Iroppoi Twilight Game

For those who like H!P ^_^, plus a learning experience!

H!P Profile: Aya Matsuura

Wow! Here we are with one of the most well-known H!P members in Aya Matsuura!  She actually came from the same auditions as Ami Kitagami and Ibuki Oki won (Sheki-Dol).  Though she got the solo career but debuted later than they did surprisingly enough.  She’s done a lot for H!P in the means of sub-group and shuffles which were some of her biggest points besides her amazing solo career.  She lasted all the way up to the Elder Club graduation and still managed to release things for a while and now she’s on break.  It’s so amazing to see lol.

Style of Music: She was your pop idol basically.  I mean the previous solo artists were kind of in fields where it wasn’t too popular with the young crowd (minus Michiyo perhaps…Miyoshi was gone by this time).  Ayaya really was everywhere on the map for her music.  HOWEVER, by the time her 4th album, “Naked Songs” was released she suddenly switched from happy energetic songs to more of a mature and lighter feel which did turn some people away but she has an upbeat song here and there, just not at the level her first three albums were.

Discography

Singles

  • Dokki Doki! LOVE Mail
  • Tropica~l Koishite~ru
  • LOVE Namida Iro
  • 100kai no KISS
  • ♡Momoiro Kataomoi♡
  • Yeah! Meccha Holiday
  • The Bigaku
  • Sougen no Hito
  • Ne~e?
  • GOOD BYE Natsuo
  • THE LAST NIGHT
  • Kiseki no Kaori Dance.
  • Hyacinth
  • YOUR SONG ~Seishun Sensei~
  • Watarasebashi
  • Tensai! LET’S GO Ayayamu (Collaboration with Ecohamuzu)
  • Zutto Suki de Ii Desu ka
  • Ki ga Tsukeba Anata
  • Suna wo Kamu You ni…NAMIDA
  • Egao
  • Kizuna
  • Chocolate Damashii

Albums

  • First Kiss
  • T.W.O
  • ×3
  • Matsuura Aya Best 1 (best album)
  • Naked Songs
  • Double Rainbow
  • Omoi Afurete
  • Click You Link Me
  • Matsuura Aya 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST (best album)

I had to include this because Ayaya is known for wacky PVs and fun stuff and GOOD BYE Natsuo is one of those unforgetable songs.  Though she has many from her first three albums.

This song here is Ayaya’s last single before she graduated and that’s Chocolate Damashii.  It’s prolly her most upbeat song since “Kiseki no Kaori Dance. LOL

Top 10 Favorite Songs

  • GOOD BYE Natsuo
  • Kiseki no Kaori Dance.
  • Sougen no Hito
  • Watarasebashi
  • Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! MY DEAR FRIENDS~ (album song from “First Kiss”)
  • SHINE MORE (album song from “T.W.O)
  • I know (B-side from “The Bigaku”)
  • Enkyori no Ren’ai (B-side from “♡Momoiro Kataomoi♡”)
  • Dokki Doki! LOVE Mail
  • Yeah! Meccha Holiday

Other Things to Mention?:

Besides Rika-chan, she has done the most under H!P…butt tons of sub-groups and one-single units alongside the shuffles…she was busy.

I personally think she was the most popular of the soloists (might be next to Nacchi but I think Ayaya did better.

Overall: Getting into H!P’s most well-known soloist was daunting but I can see easily why she was popular.  Her music was great and gave Ayaya such a fun career.  Now I don’t know what happened after “Kiseki no Kaori Dance.” but she all of a sudden ditched her upbeat and bubbly/quirky side with this HEAVILY mature side and every single after it was just ballad central minus “Ki ga Tsukeba Anata” and “Chocolate Damashii”…it’s like she hit a brick wall and got forgetful..It was like that spark in her was gone for some reason and I wanted something super random and fun like the old Ayaya but that didn’t happen.  She still is an amazing singer and I hope she comes back strong!

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H!P Profiles: Minimoni / Shin Minimoni

1st Lineup L to R: Mika Todd, Ai Kago, Mari Yaguchi, and Nozomi Tsuji

Wow…the oh-so famous Minimoni right?  Well Minimoni was actually an idea thought of by Marippe when she thought to make a group consisting of members that are 4’11” or shorter in height which eluded to Aibon and Nono to be added as well.  After performing a little bit in concerts Mika was added and we got the full team!  This quartet went on for quite a long time and is mostly the lineup everyone thinks of when the name is mentioned.  7 singles and an album together, these four were essentially one of the most well-known sub-groups for all the weird reasons.  They were a rowdy group (well Tsuji and Kago was against Marippe).  However, 2002 came and Mari was going to graduate from Minimoni to front ZYX but before she left they made a movie pertaining on how she leaves and how we ended up with the next lineup.

2nd Lineup L to R: Nozomi Tsuji, Ai Takahashi, Ai Kago, Mika Todd

When the movie came out it seemed like Takitty would actually replace Mari in the group but the leader position was handed off to Mika.  Now the way the singles were handed were a little unusual because Ai was involved in “Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song” but wasn’t involved in the Minihamuzu single after that and then started as a full member on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kenchoushozaichi ~Oboechaina Series!~.  Couple more singles were release (4 more after the previously mentioned song and an album) and then Mika Todd announced her graduation from H!P and the group went into hiatus.

Shin Minimoni L to R: Akari Takeuchi, Kanon Fukuda, Linlin, Karin Miyamoto

That is until the revival units of 2009 appeared and Minimoni was brought back from the dead with new ladies.  We have at the time Kanon who was just starting her career with S/mileage and Linlin who was in Morning Musume together and then future S/mileage member Akari Takeuchi and STILL H!P Kenshuusei (then Hello! Pro Egg) member, Karin Miyamoto.  They weren’t meant to stay together for long, released two tracks and went under (Linlin graduted).

Style of Music: Minimoni first generation was definitely geared at children especially the first couple of singles.  It was different genres yes, but they were heavily genki and child-like.  They also went by Minihamuzu also (which was they’re Hamtaro-shtick for a couple of singles) as well.  It came to a head with Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song when 4KIDS and Takitty were involved and that was freaky…but then again, the previous single “Ai~n Taisou / Ai~n! Dance no Uta” was also beyond freaky XD.  It was different from ANYTHING before this.

Once Takitty joined the group, things went in so many directions.  Added to the childish nature of the group, Minimoni’s first two singles were actually educational songs and those were quite unusual and not really what I would perceive as Minimoni.  However, the final two singles (disregarding the Minihamuzu single) were mature and hip-hop friendly…something that’s SOOO far away from Minimoni’s shtick.  It wasn’t what I expected but it’s cool I guess.

Shin Minimoni’s style was more of going back to the good ole days when it was cute and catchy songs which works.  Though I can’t seem to fathom why Linlin was in the group because it was just kind of out of left field but they did need an “outsider” so I guess it was her or Junjun.

Discography

Singles

  • Minimoni. Jankenpyon! / Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu Daisukki!
  • Minimoni. Telephone! Rin Rin Rin / Minimoni. Bus Guide
  • Minihamuzu no Ai no Uta (first single as Minihamuzu)
  • Minimoni. Hinamatsuri / Mini. Strawberry~ Pie
  • Ai~n Taisou / Ai~n! Dance no Uta (collaboration with Bakatono-sama)
  • Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song / Okashi Tsukutte Okkasui~! (first single with Ai T., collaboration with 4KIDS)
  • Minihamuzu no Kekkon Song
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Kenchoushozaichi ~Oboechaina Series!~
  • Minimoni. Kazoe Uta ~Ofuru Version~ / Minimoni. Kazoe Uta ~Date Version~
  • CRAZY ABOUT YOU
  • Mirakururun Grand Purin! / Pi~hyara Kouta (collaboration with Natsumi Abe, final Minihamuzu single)
  • Lucky Cha Cha Cha!

Albums

  • Together! -Tanpopo, Petit, Mini, Yuko- (joint release)
  • Minimoni Song Daihyakka 1 Kan
  • Minimoni Songs 2

I decided to put up Ai~n Dance no Uta up to show the first generation because while it’s not the group’s most popular song, it shows how random and crazy these girls are when they were active as Minimoni.

With the second lineup I was more inclined to show the immediate change the group’s sound went through when Ai-chan was added.  It was pretty absurd and leaving the “child/educational” songs for this was a wake-up call to Minimoni’s fans!

I can’t believe that Shin Minimoni never really performed Tentoumushi no Samba.  Anyways, this is Pen Pen Kyoudai and I don’t really enjoy hearing the song sung live since it’s yelled by 3/4 of the group…It does suit the group however lol.

Top 5 Favorite Songs:

  • Ai~n Dance no Uta
  • Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song
  • Vitamin Fusoku Kaishou Koukyoukyoku (album song from “Minimoni Song Daihyakka 1 Kan
  • CRAZY ABOUT YOU
  • Mini. Strawberry~ Pie

Other Things to Mention:

Well, Minimoni would be the first group/sub-group to have it’s own sub-group in Minihamuzu which is all four (and later on Ai) singing as their Hamtaro counterparts.  Even 4KIDS and Nacchi seemed to have their own character in the series.

They would also be the first group to collaborate with someone that isn’t a part of H!P (Bakatono-sama in “Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song”).

I think Minimoni is the only group that has educational songs, if I’m not mistaken…?

Unusual to take notice but the entire time of Minimoni (not the revival unit) Mika has always dressed differently against the three other members of the group…just to point out that she was American.  Isn’t that kind of racist?  I also found it weird that Linlin was also the oddball because she was Chinese while Akari, Karin, and Kanon were Japanese…VERY ODD INDEED.

Overall: Personally, I never intially got into Minimoni because they were targeted towards little kids but certain songs have a certain spark that anime groups of today seem to lack and that’s fun!  They were such an upbeat group and full of life and really did have 4 great ladies in it.  I was a little disappointed but kind of charmed during Ai-chan’s days in the group but it was like two different ideas clashed and it didn’t make sense to me…though the Minihamuzu song was to me normal Minimoni-ness.  While I love Shin Minimoni’s members, I only liked Tentoumushi no Samba…and disliked Pen Pen Kyoudai…but they brought back that youthful energy the original members had…I do miss this group amd thier songs are nostalgic and cute!

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Morning Musume PVs through the years: Before it all changes…

So here we are with the second post of MM PVs that they’ve had to celebrate their 50th single ^_^.  We will tackle four more PVs today: Daite HOLD ON ME!, Memory Seishun no Hikari, Manatsu no Kousen, and Furusato (basically the videos that were there before everything changed for the group!

 Daite HOLD ON ME!

The Song: Third single in and we have Daite HOLD ON ME! which is probably the biggest thing for the song because it isn’t totally noteworthy.  I mean no one gradated and nothing totally changed around.  It’s still Nacchi and Asuka at the forefront of the song.  OH, it is the first time we hear the members rap in the song which is cool in a way but kind of sloppy (like the song itself).  Why?  I think the vocals were all over the place and there was squeaking and it felt so busy and bunched up…Even “Summer Night Town” was tons better…

What Genre is it: Kind of like “Summer Night Town” pop but with R&B tendencies

The Premise: Once again there really isn’t any to be found in the song besides all the poutyness and cold stares XD and them actually having fun rapping XD

The Setting: I think Daite HOLD ON ME! was the total opposite to their last single actually.  I mean SNT was all sorts of blue and shit like that and now it’s red but the same thing which sorely disappointed me overall.  I mean minus the creepy stuff from SNT it’s plain and just too similar.

The Outfits: They did have more of a selection of clothing in this video between red outfits, black outfits, and white outfits…Honestly the black ones looked the best on them all ^_^.  Oh they also had casual clothes too in some of the shots that were done underground (strange…)

The Choreography: Same could be said about the choreography because there’s a little more going on than poses and stuff.  I mean they’re shimmying around and split up into two different dance groups in the chorus.  It’s still a little too laidback for them but still mature?

PV as a whole: The entire time I watched this video. I kept going back to SNT because they were so similar to one another but with different colors going on.  I kind of just don’t remember the video for that fact (not even the rapping scenes saved the video).  I just can’t get behind this PV at all lol.

Ranking: 46/74 (It’s an alright song (pretty messy and Nacchi clearly can’t sing to her strengths, but It’s a pretty good song to start the “Second Morning” era).

Memory Seishun no Hikari

The Song: Moving onto Memory Seishun no Hikari it marks as the first song to have a member graduate.  Asuka Fukuda announced that she was leaving the group and company to go back to school (which didn’t happen she kind of just ducked out of the business up until 2011).  Anyways, it was her final A-side and once again shared the spotlight with Nacchi who was clearly becoming the face of Momusu.  Personally the song did change up what we expected of them by giving us a smooth tune.  Though I didn’t know that they got a new member in a guy…WTF was that about…a male rapper?  I don’t know but the song was pretty as hell.  The only other thing I found bad was the last goodbye…that was awkward and terrible!

What Genre is it: R&B totally, there’s no doubt about it!

The Premise: I’m not sure if there’s any here as well but there were some interesting scenes (mostly Nacchi) where she’s in a room sitting on a chair and being all emo xD.  Also, there were scenes of the girls chewing gum (considering in Japan, doing that is considered rude and a little pretentious…almost yankee but not so much.

The Setting: To me, most of the video is set in an abandoned warehouse like the dance shots and the gum popping scenes and the staircase.  The only other places you really see are just infiltrated by only Nacchi and that was the close up shots with the brown AND the grey backgrounds…plus the room setting with her as well…(notice this?).  Not very interesting to be honest.

The Outfits: So here we have black sparkly dresses from them which is neat and really pretty on some of the ladies like Kaori and Sayaka’s but some wore shorter stuff and Kei-chan was wearing pants XD.  What got me though was that all the girls had so much makeup and sparkles on them, it was a little distracting…and the lipgloss was aplenty…The chewing gum parts though had more of the casual stuff but they were all black.  Though Nacchi (here we go again) had the most outfits because she had all the true solo shots and scenes…it was a bit shocking though since she had many hairstyles going.  I mean my personal favorite was when she had it just flat.  Pretty!  However, the frizz and the boyish cut weren’t too great..IMO.

The Choreography: There was less movement in the dance which was a little disappointing coming after “Daite HOLD ON ME” but for how reserved the song was and how weird a full blown dance could’ve been it was ok.  Most of the dancing came from the new members…you know the THREE GUYS in the background and as silouette’s on the wall? XD  Bizarre!

PV as a whole: I loved the whole washed out feel of the PV but I feel like they went a little too mature for this video but I don’t somehow fits the laidback glow of the song.  I mean the title kind of rounds out to be something like Memory of Youth’s Light or something and the chewing gum is like a stab at that because they’re “badasses”.  I didn’t understand the need for the guy dancers though (one of the rare times you see a GUY in a H!P PV).  Also I didn’t see the need to have the focus ALL on Nacchi because while she is the important face…it was Asuka’s final single…it didn’t seem to commemerate the fact she was leaving (yes, I know of “Never Forget”, but still c’mon)

Ranking 50/74 (I enjoy the song in parts, could’ve lived without the bad rapper and Nacchi hax in the video but it’s one of their smoothest songs so it’s good for that!  Still wish Asuka left with more prominence but what can ya do?)

Manatsu no Kousen

The Song: After losing Asuka, it was time to move forward with the 7-nin Momusu and their first song was their summer A-side with Manatsu no Kousen.  If you remember, “Good Morning” had gotten a PV and it was boring as hell so it was time to see if they could tackle that.  Nacchi did have solo lines but it wasn’t as obvious like in “Memory Seishun no Hikari” and I found that to be somewhat surprising lol.  Also the second generation got a lot more view time in the video which I will get into but this was a pretty solid summer song.  Pretty good but there were some faults like the vocals once again didn’t mesh well and Nacchi still cant tackle this higher range as much as she can now.

What Genre is it: They went back to basics and this is definitely breezy pop but suited for the summer days.

The Premise: I guess it’s just being happy and having fun during the warmer days.  Not much of a story to be had but whatever once again!

The Setting: As such Manatsu no Kousen is mostly shot on the beaches and such but they also shot in a car which is quite new to them and for the viewers.  Beyond that there’s shots of Mari and Sayaka in the pool and Sayaka at a resort?  Plus some shots in the evening.  It’s “Good Morning” 2 but more exciting hahah.  Also, what was with the pearl in the water with shots of the girls inside it?  That was kind of funky but suitable since it was a 90’s single LOL.

The Outfits: Since it wasn’t all like the album song that got a PV, Manatsu no Kousen stuck out with it’s casual summer clothing.  I thought it brought the girls full circle back to how they started and that was nice.  Simple clothes that were bright and in pastel colors.  Well, all but one member..Sayaka wore this RED outfit and stood out like a sore thumb with the group shots of the ladies.  In the car scenes they all wore yellow tops and in the evening shots (that weren’t on the beach) they wore blue tops.  Simple but effective stuff

The Choreography: None whatsoever!  I mean there really wasn’t a lot of dancing to begin with so it’s no surprise.

PV as a whole: I’ve been waiting to see the girls smiling for once because they’ve done a lot of brooding and sexy stuff that they kind of forgot how to be fun.  I mean they looked like they were having fun in “Daite HOLD ON ME!” but finally a whole PV of smiles.  It’s bright, lively, and just positive but the vocals in the song were a bit pitchy all over the place but the greatest thing to come out is that 2nd Generation got more notice (especially Sayaka and Mari!)

Ranking: 58/74 (I like the song and video but clearly there were so many that were better.  I felt like this song if sung today would sound better with the members here.  I did feel like it went backwards because it felt like “First Time” stuff and not like the other singles in “Second Morning”.

Furusato

The Song: Furusato will remain as the single before everything changed for Morning Musume!  Also at this point their popularity started to wane because there wasn’t any changes between the members (minus Asuka leaving) but this was kind of a low point.  It hurt them even moreso when this song came out because for some ungodly reason, Tsunku decided to let Nacchi tackle the song by herself while the other members were harmonial background noises LOL…OUCH!  I do like the song regardless but the fact that it was a Nacchi hax is a bit shocking to the fans (but not to me since the singles prior had pushed her to the front.

What Genre is it: To me, Furusato is a ballad but is has little inklings of Enka (traditional folk music).  It was hard to think what genre because it’s one of its kind.

The Premise: Unlike the videos prior, we get a storyline…sort of.  I mean the first half is Nacchi living life but wants to see her mother so she gets on a train and that’s about it.  I mean the other 6 ladies do end up talking to their respective mothers (cept Kaori…she’s staring at a tombstone…what?)  Now I can’t speak about the trains because they were a big part in the first half of the video but I’ll leave it up for you guys to guess.  Pass the halfway mark, things change because it just gets into the ladies at night sharing sparklers and smiling and then showing all of the member’s baby pictures/kid/teen pictures and shifting to the girls now talking to their “mothers”.  It’s an interesting idea but not cohesive to make sense the entire way through?  Especially if the song is about homesickness after love.

The Setting: It is an outdoorsy video which is cool that they’ve been on this nature-love in recent times.  For the most part, the group as a whole sung the song on a dirt road near a farm which does give that homely feel.  First half with just Nacchi is all over a city and train station…kind of bizarre but ties in with the song.  The other 6 are kind of just chillin with their “moms” (minus Kaori who is standing in front of a tombstone (someone explain this?)).  The night time setting was in front of a temple and that was pretty…and the solo were scattered out at different places it seems.

The Outfits: Of course being such a down-to-earth song, Furusato had some conservative clothing this time around.  Most of the time the girls are wearing dresses, kind of old-school and frumpy but plain jane.  I noticed Kaori and Kei’s clothes more because they were blue and red respectively and it stood out.  The only real major change of outfits were the night scene when they change into these BEAUTIFUL kimonos.  Loved how it looked on all of them but once again Sayaka stood out because hers didn’t have a flower pattern…hers were cherries!  CUTE!

The Choreography: Ballads usually don’t have them so it wasn’t a surprise it didn’t have any.  They just stood next too each other most of the time…kind of shocking.

PV as a whole: Despite the fact that the song was all Nacchi, the PV showed the member quite equally which I had feared when I heard the song.  It’s unique in that they are so in their roots to the point where old pictures and phots would be seen (something we wouldn’t see again til way later with “Mikan”.  I wish it wasn’t so boring and the meaning of the song was a bit more to the point and explain Kaori’s reason she was motherless in the PV (for the most part, she was talking to a lady at one point).  Not bad but I was expecting something more after “Manatsu no Kousen”.

Ranking: 52/74 (Furusato is a beautiful song, but the fact that the line distribution got THIS bad with this song made not like it as much.  Video was a nice change but that wasn’t going to get them popular.)

NEXT TIME, ENTER GOCCHIN AND 4th Gen!

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H!P Profiles: Sheki-dol

Original Lineup L to R: Ami Kitagami and Ibuki Oki

Coming off the audition that Aya Matsuura wom, Sheki-dol was formed with two other winners Ami and Ibuki.  Tsunku really wanted to have this group stand out as the rock group of H!P as noticed with the duo’s only release in “Kokoro no Pheromone”.  Short while later we were introduced to Mami Suenaga.

2nd Lineup L to R: Ibuki Oki, Mami Suenaga, and Ami Kitagami

The longest incarnation (that’s not saying much) of Sheki-dol was with these three and released two singles.  I’m not even sure where or how Mami came to join the duo to make a trio but it happened and Mami was pushed to the forefront and pushed the other two back…typical ace movement basically.

3rd Lineup L to R: Ami Kitagami, Saki Arai, and Mami Suenaga

Sheki-dol then lost Ibuki basically because she wanted to go on solo activities which brought them down but quickly gained a new member in Saki who also I have no idea where she came from.  Luckily they got to shine and finally debut with a major label single in “Ai wa Muteki ~Hatachi no Yoru no Chikai~.  Sadly, the group suddenly disbanded after one of its members were sick…oh H!P way to hide that the actual reason for the disbandment was because Mami got pregnant and that’s a no-no.  >.>

Style of Music: Tsunku said he wanted an edgier group which to lead to the formation of Sheki-dol but as an idol group they still had their pop tendencies.  Many people who know of Sheki-dol say they sound like PUFFY and I agree but less random.  It’s guitar-laced and rockin’ but it’s no Buono! AT ALL…totally different.

Discography

Singles

  • Kokoro no Pheromone
  • Tetteiteki Unmei (Mami joins)
  • Zentaiteki ni Daisuki Desu. (Ibuki leaves)
  • Ai wa Muteki ~Hatachi no Yoru no Chikai~ (Saki joins and major debut)

Ahhh the debut of the group, Kokoro no Pheromone is pretty good for the two….but….

*Cue in the underrated neon sign!* No seriously, Tetteiteki Unmei is probably one of the coolest early H!P songs I’ve heard.  It was badass and everyone’s serious nature helped.  Though I can’t help but think Mami looks a lil like Tsunkupapa here >.>  Though what was with the news reporter guy? XD

Sadly no PV happened for Ai wa Muteki.

Top Songs (with only 4 singles can’t really do top 5 XD)

  • Tetteiteki Unmei
  • Datte Datte (B-side from “Kokoro no Pheromone”)
  • Ai wa Muteki  ~Hatachi no Yoru no Chikai~

Other Things to Mention:

Definitely is the only group many people would go WHOOOOOO? Because they weren’t that popular and 3/4 of their releases were indie releases.

Mami is the only one today that continues to release solo work…which is great that she survived all this.

Probably the first group to disband over unusual circumstances (T&C Bomber never really had a reason for disbandment) but Sheki-dol disbanded because a member got pregnant, sounds suspicious and they could’ve easily replaced her like they did with Saki replacing Ibuki.

Overall: Sheki-dol is a hard group to talk about because their history only spans 2 years and their group went through three changes is pretty normal lol.  I liked the girls vocals and IMO they sound better than Ayaya at that time.  Musically they were a lil dated but like I said like PUFFY which should’ve helped em but didn’t.  I’m just surprised that they’re so forgotten in the annals of H!P history.  Sad that they also never got to be involved in Shuffle Groups or on the Petit Bests…I wonder why they were denied…was it because they were an indies group?

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H!P Profile: Yuki Maeda

Ahhhh, Yuki Maeda, another gal that really was under the radar for a lot of people that love H!P today even though she was part of the umbrella until the Elder Club graduation in 2009 .  You’d think she’s done a lot but in reality she’s done less than Yuko XD.  Good thing though is that Yuki is still releasing today as her last thing she released was a mini-album last year!  .  Now the most interesting thing about her is the fact that she was found by none other than Kaori Iida…who knew she would’ve picked someone great!

Style of Music: Yuki in all terms replaced Yuko as the enka singer of H!P when the latter decided to change her style to more of a pop style.  Once again, Enka isn’t totally popular with the young crowd so it was more for the older crowd (not even the wota would be behind this style).

Discography

Singles

  • Naki Usagi
  • Tokyo You Turn
  • Tokyo, Yoimachigusa
  • Tokyo Kirigirisu
  • Sarasara no Kawa
  • Nishi Shinjuku Deatta Hito
  • Omae no Namida wo Ore ni Kure
  • Ai Ai Daiko
  • Kenchana ~Daijoubu~
  • Mianeyo ~Gomennasai~
  • Busan Hatsu

Albums

  • Maeda Yuki Zenkyoku Shuu ~Kenchana~
  • Busan Hatsu ~Maeda Yuki Kankoku wo Utau~ (mini-album)

The video above is “Nishi Shinjuku Deatta Hito”, Yuki’s 6th single.  Yeah, enka PVs are pretty plain and boring but what could you really do about that sort of thing.

Top 5 Favorite Songs

  • Naki Usagi
  • Nishi Shinjuku Deatta Hito
  • Kaze Kaikyou (B-side from “Omae no Namida wo Ore ni Kure”)
  • Sarasara no Kawa
  • Sore wa Fushigi (B-side from “Sarasara no Kawa)

Other Things to Mention?

Yeah this is the same Yuki that was in SALT5’s video…total 180 from her normal right?

The only soloist that stuck to one genre of music (minus the shuffle groups).

Overall: Yuki Maeda was an interesting artist under H!P not because she was a soloist which is great that she would be the 4th one and managed to last even after she graduated from H!P but the fact that she was different from other artists.  Like I said Yuko was starting to stray but Yuki is definitely revered as the H!P Enka girl.  The fact that nowadays she’s learning Korean is adding more originality to her music and just surprises me.  She never was a popular gal during her days but she had her fans and she had one of the prettiest vocals out of all the girls ^_^

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Review: Petit Best ~Ki Ao Aka~

Track Listing

1. Chokotto LOVE / Petitmoni
2. Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM / Kiiro 5
3. Aoi Sports Car no Otoko / Aoiro 7
4. Akai Nikkichou / Akagumi 4
5. Toumourokoshi to Sora to Kaze / Natsumi Abe
6. Tanpopo (Single Version) / Tanpopo
7. Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru / Tanpopo
8. LOVE Machine (analog remix) / Morning Musume
9. Koi no Dance Site (PANDART SASANOOOHA Remix) / Morning Musume
10. Marui Taiyou (4nin Ver.) / T&C Bomber
11. Junjou Koushinkyoku / Yuko Nakazawa
12. Anata no Yume ni Naritai / Michiyo Heike
13. Daikirai / Michiyo Heike
14. Summer Night Town (English Version) / Coconuts Musume
15. DANCE & CHANCE (English Version) / Coconuts Musume
16. Hello! no Theme (16nin Version) / Kiiro 5, Aoiro 7, Akagumi 4
17. “Yamucharou CM Song” / Morning Musume

1. Chokotto LOVE

I’ve wondered why they chose to begin the album with Chokotto LOVE to be honest.  I know many do love the song to death because it was second in popularity behind “LOVE Machine”.  Now this was the only leading track that the original trio of Maki, Sayaka, and Kei released.  I mean I can at least say it’s got something going for it and all three do sound pretty good!  I will also admit that the chorus is catchy as hell, but I like a lot more from the group.

2. Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM

Getting into the first of the shuffle units, Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM is from the 5-nin group consisting of Ayaka, Michiyo, RuRu, Nacchi, and Kei-chan.  The song itself is my least favorite amongst the three groups but it’s because the tune isn’t really a step in any direction for the sound at the time.  I mean it’s got a nice disco-themed feel.  Though I still feel that the group was a lil disappointing because none of the singers stand out (even though they should with this one).  I love the group at hand, but this shouldn’t have been their song.

3. Aoi Sports Car no Otoko

Aoiro 7 comes next and since it consisted of Marippe, Miwa, Kaorin, Mika, Lehua, Sayaka, and Atsuko….this was going to be a fun song to listen to.  When I listen to this, it feels congested but has a lot of action in it.  It’s fast paced and quite insane. I love Sayaka’s lines and Mari/Kaori’s.  Everyone puts on a pretty good game face and it turned out well.  I mean I still enjoy the tune but there’s odd things like Miwa’s vocals and I think Mika’s parts.

4. Akai Nikkichou

Finally, we get the winner of the shuffles.  Akai Nikkichou might be the only ballad choice between the three but this turned out pretty well.  However, a major fault for it belongs to the fact that Gocchin lead about 80% of Akai Nikkichou all the way through.  Good lord, would it have killed them to have Danielle lead a lot more (or even Miho/Yuko for that matter.  I like the tune for sure because it’s slow and moving and emotional for that matter.  Though the fact that it’s longer than the PV verison is nice and there’s more Yuko and Danielle is nice.  Still, it’s a pretty good song but easily won simply because Gocchin was involved.

5. Toumourokashi to Sora to Kaze

You might be wondering why I haven’t made a profile for Nacchi…well it’s simply because she really doesn’t debut until much later (plus this song is on her first album).  Primarily, the reason it’s here is because it was a CM song.  It kind of strikes me close as being another “Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM”, because of it’s light disco vibes.  Nacchi’s vocals are light and fluffy but does sometimes seems too quiet.  I just remember her saying ~blue skies~ over and over again.  It just was nothing that I was really fond of on this collcction of songs.

6. Tanpopo (Single Version)

I’ve never questioned Tanpopo with its original members because they were quite impressive!  The single version of Tanpopo isn’t quite as somber and cold like “Last Kiss”, but it’s breezy and full of life.  I personslly enjoyed listening to Ayappe, Kaorin, and Marippe singing especially in the solos.  I mean it’s not like the previous tunes where it’s about excitement and youth (sans “Akai Nikkichou”) but this is a pretty great song that worked for them.

7. Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru

Moving onto the trio’s next A-side and final single with the original three, Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru always came off to me as their wintry song because it has jingle bells all over it lol.  It’s also a bit more joyous than their previous releases as well which is a solid thing to have but it did bridge into when Rika-chan and Aibon was added to the group after Ayappe graduated.  I will admit that of the 4 A-sides they released, this was my least favorite (plus the PV was kind of icky for me).  It’s not bad persay but stuff like “Tanpopo”, “Last Kiss”, and even “Motto” were leagues better.  At least the three harmonize so awesomely.

8. LOVE Machine (analog remix)

I don’t get why Morning Musume’s song were both remixes (if I’m correct they are on the singles (but via the “EARLY SINGLE BOX”).  I mean weren’t the originals good enough?  LOVE Machine’s remix has a bit more punch to it but it lacks melodic movement which is something I enjoy in Momusu’s stuff.  It’s not bad of a remix but the original is more suiting for the epic LOVE Machine and a bit too long here at 7 minutes.

9. Koi no Dance Site (PANDART SASANOOOHA Remix)

Pandart Sasanoooha isn’t a new name to me because the remixer has done stuff for Ayumi Hamasaki and a couple of other artists but I was surprised they did one for Koi no Dance Site which was the A-side after “LOVE Machine”.  Unfortunately, likewise with the previous remix. Koi no Dance Site’s remix is a lot more of a mess than doing good here.  I do like they gave it a more Bhangra/Indian spin on it (though the original was already enough of that as it is).  It gets annoying after a while and with 7 minutes on the clock as well…it just isn’t good!

10. Marui Taiyou (4nin Ver.)

The only time we see T&C Bomber have something on on a Petit Best and we get a “somewhat” new version of Marui Taiyou (the last single credited to Taiyou to Ciscomoon.  Also the whole 4nin is interesting as well.  Prior to the single, Miwa Kominato had left the group temporarily (reason unknown of course) but she was left out for this single.  For the Petit Best Tsunku/UFA decided to bring this song on but include Miwa since she came back shortly after.  Though to be honest, was it necessary because while she does have distinct vocals, Marui Taiyou was a song sung in unison so there wasn’t exactly a need to bring her in…but I guess it was to make up for this A-side not having her the first time around.  The song is pleasant enough for me but was kind of plain in Taiyou to Ciscomoon terms IMHO…just kind of one of those sentimental tracks from em…meh.

11. Junjou Koushinkyoku

Most fans would probably be like wtf at the next song which came from Yuko!  As it’s her third A-side, Junjou Koushinkyoku was released during the time she was tampering with enka which like I’ve said before isn’t everyone’s cup of tea because most of the time it feels SUPER DATED and just unusual and I can admit that because this sounds so weird as a H!P song.  Yuko’s vocals though are soft and pretty to listen to and the song is kind of playful in a weird way as well.  Not your typical song from an H!P artist but it’s kind of simple and traditional nonetheless.

12. Anata no Yume ni Naritai

We move into Michiyo’s two songs on here starting with her fifth A-side.  I kind of dig this song despite never diving into her music (except for “GET”).  She still got her deep vocals and the song is a bit brighter than the song I stuck here before which is a good change.  Her style does still come off as a little dated as well but not like Yuko’s song.  It’s not a bad song and the chorus is quite catchy.  Cool tune to listen to!

13. Daikirai

Michiyo’s third A-side comes next and I personally consider this song more than “Anata ni Yume ni Naritai” honestly.  I love the angsty feeling this song gives and I’m sure the Morning Cop tie-in helped this song to actually be on the first Petit Best.  Michiyo’s vocals do wonders here and she just surprised and blew me away with this one…only a couple of songs have done it so far.

14. Summer Night Town (English Version)

So I’m kind of surprised they featured April and Chelsea despite leaving before this…but at the same time kind of not since Coconuts Musume doesn’t have a lot to their name.  A cover of Momosu’s second A-side, Summer Night Town went through a couple of changes.  First, the lyrics are changed to English of course and that is a little bit of a problem (the verses are a hot mess, no one can deny that!).  Second, the arrangement also changed a little bit but I like the new feel for it.  It’s more sexy and sultry…like something ROMANS would have loved XD.  Now vocally, it feels like Ayaka and Mika take the leads while Danielle kind of harmonizes here and there and the other two are chorus gals (maybe a line here and there).  Now I don’t know why April was the middle gal since she wasn’t important like the two leads but whatever…it was a nice cover…but the vocals couldn’t really harmonize very well (I mean vocally it sounds like it could’ve been more epic if T&C Bomber took over but I don’t know if they’re fluent in English…

15. DANCE & CHANCE (English Version)

Now DANCE & CHANCE was the group’s second release and last for April and Chelsea but this is the English Version which was the B-side for that single.  Now I couldn’t really take the Japanese version very seriously because it was messy and the language was definitely the group’s weakest point about them at the time.  The English version is good though and while the vocals are still not quite together, it was more suitable.  Funny though that Ayaka is really the only one that gets any kind of solo line but still…good song!

16. Hello! no Theme (16nin Version)

Not even gonna lie, I don’t like this song.  I mean I know I had to deal with the song three times since each of the shuffle units sang their own version (no arrangement differences, just vocals).  I know H!P needed a theme, but this song is definitely not it IMO.  I mean I get annoyed hearing ~hello, hello, hello~ over and over again.  At least it’s nice to hear 16 members together at least and they do have fun and singing in unison and all that…but I just don’t think it’s that good.

17. “Yamucharou CM Song”

The compilation though ends with a hidden track after the atrocious “Hello! no Theme”.  It’s a pretty short march-like ditty about the drink and it’s pretty much sung in unison.  Like I said, it’s hidden for a reason because of how short it is and kind of strange it is being on a Petit Best.

Tracks Recommended

  • Tanpopo (Single Version)
  • Akai Nikkichou
  • Daikirai
  • Summer Night Town (English Version)
  • Aoi Sports Car no Otoko

The first Petit Best was a start of a yearly tradition for H!P which gives everyone a taste of what was released in said year.  Now the first one was an interesting batch of songs.  I mean it did have Chokotto LOVE which was huge and some form of LOVE Machine…but unfortunately a remix.  Then the fact Momusu only had remixes was a bummer.  The choices from the other groups were fitting and quite good for the most part.  Even Yuko and Michiyo got songs heh.   Then again, it was nice to see a couple of surprises like Nacchi’s song and Marui Taiyou getting a new version (even if it was just a minor addition).  However, I could’ve lived without Hello! no Theme….bleeeeh!  Still it’s a good solid 7/10.

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