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BiSH – Spark


Note: After I wrote this post, Yukako Love Deluxe has left the group.


Former brand-new idol society manager, Watanabe Junnosuke, has a new idol project – BiSH. Their debut album will be released on May 27. There is still a lot of information yet to be revealed about the group, but we do know who the members are:

Two versions of their song “SPARK” have been released. One is a demo by Junnosuke himself and then there is a recorded version by the BiSH members.

When I first heard the demo track by Junnosuke, I wondered about what kind of music this guy listened to growing up. When I hear this, I immediately think: the pillows. I’ve searched around his Twitter page and elsewhere to see if he mentions any influences or the music he listened to growing up, but couldn’t find anything. The sounds of the guitar and bass are all there. I’m sure someone could correct me and say “hey, that’s just cause the pillows are just as derivative as so many other bands!” Ok, I get it. I can’t help but make the connection though. Whether it’s legitimately there or not, it’s how I hear it.

Anyways, the demo version of this song is so relaxing and nice to listen to. It makes me want to hear more songs from just this guy, not necessarily anything from BiSH.

BiSH’s version is also nice. I know that the details and information for this group are still somewhat guarded in secrecy, so I’m not sure which member is singing which parts. The member who sings the chorus stands out the most. Although, compared to her, Junnosuke’s singing of the chorus was a bit more polished (which is funny since it’s just the demo version). I still like the wailing in the BiSH version. It’s actually kind of neat to have two different versions like this. Depending on how I feel for that day, I can pick one or the other to listen to.

You can read the romanized lyrics on the J-Pop Songs tumblr.

I don’t follow the post-BiS member activities as much as I should. UK was my favorite member and I’ve listened to a lot of morphine tokyo. Terashima Yufu’s music is probably something that I would be raving about if I would just sit down and listen to it all. Everything else I just pick up from Jo or reading around. April project perhaps? We’ll see…

As for BiSH, it’s all really interesting. Their debut is being built up with little bits of information about the members being released at a time. Even after their reveal their faces, it’ll be interesting to see if they carry on the aesthetic of their current Twitter profiles. I really hope their other songs have a sound that is kind of similar to “SPARK.” As long as they keep that going, I’ll follow along.

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AKB48 Spring Shuffle 2015

On March 26, AKB48 held a concert at the Saitama Super Arena which saw the fourth major team shuffle in the group’s history. I’ll only be reacting to a few bits of news. Truthfully, the makeup of the teams only means so much to me. I’m much more interested in the 48 groups as a whole and specific members.

For people that are commited to specific teams, shuffles like this can be really stressful or disappointing. I try to take it all in stride. I always liked the Hello!Project shuffles that happened between 2000 and 2005. This is obviously more permanent (although it’s starting to occur more and more), but I look at it as a fun way to mix things up.

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Kawaei Rina Graduating

As most people know, last May, Kawaei Rina, Iriyama Anna, and a staff member were attacked during a handshake event. The attacker was arrested at the scene was recently sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty. After that attack, for a time at least, Rina and Anna returned to the group. That is until a few days ago when Kawaei Rina announced her graduation.

One reason that Rina has mentioned for graduating is being unable to “participate in handshake events with fans anymore.” It’s really sad news and I’m gutted for her. But hopefully, graduating from the group will be the best thing for her in her life. Hell, doing handshake events is strenuous and physically exhausting enough as it is. And then you are adding in the memories of that incident on top of that?

She is going to focus on her acting career and hopefully she does well.

I’ve only been a true AKB48 fan since October. I’ll have to watch back to see Rina’s best moments during her time in AKB48 since the only thing that I knew about Rina before the slashing incident was her “smelly feet” gimmick. Watching her perform Watanabe Mayu’s “Rappa Renshuchu”, she does have a charm and cuteness about her.

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Kitahara Rie transfers to NGT48 as Captain. Kashiwagi Yuki concurrent NGT48 position.

This feels like it is good news for Rie. From my understanding, she is a popular member but that popularity was starting to wane. Despite 21 A-side appearances, she hasn’t been featured since “Labrador Retriever.” It’s a chance for her to take on a bigger role in the 48G world. Whether that works out or not, it can’t be all that different from the spot she was in.

As for Yuki, she stays in AKB48 but makes the concurrent switch from NMB48 to NGT48. I wonder what the Shrews Guy thinks of this.

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Matsui Rena, Ikoma Rina concurrent positions cancelled.

I enjoyed this exchange so I’m a little disappointed to see it come to an end. Rena fit in well with Nogizaka46 and it was cool to see Nogizaka represented in AKB48. And while Matsui Rena will not be taking part in the election, Ikoma Rina will be eligible.

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Matsumura Kaori promoted to Team KII.

First things first, I believe that it’s still unknown whether or not she is going to accept this promotion. I liked the idea of her being the “lifetime honorary Kenkyuusei,” especially since it was her idea. Even as a kenkyuusei, it was an idea/gimmick that worked and helped her stand out. Why change that?

A user, lordnoobs, at stage48 has an interesting theory:

I can’t help but have the feeling that with the recent graduations management feels like ske needs more experienced veteran members to provide leadership.

This would make some sense as SKE48 has seen a lot of graduations recently. And while Matsui Rena is not graduating, recent news of her not participating in the election makes you wonder if her time is coming. Still, couldn’t Kaori have done this as a kenkyuusei member?

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Kitagawa Ryoha concurrent to Team 4, Mukaichi Mion to Team K.

For a brief moment in time, my two favorite 48G members were on the same team. The five minutes that I saw Ryoha was heading to Team 4 before I saw that Mion was heading to Team K was five minutes that I’ll never forget! I am not especially committed to any specific team or group in 48G but I did enjoy Team 4 the most. It would have been awesome to see these two interact more but I can wait until they are the two absolute centers of AKB48 in a couple of years!

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Team 8 members in Teams A, K, and B

One last interesting development is the inclusion of Yamada Nanami (A), Nakano Ikumi (K), and Sakaguchi Nagisa (B) into the AKB48 teams. I’ve always wondered what the future really holds for Team 8. Are they a permanent fixture? Will the popular members of the team be moved into other sections of 48G? I guess I get the beginnings of an answer with this move.

You can read a full list of the changes over on the Stage48 message board.

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Verbal Jint’s “Perfect Day” – My new alarm

You know, I’ve been trying to come up with all different ideas to get back into the blogging groove here. With the exception of a few SNH48 entries, I’ve been putting it off for months. Should I come back with a series, a really in-depth entry, or a bunch of habit posts again? Well, I kept delaying it and delaying it to the point where I’ve basically become the embodiment of Pledis Entertainment. That Pledis joke also comes included with all the disappointment associated with the final product.

Furthermore, I get the feeling that the 5-10 people that read this (along with the bot search engines) will just be happy that I’m posting anything at all.

So let’s just roll with it. I was shuffling through music and came upon this Verbal Jint song: “Perfect Day” featuring Ivy. It’s the third track off of the 2012 release, 10 Years of Misinterpretation 1. He’s signed to the Brand New Music label.

Isn’t this song just the kind of song that you want to wake up to? I can easily imagine it being used in a movie or tv show during a montage. A montage where the main character wakes up and does all these good deeds like running in the park with their kids and dog or volunteering to help feed the homeless. Depending on the type of person you are, it’d be the kind of montage that makes you identify with main character or hate them for being too cheerful.

The blog Princess Of Tea has the translated lyrics. In a lot of ways, this song is way too positive for me. But I’m honestly trying to have a more positive outlook towards life. Yes, I know how pretentious it sounds! I’m not going to go all Tony Robbins here. Even if it’s just for a moment, at the start of the day, it’d be good for my soul to just go “hey, it’s the start of a new day and I didn’t die in my sleep, hooray.”

For the past few months, I’ve been using a rotation of A Pink – Mr. Chu and HKT48 – Seifuku no Bambi as alarm clocks. I’ve already knocked those out of the rotation and I’m going to be using this song as my alarm tone. Sure, it’s kind of cheesy to wake up to a song that actually says “it’s gonna be a perfect day.” But it’s so upbeat and catchy that I’m won over.

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SNH48 Update: January 2015

It’s been six months since my last SNH48 Weekly Recap, with the last one being on June 11. There is no way that I’m going to be able to go over the last six months of SNH48, so let’s confine it to what’s happened in the month of January.

SNH48 4th Generation

I think the biggest news of this month is going to be the incoming fourth generation of SNH48. The new members will be officially introduced on January 31 at the SNH48 Request Hour concert. Back in November, there were photos of the 19 girls who were chosen to be the fourth generation of SNH48. Two weekends ago, there was an unconfirmed fan report that identified fourteen of these members.

With that said, we do (temporarily?) have profile pages for the potential members over at Shanghai48s.com. The Japanese site snh48.info has information too. Without knowing too much about any of the members, Song Xinran stood out to me first. There’s a lot of potential doppelgangers in this group of girls too: Wang Shu to Hao Wanqing, Wang Xiaojia to Li Yitong, and Yang Bingyi to Wang Lu. Wang Xiaojia and Wang Shu are apparently League of Legends players. All I can say to that is: at least it’s not DotA.

SNH48 Best 30 Request Time Concert

While it will be too late for anyone coming into this post through Google, SNH48’s request concert will be streamed via qq.com. I’ll be waking up early Saturday morning to watch it. I’m hoping to be able to recognize ever song, but I’m not sure. Even though I’ve sold my soul for a donut and 48G music, I still haven’t heard or learned lots of their songs.

As for rankings of any particular songs, I don’t really care. I just hope it’s a fun show.

GIVE ME FIVE and UZA Released

SNH48 released two EPs since my last SNH48 Weekly: “UZA” and “GIVE ME FIVE.” I’ll save full reactions to both for later. So, quick summary, I’ll just say that I liked “GIVE ME FIVE” more than “UZA.” I made gifs for both:

GIVE ME FIVE

UZA

Members Leaving

In my absence, nine members left the group.

As you can see, all but one of those graduations have been third generation members. This is just the normal cycle of SNH48. Every generation, a good amount of members leave the group pretty quickly. I expect the same thing to happen with the fourth generation. Xu Yanyu leaving the group is the most notable of the bunch. Well, technically, she’s on an indefinite hiatus, but she’s out of the group.

Ju Jingyi in Weekly Playboy

Ju Jingyi becomes the first Chinese SNH48 to get a solo photoshoot in Japan. She looks great in all of the photos but Jingyi is so photogenic that it’s cheating. My favorite of the set are the blue dress photos, but specifically the one with her looking to the side.

(The issue also featured a solo photoshoot of one of my new favorite AKB48 members, Mukaichi Mion.)

Wu Zhehan in Mina magazine

Queen Awkward of SNH48 was featured in a recent issue of mina magazine. It’s been months but it’s still amazing to me that she won the first general election. She looks great in this photoshoot.

Cosplay

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I love this cosplay of Kinomoto Sakura from Team HII’s Li Qingyang. It was just the thing that I needed to notice her more.

Team HII’s Yang Huiting did a cosplay of Love Live! that got more attention. But Love Live is from this decade so I don’t know anything about it.

News

Other bits of news. There’s not much.

Weibo of the WeekMonth

In a month’s time, there must be thousands of weibo posts/updates from just the SNH48 members alone. I do my best to keep up with all of them and post the photos to Shanghai48s, but sometimes it’s just too much.

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I’m starting to think the relationship between Chen Wenyan and Zhang Yuxin resembles that of Spike and Chester’s from Looney Tunes.Yuxin comes off as super cute, hyper, and energetic. Wenyan is the type that’d burn a building to the ground and would get annoyed at Yuxin’s energy.. That’s how I choose to believe it.

So that’s it and we’ll see where we go from here. At least Joonyoung won’t be at the top of the blog anymore.