Inspiring little bunch

So recently as I was following up with all these Momusu news and promotional events, it got me into thinking why the hell am I so fixated on a bunch of girls a decade younger than me? Normally my favorite artists belong to the older group, say for example, Avril Lavigne (2 years older), Do As Infinity (5 years older?, Ryo is much older though), Namie Amuro (also in her 30s), all the English bands – Lifehouse, One Republic, The Script…they’re mostly older than I am.morning musume

So why Momusu whose average age is around 16.5-17? Well, of course, aside from Leader Sayumi, the rest are almost a decade younger than me. In fact, my favourite member in the group is only 17 years old. It’s weird. What is it that makes me actually look up to them or feel like I want to support them? This post is going to be about that.

About 1 and ½ half years ago, I stumbled upon a Morning Musume music video while watching one of their programs called Hello Satoyama. They showed Ai no Gundan’s music video, just a part of it actually for promotion. But that small segment awed me because first of all, I never thought they could actually dance like that. I’ve never paid much attention to Momusu songs before this, I wasn’t a fan of their music, I just genuinely loved watching their variety shows because they do funny shit and brighten my day up. Who doesn’t want a good laugh by the end of the day? That was really how I recognized the members of Momusu in the early days, but never got into their music.

Ai no Gundan probably changed everything for me. It was the turning point for me as regular viewer of their shows. It made me curious of their current development. I only knew about Takahashi Ai’s graduation because it was shown in Hello! Pro Time and I knew new members were coming in namely the 9th and 10th generation not long after. Niigaki Risa became leader after Aichan, but also left about a year later passing the baton to current Leader Michishige Sayumi

I really liked Ai no Gundan after watching the full thing. It kind of fits my musical taste. After researching for a bit more, I found Wagamama as well, which was the coupling song. Both of which featured really cool dance formations. Something I never thought could be possible with the current members of Morning Musume. Let’s just say I didn’t have much hope for the new members back then because they were still green and all. And they were! But they surpassed my expectations.

After their peak in Golden Era, they sunk so low during Platinum Era that people actually thought they’ve disbanded. It was really bad back then, they could barely achieve 50k sales I think. They stopped appearing in Music Station because people were more interested in AKB48 and their sister groups, Momoclo and a bunch of other rising idol groups that snatched the spotlight away from old burnt out Momusu. They stopped getting invitation to Kouhaku. I think it was a huge blow for the members. The 9th gen and 10th gen came in during the low times. They were just slowly clawing their way up during the past 2 years.

I think they started gaining attention when Tsunku made that song – One Two Three (surprisingly turned out to be one of my favs), which heavily features EDM and of course, the dance formation. But even then, the rise was still slow. It was the period between Brainstorming à Wagamama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan, when there was a sudden surge of popularity. Wagamama was probably their best sales up to date. I remembered promotion was crazy and fans, even mothers and their children appeared at their launch event. I became a fan around that period of time. They heavily promoted the NEW Morning Musume, stating that the OLD Morning Musume is no longer there. I think that was a brave and bold action. It definitely brought along a huge impact to even regular listeners. Lots of billboards were spread across strategic areas for example Shibuya crossings, railway underpass etc…with all the girls’ faces and their personal quotes. This was evident also during TokiSora/Password is 0 promotion.

I came to like their new direction, new motto, new spirit and to actually watch them challenge themselves to do better is a great pleasure. Sakura, the only 11th gen member got to taste how it felt like to have 5 consecutive #1 singles in Oricon when previously, there were only 4 in Golden Era. Now I’ve already touched on the first reason why I want to support them that is dance-wise, they clearly have surpassed their older generation senpais. Despite being new to the industry and the majority of them not having dance experiences, they still managed to give such good performances and now I’m always looking forward to their new formations in singles. Their performance level has increased a lot.

Second reason – The struggle the new members had gone through. Like I said, they joined when Momusu wasn’t particularly popular anymore, in fact, it was probably their worst period ever. So having said that, one has to realize that they have nothing to fall back on comfortably even if they slacked. You know how when a certain group has gone popular and then the new gen members would come in, they just ride along with the popularity wagon and didn’t have to put in so much effort at all. This wan’t the case with 9th and 10th gen. They literally experienced some of the worst period as the bad taste from Platinum Era still lingered around. But they never gave up. In fact, I was touched when Sayashi Riho (center) claimed her wish is to appear in Kouhaku again. She was probably only around 15 that time. I’m sure all of the members wanted Momusu to be recognized again in the eyes of Japan. Having watched them worked their way up the hill, to reach their current level now, which was so much better than what Platinum Era experienced, I can’t help but to feel this urge to support them. They deserve recognition. I probably wouldn’t support them much if they joined when everything was so comfortable for them.

pos1bI feel proud when I see them appear on TV shows and gave their all each time. Although the number of TV appearances have considerably waned compared to Golden Era, at least, they’re getting there. These members are out not only to continue the legacy from their seniors, but also to create a new legacy of their own. It’s very inspiring to watch this group of girls so much younger than I am but holding such huge responsibility. All I ever did back then was just to graduate high school and get into a decent university. These girls have to juggle between their studies as a normal student and at the same time, a part of an idol group whose history is heavy. In other words, I also feel like I’m going to give my best too to achieve my personal goals, alongside this group.

url

Random pics S010

Bought an extra powerbank because I’m really paranoid whenever my camera or phone loses their juice. Plus, google map is really important to get us around in our trip later so wouldn’t want to be lost if our phones go dead.

DSC02904

So I have two powerbanks, should suffice for my own usage. The thing is, me and my friend might need to take turns to charge our stuffs if the hotel has limited power outlets.

DSC02919-horz

Always be ready. DSC02924

Started packing today. I even made a list of things to bring to make sure I do not miss anything.

Last night, I went to a night market with my friend. It’s a market that opens every Wednesday. It’s been ages since both of us went. It was drizzling halfway but thank goodness we brought umbrella.

This salted fish tofu was surprisingly yummy. Best eaten when piping hot.

DSC02931

Then there was this Taiwanese burger? Yummy and cheap.

DSC02932

Yesss Taiwanese sausages.

DSC02934I’ll be going to Tokyo next Monday, so I’m not sure if I’m gonna post anything for the next 2 weeks. Probably not. I’m not bringing laptop (mine is a giant and it’s so heavy!) but I’m hoping to snap lots of pictures and share them when I come back.

Random pics S008

Bought a Converse backpack today. Been wanting a smaller one just to put small essential things when I go out. So this is a pretty good one.

DSC02805 DSC02807

CDJapan impressed me this time. They actually shipped my order a couple of days earlier and I received it on the release date itself. I got the latest single by Morning Musume ’14 – TIKI BUN/ Shabadabadoo~/ Mikaeri Bijin. It’s also a graduating single for Leader Michishige Sayumi.

DSC02810

She’s the one in kimono on the cover. I chose this Limited Edition C because I love Mikaeri Bijin and the cover’s great. Basically, it’s a song with lots of memories, I even teared up watching the music video. I can’t imagine how the girls are gonna perform this song on her graduation day.

DSC02812

All I can say is

Get ready your tissues!

DSC02814

It comes with the DVD for Mikaeri Bijin’s music video. DSC02816I might get the regular version when I go Japan in another two weeks. I kinda regretted not getting the regular because TIKI BUN’s photocards are great.

TIKI BUN

The promotion version is out but I can’t wait for the dance version to be honest. I’ve always preferred watching their dance version because then I can focus on the choreography and go “ooh, that’s nice” or “that looks so cool” or “looks difficult” or “why do they not bump into each other?!” I think you get the drift lol…

I love that intro dance. It’d look much better in the dance version because the camera won’t zoom in or out.

ezgif.com-gif-maker(2)Then this sequential move looks cool too. It’s all about timing and I admit the spotlights behind did contribute to the effect.

ezgif.com-gif-maker(1) ezgif.com-gif-maker(3)Then of course, this iconic DJ scratching.

ezgif.com-gif-maker(4)Here’s the MV

Budget Budget *_*

I’ve started to list down stuffs I’m planning to get in Tokyo. I just wish I actually have enough money to get them all. But reality sucks and there’s always a limit. So budget tells me that I have to cross a number of items. Let’s just list them all first and I’ll explain why most of them didn’t make it into the final list.

Otaku stuffs
I’m not an otaku but maybe on the road of becoming one (a mild one). I love anime, love figures and certain idol groups (only 2 to be exact), does that make me an otaku? Don’t think so. Anyways, since most of these will be in Akihabara, let’s just group them as Otaku stuffs.

1. Figures- Anything with K-On!, Fate Zero and Mikoto Misaka from To Aru Kagaku no Railgun anime. These are my favorites so I have a thing for them. I’m not ashamed to confess that since I already own 3 figures of Saber from Fate/Zero and 3 from K-On! So I was looking forward to get another Mikoto Misaka.
Gundam- was in a short phase just recently. I planned to get MG Astray Red Frame which is soooo much cheaper in Japan than local.

2. Manga – Shingeki no Kyoujin (vol 13 to most recent) and maybe another title

3. Hello! Project official shop – To be honest, I don’t know what to get here.I don’t collect photos of idols (which they have tons), I don’t really collect anything else much, but I love the concert merchandise for example the T-shirts (Chance! tour shirts are awesome). So I’m just hoping they may have some leftovers from the concert merch for sale. Chances are slim but I’d still pay a visit since I’m a Momusu fan now.

4. AKB48 Official shop - same thing as H!P, I don’t collect photos, so not buying anything. I think I’ll just find the shop, go in, look around in 2 circles maybe? And leave, if nothing catches my attention.

So actually, that wraps up Otaku. I’ll need to grab some Tomica diecasts for my nephew though. That should be easy, I’ll go Yodobashi or any hobby shop.

JPOP stuffs
1. Morning Musume ’14 ~14 Shou~ The Message (CD + DVD Limited A)
It’s not only awesome that I’ll be there when this is released but I’ve heard some of the other tracks in the album, and I love them. It’s most probably going to be my favorite Colourful Era album. Also, this is Sayumi’s last album before she graduates, like duh…definitely a MUST GET!

2. Morning Musume ’14 Evolution Haru Tour DVD – Wasn’t planning on getting this but I’ve read a lot of fans saying 10th gen members improved so much since Chance! tour. I mean, they were already pretty good in Chance! so for them to improve some more, that’s just great. I have a soft spot for 10th gen, they’re my favorites.

3. LILIUM Shoujo Junketsu Kageki (CD + DVD)
This is a musical to be exact. I was blown away by the surreal performances and I posted a review in my Jpop blog. It’s really good, exceeded my expectations and even before watching, when I heard the soundtrack a few months back, I knew I’d love this already. The songs are actually really good! So different and fits my taste. Only downside is, this is gonna cost me quite a lot.

4. DIVA – Discovery (CD+DVD)
DIVA is a AKB48 subunit where my favorite member belongs to. Also, this is going to be their final single before disbanding. The group has great potential but two out of 4 members have already graduated and ventured into their own things so I can understand why it’d be kinda complicated to continue. But I’m still glad they all came back for this one last single.

5. SKE48 – Bukiyou Taiyou (CD+DVD)
I like this song and again, my favorite member is in this sister group.

6. Paasepied – Makunouchi ISM (CD)

7. Yu Takahashi – Ima Soko ni Aru Meimetsu to Gunjo (CD)

So without further ado let’s narrow this list down.

Things I will absolutely get:
1. Morning Musume ’14 – 14 Shou~ The Message (CD + DVD Limited A)
2. Morning Musume ’14 – Evolution Haru Tour DVD
3. DIVA – Discovery (CD+DVD)
4. Manga – Shingeki no Kyoujin (3-4 books)

Things I will get only if budget still alllows:
1. SKE48 – Bukiyou Taiyou (CD+DVD)
2. Lilium Shoujo Junketsu Kageki (CD+DVD)

That means, I’ve decided not to get any of the figures because JPOP takes top priority now. SCANDAL is going to release a new album too this December and Do As Infinity might have a new single soon, I just can feel it because Ban Chan was recording in studio after giving birth to her son. So I need to save some allocation for that too.

Random pics S007

I was curious what it’s like to actually build a Gundam from scratch so I decided to venture into this new unknown territory. I’m used to collecting Good Smile Company figures like Nendoroids, Figma and Scale figures and they’re all complete figures. You just pose your figures however you like, everything is provided.

Gundam is different in the sense that you buy the kit, it comes with parts, and you start building it.

Yesterday, I went to get this cutting mat and a precision cutter.

DSC02644I received my first Gundam from a local seller. I chose a SD (Super Deformed) gundam to start with since I’m a beginner and I just want to have a taste of it. It’s also the cheapest gundam grade (RM18-40) so I won’t feel so bad if I decided to quit after one ^^DSC02652I don’t watch Gundam but I will start with Gundam Unicorn tonight, I’ve only heard the OSTs because they’re super nice.DSC02653The parts come with different colours and coded with ABCD and numbers. The manual is straightforward, even if you don’t know how to read Japanese. Just follow the numbers, pick the parts and assemble according to the pictures.DSC02655 DSC02656 DSC02661 DSC02662 DSC02664 DSC02665DSC02666 I took about 2 hours to assemble this. I had a rough time putting on the stickers because I’m bad at accuracy and so some parts (the yellow ones on the helmet) were not covered properly.

But I have to say, this was quite fun to build. To actually start from scratch and putting all the parts. Watch them come together as one. It was quite fulfilling. So I’ll get a HG soon (which is bigger) and see how it goes.DSC02672