Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cal and I Discuss Gatas, Soccer Sweat, and Sexual Banter

The end of this conversation briefly refers to something, and I feel it needs a little explaining: with the exception of a few H!P blogs, I get very upset when people make sexual references to Berryz Koubou. Call it moe or what have you...regardless, my friends get a big kick out of pissing me off by making unnecessarily explicit sex jokes about Berryz.

Anyway, this is what happens when Cal and I get bored.

January 30th, 2008
CatchFiveBats: I'm watching a Gatas game in the cafe at school.
pootyfrebbles: lol
CatchFiveBats: It feels kind of awkward.
pootyfrebbles: People are going to walk by and think you're a super cool soccer guy
CatchFiveBats: Heh, something like that.
pootyfrebbles: You should totally play along and get some pussy
CatchFiveBats: nah
pootyfrebbles: You only want the J-Pussy?
CatchFiveBats: Yeah, sure, why not.
CatchFiveBats: One thing I really like about what I've seen of these games is that if a member of one team ends up knocking over or injuring a member of another team, they immediately run over to make sure they're okay.
CatchFiveBats: Man, Gatas are getting schooled.
pootyfrebbles: lol
pootyfrebbles: Is Hitomi still hot?
CatchFiveBats: I haven't seen her much this game.
CatchFiveBats: She's not out there playing yet.
pootyfrebbles: But when you DID see her, was she hot?
CatchFiveBats: Of course.
pootyfrebbles: Then it's all good
CatchFiveBats: You...do not understand what futsal is all about.
pootyfrebbles: Hahahahaha
pootyfrebbles: I love it how you're talking about it like you actually care about it as a sport
CatchFiveBats: I care if Gatas wins or not.
pootyfrebbles: Watch it on a smaller window, then talk to me too!
pootyfrebbles: D:
CatchFiveBats: No, I like fullscreen cause it makes sure that I actually pay attention.
CatchFiveBats: If I did it in a smaller window, I'd be rewinding all the time to catch what I missed.
pootyfrebbles: Poop on you
CatchFiveBats: THERE'S HITOMI!
CatchFiveBats: WOWOWOWOW
pootyfrebbles: HOTNESS!?
CatchFiveBats: hai hai
pootyfrebbles: OH BABY
pootyfrebbles: OMG
pootyfrebbles: Hitomi is so fucking hot.
pootyfrebbles: They're both hot as fuck
CatchFiveBats: YESSIR.
pootyfrebbles: MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
pootyfrebbles: YUUUUUM
CatchFiveBats: I don't know if I approve of the 'mmm' and 'yuuum', but yes, they do.
pootyfrebbles: Hahahaha
pootyfrebbles: YUUUUUUUUM
pootyfrebbles: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
CatchFiveBats: uhhhhhhhh
pootyfrebbles: lol
CatchFiveBats: D:
pootyfrebbles: You're flipping out much less than I had hoped
CatchFiveBats: Yeah, I figure the best way to deter you guys' sexual banter is to just under-react.
CatchFiveBats: Unless it's BK.
pootyfrebbles: Hahahaha
pootyfrebbles: What about Reina?
CatchFiveBats: I would prefer you leave her alone.
pootyfrebbles: What about Risa?
CatchFiveBats: Risa is too cute.
CatchFiveBats: You've already claimed Takahashi, so I can't do much there.
pootyfrebbles: Hahahaha
pootyfrebbles: What about Kago?
CatchFiveBats: I'd prefer you leave Kago out too.
pootyfrebbles: XD

I guess there's not much else to say here...
- cfb

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cal Likes Ayaka A Little Too Much...

I just had to post this one. XD

March 21, 2008

pootyfrebbles: Ayaka is hot
CatchFiveBats: Yes, Ayaka is awesome.
pootyfrebbles: IF I HAD THE CHOICE
pootyfrebbles: TO FUCK THAT BITCH
pootyfrebbles: OR TO NOT FUCK THAT BITCH.
CatchFiveBats: XD
CatchFiveBats: I think Ayaka is totally cuuuuuuuute.
CatchFiveBats: ALRIGHT
CatchFiveBats: XD
pootyfrebbles: MEAN LOOK
pootyfrebbles: POUND
pootyfrebbles: SLAM
pootyfrebbles: HYDRO PUMP
pootyfrebbles: In that order
CatchFiveBats: OH OH OH
pootyfrebbles: XD

Seriously, Cal...what the hell...
- cfb

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Guest Blog: Cal's H!P Dream

Alright, guest blog time.. Basically what caused this was...Cal read my blog about that crazy dream I had, and wanted to share one that he had as well (obviously, I blab at my friends about Hello!Project an awful lot, since even they're having H!P dreams). I thought this was pretty funny, so hopefully you will too.

Risa Niigaki Has A Valentine
Several weeks ago, I had my first dream involving a member of Hello!Project. Risa Niigaki, to be specific.
The dream started out with me driving to my grandmother’s house for one reason or another. About half way there, I encountered a fork in the road, or something like that, or I may have just wanted to take a different route there. Regardless, I took a road that I don’t usually take, and ended up getting severely lost. After driving through the woods on this road for a while, I came out into a clearing on top of a hill, only to find that this road had taken me all the way back to the outside of the town where I live. I started driving down the hill, and another car passed me on the way. I looked over at the person driving, and was confused for a moment. So I started moving backwards to catch up to the car (this was weird…I was driving in my car, but I was walking at the same time - I’m sure everyone knows that weird kind of dream stuff). Anyway, I caught up to the person driving, and it was none other than Risa Niigaki. I believe her hair was done up in the way that it was in Kanashimi Twilight, but her clothes were more casual; jeans and a cute t-shirt or something.
We got to talking, and somehow ended up getting food at the Pan-Asian restaurant I work at, which was just a few minutes away. Afterwards, we were just standing out front talking, when I realized that Zac would flip if he knew what I was doing. So I sent him a text message telling him what was going on.
He arrived a few minutes later, and proceeded to go completely BALLISTIC with excitement. I mean totally insane. Like, sputtering, almost yelling, unintelligible insane. Think the scenes in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” when a man meets Jessica Rabbit for the first time, but even more ridiculous. I remember myself being amused and trying not to laugh, while looking at Niigaki’s reaction, which was nothing short of utter bewilderment.
There was a moment of silence, and Niigaki made it clear to the both of us that she had to leave, so she got in her car and left. I don’t remember what Zac did, but I went back into the restaurant, and sat down for a bit.
About ten or so minutes later, I got a text message from Risa Niigaki. I don’t know how or when we exchanged numbers, but whatever. The message read: “Will you be my Valentine?” Also, I don’t know how I knew it, but I could tell she was pronouncing “Valentine” as “Valenteen”. Regardless, this was super-cute.
From here on out, I can’t remember anything. Of course I replied “Yes!”

Damn you, Cal...I wish Risa would be my valentine...
- cfb

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Stuff

Got a package from cdjapan in the mail today.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

- Berryz Koubou 'Dschingis Khan' Regular Edition Single
- C-ute 'LALALA Shiawase no Uta' Regular Edition Single
- C-ute '3rd~LOVE Escalation' Regular Edition Album

So far I'm not all that impressed with the C-ute album, but it generally takes a little while for me to warm up to their releases. I haven't gotten around to listening to the singles yet.

- cfb

Resonant Blah...

Alright, a few quick observations about the Resonant Blue PV.

My biggest complaint with this video is that it's nothing more than a glorified dance shot version, much like THE Manpower, only less interesting because there's no opening or closing zooms - just fade-in, fade-out. There's some half-assed close-ups spread throughout the video but, from the way they're shot, they just look like different angles of the same take as the rest of the video. It's obvious that H!P put next to no money into this PV.

The 'lesser' members, and especially the Pandas, got completely screwed for this one. If I wasn't familiar with the group, I'd think that JunJun and LinLin were just backup dancers, and that's seriously, seriously shitty. Although Sayumi did get a fairly significant close-up, it was only one, so she kinda got the shaft too. Aika was right in the camera's face at the beginning of the video, but that was it. Even C-ute PVs spread the screen time around more evenly than this.

To be blunt, this PV is boring. I can enjoy it because the girls (or, at least, the girls who were in the video enough to be seen) look good, but beyond that there's nothing (I will say that I was impressed by the Special Generation-style wave during the bridge, though). I was hoping that H!P's flagship group would get better treatment than this, but I should have known better. From my first impressions, I give it a disappointing/10.

- cfb

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cal and I Discuss H!P, Disney, and Wotas

To give this some context, I had sent Cal a link to an American Wota forum post, and I guess he just started wandering around looking at things. Also, this is kind of a response to Maple GreanTea's post comparing Disney and H!P as companies.

January 28, 2008
pootyfrebbles: I love the thread in the Complete Randomness forum bashing Hanna Montana for being popular
CatchFiveBats: lulz
CatchFiveBats: Even though it's not the same thing at all.
pootyfrebbles: Similar enough, I think
CatchFiveBats: No.
pootyfrebbles: I can see the argument, but I think that Disney is as close to an American H!P as there can be
pootyfrebbles: They target the same demographic, for the most part.
CatchFiveBats: But they're not.
CatchFiveBats: I mean, not close.
CatchFiveBats: The target audience isn't the same at all.
CatchFiveBats: Well...
CatchFiveBats: Alright, partly it is.
pootyfrebbles: You're saying that H!P has the intent of targeting 20+ year old males?
CatchFiveBats: Actually, yeah, that's where a lot of their promo merchandise goes.
CatchFiveBats: But wotadom is not something that exists in America, and ESPECIALLY not for Disney.
pootyfrebbles: I'm talking about the company
pootyfrebbles: Not the fans
CatchFiveBats: I think the company wants to make money, and wotas spend money like it's going to give them AIDS.
CatchFiveBats: So they pander to wotas.
CatchFiveBats: I mean, obviously Momusu is popular in the mainstream.
CatchFiveBats: But official UFA pictures and photobooks and stuff aren't made for 'normal' fans.
CatchFiveBats: And especially not for tween girls who look up to Tanaka Reina cause she's cool.
pootyfrebbles: Teenage boys are probably the target demographic for those kinds of things. Like American boys, Japanese boys are likely to have a crush on some celebrity, and want pictures or posters of them, or whatever. The Japanese mindset just allows it to go a bit past pin ups.
CatchFiveBats: Perhaps.
pootyfrebbles: I really doubt that there are as many wotas as anyone thinks there are.
pootyfrebbles: Japan is a very easy country to travel in
CatchFiveBats: ...?
pootyfrebbles: I wouldn't be surprised if the people in those stadiums are from every corner of Japan.
CatchFiveBats: Me either.
CatchFiveBats: I dunno.
CatchFiveBats: There's no way to know.
CatchFiveBats: But I think that Disney aims at a much younger, and less mature, audience than H!P.
CatchFiveBats: And that makes it extremely difficult for me to agree with your statement.
pootyfrebbles: I don't think that wotas don't account for much, trust me. I know that they do. I just don't think that they make up the majority of the fanbase.
CatchFiveBats: It's not about numbers, though...it's about how much each sect of the fanbase contributes to UFA's pockets.
CatchFiveBats: And wotas do a fucking ton of that.
CatchFiveBats: Especially the ones that spend $2 per picture on 100's of pictures, and buy limited edition versions of the albums & singles, and own all the photobooks, and the DVDs, and the calendars, and blah blah blah.
CatchFiveBats: 1 wota buys as much shit as probably 30 'normal' fans would.
CatchFiveBats: And I would say that wotas account for 1/4-1/3 of the audience at H!P concerts, at least, from what I've seen on live DVDs.
CatchFiveBats: In a group of 100 H!P concert attenders, going by those stats, that's 75 (approx) total units of merchandise purchased by casual fans, and 750 (approx) total units purchased by wotas.
CatchFiveBats: That's crazy.
pootyfrebbles: Things are probably very different in Japan. Here in the US, you have a very direct view at the fanbase of any given thing, but when looking at Japan, your only viewpoint comes from what you read online, and what you see on concert DVDs. I wouldn't be surprised if parents DON'T take their kids to H!P concerts because they know what kind of people are going to be there.
pootyfrebbles: I'm just saying that your view is most likely extremely skewed.
pootyfrebbles: I'm not saying that wotas don't account for anything, because they most certainly do. I just don't think it's near as much as most American wotas think. Never having been to or lived in Japan, not having socialized and been around the general population, is a very crippling thing. Since you're here, you see Americans every day. You have a MUCH better idea of what the average American likes than you do the average Japanese.
pootyfrebbles: There's just way too much information that is TOTALLY unnaccounted for.
CatchFiveBats: I see your point.
CatchFiveBats: And you may be right.
CatchFiveBats: But I still think that wotas are the crippling factor in comparing Disney and H!P.
pootyfrebbles: I can see how they would be. But to go back to the near first point that I made, it's the companies, and the music they make, that I'm talking about.
CatchFiveBats: Yeah.
CatchFiveBats: Comparing just about anything in Japan to anything is America is nearly impossible, anyway.
pootyfrebbles: But it's obvious that neither of us are going to agree.
pootyfrebbles: So it's stupid to argue further.
CatchFiveBats: Musically, and only musically, Disney is as close as you're gonna get.
CatchFiveBats: But, overall, they're too different to compare.
pootyfrebbles: I STILL don't think so, but okay
CatchFiveBats: I LOVE YOU CAL
pootyfrebbles: I LOVE YOU TOO
CatchFiveBats: *MAKE OUT*
pootyfrebbles: EEEEEEW
pootyfrebbles: I don't like kisses.
pootyfrebbles: D:
CatchFiveBats: Oh?
CatchFiveBats: TOO BAD
CatchFiveBats: *smooch*
pootyfrebbles: Oh, you brute

- Zac

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On Manoeri Flying Solo

To be honest, I haven't ever held much of an interest in the Eggs. That's not to say that I think they're unimportant...it's just that there's only one me, and I can only spread my fandom so far, so the Eggs are a part of H!P that I don't really feel like getting involved with at the moment. If any of them get bumped up to 'group' status, that's when I start to care.

In Erina's case, I think she's cute from what I've seen of her in Ongaku Gatas, but I don't understand all the hype around her (maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention to the group or something). Lack of knowledge notwithstanding, I was surprised to hear that she was going solo, and even more surprised to hear that she was graduating from Gatas. I think it was a wise decision for her to gradute from the Eggs, but Gatas could potentially take a big hit from her absence. Still, even if they don't, graduating the most popular new face of the group and making her a solo artist after not even a year is kind of a slap in the face for Ongatas, and says to me that UFA isn't taking them as seriously as they should.

I especially feel bad for those members who weren't Eggs before Ongaku Gatas was formed. Hitomi, longtime captain of Gatas Brilhantes H.P. and former leader of Morning Musume, is given her own (well-deserved) group to lead. Ishikawa's main group, v-u-den, is disbanded so she can focus on Ongaku Gatas (or, at least, that seems to be one of the reasons for v-u-den's demise). Satoda has finally been given something to do after being all but inactive in Hello!Project for months. KonKon actually came back to H!P, while still attending one of the most respected colleges in Japan, to goalie for Gatas and join the ranks of this new group. By giving Erina her graduation on top of a solo career, UFA is essentially saying "well, we like you guys and all, but we feel like this girl is too good for you, so off she goes!". It is extremely disappointing to see these longtime members disrespected like this, especially since a couple of them have made some fairly substantial sacrifices so Ongatas could happen.

The situation can't be doing any wonders for the morale of Erina's fellow Eggs either. Think of it this way: the Eggs are basically the 'runners-up' from auditions, whom Tsunku deemed good enough for H!P, but not good enough to be involved with a specific group. It's a big change for these girls when they're put into 'real' groups, and I think that the team dynamic is important for them during a group's early stages (especially for one that's based on something as team-oriented as futsal), as it allows the newer members to get support from each other and their sempai while they get used to being in the spotlight. By graduating Erina from Ongaku Gatas, UFA is marring the unity that these girls need most right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some hard feelings toward Erina from those still left in the group.

And let's not forget about Erina herself. As exciting as it must be for her to begin a solo career, I think that taking her out of an environment she's still getting familiar with and throwing her into intensive training for her own venture is just too much, too soon. I'm sure that she would have benefited greatly from having the balance of Ongaku Gatas and solo training (and, eventually, her solo career) at the same time in her life, as she would have the support of the other Gatas to push her through what is surely going to be a difficult several months, as opposed to having to tackle it on her own. After the training's over, and she's had a couple months of solo experience under her belt, then I could see the choice for her to leave Ongatas as a reasonable one...but doing it now is really jumping the gun on UFA's part.

Please note, I have no problem with Manoeri becoming a solo artist. As a talent agency, UFA has to take risks and try new things, and this could be a potentially great move. What I do have a problem with is how Ongaku Gatas is really getting the shaft here by losing a member so quickly after they've started. H!P members have begun solo careers and stayed with their groups successfully before (Koharu being the obvious example), so it just doesn't make sense to steal Erina away from Gatas at this critical stage in both of their careers. I hope everything works out okay, since I really like what Ongatas has done so far, and I would hate to see this create problems for Erina, but I have my doubts. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

- cfb

Monday, March 3, 2008

H!P Invades My Dreams

I'm sure that most of us Hello!Project fans have had dreams involving H!P members at some point. It's happened to me on a few occasions, but one case a few nights ago stood out to me, and I feel it's worth talking about here.

Funnily enough, I had two dreams in one night involving two different girls of H!P fame. The first one involved Mikitty somehow. I don't remember how, only that she was in it (probably for the better XD), and that she looked like she did around the time of her solo career.

The other one was pretty ridiculous, as dreams tend to be. In it, myself and a few of my friends were at a really ghetto school, for some reason I don't fully understand. While I was in this school's bathroom, I noticed Kumai Yurina's solo album (...?) just sitting there! Now, the funny thing is what surprised me about the situation...not the fact that Yurina all of a sudden had a solo album, or that it was in the bathroom at some random inner-city school, but that it was the SPECIAL EDITION OMG (it came in a big box similar to the "3 Natsu Natsu Mini Berryz" LE). Either way, I grabbed it up as quickly as I could and ran out of the bathroom to find...a cashier waiting to take my money (who knows how she got there...). So I set the album on the counter, grabbed my wallet, and started to pull out some cash...then it's a blur. Sadly, I never found out the contents of the box. Maybe this is a sign of times to come?*

Dreams are weird...
- cfb

*Who am I kidding...if anyone in Berryz gets a solo album, it'll be Risako.