Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fukuda Kanon Starts A Fight With

S/mileage member Fukuda Kanon threw out a fun loving as only Japanese idols can do open challenge ,that has upset the fan base of the KPOP group SNSD.

At the Summer Idol Festival S/mileage member, Fukuda Kanon  "picked a fight" with every Idol unit symbolically when she was asked who their rivals were.

Kanon said smiling proudly to 100 members of the media that was in attendance   “SNSD is known as the idols with great legs, but we’re fresher.” “Everyone here, along with our seniors Morning Musume, AKB48 and SNSD are our rivals. But, we have fresh great legs and can’t lose to anyone.”

Now as we all know, this is her way of showing their [S/mileage] fighting spirit and desire to be viewed as equals to their seniors one day and no harm was intended as everyone laughed at the comments.

Well the SNSD fans didn`t see it that way as their fan girls are offended by this harmless statement that as I just said  all other groups and media in attendance found funny . Quick views of their fan pages and that of KPOP ,has SNSD and KPOP fans in a general state of anger and insulting Kanon and S/mileage [at least one pro SNSD/KPOP site had 800 anti comments at last check] .

It`s good to see someone over at H!P have some fighting spirit ,the last time I saw their agency have fighting spirit was when 1st generation   Morning Musume were asked the same question on Utaban and Abe Natsumi answered “Everybody is our rivals”.

Momoiro Clover's Hayami Akari at the same event also said the following “It’s the idol warring states, but our showdown will be our performances. I want us to do our best for our performances.”

If your a fan of JPOP Idol genre ,this is a great time to be a fan , from the Majors to down to the Indies ,young groups are hungry to stand up and create their name in this industry . The next few years are going to be exciting to watch. One day AKB48 ,Morning Musume ,C-ute and Berryz will end and the young ones of today will be the leaders .The battles that will come in the future by the young ones ,will help shape the next cycle of this industry.

S/mileage with Kanon`s declaration, just like Morning Musume years ago announced they have arrived and are ready to make their mark.

What a last few days, first AKB48 staff pranks the nation, now Kanon makes another mad. LOL

Here is the clip that has upset SNSD fans so much.

Sashihara Rino on Sashiko

Rino posted on her blog, what should be closure to this media event. Instead of me giving another summary, I will just let Sasshi have the final words on this to comfort her fans.

From her Blog
 But since it’ll probably annoy the people who get notification messages when I update, I’ll post this later!

Good morning! I woke up at three in the morning today~! \(^O^)/ I’ve been Sashiko since this morning!
I don’t like the sound of that!

Speaking of which, I didn’t think it would turn into such an uproar...
Just think of it as me getting picked on and have fun! An uproarious festival—that’s Sashihara Quality! Bam.
A wise man once said! Sashihara doesn’t know what will happen with her name, but Sashihara will always be Sashihara, and that will never change!
Personally, Sashihara is still okay with Sashiko! They’ve already gone out of their way to establish it, after all...It’s just that I’m not good at standing out, so I might not be able to live up to it...
In any case, Sashiko! Or Sashihara! Or Sasshi! I’m just grateful to have people call out my name!

Guys, about the Sashiko issue (which seems to be a really big one!)...
Just like it says on the AKB48 official blog, when I was eating with the staff, they said, “Since your blog is starting to get more popular, perhaps we should change your stage name to Sashiko.” That’s what we started talking about...And so I asked, “If I did that, would people notice me more?” And that’s how it all started. After that, they made a surprise commercial...I didn’t think they would actually turn it into a commercial, so I was surprised and happy at the same time...I thought, “Well, that name’s pretty interesting, too...”
The staff even changed Sashihara’s name plate, so in any case, I was happy...The TV and agency staff collaborated to make the surprise commercial for that mysterious beautiful girl Sashiko (?)...

Guys, I’m sorry for making you worry. Sashiko—no, Sashihara—is fine.

Her thought’s on Morning Musume`s Kamei Eri

 I got to sing on the same stage with Morning Musume’s Kamei Eri-san, who I’ve always loved and admired,

Monday, August 30, 2010

AKB48 Special Dance Performance

Yesterday after their onstage performance with Hello!Project ,AKB48 did a special dance performance with the true stars of yesterday’s 24hr TV ,the ones the show is designed to help.

It was a fun and emotional performance for AKB48 .Before the performance they played video of AKB48 working with their dance partners , everyone did a great job  and many AKB48 members were in tears of happiness after their performance.

AKB48 Pulls Prank

For half my private life I have been involved in music as a career and this is by far one of the best marketing prank /gimmick/promotion that has come out of this industry in sometime.

For many hours yesterday, the news of AKB48 Sashihara Rino changing her name, took everyone by surprise both privately and publicly, leaving many wanting to know more about the move. In public AKB48, fans were shocked and a huge media and fan buzz was underway and out of control in hours.

However, it was a "prank" played by AKB48 staff, Rino, and her agency.

Everything in a few hours about Sashihara was changed to Sashiko, media profiles, her profiles at the theatre, media releases,television ads were shot , a lot of time and money was invested in this "prank".

According to a statement released by AKB48 staff, the prank started out like this.

From AKB48 Theatre Manager Togasaki-san

There have been many inquiries about Sashihara Rino being renamed to Sashiko. Here is my report. Sashiko was hotly used on Sashihara's blog as her nickname. Then staff asked, "what if it was your stage name", Sashi jokingly replied, "If that happens, will it sell?" And so a joke a commercial was organized by the staff and me. As you guys are concerned, it is not official renaming. The home page where her name was changed to Sashiko was a joke, I guess, though Sashihara herself became confused. Please comment on Sashihara’s blogs.

If you take her blog postings at face value [I warn you that idols are paid to stay in character in public at all times and blogs are heavily monitored by their agencies], she is just as confused and overwhelmed by this as her fans.

This was not a cheap joke a national television commercial was shot and aired for many hours yesterday ,media at all levels jumped on the story and in one day interest in Sashihara and AKB48 increased 3xs it`s normal daily levels. Everything about her was changed to match the television campaign making the move look real.

This was a prank, but much more, it was a well-planned marketing event, and timed to be released on a network airing one of the most viewed events of the year. This was not a random; let us pull a good joke on everyone. This was a  marketing event to take advantage of AKB48`s air time on 24Hr TV, to increase the popularity of their talent and to make AKB48 and one if it`s members the talk of the nation for a day.

Was this a way to push down the media interest in the AKB48 x Morning Musume stage event or Morning Musume`s endorsement announcement? , maybe a little, but mostly this was a public relations, marketing plan to push the benefits and popularity of AKB48 to a new level.

Hats off to AKB48 staff, this was a perfect media campaign.


Rino`s related blog posts

You guys must have been surprised...right? Sashihara...no, Sashiko was surprised, too...
Well, I, Sashihara Rino, have changed my name to “Sashiko”! Bam~ Bam~ Bam~

Man, what’s so surprising is that they did a commercial for 24 Hour TV. They talked about a beautiful girl who was only filmed in the PV for 2.5 seconds, and in that one commercial, they showed those 2.5 seconds three times!!!
Which means?
I was on screen for 7.5 secoooooonds!!! BAM.

That’s awesome...That’s just awesome. Seriously! I mean, “Beautiful girl...” You could almost sue them for false advertising...

In any case, I want to hear your honest opinion. What do you think?

Hold on sec, guys! It’s not like I’m gonna become a performer or anything. XD What’s with the idea that a performer = a stage name?

Well, frankly, it still didn’t feel real to me at the time, so I was surprised when I saw the commercial...I didn’t think it’d blow up into something like this...
Well...now that I think about it, I was really happy watching the commercial, but Sashiko......Sashiko... \ (^O^)/

And what about the name Rino that my parents gave me...? Wh-wh-what will become of it...? That would mean I would be just Sashiko from now on, right? Even during senbatsu elections and other serious times...
What’s with this development...?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Muten Musume ! Debut Oct 24

Weeks ago a song was leaked in a famous Sushi restaurant chain of Morning Musume singing about sushi .This song sent wotas into a fit of rage, thinking this song would be the graduation single.

Well October 24 this single will be released by Muten Musume! Muten Musume! Is the alter ego of Morning Musume .Muten has been in the works for almost a year now and will see Momusu become the real life version of their Chibi alter egos Muten Musume! Muten will be providing the promotional track for Kura Corpo sushi restaurant franchise

Muten is made up of the following idols

Leader -Ai Ai

Sub Leader -Risa Risa

Eri Eri

Sayu Sayu [#1 Kawaii idol in Chibi Japan ,she said so]

Rei Rei

Aika Aika



Muten will release their debut single “Appare Kaiten Zushi!" on October 24 .Currently there is no talks underway or at least confirmation of any rumors that Muten and Morning will be going on a joint headlining tour or that the Chibis have registered for 9th generation auditions . I am not even sure if they are EGGS. LOL

Debut single by Muten Musume !

LQ Version recorded on a mobile phone .
[Very hard to hear as it`s in the background of the restaurant noise ]

AKB48 Sashihara Rino now Sashiko

AKB48 Sashihara Rino has changed her name to Sashiko.
There are not a lot of details yet on the name change, she calls herself Sashiko in her blog and made remarks about getting 2.5 seconds of video time in Heavy Rotation and deserving to have a push like other girls are getting. She asks her fans how they feel about this situation and the changing of her name to just Sashiko now and not Sashihara Rino anymore.

Not long after this seemingly random post, all of her agency profiles were changed to Sashiko and a new Sashiko /Heavy Rotation CM started running on TV, promoting Sashiko and the single and the name Sashiko is used more then once in the CM.

Looks like an image change and push is underway to move Rino, I mean Sashiko up the order of rank.

There is still some confusion among her fans if she made the name change or did her agencies .It is my understanding that former AKB48 member Meetan first called her Sashiko, some time ago and that she had called herself  Sashiko for sometime now off stage.

We will see soon enough if "Sashiko no kuse ni!" (In spite of Sashiko) will become the new rally cry as Sashiko makes her move.

This was an AKB48 Marketing Prank/Campaign ,please read  my new update ,sorry for the late update
Sashiko/Heavy Rotation CM

Thursday, August 26, 2010

More No .1`s For AKB48

AKB48 continue their control of the female side of the industry by scoring five more number one rankings.

This time it`s for the Recochoku Charts. The weekly Recochoku track mobile and PC download sales in a number of categories and Heavy Rotation scored weekly number ones in five of six charts including ring tones and ring backs, full audio song and video formats.

No sales figures were given, however major names such as Koda Kumi and Utada Hikaru sell in the multi-millions along with a number of artists.

I am in no way saying that AKB48 download sales is in the millions ,that would mean that their download sales would be in the range of Koda and Utada and be 6-7 downloads per single CD sold .

Currently there is no uniformed digital sales ranking format that provides a running sales total count for digital sales.

AKB has four songs in the top 100 in the different Recochoku categories

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Sales Records For AKB48

This is becoming a per release thing, AKB48 have broken yet another set of records with the first week sales of Heavy Rotation [took 6 days to sale 500,000]. Records broken by Heavy Rotation are as follows.

AKB48 has become the first female group in history to have two singles in a row sell over 500,000 in the first week , and becomes the third female artist in history to achieve this - . Hamasaki Ayumi and Utada Hikaru are the other to women who have achieved this weekly mark.

While many Idols from the 80`s and early Morning Musume have higher sales totals then AKB48 for a single, only AKB48 and two non idols have sold back to back first week 500,000 releases. That is impressive when you think of all the female artists having released a single in the last 30 years.

Week one sales numbers

1. 527,336 AKB48
2. 47,381 Acid Black Cherry
3. 45,992 AAA

Related Article
 Oricon Article

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Momoiro Clover Members Get Married

Momoiro Clover members are married .The young Idols who are all under the age of 18 walked the road of marriage on August 23 .Before you all pass out; there is a story behind this.

Momoiro Clover have moved to the same record label as AKB48 and to celebrate it, the label sent out wedding invites to media to announce the marriage between Momoiro Clover and King Records.
Momoiro Clover wore wedding dresses for the big day. To celebrate this wonderful event in their lives, the young women are releasing a digital single Coco Natsu.

A PV preview of the single, shows Momoclo`s new costumes a mix of Island summertime, swimwear and school uniform all in one.

PV Preview

Backup in case of delete

Clover Preview the single

Monday, August 23, 2010

TBS TV :"Which female group would you want to join?"

Recently a TV show on TBS went to the streets of Shibuya to ask 300 women "Which female group would you want to join?"

Top 10 results were

1. AKB48 (83)
2. Pabo (62)
3. Morning Musume (42)
4. Fudanjuku (16 )
5. No3b [ No Sleeves ] (13)
6. Idoling!!! (12 )
7. C-ute (10 )
8. Perfume (9 )
9. Watarirouka Hashiritai (8 )
10. Berryz Koubou (7 )

Of the girls interviewed, they based their reasons on the following

1. AKB48:
"The number of people they have gives the feeling that anyone can join " They liked the fact that they take 19 year olds .

2.. Pabo:

For Pabo they like the costumes and that it gives hope that “idiots” can be idols .
They feel that since it`s a small group with girls that are game show “idiots” ,they have a better chance to fit in and be an “idiot” with them.

[Idiot is used in a good way here as in not scoring well in games]

3. Morning Musume:
For Morning Musume ,they are the group that if you join ,you become cute like them .One girl is going to audition for the 2nd time , but worries she does not have their cuteness .

4. Fudanjuku
Girls who like to cosplay as boys,like this group.

5. No3b [ No Sleeves ] [AKB Sub unit]
One wants to be their backup dancer ,Kojima Haruna-chan pulls in many fan girls.

6. Idoling!!!
The girls interviewed liked to join them because they do not dress flashy on TV and "They're fun in TV shows and talks".They give off an easy to become close with feeling. [Many girls like the simple idol street look, makes them feel like they are like regular girls, and some girls feel they can be friends with Idoling!!! Members easier.]

are Powerful at dancing

Members looks and dancing skills

9. Watarirouka Hashiritai [AKB Sub Unit]
School uniforms and Watanabe Mayu-chan cuteness wins for them.

10. Berryz Koubou
Innocent looks ,Miyabi-chan and the need for Berryz to increase the average age range of the group.

Friday, August 20, 2010

EGG & NGP Members Can Audition for 9th Gen Musume

 UFA/H!P has announced  through Tsunku`s blog that any member of the H!P EGG training school and any Nice Girl Project ! trainee aged 10-17 yrs old as of August 1st ,2010  who asks to enter the auditions can do so . Any EGG or NGP member that requests to audition for Morning Musume 9th generation will enter the auditions after the first round ,giving them another advantage over non H!P hopefuls .

There are only two NGP trainees that meet the age requirements, so really this is more about which of the EGGS will be joining Morning Musume  ,currently 20 members of the EGGS program qualify. 

They are

 Sainen Mia
 Mori Saki
 Kitahara Sayaka
 Komine Momoka
 Saho Akari
 Okai Asuna
 Sekine Azusa
 Arai Manami
 Kaneko Rie
 Maeda Irori
 Fukumura Mizuki
 Takeuchi Akari
 Miyamoto Karin
 Satou Ayano
 Kizawa Runa
 Tanabe Nanami
 Takagaki Sayuki
 Katsuta Rina
 Nagasawa Wakana
 Kudo Haruka

I will not say that the audition is now rigged, only that the outcome is now “heavily” favored for the EGGS   members to pass.

My feeling is that they already know what EGGS  member they want to enter Morning Musume and that this “EGG/NGP Audition eligibility” is just a way of  publicly saying that everyone had a fair chance of entry  without upsetting wotas who may feel that their EGGS deserves to be a member.

The EGGS members that are true candidates to enter Morning Musume, have likely been “requested” to audition and their audition is likely for show.

There is no point of placing advanced trained professional idols in an hopefuls audition, against girls who before the audition were idol dreamers singing Karaoke covers, unless two things are at play.
1. There is real concern over the talent quality of the audition pool
2. There will be a certain number of EGGS  members joining Morning Musume along with non-EGG finalists.

Having trained idols go through this audition, gives the decision makers a pool of pre -trained idols, who are ready to step into any group, with very little additional costs, and a pre-established fan base.

Some leading candidates.
Just briefly running through the list, the member that is most likely ready for a main unit is Kitahara Sayaka.

Others to keep a watch on are Saho Akari , Fukumura Mizuki ,Arai Manami she would give Musume a member with glasses,  Maeda Irori and Chisato of C-ute little sister Okai Asuna .

What has gone from a maybe they will find someone that fans will like audition ,has now gone into the ,lets make sure we get this right audition.

Nothing happens in this industry by random chance, just as the entry of JunJun and LinLin was to get a foothold into China, the entry of the EGGS/NGP into the audition was preplanned with a reason behind it, after all, they would not be changing the rules of the audition after the announcement unless some EGGS/NGP were going to be members or strongly considering to add them.

This will be unlike any other audition before, which trained idols will be joining? We will soon discover.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

AKB48 Heavy Rotation #1 Ranking

AKB48 Heavy Rotation entered the Oricon daily charts yesterday at #1 with sales of 340,487. #2 was AAA with 21,658. The daily sales for Heavy Rotation were below Ponytail’s day one totals by around 10,000.

It`s funny to see the AKB fan base being disappointed that the single “only” sold 340,000 copies on day one. Many had visions of opening sales of half a million. Less then 10% of all releases in Japan even sale 100,000 copies .AKB48 are accomplishing in a single day ,what top idols   in the 80`s accomplished with their releases , a time when idols dominated the music scene and top stars had sales of 500,000- 1,000,000 for regularly .

For example Nakamori Akina
Nakamori`s debut was in 1982, her debut entered Oricon at #30 and sold 174,000. Her second single was #5 at 396,000 her third single was at #2, but one week later was at #1 with sales of 766,000 .Her first two albums sold 453,000 and 743,000 copies respectively.

Some may even say that all of this is just luck, that it`s a defection of Morning Musume fans or it`s swimsuits, election voting, fan service, etc. If you fall into that trap, then you truly do not understand what is in play here.

Akimoto Yasushi a true legend in this industry for over 30 years created AKB48 . Akimoto has records for hit singles written for both female and male artists .He has created idol group television shows ,films ,dramas as far back as the 80`s .

He created one of the most important multi member idol groups in history. The 80`s idol group Onyanko Club, who were the biggest and the BEST! Of all the multi member units of that time. A group by the way that produced 12 major post group celebrities ,three sub units .They had a television show  that filmed episodes in various locations inside and outside Japan. A group that if you include ,soloists ,sub units and the main unit resulted in 40 #1 releases , and 100 top 10`s.

Nothing about today’s idols is original, everything was first done in the 70-80`s .So why is this working for one group and not another? The biggest reason is that ,AKB48 is nothing short of being the daughter so to speak of Onyanko Club, a group that had already accomplished and created many of the concepts that AKB48 put to use today years before the birth of AKB48.

AKB48 was set up to accomplish this from the day they were created, thanks to the past created by Akimoto Yasushi. The team that he has put in place ,that fact that members can sign with out side management for extra  non AKB48 related work  and a marketing plan that has 30 yrs of experience behind it.

  AKB48 are taking advantage of the lessons learned by Akimoto`s past with Onyanko Club and other groups that he created .As well as a deep pool of industry connections and respect, that Akimoto has established in his own career.

Yet even with their reasons for success clear to everyone  ,some anti fans still feel the need to sell their accomplishments short or call it some fan service trick.Which is far from the truth.

Simply put AKB48 is the Onyanko Club of today`s genre , a group that will influence and shape the industry for years to come.

Let this video load some before playing if it plays slow

Download version of the PV ,

Heavy Rotation PV Download [HQ] 

If you live outside of Japan and wish to buy the single
Type A
Type B

AKB48 Day 2 sales was 68,439  #2 was Acid Black Cherry w/ 11,439  #3 AAA W/10,855

2 day totals  AKB48  408,926

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Manaminorisa [Mamiri for short ] ,is another of the emerging neo-Idols groups on the scene .Manaminorisa [the name comes from blending the members first names together] ,is a Hiroshima born Indie group ,that recently transferred to Pony Canyon and started operations in Tokyo.

To date Manaminorisa who is made up of Yano Manami [19], Okayama Minori [19],Matsumae Risa [19] , all from Hiroshima have released four singles [3 by Indie] ,one album and have appeared in a number of music festivals live events ,along with doing endorsements and television in Hiroshima  and other areas.

It`s early yet to say if this group will join the other power units on the scene today, the potential is there for them to do so.

If there is one thing that could play against them it`s their age, with the wotas need for idols around the age of 15 to worship, heading towards twenty could limit their popularity among some national wotas.

With groups like SDN48 ,Perfume, Speed,Dream and to some degree Morning Musume [not all are 20+] showing that on the female side there is a market for the 20+ groups ,it all comes down to how you and who you market the group to.

Manaminorisa may not be known nationally yet, they are just one of a number of Independent groups who are in position to break out on the scene.

Footnote -Manaminorisa graduated from the same school as Perfume. Hiroshima Actors School.

Home Page

Covering Buono`s MY Boy [Live Stage]

Manaminorisa -Possibility [Live Stage]

To Purchase




1st-Album -Minna Genkii!
[10 Songs]
To Purchase



Other Works [Indie]

Live Stage Versions

Debut Single

2nd Single

3rd Single

Possibility C/W Tracks


TV Clips

Puccho AKB [Videos]

AKB48 is teaming up with food producer UHA Mikakuto to produce AKB48 INSPIRED Puccho candies. The support song is AKB48`s single Heavy Rotation. AKB48 is the gift that keeps on giving.

There are several promotional videos out including ,but not limited to.
Puccho AKB `s version of Heavy Rotation

Puccho AKB

Related content

°C-ute new single "“Dance de Bakoon!” PV

°C-ute new single “Dance de Bakoon!”

Why is it that °C-ute and Buono put out songs that I wished Morning Musume had put out, lol

“Dance de Bakoon!” Is a really good song ,with an upbeat and catchy sound ,however to much CGI effects in the video takes away from it a bit , the CGI should have complemented the song , not put °C-ute swimming in a blinding sea of distorted colors and haze that weakens the overall look and effect of the video..

This is one song that is better off with the thought of less is more idea. The same results could have been reached by having the CGI be in the background as support of a solid song that didn`t need much of a push to please wotas.

If you have full confidence in your artist’s ability to sale a good song, you do not have to over produce the video with lots of CGI; just make a good video that complements the song, not over shadow it.

Overall, this song is great, powerful and has a fair line distribution that should leave °C-ute fans satisfied and many fans will like the video. When I mean by fair, Suzuki Airi and Yajima Maimi is and will always be the aces and have the most lines.

With this single more attention is given to the supporting members, with timely repeating solo lines and not just backup singers, you do not have to give everyone the same number of lines, to make a song work. I didn`t come away from this single feeling like one member stole the spotlight . Instead for me, this song works, the unit comes off as being tight with no noticeable weak points.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Through The Words Of JunJun [Graduation Pt 2]

From the time that the news broke that Morning Musume`s special Chinese members JunJun and LinLin  would be joining Kamei Eri in graduating from  Morning Musume ,across the world from here domestically to my fellow writers and Morning Musume fans  in the West ,many words have been written. Words filled with pain, anger, doubt, betrayal, confusion and uncertainty.

Here domestically current members of Morning Musume, OG Members and the members of Musume`s sister units, have all expressed their feelings and reflections, it`s something that in this industry you know is going to happen, it`s how it survives and you move forward.

For LinLin, she wrote with great pain, confusion and uncertainty, but also with thanks for everything that she has experienced.

Niigaki Risa was somewhat cold and honest, when she wrote the following 
“For Morning Musume, the announcement of the audition for the 9th generation, it shows that we have no choice but to move on to something new.

So I have to properly accept this, and until the end of Morning Musume`s Fall tour, it will remain as 8 people! 8 people!!

I will put in my all and move forward.”

Of all the words written to date, the ones that stand out the most to me are from one person, someone who has become an Oshimen to many across the world and that is JunJun.

I have decided not to reprint every word that JunJun has written, instead I have selected some key parts, that if she is your Oshimen, may bring you comfort in knowing that she knew this day was coming and had prepared as best she could. However, what stands out the most, is what she said towards the end about her feelings on graduating, that I think is the most thoughtful and caring of any idol and gave me a new respect for her.

As I said earlier, these words are separated by several other paragraphs in her post. When you add the parts together , it shows a different side of JunJun ,that just maybe will bring her fans some comfort  through the words of JunJun.

[Selected part 1]

On the day, that Kusumi-senpai graduated.. Junjun was thinking.. If mine is about to come soon..
After all, I am already 22 years old.. And a transfer student..
University transfer students also stay for four years right..

Even though I had some mental preparation.. This day came so suddenly...
JunJun is still unable to cope with it.

Am I really leaving?...
Leaving the members that I have been with for four years..
Leaving you all that have been taking care of JunJun..
Leaving my manager and the staff who have been helping JunJun out during work..
Leaving the stage that I have sung and danced with you all..

I am reluctant. I will really miss it...
JunJun does not know what words to use to describe her feelings now..

I remember the JunJun that first came to Japan..
Coming to this foreign country..
Without knowing one Japanese sentence at all..
The words that the people beside me were saying.. The things that they were laughing at..
I did not know.. I did not know anything..
JunJun is not that type of person that easily mixes around with others..
That is why when I first started out and faced other people and other matters.. Junjun was very closed up.. Very cold..

Slowly.. I have familiarized.. I have understood.. I have liked it.. I have been mixed in..
And I am leaving...

Maybe this is what fate arranged for me..
So many people in the world.. To be able to meet is destiny..
Separation is also for another meeting..
JunJun cherishes this meeting a lot..

[She next talks about seeing Yoshizawa`s graduation ,then in the next part ,the words that stood out the most and shows a mature ,  thoughtful and caring  idol and gave me a new respect for her ]

Again from JunJun

[Selected part 2]

Maybe if I leave first.. It will make it more relaxing and smooth for JunJun (laugh)
After experiencing the graduation of Kusumi-senpai..
Compared to sending other members off.. I rather be the one that is sent off..
Sorry.. For having these kinds of feelings..

As for my future.. It is still undecided..
But one thing that is for sure.. JunJun will definitely face the future..
Just like that time that I was selected to come to Japan.. My own future.. My own choice..
Junjun has decided that she will not give up..
I will start everything anew..
Even if it is tough.. Even if it is difficult, JunJun will endure it...
It is different.. This Junjun  now has all of you by her side..
Junjun said before.. You all are JunJun`s family..
A family that is all over the world is still a family.. Right?..
That is why Junjun will be brave..

The things I have learned during the four years in Morning Musume is the most precious experience..
No, matter what I do from now on.. I believe that it will help JunJun become better..

Through the words of JunJun, we see a true idol, not one that is created by a title or a producer or gimmick. Through the words of JunJun, we see that true idols are born and are often the Konno Asami`s of the world, you don’t realize what you had, until they are gone.

Major Graduations For Morning Musume 3 To Leave.

I knew this day was coming ,when I warned that major changes was coming to Morning Musume  in a past article ,regardless of how we feel about the group.

Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin are leaving Morning Musume, to be replaced by 9th generation member or members.

Eri is leaving for medical reasons as she is suffering from a facial condition known as "Atopic dermatitis"  a type of eczema .A condition that is hard to cure and often embarrassing to the sufferer as it often leaves very noticeable red places on your face.

It seems that Eri has been hiding this condition her entire career with heavy stage makeup and medications ,but the emotional stress of trying to hide this has become much more then she can handle and she has asked to graduate Morning Musume and entertainment to get her condition properly treated.

JunJun and LinLin are returning to China to enter their entertainment field. Of the three leaving the only one, that I am surprised with is Eri, at some point JunJun and LinLin were going to leave as they had limited visa time and families in China and had made no plans for citizenship.

On top of this, auditions for 9th generation will take place. Tsunku also announced an audition for the 9th generation of the group. On his blog he states that he is looking for a girl that is between 10-17 years old, is healthy, wants to be number one in the entertainment world, and loves Morning Musume.[ Not sure there are many girls left that do most have moved to AKB48 ,maybe promoting from the EGGS ?].

A 9th generation for Morning Musume has been something that many have wanted , my only problem with a new audition is that there is currently three members of AKB48 who audition in the last two Morning Musume auditions ,who were more talented then the members selected and were passed over .One being Kashiwagi Yuki leader of Team B . So the chances of Morning Musume improving from a vocal standpoint is questionable anytime they hold auditions.

This audition has to be the most important addition in Morning Musume`s future ,they must make an impact so strong that mainstream fans regain interest in the group or they will continue to struggle in relationship to the Neo-Idol push that is underway .

With the loss of one their most popular members in Kamei Eri, the door for more wota defections swings wide open.

The next few months for Morning Musume will be some of the most important in the franchise’s career. They have a chance to rebuild and remake themselves, Eri`s replacement has to make an impact to fans.

Let`s hope they make the right choices and Morning Musume can get a fresh restart.

Oricon has photos from the announcement
Oricon Graduation News Photos

Barks Article and Photos


Incase you are wondering if JunJun and LinLin also asked to leave, they did not it seems.
From LinLin`s Blog

After the announcement in the concert about Big Sister Junjun, Big Sister Kamei and myself.  I can’t describe my feelings with words.
When we were being notified about graduation in the meeting, it did not feel real, as if I would wake up if someone pinched me…

But after seeing Tsunku making the announcement on stage today, I realized that this is not a dream, this is real.

There are so many things I am going to miss.

I’m going to miss the staff and managers that’s been fighting along side with us

And I am going to miss all the members and fans.

I do not want to leave you guys…

[ The post continues with her talking in some confusion and sadness about why this is happening to her after she just was starting to feel accepted  by everyone .She is clearly upset ,confused and has no clear understanding of what is next for her at the time of the post.]


Monday, August 2, 2010


There are a number of Idol groups in Japan ranging from Majors, Independent, Akiba, Maid Café, Underground and Seiyuu. In fact the list of groups large and small could be in the 100`s

Sphere is an Idol unit created by four Seiyuu [voice actors] /Pop Singers, the members are

* Tomatsu Haruka [20]
* Kotobuki Minako [18]
* Takagaki Ayahi [24]
* Toyosaki Aki [23]


Tomatsu has been in a number of music groups in her young career including The Children, Eclipse and now Sphere .Tomatsu has released two albums and eight singles since debuting in 2007 and has done 23 Seiyuu roles including Vashti Mileina in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season. In 2009, she was cast as Ion in the Rune Factory 3 video game.

Her highest release as a soloist was Motto Hadenine, which debuted at #10 .The single, charted for 13 weeks and sold 26,421 copies before falling off the Oricon charts

Motto Hadenine


Outside of Sphere ,Kotobuki is best known for her role as Kotobuki Tsumugi in K-ON!  And as a member of the K-ON! Unit Sakurakou K-ON Bu. To date she has released six singles, with her recent being Chu-Bra! Character Song Maxi Jinguji Yako. Kotobuki was cast in 2009 as Farron Serah in Final Fantasy XIII video game.


Takagaki made her debut in 2007 as a Seiyuu and in 2009, she joined Sphere. She has been a character voice in 36 anime including Mobile Suit Gundam 00 as Grace Feldt .Outside of Sphere she has released 10 singles. Her next single will be released on July 21 .It will be her first non-character single. In 2009 Takagaki was cast as Yahan in the video came Sekirei ~Mirai Kara no Okurimono~ and as Fear in Dungeons & Dam.


Toyosaki made her debut in 2007 as a Seiyuu and in 2009 she joined Sphere ,she recently won the "Best New Actress" at the 4th Seiyu Awards in 2010 for her role as Hirasawa Yui in K-On! And Nakamachi Kana in Kanamemo. At the same awards she also won Best Musical Performance". Outside of Sphere is also a member of the K-ON! Unit Sakurakou K-ON Bu .It is with Sphere and K-ON Bu that Toyosaki has enjoyed her best success as a singer. With K-ON Bu, she saw their first two singles Cagayake! Girls and Don’t say Lazy sell 62,000 and 67,000 in their debut weeks. October 2009 she released her first non-character single Love Your Life reaching #12 on Oricon.

Love your life

Together these women came together in 2009 to create the Seiyuu Idol group Sphere.
Sphere is managed by the same company that handles the Visual Kei band Antic Café and others in Music Ray`n and are under the Sony label.

In April 2009, they made their debut with Future Stream reaching # 22 on the Oricon Charts selling 6,280 copies, not bad for an first release of this type.

Future Stream

This was followed in July 2009 with Super Noisy Nova .SNN saw Sphere reach sales of 10,462 , however their Oricon ranking improved to #14 and they managed to stay in the charts for 8 weeks .

Super Noisy Nova

November 2009 they released their third single Kaze wo Atsumete / Brave My Heart.
This single saw Sphere enter the charts at #15 and a small bump in sales of 13,238 before falling out of Oricon 5 weeks later.

Kaze wo atsumete

In December 2009, Sphere released their debut album A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E with 12 tracks and giving Sphere enough material to start entering the touring circuit as a regular Idol unit. A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E Entered the charts at #19 and again saw the unit’s sales rise a little at 14,419


In April 2010, they returned with their fourth single Realove:Realife that saw the group have their highest debut to date #12 with sales of 17,318 and a shift to a rock sound and their best overall single to date. Realove: Realife shows the range that this group has and one of the reasons that Sony is letting them evolve and grow with more releases and lives in the offering.


July 28 will see Sphere releasing their fifth single Now loading...SKY!!

August 2 Update

New Single PV
Now Loading ....SKY!!

With more tours ,Music show appearances and singles in the works and the members individual success starting to make it`s way into the units fan base ,Sony looks set to allow Sphere to evolve past a Seiyuu Idol unit.

If you’re looking for a unit that is different then your traditional Idol units and you’re not concerned if they are beating AKB48, Morning Musume or whoever in the rankings and just want a good Idol unit to checkout and maybe even follow, then Sphere is worth checking out.

Planet Sphere [Group`s Home Page]

Sunday, August 1, 2010

AKB48 Heavy Rotation PV.[Non Spoiler Review]

If you’re a fan of AKB48 who enjoys fan service type videos ,then brace yourself ,your about to enter fan service heaven . If you watched the preview and were shocked by Oshima and Maeda kissing, well that is nothing, they are not the only ones.

I truly do not want to spoil this with a very detailed review. To do a review for this video would spoil all the hidden fan service surprises, which really have to be seen without warning to get the full effect of the video.

I will say this much as this is a non-spoiler review, from the second that you see Yuko through the key hole, you are about to experience a new type of AKB48.

If you are a hardcore AKB48 fan, then this is necessary watch PV.

PV Result -The sweetest sugar maybe bitter in comparison with this video.

If you live outside of Japan and wish to buy the single
Type A
Type B

Aug 01 : EDIT- Replaced deleted videos that was in the first posting on July 28

Aug 02:AKB48 record company has removed every copy of the video off you tube. I have posted a non-you tube site version and I have posted my copy of the PV, which you are welcome to download ,if you are having trouble viewing the video.

Let this video load some before playing if it plays slow

Download version of the PV , [Re-added as their label keeps removing it from you tube]
Heavy Rotation PV Download [HQ]

Spoiler tag has been lifted now that video is out and being reviewed, please feel free to share your comments

AKB 600 Sec ,Episodes Kitahara,Miyazaki,Sashihara,Watanabe,

Final episodes of AKB600 sec

Kitahara Rie

Miyazaki Miho

Sashihara Rino [She is a Maid Cafe wota]

Final Episode
The Idol Cyborg ,Anime Otaku
Watanabe Mayu