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J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL 2013 August 16, 2013

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop.

Hey everybody, guess who is actually still around? 😉 Yes, the Atlanta write-ups are still coming, just at a pace that would make plate tectonics look like SCCA Can-Am…

A few weeks ago I attended J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL 2013 in surprisingly cold and dreary San Fransisco. Instead of having mounds of prose to describe the event here are some pictures:


Here you can see Uozumi Yuki and Miyazawa Marin (along with beat-boxer DAICHI) doing a sound-check on the Peace Plaza stage on the morning of the 27th.


The 27th was overcast the entire day and actually rather cold. Marin doesn’t look to be enjoying the weather too much.


LoVendoЯ’s first event of the day was a Q&A session that unfortunately consisted entirely of predetermined questions. It was still enjoyable, and quite nice to see the girls so up close.

Click past the break to see pictures from the rest of the event, including both of LoVendoЯ’s live performances!


Kikkawa You at Anime Weekend Atlanta (Part 1) October 31, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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Preface: This post is taking so long to write that I decided to split it up into three parts: the first two days, the second two days, and my reflections on the event. Sorry for the wait everyone! m(_ _)m

In the weeks and days before I left for Atlanta I was progressively getting more and more excited. I’m a big fan of Kikka, and while I’ve seen and interacted with several other idols beforehand, never were they ones I was already really into. I was a casual fan of Morning Musume and Mano-chan when I saw them in Los Angeles, and I attended AKB48’s concert mostly out of curiosity and convenience. But Kikka? I was already smitten with the girl, and was going in with preconceptions that I was afraid that neither she nor the event would be able to live up to. Boy was I wrong.

It is truly a rare occurance when something comes along that blows away all of your expectations so completely that you are almost left in a complete daze after it ends. Kikkawa You’s visit to Atlanta, Georgia was just one of those events for me.

To be fair I’ve been putting off my write-up about this event for a while now. Sure, part of it is that I’ve been busy desperately trying to get caught back up at work, but mostly I’ve simply been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do the event justice.

Better late than never, lets get this show on the road!


A Post About AWA is Coming Soon… October 17, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Eye Candy, Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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My write-up about seeing Kikka at AWA is coming soon, I swear! I’m still trying to catch up on work, and have just generally been pretty darn tired. Sorry. 😦

To try and hold you over for the next couple of days, take a gander at the LE cover of Kikka’s new cover album Vocalist?

Boy howdy, does she look stunning! This glamour style shot is certainly a departure from her previous covers, but I’m certainly not minding the change!

It seems the album is shaping up quite nicely in a sonic sense as well. Apparently any fears of her voice being entirely auto-tuned into oblivion can be laid to rest. Oh, and as a bit of a spoiler, she also sang that very song at AWA. And it was glorious.

Risa in The Matenrou Show?! September 10, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Niigaki Risa.
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So there’s a new Hello! Project themed pachinko machine coming out featuring past and present Morning Musume members plus Sotada Mai and Matsuura Aya (yay! Glad to see her doing… something?) as hostesses in Tsunku’s club. Which, to be fair, sounds like an idea that would print money in real-life. Actually, I’m kind of surprised Tsunku hasn’t tried his hand at hostess clubs yet, seeing how he even has his own maid cafe.

All of that is fine and dandy, but what concerns me now is a little clip from that machine’s promotional video showing Risa sing The Matenrou Show alongside Sayu and Reina:*


She really sounds great in that song, which is all the more shame that she didn’t get to officially participate in that release. I don’t care if this is released on DVD, CD, cassette, 8-track, or even Edison cylinder, MAKE IT HAPPEN UFA!

* For those who are not aware, Risa graduated from Morning Musume after their 49th single, Renai Hunter. One Two Three / The Matenrou Show, Morning Musume’s 50th single, came out after her graduation, and thus no version of this song containing her vocals was known, or even thought to, exist.

Less Than a Month Until AWA! August 30, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
Tags: , , ,

Yup, not even a month until Kikka’s American debut, and I’m getting almost uncomfortably excited! Not only to see Kikka, which is and of itself an understandably huge part of it, but just for the chance to travel. Throughout my 23 or so years on this rock I’ve never been more than 400 miles away from what I had considered home. I haven’t even been on an airplane. So, needless to say, this will be a vastly new experience for me. Sure, someday I’d like to visit Japan to see an idol concert there and generally weeaboo out, so doing the same in Atlanta seems like a nice first step.

Ha! Flying to Atlanta to, “see an idol concert there and generally weeabo out,” seems a little counter intuitive! 😀

Her English isn’t too bad, especially the shouting. 😉

Switching topics a bit, it has been revealed that the coupling track for Kikka’s new single “Darling to Madonna” will be a cover of Moritaka Chisato’s “Watashi ga Obasan ni Natte mo.” As one of my absolute favorite Moritaka songs, I’m a little apprehensive about how this will turn out. On one hand, it might turn out ABOSLUTELYFRIGG’NAWESOME. Which would be pretty good, I guess. Or not. I think I’m just afraid of being disappointed. Still, Kikka’s version of 17sai turned out pretty well, so I’m probably fretting over nothing.

One thing that certainly isn’t disappointing is the LE A cover! Sure, the others aren’t bad either (even the prerequisite anime tie-in one), but the LE A takes the cake for me. That leaning pose, the neon colors, the superfluous guitar (she had previously mentioned that her manager was teaching her to play it, though I seriously doubt we’ll ever hear her play it in a release), heck I even like the type face! For me it’s definitively a big improvement over the covers of her last two singles.

Mano Erina to Graduate From Hello! Project July 22, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Blog Stuff, Hello! Project, Jpop, Mano Erina.
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As I’m sure you all know by now, Mano Erina is going to graduate from Hello! Project on February 23rd. You can read translations of the official announcements here.

I must say I’m surprised to see that H!P is letting go of their only soloist. Her career seemed pretty solid as her sales were always decent and she still has her youth. Judging by the official comments it seems she just wants out of the idols business and to take a different turn in her career.

Mano has always been a bit of a sore topic for me as I’ve always felt that I’ve wanted more from her. While I won’t deny that she has grown into an impressive performer over the years, she has yet to really bring the whole package together. Her singing never matured to a point that I’d like to see, and I’ve never felt that she has ever really had a “great” song. Sure, she has had some “good” songs, heck, even a few great PV’s but no singular release that I can point to and go, “Yup, that’s why Manoeri is such a great idol.”

The frustrating thing is that I have no doubt she is capable of it. She already has most of the pieces, I just hope by the time of her graduation she can complete the puzzle. It would be a crying shame otherwise.

In more upbeat news: NEW HEADERS! After more than two years of using the same header, Isilie was kind enough to make some new ones for me. I’ll be rotating them every couple of days so keep a look out for them!

Morning Musume’s “One Two Three / The Matenrou Show” Breaks 100,000 Copies Sold! July 10, 2012

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

To help but that in perspective, Momusu hasn’t broken 100k total sales for a single since 2004, and One Two Three has only been on sale for a single week!

Holy cow!

To say that this is an impressive feat is almost an understatement. I mean, this thing is even out-selling Golden Age Morning Musume releases! It’s almost sacrilegious. 😀

It’s a great release, as isilwentari does a fantastic job of showing, so I certainly think it’s deserved. One certainly can’t argue that all the new blood that Morning Musume has recently taken on has significantly freshened the group’s image up a bit.

I’d love to see this awesome momentum keep going, but I can’t help but be a little pessimistic. Nanchatte Renai, (Momusu’s 40th Anniversary single, and talk about a change in style!) also had exaggerated sales compared to those that came before and after it. On the bright side though, despite the drop it did signal a slight uptick in single sales afterwards!

Also, not to mention that Morning Musume’s 50th single also marks 50 consecutive top 10 singles, a record in the Japanese music industry!

Happy 26th Birthday Matsuura Aya! June 25, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Matsuura Aya.

Photo courtesy of the Matsuurian

I’ll be the first to admit that Ayaya’s 26th year on this planet certainly hasn’t been the best, personally or professionally, but all was not lost. Her Maniac Live event at the Akasaka Blitz (at which the above photo was taken) was absolutely fantastic and proved that she is still as good as she ever was!


Happy 26th Aya!


Kikkawa You is Going to Atlanta June 10, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
Tags: ,

…which means I am too… ><

On the 8th during Berryz Kobo's events at AnimeNEXT the above flyer was distributed, and since I pulled that particular copy directly from UpFrontLink I think we can safely assume it’s official.

I’m pretty torn about this. On one hand I’m absolutely psyched I’ll get a chance to see her live and most likely get an autograph (as seems to be the custom at these events held at anime conventions), but on the other hand I’m a little pissed I have to go all the way to Georgia to do so. Georgia is clear on the other side of the continent compared to where I live, but as luck would have it, still only about 40% as expensive as a trip to Japan.

So, how about, any of you guys going to be heading out there too? The combination of really reasonable airfare, the convenience of an English speaking environment (getting around by myself in Japan is a thought that really does scare me a bit), and the fact that since this event takes place over a weekend I only have to take a few days off work make it an opportunity I can’t pass up.

Also, on the plus side, at least I don’t have to go to New Jersey 😀

UPDATE: Kikka is now officially listed on the Anime Weekend Atlanta guests list. Apparently she will be, “performing live on stage, have multiple autograph sessions, and will be participating in a variety of panels throughout the weekend.” Oh yeah, I’m psyched! 🙂

Moritaka Chisato’s 25th Anniversary! May 25, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Other Idols.
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Twenty five years ago today Moritaka Chisato debuted with the single New Season:

Ahh, look at that hair! So very, very big!

To be perfectly honest with you 25 years seems like a lifetime to me, which is fitting seeing how her debut was a little more than a year before my birth… 😉

While she has been fairly quiet since the late nineties, it seems that she and her staff are pulling no stops in celebrating this milestone, including a full-force assault on nearly every social media outlet. You can now “Like” her on Facebook (or Google+ if you’re into that kind of thing), follow her staffs’ tweets, or subscribe to her on Youtube! Heck even her personal website has been given a fresh coat of paint (which is saying a lot because I always thought it was already especially spiffy for a Japanese entertainer)!

What has me most excited though, is her new Youtube Channel! Standing in front of the now infamous bridge over the Watarase River, Moritaka introduces her new “200 Songs Self Cover Project:”

This project will consist of video clips, live performances and commentaries on nearly every song she released from 1987 to 1999!

I mean, wow! How frigg’n amazing is that? I can barely even comprehend the scale of such an undertaking.

Oh, and if all that weren’t enough for you, she’s also releasing The Singles, which is, fittingly enough, a complete collection of all of her singles. And in the fall a commentary collection taken from interviews all throughout her career. And by the end of the year an album box set containing remastered versions of her previous albums. And by this time next year a Blu-Ray box set.

I don’t know about you, but that is how you celebrate a 25th anniversary properly!

I think it’s fair to say that Moritaka Chisato is back. Sure, she might just be riding the nostalgia train, but I’m more than okay with that. Heck, I’ve already got my first class ticket in hand! 😀