30 April 2012

NYC - Yoku Asobi, Yoku Manabe PV review

To be honest I am feeling a bit burned out from doing PV reviews so I guess it is a good thing this is the last day of the month. As I mentioned in a post before I will be starting my new project on Wednesday with the first episode of Shounen Club. I will do Wednesday and Satuday updates for it for all the half hour episodes and when it changes to the hour episodes it will be Saturday only. I also have some drama reviews to do as well not to mention some posts I have written drafts of that I want to post. So hopefully I will get a long enough break before reviewing another PV.

I am rather meh about this song. It is not bad and is nice and catchy but not something I care too much to listen to too much.

Johnny's finally decided that the members of NYC should actually visit New York City and thus we have this PV. It even starts out with the three arriving in NYC from a plane flight.

The cleanest ally in NYC.
One of the main scenes is the boys sitting on a wall while they sing. I rather like the casual clothes they have for this PV.

I don't think they understand you Yamada.
The boys are seen to be hanging with other kids, supposedly the ones that hang out in the area they are in.

It does not take much to amaze a Johnny's.
We then move on to more touristy shots, like Yamada Ryosuke getting his fortune told by a creepy machine thing and various other things that you know nobody who actually lives in NYC would actually do.

Adorable alien boy.
I think Nakayama Yuma is much more relaxed in front of the camera then in earlier PVs. He seems to have learned how to work the camera as well as his group mates.

At least fan girls can't complain about these guys not eating enough.
Of course what else would one do in NYC but go grocery shopping? And the way they load up the cart makes it look like they will be staying for a while or have bottomless pits for stomachs.

Totally okay to get in the carriage of creepy strangers.
The boys get in a horse and carriage to start up a new set of scenes. One which includes the driver looking back at them with a creepy look on his face.

Yamada realized they don't know where their hotel is.
The camera lens they used for these shots do this weird warping thing. I do not like it as I see no point to it as it really does nothing to the scenes other than make them looked warped.

Cute, but not with that hair.
I would like to comment on Chinen Yuri's hair for this PV to say it really does not suit him well at all. Sure it may look okay in this screen shot but in others it really does him no favors what so ever.

Teeth... the teeeeeeth.
Then we have the boys walking around NYC at night. Of course it is in the area that is best known to be a tourist trap but I guess it works as it is recognizable.

Makes you wonder what the random people in the background must think of this.
I like the rotating camera with the boys here. Especially as it actually avoids doing it to the point of making the viewer dizzy from watching it.

Perhaps there is a message here.
This PV ends not on the boys but on various letters that make up the group's name from signs around New York.

Not a bad PV considering that is mainly made up of footage of the boys sightseeing. Though the PV really does not really fit the song as I do not see how hanging around NYC ties into studying and playing all that much. It is still leagues above Wonderful Cupid, but even one of the live concert footage PVs would be miles better than that, because I honestly do hate that song that much.

I probably could say more but I am dead tired and not even sure if half the stuff I wrote for this review makes sense. Good night all.

29 April 2012

Toraji Haiji - Fantastipo PV review

I am so glad that I was able to find the LE for this single. It was well out of print by the time I got into Johnny's but thankfully I was able to find a copy when I was in Japan.

I love this song and wish it was performed/covered more often. But since it is with a one-shot single with the temporary unit, Toraji Haiji, consisting of Kokubun Taichi and Domoto Tsuyoshi, it rarely does. Which made me happy to see that Tegomass actually did cover it with their first tour and made me hope that it would someday again get covered again.

Twinkle, twinkle little Johnnys.
From the first few shots of Kokubun and Tsuyoshi it is easy to see that this PV is special. I mean when was the last time you saw Johnny's as sparkly as this in a PV?

Tsuyoshi failing to walk like an Egyptian. 
This PV is full of creativity as there is nothing that does not have something going for it, even the screen changes are not the ordinary ones you find in most Johnny's PVs.

All hail the armadillo. 
If you have yet to figure it out, this PV is very much like Johnny's on crack. Which makes it wonderful to me as I love off the wall goofy and this PV has it in spades.

Busting a move.
Kokubun pretty shows why he is in a band group and not a dance group. But bless him for still trying in this PV.

Wondering if he stumbled onto the wrong PV set.
For all of Kokubun's energy Tsuyoshi plays up his lethargic tendencies and moves as little as possible during the PV. Instead of dancing he ends up doing a lot of hand movements instead.

The shades are for the sparkling.
I love how nonsensical it all is. Especially with how much the guys seem to just having fun. I mean how can you not end up at least smiling watching this PV, especially with Kokubun's bright smiling face all over the place.

I wonder if actually watching the movie that this song is the theme song for, not to mention shares the same name, would make the PV make more sense. Though somehow I do not think that would help.

They sure know how to get down. 
I love these scenes as Tsuyoshi is just there going though hand gestures pretending that they can replace dance moves and Kokubun keeps making these poses. I guess when you are a keyboardist you forget how to actually dance.

Electric fire!
Love the slo-mo hip thrust scene here. Have no idea what the strange red electricity thing is, but honestly at this point I have given up questioning anything.

Probably the only scene not trying to break your brain.
An epic pose for a rather epic PV. I do wonder where on Earth the managed to find a suit as ugly as Kokubun's, but that seems to be a specialty of Johnny's.

Better than a magic carpet.
Kokubun at the end disappears on a polka dot circle thingy into the starry night sky.

Chillin' with the bunnies, eating mochi.
Then Tsuyoshi ends it with being the man in the moon. Because he just will not be outdone.

A PV like this is hard to forget, if just for the WTF factor alone. As I mentioned before I love off the wall humor which this PV runs off of. The only thing more epic than the PV is the fact the other video on the DVD is to teach the dance moves for the song. If I was not as rhythmically challenged as I am I would probably learn it.

I hope one day some of the younger Johnny's get to make something as off beat as this.

Looking for some good blogs.

Figured I should go ahead and announce that I have joined the staff for Idolminded, a website to help connect Japanese and Korean idol English language blogs. I hope as member of the staff I can help bring in other idols fandoms to the spotlight there

This is not going to affect this blog as it will be my first priority like always. What it will do is give me a chance to share my love for idols with even more people as well as help others share their love as well.

Something I have been wanting to do is to simply ask for recommendations for idol related blogs, with emphasis on Johnny's related blogs. I check from time to time to see if I cannot find more blogs for myself to visit but now that I have this new position I would love to find more.

What I am looking for:
-Blogs in English.
-Blogs that are predominantly about Japanese idols, as in the main focus.
-Decent grammar and spelling. Does not need to be perfect but capitalizing the correct letters and using spell check should be basic enough. Also only using Japanese words when there is no exact English equivalent like senpai/kouhai. Just being clear enough in what you are saying for others to understand even if they know little to nothing about the topic you are writing about.
-Blogs that do reviews and/or essays.
-Bloggers that add their own opinion to topics.
-Active blogs. (It is fine if they do not post as much as I do but they should at least show signs that they have not been abandoned.)

What I am NOT looking for:
-Personal blogs.
-Blogs that only post about idols every once in a while.
-Blogs that are mainly just download links.
-Blogs that just cut and paste posts on other blogs.
-Blogs that are just squee-ing. (Not to say there can be no squee-ing but the blog should be more than just that.)
-Blogs with any kind of embedded features, like music and videos.
-No fanfiction or other fanworks. (Though if it is minimal I will still be willing to consider it.)
-Fan communities.

Also I would prefer blogs that are at least three months old. This is just to make sure this is not going to be something the author is just going to quit as quickly as they began it. The only exception would be for blog that is posting daily or near daily and then just over a month would be fine.

If you check what kind of blogs that get posted for the Recommended Reading posts it should also give a good idea of the type of blogs I am interested in. I just would like to be able to find blogs like that for Johnny's seeing as they are my main passion in idol fandom.

28 April 2012

Hey! Say! JUMP - Over PV review

Hard to imagine that I will already be moving on to my next project in about three days. I feel bad that I could not complete this one like I wanted to. But I think these reviews will help a lot to keep this blog at a post a day rate.

Today's PV is Hey! Say! JUMP's OVER. It is a bitter-sweet PV but not really because of anything in it but rather everything that happened around the release of this single. Just days before OVER went on sale the underage smoking scandal with Morimoto Ryutaro broke out. Of course Johnny's was not going to cancel a release so they just put Ryutaro on probation until the dust cleared then went on to have HSJ move on as a nine member unit. So this is the last PV we have with the group as a ten member unit.

And I know there are still fans that feel that somehow Ryutaro will return to the group, but it has never happened to any of the other groups that had similar scandals and I do not see it happening for HSJ. And with every release without him is another nail in that coffin as the group gains new fans that are not going to be attached to him as fans who were around when the group was ten members.

You know this is fiction when Nakajima is getting more attention than Yamada.
Another HSJ PV with a story line. It starts off with a scene before the song starts up. Yamada Ryosuke is looking sad at a phone while the rest of Hey! Say! 7 ignore him for whatever story Nakajima Yuto is telling. Chinen Yuri here kinda reminds me when he was still really small and would sit in the laps of other group members. I guess he should be happy that he is at least too big to do that anymore.

"Do you guys even know what a private call is?"
Yamada makes a call eventually and it is to Arioka Daiki, with Hey! Say! BEST who has a matching phone. After hearing that Yamada is down in the dumps he sets about cheering him up as all the other members instantly become concerned and take turns doing the same, all ending what they have to say with "over". Not that makes any sense as that is for radio communications not phones, but whatever.

Yuto tries to make a run for it.
The music starts and we get to see the guys at the dance stage for the PV. This is apparently at a university in Tokyo somewhere. I do have to confess that I do like the setting, especially as it is a real location, like the rest of the PV, and is outdoors.

Takaki ... must I really say more?
All the close up shots are inside what looks to be a hallway of the building. It is nice that they do not make fans wait too long to have all the members get their first close up shot, though most of them go by quickly unless the member has a solo line.

For double the fun.
The platform they are dancing on is reflective, and thus slippery. So I have a good amount of respect for the boys to be able to do their dance performance on it without slipping much. And also for the production crew that had to probably keep cleaning it all throughout the shoot.

HSJ showing off their silly walk.
The only thing I do not like about these outside shots is that they have CG applied to them later. I know this is partly because it actually was not a really bright day when they actually did the filming but I wish they could have lightened it up without it looking so obvious it was touched up.

You mean I can't have a large pizza the same price as a medium?
We get flashback scenes in the PV, so we can see Yamada being emo again. Then the other guys cheering him up.

"Cheer up Yamada, I have a coupon for free bread sticks."
Then we get these scenes with everyone in the foyer(?) area of the building. Only the ones in front are moving while the rest are in slow mo.

Love how no one seems to care about the random floating things.
 Of course being the ten member unit we get a 3-4-3 breakdown with the members.

Somebody's going to get hit in the head with something.
And I like how with the break down it is not just lumping the popular members together but mixing them up with the other members. Even though the popular members do get to be in front.

That is not how you go down stairs Chinen. -_-
 HS7 run down the stairs and...

"Hey! It's been a whole few seconds since I last saw you guys!"
 meet up with HSB who meet them after coming over from the far doors. Which means Yamada called them from a floor up while they were in the same building. Why? Why did he not go done and see Arioka instead? Did he really feel it was too far to go? Being emo is not an excuse for laziness!

"Everyone! Try to look cool!"
We get everyone striking a pose and camera panning back as the reflective platform. I really like the live performance of this song more, though they were only with the nine members of the group.

"Hold that thought."
Just want to mention that I think Yabu Kota looks good in this PV. He normally is not the one that I find to be the best looking but I find myself thinking he looks nice here and during other scenes on the PV.

I wonder if Hikaru realizes part of his shirt is untucked.
I also like that they did a good job of making sure other members get screen time with the dance segments by not always focusing on the middle of the group.

A happy Yamada means a happy HSJ.
Of course all the singing and dancing has made Yamada feel better. Which honestly it better seeing as they broke time to do so.

Blinded by the light.
And of course we get the end pose, which looks rather messy to be honest. I think they might have been better to end with the phone gesture with their hand like they were doing throughout the PV. Oh well.

What is with those suspenders? 
The PV ends with a close up of Yamada's butt. Okay, it is a close up of him putting the phone away in his back pocket but I doubt people were not distracted. Even though with those pants there is nothing to see.

A good PV, not one of my favorites but one I will not forget if just because of it being Ryutaro's last showing with the group, even though he did not get a lot of screen time like usual. 

But I do like the song and I am happy that it will finally be on an album. Though I do wonder if they plan on taking Ryutaro's vocals out of it. They did so with NEWS when Uchi Hiroki and Kusano Hironori had been removed and Ryutaro did not have solo lines in these songs so it would be easy to do. I guess we will see when the album comes out in a couple of months.

PLAYZONE 2012 announced

Information about this year's PLAYZONE is up on Johnny's net. Like with the most recent past years the musical will star Imai Tsubasa and Nakayama Yuma. The usual group of Juniors are also involved. One name to mention that will be involved this year is ex-Hikaru Genji member Sato Atsuhiro. This will be his first time being in PLAYZONE after Shounentai left it.

The musical will be in the usual venue in Tokyo and begin its run on July 9th and end on August 11th.

I guess now there is no doubt that the successors of PLAYZONE after Shounentai retired from it are Imai Tsubasa and Nakayama Yuma. Which makes the intermediate year that Kis-My-Ft2 starred in it seem out of place, but I guess they had not figured things out then and wanted to continue giving Kisumai their push to line them up for eventual debut.

I hope we get another solo song for Yuma out of this. I really liked Garasu no Mahou and would love to see him release more as a solo artist. Even if it still will be connected with NYC for now.

27 April 2012

Matchy and Question! - Mezamero! Yasei PV review

This single was released in 2008 and was an ending theme song for the Naruto -Shippuden- anime series. It is one of the various one shot singles as Kondo Masahiko and Question? have not collaborated since. But it was nice to see Question? given something more than just performing at concerts and on Shounen Club.

The song is not bad and I am glad to see it performed from time to time, like on Shounen Club or even during Johnny's Countdown even though it usually is not with Matchy and Question? together.

Johnny's in captivity.
This PV has this blur/focus effect going on in throughout the video. Kinda as if to try to make up for nothing really happening and the lack of a decent budget.

If this an empty factory then where are the gang to fight within it?
This is the set for the PV pretty much. I do like the look of the empty factory they used for this but it gets boring when this is the only thing to really see. Especially when coupled with the fact that no one moves from there position either.

The only one with an excuse not to move.
My drummer bias (as I have discovered I tend to like the drummers and bassists in bands the most) kicked in and I found myself liking Yodogawa Yoshihiro quite a bit in this PV.

Well okay, he also has a reason not to be moving as well.
Ishigaki Daisuke is one of the luckier members of Question? and gets a decent amount of screen time in comparison. Otherwise not much is given to Question? when it comes to close up shots or just shots with Matchy somewhere in them.

he looks so excited to be there...
Since this is the old Question? line up we have Yonemura Daijiro there. I was sad to hear that he had left Johnny's but not all that surprised. Johnny's has not done well by their bands of late which can be seen with FiVe leaving the agency as well later.

Casting magic missile at the darkness.
I am amused that even though the song does not have dance moves it still has hand moves that Matchy gets to show off.

stop it... your excitement is killing me...
My bassist bias did not kick in for Fujiie Kazuyori though. But I do think they did a good job in finding favorable angles and lighting to film him with. I do not think is the nicest looking member of the group but he does look good here.

How many layers can you see?
And then we have scenes of a doberman running thrown in. What for, I have no idea. Maybe someone thought it looked cool or something.

I would look unhappy too to be featured in a lackluster PV.
There is a great lack of Igo Akun in this PV, which is one of the greatest disappointments of the PV. Akun is easily the most entertaining member of the group, especially on Shounen Club with their competitions and I feel like he is being completely wasted. But then again I feel like Question? should be able to do more, but I guess that is why Yonemura left.

Maybe this is a subtle hint from Johnny's to have your eyes tested.
By now the focus effects have gotten old and are beginning to be annoying. I wish they figured out some other way to jazz up this PV.

Closing shot is of the band, in what I now have noticed is the exact same set for all the other shots of them but with different lighting, from the other side of the barbed wire. An unexciting end to an unexciting PV.

This PV leaves a lot to be desired honestly. The guys look good enough but they deserve better than they got. Johnny's has plenty of cheap PVs but some are still really fun and good because they were still creative, something that this PV lacks completely.