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Ayaya gets a Twitter! September 29, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in ayaya, Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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What a surprise, huh? Honestly, after what had happened with her blog I had thought that we had seen the last of her attempts at online social interactions. I mean, if she thought that she didn’t have enough material to occasionally write in a blog, how does she plan to keep a twitter updated?

Ahh, but I digress, as this is truly a wonderful thing, as is nearly everything that comes from her 😀

So, while I can’t say how long it will stay active, you all should still follow her. You can find her twitter here:
http://twitter.com/matsuura_aya

While you are at it, you can also follow her manager, and an employee of AYAWAY (her official fanclub).

I’ve also added a new feature to the side pane of my blog where you can see the last several tweets from Matsuura Aya, Morning Musume, and Shibata Ayumi’s official blogs. Underneath that you can also check out recent H!P news from Hello!Online’s twitter feed. Some kinda neat stuff to take up a little bit more room over there!

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BOOKOFF’n: 20100915 September 26, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in ayaya, Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya, Melon Kinenbi, Morning Musume.
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A bit over a week ago I managed to make a trip down to the BOOKOFF in Costa Mesa and ended up picking up a pretty good collection of stuff, check it out!


Picked up copies of Nakazawa Yuko’s Tokyo Bijin and Futari Gurashi.


Also managed to find Melon Kinenbi’s This is Unmei and Chance of Love. Definitely excited about these two. This is Unmei is probably my favorite Melon Kinenbi song, and Chance of Love is certainly pretty awesome in it’s own right as well.


I also found some Morning Musume singles as well. Mr. Moonlight: Ai no Big Band, I WISH, and Morning Musume Single Medley ~Hawaiian~. Yeah, that disc there on the bottom really is a Morning Musume release. Apparently Morning Musume, Hawaiian Musume, Fujimoto Miki (who was still a soloist at the time) and Takagi Boo all collaborated on a Hawaiian-style melody of Morning Musume’s greatest hits and Furusato as well. I didn’t even know such a thing existed, so I’d say that’s a pretty cool find! =]


This was the only thing that managed to cost me more than a dollar, the Single V for Gomattou’s one and only single Shall We Love?

Unfortunately, last Thursday classes started again for me and my work has started back up again as well. This means I’m most likely going to be having significantly less free time, and I thus won’t be able to update quite as often as I have been. I’m going to try and keep up with at least one new entry a week, and I imagine I might try to focus on trying to get a few more entries into my “Other Side of Aya” series.

Later Days!

So You Want to be a Color Commentator on a Japanese Talk Show September 20, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Uncategorized.
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I know times are tough right now. The economy is relatively slow and finding a job can be a pretty difficult proposition these days, but don’t worry, I’m here to help.

“How so?” you might ask, well having special skills on your resume can really make or break you in such a competitive environment as we have today. As such, I intend to teach you, my humble reader, how to be a color commentator on a Japanese talk show, surely a much more impressive skill than being able to fly an airplane or tie your own shoes.

“But I can’t speak Japanese!” you might protest. Not a concern. You only need to know the three key phrases that I describe below:

  • Kawaii!! – Did some sort of cute furry animal appear?  Is something adorned with portrayals of furry animals?  Is something overtly pink?  If any of these are true than you probably want to scream this word out.
  • Oishii!! – As a color commentator on a Japanese talk show you will undoubtedly be forced to eat something at some point. Unfortunately though, not everything you will be offered can be labeled as tasty or “oishii.”Take this very scientific “Scale of Tastiness” that I have created.

    In this scale you would place Stone Old Guardian at the far left side, Keystone Light on the far right, and stuff like Molson Canadian and everything else in the middle. This type of real-world scale could be considered complicated and/or “difficult.” Fortunately for you, Japanese talk shows use a slightly modified “Scale of Tastiness,” observe:

    Notice the complete and utter lack of graduation? On a Japanese talk show no food is merely “okay,” it’s either amazingly tasty, like a Stone Old Guardian, or exceptionally lacking in anything resembling tastiness, such as Keystone Ice.

    So, the easiest thing to ask yourself when trying a sample of food is “Does this make me want to hurl?” if no, exclaim “Oishii!!” if yes, then see below.

  • EHHHH~~~???? – This could very well become your favorite phrase. If anything of note happens that you cannot exclaim either of the two phrases above then this is the phrase for you. Note the three tildas. Be sure not to overlook them as they are crucial for correct pronunciation.

Now, like any reputable institution of higher learning I will base the total quality of your learning entirely on a single test. Compare your results to the scoring key down below.

Question 1:

You try a taste of some food. Do you exclaim:

  1. Kawaii!!
  2. Oishii!!
  3. EHHHH~~~????

Question 2:

A little dog wearing frilly clothes is placed in front of you. Do you exclaim:

  1. Kawaii!!
  2. Oishii!!
  3. EHHHH~~~????

Question 3:

A wild Nicholas Cage appears. Do you exclaim:

  1. Kawaii!!
  2. Oishii!!
  3. EHHHH~~~????

Answer Key and Scoring Guide:
Question 1:

  • The correct answer is 2, or “Oishii!!”  One can easily see that Aya is eating food and not fighting to keep it from coming back up, and therefore “Oishii!!” makes the most sense in this context.  If this is how you answered give yourself one point.
  • If you answered 1, give yourself 0 points.  This answer would be applicable if the food was arranged in such a way that it looked “cute,” one cannot tell such a fact from the picture and as such this is not the best answer.
  • If you answered 3, give yourself -1 points.  Aya does not look to be in extreme discomfort eating that food.  Thus, you misunderstood the difference between “Oishii!!” and “EHHHH~~~????” when it comes to food.

Question 2:

  • The correct answer is 1, or “Kawaii!!”  A dog obviously falls under the furry animals category and should almost always be considered “Kawaii!!”  If this is how you answered give yourself one point.
  • If you answered 2, give yourself -5 points.  I really hope you were trying to be funny.
  • If you answered 3, give yourself -1 points.  You might be really afraid of dogs, or allergic to them.  This is not the best answer, but at least the audience won’t think you’re creepy like if you had answered with option 2.

Question 3:

  • The correct answer is 3, or “EHHHH~~~????”  Your two other options are completely inappropriate in this situation, and thus “EHHHH~~~????” is your best and most fitting answer.  If this is how you answered give yourself one point.
  • If you answered 1, give yourself -50 points.  No, just no.  You must be trying to fail this test on PURPOSE.
  • If you answered 2, give yourself -25 points.  Do you happen to be a large mildly malnourished bear?  No, I didn’t think you were Yurina Kumai, therefore this is a wholly inappropriate answer. Sicko.

Did you score somewhere between -π and 3π? If so, then congratulations! Feel free to print out and fill in this completely authentic and not at all generic diploma and hang it on your wall and/or refrigerator! If not feel free to take the test again, or simply lie about your score and make a diploma for yourself anyway, it’s not like I’d know the difference!

[/sarcasm]

New Morning Musume Profile Pics! September 17, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume, Niigaki Risa.
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This fall the ladies of Morning Musume are releasing a new single entitled Appare Kaiten Zushi! which advertises for a sushi chain. Nothing too out of the ordinary here, seeing as Morning Musume (and nearly everyone else in Hello! Project at one time or another) has advertised for the Rakuten Eagles in the past, except this single won’t actually be a Morning Musume single.

Ehh?

Yeah, apparently a new group entitled “Muten Musume” (taken from the name of the sushi chain itself) will release this single and not Morning Musume. The two groups just happen to have the exact same members, and Morning Musume are using their Muten Musume costumes in their official profile pictures.

Okay, so enough talk of the goofy advertising tactics and more talk about the costumes, because they are awesome. We have kind of an odd set-up because there are actually two distinct costumes, a green marching band-esque costume worn by Eri, Sayu, Junjun and Aika, and a pink flight stewardess like costume worn by Ai, Risa, Reina and Linlin. Now I actually like the green costumes quite a bit (in which Sayu I have to say looks pretty gosh darn smashing), but I really do prefer the pink costumes. As a stand out example of how amazing the pink costumes are I am going to use Risa. I am also going to say something that I’ve never said before:

I think Risa looks absolutely amazing here in her short hair.

Really, I can’t believe such a thing has happened. I was absolutely crushed when she cut her beautiful hair, and thought it looked pretty gosh darn awful in the PV for Seishun Collection, but this, this is truly fantastic. I mentioned that the costumes look reminiscent of a flight stewardess uniform, well Risa actually looks the part. I can totally imagine her serving cocktails on a DC-8 cruising smoothly at 40,000 feet in that get-up. Smoky air, strong drinks, and beautiful women. 😀

Now I admit, I don’t think her hair looks quite as good as it did in Nanchatte Renai, but I certainly like the overall look significantly better. I’m really looking forward to the PV for single. It certainly has the potential to be pretty amazing. Hopefully, UFA will go the same route as Manoeri’s Genkimono de Ikō! and give us something pretty crazy. Though I wouldn’t mind it too much if they held back on the whipping of spandex clad middle-age men in this one, thanks. 😉

Matsuura Aya to get New Album this Fall! September 12, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in ayaya, Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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Can you say amazing news?

Last night during her performance at the Cotton Club she announced that she’ll release a new album on 11/24 titled クリックユー リンクミー (Click You Link Me).

You can actually watch her announcement during the performance here at around twenty-six minutes into it. It’s pretty cute that she has to get confirmation of the album’s name from her band. Seems like the poor girl always needs a bit of time to get a grip on the new stuff, anyone else remember the incident on Hey!Hey!Hey! with Happy to Go ? 😀

Not to spoil the fun, but one needs to remember that this still hasn’t been officially announced yet. So release dates and titles could all possibly change without notice. Still, were getting a new Matsuura Aya album and that’s unbelievably awesome.

Also, do check out her performance at the Cotton Club. The video is very rough, and the audio isn’t the greatest, but it does still make for a quite enjoyable listening session.

Later Days!

It’s Crazy!!!!! September 11, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume, Takahashi Ai.
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So I’ve just managed to watch the Hello! Project DVD Magazine Vol.22 and I have to say that I was quite surprised at how gosh darn entertaining it was, even for a person like me, who understands painfully little Japanese. It’s premise is that all the Hello! Project girls trying to sell you some items as if they were on some sort of television shopping channel. Absolutely brilliant if you ask me. Whoever thought up the premise behind this should definitely be given charge of the next set of Alo-Hello! DVD’s. I bet those things would be awesome.

Getting back on topic though, I would say that there was one member who’s segment really stood out to me, and that member was Aichan. Check it out below:

My gosh, could she be any cuter?

Her English absolutely slays me, but there’s even more than that. She is nearly bursting at the seems with energy, and it’s really quite adorable. At about 1:46 it looks like she’s really struggling to keep that exclamation in, as if it’s going to explode out of her at any moment. Now that is how you show enthusiasm for your product! 😀

Seriously though, I think she definitely might have found a new career possibility for herself after Morning Musume. With that catchphrase and that level of enthusiasm she certainly has just what it takes to hawk discount hifi’s and car stereos for some warehouse in a questionable part of Downtown L.A. I mean who else could honestly get you excited to buy a beat-up JVC tape deck? At this point I’m seriously considering if I need to get a washboard. That’s an almost frightening amount of influence.

This time I’m NOT going to forget to mention my dear Risa as well. She did a pretty gosh darn entertaining spiel too, and I definitely got a pretty good kick out of her suggestion to use rubber duckies as a way to wake a person up. So I would definitely say she is quite worthy of gif all her own 😀

The Other Side of Aya: Yuugure (夕暮れ) September 8, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in ayaya, Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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So, heading on to part two of The Other Side of Aya I present Yuugure the B-side to her second single Tropical Koishiteru:

Romaji Lyrics:

nantonaku jikan ga sugiru
nichiyoubi wa itsumo naraba
anata ga ita no ni
nantonaku wakare ga kite
ano hi kara wa zutto BURUU
onaji manga bakari yonderu kedo

tsumannai nichiyoubi
Ah~

koibito wa mou inai
koibito wa doko desu ka
watashi wa dare desu ka

kekkyoku wa tada nan mo dekizu
okaimono mo tetsudawazu
MAMA mo kigen warui

kekkyoku wa nandattan darou
kinou kyou to kangaete mo
nani mo ukabanai
tte iu yori tada

tada BOOtto shiteru dake
ne

koibito wa subete datta
koibito wa doko desu ka
watashi wa doko desu ka

koibito wa mou inai
koibito wa doko desu ka

koibito wa subete datta
koibito wa doko desu ka
watashi wa doko desu ka

Translated Lyrics:

Somehow, time flies by so fast
If this was like a typical Sunday
You’d be around like always
But somehow, our parting came
I’ve been forever blue since that day
Been reading the same comic over and over

What a boring Sunday
Ah~

I no longer have a lover
Where is my lover?
Who am I?

Eventually, I end up doing nothing
Don’t even help out with the groceries
Even Mom’s in a bad mood

Eventually, I wonder what it was
Thought about it yesterday and today too
Nothing comes to mind
Or, rather,

I’m just spacing out
Aren’t I

My lover was everything
Where is my lover?
Where am I?

I no longer have a lover
Where is my lover?

My lover was everything
Where is my lover?
Where am I?

Romaji and translated lyrics from ProjectHello

Like Machiawase we have another very laid back, even melancholy, B-side compared to an exceedingly genki title track. One has to wonder if at the time the management was trying to almost “balance” her out by having both styles released on singles, and thus expanding her song catalog? I bring this up because this seems to be a running theme in her earlier singles, and I guess it would be in her favor to have a more balanced song catalog for concerts (slow songs to give her a time to relax between the more energetic numbers, even if they aren’t as popular).

This time around we are lucky enough to have access to an English translation of the original Japanese lyrics thanks to ProjectHello. Apparently, “koibito” can also mean sweetheart as using such as word as lover would have a slightly unsettling connotation (heck, even denotation) in English for a girl as young as Aya was when this song was released. Lyrically, the song is a pretty generic ballad of lost teenage love. We see several references to what could be considered “childish” things, such as chores, living with one’s parents, and a “wasted weekend.” Still, I could hardly call this song generic considering who is singing it 😀

I’ll leave you guys with a much more modern rendition of Yuugure from the 2008 Spring AYA the Witch tour, enjoy!

BOOKOFF’n: 20100903 September 4, 2010

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One of the great advantages of being a J-pop fan in the Los Angeles area is the fact that we have access to multiple BOOKOFFs within reasonable driving distance. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I really do love these stores. They usually have pretty awesome prices on merchandise that is often indistinguishable from new. CD’s, DVD’s and photobooks all can be found there, so it’s pretty easy to see the attraction, eh? 😀

So, recently they just opened a brand new BOOKOFF at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and my friend and I went down there to check it out.

First off, I want to talk a little about the mall itself, primarily how fuzzing hard it was to find the BOOKOFF in the goofy thing. The number one thing is that there are no maps, or guides for the mall at all. Usually you see the little kiosks with the store directories on them, but not here. Secondly, the BOOKOFF website (and the signs in the mall itself advertising it) state that the store was located near Macy’s. There are two distinct Macy’s in the mall. So that was fun. ><

So, once we found the store we came to the unfortunate realization that this location carried solely English items. Which, honestly, was a huge let down. Still, to that location's credit they did have a significantly larger collection of video games than any other of the BOOKOFFs that I've visited so that was cool. Also, amusingly enough, they had a section designated for "MEGADRIVE" games, which unfortunately, was empty.

What makes me a little nervous is that in less than a year they have opened two BOOKOFF's here in the LA area and both have stocked entirely goods entirely in English. This wasn't too big a deal when they opened the store in Westminster since it wasn't replacing anything else, but the new store in the Del Amo Fashion Center is supposed to replace their old store in Torrance, which did carry Japanese goods. So now, the only BOOKOFFs left in the LA area that carry Japanese goods are in Costa Mesa and Gardena. Hopefully those stores won't relocate and lose their Japanese stocks in the process as well.

The whole trip wasn't in vain though, as we did swing by the BOOKOFF in Gardena on the way back. Unfortunately though, compared to the Costa Mesa location, the prices here are significantly higher. They had copies of Morning Musume's Cover You and All Singles Complete: 10th Anniversary for $27 a piece so I passed on those. They even had Aya’s T.W.O. for $10, something I’ve seen for $1 in Costa Mesa.

I did manage get a pair of pretty good deals though. I found a copy of Morning Musume’s The Manpower!!! for $3 USD and Melon Kinenbi’s The Nimaime for $7 USD. So, both together for $10 really isn’t too bad at all.

I want to apologize for not having any pictures in this post, as I didn’t even think about writing about this trip until after I had returned. Next time I head out to one, expect a couple pictures. 😀