Monday, February 28, 2011

Taiwan48 Coming This Summer


AKB48 producer Akimoto Yasushi has confirmed a long-standing industry rumor, that he is in fact creating a new 48 unit in Taiwan. It`s current working name is “Taiwan48“.

Akimoto said that the creation of the group has already started and has signed a contract with a Taiwan based television network to document the entire process through TV, starting this summer.
“Taiwan48“will operate the same way as AKB48 with daily theater concerts.

Akimoto also hinted that he may not stop there and that plans and considerations to create a global franchise are underway with Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and Russia as possible locations for future units.

Takahashi Ai and Michishige Sayumi - Thoughts and Fears

(Something quick and short from the news.)

In Tokyo, Morning Musume's Michishige Sayumi was part of a handshake event in conjunction with the release of concert photobook "Rival Survival". Leader Takahashi Ai was also present and commented on the photobook, which commemorates the last tour with the alreaedy graduated members Kamei Eri, Jun JUn and Lin Lin, by saying that those memories still drives her to tears. Takahashi who is also going graduate this year and perhaps beginning lessons to work on theatres, commented that Morning Musume has changed. Regarding the current surge of idol groups in the market, Takahashi said that Morning Musume have been giving the public a breath of fresh air by constantly changing its members, and due the support of everyone Morning Musume was able to continue for 10 years even though the initial members are not there anymore. Finally she also said that "the addition of 9th generation members brings our average age to 17 and opens up to a lot more opportunities".

On the other hand, Michishige commented on the formation of "rival" Dream Morning Musume, with her usual knife-edge commenting, by saying that it was scary. And because there are members in the DMM group that have an age difference that is equivalent to a mother and her daughter, it sends a shiver down to her spine.

AKB48 Akimoto Sayaka Returns To Captains Position

Akimoto Sayaka Returns To Captains Position

AKB48 Team K member Akimoto Sayaka received some very good news, after resigning her leadership role after her scandal in October, has been focusing on other things, one being the “Tokyo Marathon” which she finished in a time of 6 hours, 50 minutes, and 6 seconds.

A number of AKB48 members were either in attendance or in the live broadcast studio showing their support, however the biggest news if the day was not her marathon run, it was that Akimoto has once again been made captain of Team K.

Sayaka posted this message for her fans.

Today I ran in the Tokyo Marathon. It was beautiful seeing the backs of everybody who was doing their best. I was able to receive encouragement from people on the sidelines of the route, the other runners, the AKB members and fans. If it was not for them, I do not think I would have been able to run 42.195 kilometers. The orchestra even played “Aitakatta” and “Heavy Rotation”. They are songs that we generally sing and now they were used to cheer me on, it made me cry.

Everyone was so kind. It was like Japan in the olden days…Something that the current Japan has lost… You could really see the relationships between so many people today. Sae, Yuka, Ume-chan, and all of the members…thank you so much. Thank you to everyone who gave me support and to my fans. I was able to finish this because of you all. I am sorry for always troubling you guys. In the end, I got an e-mail from Akimoto-sensei telling me I was Team K’s captain again. I was so surprised… I am a bit anxious, but I will do my very best to be a great captain from scratch. 

To all of the fans who I have worried and to the members, Akimoto Sayaka will do her best from scratch. Thank you so much. I have learned more about myself through running the marathon. I have started to like marathons now running is fun!! I would like to run it again… Runners, volunteers, everyone involved in the Tokyo Marathon!! Good work today!! We made it to the goal!!

Several other AKB48 members also posted messages among them were Katayama Haruka (Team A), Oshima Yuko (Team K), Nakatsuka Tomomi (Team K), Fujie Reina (Team K),
Yonezawa Rumi (Team K), Oku Manami (Team B), Kashiwagi Yuki (Team B Captain), Kobayashi Kana (Team B),Suzuki Mariya (Team B),Masuda Yuka (Team B),Uchida Mayumi (Team K) who by the way watched on TV with Fujiecchi, Sakiko, Rumi . Uchida words echoed what all Team K members wrote and that was "For us, only Sayaka-chan can be our captain, so we’re really glad. Let’s do our best together again!"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

AKB48: Ever Wonder?

AKB48: Ever Wonder?

Ever wonder how different , Morning Musume would sound today ,if Kashiwagi Yuki and the others in AKB48 who auditioned for Morning Musume before joining AKB48 had instead ended up joining Morning Musume . How about Kojiharu, what would she added to the group?

Well now is your chance to find out, as recently AKB48 held a live were they sang other artists songs including Morning Musume.

For any artist it is always fun to get a chance to sing another artists song or do a cover of your influences and give it a different feel.

While these groups are real life friends and some even attend the same school or classes with other H!P members any hopes of a super idol mega concert spectacular ,are unlikely to ever happen ,for a number of reasons and differences between certain segments of their fan bases and companies.

As this is unlikely to happen, the best that this industry can hope for are these groups showing respect for each other with cover tunes.

Morning Musume’s Maji Desu ka Ska Short Radio Preview

Morning Musume’s Maji Desu ka Ska Short Radio Preview

A very short preview aired on the radio show Young Town! Of Morning Musume’s 45th single Maji Desu ka Ska .The Ska style song, shows a side of the group that has not been seen in some time a more turn back the clock genki Morning Musume.

This release is also the debut single for the groups new 9th generation, who provide a solo line each and the new members youthfulness brings freshness that this group has not had for many years.

Updated Full Audio

NMB48 2nd Gen Auditions

NMB48 2nd Gen Auditions

Spring is in the air and so is idol auditions. The newest members of the 48 family, NMB48 is ready for 2nd generation auditions. Auditions will be held to find 22 new idols that will bring this unit up to 48 members.

The auditions will be going on until March 31 and is open for girls between eleven and twenty-two years may apply regardless of experience as long as they are not part of any production company.

The members themselves on March 1 in the April edition of “Gekkan Debut will release application information

9Nine Releases SHINING☆STAR PV

9Nine Releases SHINING☆STAR PV

9Nine are back with a new single "SHINING☆STAR"."SHINING☆STAR" which hits the stores on March 9, is the opening theme for the anime “STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto.”

The single will come in four different versions: “First Production Limited Edition”, “Regular Edition”, “Regular Edition (First Production Specification)”, and “STAR DRIVER Edition”.

The musician/song writer side of me really enjoys this song, the music, vocal arrangements and the use of different costumes and locations, show that a lot of thought went into the song production and the mind of the video director.

For 9Nine fans, this is a video and song to be proud of.

AKB48 Oshima Yuko Entertains 1200 Fans In Hongkong


AKB48 Oshima Yuko was in Dragon Centre in Kownloon, Hongkong for a handshake event where 1200 fans came to see her. A mini live show was conducted where she sang "Naki nagara hohoende" much to the delight of fans at the event. It was the first time she visited Hongkong.

She commented that it was very heartwarming to see the welcome of fans beginning from the airport itself, and was very happy to see the support from fans for AKB48 and for her. She promised that AKB48 will revisit Hongkong as a group the next time.

She added that the dim sum in Hongkong was more delicious than Japan's and was worried that she might gain weight when she returns to Japan.

BEAST PV Event "SHOCK" Halted

Kpop sensation BEAST arrived in Tokyo on the 26th for a special PV event to promote their Japan debut single "SHOCK". The event was to take place in the streets in 5 major cities including Tokyo and Osaka, but due to the overwhelming rush of fans at the scene, the event was abruptly halted. The police stopped the screening about 1 hour before the actual event, much to the dismay of over 3000 fans who have arrived at the screening in Shibuya, Tokyo.
The single was due to launch on the 16th next month.
A "SHOCK"-ing turn of events indeed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Momoiro Clover's Akari Update - Future Speculation

Momoiro Clover's Akari  Update [ Future Speculation]?

Momoiro Clover's Hayami Akari who recently announced that she was leaving the group, with very strong hints in her own speech due to growing frustrations at fan difficulties, took part in a recent Momoiro Clover event.

On the 25th, Momoiro Clover held a joint live at SHIBUYA-AX with rock band Shinsei Kamattechan. The group performed twelve songs in front of a crowd of 1,500.

The biggest news came from Akari herself, as it seems she may have regained her determination to overcome the things troubling her.

Akari said, “I’ve learned to challenge different things through being in Momoclo.”

While Akari did not clearly say that she is remaining in entertainment , it`s very likely that she is leaving the industry completely, she did with that statement leave the door open to remain in entertainment. Akari`s graduation is set for April 10,so Akari fans keep showing your support as she works to overcome the things troubling her.

Chai Maxx [Short version]
Chai Maxx is the 2nd single with Mirai Bowl and will be “Chai Maxx“, will be used as the ending theme for TV Asahi’s show, “Onegai! Ranking“. While Mirai Bowl will be the ending theme for the anime “Dragon Crisis!”

Not yet: “Shuumatsu Not yet”! Full PV

Not yet: “Shuumatsu Not yet”! Full PV

Not yet has released the full PV for their debut single “Shuumatsu Not yet”!
“Shuumatsu Not yet”! Will come in several versions ‘Type A’ (CD+DVD), ‘Type B’ (CD+DVD), and ‘Type C’ (CD+Photobook). Each edition of “Shuumatsu Not yet” will feature its own exclusive B-side, and both DVDs will contain different content. The photobook included with Type C is a collectible, 32-page lyric book.

[Couple of copies in case of delete]

[Mirrored Version]

Friday, February 25, 2011

Morning Musume 9th Gen on Bijo Gaku

9th Gen on Bijo Gaku

Morning Musume 9th Gen fans ,hot off the television 9th gens Bijo Gaku segment .This week it`s time to earn their salary as they head to voice training ,recording and Fuku-chan cries.

There is a new voice coach then the one we have come to know in the past. Riho has a cracking voice, which comes with being that young and growing up. Eripon`s voice is a lot stronger then she showed in auditions and has attitude in her vocals like Reina.

Of all of them at the stage Fuku-chan is the most ready for any major solo line, just from her past training. Each one brings a different vocal style to Morning Musume.

When you hear the final product, you will see why these four are the 9th gen and why Fuku-chan cries.

Momonaki To Make Her Major Debut

Momonaki To Make Her Major Debut

Young Stardust Idol Kawakami Momoko [Momonaki age 14] is preparing for her major debut. The adorable young star will be will be shorting her name to “Momo” will be making her debut on April 6.

Momoko`s debut single “Daisuki da yo” is going to be used as the ending theme for the anime “Moshidora” that is scheduled to start airing on NHK on March 14th.

In support of her debut, Momoko will be hosting a number of mini lives on the following dates.

Feb 27 Lalaport Kashiwanoha in Kashiwa, Chiba
Fans who pre order her single will take part in a handshake and two-shot event.

March 8, she will be at Kinokuniya Hall in Shinjuku, Tokyo
For this mini live Momoko will also do a recital of “Moshidora” as well as a public recording event.

Tickets for this event can only be obtained by buying a related book from Shinjuku Kinokuniya

Radio preview of the newly renamed Momo

Home Page

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not yet: “Shuumatsu Not yet”! PV Preview

Not yet: “Shuumatsu Not yet”! PV Preview

Not yet has released a mini preview of their debut single “Shuumatsu Not yet”!
“Shuumatsu Not yet”! Will come in several versions ‘Type A’ (CD+DVD), ‘Type B’ (CD+DVD), and ‘Type C’ (CD+Photobook). Each edition of “Shuumatsu Not yet” will feature its own exclusive B-side, and both DVDs will contain different content. The photobook included with Type C is a collectible, 32-page lyric book.

Related Posts

SKE48: Ships 300,000 Copies of Banzai Venus To Stores

SKE48: Ships 300,000 Copies of Banzai Venus To Stores

SKE48 has shipped 300,000 copies of their new single "Banzai Venus" to stores .Should With advance shipments of 300,000 "Banzai Venus" looks set to be their breakout single. Are we now seeing SKE48 starting to rise up to be a challenge to their big sisters AKB48?

"Banzai Venus" hits the stores on March 9 and will come in ‘Regular Edition A’ (CD+DVD), ‘Regular Edition B’ (CD+DVD), and an exclusive ‘CD-only theater version’ that can only be purchased at one of SKE48’s theater performances.

The coupling track is “Ai no Kazu” (by ‘Team KII‘).
Type A-will contain “Sotsugyoushiki no Wasuremono”, while ‘Regular Edition B’ will include “Dareka no Sei ni wa Shinai”. Both Regular Editions will include a ticket to a handshake event, and a random trading card featuring one of the members.

Related post

No3b Answer PV

No3b Answer PV

AKB48 sub unit No3b [No Sleeves] will release their next single “Answer” on March 2 .This is the 6th single for No3b and is the theme song for the anime, “BEEZLEBUB“. The single will come in CD only and three limited editions.

The B-Sides for each edition will be exclusive theater tracks ☆ no Mukougawa“and “Gyakuten Oujisama“, and a recorded version of Takahashi Minami’s solo theatre song, “Itoshisa no Accel“.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

AKB48 Just Miss 1 Million Sales For The Week

AKB48 Just Miss 1 Million Sales For The Week

AKB48 have reached another incredible milestone with their 20th single “Sakura no Ki ni Narou”. “Sakura no Ki ni Narou” sold an impressive 942,479 copies in it`s first week.  Yet the news does not end there, the last single to sale 900,000 in it`s release week was Utada Hikaru’s 1999 single “Addicted To You” which sold 1,068,000 copies.

AKB48 are currently have the highest sales totals of any artists to debut in the 2000`s, while “Sakura no Ki ni Narou” is 6th highest first week sales in Japanese history. Should this current single achieve the one million sales mark, AKB48 will find themselves in the same company of artists as Mr. Children, GLAY and B’z. in terms of sales and overall popularity.

With their number, ranking AKB48 now has seven number one singles in a row  an accomplishment that was last accomplished by   a female group was Pink Lady in 1978 .

With AKB48 now landing a new prime time variety show slot ,something that is equal to artists  of the likes of SMAP ,little now seems to stand in the way of AKB48 becoming one if not the greatest female  idol group  in Japanese music history. That however is a bold task to accomplish  as the 70`s and 80`s were a legendary time for female idols.

Unless a major damaging scandal hits this group ,little can slow this group down now other then themselves . And as AKB48 continues it`s march ,the effect on Indie idols is being felt as more major labels are hunting for that one idol group that can challenge AKB48. It truly is a great time for this genre to grow into a major mainstream force again.

About Site Changes

About Site Changes

There seems to be some confusion starting as to what has happened or changed with the site. First let me say, I hope everyone likes the new look and finding their way around the set up, now about the changes.

I just wanted to say that nothing is leaving, everything we did before major and Indie idols we are still going to do.

Ryo is working on 4-5 posts on Indie idols; we are still covering idols as the main genre.

The changes, the only things we are doing different are adding to what we are already doing. We are adding new stuff such as non-idol pop groups/artists, the return of KPOP, the addition of JRock and possibly Visual Kei.

Outside of this blog both Ryo and myself are musicians ,so covering industry friends ,bands we like in JRock or Visual Kei or even our own careers is something we have talked about ,so we decided to included our own genre in the new design .

This site is loosing nothing of it`s past, only bringing you more choices such as Scandal, Kalafina, Rock, other Asian groups both all female, all male or co-ed.

Our music industry has so many talented artists such as tiny Enka wonder singer Sakura Maya, that we feel people will enjoy reading about or maybe is already fans of.

We also have the option of providing our readers a message board community, so that you can build friendships, and provide any items to talk about.

I understand the concerns or surprised feelings you may have when visiting today.

Our goal is for readers to one day come to PIH and get all their different genre news needs covered on this one site, if possible, while you are downloading the latest television episode of your favorite idols.

Ryo and I are sorry for any confusions or worries the new  design  has given our idol fans ,let me put those worries  to rest one more time by saying clearly ,the idol genre ,both Indie and Major will continue being a big part of this new site design .

Bring Back Bandol and BeeMINE

I am a musician, and I love idols. So nothing fancies me more than having idols dancing and prancing with musical instruments in a band. And there is not enough of these combinations in the music world now.

The term "bandol" is an amalgamation of the word "band" and "idol", means it's a pop act that have characteristics of a band and an idol. ZONE was a pop/rock band consisting of 4 girls that uses the genre bandol to promote themselves - the first at that time. Their early days saw them incorporating dance choreography with their performances. However, as time goes by, ZONE's musical prowess began to improve and they moved into serious pop/rock more, and the genre bandol become synonymous only to ZONE.

There were other girl-bands that came along after ZONE, like Gaki's favourite SCANDAL for instance. But SCANDAL is a serious pop/rock act, and the girls are seriously talented in their playing.
So last year, I discovered an interesting project that combines Akiba-style idols with pop/rock band.

An internet broadcasting portal called Akiba BB Channel which was created in 2005, promotes and produces shows all things Akiba in its programme, namely anime, game, seiyuu, idols etc. Their shows are free for viewing online and are released periodically like podcasts.

One of their projects is like a reality show, called "Bandol - Road to major debut". The show was organized in commemoration of its 5th year anniversary and called an audition for all interested indies idols (gravure, idol group, cafe maid etc) to participate in a popularity voting contest to form a bandol unit. The idea is to take a group of snormal Akiba idols, that has absolutely zero experience in band musical instruments, to train in their chosen instrument, and finally go through continous rounds of voting and eliminations and performances.

If you are familiar on how idol audition works, such as Morning Musume or AKB48, the show is not much different from it. Instead of dance lessons and choreography drills, they have drums and guitar practices. Instead of dancing performance, they have band showdowns.

The show has all the elements of Japanese documentary-reality-variety show in it, all the drama, tears and struggles are in it. In the end 4 girls were chosen and formed a band called BeeMINE. In October 2010, an edited and formated version of the show was aired in Sky Perfect TV.

The winning members are:
Guitar: Sugawara Shiori, Mizuki Momoko
Bass: Tokuoka Akane
Drum: Yamaguchi Satomi

On the band's formation the band members were very happy to perform on stage and hopes to be on a major debut soon. Also said that they wish to become like SCANDAL, and work hard so as not to lose to major idol acts.

I will keeping watch of BeeMINE every step of the way. If they ever go major, I'll be there to support them.

So is BeeMINE good as a bandol?
Well, they only have but one year to pick up a new musical instrument. Of course they're not really fantastic. Then again not even AKB48 nor Morning Musume can boast of having a full roster of vocal sirens.

But that is exactly the charm of an idol. It is the journey of becoming an idol, the hard work and tears that appeal to their fans. We always say that idols should be perfect, but conversely it is their flaws and shortcomings that makes us adore them even more.

Additional information:

A 2nd season of the show "Bandol - road to major debut" is currently under way. It chronicles the musical journey of BeeMINE as they continue to perform live shows and hone their skills at the same time for a major debut one day. Currently they had the privilege to see Sexy Panther (セクシーパンサー) practice and get some tips from the rock veterans.

Also, at the end of the 1st season's voting-elimination process, a separate contest was held for "Year 2" band members. Therefore, Season 2 also documents the journey of the selected members until their first live debut.

During BeeMINE's Christmas live gig, bassist Mizuki announced that she will leave the band. Reasons were not clearly given, although I think her agency boss might have something to do with this.

Talk about reality show drama huh?

Akiba BB Channel

Bandol - Road to Major Debut Part 1

Bandol - Road to Major Debut Part 2

Bandol - Road to Major Debut Part 3


ZONE - Good Days

Bijo Gaku To End? New Show In April

Bijo Gaku To End? New Show In April

Bijo Gaku is coming to an end at least in name format however fear not Hello! Project fans as a new H!P show is coming .  The new show will be called “Haropuro. Fan no Katagata ni Kakusan Kibou” and will air on Saturday mornings starting in April [0930  /9:30 am].  However if you watch Japanese television through some kind of online programs [download sites not included] ,you may have trouble viewing this new show in real-time as it will air on BS Japan a satellite station . If you are not familiar with BS Japan, it is TV Tokyo's satellite broadcasting channel. 

Airing on satellite is actually not a bad thing as a number of idol groups air shows this way and it allows the broadcasters to expand the time slot with little disruption to it`s programs .Something that could not happen on the regular TV Tokyo network.

For H!P currently the show is seen in the Kanto area(Tokyo,Chiba,Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures)  by moving to BS Japan H!P programming will now be seen nationwide .
The new shows title translates to mean, “To spread more Hello Project to the fans”, so there is a chance that a new and hopefully more exciting concept will come.

What if anything comes from this change is yet to be determined ,however all the pieces are in place to do a more entertaining show to a wider viewing audience .

Will we see a new more exciting show ? on the other hand, will this be Bijo Gaku version 2 ?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Berryz Koubou: Heroine ni Narou ka! PV

Berryz Koubou: Heroine ni Narou ka! PV

Berryz Koubou 25th single “Heroine ni Narou ka!” video is now out and someone in H!P decided the close up shots should be Berryz playing cosplay of a famous Western based international singer.

Heroine ni Narou ka! will be on sale on March 2 and will be released in five different versions; limited edition DVD jacket A, limited edition DVD jacket B, limited edition jacket C, CD regular, and Single V. The jacket A & B versions will come with a DVD containing special versions of the music video. All the limited edition jackets A, B, & C will come with a lottery number to enter to win a chance to go to a Berryz event.

Leah Dizon Divorced

TV talent, model and singer Leah Dizon has recently been discovered to have divorced according to a report in a women's magazine. She married stylist Bun October 2008, and gave birth to her daughter in April 2009. She has been in separation with her beau since October last year.

According to her agency, both parties' lawyers have been in negotiations and finally the divorce is finalized in December last year. Dizon will retain custody of her daughter and is now living in New York. She is currently training to be an actress and will return to work in Japan when demand arises.

AKB48's Naruhodo High School On Golden Time

Beginning from April, AKB48's "Naruhodo High School" (なるほど!ハイスクール) will be a regular weekly show on "golden time" on NTV network. It will air every Thursday at 7 p.m..

A "golden time" on Japanese TV is equivalent to the term "prime time" slot on TV. The usually begins at around 7 p.m. till around 9 p.m. or so, where all family members are usually home at dinner time to tune in to TV channels. A slot on golden time will almost guarantee high television exposure, on top of the TV show's own attration.

AKB48's first informative-variety genre TV show apparently caught the attention of TV executives when some the show's episodes garnered high ratings. An episode in May garnered 8.0% ratings even though it was in evening. An episode in Ocotober, its show on May. On the October show, where the AKB48 members tested the altitude of mobile phone reception by sky-diving and making a pudding out of a drum barrel resulted in 11.8% ratings.

The show will not include "AKB48" into the show title, in hopes of popularizing the members outside of AKB48 fanbase. Around 20 members will be presented on the show in rotation.

Comments from AKB48 members:
Team A Member Kojima Haruna who was campaigning for a golden time slot for the show in her catchphrases expressed her disbelief and excitement over the news.
Also Team A member Takahashi Minami said that this will be a good opportunity to allow the public to at least get to know the girls by name individually, and that they will work beyond the constrictions of being an idol to all challenges ahead. Additionally, she hopes to create a meme among the TV audiences, to say "Ah, naruhodo..." (lit. means "Oh, I see...")
Team B member Kashiwagi Yuki said that it was a dream to be on a golden time show.

Playing the role of MC for the TV show as "Teacher" of the class will be one half of comedy duo London Boots - Tamura Atsushi, whom some of you may know from the "London Hearts" TV show. Apparently, the producers want to inject doses of humor to the show and made "comedy" to be one of the class' study subjects. Some popular comedy acts will be brought on the show as guests stars.

Morning Musume 9th Gen Chronicles, The Dance

Morning Musume 9th Gen Chronicles, The Dance

Sayu has been on a 9th gen posting period, around 8 9th gen posts in the last 3-4 days.
This is a summary of four related posts, with comments from Sayu being used as a reference.

Recently Sayu made a series of posts on Zukki and Sayashi-chan and their dressing room free spirit dance contest.

It started out with Zukki who Sayu calls (especially high-spirited Zukki), challenging Sayashi to dance. The free spirited Zukki ended up dancing all around the room before collapsing on to the floor, causing Sayu to start laughing.

Not wanting it to end there, Zukki again urged Sayashi to dance with her, to which Sayashi said, “Ehーbeing strange is embarrassing.” Zukki would not take no for an answer and said to Sayashi “Look here, do it!”, leaving Sayashi little choice but to play along.

Zukki however becomes a free spirit and dances by herself again, to which Sayu said, "Here she comes! The geniussssss! So terrible huh, this girl. lol" Sayu goes on to describe the two as Zukki being weird in a good way and Sayashi having the grace of a ballerina.

Suddenly their manager enters the room wanting to know what all the noise was; Sayu said "suddenly the two of them got in line (lol), And, gave a deceptive smile (lol)." As soon as the manager left the room, Sayu ends the four posts by saying, "not being discouraged Zukki starts dancing again (lol)"

Note:In another post Sayu hinted that they maybe shooting the new single PV [She also could just mean regular promo photo shoots]

Sayu- “We’re continuing with photo and film shoots still. Everyone is doing their best and the new members are working very hard. Right now we can’t stop with popcorn, while watching the monitors, we’re eating popcorn, and it feels like a mini movie theater (lol)”

Kikka Channel Episodes 2, 3,

Kikka Channel Episodes 2, 3,

As mentioned earlier, Kikkawa Yuu has an ongoing Universal promotion called Kikka Channel. Kikka Channel is not your normal idol or group channel that we have seen in the past. Kikka Channel is a walk through the debut of Kikkawa.

Episodes two and three are now out for viewing.

Episode Two

Episode Three


AKB48 Have Two Members Leave Part One

AKB48 Have Two Members Leave Part One

AKB48 has suffered two member losses as Oku Manami and Kanazawa Yuuki, have decided to leave the group .Oku is leaving to concentrate on being a school student and Kanazawa for undisclosed personal reasons. Both asked to leave the group.

Oku left a long blog message explaining her reasons,

“I know this is abrupt, but I have an announcement for you all.

I, Oku Manami, will be graduating from AKB48.

I joined AKB48 when I was 10 years old without knowing anything and I am still that way

Though I say that, I have continuously done my best.

It has not been only good things, but I have many great memories.

And I’ve made it this far thanks to Akimoto, the staff and most of all because of the fans who have supported me along the


I have been in AKB for 5 years and I have met many people and experienced many things.

I did not realize it until now, but somewhere in my heart I wanted to do something that, I was not able to do.

I really want to experience school life.

I did not like passing the time asking myself, “What do you really want to do?”

Through being in AKB like this, it feels like I’m only doing things half way and I’m really sorry to all the people who

Supported me up until now.

I have thought this over many times and I have even talked with the staff about it many times

I am going to graduate from AKB so that I can go after my new dream, “entering university”.

Over the past 5 years, I have caused a lot of trouble for people and I have caused people to worry…

But, everyone has still supported me many times after that.

I do not know how to say this but I really am completely grateful to you all.

Thank you so much.

The April handshake event will be the last time I can meet you all.

When the graduation details have been decided, I will let you all know.

Well, there isn’t much time left before I graduate, but until then, please look after me.”

Kanazawa`s message will be in a related post

Aso Natsuko: "Diamond Star☆" PV

Aso Natsuko: "Diamond Star☆" PV

The idol of “cuteness, love and happiness” is back with a new single. Aso Natsuko yesterday released "Diamond Star☆". "Diamond Star☆" follows Natsuko`s trademark “cuteness, love and happiness” theme and is the title track for the ending theme to the anime Cardfight!! Vanguard.

If you enjoyed the songs in the introduction post that I made for her, then you will not be disappointed in "Diamond Star☆"

Related Post

"Idol Spotlight" : HY4_4YH

New Feature

I have been wanting to feature some of the Indie Idols or groups ,that you may not have a chance to see overseas ,simply due to the economics and focus of their agencies ,yet are really entertaining to watch perform.

To make this happen, I decided to create a catch all topic, called "Idol Spotlight".

Every group would love to be the biggest or most popular group in the world, however there is something to be said about being an Indie.

Indie Idols are a very special sub grouping in the Idol genre .Much like Visual Kei is to the rock genre. Indie Idols have a different relationship, with their fan base, which is 100% wotas, which allow them to be much more fan friendly with their fans. Several groups, who have no agency support at all or are soloists from a maid cafe, may have wotas who design and run their web sites for free.

Because many Indie Idols come from Akihabara, they are "Otaku" and "Wotas" themselves and find the comfort and freedom in the Indies, that they may not enjoy in a major agency.

Being an independent by the way, does not mean having little to no fans or money, for some that is true, for others they sell just as much if not more then a Morning Musume or Berryz Koubou release.

There are advantages and disadvantages to being both an independent artist and a major artist.

Advantage is what "Idol Spotlight" is all about.

What "Idol Spotlight" will do is briefly shine a light on a few groups, who may or may not in the years to come be facing off with the major groups in this industry. Groups that you may never come across without some extra support.

First up is a group called HY4_4YH

HY4_4YH is a fun group, that made their debut in 2006 .Currently the lineup features the following members, Yukarin [22], Yumiko [21] and Sadachi [24].

They put on a hyper live performance complete with a live band when possible , much like H!P`s Buono and have a enjoyable fan base that you want to have your groups perform in front of them as special guests for HY4_4YH .

HY4_4YH are not the strongest singers, there are very few Takahashi Ai`s in Indies or in Idol genre to start with. The Aichan`s of the genre are the rare idols.

Their overall show and fan interaction makes up for any weakness they may have. HY4_4YH is really a fun group not only to have groups work with, but just to enjoy a night at their lives.

If you are a fan of, free spirit idols, you just may also find HY4_4YH to your liking.

Current 3 member lineup

Ah!!!! Almost forgot their HP

Monday, February 21, 2011

AKB48 Have Two Members Leave Part Two

AKB48 Have Two Members Leave Part Two

AKB48 has suffered two member losses as Oku Manami and Kanazawa Yuuki, have decided to leave the group .Oku is leaving to concentrate on being a school student and Kanazawa for undisclosed personal reasons. Both asked to leave the group.

Kanazawa left a blog message explaining her reasons,

“I have requested to be excused from the AKB48 research students due to personal reasons, so as of February 20th it will be going into effect.

I am sorry for this abrupt announcement, but Kanazawa has also thought long and hard about other possibilities before arriving at this conclusion.

And since I thought hard about this, I hope you all respect my decision.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can meet you all on this stage again.”
Related Post

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yajima Maimi : Black Angels Movie Preview

Many thanks to reader Road K, for reminding me that I forgot to go back and mention about Yajima Maimi`s movie.

C-ute`s leader/captain Yajima Maimi is co-starting with Ochiai Motoki in a straight-to-DVD live-action adaptation of Shinji Hiramatsu's manga series "Black Angels".

“Black Angels” was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump between 1981 and 1985 .It told the story of a group of vigilantes delivering justice to evildoers who had escaped the law. Ochiai will play the primary role as Yukito, the leader of the group. Yajima has been cast as Reira, the captivating heroine of the story.

Maimi fans will be pleased to know that the DVD is already open for pre-orders and officially will be released in May.

Until more details come out, you can enjoy Maimi in the film trailer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kalafina: Magia PV + Intro

Kalafina: Magia PV + Intro

Kalafina is one of the expanding coverage groups that I have wanted to present for sometime. Kalafina are a vocal power trio that are in the contemporary classical /chamber pop genres and are the creation of famed composer/ producer/pianist and former member of the group See-Saw Kajiura Yuki.

Kajiura`s music is the framework that Kalafina is built on and draws from her fathers liking of opera and classical music.

After seeing great success as a member of See-Saw, Kajiura created a new project called FrictionJunction; it was out of this group that Kalafina would be born as Kajiura recruited FrictionJunction members Keiko and Wakana for what would become Kalafina.

The final lineup for Kalafina would not be set until May 2008 ,when Maya and Hikaru overcome 30,000 participants to join Keiko and Wakana to become Kalafina .Maya the youngest of all the members and the only one born in the 90`s left the group in 2009 to continue her career in a different setting.

Kalafina are currently supporting their newest single “Magia” which is the ending theme to the anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

While Kalafina in their current lineup is as strong as ever ,one of the songs that stands out to me and sets this group apart from others is one from when Maya was still a member “Sprinter” .The music and vocal arrangements is nothing short of perfect for this type of music.

And their most recent single before “Magia”, “Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa”

To date Kalafina have released nine singles [eight have been used as a theme track] and two albums ,their most successful single in terms of sales was their debut “Oblivious” ,which was the theme song of the first three Kara no Kyoukai movies.

Kalafina are a bit of change for fans who have only listen to pop idols ,however if you value strong vocal harmonies or are a fan of up-tempo anime theme songs ,then Kalafina just maybe a group that you have heard before and never knew it.

Related acts

FrictionJunction [Kajiura is the one playing keyboards]


Ishikawa Chiaki, was the lead singer for See-Saw

[Idol Spotlight] Tomato n'Pine ~ Tomapai

Tomato n'Pine, also known as Tomapai for short, is an indies idol unit initially formed in 2009 consisting of "Season 1" members Kanaki Jyun and Koike Yui as a duo. They were 2008 Miss Magazine finalist (organised by Weekly Shonen Magazine) and coincidentally since they share the same birthday 4th April 1991 and so formed an idol unit releasing their first CD debut album "Life is Beautiful" on 4th April 2009.

Interestingly the idea of Tomapai is that in addition to their singing act the members may also work on their other personal work such as gravure modelling and acting - a trend more commonly used by Asian artistes such as South Korea, Taiwan and Hongkong.

However in that same year, Kanaki decided to focus on her studies and announced her exit from the group (subsequently from showbiz altogether) and 2 more girls joined Tomapai as "Season 2" members thereby forming a trio. Koike then used the moniker YUI while the other 2 girls are HINA (Kusano Hinako) and WADA (Wada Erika). With this new lineup Tomapai released "Captain wa kimi da!" in May 2010. The trio continued the tradition of juggling their singing act along with their modelling and acting jobs.

Now, Tomapai is a grassroots indies idol unit, so their activity and promotional strategies differs a lot from mainstream acts.
Firstly, they performed mostly only live events like the Tokyo Idol Festival 2010 where they performed their own original works and also perform covers of songs by mainstream idols. So if fans wants to keep track of their future activities and whereabouts, they have to visit the official website or the newspapers/magazines. This is important because their CDs were only sold at the live shows where they performed. (Now you can order online e.g. Tower Records)

Regarding recording labels, like most indies acts Tomapai formed their own label T&P (Tomato N'Pine Tokyo) to represent and produce themselves. With the exception of only their first single "Captain wa kimi da!" which was produced by agehasprings who has produced the likes of Yuzu, CHARA and Ito Yuna.

Tomapai made heavy use of the internet to promote themselves, such as Youtube, MySpace, Twitter and Ustream. Other than that, Tomapai worked on some radio shows and have their own internet streaming broadcast. On television, they are regulars on NTV's "Idolchin" /, along with other idol groups such as Momoiro Clover and members from "Idoling!!!".

Currently Tomapai is bracing for their major debut produced by Sony Music Entertainment / Sony Records with their latest single "Tabitachi Transfer" set to release in 9th March 2011, which I have really high expectations for.

Personally, I think Tomapai could become really successful. Each of the members are already known in their respective modelling and acting works, so it should help in achieving higher recognition. Perhaps soon they can be as popular, if not more, than Momoiro Clover, another idol group with indies background. So if you are into high school girls doing dance-alongs and singing, Tomato N'Pine might just be the one for you.

Tomato n'Pine Official Website <-ADDED
Ustream Channel

(Season 1 members)
Tomato n'Pine - Life is Beautiful PV

Tomato n'Pine ~ Life is Beautiful (how to dance)

(Season 2 members)
Tomato n'Pine ~ Captain wa kimi da! at Tokyo Idol Festival 2010 (studio album audio)

Tomato n'Pine ~ Tameike, Okarina, Hora Neko ga Warau PV

(Thanks for reading. Was in hospital doing rehab on back. Apologies for the absence)

AKB48 :“Sakura no Ki ni Narou“ 1,100,00 Shipped

AKB48 newest single “Sakura no Ki ni Narou“shipped 1,100,000 copies to stores for sale. the industry buzz is that with day two sales of - 101,304 (756,648 total) that it is only an issue of days before “Sakura no Ki ni Narou“passes 1 million in actual sales. The amount of copies shipped by the way is higher then “Beginner” which shipped 1,030,000, in 16 weeks “Beginner” has sold 1,013,419.

Morning Musume 9th Gen on Bijo Gaku

Edit: High Quality version now up.

Morning Musume 9th Gen on Bijo Gaku

Here is tonight’s 9th gen segment; Zukki’s continues to work get her dance right? How will the fans take the 9th gen?Fuku-chan shows why every new generation needs a Egg member, Risa and Sayu the future leaders lead the 9th gen to their first fan event.

Find out now what happens

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Update: Video has been fixed


Yesterday, I told you about SKE48 getting a national pizza ad campaign for their new single “BANZAI Venus“, today I bring you the full video.

Last month SKE48 did a public casting call for citizens to come out and help them with their PV shoot .As a result 1,000 citizens turned out to support SKE48 and a fun time was had by all.

You can see the result of the January 18 & 19 Nagoya marketplace video shoot below.

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