Pucchi Best 10: The Year of Many Groups

18 12 2009

As the year draws close we remember all of the things that happened this year and look forward to what next year brings us. While, this is not my retrospective year end post, it will make up a portion of my look back as the Pucchi Best 10 album features one of the most shocking developments of the year.  The CORE groups / one soloist of Hello! Project 2009. I miss my Elder Club T___T...

Surprisingly, Hello! Project is really reduced to nearly this few girls.

That’s right, it was a big deal when it was announced… what just before summer? I’m talking about the revival of the sub-groups. Read more for my retrospective (you can call it a review too) for the album.

Warning… this is actually legitimately a long post, what with my required background check and all. Though if you are familiar with the sub-groups you may opt to skim/skip through it. I just felt like taking that stroll down memory lane ^___^. Also, do read the alternate text for images, as they contain some extra commentary.

Now as of this writing, the album has actually been released for a mere close to two weeks. So it is relatively new! Yay, I don’t feel like I’m reviewing something that’s old as hell. So as I mentioned earlier a core of the album is made up of the new sub-group configurations. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane to refresh ourselves (if not learn about it for first-timers) about sub-groups. I apologize for any inaccurate information and lack of consistency in coverage of each group. I have to admit that I did not love each sub-group equally back in the day. Also, note I am not covering the other revival groups that are not featured in this album, namely Zoku Biyuuden and ZYX-Alpha.

  • Minimoni / Shin Minimoni

The first single I heard was Rock'n Roll Kenchoushozaiichi, so this particular picture has a lot of meaning to me. A group full of nobodies...

Above we have the most important sub-group in my history as a H!P fan. Minimoni was what introduced me to the H!P world. I’ll leave all of that for another post some time though. Minimoni was originally a group composed of Yaguchi Mari, Kago Ai, Tsuji Nozomi, and Mika Todd made in 2000. They were quite short, all 150cm or below. One should pay special attention to Mika who was a Coconuts Musume member (the others were all from Morning Musume) and also always wore oddly different costumes. Takahashi Ai was added in 2002 as Yaguchi got “promoted” to babysit the Berryz and C-ute kids in training. But hey, look where it got them, today! Surprisingly, Takahashi is slightly over 150cm but was put in because Tsunku was training her to be good at everything. Look where it got her too, ^_^. The graduation of Kago and Tsuji (arguably the most popular members of Minimoni) in summer of 2004 put Minimoni into “indefinite hiatus”.

Who knew it would actually come up again. This year saw the formation of “Shin Minimoni”, which is composed of Kanon Fukada, Akari Takeuchi, Karin Miyamoto and LinLin. I’m not very aware of the H!P Eggs. Though it must be nice for LinLin to have a reunion with some of the girls she worked with before she joined the big leagues. Which brings me to the funny point. Minimoni’s 2nd generation was led by Mika (the odd one out). Shin Minimoni follows this tradition by giving the senior member, LinLin, leadership. She’s not full Japanese (hell she isn’t Japanese period) and is significantly distinguished between the three other girls (though I guess you can argue Kanon’s case). Just something I wanted to point out.

  • Pucchimoni / Pucchimoni V

Pucchimoni, the age disparity is amazing. Wow... Look at those legs...

I will admit I barely know anything about Pucchimoni, as is the case with groups other than Minimoni. But that doesn’t stop Wikipedia from educating me, ^_^! Pucchimoni was originally formed in 1999 with Morning Musume members: Ichii Sayaka, Goto Maki, and Yasuda Kei. With subsequent graduations the unit saw a lot of changes as we saw Yoshizawa Hitomi inserted after Sayaka graduated, Ogawa Makoto and Kimura Ayaka taking over the spots left by Gottsuan and Yasuda. They too were put into “indefinite hiatus” in 2003. But during that time they put out several good hits. I particularly remember having a fond memory of Baby! Koi ni Knock Out!

Tsunku’s magical hold on them was released this year as we saw the formation of Pucchimoni V. This formation consists of: the very relevant to my interests, Hagiwara Mai (have you seen her photobook!?), the becoming relevant to my interests, Nakajima Saki (have you seen her photobook!?), and the somewhat relevant to my interests, Mano Erina (I haven’t seen her photobook, have you??) . I don’t really get the V, but if you count the original formation, Yossie formation, loss of Gottsuan and Yasuda, and addition of Ayaka and Ogawa, I guess you can count the new version as the fifth version.

  • Tanpopo / Tanpopoo #

Funny, the original formation is the only configuration with 3 girls in it.Technically, the most all-star of the revival groups.

Tanpopo was the first of the popular sub-groups. In 1998, it originally consisted of: Yaguchi Mari, Iida Kaori, and Ishiguro Aya. Ayappe’s graduation was displaced by Kago Ai and Ishikawa Rika. By 2002, Ishikawa became leader with Niigaki Risa, Shibata Ayumi, and Konno Asami rounding out the group. Funny… Ayumi from Melon Kinenbi just being dropped in there XD… Soon after that they were dropped into Tsunku’s magic box of cop-outs.

Today we have Tanpopo# which consists of: Kamei Eri (leader), Mitsui Aika, Kumai Yurina, and Okai Chisato. This is actually the only revival group that features no Eggs and features all three of the main H!P groups now. By the way for those who may not know, it is pronounced Tanpopo “sharp”. Apparently, # is pronounced “sharp” in Japanese. I only know this because of Guilty Gear, yay learning from video games!

  • Aa! / Aa!

Look at Airi being all cool and stuff, awwLook at Airi being all awesome and still in the middle of everything XD

Aa! I don’t think I’ve ever listened to their songs from beginning to finish until now. But more on that later. Tanaka Reina was given two slaves in 2003 in the form of Natsuyaki Miyabi and Suzuki Airi. I presume this was Tsunku grooming Reina for popularity later. Well they released like one single and that was it.

Until today! Airi and Miyabi have sufficiently grown to hold their own (I mean look at the DIFFERENCE in the pictures). Tsunku decided to give them their own slave for their hard work, Saho Akari. I’ll be honest, I have no idea who she is. But you know what it doesn’t matter, because I don’t like Momo enough in Buono! And this is basically Buono with like random couple of lines sung by the Egg. Aa! = Buono! or at least pretty darn close to it. Buono! = Airi as far as I’m concerned ^_~ (Yes, I’m an Airi fan XD)

END OF RETROSPECTIVE : BEGINNING OF REVIEW

That wasn’t that bad was it? A very brief summary and a quick trip down memory lane is always helpful. Anyway onto the review of the album!

PUCCHI BEST 10, wow it's amazing that we seriously have a 10th album.
It’s pretty cool that they arranged the colors to make a 10. And LOL at Nacchi getting that top corner spot.

Much like all Pucchi Best albums, this one features a collection of the major hits of the year as well as some exclusive songs. I will admit that I’m somewhat confused by the song selection. Morning Musume’s one track is “Shouganai Yume Oibito” which was released in May. C-ute’s representation is “Everyday Zekkouchou!” which was released in September. And Berryz’s contribution was released in June. So the track collection isn’t exactly uniform… in terms of dating. I’m not exactly sure if you can determine the importance or popularity of one single over the other either…

1. Morning Musume – Shouganai Yume Oibito

I don’t understand why they didn’t put in Nanchatte Renai (considering it’s the 40th single and all). But I guess maybe the pre-AX single holds enough importance? SYO, love this song. I have to admit that the maturity of the song really makes Momusu shine. It’s not like Resonant Blue where you only hear three girls. It’s actually got a retro feel too, because of the dance moves and the style of the music. But hey that’s cool. And I will gladly promote any song where you hear the pandas get an exclusive line. I like when a group actually promotes group play ^_^.

~9 out of 10 dreams that I can chase with Momusu~

2. Berryz Koubou – Seishun Bus Guide

I must admit that I’m not a fan of Berryz. This is due to lack of exposure and my lack of effort to really get to know them. I mean I could’ve said this about C-ute, pre-Namida no Iro. For some reason, I always get annoyed at hearing Risako’s vocals. God, I’m gonna get flamed so much for this XD. The song itself is fine, though. I don’t like the costumes they have for it. … … Man, I’m sorry I tried.

~5 out of 10 bus guides are actually young~

I know what you're thinking... Where's Maimai!? T_T I know… it’s not the right song, but this shot is so much cooler.

3. C-ute – Everyday Zekkouchou

I’m into C-ute and all, but not this song so much. This was Erika’s last single so I guess this is important enough to be the song of choice. It is an uplifting song which to me sounds just very generic. There’s barely any hook to reel me in, so it becomes very forgettable. I would’ve much preferred to have “Bye Bye Bye” or “Shouchuu Omimai Moshiagemasu”.

~6 out of 10 days are not in perfect form~

4. Pucchimoni V – Pira! Otome no Negai

Wow… this song… XD While I was initially excited to hear this song because of Maimai, I was not ready for the annoyingness of this song. But it has the right kind of annoyingness that at the same time, is quite catchy. I’m biased because Maimai is in this song. But, I had to watch the performance without her in it (poor Maimai). While annoying yes… it has that something that Everyday was missing. It must be ridiculous to sing this song. Try singing it, I have… I sound so dumb. But how can I complain when they’re wearing those shorts! ^_~

~7 out of 10 parapiraporaporappo1010101110l0l11110100001 aghhh~

What's with Chisato and having hats? Shes's got one in SHOCK too...Yurina is tall and I LOVE it ❤

5. Tanpopo# – Umbrella

This is a fun song. I initially found this song boring when I first saw the performance in the Hello! Champloo concert. But it’s grown on me. Kamei is growing on me. Chisato is too. Yurina even! (wow, hope for Berryz!). Mittsi… well I notice her, but no noticeable growth yet. Work harder Mittsi! Like I said, this is a fun song. Line distribution is good. And that chorus, quite fun to listen to. And I love fun music.

~7 out of 10 umbrellas were thrown blindly and didn’t make it into the bin~

Yes, I purposely left Momoko out of this screencap so I could make that comment. Aa! covers MY BOY because it’s that awesome.

6. Buono! – MY BOY

Wow! This song… And it’s not the same kind of wow, like Pucchimoni V’s tongue twister. This song is made of so many layers of awesome, Airi has to fan herself in her solo dance cause this song is so hot. Well that and Airi is hot in the song too. I have been loving Buono!’s material since I started listening to them from Gachinko de Ikou!. No exception for this song. You’ve got the rock that defines them. You’ve got the awesome PV and costumes. This song is just so awesome. Most likely my favorite on this album.

~10 out of 10 times, I will go O_O at Airi dance solo~

7. Mano Erina – Otome no Inori

I’m probably not alone on this but a lot of Manoeri’s songs bore me. This song is no exception. I will give this a full listen before I formally give up and give this song a low score. … … … Yep, nothing’s changed. Still a very boring song. It doesn’t have that magical H!P flavor to it. Come on Manoeri, get with the game.

~2 out of 10 times I’ve actually heard the full song~

Somehow this dance reminds me of Shida Mirai doing her anti-molesting stance. XDI love this dance…

8. Yume to Genjitsu – Aa!

I was referring to this song earlier. When I said this group reminds me of Buono!, I’m not joking. This song sounds like something Buono! very well could have done. So here we have another wonderful arrangement of rock in the H!P world. I love this song, have been listening to it a lot lately. By the way, I love the dance they do for this song, especially the feet shuffling. I may be biased since Airi is in it. But that’s because she makes this song that much better. Oh and their costumes for the performance are awesome. I really like the instrumental too, especially the intro. By the way, I neglect to mention the Egg cause I seriously don’t notice her presence that much. Sorry.

~10 out of 10 Momoko’s were damaged so they needed to put in that random Egg~

God those gloves are huge... And I thought Michael had huge gloves...

One doesn’t belong, which is it? Hint: She’s taller than everyone else.

9. Shin Minimoni – Pen Pen Kyoudai

I was like “wth?” when I heard this song. I still am and I skip this song a lot, especially because Yume to Genjitsu <3, is right before this song. Admittedly, this song is not as genki-charged as I would expect out of Minimoni. But it’s Shin Minimoni so they deserve the benefit of the doubt. The “Pen” gets somewhat annoying. But otherwise it sounds like a kiddy song (as it should, since it’s Minimoni), complete with Tsunku backing vocals. That instrumental though… kinda catchy.

~6 out of 10 pens were broken in the production of this song~

Legsss! Funny, my two favorite girls are in pants. ^__^

10. DESTINY LOVE – High-King

I’m surprised that High-King lives. Yay, for super unit! This song is a change from the more dance infused music they had for their previous songs. It’s I guess we can call it R&B? I’m bad at classifying genres. Actually, it kinda reminds me of Gomattou’s one song and they were also a super unit. The rap is pretty cool, though. It’s got that elevating feel of of fate. The rest of the song, good enough. Kinda forgettable, if I don’t account for the rap.

~7 out of 10 loves are destined to end in a rap battle~

I was hoping for them to hold up signs in the actual performance. Have I mentioned that I love how Yurina is tall?

11. Guardians 4 – Omakase Guardians

I have been avoiding the Shugo Chara stuff for a while now. Well, that is until I’ve unintentionally heard Buono! and other things. But I heard “Omakase Guardians” because of the Hello! Champloo concert. This song is pretty lucky, happy, makasete ne. I like the chorus. There here’s also good line distribution, something I’m noticing with how many times I hear Mittsi’s voice, which is hard to hear in some Momusu songs *cough*Resonant Blue *cough*. I really wanted to see those signs in the performance, though ><.

~8 out of 10 signs that go up in the PV~

12. Shugo Kyara Egg – Shugo Shugo

I’m not a fan of the Eggs. And this song becomes largely forgettable to me. It feels like it’s one of those songs made for an anime. Well, of course it is, since the group is tied to the anime. But there are a lot of anime songs that don’t have that “anime” generic feel to it. But this song is cutesy and upbeat and very generic to me.

~3 out of 10 eggs were left in the dining hall last week~

13. Tsukushima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu – Happy Happy Sunday!

This is another anime tie-in song. Koharu sounds exactly the way I remember her. While, yes she has graduated and I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt now that she is gone, this song… Koharu’s vocals have always been special. If you like them, then you like them. But I don’t. The song itself sounds fun but her voice kinda ruins the fun for me. In order to properly review this song, I have to bear in mind that she has to be in character. And that requires her to modify her voice to that… voice. I’ll admit it though, I find myself singing along to the chorus. Oh well Koharu, good luck on modeling!

~6 out of 10 Sundays in this semester were actually happy happy~

14. S/mileage – aManojaku

At first I skipped this song when it came to the Hello! Champloo concert. But after some more listens it honestly has grown on me more. It’s a bit childish but mellow sounding. It has an uplifting feel to it too. So, honestly I like it. It’s good to cool down from all the energetic that you would’ve gone through had you been listening to this album straight through in proper track order.

~7 out of 10 tries I captured safety pants when I was capping this performance at Hello! Champloo concert~

15. Abe Natsumi – Screen

Now we get to stuff that’s totally out of the radar. At least in terms of my interests, I seldom follow the Elder Club soloists. But this, “Screen”… wow I don’t recall Nacchi sounding like this. I guess’ it’s really been that long since I heard her sing alone. This song continues the mellow environment that S/mileage set in. I like this song though. The chorus is cool. And yay for Engrish. Shows Nacchi can still sing. This is actually a big change for the latter part of the album. But it is welcome.

~7 out of 10 times, I imagine Nacchi’s head tilted while she runs~

16. Matsuura Aya – Chocolate Damashii

Here we have Ayaya putting us back on track to upbeat land. This was her last official single under Hello! Project, so this is a fitting track to put in here. This song is continuing her mellow upbeat stuff that she had been doing in the latter part of your career (versus her origins as an idol). While, I do prefer the younger Ayaya’s music, I don’t mind that she has grown into this kind of sound. The song sounds good and the chorus is fun to sing along with. At this point I’ve mentioned “chorus” a lot. Yes, I put a lot of emphasis on the hooks and draw in for a song. If it’s remotely memorable, that’s good in my books.

~7 out of 10 chocolate treats that would get thrown away because I can’t eat chocolate. I’ll save the other three for … ~

17. Yaguchi Mari – Seishun Boku

Hey this is the first time we’ve heard Yaguchi sing solo. The music is performed by “Airband” and its sound is completely unlike normal H!P sound. But hey it’s here because Yaguchi is in it. Sounds like a generic rock solo song to me. Somewhat unforgettable. Sorry… Yaguchi, you don’t pass.

~4 out of 10 “atsui”’s are in the first chorus~

18. Bye Bye – Satoda Mai with Hexagon Kyoudai

I hear Satoda’s characteristic voice! I’m aware that she has been surviving outside of H!P because of Quiz Hexagon. And here is her musical contribution. I actually don’t know if this is very popular, but it’s meh ok. Come to think of it, the ending of this album is just all the soloists/Elder club and was not really made in a way to provide a bang to the end. Though, lol, what better song to end than on “Bye Bye”

~6 out of 10 pop bands use a song that involves the word “Bye” or repeats of “Bye”~

So, if we total this mathematically the average review score is 6.5. That’s awfully low for something with relatively good hits. Geez, that’s how much Mano brings this album down XD. It is a compilation album however. That being said, my overall score for this album would be:

SE7EN

Yea, I went there. Listen to it though, it’s a good review for the past year of Hello! Project. Hope all have had a good read out of this. This is probably the first post that I’ve actually tried writing by taking my time and proofreading along the way. You can kinda tell I gave up near the end though, those songs don’t excite me enough…

~Siggy, who has heard Yume to Genjitsu equivalent to the amount of hours its taken to write this post up~

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5 responses

19 12 2009
Dolorous Haze - Blog Archive » Conflict Productions On Pucchi Best 10

[…] Pucchi Best 10: The Year of Many Groups « Conflict Productions. […]

19 12 2009
thejuggernaut

I haet that they put Mano’s worst song in it…

19 12 2009
euriya

This is really random, and I just ran into your website via google, but I was reading this post and I ran across what you said about Tanpopo #. I just thought I’d say that in music, when a # is placed next to a note it’s a “sharp”.
i.e. C# is c sharp, A# is a sharp, etc.

19 12 2009
siggyx4scythe

lol @ euriya
didnt actually know that about music (i have barely any real knowledge of music). are u actually into H!P? how did a google search land u here XD

@thejuggernaut
i hear her new album is better so i aim to hear that sometime to hopefully change my opinion of her.

21 12 2009
vampirehunterd

I liked your write up and agreed with most of it. I am however a HUGE Elders Club nut and would have rated Yaguchi’s Seishun Boku at least a 7 out of 10. But I’ve been following HP for a long time and am partial to the girls that got me involed all those many years ago. Good post, look forward to reading more from you.

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