red structures. Fukumura Mizuki and crew swagger it out with a choreography that involves lots of jacket play and chest pumping. Stick around for the glow paint that shows up roughly 3/4 of the way into the PV!. Morning Musume ’16’s 62nd single, “Sexy Cat no Enzetsu / Mukidashi de Mukiatte / Sou ja nai”, hits stores on November 23, 2016.


    Rewind +
    You know, “MukiMuki” didn’t really get me until a few listens. The song is relentless, and is only slowed by the b-melody. I tell you, once Eripon starts flipping her jacket over her shoulders, when the glo-paint comes out, and when Haga Akane gets the line of her career, I get behind this one. Behind “Sexy Cat no Enzetsu”, this will be my favorite from the release. Continue reading

    Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161106 to 20161112


    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 ’16, Bokura no Oyugi, Chubbiness, Especia, Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Fullfull☆Pocket, The Idol Formerly Known as Ladybaby, and ONEPIXCEL.


    Morning Musume ’16 – Sou Ja Nai


    “Sou ja nai” finds the girls of Morning Musume ’16 return to form, and that form is the 2014 “Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai” / “Password is 0” version of the group. Fukumura Mizuki’s girls are dramatically lit and shadowed in their cold antiseptic set filled with glass and poured concrete pillars. The promotional video also showcases some interesting effects. After the group materializes from silvery, Makino Maria summoned cocoons, the send shock waves flying with every thrust, sweep, and kick. There’s some definite Musume robotics at play with “Sou ja nai”, but I’ll let you fill in the connection between the song and the visuals. Morning Musume ’16’s 62nd single, “Sexy Cat no Enzetsu / Mukidashi de Mukiatte / Sou ja nai”, hits stores on November 23, 2016.

    Rewind +
    Honestly, Continue reading

    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!

    Read more