Lent is coming and it is time to give up on something again. I still cannot believe it that I still managed to resist fast food and junk food for the past 2+ months. Honestly, I feel that the temptation to give myself a treat before embarking on Lent is super huge!! However, I am concerned that I will relapse instead :( This evening, I finally gave in to buying bubble tea. Haiz.. I promised it will be the last one until I fly home during my birthday. For this Lent, one sure thing that I will give up is Starbucks which has become like a new addiction recently. Last year, I had drinks at Starbucks etc once every 2 months or so. Recently, I am having one every 2 weeks or so. So yeah, I have a reason too worry. Although the drinks do not seem to be as unhealthy as bubble tea, fast food, and junk food, I am sure they are loaded with tonnes of sugar too!
My biggest "addiction" problem is actually collecting toys. But I don't think I can survive not buying, especially since it is just a matter of time before I pre-order Shiraishi and Yukimura figurines from Kotobukiya ArtFX J New Prince of Tennis. Let's aim for something more possible. Haha..
Anyway, it has been a long time since I wrote anything about J-Pop. I officially cannot be bothered about AKB48 anymore after the departure more of the older faces. Their recent singles are mediocre at best. Koisuru Fortune Cookies is just so-so for me although the fan-made video gimmicks sort of hype up the single. I hate their subsequent single (Heart Electric/Heart Ereki). Their next single (Suzukake Nanchara) has quite a easy-listening tune but it sounds quite similar to their previous medium-tempo songs like Give Me Five!. After making the longest PV ever with their "So Long", they come with the longest song title ever:"Suzukake no Ki no Michi de 'Kimi no Hohoemi o Yume ni Miru' to Itte Shimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dō Kawatte Shimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nan-nichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Kihazukashii Ketsuron no Yō na Mono" (鈴懸の木の道で「君の微笑みを夢に見る」と言ってしまったら僕たちの関係はどう変わってしまうのか、僕なりに何日か考えた上でのやや気恥ずかしい結論のようなもの.With 76 Japanese characters, nobody will ever remember the full name and thus it is more well known in the short form Suzukake Nanchara. Surprisingly, AKB48's popularity remains undented with each single still selling more than 1 million. For me personally, they need new tunes and new concepts which make their earlier singles all sound different but yet interesting to listen and watch.
Sexy Zone released their second album, Sexy Second, on the 19 February. I find it quite disappointing as compared to their first album where I still can find a new nice songs and I find none in this second album. Sexy Zone went for a trip to Dubai and recorded a "new" video for バィバィDuバィ〜See you again〜 in Dubai. Honestly, this is much better than the official PV! If they released this as the official PV, perhaps I will like the song even more. Anyway, Dubai is AMAZING! The architecture and those man-made islands really blow me away. They also released a PV "We Gotta Go" together with the album. The PV is quite nice to watch as it only features the 5 of them and Sou and Marius are not as neglected as they were in their last 2 singles. The song is not that bad but I hate the parts where they go: "Everybody gotta go.. Everybody gotta go... We gotta go go go...". which I find very irritating and butcher the song. Perhaps I need to listen to the album a few more times to grow liking it.
Moving on to Hey! Say! JUMP! They released "Ride with Me" single on Christmas Day 2013 which I could not be bothered. Lol.. I don't know why but typically I hate HSJ's "cool" songs wor.. There are plenty of complaints from fans that HSJ is very slow when it comes to releasing singles and album. So it was a surprise when just more than a month later, they released not one, but 2 singles as double-A side. The singles are "AinoArika" and "Aisureba Motto Happy Life" and they released 2 PVs too.
I am a sucker for over-the-top orchestra so AinoArika score many points. I don't know why so many people praise Hikaru's rap here. I thought it did not really blend well with the song and sort of ruined the song for me. Another reason for liking this is that each member gets their own lines which is quite a rare thing for Keito and Ino in their past few singles. Yup, glad to see that they get more screen time.
The PV for Aisureba Motto Happy Life seems to be lazily made with rehash of ideas, themes, and colours from Come on a My House. Cleaning the house? Cooking? Decorating the house? Aren't they familiar? I thought Keito's PV performance has improved since he sang quite realistically in AinoArika but he got back to his "can't be bothered" lip-sync in this PV. Well, we all know that singers lip-sync when making their PV but the least that he can do is to pretend that he is singing for real :p
These double-A side singles show how versatile HSJ is. They can sing cool song and make cool PV for one single and then switch completely to a cutesy song.