2013 is only a few hours away here in the States! 2012 was a great year in the idol world, but I still hope this next year is even better. And judging by some of the previews already out, I think it will do just that. Let's check out some of what next month has in store:
Tasaki Asahi: "Tegami/Rolling Days"
Up-Front's new soloist will be debuting within the Satoyama Movement groups. And so far, she's pretty amazing. The full PV for "Tegami" was released earlier today through the official Satoyama channel, and it's pretty great. But what's great about it doesn't have much to do with the PV itself, but with how amazing Asahi is. Her voice is quite good--she has clearly had some training, and she also has a lot of natural talent to back that up. She's not going to be blowing out any windows any time soon, but she is a solid singer.
However, I was far more impressed with her piano skills. People are already comparing her (and Miyazaki Yuka) to Mano Erina because of this; however Asahi is in a whole 'nother GALAXY compared to Mano. Mano was and is a shitty pianist. She really is. She plays like a wooden robot, she has no sense of dynamics, and she has no feeling behind her music. Asahi, on the other hand, is just damn amazing. Every time she strikes a key, it's as if she's dancing with it. The way she plays is incredible, and for that reason alone, I highly recommend this release.
Morning Musume: "Help Me!!"
I'm really excited for this release, if nothing because it's Sakura's debut and OSHINESS. The song is solid, the choreography is amazing, and Mizuki is a badass. However, the PV is already shaping up to be another typical cheap H!P POS. The only reason I'm looking forward to the full release is to see Sakura. That's it. The PV is horrid.
And Riho sounds freaking awful. Other than that, though, yay!
Kikkawa Yuu: "Sekaijuu ni Kimi wa Hitori Dake / Valentine's Radio / Chocolate Damashii"
Holy triple A-side, Batman! Kikka's 6th single release is a really great compilation: all three of the songs seem to bring something different to the table. IF I had to put an alchemical element to each one, "Sekaijuu ni Kimi wa Hitori Dake would be air, "Valentine's Radio" would be fire, and "Chocolate Damashii" would be earth. Huh...like mixed-up disco...(I'M CLEVER, DAMMIT!!!) I very much like Kikka's take of Ayaya's last single, too. I personally thought the original release was kind of boring--granted, not much is being changed, but somehow Kikka's voice spices it up a little bit. Her first live DVD will be released the same day as the single.
BABYMETAL: "Ijime, Dame, Zettai"
BABYMETAL's first major single release comes out in a week!!! Hopefully this will not be the last we hear of BABYMETAL, as budding metal princess wunderkind Suzuka is rumored to be graduating from Sakura Gakuin this year. I would argue that this release isn't quite as strong as "Headbanger!!!", but it's still a very worthwhile single for all idol fans and metalheads out there.
Cheeky Parade: "Bunbun 9nine"
If you guys are looking to start the year off with some serious cuteness, this would be the single to do that. The PV is nothing special (more or less a dance shot), but the song is surprisingly fresh. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this group this year--they've got some great dancers and a couple girls who could put Momota Kanako's dimples to shame.
BiS to Dorothy Little Happy: "GET YOU"
My favorite upcoming release of 2013 so far, and the release which threw me into the merciless iron jaws of Yuffie and Mari oshiness. These groups have great chemistry together, even (perhaps especially) when playing the slap game.
Fudanjuku: "Jinsei Wahaha"
Although I love Fudanjuku's concept and would love to keep up with them more, they are a pain in the ass to keep track of. Nonetheless, their upcoming single sounds pretty damn great, and I'm definitely considering picking it up.
no3b: "Kirigirisu Jin"
no3b has always been pretty hit or miss for me. I loved "Kuchibiru Furezu" and "Kiss no Ryuusei," I hated "Answer" and "Pedicure Day." And for me, this song is a miss. The PV is okay, I guess, though it's more of the girls just doing a lot of what they do anyway. The song sounds like another AKB48 B-side, which isn't really my thing. But it's not terrible.
bump.y: "Cosmo no Hitomi"
The little group with big star power returns! "Cosmo no Hitomi" starts off pretty slow and generic-sounding, but wait past the intro--it gets pretty good. I'm not incredibly impressed with the choreography, but I love the telescope theme. Basically anything involving space is awesome.
And is it just me, or did Matsuri grow like a foot in the past year?
(Edit: "And is it just me, or did Matsuri grow, like, a foot in the past year?" Punctuation is everything. Commas are important, guys. Feet don't grow that impressively, but your grammar skills can. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! :D )
dempagumi.inc: "Fuyu e to Hashiridasu!"
The Beastie Girls return with their cute rapping skills and neato PVs. I'm a sucker for slice-of-life and self- filmed PVs, and this one kind of combines both of those styles. This is a great song for you if you love the cuteness of 4-nin S/mileage and the cheeky energy of SUPER GIRLS combined with a little of the insanity of BiS.
Dancing Dolls: "Wangan Wonder Darling / Raspberry Love"
This song kind of seems like the lovechild of a lot of 80s girl power anthems and some iconic Studio Ghibli songs. Weird, yes. Intriguing? Definitely. The audio quality of this is pretty tinny, but after listening to it a couple times, I think I'm warming up to it.
I'm still eagerly awaiting PV previews from SKE48 and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, as they also are released this month. GAAAAH SO MUCH AWESOMENESS!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!
....Now I shall go whisper sweet nothings to my wallet as it weeps softly in a corner.