So it’s been a little while since my last post; I’ve since been stuck with a lot of work, followed by a nice little break, which I spent back at home being absolutely lazy and enjoying every minute of that. Last night, we had a big dinner for a good bunch of my relatives, so there I was, sitting in the parlor with my laptop, and I found myself watching the H!P Eggs Concert while my family argued back and forth about the Red Sox/Indians baseball game. Just to create a little amusing scene for you all– imagine “Strawberry Pie-yi-yi-yi-yi-ya-yi, strawberry pie, oh strawberry pie!” harmonizing with fevered shouts of “GAGNE?! THEY’RE SENDING IN GAGNE?! Game’s over, we’re doomed.”

 I’ve actually watched the H!P Eggs Shinjin Kouen Concert quite a bit before then. It’s not rare, though, that when I settle down to do some work, I’ll throw on a concert to listen to instead of the original music. It sure as hell is more DISTRACTING than listening to music alone, but it’s a lot more entertaining! So it’s not a new thing, but what I’ve found with the Eggs Concert is that it REALLY commands a lot of attention from me when I happen to play it, and small parts of the concert will get stuck in my head. Not just an entire song– just little lines said by certain Eggs. It’s a little annoying, actually, to have ONE LINE running through your head an entire day, but I’ve just had to accept the fact that these Eggs just have some mysterious power over me right now.

I was SO much more impressed with them than I expected to be. Sure, there were really rough spots, but I was more impressed than not. The reason I brought up watching the concert amid the chaos of family chatter last night was that THAT viewing of the concert that finally gave me the inspiration to write up a post about some of the moments and particular Eggs that really captured my attention from that concert.

Some of those girls just came out of nowhere and wowed me with their stage presence, or singing skills, or dancing skills, or all three. One that really impressed me in all of those categories was Tanaka Anri.

The girl had really never caught my attention before. Not that she had much of a chance to– she wasn’t exactly the most involved Egg– not involved in Tomoiki or Ongaku Gatas or anything like that. But wow, did she totally grab my attention in this one. I’d caught glimpses of her in the big group songs throughout the concert, but it wasn’t until the performance of “Osaka Koi no Uta” came that she really COMMANDED my attention. I honestly think that this girl has the most potential out of all the Eggs. Where Eggs like Nocchi are already performing at 100% and giving it their all every time, ones (or should I say one? No one else impressed me QUITE as much!) like Anri here still have things to work on, but their potential is seriously impressive. The performance of this song was the best one out of the entire concert, I think, so I was glad to find it up on Youtube to share with you all!

In the embedded version above, at ~2:57, you can see Anri dancing in the background, and she gives this fantastic knowing smirk that just oozes confidence that I was really taken aback by. (My apologies for the quality of the upload, but hey, it’s Youtube, I can’t ask for too much. If you can’t make it out too well, trust me, that smile is amazing.) At ~2:47, you finally get to hear her voice. It’s a tiny, tiny line, but you start getting a feel for what she sounds like; not too impressive at first, but just wait for it– at her next line, “naa, shikata nai de katasanda yo,” you can hear Anri’s awesomeness in full force– at ~2:34. She is absolutely fierce. When I heard that line, I was really, really in awe. My first reaction was, “That girl may become the best singer in the Eggs.” And I really think she can be. With some more vocal training, she can really harness the power that she’s playing with right now. At ~01:38, you see more of that surprising confidence– “itsumo issho no anta ga” with a knowing eyebrow raise and a wink.

The rest of the performance is sadly lacking in fantastic Anri close-ups. Because of the division of the parts, the entire performance just leaves you wanting to hear more from some of the girls. I just wish she had, by some miracle, gotten Takahashi’s parts instead of them being given to Ogawa Saki, the little one there. I’m not the biggest Ogawa Saki fan (not to hate on her or anything, she is just an Egg after all, but I’m just not convinced) and she got a huge push in that concert– she was front and center all the time, got a bunch of smaller-group songs, and was even in a trio with Mitsui Aika and Arihara Kanna singing “Pittari Shitai X’mas.” I just would’ve loved to see Anri take those parts. (That and I just am that picky about who sings “Osaka Koi no Uta.” Most of the other girls’ voices worked fine with the song, but it’s something about having that tiny little kid singing this particular song that ruins a little bit of the performance for me… sort of reminiscent to Sato Sumire from the Morning Musume 8th Generation auditions bopping along back and forth to that song. It just didn’t work.) But anyway, I’m going to be keeping my eye on Anri. I really hope to see MUCH more of her in the future, because if she’s this amazing now, how mind-blowingly-awesome is she going to be a few more months down the road?!

Sekine Azusa was another girl that really came out of nowhere and caught my attention.

She was another Egg I hadn’t really paid much attention to before. I’d say she’d caught my attention a bit more than Anri did, but I can’t say why. Unfortunately, Azusa didn’t get to sing in any smaller group songs, so there’s nothing substantial to point out here. She mostly did some back-up dancing with Arai Manami, Maeda Irori, and Ogura Manami. But she was just the cutest thing, especially clad in Mini Moni gear! She has an adorable little smile, and, well, I just like her for some reason!

Another girl I MUST mention is Sengoku Minami.

Finally, an Egg the more casual H!P fan might recognize! Minami’s in Ongaku Gatas, so that’s where you may recognize her from, if you do! But honestly, the Ongaku Gatas single had created a pretty unfavorable impression of Minami on me. I really wasn’t impressed much with her there, but in this concert, everything was different! She completely commanded attention every time she was on screen! She’s so adorable up on stage. She’s super energetic and always looks like she’s having a great time. She’s really fantastic in the performance of “Chokotto LOVE,” and even when she isn’t particularly being featured in a song (like in the big group songs), she’s still VERY visible– she really just commands attention up there on stage. She’s extremely likeable, and my opinion about her has completely changed because of this concert!

On a similar note, we have Yutoku Ayumi.

At first, there was just something I really didn’t like about this girl. It’s a hard judgment to make when you haven’t seen the Eggs in action, but there was just that something that didn’t sit well with me. The self-introduction video of the Eggs had surfaced much earlier than the Concert was released, and perhaps it was that. It wasn’t awkwardness about her– many of the girls were quite awkward in their introductions– it was just.. agh, something! When I was watching the concert, I was a little resistant to really enjoying her performances because of that, but soon enough, I was won over.

It was Ayumi’s lines that I’d mentioned before– the ones that would just get stuck in my head for an entire day for no particular reason. In “Chokotto LOVE,” she sings the line, ‘shigeki no tsuyoi no onozomi desu ne? soitsu wa komatta.’ That one damn line would NOT leave my brain. When she sings the last part– ‘soitsu wa komatta,’ she looks at whoever’s standing next to her and points at her with just this… PERFECT look on her face. That one TINY moment of the concert finally made me like Ayumi. I REALLY wish there was an upload of this performance on Youtube, but alas! This was my second favorite performance of the concert, so I really wish I could share it! But you’ll just have to use your imagination if you’re unable to somehow watch this concert. Anyway, now that I’ve finally seen her in action, all my doubts have been erased, and I’ve found myself liking her quite a lot!

I mentioned in a previous post some of my favorite Eggs (before I first saw the concert), and I was impressed by them all– Wada Ayaka, Mori Saki, Kitahara Sayaka, and Noto Arisa!

  

Ayaka seems a little shy, but she’s definitely not completely hopeless up there, and she’s got a surprisingly pretty voice! Saki is just a goofball and has tons of stage presence, and definitely is someone who can stand out in a crowd. Sayaka is really pretty, and, ha– I still think she looks a bit like Aya from SweetS, but she also sounds a bit like Sugaya Risako from Berryz! You can hear her singing back up in the “Osaka Koi no Uta” performance. But she always amuses me– looks like Aya, sounds like Risako, but is definitely her own entity. She’s super energetic on stage, is a decent dancer, and is surprisingly confident! (Not Anri-grade confident, but still surprisingly confident nonetheless!) And Nocchi– she’s just the complete All-star of the Eggs. She never misses a step throughout the ENTIRE concert. She’s always smiling, always performing at 100– no, 120%, always energetic, always RIGHT THERE in her performances. You really can’t miss her. Once again, I wish that “Chokotto LOVE” had been uploaded– because she REALLY shines in that song. During the instrumental break when they all run around and play a game, she’s amazing– she’s leaping into the air with all her might, running around and grinning the ENTIRE time. This girl’s got some serious stamina, and is just so, so impressive.

And how could I not mention the non-current-Egg-newbies? Aika, Kanna, Junjun, and Linlin were all absolutely great in this concert. Aika is just THE cutest thing up on stage– she’s got such charisma, and, just– oh, she’s just so cute! Kanna impressed me a LOT more than I would’ve expected her– she’s a GREAT dancer, and at some points in the concert, she really caught me off-guard with her stage presence. She really throws herself into her dancing, and it’s SUCH an improvement from when I’d catch her zoning out during performances in the past. Well done, Kanna!

Junjun isn’t exactly the most polished performer, but that doesn’t mean she’s not worth noting! I point to Junjun as the reason I finally like the song, “Love & Peace! Hero ga Yattekita.” Honestly, that song was probably one of my bottom five Hello! Project songs– but after watching this performance, I actually kind of like it. I swear, it’s because of Junjun. She’s just so smiley and energetic up there, and, um, I have to admit she’s not too bad to look at in that outfit either.

What I love about Linlin is she looks a little crazy when she’s performing. She just has this… style of performing about her that always makes me laugh– in a good way. The girl can SING! And when she just– just… everything about her performance just goes along with it. In “Love & Peace,” one of her lines one of the higher-pitched ones, simply ‘aishiteru.’ But while she’s singing that one word, she pops open her eyes and bops her head back and forth. She’s really a sight to see– she’s such a powerful force on stage. Luckily, there are some performances uploaded where Linlin really shines! Here’s a video of the two opening songs– “Young Days!” and “Special Generation.” The video can’t be embedded on here, but here’s the link to it– a must see!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1PfHkFQT2w

In the very beginning, on the first ‘make it possible’ line, Linlin gets a close-up where she looks totally adorable. It’s such a fake-out, though, this girl gets so much more, well, I guess I’d call it spirited than simply cute. Her true nature REALLY comes out in “Special Generation,” in the way she sings and moves. Her “supesharu geneRATION LOVE” lines are amazing and sung with such force like that, and she sings “aishite– OI!” with SUCH attitude, I love it! I’m really glad Linlin’s in Morning Musume. She really “gets into” her performances, and Morning Musume needs more people like that. They should have Linlin and Niigaki perform alongside each other or sing some lines together– now that’d be a sight to see!

Advertisements