Thursday, August 23, 2012

Favorites Poll

My friend recently taught me how to make a poll on google docs. So I tested it out with a favorites poll. I plan to share the results when it seems no one is submitting anymore, but I thought I should advertise it here in case anyone reads this xD. I'll also kinda mention how things are looking so far. As of now there have been 38 submitted forms.

You can fill in yours here.

I'm just gonna talk about how things are looking so far.

Morning Musume (Gen 1): In the lead currently is Abe Natsumi. As much as this shouldn't surprise me since she was one of the first ever leads and SHE didn't leave after 4 singles, this actually does surprise me. Only because she was the last Gen 1 member to get a vote. And her first vote wasn't cast until the 10th person to fill out the poll. Nakazawa  is in a close second, only being in second by 1 vote, but the fact that Nacchi jumped so far so fast is really amazing to me.

Morning Musume (Gen 2): Yaguchi Mari has a far lead. To me, this is not surprising in that, when I personally thing of MoMusu Gen 2, the first face I picture is Marippe's. Since she did last the longest, and, in my opinion, got the most attention of the generation. Plus, with most fans I know being much more recent fans, they're more likely to known any given ZYX/Minimoni song than they are to know Otome no Shinrigaku. This is kinda sad, because Otome is an amazing song and Ichii and Yasuda both have amazing voices, and the harmonies are amazing... but because it's an album song and from an OLD album, a lot of people don't even look into it. I do highly suggest it for anyone who is interested, and you can find the audio here. Note: Otome no Shinrigaku (Woman's Intuition) is basically a Ichii Sayaka x Yasuda Kei duet with harmonies by the rest of Morning Musume.

Morning Musume (Gen 4): For Gen 4, Yoshizawa Hitomi is currently kicking ass, with almost half of the votes (45%) Not to mention it took until the 9th form for her to NOT be voted (Nono broke the chain). I'm not totally surprised by this, since I voted Yossie and I know a lot of people who like her best of 4th gen at least. The thing about this gen that I think is most surprising to me is that Ishikawa Rika is in last place of the 4. I honestly thought she would be head to head with Yossie, or at least 2nd. But We'll have to see where things go from here.

Morning Musume (Gen 5): I'm very very happy to say that Niigaki Risa is smoking the competition, 4 points ahead of Takahashi Ai. (Okay, so she's not smoking x3 but still.) I'm not surprised that TakaGaki did get the lead, but I'm pleasantly surprised that KonkonMako both have a few votes. Tied with 3 votes each, actually. I was so sad voting for this one, to be honest, because Gaki is my H!P love, but Mako is so close behind her and Konkon not too far behind either, so I was really hoping that they get some votes too. I'm very happy with the fact that they did.

Morning Musume (Gen 6): Kamei Eri is currently in the lead for Gen 6, with Reina not far behind. I'm not sure if I'm surprised or not by the fact that Shige is ahead of Mikitty though... I personally voted Mikitty. I think she was the only one with any real singing talent when they first joined, and I just love Mikitty (I honestly preferred her as a soloist, but whatever). I did kinda expect Reina to be in the lead at this point, though, so I'm kinda surprised (in a good way though), that she's not yet.

Morning Musume (Gen 8): This is the absolutely least surprising to me. I actually kind of expected this, to be honest. Linlin is in the lead (that much I didn't expect), but the 3 girls have 12, 12, and 14 points. Meaning it's almost even. I think of people I know, and almost all of them vary very much with Gen 8. I know people who, like me, love Junjun, I know people who love Aika, and I know people who love Linlin. I really can't imagine any of the girls "owning" the others.

Morning Musume (Gen 9): This one I had a little bit more vague of a prediction for, but once again, it's so far as I expected. Fukumura Mizuki is in the lead, 3 points ahead of Sayashi Riho. Zukki and Erippon do also have quite a few votes too (well... "quite a few" for only 38 total votes) No real comments on how this one is looking so far.

Morning Musume (Gen 10): I think Gen 10 is the most surprising for me, so far. (Other than the little Nacchi thing). In first place Kudou Haruka and second Sato Masaki. Haruka isn't near as surprising to me as Masaki. Personally, Masaki is my favorite, but everywhere I look I see a lot of Masaki hate. The face she's in 2nd... very surprising to me. My prediction was probably Ayumi -> Haruka -> Haruna -> Masaki, so yeah. I'm happy. 

Morning Musume (Solo Gens): I'm not lying when I say that Maki and Koharu are neck and neck. Literally (Apparently someone didn't vote this question), Goto Maki has 19 votes and Kusumi Koharu has 18. On one side of the coin, I'm really surprised, on the other side, I don't know why since I couldn't really imagine who would have the lead here. For a bit I thought it would be Koharu, since she's more recent, but even to Maki was a while ago, her stuff is really popular (not only her MM stuff, but also her solos). So this doesn't totally surprise me when I think about it a bit.

Berryz Koubou: I'm actually very happy to say that my favorite, Shimizu Saki, is in the lead with my 2nd favorite, Natsuyaki Miyabi, in a close second. I'm NOT happy to say, though, whatsoever, that poor Maiha doesn't have any votes D: she's the only option in this entire poll who doesn't have a single vote. It's really sad to me, because I know she left early on and never had a very big part, but she's one of the few H!P member's I've ever heard with a cute voice that isn't annoying. If you wanna hear her voice clearly, I'd suggest you listen to Natsu Wakame (In case you didn't get it, you can click that), in that perf she's the one in orange that is not Kumai xD. If you wanna just look at the CC lyrics and SEE where she sings, Colorz has accurate lyrics for this song (Again, you can click that).

C-ute: I'm not surprised in the least that Suzuki Airi is in the lead with Okai Chisato following behind. Nor am I surprised that the top 5 are the current 5 members of C-ute. I'm very happy that all members got at least 1 vote, though. For those of you who don't know who Murakami Megumi, Arihara Kanna, or Umeda Erika are, I'd highly suggest listening to C-ute's Indies singles and the songs on their 1st album. That is my favorite C-ute album because of those 3 girls.

S/mileage (Gen 1): I'm very sad to admit this is the exact results I was expecting. Maeda Yuuka is in the lead with Ogawa Saki behind her and my amazing Wada Ayaka is in last. I really hope this changes as more people vote, but I'm not expecting it to. </3

S/mileage (Gen 2): Takeuchi Akari being in first doesn't surprise me, what surprises me is that Katsuta Rina is the one on her tail. I honestly thought that Meimi would be tailing her (though she's not far behind Rina), but that fact Rina is actually makes me happy. Mostly because the positions of these five girl's mirror my order of favorites (Akari -> Rina -> Meimi -> Kana -> Fuu-chan). 

Buono: Honestly I don't really know how I feel about this. Airi is in the lead by a long shot, followed by Miyabi and finally Momoko. Part of me doesn't by it, but the other part of me does... I dunno. I personally like Miya best, and Miya started out strong. But whatever, I love Miya and Airi, so I'm glad their ahead of Momo.

Peaberry: I'll start off with saying: I love Dawa... not so fond of Riho. Now whoever out there reads that and thinks it means something for the results, it doesn't. These girls are at 18:18, have fun with that.

DIY: Not surprised that my Miya is in the lead. I think what surprises me most is that Haruna is in 3rd. I mean... Chi's not amazingly popular, nor is Maimi, but that fact Haruna beat them both being as new as she is kinda surprised me.

Mobekimasu Unit: Last, but not least, MBKMS. Morning Musume is number one, as I expected, what I didn't expect, though, is that the rest of the groups, much like S/mileage gen 2, follow my favorites rank... (Berryz -> C-ute -> S/mileage -> Mano) (MM for me is in between BK and C-ute), I kinda expected C-ute to do better than Berryz with all the promotion they got going on recently.

For those of you who are interested in the final results, I will probably leave this poll up for a few weeks, or at least give it until it goes a couple days without any new submitted forms, before posting the "final" answers on my blog, though I'll keep the poll open for anyone who wants to continue voting after that.

Note: I'm well aware that polls like these have many holes for "cheating", I want you to be aware of this also. I'm hoping that fans are kind enough that they vote once, and only once, each. But we live in a pathetic world and, since the votes are anonymous, I can't guarantee that this is the case. Please do not state the obvious that you cant trust these or accuse this poll of being rigged, I have no control over the actions of others. Thank you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sea☆A Babbling

Before continuing, make sure you're aware that anything written in this post is purely my OPINION, which I have a right to share. If you don't agree with it, then you don't have to read it, so no hating.

Okay, so I told myself when my Sea☆A CDs came I would review them on my blog. Primarily so that I actually give a listen to all the songs, cause I have a tendency to ignore songs I haven't heard before out of pure laziness. However, I'm relatively... no... very inexperienced in "reviewing" things, and I don't really have a particular way of doing so because of this. I've not reviewed near enough to comfortably "review" anything. So instead I'm going to "babble". In other words, I'm just going to talk about it and what I think of it as I have it playing on repeat in the background. So, without further ado (I guess) let's get one with this.

02. Soda Sound Fountain
03. DREAM SHOOTER (Off Vocal)
04. Soda Sound Fountain (Off Vocal)

Before I get to talking about the actual songs, I wanna say one thing about this. The fact that both the a-side and the b-side have instrumentals makes me SO happy. As a dubber, this allows for the possibility of producing a dub of the b-side without the concern of if it'll make a good instrumental. Buono! does this aswell, and honestly it's one of my favorite parts of them. Now if only they had instrumentals for their albums... Oh well.

Anyway, we'll start off with DREAM SHOOTER. This song was their debut, and the PV (as posted below if I remember) was uploaded to the "lantis" youtube channel. It was a while ago, but I think Chiima is the one who original sent me the video. I loved it. The opening, which isn't in the mp3, basically starts right off the bat saying that these girls aren't Japanese. Actually they're Singaporean. And, as someone who has dreamed of being able to perform Japanese, even though I'm in America, this really excited me and inspired me in a sense. Of course, the girls seemed to get a bit of hate as well for the exact same reason. I remember some of the comments on the video at the time including things like "These girls should sing their own language" or something. But there seemed to be just as many comments defending the girls, so I wasn't too worried about it.

As for the song itself, it's a really cute song. Unfortunately, it's a "chorus" song, as I like to call it. Meaning all four girls sing the whole song, there's no solos or small groups. This is kinda nice, since the girls blend amazingly, but it's a shame you don't get to hear any of their unique voices.  But the song does give off a "group" feel, I suppose. I do love the beat, also the fact they through a lot of English words in the mix. (I've always enjoyed when English words are used in Japanese songs, I'm not entirely sure why to be honest.)

Overall this song is an amazing song, the fact it's their debut just goes to show how much potential this group has. When I first watched it, I think I watched the video 3 or 4 times in a row. Haha. Well I know one thing, I subscribed to lantis immediately in hopes that I'd be able to see more from this group soon. Sure enough, I was glad I did. But it's not time for that yet. So enjoy the DREAM SHOOTER PV and then we'll move onto the b-side.

Okay, so moving onto Soda Sound Fountain. I'm honestly listening for the first time now. I'm actually surprised at the contrast to DREAM SHOOTER! This song seems to show a cuter side of the girls, the pitch of the song is a bit higher than it's a-side. I don't know the girls voices very well, but I'm happy to say I'm sure there's duets in this song. That's also a nice contrast. This song kinda sounds like a song you'd hear at an amusement park to me... Maybe I'm just weird, but it just has that fun, playful sound to it I think.

I'm making a new paragraph because the song finally ended and is repeating now. Yeah, probably a bad reason. Listening to the lyrics, from my limited understanding, it sounds like the song is from the perspective of a girl with a crush on someone (lines like "I like you(/him?)" give that away clearly) but I would guess the girl is a child because this song has a really innocent feel to it. Lines lines "I want to play together with you" and "Let's dance, let's play, let's sing", they give the song a really innocent kind of love feel. Not to mention the song name is "Soda Sound Fountain". Somehow that in itself makes me think of a child.

I will end with saying my translations may not be TOTALLY accurate, since I'm going by ear (cause I'm too lazy to go look at the lyrics booklet) and I only took level 1 and 2 Japanese. So uh... yeah, disclaimer I guess.

02. Ding Dong Ding
03. Renai Circulation (Valerie)
05.  Ding Dong Ding (Off Vocal)
06. Renai Circulation (Off Vocal)

I really wanted to put a picture of the back too, but I couldn't find one. Oh well. Anyway, Yay for C-side solos! In case you're wondering, Valerie is the Yellow one on this cover and the number "1" on DREAM SHOOTER (the others are Beryl (Purple/16), Wynnie (Pink/7), and my favorite, Estelle (Orange/19)).

DELI-DELIDELICIOUS, as far as I know, is the most popular Sea☆A song. Within reason, too. It's a very fun song. If you watch the PV, it has a video game feel to it. But really, it's just a fun song in the end. The opening is a good sign for the rest of the song's theme: "Guri Guri Hungry ja Muri Muri onaka suita", it's hard to translated for me, but trying I get "gry gry I'm hungry, I can't work with a empty stomach" or something. The song overall doesn't make much sense if you want to find a deep meaning or something. As far as I can tell, it's just a fun song. It's got a fun tune, and seems easy to dance too. 

And what else? What's that I hear? Solos and small groups? Yay! According to the live that Chiima sent me yesterday, those "solos" are duets, that, or the girls need to get the mics away from their mouth when they're not singing, but in the mp3 they're pretty clearly solos, I think. I can tell why people seem to favor this song over DREAM SHOOTER and Friendship Birthday. I personally like it the most of the 3. But you can decide for yourself.

Once again, this is my first time hearing the b-side, so bear with me. Unlike DREAM SHOOTER and it's coupling, Ding Dong Ding seems to really suit the theme of it's a-side. It really has a video game feel to it. I think 8-bit? Not completely, but it has quite a few 8-bit notes throughout the song. I can see the video game girls from the DELI PV in a video for this. This song, much like they're others, does have a fun sound to it, but I do think it has a bit more of a meaning behind it then it's a-side. 

Much like Soda Sound Fountain, it seems to have a meaning wrapped around liking someone. This time, though, it doesn't sound so much "innocent" as it sounds "pure". "Please stop time when we're like this". It is innocent when comparing to other songs, but it does seem a bit more mature than "soda fountains". Thus I conclude "pure". The bridge before the final chorus starts off "Ah, the color of the sunset is becoming heartrending". As it repeats, I seem to think this song as more "beautiful" than it is "cute". I really really like this song. And I'm glad I did this, if only for this song.

For Renai Circulation, I have heard it once when a project I'm subscribed to dubbed it. I think this is a cover song, but I'm not sure (but I think so). Valerie, I have to say, has a much cuter voice than I expected. The song, however, really suits it. I really like how it sounds. The song itself, in my opinion, it's a typical anime song. It has a bit of rapping, though, that makes me happy and kinda impresses me too. When I listen I kinda feel like this song has 3 different songs mixed in, for some reason. Maybe I'm crazy, but the rapping, opening line (That shows up throughout the song), and the choruses don't flow as well as a song should, in my opinion. But it's nice to hear the different... styles... I guess, with Valerie's voice. And I do really like this song, but it's not one of my favorite out of Sea☆A's 8 songs.

As for the meaning, it seems to be another love song. One line "Just that your laughing makes me smile", I believe, makes me think it's another purer kind of love song, but it's the only line I can understand without having to look at the lyrics. But the bits I understand throughout the song seems to give off that this is one of those songs with the meaning basically that "When you're happy, I'm happy". But I may be wrong.

Before I move on, I do want to mention that I didn't even know Sea☆A's songs were anime themes until I was re-watching the DELI-DELIDELICIOUS PV and happened to notice one of the top comments was something mentioning it. Maybe I'm just oblivious, but yeah, I felt like an idiot. I just wanted to mention that, not sure why. Now before I finish this, I'm gonna eat lunch, so in the meantime please enjoy a groupdub I'm in of DREAM SHOOTER (or just move on since the rest will be below the video by the time you read this, haha).

Yum, that was good. So anyway it's time to move onto the last (well, last as of now) single. 


Single 3: Friendship Birthday ~Arashi no Yoru ni~
01. Friendship Birthday ~Arashi no Yoru ni~
02. Shiawase♪Ranranran
03.  Friendship Birthday ~Arashi no Yoru ni~ (English Version)
04.   Friendship Birthday ~Arashi no Yoru ni~ (Off Vocal)
05.  Shiawase♪Ranranran (Off Vocal)

But before I talk about the song, I just want to say: I'm very happy that the colors from DELI showed up once again in this single. Beryl's wristband and the other girls' hair accessories. It really helped me while I was learning who was who, since at first I only knew Estelle. Beryl was pretty easy to learn too, but Valerie and Wynnie... well, I guess if I mixed them up in this post, it'll prove my point. But I'm pretty sure I have them right. I hope. ANYWAY back to the song.

Friendship Birthday ~Arashi no Yoru ni~ has a more serious tone than their previous a-sides, I think. I don't really want to spend too much time talking about the Japanese track since there is an English track that is the exact same music, but I'm guaranteed (almost hehe) to understand the lyrics. But before I just move on, I do want to say that I really like this song. It kind of sounds a bit like DREAM SHOOTER when it comes to the... flow? I guess. I don't like that too much, but the two songs are definitely both very pretty... Yeah now I'm gonna move on, sorry.

Shiawase♪Ranranran, my first reaction: -listens curiously- -first line comes on- -laughs-

This song is just so cute. As I should have probably gotten from the title, but I didn't cause I'm slow, it's a really fun childish song. It has child-friendly effects such as echos and a repetitive onomatopoeia or two, chanting, and fun music. This is the first coupling from Sea☆A that doesn't seem to be about love. I like it. I can see this being a song they perform for kids on children's day.

As far as I can tell, this really is just a kids song about happiness. Like... I don't really understand the meaning when I try other than happiness. But then, if it's for kids, that's all it really needs to be, isn't it? Why go overboard with the meaning when kids won't even understand? You might as well keep it fun and silly. I am not ashamed to admit that I do love kids songs. I love the Douyou Pops albums too. So this song... I can't not smile listening to it. It's just so cute! I love it.

Okay back to Friendship Birthday with the English version now. First of all, I'm really happy that they made an English version of their song officially. Occasionally I like to sing English versions that I write, and they don't always flow right, so the fact that they released a Japanese and English version is really cool to me. Also it gives me a change to critique and learn from how the official translates. Also it saves me the work of having to translate it for this. Yes, I'm lazy.

The lyrics are really sweet, the song is about love again, but this time it's a friendship love, not romance. This time, it's "I'm so glad to have found you!" And it really makes the person they're talking about sound very important to them more than just their looks or something. I really love the lines "Can you feel it? My hand on your hand. Overflowing courage and love. Feel the beat synchronize and our hearts harmonize, lifting me high above, into the blue sky and beyond." They're so touching and beautiful. I love this song, and maybe I'm a traitor, but I really prefer the English version. Check it out and compare the the Japanese version above and decide for yourself.

So that's it for the singles. Like I said, I'm not the best reviewer, but I really wanted to do this so. Well, if you're still reading, thanks for bearing with me for this long. 

Before I end this I do want to talk about two things. First, I want to announce to any of you who don't know and are interested: Sea☆A's 4th single has been anounced. It's called "Entry!" and will be released on November 14th. (I was misinformed that it would be released on the 4th, which made me mad cause my birthday is on the 5th. But looking it up to check the single name which I had forgetting, I noticed their site said "14" not "4" so I feel better xP)

Secondly. Any of you reading this who are Singaporean, Malaysian, Thai, Filipino, Indonesian, or Vietnamese may have the opportunity to join Sea☆A! That's right, Sea☆A is holding auditions. Since I am none of these ethnicities, honestly, I didn't look into much like the requirements or where they auditions will be held or anything. But if you are, feel free to check them out for yourself *HERE*.

That's all for now. I'm hoping to review BoA's THE FACE album when I get it in the mail too, so look forward to that~. That is, if you consider this "reviewing" ^^;. Bai~