Preface: There’s going to be a lot of embedded content in this post.
Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
This will be the final post of 2016 and what are my thoughts on 2016? It’s been quite a year.
Top 20s of 2016
Due to the fact that there will be no Annual Report this year, I took it upon myself to provide a few comprehensive lists to fill in the gap. (I was originally saving this for the end, but a friend suggested I move it to the top):
Ah yes, the main event of any idol collective (besides the lives): the releases. With H!P being as large and diverse as it is, there’s a lot of releases to go around for anyone. Below are just the majority of the releases for the year with reviews linked in their name. (Yes, I will get to the later ones. Burnout/fatigue wrecked my ability to get to them before the year was out… it was a very trying last quarter, not just because of the comic series.)
- February 3: Next is you! / Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai – NEXT YOU / Juice=Juice
- February 17: Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii – Kobushi Factory
- March 9: Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~ – Country Girls
- April 20: Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP! – ℃-ute
- April 27: Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku / Itoshima Distance / Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru – ANGERME
- May 11: Utakata Saturday Night! / The Vision / Tokyo to Iu Katasumi – Morning Musume ’16
- July 27: Samba! Kobushi Janeiro / Bacchikoi Seishun! / Ora wa Ninkimono – Kobushi Factory
- September 28: Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request – Country Girls
- October 19: Umaku Ienai / Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen, Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen / Wasurete Ageru – ANGERME
- October 26: Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~ / KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!! / Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou – Juice=Juice
- November 2: Mugen Climax / Ai wa Maru de Seidenki / Singing ~Ano Koro no You ni~ – ℃-ute
- November 23: Sexy Cat no Enzetsu / Mukidashi de Mukiatte / Sou ja nai – Morning Musume ’16
Gains and Losses
What would a good idol collective be without lineup changes? 2016 has seen its share of additions and graduations, some more dramatic and publicized than others.
- Noguchi Kurumi, Ono Kotomi, Kodama Sakiko, Yonemura Kirara, and Kiyono Momohime (H!P Kenshuusei, January)
- Kasahara Momona (ANGERME, July)
- Ota Haruka, Sato Hikari, Ishiguri Kanami, Kawano Minori, Kitagawa Ryo, Kudo Yume, and Yamazaki Mei (H!P Kenshuusei Hokkaido, July)
- Ono Mizuho, Onoda Saori, Akiyama Mao (Tsubaki Factory, August)
- Kawamura Ayano, Yokoyama Reina, Yoshida Marie, Nishida Shiori, Yamazaki Yuhane, Hashisako Rin (September)
- Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina (Morning Musume ’16, December)
- Takemura Miu (H!P Kenshuusei, March)
- Tamura Meimi (ANGERME, May)
- Suzuki Kanon (Morning Musume ’16, May)
- Hashimoto Nagisa, Shimano Momoko, Yokogawa Yumei, and Nakano Rion (H!P Kenshuusei, July)
- Inaba Manaka (Country Girls, August)
And those are the ones that happened this year. I haven’t touched on the announced gains and losses. On the former, we have Tsubaki Factory’s long-awaited major debut and Michishige Sayumi’s return to showbiz come 2017. On the latter, we have the disbandments of SMAP and C-ute (the former happening this very week!), along with the graduation of Tsugunaga Momoko. Both her graduation and C-ute’s disbandment are set for June 2017.
Speaking of losses, one big project for this year was the graduation tribute to Tamura Meimi and Suzuki Kanon. Originally conceived to be a showcase of the fandom’s creativity and devotion, it became a solo exhibition of works submitted for similar projects.
Budokan Becomes Real
Early in the year, Juice=Juice squeezed out their acting juices in the idol-themed dorama Budokan. To promote this, they briefly formed the special unit NEXT-YOU and released some material, one MV is which is widely available to global audiences. (The rest was region-locked as per the original network’s wishes.)
Much like the fictional group NEXT-YOU (whose dream road to Budokan formed the subject of the dorama’s story), Juice=Juice achieved the chance to properly perform there once their November 17 engagement was announced in May.
Four-Grand Visitors and OVER 9000 Views!
One major achievement of the blog was the following achievement:
A poll was held from September 23rd to October 23rd (ironically the blog’s anniversary). On November 8th (Election Day in the US), it was announced that Melon Kinenbi won the poll to be the commemorative post’s topic. The same day, a poll opened to determine what A-sides would the readers be interested in hearing about:
Strangely enough, during the blog’s December break, another milestone was achieved!
Powerpuff Musume ’16 series
Of course, one major spotlight for this year on the blog was the Powerpuff Musume ’16 series. A “continuation” of a fanart series I did way back when (that is now lost to time), this series celebrated two loves of mine that seemed to intersect: Hello! Project and The Powerpuff Girls.
(In fact, one reason this series was a big deal to me was that it was intended to be my “graduation” from PPG fanart. Besides me moving on from the style (and, strangely enough, PPG period. If you knew me ten years ago, you would know how big a deal this is), I just became jaded and disgusted with how the fandom melted into goo over the reboot. Unfortunately, it’s a feeling I had to get used to throughout the year…)
Once the 13th Gen have their singles to their belt, expect some new additions.
In 2017, my focus will be somewhat divided as I’ll be managing the blog and working on the comic. Speaking of art, take a look at this piece:
I’ve already done so on Tumblr, but I’m willing to open it up here: Have any suggestions for future topics? I’m also open for questions and suggestions regarding me or M3. Feel free to drop me a line in…
- the comments
- Magic Box for the Public Vox, either here or on Tumblr
- Messaging the Facebook Page
- the sidebar
Here’s to a year more magical than the last!