Get ready for the Olympics with Kobushi Factory

FESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTA!!

Deixa a festa começar!

It is less than three weeks to the 2016 Summer Olympics that will be held in Rio de Janeiro. But, everyone is preparing for the major event of the year by releasing merchandise, airing the pre-game qualifiers on TV, talking about it on every morning show, and incorporating themes of the games and Rio de Janeiro in film and music.  This is no exception to Hello! Project, who has started a trend of providing Olympic-themed songs in the last five years.

When you first listen to “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”, you probably think it’s the long-lost relative to ANGERME’s 2012 song “Dot Bikini”. I swear the tempos of each song are about the same and both use the same instruments like a whistle, surdo, and others. The other similarity is when I hear the “cha cha cha” part at the end of “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”‘s chorus. It reminds me of the “Chuumoku Chuumoku Chumoku” during “Dot Bikini” with a surdo being heard prominently in the background.

Hmm...

However, I give Kobushi Factory some credit as the group did a great job at capturing the spirit of Rio de Janeiro’s samba through music and film. “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” uses instruments that are prominent in these Brazilian tunes like a surdo, trumpet, and saxophone. Also, the “ya ya ya” parts during the breaks are something you typically find in a  samba song. Whoever hasiejaneiro is, he did a great job trying to capture the spirit of a fun Rio de Janeiro samba festival with his arrangement. (My friend mentioned to me that hasiejaneiro might be Shin Hashimoto, who also arranged old Hello! Project songs like reggae-flavored “Summer Reggae Rainbow”)

The costumes also help bring tradition, originality, and flare. The girls wear a traditional Brazilian carnival costume with various colors scattered all over each piece. I don’t really like how the stylist executed the use green and yellow as the prominent themes. It just makes the costume seem tacky, cheap, and disorganized. I do really like the background dancers’ costumes as they are focused on one color per dancer and the style and blends seem more coherent. I do understand that the stylist wanted to incorporate the Brazilian flag’s colors into the group’s costumes. But at the same time, it should have been executed better. Maybe in a way like the dancers’.

What the music video lacks a lot of is a carnival. To my understanding, carnivals are usually in streets and with lots of people. Not in a secluded mansion with a pool. Like someone said on the H!P forum MM-BBS, this music video should of have been shot on a street with the members interacting with the dancers (which the girls don’t do much of in the original MV) and onlookers. I know it is really expensive to close a busy street in Tokyo and hire a few handfuls of people to be extras. But, it would make the music video look even more fun and encapture the spirits of samba and a carnival. (Maybe should of also the confetti?)

Enough about the costumes and music video, let’s get back to the important subject; the music. Vocally, the group never disappoints me as each member have strong vocal skills and they blend really well together. But musically, I feel the song is a bit weak and boring. Maybe because it’s a bit generic as a samba and H!P song. I also feel like “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” is bland. I feel that the singers nor the instruments capture  the true excitement. Instead, the listener is treated to almost four minutes of subdued, non-climatic happiness.

Maybe I am also still reeling over the awesomeness of Kobushi Factory’s last single, “Sakura Night Fever”. I am in looooooooooooove this feel-good song as it features two legendary musicians on the track (DANCEMAN and KAN), a subdued key change, bringing out the bass and the guitar, the excitement, Rei Inoue’s awesome line, and more. The list can go on but maybe I being a little too bias?

What do you think of “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”? Do you enjoy it’s festive style or do you think it’s subdued and bland?

My real question is: What will be the theme song for Japanese broadcast of the Summer Olympics?

Musical Reactions: Morning Musume. 15 Wants To Tell You That They’re the “One and Only” with This Tune

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Morning Musume. or even their umbrella group Hello! Project has been impressing fans around the world since their debut eighteen years ago. From the shocking selections of new members from Mr. Producer himself, Tsunku, to their attempts to reach fans overseas with adding members with diverse skills, this Japanese girl pop group tries to keep their fans on the edge by challenging themselves with new goals. This group even has amazed me over the year in terms of their sound as they transitioned quite seamlessly from disco-themed hits like 1999’s “LOVE Machine” to the EDM music that the current line-up is known for.

However, their amazing dance routines and the diversity of the member’s skills isn’t the only things that makes this group astonishing.

This does:

 

The song above is called “One and Only” which is the current opening theme for the music program “J-MELO” on NHK World. One of the things that surprised me when I first listened to the song is that the whole thing is in English, a language that was very challenging for most of the group’s members.

This song feels like it features a lot of Miki Nonoka, a member who is a native speaker of English due to living overseas in the US. That is understandable since Nonoka is an ideal lead for this song due to her English ability. But, what irks me is that it seems like the mixer cranked up the volume on Miki’s vocal track. I feel that during the group chorus, the only person I can hear is Miki as her vocals consume the others. Or maybe I am just imagining things as: (a) I just can’t pick out everyone’s voices just yet (which is unlikely) or (b) since everyone got the same coach to teach them the English pronunciation, each member just have the same vocal style and pronunciation while singing in English. Just wish I could  hear a little more of Kanon Suzuki’s lines. 😦

What makes this song kind of confusing is its identity. Is it a traditional pop song? Or is it an EDM tune? I recently read up on Tsunku’s notes to see what was the song’s style. The only thing he mentioned is the song’s changing keys and the cool guitar riff during the intro. I feel like the guitar riffs are the best part while the generic claps and the EDM-style synthesizer sprinkled here and there are the worst parts. The song doesn’t really need them as the guitar and bright piano got everything covered. I know it’s the current trend for Morning Musume. But seriously, won’t it be nice to take a break from EDM once in awhile? Go traditional!

Some people have complained about the lyrics contents as the words are just plain terrible. For me, I personally don’t care about the lyrics. I am just happy that they are in English and the girls are trying their best to sing them. But, I do think that the dance is a bit whack, especially at 0:03.  Dance moves like that makes you question what was the choreographer thinking when he or she came up with the moves. Did you really want Morning Musume do some mutated dance routine from “Thriller”?

Overall, the song is decent. Will it be a hit? Naaah. Is it decent? Yes if you just ignore the weird dance movements and the annoying EDM instruments that pops up time to time. I wish it featured more members and wasn’t a “Miki Nonoka featuring other members that are supposedly part of this group, whaaaaaaat?” song.

What do you think about Morning Musume’s first English song? Is it good? is it horrendous? Comment below!

 

Reporting Live: HR promoting their debut single “Natsuiro Candy” at Nagoya’s Kintetsu Passe (June 14, 2015)

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Ah, summer! 

What comes to mind when you think of this fabulous season? Is it the beach? The heat? The heaps of ice cream you get to eat?

Whatever may be the case, as we head towards winter, you are probably missing those dog days of summer. HR can help by reminding you of those feelings with their debut single “Natsuiro Candy” (Summer-Colored Candy).

HR, short for Hakata Reboot, is an enormous idol group based in Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture aka southern Japan. The group formed in 2010 with fourteen members with a simple motive; be an AKB48-like group for girls who want to become idols but can’t move to Tokyo. It sounds a bit fishy but plausible because, despite Japan looking like a tiny country on international news reports, the distance between Tokyo and Fukuoka is over five hundred kilometers (or over three hundred miles). That might or might not seem a lot. But, a hopeful idol who wants to make it big in the idol industry, it is.

Trying to keep their dreams alive, HR opened their own theater on the third floor of Box Town Hakozaki. Interestingly, a sister group of AKB48 performs in another theater near HR. Selective girls perform on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, which are the days that HKT48 closes their theaters in order to have members do promotional work all over Japan. Smart thinking, HR managers!

The group constantly adds members with countless auditions they hold throughout the year. And, like all mainstream idol groups, members graduate or leave the group. However, I feel like members in HR leave faster compare to other indie/not-so-popular idol groups due to the prospect of other, well-known, Fukuoka-based groups like LinQ and HKT48. If you take a look at HR’s Japanese Wikipedia page, there are more graduated members listed than active members. That is a bit surprising.

Nevertheless, the group persisted and released their debut indies single “Kimi ni Spark” on May 2, 2012. Three years later, they released their debut major single “Natsuiro Candy” on June 24 under the Columbia Records label. To promote the single, the group split up into “teams” and did various promotional store events across the country.

I decided to go see HR at Nagoya’s Kintetsu Passe before I went to see ANGERME at another mall because I wanted to kill some time. Like most of the groups I mention on this blog, I didn’t know about HR before I saw the mini-live. I actually briefly saw the music video for “Natsuiro Candy” and wasn’t impress. Seriously, the music video is basically having is girls dancing and singing in bikinis on some beach, I thought it was unflattering, boring, and a blatant ripoff of AKB48’s bikini fest music videos.

I arrived at Kintetsu Passe five minutes before the event started. There were a small number of male fans starting to queue their place in the event space. By the edge of the area, members were circling around, chatting with fans and non-fans while promoting the event to people passing by. No really approached me and tried to start a conversation with me sadly. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping that someone would want to strike a conversation with me. Maybe they were afraid to or that there wasn’t enough time to chat.

Once it was one o’clock, the members headed towards the stage and began to sing their opening number. I don’t remember which song they sang. But, I stuck around for three songs before I had to catch a bus to see ANGERME. I can’t recall what songs they song, what was their opening talk about, and can’t seem find a set list anywhere on the web.

HR isn’t my cup of tea since, like I mentioned above, their music videos and songs are an obvious ripoff of famous AKB48 summer songs like “Labrador Retriever” and “Sayonara Crawl”. Although they are AKB48’s most popular singles, I find them to be bland and tasteless as they feature simple vocals and basic instrumentation. Though “Labrador Retriever” has somewhat of a plot going through the music video, the primary focus is on the girls doing a plain choreographed dance in their bikinis. Maybe I am looking at these summer songs at the wrong angle but I don’t find them interesting at all. I am more of a “RIVER” and “Halloween Night”-type of fan.

In the same regards, that is how I feel about HR and “Natsuiro Candy”. The girls are pretty nice, cute, and ambitious. But, their songs are a snooze fest. There is no personality or taste in both the song and the music video. I understand that this is their debut single and they probably didn’t get a lot of money to get a great song or music video. But, for the love of all things good, put that money to good use by making something diverse. We don’t need ANOTHER AKB48-sounding group!

I would recommend HR if you like the 48 family or knock-off groups like Idol Kyoushitsu. If you aren’t, you could still enjoy them since they are pretty cute and have a feel good attitude. However, don’t expect too much as “Natsuiro Candy” isn’t much of a memorable song. HR just needs time to find their sound as they should stop copying a popular idol pattern and do their own thing.

They will release their second single, “Toy Soldier”, this Wednesday. It’s much better their debut single but still copying that bland idol formula.

Fun Fact: HR’s image color is “Mentaiko pink”. Mentaiko is marinated fish eggs from pollacks and cods. It is part of the Japanese cuisine. The group’s hometown of Hakata is famous for “spicy Mentaiko”. Thus, the group’s image color pays homage to their hometown dish.

Reporting Live: J☆Dee’Z’s “Daisuki” Single Promo Event at Tower Records Sakae (May 22, 2015)

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J☆Dee’Z has become the newest addition to the list of Japanese groups that I like. When I first watched their new single’s music video, I really like them because they are enjoying performing a lot in everything they do and it shows. Also, they are pretty talented too!

Formed in 2010 when the company DANCE STYLE KIDS were looking for a new dance team for their public relations, J☆Dee’Z first started with five Generation Z-ers; Meik, MOMOKA, Nono, AO, and Moe. The group’s concept was simple; be sexy and wild while being backup dancers for popular artists like BoA and Mai Kuraki.

The group experienced a little setback a year later when Moe decided to leave the group when she successfully passed the audition to be a trainee for AKB48. AO would also leave the group in 2012 when she became a backup dancer for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu while making a major debut with the group TEMPURA KIDZ. But, that didn’t stop J☆Dee’Z as their manager decided to add a member from the dance school Dance Studio TRAX, ami, before AO’s departure.

The girls became regular guests on the Sunday morning show “Pokemon Get☆TV”. They released a collaboration single with the show, titled “Pokemon de Odorou”, on July 23, 2014. The title song was used as the first and second endings for the show “Pokemon XY”. They made their debut two months later with the single “Beasty Girls/Let the music flow”.

To promote their second single “Daisuki”, the group decided to do various promotional events around Japan. One of their stops was at Tower Records in Sakae, Nagoya. How I found out about this information was on the store’s website. I was randomly browsing on the site one day and noticed that they were making an appearance on May 22. I asked myself “Who are these girls?” as I searched Youtube for their music after spotting their names on Tower Record’s website. Once I found the music video for “Daisuki”, I decided that I wanted to go the event and support these girls.

However, getting to the event was a bit tricky. I arrived in Sakae early enough to have time to chill at the local Starbucks while charging my phone. Once it reached fifteen minutes before show time, I began to head to the event location, entrusting that Google Maps would take me to the right direction.

However, it didn’t.

Welllll, it led me to the place in a roundabout way that caused me to get lost and waste twenty minutes trying to find the location. If I only followed the maps at the subway station… Also, I didn’t read the event page correctly and decided to go the store on the eighth floor first than the actual location (the event space on the first floor). I barely made it to the event, arriving when they sang their last song. 😦

I don’t really know the set list because I arrived late and no one has even posted it anywhere. The only song that I was able to see them perform was their new song. After that, the girls went off to the “green room” to take a break while the staff got the stage area ready for the second part of the event. I decided to buy a single so I could take a picture with the girls.

After buying a single, I jumped into the line. It wasn’t really long, which make waiting less frustrating because I didn’t have to wait for a long. The girls came out soon after and said a few words to start the event.

The photo above is the result of the said event. After handing my phone to the staff, I quickly jumped in the center. I said a couple of words like “Oh, you guys are so cool and cute”, “I found you guys out on the website”, and “I really enjoyed the live”. The girls said thanks and we chatted a bit. The girls even wished me a Happy Birthday because I said I was all dolled-up because it was my birthday the day after. I swear ami couldn’t stop looking at me because she kept on smiling and saying how pretty I was. But, in truth, her makeup and everything about her style made her prettier than me.

J☆Dee’Z is still a new group that is slowly getting some attention. The girls are really cute, they seem like they are having fun, talented at dancing, and don’t have really bad singing voices. I feel like this group is the Tiny Tim (from “The Christmas Carol”) of dance/singing/idol groups in Japan. Their fanbase is small and they are so young. However, they are full of determination and spirit that might make them brighter stars in the future.

Check out their music video for “Daisuki” here:

Did you know “Daisuki” is a cover of the same-titled song by Okamura Yasuiyuki. Released in 1988, the song\s PV has Okamura obsessing over girls, a woman who has a chocolate bar, and big blueberry.

Music Reactions: Boogie Woogie with AKB48, coming Halloween 2015!

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It is never too early to start Halloween, right? I remember that recently in America, Halloween products have started to show up around the end of July or early August along with back to school supplies. Apparently AKB48 wanted everyone to get in the Halloween mood early like Americans by performing their new song “Halloween Night” on a special music program last night.

I always had a love/hate relationship with AKB48. Ever since their debut with “Sakura no Hanabiratachi” in 2006, I have said that I hated this super idol group because of various reasons. I, like many fans, have compared AKB48 with my favorite group Morning Musume. a lot and said I could only be a fan of one group. I really loved the girls in Morning Musume. and thought they were more talented (in terms of singing, personality, dancing, cuteness, and others) than AKB48. I still listened to the 48 family as I downloaded some of their more popular singles. Over time, my hard heart soften as I began to like some of their songs like “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”, “RIVER” (which had my former favorite member Tomomi Itano), and “Dear my teacher” (What can I say? I am attracted to Akimoto Yasushi’s weird lyrics somehow).

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“Halloween Night” features one of my favorite members Rino Sashihara. I think I like her a lot because she is a huge fan of other idol groups, especially Hello! Project, and wants to create harmony and love between groups unlike some fans out there who want to start the “whose is better” wars. Furthermore, I think I might start to like Minami Takahashi, gorgeous Yuki Kashiwagi, Sakura Miyawaki, and unique Sayaka Yamamoto after watching yesterday’s live performance because they had the best costumes and performance style.

According to this tweet, this new song is supposed to be a sequel to the 2013 mega popular hit “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”. Both songs feature Rino as lead singer (as she won the fan’s hearts in the AKB fan elections this year and in 2013) and a 70s-style disco sound. Heck, when I first listened to “Halloween Night”, I wrote on my Facebook that “the 1970s just called and wants its disco music back, Japan”. You can hear it from the high-pitched guitar scale runs in the introductions, the musical break with the chorus, and the chopped rhythms. The song reminds me a lot of Earth, Wind, and Fire and/or Donna Summers while the musical break’s backup chorus reminds me of 90’s Jpop.

Many fans on the internet think that “Halloween Night” reminds them of the song “Boku no Sensei wa Fever” from the 70s drama “Necchuu Jidai”. I could hear a bit of a resemblance as both songs shared the same rhythms in the first few measures. However, after that, “Boku no Sensei wa Fever” and “Halloween Night” are totally different songs with different melodies. “Boku no Sensei wa Fever” is more of a disco song with Japanese melodies incorporated in it. I feel like “Halloween Night” is an American disco song with whoever composed the song getting inspired more by Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Even though “Halloween Night” is a great song, I don’t think it will live up to the expectation of “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”. It lacks the “oomph”, the super positive lyrics, catchy melodies, and memorable dance moves that the 2013 mega hit had. Despite this, I still love “Halloween Night” and it’s becoming one of my new favorites as I play this song repeatedly. Maybe the studio version will be even more awesome? Who knows? For now, let’s enjoy this version of “Halloween Night”:

(You can see pictures of all the costumes here at AKB48 Wrap Up.)

Music Rewind: The Mid-Year Review

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I have reached my 50th post with the last post, “Music Reactions: Celebrating the 4th of July by Listening to Oldies“.. By July 5th, 2015, ☆ai love music☆ has had 1,277 views and 721 visitors. I want to say a special and big thank you to each and every one of you guys who have visited this blog. Without you, I would have stopped writing by the second post.

Thanks again! A special thank you for those who commented on an entry! Those comments helped me a lot. Please, if you have a chance to do so, please comment on any entries as I want to know what you guys like and to see if I am any good at writing.

I usually don’t do Music Rewind on WordPress because I usually revisit older blog entries mainly on other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). However, since this a special post, I want to write one here too.

Today’s Music Rewind is a look back at the five most popular posts on ☆ai love music☆. This idea was inspired by the Japanese music chart Oricon. These charts do a mid-year review of the top 100 singles and albums in Japan.

Without further ado, here they are!

5. A Blast From the Past: The Year of Anime Music [Part 2] {June 28)

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The 90s were all about this woman! You literally could not watch an anime series that did not have Hayashibara Megumi as some sort of character. Being immensely popular in the voice acting world, Hayashibara also enjoyed a successful music career, singing various theme songs to memorable anime series…

Ahhh, “”Rashiku” Ikimasho”. Actually, any Sailor Moon song is always on the top of anison/anime song lists because I loooooooooooooove Sailor Moon. I also loooooooooooooove the song featured today. The ending to the fourth season of the super popular girls’ series “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon”, “”Rashiku” Ikimasho” is a fun, poppy song that fits the character of Sailor Chibi Moon perfectly… [Read More]

4. 11 Years of Thanks (March 6)

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A couple of days ago, one of the longest running idol groups in Japan held their farewell concert at the Nippon Budoukan with thousands of fans attending. Personally, I been a fan since they released their debut single in 2004; watching these once elementary school girls grow into beautiful ladies. During the years, their music even spread across the globe in various places like the USA, France, Thailand, and beyond. [Read More]

3. Remembering a Hidden Talent (January 25)

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There has been a great deal of news, either good or bad, in our lives and around the world in the last week. None more shocking than the death of Russian singer Origa on January 17. A talent that has been heard by less than ten percent of the world’s population but snuffed away too soon. Let’s take a moment to reflect on and remember Origa’s beloved career. [Read More]

2. Live Music Report: LinQ Promotional Event at Aeon Mall Nagoya Dome Mae (May 1, 2015) (May 10)

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LinQ is a Japanese girl “idol” group that has about thirty or more members that are from the Kyushu (or southern Japan) region. They been around for about four years, releasing their first single “Hajimemashite” in the fall of 2011. The group been under three different labels; their own label (2011), Tower Records’ own indies idol label T-Palette (2011-2013), and on the major label Warner Records (2013-now). Even though they been through the whole changing label dance, the group still has kept their original sound; the sugary, popish idol music you usually find in AKB48 and other modern day pop idol groups in Japan. [Read More]

1. Milk & Honey – “Prove Your Love” (January 7)

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We are going to cross the ocean from Mexico to Europe to listen to the distinct sounds of Milk & Honey. Formed in 2006, Milk & Honey is a two-member group from Germany. However, they are quite diverse as they have released material in French, German, Arabic, and English. The members, Anne Ross and Manel Filali, had some entertainment-related experiences before creating Milk & Honey. Anne Ross was a former member of the German girl band Preluders, which was created from contestants on the German edition of Popstars. [Read More]

Reporting Live: Otome Shinto’s new single event at Nagoya Kintetsu Passe (May 16, 2015)

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Happy July to all my readers. Hopefully the summer weather isn’t getting too hot. It’s still rainy here in Nagoya. It’s suppose to be rainy all week. Where did you go, summer sun?

Speaking of summer, it is the season of going to the beach, wearing cute beach swimsuits and sandals, and the release of many new singles and albums. A lot of groups release their “summer single” in May with many trying to emulate the AKB48 style of summer song with cute bikinis. Thankfully, Otome Shinto chose to go another route with cuter summer costumes with beach appeal, white dresses, colored vests and ties, and beads.

Otome Shinto is yet another idol group from Japan. Formed in 2012, the girl group includes these members: Yurika Takahashi (Pink), Ayame Tajiri (Yellow), Mari Aihara (Blue), Mayu Ogata (Green), Arisa Sonohara (Red), and Airi Hasegawa (Pearl). The group came together under the concept  “Positive “2 Armies” Roughly Middle School Student Idols” (ポジティブな“2軍”ほぼ中学生アイドル).  The “2 Armies” is furthered explained as “whatever class you pick from, these are the girls that will be liked easily” (どこのクラスにもいそうで、それでいてちょっと気になる女の子).[1] Nevertheless, the group’s mission is “fighting to bring their positive attitude and their energy to people while trying to become popular.”.[2]

The girls released their first single, entitled “Mousou Koukan Nikki”, on February 20, 2013 under the  VAP Records sub-label Fuwa Fuwa Records. The title song’s lyrics were penned by Kenichi Maeyamada, also known as his stage name Hyadain, who produced various songs for artists like Momoico Clover Z, former Morning Musume. member Koharu Kusumi,  and Dempagumi.inc. At a release event for the single, the group further expressed their “girl’s manifesto”, as they wanted to make Japan “lively” (or “genki”) with all their efforts (わたしたちが日本を元気にします! ……できる範囲で) starting from this single.[3]

I wanted to see these girls after reading their “girl’s manifesto”, thinking this might be another fun-loving idol group. I was a bit skeptical at first because I didn’t want Otome Shinto to be a generic AKB48 sounding group like Idol Kyoushitsu is. Putting my doubts aside, I raced to Nagoya Kintetsu Passe as fast I could after work. I got there within thirty minutes amid the sea of people making their way to the same shopping area.

The “stage area” (which was basically a rooftop) was divided into three sections; one for those who pre-ordered the single beforehand, one for those who didn’t, and the special “Girls-Only” section. A convent corner, the girls-only section comes in handy when you want to get close and personal with any artists on stage. And, you could get really up close at an idol event because there isn’t a lot of female fans. They are growing in number but there is still more guy fans that come to these things than females.

Ten minutes before the event was scheduled to start, the event manager announced that they were going to open up the girls-only section and the pre-ordered section for everyone, including those who didn’t buy yet. I walked into the girls-only section and found a spot that had a pretty great view of the stage. It wasn’t close but it wasn’t far away. I was actually standing behind a mega Otome Shinto fan (she was toooo into their songs) and in front of another non-Japanese fan.

At the same time, the girls came onto the stage to do a mic check. That lasted only for a few minutes when they announced that they were finished and headed back to the “green room” to rest up before the event. Then, around 4 pm, Otome Shinto came on stage and performed this set list:

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1. Otome 365nichi (乙女の365日)

2. MC

3. Viva! Otome no Daiboukenn!! (ビバ!乙女の大冒険っ!!)

4. Kimi to Piikan☆NATSU Sengenn!! (キミとピーカン☆NATSU宣言っ!!)

5. Tokimeki☆ Paradox (ときめき☆パラドックス)

{Thanks to Kids Model, Kids Actors Audition Information site for the set list. I know, I know. It’s a bit strange that this kind of site has information from the live. Somehow, someone has to find their new idols by reporting these things?)

Throughout the whole event, I was totally awkward.  Everyone around me was getting into the mood by dancing, singing, and doing their fan chants. But here I am, just standing still with my arms crossed, trying to study the group intensely to see whether or not I could like this group. You could say that I had this expression during the first song or two:

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My mood lightened up and I was able to participate with the audience when they performed their new song “Kimi to Piikan☆NATSU Sengenn!!”. The members taught us the dance to the chorus part of the song, which was just spelling “NATSU” with our arms. I was a bit timid as I just did small moves within my own personal space. Even though I wasn’t very outgoing during this live, I had lots of fun and enjoyed the dancing and singing.

After the mini-live ended, the girls went back to the green room as the staff got the stage ready for the special events. I went over to the CD table, pre-ordered a single, and got in line for the handshake event.  Fifteen or so minutes later, Otome Shinto came back on the stage and said a brief message to start the handshake event while standing behind a wooden table. I was a bit sad that I could only do the handshake event (thanks to it being the week before payday) because they were giving away free pictures of the members and you could do other special events like taking a photo with a girl if you pre-ordered more singles.

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As I approached the table, I first shook Yurika Takahashi’s hand. We chatted a bit as I told her that she was cute, that I found this event out on Twitter, it was my first live and I had fun. She then replied that she was excited to hear that and said that she saw me in the crowd, trying to do my best. Guilty. I felt a little bad when she said that because I wasn’t the greatest fan out there. I was just standing there and looking like a fool.

I went down the line after talking to Yurika, shaking the other members’ hands. I can’t really remember what I said to each girl and what were their responses. But, I do remember telling Airi Hasegawa and Mari Aihara that I liked them and their outfits. I really looooooooooove this single’s outfits because each girl had mini versions of different summer appeal incorporating in their hair style. Mayu Ogata had some cute beach sandals and beads with her side ponytail.

“Kimi to Piikan☆NATSU Sengenn!!” is a fun summer song that will have you dancing “cha-cha”-like moves anywhere. Recently, I had the chorus stuck in my head because I always think the song goes like “Natsu no Pecan (YAY!)”. That is because I mistake the meaning of the Japanese word “Piikan” to a name of a nut, which isn’t true.  However, with the energetic vocals, dance moves, and the summer-y instrumentation of a high school’s drumline and crystallized synthesizers, “Kimi to Piikan☆NATSU Sengenn!!” is a memorable, adorable idol summer song that will make you think that great songs don’t need a bikini.

Did I forget to mention that the music video is a great tourist video? It was shot in Australia. I feel sorry for those girls trying bungee jump though, That looks very scary (but I am deadly afraid of heights and would have someone knock me out before I try something like that).


References

[1]  “乙女新党.” – Wikipedia. 26 Dec. 2012. Web. 4 July 2015. <https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B9%99%E5%A5%B3%E6%96%B0%E5%85%9A&gt;

[2] “Otome Shinto.” JPop Idols. Web. 4 July 2015. <http://www.jpop-idols.com/en/otome-shinto/&gt;

[3]  “乙女新党、CDデビュー会見で「乙女ニフェスト」宣言.” 音楽ナタリー. 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 4 July 2015. <http://natalie.mu/music/news/82278&gt;