jump to navigation

One Year of Blogging! March 31, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Blog Stuff.

Yesterday, the 30th of March, marked one year of Nights4Blogging!

Honestly, I never really thought I’d ever write such a thing. I made my first post with a bit of a disclaimer that I may abandon this blog at any moment, and that’s because I honestly thought I wouldn’t last more than three months tops. But here I am. Twelve months later. Surprised would almost be an understatement!

I was inspired to start Nights4Blogging after reading the H!P and Jpop fanblogs of others.  I really enjoyed reading them (and still do), but this really wasn’t enough to force me start one on my own.  I actually had three main objectives that I wanted to achieve, and I thought that starting a blog would be a good way to achieve them.

  1. Find Something to do on my Free Time
  2. I had it great a year ago. I had an apartment that was literally a five minute walk from any of my classes. Fridays off. Classes that ended at 10AM every Tuesday and Thursday. It was fantastic, and I had a heck of a lot of free time, so I figured that a blog would be a decent use of that time.

    Unfortunately, I have never since had a schedule or living arrangements quite that convenient, but at least I’ve kept up with the writing. I’d even go so far as to say that I’ve actually been doing a bit better now than I was then. Only three updates in all of May 2010? Yeesh.

  3. Find Someplace to Contain my “Fangasms”
  4. I try not to bring up H!P and Jpop too often with my everyday friends out of the courtesy that they probably don’t care all that much. Or at all, really. So I fangasm here instead.

  5. Try to be More Eloquent About said “Fangasms”
  6. While related to the previous point, I’ve always been rather disappointed in my own ability to describe why something is so fantastic/awesome/transcendently great. While I am reasonably pleased with the progress I have made towards this goal, it is still definitely a work in progress. Even in my last post about Morning Musume’s “Maji Desu ka Ska!” I think I should have been able to be more descriptive.

So enough of that boring stuff and onto some cold hard numbers:

  • 9006 Total Views
  • 83 Posts
  • Busiest Day was October 2nd with 203 Views (Thanks IW!)

And what were the top 5 posts?

  1. AKB48’s Heavy Rotation PV: Is there such a thing as too much fan service? – 1549 Views
  2. A bit more on Takahashi Ai’s graduation – 158 Views
  3. Morning Musume — Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (Close-Up Version) – 156 Views
  4. The Weight of an Idol, Part 1 – 151 Views
  5. New Morning Musume Profile Pics! – 145 Views

Despite the massive skew in the total number of views per post, I actually am pretty happy about those top three posts being the most viewed.  I think they stand as some of the better examples of my writing, and if people were to see that as their first exposure, then hey, that’s alright.  Not too excited about #4 up there, though.  I still am rather unhappy with how that article came out.  Also number 5 was about the “Seishun Collection” costumes, which certainly aren’t new anymore.

How about top five search terms?

  1. akb48 – 269 Hits
  2. tomomi itano – 93 Hits
  3. akb48 heavy rotation – 63 Hits
  4. morning musume – 53 Hits
  5. nights4blogging – 41 Hits

Well, that certainly explains my top viewed post a bit, doesn’t it?

Oh, and so do all of these…

  • akb48 bikini – 36 Hits
  • akb48 naked – 29 Hits
  • akb48 lingerie – 24 Hits
  • akb48 sex – 22 Hits
  • tomomi itano sex – 6 Hits
  • akb48 up skirt – 6 Hits
  • akb48 undressing – 4 Hits
  • akb48 cream fight – 2 Hits

I can’t help but feel that my little blog disappointed most of those people. Those perverted, perverted people. 😀 I do admit I kinda like that last one. No idea what it’s referring to, though.

And then there are the weird search terms:

  • santa claus peeping tom – 2 Hits
  • sudden undress – 2 Hits
  • peeping tom seeing womens – 2 Hits
  • im watching you – 2 Hits
  • thomas berry – 2 Hits
  • 34 – 2 Hits

I know the “peeping tom” queries are for a referral I made about peeping toms in my post on “Heavy Rotation,” but I can’t help but be a little creeped out that MULTIPLE people are searching for “santa claus peeping tom.” Ewwww.

Oh, and then there are those I wouldn’t even think of reposting. Seriously, some are more than a little disgusting.

And on that note I’d like to thank you, my readers. 😀

I jest, but really, thank you guys. I really do appreciate it every time someone posts a comment, and I try to make a conscious effort to respond to every one. It makes writing considerably more enjoyable when I can get some feedback, and I find that a healthy dialog can really help expand a post far beyond what I had originally wrote, one thing I think my “Heavy Rotation” post really does exemplify.

So here’s to year number two!


Morning Musume – Maji Desu ka Ska! March 28, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume.

Next week on April 6th Morning Musume will be releasing their 45th single “Maji Desu ka Ska!” and just last night we had the privilege to finally see the entire PV. Take a look!

I really do love this PV. It’s just so darn happy and upbeat. Two qualities I absolutely adore about idol music compared to pretty much everything else. It doesn’t have to be serious, stand for anything, heck, it doesn’t even matter that I can’t understand what they’re saying. It’s happy. And that’s more than enough.

So, lets take a look at the PV itself!

How great of an opening is that? I love how the pan shows us all the different members scattered throughout the actual kana of the title, and that’s before the song even starts! Very nifty.

Having the kana in the background during the PV itself is also a nice touch, as it gives it an element to draw your attention. It seems that they’ve gone back to the indistinct/infinite white room setting that was used in part of the dance shot of “Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game,” although I certainly wouldn’t call it a bad thing.

I almost want to call Ikuta the “Melancholy Musume” as she always looks so serious. Whether it be on TV, or even in the PV. I imagine the “seriousness” here comes from her concentration on keeping up with the choreography, but as you can tell, she really does look miles better with a smile on her face. Hopefully it won’t take her too long to become comfortable with all their routines!

That is one heck of a lucky ス.

I’m sorry Sayu, but you’ve completely failed at being cute here. That isn’t to say you haven’t absolutely succeeded at being something else entirely.

I, for one, look forward to more such failures in the future! 😀

Risa is just so awesome. There really isn’t much more to it than that.

I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to make a gif of this scene. Unfortunately, the scene cuts away right after she lands, thus turning any attempt I made into a weird, jerky looking mess.

Still, that shouldn’t take away any of greatness of this little scene. She jumps in front of the exclamation point. Why? Because it’s so exciting! XD

I honestly had no idea why the heck Aika was dressed up as an old man, but thanks to Jltos appearently she’s supposed to be Hanasaka Jiisan, an old man from a folk tale who made flowers bloom. Are those supposed to be the ashes of his dog?

Yeah, still weird…

Really, if I had any complaint about this song and PV it would be that all the quick cuts made it hard to make any decent gifs. Though, I don’t think anyone would actually consider that a real demerit, instead of me just being whiny that half of my gifs turned out funny. Hopefully the dance shot versions will be a bit more stable, as I’d love to make a few gifs of the choreography; it’s really quite neat.

Oh, and it could use more Risa, but then again everything could. 😛

PS: I apologize to those of you with slow connections!

Happy (Belated) Cake Day IW! March 27, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Blog Stuff.
add a comment

I'm not much of a baker, so this will have to do!

On Friday International Wota celebrated their 4th Cake Day! Congratulations! Good luck on your fifth year!

Now, unfortunately Nights4Blogging didn’t win best new blog, but I must say it still was quite the honor just to be nominated. I was up against some pretty stiff competition, and I’d like to give my congratulations to all those that won!

I did manage to win third place in the “I Wonder What Idol Flesh Tastes Like” writing contest though! The rules were to, “in fifty words or less, describe how you would serve a Japanese idol of your choice as a meal and why you chose this specific recipe for this specific idol.” That’s a bit odd of a premise, eh? Now, I have a bad habit of being rather verbose and using what can at best be described as “convoluted” sentence structures, so 50 words was quite the challenge! Here was my entry:

Momoiro Ayaya Peach Pudding:
You’ll want to use only the finest canned peaches, and definitely no cucumbers or cabbages. Add copious pink food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup to taste; a little extra sweetness never hurt anybody.

Classic Ayaya is sweet, pink, and a bit quirky. There’s no finer indulgence.

I made a bit of an obscure reference to a scene from the ♡Momoiro Kataomoi♡ PV, so I made sure to at least reference the song in the name of the dish!

Also, International Wota is running a charity auction for those effected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Several bloggers have donated goods to the event, and all proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross. The auctions will take place through eBay, and shipping costs will even be covered in the price. If you’d like to see what’s being auctioned off, you can click on the animated logo there on the right side.

SKE48 – Bonzai Venus March 23, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in AKB48, Jpop.
Tags: ,

Up to this point I don’t think I’ve ever even mentioned SKE48, the AKB48 expansion from Nagoya, on my blog. This is primarily because nothing of theirs has really caught my attention.

That is, until now.

Their latest single “Bonzai Venus” went on sale earlier this month, and here is a snippet from its PV:

Now THAT is an awesome PV!

The huge mass of people in the background is a fantastic addition to a fun and upbeat song like “Bonzai Venus.” Usually in the PVs you only get to see the girls themselves having fun with the song. Here you see everyone. Ever. 😀 I really do think it is a fun addition, and definitely something I wouldn’t mind seeing again in more PVs!

What makes it all that much cooler though, is that the majority of those aren’t just run of the mill extras. Nope, they’re actual fans!  According to TokyoHive fans were allowed to register to be an extra online, and 1000 were actually used in the PV. How cool is that? I know the AKB48 style prides themselves on being closer with their fans, and in this case I really do think it’s neat that they get to play a role in something as big as a PV.

However, I do have one complaint to make. There are over 1000 people dancing in that shopping center, and they couldn’t put all of the SKE48 girls into the shot? Really? I believe the front girls are determined by fan votes (if I’m wrong correct me down in the comments sections), but I imagine the others could have been shoved in the back without doing much harm. Heck, its not like you can make out the girls dancing in the back row anyway.

H!P on Hold March 19, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop.

Due to the effects of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami many of the H!P events scheduled for the latter part of this March and early April have been postponed or outright cancelled. This includes virtually all radio and television appearances, and even concerts, albums and singles.  Although, in a sign of steadfastness, it appears that Berryz Kobo’s newest album 7 Berryz Times will keep its original release date of March 30th. Hello!SayuNii has compiled a list of all such changes.

While I certainly understand (and actually agree with) these delays and cancellations I can’t help but think how hard it must be on the girls themselves, especially for the Ninth Generation and Kikka. These girls were set to actually have their debuts during this time, and unfortunately luck wasn’t with them. Hopefully once things start to stabilize and a return to normalcy can ensue these girls will get their debuts to an audience looking for something cheerful to put a smile on their faces, a task I’m sure they’ll be able to accomplish.

In a bit of brighter news, Tsunku’s third child was just born on the 16th. Even though the baby girl was born two weeks early she seems to be in excellent health. Congratulations!

Idol Retrospective: 3 Inch CD Single March 13, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Idol Retrospective, Jpop.
Tags: ,

While conditions in Japan are still looking quite grim from the effects of the Sendai earthquake (especially with the diminishing condition of the Fukushima nuclear power plant), I imagine the best thing I can do on my blog is to just try and post like normal. Honestly, the words I write here can’t help search for survivors or prevent a meltdown from occurring. What they can do is provide me a bit of escapism, and hopefully a bit for you as well. And because of this, I will continue to write.

For those who are interested Dreamtiny has constructed a list of all Hello! Project members that have been verified as safe.

Additionally, CNN has created a guide on how you can provide aid to the victims if you wish to do so.

For those of you that have been reading my blog for a bit might have noticed that I’ve taken a definite liking to Moritaka Chisato over the last couple of months or so. Well a few weeks ago I saw a copy of “Watashi ga Obasan ni Natte mo” come up for sale on eBay. This is easily one of my favorite songs off of ROCK ALIVE so I thought, “Why not?” and placed a low bid.

And as luck would have it, I won.

I admit that I’ve been pretty curious about the old single format for a while now. I remember when I was just beginning to get into Jpop with Matsuura Aya there was a store in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles that had a pretty large selection of the 3inch CDs, but since none of those had anything to do with Aya I didn’t really care… ^^; Unfortunately, they’ve since been out of business for a few years now.

The singles themselves come in what’s called a “snap-pack,” and they’re actually pretty cool.

Size comparison with typical modern CD single - Front

The best way I can describe it would be like a flip cover, or maybe one of those police badge holders. The “snap-pack” is enclosed in a reasonably thick, but flexible plastic case to protect the paper cover. The actual CD and lyrics insert are held in-place with a hard plastic insert.

Size comparison with typical modern CD single - Disc

This copy even included the original 19 year old mail-in card, though I have a nagging suspicion that it probably wouldn’t do any good to send it in now.

Needless to say, that disc is pretty tiny. It looks quite odd when placing it into my CD player, as if I’m trying to use the wrong media in it. It does play just fine in my tray-based players, though. I certainly wouldn’t try it in a slot or file-type player for fear of damaging the disc and/or hardware.

Also of note is the fact that the disc only contains two tracks: the title track, and a B-side. No karaoke or instrumental versions here.

So, what about the song itself? Personally, I find it quite charming. Moritaka’s voice is quite sweet, and even the lyrics are quite cute. I admit that the B-side, “Jitensha Tsuugaku” is a little bland, though. Compared to the album version on ROCK ALIVE the single version uses a less intrusive instrumental more heavily focused on real instruments, while the album version features a slightly more aggressive and synthetic instrumental track. While they are quite close, I do prefer the album version slightly. The song simply seems a bit more distinctive on Rock Alive.

For a bit brighter piece of news, my humble little blog has been nominated by International Wota for best new blog of 2010! This is an absolutely amazing honor, and something that I simply couldn’t have imagined happening. If you would like to vote you can go here and do so. I am certainly not going to tell you to vote for my blog, but merely want to give you the opportunity to do so if you please.

The Earthquake and Tsunami in Sendai March 11, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Uncategorized.

As I am sure most, if not all, of you already know that the Japanese city of Sendai has been hit with an magnitude 8.9 earthquake, the largest ever to affect Japan. The quake and resulting tsunamis have devastated the northern portion of the country.

Compared to most other Americans I am probably a lot more sensitive to what happens on that funny little island across the sea, but the devastation that has occurred is truly flabbergasting and should be brought to the attention of all. Watching buildings shake, cars being tossed around like children’s toys, and entire buildings floating across farm land while aflame is truly surreal. It’s almost like watching scenes out of a big budget action movie, except here there is no real-life Snake Plissken to save the day.

I admit that when I first heard the news my thoughts immediately went to the safety of my favorite idols. Fortunately, most if not all of them appear to be safe. I would like to extend my condolences to all of Japan. I hope you and all of your loved ones are safe and for a speedy recovery.

Previews of “Maji desu ka SUKA!” and “Kikkake wa YOU!” March 6, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Kikkawa You, Morning Musume.
add a comment

I want to apologize for another (very nearly) post-less week. My senior design project is due soon (actually 17 hours from now) so I’ve been spending a lot of time on that. Technically, I’m completely done except for final assembly, but that in and of itself is going to be quite a respectable amount of work. But this isn’t the place to talk about such mundane and depressing things, is it? Let’s wota out a bit, shall we?

“Maji desu ka SUKA!”

When I first heard this song I was actually rather indifferent towards it. I certainly didn’t dislike it, but at the same time it wasn’t really anything special. After every subsequent listen I find myself liking it a bit more, though. It’s definitely a fun, happy song, and actually strikes me as a combination of “Appare Kaiten Zushi!” and “Koko ni Iruzee!” Something I find hard to complain about. 😀

I like the mild-emphasis on the ninth gen as well, it gives them just enough to stand out a bit. I do mean mild too, as this may be the most even distribution of lines of any recent Morning Musume single. Everyone gets two solo lines? Madness I say! More seriously though, while I don’t mind letting some members have their time in the spotlight occasionally, it’s nice to see the emphasis on the group rather than a few individuals this time around.

I also rather like the new group photo. The new members seem to fit in fairly naturally. Well, save for Ikuta. For some reason she doesn’t seem all too happy there. I wonder if that was on purpose?

“Kikkake wa YOU!”

The first thing I want to say is that that yellow checkerboard pattern on her dress is the exact same pattern as the linoleum in my kitchen that was installed in 1956. She definitely wears that pattern quite a bit better than my counter tops, though!

While I still think that “Kikkake wa YOU!” is probably the weakest of her material, it is still a nice fun song, if a bit generic so far. I’m really looking forward to getting a high quality preview of the entire song, as from what I can tell from the fan recordings the bridge sounds pretty neat and unique.

The PV itself is also looking to be quite solid. I absolutely adore the close-up and dance-shot scenes where she’s in her yellow dress in front of the retro polka dot wall. Her facial expressions are very emotive, and an absolute joy to watch. I really do hope Universal gives us dance and close-up versions of the PV a la Hello! Project, though, honestly I have no idea if or how Universal releases PV’s.

There is one bit about the PV that I don’t really enjoy, and that’s when they show Kikka playing with the toys in the “playroom” area. I don’t really mind the xylophone, but the maracas and the teddy bears I think are a little much. Personally, when I saw the maracas the first thing that came to my mind were rattlers. Now I like my idols to be cute just as much as the next wota, but infantile is just a little too much. Still, this is just a minor compliant about a personal pet peeve and really isn’t anything so serious as to ruin what is looking to be a fine PV.

Later Days!