Sunday, 21 February 2016

Kobushi Factory Ranking!!

You're probably wondering why I didn't make a ranking for this group a long time ago! I have a good reason...they're just too damn awesome for their own good. I've been following the group since their debut and I have to say they are one of the most talented idol groups to debut in a long time. Today I thought I would do a ranking because I have been listening to them a lot lately so here we go!

#8 Wada Sakurako

Just because this girl is at the bottom of my ranking doesn't mean I dislike her. I think Sakurarko is a very cute girl and just like all of the other members of Kobushi Factory she is a very talented girl. However, when I see the group in performances for me she always look a little awkward and it sticks out for me. I don't think she has much of a stage presence yet because she doesn't draw me in in a good way. However, I am excited to see her progress.

#7 Taguchi Natsumi


Again, just like Sakurako I think she is a very cute girl! However, for the same reasons she is low on my ranking because she doesn't really stand out to me. Unlike Sakurako, Natsumi stands out awkwardly for me in PVs. She doesn't have much of a presence in PVs yet, but I am excited to see her progress as time goes by.

#6 Fujii Rio


I am actually a big fan of Rio mainly because of her personality! She sticks out in the group not for her talent but because of her character. There is always a tomboy personality in an idol group and she is the perfect candidate for it. She would do brilliantly in variety shows with her funny personality. I can see why she is very popular, especially with overseas fans.

#5 Ogawa Rena


Rena reminds of Sakura Oda in her looks for some reason. I know they don't look exactly alike but she does remind me of a more mature and older Sakura. This girl just oozes cool in PVs so she is always a pleasure to watch as a visual. Plus, she has very cool and mature voice which I love. I am excited to see her in future performances.

#4 Nomura Minami

Am I the only one that thinks she looks like Aika Mitui a little in this photo? This girl is such a cutie and her dancing is just phenomenal. She is a huge bubble of energy in performances and PVs and keeps the energy up which makes me enjoy watching her. She also has a very cute voice which stands out in the powerful mature vocals of this group.

#3 Inoue Rei

Rei has to be in my top 3 of my Kobushi Factory ranking because she just oozes confidence whenever she performs. She has a presence that you can't ignore so I am not surprised that she is one of the front members of the group. She has a very talented voice and she really knows how to act in front of the camera. She has the same confidence that reminds me of Ito Momoko from the idol group Fairies.

#2 Hirose Ayaka

This girl is in the top 2 of my Kobushi Factory ranking because she is just so pretty and talented! She doesn't look exactly like her but she does remind of me Niigaki Risa with her looks and powerful lower toned voice. She ticks all the boxes I love about idols, an amazing mature voice and cute looks. I really do think she makes an amazing leader for the group as well! I am excited to see more from her.

#1 Hamaura Ayano

This was probably an easy guess if you know me well! Hamachan is my favourite Kobushi Factory member and I will be biased with this. For me she is the most eye-catching member with how cute she looks so I can definitely see her as an amazing visual in the group. She also has an amazing voice that I love to hear especially in Dosukoi! In the PV she also showcased her acting potential so I think she can make an amazing actress!

So that is my ranking of Kobushi Factory! I know your rankings will be different because this is all due to personal preference. I'd love to see your ranking for Kobushi Factory!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Top 5 H!P tracks of 2015!!

Hi everyone welcome back to MerodiiParadise!!

Now the year of 2015 is sadly ending which means it is time to look back on the amazing music H!P has created this year and see what is my top 5 tracks H!P have released this year in 2015. Now I know everyone has their own personal tastes when it comes to H!P songs. There are plenty of tracks that I love whereas someone else might have a dislike for them. So, before I get into this list please note that this list is my own personal one. It is not a representation of no one's tastes but my own so please do not be offended if some of my choices are ones you do not like.

H!P has had an amazing catalog of tracks this year and I am very excited to be hearing more amazing songs in 2016. I feel like 2015 was a year that has definitely changed the musical stylings of H!P. Sadly, Tsunku has stepped down in his dominant role as producer in H!P which means the musical style of H!P has been a lot different to what has been produced in previous years. Which really isn't a bad thing because I always love some change! I have to say some groups have really had amazing releases this year! Now let's get into my five top tracks of H!P in 2015!!

#5 Morning Musume '15 - Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki

#5 is Morning Musume 15's Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki. Now this is a song that was so pleasant to the ear. I loved how simple the instrumentation was throughout and then in the Middle 8 when strings were introduced it made the song sound so beautiful! I love string instruments, but I love them even more when they are used properly. I like how they were used in this song but they weren't used so much that they overpowered the song. In terms of vocals I love the mixture of different voices. Sakura and Riho sounded amazing, and Haruna and Erina sounded very good in the recording. However, it was Masaki and Mizuki that really took centre stage for me in this song. I have never heard Masaki sing with such emotion before, and she sounded amazing. The song was also a great one for Mizuki's voice. She has a very soothing and pretty voice which really suited the sound of the song!

#4 C-ute - Arashi wo Okosunda EXCITING FIGHT!
One genre of idol music that will always make me love the music is idol rock. That's why units such as Buono! are some of my all time favourite idol groups. So when C-ute released Arashi wo Okosunda EXCITING FIGHT I fell in love with it from the get go. It cannot be denied how amazing C-ute is because of their amazing vocals as a unit, but in this instance I really think this song showcased how far their vocals can go. I watched the members as they recorded this song and I have to say it isn't an easy one to sing, but I feel like the girls really learned about their singing skills and sang this song phenomenally. Everyone sounds amazing, and the rock sound of this song is one that always makes me feel empowered every time I listened to it! I think out of all the girls I think Okai Chisato sang amazingly in this single, because I think this genre of music was equipped for her voice the most.

#3 Kobushi Factory - Nen ni wa Nen
This year Kobushi Factory debuted as the newest addition the H!P roster...and woah...have they made an everlasting impression on fans! (Myself included). Instantly, they attracted fans with their amazing vocal, dancing and performing talent. Never have I ever seen an idol group where everyone sounds amazing. I am very excited to see more from this group. Nen ni wa Nen was their first song and again the rock sound of this song made me fall in love with it. Even months after it's release I still love listening to it when I am out and about. The girls energetic vocals bring sassiness and attitude to the song. I have to say Hamachan was the member that stood out for me the most, but I cannot deny that everyone sounded amazing. The instrumental punches in straight from the get go and the energy maintains itself throughout the song.

#2 C-ute - Tsugi no Kado wo Magare
Tsugi no Kado wo Magare didn't make it as my all time favourite track of C-ute this year on my top H!P tracks of 2015 video on my youtube channel (JennyInTokyo), but it is another song that I love to listen to all the time. The vocals are so powerful and soothing throughout and the instrumentation is another simple one with a mix of strings that go up and down to make more emotional parts of the song but it flows so well and it's so soothing to my ears. This song sounds like it could fit into a Final Fantasy soundtrack. I used to listen to this song a lot whenever I played Final Fantasy XIII. Again, Okai Chisato is a dominant vocal in this alongside Airi and this song is the reason Airi is my #1 of C-ute. Her vocals are just so powerful and beautiful at the same time.

#1 Dondengaeshi - ANGERME
ANGERME has done a complete 180 this year! About two years ago I didn't really pay attention to the group because I feel like it was fading away into obscurity. However, this year they have really made me pay attention to them. With the addition of the 3rd generation it feels like a completely new group! Their releases this year have been strong ones but Dondengaeshi has impressed me so much that hands down it was an easy entry into #1! Once again its another rock anthem, with powerful vocals and together they blend amazingly and make a rock anthem that makes me want to dance along. Again all of the girls sound amazing, but the stand outs for me have to be Meimi and Akari. Akari's sweet voice contrasts well with the instrumentation and Meimi's voice really does suit the rock genre with it's maturity. 

That is my list of my top 5 tracks of H!P this year! It was a difficult choice for some songs and then other choices were obvious ones for this list. I really hope you enjoyed reading this and please comment and let me know what your favourite track were. I would love to know!!

Thanks for reading and I'll catch you in my next post!!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

"Why Am I an Idol Fan?" Okay! Musume Time Competition Entry

I have been an avid idol fan since 2007. When I have introduced my liking of idols to people I always get questions about why I would like something so different to what the music is like in the UK. The simple answer is because of the same reason you like your musical artists. Their music speaks out to you, and they themselves as a person reach out to you in some way whether its entertaining or they connect to you in an emotional way.

The reason I love idols is because of the sheer happiness they give me. When I watch my favourite idols perform on stage with the biggest grins on their faces I can't help but return a smile back to the screen. It's such an amazing thing to think that a young Japanese girl is singing her heart out, whilst I'm over here in the UK on the other side of the world loving their energy. It just shows how much of a connection idols have created all over the world.

I've always been a person, that when they face an obstacle, always seems to be very pessimistic about my problems. However, when I discovered idols it was their strength and their work ethic which kept me motivated to always look on the bright side of things no matter what happens. Idols have taught me that everything happens for a reason, and that when one door closes another one opens. And it's always exciting to open that door and discover new things all the time. I see idols in the public eye and how difficult of a job it must be to work so many days of the year singing, dancing and travelling all over the country. It's so easy to look at it and think of how amazing it must be to be an idol but I can imagine how hard it must be too. I've seen idols look worn out and tired, but they always seem to have bright smiles on their faces and fight their obstacles with courageous spirit and it inspires me to do the same.

I have a lot of people in my life who don't understand why I love idols so much, but it's because despite them being famous singers and dancers I truly feel connected to them like I am a sister or a friend. I think it's brave when an idol has debuted with no talent and then after a few years they have blossomed into such amazing talent. I think it's an amazing journey to see a girl accomplish her dreams.

Another aspect of idols that I love is that I have learned to always be myself in any given situation. I have seen idols who have been quiet, and loud, and passionate and sometimes cold. However, I could never fault an idol for her personality because that's who she truly is. Fans can criticize an idol for who she is, but no matter who it is I always have the upmost respect for the girls that they remain true to their roots. Idols have taught me that pretending to be someone else never gives you happiness. In fact it can make your life a lot more sad.

Without idols I don't think I would be as happy as I am now. I have moments where I have had a bad day or a bad week and I've never wanted to speak to anyone about my problems. Then I sit down to watch my favorite idols in skits, shows and performances and suddenly I forget about my problems. Without realizing it idols have helped me a lot with my problems. They give me an escape when I needed it.

I've written quite a lot about why idols are important to me, but really in hindsight you can't really explain it. It's the moments you get caught up in happiness or emotion with idols. It can be shaking her hand at a handshaking event, or sat inside on a rainy day watching their concert. It's those special, personal moments that truly defines why I love idols.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

One and Only - モーニング娘。'15 REVIEW

Today's review will be Morning Musume '15s 60th single! This release is a triple A-side and will be Sayashi Riho's graduation single. However, today I will be reviewing one of the A-sides called One and Only. This song is a collaboration with J-Melo and NHK and this is the first release or Morning Musume's where it is sang in English. Not just the odd English phrase inserted into the Japanese but this song is one hundred percent English.

I think it must have been very difficult for the girls to sing in English and pronounce the words correctly, but with the 12th gen member Miki being fluent in English I'm sure she helped the girls a lot with the pronounciation. And apart from one or two little slip ups in the song I think the group did well considering they don't speak an awful lot of English apart from the common phrases they would use in concerts and overseas events.

I am happy that this single breaks away from the traditional EDM sound. It's a signature genre for this line up but I feel like venturing into different genres helps the continuity of singles a lot so they don't sound boring after some time. It's also what Morning Musume is about. Their whole discography has never been faithful to one genre, they have expanded across so many which is what I love about this group.

Image result for one and only morning musume 15

The song is very simple in it's instrumentation but it flows very well throughout and the melody is so catchy! It's very easy to memorize because it is in English but despite that, the tune is just so simple and catchy which is what makes me love this song so much. The group worked well together as a unit and I think the line distribution is very good so it showcases Morning Musume '15 as a united idol group.

Alongside the song I think the music video accessorizes with the song fantastically! It is very faithful to a lot of older Morning Musume PVs where we would have the green screen that was so random and colorful. The use of cheesy green screen and bright colours was a signature feature in older Morning Musume PVs. So I am very excited for it to be making a comeback for this release. I love the bright colours but it's not so in your face that it blinds you. Sometimes when using bright colours they can clash and they can look unpleasant but they look good here.

The choreography is very simple, so it allows the members to incorporate their own personalities into the moves and it comes across in the solo and group solos shots too. Not one member stands out more than the other which is what I love in Morning Musume PVs. I love this line up right now and everyone shines so I am very happy to see everyone having their moment in the PV. They all look so pretty and energetic too! I just have so much fun watching the girls in this PV. I have to say I am very impressed with the 12th gen in this music video too. They have become more naturally confident in front of the camera so I am very excited to see more of those girls.

What I loved about the energy of the girls in this PV was how it reminded me of how young these girls are. They come across as very mature for their age because of how the group is portrayed, so it is very nice and refreshing for the members to showcase their youth. It also connects very nicely with the lyrics which are about a girl that they look up to as an idol and despite her flaws she is still their inspiration.

I really do hope that Morning Musume '15 release more songs like this in the future. I don't want them to get rid of their EDM sound because I still love it, but right now I love the variety of sound that they have in this new single.

I still need watch the PVs and listen to the other two A-sides but from what I have seen so far I know I will be just as impressed with them as I have been with One and Only. Despite Riho Sayashi graduating, I am very excited to see what this group will be getting up to with their releases next year!

RATING: 9/10

Sunday, 20 December 2015


Today, I was hit with some very sad news. Today it was announced at an ANGERME event that Meimi Tamura, 2nd generation member of ANGERME, would be graduating the group in spring of 2016. When she announced her graduation it was reported the other ANGERME members were very upset at the news but encouraged her to announce her graduation with strength. It seems as if Meimi had decided her graduation for a long time, but didn't want to let the other members know. It's a sad situation for the other members.

Now it is a very sad time for me as an idol fan because Riho Sayashi will be graduating from MM'15 at the New Years Eve countdown concert. The news of her graduation did make me sad, because she is such an important asset to Morning Musume '15 so it will be very strange transition to get used to once she is gone. However, when Meimi announced her graduation I had to ask other H!P fans whether this was some joke. But then the reports of her graduation was broadcast and the dark reality of it hit me.

A graduation announcement hasn't made me so upset since Takahashi Ai graduated Morning Musume in 2011. She was such a great idol for me, and still to this day I miss her a lot, but I am very happy to keep following her as a fan on her Instagram account and her blog.

The reason Meimi's graduation has hit me just as hard is because she is one of the rare idols that really has got a place in my heart. Apart from her only Airi Suzuki (C-ute) and Mizuki Fukumura (Morning Musume '15) are idols I cherish from H!P. I do have a lot of idols I like but these three are idols I truly cherish. Meimi truly is a gem and I she has had an amazing four years as an idol but with her graduating next year H!P will be losing a true gem.

Now I guess this is a graduation that has been predicted to happen for a while. On forums like Hello!Online people were discussing what she would do if she graduated because it looked as if she was ready to leave anytime soon. I myself didn't participate in the discussion because I was in denial. I still think Meimi is a girl who enjoys being an idol, and I just didn't want to think of her graduating anytime soon. I thought she would stay for another year at least, so at this moment in time I am not ready for her to graduate.

I have to agree with a lot of people that she has chosen the perfect career path for her. Meimi has announced that she wants to pursue her dream as a musical actress when she graduates which I think would be perfect for her. She was amazing in Lilium so I know she will make a name for herself when she performs on the stage. I will love to keep following her success after ANGERME because I think she will do amazing for herself. Right now, I am still heartbroken about the news and I have cried about it today, but when it gets closer to the time I will be proud of her and wish her all the best for her future.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

ANGERME'S 4th Gen!!!

I am very sorry for the long absence on this blog, I cannot really have a valid reason for it. I guess I just kind of abandoned the blog for a while. I do apologize and I will try my best to keep updating this blog.

Since I last updated this blog ANGERME has gone through a lot of changes! Firstly, they changed their name from S/mileage to ANGERME and then soon after there was an addition of the 3rd generation (Murota Mizuki, Rikako Sasaki and Aikawa Maho) and they are honestly such a fantastic generation that I feel like ANGERME has transitioned into an idol group that I cannot keep my eyes away from. Since the name change and the addition of the 3rd generation their music has been fantastic and I've loved every single new release.

Soon after the addition of the 3rd generation Kanon Fukuda (1st generation member) announced her graduation from the group and she is due to graduate on the 29th of November. She has her own solo song on their latest single called Watashi and it is accompanied by a beautiful and cute music video. Once she graduates she wants to explore her talents of song-writing and I wish her all best. I will miss her a lot but I am excited how she incorporate her talents in the future.

Now a long time ago there was an announcement that there would be a 4th generation added to ANGERME, and since the annoucement there was no updates at all about how the auditions were going so a lot of fans kind of forgot about it after a while. Suddenly, a few days ago it was announced that the 4th generation would consist of one member, and I have to warn you she has such a difficult and long surname to pronounce.Her name is Moe Kamikokuryo. I am happy that there is only one new addition to ANGERME because when Kanon graduates the group can continue with the 9 member line up. There is a good number of members, and there is so much talent in the group that I don't want there to be so many members that the talent isn't displayed across the board.

From what I can see of Moe she looks very cute! There is something about her that makes her stand out among the girl so I do wonder whether she will be a dominant member vocal wise. There has been footage being shared of her singing to leave good impressions on people so I am very excited to hear her singing. I know I am going to like this girl because she already has a strong presence within the group. I am just getting more and more excited for ANGERME's future.I don't know when she will make her official debut within the group but I can imagine she will debut within the next single after Kanon's graduation.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Graduation of Berryz Kobou!!

It was announced a few months ago, but now we are days away from the final performance of Berryz Kobou. This group has been together for 10 years and after a tumultuous career they are now disbanding. When I heard the news about their disbandment I was sad, but it I wasn't crying buckets of tears like a lot of other fans were. The thing with graduations for me is that I don't get truly upset about the news until a few days before the graduation concert. Now I truly feel like I will miss them. Right now H!P is going through such a huge change with two new groups and the 12th generation of Morning Musume '15 adding to the H!P roster. It's a change I am actually nervous about but I am excited for at the same time.

When Berryz Kobou first debuted with Anata Nashi de wa Ikite wa Yukenai they were a group of fresh faced girls with so much energy. It was easy to tell that these girls were excited to be debuting in a new idol group. Of course they were young so they weren't the best singers and dancers in the world but their energy made up for it. I enjoyed watching the girls in the first half of their discography. We watched these seven young girls turn into beautiful young women and that's when there was a change.

From 2011 the energy diminished in the group, they weren't selling as much as the other groups of H!P and it cannot be denied that many fans were discussing their worries for the group. In backstage footage Berryz Kobou were the same girls we fell in love with but in their music videos and on stage performances there was no energy, the passion from their debut had disappeared and it wasn't going unnoticed. Sadly, a few fans of the group wondered if they would all graduate, people were predicting that they would split soon because the girls knew there was something beyond Berryz Kobou. This was when the inevitable happened and the girls announced their "hiatus". They may have announced it as a "hiatus" but we knew it was a permanent split of the group. Fans cried about the news and some were happy that the girls were finally going to do what they wanted to do. They've been idols since they were children and now that they are entering their twenties the life of an idol doesn't appeal to them anymore. There is more of the big wide world for them to explore, from venturing into different parts of the entertainment industry to just simply wanting to live a normal life.

There was a period of time where I didn't listen to Berryz at all when they went through their less energetic phase through 2012-2013. The songs were great but I just couldn't connect with the group. I didn't dislike anything about the girls or their music it was just the chemistry that they had as a group. It turned me off knowing that they didn't enjoy what they were doing anymore. However, it cannot be denied that each member was lovable in their own ways.

Shimizu Saki

Captain was a member that I didn't notice at first, but as soon as she stood out in cha cha SING! She caught my attention. Since then she has been such a strong force in the PVs as the dancing ace of the group. There is this maturity about her which makes her a fantastic leader, and when when the group were diminishing in energy she still drew me in. She was in a trance when she danced, and just like a cobra I danced along to her charm. After the hiatus she has announced that she will stay on as an adviser within H!P, but I personally hope she will become a choreographer.

Yurina Kumai

Here we have the model of the group. Even if you think she had the personality of a tree "no pun intended" it cannot be hard to not notice Kumai as a member. Within the group she had an average voice and sometimes her height didn't put her in favour as a good dancer, but there was a charm about her which made me watch her. She is such a beautiful girl and I wasn't surprised when she announced she would pursue modelling after her studies. She never stood out as a personality, but with her looks she did which is why I think she will make a fantastic model. I will miss her beautiful smile.

Tokunaga Chinami

Chinami was another member of Berryz that I loved even if she couldn't sing or dance. She's one of those members who tries her best despite not really having much talent. Her smile was like a sunshine that could make a bad day good again. I loved her legs too as odd as that sounds. I made a joke to myself that when she graduated she would team up with Sayu to create a sexy leg idol group! Chinami is a little treasure and I will miss her. I am excited to see her work with Captain within H!P when Berryz disband.

Sudou Maasa

I'm going to miss Maasa a lot when Berryz disbands. When I first discovered the group she was my favourite, and even though she did drop in my ranking over time I still loved her. I know she gets noted on about her size, but I think that's what adds to her beauty. It makes girls feel confident in them self and that they don't need to be skinny to be successful. Sadly, I could tell Maasa had lost confidence in the last few years because she didn't smile and enjoy herself as much as she used to. I think this disbandment is a good thing for her, and she can now follow her dreams of performing on the stage. I will be looking forward to her performances.

Momoko Tsugunaga

Momoko was sadly a member I never really got into liking. I tried my best too, but Momoko just never connected with me as a member, and it got worse when she incorporated her Momochi character. She was already lively enough as herself without adding another personality. I think I liked Momoko more in the early years of Berryz, her hyperactive attitude fitted her perfectly but as the other members grew into mature women she was still a child in a woman's body. Sadly, it never attracted me. I am looking forward to what she does in Country Musume though.

Miyabi Natsuyaki

Miyabi was a member that I always loved to hear in singles, she was one of the only good singers within the group apart from Captain and Risako. She owned it in music videos however in her performances on stage she never drew me in. She never had much energy on the stage and it would have been fantastic to see her perform so well and have a good on stage presence to go with it. I am excited to see what she does in terms of potentially going solo but for me I don't think I'll be buying a single unless she really blows me away.

Risako Sugaya

Out of all the members of Berryz I will miss Risako the most. From the start she has always been my #1 member so I know I will mourn her absence in Berryz. She has such a peculiar sounding voice but I loved it, and when she belted on stage it gave me goosebumps. I can admit she wasn't a good dancer, and I could see how self conscious she was about it but I am proud of her for sticking to it. She is a pouting princess and I really wanted her to pursue a singing career after Berryz however she has confirmed she will be returning to a normal life as she thinks of what she wants to do. I either want her to pursue a fashion career or a solo career. If she does go solo I know I will definitely follow her career.

That's all of my thoughts about Berryz and their disbandment which will be taking place in a few days. I am saddened to see the end of an amazing idol career for these girls but at the same time I am happy for them. They are finally being set free from the life of an idol and I am going to be so excited to see what they will be pursuing in the next few years. I will definitely be watching the live stream of their concert, and I will be prepared with tissues!

Thanks for reading.