Friday, August 26, 2011

IMPORTANT: Happy Disco's Moving!!

Hey guys, I have some important news for people who read Happy Disco.

I've decided to move to the Intlwota domain. I've been thinking of switching to using Wordpress over Blogger for a while, and this is really a good excuse to.

I'll be keeping the url for Happy Disco up, but new posts will go to

So I'd really appreciate it if you'd update where ever you read Happy Disco and you update your blogrolls.

Thank you for reading! I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ogawa Saki's graduation...what?

OK, so I'm not the best font of Hello!Project information anymore, and S/Mileage has never been my big focus. However, big news has forced my hand to talk about this S/Mileage news, and that's that original member Ogawa Saki has decided to graduate from S/Mileage.

Now I'm more of a fan of Yuukarin myself when it comes to S/Mileage. However, Ogawa Saki's graduation announcement isn't the only thing that is making this news. It's the fact that Saki is graduating in only three days on August 27th.

In case there's any casual Hello!Project/idol fans reading my blog, when an idol announces that they're graduating a group there's usually a good amount of time before they actually graduate. They announce things months in advance, which ends up giving ample time for fans to plan to go to that idol's final concert and say farewell. So already, many eyebrows are being raised at the reasons given for graduation and the hasty nature of it all.

The only time that girls get quickly dropped is either that they're Eggs and UFA thinks THEY'RE disposable or that there's a scandal involved. This leads me to believe that something fishy is going on either with Saki or with UFA, something we might never no or something that might show up in a tabloid eventually. At this point we can only speculate, but so far NO ONE I've seen is taking the concept that Saki is graduating by her own free will any seriously.

According to the statement by Tsunku as translated on Hello!Online, Tsunkku said that Saki requested to graduate back in May. However, why did this graduation announcement happen now? It's really odd, and I think everyone I've seen is rather suspicious.

Still, regardless of motive and what has happened, I wish Ogawa Saki the best of luck with her school life and with her life beyond being an idol!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nogizaka46- AKB48's official rivals?

As announced a couple of months ago, AKB48 producer Akimoto Yasushi has created AKB48's official "rival" group, Nogizaka46. Unlike SKE48, NMB48 (my current addiction; I love them) and SDN48, these are supposed to be rivals to AKB, implying that the playing field for current idols is so relatively weak that AKB48 needs a group produced to be a rival. Which, despite the current idol boom and the ridiculous number of idol groups out there, is kind of true. AKB48 doesn't have a group that's direct competition.

According to sources like Tokyohive, they won't have a theater (unlike the AKB sister groups) and already have a senbatsu of 16 of the 36 chosen members.

As shown by various websites they have a young average age, which I think is a good thing. The public in general prefers its idols young, and the fact that AKB48's average age in most senbatsu lineups is about 18-19 (with Jurina kind of throwing everything off) is a bit of an anomaly for idol groups. Another interesting thing is that they won't have a theater, which means that they'll be focusing on other things than getting that together. This is what I think might turn off some of the more serious AKB fans; I know that NMB48 was cemented as one of my favorite idol groups when I saw their stage show and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, this might be good for the group members as a whole. AKB48 and the ultra popular members of other groups (Matsui Jurina, Matsui Rena, and perhaps Yamamoto Sayaka and Watanabe Miyuki) are busy busy people, doing stage shows, promo events, variety shows, etc. This might make the group a bit less of a difficulty than the main ____48 groups are.

The one thing I'm reminded of is when Tsunku created TNX and the Nice Girl Project to be "rivals" to Hello!Project. In fact, it's almost exactly like that. However, TNX ended up being a bit of a trainwreck. Not saying anything about the members, but the sales were terrible and I don't know how much they ended up using that "Hello!Project rivals" concept. Then again, that was introduced far after H!P's peak, so I'm betting that Nogizaka46 will fare MUCH better than Nice Girl Project did.

Only time can tell what will happen with this group, but I'm kind of excited to see what happens!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tokyo Idol Festival 2011 Part 7

I will get to all the groups, even if it takes after the festival. Because they've added so many new groups since I've started, to the point where I have way more to cover. But it'll get covered, I promise.

Minicheer Bears: I assume it's "Minicheer" because the group's cheerleading themed; however, the real name is "みにちあ*ベアーズ" and I keep wanting to read the first word as "miniature," especially since this is such a young group.
There are fourteen members, and it's another Stardust group, which then makes them a sister group of Momoiro Clover and Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku. The first thing I noticed is that their website is REALLY cute. There are teddy bear images everywhere, and it looks like all the Q&A profile questions are handwritten, but in a really cute way. Another notable thing is that the girls are all REALLY young. The ages range from 9-12, so if you like your junior idols VERY junior, Minicheer Bears might be the group for you to support.
I think they're still really indie and haven't released any singles yet, but they did perform at the Tokyo Idol Festival last year. It looks like only a few girls are singing, so I'm thinking the set up is that only a few girls are the leads and the others are background dancers?

Still, it's a cute group, and it'll be interesting to see if Stardust pushes them further, given the relative success of Momoiro Clover.

Mugiwara * Musume: When I saw the name of the group, I immediately thought "OK, they have to be a Morning Musume clone." However, from their looks, it seems like they're more of a Country Musume type of group, since that's the vibe they're getting at. This is another group with very junior members, with ages ranging from just barely nine to thirteen. They were formed late last year, so the group hasn't even been around for a year!
Interestingly enough, they released one single with two songs on it last year, Mugiwara Musume no Uta and MY DEAR BLUE.
Upon listen, it does seem like a country themed group, though the versions I've heard are on YouTube and are outdoor performances (which doesn't lend itself well to acoustics). MY DEAR BLUE is a bit more electronic sounding than Mugiwara Musume no Uta, though. They seem pretty rough so far, but the videos I've found were a few months ago at the least, so I'm hoping they've practiced some more for the idol festival!

Momochi Minami:  OK, this is one of the more bizarre things I've looked into while getting into the Tokyo Idol Festival. Momochi Minami is an idol that wears an anime face mask, and dances/sings anime songs. I'm having trouble finding much more than that, but honestly this is hitting Uncanny Valley territory for me.

I am having trouble finding more information about Momochi Minami other than the fact that "she" does anime songs, and it looks like she's a DJ? But I think there is a decent following among anime enthusiasts, so I'm going to be interested to see how this works at the festival.

R*M : Pronounced "ramu", I just have to say that my sleep-deprived mind (I just got back from vacation, and I never sleep very well in beds that aren't my own) read "Dance and vocal unit" as "Dance and polka unit" which for some reason made me really really excited.
Anyways, no, they're just a normal idol trio unit, that seems to focus a bit more on the vocals. The name actually stands for the three idols in the group, Rui, Anzu and Emika (Focusing on the M in eMika). They were just formed this year and released their first single, Kiseki no SPARK in July. The reason I say that they seem to focus a bit more on vocals is because there are live harmonies done in the performance I've found of Kiseki no SPARK. And while their vocals are a bit rough so far, there's definitely some promise from what I can tell.
Anyways, I really like Kiseki no SPARK as a song, and I'd love to find the studio version, because it's actually one of my favorite songs I've discovered from this mission to find all these groups. This is the type of group I could see getting some success as more of a vocal unit than an idol unit, if they got some really good vocal training over the next few years.

YGA: This is one group I've heard about before but that I've never gone and looked for anything from before. According to their Tokyo Idol Festival bio they're "50% variety, 50% idol, 120% meetable." And while the nerd in me wants to go "that does NOT add up to 120, and how can that make any sense?" I do think it's a really good sentiment for an idol group, if they're focusing that much on variety. Actually, I think focusing that much on variety is a great idea, considering that that's one of those big things that makes people really love an idol group.

Unfortunately, it's tough to find information about this group, because there are a variety of things that go by the name YGA (including an English-language LGBT magazine) so finding information about that Japanese YGA is proving a bit tougher. However, they do have eight members and have released three singles with an album on the way, all in this past year which indicates that even if they started doing things earlier, this year is their first big year as an idol group. Their blog does indicate that they started up at the end of 2009, though, so I think that 2010 focused more on their variety duties.

They seem popular, from their view numbers on YouTube, and from what I can tell they're related to Idoling!!! or have done something with Idoling in the past, considering they have a DVD together. Idoling!!! fans, tell me if I'm wrong about this!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sekai Ichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko song/PV review

Here's just something straight away before I get to this. I a fond spot for C-ute; Maimi and Nakky are two of my favorite H!P members period, and two of the reasons I still follow C-ute news whenever I can. I like the other members too, though. This doesn't mean that I like everything that C-ute has ever released (can I just forget The Party now? *shudder*), it just means that I can tolerate something average more than I can tolerate with some other groups.

So alright, the reason that I'm reviewing this, my first H!P song/PV review in a while, is that I'm absolutely completely charmed by the song and PV, and to be honest, part of me doesn't know why. I think the components are well done, but the way I'm reacting is not the way that I've reacted to H!P in a while; the last song I reacted this way to was Reconquista.

The song: I really think that the way that someone looks at this song will honestly depend on what they're looking for in an idol song. To some, it may seem really generic, and I respect that. This is a pretty typical type of idol song that reminds me vaguely of S/Mileage's Suki-chan in terms of tone and style. If you're looking for something out there, completely unique, edgy or anything similar to that, Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko is not the song for you. Some people will probably find this song boring. However, I LOVE cute idol music, and upbeat/happy songs are why I choose to listen to idol music (hence Happy Disco). Upbeat happy idol songs are the type of thing I listen to while walking to work or school that just make me feel happier, and this song fits the bill.

The first time I listened to it, I didn't really like the song except for the chorus; however, for me at least, it's one of those songs that has really grown on me. I think those are the songs that tend to be earworms for me; songs that start out uneventful but that I really start to like.

The song isn't perfect to me, though; the rushed line Maimi sings before the chorus feels kind of out of place and almost like Maimi herself can't get those words out. Also, is it just me, or does Chisato sound really weirdly high-pitched in the first verse?

I might be biased because of the songs I tend to like and the fact that the word "Happy" is so prominently placed: this song is now the theme song of Happy Disco (if someone mixes this song with Perfume's One Room Disco, I think I'll have to start a Happy Disco podcast to use it). Still, it's a fun, cute song that is exactly what I'm interested in. C-ute's moving in a... well, cuter direction (judging by this and Momoiro Sparkling) and I can't say I complain!

PV: The one thing that I like that kind of puzzles me is how much I really love the PV. It doesn't have a story, it's on one set in the standard white backdrop of H!P PVs. And yet...

I have to think of the PV as being a subversion of the other PVs H!P does. So many H!P PVs are really bland and colorless these days, set in the same set. However, the abundance of color in this PV seemingly coming from the idols in their idol rooms makes it seem like C-ute is adding color to this bland world. And cuteness!

The PV is gloriously colorful and I appreciate it for that. I also think that the little domino stunt they did with the books to make the word "happy" was really obvious but also really adorable, so I can forgive it. The idea of the girls all having their own different rooms is for some reason appealing to me; maybe it's because I love the PV for Perfume's One Room Disco so much (which is admittedly a far superior PV to this), but they could have easily made the PV with one backdrop, some closeups with different backgrounds based off their image color. This feels like some effort was made, which I have to appreciate.

The other part that's great is that the girls are really at their top game here. The one really notable thing about H!P groups nowadays (especially Berryz and C-ute) is that they've been around together for years, so they work off each other well, especially in the dancing and the group shot here.

The PV isn't the best that's ever existed ever, but it's fun and colorful, which makes it one of the better PVs H!P has released recently.

So overall, in my opinion, H!P managed to do a really great job here and I appreciate it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

S/Mileage's new members... are not real members, but wha?

The new members of S/Mileage, the group that everyone thought would have a stable lineup until Tsunku went "PSYCH!" were just announced.

So now we have a new nine member unit of S/Mileage, with new members Katsuta Rina, Takeuchi Akari, Kosuga Fuyuka, Nakanishi Kana and Tamura Meimi. However, there's a catch; these aren't full members YET, they're actually considered sub members. Meaning that they are not actually permanent members yet, and their permanence in the group actually depends on their performance in the new single that's being released in September and the fall tour, but some of them could be kicked out.

My first thought was honestly a plain and simple "WTF are you doing Tsunku." This is one thing that has to be AWFUL for the girls to deal with; they're members, but not yet. If I was one of them, I know I'd be on edge every single second, to make sure I didn't get kicked out. And while I suppose that's the plan, it's kind of an awful thing to do to them, especially since it wasn't guaranteed. They went into this audition expecting to be members, not submembers. Also, does submembers imply that their participation will be less in the single and tour? If so, they should just be named "Mitsui Aika class" in that they'll be there, be great, but will not get any attention whatsoever.


My second thought after seeing this was that it reminded me a bit of the AKB48 kenkyuusei system. If you don't follow AKB, basically the kenkyuusei are trainee members. To get into AKB nowadays you HAVE to join the kenkyuusei. They have performed their own stages, and the kenkyuusei are the ones who fill in at the theater if one of the members (usually one of the popular ones) isn't there that day, which can give them great exposure (my favorite kenkyuusei, Natori Wakana, has subbed in for Kashiwagi Yuki, the third most popular AKB member according to the election). However, these members have to reaudition every so often and can be cut. They participate to an extent, but don't become full members until they're promoted to a team. 

I wonder if this is what Tsunku is trying to get at; getting new members, testing the waters (their abilities to perform as well as their popularity, I imagine). This is a pretty OK idea, I'd say. However, it's really weird, because Tsunku hasn't really done this before. Yes, he has the Eggs, but he hasn't done THAT much with them. These are girls who were told they'd have a chance at S/Mileage, but now they are told they might be cut. That's nerve-wracking, IMO.

I also think that they're really trying to test the waters to see which ones become popular and which ones don't, regardless of vocal/dance ability. I have a bit of a theory that any Japanese girl could become an idol if she wanted to become one, and vocal/dance ability really doesn't make or break an idol ever .I know that it's a bit more important in H!P, but I think it's really overestimated. These girls aren't singers, they're idols, so I doubt this testing period has anything to do with singing ability.

However, I'm also a bit wary as a fan. It took me a while to pick a favorite kenkyuusei because I was worried I'd get attached and then she'd leave; however, I was completely charmed by Wakana. This is pretty much the same; how can you expect a fan to become attached, if they're afraid the girl will be kicked out? And what happens if a girl gets a fanbase (all the H!P girls have one, whether they're frontgirls or not) and then she gets kicked out? I'd imagine that could seriously alienate some people.

I'm really honestly quite hesitant about this, but it'll be interesting to see how it works. I'll be hesitantly following S/Mileage from here on out, trying not to get attached to the new girls.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tokyo Idol Festival 2011 Part 6

Just under two weeks until the festival kicks off and they keep adding groups on me!!!

Fudanjuku: This is IMO the group of gimmicks (though they aren't bad gimmicks) because there are two things that make the group stand out. One thing is that each of the girls have some kind of fandom themselves; they're all supposed to be a wota of SOMETHING, whether that thing is anime or pro wrestling or anything between. The other thing is that they are crossdressing idols, with the "male" portion of their act called Fudanjuku, and the female portion as "Nakano Fujoshi Sisters".

The thing I find kind of interesting is the fact they refer to themselves as "fujoshi" as women, as I've only heard that in the past as a negative term. It means "rotten girl" and is usually only  used in the yaoi fandom. However, I do appreciate their nerdiness.

While I don't think the group has hit it that big, I know that a lot of the English-speaking fandom is aware of them. And they really should be, because this is a pretty cool group. The highlight of the group was one time they were on a TV show with Momoiro Clover and a couple of other idols, and they started to flirt with the idols that didn't crossdress.

This is a really good group, that while they aren't big yet, I can see their gimmicks giving them serious niche appeal.

Pre-Dia: This is, as far as I'm aware, a fairly new idol group. According to their bio on the TIF site, they had their live debut only in November of 2010! They have 12 members and are a sister group of Passpo, which automatically makes them a group to follow, since Passpo's management has been doing such a good job of promoting them so far.

^This is their debut single, Dia Love. They seem to be going for a bit of a more mature image than their sister group Passpo. Other than that, since they're less than a year old and under an indies label, they really don't have that much about them.

The Possible:  Ahh, a group that was originally H!P Eggs! The Possible is arguably the flagship unit of Tsunku's idol "Nice Girl Project" under his own label TNX (I say arguably, because I know there are some Canary Club fans out there). It's currently a five member unit.

I have to say, I stopped following the group after my favorite member (Ohse Kaede <3) left the group, but it's nice to still see them kicking. TNX suffers from pretty poor sales, even though I do enjoy quite a bit of the music that comes from them. The Possible is a pretty tight group, and Canary Club has released some gems. Plus, they both had stuff to do with the game Rhythm Heaven, which I think is the best work Tsunku has done in years.

They released their last single last year, but they're releasing their newest effort, a mini-album, a week or so after the festival ends. Coincidence? I think not.

Still, the fact they've been together for years makes them pretty solid as a group, even though their sales haven't been so hot.

Hop Club: Clever name is clever! It stands for Horipro (a talent agency) Osaka Produce Club. So essentially, it's a regional idol group produced by Horipro in Osaka. Man, they managed to get a cute name from all those abbreviations.
They're a six member group with ages ranging from 21 to 15, that according to Japanese wiki was formed in 2001(following the popularity of Morning Musume?). They apparently only became really active in 2009, when they started to do radio and single,s though they did TV appearances before then.

With multiple generations and these local TV performances, they seem to be just local Osaka area idols, now trying to make it elsewhere with the current idol boom. Their live appearances look to be at many idol festivals including the Tokyo Idol Festival, so good luck to them.
(can't embed their PVs, sorry).

MaixNao:Mai x Nao is an idol duo group formed in 2010 with Sakura Mai and Miyazawa Nao. Both of them are older (at least by idol standards, with Mai born in 1985 and Nao born in 1987), so they have a bit more of a mature feel. They released one single , Hoshi no Piasu, in August of last year, soon after the group was announced.

They appear to come from a company called Aint, and other than that not much is out there about this indie group.

However, among the idol festival, their mature image might be a bit refreshing from all the younger idol groups out there.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The End of an Era (sort of) 30 Day Idol Challenge Day 30

Ahh, the thirty day idol challenge. I'm going to credit this with whipping me back into shape as a blogger, because while I like idols I think I was kind of stuck when it comes to content when I kind of stopped blogging earlier.

Now it's the last question, and the biggest doozy of them all.

Day 30: Why do you love Idols?

This is a tough question, because i have this big urge to go off and ramble about why I think idols are amazing. The real answer is basically everything. I love everything I've found about idols, and it'd honestly be tough to find a thing I didn't like about them.

The reason I spend my energy following JPop idols and not, say, western music (though I do follow western music, just not pop music) is because it's really different from popular music in the US. I love my indie/alternative rock, but popular Western music really doesn't do all that much for me (with the exception of Katy Perry, but shuushh). I love idol MUSIC because it's positive and upbeat. Even the serious songs like AKB48's Beginner usually have a good message (though not always) and it's never about the club. I want to rid the world of songs about the club. 

Idol music itself is fun and happy, something that I often find seriously lacking in western music, and so I appreciate idols for that.

However, I also love the idols themselves because of the effort to, again, have fun and work hard, two things I like. Idols aren't lazy and most certainly aren't doing it for the money. They're doing it because they want to be idols, for the most part. It's fun, and honestly quite inspiring to see the girls working so hard at what they do. In the words of Enkyori Poster: 

Sometimes I mess up
And feel a little down
But one vague glance
And I’m looking into your eyes

Are you working hard
Somewhere now, too?
I become unable
To complain

(from kiwi-musume)

That's one of the big things I love about idols; is that watching their antics just makes me feel a lot better, no matter what. 

And so, while I ultimately have many reasons for loving idols, the biggest reason why I love idols and continue to spend so much effort loving them is that idols make me happy. I occasionally have some stress/anxiety issues, but all that can melt away when I watch my 
favorite idols performing on stage doing their best or doing something silly on a show. 

So basically, above all else, I love the fun and happiness of idols; there's a reason this blog is happy disco.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

30 Day Idol Challenge Day 29

Day 29: In your opinion, who is/was the best leader of an I
dol group?

This is honestly fairly easy for me. Granted, I could be biased as hell. Ishikawa Rika was v-u-den's leader, and I really think she did an excellent job; Erika and Yui were brand new when added to v-u-den, and yet the group really gelled like they'd been there for a while. No one felt weird or out of place, at least to me. I also love Yajima Maimi, and she impresses me as a leader, too. She really does take care of her group. One thing I saw was an interview with both Berryz and C-ute around the time of their concert together. The whole group was talking about their H!P Kids days, but Kanna wasn't a part of that (since she was added later). Maimi made an effort to ask Kanna what she thought. 

This also brings up the question of what makes a good leader. Leadership is really not THAT significant, because the idol who's the leader doesn't make any of the business decisions, doesn't write the songs, doesn't make any of the big decisions. Often times, I don't really think that leaders of idol groups do all that much at all.

However, a good leader of an idol group is one that I think brings all the girls in the group together behind that one person, loves and works hard for the group that she's in, and works hard for the others. And the person I think does that best is...

AKB48's Takahashi Minami.

I just can't help but admire the ways she really loves AKB and puts so much effort into making it a great idol group. I always have had the impression that even if Takamina wasn't in the most popular idol group around, she'd still love the group dearly. She's a member that the others can get behind, and I really appreciate that!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

30 Day Idol Challenge Day 28

Day 28: An Idol who reminds you of someone special or that was special.

C-ute's Nakajima Saki.

I love C-ute and I love Nakky, but whenever I see Nakky I have to think of my friend Dani. Nakky's Dani's favorite idol ever. Dani is the one lasting friend I've made from the idol fan community; we've been friends for about two years or so, I think. There are amazing people in the wota fan community, and I enjoy the time I spend on various forums and chats (hi people of Wotachat!) but Dani is the closest friend I've made from this fandom, and so I'm really grateful to the fandom for that. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why You (Yes, you!) Should Become an Idol Blogger!

Recently, I've heard one thing over and over about the online idol community, that honestly makes me a bit sad and disappointed.

That one thing is that there were more idol blogs a few years ago, but now it's somewhat died out.

I love reading idol blogs. I think that the best of idol blogs can make you think about something a different way, or make you think "oh, I never realized that!" There are all sorts of different ones: Review based blogs, news based blogs, and then there's commentary type blogs (like mine!). All of them have worth and have their place, and I think that if you have enough time you should start doing idol blogs!

Here are some reasons to do them.

1. Your blog is your own space to say WHATEVER you want. Granted, you can get negative feedback, if that's what you dislike. I know that recently a Momoko fan lashed out because I called her my least favorite idol. However, if you have a thick skin, it's really great to have this one place where you can get out all your thoughts about idols.

2. It makes you think about what you watch/do more. I know it's easy to just go "I love idols, yayayayay" or "I hate almost everything about idols!" and view what you do that way. However, I think it's more fun to think more critically about things. I don't mean critically in a negative sense, I mean using analysis and just thinking things through. Maybe it's my academic background (I study film/media at my university, so analyzing media comes naturally to me), but I have kind of a switch where I can enjoy things mindlessly, but I can also think through what I'm viewing, ask why I like some things and why I dislike other things, and come to conclusions. This, I think, ends up giving me a deeper experience in the idol fandom. Which leads to my biggest point..

3. It makes me feel more connected to my idol fandom and idols in general. I love idols. Love love love idols. As critical as I can be on Happy Disco, just ask my friend Dani how much I've been rambling and raving about how much I love NMB48 on Skype. However, I am not the biggest spender of the fandom. I have spent my fair share of money on idol merchandise, believe me. However, I am a college student with a limited budget, so I really can't afford to spend $20 to get every single that every group releases. I regret not spending the $30-$40 it would cost to get Everyday Kachuusha here on time so I could support Oota Aika, but that really wasn't in my budget at all. Despite not being able to purchase everything idol related that I'd like to, the fact that I put effort into this blog of mine makes me personally feel further invested in being an idol fan.

4. The community's amazing. I love the idol fan community. Even though I definitely don't agree with everything that idol fans do and there are some fan communities I try to avoid, in general I really like the people a lot.

5. Idols are amazing!! This is just a given. Who doesn't want to spend time writing about Morning Musume, AKB48, Momoiro Clover and the like?

As much as I love blogging, it has its bad points, too, that really should be considered before you make a blog or decide about doing one.

1. You will not become famous and/or make money. I watch a lot of various YouTube channels that feature one person making silly videos and making their living off of YouTube money. I think a lot of people go into blogging and video making because they think "Oh, I can make money off of this." Even if you were making a generic blog or a movie blog, your chances of becoming famous and making any kind of money is slim at best. These chances worsen if you're an idol blogger, because honestly the community's really small. I'm very lucky to get some good praise from IntlWota as well as some OK traffic. I do get some readership, and I greatly appreciate it, but this will never pay any bills.

2. It takes time. I spend a good... hour or so a day writing posts for Happy Disco. This varies a lot, obviously, and I definitely take a break from blogging when I have to focus on school work. My writing time is also not everyone else's; sometimes I see people's reviews for concerts with one sentence per performance and I feel envious, because I know that I have to take paragraphs to get out my opinions.

3. You can't write about EVERYTHING. I know that I personally have way more ideas for posts than ever get written about. There are posts I wish I had the time to do; I know that I have a few really long posts in the works but that I just have not found the time to write.

Essentially, I have one thing to say about this. Do idol blogging if that's what you love to do, not for any ulterior reason. If you do it because you want comments, you'll be disappointed. If you do it because you want money, fame or any kind of recognition, you'll be disappointed. However, if you have a lot of thoughts about idols and want to share them, I'd encourage anyone to give idol blogging a shot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tokyo Idol Festival 2011 Part 5

So, I've been putting off this post for a while. I go on the Tokyo Idol Festival website, and lo and behold, they've added new groups. Will this madness never end?

Passpo: THIS group is why I've been putting off this post. And before I get haters, the reason why is because I know they have a lot of passionate fans and I just don't know that much about them, so I don't want to get things wrong.
Passpo's a travel-themed idol group with ten members. They were formed in 2009, made their indie debut in 2010 and just now made their major debut in 2011.
The group is relatively new, however they generated a lot of buzz around them, especially during their Indies phase. Their first single, Shoujo Hikou, got #1 on the weekly Oricon and sold 42,706, which is excellent for an idol group major debut. However, according to Generasia, its drop from #1 to #102 set the record for the biggest drop from #1.
Regardless, they are becoming a bigger and bigger group, and I know a lot of people love them for their energy and rock sound. However, one member said she'd shave her head if the group didn't get the weekly #1... and they're releasing their single the same week as AKB48. So soon we might have a bald idol!

They're going to definitely be a big headliner for the festival, though!

BA5: According to the new summary on the Idol Festival website, the 5 Bs stand for Big, Broad, Buzz, Beat Beauty. I'm not sure that big and broad are things you want your idol group, but there you go.

I haven't heard much about them before, and finding information about them is a little tough, since BA5 can go anywhere. However, according to their Idol Festival information, they do regular shows on Nico Nico Douga and other streaming websites. Also, from what I can tell on their website, they are a promotional group surrounding Broad Ace, an internet service provider.

Also, from what I can tell, they've released a single and an album. There are five members in the group, but it looks like two of them have graduated, since they're under the OG label on the site, but I haven't seen much with BA5 with only three members.

Still, finding much about them is kind of tough, so this Idol Festival is perfect for them!

Pinkish: This is another group that has apparently been around for a long time (since 2002???) but hasn't done much of anything. There are currently three members: Haruna, Mao and Aoi. However, only Haruna has been there for that long (since 2003), with Mao and Aoi hailing from 2009 auditions. So the lineup isn't too stable.

They seem to do mainly mini lives in places like malls, as well as doing shows on the internet on ustream. That's the amazing thing about the internet; it allows for girls to do this!

They've released a single and an album, the album in 2006 and the single in 2008, which is called Yume Miru Ichigo. The group has done a few TV shows, but nothing I recognize.

Fine: On all the information they're listed as "Special Girls Unit Fine" But everywhere else it's just Fine, so I'll go with that.

A quick word of advice to people who might start up an idol group some day: Don't make names just average English words. Finding information about said group is going to be tough, and therefore will make life a little bit harder for prospective fans. If you search AKB48 on the internet, you're not going to have trouble finding the idol group.

However, I did find their homepage, and it seems that they're an indie idol group with nine young members. They're also under the same company as Oh Campee, that I've covered before, so they've done a joint live with them.

They don't seem to have a PV like Oh Campee does with Happy Happy Birthday, so this video was the best I could find of Fine. However, if you know and love them, please share information with me! The girls in this video have really great energy and seem cute, and could probably be very great idols!

Forchun: I really can't find much about them other than their blog and a video on YouTube。

They seem to be more of a sexy group than anything, but they don't even have a Japanese wiki page or non-Ameba website, as far as I can find.

30 Day Idol Challenge Day 27

Day 27: An Idol you have a particular appreciation for.

Another toughie. Before I get to the real answer, I have to say that I appreciate all idols like crazy. Idols have tough jobs. They work very hard each and every day, training, singing, dancing, performing, on variety shows, etc. These girls work full-time, and if they are underage they still go to school (any idol that ends up going to university as well gets my wholehearted appreciation). In addition, these girls aren't paid THAT well (compared to Western celebrities, at least; these girls aren't rich). Also, unless you're someone like Maeda Atsuko or Takahashi Ai, chances are that you'll have to see other people prefer other girls to you, which has to be a tricky thing for self esteem. These girls are put through a lot, and so I think every single girl who decides to be an idol and sticks with it and the hard work deserves a lot of appreciation.

However, one of the many girls I really appreciate is...

AKB48's Hirajima Natsumi!

Most people do forget, I think, that Nacchan was one of the original founding members of both Team A and Team B. She's probably the least appreciated of the original members who haven't graduated yet, and that's a shame because she really has great energy and is really a fun member. She's also a great member in Watarirouka Hashiritai. 

Nacchan is a wonderful member, and I know I appreciate her!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A "Quick" Review of Battle and Romance

Very recently, my personal favorite idol group, Momoiro Clover Z released their first ever album entitled "Battle and Romance." One thing that I immediately found interesting was that instead of promoting the singles that came right before this (Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei and D' no Junjou) they chose to promote the album instead (and by 'they' I mean the staff, people at the label, etc; MomoClo had nothing to do with it). In Japan, most artists focus on single sales, especially idols. The music industry really seems to do better with singles rather than with albums, and singles tend to sell much much better.

However, Momoiro Clover sold just under 10,000 copies for their first day, and by the second day (where they sold over 5000 copies) they outsold the overall sales of the previous two Morning Musume albums. So even though MomoClo might not be selling as well on the singles, I'm thinking that this album may be a sign that MomoClo is getting to be a bigger and bigger group to reckon with.

Methinks they are spoofing this Beatles album cover? Maybe? idk. 

Anyways, this is a review of the full album. I've heard the single songs and I've heard all the solo songs, but this is actually my first time with the album-original songs.

1. Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~
Number one thing I've learned from this song: that in Japan they say "Zed" instead of "Zee." Like in Canada. So, I guess Momoiro Clover agrees with Canadians?
I love this song a lot. I've heard it described by a fellow MomoClo loving fan as the Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo of newer Momoiro Clover Z fans, and I think this is a fair assessment. Both introduce all the girls in a fun, light-hearted song. I'd personally say that I prefer Ikuze, but maybe that's just me. But I could definitely see myself watching the PV and falling for this group, like what happened for me when Ikuze Kaitou Shoujo first came out. 
The "BLUE" when they go over the colors makes me happy, because the group's obviously recognizing that Akarin was there, but it also makes the absence even more noticeable. 

The only thing that I could potentially say about this is that occasionally the guy's voice gets a bit old, and I don't necessarily need it. I get what they're trying to do, that it's all a spoof of the sentai genre, but it's a bit annoying. It's not enough man voice to ruin the song for me (like how Tsunku ruined Uchouten Love, which I would have adored, with his wahHOO every two seconds), but I'd have liked less of it. 4.5/5

The song starts off kind of electronic sounding, but then transitions to being kind of an epic song with that electronic/dance music type feel. I find that I like the chorus a lot better than I like the verses; sometimes it feels like the drone of the music in the background in the verses doesn't really fit that well with the melody that the girls are singing. I like the lead up to the chorus and the chorus much better. Like I've said, this is the first time I've heard this song, and so I haven't seen any performances (if they're out there yet; I have been saving this album up). However, I can definitely see this as being something with a pretty epic performance, given MomoClo's energy.

I like the song; however, sometimes I'm a bit put off with the instrumental. Maybe it's one of those songs where those parts will grow on me (I didn't like Pinky Jones all that much after the first listen), but this seems like the type of song that I'll have on my iPod but won't be as heavily listened to as the others. 3/5

3. Mirai Bowl
I love love love this song and love the PV. Before I listened to this album I had no idea that they were going to rerecord  the old single songs. I'm honestly really torn about this. On the one hand, I miss Akari and it kind of feels like they're sort of trying to erase her existence. On the other hand, though, they are really trying to reinvent themselves with the advent of Momoiro Clover Z, which feels like they're really respecting Akari; saying that they're not the same group without her, and acknowledging her in Z Densetsu. 

I love this song wholeheartedly, so this rerecorded version is kind of interesting to me. The biggest change is giving Akari's rap part to Ayaka, which does change the tone of the rap somewhat. It's giving the serious sounding rap to the youngest/girliest member who ended up doing it well, though changing the tone of the rap. That being said, the rest of the song is silly enough that it doesn't really matter if the rap sounds a bit silly. I'm honestly thrilled that Ayaka got the part, because since I got into Momoiro Clover I've been convinced that Ayaka is Ishikawa Rika part two, so she really does excel in some of those speaking parts.

The song overall isn't any better or worse without Akari; it's just different. I can see myself choosing to listen to both versions pretty freely. And since I love this song, it definitely deserves: 5/5.

4. Wani to Shampoo 
Apparently this is the opening to some anime, as well as being entitled "Crocodile and Shampoo." I love this title so much, so I'm very very hopeful before I even listen.
Listening to it right now, I can definitely hear how this would be a great anime opening. I love whenever they shout things. YABAI!! QUESTION!!
For some reason I'm having trouble pinning down what type of song this is; it's a bit weird mixed with being a bit serious sounding. Yet I know that they're singing about "owaranai Shukudai" so they're singing about unfinished homework. That's definitely 'yabai.' 
Also, there's the part before the chorus where they're all asked questions. The funniest is one of the English ones: Q: Where do you live now? Ayaka: Yes I do!
I think that even though it sounds like kind of a serious song it has a lot of silliness to it, which makes it a perfect MomoClo song. After one listen I have it stuck in my head, which shows the power of this type of song. Though for some reason I keep thinking it sounds like some song but I can't pinpoint what song it sounds like! Still, it's 5/5. Instant classic for MomoClo.

5. Pinky Jones
Chappa Chappa! People need to go around saying "Chappa Chappa" more and more. 
I love the pseudo-Indian feel of the song, with what sounds like a sitar? I think it's supposed to be a sitar, if it really isn't. And then there are what sound like bagpipes later in the instrumental. This is honestly what I love about Momoiro Clover's music writing team; only MomoClo would have a JPop song with sitars and bagpipes. 
I actually notice Akari's absence more in this song than I did in Mirai Bowl, which is a bit odd considering she had a much bigger presence in the PV of Mirai Bowl. It's mixed just fine, but it just sounds a little weird. However, I have to say that they've been making great choices in allotting Akari's lines among the rest of the group. The fact that Akari's mystical sounding solo was given to Reni was a particularly great choice, since her character in the PV was supposed to be some sort of fortune teller, which was reprised in both Mirai Bowl and Z Densetsu ("Give me chappa chappa!!"). I personally liked that Ayaka got Akari's line when they all sing with their names; she sounded particularly nice. 
Again, I like both versions a ton. This song is perfectly weird and eccentric for Momoiro Clover. 5/5

6. Kimi no Ato
Here's the thing with me and ballads. I love a ballad with a really amazing voice, which is why some of the later albums of Matsuura Aya are some of my favorites. However, a lot of the times idol ballads can get really boring really fast, and if the vocals are subpar then I'll probably not listen to the song very much. They can be done really well; I love the choir-style of AKB48's Sakura no Shiori. However, as a whole, if the songs are equally well-written, I'll normally choose an energetic idol song over a ballad.

That being said, the instrumental is very pretty and since Kanako's voice at the beginning was really pretty, I had really high hopes going into it. And they were met; the girls all sound very pretty, and the instrumental is really good. It's actually a bit more of a power ballad, with the instrumental and sound building up from the initial, beautiful piano. It's definitely not MomoClo's usual music, which makes it really special to listen to. It's not really my thing, and I doubt I'll be listening to this as much as I listen to the upbeat songs of the album, such as Wani to Shampoo. However, I really really enjoy it. It's enjoyable, and exceeded my expectations, when I heard there was a Momoiro Clover Z ballad. 4/5

7. D' no Junjou

This song is flawless. The way they build up tension throughout, the verses and go all out in the choruses, and the parts with "DASH DASH DASH DASH DASH" always give me shivers. It's energetic, intense and amazing. The way they perform it in the PV is just 100% amazing.

I honestly have nothing more to say. A perfect song. 5/5

8. Ame no Tachikara wo

Another song with Indian influence; I think this one s a lot more direct than Pinky Jones, but I don't listen to Indian music so I could be wrong on that count. The singing reminds me a tiny bit of traditional Japanese music, so that could be a bit more of what they're trying to go for. Still, this song also has a lot of rock and pop influences, like the rest of Momoiro Clover Z's music, and the song changes a lot between verses and the chorus. The chorus transitions to being more of a regular popular song. It's fine, but nothing really extraordinary, especially since fans of MomoClo will be used to the concept of the girls switching styles a lot.

I like the song more during the verses than during the chorus. There's nothing wrong with the song, but it doesn't grab me the way that the other songs do. After a couple of listens none of the song really stuck with me, unlike some of the other songs on this album (Wani to Shampoo won't let my brain alone). 3/5

9. Orange Note
We finally have the flawless Orange Note on recording! For people who don't really follow MomoClo, Orange Note is one of the songs that has been with Momoiro Clover from the beginning, and so fans are super excited to have this on recording. The one thing that has changed is that now it's Shiori doing the rap and not Akari, and while I love Akari's original I have to say that Shiori did a really great job.

This is a great, high energy, fun song. When I first heard it last year I knew that it was a great song, and it still is. It's stood the test of time, and I'm forever glad that it's on the album. 5/5

10.  Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo
OK, Pinky Jones was weird without Akari, but this is weirder. In the shout at the beginning, it goes from "RENI KANAKO AKARI SHIORI AYAKA MOMOKA" (which is btw how I learned all the members' names originally) to "RENI KANAKOOOO SHIORI AYAKA MOMOKA" which is kind of awkward, but I don't know how they'd be able to get past. Also, the part where they all count is a tiny bit awkward. 

Despite some awkwardness in how they did this song, they did a pretty solid job of covering Akari in this song. This is THE classic Momoiro Clover song in my opinion, so I'm glad they did it. However, the awkwardness, and Momoka's unnecessary vocalizations at the end (seriously, WHY did they add that?) make the original the one I'm going to listen to. It's a fantastic song, but it really is incomplete without Akari. 4.5/5

11. Stardust Serenade
References to their agency, FTW. 
This is kind of a lighter easy listening song; for some reason I keep getting a retro feel from it? Parts of it, for some reason (I have no idea why) remind me of The Partridge Family, which not something I'd ever really peg on JPop. Or Neil Diamond. Basically stuff that my mom plays in the car and listens to a lot. 
It's a pretty easy song to like, and I really do appreciate some of the orchestral stuff that goes on in the instrumental. Orchestra instruments in rock music is my #1 weakness, as two of my favorite bands are the Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO as they're better known) and The Last Shadow Puppets. 
All the girls sound really good in this song and they really fit it. I like it! 4/5

12. Kono Uta
I've heard this song before, actually, looking up stuff on Momoiro Clover. It never really stuck with me, but I think at that point I was too excited for Z Densetsu that I listened to that much more than I listened to this. I don't know why, but this is a sweet-hearted, up beat song. It has kind of an epic feel, and it kind of sounds like it should be on the soundtrack to something? 
I really like this song, though, and can't think of much else to say. It kind of reminds me of the feel of Hashire, and I think is that type of song for the group. A reprieve from the weirdness to make something very pretty. 5/5

13. MomoClo no Nippon Manzai!
This song is weird and wonderful; this is kind of like a modern Mini Moni, because they're singing about various points in Japan, and prefectures. When they're singing about prefectures I THINK (with my limited Japanese knowledge) they all sing extended things about their home prefecture? I know Ayaka sings about Kanagawa, which is her home prefecture. The style of the song changes to everything throughout the song, giving all of members opportunities to show their personality. Weird parts, slow parts, it's all just fantastic. I happen to love really strange songs, which is part of why Momoiro Clover maintains its position as my favorite idol group.  

But yeah, this is like what would happen if Mini Moni and Momoiro Clover had a collaboration, which is what makes it amazing. 5/5


1. Taiyou to Ekubo- Kanako
This really has kind of a classic idol feel to it; it's upbeat and happy and just sunny. I've loved it a lot since I first heard it and that hasn't changed. Kanako sounds great and it's just a fun song that's easy to listen to. 
2. Fall Into Me - Akari
It's kind of interesting that Akari got recorded over in the single songs on the album, but she got her solo song on the album. I'm not complaining, because this song really fits her, with the rock style and with all the rapping. This is really her forte, not so much the cutesy idol pop that MomoClo does. I miss her, and if she got to do stuff like this in the future I'd be really happy. 
3. ...Ai Desu Ka? -Shiori
For some reason this title keeps reminding me of Kago Ai's fanclub solo song, "Renai tte Nani". Shiori, don't turn out like Kago did, please.
This is another classic idol type song. I find the song kind of boring, and the fact that while I ADORE Shiori she's not my favorite member doesn't really help. The song's cute, Shiori's cute, and there's nothing offensively bad about the song, but of the entire album this is probably the song that stands out least. 
4. Datte A~rin Da Mon!- Ayaka
I find it amusing that all the other members got fairly normal songs, and my favorite gets the weird song. It's actually perfect for Ayaka, though; she's the youngest member and is really cutesy, especially since she's been in show business since she was 10 (on Oha Star). However, the sexy sounding interludes fit her really well, because even though she often does the cutesy image she also can be sexy.
Anyways, if you don't like cutesy songs, strange songs or Ayaka, you'll hate this song. If you love all those things, you'll adore this song. 
5. Arigatou no Present- Momoka
Of all the members who could get a ballad as their solo song, Momoka is definitely the right choice. She has arguably the best singing voice, so it really fits her. The solo song doesn't stand out to me that much, but ballads aren't really my thing, like I've explained. It's a nice, pretty song, that Momoka sings with a lot of heart. Good job, Momoka!
6. Koi wa Abare Ondekoza- Reni
Reni singing enka? I guess weirder things have happened.
While I've never really thought about it before, Reni's voice sounds really good in this song. The opening drums/music reminds me of Phoenix Wright. If you've played the games with the sound on, you should know why. Anyways, Reni doing enka is a bit of a surprise, but she pulls it off really well!

Overall, this was a great album, with a lot of strengths. This definitely could go up to being one of my favorite idol albums ever, which is saying something. Momoiro Clover Z has been doing a great job of things so far, and in my opinion they totally deserve the fame they've been getting.

Friday, July 29, 2011

30 Day Idol Challenge Day 26

Day 26: An Idol whose character you like.

This one's kind of tricky for me, because it'd be SO easy to name any one of my favorite idols. I'm going to say that this means character as in on-screen personality, and not actual character (i.e., not Charmy Ishikawa or Lovely Takahashi, actual separate characters).

With the given fact that any of my favorite idols (Ishikawa Rika, Oota Aika, Iwasa Misaki, Sasaki Ayaka etc.) would probably take this spot if I wasn't trying to be comprehensive about things, a character I like is...

AKB48's Sashihara Rino.

If you follow AKB then you're probably very familiar with Sashiko's antics, but if you're not, Sasshi is a wota. Big time. She followed AKB a lot before she joined, does wotagei, and talks about idols. A lot. Sashiko has been growing in popularity, and I imagine that her wota fandom is a huge part of that. I know that I can identify with her; if I was anywhere near as outgoing as she is, I'd probably act as affectionate with idols, too.

I have no idea if this is true or not or what Sasshi's fan demographics are, but I'd imagine she'd be a great figure for Japanese female idol fans, as a way of going "see, Sasshi's into idols, it's not super weird for me to love them as well." Maybe the widespread appeal has been doing good things for her popularity?

Like I said, I really don't know, but it'd be interesting to find out. But yeah, Sasshi's very fun. She even has her own term for when she gets overly enthusiastic about her fellow idols, Sasshiharassment.

Which often is directed at my oshimen, Oota Aika. So yeah, I can totally relate to Sasshi.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

おめでとう、Happy Disco!!

People who read my blog (I love you!!) I have some news.

This is my 100th post on Happy Disco. Yaay!!

This is the first image you get if you search Happy Disco on Google Images. 

My infatuation with idol music isn't going away anytime soon! Usually when I start up projects/blogs like this I get bored quickly and stoop doing it, but I really do enjoy what I do here on Happy Disco.

First up: If you guys read this and have read my blog before, what types of posts do you like? Would you prefer more straight up reviews, more lists, more rambles about the nature of idol pop? I'm just curious to see what people would want to read from me.

Secondly: I'm still continuing my 30 Day Idol Challenge and Tokyo Idol Festival series', but I'm thinking that since the 30 Day Idol Challenge will end soon that I will start a new regular segment. What do you guys think I should do? Reader feedback yay.

And since I want to make this a fun 100th post, in honor of my long posts here on Happy Disco I'm going to do a list of my top 10 idol PVs. (in no particular order).

Note: This list is largely personal, and I'm also betting that in a day or two I'll find a PV that will make me wish I included it in this list. Also it's only idols, nothing else.

SKE48- 1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku! 

I feel like, if anything, this PV is proof that you don't necessarily need to have a story to make an interesting PV. This is in my opinion a perfect idol PV. It's shot well, edited interestingly, and even when they're focusing on things like the dance shot, it's not shot at some unmoving flat angle, but moves around and really makes it interesting. This is the first of SKE48's "Let's hire the entirety of Aichi prefecture to be in our PVs", and while I really like Banzai Venus, I think that the extras had a better role here. They really do a lot to add to the excitement and really keep the energy up high.

Finally, the PV really plays to the strengths of the girls which is always something that a good idol PV should do. This one plays to the fact that SKE48 has really strong dancers by having the dance-off scene as well as focusing a lot on the dance shot, since they have an interesting dance.

This PV is just a joy to watch, and I absolutely love it.

v-u-den: Kurenai no Kisetsu

In my opinion, this is the forgotten v-u-den PV; the one that no one really knows or thinks about. However, it's one of my favorite PVs of all time.

Again, there's no story except Rika, Erika and Yui all have to look sad. However, the scenery and set pieces in the PV are absolutely gorgeous. I'm not very knowledgeable about cameras, lightings and settings for those things, but I'm curious about what they did with the color with some of this. I think they might have changed something? But the colors do seem warmer some places and cooler in the dance shot, and whatever it is it looks cool.

The part that just wows me and that I love about this PV is all the playing around with mirrors. In addition to being great set pieces (the cracked mirrors near Erika are particularly stunning), the way that shots play around with them is amazing. I'm particularly fond of whenever they look into the mirror so that it looks directly at the camera. Also, from what I know of filming, I know that mirrors have their own set of issues, since they tend to reflect things which often can include the people filming the thing. When the PV director inevitably went "alright, this PV will center around MIRRORS" they were obviously taking a bit of a chance, but it totally paid off.

Beginner (original ver)- AKB48

I'm so happy that AKB48 released this PV on DVD so I didn't have to use the low quality PV obviously filmed by a phone that I first saw this PV from.

This PV is very well known among current idol fans as the one that got banned, that AKB wasn't allowed to air on TV so they had scramble and come up with their PV that got on the DVDs and could be aired places, a mix of the dance shot and the making of.

However, the original PV is now in high quality thanks to new DVDs and it totally deserves the praise it's given. It has a really interesting Matrix-like story of the girls being plugged into games and banding together to stand up and stop fighting each other but fight the system, the machine they're in. The moment when Acchan finishes screaming, tears away from her old arm and evolves to be able to fight the system just sends shivers up my spine, as well as the moment when Yuko hugs Takamina so Jurina can pull the plug.

This is a PV where I desperately want more, so I can know a back story. And that's why it's up there among my top ten PVs.

Top Secret- Hangry & Angry

This is definitely a bit of a personal choice for me, but a year and 9 months or so later (wow, it does NOT feel like that long ago) I STILL love this PV and watch it on a regular basis. This is another one with amazing sets, good design, and it's really edited interestingly.

However, in my opinion the biggest strength is the performance of Yossy and Rika. Like I said in my Reconquista review, one of the biggest strengths with Hangry & Angry is that Yossy and Rika have been active idols for over 10 years now, even though they were probably the most famous back at the start of their careers. They both have a LOT of experience and as such always give really fantastic performances live and in PVs, and this really reflects that. The way that the two of them act in the PV, interact with each other and the camera, it really speaks wonders of their experience.

So while the PV is made very well, Rika and Yossy are really the stars of the PV, as they should be.

Enkyori Poster- AKB48's Team PB

However, despite the experience of Rika and Yossy lending well to their performances, the girls of Team PB do really well. So well that, after I saw this vid, for a while I decided that I was a "Team PB oshi" and that I would support all the Team PB girls forever. That's not so true right now (though I do love all the girls in Team PB), as I'd probably, if anything, would classify myself as a Watarirouka Hashiritai wota.

HOWEVER, the point still stands that all the girls are outstanding in the PV. It solidified my bias towards Oota Aika and it definitely moved Maeda Ami and Miyazaki Miho up further in my ranks. Myao in particular.  She basically nailed this PV.

The one thing that eluded me for a long time, though, is WHY I thought Enkyori Poster was so brilliant. It's fun to watch because the girls all look like they're having a blast and they all do very well with their energy. But why is this PV considered one of my top 10, with such simple backgrounds and props?

Well, after thinking this it really hit me how brilliant this PV is. The song itself is pretty simple; it's about the feelings of a fan who loves and supports their idol. The lyrics have in the past made me tear up with things like
    "though it seems that i can't quite meet you you are there by my side more than anyone else
    at times I make mistakes and about to give up I will just gaze and dream of you meeting me face to face" (taken from Stage 48's Studio 48.)
Those words are really particularly meaningful to me and a lot of idol fans; who hasn't gone through a rough patch at school or work, and come home and just watch things with idols to self-medicate? I know that when I'm feeling down and when I feel like I can't do anything, what I really do is watch something with Rika, Lovetan, Wasamin or one of my other favorites and just imagine them.

This PV takes those lyrics and takes that thought, and moves it to one guy's room. Now, he's fantasizing about the girl(s) (he's totally Yukirin oshi) in his poster, but then we move to the posters. As we would expect from this being a PV, the girls sing and dance like usual. However, we sometimes see through to the other side of the room from in the poster, to see that it is really a poster, to remind us of what we're watching. Furthermore, whenever the girls sing and dance around the room, the posters are blank, so we know that this is about the girls of the posters.

There's more to it, though; one of the things that I liked a lot about the PV originally were the different angles that we see the girls at in the dance shot. However, the camera rarely moves during the dance shot; it moves once or twice panning the girls. But the thing I realized is that the angles that we see the girls in the dance shot, the unmoving shots, are really the angles that might be in a poster, further cementing this.

The other parts of the PV are close up shots and the girls dancing in the guy's room. However, during the close up shots, nearly everything that the girls do is straight up posing in ways that would be seen on a poster. They only move freely in the guy's room when the fantasy is at its peak. When the fantasy is confined to the posters, every move is a cute pose, reminding us that these girls are just on the poster and not in reality.

Finally, we see a shot of the man staring at Yukirin, cementing the fact that the PV was his fantasies of his 
idols, not reality.

Mirai Bowl- Momoiro Clover

First off, if you haven't seen the extended version, do so now. You'll be glad you did.

This is gold. It's set up like a cheesy old-fashioned sitcom, with the introduction at the beginning and a laugh track and cheesy music. The story is an obvious Grease parallel... only that there's a relationship between a girl named Sandy (Kanako) and Danny (Akari). Two newsies are there to get them together (Shiori and Momoka), I guess? Also, Danny is a super amazing bowler, so that's important for the music part of the PV. However, Leader (Ayaka) wants Sandy too, with Reni as her assistant. In the drama part of the PV, I have to say that I love Ayaka and Reni's part the best. Ayaka's deep gangster voice and Reni figuring stuff out by going "give me chappa chappa etc." is just amazing and hilarious. They kidnap Kanako by going "It's a UFO" and pointing.

I love all MomoClo PVs dearly, but I had to pick this one because it has the most hilarious plot of all of them. The girls know how to ham it up in these roles and it's just funny because it doesn't begin to treat itself seriously. These girls are also really great dancers and performers and that in itself makes it really fun. The comics-style effects are also really fun, and the break where they actually have the bowling game over Kanako's heart is just super fun to watch.

Not putting Ikuze Kaitou Shoujo, D' no Junjou and Pinky Jones on this list was super hard,  but just by PVs Mirai Bowl never stops being really fun. It's one of those PVs that seems like it must have had a fairly small budget, but made the most of whatever budget it had and then some. No matter how high or low MomoClo's budget is, they totally make up for it and then some.

Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou - AKB48

Yes, I picked the suicide PV.

Keibetsu never fails to make me emotional and cry. You just feel the hopelessness of the girls throughout the PV, and the images of Yuko going to commit suicide are just heartbreaking.

This PV, even though it was in AKB's early years, has a lot of depth and maturity to it. The way they act, when you see Sae leave the school because of bullying, leaving Yuko alone, you feel like there's more to it than just what you see in the PV.

The color scheme is also dark, fitting in with the rest of the PV, and the looks of the girls at the end, almost going "You know what you did" just never fail to be haunting. I know people who miss AKB48 from when they were less popular because of stuff like this, and I honestly don't blame them. I love the current happy idol music that AKB and co do, but songs and PVs like Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou are certainly missed in the current lineup.

Meguru Koi no Kisetsu- C-ute

This is definitely a big change of pace from Keibetsu. XD

I love this PV so much, you guys have no idea. On the one hand I really really like C-ute from a visual standpoint (if that makes any sense) because I love how they dance and perform with such energy. This is super apparent here in the dance shots, close up and other shots, where C-ute is in high form, doing very well.

The reason that Meguru Koi no Kisetsu is on my list and not any of the other C-ute PVs, however, is that this is a perfect example of how a budget isn't anything. This PV doesn't look like it cost  much of anything; a few backdrops, a few props, nothing radical that would cost a lot of money. However, the seamless way they move between all the backdrops and use them creatively is really something. I've seen a lot of people complain about the budget in H!P videos, when this PV would seriously counter that. PVs are a lot more interesting when they take whatever budget they have and use it creatively, like they did here.

This PV is fun, really enjoyable, and overall really well done.

Watarirouka Hashiritai- Gyu

Guys. I love Watarirouka Hashiritai. So much.

This is probably my most subjective pick on the list, but I don't even care because I love it. The whole PV is like a drama; I can imagine that this is some romcom drama about five girls with their own problems and relationships and it'll be one of those things where they all bond over their relationship troubles and stuff. This is something I want.

But anyways, they all have their relationship things:

Harugon (Nakagawa Haruka) doesn't have any relationship issue. She and her "boyfriend" (which is one of the MSN messenger "people"; was this sponsored by MSN?) are all happy and in love. Good for her, I guess.
Lovetan (Oota Aika) has an unattentive boyfriend who flirts with other girls and not her, even though she's the girlfriend. This is where you have to suspend disbelief in the PV, because who would choose other girls when there's Lovetan. Though her slap is kind of my favorite moment ever in any PV. When this came out I watched that slap about 10 times in a row.
Nacchan (Hirajima Natsumi) is basically playing me, because she has a thing for her teacher. In the PV she hugs her teacher in what could potentially become harassment? Teaching the English word for hug, yeah right. And the whole classroom claps, which makes me think that the classroom is writing Nacchan/teacher fanfiction.
Ayarin (Kikuchi Ayaka) gets confessed to by a guy but then turns him down. Which makes me believe that this is the final test after her scandal; if she decided to get with the guy then she's gone for good. But yay, Ayarin stays.
Mayuyu (Watanabe Mayu)... runs? Mayu, running isn't acting, oh wait, for you it is, OK. I've heard theories that she's romantically involved with another girl because they take Purikura together with some other girl (which is usually just with girls) and I like this theory a lot.

This is a fun PV with a fun story and it's about hugging. I love hugs. So, it's a favorite.

Zutto Suki de Ii Desu Ka- Matsuura Aya

The rest of the list is in no particular order, but this is my #1 favorite PV ever. I think it's ridiculously well-crafted, creative and beautiful. The way that they use a continuous shot through all the beautiful sets is really well done. If you watch the PV making of it isn't editing trickery or whatever; they really did do most of the filming in one fell swoop, with Aya running around the backs of sets to get where she needs to be. It reminds me a bit of one of the scenes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that involved the main actors running around the backs of sets to get places. If I think "Oh, maybe Michel Gondry directed this PV?" then you KNOW it's a great PV.

It's not only doing the continuous effect, but it also has really gorgeous sets; I particularly like the one with the clocks. It has a twinge of a surreal feel, too, since you see the way it gets to all the different sets that are clearly fabricated.

Still it's gorgeous and I love it.

A very subjective list (that took forever to write), but there you have it! Happy 100 posts, Happy Disco!!!