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  • Jay 1:49 pm on 2011-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Solo Debut for Kikkawa Yuu! 

    Finally!  This excites me beyond all belief.  Seriously, I may not have followed Kikka very closely in the beginning but I know now that this girl would’ve been wasted in Morning Musume if she’d gotten in.  She’s got the biggest fanbase of all the eggs and finally let her personality out to shine!  I also sincerely believe that Kikka is going to go so much farther than Mano Erina.  There’s so much more charisma in Kikka than in Mano to me.  Mano is cute and everything but Kikka’s got SPUNK.  I like spunk.

    At any rate, it’s been announced finally that former Hello!Pro Egg Kikkawa Yuu will have her solo debut in March.  This crazy talented girl’s debut single is called Kikkake wa YOU and will have four different versions.  Like S/mileage’s fourth single Shortcut, each version will have a different b-side to go along with it.  The b-sides for all of the singles will be the songs that she performed as the opening act for the Hello!Project winter 2011 concerts.  These songs include Sayonara Namida, Candy PoP and Fuyuzora Hanabi.

    In a rare move for any Hello!Project member, Kikka has been signed to Universal Music Japan.  I’m sure that Tsunku will likely be writing her solo material but the fact that she isn’t with a label affiliated to Zetima will probably mean so much more promotion for her than any of the other artists under H!P.  She’s also slated to perform alongside BEAST and SDN48 at the UNIVERSAL DREAM LIVE 2011 event at Osaka and Universal Studios Japan on March 19th. Kikka also has over 10,000 subscribers to her mobile site already.

    So who’s going to be the next H!P Egg to debut? Mori Saki also recently completed her Egg training so there’s no knowing what’s going to happen next.  Actually, there’s a lot of exciting coming out of H!P lately.  Buono are back in action, Berryz Koubou’s got a new album coming out this year, C-ute are releasing good songs again and Morning Musume’s set for what seems to be quite the comeback.

    Expect a H!P news roundup in the next couple of days!

    • rasune7 6:55 pm on 2011-01-28 Permalink | Reply

      Well ever since i saw her in Milky Way i knew she was very talented and i really wanted her to become a soloist.

  • Jay 8:16 pm on 2011-01-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Fan Club Events Galore! 

    And now for your regularly scheduled break in the new generation of Hello!Project news, I come to thee bearing news of some FC events for M-line!

    First, it has been announced that First Generation Morning Musume member Abe Natsumi will be having a Fan Club Tour of Hokkaido which is currently untitled.  I think that it’s going to be a great event for all of Nacchi’s fans to be able go and see her live in action.  She has a very welcoming aura to her so I’m sure that many of her fans who have enjoyed these trips in the past will enjoy this one as well!  The tour is scheduled for 3 days and 2 nights from March 20 to 23.  Maybe some of the international fans will be able to attend this event as well. :)

    Second, it was announced awhile ago that former Seventh Generation Morning Musume member Kusumi Koharu would also be having a fanclub event as well.  It remained untitled for quite some time but it seems that Koharu has been able to decide on a name for the event and is dubbing is Koharu sai! Translated into english, this means “Koharu fest” and it seems like a rather interesting title to name her first solo fanclub event since leaving Morning Musume.  It leaves me wondering if she’ll be singing mainly from her solo material from the Kirarin Revolution anime?  It’s been quite some time since I’ve heard Koharu sing so I wonder if she’s been receiving any vocal training since she left Morning Musume a year ago.

    Regardless, both events are going to be chock-full of fun and excitement and I hope that anyone who gets the opportunity to attend these events has a blast!

    • Adam 8:18 pm on 2011-01-22 Permalink | Reply

      I really doubt Koharu has had any more vocal training, even if she has, can it really help that much~?

      • jaydesummers 1:07 am on 2011-01-23 Permalink | Reply

        I personally think that if she sang in a softer tone (like she did for most of furusato at her grad concert) she’d be a much better singer. Otherwise, her singing tone is very nasally and squeaky to say the least.

    • Alita 11:25 am on 2011-01-23 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think Koharu will be doing much singing. The event is to celebrate the release of her essay-book (which I wonder just how much she wrote) so it will most likely be discussion based with a couple of songs thrown in. The 1st Gen event was the same, mostly talk with the two first Musume songs and each woman’s audition song from Asayan.

  • Jay 10:44 am on 2011-01-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Mori Saki completes H!P Egg training 

    Mori SakiAnd here comes Egg #4 to complete their H!P egg training!

    It was announced on the Hello!Project fanclub page that H!P Egg Trainee Mori Saki has completed her training as H!P Egg.  Like Sengoku Minami, Mori will be staring in a stage play that will run from April 8th to 17th.  After that, there’s really no knowing what’s in store for Mori.  Here’s hoping  for new and exciting things for all the Eggs!

    Sadly, I don’t really follow the eggs and therefore, know very little about them.  It’s very nice to see all of their hard work paying off though.  Those girls sing and dance their butts off in the concerts and there’s a lot of unused talent in the Eggs that definitely deserves to shine.  It’s about time that some of these talented gals finally get their chance to prove what they’re worth.

    Congratulations Saki! :D

    That leaves a good question in the fandom.

    Who’s next?

  • Jay 7:44 pm on 2011-01-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Takahashi Ai graduating from Morning Musume (part 2!) 

    *takes a looooong sip of peppermint tea*

    I actually learned of Takahashi Ai’s graduation announcement this morning over while trolling aramatheydidnt on livejournal and if I am to be completely honest here, it’s about time that they did so.

    Initially, I was surprised to learn of another graduation so soon but the time is right. Along with Gaki-san, Ai-chan has been one of the longest running members of Morning Musume and as such has had the second longest tenure as the leader of the group for 3 years and 7 months. Before this, the longest leader ever seen for the group was Iida at four years from 2001 to 2005. Her and Gaki have been in over half the singles for the group and are arguably the most noticeable and memorable members of Morning Musume as they joined the group during its peak. Ai herself is also one of a few members to release a solo song out with a Morning Musume album (Yume Kara Samete on Pucchi Best 7.

    However, I’m not surprised by this announcement anymore. It’s time for Ai to move on to bigger and better things. Ai’s got so much going on for her. She’s the most talented singer the group has ever had, she’s a great actress and she’s just this amazing photogenic girl that I didn’t like that much in the beginning. I can’t deny however that she’s blossomed into the young woman that she should be since becoming the Leader of MoMusu. Let’s face it, Ai-chan had no personality in the beginning and was so terribly shy. Now, she’s so animated and bubbly!

    But let’s face the music here. Ten years is a long time for any person in a group. It’s time for Ai-chan to move on from Morning Musume and Hello!Project. Through the countless singles, photobooks, dvds and stage plays, Ai-chan’s certainly got a lot to her credit but now, it’s time let her spread her wings and fly.

    And that’s my two cents on her Graduation. I wish her nothing but the best and will be supporting my fellow Final Fantasy Geek until the very end.

    • Adam 7:45 pm on 2011-01-11 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I like FInal Fantasy too :P

  • Jay 6:42 pm on 2010-12-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Berryz Koubou does Sakura Con 2011 

    Courtesy of Hello!Online PicboardYou read that right, folks!  Berryz Koubou will be making their North American debut at Sakura Con 2011!  As announced by Captain herself at the last concert of BK’s fall tour.  It took Morning Musume over ten years to make their debut in North America so it’s great to see that the girls in Berryz are getting their chance to shine.  Their last single didn’t wow me at all (compared to Maji Bomber which I love) but regardless, it’s really great news to know that they’re making their way to Seattle in April.  I wish H!P would come up to one of the major cons in Canada but I really think the chances of that happening are slim to none.  However, I’d be all over that if they did come up here.  I’d blow the entirety of my savings to go to that particular convention.  Regardless, if you’ve got the time and money to spare, head on down to Sakura Con at the end of April and support Hello!Project.

    If they get enough support, I bet you anything that they’ll make every attempt to cross over into the North American music scene.  I’d love to hear some more H!P english tracks.  Who knows, we just might get a revival of Coconuts Musume!  It really makes me wonder what songs their gonna pic for the setlist.  Of course, the BK staple Special Generation will be performed (it’s a given even if it’s overated) but I’d love to see a medley of the Inazuma Eleven themes (with the exception of Shining Power.)  Berryz Koubou and most of Hello!Project can pull off the Pop Rock genre with relative ease.

    Excited yet?  I am! :D

  • Jay 12:07 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Morning Musume OG Concert Tour Announced 

    Big news for all the fans of the Morning Musume OG.   It’s been announced that the members of the OG/M-Line will be having a concert tour throughout Japan.  The name of concert will be “Dream Morning Musume。Concert Tour 2011 Haru no Mai 〜Sotsugyousei DE Saikessei〜”.  All members of the OG are hopefully going to be performing with the exceptions of Konno Asami due to her broadcasting job. There will be a total of  8 concerts in the tour.  The final show of this event is expected on May 29 2011.

    This is huge news.  In fact, this is the first OG Concert Tour since the Elder Club Graduated from H!P.  I can’t wait to hear more about this upcoming concert.

    • Alita 8:15 am on 2010-12-16 Permalink | Reply

      Tsuji Nozomi is listed to perform in the tour. Konno isn’t because she is most likely leaving UFA as per the indication of several Memorial Fanclub goods.

    • Adam 7:16 pm on 2010-12-16 Permalink | Reply

      Yup, it seems Tsuji will be able to perform, she’s gonna have to recover from her pregnancy quick though! I love Tsuji, so yay.

      As for Konno, I assume she has training to do for her newscaster position on NHK.

  • Jay 11:56 am on 2010-12-10 Permalink | Reply  

    Review – Morning Musume – Fantasy!Juuichi 

    Fantasy!Juuichi is the 11th studio by Morning Musume and was released in commemoration of Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin’s graduation in just a week and a half. I wanted to share my thoughts on the songs on this album.

    1. Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (AL Version) – I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t like this song very much in the beginning but the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. As usual, the single is very Ai, Reina and Eri heavy but overall it’s very good solid song. In a rare turn of events, this single gives each member at least one solo line. Unfortunately, this means that if your name isn’t Ai, Reina, Risa or Eri, you litterally only get one solo line. It’s a pleasant change. We haven’t heard JunJun or LinLin singing a solo since their debut single Onna ni Sachi Are so it’s nice to hear how much they’ve progressed as singers since their debut. It’s a very synth heavy song but overall, I think it’s going to be a love it or hate it type of song. Or in my case, it’s a hate it and then love it. I had the same experience last year with Kimagure Princess. The AL Version of this song has a string intro before starting into the main portion of the song. 7/10

    2. Bravo! — If there was a song that defined the phrase “Spunk in a Can” this is it! It’s a very intense rock song and sounds like something that Buono! would have released but instead, this genki pop-rock tune is giving to Morning Musume. It’s a good sound for them. It’s pairing up the usual suspects like in Genki Pika Pika! and I’m in no form complaining at all. The pairings in both of these songs oddly complement each singer in all the pairings. This is the perfect concert song and I quite this rock influenced song very much. 8/10

    3. Fantasy ga Hajimaru — Another synth heavy song on the album. It’s the same synth sound to boot on every single Morning Musume single as of late and it’s getting really old. Old Meme anyone? Also, I can understand using Autotune on Sayumi because of her tonedeaf nature, but throughout the entire song? It’s particularly noticeable in the verses. The song sounds very tinny to me and while it’s an enjoyable song, autotune ruins this song for me. Tsunku you are not T-Pain and your singers can more or less carry a tune without having the autotune. If they’re singing consistently flat or sharp (this is Sayumi to a tee) than I can understand the autotuning. Seriously, autotuning Ai? It’s not even necessary. However, the ad-lib’s in this song are gorgeous and give the song a nice touch. Overall, this song sounds like something you’d hear in a club or on a DDR soundtrack. 6.5/10

    4. Onna Gokoro to Nanto Yara — An upbeat rock ballad! It’s very generic sounding though but the girls sound great! It plays up the lower vocal ranges of the girls nicely which can be quite difficult for a soprano but they all pull it off flawlessly. Despite the fact that it’s a generic song, it’s very easy on the ears. None of the girls sound squeaky and the guitar riffs in the background show the hand of a skilled guitarist. Overall, a nice song but not very memorable. 6/10

    5. Ai no Honoo — :\ This song sounds nice and everything but it should’ve gone to someone who doesn’t sound like they sing with olives shoved up their nostrils. Sorry to all the Reina fans out there but this song isn’t a good match for her. It’s another upbeat ballad and arguably could’ve gone to someone with better musical chops than Reina. To me, it feels like it’s being sung with feeling whatsoever. Besides, doesn’t Reina have enough solo songs already? This song and Reina just… don’t mesh. I think one of the Panda’s would’ve been a better match for this song. Tsunku’s always said that LinLin has the perfect voice for a ballad and this would’ve been a perfect opportunity to show it off. Too late now I suppose but it’s a damn shame. 5/10

    6. I’m Lucky girl — A synth pop song that I can get behind! It’s an up-tempo dance number and I’m quite digging this track. It’s better sounding to my ears than Fantasy ga Hajimaru and once again, it’s in a key that all members can sing in comfortably. I must say though… why is the title in Engrish? It just detracts from the awesome that is this song. Near the end of the song and constantly looping synth in the background, it’s easy to tune out after awhile. It’s a decent enough song though. 7/10

    7. Sungoi My Birthday — This songs like something you’d hear in the sixties but aaaaaaah AIKA! :D LINLIN! :D I’m starting to see a big trend with this album. Synth pop, upbeat ballad et ad naseum. The clapping noise I’m hearing in the background though during the instrumental interludes needs to die in a fire. JUNJUN! :D This song stars the singers that don’t get featured that much on the singles and is a great song for the 8th Gen in particular. Sayumi just… doesn’t suit the character of the song. I know, it’s a cute sounding song and therefore, Sayumi must be involved in some way but… Sayumi should just be speaking and I LOVE Sayumi. 7/10

    8. Ichi Kara Juu Made Aishite Hoshii — A break in the theme! Wait… no it’s not. It’s another generic synth pop based disaster! This song sounds much too young for the group that’s singing it. This song would sound better sung by Berryz Koubou or C-ute if I’m to be honest. I’m not a fan of this song and I firmly believe that it should’ve gone to another group. It should be noted that I’ve skipped the rest of the song. :\ 3/10

    9. Itoshiku Kurushii Kono Yoru ni — It’s upbeat, it’s pleasant sounding and Reina’s removed the Olives from her nose! EXCELLENT! The girls are singing this in a softer voice which gives this piece some beautiful expression and gives it a very mature sound compared to the previous track. This track features Eri very heavily and I’d like to say that she sings her parts amazingly well! Ai as always is flawless in her delivery and everyone is giving this song their best effort. I’m enjoying this song very much. It could do with some more evenly distributed lines throughout the entire song however. 8/10
    10. Denwa de ne — First initial reaction upon the second listen? Sounds like something out of Atelier Iris. Here we have another mature sounding ballad that just does nothing for me. It’s bland and… it’s an Ai solo. Of course they’d give her a horrible song. Ai has an amazing range, let her show it off a little bit! Don’t give her these drab sounding blobs of crap. She’s an energetic gal and sounds best when she’s singing energetic music. Not my kind of song I have to admit. 3/10

    11. Seishun Collection — First listen of this single? I liked it well enough. Now? I skip it everytime. It outgrew its appeal. It sounds far too much like previous singles (Shoganai Yume Oibito and Nanchatte Renai for example) and doesn’t live up to those previous singles at all. It’s an upbeat, pleasant sounding ballad but it doesn’t live up to its inital charm. If this is the theme song for the play Fashionable… what does that say about the play? It doesn’t really say a lot of good things if you ask me. It has to be one of the badder Morning Musume singles released. 3/10

    Overall, Fantasy!Juuichi doesn’t live up to the stadard that was set by the excellence that I heard in every drop of Juu My Me. Where Juu My Me had spunk, charm and tons of character, Fantasy!Juuichi is left with the sloppy seconds that didn’t make the cut for that album. That’s exactly what several songs sound like to me. They’re just sloppy seconds that were slapped onto a new album that overall sounds very rushed and generic. It did manage to sell over 10k in its first week but I don’t think it’s going to sell much more than that. It’s a damn shame because so many of these songs show so much promise. If only they’d been given a little more time to fine tune these songs or give them extra little tweak, this album could’ve been fantastic. Instead, we’re given some very subpar songs and immature songs that no longer fit with the mature image that Morning Musume is trying to project.

    Final Rating: 6.5/10

    • Adam 6:38 pm on 2010-12-13 Permalink | Reply

      It’s funny, I agree on the overall score you’ve given the album but I prefer totally different tracks; I loved Fantasy ga Hajimaru and Ai no Honno for instance!

      • jaydesummers 1:55 am on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply

        I love that you added the pic of the album cover which is fantastic! I really love the doll theme of the cover, it’s very pretty. Oh I really love Fantasy ga Hajimaru too but I loved I’m Lucky Girl more.

    • AoiUsagi 3:13 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply

      “This song sounds nice and everything but it should’ve gone to someone who doesn’t sound like they sing with olives shoved up their nostrils.”

      Oh. My God.

      That line made me burst out laughing… in the middle of class… when I was supposed to be researching Political Action Committees online.

      • jaydesummers 4:00 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply

        Oh no! I’m so sorry! D: Just say that you read something really funny on one of the Political Action Committees websites? o_O

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