Fukuda Kanon and Me


I’ve planned to write about Fukuda Kanon for a while, and now these words are reaching the void days after her graduation from S/mileage, ANGERME, and Hello! Project. My difficulty with words manifested, and I stopped and started writing about Fukuda Kanon many times now. I attribute this to the complex character that Kanon formulated . Sometimes she seemed very troll-ish and sometimes even resentful of her idol career. Reports of disinterested handshakes and cold fan interactions didn’t really help either. Why so I love this girl?

One thing seems true: Fukuda Kanon loves Hello! Project probably more than most of us. Like most of the Eggs who graduated from the early years of the program, Kanon spent half her life in the Projects. Steadfast and determined, Kanon continued her career despite slaps in her face and ample opportunity to search out greener pastures. If her resilience doesn’t indicate some degree of passion, then I’m not sure I’m passionate about anything.
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And the winner is … Kamikokuryou Moe

In the audition that nobody wanted, the winner is a girl from outside the Projects named Kamikokuryou Moe. That sound very harsh, but I think it rings true. At least, it rang true last week. Now that we’ve seen and heard her, Moe is very welcome to the clan of gremlins known as S/mileage Angerme. Vital details follow:

Name: Kamikokuryou Moe (上國料萌衣)
Birthday: October 24, 1999
Age: 16 … barely
Hometown: Kumamoto
Bloodtype: O
Height: 150 cm (Mini Moni sized)

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ANGERME “Gashin Shotan” [PV]

ANGERME sends off one its original members with a song that tries to encapsulate the essence of the group’s first six years of work. Fun and funky blends equal parts with Smileage’s “Shortcut” and ANGERME’s”Taiki Bansei“.


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ANGERME “Nanakorobi Yaoki” [PV]


ANGERME come roaring out of the gate for the next round of Hello! Project releases with their effort “Nanakorobi Yaoki (Ups and Downs)”. When ANGERME was still S/mileage and the group cut their hair on the moon (Short Cut), a song like this would have been unthinkable fo the group. The powerful song quickly roars in your face with a quickly paced driving beat and aggressive guitars. Providing contrast to these elements, “Nanakorobi Yaoki” buffets itself with whirling strings and choral background vocals. The song adorns itself with contrasts so completely that it becomes a fight best described as the brutish vs. the elegant.

Brutish and elegant forces battle each other throughout the musical arrangement of “Nanakorobi Yaoki”. From the ground, the song pushes with an insistent 12/8 beat (see! those music lessons in “MUSIC+ really help). A thumping bass and distorted guitars pulse along with the drums. Melodically, a solo guitar riffs and electronic whirs duel against a string section that (appropriately) plays up and down the scales. Background vocals on the side of the strings peal like bells before ringing with “Ups and Downs!” Similar to many Hello! Project songs, “Nanakorobi Yaoki” furnishes a thick arrangement that threatens to clutter around every corner.


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Angerme- “Taiki Bansei/Otome no Gyakushuu” [PV]

Just when we thought the new name would kill the group dead, Angerme punches us in the face with their new release “Taiki Bansei/Otome no Gyakushuu”. By now, we all know that S/mileage 3rd generation Murota Mizuki, Aikawa Maho, and Sasaki Rikako provided the girls with extra momentum. Now we see the “Rikako factor” in action.



The energy of the song is undeniable. I also theorize many listeners were hoping for something different from the group, and “Taiki Bansei” definitely sounds different. Although he might have received the songwriting and composition assignment due to unfortunate circumstances, Nakajima Takui (Mano Erina’s “My Days for You“, Dia Lady’s “Lady Mermaid” and LoVendoR’s “Ikujinashi“) again shows us his talents are considerable. The instrumental arrangement for “Taiki Bansei” eschews the now standard electronic sounds of Hello! Project in favor of real instruments played by real musicians. This time, Takui gives Angerme a funk-inflected song complete with an octive hopping bass line, conga percussion, and talk box lead guitars. You can see the tracking of “Taiki Bansei” in a series of Music+ videos starting here.

This opening shot really says a lot, doesn’t it?

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Toobin #3- Hello! Station 62, The Girls Live 13

Hello Station 62

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Happy Valentine’s Day 2014

I’m usually very bitter on this day. I refuse to celebrate love just because “the man” tells me that I should spend more money. I refuse to celebrate love because Hallmark needed to right their account books between Christmas and Easter.
However, I will celebrate a lovely set of pictures from Hello! Project. Here are the girls of MoBeKiSuJu. Fun facts: (a) look at Sayumi’s Valentine Card and see for yourself! (b) Mizuki’s vertical stripes are at their limit, (c) Miyabi’s horizontal stripes are barely affected, (d)as a group C-ute are also really good at drawing, (e) Airi drew Suu san again, (f) Kanyon looks AMAZING, and (g) Uemu looks like the cutest bully I’ve ever seen.
Morning Musume ’14
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