Archive for January, 2007

Making out like a bandit

January 27, 2007

I’ve been away, then came back home and had computer troubles, but I just HAD to tell you about my new favorite store in NYC. Book Off. I had heard about this chain in Japan, and was excited to find out they had a store in New York City, a short walk off Broadway. As I was visiting my parents in the area, I couldn’t help but request a stop.

This store is fantastic. I expected to walk out with a bunch of photobooks, as they are a used and new bookstore, but what I walked out with instead was a BOATLOAD of CDs. Which will be added to the collection shortly. I cleaned them out of Hello! Project material though. Used CDs were $3 – $7, and in immaculate condition! You’d think they’d never been played.

DVDs
Kiiro.Aoiro.Akagumi Singles PVs
Morning Musume – Roman My Dear Boy Single PV
Morning Musume – Musical – Edokko Chuushingura

CDs
Tanpopo – All of Tanpopo
Pucchi Moni – Zenbu
Maki Goto – Premium Best – First Press w/bonuses

Manga
Musume Monogatari 2
Musume Monogatari 3

I did pick up a lot of non-H!P related stuff as well, my absolute favorites being the limited edition Buck-Tick Devil and Freud boxset. (Holy crap!) and Yuki’s album Wave, which is just a fantastic album.

We were planning on hitting a couple other major Japanese bookstores in the area, but it was bordering on 20 degrees outside and we were frozen solid after walking almost 2 miles to get to the store in the first place. If you’re in NYC this store is a must stop shopping destination!

Egao Yes Nude Preview

January 21, 2007

Oh my prayers have been answered! Finally, we have again been blessed with a Momusu single that has a great pop sound and a sweet dance beat. I absolutely LOVE this song. A terrific send off for Hitomi and perfect introduction for Aika, whose voice, I must say is fantastic! Very mature. She’s definitely proved that her addition to the group was the right choice by Tsunku.

I cannot wait to see the PV. This is definitely a single worth buying.

Head on over to Hello!Online to get the radio rip via bittorrent. I’d upload it myself here, but I’m in NYC at the moment and don’t have the means. Color coded romanized lyrics are available here.

Favorite PVs: I Wish

January 13, 2007

And now for the second entry in favorite PVs! This time around is Morning Musume’s I WISH. This song really means a lot to me. The first time I heard it was on the Best of Morning Musume album, which was actually the first fully Momusu album I owned. I loved it immediately, and was really struck by Kago’s high note at the end of the song. (I really wish I could sing like that.) But I digress.

At about the time I bought this album I was going through an incredibly tough time in my life. We had just moved to Maine not too long before, I missed my friends back in New Hampshire, had just quit a job where I was treated horrendously by my co-workers, I had just started a job I really wasn’t sure I was qualified for, and my general mood was just severly depressed. I have never been as depressed before, nor have I since.

This song was a beacon of light to me. Whenever I listened to it I felt better, and I listened to it a lot. To this day (3 years or so later) I cannot watch the PV without feeling warmer inside, and I cannot sing along to it in the car without getting teary-eyed. It’s true that music has the power to heal. My japanese isn’t the greatest, but I got the message of the song in the melody and in the girl’s voices, and was quite surprised that the actual lyrics of the song matched pretty closely to what I felt they meant.

The PV itself is pretty cute, the girls dance around in a small town set and enact little scenarios while a glittering castle, well… glitters up on a hill side (looks like Oz a bit doesn’t it)? I would love to get one of those varsity jackets they are wearing at the beginning, and personally, I love Mari’s hooker outfit, what a riot.

Hitomi’s brother killed in traffic accident

January 12, 2007

Yoshizawa Hitomi’s younger brother was killed on January 11 in an unfortunate traffic accident. This is truly horrible news and a complete tragedy. He was 16 years old at the time of his death.

Heartfelt condolences go out to Hitomi and her family.

There is no word yet from Up Front Agency on how this will affect concerts and/or Hitomi’s graduation. I am sure she’ll be given the proper time to grieve, and we should all support her in any decisions she decides to make.

EDIT Slight translation of news article

The article states that Hitomi’s younger brother (Kouta?) who was 16 was involved in a traffic accident around 10pm on the 11th, and that he passed away shortly after midnight on the morning of the 12th, from severe head and neck injuries. The accident took place at the Kagurazaka crossing in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

The driver of the car is being investigated for negligence. Apparently he is 20 years old and a vocational student, he received slight head injuries due to the accident.

Apparently through a relative, the staff (of the paper) has learned that Hitomi and her parents are not making comments about the situation, and ask that the funeral be a family affair.

I will never get tired of this

January 10, 2007

Via bittorrent on Hello! Online’s tracker, you can now download Mari and Kei singing a translated version of Y.M.C.A. on Uta Doki.

I originally downloaded it as it featured both Mari and Kei, and was delighted when I realized what they were singing. This one is a keeper for sure. You can get it here.

“Growing up” songs. Indeed.

Favorite PVs: As for One Day

January 9, 2007

What with me being flat broke at the moment, and with no cash to spare for H!P related goods, added with the current lack of news…. I decided to do a couple features on my favorite H!P PVs.

First up is one of my all time favorites, Morning Musume’s As For One Day.

In all honesty, it was the viewing of the PV itself that introduced me to the song, and I was immediately blown away by it. I think I watched it four times in a row and almost made myself late for work because of it. Something about the video, and the song, really struck a chord. I think it was the first Morning Musume song I heard that wasn’t like The Peace, Happy Summer Wedding, or Koi no Dance Site. It had a somber element to it and a much heavier and powerful beat. I am a sucker for the songs with the heavier beats, such as Osaka koi no uta, Do It! Now and The Manpower!. (Expect to see features on those videos to come). It was also the first Momusu song that had me humming it and trying to attempt the cool head dip thing during the “As For One Day” line.

I never get tired of watching the PV. Something about the lighting, water and breeze effects give it an entirely clean feeling. Like spring rain. Somehow, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Watching it now, a few years after discovering Momusu, I realize all the members in the song who aren’t present in Morning Musume anymore. A few I didn’t realize I’d miss until my fandom really hit it’s stride, which is a shame.

This year I’m hoping Tsunku will release a new Momusu single with a powerful beat behind it. The singles for 2006, while good, were light-hearted in fare, and I look forward to something with a little more oomph!

Bokura ga Ikiru MY ASIA preview!

January 4, 2007

Here is a radio preview of the upcoming single! I have no idea why but I really expected this song to be more upbeat, almost techno-ish. I guess the single covers deluded me into thinking it would be a dance song. I’m not dispappointed though, it really is a nice song. This doesn’t in any way seem to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Morning Musume, as it is celebrating Asia.

Click here to download.

Downloaded off Jpopsuki tracker.

EDIT: The PV looks like a deodorant commercial. XD

Yoshizawa Hitomi to Graduate!

January 2, 2007

Yes, it’s true! Yoshizawa Hitomi will graduate from Morning Musume and become a solo artist for Hello! Project on May 6, 2007. If there is a God he’ll let me win the lottery so I can be there for her graduation concert. XD The concert tour is titled “Sexy 8 Beat” The possible title of a new album? We can hope?

Fujimoto Miki will become the new leader, with Takahashi Ai acting as sub-leader.

Anyway, this opens up lots of doors for Hitomi, and while I’ll miss her around Momusu, I’ll be excited for her solo stuff. Hopefully she doesn’t get the shaft as Kaori and Kei have, but I doubt it as not only is she going solo, but she will be participating in group units as well.

Hopefully she’ll get a new photo book as well. As for solo artist material, consensus seems to lean towards upbeat and funky songs. One has to wonder what her solo image will be like though. I don’t think Tsunku will go for the ero-kawaii angle that Maki has taken, I’m sure he’ll keep her girl next door image going strong. It remains to be seen if any changes will be made, or if she’ll evolve over time as a solo artist after being allowed to break free from the cute girly style of Momusu.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2007

Jay Navok of Genvid recently attended Comiket 71, where he snapped this photo of two cosplayers dressed as Kirarin aka Kusumi Koharu!

This we can take as one of two ways or both, either that Kirarin Revolution has it’s fanbase (and it is a cute series) or/and that Koharu has a fanbase that isn’t strictly Wota. Whatever the case, it bodes well for H!P.

You can click on the image to the left to see the actual picture itself, which is used with permission.