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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!



Less Than a Month Until AWA! August 30, 2012

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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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.

Preview of Kikkawa You’s Second single “Hapirapi ~Sunrise~” July 17, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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Getting a preview of Kikka’s second single in less than 24 hours? Could I have been any more right about that in my last post? Heck, we don’t get just a preview but also a release date, September 21st (a fantastic early birthday present, I might add). Well, enough gloating (I was plenty wrong about other stuff as well, which I’ll get into below), and take a gander at the promotional spot for Hapirapi ~Sunrise~, Kikkawa You’s second single:

I must must say, it looks promising.

First of all, the PV looks like it’s going to be amazing. For a Summery song it makes sense to shoot it outdoors, and if the footage seen here is any indication it’s going to be spectacularly beautiful. A bit of over-saturation, a conscious use of lens flair, and a bit of a soft focus all combine together to make the whole imagery seem slightly dreamlike. As for Kikka’s fashion and hair, it seems their keeping things simple and feminine like in Kikkake wa You!, a rather wise choice.

Enough about the PV, how about the song itself? I like it, but I’m not blown away by it. It seems sweet and happy, and that’s nice, but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed that it’s not a bit more demanding of her vocally to show off her talents a bit more. But wait! We may still get a more impressive song out of these release because there are going to be three different coupling songs released over FIVE different editions!

★初回限定盤A 【DVD付き:「ハピラピ~Sunrise~」 Music Video】 \1,500(tax in) UPCH-9676
★初回限定盤B 【c/w:「Love you forever」】  \1,000(tax in) UPCH-9677
★初回限定盤C 【c/w:「水色」】  \1,000(tax in) UPCH-9678
★初回限定盤D 【c/w:「Sweetie」】  \1,000(tax in) UPCH-9679
★通常盤 【c/w:「ハピラピ~Sunrise~(REMIX)」】  \1,000(tax in) UPCH-5718

Five editions, holy cow! Come on Universal, why must you take all of my money?

More seriously though, Love you forever and Mizuiro (Version C coupling song, aka light blue) both seem to have the potential to be a bit more powerful songs for her, but we’ll have to wait and see.

In my last post I suggested that her PB and image DVD might have been launched to help promote this single (which still might be slightly valid, as there is obvious cross promotion going on in that commercial), but with an entire month between the release dates I now find this to be slightly less probable. Now, I’m thinking this might be a ploy to simply keep a steady stream of goods coming out to keep interest up. Even though she debuted with her movie, it only came to DVD this month (in three different versions, no less) next month she gets her DVD and PB, and the month after a new single. The very nearly one month pacing might very well be a pattern.

Also, does anyone else now have a strong urge to buy some MDR-CD900STs?

New Releases Coming From Kikkawa You! July 16, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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That’s right, it’s been recently announced that Kikka will have a simultaneous release of her first photobook and image DVD on the 17th of August.

DVD Cover

Both YOU! (the photobook) and YOU! ~The DVD~ (the umm, DVD) were shot in Okinawa. According to the photobook’s description, apparently there will be quite a few swimsuit pictures. I guess we’ll be seeing quite a bit more of Kikka come August! 😀

Photobook Cover

She’s also announced her second single via her Kikka mail (which by the way, you should totally sign up for if you already haven’t)! Titled Hapirapi ~Sunrise~, a release date has yet to be set, but with any luck we might be able to get a preview of it in the next 24 hours. How is that you may ask? She is scheduled to open the tomorrow’s Hello! Project Summer Concert with this new song! I totally hope we can get some good fan-recordings!

I must say, I am a little surprised at how fast she’s getting a photobook and DVD. I’ve always thought that these image releases were more or less a cheap way to make quick money off an established idol (although I must say it’s not like they aren’t appreciated ;D). True, she is not exactly new to the idol arena, but she will have only a solitary single (and corresponding movie) to her credit by the time these are released. I don’t know, maybe it just seems a little rushed to me?

Thinking more about it, this could possibly be a very good sign of things to come. While the release date for her next single has yet to be actually announced, it most likely will be some time near 8/17, thus roughly corresponding with her DVD and photobook. Remember, her first single launched along side a movie. Maybe her management is trying to pair all of her musical releases with some other kind of auxiliary content in order to drive interest? Certainly a neat thought.

Either way though, hopefully this DVD will be more than just a photobook making-of with 10 minutes of interview time edited in. It should be the other way around! A DVD full of activities and interviews with 10 minutes of photobook making-of edited in! Seriously, the recent image DVD’s from Hello! Project have all been a pretty big disappointment 😦 Maybe since Kikka is under Universal as a label, a different staff will be in charge? One can only hope.

How You Can Show Your Support for Kikkawa You February 22, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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As Kikka has yet to officially debut, the best thing we can do to support her would be to join the official “Kikkawa You Support Project.” Since it only takes a few minutes and costs nothing to sign up I think all fans should join!

Ahh, the only problem is that the registration process is entirely in Japanese and a little hard to follow. No problem, though! Just follow the handy guide below!

Image and Instructions are courtesy of H!O’s NaoCAN.Do・∀・it:

  1. The first step is to send off an email so that you can receive a registration link. Format your email as follows:
    • To: kikkawa_resp@kikkawa-you.jp
    • Subject: [You can leave this blank]
    • Body: このまま送信ください。
  2. You should very shortly receive an email back. It will contain a single link, click it, and you will be taken to your registration page. It will look like this:

  3. For Sex, male is on the left, and female is on the right. The locations are all cities in Japan, so you can choose whichever one you wish. I chose Tokyo, but it doesn’t really matter. Your ID should just be your email address. Once you are done, simply hit the “確認” button to be taken to the next page.

  4. You should now be at a confirmation screen. Click the top “登録” button to confirm that this information is correct, or the lower button to make a correction.
  5. Congratulations! You’re done!

So, what do you get for all your hard work? Well besides the satisfaction of supporting a promising idol on her road to a major debut, you get access to her fan site, and will receive her email updates. The fan site itself isn’t too exciting as it is entirely in Japanese and made for use on their cellphones, which means the site is very narrow and looks rather odd on a PC. The email updates are a far more interesting benefit, though. These emails are essentially Kikka’s blog, and she’ll send you news, updates on her day, and all the other things you would expect to see on an idol’s blog. This of course includes cute pictures!

C'mon, who wouldn't want to see that in their email inbox?

Everyone please show your support for Kikka by signing up!