Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 11 2017 (03019 – 0325)


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 – The Curtain Rises


The third and final promotional video from °C-ute’s farewell single broke this morning. “The Curtain Rises” might seem the opposite title for a swan song of a single, but the optimist says that the second act for Yajima Maimi and co. is about to begin. The song is a dance track littered with the hook of a title line and synth leads that call to mind some of the group’s classic songs. I haven’t had time to sort out the steamy backroom that serves as the set for most of “The Curtain Rises”; perhaps the curtain rises on the hidden machinations of the group? The PV features some nifty “Vertigo” style dolly zooms on the girl’s faces. Though there is much to unpack with “The Curtain Rises”, I’m going to leave off here before you’re looking at one of my 2000 word blogs. ℃-ute’s final single will be released on March 29, 2017.
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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

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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Hello! Project Power Rankings November 2016

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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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℃-ute announces dissolution plans for 2017

 

On August 20, 2016 the longtime Hello! Project idol group ℃-ute announced their intention to dissolve in ten months’ time. Although an exact date has not been set, the group of 5 idols will hang up their microphones after a planned performance at Saitama Super Arena. Further, the group also announced they would not participate in the 2017 Hello! Project Winter Tour as customary for groups of the idol collective.

℃-ute began as seven girls in the Hello! Project training program “Hello! Project Kids” in Continue reading

Hello Project Power Rankings August 2016

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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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Hello! Project Power Rankings July 2016

Morning Musume July 2016
Hello everybody, guest contributor TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project rankings. I know this edition appears a bit late, owing mainly to my four-day lockdown at Anime Expo early in the month. But, enough with my silly excuses! The early goings of June were dominated by an outpour of emotion for the graduations of Tamura Meimi on May 30th and Suzuki Kanon on May 31st. That’s a lot to take in for a fandom that held both girls in high esteem since their induction into the Projects in 2011. How did the rest of the Projects deal in June? Well, let’s find out together!

And now,
Rankings come on!

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C-ute in Update Girls 2016 vol. 3


This week, we get C-ute promotion for their new single “Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP!”. The series of solo shots are great. I especially love the close up shots of Yajima Maimi and Suzuki Airi.

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