Signal’s “Secret Rain” Promo Event at HMV Sakae (August 15, 2015)

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Commited to catching up, here is another report! This is dedicated to all the Sailor Moon musical fans all over the world. ❤

Signal is a Japanese pop band that had three ladies transformed as handsome guys (more like the “ikemen” type). The trio formed in 2015 with members Root, Rei, and Lyra. If you are a fan of the all-female theatre troupe Takarazuka Revue, you might recognized Lyra from the Tsukigumi or the Moon Group. Others might recognized Root from various “ikemen shoujo” magazines like KERA or Men’s Bible. But, I think a lot of people from the Western World knows Root as the phenomenal Jadeite from the 2013 Sailor Moon Musical La Reconquista.
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The group released their first mini-album, entitled “Secret Rain”, on July 29, 2015. This is the only CD they ever released as Signal announced at the end of last month that they were going to split up due to each member wanting to pursue their own individual activities.

Originally when I went the mini-live at HMV Sakae on August 15, I just wanted check out this ikemen group because they looked interesting when I researched them beforehand. I didn’t really know that Root was in this group until she did her self-introduction. I was shocked when she introduced herself and had to check the group’s blog to make sure it was true. At that moment, I grew excited as I really loved Root when she starred in the 2013 Sera Myu musical. She makes a great guy villain and is an amazing singer.

The live started promptly at one o’clock. The crowd was a bit small with most of the audience being young adult females. I stood in the back of the crowd because I didn’t know this group really well to join the front section with the true fans. The “guys” came onto the stage and did their self-introductions. Root’s acting as a guy is pretty spot-on, like always. She got the mannerisms and can produce a guy-ish tone easily. So can Lyra. However, Rei was the weaker ikemen as she was pretty girlish. She really can’t do the ikemen really well as you can tell in the picture above that she is one that looks less masculine then other two. During the MCs, she brought out the playful female side as she tried to be cute and more girlish. Maybe a career in ikemen entertainment isn’t suited for her but she was having fun.

During the twenty minute live, Signal sang two or three songs, which the very last one was “Secret Rain”, while entertaining the crowd with a couple of MCs. The group was pretty shaky live as Root and Lyra could perform in an ikemen style and Rei couldn’t. I swear she just sang the song in her normal voice (and not the ikemen-type that was featured on the PV). However, the “guys” were having fun and you could see that the members enjoyed each other and had a good relationship between them.

After the mini-live, the staff prepared the stage for a handshake event for those who bought the CD. I quickly bought the album and obtained one handshake ticket. The line for the event was small, so it wasn’t much of a wait to approach the table. The first member who I greeted was Rei, who spoke some English to me and asked me if I lived in Nagoya. Then next was Root, who I told that I loved her in La Reconquista because she was my favorite Jadeite and I will continue to support her. She thanked me. Lastly, I approached Lyra, who I had a small conversation with. The event was laid-back as the fans could spend a decent amount of time talking to each member. I swear some of the girls before me were fangirling a lot though.

I haven’t listen to much of the album since I bought it. But, if you enjoy ikemen or vocally-altered dance music, you should check out this group. It’s a basic Jpop group that you expect to be from 2015. However, the group’s charm and the great relationship between each other is what makes Signal stand out. Just look at the PV below. You might even fall in love with one the members.

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Try the “SWEE:D” taste with “Stop It!”! It’s 100% Sugary!

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Valentines Day is coming very soon! It’s a romantic holiday for some of you lucky readers that is full of fancy dinners, Godiva chocolates, and red roses. But, if you are like me, you might be starting to save your money for February 15, the day when Valentines candy is 50% off, in order to begin a massive stockpile of sweets. Mmmm, candy hearts! If one of your pastimes is enjoying sugar rushes, then I got a band for you!

SWEE:D has all the sweetness you ever need. Formed in 2009, the pop band from Thailand had three members: Pin, Mim, and Jenny. Their catchphrases included “33% : Pim, 33% : Min, 33%: Jinny, and 1%: SECRET INGREDIENT” and “Try SWEE:D 100%”. Many believed that the girls were the Thai version of the Japanese girl group PERFUME while others believed they were copying the Kpop style that was popular when they formed. Nevertheless. the girls released their first single entitled “ห้าม* (Stop It!)” in 2010/. The single sadly didn’t chart on any of the Thai music charts[1]. The band released a few more singles in 2010 while performing at various concerts for their record label KamiKaze. Sadly, the group disbanded either in 2011 or 2012 when one of the members wanted to study abroad. Since their contracts were set to expire around the same time, the girls decided not to renew[1]. It is unknown what each girl is doing currently.

You can feel the sugary vibes when you begin to listen to the first few seconds of “Stop It!”. The overuse of the drum kits and synthesizers furthers the sweet tooth as it makes the song sound so innocent and cute. The song turns a little bitter as the lyrics starts to reveal the setup, a list of “don’t”s that the girl in the song hopes that her potential boyfriend will abide to. The list is a bit innocent as some of the examples are: “Don’t post a message…”, “…don’t you dare run off!”, and (the louche one) “Don’t try pick-up lines on me anywhere”.[2] What makes the “flavor” last longer is the visual presentation of girls and song through the music video. You can see the girls are trying to be syrupy by the pastel dress, the “sexy yet cute” look, and the music video’s story.

I personally think that this song’s style comes from those similar to Kpop as it has the cute melodies, sweet and sexy outfits, and innocent lyrics. Hopefully you don’t get a toothache after listening to this candy-coated song.

Further Reads:

* SHANNY594‘s write up of the group: “SWEE:D!!~♥


Notes / References

[1] Thanks Tahmnong for the information! ❤

[2] “ห้าม (Stop It!)” by SWEE:D. (2011, September 30). Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://deungdutjai.com/2011/09/30/stop-it-by-sweed/