Tuesday, 10 July 2018

All SDN48 singles, Reviewed and Ranked

This blog has been pretty dead for awhile but I recently got the urge to start writing again so I figured I'd start with a topic that is close to my heart. For those who don't know SDN48 was a sister group of AKB48 active from 2009 to 2012. It holds the distinction of being the only AKB48 sister group to have disbanded, as well as the only one to have not received it's own theatre to perform in. Instead, the group performed every SaturDay Night at AKB48's theatre in Akihabara. The group stood out for it's adult concept (not excepting members under the age of 20, having some pretty raunchy performances in general etc.) and powerful performance skills. They are the only 48 group to not separate their members into teams, instead going by generation, in much the same way Nogizaka46 does today. A final point that sets SDN48 apart from the rest is it had some of the first international members of the 48 franchise (the first and currently only Korean member and a Chinese member long before SNH48 was a thing). The group didn't ever reached huge mainstream success but were very loved by their fans, myself included.

For this reason I've decided to set up a new series on this blog: The Reviewed and Ranked Series. I plan to go through every song released in an SDN48 single and, as the name suggests, review them and rank them. I won't be covering the songs from their 1st Stage (Yuuwaku no Garter) here, mainly because I don't have the CD for that yet but all will come to those who wait (hopefully). If it goes well, I'd like to try this out with other groups too (for groups with very large discographies, I might break it up into parts. For example: Morning Musume Colourful Era Songs, Reviewed and Ranked.)

I hope if you haven't given SDN48 a chance before, this list will give you an idea of what kind of song you might like.

So, on with the show!

20. Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta
This isn't a bad song per se. It's just not really what I look for in an idol single. 8 super sexy girls sing a song with special guest, the host of the Japanese version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? It's a pretty nice song, and has a fun novelty factor, but I rarely seek it out to listen to. It's very similar in my eyes to Futari wa Dekiteru, Kojima Haruna's duet with Kenji Kitagawa in AKB48's single 36th single (Labrador Retriever) so if you enjoyed that, you'll probably like this too. One fun piece of trivia for this song is that it is the only SDN48 A-side track to have an 8 member senbatsu (technically 9 if you count Mr. Mino), every other A-side featuring 12 members.

19. Kashaasa de Jihaku suru
A slower song with a Latin sounding twist. I'm not crazy for this style of music, so it loses points for me. It's a nice song though. Nice tune, sung beautifully. It's almost like a sister song with Kamajatan Bojou in my eyes and I expect anyone who likes one song will like the other.

18. Awajijima no Tamanegi
I find the singing parts of this song very catchy, especially the chorus. However, it has a lot of the girls chanting in the background and I find it kind of annoying since they seem to be putting on the most annoying voice possible. This song would be ranked much higher if there was a version without the chanting.

17. Yaritagariya-san
Dancy Dance Dance. I bet you can't guess what kind of song this is. It's a cool dance song. It is cool and catchy like the rest of SDN's songs. I really like the "ah ah aha..." parts but the "aiyee aiyee yai ya" bits annoy me a little (does that make sense?).

16. Kamujatan Bojou
Another song with that trademark SDN sexiness to it. It's a little slower than their other songs, which gives it less of a catchiness factor. It has a really nice atmosphere to it but doesn't stand out very much to me, unfortunately.

15. Abazure
Out of all the songs, this one has the verses I like the least. I just find them kind of boring. However, the chorus is awesome. It's another dance track and when competing with SDN's other songs in this category, it kind of fades into the background. That's not Abrazure's fault though, in a group with this many awesome dance songs, one has to be the one you find forgettable. If any other 48 group released this song, it would be A-side material.

14. Ue Kara Natsuko
The second AKB48 cover song recorded by SDN48. It fits their image slightly better than Everyday, Katyusha but still has a very cute image that makes it stick out from the rest of their discography. I didn't like the original version of the song that much (I found it kind of forgettable) but the SDN version has won me over to it's charms. Neither version will ever be my favourite 48Group song but I do like it a lot more since hearing SDN sing it.

13. Onedari Champagne
Another song with the annoying chanting. When the singing starts it's amazing but the chanting at the beginning knocks some points off. Luckily, unlike some other songs, the chanting is limited enough to not be too annoying and doesn't feel completely tacked on. In some places it even adds something. This song is one of SDN's more upbeat songs and has a very fun chorus. Would recommend to people who prefer more cheerful songs.

12. Tengoku no Door wa Sankaime no Bell de Aku
This song starts out a little slow but has a banger of a chorus. It has a Latin sound and a very sexy feel to it. I don't normally like the Latin sounding songs but this one has something special. The chorus is so powerful. It's definitely a song that encapsulates all I love about SDN48.

11. Everyday, Katyusha (SDN48 ver.)
SDN's first of two covers of AKB48 songs. Out of the two, this is the one I prefer, despite it not fitting SDN's image at all. It's way too cutesy! Even so, I can't help but love it. Even the girls of SDN48 have to be cute once in a while. If you try being sexy all the time, you'll wear yourself out (trust me, I'm a doctor). While for fans of other groups (cough cough) this style of music can definitely grow stale after a while, here it is like a breath of fresh air.

10. Makeoshimi Congratulation

The main track of SDN's final single. The opening piano makes you think it's gonna be a tearjerker but then the girls start singing and it becomes all happy and optimistic. I'm somewhat thankful for that. SDN's disbandment was sad enough, it's nice to hear the girls act fun and cute for their final A-side. It's a little generic compared to some of their other songs but the cheerful atmosphere more than makes up for it. I feel like rather than a sad goodbye, this song is there to remind fans of all the good times they had with the group, and to be thankful for the short time they did have.

Catchy dance track in a similar vein to the group's debut single, GAGAGA (even their names follow the same pattern). This song is a bit cuter and more hyper sounding than it's sultry cousin. It's definitely an ear worm. If you like any of SND's dance tracks, you'll probably like this too.

8. Ai, Chuseyo
Catchy dance track (if you haven't figured it out yet, a lot of SDN's songs can be described this way.) I don't why but I often forget how awesome this song is. When I was making this review I was like "Finally, a song I don't only have glowing praise for" but I put in on and in the first 30 seconds my thoughts did a complete 180. Maybe this group's several other awesome songs with a similar feeling overshadowed this one for me. Maybe I was just a complete fool when I heard it for the first time. All I know is, it has quickly shot up in my rankings. It has all the hallmarks of what makes SDN so great: awesome vocals, catchy tune, danciness! SEXINESS!

7. Kurikuri
Kurikuri has a Cuter feel compared to some of their other songs, which makes it stand out. It's very catchy and easy to start singing along to. It does have the kind of catchiness that some people may find annoying (if you've listened to C-ute Ookina Ai de Motenashite, you know what i'm talking about) but I guess I'm a masochist because I love songs like that.

6. Eros no Trigger
Classic SDN48. This song has a beautiful piece of instrumental at the beginning. One the girls start singing they ooze sexiness into this track. The verses are a little slow but things really pick up for the chorus. My favourite part of the song is that instrumental though. It's got a very sophisticated, elegant sound to it.

5. Sado e Wataru
Another of the super catchy dance tracks this group is famous for. Very easy to sing-along and dance to. The final chorus sends chills down my spine. This song was A-side material stuck as a 48Group coupling track, not something you see very often (but you seem to see a lot with SDN48, why did you forsake them Aki-P?!).

4. Owaranai Encore
SDN48's goodbye song. It's a ballad. It has a nice tune but may be overshadowed by some of the more in-your-face songs. Hearing this song makes my heart ache for a group that should have been allowed to last longer. The largest senbatsu in the group's history, including every single member at the time of the group's disbandment. It definitely has the power to tug on your heart strings. The "lala la..."s at the end... Any song with "lala la"s at the end is bound to turn me to a puddle of tears by the time it's over. I'm not crying, you're crying.

3. Ai yo, Ugokanaide
This is the most mellow song in their discography. It isn't as catchy as their other songs but I will never skip it if it comes up on shuffle. It kind of reminds me of the ending songs of the anime Natsume Yuujinchou and that association only gives the song more emotional punch (the singer, Nishikunihara Reiko, even shares her given name with one of the anime's most prominent characters!). Speaking of Ms. Nishikunihara (that's a name and a half), her voice in this song is spine tingling. God, this song rattles my emotions.

2. Kodoku na Runner
This song is almost like the SDN48 anthem and for a good reason. It's fricking awesome. It's catchy. It's cool. It's sexy. It's got girls singing "Don't stop!" in English (why do so many cool J-pop songs seem to do that). Iconic. 10/10

SDN's debut single and easily my favourite song of their's. The chorus is so catchy. The whispery singing style is so sexy. The beat is so dancable. SDN48 set the bar high right out the gate with this song. Not only my favourite SDN song but one of my favourite 48Group songs in general.

With that, the Ranking and Reviewing is over. Jeeze this group had a lot of kickass songs. It was really hard to look at all those awesome dance tracks and try to pick them apart and figure out which was superior.

I'm still bitter Aki-P disbanded this group. They weren't as profitable as his other project but that's partly because he sort of set them up to fail. They didn't get their own theatre to rule over like the other 48 groups and with that came less chances for interactions with fans. Out of all the 48 groups, they easily had the most original concept and the most skilled members, if they had been allowed to run with it, I think they could have been very successful (especially with the anti-idol trend these days). I honestly think disbanding SDN is the biggest mistake Aki-P ever made and he's made a few (that man might be the dumbest genius I've ever seen).

I can't help but wonder what AKB songs they could have covered if they had been allowed to stay. Imagine SDN doing an even more controversial version of Heavy Rotation, or an even more baddass version of RIVER. Oooh, and they should have gotten their own version of the song AKB48* (but obviously, that song would be called SDN48). If you have time, comment and tell me what song you would have liked to hear performed by SDN48 (if you're really awesome, even include your ideal senbatsu for it!).

I still want to keep the hope alive that Aki-P will revive them someday. There was that Otona AKB thing a while back. Maybe if Miichan still refuses to graduate in a few years he'll revive SDN just to give her something to do, lol.

Love you forever SDN48, in my eyes, you'll always be the best of the 48 franchise.

* If anyone's curious, Akimoto's 2nd biggest mistake is given that song a name where it's impossible to search for on google. Good going, buddy.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Hello Project units I'd like to see (and some I've already seen but want to see more of)

Generally I think Hello Project has improved in a lot of ways since I first became a fan. The girls are as cute as ever, this year has seen a large improvement in the quality of music videos, and I really like the musical direction most groups are going on. However, one thing the old h!p did 100% better than the new h!p was units. There have been so many excellent h!p units over the years, some short lived (like the annual shuffle units from 2000-2005) others left a much more lasting impression (such as Buono, the greatest unit h!p ever had...) some never even performed anything (that band thing that was announced and then abandoned). 
H!p has had shuffle units in recent years of course, there have been the hinafest units which perform a cover song once and are never heard from again, the satoyama units which... exist, those units they get to sing throwaway songs they release digitally. However, I long for the days of the likes of Buono, W, MilkyWay and Guardians 4.
For this reason I have taken it upon myself to share the units I think should be debuted under h!p, alongside some examples of current h!p units that need more attention.

Inaba Manaka-Ishida Ayumi-Morito Chisaki-Murota Mizuki

  • Dance focused group with Murota as lead singer. 
  • Ishida can rap at some point.
  • I want to see Inaba in an mv again.
Takase Kurumi-Kawamura Ayano
  • I've thought these two would make a good duo since their KSS days.
  • Takase is best h!p member and deserves more love.
  • Did I mention how Takase is a goddess?
Yamaki Risa-Fukumura Mizuki-Wada Ayaka-Miyazaki Yuka-Hirose Ayaka-Yamagishi Riko-Ichioka Reina

  • All the leaders together
  • Maybe add in Inaba Manaka since she's leader of Hokkaido KSS (and possibly Inoue Hikaru too).
  • Could also have a similar unit of sub leaders (Ikuta Erina-Iikubo Haruna-Nakanishi Kana-Takeuchi Akari-Tomoko Kanazawa-Risa Ogata) and have them be rivals

Ozeki Mai-Haga Akane-Sasaki Rikako

  • This is the most random one so far but i feel like they could make a nice genki group together.
  • I want to see more of Akane
  • Ozeki hasn't got much to do right now

Hirose Ayaka-Onoda Saori-Hamaura Ayano
  • Next gen Buono
  • Hirose=Airi
  • Onoda=Momoko
  • Hamaura=Miyabi
  • It took a lot of umming and errring to decide on these tree girls and I'm still not entirely sold but I think these three fit what I'm going for best.

Next up is units I'd like to see more of

Inoue Rei and Inoue Hikaru
  • If there's one thing I like, its units with really cheesy concepts.
  • Also Hikaru deserves this
  • Both girls are good singers and this song is cool too.
Ichioka Reina, Takase Kurumi, Kawamura Ayano, Danbara Ruru, and Kiyono Momohime
  • Some of the best performers out of the KSS at the time
  • Really cool song
  • The only down side I see is how young Momohime is (it seems wierd to have a group of four 15-18 year olds and then one 12 year old, especially because Purin also looks super young).

Friday, 8 September 2017

10 things to never say to a H!P fan (unless you wanna start a fight)

"Tsubaki/Kobushi Factory remind me of C-ute"
- Do not say this, no matter how casual, or well-meaning it is, it will start a shitstorm. In will come the old guard of Berryz fans "Stop bringing C-ute into this!!!!THEY BERRYZ BABIES!!!", the the C-ute fans emerge to rub salt in the wound "You're just jealous because our group lasted longer LOL Berryz fans are so bitter!!1". By this point, you'll probably notice a whole different breed of Factory fan "Don't compare them to either, let them be their own thing!!!1". You might think this will finally allow the argument to die down but don't be fooled, this will never end.
It may seem like an innocent enough statement but there's a lot of old wounds wrapped up in this mess. It's best to take the route of avoiding mentioning C-ute in any discussion relating to the Factories, lest a shitstorm ensue. 

"I hope [member] graduates soon"
- This does not need explanation. Why would you say this? What is wrong with you?

"That KSS is overrated"
- Ahhh no. KSS fans may be small in numbers but they're big in devotion. This is Especially true of members who have been in the program for a long time (more your Ichiokas, Danbaras and Kagas than your Yokoyamas or Kasaharas). After they've been in the group for a few years, the inevitable shitstorm will decrease to the size of any other member but do not say this when a girl has just debuted, or god forbid, when they are still in training. Blood will spill.

"Angerme is better then Morning Musume."
Oh no you Didn't! Never say this. Ever. You will be killed.

Anything about Maachan
Our Sato Masaki is a figure of controversy. Whether you love her or hate her, if you wanna live a peaceful life, it's best to keep that to yourself.

Anything about weight, examples: Westerners only liked Zukki because of her weight, Haachin is too thin/fat
1. This is kind of a douche move in general.
2. No matter how respectful or well meaning your comment is, someone will take offense and a shitstorm will ensue. Best to avoid.

Anything at all about the dating rule.
The dating rule is a sore subject to most idol fans (most people will lose a beloved idol to this rule at some point). Furthermore the controversial nature of the "rule" means that mentioning it will almost always result in an argument.

Photobooks and age. In general, sexualisation (or not) of minors.
Like the dating rule, another controversial topic. If you see a photobook announced for a girl under 18, it's best to go into hiding for a bit, regardless of the book's actual content.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Hello Project Debut and Transfers!

Today, it was announced that Country Girls members Morito Chisaki, Yanagawa Nanami and Funaki Musubu would be transferring to existing hello project groups (CG will still be around, it's just those three will be in two groups at the same time). This was coupled with the debuts of three very popular kenshuusei: Ichioka Reina, Kawamura Ayano and Danbara Ruru. The announcement of the transfers didn't appeal to me since 1. AKB has already done that and 2. even when AKB did it the fans hated it so what made H!P think this was a good idea? My best case scenario was for all six members to form a new group together. That didn't happen. That said the actual results weren't as dire as I was expecting.


Chisaki will be joining Morning Musume!
This is probably the least popular of the transfers. Chisaki is easily the most popular out of the girls up for grabs and fans of hers consider it a bad thing for her to have gone from being the ace of Country Girls to just being another girl in the ocean that is MM. Furthermore Chisaki is a rather quiet girl and MM is a rather quiet group. I imagine it would be better to place her with some crazier girls who can bring her out of shell. Fans have noted that the MM members didn't seem very happy at the announcement but people have said it's because they were expecting bad news, like Fukumura's graduation, not because they don't like Chisaki.

Ruru and Nanami will be joining Juice=Juice
This is easily the most controversial addition. A lot of people, myself included, did not want J=J's lineup to change (and I will continue to be on that side of the argument till the day I die). However the cuteness of the girls' reactions and the awesomeness of these two members has softened the blow for me. Both are very talented girls and I can't wait to see the new J=J (though I'll always be a little bit bitter that they didn't think the old J=J was good enough). I'm interested to see if they travel with the rest of the group for the upcoming world tour.

 Ayano and Musubu will be joining ANGERME!
This one I'm 100% behind. ANGERME gives the impression of a group anyone can do well in. Both girls are super cute and confident so they should do fine in the wild world that is ANGERME. One question this does bring up is what will happen to Aiai? If it had just been just one member, that would have spelled the end for her but the fact they added two suggests she may be coming back (it would take less effort to change the choreography that way, keep things the same and just add an extra girl on each side).


Reina will be the leader of a new unit!
This is the news I'm happiest about. Reina really has the aura of a leader, and I was having trouble imagining her being the newest member of an already established group. No word on who's going to be in the new group yet but my money is on Maeda Kokoro and Kanatsu Mizuki being in the ranks.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Cuca's debut!!!

I haven't posted in awhile, and since then a lot of awesome things have happened in the idol world. Probably the thing that makes me happiest is the debut of Cuca! The cute hello project dancer girl is now a 1st generation member of STU48, one AKB's sister groups. As my reader's will know, I was hoping for her to debut in Morning Musume, but any debut is better than none at all!

Here are her profile pictures so far (including an audition picture)

I figured I'd share some pictures I have saved of her since a lot of them were lost in the great social media purge that comes alongside an idol's debut.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Best of Hello Project 2016

It's already February and I completely forgot to do one of these this year. Oh well, I guess it's better late than never...

Best Single
Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP!

Runners Up
Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~
Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku / Itoshima Distance / Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru
Utakata Saturday Night! / The Vision / Tokyo to Iu Katasumi
Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~ / KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!! / Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou
Mugen Climax / Ai wa Maru de Seidenki / Singing ~Ano Koro no You ni~
Sexy Cat no Enzetsu / Mukidashi de Mukiatte / Sou ja nai
Best Group

Best Member
Suzuki Kanon

Best New Member (members who debuted in 2016)
Kaga Kaede

Best PV Costume

Best CD Cover (regular)

Best CD Cover (limited)

Best CD Cover (event)

Best Songs
10.Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~
9.Mukidashi de Mukiatte
8.Sakura Night Fever
7.Wasurete Ageru
6.Mugen Climax
5. Summer Wind
4.Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
3.Utakata Saturday Night!
2.Jinsei wa STEP!
1.Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~

Thursday, 15 December 2016

My Top 20 S/mileage/ANGERME Songs!

I started doing these ages ago with the Top 20 Morning Musume songs and promised to do the rest of H!P. Then I promptly forgot all about it... But I'm back now! So here are my top 20 S/mileage/ANGERME songs!
I won't comment on all the songs since it would take too long but I hope you all enjoy this list anyway.

 20. Choto Mate Kudasai

19. aMa no Jaku

18. Dondengaeshi

17. Taiki Bansei

16. Tachiagirl     

(I chose the Submem version of the MV since it's the only one where you get a good look at Fuyuka.)
Short lived 8nin S/mileage... I'm still sad about Fuyuka leaving...

15. Mahou Tsukai Sally  

Catchy, cute, easy to sing along to, what's not to like?

14. Otome no Gyakushuu

Such a cool, creepy atmosphere.

13. Watashi

Kanon's solo song! Why did she have to graduate...

12. Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki

There was a time when this was the only 6nin S/mileage song I would listen to. Times have changed, but I still love this song.

11. Itoshima Distance

10. Eighteen Emotion

9. Gashin Shoutan

8. Yattaruchan

This song is so much fun and it's catchy too. I've never liked Kana that much but this is her song. Meimi's solo lines sound really great here to.

7. Atarashii Watashi ni Nare!

I'll be honest, I kind of hated this song when I first heard it but I find the lyrics really interesting.

Wearing different clothes but I look the same
Anything I do, it's all the same logic
I'm so thick headed
Unless I change myself
Miracle won't happen
Be the new me!
Be the new me!
Throw away my little prejudice
I want to change myself

 So over time the song has grown on me and I often find myself singing along to it now. This song is also important because I consider it the birth of sexy S/mileage (whether that's a good thing or not is for you to decide).

6. Uchouten LOVE

Wahoo! The end of 4nin S/mileage and they went out with a bang! Another cute, Super catchy song.

5. Aa Susukino

The vocals in this song are so beautiful. I usually didn't like it when S/mileage did slower songs but this is just perfect.

4. Suki-chan

4nin S/mileage at their best. This song is so catchy and cute. I especially like the part where they whisper "Suki-chan" over and over again.

3. Ee ka!?

I didn't really like this song when I first heard it. The inspirational lyrics are what caught my attention first and then I realised how catchy this song it. The rest is history and now this is my favorite song of 6nin S/mileage.

2. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai     

Firstly, the lyrics have a really cool message. I think I've mentioned this before but the lyric "the nail that stands out too much will not be hammered down" refers to a popular japanese phrase which basically means, don't stand out, blend into the crowd. This song is about ANGERME saying "hell no, we're going to stand out and be ourselves". What I probably haven't mentioned is how cool the instrumental is. I sometimes miss the old S/mileage but this song (and the one ahead of it) makes me apreciate the awesomness that is ANGERME.
1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku

This song is pure awesomness. That cool whispery bit at the start. That kickass chorus. Just everything about this song is perfect!

 Honourable Mention!
I started this list a long time ago, and since then ANGERME released a new single. I didn't want to redo the entire list, but I also wanted this song to get the recognition it deserves. So without further ado, here's ANGERME's Wasurete Ageru, which I would place in position 3.5 in this list if I could.


Monday, 12 December 2016

13th Gen!!!

So, my darlings, 13th gen has finally been announced. You've probably all heard the news already, but if you haven't, our lucky ladies are Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina. This is MM's first two-member generation and second generation entirely made up of KSS (everyone seems to be forgetting that Sakura did that first). 

Overall,I'm pretty happy with the results. Neither of the girls were my top picks (Takase, Kodama and Ruru) but they were definately in the Top 10 and I'm very excited to see what they bring to the group.
First up is Kaede!
 Maachan said in an interview recently that fans would be "surprised" by the 13th gen results. She was right (as Maachan often is). I don't think even Kaga's biggest fans were expecting her to make it in. She's been in H!P since the 11th gen audition and has failled 3 MM auditions, 2 ANGERME auditions and been ignored in the formations of Juice=Juice, CG, Kobushi and Tsubaki Factory. So yeah, despite her talent, everyone kind of thought H!P had given up on her. She's a pretty great performer and has clearly proved herself to be a hardworker. One complaint I've heard from a lot of her critics is that she seems to be a bit of a crybaby or diva (she once cried for not getting a solo part in a KSS performance) but that doesn't really worry me too much because: 
1. Her being upset doesn't necessarily make her spoilt or a diva, she may just be a very emotional person. 
2. If she was really a diva, I can't imagine her wanting to stay in KSS for 4 years without debuting. If not being the center of attention really upset her that much, I'm sure she would have left by now.  
3. It proves how serious she is about being an idol. 
Overall, I'm super happy and pleasently surprised by this addition to the group.

 Next up is 15 year old Reina, who in many ways is the oposite of Kaga. She's only just joined the KSS after being a runner up in the original 13th gen audition. We don't really know much about her yet, except that she seems to be very music orientated (she plays guitar, alto sax and piano and looks up to Ayaka Hirose and Oda Sakura, two of the best singers in H!P) so me and a lot of fans are looking forward to big things from her.

So there you have it. The 13th gen is finally here. It's surprising to have two "older" girls join, by which I mean this gen is one of those rare instances where the newest generation does not feature the youngest member (which is probably a good thing since Kaga seems pretty comfortable with her little sister persona and making her come up with something new so soon seems a little mean).

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Getting into AKB48 ~ Top 10 48/46 Group Members!

So I haven't talked about AKB48 and Co. for a long time have I? Well, that's because though I've been following them for a couple of years now, I still don't feel confident in my knowlegde about them. However, since my last post about them, I have been able to recognise a lot more of the members and have even decided on some favorites! I decided to include the rival groups in this as well because to be honest I don't really see them as that separate (Sorry any hardcore fans who disagree with this). The members in the running are any girls who are or have been a member of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, SDN48, JKT48, SNH48, Nogizaka46 or Keyakizaka46 before the date of 24th August 2016. GNZ48 and BEJ48 will not be included since they were formed after SNH48 became independent from AKB48 (and I don't follow them anyway).I wanted to include the international sister groups but I don't really know any of the members so they are technically in the running but won't appear on the list.

10. Iwata Karen - AKB48 (graduated)

I'm sad she graduated early in her career. It's like one minute she was there and the next, she was gone. I always thought she was cute but I can't really put her any higher given that she wasn't a member for that long.

9. Nakamoto Himeka (Nogizaka46)

Like most people, I expect, I became interested in Himeka when I found out she is the older sister of BABYMETAL's Nakamoto Suzuka. The talent is clearly a family trait. Below is a video of her and Suzuka singing a duet back when thay were both attending Actor's School Hiroshima (if you know anything about J-Pop, you know that an idol who has attended ASH is destined to be a star).

8. Hirate Yurina (Keyakizaka46)

The main reason I like Techi is because of her relationship with another girl on this list (more on that later). Firstly she's super cute (I love her haircut) and seems to be a serious and dependable type of girl which is shocking when you find out she's the youngest member of Keyakizaka46. She seems like a hard worker who won't take her position as center for granted and for that you can't help but like her.

7. Sashihara Rino (HKT48)

There's a reason Sasshi is the three time queen of AKB. There's just something undeniably awesome about her.

6. Kinoshita Momoka - NMB48

Cute. Badass. Awesome hair. Funny. What's not to like?

5. Minegishi Minami - AKB48

Miichan was the first member I was able to recognise so she holds a special place in my heart.

4. Kojima Haruna - AKB48

I love Kojiharu cus she's pretty. I can't lie. She's probably one of the most beautiful Japanese girls I've ever seen (right up there with Nakajima Saki). I also like the fact she likes morning musume because we agree on that. While researching for this post I only just noticed that we also share the same birthday which excites me way more than it should. I also love her nyan nyan kamen persona from the last election. I'll miss her when she graduates in February.

3. Ogino Yuka - NGT48

Yukarin is clearly the best member of newly formed NGT48, if you can't admit that, I can't help you. Firstly, she's adorable. I mean, Look at her! Secondly she clearly desparately wanted to join the group. First she was a tentative AKB Kenkyuusei but failed to join a team. Then she auditioned for Team 8 but failed. Then she became a member of Baito AKB and after that group came to an end, participated in the 2015 Draft. Finally she was chosen to become a member (and vice-captain) of NGT48. In the lead up to the 2016 senbatsu election, I enjoyed watching her livestreams on Showroom (even though I had no idea what she was saying) and was super sad when she didn't end up ranking. I hope she does well in the future, she definately seems to be popular and is super cute and charismatic so I wish her the best of luck in the next election. 

2. Iwasa Misaki - AKB48 (graduated)

Hands down, favorite member of AKB48 ever. I shouldn't need to explain why, it's her heavenly voice. she's super cute too and it's difficult not to love her. Her ambition to become an enka singer is cool and I'm she's been able to achieve that dream. I think I'll just let Wasamin's latest single speak for her.

1. Nagahama Neru - Keyakizaka46

Dammit this girl is awesome. She only debuted a year ago and she's already one of my favorite idols. First thing's first, she's super cute. She kind of reminds me of a puppy in some pictures. I was intrigued when I heard how she joined the group; she got to the final round of auditions but her mother made her return home before she could complete the final round. Later her parents felt guilty about it and spoke to the managment and she was allowed into the group as the sole origional member of Keyaki's under group Hiragana Keyaki. She may not be the best singer or dancer in the group but she sure is cute. This is her singing a song to memorise the elements of the periodic table (I hope this video doesn't get taken down, I love it)

 Finally we have the MV of her first solo song, Mata atte kudasa. It's a super adorable love story.

Neru is the first idol who I read interviews about almost obsessively. She always has something cool or unexpected to say. This is my favorite interview of her's, where she talks about her relationship with Techi (Hirate Yurina). It's super sweet and heartfelt. Techi and Neru are probably the first time I've ever shipped two idols!

M.O.E new maids!

Two new Maids have joined Maids of England! Their names are Chima and ZiiZii. Chima is an immortal witch who was banished from her village from her village for being too much of an airhead and ZiiZii is a cute alien who came to earth on a "secret mission" and is on the run from the FBI.

 ZiiZii - The Alien

Chima - The cute little witch

Some other maids and butlers have recieved updated profile pictures as well! 

Bae, perfect as always.

The robot, with new hair

Shinzo, with new hair