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Beverage Commercial Shocker! December 31, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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That’s right boys and girls a beverage commercial shocker! How shocking can a beverage commercial be, you might ask? Well, I’d imagine at least moderately shocking or even “exceedingly tingly,” but that’s not really the point…

Now, for you guys that may not be aware Matsuura Aya used to be the image girl for the Gogo no Kocha brand of ice tea. This lasted from 2003 to 2007, and even resulted in the single “Ki ga Tsukeba Anata.”

Here’s the first commercial to feature “Ki ga Tsukeba Anata”

Pleasant little commercial there, no? This series of cm’s always reminded me a little bit of a miniature movie, with their rather high production values and implied plots.

So, sometime a little before Christmas I was bumbling around on Youtube and happened to stumble across this Chinese language beverage commercial:

I was immediately hit with the sense that I had somehow seen this commercial before, which I then realized was because this is nearly exactly the same as the Gogo no Kocha commercial above! There are far too many eerie similarities for this to be a simple coincidence, just take a look for yourself at the comparison I’ve done down below:

Similar collegiate style lecture hall.

Waking the sleeping boyfriend with a cold beverage to the cheek, who then dramatically jumps up.

I will say this, at least the Chinese boyfriend character was trying to pay attention in class with his textbook. Take a look at what Aya's boyfriend was doing: reading comics! What a slacker!

Beverages in ice water! This shot is to emphasize how cool and refreshing these drinks are, and thus make you thirsty and want to buy them.

Let's go somewhere with wind blowing in our hair! Excitement! Notice how the spacial arrangements of the characters are the exact same between the two commercials, and that both the boyfriend characters shout.

Uncomfortable physical contact!

A forlorn glance, what intrigue!

Another forlorn glance, double the intrigue!

The real kicker for me though is that both commercials end with the main character shouting off into the ocean/large body of water that I assume the bridge in the Chinese commercial is built over. I always thought this was an odd way to end the commercial in Aya’s version (though I do imagine it shows her venting her frustration, albeit still an odd ending) and to see the exact same ending in the Chinese version is just frosting on the cake.

But hey, if you’re going to copy a commercial you might as well copy a good one right? 😀



I want to give a quick congratulations to S/mileage for winning best new artist at the 52nd Annual Japan Record Awards! The fact that those girls managed to beat out much more mainstream and popular groups is a great accomplishment! Good job girls!

I also want to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2011! May the new year be a good one!

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Gomattou Medley December 25, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop.
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On the twelfth day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to a Gomattou Christmas medley:

This performance also comes to us via the Happy Xmas Show, but this time from Christmas Day 2004.

Now, while they were never called Gomattou during that show or performance, c’mon, that’s Gomattou. Aya, Miki, and Gocchin are easily my favorite of the “Elder Club” members (is that even a relevant term anymore?) so to see them all together is just amazing.

First, to mention the music. We have a live orchestra, which is always fantastic, but we also get to hear renditions of classic Japanese pop songs, something a person like me doesn’t really have the opportunity to hear, which is also pretty neat. And with these three girls, there really is no doubt about the quality of their renditions. =D

Then secondly we have the visual presentation. The girls’ dresses are absolutely gorgeous, and when they are all on the same stage together the colors contrast fantastically with each other. Seeing them all decked out like that is really something. It reminds me of the “Mopremes” segment from the 2003 Happy Xmas Show, just taken to a whole new level.

Thirdly, we have the conductor. Seriously. He’s fantastic in his own right. 😀

Honestly, this is one of my favorite performances in general, and the fact that it just happened to be Christmas related gave me a fantastic excuse to share it with you guys!

I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Christmas with all of your family and loved ones!

Out of who remains in Morning Musume, who is your favorite and why? December 24, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Morning Musume, Niigaki Risa, Uncategorized.
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My favorite member would have to be Risa Niigaki.

The thing I really love about Risa is that during all of their live performances you can tell that not only is she going at 110% the entire time, but she’s having the time of her life while doing so. She really is an absolute joy to watch up on stage.

She’s pretty great off stage as well. When I was first getting into Morning Musume I watched her first Alo-Hello! and that’s what really made me stop and say, "Okay, she’s pretty darn awesome." I just really found her scenes in the supermarket to be absolutely adorable, and her encounter with the Argentinian man on the beach is a fantastic example of just how nice a person she really is. She didn’t even skip a beat when he came up to her.

Ask me anything!!

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: The Mopremes December 24, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume.
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On the eleventh day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me the Mopremes:

This performance dates from the December 23, 2003 edition of the Happy Xmas Show, the same program where Aya performed “Kobito ga Santa Claus.”

Hehe, “The Mopremes,” I mean really, how can you not absolutely adore that performance? The girls all look amazing in their retro-style costumes and jewelry, not to mention the sets, which are actually quite impressive in not only their magnitude and variety, but quality as well. Also, props to Mari and Yossi as they actually did a darn good job with their English as well.

This performance is actually a pretty good example of one of the reasons I love idol pop. You could try asking yourself why Morning Musume is pretending to be an an American pop group from the 1960’s to celebrate Christmas, but frankly it doesn’t really matter. It’s fun, and that’s all the justification it needs.

I hope you all have a pleasant Christmas Eve with your loved ones! ^^

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Christmas Medley December 23, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume.
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On the tenth day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me a Christmas Medley performed my Morning Musume:

Now that’s a fun performance! We’ve got a bit of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” sprinkled in between “Jingle Bells.” The fourth generation was still pretty fresh back then, but take a look at little fifteen year-old Gocchin! Aww! Almost seven years before we heard anything about how some boys touch…

Also, does anyone happen to recognize the reindeer? He looks a little too specific to just be a general character brought out for the song, like the two snowmen. Maybe he’s a specific character to Tokyo Disneyland?

As a final note, the “Jingle Bell Night” shouts totally reminded me of Gorie’s Pecori♥Night.

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Last Christmas December 22, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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On the ninth day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me Last Christmas performed by Matsuura Aya, Hirahara Ayaka, Skoop on Somebody and Sukima Switch:

This performance dates from the December 9th 2006 episode of Music Fair21.

Oh Aya, your English, it’s, it’s… not great… >< Don't worry though, I still love you 😀

Special shout-out to those two pianists. Those guys are rocking some seriously groovy hairstyles.

Ahh, but you guys know what's better than Aya getting a couple parts in a song? That's right! Aya singing the entire song! From a fan-recording of her December 8th 2007 Christmas Dinner Show in Yamagata:

Her English is actually quite a bit better here, as I imagine she probably rehearsed quite a bit more for her dinner shows than the Music Fair21 performance. Last Christmas is probably my favorite of the “newer” Christmas songs, and she really does a commendable cover of it. Personally, even if a few parts are still a little hard to understand, I think her voice more than makes up for it.

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Santaga Machini Yakkekuru (Santa Claus is Coming to Town) December 21, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya, Morning Musume.
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On the eighth day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me Santaga Machini Yakkekuru by Yasuda Kei, Rinne, Ayaka, and Matsuura Aya:

(Sorry about that font, it was a pain trying to find a color that contrasted with everything on that picture, and in the end I kind of gave up… ><)

Wow, talk about some classic H!P groups being represented here! We have Kemeko from the "Golden-Age" Morning Musume, Rinne from Country Musume (I seriously had to look her up, apparently she graduated in '02), Ayaka from Coconuts Musume, and of course the soloist Ayaya. Hello! Project used to be a pretty crazy place back in the early 2000's!

I really like how all the girls' voices sound in this one. They're all on the softer side, and I think they work well together. It would have been neat maybe if there had been some more collaboration between them. Of course since this is nine years later, there isn't much chance of that happening now!

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Koibito ga Santa Claus December 20, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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On the seventh day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me Koibito ga Santa Claus by Matsuura Aya:

This performance dates from December 23, 2003, and originally aired on the Happy Xmas Show. The pianist is Yamashita Yosuke, who is actually quite famous in his own right as a composer in addition to being a jazz pianist. The song itself was originally written by Matsutoya Yumi, and featured on her 1980 album SURF&SNOW. With a little bit of surfing, I was able to find lyrics and a translation:

Romaji lyrics:

mukashi tonari no oshare na oneesan ha
kurisumasu no hi watashi ni itta
‘konya hachiji ni nareba
santa ga uchi ni yatte kuru’
‘chigau yo sore ha ehon dake no ohanashi’
sou iu watashi ni winku shite
‘demo ne otona ni nareba
anata mo wakaru sono uchi ni’

koibito ga santa kuroosu
hontou ha santa kuroosu
tsumujikaze oikoshite
koibito ga santa kuroosu
se no takai santa kuroosu
yuki no machi kara kita

are kara
ikutsu fuyu ga megurikita deshou
ima mo kanojo wo omoidasu kedo
aru hi tooi machi he to
santa ga tsurete ittakiri

sou yo ashita ni nareba
watashi mo kitto wakaru hazu

koibito ga santa kuroosu
hontou ha santa kuroosu
purezento wo kakaete
koibito ga santa kuroosu
samusou ni santa kuroosu
yuki no machi kara kuru

koibito ga santa kuroosu
hontou ha santa kuroosu
tsumujikaze oikoshite
koibito ga santa kuroosu
se no takai santa kuroosu
watashi no uchi ni kuru

koibito ga santa kuroosu
hontou ha santa kuroosu
purezento wo kakaete
koibito ga santa kuroosu
samusou ni santa kuroosu

Translation:

Long ago, a stylish older girl who was next to me
Mentioned to me on Christmas Day
‘Tonight at eight o’clock
Santa is coming to my house’
‘That’s not true. That’s just a fairy tale’
I said. She winked at me
‘But, you know, when you become an adult
You too will understand, then’

A sweetheart is Santa Claus
The real Santa Claus
Outdistancing the whirlwind
A sweetheart is Santa Claus
A tall Santa Claus
Came from the snowy streets

Since then
How many winters have come and gone
But, still today, I remember that girl
That day to a faraway city
Santa took her off with him

That’s right. On some tomorrow
I too shall understand

A sweetheart is Santa Claus
The real Santa Claus
With presents in his arms
A sweetheart is Santa Claus
When it’s cold out, Santa Claus
Will come from the snowy streets

A sweetheart is Santa Claus
The real Santa Claus
Outdistancing the whirlwind
A sweetheart is Santa Claus
A tall Santa Claus
Will come to my house

A sweetheart is Santa Claus
The real Santa Claus
Carrying presents
A sweetheart is Santa Claus
When it’s cold out, Santa Claus

Romanization and Translation by spielerdecasino

The lyrics are really interesting in that they revolve around the idea that an adult may believe in “Santa Claus” just the same as a young child, but these two Santas aren’t necessarily the same person. I think it’s a really cute concept, and really rather true actually. Nice idea for a song ^^

Aya’s performance and execution of the song are spot on as well. This performance certainly seems to foreshadow her later efforts like Naked Songs, not to mention, although rare then, a live band is now almost par for course with all of her live performances. Remember, this was just a few months after GOOD BYE Natsuo, so this was still “The Queen of Idols,” Ayaya, and not the “smooth jazz” Ayaya we know today. My favorite part might just be at the end, though, when she can’t keep a straight face, it’s just too cute!

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Santa Claus Ga Yattekuru (Here Comes Santa Claus) December 19, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop.
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On the sixth day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me Santa Claus Ga Yattekuru by Yoshizawa Hitomi, Kago Ai, Konno Asami, and Ishikawa Rika:

We have yet another track from The Douyou Pops 1 Christmas to Fuyu no Uta Shuu (only one more, I promise =P).

Yossy really stands out here. I find that her slightly lower tone of voice contrasts quite nicely with the bit more cutesy styles of the other girls on this track. I’ve noticed that so far all the tracks I’ve shared off of this album feature Ishikawa Rika. Hmm, I guess I’ll have to try and be a bit more diverse in my next pick… 😉

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: White Christmas December 18, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume.
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On the fifth day of Tsunku-mas, my true love gave to me White Christmas by Morning Musume:

We’re lucky enough to have this performance subtitled by Hello!Fansubs, and like always we have some very nice effects to ago along with it. I really do like this performance. It’s soft, simple and well, “Christmas-y.” I must say, “White Christmas,” actually translates quite well to Japanese, if only in sound (as I can’t speak for its meaning).