Saturday, June 12, 2010

Music Japan Review

Hey to my two followers (hey, neat! People read my stuff. Maybe.) and to anyone who reads this; I deeply apologize for the lack of updates; I got caught up in college life (you could say my CAMPUS LIFE HAHA C-ute joke), and decided that school work was more important than blogging. Well, I still kept up with Idol things, became enchanted by the new idol group, Momoiro Clover, kept up my love for Ishikawa Rika and H!P and such.

The one thing I've loved the most over these past two months, however was the fairly recent female idol special on the show Music Japan, featuring Morning Musume, AKB48, Idoling!, Momoiro Clover, S/Mileage, Tokyo Girls Style and Vanilla Beans. So I thought, for my newest post I'd give my impressions.

Momoiro Clover:
Man, am I in love with this group (and Ayaka! A~rin da yo!). I got into them before Music Japan aired, so I was already quite excited to see them perform live. And WOW did they deliver. They sang their major debut single, Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo, with the most energy I've seen from idols in a while. In my opinion, they blew everyone else on this show out of the water. The only thing that anyone could conceivably hold against them is the fact that they lip synced, but really, with that kind of dancing, I'd like to see any kind of idol who could dance like that while singing. They were amazing, and I can't wait to see more from them.

When I first heard that these girls, as opposed to the likes of Berryz, C-ute or ManoEri would be on this special, I was a bit surprised; however, they HAVE been getting promoted a lot lately and I think there's definitely going to be a little bit of a rivalry between S/Mileage, Momoiro Clover and Tokyo Girls Style; they're all making their major debuts (after either training in the case of TGS or indie label singles in the case of the other two) in the same time frame, the girls are all of similar ages (fairly young idols) and the groups range between four and six members, so that's similar. S/Mileage really didn't disappoint at MJ, singing their newest single (and my addiction) Yume Miru 15sai. They sang live (unlike many) and did a great job. The four of them were really cute and energetic, and the only one who was even a bit off with her singing was Dawa (Wada Ayaka), but she certainly wasn't bad and didn't throw off the rest of S/Mileage at all.

Tokyo Girl's Style:Ah, the other similar young group and arguably the most hyped from the bunch. Hailing from the music giant of Avex and being compared to old greats such as SweetS, who were before my time as an idol fan. I have to say, they really don't give me much of an impact. Their songs so far, Kirari and Onnaji Kimochi aren't really that interesting; I think they really would have made more of an impact if they had performed Kirari, but instead they performed Onnaji Kimochi. The thing that I keep getting from watching TGS is that they aren't all that interesting. Yes, they can sing well and have dance talent; they got that from training that would honestly probably benefit many idols. However, Onnaji Kimochi is kind of a bland song that has a really simple dance until they go into a dance break. The song itself isn't very complex and doesn't seem too difficult to sing, which kind of confuses me. If they want to show off how amazing the vocals/dancing skills of the members, wouldn't Avex give them complicated/difficult songs that would more showcase their abilities?

Morning Musume: Ah, MoMusu. Despite all the new idol talent that keeps popping up, you remain pretty constant. They performed Seishun Collection, their newest single (wow, all these idol groups are releasing singles at similar times). I sometimes think I'm the only one who really likes this single. It's not as good as golden era Musume, that's for sure and it's not the best song ever. But I think that as of late, Morning Musume has had a kind of sadder more darker image and I really think that this could be a move in the right direction, with the song and PV. It's hopeful and upbeat. All of the girls do a really good job performing live. The dance isn't too complex, but I think that since they can sing live it's not a tragedy at all. While I think they're moving in the right direction, MM really needs to step it up in the face of the giant that is AKB48.

Vanilla Beans: After my friend misread the katakana, I can no longer think about them without thinking of them as "Bunny Lovings". And laughing. I honestly had never heard of them at all before seeing this show, and I don't think many others had heard of them either. They definitely are going for the old-fashioned type of idol, feeling quite old-fashioned. They're vocally quite nice and the song's not bad. I really don't know if they'll sell too well or if they have so far, with an audience that's not completely just looking for nostalgia. They're "nice", but not great or wonderful or anything like that.

Idoling!: I have heard of Idoling! before this performance, but mainly because they are produced by the same guy who produces AKB48. And WOW, do I wish I had heard of them before this. The song they perform... which has a really long title that I can't remember right now is REALLY catchy and I personally really really love it. The performance, while nothing amazing in the dance performance (I THINK they lipsync, but I'm not too sure), was really sweet. They all feel genuine and it was a really good idol performance. Looking at the girls faces, they all seemed pretty happy to be there. I love the PV to this song (not really part of the show, but) and I really hope to see much more of them.

AKB48: The current giant in the idol world in Japan. They obviously saved the most popular thing for the last. The performance was fine in the dancing and at this point I'm not even going to wonder if AKB is going to sing live (the answer is no, they are not. And never really sing live, at least from what I've seen). Ponytail to Shushu, their newest song is pretty good and catchy. I don't know, I've never quite been able to get onto the AKB48 bandwagon, no matter how much I try. I like members; my favorites are Genking (Miyazawa Sae), Yukirin (Kashiwagi Yuki) and Lovetan (Oota Aika). I like their songs, songs by the subgroups, etc. I just have never been able to be their wota like I'm able to be a wota for Hello!Project; hell, I'm now really being a wota for Momoiro Clover, so it's not any inability to move to new things. I guess AKB48 feels so overproduced that it never really feels genuine. I know all idol groups are heavily controlled by the companies that back them and I know that this is true for every group on this show. I just have trouble loving AKB48 like I love other idol groups.

So, as a whole, I really enjoyed this program; it's fun to see idols from all different companies performing on one stage and interacting with each other. During the introductions for the younger groups, S/Mileage and Momoiro Clover seemed to be interacting with one another, laughing at jokes and generally being pleasant with each other. If I had to rank the newly debuted young girls groups at this point, it'd be Momoiro Clover>S/Mileage>Tokyo Girls Style, which is actually being shown through the sales at this point. Right now, it's a good time to be an idol fan, with so much abundant talent.

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