OMG (Oh my GEM), Maya has an evil twin sister!

13 Nov

But more importantly, why are Maya and her evil twin sister the center in Ranachin’s video?
How can Rana not be the center in a video based on a song where she is the center!! Wait, does that make sense? <Uh, nothing you write makes sense. But I think I understand. You’re pointing out that Rana is the center of the song, but not the center of the video. And you’re perplexed because you’re a Ranachin fanboy> 

Producer: We need more Maya in this video dammit! How do we get more Maya in this video??
Maya’s manager: CG? Maybe a robot Maya?
Maya’s other manager: How about a massive room filled with mirrors so it looks like there are infinite Mayas?
Accountant: Too expensive. Don’t you remember we actually had to film the last music video at her house?

Director: I got it! Maya’s evil twin sister!!

This is the cover? REALLY? Maya sitting on a throne, wearing a different dress, and holding what appears to be a treasure chest, but is actually an insanely huge bento box! What an insult to the other GEMbers.

maya and the gembersI love Yuki’s expression though. She’s like, “As soon as I turn 21 I’m outta here!” (hint she is in the upper left corner)

While GEM’s video was disappointing, Doll☆Elements new video is almost perfect. Great song, amazing outfits, cute choreography, stylistic backdrops, beautifully filmed, and features each member prominently. And it’s also… <Let me guess, “super long kawaaaiiiii”?>

Doll☆Elements – Kimi ni Sakura Hirari to Mau 

Pigoo On Demand

4 Nov

A few days ago I subscribed to Pigoo On Demand in order to watch iDOL Street Chouzetsu Michikusa, which is a series of concerts held every other Friday at Akiba Cultures Theater, involving SUPER☆GiRLS, Cheeky Parade, GEM, and Street-sei. The show combines a 30 minute variety segment with a 35-40 minute concert, with the main acts rotating (two weeks ago featured SUPER☆GiRLS, this week was GEM, and in two weeks it will be Cheeky Parade). For those who have no idea what Pigoo on Demand is, it’s the online version of Pigoo HD, which is a cable channel dedicated to idols. Examples of their programming are the weekly concerts at Akiba Cultures Theater, monthly/seasonal events like @JAM and Idol Yokochou, and variety shows like  SUPER☆GiRLS Chouzetsu Adventure, DLH‘s Dorothy no Little HAPPY DAYS, and *drumroll* Doll☆Elements Merumaga Kaiin 10,000 Hito Dekiru kana? (a reference to their challenge to get 10,000 subscribers for their e-magazine).
pigoo 4Signing up for Pigoo on Demand begins with a free 2-week trial. A credit card is necessary to register (they accept foreign issued cards) and after the trial concludes the card on file is billed 1296¥, which is the monthly subscription fee. Once you register you’re allowed to watch any Pigoo programming that is within 30 days of the original broadcast.
pigoo fpVideos currently available include a 90 minute Sutorigu 2 Special, Double Color Session 3 (GEM, Party Rockets, and Yufu Mari), predia Monday Night, and the previously mentioned iDOL Street concert. Clicking on the different thumbnails brings up a page providing broadcast details, including the period the show will be available to stream. Once the 30-day window expires, it’s still possible to watch the show, but it requires a separate video on demand fee.
pigoo 6The service would probably appeal mostly to iDOL Street fans because of SUPER☆GiRLS Chouzetsu Adventure, GEM concerts, and random Street-sei programming. It’s also useful for me because it makes viewing predia’s Monday Night concert a lot more convenient. Because of the time zone difference, I previously had to stay up until 4AM on Monday morning in order to catch the niconico stream.
pigoo sg 0There’s also Doll☆Elements content, but it’s very limited. Considering how rare their concert footage is, even Doll☆Elements crumbs are awesome though. A show they did back in September 2013 is available for 540¥. Totally buying that with my lunch money! (And recording it!) It’s a 60 minute concert, but the time slot was split between three groups, so it’s probably 20 minutes of Doll☆Elements crumb goodness.
pigoo de 3The lineup was very different back then, since it was before Yukino and Haruka joined. Doesn’t matter though, it’s Doll☆Elements crumbs!
pigoo de 4The GirlsNews broadcast also included footage of Doll☆Elements Halloween concert. Cool, more crumbs!

I should probably mention that there’s also a lot of pervy content, including straight-up adult videos listed directly below the idol shows. Really Japan?? That programming requires a separate membership, but it’s hilarious that it’s visible right below mainstream idol shows.

Disclaimer: THIS TOPIC WAS NOT MY IDEA!! But I’m going to allow it — just this once.

3 Nov

In case you missed the title… this topic was soooOOOOOO not my idea! PASSPOGASM/SUPER GiRL Talk has developed a reputation as a safe haven for the world’s non-nerdy idol fans. But the other day one of my long-time readers/fans/stalkers(?) asked me: “Can you pleeeeeease write about the top ten idols you want to marry? Pleeeeease!!”

Because the topic of marrying my favorite idol seemed suspiciously wota-ish I had to check with my editor/grandpa first and he said, “Absolutely not! This blog has developed a something something safe haven for something something OMG it’s time for my daily 11AM nap!! *zzzZZZ* While he was sleeping he mumbled, “I’ll allow it..But just this once!

Topic credit goes to tsutomo, who I met at Tokyo Idol Festival. We’ll be cross-posting this mofo, so check out his blog!
Untitled-3Rounding out our cool-kids club is Tobias at PASSPO☆ and beyond !!!, who I also met at TIF.
cropped-tvpa3a1I should also mention the “rules” because I ended up breaking a few of them.
Rule #1  We can only list a maximum of two girls from the same group. So unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to marry all 48 members of JKT48.
Rule #2  We also have to list the top ten idols we’d like to be BFFs with.
Rule #3  I forgot what rule #3 is.
Rule #4  Only idols currently in a group are eligible.
Rule #5  The same idol can’t be included in both lists.
Rule #6  Do not talk about Secret Court!

Top Ten Idols I Want to Marry
1. Runa Kojima (Doll☆Elements)
Nickname: Runapon
Oshimen rank: #1 Oshipon™
Screenshot 2014-11-02 19.48.04
Runa is a super rare “cute type” pokemon idol, who is also the group’s “genki ” member and the “funny one.” She’s also their rapper for the 3 or 4 songs that include raps. And she actually refers to herself in the third person as Runapon. And like all cool people, she has great fashion sense (i.e. she always wears short skirts). <Even when it’s snowing?> Especially when it’s snowing.

Why she’s awesome… in video form:

Everyone knows the part of an idol concert when the audience is taught how to do the choreography is pretty much just a five minute time filler, particularly because they are explaining stuff that the fans in attendance have already figured out and/or have already been taught at previous concerts. Yet when Runa does it, it’s awesome. <How so?> Did you watch it? She’s clearly awesome. No more questions!

The End

Wait, I have to do nine more of these? If it’s idols we want to marry, shouldn’t it just be one girl? <Obviously we’re allowed to choose ten idols to marry in a “Top Ten Idols I Want to Marry” list, duh!>

Straight-talk reason (aka the more serious, non-joking explanation): She’s incredibly cute with a perfectly matched cute personality, she’s adorably energetic and always performs with 100% effort (kawaii effort), and just based on reading her blog she has a lot of pride in Doll☆Elements, so even though she has fun, she takes her job seriously. That’s important in a marriage. As someone who has been divorced three times, I should know!

2. Reira Arai (SUPER☆GiRLS)
Nickname: Reicheru, Rachel, Layla
Oshimen rank: SUPER☆Oshi
Reira is my favorite idol of all time, but I’ve become a Runa addict and I’ve lost a lot of interest in SUPER☆GiRLS ever since their producer decided to sabotage the group with horrible music, cheap costumes (by their standards), and an extremely questionable choice for a new member–SG fans know exactly who I am referring to. <SUPER☆GiRLS fan: Yeah, we totally know who you’re referring to! Um… it’s Risa right??> Anyway, Reira has a super model brain and a nuclear physicist face and body (wait, reverse that.)

And on top of that she’s a great singer with a cute voice.

I started becoming a fan of hers after watching their first live dvd, but it was actually the answers she gave in the following video that made me realize she was a little more sophisticated and mature than the typical idol:

I hope she considers Top 10 lists gentlemanly.

Straight-talk reason: Beautiful, intelligent, articulate, adventurous (she’s traveled alone to America and Australia), open minded and interested in other cultures, and she’s an amazing performer.

3. Sara Hirano (GEM)
Nickname: Sararan
Oshimen rank: oshiGEM™
Sara isn’t just the coolest girl in GEM, she’s the coolest girl in iDOL Street. And possibly the entire world. Although she’s extremely talented and the best looking (imo), she’s also the least popular member (shortest lines at handshake events, fewest # of comments in her blog, least amount of twitter followers, etc).
Screenshot 2014-11-03 00.41.52She’s similar to Reira in that she doesn’t go out of her way to win over fans, which is why the nerds on 2ch rank her as the #1 most mysterious member.
13-5-31I’ve been a fan of hers since before she was added to GEM and remember the exact moment she became my favorite. It was during the original Sutorigu tournament back in February 2013 and Sara and Yuki were the MCs. Yuki is supposed to be the funny one but she was stumbling over her lines like a blind break dancer with one leg, but Sara who is five years younger, was completely cool and single-handedly prevented Yuki from breaking the internet. This isn’t the video of their intro, but it’s the only footage I could find from that concert:

I love the death stare she gave some guy at 1:11.

14-9-13 outro wp 1

Straight-talk reason: She has a very cool aura, evident in the way she dances, dresses, and interacts with people; she’s mysterious which I think is the most interesting personality trait a person can have, and she stays true to herself even if it means not having many fans.

4. Rana Murakami (GEM)
Nickname: Ranachin, Lana, Ranassyi (unofficial)
Oshimen rank: Oshinassyi

ranapicI want to write that Rana is  one of the cutest humans that has ever lived and declare her a one in a million idol, but AKB’s producer used to say the same hyperbole about some of the AKB members and he was clearly insane. And high.

In addition to being cute, she’s funny, creative, and genuinely seems to care about being an idol. But she’s more than just cute, she’s also pretty!

And her singing voice is hypnotic (although the following two videos probably aren’t the best examples, unfortunately there aren’t a lot to choose from).

Screenshot 2014-11-03 16.37.59Straight-talk reason:  Her look, personality, and voice are completely unique in the idol world. Out of all the idols and groups I follow, she is the one I would want to get to know the most, because her sense of humor and overall personality are the most similar to mine (I do the same bit with upside down glasses all the time!)

5. Sakino Chiba (READY TO KISS, ex Houkago Princess)
Nickname: Sakipyon
Oshimen rank: Oshipyon
She’s hot.

Straight-talk reason: Although 99% of my interest is derived from her hotness, she is a surprisingly good singer and performer. Which actually matters a lot, because poor singing and dancing are huge turnoffs. Theoretically.

6. Makoto Okunaka (PASSPO☆)
Nickname: Makochan, Makon, Maachan, Mako-tee (unofficial)
makoteeI haven’t kept up to date with PASSPO☆, but I’ve remained a Makochan fan. I’m a fan because I focus on her positives–her beauty and her unique personality, which I think is genuine. Maybe she is polarizing amongst some fans, but I think the main reason she appears disinterested/unmotivated is because I feel PASSPO☆ wasn’t a great fit for her. Not every member of an idol group has the personality or skill-set to match the particular group they happen to audition for, particularly in the case of PASSPO☆, since the concept and music style wasn’t decided until after the lineup was chosen. While Mio matches PASSPO☆ perfectly, Makochan would have been perfect for a group like Morning Musume, because they are more glamorous, their music better matches her love for napping, and they place a greater emphasis on personality.

This video showcases Makochan’s complexity, in which she continually transitions from adorable to funny to weird to insane and then back to adorable, immediately  followed by more weirdness.

Straight-talk reason: She is amazingly cute, funny, weird, and mysterious. But if you don’t like her she’ll probably make a voodoo doll of you.

7. Saori Yasaka (former SUPER☆GiRLS leader, but still affiliated with iDOL Street)
Nickname: Saori-nu
Oshimen Rank: Oshi-nu

12-7-1 Saori

Our lists aren’t supposed to include idols who graduated, but since she’s remained part of iDOL Street, I’m going to include her, even if it’s only by a technicality (I won’t break the rules again though). If she was still a member of SUPER☆GiRLS I would have listed her fourth, so I think it’s a fair compromise.

I apologize if my list of super hotties is becoming repetitive and making me seem like a shallow, superficial moron, but Saori is way more than just a beautiful face. She was arguably the second best singer in the group, she has diverse interests like Takarazuka (Japanese all-female musical troupe), Christmas (she begins celebrating in November), and Takarazuka (she really, really likes Takarazuka). She’s also a little strange, which is another common denominator of the idols I like. At one SUPER☆GiRLS concert I went to, she actually fell into a weird trance during member intros. I was watching her, and for more than a minute she was just staring into the crowd, not blinking, moving, or saying a word. Just staring. With her mouth open a little. While dripping in sweat. <Was it hot?> Please don’t ask stupid questions. <Do you regret not asking her to marry you?> Of course I do. That was my one chance!

Saoriiiii NEVER FORGET!!

yasaka-saori-04Straight-talk reason: Beautiful, serious, funny, a little weird, and pretty much the perfect idol.

8. Rihona Kato (former Street-sei, but still affiliated with iDOL Street)
Nickname: Rihonya
rihona x
I lied about not including another idol who graduated. But she’s also still part of iDOL Street, so I’m hanging on to the illogical belief that she may come back and join the next iDOL-Street group. And if I compiled this list two months ago I would have ranked her, so I’m just keeping it real yo! <Please never write that again> It’s not like I’m including Atsuko Maeda. Wait, can I include Atsuko Maeda?!

Straight-talk reason: She’s hilarious, spontaneous, and hilariously spontaneous. And she wears glasses!! I’m not sure how or why, but glasses enhance a girl’s looks by like a million percent.

9. Fuka Tanaka (Sendai Twinkle Moon)
Nickname: Fucchan (unofficial), Fukizzle (ever more unofficial)
I only recently became a fan of Fukizzle, but she has single-handedly resurrected my interest in Street-sei, Sutorigu 3, and the forthcoming Fourth Group (no pun intended).

Straight-talk reason: She has an unidentifiable charm that I can’t explain.
<In other words you think she is super cute>

10. Ami Nakashima (Dream, E-girls)

Screenshot 2014-11-03 18.46.31Straight-talk reason: Because she’s been an awesome idol for like a million years.

Top Ten Idols I’d Like as Friends

(* indicates I’m breaking the rule by listing the idol a second time)
1* Rana Murakami — She’s a huge dork, very much like myself. She’s into Funassyi, making up jokes based on portmanteaus (e.g. GEMily), and is completely comfortable embarrassing herself  as long as it makes people laugh. But it’s not just her sense of humor which would make her a great friend, she’s also extremely loyal and supportive of her group mates. For me, loyalty and empathy are almost as important as sense of humor.
2* Runa Kojima — Similar to Rana, I would want to be friends with Runa because of her sense of humor. The photo above reflects her quirky and playful personality. She’s also obnoxious, just like I am–she’s constantly annoying her group mates with her antics, just like I annoy my friends with my constant jokes. I guess the theme so far is I gravitate towards people with similar personalities, and the closer the match the better.
3* Reira Arai — She’s the most sophisticated and open-minded idol I know. My favorite hobby is traveling and so is hers. People who travel tend to have adventurous personalities and a sense of independence. For example, she explained that she wanted to go to America with a friend, but ended up going alone because of her schedule. I’m the same way, I would prefer traveling with my friends, siblings, and cousins, but I don’t allow for conflicts with schedules derail my plans. She also likes to snowboard, which is my second favorite hobby, so she is someone who I could hang out with–before I marry her.
4. Yuu Maeda (predia) — New members of a group tend to go through a phase where they struggle to fit in, because while they have to quickly catch up to the other members, they can’t go too fast otherwise it looks like they are overstepping their position and showing up their “sempais.” But she is so unique that she completely bypassed that phase. It’s like she’s always been in the group. And you could never get mad at her because she is so charmingly goofy. Just watching her at concerts, she is a huuuuge dork and is completely fine with showing that side of her personality. Which would make hanging out with her extremely entertaining.
5. Yuriya Suzuki (Cheeky Parade)  This one is a little complicated and would require knowledge of the relationship between SUPER☆GiRLS and Cheeky Parade, as well as her intense desire to be in SUPER☆GiRLS (she made it to the finals of the SG audition). There isn’t a lot of overlap between the SG and CP fandom and I fault that to SG not establishing a supportive relationship with the CP members. So fans notice minimal chemistry between the groups and completely separate fandoms emerge. What I respect about Yuriya is that despite her history with SG, she doesn’t perpetuate the poor role model identity when she interacts with GEM and Street-sei. During the few concerts where GEM or Street-sei opened for them, she would go completely out of her way to integrate them into the show and make them feel welcome. Typically humans repeat the same injustices they were subjected to. The cool ones though transcend that, which is why I respect her. She is the kind of person that if you were friends with, she would always have your back.
6. Ami Kikuchi (Idoling!!!) — She’s an extremely complex person, but what I find most fascinating is her interest in psychoanalysis, played out in her commentary on fellow idols and idol fans. I think she is incredibly intelligent, maybe not in an academic way, but in a pragmatic sense independent of school. Her “philosophies” on idols, the business, and fandoms are very unique. She understands her role as an idol, and how she can experiment with her identity, the same way a scientist would experiment with a laboratory rat being operantly conditioned. She is someone you could have awesome conversations with on any topic.
7. Shiori Mori (PASSPO) — I have endless energy when it comes to physical activities like running, basketball, tennis, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, etc. She has that same vibrant energy that allows her to go 100% during concerts. Doing “guy” stuff like watching and playing sports with a girl like her would be awesome. And I love how she yells, when she could just as easily talk in a normal voice. Those are the things that are endearing when you like someone, but extremely annoying when you don’t. 
8. Mahiro Hayashida (Fairies) — She’s the mood-maker of Fairies, so it would be convenient to be friends with her. Whenever anything bad happens, it’s basically her job to make everything better. At least that’s what I think a mood-maker is supposed to do.
9. Rino Shimazaki (Cheeky Parade) — She’s awesome and hilarious in a very, very moronic way. I only started noticing her after watching a program where she was interacting with some GEMbers (GEM members). She was eating traditional Japanese sweets and explaining the flavor to them in great detail. Another member asked her what she was eating and she started expounding about her knowledge of food, like she was an expert. Then their manager came over and casually mentioned that everything she had just said was wrong. At that point most people would have been extremely embarrassed, but she reacted by hilariously and randomly eating all the food intended for the other members. This is just one example of her weird as hell personality that would be extremely entertaining to be around. 
10. Sayumi Michishige (Morning Musume) — Did Sayumi Michishige already graduate? I actually have no idea, but I think she is the classic example of an idol who would be interesting to hang out with. Just not for too long, otherwise you’d go insane. I always thought she was way more complex than the cute persona she portrays, and as she’s aged I think that has become more apparent. And thus concludes the first and last reference to Morning Musume you’ll ever read here.