Chi - I can haz pancakes

A Minimoni revival

Apparently Tsunku announced last week that he will be reviving Minimoni, complete with...none of the original members.

Instead, the new Minimoni will be led by Linlin (one of the Chinese "exchange" singers in Morning Musume), and the other three members are rumored to be Eggs, with Fukuda Kanon confirmed to be among them. There's no word yet on if they'll be like the Minimoni of their formation time (actual kiddy music) or the Minimoni that was forced to grow up (reference "Crazy in Love" and everything after, excepting "Lucky Cha Cha Cha") and make bad music.

It's clear which one I liked more. :D

I don't know how I feel about this, but I'm sure I'll be downloading their first single out of curiosity.

Kitano Kii

Kuroki Meisa's first album slated for April

Japanese model-turned-actress Kuroki Meisa will be releasing her debut album on April 8th, 2009. She first broke into the music scene last summer with the digital single "Like This," and if that was any indication of what her style will be, we've got an awesome R&B-dance album to look forward to. It'll be produced by Jeff Miyahara and will be titled "hellcat." One of the songs, "Bad Girl," has already been released as a ringtone.

All I gotta say to this is FREAKIN' FINALLY. "Like This" was my jam in the last half of 2008 so I'm really excited for this album to get released. I don't know what it is, but the first half of the year's releases always get me excited~!! Last year it was Perfume, Aira Mitsuki, it'll be Meisa, Ayu, and Perfume (again haha)! \:D/ Total ftw.

Fukada Kyoko - cuuute (^^)

Tsuji Nozomi making

Tsuji Nozomi (seen on the far right during her days as a member of Minimoni, one of the best H!P units) announced yesterday that she'll be returning to work by producing her own line of baby clothing. The line, titled "Baby & Ribbon," will be a collaboration with Akachan Honpo and has been in the works since last summer. She reportedly became interested in children's clothing after her baby girl Noa was born (not to mention she wore similar outfits during her time in H!P :D). The clothing will go on sale in March.

Nono was also part of the Elder Club concert last weekend in Yokohama; this was her first time performing since her marriage/pregnancy announcement in 2007. She'll be graduating along with all of the other awesome people who got fired for being too old older performers of Hello! Project. I'd love to see any pictures of this, so if you got the goods, hook me up. \:D/

Pictures of Nono from the announcement behind the cut, as well as her line.
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Komatsu Ayaka - Welcome to my world

Nishino Nana debuts today

New pop/rock artist Nishino Nana releases her first single today in Japan, titled "Open your eyes." It contains the b-sides "Let it go" and "Nobody's Perfect. She is part of the dance unit SQUALL NOIZE (see group photo here), so I wonder if she'll be continuing her work with them. (If anyone's curious, here's a video of her dancing on TV - she's kind of awesome. There are a bunch more videos of her on Youtube if you'd like to see more! I think I've found my distraction for the night. Watch them in HQ when possible!) I found her because I almost misread her name (in romaji) for musician Nishino Kana's, but I can't say if there's any relation between the two. (If there is, Nana's the older one.)

Anyway, I like her song "Let it go," which is a pop/rock tune. Unfortunately, you can't quite dance to pop/rock music, and I think someone needs to tell Nana this. Makes it a bit awkward to watch but the song is good.

Bubbles - nobody wants to be me! D:

Kago Ai does spread in Weekly Playboy

Well, this was the last thing I expected to see in an issue of Weekly Playboy - former Morning Musume member Kago Ai doing a photoshoot. Actually, I can maybe understand a photoshoot. But one with gravure-like poses and a bikini? If it wasn't AIBON, I'd be less intrigued - honestly, this is insanely tame compared to typical gravure photoshoots, but I think because it's Aibon and in my mind she'll always be 15, that's why I'm so surprised.

Anyway, enjoy this pictorial, appropriately titled "ADULTISM." I've also included translations of the (corny) text on each scan. This can be found in the January 26th, 2009 issue of Weekly Playboy. It should be noted that Weekly Playboy and the Playboy most Westerners know of isn't the same - WPB is far more a gravure magazine than a nude model magazine, but there ARE nude models and AV stars who have photoshoots. On this month's cover is Minami Akina, a gravure idol who has become popular in recent months.
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What do you guys think of this? Is she trying too hard to be relevant again if she's doing these sorts of magazines? It could be argued that she truly is starting anew, and let's face it - the majority of aspiring idols (including gravure idols and regular actresses) get their start doing photoshoots in gravure magazines. Do you think she can make a comeback?

SOURCE: the scans I found of WPB. :D
Komatsu Ayaka - Welcome to my world

Ketchup mania to disband

This came as a bit of a shock to me. It appears pop/punk band Ketchup mania is disbanding and will be holding their final live concert on May 10th. The reason is that they want to focus on their own individual talents and works, but it also somewhat sounds like they've been having...shall we say, creative differences.

I haven't been into them since their Universal sign-on, but this is still sad. This sort of music is what I based this blog on initially, with hopes that I'd be posting news from indie ska/punk artists. (Instead, my focus has shifted to others =/ ) HIRO's cute vocals will be missed, and I hope each band member makes some sort of comeback but I know it won't be likely.

Koike Eiko - NO

this cracks me up

TokyoGraph reports that Goto Maki (former Hello! Project member) will finally be coming back to the spotlight as a radio personality on the show "PLATOn," on J-WAVE.

Her segment is called "SWEET BLACK Girls."



Anyway, this is cool and all, but I demand a new single! D:
Komatsu Ayaka - Welcome to my world

Nishiwaki Sayaka the next idol to leech off recent Perfume craze

New electropop unit ORDINARY VENUS
Apparently the managers of Nishiwaki Sayaka, known as Cha-pon of idol group 9nine and the younger sister of Nishiwaki Ayaka (aka A~chan of Perfume), are trying to get her to ride A~chan's coat-tails, because now Sayaka's gone on some spiritual solo-ish journey to team up with GOATBED (of CALI//GARI) to form an electropop unit, ORDINARY VENUS. I can't seem to find an official website for this at all despite their album coming out next week on December 17th.

Looks like their first release is entirely a cover album, and I've already spotted what's hooked me in - a cover of "I Don't Know," by BaBe! :D

Oh, and I just found a sample of the album on Nicovideo. (*___*) If you have an account, come listen. It sounds kind of promising, actually.

Komatsu Ayaka - Welcome to my world

Woohoo! New Stereo Pony single + tie-in

According to TokyoGraph (from an article on Sports Hochi), Stereo Pony's next song "Namida no Mukou" (泪のムコウ - "Facing Sympathy"? idk) will be used as the theme song for "Mobile Suit Gundam 00" starting January 11th, 2009. Amazon says the single will be released exactly a month later, on February 11th.

I'm not a fan of either anime they've had tie-ins with, but damned if I don't love these girls. Their first single was ~*amaaaazing*~, so I'm super-excited for this next one. That, and SMJ tends to treat their artists right by letting them release more than once.

Will keep you posted as samples become available!

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