I think I'm becoming a truer idol fan. I'm sinking a lot more time into catching up with all the girls and their releases. This year, I started to notice some girls I hadn't before, and I'm really excited about that. Kind of giddy, actually. Hello! Project has truly been reborn this year, and in a very good way. And because of this wonderful, auspicious turn of events, I have the opportunity to do something I love way way way too much: MAKING LISTS!!
MARA'S TOP 5 H!P IDOLS OF 2011:
#5: Sudo Maasa
oh yes oh yes oh hell yes), but this year has been great for her somehow. She was a rather entertaining presence on the idol showdown game show (made infamous for its hilarious Momo-abuse), and she was a damn trooper for taking that horrible comment about her weight.
Maasa is one of my favorites to watch on Hello! Pro Time. She's funny, strangely spontaneous, and has this interesting air of both badassery and warm fuzzy happies that make me smile. Whether she has the camera or it's just being stuck in her face, she always delivers.
I really hope she gets a DVD soon. A second PB would be nice too. Very, very, mucho nice-o.
#4: Nakanishi Kana
What Kana does have is a killer personality that I've just fallen all over. Kana is so clueless about anything dealing with the entertainment industry. Her photoshoot for Tachiagaaru was so funny to watch because of all her weird vampire poses and claw hands. She also interacts wonderfully with her senpai (when she's not busy stalking Yuuka). She's a natural in that department.
Kana may be a terrible singer and have two left feet, but she has been practicing her ass off so she can make it in the group she loves. That endears her to me.
#3: Okai Chisato
Beyond her ferosh talent and killer body though, I love how genuine Chisato is. She is one of those idols who I think would be the same off-camera as she is on, and I hope she doesn't change that. She's not a girly girl, she's not a princess, and she's not a happy bubbly person all the time. And she's still awesome.
I wouldn't mind seeing her go solo someday. She's got the personality and stage presence for it. Seriously, watch her live. Girl knows how to work a crowd.
#2: Hagiwara Mai
Mai is a very entertaining idol to watch. She has a really big personality and a commanding presence on camera, and her interactions with Aika a couple weeks ago made me love them both even more. I really like her devil-may-care personality. While Japanese fans may not take to her infamous mouthing off to her senpai, I find it rather charming. But maybe that's because I also have authority issues.
The girl is also a helluva dancer. I'd almost venture to say she's better than Nakky. O_O
#1: Wada Ayaka
Ayaka has gone from being one of my least favorite members to my third favorite S/mileage member because she has shown so much personality and drive this year, and that could not have been easy. She lost two good friends, and went through a surprise, soul-crushing audition and the loss of a fantastic kouhai. And she's still keeping the smiles on everyone's faces without complaint.
She released a great PB (no, really, it's awesome) this year, and a really playful image DVD. I would love for her to do a summer-themed one soon--she's a sunny summer girl. And a great miniskirt postwoman <3
HONORABLE MENTION: TAKAHASHI AI
Before this year, Ai was always one of the members in MM I noticed because of her incredible talent (and yes, dat ass), but she was always middling in terms of how much I liked her as an idol. But as I watched more and more of her past material, that je ne sais quoi crept into the back of my mind, luring me to the Aibutt side of the force. With this year being her last year in Morning Musume, Ai was able to relax a lot and show more of her true self to the fans and the members. Girl had been holding back on us, and that made this entire last year with her so memorable and fantastic.
Ai is now one of my favorite all-time idols of anything, and honestly, someone I regard as one of the most genuinely beautiful people in the whole freaking world. She's got a big heart, and, as she has shown since her graduation, a big brain and a forward-thinking outlook on life and music. Looking at her last photobook reminds me of how inspired I am by her. She chased her dreams and never looked back, and I am so glad I "got to know" her before she graduated. While I do miss seeing her on stage with Morning Musume, I love seeing her fulfill her dreams out in the big world even more.
HONORABLE MENTION #2: YOU GUYS!!
All you gorgeous, lovely readers out there have made it possible for my mom to pay her water bill and stock her fridge so far this year. Thank you so much for all you have given, and continue to give. Your kindness for the mother of some weird stranger out in the ass end of nowhere has been the best gift I've ever gotten.