(among other things...)
Someone pinch me, I am a Mano fan. Somewhere between Genkimono de Ikou and the creepy blood letters on her most recent PB cover, I lost my will to continue living life without pledging eternal love and my most reverent of ogling to Mano.
Not to mention all the happiness my ears now have.
I really don't know why I wandered over to a Mano thread on a forum somewhere, but I did. I perused, I found things, I began to wonder where my life had gone wrong. Mano touched my heart and led me to her awesomeness. I will never be the same CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!
"Doki Doki Baby/Tasogare Kouseten" was an incredible release. I don't care what you think of Mano, you have to admit that this single was quality in every aspect. I have loved all of her singles since Haru no Arashi to varying degrees, but this one is as close to perfect as idol music can get. Mano has developed some incredible pipes and learned to work with the lilting quality of her voice. Seriously, the younger members could benefit from whatever the hell it is she's been doing.
If you pay attention to 2010-on Mano, you'll realize where all of the good music-y things in H!P have been going. Sure, her second album last year-ish was fairly mediocre (I listened to maybe half of it and haven't really gone back for more than a guilty clandestine listen to "Onegai Dakara"), but seriously, checking out "More Friends Over" is mandatory. This is an album that actually *gasp* sounds like a freaking album instead of a fan service compilation. As much as I loved 12, smart, it really wasn't put together like an album unless you count all the Ai references. "More Friends Over" actually has flow to it, along with quality songs, believe it or not. There was only a song and a half on the entire album that I'd consider skipping. That and the fact that Doki Doki wasn't on it are really its only bad points. Somewhere along the line, Mano got good.
Mano is also one of the few performers in the current H!P lineup who has real, professional control of her voice. Seriously, take a look at this performance:
Only Miyabi and Chisato (and Riho in the future) are this consistent in their performances. That and, come on. She is completely mesmerizing to watch. This is one of my favorite H!P performances I've ever seen. She has a charm to her that I've never noticed before because, silly sinner me, I've never cared enough to look.
I care now, and I think you all should too. Here, have some Mano ear candy!