Thursday, October 5, 2017

When You Feel Like Rocking, They Will Come A Knockin' - Yanakoto Sotto Mute - New Age Idols Feature

Photo Courtesy: YSM Official Twitter

I'm going to be super honest about this. I have completely fallen for this group over the past few months.

Now to admit, I'm not a big indie rock fan or a rock fan to begin with unless you are talking about 70s and 80s rock that my parents listen to still to this day. Yet thanks to this fantastic group, I got a ear opening experience unlike I have never heard in a long time.

This group is so underrated that it is killing me.

They are competing to gain some ground in a already swamped entertainment industry but I really think they have the talent to have great success.

I happened to stumble across this group while on my vacation to Tokyo back in April of this year. I saw that their full debut album "BUBBLE"  was featured in the new release section at Tower Records in Shibuya of course.

I picked it up to listen to because I was very drawn in by the cover work of that album so I put on the headphones and proceeded to listen to the album in the store and was jamming out to this group (in my mind, not actually in the store itself) that was super unknown to me at that time.

I kept listening to it and since I was going to Korea the following week I knew I shouldn't bring a CD with me through the rest of my trip. Little did I know that that would be a big mistake, but I did not forget about the music I heard from that album.

I happened to be listening to Spotify recently and got back into Japanese pop and discovered this group again and saw they had released a new single, "STAMP EP". 

As I began to listen to that single, I realized what I loved about that first listen to them a few months prior and was completely blown away.

The past week or so has been full of this group. I've been blaring them at work, in my car, in my house in the dead of night. I've been just trying to listen to them everywhere and picking my favorite songs thus far from the group.

Further in this article, I will put down my Top 5 songs and explain why I love them so much.

So now that I have laid the groundwork for this, let me introduce them to you.

The groups name is Yanakoto Sotto Mute and they are a four member group.

They were founded under DCG Entertainment in April of 2016.

Their motto is (rough translation): I do not solve anything softly mute the daily life full of bad things, but I will try to sing a melody that does not turn into a rock sound for the time being.

Meet The Members

Name: Nade Shiko
Nickname: Nadechan
Birthdate: December 27th, 1996
Twitter: @nadeshiko_ysm

Name: Mamiya Mani
Nickname: ManiMani
Birthdate: April 24th, 1996
Twitter: @mani_YSM

Name: Ichika Minami
Nickname: Ichika
Birthdate: August 13th, 1996
Twitter: @ichika_ysm

Name: Rena
Nickname: Rena
Birthdate: May 1st, 2000
Twitter: @rena_ysm

I'm not going to choose a favorite member of a four member group like them because that would be rude of myself to do such a thing, so I will choose all four as my oshimen.

They are all pretty, right? 

I'm glad you see it the same. 

Discography (In Chronological Order)

Yanakoto Sotto Mute has released as of October 2017: 2 EP (Extended Play) and 1 full album.

Sealing EP  
(Each Member Had A Seperate Version)
Released: December 26th, 2016
Oricon Ranking: 111th Place (1 week on chart)

Released: April 5th, 2017
Oricon Ranking: 81st Place (1 week on chart)

Released: August 16th, 2017
Oricon Ranking: 194th Place (1 week on chart)

For those of you who do not know what the Oricon Chart is, they rank singles and albums sales daily, weekly, monthly and yearly solely based on physical sales of their albums or singles. 

As you read those rankings you probably think that this group isn't good but let's take a peak at what the number one single/album at the time of release was. 

When Sealing EP was released, the number one single was by NMB48 titled "僕以外の誰か" or in English "Someone Other Than Me". 

So that was a hard single to go up against, especially since they are a 48 group. 

Let's check the album chart that "BUBBLE" was released on. 

The top album at that time was "Love, Piece and Fire"  by Superfly.

I'm not sure who Superfly is but it must be someone popular.

Last but not least, on the Oricon singles chart for the week of August 28th, 2017, which placed "STAMP EP" at 194th place, the number one single at that time was "Family Song"  by Hoshino Gen. 

Okay, now that one, I can understand as well. 

But still, the content of these three CD's have been nothing short of amazing.


Released: April 28th, 2017

This is a photo book that comes with a DVD with behind the scene (the good stuff) footage from the photo shoots for this album.

I really should purchase this in all reality. 


The group has released one LIVE DVD for their FINAL at Shibuya.


My Top 5 Songs

As the title to this section of the article reads, I want to introduce my top five favorite songs that they have released so far and if that song has a music video I will place it there and explain why I like that song. So I hope you enjoy as it was very, I mean very hard to choose.

#5: Lily

This song comes from their first EP, Sealing EP, as well as on their first album, BUBBLE.  The reasons why I love this song are endless and it's a shame that it is only my number five. The cinematography of the video is outstanding, especially with the scenery on the beach and inside the house. The vocals are outstanding and it makes you want to keep listening to more from them. 
I translated the lyrics (Google Translate) to see what the song is about and it is very heartwarming. 
Trying not to lose memories of your favorite moments in life is the main theme of the song and as we get older and the friends or relationships that start to fade it is best not to forget the good times. 
Amen to that. Am I right?

#4: 天気雨と世界のパラード (Tenki ame to sekai no parado) English: Weather Rain and World Parade

So the only video of this sing is from a LIVE they had back on May 8th, 2017. Credit for this video goes to 坂巻裕太 on YouTube. 
This song is from their latest EP, STAMP EP.
Anyways, they look like they are having so much fun performing. I really enjoy the choreography of this song as it is simple yet elegant. As for the song itself, I love the differences in the light feel of the main verses and refrain followed by the heavy rock of the chorus. It brings a different feel to the table that you can just keep listening to over and over as I have done plenty of times. 
The vocals are really good to listen to. The last chorus is the part that really gets me with the held long note that is just pure bliss. 

#3: am I

Just like the previous one, I could only find the live version of this song and I credit this video to Eden alley.
am I  was released on their first album, BUBBLE.
The reasoning behind choosing this song is because it kind of has that country rock that you would hear from a Luke Bryan or someone like that. 
Case and point, his new song, Light It Up.

Sounds a little similar, right?

Anyways, that is what I love so much about am I. It has that twist that someone from Oklahoma like myself would enjoy. The vocals are fantastic and they are very ballad-esque in the main verses until the chorus hits and then you get slammed with the rock vibes that drive you crazy (in a good way). This song is nothing compared to my number two.

#2: Horoscope

I absolutely love this song. It comes from their Extended Play, Sealing EP and featured also on BUBBLE.
This music video is the first one they ever shot and it is quite good to say the least. This song is super ballad and I love that so much when it comes to a heartbreak song. The way they sing this song sounds like they are angels beckoning me and hoping that I was part of her horoscope (I can only dream). 
This track gives me the super chills and makes my hair stand on end. Also for some reason the song resonates with me and I want to cry a little bit while listening to it. 
The last chorus really gives me goosebumps when the song stops for a split second and resumes with the guitar slide and high note by Nade-chan. I super, super love it but I'm disappointed it only is my number two.

Last but not least, my number one song from Yanakoto Sotto Mute: Any

This song comes from their latest Extended Play, STAMP EP.  
Their are many a reasons why I love this song but I will only leave a few comments why. For one, the song is so upbeat that you could jam out to it wherever you see fit. It starts out super strong and uptempo that you keep headbanging. 
Also, try doing air guitar or air drums to this song. It can get a little crazy. 
All the members are looking ultra pretty in this music video as always but they shine a lot in this one.
The vocals are outstanding with the main vocal being seamlessly back up by the others at some points. 
It is outstanding to listen to over and over.
I have actually shown this one to my co-workers and they loved it as well.

I hope you enjoyed my top five songs from the group thus far. I would like to know your favorites from them. Feel free to post yours in the comments below. 

Overall Opinion

I have a mad crush on this group now. 
I like them, like them. 
If you know what I'm talking about, we must be similar in ages.
I face literally turned red when I watched some behind the scenes videos they did because I couldn't stop smiling and being a weird fanboy. 
This group is so talented yet so underrated. Their music is fantastic and they constantly put out great songs that make us want more until we can't take it any longer. 
Are you not sad that they have not ranked higher on the charts like I am?
I hope they release something early next year but beggars can't be choosers in the land of idols.
After all is said and done, I really wish and pray for their success in the future. 
They deserve all the love they can get.
I will do my best to support them from here in Oklahoma, USA.
From writing this to buying merchandise, I will do whatever it takes to make them get more recognition.

If you wish to support the group, you can do it by going to these non-sponsored links:

If you live in Japan, please attend a concert of theirs if you can.

I'll be super jealous if you do and buy some merchandise as I have to wait until my next trip to Japan to see them.

Official Links

Something a little extra:

*I want to leave this message to the members of Yanakoto as I draw this to a close. I will include a Japanese translated version and my original English one.


Dear Yanakoto Members,
I wish you all the best in the coming days, weeks, months and years.
I want you to never give up and always look ahead.
You all have a great future ahead of you, believe me.
If times get tough, I hope you can rely on each other for company and support.
As a fan, I honestly want you all to remain safe and healthy as you continue to perform in front of us.
One last thing, have confidence in yourself and always look on the bright side of life.
Best wishes,


You can follow me on Twitter or feel free to leave a positive comment below.

One Last Message: Always have confidence in yourself and have faith that when you hit a bump in the road we call life that things will always get better. Things happen for reasons we may not understand.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Better Love Story Than Twilight - A New Age Idols Tale

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Let me start this off by saying that I am so, so sorry it has been over a year since I have written on here but I have a very unique story behind this that I hope you will enjoy.

Over the past year, I sort of had a falling out with J-Pop.

We had a very lovely relationship for over two years, we fell in love on a very lovely spring day. It was just perfect. If I had a rough day, she was always there to cheer me up if I was feeling blue and I felt like nothing would tear us apart.

I even got to visit her parents on vacation every year since we first started out but I felt like I was just going through the motions every time I would visit her at home or at work. I never really felt all there.

In the fall of last year, I hopped on a dating app and decided to see who else was out there. I of course hid this all from the love of my life, but it wasn't easy.

I came across this profile on there and she looked really cool. She must have been really popular because she had a lot of vacation pictures with various groups of people,both guys and girls.

She drew my attention and I decided to send her a DM (Direct Message) to just get to know her a little more.

That girl is named K-Pop (Korean Pop).

After a couple of great conversations I slowly but surely started to have feelings for her.

One evening, my love J-Pop discovered our messages and I new our gig was up.

When she found out about my feelings for K-Pop, we had a very constructive discussion about where to go from there so we both decided to maybe take a little break from each other, see other people, you get the gist.

At that point I decided to leave my good relationship behind with such a lovely lady to move on to someone bigger and better that could improve my status.

At the end of our lovely and heart breaking conversation, J-Pop told me that if my feelings change, that she would always welcome me back into her loving arms and we could start our relationship anew.

I gladly thanked her for her lovely words and didn't really make a promise but deep inside I knew that just maybe the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

I called up K-Pop and told her my whole situation and I asked her out and she said that she would love to go out with someone like myself. She said she would treat me nice and give me more happiness and love than J-Pop ever did.

I shouldn't have listened to her.

While I heard, she (K-Pop), was a good person and all, there were also rumors that she was a gold digger.

I decided not to listen to those rumors and decided to start a new relationship and never look back.

The first few months were fantastic. We would go on dates to restaurants or we would go to the club and dance to our jams but over the course of time, some of her bad habits started to show.

She started to become super clingy. She always wanted me to go buy her this or get her that because if I did that she would love me more.

Since, I was such awe struck by someone as popular and a head turner as she was, I gave into her time after time.

She even invited me to visit her family and I gladly accepted. I took that trip with the hopes that she would not be like this when she is in her home country.

I told her that I needed to pick up some things from my former love's house so I told her I would meet her at her house and she told me that that would be just fine.

When I went to my ex's place, it felt sort of empty. It didn't feel like it used to for some reason. Maybe it was because I was seeing someone else, but maybe it was because I missed her so much.

I happened to walk into her favorite place, the music store, just so I could reminisce about the good times and just hope not to run into her.

As I walked through the store, I looked up and saw a familiar face. She (J-Pop) was there looking at a new release CD of one of the groups I knew she liked. I got real nervous and decided not to approach her but as I tried to leave, she called my name.

I was taken aback by this action and slowly turned around to see her smiling and waving at me. I wandered over to her and we had a little chat about why I was there and if everything was going alright with my new relationship.

I told her everything was going just fine but I think she knew it wasn't.

I asked her how she was and she said that it was going just fine. She had just come to visit her family for a little bit after the split.

I became curious about what she was holding and she showed me the new album that she was looking at.

I asked her if she remembered the first time we both listened to their first album together and how we both loved it. She said she would never forget the look on my face after hearing those lovely voices, just the joy on my face on that day, made her more happy than anyone else ever has.

We ended our conversation with a very awkward handshake/hug thing (kind of like a bro hug). As I left that place I couldn't help but think about her the remainder of my vacation to my new girl's country.

My new girl's family treated me very well and took great care of me when I needed it. K-Pop changed in front of her family and I had hoped it was for the best but as soon as we got back here in the states, things went back to the way they were.

She knew I didn't have a great paying job but still constantly asked for money at every twist and turn.

It started to get real annoying so I decided to contact my ex and tell her what has been going on and if she was available to meet up and talk.

J-Pop took a day or two to respond but she said that she was back in the states and would gladly meet me for a chat later that weekend.

As I sat waiting on her in that cafe, I wondered if I should just break up with K-Pop and ask J-Pop to take me back. I came to the realization that I had it better with J-Pop.

She arrived looking all lovely and we had a great discussion about what was going on and how I should go about this situation and she gave me some great advice and told me to talk to K-Pop about it.

One evening just recently, I had to sit her down and tell her how I truly felt. I told her that I didn't like her using me just for my money and how I didn't like how she became clingy. I ended the conversation by saying that we needed to break up. She of course told me that I would never find someone like her and that since I wasn't that rich I wasn't able to spoil her like most other guys would.

When she left my house, I picked up my phone to call J-Pop to tell her how what happened and asked if she would come over for a moment. She gladly agreed and shortly there after arrived at my place, asking what I needed to say to her.

I told her how much I truly loved her and how happy I was with her being in my life and that nothing will ever break us apart ever again.

We both shared an amazing hug and maybe a peck on the cheek and started our relationship anew.

I truly love her with all my heart and soul and I will and won't ever forget what she (J-Pop) has done in my life for the greater good.

I honestly hope you enjoyed reading this very strange love story between a man and a genre of music. No joke this is kind of a true story.

Anyways, I am back to writing and I really wish you come back next week for an idol introduction article.

Don't miss it!!!

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter or feel free to leave a comment down below. Any constructive comments are always nice.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, be confident in yourself because someone out there loves you for who you are!!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Power Of Idols

Sorry that I accidentally went on a months hiatus. I began to have writers block for a while there but after taking a breather, I'm back.

Today I am going to write a article about what idols mean to certain people and how they can connect not only fans of different generations but also around the world. 

As a idol fan in the United States, you kind of get frowned upon and sort of shoved into a niche group of people where others think that you might be a perv for looking at idols. 

You might have family members who think that you liking such things will ruin your future, may it be financially, emotionally, or even starting a relationship. 

Yet to those people who enjoy idols such as myself, we work hard in order for that to not take a toll on those certain aspects of our lives.

Some of us work at minimum wage or above jobs working 40+ hours a week in order to make sure we can support these groups or members we are extremely fond of .

Other times we work those jobs to be able to afford to go to Japan ourselves and get to witness the idol culture in all of its glory. 

That is the power of idols.

Whenever we come across groups that we have no idea who the heck they are, we research until life's end, may it be on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We shell out countless dollars in order to show our support even from abroad. 

The power of idols can not really be described in certain terms. 

Whenever you first become a fan of a certain group, you think that you are the only one who likes that group in your country or even in Japan itself because you see how many views they get on YouTube or how many Twitter followers they have.

As time goes along and you get to know the group better, you begin to see more fans spring up from nowhere and you start to realize you are not alone.

I have been there where I thought I was the only fan of a certain group and then coming to find out that I was never really alone in my fandom. 

The same can be said with your favorite members.

Idols bring people together, no matter what age, race, religion, or geographical location. 

I have met so many people from around the world while being a idol fan. From Indonesia and Australia to Malaysia, Japan and even in my own state. 

Once you begin to find those people, you can actually get to sort of bond with that person over your favorite groups and members. You get to share your experiences with them if they are planning to go to Japan to see idol groups and become sort of a travel guide. 

When you go to concerts of your favorite groups in Japan or even in the States, you get to be involved in that culture.

A few of my favorite experiences include the idol group Kamen Joshi. Their fans are so kind to foreigners it surprised me on my first trip and even the one a few months ago. They love to interact with you, get you involved in fan chants, choreography and other things so don't be afraid to get involved with those kind of fans. 

Another experience is seeing a multitude of groups in one evening and that group having a few fans in attendance and the others are still supporting that group and they help with the stuff I mentioned in the paragraph above. They always say thank you after the set is over to express their gratitude for those fans of other groups. Who knows, you might like them as well.

Idols can make your life a rainbow after a thunderstorm.

Let's say that you are having a completely down in the dumps day. Everything has gone completely wrong from the moment you woke up. Maybe you got yelled at by your boss at work or you are having a argument with friends and need a way to get away from it all.

Turn to idols.

As soon as you turn on one of your favorite music videos of theirs or listen to one of their albums, it makes you relax and you can smile. 

If an idol group has a behind the scenes kind of YouTube channel, turn that on for a couple of hours and just watch with enjoyment.

Maybe you have a certain favorite member of a major idol group. Jump onto their blog or their Facebook fan page(s) and look through the photos and videos and share them or even go back to YouTube and try to find dramas or variety shows with them on and watch them.

It really helps when it comes to stress to do the things above.

Idols can make you go to war for them.

What I mean by that is if you find something offensive toward a certain group or member, you will fight for their honor, like a white knight coming to the rescue of a beautiful princess.

In this day and age of the idol warring period (not the Japanese history lesson on the warring age), you begin to notice antis pretty well. Antis are people who completely hate on certain groups and certain members of that group because they don't like them. May it be of what kind of music they perform or what they do in their personal life, there are always going to be Antis. 

One obvious case are the Antis against the 46 groups (Nogizaka and Keyakizaka) from the 48 Group fans. There have been many a times where a majority of fans on both sides have had some pretty interesting conversations about why they don't like the other. 

A reason could be the fact that one group gives off more of a sexy image, performing gravure and such while the other gives off the innocent vibe.

Now admittedly, I have to say I am a anti of one person. That person would be Matsui Jurina of SKE48. For some reason I can not stand her whatsoever. 

Their is also another war that many idol fans face a majority of the time and that is explaining to non-fans what idols are and why you like them.

That war is almost like a draw, neither side will win.

You will try to explain with all your might what they are and even then the opposite part will walk away without any more knowledge than when they started to conversation.

I have been in that situation so many times. It helps to just give a brief overview and then if they don't understand, just take it, you are never going to reach them.

 Idols can turn into crushes.

Now this is the part where things start to get a little strange. As you begin to like certain members and shell out money for their merchandise, you being to feel like you truly like them not as a fan.

For starters, you begin to watch their videos only and not any other with different members in them, or you may watch live videos on YouTube and only focus on that member.

Their is a line to be drawn and that line is when you feel like you can't live without them. 

When you get to that point take a look deep inside yourself and come to the realization that you will never get to actually be with that person. 

Some of us fans have that feeling. We begin to like certain members and maybe, unlike me, you are good looking enough for them to be attracted to you and you hope one day they will depart from that group and fly to wherever, take a train to wherever you are and live happily ever after. 

Believe me, you know that will never happen. Just understand that you are only a fan of that certain member and nothing will come of it.

I discussed a variety of topics of the power of idols from bringing people together to liking them as crushes. Their could have been a lot more but I decided to leave it at that. 

I honestly hope you enjoyed this article and if you did feel free to leave a comment below or you can follow me on Twitter. I honestly don't mind either way. 

*And as always, Have A Fantastic Day No Matter Where You Are!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rockin' Those Shades! - Maria - New Age Idols Introduction!!

There are some groups that you can't help but smile about. May it be there cuteness, the type of music they perform or their all around coolness. The one I want to introduce is a group that showcases all three. 

With sunglasses and backpacks in tow, these holy immaculate girls sing mischievous rock. 

They are the playful rock girls!

They are Maria!

The history surrounding Maria is quite a interesting one. The group was started in December 2013 yet the group did not officially begin activities until April 26th, 2014. They are currently signed under Inazuma and their singles and albums are released through File Records. 

Six members passed through the auditions to form this playful group but out of the original lineup only four remain: RinaRina, Minori, Lala, & Aona. 

The two members that left that group happened to do so in 2015, both of them five months apart: Mei left the group February 20th, 2015 due to personal reasons and the same explanation can be applied to former member Seika who decided to withdraw on July 21st, 2015.

During the time between graduations, management decided to hold auditions for new members, labeling them as cadets for the main group. The two cadets came in during the month of May 2015. The two cadets names are Hanami and Tayori. 

According to their Ameblo blogs, they are still labeled as cadets even though they have been in all of their concerts since Seika left and have been in the music videos since.

As of August 2016, the group is back to the original lineup number of six members. On their official website, they do not state the members birth years, just the month and day, so you just might have to guess their ages like I do sometimes.

Birthday: March 19th

Birthday: September 30th

Birthday: October 10th

Birthday: December 25th

Birthday: March 2nd

Birthday: July 11th

When it comes to picking a favorite member, I did it during my first impression of the group. I will leave the video down below of what video I saw her first in, but I chose RinaRina as my favorite. 

So, shoutout to her!

As for their discography, they have covered a couple of songs from the 90's male group, The Gospellers, in their first two singles. One of the songs being Hurricane and the other being Me Gumi no Hito. Me Gumi No Hito has also been covered by Puffy and Koda Kumi. Both artists being well known in the idol community. 

They have released three singles thus far as the most recent one being released in June 2016. 

April 22nd, 2015 - Hurricane / Geba

October 21st. 2015 - Me Gumi No Hito

June 22nd, 2016 - Teppen Girl

As for cover artwork, I have to give credit to whomever did the Me Gumi No Hito one. The style of the CD jacket really pops out to me.

I want to showcase a few or all of their music videos they have released for you to enjoy.

The first video I would like to showcase is their first music video on their YouTube channel, and is from their debut single, which is their self-titled song, MARIA. During this video, you get to take a closer behind the scenes look at the group between the time Mei and Seika left the group.

For some reason, this music video and song really didn't hit me well. In all reality, maybe it is the fact I never really watched it fully through. While writing this, I watched it completely and enjoyed it more, so I'm kind of happy now.

The next video is also from their first single, Hurricane. It is the title track from that disc. The video also contains a special cameo from Gosperats member Yoshio Sato. If you are curious about that group, look them up. You will be surprised.

I absolutely love this song so much. I had never heard of this song until I saw this video and I loved it. The vocals are fantastic and the simplistic design of the music video made it even better. 

The next music video that they released is also from their debut single and is titled Geba. 

This video has a similar feel to it like MARIA. The behind the scenes aspect make it a must watch, especially the fish-eye lens camera. Make sure to catch some special guest appearances in the video as well. 

The next music video they released is from their second single, Me Gumi No Hito and it is the title track of the same name.

This was the first video I saw of this group. I honestly had no idea who this group was at the time of release and this is what started my enjoyment for the group. This is also where I picked Rina "I'll mess your stuff up" Rina as my favorite member. I got so confused at that time when I watched this MV and the one for Hurricane because I didn't know she had long hair then and cut it before this video but her short hair is really cute. This is also the video where Hanami and Tayori make their appearance in the group. As for the song, I really enjoyed this cover more than the others I had seen. I really love to keep listening to this track over and over as it is extremely catchy. Go check out the original by Rats&Stars if you'd like.

The next video is their coupling track on the Me Gumi No Hito single. The song is titled Gecchu. 

This song showcases their cool and cute sides. The choreography is super catchy as well as the song. It grabs your attention from the get go and fun to try to mimic. I really enjoy listening to this song. I used it as a favorite video of the week for one of my favorite YouTube shows that does idol things, that is how much I enjoyed it. 

So overall, I really enjoyed that single you could say.

The last music video I will show y'all is from their latest single Teppen Girl and it is the same track as the single title. 

Now, they released the music video just about a month ago and I have not watched it yet, so for my review, it is on a first impression basis.

For my first look at this video, all I can say is I am really excited for their future. No joke. This video and song is what I would expect to see and hear from such a group whose motto is playful rock girls. I really enjoyed this song top to bottom. A couple of things that stuck out to me was the knife-like choreo at the 2:10 mark of the video that led to the rap part for about 12 seconds from 2:18 - 2:30. I also wonder how many stairs did they run up to the roof of that building. I would have given up about halfway there. 

My overall review of the group goes as follows:

Finding this group last year was like finding a diamond in the rough. Now I may have found them a little bit later into their tenure as a group but since then, I have not forgotten about this group. 

I wait for more material they put out and try my best in order to secure it if I can. 

I wish I could have seen them perform when I was in Tokyo but I completely forgot they were performing then or I had another thing scheduled. So I'm sorry I never got to see you perform in person. I hope to see you next year though, without question. 

Maria is one of those groups that you can hold on to without telling people about and watch them grow and when they hit it big mainstream, you bring out the fact that you have been a fan of them for a while but I just couldn't wait anymore. 

More people need to learn about this group not only in Japan but abroad as well. I hope they come here to the states to perform a time or two if they can.

I can't wait to see what their future holds and if they end up reading this, I just want to let them know, obviously now, that I am a pretty big fan if not the biggest Maria fan in the United States.

Ganbatte Aona, Lala, Minori, RinaRina, Hanami and Tayori and last but not least the staff of Maria!!!

Official Links

You can follow me on Twitter or feel free to leave a comment. I don't mind either way.

*And as always, wherever you are, Have A Fantastic Day

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Oshi Chronicles - Part Two - The HKT Triad

Picking favorite members can be a rough decision as sometimes you can't just pick one.

This is one of those times.

Over the course of the past year and a half, I have been paying a lot of attention to most of the sister groups of AKB48 and not the main one itself. One of the sister groups that has severely drawn my attention is the so-called "loli" group down in Fukuoka, HKT48.

When it comes to choosing a favorite in that group there are plenty to choose from such as the first ever back-to-back winner of the AKB Senbatsu Sousenkyo Sashihara Rino or I could go after one of the other major stars of the group including Kodama Haruka aka Haruppi or even Miyawaki Sakura.

The three that I mentioned above have big, I mean big fan bases around the world. The sad part about that reality is that I got one of my workers to be a fan of Haruppi.

No joke.

The only problem with me choosing one of those three main attractions is their fan base being so large. I honestly did not want to jump on the band wagon and start throwing a ton of support at them.

So, in that case they got disqualified from contention.

When I first started getting to know the Hakata girls, I wanted to do some fair research about each and every member to make sure I could pick a favorite member.

While conducting such strenuous examinations, I couldn't really find a favorite from teams H or KIV, so I dug further into the group and came across the kenkyuusei which is now happily team TII, looking for options of who to throw my Oklahoman support towards with all my strength.

As it would turn out, I found a few diamonds in the rough that I have been throwing my support towards. So with that being said, let me showcase my oshis for contention for my top spot and I hope that you will enjoy my choices and maybe if you like them already, welcome.

The first nominee for contention is Sakamoto Erena.

Courtesy: AKS

Name: Sakamoto Erena (坂本愛玲菜)
Nickname: Eretan (えれたん)
Birthdate: September 12th, 2000
Fun fact: She has a adorably cute parakeet named "Piisuke"

Courtesy: Sakamoto Erena Google+ 

Courtesy: Sakamoto Erena Google+

Why choose Eretan for a oshi spot?

I have many of reasons. I found about about her through Hakata Hyakkaten 3, which is one of the many of shows HKT throws out there. She debuted on episode two in studio and I thought of how adorable she was and it made me want to support her even though I barely knew who she was. She has a somewhat serious side but when she has a chance she can prove to have great comedy. She sometimes has her own radio/video show on her Google+ every now and again with several other members where they talk about random things.  I have supported her since that episode and will continue to. Over the course of time, she has grown into a very confident and charismatic teenager. She did not rank in this years Sousenkyo, which should not be a surprise whatsoever as I have yet to find another fan of her. I hope to find one someday. 

Keep Fighting Eretan!!!

Eretan Links

The next candidate for oshimen is practically the best friend of Sakamoto Erena and the oldest member on my list, Yamashita Emiri.

Courtesy: AKS

Name: Yamashita Emiri (山下 エミリー)
Nickname: Emri (エミリー)
Birthdate: December 19th, 1998
Fun fact: Emiri is half Filipino on her mother's side

Courtesy: Yamashita Emiri Google+
Courtesy: Yamashita Emiri Google+


Why her?

Well to be fair, she kind of popped up recently on my list of favorite HKT members and immediately got put in my top four for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons why I chose her is for her personality. She has a very comical side to her sometimes that just blows my mind, while there are times where it looks like she is bored out of hers. Lately, she has been having a competition with fellow member Matsuoka Hana for the attention of one half of the comedic duo Football Hour, Goto Terumoto who does MC work with Sashihara Rino on HKT48 no Odekake!! Goto seems to like Hana-chan more which really makes Emiri work hard for attention and can be quite classic when she gets screen time. Emiri was not chosen during the Sousenkyo like Eretan wasn't but she was chosen for the senbatsu of the HKTs' sixth single Shekarashika!, which is a fantastic song to listen to if you haven't. Now I am going to be completely honest. I am not a short-haired person but I can suffice with her style because it looks great on her. She has grown into a lovely young lady and I look forward to supporting her more throughout her time at HKT. 

Ganbatte, Emiri!!!!

Emiri Links

Official Profile
Official Google+
Official 755

The next and final spot of my oshi trio, is....

Aramaki Misaki!!!!

Courtesy: AKS

Name: Aramaki Misaki  (荒巻美咲)
Nickname: Mirun (みるん)
Birthdate: January 28th, 2001
Fun fact: She wants to become like Audrey Hepburn and also a tad bit of a easy crier

Courtesy: Aramaki Misaki Google+

Courtesy: Aramaki Misaki Google+

Really, yo?

You must be into lolis.

Actually, no.

I have many a reason for choosing Aramaki-chan for my top three. The first being, just look at her. Is she not just super adorable. Another reason why I chose her is for her personality, The shell that she displays is pretty similar to mine. The shy and quiet type who can get embarrassed quite quickly and blush super fast. I found Mirun through the same episode as Eretan, where Mitz Mangrove gave advice to her about not being confident and then she cried. I knew at that moment that I had to support her. She had longer hair back then and when she cut her hair shorter, it took me by surprise but I found it to be quite fitting. I remember one episode of Odekake where Mirun told Yabuki Nako that she was cute and it was super adorable because they went back and forth and I had a smile the entire time. Aramaki-chan, just like the other two, has yet to rank but due to her age, I hope to see her rank soon. On the 12 Byou single by HKT48, the song Hohoemi Popcorn, was centered by her. I absolutely love that song to this day. I will drop the music video down below for your enjoyment and also a video of Sasshi melting over her a few years ago during a consultation session.

I super love this song and the fact she got to center in it is pretty splendid.

Again, how adorable is she!!

I will continue to support this young lady to the ends of the Earth if I have to. 

Headstrong, Aramaki-chan!!!!

Aramaki Links

As you can see, those are my top three candidates for the spot of HKT oshimen. 

All three seem to be pretty good choices but they may be to young for most people to pick as their favorite.

I will continue to support all three with as much might as I can from here in Oklahoma. I hope to get to meet all three of them someday before they graduate at least. I sadly do not expect big lines for them at handshake events but I probably would be surprised. 

If you made it this far, I really thank you. 

I really hope you enjoyed this article and if you happen to be a fan of one of these three, feel free to leave a comment about what you like about them or if you aren't a fan drop a comment of your favorite member. 

To top it all off, I will share a video of five of the members of the members of Team TII icluding my top three members before the senbatsu sousenkyo. Enjoy the chat and if you are looking for English subs of the episode, go check out BlueMentaiko for them.

You can follow me on Twitter if you'd like and feel free to share with others. I would greatly appreciate it.

*And as always, wherever you are Have A Fantastic Day!!!!