Smile for a Summer Night

May 24, 2018

SummerNightTown-r

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.

In this post, we will take a look at the representative for 1998: Morning Musume’s Summer Night Town.

Kath, didn’t you cover Morning Musume enough this month?

Yes. Like I said in the last review, that’s what the Random Picker chose…. The Picker really loves Morning Musume.

Granted, 1998 was a time in which Hello! Project was essentially just Heike Michiyo and Momusu. Sure, Nakazawa Yuko also began her solo career (and all its enka-flavored glory) this year and Tanpopo was formed, but again… it was literally just Michiyo & the ASAYAN loser troupe! (As we all know, Nakazawa was the leader of Momusu and Tanpopo was said group’s first sub-unit. I think you can forgive me for 1998’s rep being Momusu-related. Sure, I could’ve pulled the executive card, but I wanted to be fair.)

With that in mind… let’s dig into Summer Night Town.

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Picking, Poking And Peeking at PPAP

May 21, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Welcome back to #MemeMusicMonday, where we make up the rules and the hashtags don’t matter. Last week, we took a trip to the early 2000s to watch a bunch of leaf-wearing guys make us laugh and be cheerful. (If you want to see what’s ahead, look no further.)

Out of all of the memes talked about so far, this is actually the most recent.

  • PON PON PON came out in 2013.
  • YATTA! came out in 2001 and reached meme status around 2005.
  • GAL-o Sengen was relevant around then.

To compare, this came out in 2016. Heck, I didn’t even know this was a thing until Pikotaro was interviewed on Newsroom Tokyo. (This marks the second time I discovered blogging material from NRT.) This singer-songwriter from Chiba captured the hearts and minds of countless people on the Internet with his quirky “PPAP (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen).”

To quickly summarize the KnowYourMeme article: Ever since the original video‘s release in August 2016, it spread slowly but quickly (it had gotten over 7 million views and 4,000 comments in one month alone). It truly spread like wildfire around Twitter and a video sharing service, garnering parodies and homages within the month. By September’s end, major new outlets (namely CNN and BBC) were talking about it, boosting Pikotaro’s tune’s reach. It further went into the stratosphere when Justin Bieber gave it a shoutout to his Twitter followers.

As Pikotaro himself put it…

The fantasy of expressing love & peace through Pen, Apple, and Pineapple… Now bringing you the long-awaited “Long” ver. of PPAP!! It’s not just simply ‘long’… the world will now witness this unbeliebale moment… It’s SHOWTIME!!

You heard the man…

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A Melon-Flavored Carelessly Whispered Chance of LOVE

May 17, 2018

ChanceofLOVE-r

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.

In this post, we will take a look at the representative for 2003: Melon Kinenbi’s Chance of LOVE.

Kath, isn’t 2003 the year you became a fan?!

Yes.

Then why aren’t you reviewing Go Girl ~ Koi no Victory?!

Because that’s what the Random Picker chose…. H!P released a lot of stuff back in the day (and even in the more recent years up to now). Besides, after last week, do you really want me to cover another Morning Musume track? It’s supposed to be a celebration of Hello! Project’s anniversary and the Mothership had their time in the limelight last year.

But Kath, this is the 20th anniversary of their major debut!

…Let’s dig into Melon Kinenbi.

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A Leafy Explosion of YATTA!

May 14, 2018

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Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Welcome back to #MemeMusicMonday, where we make up the rules and the hashtags don’t matter. Last week, we tackled a serious offering in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. (If you want to see what’s ahead, look no further.)

Born a sketch on the comedy show Warau Inu no Bouken (or Silly Go Lucky), Happaitai is a group made up of owarai personalities. To be more specific, it is made up of leader Nanbara Kiyotaka (the “Nanchan” of the duo Ucchan Nanchan) and members of the owarai combis Bibiru (Oki Jun and Ouchi Noboru*) and Neptune (Nagura Jun, Harada Taizou, and Horiuchi Ken).

*When the group reunited for an appearance on Jimmy Kemmel Live! in March 2003, Ouchi was replaced by Dacho-Club’s Ueshima Ryuuhei as he had retired from the entertainment industry at that point.

Released on April 18, 2001, the single was the group’s sole CD release, which did rather well (gaining #6 on the Oricon charts if Japanese Wikipedia is to be believed).

With that in mind, let’s dig into Happatai’s YATTA! and see what’s so easy and happy-go-lucky about it.

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CONGRATULATIONS on Your Happy Summer Wedding!

May 10, 2018

HappySummerWedding-r

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.

In this post, we will take a look at the representative for 2000: Morning Musume’s Happy Summer Wedding. (This is rather fitting, given the recent news regarding last week’s topic.)

This one has a bit of a personal significance to me. While Go Girl ~ Koi no Victory was my “gateway” song into the H!P fandom (for a flimsy reason) and said song that marked the beginning of my days as H!P fan, I had actually tried to get into H!P about a year earlier using this song. (Oh, and The☆Peace too, but I didn’t even listen to that one until I became a bona fide fan.)

It’s weird admitting this, especially since they’re among my favorite songs now and they are considered classics. Plus, this was the debut of the 4th Gen, half of whom are my all-time favorite Momusu members and went on to form my all-time favorite H!P unit. Heck, the entire 4th Gen rocked.

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PON This WAY WAY WAY

May 7, 2018

PonPonPon_by_Kyary_Pamyu_Pamyu_Cover

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

In addition to other reviews (especially as Hello! Project becomes somewhat quiet on the newsfront), I’m going to attempt something different this month: #MemeMay. What is #MemeMay? Every Monday in May (the “sweeps month” for Q2), I’m going to take a look at a piece of J-pop associated with memes. #MemeMonday and #NewMusicMonday are already a thing so… every Monday in May is #MemeMusicMonday.

What better way to begin the celebrate the collision of J-pop and memes with what is possibly the most relevant one of the four I picked (aka the certified confirmed ones I could find on Know Your Meme. While I’m familiar with other J-pop memes listed there, I went with the confirmed stuff just to be safe): Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

This fashion blogger-turned-pop phenom is sure to ring some bells for some.

I remember when the video came out and made quite a stir. Since I was already a fan of Yasutaka Nakata’s work in Capsule and Perfume, his distinctive fingerprint being on Kyary’s material was a great gateway in. What solidified it for me was the surreal visuals and Kyary’s own unique style, definitely reflecting the unique scene she came from.

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Wahahaha~! Youth’s Passionate Journey Serenade

May 3, 2018

Mano_Erina_-_Seishun_no_Serenade_Reg

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 one technically is also one of five meant to make up for the six weeks I went without a proper post in the first quarter, due to being busy with the Production Red Diary (among other factors).

In this post, we will take a look at the representative for 2011: Mano Erina’s Seishun no Serenade. (How appropriate, given the recent news regarding Manoeri. This is also a factor into next week’s pic, the representative for 2000.)

I technically gave it a mini-review in the third part of the “Ping Pong Pinpoint Precision Past Perspective” series, designed to catch me up on the numerous releases during my olympiad of a blogging hiatus:

The first release of this cuspid year is Mano Erina’s Seishun no Serenade. Mano, in her red and white sportiness*, dances along with her army of zipperiffic backup dancers* (while looking to attempt the Morning Coffee look). We seem to have returned to normalcy after Genkimono(so we’re led to believe).
* She reminds me of Maki for some reason in that look.

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Lovely Riding into the Sunset

March 15, 2018

RenaiRider-r

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Today is a special post (at this rate, every post will be special) as this review is the result of the first Anniversary Review Vote. As noted last week, Buono’s sophomore single Ren’ai♥Rider won by a landslide 5 votes.

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So without further ado, let’s dig into Buono! #2 and ride off into the sunset!

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Roles in the Polls That Shake Up Everyone’s Souls

March 7, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

This is a post to update you guys on some things. A lot has happened and it’s time to set things up for the months ahead.

Are you ready? Here we go!

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Hey Brother, Ho Brother! Nice Rider, Go Rider!

February 25, 2018

DschinghisKhan-r

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Today is a special post as it is the 10th anniversary of what may have been my first full Berryz review: 2008’s Dschinghis Khan, theme song to the musical Dschinghis Khan ~Watashi ga Tsurugi, Netsusuna wo Some yo~ and (more importantly) a cover of the 1979 song by the same name by Dschinghis Khan.

Berryzdschinghiskhanremix

So without further ado, let’s dig into Berryz Kobo #16 and seize victory!

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