Ping Pong Pinpoint, January 2018 Edition: Beginnings and Endings Galore

January 18, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

How’s your year so far?

Well, as promised in the 2017 Year-End post, here’s a rundown of minor news from late 2017 to earlier this month.

We’ve got news to cover, involving new beginnings for Inaba Manaka, Sugaya RisakoTsubaki FactorySuzuki Airi, Yasuda Kei, and Ishikawa Rika, along with endings for Taguchi Natsumi and Aikawa Maho.

(Don’t worry, Kuduu fans. You’ll get your day.)

Anyway, let’s get right down to it!

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

M3 Project Announcement: 20 Years of Fun

January 9, 2018

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

As I was planning for 2018, it occurred that despite H!P hitting a landmark year, not much is done. Plus, a couple of tournaments I had intended to start in 2017 (during Momusu’s 20th anniversary year) were left on the backburner.

This’ll be handled here and now.
Read the rest of this entry »


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).

Read the rest of this entry »


Final Quarter of 2017 ☾

December 30, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

It’s that time of year again, when we get reflective of the past 300+ days. A lot has happened this year, which entailed numerous ups and downs. I got a bit into it during the Charisma, Kirei review, but this year was both exciting and draining.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Final Quarter of 2017 (and a look at 2018)! 

Read the rest of this entry »


Charismelon Anniversary: A Melon Kinenbi Special

December 21, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Sorry for the quiet in updates. I’ve been a bit busy… and drained in recent weeks. Some may say I was a tad distracted, what with the goings-on in politics (including a GOP tax plan and the FCC net neutrality vote) and other events (like Kuduu’s then-impending graduation, the results of the H!P audition, the strange single releases, and Taguchi’s “departure”) eating at my mind.

In fact, I was content with just letting things be as they may and take the rest of the year off on account of the drain (so sorry if this “final (review) post of 2017” is a tad more barebones than usual, trying to get this out before Christmas). However, there was something stopping that: a special review for M3’s 10th anniversary, namely one for the final single of Melon Kinenbi during their time in H!P.

Remember when I said there was a reason we started the year with a Melon Kinenbi post?

melonjuice-r

Well, one of the last releases of M3’s debut year was the Melon Kinenbi EP Melon Juice, released on December 12, 2007 (ten years ago last Tuesday).

charismakirei-r

Its opening track, Charisma, Kirei, was later released as a single with a new B-side in March 19, 2008. (Ironically, this was mildly less than a year before M3 would move to WordPress.) Selling 2,180 units, what became Melon Kinenbi’s final H!P single is also their worst-selling one.

(On another note, the fact it was going to be reviewed regardless was why “Charisma Kirei” was left out of the poll. It being the worst-selling single had nothing to do with it.)

Given that 2017 is winding down (and it’s almost Christmas), let’s dig into Charisma, Kirei and see if this has more charisma than this year had to offer.
Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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…

Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome ANGERME! The Invitation from Around the World

October 20, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Back in April, I signal boosted a fan project for the ANGERME faithful. The deadline for submissions passed in early October and a few weeks later (as of the 17th), the final product is finally here as the finished video is now on YouTube!

(Appropriately enough, this comes at the end of the first leg of Juice=Juice’s global trek.)

Read the rest of this entry »


Twenty Years of Morning Service

September 14, 2017

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

If you’re reading this, then it is (or has been) officially 21:00 on September 14 in Japan. What does that have to do with anything? Well, 20 years and one week before on the program ASAYAN (which aired at 21:00), five finalists from a Sharam-Q audition were given a five days to sell 5,000 copies of their demo single (which they would later do and thus change J-pop history forever, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: