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Year In Review 2011 Part 1: Hello! Project

So, we come to this time of the year again. It's become freezing cold, snow has begun to fall, and one begins to ponder upon the failings of one's existence in the previous twelve months. One may also begin to ponder what the future might bring.

On the other hand, as I'm a miserly bastard I'll ignore my own failings for now, as I spend most of the rest of the 11 months living in complete acknowledgement of their existence. Instead, I will once again endeavour to dampen any midwinter (or midsummer for those of you on the opposite side of the hemispherical axis) cheer you may have built up by once again reviewing how idols have done this year.

This, of course, will piss many people off and also make make people happy.

Or it could just force people to wonder why their mood can affected by someone writing something on the internet. Like the people who got offended by me saying UFA raped my Buono fandom. Be advised I'm still laughing at you, 4 months later.

For those waiting for the next in the delicious body parts series, normal (lol) service will resume probably upon completion of this series of posts. Unless I suddenly come across lots of delicious idol bottoms in the next week, in which case I might be forced into action.

So, anyway, some structure for you.

Part 1: Hello! Project
Part 2: ○○○48 (including all subunits in a post which will probably once again stretch blogspot to its limits due to the fact that 48's release like 3-5 PVs per single)
Part 3: Other. Momoclo, Sakugaku, Passpo, Idoling!!, TGS, Super Girls, Afilia, NiceGirl Project, AeLL, Fairies, whatever other indie idols have sprouted up that I can find.
Part 4: Overall and Awards. Once again I'll save the major flaming for last.

Dream Momusu and Kikkawa Yuu are not part of this review.

Anyway, so onwards to the H!P reviewness.




Morning Musume.

Well, 8 new members, one old decrepit person finally buggered off, 3 singles with 4 music videos, and an album which I've already reviewed.

So, firstly:

Aichan's graduation:



Fakjea!

New members:

Fukumura Mizuki: Wasn't too sure on her at first, but recently she's sort of impressing me for seemingly multiplying her cuteness every time I see a picture of her. Would now rate her as most attractive 9th gen. Plus, dammit her thighs! She seems to be shaping up to become the next Eri.

Ikuta Erina: I'm completely nonplussed by her. She has a silly laugh. People seem to like her "inability to read the atmosphere" but doesn't really do anything for me. Sings worse than Sayu.

Sayashi Riho: Everyone's favourite little chubby. Doesn't sing too badly. Doesn't dance too badly. Is quite funny.

Norks: Is lulz.

Iikubo Haruna: Cute, looks decent at everything. Probably my favourite of the 10th gen.

Ishida Ayumi: Would have been cheaper hiring backup dancers.

Sato Masaki: Looks interesting but haven't seen anything in particular to move me one way or the other yet.

Kudo Haruka: Needs to cut down on the fags. But cute and funny, hopefully she can hold off lung cancer until after graduation.

Old members:

Gaki is Gaki.

Sayu has impressed me considerably this year. Her singing sucks a lot less. Her dancing sucks a lot less. She's funnier, she's proven by hosting Mobekimasu tte nani? that she can MC a show, and of course, she's still as wonderfully hated by housewives as ever due to her cute act on variety shows.

Reina was in a movie. Haven't seen it but if it features anything that sparkles I'd happily burn it. Also seemingly upped her vocal performance on the album, so there will at least be some decently strong vocals between now (what with Tsunku's "let's autotune Gaki" fetish) and when Kudo starts to sound like Louis Armstrong.

Aika has had a broken leg or something and disappeared. Just as well I got bored of her really.

Singles:

Maji Desu Ka Ska!



So, this single was, to me, a bit like a wakeup call. After so many years of boring, repetitive single in the same style, Momusu had finally shaken things up a bit. And it was decent. Nowhere near the standard of oldschool H!P ska songs, but still decent enough and so utterly different from anything else they'd released since 2007 that one couldn't help but just go with the flow and enjoy it. The music video is frankly rubbish, don't understand what the hell Aika's doing, but oh well. Video suckage is secondary. UFA seem to be either cheapskates or in a financial meltdown anyway, only Manoeri gets budgets nowadays. Which is hilarious. But anyway, yes. Was a spark of light at the end of a 3.5 year tunnel. Seemingly, Tsunku does still have it. When he can be bothered. 8/10

Only You



Indeed, when he can be bothered. Obviously with this song he couldn't, so it regressed back into the old formula. On the other hand, this song did show that, besides autotuning the only vocalists in the group worth giving a damn about, he did sort of perfect the style before letting it go the way of the dodo. I'd rank this as probably the second best single since Resonant, after Lullaby Game, and only slightly ahead of Shouganai. Due to the autotune it loses marks, therefore ranks lower than it rightly should. Without it, I may have given it a 9 or something, but as it is... 6/10

Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo! / Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai



Two videos in one. And what a difference. The first song is again part of the "canon". Sounds similar to Only You, and every other single back to 2008 (Pepper Keibu notwithstanding). The song is boring and uninspiring. The video is even more boring and uninspiring. On the other hand, no autotune and Gaki's glissando. But still, boring. 4/10
Second song is way better. And more psycho. The riffs are cool, the singing is lulz, and it's FUN. Tsunku finally remembered how to have fun when writing. Solo is cool, really don't dislike anything about this song. 8/10

Still, can't help but think when I see this PV, why couldn't they have made a DVD album, with each member's dream having a song. The first song is Aichan's, and as bland and boring as such would entail. Second is Sayu's, and thus is colourful and ever-so-slightly psychotic. But imagine what Norks' dream would have been like. Full on being attacked by green goo and forced to toil in a slave labour camp until aliens invaded and ingested the goo before transporting Momusu to outer space upon the Resonant Blue-class star cruiser Love Machine where they turned into a female super sentai unit protecting species of red goo from the imperious encroachments of the purple and green goo alliance. Or something.

Anyway...

Their album I reviewed here, so if you feel like reading it enjoy.

Thus ends Momusu.

Berryz Koubou

Not sure what to say about Berryz this year. It's a bit like last year, just a little worse.

Memberwise, Momo's finally attained some mainstream popularity due to having the shit kicked out of her every time she's on TV. Also has a catchphrase which caught on to the extent that it was included in a list of "top catchphrases of the year".

Captain finally got a photobook. Was decent, I suppose.

The rest of the members have done... nothing of note. The Ousama Game movie, I suppose, but again, not had a chance to watch.

So, singles:

Heroine ni Narou ka?



So, the David Bowie/Adam Ant ripoff video that people think was Lady Gaga (whatever happened to originality in pop music?) hides what's actually not too bad a song. Chorus is strong. So strong they keep repeating it. Vocals are Berryz standard. That is to say, not great but not shit. For Berryz it's better than it is worse. Choirs in the mid8 are epic and win. Not quite Dakishimetex2 standard, but still a good dancey track. 8/10

Ai no Dangan



Firstly: PHWOAR. PVC gets. The PV is lowbudget studio again, but the costumes are sexy as all hell. So are the dancemoves. Vocals again aren't too bad. The song itself isn't the greatest ever. It's not bad, don't get me wrong. I like the rockiness of it. Some good accents on the guitar, but the music is too far behind the vocals in the mix to pack enough punch. Could be better, but still... phwoar. Eh. 6/10

Aa, Yo ga Akeru



So, from sexy red PVC to... nighties. Not even particularly sexy ones. It's like they just thought, "ooh, we put them in sleepwear, I'm sure that'll make people buy it." But the song sucks. The string VSTs are horrible, the bass sounds like someone's jumping on it while being strangled, the bass drum sounds like a black hole, the snare drum sounds like a bass drum, and the vocals have been messed with badly at the beginning, though it gets easier to deal with. The chorus vocal melody isn't too bad, but the verse and prechorus are horrible. The piano at the beginning and the jazzy riff aren't too bad, it's just what's playing it that's the problem. On the other hand there is a hammond buried in there somewhere. Buildup chorus is the best part of the song. 3/10

The album review is located here, again, read if you feel like.

℃-ute

After 2010 I had very few expectations of C-ute this year. Their 2010 singles were good, but not amazing (Aitai aside), and their album truly was shocking. Then, of course, Momusu released Fantasy and Buono released partenza, so C-ute were freed from their burden of having the worst album in H!P ever.

So they followed it up with possibly the best year they've ever had.

Maimi is still sexy as a really sexy thing.
Nakky's also become sexy, and is rather less annoying.
Airi is still dense as hell, has appeared in some movies, is still cuter than should be possible, and is in general now the best singer in H!P.
Chisato's singing and dancing has now improved to the extent that she's become far awesomer than she was before. May have even overtaken Maimi as second best vocalist in C-ute.
Maimai has shocked me. Not only for her odd tastes in position but also for the fact that she no longer looks like an alien. Her body seems to have grown into her head and now she's actually pretty cute.

Also, as a group, they pwn at dancing so much it's disturbing.

Maimai's now got her own Ustream show, and Chisato's still doing random dances.

Their new group photobook "cutest" does indeed look extraordinarily hot.

Anyway, singletiem.

Kiss Me Aishiteru



I do like this song. Rather a lot. The crazy as hell synth riff is win, the vocals are good, the line distro is good. The video is low budget but actually works, which is shocking enough in and of itself. Synth bass doesn't suck. Ne~e still gets me. So does their cute little Engrish "Please?" Mid-8 is still win as hell and yay let's hit every note! Buildup chorus is win. 9/10

Momoiro Sparkling



This song is too happy. But even so, it provides a decent melody in a very major key scale. Verse vocal melody is nice, if the instrumentation is a little lacking. Prechorus is actually quite interesting, I do think that I like it. Chorus vocal melody is boring though. Syncopation on the bass in the chorus is rubbish. PV is cute, I must say. I do enjoy it quite a lot. Shame the song isn't quite good enough to make it thoroughly enjoyable. Too much "chu"ing after the second chorus. Proof of H!P's lack of budget if they can't even afford to go to a beach to get the beach equipment onto. 6/10

Sekaiichi Happy na Onna no Ko



That opening bass riff is actually awesome. The intro as a whole is awesome, actually. Bass is real, guitars are good. Verse vocal melodies win. Guitar accents in the verse are also good. Preprechorus isn't bad either. Holy shit there are harmonies! Then it goes into a quick Prechorus and then chorus is also not bad. Vocals are really starting to be awesome now. Airi and Maimi are awesome as ever, and Chisato's now capable of doing some really win low vocals and some quite nasal higher pitched ones (as shown in a lot of her Hello!Cover singles). The structure of this song is quite interesting, as the Verse and Prechorus seem linked, yet are separated by the Preprechorus, which sounds more linked to the chorus. Odd choice, but all in all I think it works nicely to break the song up more. Good call Tsunku. Solo is pretty slow and not amazing, but it follows the music well enough and doesn't sound out of place. The PV is cute as hell, though I'm wondering what happened to their dancing. Seems to have levelled down, though in concerts they're still capable of having sex with the floor. 8/10

Their best ever album I reviewed here.

Mano Erina

Ah, the boring one. The Manopush seems to have ended this year. She's only had two singles, is languishing in the charts and hasn't been in several hundred dramas. Truthfully, I still don't find her interesting. But oh well, I'll just listen to her singles from this year and tell you how much I dislike them. Or something...

Seishun no Serenade


Music is pretty meh. Her vocals are still meh. Where's her piano gone? Her backing dancers are just as good, if not better dancers than she is. Synth bass sounds watery, and lacks any sort of punch. If it had some punch this song would sound better, but as it is it merely sits below the level of the rest of the instruments and doesn't pound my ears in enough. Lalalalalala is annoying. What the fuck is this shit in the refrain? Is it supposed to be a rap? Every time she says "Journey" it sounds like Iida Kaori saying "Johnny". This disturbs me. She finds a piano at the end. Wow. 5/10

My Days For You



This tune is actually pretty nice. Her voice is weak, but better than usual and fits the song better. Verse and chorus both have decent vocal melodies. Middle 8 has an awesome vocal melody, and then the guitar solo ruins it by sucking. Buildup chorus only slightly redeems it. PV is cute, I want that camera. 7/10

So, in general... Not as bad as it could have been, I guess.

S/mileage

So, this year S/mileage got 5 new members, threw one away for being weak, lost the best original member and will soon lose she of the AIDS-like voice. The new members don't do much for me, it must be said. Saki's loss is bigger than any ten new members could handle, and with Yuuka going the whole group will have a major lack of cuteness.

Such is life.

Lots of singles to review though. No doubt I'll hate them all.

Shortcut



Apparently a reference to a hairstyle instead of taking the quickest route, this song involved all of them getting a haircut that makes them look like blokes, yet still wearing girly costumes and miniskirts... At least crossdress! Music is pretty meh, still hurts to hear Yuuka and Hitler sing. Chorus is horrible, actually. Vocal melodies would suck even if the bad voices weren't there. Mid-8 is probably the best part of the song, yet still sucks. Just goes to show. 2/10

Koi ni Booing Buu!



Just by looking at the single covers I can tell this is going to be ridiculous. Guitar noises at the beginning are interesting, but then it turns into the weediest and possibly worst keyboard riff I think I've ever heard. The verse has some interesting toy piano under the vocals. The guitar randomness in the middle is interesting. Sounds like Dragonforce or something. Shame the music isn't fast as hell. I would say "good" but Dragonforce haven't been good since like 2006. And shame they're wearing stupid pig noses. Chorus is shit except the "baka" at the end. PV is just shit. Guitar solo is crazy as a really crazy thing and I like it. Would probably hit my guitar 50 list. Shame the rest of the song is a fucking disgrace. 1/10, all of which for the guitar solo.

Uchouten Love



Now, this is much better. Not that it was difficult to be better, you understand. But this song is actually good. Some good old Eurobeat, Tsunku style with his annoying and funny WAHOO over it. The melodies are good, the music is decent if not amazing Eurobeat. Chorus is cool. Not entirely sure about the dance in the chorus which involves the girls anally penetrating each other, but oh well. Vocals are once again split into Saki and Kanon being able to sing, and Yuuka and Hitler sounding like AIDS. Mid-8 has some nice melodies. Buildup chorus shows that Yuuka has actually improved. She's now only slightly less terrible than Moon Kana. Hitler, on the other hand, still requires about 4000 hours of intense vocal reconstruction surgery. All in all though, I liked it. 8/10

Tachiagirl



Bad title pun is bad. So, one less good member and five new submembers. Also the last single for the throwaway submember. Don't know what's wrong with this synth bass. Sounds horrible. On the other hand the music isn't too bad. Until the breathy synth comes in after the intro. Dammit Tsunku you want to kill me? Verse is horrible. Vocal melodies are okay, but the music is boring as hell. Giving solo lines to Yuuka and Hitler again is painful. Chorus hurts. Those beepy things are annoying. Want to kill whoever pan faded them to each side in succession. PV is pretty boring as hell. Mid8 is weird. Buildup chorus is better than the real chorus simply for not having the beepy things. 3/10

Please Miniskirt Postwoman!



Dodgy title yay. WHAT IS THIS BAROQUE FEAST OF WIN!?  The harpsichord is raping my skull and I'm jizzing all over the place. On the other hand, then we get a horrible breathy synth. But the pace is pretty good so I'm not minding as much. Chorus isn't amazing, vocal melody wise, but the pace is still unrelenting. The cute pre-verse sort-of talking-sort-of-singing is win. Katsuta Rina can sing, guess that's good. In fact, all the new members sing better than the remaining originals except Kanon. They'd be hard pressed not too though. Mid8 has some more harpsichord which is yay. Everytime they say 少女 it sounds like showergel. End is unimpressive. WHERE IS MY CADENCE? I have no clue. 7/10

Buono!

Oh yay. Time to lay on the hate. Luckily I don't have to review Zassou as I already did it.

But where to start? What went wrong? What has happened to Buono?

I think UFA are just pushing for someone to follow trends. Buono happened to be nearby, relatively well-established and so UFA thought, "I know, let's turn them Kpop." It obviously was a bad move, because Partenza is possibly one of the worst pieces of Jpop I've ever heard.

Luckily, the new single coming out in January sounds better.

Anyway, singles and other PVs:


Zassou no Uta

Juicy He@rt



Can't help but think "I'm on a boat". The title (and Zassou's actually) made me think up some rather funny alternate lyrics. Can just imagine Buono doing black metal, ripping someone's heart out and eating it. Fakjea /,,/ Anyway, the song is not bad. Better than Zassou. Worse than Runaway Train. Not much I can really say that I didn't say in my partenza review. Except maybe HOLY SHIT SINCE WHEN DID H!P DO BSIDE PVS? Also, if Buono wear loads of Union Jack clothes in France I will lol. And they might not enjoy the experience. 6/10

Natsu Dakara!



Such a boring ass song. Such a boring ass video. In general quite boring. Vocal melodies aren't bad, actually, but the music is just so insipid and uninspired I find myself falling asleep. Bassline is terrible. Guitars are rubbish. Drums sound like they were played on a cardboard box. Mid-8 is boring. Rubbish riff. Then we get talking over Brian May pulling off something slightly interesting. In general, shit. 2/10


And the album review which makes everyone butthurt is here.


Random units.

2011 has been the year of H!P trying to have everyone in together, obviously in the hopes that having more members will work better. It seems to have failed.

Anyway, first we had BerryzxC-ute, with a graduation song. In November. Considering Japanese graduations are in March, this is a bit silly.

Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku



Well, this is boring already. Uninspired intro, I must say. Vocal melodies for the verse aren't good. Instrumentation is sparse, leaving the annoying synth bass in. Chorus isn't too bad. Possibly the only redeeming part of the song. PV looks like it had a budget too. Shame it went on such a poor song. Mid-8 is pretty meh. Guitar solo is horrible. Really quite bad. 4/10

Next up we had EVERYONE. And I mean it. Quite ridiculous that they can barely ensure fair line distribution in C-ute with 5 members. How are they gonna manage with 28 members? Easy answer? They don't.

Mobekimasu - Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku



Song is pretty horrible. Sounds like a mix between Berryz' Aa, Yo ga Akeru and 2008-2010 Momusu. Which basically means it's shit. Increasing the members doesn't really help either. Song definitely seems a bit too adult for the new S/mileage members, and even the new Momusu members except maybe Riho, who seems to pull off the sexier dance moves as if she knows exactly how they look. Verse, Chorus and Mid-8 are all pretty horrible. Generally horrible. 2/10

Finally, take out Momusu and think up the stupidest release strategy possible: release it online more than 4 months before a physical copy is available. It's out this week, and it probably won't sell. It doesn't even have a music video.

Bekimasu - Makeruna Wasshoi!



So, this song is pretty decent at the start. Weird synths are a bit annoying, but already better than Busu. The festival-esque feel of it is fun. It's fastpaced and interesting. Vocal melodies don't hurt too much. Mid-8 is interesting. Chorus is quite awesome... until it starts fucking skipping like an old LP. This is disgusting. I want to kill whoever made that decision. Without them I'd give it maybe a 7. With them, 5/10

So, thus ends Hello!Project for the year.

If I had to grade it...

C-

Definite room for improvement.

Next up, AKB48 and co. Will probably take me 5 days to write it, but I shall endeavour to at least finish all these blogposts before the end of the year...

2 comments:

  1. I agree with Mobekimasu, I friggin hated that ridiculous song, the year seemed to have started out good, ended blah!

    I really want Aika to graduate. I cannot stand her at all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. agree with most of this, but Kikka-sama is an idol, she better be part of your miscellaneous review or I'll force you to listen to partenza again!!!

    ReplyDelete