Iroppoi Twilight Game

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

ANGERME gains 2 new members, what a shock eh?

Yup, earlier in the week, Ayacho had announced that there’d be new members added to the group in an announcement at the final live at Pacifico Yokohama and it happened, we get two new members!

Haruka Oota

Oota

It seems rather surprising that both girls hail from Hokkaido, but Haruka actually came from the Hokkaido branch of the Kenshuusei (the first to actually get lifted from there).  While I’m still kind of unsure about the HKKSS in general, it’s nice to see Haruka make the cut and I wonder what she’ll bring to the group!

Reira Ise

Ise

The other new gal, Reira hails from the ONLY YOU audition as a finalist (probably one of the winners) and from initial reports, unlike Haruka, she wasn’t into H!P and kind of pushed into it lol.  Granted it does give me slight worry on tenure, but she did end up joining.  She does kind of remind me of a mix of Reina Yokoyama & Kiki Asakura but we’ll see how she ends up faring in ANGERME.

 

Both girls will begin at the Winter Tour (which is the 2nd day after New Year’s so we got a little while before we hear them sing.

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Petit Best 19

petitbest19

Track Listing

  1. YEAH YEAH YEAH / Hello Pro All Stars
  2. Morning Coffee (20th Anniversary Ver.) / Morning Musume 20th
  3. Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite / Morning Musume ’18
  4. Are you Happy? / Morning Musume ’18
  5. Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi / ANGERME
  6. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it! / ANGERME
  7. SEXY SEXY / Juice=Juice
  8. Kindan Shoujo / Juice=Juice
  9. Kaite wa Keshite no “I Love You” / Country Girls
  10. Matenai After Five / Country Girls
  11. Ashita Tenki ni Naare / Kobushi Factory
  12. Kitto Watashi wa / Kobushi Factory
  13. Teion Yakedo / Tsubaki Factory
  14. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta / Tsubaki Factory
  15. Hyokkori Hyoutanjima / Kobushi Factory & Tsubaki Factory
  16. 43do / Hello! Pro Kenshuusei
  17. Hankouki! / Hello! Pro Kenshuusei Hokkaido
  18. Zouni de Kenkashitenja Nee yo / Yuka Miyazaki, Maria Makino, Ayano Kawamura

1. YEAH YEAH YEAH

I figured as much that Hello! Project would kick of this year’s compilation album with the “everyone is here” song that they released this year.  Sadly, unlike the past 2 tracks that did the same, I was pretty disappointed in this one (despite enjoying that it sold well).  The song though is just a bit too bland and forgetful for me to let it stick to my mind.  I mean there’s no solos which hurts and the arrangement feels similar to some other songs from Morning Musume (I guess it makes sense, but still…yikes).  Like I said, nice for the anniversary for H!P, but as a song to itself, just a bit plain, would’ve much preferred “Hello! History”.

2. Morning Coffee (20th Anniversary Ver.)

Released quite early in the year, Morning Musume continued with their celebration with the original members of the group by releasing an updated version of their major debut song (even after “Ai no Tane”).  I thought they had already celebrated last year (with “Morning Misoshiru” but I guess bringing in the original members: Nakazawa, Iida, Ishiguro, Fukuda, and Abe was more than necessary for a self-cover.  The song has a bit more oomph with a faster tempo and a pop/rock aesthetic.  It’s a decent track and hearing Morning Coffee with an updated arrangement is nice!

3. Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite

Released simultaneously with the previous track digitally, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite make the cut over “Furari Ginza” since this was the superior song.  Since it was released early on in the year, bringing this electro track up is nice and reminded me why I enjoyed it so much.  I mean in the grand scheme of things, the song isn’t exactly stepping new ground and suits alongside various other EDM songs the group has pulled off, but it’s still a good dance track overall!

4. Are you Happy?

As the obvious choice from the get-go, Are you Happy? marked as part of the last single Haruna Ogata appeared on before her graduation.  Unlike “Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite”, Are you Happy?’s EDM is a bit more club-like and has a lot of build-ups into various parts of the track.  Granted, the song still kind of feels a bit messy and using the repetition in parts of the track is different but has been done before, though I do like hearing Sakura’s cries and 12th Gen a little bit love here.  There’s a little bit of a tribal-like feel, but it’s still a bumping track regardless.  Not their best A-side of the 4 they released, but it’s passable.

5. Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi

Moving onto ANGERME’s 2 tracks, I had zero doubts that these two tracks would be the ones chosen (this Petit Best had maybe one or two surprises).  Another EDM track comes this way, but this one fascinated me with how sparkly and how it reminded me of stuff like “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku”.  I just get excited hearing this as it showcased their members in such a nice way and hearing Rikako, Musubu, and Akari just sound badass makes me incredibly happy.  One of my favorite A-sides of the year!

6. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!

Though for their 2nd choice, I think I would’ve preferred “46-okunen LOVE” over this track.  Considering this was more something I connected to as a parallel to “Gashinshoutan”, with a little bit of some disco-vibes here.  Though I think this song struggled a little bit with me, although I found it interesting that Funakki got the only solo line it feels like.  Not bad, but like “Are you Happy?” there was better from this this year than this song.

7. SEXY SEXY

Juice=Juice didn’t feel like they had a lot to do this year with just a single and an album release (on top of lineup changes).  I was not expecting Juice=Juice to pull off sexy once again, then again it’s been quite a while since “Black Butterfly” right?  I really wasn’t expecting Nanami to really lead the song while the other members kind of have their own spotlight throughout, but Yanamin just had the push here.  While I thought that was an odd choice, she held her own and the other members even moreso.  This was a pretty good track (my favorite off the single it came from too).

8. Kindan Shoujo

Probably the first surprise, I wasn’t expecting to see a track from their sophomore album make the cut, but I was happy to see it moreso than seeing “Naite Ii yo” or “Vivid Midnight” make the cut (the latter’s MV is on the Blu-ray disc).  Now if you didn’t know, this was one of 3 songs from the album that included Manaka Inaba (the group’s newest member).  There’s just something so 80s about the song that makes me perky and upbeat.  It’s just catchy and nostalgic in the right ways.  Though the high notes are a bit pitchy for me, but still great choice and happy to see it on the compilation!

9. Kaite wa Keshite no “I Love You”

I’m a bit surprised that despite Country Girls’ essentially being on hiatus most of the year, they did release enough to make 2 spots (like the rest of the groups).  This song was released digitally at the tail end of 2017, I suppose it made sense to make the cut because it also got a PV for it.  Hearing Ozeki and Yamaki is just nice since they’ve been missing most of the year and giving them a song that’s a little like “Konamaiki Girl” and “Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne”.  It’s pretty cute and poppy and still totally them!

10. Matenai After Five

However, if you were looking for something like what they were pulling off with “Boogie-Woogie LOVE”, then Matenai After Five might be more your thing!  There’s just something about this song is really sweet and groovy here and the group sound great here moreso than in the previous song.  Like a bit big band without the horns all over the place.  Despite that the digital single kind of went under the radar mostly, I kind of wish this and it’s other A-side got a PV.

11. Ashita Tenki ni Naare

Kind of surprised they went with the secondary A-side from the single than “Kore Kara da!”, but I suppose this was a better way to show off the group considering it was the first to have the 5 remaining members.  Ashita Tenki ni Naare was pretty much rockin’ the whole way through and they sound good together especially Hamachan, Wadasaku, and Minamina.  Although the hammy dialogue in the bridge could’ve been erased altogether…it’s just incredibly cringy.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty hard-hitting track and I suppose seeing it here over it’s main A-side was a good idea.

12. Kitto Watashi wa

Though, maybe two happy songs wasn’t exactly a strong point.  Though I immediately like this song WAY better than its sister A-side, “Naseba Naru”.  I mean unlike “Ashita Tenki ni Naare”, it’s definitely more poppier in arrangement and style which isn’t quite something Kobushi Factory does but it’s welcome I suppose.  I really do like the verses and then it turns into this power rock chorus with a steady beat and chant-worthy melody.  It was a surprising track from the group, but it came out pretty well!

13. Teion Yakedo

I feel like 2018 was really about Tsubaki Factory with their 2 singles and album!  As this song was technically released back in 2017 (as a preview for their 2018 single), Teion Yakedo was a bit more of a serious track for Tsubaki which was a nice change of pace with the EDM we’ve been getting.  While there wasn’t a lot in the way of solos, the songs cold feel really stuck out to me.  Different, but I enjoyed it!

14. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta

In contrast, Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta is upbeat and quite the exciting pop track that I was kind of hoping would break the mold from the rest of the single which was more serious.  It’s just so fun to listen to and each of the members sound so excited and the whole package was just something I wasn’t expecting from Tsubaki.  Definitely another favorite within the year.

15. Hyokkori Hyoutanjima

One of the few songs that I hadn’t really taken a full listen to, yes it’s that song, the same one that Morning Musume covered a long time ago!  Though this time done by both Kobushi and Tsubaki members!  I mean it’s incredibly familiar to me so the song really isn’t totally different besides an original rap during the bridge.  The arrangement is a bit more sax-based though which is enough of a twist on it, but it’s OK for what it is and what it was used for.

16. 43do

I think the biggest surprise for this compilation is this track from the Kenshuusei’s sophomore album!  I wasn’t expecting any of them because it wasn’t highly promoted as a song (to be honest, I thought “Rainbow” if anything would’ve been chosen.  Now something to note is that not all of the Kenshuusei are involved instead 6 of them sang in the studio cut (Hikaru Inoue, Kirara Yonemura, Minami Okamura, Rena Doi, Yuhane Yamazaki, and Riai Matsunaga). It’s funny that 1/3 isn’t in the company anymore, 1/3 graduated into groups, and the last third are still Kenshuusei currently.  About the song, I really love the guitar intro and the tune goes into this funky vibe that sounds good and almost like old H!P.  The girls sound good together for the most part even if they’re yelling a lot (maybe except Hikarun).  It’s a pretty decent track all things considered.

17. Hankouki!

No surprise that the Hokkaido girls would find themselves with a 2nd single and luckily it came out before Ryo Kitagawa’s leaving.  Hankouki! was another track that kind of fell to the wayside after the first listen.  Coming back to it, it’s still more of the same poppy sound but it doesn’t quite sound like a forgotten Country Girls track.  Of course Manaka Inaba is also in it (because she was appointed as a leader to them before her re-addition to Juice=Juice.  The song still doesn’t quite leave much for me, but it’s nice that their 2nd single was brought in.

18. Zouni de Kenkashitenja Nee yo

Like last year, UPCOMING! had all those quirky songs that featured 2 or 3 H!P members together.  Well despite this being released in 2017, but missing the cut to be added on Petit Best 18 we find this track to be added here.  This featuring Miyazaki, Makino, and Kawamura together for this foodie song, Zouni de Kenkashitenja Nee yo is a bit of a weird one.  I mean the chorus is fine and all but the verses are a totally different arrangement and it’s mostly kind of sing-speak and I assume educating on the Zouni’s items.  It’s probably the oddest song of that bunch and weird as the album’s final track.

Tracks Recommended

  • Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  • Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta
  • SEXY SEXY
  • Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite
  • Kitto Watashi wa

I have to say that while Petit Best 19 has nothing new to be found on it, the songs chosen were overall quite nice tracks with a couple of “it had to be there”.  I swore there was going to be a couple of surprises (like maybe the two Tsubaki Factory songs from the Trolls cartoon).  Still, the compilation has decent songs overall and is better than last years.

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Aika Mitsui retires from entertainment industry, leaves H!P

MitsuiAikasolo2012

In a surprising announcement so shortly after Yanamin announced her graduation, we get news that Aika Mitsui is going to retire from the industry to focus on culinary arts.  Granted, the news isn’t quite alarming because Mittsi has been kind of quiet for the last couple years (apparently she was doing some of the English subtitles for some of the H!P PVs).  Also her last actual music release was the 2013 single as a member of the SATOYAMA unit, GREEN FIELDS.  So it’s been almost 6 years (not regarding the couple lives she’s performed here and there).

That said, she really didn’t do much for me after her graduation from Morning Musume, but I wished she had done more…

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Nanami Yanagawa to graduate from Juice=Juice/Country Girls & H!P in March

Country_Girls_Yanagawa_Nanami_-_Matenai_After_Five_promo

Announced this morning, it seems that Yanamin has gone off to say that she’ll graduate Hello! Project and her groups in March of next year!

Honestly, it has been 3 years, but it doesn’t feel quite as long considering she’s only been in Juice=Juice for almost half that time.  Yeah, she wasn’t quite the addition at first when she and Funaki joined Country Girls, but her cutesy side definitely started to rub off and then the sudden switch to Juice=Juice was a little weird, but she slowly started fitting into the group, especially taking lead in “SEXY SEXY”.  Personally, not so sure how I feel about her graduation as she hasn’t quite left a lasting impression yet, but to know she wants to further her education is commendable.

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