Year in Review 2010

1 01 2011

Year 2010, oh what a year this was. I’d argue many things happened in my personal life that made this year something else altogether. But since this blog has nothing to do with my personal life (and rightfully so) I will continue to review the year in entertainment for 2010.

So what happened this past year? Well, according to Hello! Online member statistics, this is my 5th year being a Hello! Project fan, more specifically a Morning Musume fan. I had been into Minimoni prior but since Morning Musume is my main fandom within Hello! Project, I just use January 2005 arbitrarily for my anniversary date.

This past summer held one of the biggest announcements to happen in a while. That is if Koharu’s graduation was a big deal (and it certainly was) this was triple the deal. If you’ve somehow avoided the news that Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin were set to and have already graduated from Morning Musume, then I apologize. I apologize for being the one to let you know. You were supposed to hear it from Tsunku-san himself. Let’s rectify this.

Assuming you don’t know Japanese, the hunt for the 9th generation was announced. Also, the graduation of Kamei, JunJun and LinLin was announced. I’d like to also comment that Tsunku-san is very sly with his words. He just drops those bombs out of nowhere and the next thing you know the whole audience is in uproar. Just remember that Morning Musume is an evolving group that is not static. Somewhat coincidentally enough, I had written that post earlier in the year in regards to the fact that we can’t expect Morning Musume to stay the way it is. After Momusu’s trip to Paris I wasn’t fully expecting the graduation announcement. After all, one can never be ready for these things. But with their trip to Anime Expo, Japan Expo and Shanghai Expo, I’m starting to think that any Expo they go to, signifies a graduation. For those who feel lost that Momusu has lost all of its steam, we rest easy with the news that the 9th generation has already been decided. And in fact, the announcement is waiting for the new year and a day to be let out. I look forward to seeing what Tsunku (or the mysterious superiors) have for Momusu. But before we look forward to next year, since this is a year in review, take a moment to savor all the moments this past year. Remember the presence of JunJun and LinLin and Kamei and their wonderful performance on December 15th.


So this past year they released their 11th full album, Fantasy Juuichi, which does not live up to my full expectations after the amazing showing from Platinum 9 Disco and 10 MY ME. That being said, I don’t dislike the album. My favorite track (4), Onna gokoro to nanto yara (or however you want to romanize it) is simple and lovely (points if you get this reference). The rest of the album, excluding singles, is not too much to write home about, unfortunately. And that is surprising, considering that this is the first album since the last two albums to feature the same set of girls from beginning recording period to ending period. Everyone may recall, Platinum 9 Disco had the one off, Kanashimi Twilight tossed in with all of the Takahashi administration songs. Likewise, 10 MY ME had the remnants of Koharu’s vocals. That being said, I am disappointed that for this album where there were no change in members from the previous album (a rarity), this album didn’t turn out stronger in my liking.

Single-wise, Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai was amazing. Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game likewise is very good. Seishun Collection, on the other hand, at first was not too special. But after the announcement of the mass graduation, the song became that much more special to me. And today, when I hear it I’m reminded of the clip from earlier.

I also realized the fact that I like all of Reina’s solo songs from previous albums including this one. This makes her gig with Uta no Rakuen all the more enjoyable. Which is great for her and I hope it’s giving her more exposure in the mainstream entertainment world. I do recall her actually being in the Top 10 list of blogs recently. Who says Morning Musume is a dying group? Just because AKB is en vogue right now doesn’t mean that Hello! Project is just going to wither away and die. Give me death or give me Maimi!!! Speaking of Maimi, her gig on the pseudo toku show, Zacklly Fighter Piramekid, is something that has bridged my interest in toku as well as idols (no don’t even mention Queen and Elizabeth) and I look forward to catching up and watching it all. I mean frankly, who wouldn’t want to be beat with a paper fan by Maimi~

For an odd reason or another this has been Okai Chisato’s (C-ute) year. She came out with multiple one-shot dance videos on youtube and became massively popular. She even got her first photobook announced along with Saki Shimuzu and Mitsui Aika. Which now means, with the exception of S/mileage, the three main groups of Hello! Project all have at least one photobook to each member. It took this long but they finally all have photobooks!

Since the past year, I have been following Morning Musume passionately, and I continue to do so. As silly as it may sound, I think it’s important to really give your favorite idols your support. I feel somewhat bad for the time where I neglected them during my transition to college, but I’m making up for it now! Especially with this crucial stage that Momusu is currently going through, I feel compelled to stand by them and look forward to their future. Don’t forget that the 9th generation members are being announced soon!

Another big thing in 2010 for me, was my first concert! Technically, I had seen to Video Games Live back in … I believe it was 2005 or 2006. But I don’t really consider that a traditional concert so this is why I consider POLYSICS to be my first concert! Ever since hearing Kayo was set to graduate from POLYSICS I was intent on seeing her before I would lose the chance. It was awfully convenient of them to be in New York on a weekend (though an inconvenient weekend at that). I wouldn’t miss it for the world. And while my experience at the concert wasn’t the best, I don’t regret it. I got to meet Kayo, get an autograph from her and have a jolly old time. It’s like meeting your favorite idol, except she’s not an idol, she’s a robot. She was mechanically engineered to get cuter as she gets older. I’ve been looking for the right time to sit down and watch her graduation concert in Budokan, so hopefully I’ll get some time this winter break to do so. But I have SO many things to watch!

In other sectors, Perfume has made it to Tokyo Dome, which if I’m not mistaken is the biggest venue in Japan. Huge accomplishment and I can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for them. Release an album! What else? Ah! Taku Takahashi, which everyone may remember as the DJ behind m-flo, did the music for Gainax’s new anime, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. The music is excellent and the anime itself is pretty good and interesting.

Arguably for me, one of the biggest things about 2010 was the huge Korean wave enveloping Japan. Ever since coming to college, Koreans have been around me. I hear K-pop, hear about K-dramas being oh so good, I even currently have a Korean roommate! The amount of influence K-pop had in my musical tastes was limited to just that, K-pop. There have been isolated cases before, Tohoshinki and BoA for example. But they remain very isolated because I don’t have a large following for them. But in more recent times several of the K-pop groups have been what I basically consider invading Japan. This has caused what I see to be the biggest saturation of Asian girl groups on the market in recent years. AKB with their 1337 members, Avex’s new foray to the idol market with Tokyo Girls Style and others, Momoiro Clover with their ice cream are the hottest new things. And now we have the likes of SNSD and Kara, with more to come. My feelings on this are too numerous to post here in this review. However, I’m partially amused to see the Korean wave bringing their A-game over. At the same time, I’m not amused that they have now invaded the place where I am safe from their influence. 2011 will be another year full of Koreans.

This year really belonged to AKB. I have remained decidedly anti or ignorant of AKB for this year.  Unfortunately, I stand by my original opinion that they do not appeal to me because of part of their music. Also for an odd reason or another, looking at Tomomi really annoys me. It’s her forehead, it has to be. Everyone knows how I am about foreheads… AKB will no doubt have an amazing year in 2011, I don’t particularly look forward to hearing everyone rave over them on the news. But congratulations AKB. You all deserve it for your hard work. Though part of me doubts the deserving it should be equally distributed.

I guess that’s it… My blog has been rather dead for 2010 with a grand total of about 13 posts, give or take if you consider them all relevant enough to be a post. But then again that is more or less due to how busy school has made me. Also, my inability to write on command also prevents me from finishing drafts and/or writing what’s on my mind. So as slow as my blog is, I appreciate everyone reading my posts and awaiting my next post. Here’s to 2011!


As it stands, the end of Year 2010 has been taken over by conveyor belts and sushi~




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