Tuesday, September 14, 2010


A quick post to commemorate the 24th birthday of our beautiful Leader~~~

Yes, this is a bit late...but it's still the 14th where I'm at, and I actually made the birthday shrine last night when it was still the 14th in Japan. (plus this is an excuse to wish her happy birthday again~)
I also happened to JUST remember that I hadn't posted here about Aichan's birthday -___-


Happy birthday Aichan~~~
Thanks for everything you do for both Morning Musume and for me as a fan, and for all the other fans. You're simply too amazing for words ;____;

Also, this just happens to be pretty close to the one-year anniversary (maybe a week from now) of my becoming an Aichan wota. Here's to another year with the greatest waifu I could ever ask for :'D

- cfb

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More on being an idol fan/wota...

I originally wrote this in response to a comment by Yonasu on this post, quoted in its entirety here:

"Honestly I couldn't care less about the agencies behind the idols. I like certain idols of H!P, and I like certain idols in AKB, they live together in harmony in my world. But my favorites are from H!P and that will never change since they've had many years to grow on me.

My all time favorite is Eri Kamei, and whatever happens to H!P she will always remain my favorite^^ And my favorite from AKB is Atsuko Maeda (although she might not even make the top 10 of my overall idol faves). I consider myself an Eri wota, I guess, but really I don't need a title, I just care about loving whoever I love :) People are free to hate on me and the idols I love, I really couldn't care less about that either, haha.

In the end, this discussion is really the same stupid thing as arguing about Windows and OS X. Just use and love whatever you love, why should you care about what someone else likes? It doesn't make any sense.

Peace out."

However, my comment ended up REALLY long (I basically ended up rewriting/updating the original entry Yonasu was responding to) and there were some things I said that I felt warranted another post, so here it is. I was responding specifically to one paragraph in his comment.

"In the end, this discussion is really the same stupid thing as arguing about Windows and OS X. Just use and love whatever you love, why should you care about what someone else likes? It doesn't make any sense."
In the example of Mac vs Windows, I agree completely. It's just an OS...find what you like and use that, screw what everybody else is doing. In fact, the "OS wars" is one of my least favorite things to talk about...ditto for the video game "console wars".

However, with idols, we're not dealing with something so trivial. The difference between idols and just about every other hobby out there is that there is a relationship with living, breathing people here. Supporting your favorite idol is not the same as supporting your favorite video game company or band or OS developer or whatever because supporting those things does not explicitly express love for another human being. For me it is not just entertainment...I am truly invested in my idol, as much as I would be invested in someone I know in real life, if not even more so. I suppose for most gaijin idol fans it's difficult to take it that seriously...after all, most of us never really have the chance to build a "real" relationship with these girls because they obviously live across the world (or, at least, in a different country :P). If everyone could have the opportunity to go to FC events and talk to the girls one on one, shake their hands, etc on a regular basis I get the feeling things might be different.

But here I am, living in America, and I still take my relationship with my idol as seriously as I would were I able to interact with her regularly. I want to be the best fan I possibly can for her sake.

Going back to what you asked, I care about what other idol fans like because I want them to be the best possible fans for these girls as well. Honestly I don't particularly like being the person pointing his finger at everyone, but it aggravates me when I see the approach many Western fans have. These girls deserve more devotion than that.

And that's not to say that Western idol fans are not passionate. Many of the people I've met really do love these girls a lot. However, as I said earlier I feel that the relationship between a wota and his/her idol is very real...and I don't feel it's appropriate or respectful to have relationships with more than one person at a time.

I don't mean that you can't like more than one idol...I like all the members of Morning Musume - some of them a lot - for different reasons. But Aichan is the only one I love, and the one I consider to be MY idol. I have only a casual interest in the others. Personally I think that's how it should be if someone wants to call him/herself a wota. Actually, I feel that this kind of dedication may very well be what separates a fan from a wota, which is why I get so agitated by casual use of the term 'wota' - it's not a word to be taken lightly...

Of course, I can't reasonably expect everyone to take this approach. I've come to realize that there's nothing wrong with being a more casual fan (and I don't mean that everyone who isn't a hardcore wota is "just a casual fan"...as I said earlier, there are certainly non-wota idol fans who love these girls a lot - they are just comparatively more casual fans). Some people are simply not willing or able to have this kind of dedication, and to an extent I can't blame them...it's really hard. Sometimes, honestly, it sucks. But the good times are so incredibly rewarding, and I feel that I am capable of doing so much more for my idol, when I take this approach. As I said, I want the best fans possible for these girls and through my experiences I've come to believe that singular dedication fosters that kind of fan. I may not be able to convince everyone to join me, and I may even make some enemies along the way (I have already, actually x.x)...but I feel that this is a cause worth fighting for and I hope that I can inspire others to join me.
- cfb

Sunday, March 14, 2010

February 2010 Purchases

Splurge for this month was the visual books. AX DVD was also kind of a big deal lol. Other than that, fairly typical month I guess.

  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai LE A (w/DVD)
  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai LE B (w/DVD)
  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai LE C (w/DVD)
  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai RE

  • Momusu - Concert Tour 2009 Aki ~NINE SMILE~
  • Momusu - America Hatsu Jouriku Live ~Offshot Mansai Micchaku 72jikan~
  • Momusu - Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai Single V

  • 2005 Spring Dai ~6kan Hit Mankai~ Visual Book
  • 2005 Spring Dai ~6kan Hit Mankai~ Visual Book 2
  • 2005 Autumn ~Baribari Kyoushitsu Koharu-chan Irasshai~ Visual Book
  • 2005 Autumn ~Baribari Kyoushitsu Koharu-chan Irasshai~ Visual Book 2
  • 2006 Spring ~Rainbow 7~ Visual Book
  • 2006 Spring ~Rainbow 7~ Visual Book 2
  • 2006 Autumn ~Odore! Morning Curry~ Visual Book
  • 2007 Spring ~SEXY 8 BEAT~ Visual Book 2
  • Iroppoi Jirettai Making Photobook (not pictured)

Quick thoughts:
- NINE SMILE made me bawwwww so hard ;______;
- AX DVD is amazing. So many good memories~
- Visual books are sweet.

- cfb

January 2010 Purchases

Starting the new year off with less purchases than usual. This should continue until at least August or so...saving up enough to attend Aichan's graduation concert~ (whenever that is...)

Somehow everything in this picture is sealed, other than the Kanashimi Event V (which still has the plastic on it, seal is just broken at the bottom)

  • Kusumi Koharu - Happy Single V
  • Momusu - Kanashimi Twilight Event V
  • V/A - Pucchi Best 9
  • Momusu - Rainbow 7 RE

  • Momusu - Morning Channel ~Digiphoto History 2001-2005~ Photobook
  • Momusu - Yomiuri Land East Live 2009 DVD

Quick thoughts:
- Morning Channel photobook is adorable, so many great offshots of the girls~
- Yomiuri is an amazing concert, I loved how they kept the little bit at the beginning...it's nice to put a visual to what I've heard in fan recordings of FC events so many times.

- cfb

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hello!Ranking Test Run...!

This last Sunday, bryan (organizer of Hello!Party and all-around kickass dude) held a test run of a site he's working on called Hello!Ranking (a "next-generation [Hello!Project] fan site that allows you to see how your favorites change over time and to share your rankings with others", to quote bryan himself), which I had the privilege of taking part in.

Normally I'm not the ranking type - it takes me FOREVER, in fact, unless I'm extremely familiar with the group (see: Momusu) - but seeing the site in action was very cool. Or, at least, what I saw was cool...those who participated only had access to the ranker itself.

(right now the design looks a little plain - bryan informed everyone that the final site will have pictures of each member to go along with their name when doing your ranking)

Essentially, us testers had access to three rankers: the group ranker, the groups ranker, and the artists ranker. The group ranker (pictured above, with my actual current MM ranking~) allows you to choose a Hello!Project group, choose whether you want to rank the current roster or all members that have ever been in the group (when applicable), and then you simply drag the members around into whatever order you want to rank them. After that, submit your ranking and voila! - your ranking is saved and added to the database of everyone else's rankings. The groups ranker allows you to rank H!P groups, both new and old - Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, Country Musume, ROMANS, Buono, Coconuts Musume (ew), EcoMoni, etc. The artists ranker allows you to choose from every member of Hello!Project - new, old, graduated, active, inactive - and rank whoever you want. Fans will also be able to rank albums, singles, and individual songs. Very cool stuff!

Once the site goes live (hopefully soon), people will be able to create profiles so everyone can share their rankings, along with viewing overall statistics that pull together everyone's rankings so you can see where your favorites members, groups, songs, etc stand against all the others. The site will also be used to house detailed Hello!Project member profiles and a few other things that I don't remember (and/or may not be able to share - sworn to secrecy ;D sort of...). Overall, Hello!Ranking is shaping up to be a great resource and central hub for the H!P fan community. Keep an eye out here for when the site goes live!
- cfb

(And for anyone who wants a preview of the site...bryan is planning another test run of the ranker this weekend, most likely Saturday afternoon. Pop on over to #helloranking on irc.rizon.net if you want to participate!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For Sale! (Again!)

Items I have for sale/trade are now listed here.

Thanks for looking!
- cfb

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On the H!P vs AKB debate...

I've been trying to avoid writing a post on this topic for a while now. It's an EXTREMELY touchy subject, and one that I get easily worked up about, so I figured it was best to stay out. However, there are some bloggers (some of who have been obviously pointing fingers at me) who've posted about the whole H!P vs AKB "war", and I feel the need to put in my two cents.

To begin, while I certainly have a strong dislike for AKB48...it's not the idols themselves, or AKB48 itself, or even AKB48 fans that I have a real problem with. "Personal preference" and "real issue" are different things, and I've mistakenly confused the two in the past...but I've come to realize the errors of my ways and, if people are willing to listen, I would like to make my current position clear. Actually, my problem isn't with anyone's fandom, but more with the foundation that most people in the community have laid their idol fandoms upon.

Now, to clarify something...everyone has to get into idols somehow, and almost every idol fan right now did that through H!P. Everybody has an exploratory phase where they find out what they like, and I'm totally down with that. My beef is with the people who were into H!P first, became serious fans, and then let that dedication fall through to another group without good reason (by the way, general disinterest is NOT a good reason :P).


The base of the issue, from what I've observed, is that many members of the community treat being into idol groups like it's the same as being into any other music...they feel that sampling as many different groups as possible and developing a varied set of interests is a part of being an idol fan or a wota. Now, in my opinion, people who are purely Japanese music enthusiasts can listen to whatever idol groups they want...they're not in it for the idols anyway. But anyone who calls themselves an idol fan or a wota and is into every group under the sun clearly doesn't understand how this whole thing is supposed to work.

That's not to say that they're WRONG, just...misinformed, I suppose. Many Western idol fans started as fans of anime or Japanese music or even just music in general (almost any hobby could be inserted here, honestly), where one risks being considered narrow-minded if he/she focuses exclusively on one series or musician or whatever. And when those people made the transition to the idol world, they carried that mentality with them. But the idol scene doesn't work that way...or, at least, it didn't until the Western world got ahold of it.

Of course, some people will say that this is our way of approaching it, we don't have to do it the way they do it in Japan, etc etc. Frankly, I disagree with that. While we could certainly continue on the same path (and likely will - I'm part of a minority with little say in the direction that the Western idol fandom takes), I don't feel that we have the right to twist the idol world around to fit our own way of doing things like that. In fact, through that, I think we risk aligning ourselves with a mindset that I'm sure most of us want nothing to do with.

Consider this: when H!P was in its prime there were lots of people who really liked Hello!Project that may have never been into idols otherwise - children, parents, girls, boys, etc. They really were a national idol group - such is the way popularity booms work. But those people were not wota, nor were they idol fans. Those people are now the ones who are unable to name a single current member of Morning Musume, who loved Hello!Project as a fad and dropped it like a bad habit when that fad ended. And guess what? Now those kind of people - the mainstream public - are starting to get into AKB48. You could say it's because AKB48 is the better idol group, or because they have better management with better knowledge on how to promote a group to mainstream success (both of which are points that could be debated, although the first is certainly more subjective than the second). But you want to know the real reason why? Because they're the public and they'll eat up whatever's in front of their faces.

When H!P's popularity had been waning for a while, AKB stepped up to the plate as the next big idol fad (not trying to bash on AKB here - H!P was just as much of a fad in the early 00's as AKB is now). What disappoints me with so many Western idol fans is that they made themselves no better than the mindless public. Instead of sticking by the idols they had grown to supposedly love and cherish over the years, they grew tired and jaded with the direction that H!P's music and image was taking - something that is completely out of the idols' control and should not affect the preferences of a truly dedicated fan. I know that my idols deserve my support regardless of how the company they're a part of may change over time. Anyway, H!P was beginning to wane in popularity...then AKB came along, a fresh new face to gain the interest of a group of people who had grown bored with a fad that was on its way out (or a fad that was essentially already gone, in the case of the Japanese public). It saddens and infuriates me to think that these girls who are so deserving of our love and dedication could be treated in such an impersonal manner, as if their lives as idols exist solely for our entertainment.

For the most part, the only ones who are still truly around for these girls are the wota. Say what you will about the wota (creepy, obsessive, etc), but H!P's survival for the last few years has depended heavily on a small but extremely dedicated fanbase of hardcore wota. And I know a lot of H!P fans are waiting for Morning Musume's next big break, for that magical moment where they become THE Japanese female idol super-group again and can stand on their own two feet (or, right now, 16 feet) without depending entirely on the wota. I hate to rain on the parade, but that's almost guaranteed not to happen. That's not really the way female idol groups work (any female idol group's explosive public success is almost always a fluke - LOVE Machine was H!P's, in my opinion), and popularity should not be a determining factor in sticking with your idols. I'm proud to call myself a wota because I avoided the temptation of new idol groups and am still supporting the idol company that I "grew up" on. My pride in being a dedicated wota is also why I get so agitated about careless use of the word wota, since not all Western idol fans have been as dedicated as I've come to understand wota to be.

Back to my original point...I'm of the opinion that the "general idol fan"/"expand your horizons"/"get into as many idol groups as possible" mentality encourages this kind of fickle idol fandom. If you spend your time devouring every idol group that even slightly catches your interest, how can you be sure that you won't unknowingly (or even knowingly -_-') abandon idols who still need you? In my opinion, the only point where an idol doesn't truly need her fans is when she has completely left the idol industry and started on a new path in her life. At that point, it is up to the individual to decide if their (now former) idols still need that kind of support.

And if this kind of dedication sounds intimidating...honestly, it should. Being a wota isn't easy. There have been many times where I've faced criticism (both from those within the idol community and those outside it) or felt a little overwhelmed or even depressed (although those are more tied to my choice not to date...if my idol can't do it, why should I). But think of how our idols must have felt when they first started. The stress and difficulty they've faced over the years has to have been so much worse than anything most of us normally deal with, and yet they still always come out smiling for their fans. I personally feel that it's an honor to face these difficulties for my idol's sake, and I think any true wota can empathize with that. Put simply, my idol is worth it.

And on the subject of "WHAT IF I WANT TO LISTEN TO MORE THAN JUST ONE IDOL GROUP, I LIKE OTHER MUSIC TOO ;_____;"...if you want to listen to other idol music, I don't think that in and of itself does any real harm. But, at least for someone like me, that's something to avoid. I value my dedication enough to not listen to any other idol groups. Not because I fear that my dedication isn't strong enough...I just don't even want to take that chance at all. Of course, that's something that each person has to decide for themselves.

And in all seriousness, I don't want to upset anyone through this. I'd rather encourage people to consider what the purpose of idols REALLY is and whether the choices they've made, or are making, or may make in the future, are what's best for their idols. As for what that is specifically? I think you can gather an idea of that from what I've said here...but perhaps I'll do a post on that in the future...

- cfb

Sunday, January 17, 2010

December 2009 Purchases

And the last of it...

  • Heike Michiyo - Daikirai (8cm release)
  • Heike Michiyo - Dakedo Aishisugite (8cm release)
  • Nakazawa Yuko - Karasu no Nyoubou (8cm release)
  • Nakazawa Yuko - Odaiba Moonlight Serenade (8cm release)
  • Nakazawa Yuko - Junjou Koushinkyoku (8cm release)

  • Momusu - Summer Night Town (8cm release)
  • Momusu - Daite HOLD ON ME! (8cm release)
  • Momusu - Memory Seishun no Hikari (8cm release)
  • Momusu - Manatsu no Kousen (8cm release)
  • Momusu - Furusato (8cm release)

  • Matsuura Aya - T.W.O. RE (first press w/ box case & poster)
  • Berryz Koubou - Watashi no Mirai no Danna-Sama/Ryuusei Boy RE
  • Momusu - Naichau Kamo LE A (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Naichau Kamo LE B (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Ai Araba IT'S ALL RIGHT RE

  • Nakazawa Yuko - Genki no nai Hi Komoriuta/Nagaragawa no Hare RE
  • Nakazawa Yuko - DO MY BEST RE
  • Ichii Sayaka - Jinsei ga Mou Hajimatteru RE
  • Ichii Sayaka - Zutto Zutto RE
  • Ichii Sayaka - 4U ~Hitasura~ RE
  • Momusu - FIRST TIME RE
  • Nakazawa Yuko - Nakazawa Yuko Dai Isshou RE

  • Heike Michiyo - Teenage Dream RE
  • Heike Michiyo - One Room Natsu no Koi Monogatari RE
  • Heike Michiyo - Ai no Chikara RE
  • Heike Michiyo - Propose RE

  • Takahashi Ai - Alo-Hello
  • Takahashi Ai - Love-Hello
  • MiniMoni - Making of MiniMoni ja Movie ~Okashi na Daibouken!~
  • Momusu - Sore Yuke! Gorokkies ~Happy Life~
Quick Thoughts:
- This month includes my first 8cm CDs in the funny cases. I had originally not planned on buying any singles like that, but obviously that didn't last :P
- Aichan ;_;

- cfb

November 2009 Purchases

And yet more stuff :P

  • Momusu - Shabondama LE (w/box case, cards & card holder)
  • Momusu - Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~ LE (w/cards & card clip)
  • Momusu - Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~ RE
  • Momusu - Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~ RE

  • Momusu - SEXY BOY ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~ RE
  • Momusu - Kanashimi Twilight LE A (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Onna ni Sachi Are LE A (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Pepper Keibu LE A (w/DVD)
  • V/A - Pucchi Best 10

  • Momusu - Renai Revolution 21 (vinyl release)
  • Momusu - Best! Morning Musume 1 (vinyl release)

  • Momusu - Kimagure Princess Single V
  • Momusu - Iroppoi Jirettai Event V
  • Momusu - Pepper Keibu Event V

  • V/A - Pucchi Best 10 DVD
  • H!P DVD Magazine Volume 10
  • Hello! Project 2009 Summer Kakumei Gannen ~Hello! Chanpuru~
  • Momusu DVD Magazine Vol 18
  • Momusu Alo-Hello

Quick Thoughts:
- I never thought I'd get the MM records for as cheap as I did. Of course, now that I have these two, I have to find LOVE Machine... >.>

- cfb

October 2009 Purchases

Yup, more stuff. Sorry I got so far behind...been slacking something terrible lately x.x

  • Momusu - Coupling Collection LE (w/box case & photobook)
  • Momusu - Coupling Collection RE
  • Momusu - Kimagure Princess LE A (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Kimagure Princess LE B (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Kimagure Princess LE C (w/alternate covers)
  • Momusu - Kimagure Princess RE

  • Momusu - Shouganai Yume Oibito LE A (w/DVD)
  • Momusu - Mikan LE A (w/DVD)
  • V/A - Together!
  • Momusu - Egao Yes Nude RE
  • Momusu - Ambitious! Yashintenki de Ii Jan RE
  • Goto Maki - Secret LE (w/DVD)

  • Momusu - Green Live
  • Momusu - Concert Tour 2006 Haru ~Rainbow Seven~
  • Abe Natsumi - Deai
- cfb

September 2009 Purchases

Changed my mind about the catchup post idea...doing one for each month, just for consistencies' sake.

  • Folk Songs 1
  • Folk Songs 4
  • Momusu - Sexy 8 Beat LE (w/DVD)
  • Goto Maki - SWEET BLACK LE (w/DVD & Booklet)

  • Momusu - Mikan LE B (w/box case & photobook)
  • Momusu - Kanashimi Twilight RE
  • Momusu - Iroppoi Jirettai LE (w/box case & cards)
  • Momusu - Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari RE
  • Momusu - Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~ LE (w/box case & posters)
  • Momusu - Resonant Blue LE B (w/DVD)

  • V/A - Pucchi Best 4 (w/ box case & doorknob sign)
  • Momusu - Ai no Dai 6kan RE (w/box case, photocard & poster)
  • Kusumi Koharu - Hapi*Hapi Sunday RE
  • Ichii Sayaka - Todoke! Koi no Telepathy RE

  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 8
  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 9
  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 11
  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 12
  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 13
  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 14
  • MM DVD Magazine Vol 15

  • H!P DVD Mag Vol 8
  • H!P DVD Mag Vol 9
  • Momusu - Shouganai Yume Oibito Event V

- cfb

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Third HelloStore USA Batch

A bit late on this (my stuff showed up at least two weeks ago x.x), but here it is...my purchases from HelloStore USA's first preorder "event".

  • Platinum 9 DISC Microfiber Towel - Ai Takahashi
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 - Microfiber Towel - Ai Takahashi
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 2L Photo Set C - Ai Takahashi
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 2L Photo Set D - Ai Takahashi
  • Platinum 9 DISC Summer '09 Tour - 2L Photo Set 4 - Ai Takahashi
  • Platinum 9 DISC Summer '09 Tour - 2L Photo Set 5 - Ai Takahashi
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 L Photo Set E (Group)
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 L Photo Set F (Group)
  • Platinum 9 DISC Summer '09 Tour - L Photo Set 1 (Group)
  • Platinum 9 DISC Summer '09 Tour - L Photo Set 2 (Group)
  • Platinum 9 DISC Summer '09 Tour - L Photo Set 5 (Group)
  • Shouganai Yumeoibito Launch Event '09 - L Photo Set 1 (Group)
  • Shouganai Yumeoibito Launch Event '09 - L Photo Set 2 (Group)
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 L Metallic Photo Set A (Group)
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 L Metallic Photo Set B (Group)
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 L Metallic Photo Set C (Group)
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 L Metallic Photo Set D (Group)
  • Morning Musume - Nine Smile 2009 T-Shirt Part 2 - Ai Takahashi
  • Morning Musume DVD Magazine Vol. 28

  • Ai Takahashi - "ai" Photobook
  • Ai Takahashi - "Love Hello!" Photobook
  • Ai Takahashi - "Mizu" Photobook
  • Ai Takahashi - "Mou Hitotsu no Ai" Photobook
  • Ai Takahashi - "Watashi" Photobook

And the pictures laid out all pretty:

This was my biggest H!S order yet. And on that note, photobooks get expensive FAST ;_;
Totally worth it though~

Should have my big ol' purchases catchup post finished soon...I hope...
- cfb