SUPER GiRL Talk: Vol. 7

3 Mar

This week two things occurred in iDOL Street that were interesting enough for fans to start making crazy predictions and engage in completely unsubstantiated speculation and rumor mongering. <Umm, I’m pretty sure it’s just you making crazy predictions and causing trouble. Everyone else on the internet is completely normal. And I don’t know what rumor mongering means, but it sounds weird.> I don’t know what it means either, but I thought it would make me sound smart. <You thought using the word “mongering” would make you sound smart?>

Anyway, as I was saying, this week two things occurred in iDOL Street that were interesting enough for fans to start making crazy predictions and engage in completely unsubstantiated speculation and rumor mongering. First was the dismissal of Ayaka Kawai, a member of Street-sei‘s Nagoya team. This literally, figuratively, and literally came out of nowhere and is shocking because she was a front-runner for the fourth iDOL Street group. I had to punch someone in the face to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The second was a teaser video that aired at Gocchan’s graduation concert two days ago, which according to a fan who attended, seemed to imply that a new member will be joining SUPER☆GiRLS.

The current Street-sei front-runners
I previously ranked the ten members who I think are considered by the producers to be the most likely candidates (Reminder: these aren’t the members I necessarily like; they’re just the girls I think are on the fast track to make the group). <In other words, you don’t like some of them!> I removed #9 and 10 though, because I forgot why I included them. Hey, no one’s perfect. <Speaking of rankings, didn’t you previously lock Misa-misa for PASSPO?> You’re bringing that up again? Don’t forget that immediately after Koume graduated from Party Rockets I predicted that she would join SUPER☆GiRLS.* <No you didn’t! You predicted that she would join DLH or Street-sei and only later predicted she would join SUPER☆GiRLS.> My prediction was still accurate though and several months in advance. <You also predicted that Mano Erina would “reverse graduate.” That’s not even a real thing.> It is a real thing! It just hasn’t happened yet. Anyway, I also predicted Sara would join GEM, two months before she was even added as a candidate member. <Ok, you win! That was GEMazing!!!>

The current Street-sei front-runners

If my rankings are accurate, Ayaka was in a good position to make the group, or at least make the “starting lineup,” assuming they repeated what they did with GEM. (Before GEM officially debuted, they had 13 “starting” members competing for a spot. A few months later, three more Street-sei members joined the unofficial lineup, before the final lineup was chosen).

You may be thinking, “This is boring! Where are the CraAAaZYY predictions and rumor whatever-you-called-it?” Well, this is where it get’s interesting, because even though Ayaka Kawai was probably a front-runner for the group she is *wait for it* totally mediocre! She can’t sing, and is average in practically every idol category: looks, personality, and talent. I’m going to play devil’s advocate and argue that her being terminated is actually a GOOD THING for the fourth group! Why? Because a slot just opened up for someone that isn’t her!

The reason Ayaka was a front runner in the first place was because she was (1) popular with fans and (2) the second-longest tenured member of Street-sei [technically tied with Saku, who is the only other remaining 3rd gen member. Haachin (Hazuki) is 2nd gen and has been in the group the longest]. Popularity and tenure aren’t exactly logical reasons for anyone to be included in anything, but they were the type of reasons that could force the hand of the producers. Which meant there was already going to be at least one average member in the lineup. I have no idea why she was let go, but it certainly provided them a convenient way to resolve the dilemma of including her in the group. 

Most importantly, every single talented, yet unpopular Street-sei member instantly increased their odds at making the group. This includes members like Riko, Narumi, and Fuka. <AKA members you like!> Yeah, I like talented members. <Oh. Yeah, so do I. *grumble grumble*>

Baseless speculation on the new SUPER☆GiRLS member
Even though I haven’t watched the teaser video which evidently hints at a new member, I’m going to allow myself to speculate on Gocchan’s replacement. I mean, what else is there to write about? <The Chubbiness articles you were supposed to finish last month?> These are my candidates, which I admit are extremely unlikely, but what else is there to write about? <That research paper that’s due on March 9 that you haven’t started yet?>. Oh yeah. I’ll start that once I finish the Chubbiness articles.
1. Saori
Two words: reverse-graduation!

2. Rihona
Two words: reverse-graduation! There have been a lot of graduations so far this year, but I’d rather remember this year as the year of the “reverse-graduation.” The potential for her to reverse-graduate is much higher than Saori’s, but obviously Saori would be a better fit for the group. <Umm, that was 49 words.>

3. Haachin
I’m going to include her in every prediction until she joins a group.

If any of them joined, my interest in SUPER☆GiRLS would be completely resuscitated. Is there some sort of idol god that I need to sacrifice a goat to in order to make this happen?

It was the End of the World. And Everyone was DANCIN’ DANCIN’ DANCE!!

10 Feb

This video may be NSFW

Unfortunately for me, the first time I watched DANCIN’ DANCIN’ DANCE!! I was at work. When the video started it felt like my whole body was being invaded by dance. I was powerless to resist and all I wanted was more dance. I jumped on my desk and knocked over monitors, table lamps, drinks, anything in my path as I celebrated the power of dance. I felt so free, especially when dancing dancing dance resulted in the destruction of company property and people getting kicked in the face. This was pure dance. Not the fake stuff you see on TV or read about in books. As I explored dance, dance explored me. My colleagues were horrified. And so was I. The first time is always scary. Security was called and they escorted me out of the building.

And I was dancing dancing dance the entire time.

DANCIN’ DANCIN’ DANCE!! 
is a unit song that debuted at GEM’s first one-man on September 13, 2014. Footage of the unit never existed though and the song was soon forgotten. That is until a few days ago when the above video was uploaded and all hell broke loose. “Shit went viral overnight,” said some guy on the internet.  DANCIN’ DANCIN’ DANCE!! was officially back.

The unit includes GEMbers Rana, Chisami, Kako, and Sara. Rana-berry and Chisami-saurus are the main vocalists, and Kako-tee and Sara-kizzy are the dancers and back-up vocalists. The song is horrendiculous, but DANCIN’ DANCIN’ DANCE!! is pure awesome-chowder for one reason: Sara did the choreography.

During their one-man, she explained that she was under a lot of pressure to produce something great. So leading up to the concert, she often conferred with Kako for advice. They talked on the phone for hours and hours about dance.

They also talked about make-up, fashion, and boys.

The night before Sara was to present DANCIN’ DANCIN’ DANCE!! to the group, she stayed up late working in her dance studio–the birthplace of dance–aka the laundry room. On a typical night she’d be asleep by 8PM, right after her bath, and would wear super-short shorts and a tight-fitting cami to bed. But that night was different. That night there would be endless dance. So the super-short shorts and tight-fitting cami would have to wait and lay neatly folded on her bed. In place of super-short shorts and tight-fitting cami, she changed into her dance attire: super-short shorts and a tight-fitting tee tied in a knot to show off her tummy.

While finishing the dance, she called Kako one final time to go over last-second details. All dancers know that true dance is in the details and she had ever so much to discuss. She was positively overwhelmed by dance.

And she was sweaty.

She was never able to reach Kako though, because in an unexpected plot twist Kako had already fallen asleep! While Sara was dancing dancing dance, Kako was sleeping sleeping sleep.

So Sara finished the choreography alone. And when she finally fell asleep, after slipping into her tight fitting cami, she had the craziest dream…

“Hmm, what was it about again?” she wondered as she caressed her legs, which were still tender from the night of endless dancing.

“Oh yeah, the dream was about dance!”

“Well, that and being promoted to center after Maya gets eaten by a zombie dinosaur from outer space… but it was mainly about dance.”

I need more dance. Can I please have a little more dancing dancing dance??

How to Survive in Japan for a Week with Only One Million Yen

10 Feb

So my editor calls me at 4AM and screams, “Hey Billy, you’re having another dream about Runapon aren’t you?!” And I was like, “Yes. Thanks for waking me.” I know the real reason he’s calling though. “Hey, since you’re awake, how are the Chubbiness articles coming along? Sponsors are getting reeeeeallly anxious. And don’t forget to plug my new book!” So predictable. “I know. I’ll finish them today.”

That was two weeks ago.

Is it just me or is it impossible to write about Chubbiness without taking five hundred dinner breaks?

I didn’t know what to write about so I went to church for the first time in like a million years and the priest tells me, “Every time you make fun of Chubbiness an angel dies.” I was like, “A chubby angel?” Kidding aside, they’re actually a very generous group. A Chubbiness 2-shot is more like a 3-shot, amiright? Yeah, they’re great. Just don’t come near iDOL Street! HAHAHA… but seriously, don’t. *long awkward pause*

Ok enough stupidity, on to the recap.

I just flew to Japan and boy are my arms something something
This trip would be my first time flying in a Boeing 787, aka the Dreamliner.
787Dreamliner? More like Nightmare liner.

One of the plane’s advantages is lower cabin pressure, unfortunately it was also freezing cold and the guy sitting next to me was really sick. I think he may have died at some point during the flight. I’ve gotten sick in Japan several times, so I was a little worried. A little very worried.

It’s a 12 hour flight from L.A. to Tokyo and I watched If I Stay five times in a row. Just because. 

predia Party
@ Shinjuku ReNY
December 28, 2014

The morning after I arrived in Tokyo, I changed hotels and went to a Doll☆Elements mini-live in Chiba. I covered that event previously, so fast forward to predia’s concert that evening. But before I get to that, doesn’t predia’s upcoming album cover look a lot like GEM’s debut single?

The predia concert was at 18:00 and the plan was to meet Tobi at Shinjuku station at 16:45. That would give us plenty of time to find the venue since neither of us had been to Shinjuku ReNY before. Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer to get back to my hotel after the Doll☆Elements event, and I didn’t arrive at Shinjuku station until 17:00.

That wouldn’t have been a big deal, but when I arrived I couldn’t find the exit we agreed to meet at. I forgot how massive and crowded this station is. I asked a station attendant and he pointed me in the direction to go. I followed his instructions and got lost. I retraced my steps and got lost. So I went back to the entrance and studied the station map.

And I got lost.

The exit I was looking for didn’t seem to exist. I didn’t want to waste anymore time, so I decided to leave the station from any exit and just take a taxi. And hope that Tobi would realize I’m an idiot and go to ReNY by himself. It was pretty lame to take a taxi though, since I was less than a kilometer away. And that’s probably why the first taxi I got in wouldn’t take me. He said it was too close. The next taxi also declined for the same reason. It made sense though and I can’t blame them. There is a giant queue of taxis outside the station and they don’t want to lose their spot just to take some guy down the street. But at this point I was getting even more nervous, because I couldn’t walk to the venue and now it seemed I couldn’t take a taxi either. I hesitatingly called a third cab, expecting to be denied again. The cab driver was a lot nicer, but still wouldn’t take me. He did try to explain how to walk there though. So I followed his directions.

And I got lost.

Getting lost in Shinjuku at night reminded me of my Osaka trip from 2013, when I was traveling by an overnight bus, got completely lost, and was literally a few minutes from missing the departure. After taking the taxi driver’s advice I ended up further away from the station, but I still had no idea where I was or where I needed to go. So I got into another taxi and since I was desperate at this point I wanted to just throw thousands of yen at him and say, “Drive!” Turned out, the driver was really nice and he actually kept thanking me for taking his cab. Maybe because he made 1000 yen for a three minute drive. Anyway, I had finally arrived. Phew, crisis averted!

This was my fifth predia one-man and the longest set-list I’ve seen them perform. The concert was Aki’s birthday, who I think is around the same age as me, or maybe a year younger. They debuted new outfits halfway through the concert (the black and white dresses on their album cover), which were hotter than the red dresses they wore at the start. During the MCs, they announced the release date for their 1st major album and talked about a “revenge live” at Shinjuku Blaze. Evidently they tried scheduling a one-man at the venue years ago, but it was cancelled due to low ticket sales. They also debuted two new songs from their album,  “Maboroshi ha Zanadu” and “Tokyo Love Affair.” “You’re my Hero” was also new to me. All three songs were pretty good, but there was something off about the concert’s pacing.

A long setlist sounds good in theory, but the concert dragged because every great song was followed by an average one. Which was annoying because the filler songs took the place of “Hey Now!!,” “Diamond High Heels,” “Honey B,” and “Kimi Mitai ni.” They also had chairs set up on the floor, which were so close together there was literally no room to move.

But enough complaining, they were hot and that is all that matters. Although… I was studying their outfits really closely and noticed a tragic design flaw.

The dresses could have been much shorter!

Setlist
1. Boukyaku no Cinderella
2. Melty Snow
3. Yasoukyoku -Akai Nokoriga no Sasoi ASOUKYOKU-
4. Dia Love
5. Mid9t Luv
6. Maboroshi ha Zanadu
7. HEY BOY
8. Eyes2Luv
9. Utsukushiki Kodoku Tachi
10. Yakou Chou
11. one more yesterday
12. Silky Rain
13. You’re my Hero
14. Namo Naki Shiroi Hana ha Kie Iku
15. Kowareta Ai no Hate ni
16. Tokyo Love Affair
17. Crazy Cat
18. you slipped away
19. Going To Ride
20. Dream Of Love
-Encore-
21. BABY KISS
22. Re-start Game
-Double Encore-
23. Do the Party!