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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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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Ikuta Erina turns 17! A Photographic Retrospective

Happy birthday to my dear kyuukie! If you didn’t know, July 7 is Ikuta Erina’s birthday. Rather than wax poetic on the virtues of Eripon, I thought I would take us on a trip down memory lane. Let’s all look back through photos of Eripon in her Morning Musume single outfits, shall we? I’ll start with her latest photos and work back to the very beginning of Ikuta Erina in Morning Musume. Then I’ll put her latest photo together with an early photo so we can all marvel at the difference 3.5 years can make.
“Toki o Koe Sora o Koe”

“Password is 0”
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Michishige Sayumi photobook retrospective part 1

Well, I missed Michishige Sayumi’s 24th birthday celebration. I don’t have a good excuse, either. I’ll make it up to you, and Sayu, by giving Ichiban Kawaii’s solo photobook work a good looking through. We are ALL going to benefit from this! This means I’ll have to do some serious studying- Sayumi’s has 9 solo photobooks for me to flip through. So as not to overwhelm you, and to keep your blood pressure at acceptable levels, I’ll go through the photobooks two at a time. Are you ready?

[2004.10.29] Michishige Sayumi
OK, so how old was Sayu here? 15? Looks about right!

Sayumi in the verdant forest just seems right.
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The Mano Erina Post (number 3)

This article will finish out this series on the career of Mano Erina in Hello! Project.  At the time, I was feeling some Mano fatigue.  To this point, her career is best categorized as “uneven.”  When she was on her game, her singles were the kinds of singles that brighten a sad wota’s day.  Erina’s smile got her a free pass on her weaker singles, but this was wearing thin.

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The Mano Erina Post (number 2)

Picking up where I left off, Mano Erina’s graduation prompted me to take a good look at the career of the idol who I have seen grow from indie releases to idol graduation.  At this point in my story, I am on an idol high from Mano Erina’s “Sekai wa Summer Party” release.

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The Mano Erina post (number 1)

I woke up this morning, and Mano Erina was no longer a member of Hello! Project.  This is a shame for a few reasons.  Firstly, Mano was finally breaking out of the virginal idol image and looking like a smoking hot young woman.  This may (or may not) be a loss to all of us.  Second, Mano began her solo career right around the same time that my obsession with idols began.  Seeing her graduate closes a significant chapter in my life.  I may not have been the most vocal Mano Erina fan, but I did appreciate her looks, her enthusiasm, and her contributions to the idol scene.  I have now seen the full cycle of an idol’s career.

I’m going to spend the next few posts going through Mano’s singles and PVs for old times sake.   I am not starting with her tenure in Ongaku Brilhantes; I am starting with her first indies release: Mano Piano.

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