Pump Up a Thank You, Beautiful Dreamers!!!

January 7, 2018

Greetings and happy New Year, Citizens of the Universe!

How has things been for you lot so far? It hasn’t been a full week (though it may be by the time you read this) and we’re already off to a chaotic start.

Well, this post is somewhat special. You see, during the 2017 autumn break, M3 reached a new milestone: 10,000 views! (give or take)

Similarly to the 4,000 visitors post, I looked to a release with a similar milestone and unlike last time, the topic was clear: after losing to the Melons (3-1 overall; 1-0 on Twitter, 2-1 on Google+) for being the topic of the last milestone post, our work-in-progress idols of Up-Front get the center stage!

(For those curious, had Apuga won, their topic would’ve been their 16th indie single, Nijiiro Mosaic / ENJOY!! ENJO(Y)!!, chosen because it was their first single to sell OVER 4,000 copies.)

But Kath, who are these girls anyway?

Upuppng

Up Up Girls (Kakko Kari) is one of many acts under Up-Front Create (home to numerous H!P alumni who remained under the Up-Front Group umbrella; H!P itself is under Up-Front Promotion).

Made of former Hello! Pro Eggs Sengoku Minami (red), Furukawa Konatsu (pink), Mori Saki (green), Sato Ayano (purple), Sekine Azusa (orange), and Arai Manami (blue), the group was formed in early 2011 as Up-Front Girls (Kakko Kari) (with Saho Akari (yellow) later joining in May) before changing to their current name that very summer.

All but Sato Ayano were “1st Generation” Hello! Pro Eggs, having joined in 2004. Sato became an Egg in 2009. Sengoku completed her training in December 2010, Furukawa and Mori in January 2011, Sato, Sekine, and Arai in March, and Saho in April.

All of the members are also part of a K-pop dance cover group formed prior to Apuga called UFZS. Initially only having five of the girls (Furukawa, Mori, Sato, Sekine, and Arai), Sengoku and Saho joined months later.

Just because they’re not as well-known as their former Hello! Project compatriots doesn’t mean they’re inactive. The members perform regular lives at a Akihabara theatre, having done 119 regular shows at their current location. (Their old venue was forced to shut down.) The group also does regular weekly online shows and broadcasts, along with a livestream on Showroom. That is in addition to having had a TV show. Yeah, they’ve done a lot.

I didn’t even get into their Budokan performance, along with the formation of the Up Up Girls (2) and Up Up Girls (Puroresu) sister groups.

I hope that’s everything needed for a primer…

With that out of the way, I can get to the meat of the post: a review of  Up Up Girls (Kakko Kari)’s 19th indie single, Beautiful Dreamer / Zenryoku! Pump Up!! -ULTRA MIX- / Itadaki wo Mezase!, their first single to sell OVER 10,000 copies and was their highest-selling single until April 2016.

マキシ2折表_15

I suppose that given the then-recent graduation of Sengoku Minami and Sato Akari, now’s a good a time as any to give these gals a look.

So let’s dig into Apuga #19 and commemorate getting OVER 10,000 views (and beating a dead meme in the process).

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Life is one time: Unfinished Business with Unfinished Mandarins (yum!)

November 10, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Mikan-la

Welcome to another special review where I revisit old blog topics. Last time, we talked about the topic of my first review. Now, we’re going to talk about the first Morning Musume review I’ve done. (How fitting I do this in anniversary years.)

Like last time, content from the original post are quoted.

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Planting the Seeds of Love

November 2, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

If you’re reading this, it’s now (or was)  midnight in Japan and thus (has been) November 3, 2017. What does such a date mean?

Well, on November 3, 1997, a small single was released and its singers given a challenge: sell 50,000 copies in five days and they’ll be a signed act. They managed to complete the challenge just in time and the rest is history.

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Victory’s BIG WAVE Chance!!!!

October 25, 2017

Welcome to my first review of Hello! Project-related media and commentary! This first installment is a double-feature PV review.

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Welcome to a very special review where I look at the topics of the very first Morning Twilight! (Weirdly enough, technical limitations caused me to split them into two separate posts.)

Content from the original post are quoted.

First PV…

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Perfect Magnolia Blossoms

August 28, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Welcome to the final post in Magnolia Month, a month-long celebration of the One Punch Mags.

While we got off to a rough start by addressing the elephant in the room that was Mt. Fujii’s eruption, we danced around with fans and ninjas before rocking out with the Kenshuusei leader. Now, as summer ends and autumn begins to be on the horizon (unless you go by the Japanese calendar, in which case we’re knee deep in aki), it’s time to become a bit more reflective… even a bit retrospective.

KobushiSonoIchi-r

Back in late 2016, in contrast to the past few months, Kobushi Factory kept quiet in that time. Why? Well, they had a full album on the way, collecting some songs they’ve been performing on tour and teasing us in Hello! Sute and Upcoming (TEKI), their singles (duh), and some new material. To promote this collection, a new MV was unvieled for all of the world (which I somehow kept neglecting to cover during that slew of reviews I did earlier this year).

So without further ado, let’s dig into Kobushi no Hana!

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Ding Dong Dell. Hikarei’s in the Well

August 21, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Today is a special day here on M3. Why? Today’s my birthday! (…Unless you’re reading this after the publishing date.) Being that we’ve had a week of bad news and a nice single that is bittered by said news, I feel like we should inject some of the fun that the One Punch Maggies are known for in honor of this occasion.

What better way to do that than this wacky little duet with Kobushi Factory’s Inoue Rei and Hello Pro Kenshuusei leader Inoue Hikaru? (Seriously, if she doesn’t debut soon, she might “complete her training” soon. She’s in the danger zone on my spreadsheet. …Yes, I’m enough of a dork to create a spreadsheet about the Kenshuusei.)

InouenoUta-r

Spontaneously revealed on a then-recent Upcoming, this rockin’ song with comical lyrics showcases the talents of these two ladies. Seriously, they are talented.

So without further ado, let’s dig into Inoue no Uta!

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Floral-Patterned Job-Hunting with a Smile

August 17, 2017

ShuukatsuSensation-lsp

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

The summer’s been a rather… chaotic one. As mentioned in a previous post, practically every group in H!P had a lineup change by mid-July. Well, all except one: Tsubaki Factory. Yeah, Asakura Kiki’s on medical leave for her lumbar herniation, but the group’s pretty much unchanged otherwise. In the midst of all of these changes, it’s nice to see some form of stability. (Of course, this may be helped by the fact that they were in the middle of doing single promo work.)

So without further ado, let’s dig into Tsubaki Factory #2 (or #5 if you count the indies) and see where the Camellias have gone from here!

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Shalala, Who Cares? REAL Ninjas Can Do It!

August 14, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

KFShalalaSLE

How is everyone today/night? After the somewhat heavy posts last week, it’s time to attempt some form of normalcy. Then again, given the past few months’ events, especially with the spotlight group of this month, no discussion of said events is complete without a look into their latest single, whose release cycle and tie-in have been swept up into these events.

So without further ado, let’s dig into Kobushi Factory #4! Believe it!

MORNING TWILIGHT NO JUTSU!

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Tear-colored Witches Don’t Need Anything But Love

August 10, 2017

Don’t forget the Welcome ANGERME Project! Submissions close in late September!

“…a message for you is the misty vernal moon.
Only the months and days are sure to come around again”
–Minezaki Koto, Zangetsu (“Morning Moon”)

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

AiSaeArebaNannimoIranai-ls

How’s your summer so far? It’s been a rather… interesting one so far. Between the whirlwind of change that erupted in H!P and the world being in a state of transition, it can be a trying time.

In regards to H!P, quite a few has happened so far. C-ute disbanded, Tsugunaga Momoko graduated, any group that wasn’t suffixed “Factory” gained new members, and Kobushi Factory lost one when Fujii Rio’s contract was terminated.

In regards to one group, a sense of absence is already awash in the group as Aikawa Maho is (as of this writing) on medical leave for panic disorder (prompting fanproject galore to show support). However, life must go on and the cycle must continue. “The show must go on,” as it is said in show business.

Therefore, let’s dig into ANGERME #23 and see how “the show went on.”

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Feel It! Dance the Furnace Foot Stomp

June 15, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

If you’re reading this, then we have eaten our tear-sprinkled chocolate pudding, staining our brand-new blue jeans as we’ve watched (or wished to have watched) C-ute head off into the sunset. The sheer sense of loss cannot but put into words.

Neither can you accurately describe the sense of pride and joy that came with H!P as a whole… once you brush off the anxious feeling of uncertainly surrounding the rebooted Country Musume. (You can try though.)

However, to quote many a song, “life goes on.” We’ve had our time to grieve, to celebrate, to say goodbye… even if many of us probably did at least one of those things at this point. C-ute has left their mark and their legacy is sealed, a torch passed on to the rest of H!P.

Let us talk about one such part of this sisterhood, shall we?

JidandaDance-r

Juice=Juice. Cool, refreshing, mature Juice=Juice. “Youthfully sizzling” Juice=Juice. Juice=Juice, named by the Great and Powerful Tsunku to express a desire for the group to “be always fresh and full of personality, and that in Japan anything is called ‘juice” whereas overseas unless it’s 100% pure it’s not ‘juice’. Despite that he said they would not be a childlike group and that he wants them to reach beyond their limits with being cool.” (Thanks generasia.)

Juice=Juice, having spent the early part of 2016 in a dorama about being an idol and hoping to get a gig at the legendary Budokan. Who have done 220+ shows in a span of 2 years. Who will be going on the very first “world tour” in H!P’s history, not even going for one-night engagements in far-off lands (to the mixed delight, chagrin, and fascination of the fandom at the “experiment”. As of this writing, the dates for the shows in Mexico, the UK, France, and Germany have been announced).

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s been at least 6 months and a day since their last release (and four months since my review of said release). Therefore, let’s dig into Juice=Juice #9 and see what freshness they’ve brought into 2017.

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