On June 12th of 2010, avex formed it's first audition idol group. 
It's been a little over three years since the lives of 12 young girls were changed. 

Being around for the birth of a group can be a very special thing. In the summer of 2009 I dove headfirst into the idol world, and it became part of the very air I breathe. In that first year, as I researched and gained knowledge, I remember a lot of fan talking about the older days of Morning Musume.

In 1998, I had just moved from Virginia to Michigan. It was sometime around my 3rd grade year in school, and my young mind was miles away from the wonderful world of idols, jpop, and Asian entertainment. So I can't say I've been a fan of any major Hello!Project group since their beginning, with the exception of; S/mileage and Juice=Juice. I love both dearly!!

It wasn't until I HAD been around to see new groups form, that I understood how the connection was slightly different- as least for some. With existing groups, you have to play catch up; visit websites, talks with fans, watch MVs and concerts in order to learn something of the idols and their music. With new groups, everything is new! There is excitement, anticipation. It's fascinating on a different level, if you happen to take interest in the new group in particular.

I discovered SUPER☆GiRLS through my exploration of the first Tokyo Idol Festival, which took place in August 2010, just about two months after S☆G's formation. Talk about new comers! I wanted to cover TIF, to blog about it, make videos, etc. So I studied all the groups participating.

When it was S☆G's turn, I remember pausing the video to stare at each girl, so I could try and tell them apart. I checked out their website and listened to them perform, and I began to like them and wanted to learn their names! I made up nicknames for some of them and assigned them colors in my head before they ever received their member colors.

I became attached to them. We were both new! They were new idols, and I was a new fan of theirs! For once, me and idols were on some sort of level ground! I didn't have to play catch up! It's been wonderful watching them over the years. YEARS! Some people never thought they would last, but I had hope. And now they've been going strong for three years. I'm a proud fan.

I wasn't horribly heartbroken when Akieri left. I was sad to see a change in their lineup so soon, but she was never a prominent member IMO. In the idol world, change is inevitable. Sometimes I still fear it. I was very scared when Fudanjuku announced they would be gaining new members. I couldn't believe it when auditions 9, 10, then 11 happened for Momusu! When Kaede was suddenly absent from S☆G, I was puzzled.

The big Miichan scandal had just happened, and it overshadowed Kaede's own scandal. Kaede was a member that had to grow on me some at first. But I came to enjoy her sweet character. To learn that something had been reported (whether true or false) and that she would be leaving the group, I was sad. I know S☆G has had the ambition from the start to rival AKB48. They've definitely been consistent with the summer bikini singles. I hope this is the only scandal for S☆G.

I know it's silly to hope that the lineup would always remain the same. Now with Akieri and Kaepyon gone, it's set in a bit more for me. I really really don't want any of the other girls to leave. And probably my BIGGEST FEAR with them right now, is that avex will screw things up by trying it Tsunku style; as in, opening auditions for new members. I don't want that!!! No new members. Yes, I can and will adapt to change. But please not S☆G.

 S☆G has never AMAZED me with any of their singles. But I have fond memories of the early days of the group, and my early days as a fan. I find myself humming my favorite songs off their first album (Chouzetsu Shoujo) day after day and never tire of them. I'm still very attached to the three songs they performed at TIF2010. I know the chorus lyrics to MAX! Otomegokoro by heart. I enjoy their debut single (Miracle ga Tommanai), even with it's typical newbie style.
Chouzetsu Shoujo

1,000,000 Smile shows how adorable they can be, and Akai Jounetsu shows them equally vulnerable and fierce! The latter is one of my favorite songs, out of the songs that have MVs. I'm not a fan of their 2nd or 3rd bikini themed songs, I don't mind them, I just don't listen to them much. Tokanatsu High Touch, as their latest single, is a disappointment for me. I think Celebration was a turning point for them, and I hope their next release is a impressive.

Celebration focuses less on their member colors, and instead shows them as mature beautiful young women. Instead of the kawaii idol, we get to see a soft, stylish side of them. Though you still get some of their lovable silliness in the various present scenes. I love the rounds in the chorus so much, the dancing is very pretty and works well with the rhythm and tone of the song. The sunlight, the wind, their shadows, the white box. Overall I think it's a gorgeous single for them.

Ah, watching this make me misty eyed. I want it so bad!!! I want all their concert DVDs. There are so many performances that don't make it onto YouTube, and just seeing this little insight makes me want to see more. They've grown so much and come so far in three years. I'm so proud of them!!
June 12, 2010
June 12, 2010

S☆G / A Post from the Past

This is a post I started back in 2010 and never posted. I will leave it unfinished.
  I'm taking a break from part five [ ココロコロン was next (kokorokoron, or kahoerina)] because SUPER☆GiRLS has released their first PV!! I read about it on PureIdolHeart and set out to download the video before it got taken down.

I seem to have more luck with than when it comes to finding stuff I want, but in the end I was happy to be successful! I've been listening to Miracle ga Tommanai (みらくるが止まンないっ) on repeat while writing this entry (over the span of a few days), played from my own computer! I've spent more than an hour screwing around in MSpaint and observing the PV. Before I get into rambling too much, here are some screenshots.

Top Two fave shots! Reira looks amazing! So pretty and fairydusty. I am in love with how she looks at that moment! Magical. The mini-hats are popular for female idol groups, and most of the time they are complete win. I adore them in this PV!! and I like that it was Rino, Saori, Kaede, and Reira are the ones who got to wear them! I also really like the shot of Saori drawing a HAATO with her magical highlighter stick.

When I first heard the girls, I thought they were saying "Hai Hai Hai." As you can see in the above shot, they are chanting "Hi" ~ both words sound super similar, but they have different meanings (one Japanese, one English). Then again, it could just be meant as a chant and nothing more, idk really.

I really like the little things they said inbetween and overlapping with lines!! Especially "Thank You For Everything" and "Hey! Listen To My Voice" though the "Let's Enjoy Together"s are cool too. And the cheerleader pompoms complete the scene of their little chants, as well as vamp up the cuteness factor, lol.

These shots are from the beginning of the second round of chorus. In groups of four (which work perfectly, cause there are 12 girls in total) the girls wave to the camera. They're sweet, plus I also didn't want to miss out on good shots of some of the girls who don't get a lot of camera time, like Miyari.

The girls above aren't really in any set order. I was going to do something like that, but I had a really hard time making up my mind! Rukapin and Rino are still two of my favorites, but after watching 'n listening to all the members in their first official PV, I have wavered from some of my other 'early impressions' [The lovely profile-style pictures I got from the S☆G pic thread at STYLE forums]

All of the girls got one solo each, with the exception of Akieri, Rikataso, and Mirei- who all got two. And each member got at least 2 guaranteed soloshots of camera time, since in the beginning of the PV it runs through the lineup twice. I did some stats, which are pretty accurate, but don't hold me to it. I got the romaji lyrics from the STYLE forums, they may not be exact but I was so happy to find them!

Reira (Arai Reira): I didn't care much for Reira at first. I try not to be shallow when it comes to idols, but I think with every fan -to an extent- it happens. She had caterpillar eyebrows! And with her bandana on in the TIF performance, she looked like a pirate! But when I listened to / watched her solo in this, it was like I really took a second look.

She has a nice smile, and I remember liking her personality when she introduced herself at TIF. Plus I like her singing, from what I have heard of it! In this screenshot, she sort of reminded me of an older Kanon from H!P. Just the expression + straight dark hair + head tilt. Her solo is "Ganbare hito koto datte"

Reira got 2 closeups and about 6 soloshots. That's a pretty good number, especially since the one shot is fantastic!! She never gets a spot in the front during the danceshots in the chorus- five girls don't. Reira is one of the girls that I never got around to writing an 'Early Impressions' bit on, and I'm glad. I had her as 12th back when I did the my-like-list ordering of girls image in this entry. She is at least in the top 8 now!

Miyari (Miyazaki Rina): This girl is loads of fun live; lots of energy. She seems to throw herself into performances, which I love! I liked Miyari right from the get-go, but I will admit that she is often pitchy in her excitement, and so she isn't always my favorite singer in the group. But I do admire her gusto and find her impossible to dislike.

Her solo in Miracle ga Tommnanai is fun to sing; "Ima wa shinjirareru kara" rolls off the tongue. Miyari's solo seems really short even though it's not, because she is only shown for half of it. She's is the one of the four girls (the others being -of course- Mirei, Rikataso and Akieri) who got a closeup shot during their solo. Even so, she got the least amount of attention in the PV out of all the girls.

3 soloshots (SS) and 2 closeups (CU), a total of 5 overall while some other girls got 8 or 10! I'm am tiny bit disappointed by this, because camera time could have been a little bit fairer, but I can't complain too much 'cause it could be much worse. Miyari was 6th in my previous placings, but I think she might be further down now. Simply cause I like other girls more, not her less.

Gocchan (Goto Aya): My instant favorite shortly after discovering SUPERGiRLS! I still like her a lot, but also feel like I don't have a good enough grasp of her to say where I stand as a fan. I didn't care much for her solo in this single, and I've never heard her solo in anything else. But I loved her introduction at TIF, and would like to know her better.

Regardless of the stats, some girls jump out at you more so than others- all on a personal level I mean (I take more notice of some girls while for another listener it's different). Gocchan got 7 SS and 3 CU, which is fairly good numbers, seeing as most got only 2 closeups and six other girls got a lesser amount of soloshots. She also got one of the three main dancing positions, in my opinion at least (with Mirei and Akieri).

Even so she didn't really catch my attention in this PV, whereas other girls did. So I suppose in a way, my instant love of her has dimmed somewhat, and she's dropped down from 1st to probably in the double digit placements. But nothing is permanent! Her solo is "Dakedo kimi wo tsukaku kanjirekutai."

Rukapin (Mizote Ruka): Last, really early one of the mornings that I worked on this entry, I played around with Movie Maker and made the above short video. It has all of Ruka's 7 soloshots and 2 closeups, plus other screenshots that she's in, as well as some group shots and dance shots. It was a fun little project, and I got a kick out of doing it. Now I want to make more little videos, lol.

My favorite SS is probably where she shoots out the sparkly confetti with her finger-gun. Her solo is "HAATO ga utau yo" ~ Rukapin is definitely one of my favorite girls in the group, she is definitely in my top 5. I say that because there are a few other girls (like Rino) who I like almost as much as Ruka, so I can't say she IS my ultimate favorite, but it's real close.

Kaede (Kanou Kaede): I never wrote an 'Early Impressions' on on Kaede either. She goes by the nickname Kaepyon, but I prefer calling her by her full first name- I think it's pretty. She is another girl -like Reira- that I didn't like much in the beginning and thus didn't pay a lot of attention too. But she's really sweet and I find myself liking her more and more.

With 7 soloshots and 3 closeups, she has the same amount as Gocchan. I especially like her closeups, cause I think she looks darling! Her smile is lovely. I would have used a CU for the screenshot above, but when I saw her pose it made me think of childish wonder, with her half-smile and the star at her fingertip. So I went with it.

Lol, I keep wanting to type 'Kanae' cause the name (a member of Pinkish) is similar to hers. I also really like Kaede's intro at TIF, she's cute! Her line is "Watashi wo kaetayo." Kaede was 10th previously, but she's moved up into the single digits, haven't decided exactly where.

Rino (Katsuta Rino): D'AW, I adore Rino so much! As I mentioned before, her and Ruka are way at the top of my list. Rino is her own unique brand of cuteness and I really like her singing! It's different than Ruka's lovely mature sound, sort of a mix of different adjectives + cute. Overall very attractive to my ears.

She makes me smile! Much like in the above screenshot, which I think is definitely the best out of her 7 SS and 3 CU (so far that's three girls with the same stats: Gocchan, Kaede, and Rino). Her closeups are nice, but I favor her soloshots more. If anything, she's gone from 3rd to 2nd in my placement, and I don't think that will change anytime soon. "Fuan mo hitsuo yo nanda" is her solo.

Pikarun (Watanabe Hikaru): I can't keep my eyes off this girl, she attracts attention with her almost-constant smile and her bubbly attitude. She is one of my favorites to watch live, and she definitely didn't disappoint me in this PV. Pikarun always looks like she's having a ball! She's silly, adorable, and full of energy. She never goes half-way with a smile, it's always huge and face-dominating (I mean that in a good way, lol). I think she's a lot of fun!

6 soloshots and 2 closeups gives Pikarun a total of 8. So of the total 107 shots (CU & SS), she makes up 7%. But even though that sounds really small, three other girls have the same amount of shots. And she got a front place in some of the dance shots! Her solo is "Me ni wa mienaku tatte" ~ I had her as 4th before, and I'd say she's about in the same spot! At least the top 8 for sure.

Akieri (Akita Eri): Way back in the beginning, I had trouble figuring out who was who when it came to Saori, Rika, Hikaru and Eri. All I was going from was their appearance at TIF and their mini-profile pictures on their website. Rika's hat shadowed her face and her & Saori have similar hair, so that was confusing. Eri looks nothing like her profile pic at the TIF live, which made me unsure between her & Hikaru.

After getting it all straight I knew I liked Saori and Hikaru, but Rika and Eri sort of slipped my mind's focus. I'm so glad I took another look though, and this PV really helped with that. Akieri got two solos in this

Nachupo (Part 2/2)

Yay! I chit chatted with lilmenchi of Aidorabu some about YGA, another group that attended TIF. Some of these groups are really hard to find information on, but it's interesting to try! She's a big fan of Passpo, who I have also come to love. But onward to the subject at hand;

I scored the above image of images from Nachupo's blog! I have most of them saved as separate pics on my computer (except for the close-ups of the girls), but I was happy to simply use the pre-put-together collage for this entry. I wish I had more info to share about this group, but I've maxed out my search options.

Following Furifuri Idoling!!! and Pinkish, Natural Point was the third group to perform in this video. They sang 劇的少女☆ビフォアアフター which I have tried getting the romaji and/or translation of, but haven't had complete success. I believe the song title has 'dramatic girl' in it but I don't know it's full meaning (gekiteki shoujo ☆ bifoaafuta ?) ~ Video sharing time! And I'll start off with this song!

Nachupo (Part 1/2)

I was rather surprised with how much I found on Pinkish. It's still not a ton, but finding them on other blogs and them having a Japanese wikipedia page helped a lot. The next group I have not had as much luck with. It was actually kind of funny, cause yesterday when I was on the local idol wikipage, I saw Natural Point under the Kantou region along with Pinkish! Meaning that both groups are representatives for the area; Pinkish for Saitama and NP the Kanagawa Prefecture.

My main problem with Nachupo (the group's nickname) is their history. They have a jpwikipage but it isn't any help since it's pretty much bare, though it did tell me that they've been around since 2005. The place that has the most accurate info is their official blog/site, but it's all the recent stuff- no background on the group.

I know that at one point there were three members (Uki, Kiho, Mana), instead of the current two (Uki, Kiho). It took me forever to discover just the first name of the third girl and even then, I don't know when or why Mana left the group. But she was around for both of NP's singles; Lovely (1st, w/three tracks) and Shinin’ (2nd, w/two tracks)

Pinkish: TIF + Videos

Pinkish @ the Tokyo Idol Festival 2010! As I mentioned before, the three girls who attended (L to R in pic above: Kanae, Mao, Haruna) only got about 27 seconds of spotlight in the video they appear in, which is of various lesser-known groups. They sang the A-side of the group's first single, released in 2008- Yume Miru Ichigo.

When I first first saw them, I fell in love with Haruna on the spot. She's pretty and sounds fabulous! I also couldn't help but love her hair, she pulled off messy-but-cute perfectly! Both her and Kanae sound great, and it's a shame that you don't get to hear Mao too, though perhaps she didn't end up with a solo. idk.

That's about it for the TIF performance, but I have more to share!! I'd heard of HMV before, but it was actually when I remembered that lilmenchi had mentioned it on Aidorabu that I thought to use it to search Pinkish.

Their album is listed AND you can preview 45 seconds of all the songs!! Being able to listen to the previews helped me very much when it came to matching a song title to a performance in a video! So now it's time for video sharing!!

Pinkish: Members

For some reason, I feel like breaking all this Pinkish info into smaller entries, instead of slapping it into one or two. So there isn't much to this one besides minor info + ramblings on the current lineup~

Nakazato Haruna. She is the leader of Pinkish and my favorite member! She's really really pretty, but I'm not shallow; I like her for more than her looks. I think she is a great singer, though I've only heard her solo a handful of times. And I also think that she makes a good leader! She is probably the easiest for me to pick out of the lineups over the years, because her face is easy to recognize. I adore her smile! Not to mention, she's talented.

Haruna is also the longest running Pinkish member. She was not part of the first generation -though her older sister Kaori was- but joined in June 2003. She was a member until April 2009, when she graduated with the rest of the 2nd gen. Then roughly six months later, in October, she rejoined as the 3rd generation's leader. This is a good video to watch for a sample of her singing.

Pinkish: Info (Part 2/2)

The above pics are from Pinkish's Official Website. I don't know if it's just me, but for some reason the text does not shown up as kanji. Instead it shows up as gibberish symbols (screenshot example). So I can't read anything on their site, thus why I had to find info elsewhere. But I was happy to find some profile-style pics of the girls. You can also find links to each member's personal blog, and those are always fun to explore.

Google translate does work, but the results don't always make a lot of sense- you have to take what you get and work with it, lol. From my understanding of such broken up info, Pinkish was created as "a form of economic development" fueling the "desire to cheer the city" in Ootone. In late 2002, auditions for the 'diva unit' were held and from them the first generation was created.

"The name (Pinkish) is from the image of a fresh strawberry pink" ~ I knew it had something to do with strawberries! Afterall, their first single is titled Yume Miru Ichigo which translates to 'Strawberry Seen in a Dream' and the CD cover is of strawberries. It's also said that the lyrics were "written by all members of pinkish"!

Pinkish is considered Nursery rhyme J-POP, because what they sing is directed at children and often based on nursery rhymes. Their songs are simplistic with sweet 'n upbeat melodies that would catch a child's interest. They're also what are called local idols - in that they were formed to represent a certain area, in this case the Saitama Prefecture. Pinkish is only one of four groups that represent the Kantou region.