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I haven’t been blogging recently mostly because I was busy with my life as a respective teacher. It’s not my first year at teaching but my first year at a school that could offer me some stability and I really need that. It’s been tough but there’s a goal in 2016 that keeps me happy.
I will go to Japan.
The more I say it the more I start to grasp the full meaning behind the words.
I (not my friends, not the people whose reports I’ve been reading, not my sister AGAIN – it’s ME)
will (not maybe, not probably)
go (not read about, not watch the vids on Youtube)
to Japan (after waiting for so long)
I remember seeing my first H!P concert video on YouTube and thinking: Wow, seeing them live must be a blast! Look at all those people having fun. I can’t tell which concert was it. It was just a random search after discovering Morning Musume’s “Sakura Mankai”.
The number of girls was huge. They swarmed the stage, running around and smiling so radiantly. THEY had fun.
The costumes were wacky, colourful and simply perfect. It was pure eye candy.
The crowd was chanting in unison with such strenght. I had no idea what it all meant. But it looked so coordinated and fun. I wanted to learn the words and scream with them. They carried penlights with different colours which seemed to change when a girl was singing a long solo line.
It was an amazing spectacle. A festival of bright colours and energy.
I was always a fan of watching many people dance the same choreography at the same time. It was very eye catching. I admired the rhythm and it all seemed perfect.
I especially enjoyed the scenes when the girls ran around the stage and got to be close to their fans. You could feel the level of worship in the air.
I watched it transfixed. Everything appealed to me. I set up my dream to attend such a concert. This is going to happen. I went to the Berikyuu concert in Paris in 2014 and it was a perfect prelude. There’s still a need in me to see a H!P live. To see ALL of them. It may sound ignorant of me because Japan is a beautiful country that I’d love to explore but as far as I’m concerned I choose to focus on H!P related events my whole stay. Heck, I’d love to attend the same show for three weeks straight. It’s like a drug. I’ll see the Tokyo tower/other importart Japanese landmarks some other time, amirite?
2016 here I come!
1. The first time I actually played a Morning Musume MV to my friends because I was so proud of the girls. (It was Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe and as much as the song is not my favourite single I can’t stop admiring the music video.)
2. The first time I bought official H!P goods. (I love you, my sweet pink muffler towel. I wanna have your babies.)
3. The first time I genuinely cried at a graduation concert. ( How could I not cry when Sayu broke down while fighting to keep the smile on her face? That was her big moment and the injury stopped her from giving her everything into the performance. That moment when the lights went out just before other members were supposed to congratulate her because she couldn’t stand on her own was too much. I even took part in a tribute vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUD4zo18UFI&feature=youtube_gdata_player)
4. The first time I cried from happiness countless time during one day. (There are no words. Japan Expo was the happiest experience of this year if not of my entire life.)
6. The first time I felt what it means to be a fan. (It’s one thing to like your idol’s music, but it’s another thing to cheer for them live.)
7. The first time I understood the pain of losing one’s oshi. (Neither Sayumi nor any member of Berryz Koubou is my oshi but only meeting fellow fans, seeing their love for their oshis and then hearing of their loss made my truly understand what it means. I will never speak lightly of this matter.)
9. The first time I attended an H!P concert. (I hope it’s not the last time because I had the blast of the lifetime.)
12. The first time I learnt the chants. ( I watched the tutorial videos and rocked those Ois and HAHAHAs.)
13. The first time I could feel absolutely free. (Is there anything more beautiful to take part in a strange ritual that includes specific clothes, lights, colours, arm movements, shouts and music? I don’t think so. Being able to scream, laugh, cry and dance with people who knew EXACTLY what you feel is freeing.)
16. The first time I met my favourite bloggers in real life. (While planning my JE trip I read though my fellow bloggers’ acounts of previous Expos. I’ve came across a sweet story of love between two people, two fans of Hello Project. Would I imagine meeting those two in Paris? Nope. Would I think they would turn out to be the sweetest people ever? Would I imagine meeting another famous blogger who turned out to be a raging alcoholic just as I imagined him to be? :P)
17. The first time I did the Yurushite Nyan with Momoko. (It’s the guilty pleasure of 2014.)
19. The first time I used Twitter. (Now I know where the other fans dwell. And I thought H!O wa sthe only place out there.)
20. The first time I came out of an idol closet at a convention. (Another freeing moment for me. I wore that Berikyuu T-shirt with much pride.)
21. The first time I regretted an idol group to have changed its name from a mildly irritating one to complete WTF. (I’m just full of anger. And germs.)
22. The first time I felt the world is not such a big place after all. (If you meet people from around the world you feel that money plus an aeroplane can get you everywhere. It was my first flight as well so it was a new thought.)
24. The first time I was mentioned in an idol’s blog. (http://ameblo.jp/orange-port/image-11896789216-13008133807.html Dear Orange Port, I love you so much and hope you’ll gain more and more fans. You’ve got one in me already.)
26. The first time I spoke some basic Japanese and was praised for the quality of it. (Pooru dansu muzukashikatta desska? Damn, I was so proud of myself. )
27. The first time I saw my oshi live. (Again, no words to explain this feeling. She’s just a young adult doing her job. I’m older than her. She could have been my student! Yet, I felt timid, sheepish and utterly blessed while interacting with her. It wasn’t the everyday Suzuki Airi, a girl from a different country. It was a true idol.)
28. The first time I felt like moving to France. (You French people are so lucky to have the Japan Expo! I want to move there! Why not Japan? Tempting, but I think the cultural differences are too strong.)
29. The first time I felt good with the way I look. (Have you seen me in the wig? Fab.)
30. The first time I was interviewed. (I still can’t believe it. The girls have seen the DVD as well. I’m right before the very end so even if they fast forwarded to their own interview they might have seen me :D)
Happy New Year!
Some time ago I tweeted about me making a panel about Hello!Project at a Polish Manga/Anime/Fantasy convention. I was excited but at the same time quite anxious. There aren’t many Polish fans out there and it isn’t considered “cool” or “trendy” to listen to Japanese idols in general. I bet it’s similar in your country, isn’t it? It’s silly but even people who are considered by majority (the so called mainstream) to be childish and weird (like Manga&Anime lovers, or fantasy readers) think that YOU are stupid for listening to jpop. I just don’t get it. When you’re a fan of something or somebody, especially of something that isn’t mainstream, you’re supposed to be a little but more understanding of other fans.
From where I stand it must be something in our human condition (woah, it’s getting deep guys) to enjoy one thing and hate people who enjoy something else. How can you explain that a girl squealing at a naked chest of another Korean boysband member is belittling a fan squealing at a nearly naked chest of Kikkawa Yuu in her new photobook?
Move along ppl, there’s nothing here to see.
I don’t think I will ever truly understand it. But that’s how it is. And this particular convention already has some tensions between its own members that is the Manga&Anime fans and the fantasy fans. Both groups think they are by far superior. With the hatred and misunderstandings in the air I thought it was the perfect place to share the love for kawaii idols bouncing around in frilly skirts and singing about love, dreams and the fact that earth is a fucking dangerous planet (thanks EcoMoni!). You can imagine how scared I was but knew I at least have to try to make them understand the appeal. After long conversations with Morningtime I felt a bit more equipped with arguments against such statements as:
– idols are just products manufactured by greedy managers
– they don’t have a talent and many of them (if not all) can’t sing
– their songs are stupid and weird
– fans of idols are morons
I’ll tell you how it went in a moment. There were many aspects of the panel I needed to settle. Firstly, the main topic of my panel. Talking just about Hello!Project (although tempting) was out of the question since there are so many fascinating aspects of Japanese idols I would have to omit. I decided to have two panels. The first one would be about Japanese idols in general and the second one specifically about Morning Musume as the flag group of Hello!Project.
Wearing my Berikyuu concert T-shirt from Japan Expo, I entered the room bearing the merchandise I now happily own, a pendrive with lots of PVs, concert clips and a Power Point presentation. I was relieved to see that there were people waiting for me. About 16 of them. It might seem like a small number but compared to the size of the whole convention that was BIG for me. It turned out that only two people there had no idea what idols in Japan looked like. The rest at least saw an idol once and some of them even considered themselves to be fans so YAY for me 🙂 One of them was actually a freshly made Morning Musume fan so double YAY for me. Unfortunately there were also two (totally convinced of their greatness) fans of AKB48 as well. Don’t get me wrong, I just think that those two weren’t the best representatives of an idol fan. I’m at least tolerant against different fans. Let’s just say that at the end of the panel they were deeply disappointed and angry with me 😀
I talked for nearly an hour so let me summarise some points I made (which are my own opinions and I don’t see myself as an expert on the matter):
– idols are products manufactured by greedy managers and their fans are fully aware of it. It’s the matter of embracing is as an idea. In Western countries we value individuality, indie records and independence in public but at the same time listen to singer/bands being the very opposite of that. Sometimes, we try to defend them by saying : Well, yea she does sing about her ass but she’s a very intelligent and artistic soul that writes her own music so GTFO. Japanese idols aren’t pretending to be something that they’re not. So why not enjoy the perfect product?
I think that was a ground-breaking idea for ppl in the crowd at the panel. The deflation of arguments was almost tangible 😀 They all went : oooh when I said it.
– idols are supposed to be cute, pure and entertaining. It seems obvious to us but non-fans tend to forget the fact that idols are about entertainment. Not as much about music. It’s quite shocking isn’t it? It doesn’t mean that music isn’t important but many idol songs (most of them) are made as crowd pleasers. They have silly lyrics, strong hook and easy to follow chants and arm movements. You don’t go to an idol concert to enjoy the brilliant notes. You go there to have fun and boy what fun it is.
– idol groups have many members specifically to appeal to as many people as possible. An idol will adopt an “idol chara” to make herself different from her fellow idols. Nobody in the right brain will think that they are like that everyday in their free time. It’s just a role they take for entertainment of their fans. It doesn’t mean that this role has to be completely different from their own personality. On the contrary, they just emphasise they’re own charms. Sometimes it can get a tiny bit annoying …..
…. but after meeting her live I get to say she’s just freaking great at being an idol. When some other girls where sitting there and smiling she took the initiative to interact with us and that was the best thing ever. Respect helium princess. Respect.
It leads me to the next point
– idols are supposed to make their fans happy because the industry understood that the “I’m too good for you” attitude won’t give them moneyz. Okay, we’ll complain that the companies are just too good at taking our money but at the same time they give us plenty opportunities to meet/touch/talk/shout at/interact with them. Can you do that with Beyonce? When was the last time Beyonce stood at the table and let her fans give her a handshake and speak to her? I love it about idols and I think my audience was pretty impressed by it. Well handshakes are great for fans. Not so sure about the idols’ true feelings…
It’s just a summary of the things I mentioned but it’s the most important stuff we established there. And they understood. They really did and it was amazing. You might want to argue that it’s a generalization because: not all idols are like that, many songs are just amazing and I listen to them constantly so fuck you etc. And I agree but at the same time the very bottom of idol industry (IMO) consists of those points I mentioned. It was important to establish that so we can appreciate the variety, the music, the talents of individual girls without false assumptions about them. That’s how I feel and that’s what I’ll stand for. It’s merely a tip of an iceberg in an idol industry discussion (there are many great articles out there ppl and I recommend reading them) so this was my small input in it.
There’s not much I can say about the other panel because it was late and my audience consisted of non-fans that were really reluctant to attend my panel. They weren’t the people from my previous panel so I didn’t have the time or energy to explain my idol theories once again. I focused on Morning Musume/Hello!Project trivia to keep them interested plus I tried to appeal to them with modern Momusu electro sound (which wasn’t so successful ==”). It was a fun panel but nothing more and nothing less.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with myself and can’t wait for more possibilities to spread the love.
Next time, I’ll bring more idol nudity.
What’s your favourite Berryz Koubou single? What’s your favourite H!P member and why is it Suzuki Airi? I took it upon myself to answer the most fundamental of them all – What’s your favourite group among H!P?
Okay, so Morning Musume was giving us some really shitty singles the last couple of years.
A gratuitous picture of Fukumura’s enormous talent to recompansate for it.
Let’s see. For me it started with Pepper Keibu. (I forgave them Mikan just because of Resonant Blue immediately aferwards). I love the song but it was merely a cover. Because of the fake date with the hopeless dream chaser I though I might just cry. The sound of the group was just… I don’t know. Bland? Boring? Off key? Whiney? You name it.With all due respect to JunJun and LinLin but they’re voices were just annoying. This plus the arrangements Tsunku gave them, corresponded to the fact that I actually picked Buono as my favourite group at that time. But those songs weren’t the worst. Just one of them all was the proverbial nail to the coffin of my Morning Musume luvv – Seishun Collection. WHAT.THE.HELL. I’d trade all PyokoPyoko nonsense for erasing Seishun Collection from my memory. If it was recorded in 2009 I’d totally include it in https://nyuchandesu.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/2009-rankings-top-5-songs-to-fight-insomnia-with/
BUT Morning Musume is the history! There’s no H!P without MM! They deserve the respect and if anybody outside wotaku family wanted me to tell them anything about Hello Project, I’d introduce them to Sayumi’s boobs and Kanashimi Twilight.
Maybe then some C-ute in slow-motion. (gif from http://airiindeshou.blogspot.com/)
So I stuck to being a Morning Musume lover regardless the fact that it was soo long since any of their songs were on my playlist. It felt like the right thing to do. You don’t just abandon the band you used to
But Tsunku sama finally, after a steaming pile of shitty singles, created the right music for Momusu…
Okay, maybe that wasn’t the main factor behind their victorious return. I mean, Tsunku can’t take all the credit. It was probably the new generation, right? The miracle happened (sorry, Koharu) and the fresh blood in the group did the trick. Geez, those girls must be prodigies.
Okay, maybe not THIS one. She looks mighty stupid.
I’d really expect more facial expressions from an ex-Egg. She has the experience, right?
Yep this one did it.
Just joking (OR AM I…). Because the real answer is somewhere else.
YES! That’s something brining the new flavour to Momusu. I was really surprised to see new generations added to group and performing those super complicated dances without the usual newbie awkwardness (or just the bare minimum of it since Haruna really can’t help herself). They did it fiercely, confidently and Tsunku even gave them some decent songs like Wagamama ki no mama Sayu’s lips close-ups /Ai no Goddamn or recently Kimi no KawarNIPPON NIPPON NIPPON NIPPON NIPPON. You have to watch the following erformance to truly appreciate their recovered glory.
Now I can proudly say again. No regrets. I’m a Morning Musume fan.
In this very special day, I’d like to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May your world be filled with warmth and good cheer. I hope all your dreams come true.
P.S. yeah, that’s me ^^
It’s a pity we don’t have Halloween in Poland. All the trick-or-treating, horror movies and Jack-o’-lanterns sound like great fun. What we have in exchange? All Saints’ Day.
The next day is the All Souls’ Day which basically means All Dead People’s Day but somehow Roman Catholic Church haven’t found the name fancy enough. Wanting to save some time we celebrate both of those days on the 1st of November. Btw it lead to major misunderstandings like for instance totally forgetting about the saints and going to the cemetery and getting your ass frostbitten during a long mass (I’ve been there and I will probably be there again tomorrow).
As you can see it’s kinda hard to party all night if you know that the next day, early morning, you’re gonna stand next to your deceased relative’s grave and listen to the passionate sermon about death spiced with lots of gruesome digressions about people dieing unexpectedly and kids crying at the funeral (it’s the same topic every year). Yep. Not gonna happen.
But lets just imagine that it DOES happen. So, I got to prepare for the party. Which costume should I choose?
Close your eyes. Don’t ask silly questions and just do it. Okay. And now listen carefully and tell me your first association. Ready? “NYUCHANDESU”. So what was your first thought? Please, put it in the comment 😀
Crazy piefaced alien from Hell?