My my, theres so many things that I could say about H!P this year. Really, its been a heck of a ride. I can imagine many huge H!P fanatics having lost interest in it all, with the various graduations everywhere and the overall change of style that H!P gave off(although it has been something gradual ever since 2007). But I can also see H!P gaining a ton of new fans with various hits and the new units introduced this year, including the various revival units.
Release wise, 2009 had a TON of singles. Not only by its three flagship groups(three now, instead of just Momosu, which also since 2007 has been losing it’s priority as the main H!P representive), but by Mano Erina, S/mileage, Guardians 4, etc… Albums, while not as plentiful, actually proved to be quite enjoyable, though not without its flaws.
I must also mention the other type of breakthroughs this year brought. Morning Musume finally reaching #1 on the Oricon’s, selling as much or higher than Kanashimi Twilight with their Nanchatte Renai single, and of course, having gone to the Anime Expo in LA(which till today still haunts me in my dreams). We, as H!P fans, should really be proud of ourselves for having to had lived through the horror and joy that has been H!P this year.
Of course, the J-Pop idol market isn’t just H!P’s, we can’t forget about their suddenly more successful rivals, AKB48. Not let’s be blunt, AKB48 absolutely owned H!P this year, which ever way you put it. Sales, releases, stability, fan base, etc… and quite frankly, they deserved it. The way their singles are promoted is less than epic, with story-lines in their PV’s, catchy songs that no one could ever mimic and various little projects that just add to their fanbases’ delight.
Buono! – Buono! 2 | Morning Musume。- Platinum 9 DISC | Mano Erina – FRIENDS
AKB48 – 10nen Zakura | Buono! – Bravo☆Bravo | Buono! – MY BOY
Buono! – Buono! 2 | Mano Erina – Otome no Inori | Buono! – Take It Easy!
AKB48 – 10nen Zakura | Berryz Kobo – Ryuusei Boy | Buono! – MY BOY
AKB48 | Buono! | Morning Musume。
AKB48 – RIVER | Morning Musume。- Shouganai Yume Oibito | AKB48 – 10nen Zakura
Choosing this was no problem at all. I think that with RIVER, AKB48 not only set the bar for the best idol song of the year, but gave an example to H!P just exactly how a release should be. The powerful music video, the epic clapping opening of the song, the actual song itself, it’s originality, presence, everything is just so overwhelming about the song that it might even be too much for idol group novices. Congrats to AKB48 for releasing something so amazing, and they definitely got a good response, becoming their best-selling single and reaching #1 with 200k+ sold.
No, not 7-nin, nor 5-nin, but 6-nin. Upon Kanna’s official leave of the group, C-ute just felt weird, awkward and without a proper identity. If one notices, almost EVERY C-ute cover features Kanna and Erika in similar spots, the ends, edges, corners, back row, etc… However you put it, it wasn’t hard ot tell that those two were both the “dead weight” of the group and even though it seems harsh, it’s the truth. So thus Erika was now pasted upon the group, looking left out(the Bye Bye Bye! Single V cover) and still not getting anymore lines than the usual. Apart from that, the groups sound had an awful turn for the worst, releasing that forgettable cover and then a yucky 80’s inspired generic pop song. Now that we have 5-nin C-ute, we can only hope things get better, though everything would just be better if neither girls left.
I simply couldn’t deny giving this to Erina. She has really given it her all this year, whether she have the best vocals or not, or if her singles really are that great. She debuted majorly this year, having released 3 indie singles in 2008 and a grand total of 5 singles plus an album, with a new single already planned for next February. Her consistency is really quite impressive and we’ve learned that she’s not afraid to change her musical style, having branched off her typical ballad-y/soft piano songs seen in her earlier releases to funner, bouncier tracks, even though they are void of her piano playing. I’m hoping that next year she will improve her vocals further and try even more new musical styles. Three cheers for H!P’s sole soloist!
There you have it. The best(and worst) of H!P & AKB48 all summarized for you. I can’t wait until 2009 gets going so I can have that sensational feeling again. You know, the one you get when the previews for Morning Musume’s new single come out, along with the covers. ;D You know you can’t deny it. Stay tuned for the winners in the J-Pop and K-Pop category~