Friday, April 30, 2010

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Math

The study of mathematics strengthens the foundation of a rational mind and a scientific education. I myself have found it to be an intriguing subject for as long as I can remember, and I liked it well enough to get a degree in it. The students at Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou can look forward to passionate instruction and a high standards in this department.

Now, don't be late to class! Look for the door marked 数学 (suugaku).

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Math

Friday, April 16, 2010

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou Special Edition: °C-ute's 12th major single "Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~"

The PV for °C-ute's 12th major single "Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~" was released today on the UP FRONT YouTube channel. The single will be released on April 28 and the Single V on May 12.

This is a really outstanding PV! Firstly, the girls are looking GREAT! Everyone looked so wan in the "SHOCK!" PV. Here everyone looks healthy and pretty and happy. Well, I'll do the regular break down.

The Outfits

So, for the dance and close-up shots we get the cover outfits:

And they're pretty rockin'. Especially those shoes! They're like a much more wearable version of the "SHOCK!" boots. They look sexy as hell, but they would be good for summer because they are so open. The rest of the the look is very cute. It fits their image well. I especially like the ties.

For the rest of the PV we get to see casual looks.

Maimi and Saki are looking sweet and feminine. I can't tell if Saki's got on a romper or a really short dress.

The second grouping is Airi, Mai, and Chisato. I think Airi's hair is a little ridiculous, and her outfit is definitely my least favorite. Mai and Chisato both look cute as BUTTONS. I don't think Chisato has ever looked that good before and Mai actually looks her age.

The Song

I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of the song. It reminds me a lot of "Ai no Suki Suki Shisuu Joushou Chuu," the opening track on Berryz Koubou's fourth album 4th Ai no Nanchara Shisuu. Obviously the "suki suki" hook is a big part of that. I'm just not a fan of this style of song, not even live. At least it's not another glorified solo for Airi?

The Dance

We don't get to see a lot of it, which is fine by me. The only part that really stuck out to me was during Maimi's "suki suki suki."

It's like she's saying, "I like you, but it's a secret ;)" Oh Maimi, I like you, too! Lets not keep it a secret...

The Rest

So like everyone else I will mention the iPod Touches that are so prominent.

Are iPods as ubiquitous in Japan as they are in the US? I don't know. But the image of girlfriends sharing songs on a portable music device isn't so strange to me.

What sticks out more to me is the softball. In the US softball is often associated with lesbians. Is that the case in Japan? Once again, I don't know. But Mai and Chisato were definitely paired in this video more than the other girls, and their looks are not as femmy.

And I hate to say this, because I feel like everyone else is in love with her, but I don't understand Nakajima Saki's appeal.

I find her mouth unsettling, like she might at any moment open it obscenely wide and eat a person whole. I think it's the fact that her teeth are big compared to the rest of her face. Her voice does seem to be improving though.

I'll let Maimi have the last word here.

"Call me, bitches."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello! Café Sweet Shop

Welcome to Hello! Café! If you have a bit of sweet tooth then you've come to the right place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Art

Here at Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou we want to cultivate the artistic tastes and talents of our youth. Art education improves students' performance in all areas because it exercises their brains' right hemispheres and delateralizes their thinking.

Now, don't be late to class! Look for the door marked 芸 (gei).

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Art

Friday, April 9, 2010

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Social Studies

Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities in order to promote civic competence. At least, that's how the English wikipedia describes it. Here we're going to be studying Asian history, geography, and civics.

Now, don't be late to class! Look for the door marked 物理学 (shakaika).

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Social Studies

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Physics

Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities in order to promote civic competence. At least, that's how the English wikipedia describes it. Here we're

Now, don't be late to class! Look for the door marked 物理学 (shakaika).

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Physics

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello! Café Pâtisserie

Welcome to Hello! Café! Today we have fresh cake hot from the oven.

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Orientation

Welcome to Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou! As you surely already know we are Japan's #1 all girls school. Now that you are about to join our illustrious student body you'll need to go through student orientation.

Daburuyuu Joshi Koutou Gakkou: Orientation

Hello! Project 2010 WINTER Kachou Fuugetsu ~Shuffle Date~

I watched the Shuffle Date concert a few nights ago. It was Glorious

1. Uwaki na Honey Pie / All

It seems that from the solo line distribution the “leaders” of the shuffle groups are as such:

High-King: Reina + Ai-chan
Zoku v-u-den: Risako
Shin Minimoni: Linlin
Aa!: Miyabi
ZYX-alpha: Risa
Petitmoni V: Mano Erina
Tanpopo#: Eri

They all make sense except Zoku v-u-den. Why did Risako get the solo and not Sayumi?

As for the song, “Uwaki na Honey Pie” has always been a favorite of mine. I love the knee-knocking choreography :D

The bright-colored plastic + zebra-print faux fur things are… bizarre.

2. VTR

Nothing too impressive. Every one looks cute of course!

3. MC

I’d much rather have one of the girls MCing than Makoto. His stupid bowl cut just gets more and more irritating.

4. Pen Pen Kyoudai / Shin Minimoni

Oh god. Minimoni is, was, and will always be the best unit ever. The outfits are ridiculously adorable. Plaid! Purses! Tiny capes! Leg warmers! MITTENS! And all of the girls are singing fabulously, especially considering all that jumping. This is one of the best revival unit songs, which is saying a lot since they’re all pretty good.

5. Mini. Strawberry~ Pie / Shin Minimoni

Girls, I would eat a mini strawberry pie from you all any day. This is the perfect unit.

6. GOING ON / Guardians 4

Meh. Boring song. Why did they use so much yellow lighting for this one? Everything just looks kind of jaundiced. Eww. And why can’t we ever get Aika bangs anymore?

7. MC

Oh, it’s 6th gen Morning Musume. What’s up ladies? Eri’s side braid is uggggly. Now they are showing off their ‘r’-rolling skills.

Now, I couldn’t follow this conversation entirely, but it seems that Junjun thinks Captain’s dancing is really cool and that she’s cute. Then she made a full on confession (kokuhaku), complete with a present, that she loved Captain (daisuki!). Looks like Junjun is also getting intimate with another High-King member:

When Junjun confesses again in front of everyone the ladies are SCANDALIZED! Ai-chan is in fits of laughter over this scene:

Risa is outraged and scolds Junjun:

Captain thanks her sweetly though and they move on.

Then there’s some story about Chinami and Ogawa Saki. I cannot follow it. Ai-chan is apparently amused by this one as well though:

Also, did you notice how outrageously large Tanabe Nanami (the newest Egg)’s pigtails are? Each one is literally bigger than her head. Damn. (I've tinkered with the brightness and contrast around her head because it's difficult to see black pigtails against a black background)


I like this song, but I miss Reina’s voice in it :/ She had such a distinct (a.k.a. kind of weird) way of pronouncing her ‘k’s that I loved in her early H!P years. Also, I can’t wait for Miyabi to be rid of those awful extensions

9. Yume no Genjitsu / Aa!

A really fabulous song with outstanding choreography. What more could we ask for? Well, I would ask for better styling. I don’t like anything about those outfits (except maybe the boots) and they all have awful hair. Still, what a rockin’ live song. I hope this one becomes a standard!

10. Pira! Otome no Negai / Petitmoni V

Okay, so this song benefits a lot from some visuals. And those are some spot-on Petitmoni outfits. The choreography is good, too. I love Maimai shaking her nothing of a chest during the bridge

11. Chokotto LOVE / Petitmoni V

Aww, this is a delightfully goofy song, isn’t it? They did really well with it. And the Eggs just added just enough insanity.

12. MC

I think this is a ranking of whom you would most want to kiss? Those are NOT the top three girls I’d want to kiss! For me that would be Ai-chan, Linlin, and Maimi. Mostly Ai-chan though.

Apparently Maasa has voluminous, erotic lips? Oh my!

I have no idea what the Ai-chan/Risako/Linlin thing was, but Linlin has the cutest Chinese accent ^__^

13. Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru / Tanpopo#

Oh, now I see why they are dressed like foppish little princelings. It’s because they are singing “Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru!” Makes a lot of sense now. And holy hairbow does Aika look perfect in hers. Seriously how can her body look like that? It’s unreal. The girls all sound really great. Tsunku put together a top-notch Tanpopo#. But it’s kind of sad to hear and see this song with no Aibon, no Charmy, no Marippe, and no Kaorin :(

14. Umbrella / Tanpopo#

Another great revival unit song. Major props to the arranger and the choreographer. The dance is reminiscent of “Otome Pasta ni Kandou.” And going back to the outfits, why with even as low of heels as the other girls got did Aika get completely flat boots? She always has flat boots. Is it a foot problem?

15. Bravo☆Bravo / Buono!

Sweet boots. Momo looks wonderful (as usual). Miyabi’s shorts are très adorable. I really couldn’t care less about the song though. The best part about it is the inexplicable “P-A-T-I.” WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO SPELL? Is it an acronym for “Please Apply Tapeworms Indiscriminately?” Or maybe "Punch that Asshole Tsunku In the face?"

16. Renai♥Rider / Buono!

Now this is a great Buono! song. They sound a little tired though.

17. BE ALL RIGHT / Risa, Mai, Linlin, Mano Erina, Chinami, Junjun, Chisato, Maeda Yuuka, Ogawa Saki, Fukuda Kanon, Saho Akari, Wasa Ayaka, Takeuchi Akari

Never one of my favorite shuffle songs, and I would have preferred to see Linlin, Junjun, and Risa in smaller groups. And why is this the only mix group to not get a special outfit?

18. MC

There sure is a lot of Junjun and Linlin love in the MCs! I think Linlin said something about revolving cheese. Weird. Also, I just noticed something again that I had noticed in some of the pics from this concert. Linlin’s bag is red, white, blue, and star-spangled. The reason Mika had Americana accessories is that she was actually from America. Shouldn’t Linlin’s Minimoni accessories be red and gold with stars?

19. Suki Sugite Baka Mitai / Sayumi, Reina, Maimi, Maasa

Please stop trying to substitute Sayumi for Rika. Rika could actually sing pretty well and was about a trillion times cuter than Sayumi. On a happier note, Reina really sings well and Maimi is a major hotty even though she’s not in the least bit curvaceous. It must just be her awesome stage presence.

20. LOVE LIKE CRAZY / Eri, Saki, Ai-chan

Love the song. Love the girls. Love the outfits. Love the dance. I’m in raptures watching this performance. Yep, definitely rewatching this as soon it’s over. Can someone explain why Captain’s talents are being absolutely wasted in the background of Berryz Koubou and why she has no photobook?

21. Shiroi TOKYO / ZYX-alpha

Now this was great styling all around. Although the asymmetry of their arm apparel makes it look they got lightly mauled by wild animals on their way to the stage. See what I mean?

Saki’s fuchsia five of hearts is probably my favorite accessory:

22. Iku ZYX! Fly High / ZYX-alpha

How did I never notice before that they spell out ZYX with their bodies at the intro to this song? That is one of the neatest bits of choreography I’ve seen in Hello! Project! Maasa for some reason sticks out as looking super gorgeous in this performance. This unit in its 6nin form is really outstanding. Why didn’t they get a new song?

23. MC

Oooh, a ZYX MC. I bet Maasa is VERY warm in that get up. If I was here I would sit around naked back stage for a while.

24. ONLY YOU / Zoku v-u-den

Damn Risako. You really have some pipes. And that outfit certainly emphasizes your *ahem* Western figure. Junjun looks really nice in the get up as well.

25. Koisuru♡Angel♡Heart / Zoku v-u-den

All the bending over is wasted on those outfits. WHERE’S THE CLEAVAGE? Is this v-u-den or not? And why don’t Junjun and Risako get garters? Those stockings aren’t staying up!

26. DESTINY LOVE / High-King

I wish they did more wide shots for this song. I want to see the dance! Specifically I want to see Saki dancing. And Maimi. And Ai-chan. With Yuuka and Reina I’m kind of take-em-or-leave-em.

Side note: I think I hear women shouting in the audience! Woo hoo.

27. DIAMONDS / High-King

Thank goodness for Saki shorts, but why do Ai-chan and Maimi both get long pants? Surely it’s a sin to cover up legs like those! I do love this song though.

28. C/C Cinderella/Complex / High-King

Yes yes yo, indeed. We’d all be better off with more of this song in our lives I think. This unit is the closest thing to perfection Hello! Project has seen since Morning Musume Sakuragumi.

29. MC

Those corduroy shorts and white T-shirts look even better in motion than they did in photos. Double thumbs up for Linlin, Risako, Aika, and Eri.

30. Renai Revolution 21 / All

I love how during this song they all sort of subtly shifted from being grouped in their shuffle units to being grouped into their usual units.

31. Ending

Awwww, good bye ladies! That was a really superb concert. Probably my favorite since Berry Kamen vs. Cutie Ranger! Maybe one day I’ll be able to go to Japan and see you all live!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Maeda Yuki's 10th single "Mianeyo ~Gomennasai~"

The PV for "Mianeyo ~Gomennasai~" has been released on Dohhh UP! This single will be released on April 7.

Link to video on Dohhh UP!

Wow, Maeda Yuki is just getting more and more beautiful as the years go on. At 30 years old she is more gorgeous than she was at her debut ten years ago.

The song is lovely as well. It sounds almost whispered at times, and so heartfelt. I feel like she's really apologizing to me for breaking my heart.

The PV is a truly mature one. All the settings are so beautiful and sensual. It's so sad at the end to see her drinking away her pain :(

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Berryz Koubou's 6th album "6th Otakebi Album"

Berryz Koubou's sixth album 6th Otakebi Album (6th 雄叫びアルバム) was released on March 31, 2010.

1. Otakebi Boy WAO! (雄叫びボーイ WAO!)

This really is a song worth naming an album after. The throaty voices are outstanding! And the percussion is much better than usual. There’s some really interesting stuff going on in the backing track!

2. Rival (ライバル)

Such a sweet song! It reminds me of riding my bicycle all over the city during the summer. It’s just a cute little pop song, but one of the best of it’s kind in recent years from Hello! Project. The spoken parts are really just icing on the cake, aren’t they? A cake full of counting, “go go fight!”s, and a sort of ‘50s feel.

3. Ryuusei Boy (流星ボーイ)

This has a truly funky backing track! It’s one of those songs you can’t help dancing to at least a little when it’s playing. The dance break is a little much though.

4. Ai ni wa Ai Desho (愛には 愛でしょ)
Natsuyaki Miyabi, Tsugunaga Momoko

I’m not totally in love with this song, but it’s certainly not something I’d skip. I’m sure it will be great live. How could it not be with Miyabi and Momoko? On the other hand, why pair two girls who are already in a small unit together?

5. Seishun Bus Guide (青春バスガイド)

Definitely the weakest of the Inazuma tracks. Still a decent tune. It’s just too monotonous.

6. Kimi no Tomodachi (君の友達)

Is it just me or does that piano in the background sound like it was sampled from a Final Fantasy game or something? I think this is a pretty strong track. Makes me feel like I’m walking through a fantastic landscape in a video game. I could have done without Risako’s monologue though. Why does she seem to get all of them in Berryz songs?

7. Grand demo Rouka demo Medatsu Kimi (グランドでも廊下でも目立つ君)
Kumai Yurina, Sudou Maasa

I prefer the Maasa half of this song, but the whole thing is honestly pretty weak. There’s not enough variation in the instrumentals and it’s just kind of monotonous. It reminds me of Kirby music a little though.

8. Tomodachi wa Tomodachi Nanda! (友達は友達なんだ!)

I know I wouldn’t like this song half so well without the PV, but I like it never the less. I like to think that the Berryz girls really are all friends, and that Momoko is the glue that holds them together. It’s such a sweet image. Momo certainly stands out vocally on the track. I really do like her voice!

9. Kibou no Yoru (希望の夜)

I’m really glad this album only got the one mediocre ballad, but oof, I do not look forward to hearing that opening line sung live. It’s painful enough after being tinkered with in AutoTune. I think I hear Saki’s vocals among the studio singers. I always like to hear her in a chorus. It makes me feel like there’s at least one perk to being Captain.

10. Dakishimete Dakishimete (抱きしめて 抱きしめて)

I still love this song as much as I did a year ago. In fact, I probably love it even more now.

11. Yakimochi wo Kudasai! (ヤキモチをください!)
Shimizu Saki, Tokunaga Chinami, Sugaya Risako

This track is kind of fun. Everyone sings so nasally though! All three of them tend to, but it’s a little extreme here. I hope this will have a cute dance for Captain when it’s performed live.

12. Watashi no Mirai no Danna-sama (私の未来のだんな様)

Hands down the best non-Inazuma track from the girls’ last three singles. I think everyone likes the echo parts in the verse. The chorus isn’t bad either. It seems like sort of a strange choice for a last track though. The album seems incomplete.

So this is definitely not as good as 5 (FIVE), which is disappointing but not unexpected. It was at least better than Shocking 5 though. The original tracks were extremely forgettable. In fact I listened to this album several times through before writing this review and not one stuck out in my mind. The whole thing was saved by strong single tracks, so it’s probably a good thing that 7 out of 12 were in that category.