2009 Year in Review

31 12 2009

As it is the end of year, I take this time to reflect on all that I can remember about this year. There’s no way I can remember the sheer amount of things that happen over the course of like 350+ days unless it sticks out. And this will be an overview of what stuck out for me. The review is separated into early winter, spring, summer and fall/winter seasons. Long post, but that’s only because I have a lot to say about some things and I like writing a lot. By the by, those links sprinkled here and there are links to the relevant post I made over this year.

  • Early Winter (December 2008 – February 2009)
    With the inauguration of Obama, the year 2009 started with a slow start. The early winter of 2009 was a blur, as I don’t recall much. I had just gotten into Perfume late last year and was catching up to them. So in retrospect, January was relatively boring especially since school was just starting up again. SNSD and Buono! were quite prominent during this season.

    I can't believe I turned them down! XD

    Early in the winter of this year, Korea was going crazy over Gee. I happened to grab the PV on JPS (back when it was still on its old system) and watched it cause I had it. Gee is an excellent song and I cannot deny that. Meanwhile, the Wonder Girls were sitting around doing nothing. Who would ever guess they’d end up touring America as an opening act to the Jonas Brothers. Seriously though, that one came out of nowhere. But other things did eventually distract me to the point where I never did really get to know the SNSD girls. And my time with K-pop for this year stopped here.

    *harmonica solo* from Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
    So what distracted me? Buono! did. During the winter I had started listening to Buono! I remember fondly, studying for finals and getting Rottara Rottara stuck in my head. In February, their Buono! 2 album was released. That album was one of the best albums this year. And that album alone really solidified Buono! in my listening ranks. Buono! and the major spring event following effectively barred me from getting into K-Pop.

  • Spring (March – May)
    Spring was filled with sprinkles of disappointment glazed over good parts. Elder Club graduated from Hello! Project. Dragonball. Hangry & Angry! and more. Though those are only the couple things that I really remember.This is probably one of the biggest moments of Hello! Project history right here.
    The biggest event of the spring is arguably, Elder Club’s graduation from Hello! Project. The Elder Club represents a very big foundation of Hello! Project and a big part of my history as a fan. I was quite sad about it and it wasn’t until recently that I finally sat down to watch the longest graduation concert ever. It was an excellent concert and I wound up catching 660 screencaps (one of which is posted above). Watching the graduation even made me feel the sensation of tearing. And this happened even with someone else in the room. T_T I miss them already.

    Despite Elder Club’s graduation, Hello! Project did not sink all of a sudden. In March after a long almost 2 year wait, Morning Musume released Platinum 9 Disc. Among Momusu’s 9 major albums, there are only 2 albums that I find to be all around good. Platinum 9 Disc is one of these two albums. SONGS is my favorite of the album songs and it really represents the new level that Momusu has reached beyond its older roots. Also around this time, I started actively watching concert DVDs and getting a real appreciation for their performances. Meanwhile, Buono! released MY BOY which is my favorite song from them this year. I just had to throw that in there.

    Best Comedy of 2009
    In America, Dragonball Evolution the movie was released. And let me tell you that movie… was … lol. I recall hearing about a Dragonball movie way back from junior high school. The fact that it was really done and released made me curious. The best/worst part was that Hamasaki Ayumi herself was singing a tie-in song, Rule. I only intended to watch the movie for the song, but I watched the whole thing just for laughs. At this period in my life, my opinion of Ayu’s music really changed and I basically stopped listening to her recent music.

    Hangry & Angry made history as the first real Hello! Project act in America (Hawaii doesn’t count). From what I heard it was a great experience for those who went to Sakura-Con. This didn’t mean much to me though, since I wasn’t following them at the time (as a matter of fact, I still have not started). But it was a start and a premonition for bigger things to come. Buono! was to be going to Europe. That wound up being cancelled however, to the disappointment of many fans.

  • Summer (June – August)
    Summer brings a lot of big developments for everyone. Almost everything major happened in July for me. Perfume released Triangle, Momusu came to America, Subgroups! and more.Am I really the only person who loves Zero Gravity?
    Perfume released their much anticipated album, Triangle. I love the singles after GAME. But the album was somewhat of a disappointment for me. GAME had a much more powerful variety whereas Triangle seemed to lack the punch that GAME had on its album tracks. Though one track really stuck out for me and that was Zero Gravity. I don’t think I’ve heard a single person who likes that song XD.

    Already you can tell this year is very biased towards Hello! Project. It is because I had a big resurgence in fan following, especially because of IntlWota. But that’s not to say other musical entities weren’t capturing my attention. Avex celebrated its 20th year anniversary by releasing Trax. Ravex made this amazing album full of dancey and rave tracks. I love this kind of music too and it really hit the spot when I needed a short break from H!P style music.

    Peace out, I'm transferring to Megu's school, Airi is too hard to get.
    Now that that short break is over, Hello! Project made a big retro splash by reviving the subgroups of years past. I was intrigued and in the end I approve. I find it nice that Hello! Project is willing to bank on nostalgia while promoting their current and future selves. I also look forward to the next wave of Hello! Project concerts and hopefully the subgroup songs that follow. Unfortunately, Kanna who had been out of action for a while was finally confirmed as returning to the “normal life”. I wonder what happened…

    The biggest event of the summer was arguably the death of Michael Jackson, Morning Musume @ Anime Expo 2009. By this time I was a regular in wotachat. I looked forward to reading the updates and news throughout the three days, all of which I was scheduled for long days of work. While I wasn’t there, I enjoyed the coverage from IW, Hello! Party, and the fun time in wotachat. It’s one of my more memorable wota experiences, even though I wasn’t really in on the action. Though, I guess this was mental preparation for the next big step in my fandom of Hello! Project.

    Gaki-san wants more attention XD
    Lastly, in the summer Momusu released their 40th single, Nanchatte Renai. I have a fond memory of seeing Yaguchi on a mini-tricycle, pedalling hard for her life in the burning sun while hearing Nanchatte Renai. ^__^ That should be the PV right there, Pinch Triker.

  • Fall / Winter (September – December)
    A lot of big things happened this fall/winter. I tend to remember the end of the year more because I’m much more active because of school and not lamenting on the routine feeling of summer. That and of course, it just happened recently ^_^ The end of the year was very much Hello! Project filled for me as Hello!StoreUSA opened as well as a surprise visit by Kago in America. It was also an unfortunate downer with graduations.
    Congratulations m-flo, on a 10th anniversary, I look forward to the next big song!
    JPS played a big role in J-pop fandom. It was about the fall time that JPS moved to their current system. One day, I was looking through my RSS reader and was pleasantly surprised to find a new m-flo song. And so it was m-flo’s 10th anniversary this fall. I have loved m-flo’s music for quite some time and SOUND BOY THRILLER was a welcome addition to m-flo’s fantastic library.IMGP0317
    Hello!StoreUSA was announced sometime in September and opened up to a server overloading rush. Since it’s grand opening, I’ve gone way over my budget and made 5 orders. But I don’t regret it, not one bit ^_^. I’m pleasantly surprised that they have gone the extra mile for everyone, due to setbacks from customs. And I look forward to seeing what they’ll bring to us in 2010. Other than rising prices >.>

    Amazingly, the only thing I could think of was that her hands were SO soft
    My biggest memory for winter was in November when I got to meet and shake the hand of former Momusu, Kago Ai. It was a great experience and I feel great that I made the journey to Mitsuwa for it. I do feel somewhat sad that I don’t have the same feelings for her as she is now, but it’s a natural part of life. That doesn’t stop me from following her on Twitter, though ^_^.

    Tata, I'm gone in March to join Megu and Kanna.
    And now the sadness of this year. Erika graduated from C-ute. Koharu also graduated from Morning Musume. These are two pretty big developments since they’ve both been in their respective groups for quite a while. But perhaps the biggest graduation of them all is the ANNOUNCEMENT that Kayo will be leaving POLYSICS. She’s been in the band since 1998. This announcement was literally made during the time I spent writing this post… that’s how big and recent it is! T___T 2009 will forever be the year of graduations in my mind.

And so that is a review of the year from my end. Great things happened, but there were also other things that balanced the good. The saying that all good things must come to an end rings true so much more than it has before. Still, it’s a good year.

Happy new year everyone and let’s look forward to what 2010 will bring us!
IT'S A TRAP 2010

~Siggy, who spent too long writing all of this, but got it all done before 2010 at least…~

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