Dear Ai Takahashi,

You are not of Latin heritage, and neither is the song Cosmos. Not attempting to mimic Momoe was a good choice, at least, since she’s a bit out of your league, and you did deliver the best vocal performance on the album.

Keep an eye on Linlin, though; with better material and some practice, Junior Panda could eat you.

Dear Hello!Project,

Korea is kicking your ass.


Summer Princess

Mikako Takahashi is one of many voice actresses (Kasumi Tani from Hand Maid May, Rushuna from Grenadier, etc) who also sings. I’m rather fond of her ED song from HMM (Honto no Kimochi, “My True Feelings”), so when I noticed that she released two albums last year, I added them to my list for a future purchase from Amazon Japan.

I finally got around to buying them, and while my initial impression of the songs is mixed, I can find nothing to dislike about the pictures…

Especially the red dress and the bikini…


Dear Melon Kinenbi,

Street cred fail.


Dear Younha,

I understand that your musical career has had a great deal of success in Japan as well as your native Korea (as it should; you’re quite talented), but you seem to have picked up a few things from the Japanese that are best avoided.


A glint of silver

The oddly-named band Bump of Chicken has had a number of hits in Japan, with their songs being used in commercials, games, anime, and, of course, my reading class. Not all of it is to my taste, but I liked the latest one enough to pick up the album last time I was in Kinokuniya.

The designer was an asshole. The front, back, and spine are snow white, with lightly embossed text. Until you get it out of the shrink-wrap, it’s almost impossible to tell that there is text on the cover, much less figure out what it says.

But the fun doesn’t end there. A while back, I complained about the moron who decided to print the liner notes for Aya Matsuura’s latest album in 6-point gothic kanji, including one illegible song that had white text on a light-gray, color-halftoned background. The halftoning made sure that you couldn’t even scan it and blow it up to a reasonable size; the text just disappeared into the dots.

The person responsible for the liner notes in Present from you avoided the halftone trap by printing the lyrics on a nice, clean white background. In 6-point metallic silver ink. Unless you’re under carefully-diffused lighting, you can’t even get an entire line of text to show up clearly at the same time, and the eyestrain from reading 6-point reflective type is insane.

The only good news is that metallic silver is a spot ink, not a process color, so if my scanner can cope with the reflections, I can blow it up to a decent size and hack the contrast into something legible.

Master of Slut-Fu

[Update: I really ought to finish watching all of the DVDs I already own, namely トランプ. I knew I’d seen her hair like that before… (this concert also includes an energetic and lightly-clad performance by Mai Satoda and Ayaka)]

Original, extremely girly version of the song here. Even in this one, Boss Siatou’s curves makes her stand out like, well, the only grownup in a room full of 15-year-olds.

I’ve seen her do the song in concert in the original style, but I hadn’t known about this:

Or this:


Melons in a nutshell

I think the first thirty seconds of this clip perfectly defines the roles of the four members of Melon Kinenbi. I can just see them raiding the wardrobe dungeon together to come up with these outfits: Smoky, Quirky, Psycho, and Bambi.

[…and when you add this clip, it’s clear that Boss Saitou is the true Master Of Slut-Fu.]

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”