My Darling, I LOVE YOU – FOREVER C-ute

December 6, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

As part of Hello! Project’s 20th anniversary celebration, I will take a look at various releases from the collective’s history.

As previously reported, the winner of the Q4 vote with one singular vote is once again C-ute! This time, the release in question is the next single after Edo no Temari Uta IIFOREVER LOVE. Released on November 26, 2008, it is the last single to feature Arihara Kanna before the Bunion Saga began in February 2009 (which was a sign of things to come before the tumultuous year for them that was 2011).

  1. C-ute – FOREVER LOVE (1 – 100%)
  2. Buono! – Rottara Rottara (0 – 0%) (This actually received a vote after it was too late to count so I’m rewarding it with Second Place. Maybe I’ll find a way to squeeze it into 2019’s calendar.)
  3. Mano Erina – Lucky Aura (0 – 0%)
  4. Milkyway – Tan Tan Taan! (0 – 0%)
  5. Berryz Koubou – MADAYADE (0 – 0%)
  6. Abe Natsumi – Screen (0 – 0%)
  7. Shugo Chara Egg! – Minna no Tamago (0 – 0%)
  8. Mano Erina – Lalala-Sososo (0 – 0%)

It is a bit interesting going back to a time when the C-uties (and their Berry counterparts) were beginning their rise as full Hello! Project idols, a far cry… actually, somewhat close to the legends they’re known for today. After all, according to the C-ute Memorial Survey, a majority of “Team C-ute” came around this time (Junjou).

Speaking of their Memorial Survey! Let’s check out FOREVER LOVE‘s placings:

  • 13th Best Overall Single (right behind Edo no Temari Uta II)
  • 2nd Best A-Side of the Early Major Years Era (right behind Tokaikko Junjou)

So let’s dig into C-ute #7 and taste a bit of the calm before the storm.

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Grand Prix and Anniversary Vote – The Results!

November 29, 2018

Updated December 8, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Long time no see, eh?

…Yeah, I do realize it’s been a while. Between burnout/fatigue rearing their ugly heads, wavering feelings regarding Hello! Project as a whole messing with me (yet my sense of fandom’s been kept alive by the wonderful Discord communities I’ve joined, namely H!P Chat and H!P Fans …I really ought to join the H!P Wiki one… Been putting it off for what may be (in the end) silly reasons…), and… just life stuff.

However, there has been a constant– two constants that have anchored this particular blog in the midst of the chaos between the outgoing old and incoming new members: the Momusu M3 Grand Prix and the Anniversary Review Vote!

As such, we have some things to cover.

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Momusu M3 Grand Prix – 11/16 Update

November 16, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

As Morning Musume faithful are enjoying themselves the City That Never Sleeps (in the aftermath of a snowstorm — please stay safe, guys!), let’s take some time to take a gander at the current status of the Momusu M3 Grand Prix.

Shall we?

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A Hallowmas Triduum of Departures

November 8, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Have you had a good Halloween/Samhain/etc? Have all of the spooks and kooks been properly excised from your being, allowing with good energy?

I hope all of that has happened for once the spoopiness ended, the truly scary stuff began in Hello! Land. You see, barely a day removed from Halloween, the Hello! Project News machine began to spin.

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Momusu M3 Grand Prix – 11/7 Update

November 7, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

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It’s almost time for Musume faithful to head to Mexico. In the meantime, the Momusu M3 Grand Prix reaches one more stop on the road to the Final Round.

I was originally going to announce this past Friday (Tweet notwithstanding)…

…but I held off because I didn’t feel the mood was right. (After all, we were barely a day removed from Yanamin’s departure announcement and Mitsui Aika’s retirement was announced hours beforehand.) I then delayed it until today because of the fervor surrounding the US Midterm Elections and I felt it’d get lost in the noise.

Besides, the last thing you need to hear in a sea of “VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE LIKE LIVES DEPEND ON IT! VOTE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!” is “Hey, my blog’s having a popularity contest of a tournament. Please pick your oshi in some fanpoll that will have zero bearing on your oshi’s standing in general idol life.”

So without further ado, let’s go over the results and the path ahead.

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Momusu M3 Grand Prix – Update 10/26

October 26, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

If you’ve been watching a little space called the M3 Grand Prix page, then you’d know that we’re approaching the home stretch regarding that event. Yeah… that little dual-tournament announced back in January is nearing its end. Can you believe it?

Which brings us to this point, which is the first “update” made on the main blog in who knows how long. What has happened since early January? Well, unless you want to dig through months of Tumblr posts, let’s dig into the current status of the Momusu M3 Grand Prix!

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C-uties Playing Handball in O-Edo

September 13, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

As part of Hello! Project’s 20th anniversary celebration, I will take a look at various releases from the collective’s history.

This week, we’ll be tackling C-ute‘s Edo no Temari Uta II, which took the gold for the Q3 Anniversary Review Vote Win:

  1. C-ute – Edo no Temari Uta II (1 – 100%)
  2. Kusumi Koharu – Papancake (0 – 0%)
  3. THE Possible – Ijiwaru Crazy love (0 – 0%)
  4. Buono! – Gachinko de Ikou! (0 – 0%)
  5. Ongaku Gatas – Come Together (0 – 0%)

Ah, C-ute. This is a group that has come to mean a lot to people even after they lowered the curtain. All of them are thriving on Instagram (even Maimai), Airi’s having a bustling solo career, and former C-uties Umeda Erika and Arihara Kanna are happily living their lives.

It’s strange going back to a time when their power was growing, especially one with a fun beginning: See, it was originally going to be a track by enka singer and agency-mate Itsuki Hiroshi (who’d later release his own version months later). That is when our friendly neighborhood Tsunku-man came to him and asked if our C-uties could sing the track — which he did.

The result is a fun release that brings the new and old together in a very idiosyncratic way.

Oh, and a discussion on a disbanded H!P Kids (and 1st Gen Egg) group is not complete without talking about their respective Memorial Survey! Let’s check out Edo no Temari Uta II‘s placings:

  • 12th Best Overall Single
  • 8th Best A-Side
  • The 2012 Shinsei Naru Ver. was voted 4th Best 2 °C-ute Shin Seinaru Best Album Song
  • One respondent named Edo no Temari Uta as a highlight song, citing a liking of “songs that harp back to tradition.”

So without further ado, let’s get into it as we dig into C-ute #6!

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Sgt. Pepper’s Wonderful Hearts Club Band

September 10, 2018

Good morning, good morning, good morning!

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

As part of Hello! Project’s 20th anniversary celebration (and M3’s 10th anniversary), I will take a look at various releases from the collective’s history.

This review is actually the final M3 10th Anniversary review (re-reviews of stuff covered on the old Vox blog), along with being a remake what may have been the final post on it ever: Morning Musume‘s Pepper Keibu. (Ah, it’s nice to have a little help from our friends, eh?)

As you may have gathered from the title, when I first reviewed this, I had gotten very into the Beatles the year before (I still like the band now) and the whole Wonderful Hearts/Elder Club thing was in full swing (and Momusu, being made up of mostly under-20s at this point, qualified for the former) so coming up with a title was fairly easy….

Of course, “Inspector Pepper’s Wonderful Hearts Club Band” doesn’t have the same ring to it, even if it’s far more accurate. Good luck fixing that hole!

With that in mind, let’s dig into Morning Musume #37. (Oh yeah, don’t forget about the Momusu M3 Grand Prix.)

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IC Grand Prix: ⑨

September 9, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

It’s that time of the year again: The Ice Fairy Festival, a celebration of Morning Musume’s ⑨th Generation (and totally not me just geeking out for Cirno Day, nosiree~)!

  • 2015 was the premiere event, having a general theme for the festivities. As such, the spotlight post, The Adventures of the Lovestruck Tomboyish Girls, gave a general overview.
  • 2016 was dedicated to celebrating the graduations of Sayashi Riho and Suzuki Kanon, along with the Pon-tastic leadership of Fukumura Mizuki and Ikuta Erina. To commemorate their powerful contributions, the spotlight post for that year was their generation’s pieces in the Powerpuff Musume ’16 project, Ice Fairypuffs: The Strongest Generation.
  • 2017 was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Morning Musume, which fell within the month. As such, the spotlight post (Frosty Reflections) was a more reflective piece about the 9th Gen’s place in Momusu history.

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Hello! Project (a milestone that has technically been celebrated already…), a unique occasion in J-idol history. Not even AKB48’s predecessors, Onyanko Club, survived that long (though it’s getting close — the 48s have already celebrated their 10th anniversary and while the general grip of idols is faltering a bit, there’s still a lot of juice in that tank so expect the 48s to stay a long while).

As a part of this, I’ve started a series of events that are winding down. As far as the (9)th Gen are concerned (since they’ve joined long after 2008), they’re involved in quite a lot of matches this time around as the Third Round has begun. (Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, this may not seem like much of a surprise.)

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Kath Loves News, Yeah Yeah Yeah!

September 6, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Summer’s ending, students are back in class, and it’s time to reflect a bit on what’s going on.

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