Well, hello again. Feels like I haven’t blogged in a while now, but it really wasn’t that long ago. I’ve been pretty ill these past few weeks– that and otherwise buried in homework. Those factors sort of combine together with the fact that nothing recent in the idol world has inspired me quite enough to make a big blog post about it (sometimes I think I have an attention span worse than Tsunku’s), but the recent Hello! Project ranking poll started by Hello! Blog that’s been going around and reading about everyone’s rankings has made me want to join in, too. So I’ll post up my rankings and explanations and combine a whole bunch of random thoughts I’ve had about recent events in the idol world later on in the entry. So, without further ado…



With the release of another U-15 photobook comes the inevitable swimsuit debate. Well– not every U-15 photobook; those shots are a given for gravure idols, obviously, but when it’s someone who isn’t in the gravure industry, the announcement and release of a photobook always sparks this debate between fans. Just recently, Kusumi Koharu released her second solo photobook, POP. Before it was announced, I was wondering when the time for another photobook for Koharu would be. After all, she’d gained massive popularity from her seiyuu work in Kirarin Revolution, was given successively greater roles in Morning Musume (her center position in ‘Onna ni Sachi Are,’ highlights that best), and the slew of H!P Kids photobooks over the spring and summer gave a bit of a hint at what was next to come. And there it was– the announcement for POP. I happened to like the name when it was released– I had pretty high expectations for the photobook (which weren’t entirely met, but that’s off-topic), so I was looking forward to it.

By now, I’ve gotten pretty used to the H!P photobooks pattern– despite the age, there’s a huge chance that you’ll be getting some swimsuit shots. There have been a few exceptions, but more often than not, swimsuit pictures are part of the whole package. So, of course I was expecting swimsuit shots in Koharu’s new photobook, and needless to say, swimsuit shots did show up in POP, but these kind of things create a bit of a split in the fan community.

Before I put a cut on this entry, I’m just going to put a warning out there that there WILL be links to swimsuit pictures in the rest of the entry. I won’t thumbnail them, but I will be discussing specific pictures, so there will be corresponding links. If you’re sensitive to that kind of material, just don’t go blindly clicking on links. 🙂