Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
It’s that time of the year again, where I reflect on the musings of yore. It’s been a long and winding road since the previous anniversary and even the blog’s humble beginnings and arrival. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Taking stock of what happened, the first post-Cake Day post dealt with Sayumi’s final single as we were preparing for her departure. Now, we find ourselves preparing for another as Fukuda Kanon prepares to spread her wings with confidence. In lieu of a memorial survey (which I’m saving for Wada Ayaka’s inevitable graduation), I opted for a series investigating the link between graduations and sales (using their elder sister group Morning Musume as an example).
November was marked by posts inspired by the world at large. The first was a surprise review dedicated to one of my favorite netizens, followed by a survey post.
All the while, I had planned a post where I talk about H!P voices as a follow-up to a post on the old M3. Sadly, that has never materialized as I really couldn’t think of any way to make it a good post.
While most were gorging themselves in Thanksgiving delights, I spent my Thanksgiving listening to rock music and composing posts. This was in addition to most of my November also being spent composing the idol counterparts to the surprise rock music. Indeed, Shonen Knife and Puffy (AmiYumi) were the closest thing this incarnation of M3 has to the previous meaning of the “Meteora” in the blog’s title. You see, all of these posts were a special “Morning Twilight” series for the holidays that were divided into two parts: classic H!P on Mondays, female J-rock on Tuesdays. (In fact, I think one reason I did the H!P reviews alongside the rock albums, which were Christmas presents from years ago, was to soften the shock of suddenly having rock groups NOT named LoVendoR and Buono! on the blog.)
The openers were Petit Moni on the “Morning” end and Puffy AmiYumi on the “Twilight” end. The middle portions, handled by Tanpopo on Mondays and Shonen Knife on Tuesdays, were decided by poll. Modern Tanpopo and Early Shonen Knife took the wins and thus the earlier slots. The later ones went to Early Tanpopo and Millennium Shonen Knife respectively. Ending the series were ZYX and Puffy AmiYumi.
I had a few things I planned to review (Polysics’ “Hey! Bob! My Friend” and Takako Minekawa’s review EPs to name a few), but a combination of burnout from listening to four albums and watching four PVs got to me.
To close off the year, I made a Top 10 list of job hunting tips learned from being an idol fan and your typical year in review post. (On that note, since I now mark quarters on the Tumblr blog now, expect “Year in Review” posts to be a little more “whole year”-focused.)
January and February 2015
January was rather low-key, partially due to me being involved in other projects. (One of them was Chuu!Sugoi!Idol’s Berryz Koubou tribute, which you can see below.)
The first post of 2015 was an ode to Rainbow Pink, meant to celebrate the birthday of one of my characters. This was followed by a signal boost for the aforementioned Berryz fan tribute.
Afterwards began the highlight of the Winter 2015 season: The MSS Results Show. Running on Sundays from January 27 (which was a Wednesday) to February 22, the series explored Sayumi’s impact using data and testimony. Running alongside it was Chocolate Soul Disco series, meant to commemorate both the one-year anniversary of the blog’s revival and Valentine’s Day. The kicker? It began as one post.
In addition to all of that, February was marked by ANGERME’s “debut” single and Berryz Koubou’s final MV was explored and the BK counterpart to the Michishige Sayumemorial Survey was formally unveiled.
Like many an H!P fan, March opened with the grand finale of the Berryz. To mark the occasion, I spent some time analying the Berryz and their then-sole successor Kobushi Factory.
In addition, to commemorate #MagicalGirlMarch, I talked a bit about the PreCure tie-in. This would end up becoming among the most popular posts of the year, coming in at #5 with 85 views (as of this writing).
The last week of March featured a lot of content, owing to my intent to debut M3’s new look around then and wanting a good buffer. Country Girls’ debut single started the week, followed by a review of MM’s PreCure tie-in MV, Ogawa Makoto’s annuncement, a review of C-ute’s single, and ending with posts comemorating my tenth netiversary and Idolminded’s third Cake Day.
April was meant to be a quiet month. After all, on the one-month anniversary of Berryz Koubou’s final concert, the prelude to their memory survey’s Results Show aired. Airing on Fridays to May 15th, the impact of one of the biggest “graduatees” of 2015 (until a month later) was scrutinized. Ending it was a special bonus update (you can thank Yamino and Ash for the inspiration of the concept) an examination of the Berryz’s successors.
Appropriately, Fukuda Kanon announced her graduation that week, leading to the first H!P-mergency post of 2015.
There were quite a few other posts that dominated April in their quirky ways. For starters, I took a look at a fandom “controversy” and discussed Tsunku’s vocal chords. Furthermore, I celebrated 100 posts in this iteration of M3. (For reference, there were 21 posts made on the old version in 2007 and 26 in 2008. In total, that makes 47. Not only has M3 surpassed the old version in longevity—341 days/11 months and 5 days vs 608 days/1 year, 8 months and day, NOT counting the years of dormancy—, it has also surpassed it in post count!)
The midpoint of spring brought out the formal introduction of the Summer Refreshments Project. It was rather low-key this year with only one post in the entire series (which will be discussed later on). To mark a friend’s birthday, I took another detour to talk about Queen & Elizabeth as we’ve finished Kamen Rider W a while before I made the post.
The last post of the spring before my quietly announced mini-hiatus was of C-ute’s then-impending concert in Mexico. (On that note, I considered taking another mini-hiatus as doing that “Sotsugyou” series left me drained.)
June/July 2015: I Have Returned!
After about a month (and a few projects), I returned to blogging, just in time for the Summer Solstice.
July got off to a good start by discussing audition rumors that were later proven true. While we have yet to hear the results for ANGERME’s 4th Gen, it will hopefully be a better result than the one for Miyabi.
Moving on is a duology of posts to mark Juice=Juice’s first album: the first one explores their singles discography up to that point (the only 2015 Summer Refreshments post) and the second talks about their first promotional PV. Making the Juice=Cubes post took quite a lot out of me, even if part of the point was the give summaries. I think I even considered taking another break. However, I couldn’t as I had things to review.
The “Tsuzuiteiku STORY” PV also left me a bit blue as in addition to me relating to the lyrics, this came off the heels of Satoru Iwata’s death so the lyrics became extra poignant.
Why am I crying?
Fortunately, for every tear, there is a smile and there was plenty to smile about. Namely, ANGERME’s summer single where 2/3 were given one post and the last one was given its own. Making the last one really made me realize a potential angle with the blog and even inspired a potential post where I’d go over the history of the Magical Girl genre, along with its relationship with idols. (I’m hoping for a release of March 2016 at the latest.)
August had gotten started with a review of Country Girls’ summer release. The next day came with the very motivating CHOICE & CHANCE PV. This was followed close-by with the review of Morning Musume ’15’srelease .
I will admit that one reason I stepped up the quality in my posts was the amount of acclaim I was getting from the past few months. I was added to lists with other bloggers on Twitter (and not all of them talked about Asian pop music) and more people broke the ice in the comments section.
(It somewhat helped I did the same for other bloggers and I frankly felt… lacking in compared to some. The caps on certain posts came about due to my attempts at getting a good Featured Image and I felt my reviews lacked visual appeal. As an artist, this is critical for me. To that, I looked to Isilie as a source of inspiration. In terms of verbosity and examination, the other source lied (among others) in thenumber244. My reviews looked (pardon my French) half-assed compared to their eloquent descriptions.)
In addition, to mark the 2 1/2 anniversary of M3’s revival, I gave it a Tumblr side-blog. After promoting it on my main tumblr for over a year (to the delight of those who followed me for the H!P and my slight personal chagrin), I gave it a home base there where it could shine. The reblogs of various fan content didn’t hurt either. Due to these efforts, Tumblr has been a great source of traffic, even opening doors for expanding the blog’s brand and interacting with the fandom.
September was a hectic month (work on Monstra notwithstanding). The first post in M3’s Tumblr era was of Kobushi Factory’s major debut release. A week later came a C-ute post that was mildly overshadowed by the main event of the week: a post about the (9)th Generation to commemorate Cirno Day.
The rest of the season became rather… pensive as an unintended “graduation” theme started to develop in my posts: the first was a plea to the panicmongers that came out far more emotional than intended. (It was calm, but then I decided to emphasize certain things.) The next post was my response to Tsunku’s far-belated graduation announcement, using a motif in a previous post about him.
If anyone’s confused about the “Smiles and Tears” thing, allow me to direct you to the follow Tweet thread:
Either way, you might get choked up during these tunes.
“I miss you.”
“THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS”
The “graduation” dragfest continued with “The Price of the Sotsugyou” series, where I followed up on my fascination to certain results. Thankfully, the series was moderately short and ended in mid-October. Hopefully, this will be the last we hear of graduations on this blog until Maro’s graduation.
October’s non-grad post dealt with C-ute’s impending release.
I am pleased to announce that some time between Q3 and now, the blog has surpassed 2014’s amount of views and visitors.
- Views: 3,026
- Visitors: 1,350
- 2015 (as of October 15)
- Views: 3,154
- Visitors: 1,620
There is a difference 128 for Views and a 270 difference for Visitors. (Launching M3’s Tumblr certainly has helped as it has certainly played a role in increasing traffic. Speaking of which, here’s a related post about its traffic.)
In light of this, I bring back an old poll:
If you have something that’s in need of being signal boosted, feel free to let me know.
Here’s to the future~!
See you, Space Cowfans!