So.... how did everyone deal with the recent news on our dearest Kago Ai?
For me, I went karaoke, on that same day itself. Dai Manzoku!
The next few days after was hectic, occupied with lots of office work and personal stuff as well. But nevertheless, I'm still thinking about last Friday. :)
It was the first time I stepped into a 100% Japanese karaoke. It's called Yumekukan - 夢空間. It's located at Plaza Mont Kiara, obviously to serve Japanese karaoke-goers. They're customer-base range from school kids to executives. I've never stepped inside because I don't have anyone to go with me. It wasn't the first time I sing Japanese in karaoke, but the company of people I go only sing Canto-pop and Mando-pop songs (I'm always the odd one in the group). Furthermore, the other karaoke boxes have limited Japanese songs, and very outdated. In fact, they have at most two Morning Musume songs - "The Peace" and "Love Machine". Yumekukan have almost one full page of 'em, not counting the other Hello! Project acts. In terms of recency, the songs date up till "Aruiteru". A pity, I would picked "Egao YES Nude". :)
The interior of Yumekukan is pretty much like any karaoke box that I went before. But the only difference is that it absolutely CLEAN. They've got only 8 rooms at this place, but sufficient enough to sustain them for 6 years. The menu and rates are expensive, but they are the only Japanese karaoke for miles around.
But enough with the advertising... they didn't pay me for this... ^_^
So I checked in with chu3nii, only the two of us. We sang for 3 hours, and extended 1 hour after that. If it wasn't for the expensive rates, I would have gone for a 7 hour marathon - just like Reina would. (Trivia: Tanaka Reina mentioned that she once went for karaoke for more than 5 hours ALONE, in the 19th episode of Hello Pro Hour show)
The whole night, I sang more non-H!P songs. Cos' it would look darn silly singing "Go Girl - Koi no Victory" all by myself. Chu3nii even asked me to sing "Shabondama". I didn't have enough time, otherwise I'll choose some Berryz Koubou ones. :)
Some H!P songs that I sang:
W (DoubleU) - Shiroi Iro wa Koibito no Iro [ Lyrics ]
Matsuura Aya - Happiness [ Lyrics ]
Mini Moni - Minimoni Telephone! Rin Rin Rin - [ Lyrics ] v(^o^)v
... and I couldn't find Kusumi Koharu's "Balalaika", nor Momusu's "Odore! Morning Curry". :)
At some point, I suddenly thought of Yaguchi Mari's performance at the Uta Doki show and her fantastic rendition of "Touch" (タッチ / Tacchi) - by Yoshimi Iwasaki. It was the theme song of an anime/manga of the same title "Touch". That was my best song of the night.
Overall, it was a fun experience. If chu3nii comes to my neighbourhood again, I'll be sure to go back there with her again.
Two negative points to highlight:
1) The backing music for the karaoke songs are not the original music. It sounded like it was produced by some independent musicians. So there are some discrepancies in terms of tempo, and sound.
2) The videos playing in the background are not the original PVs. What we see are also self-produced videos, where some are reminiscence of those J-Doramas scenes that we always watch on video.
We concluded that, while the karaoke boxes do pay for the royalties and copyright for using the songs, there are further copyright charges to be imposed should they use the original PV and music. To avoid that, the karaoke music and backing video are self-produced.
The end result ain't too bad. I mean, compared to those American oldies karaoke where the backing music are played with some old Casio keyboards, with a backing video of some random tourism sceneries and some girl walking around with a straw hat trying too look cool and breezy... It ain't too bad, really.
I wonder if it was the same in Japan........