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2011-2012 New Years Shows 51 replies to this topic Started by TnB , Dec 04 2011 06:13 PM · 

#31 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ಥ_ರೃ #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 02 January 2012 - 01:30 AM

Hey Madara, I noticed you mentioned E-Girls as a dance group.. They are three girl groups that formed together and are called E-Girls. Most notable one is Dream, followed by Happiness and Flower. They just released a single on the 28th called Celebration. Happiness and Flower started off as backup dancers for Exile but then went on to become their own music groups, Happiness in 2009 and Flower 2011. Avex probably needed something for Dream to do, so they get to join the party.

#32 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 02 January 2012 - 05:33 PM

Hey Madara, I noticed you mentioned E-Girls as a dance group.. They are three girl groups that formed together and are called E-Girls. Most notable one is Dream, followed by Happiness and Flower. They just released a single on the 28th called Celebration. Happiness and Flower started off as backup dancers for Exile but then went on to become their own music groups, Happiness in 2009 and Flower 2011. Avex probably needed something for Dream to do, so they get to join the party.


Thank you for the info. I wish they'd let the E-Girls get their own number in the show. I would like to have heard them sing. As it is, they're basically just back-up dancers in that number, even though their dancing has greater energy than the male dancers. We just don't see enough of them.

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Do they appear in EXILE concerts? Are EXILE concerts filled with dance numbers like this?

#33 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 02 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

Anyone have any recommendations of albums by any of the following?

Mai Kuraki
Nanase Aikawa
Ayaka Hirahara
Hiromi Iwasaki

All of whom I first heard in this FNS concert.

Thanks.

#34 kitaoji

kitaoji
  • S/mileage

Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:57 AM

Anyone have any recommendations of albums by any of the following?

Mai Kuraki
Nanase Aikawa
Ayaka Hirahara
Hiromi Iwasaki

All of whom I first heard in this FNS concert.

Thanks.


Not a recommendation, but Hiromi Iwasaki sang "Romance", which is on MM's Cover You album (this was released in 2008).

#35 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ಥ_ರೃ #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:06 AM

I only have one album by Mai Kuraki, If I Believe. It's from 2003 I think? So it might be harder to find.

Time after time ~Hana Mau Machi de~ and her duet with Sun Yanzi, Tonight, I feel close to you, and English song. Were what drew me to the album. I loved Sun Yanzi at the time. She also has another duet with Sun Yanzi on Sun's album To Be Continued... My Story, Your Song.

Kuraki also has a Spanish/Japanese song on there, Mi Corazon. I think this is a good album to start with for you. I don't know any of her newer stuff. So i can't be at all helpful.

#36 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:25 PM

I went to Book Off last night and bought three albums each from each of the singers I asked about. Mai Kuraki's "If I Believe" was one of them. I also went to the Japanese video store (same block) and bought the 2-disc "Kohaku Uta Gassen" show from Saturday night. That was fast! I watched the first hour last night. It's very different from FNS. It's got more MC segments and film and promo segments and bits with the audience and judges, so there's a lot more talk. FNS is practically wall-to-wall music with one number following another pretty quickly. It's more immersive. And it's got many more acts and songs than Kohaku does. Also, Kohaku has no H!P or UFA acts.

#37 aine

aine
  • 名無しさん‮

Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:29 PM

Hiromi Iwasaki

Not an album, but her song Egao got an adorable PV animated by Makoto Shinkai for the Minna no Uta show. It's less than 3 minutes long, so watch it here.

Warning: if you have never seen any of Shinkai's works before you will helplessly fall in love with this and be left craving for more, and unfortunately there isn't that much more out.

#38 TnB

TnB
  • Tangerine & Banana

Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

I went to Book Off last night and bought three albums each from each of the singers I asked about. Mai Kuraki's "If I Believe" was one of them. I also went to the Japanese video store (same block) and bought the 2-disc "Kohaku Uta Gassen" show from Saturday night. That was fast! I watched the first hour last night. It's very different from FNS. It's got more MC segments and film and promo segments and bits with the audience and judges, so there's a lot more talk. FNS is practically wall-to-wall music with one number following another pretty quickly. It's more immersive. And it's got many more acts and songs than Kohaku does. Also, Kohaku has no H!P or UFA acts.


FNS Kayousai and Kouhaku Uta Gassen are two very different types of shows. FNS typically airs early in December and is more about uniting the old with the new. There are always a ton of artists there, and as you've been seeing they mix and match young artists with older artists and they use live bands as much as possible. It makes for a very cool show, but every year I forget how crappy FNS's sound department is. When they have live bands playing, the bands almost always overpower the singers and you can often tell the singers aren't able to hear each other or themselves and thus get off key. In many of the collaboration numbers the voices don't blend, which is either the result of poor planning or again sound issues. Sometimes FNS performances can be awesome, and other times they can be pretty disappointing. One really cool thing about FNS is that the performers make up the audience, so you sometimes can catch glances of one of your favorite artists cheering on one of your other favorites. I just caught TOKIO grooving to Fairies, which was really cute xD

Kouhaku Uta Gassen has been running FOREVER (62 years to be exact). Personally, I think it's the weakest of the New Year shows. This show is losing young viewers and there are many reasons for that. Kouhaku pits the girls against the boys and each team is supposed to be comprised of the best acts of that year. Instead Kouhaku is heavily filled with enka singers who have been performing for 20+ years in a row (often the same song over and over), pop acts who are fading, and then one or two Fad-of-the-Years (the MaruMori kids this year). There are of course some great and popular artists mixed in, but you have to sit through hours of crap to get to them. The show airs live on new year's eve and ends right after they count down to midnight. This is part of the reason there aren't many fresh young acts on - they can't work after a certain time and the show can't cram them all at the beginning. The timeslot also causes a few artists to turn down the invitation - they're either committed to their own new year's concert or would rather spend the time with their families. But still, Kouhaku's choices always baffle me. H!P doeesn't get invited anymore because they're not popular enough, but from year to year that's not always true. S/mileage definitely deserved an invite the year they won best new artist.

However, Kouhaku is all about elaborate performances. This is part of the reason there's a lot more talking and breaks between songs. FNS has a few stages with basic sets, so the acts can just walk on and off stage. Kouhaku has elaborate sets, costumes, special effects, etc.

In summary, for your future New Year's programming viewing:

FNS offers more intimate and interesting dinner show style performances with lots of cool collaborations, but with the downside of poor sound.

Kouhaku offers elaborate and showy performances with the downside of having to sit through a lot of crap to get to the good stuff.

Music Station Super Live offers the flashiness of Kouhaku, most of the popular acts of the year performing for a crowd so it has more of the excitement of a concert, but there are rarely any cool collaborations, older acts, and most of the performances are the artist's greatest hits of the year (i.e. nothing new).

#39 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for the background info, TnB!

I did see one huge production number in the first hour of Kohaku that was pretty spectacular. But I prefer the constant flow of music and the live orchestra in FNS.

But what's with those two little kids, Mana Ashida and what's-his-name? They get underfoot in both shows. In what universe are they considered cute and endearing? I found them annoying. And they kept cutting to little Mana in FNS even when someone else was performing. She's like someone's spoiled brat who gets dragged out at parties or family gatherings to "entertain" the assembled guests and her immediate family fawns all over her every utterance. MaiMai was never annoying as a child. I guess she was one-of-a-kind.

#40 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ಥ_ರೃ #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:32 PM

Mana Ashida is a child actress who made it very big this year. She's like the Dakota Fanning of Japan to put it in laymen terms, but she also sings now. Read her wiki, you'll understand. (The other kid is Fuku Suzuki, he played Mana's twin brother in the TV Drama, Marumo no Okite. They also sang the theme song, Maru Maru Mori Mori! which was the big hit of 2011.)

#41 kitaoji

kitaoji
  • S/mileage

Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:20 AM

Another award show that I recommend is the Japan Records Award show (Nihon Record Taisho). It's definitely not as fun as FNS (that said, I don't think H!P was invited to last year's show) but I think the location is better than Kohaku. The speeches seem to be better as well, but my favorite part is just watching the old footage they play during the show.

But thanks for the info about Mana Ashida! I keep on seeing her everywhere, but didn't know what she did.

#42 eri

eri
  • aka eri, the Alpha and the Omega

Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:25 AM

Mana Ashida is a child actress who made it very big this year. She's like the Dakota Fanning of Japan to put it in laymen terms, but she also sings now. Read her wiki, you'll understand. (The other kid is Fuku Suzuki, he played Mana's twin brother in the TV Drama, Marumo no Okite. They also sang the theme song, Maru Maru Mori Mori! which was the big hit of 2011.)


She's fucking everywhere - much more popular than her costar (though he's in cms too). Not a day goes by that I don't see her face on tv schilling something. She's like a mini Aya Ueto with the terrifying fakeness of Shirley Temple.

#43 Shoujo Q

Shoujo Q
  • ಥ_ರೃ #1 Sakura Fangirl

Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:31 AM


Mana Ashida is a child actress who made it very big this year. She's like the Dakota Fanning of Japan to put it in laymen terms, but she also sings now. Read her wiki, you'll understand. (The other kid is Fuku Suzuki, he played Mana's twin brother in the TV Drama, Marumo no Okite. They also sang the theme song, Maru Maru Mori Mori! which was the big hit of 2011.)


She's fucking everywhere - much more popular than her costar (though he's in cms too). Not a day goes by that I don't see her face on tv schilling something. She's like a mini Aya Ueto with the terrifying fakeness of Shirley Temple.


Yeah Shirley Temple I guess would have been a better analogy for Mana, but Mana can't dance or sing as well as Shirley Temple. 8o

#44 eri

eri
  • aka eri, the Alpha and the Omega

Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:29 PM

Oh yeah! I wanted to say that on New Years Eve, my husband and I were bumming around in the hotel and we turned on the tv....

and saw Dream Musume performing Love Machine! I was so excited that I took photos with my camera hahahaha. It was one of those moments like "holy fuck, I am in Japan."

The thing is, I almost NEVER see Morning Musume anywhere. Koharu is on a bread cm that pops up every now and then but otherwise, MM goods are nowhere and they have very poor media presence. Though, Dream Musume still has more cache than current MM. I still hear Love Machine being used in cm's and playing in store shops. AKB on the other hand is on every street corner, in every shop, and on tv ever other commercial -- this is NO exaggeration -- but, I don't know enough about AKB to get excited over this :lol:

Mano Erina's face pops up on random ads though. She really isn't known as an idol -- just kind of like, generic pretty girl model.

#45 Ap2000

Ap2000
  • Chosen UndeAp

Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:57 PM

and saw Dream Musume performing Love Machine! I was so excited that I took photos with my camera hahahaha.


I totally did the same thing. haha

#46 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:02 AM

I finally watched all of Kohaku. Fascinating show, chiefly for the differences between it and FNS, many of which TnB has already pointed out. I liked seeing all the Enka acts. Beautiful older women in gorgeous kimonos (hakamas?) singing their hearts out. What’s not to love? There was even a tribute to Hibari Misora. Sure, there were plenty of acts that were a chore to sit through, but there were also spectacular production numbers with beautiful design and lighting effects and choreographed legions of dancers. AKB48 did a wonderful medley that seemed to include every past/present/future member of the group. Yes, it was lip-sync’d but they danced up a storm, which is always nice. It was great seeing Seiko Matsuda—the first time I’ve ever actually seen her perform, even though I have a ton of her CDs. There were some singers I liked whom I first saw in FNS, including Kana Nishino and Ayaka Hirahara, not to mention the Korean girl groups. I enjoyed some acts that were new to me: Aiko, Ayaka, Nana Mizuki, Ikimono Gakari. I was somewhat disappointed by Ayumi Hamasaki’s performance. She was not in good voice. Koda Kumi seemed kind of low-key and her song was short. Plus, she had no back-up.

There’s a Lady Gaga appearance on tape from New York. She does a full-fledged production number in a studio and evidently put a lot of thought and work into it.

Another big difference between this and FNS is the emphasis here on cheering up Japan in the wake of the March tsunami/earthquake/nuclear disaster. A lot of songs were devoted to it, with footage/slide shows depicting the relief/rebuilding efforts. (I didn’t see any actual disaster shots, though.) And remote segments with people affected by it.

Where was this show staged? I can’t find any website that gives the name of the venue. And what was going on at the other arenas they cut to live performances from? That's how we saw Seiko Matsuda. She was beamed live from somewhere else.

I have other questions, but I still need to process the whole thing after four-and-a-half hours of viewing time today. I'll be doing a blog entry eventually.

#47 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:39 AM

Pt. 2 of my piece on FNS is up on my blog.

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With a surprise appearance by an American movie star.

#48 The☆AEUGNewtype

The☆AEUGNewtype
  • ♥ まいぷる ♥

Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:54 PM

Still, in my 11 or so years of loving Jpop, I have never been able to watch even a half of one of these shows. Despite being familiar with most of the artists, I only truly give a shit about maybe 5-10 of them out of 40-60, and even the ones I care about, I'd rather not see them performing the same damn songs every year or doing some duet with another artist I don't care much about. The setups of these shows just all seem so phony and uninteresting, kinda like the Oscars in America. Its just a chance for industry people to pat each other on the back and put on a big show about it. I'm glad DJ OZMA finally kinda took a stand about it a few years ago and basically mocked the whole setup of these kinds of shows and wound up getting banned from Kouhaku :D

Also, Korean artists need to stay out of Japan.

#49 eri

eri
  • aka eri, the Alpha and the Omega

Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:19 AM

Then Japanese artists need to stay out of America.
American artists need to stay out of Japan (which will never happen).

Korean artists sing in Japanese and usually have at least 1 group member that can speak and interact on game shows. The frantic obsessive protectionism and anti-Kpop backlash is so boring and based usually on nothing more than competition anxiety and racism.

#50 The☆AEUGNewtype

The☆AEUGNewtype
  • ♥ まいぷる ♥

Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:54 AM

I agree that Japanese artists should not do promotion in the US, but that's a whole other story. It has nothing to do with racism at least from me, though I know a few Japanese friends who hate Korean artists because of that being a factor. I love a number of Korean artists, but it doesn't mean they need to do promotion anywhere besides Korea. Besides that it has just been proven to be a failed effort every time its been attempted, but when I see Korean artists performing or appearing alongside Japanese ones, they just don't fit in, regardless of how well they speak Japanese or not. Their mannerisms, songs, and dance styles just seem really out of place compared to what is found from most similar domestic artists from Japan. It just makes me feel bad for them (Korean artists) because I know their fad is going to fade soon, just like all the other artists efforts have.

#51 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 17 January 2012 - 03:59 AM

Part 1 of Kohaku is up on my blog.

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#52 Madara

Madara
  • モーニング娘。

Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:43 AM

Part 2 of my coverage of Kohaku is up on my blog.

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And the great Seiko Matsuda:
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