Restarting the Old Rusty Engine
(For the 2nd Time too)

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Nacchi New Single Cancelled But....

I may have mistaken. It seems that the promotion has begun already. The single is probably NOT cancelled. It is the SALES RELEASE only, on the October 4th sales that is cancelled. Sooooo, yes, it could probably be released later in other works, such as compilation albums or such. Strange, strange....

The promotion and performance at Melodix

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Abe Natsumi - Amasugita Kajitsu Single Cancelled

Abe Natsumi's latest single "Amasugita Kajitsu" was cancelled. Bah!

No reason explained. presumes that it will be released in other works, however. I downloaded the song from Hello! Online. Sounds just like a Nacchi single.

It was announced on the day before my birthday, about this new song, and a live performance to be held on the 18th of October. A live acoustic performance even. Well, I thought to myself "It's about time!". There has been a huge hype about our miracle-girl Koharu for so long, and the fantastic response towards her first solo "Koi Kana". I was afraid for the other girls being neglected. TO say that I am not bothered on the fact that Koharu's single sold more copies than Nacchi and the other H!P works, would be a lie. So I was happy about this announcement.

In the end, it was worse than having poor sales. It was suspended. Perhaps whoever that is producing this single (don't think it was Tsunku) suddenly remembered the sales figures for her previous singles wasn't that favourable so they decided to recall the release. Dang!
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Goto Maki's Celeb Blog

Hello! Online has started something very interesting. Now these extraordinary guys at HPS translation team have gone and started a section that will constantly translate Goto Maki's celeb blog, and will update the Hello!Journal.

For those of you guys who don't know japanese but wanted to know what she's up to these days, go to Hello!Online and view it there. Oh, and sign up while you're there.

For those who do know japanese, visit her official blog here: and her official site here:

There has been a norm for celebrities to keep a blog for the fans to view. It's a simple and effective way of promoting themselves and self-appeal to the fans out there dying to know their daily thoughts. Goto Maki is not the first. Utada Hikaru had started one long time ago. There are many others, like Santos Anna (Bon Bon Blanco), Asuka Hinoi (Hinoi Team), Shokotan, even AV Idol legend Sora Aoi. Happy reading!
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dinner Show at Nara - Nothing Happened...

Tsunku came, Tsunku saw, Tsunku even ate, but Tsunku left without leaving anything for us Aibon-hungry fans.

The highly anticipated announcement about Kago Ai's fate at the dinner show at Nara never took place. The streets of the cyber forums went amok, everyone was almost sure that Aibon will never come back. Well no announcement is maybe better, if the announcement is a negative one of course.

So what's next?

Most comments I found, and most fans agree, since Aibon is not part of the Winter Tour 2007 show, is that she may never return this year, but maybe after she reaches 20 years of age. Not good at all.

Being realistic, observing the common lawful usage of contracts, is that UFA may want to stall the activity of Aibon, until her contract expires. Then she may be released after that. Or she may be released prematurely with a certain amount of compensation. Compensation not to Aibon may be, cos one may argue that Aibon breached the contract in terms of personal conduct. UFA may need to continue compensate all related parties for monetary loss, however. Like the music publications and stuff.

If you want to be hopeful, here are some points to consider, based on my personal observation:

1) Aibon's profile is still in H!P site. She may return later. If she is deemed to be terminated, her profile should be long gone by now. H!P is very effective when it comes to such things. Konno Asami's references have been removed entirely from the artist list though her pictues remained intact (can't be helped)
2) Tsuji did not get any solo act. Though she is scheduled to a variety of activities such as Hello! Morning, variety show appearances, FLETS, concerts, etc. She has never been scheduled for any musical project. You see, she is never considered to be a solo artist. Like Ishikawa Rika, Tsuji doesn't have a personal artist bio in Hello! Project nor Up Front Works. So W is the only way for her to perform. You can't have Tsuji act as a variety idol for 2 years, can you? (Err, well maybe you can, looking at Yaguchi Mari's current condition. But that's different) Therefore, we may expected Tsuji to be able to perform when W is reactivated, along with Aibon or when Aibon is replaced with someone else.
3) There's that link about the suspension of Aibon and W activities, as mentioned before. And it's STILL there, lingering on the front page 'Topics' and the news list. What gives? H!P wants us to forget about Aibon, but not wanting us to forget her entirely? It's just not natural, you have an old link mixing around with the newer news. Something is brewing. I just know it.

Right now, I'm sadly listening to the continuous loop of W's rendition of "Matsu wa" (I will wait)...
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Life after Konkon and Mako-chan

It's been a month and more since the graduation of two of the probably most underrated members in Morning Musume, Konno Asami and Ogawa Makoto. So how's life with Morning Musume without them?

Morning Musume has now become more of a variety group more than music artists now. After the finish of the stage musical tour Ribbon no Kishi, this seems more apparent. There were many activities in queue. The bunkasai cultural festival, the anti global warming campaign, Ecology Environment Culture festival, radio shows, the World Volleyball promotion etc. Their focus have now taken a different direction. No longer riding on the fading fame that they have attained during their "golden era". Personally, I don't know if it is a good thing, because I would prefer to see them in performance, than promoting campaigns. Yes, their appearances have their firmed up their existance more than other idol groups, but that has probably caused fans turn their attention to other groups for performance-entertainment. Many have started to think that their popularity has declined, and will inevitably disband someday. "Nothing is forever" I would say, but I want to see how far they would go before they do.

As for Konkon and Mako-chan, well... there may have been many speculations to their "real reason" behind their graduation. Yes, it is officially reported that Konkon is graduating from Momusu to concentrate on her studies, and she is aiming to enter a university. Mako-chan wants to study language abroad. But many have thought otherwise. Here is what I have heard so far:

- They are involved in some romantic scandal and are prematurely removed before any more development.
- Their producer Tsunku, had just got married to a former model, and it is said that it is under her influence that the "ugly ones" need to be filtered out of Momusu.
- Konkon has been partying around and drinking too. To avoid this being discovered and turned into scandal news, she is terminated early.
- Konkon and Makoto do not forsee a favourable future with Momusu if they stayed longer to graduate, as they are kept in the background most of the time. So they decided to plan for their own future.

These are just rumours and speculations, and even though they have even appeared on the newspapers, most deem this to be publicity stint for their own press company. I have the scans of those clippings, but I do not want be seen as jumping the wagon in order to get more hits for my blog. So I'll let you guys search for it yourselves, it shouldn't be hard to find based on the point I have here. Good luck!

On a separate note,
Konno Asami: She is still in Japan preparing for her pre-university examinations. She is spotted recently with Tsuji Nozomi attending a AAA concert together. Some people had taken raw pictures of them and are auctioning them at Yahoo!. Strange to see Hello!Project artists attending an Avex concert. They are supposed to be rival companies.
And Ogawa Makoto: It is reported from someone had spotted her at New Zealand. I'm skeptical about it, but I'll let you guys decide if it was fact, fluke or fiction. Read it here. Don't worry, the English excerpts are there too.

Hmm.... I seem to be sourcing from WHG a lot these days. But that's because that BBS has Japanese news by the Japanese themselves.
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Monday, September 18, 2006

Unreleased W songs sung by Nono at a backstage or something...

Source from WHG

Conversation about the unreleased W(Double U) songs, with Tsuji Nozomi, Fujimoto Miki and a H!P staff, and Nono sang bits of it. The audio file is removed, but I have downloaded it. Will upload it somewhere and post the link.
EDIT: Here it is...

The unreleased songs seems to be quite good, hearing from the short bit sung by Nono there. I wish I was a H!P staff too so I can smuggle them out. It appears that Nono is still lamenting over the suspension of Aibon. She really wanted Aibon back, don't think she can accept a replacement for Aibon.

Translation below. Let me know if you find a mistake.

Tsuji: (It's a) single, a single
Fujimoto: Ah, it's a single eh?
Tsuji: (Singing)Hito suji na de wa chotto, te ni oemasen koto
Fujimoto: Sing that one more time?
Unknown Staff: Oh, that's *mystical. That's a *mystical song but surprisingly can be accepted/used.
Tsuji: Can it, really? I would really hate it if any other (girl) sing this.
Staff: Because it's THE infamous 'unreleased song".
Tsuji: Oh man, I really love this new song. (singing) Asa mo ha yo kara, sashi komu hikari
But then... (Fujimoto and staff saying something)yeah, yeah.... Furthermore, this song is sung together, not messy at all. It's no mixed up, sung there and then with one take.
Fujimoto: eeh~~, that's great
Tsuji: It's not like I'm here and she's there, and we recorded separately...
Fujimoto: uh huh...
Tsuji: Everything was recorded while looking at each other's face, matching (the rhythm of)our breath
Fujimoto: it OK now? our turn?
Tsuji: Yeah...

Note: *mystical - literally means "mystical" or "illusion" but that's not what it meant there. The meaning is more like "elusive". Like something you heard of or have imagined, but never really come in contact with... Bah! I can't find the right word for it.


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

News(?) for Aibon...

So I was hanging around, thought that I'd crawl the site to check out the individual html pages for extra info....and then I got the shock of my life. There is an entry on 15 September 2006 about Aibon! Is she announced for retirement??!!!

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....however, when I click on it, it redirects to the old February announcent of her suspension. Phew!........ ah, but then again, it could mean one of the following:

- There is new development on the status for Aibon, the webmaster is preparing the links already.
- There is a mistake made on the webmaster's housekeeping of the site.
- It is only a temporary placeholder of links or an unused page.
- a staff on H!P is playing a goddamn prank.

I'm still in half-state of shock. It just proves that how unprepared I am for Aibon's verdict.

Hello!Project News
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Curious Nono...

I mentioned a bit about Tsuji Nozomi's new show. Yes, Nono has been assigned to a new programme called "Curious Nono", which has already begun.

Announcement from Hello! Project

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTsuji Nozomi new programme "Curious Nono" will be start on 8th September at Flet's Square's "Hello!Project Platinum BB".

The special programme "Curious Nono" will be hosted by highly curious Tsuji Nozomi, where she showcase her fullest energy. The theme for September is "acting".

Nono will meet all situations the best she can. September transmission schedule are 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29.

Furthermore Hello!Project on Flets will also re-open on October. Stay tuned also for the beginning of a new programme corner.

Beginning 9/15 "Hello! Project Official Shop" the photos of Tsuji Nozomi's "Curious Nono" will be on sale.

Check it out!

Watched some clippings on YouTube. Seems like the good ol' Tsuji Nozomi doing her thing, showing her crazy antics and stuff on a green screen set.

Behind the Scenes and Intro by Nono
Nono's Air Guitar performance

Really funny! Kinda weird to see a 19 year old doing this, but that's the forever-young Nono for you. Good luck to her!
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Bringing Back Aibon 3

Good lord, it's midnight now, and I'm still here, frantically searching for news about the fate of my girl, Kago Ai.

All my net buddies are all a panicky about Aibon's fate, and has believed that Tsunku's visit to Nara is to announce the retirement of Aibon. It seems the speculation about Aibon's future has gone wild.

The current situation is like this -> Aibon has gone back to her hometown in Nara, as urged by her father. And so far she has been a good girl helping the family out with chores, such as shopping and fetching her brother from school. But there are several points of concern:

- Aibon has not kept up with her dancing and singing lessons
- The management UFA have not released any development on the status of Aibon
- Aibon is not involved in the upcoming event of Hello! Project Winter Tour
- Her partner in W, Tsuji Nozomi has been given a new show called "Curious Nono", which shows that her own work schedule has been taken care of and is unaffected by the scandal

And with these few points and more, I believe that the Japanese media logically speculated that Tsunku's visit to Nara on a dinner show will include an announcement that Aibon be retired from showbiz.

However, I submit the following arguments to this fact, and that we all should be more hopeful.
- Aibon has not tendered resignation (she IS still under contract)
- Her profile have not been taken off the Hello!Project official site
- There is stil the case of a huge sum of money loss to be considered, should Aibon and W(Double U) be suspended, an estimated amount of 100 million yen worth of activities, CDs and tours.

There are other speculated possibilities of the outcome flying around the net:
- Aibon is suspended until she's 20 years old (the legal age of smoking in Japan)
- Nono will be teamed up with a new partner in order to continue W's works.
- Aibon is activated but given non-performance schedules. (Like Mari Yaguchi)

Therefore and nevertheless, I'm still optimistic, until the final verdict.

Now I'm surfing the Japanese sites for more news, in hopes of finding much genuine information, since Japan is closer to the situation then us here overseas. And so far nothing too negative has been found. All I have found so far has just echoed all that we have known by now. Wish me luck.

Read source from here
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bringing Back Aibon 2

Let's be fair, there are other smokers around in Hello!Project.

Found out there are other Hello!Project members that smokes too. Not only Aibon.

Yaguchi Mari
Fujimoto Miki
Nakazawa Yuko
Abe Natsumi
Matsuura Aya
Gotoh Maki

I bet some of you guys are shocked to see Ayaya and Mikitty's name in the list. But then again they are all of age. But why is that Aibon gets more attention? Because she has taken a puff before the legal age of 20? I find that there is more to that.

It is also because Aibon has built a squeeky clean image for herself since her Morning Musume days. Her works and songs are all that. But by smoking, she has thrown all of it out the window, shattering all that clean and cute image. This will of course damage the outcome of sales and the reputation/image of the company. In the USA, she probably have been sued by now. So as you can see, it's not only personal. It's business.

What about the others in the list above then? They already have their share of scandals and rumours of romantic links and so forth. (Yes it's true) Their image are not (well, not all the time) built on the template of cuteness and innocence. Try to imagine a smoking Aibon while she sings "Aa Ii na" and "Robo Kiss".
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But after all that, I will always remember all her past deeds, sacrifices and effort that she has put in, and all her 6 years of youth that she had surrendered to UFA. Which is why I am always ready to forgive her if she comes back... repentently of course.

Source from .
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bringing Back Aibon...

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingKago Ai, 18 years old, sub-leader of W, ex-Morning Musume member, my point of focus in the Hello!Project family of cuteness, rebelliousness, simple-mindedness and notorious prankster.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It's been half a year since she got suspended from smoking underage. And I'm starting to wonder if H!P is keen on bringing her back.

For those who don't know who she is, go google her up. You can't miss it. Even her smoking scandal story was right on top with it.

Now I'm a smoker, I know the consequences of it and the benefits of it. Yeah, there are benefits, and it works well if youuse it to your advantage but that's another story.

In Aibon's case, she was smoking while underage and that's against the law. For her trouble, she was suspended, all her current work stopped, CD & scheduled appearances cancelled, references to her are removed.

I'm a big fan of Aibon and I'm really dissapointed with her actions, not up to the point of burning her pics though. We all know she's quite the rebel, but she should have used her brains before smoking in public. Apparently somebody from the restaurant saw through her disguise, and notified the Friday press. (For a couple of bucks, maybe)

H!P and UFA did their job suspending her, in interest of protecting their image and to set an example for the other kids. But her suspension has been longer than Abe Natsumi on plagiarising literature workds, which in my view is a much more serious offence.

News are flying about Tsunku announcing the fate of Aibon on the month of September, when he visit Nara (Aibon's hometown) for a meeting. It's coming to the mid of the month, and I'm still hopeful for the Tsunku's calling for the press conference.

Good luck, Aibon...

Go to IkiMasshoi for more news.
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Saturday, September 09, 2006

About H!P Hello Non-Pro Hour

H!P Hello Non-Pro Hour is where I discuss Hello! Project and Morning Musume news and stuff. As the name implies, I was greatly inspired by Hello! Project's Hello Pro Hour show, and took its name to christen the blog. (^o^)/

HNPH contains my take on the current and past H!P and MM activities, with reference to the many sources I go. Like everyone else, I still at a journey of discovery in the world of JPop, and Hello! Project in particular. This blog documents every bit of change, news and incidents that I find interesting.

However, doing this alone gradually became a little taxing now, so I have invited two new writers to this blog

Finally, this blog wouldn't be anywhere without all you readers and commentors. Thanks so much for the support and for checking back! (^_^)v

There is where I am in the rest of the cyber-world.

Love and Peace ^_^

Jin Ryuichi
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