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Merry Christmas! December 25, 2012

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Merry Christmas and a happy new year everybody!

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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! 😀

The Korean Wave Hits American Shores February 2, 2012

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So apparently Girls’ Generation performed on David Letterman last night, and Live! with Kelly this morning.

Wait, WHAT?

For those who aren’t familiar with American television those are two very mainstream talk shows (one airs in the morning, the other late at night). Maybe it’s because I’ve been living under a rock or something, but wow, I did not see this coming. It’s not just Girls’ Generation either, as apparently the Wonder Girls are getting their own fictional movie about their quest for fame in New York on Nickelodeon (a cable network that airs content made specifically for children to teens). Oh, and it airs tomorrow evening. It certainly looks to one heck of a swell to me.

Now I don’t really have much interest in Kpop, as one could probably surmise seeing as this is the first time I’ve ever even mentioned it here, but it would certainly be a neat thing to see the Kpop girl groups catch on here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., if for nothing more than to bring Asian pop music more into the general consciousnesses. Even if just to the point where the possibility of stateside concerts not tied to some type of cultural event is actually a feasible option.

Realistically speaking, though, the Kpop and Jpop girl groups are miles apart in terms of sound and image. In their performance on David Letterman Girls’ Generation comes off as mature, stylish and sexy. This is what flies in America. Morning Musume, for example goes for cute (not saying that they can’t do sexy too, but more generally speaking). Here in the states it’s hard to market anything aggressively cute to anybody other than young girls. More damning though, is the fact that Girls’ Generation can manage to sing in fluent English with an American accent. Morning Musume? Notsomuch. The fact of the matter is that Americans simply won’t bother with music they don’t understand, and for better or for worse, Girls’ Generation’s “The Boys” sounds just like any other hip-hop song, save for the fact it’s sung by nine girls who do a darn good job of hiding their South Korean origin.

Then there is just the ugly truth about it all. With the Wonder Girls’ movie airing on Nickelodeon it’s fair to say they might be aimed heavily at the pre-teen crowd. Err… I guess whatever gets their foot in the door, right?

Do I think the Kpop groups will be successful here in the states? I really can’t say. They are well prepared though, more so than I think any attempt before them. Where acts like Pink Lady have failed, Girls’ Generation and the Wonder Girls bring an American friendly image and excellent English skills. No matter how it plays out, it’ll be an interesting set of events to watch for sure.

As for Regis Philbin?

He’s already been swept away by the current 😀

PASSPO☆ – Kiss = Suki January 28, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Other Idols.
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Today I wanted to talk about a Passpo, a group I’ve never covered here before on Nights4Blogging!

I’ve listened to a few of their songs previously, but I never was all that impressed. Then about mid-December (yeah, I’ve been meaning to make this post for quite a while now… ^^;) I saw the PV for their newest songs “Kiss = Suki,” and I must say I was reasonably impressed.

Everything about the song is just fun. The melody is fun (not to mention how catchy the chorus is), the choreography is fun, and I love the visual presentation!

Passpo’s gimmick, so to speak, is the airline theme. This is pretty obvious in the PV with the cute stewardess uniforms and the airport background. This theme goes far beyond that, though. For example, instead of having a leader and sub-leader they have a “Captain” and “Cheif Purser” (aka: head stewardess), events are referred to as “Flights,” and the multiple versions of their singles are split into Business, First and Economy classes.

It’s a neat idea, and I certainly appreciate the cute uniforms that it entails itself to. I have to say I imagine that it could potentially get a little stale after a while. Still, from what I have seen of them,I can’t complain.

Iwamura Natsumi obviously graduated from the "Michishige School of Trying Way Too Hard to be Cute and Succeeding"

Generally speaking, I couldn’t call these girls quite as talented as maybe some of the other larger idol groups. Their dancing isn’t as tight, and I can’t say I noticed any really strong vocalists in the group. Though, to discount them because of that would be completely unfair. The fact of the matter is that for what they are trying to accomplish, here cute idol pop, they are all competent, and work together perfectly well. The final product here is more than solid in fact. Also, who is to say that they won’t grow in talent in the future? This will definitely be a group I’ll keep an eye on.

Out of the whole group one girl did catch my eye. Negishi Ai (on the far right above) is the Captain of the group, and really quite beautiful.

She also provided the perfect way to end this post 😀