Category Archives: Seiyuu, Idol, Pop

Wake Up Girls Songs Tiering

Just because an idol group ended, it doesn’t mean the fandom stops. That’s super true when the idol group really wasn’t an idol group–they are simply assassins, adventurers, and aberrants that were hired to be a party, and that gig is now over. Now they’re back at work simply being assassins, adventurers and aberrants. Also, when the group exploded like a supernova ramping up to the final live, WUG!’s life as a star kind of ended but it made the loudest bang it ever did in its short life. As a result I think it’s worth mulling over some of the music, maybe you might find something.

Personally though, I’ve been listening to a lot of WUG music just the past 12+ months, actually since March 2018. It’s about a year since that tearful day when the Final Tour was announced and the associated disbanding announcement, but forget about that. I’m just trying to write down what I’m thinking after grinding on WUG music for a while. The purpose of this post is largely me just rambling about songs, yes.

(Before I get started, just limiting to WUGchan songs that they have performed. Not including non-WUGchan solos here to keep things manageable.)

Intro tier: Do these only if you specifically want to. Moreover, I’m not listing every WUG song in this list, so you can consider those also in the “don’t do except if you want to” category…just not intro tier. Like you can do HIGAWARI Princess for the idols you love or their solo event solos…that’s fine obviously. Well I’ll call the ones I know out in the list. But I wouldn’t need to tell you that if you know about them.

  • 7 Girls War
  • Tachiagare – This song is quite special to me now, and I imagine that is true for most WUGners too, so when folks casually do this song as a chika idol cover or at anikura I might cringe. It doesn’t bother me so much anymore, but just a PSA: Think twice before doing it. This tier list should help with it. I won’t tell you to stop either if you wanna. Go right ahead, and thank you for showing WUG some love.
  • Kotonoha Aoba
  • One in a Billion – Great song with May’n Tie-in and it’s one of their better-known tie-ins, even if the anime is not the kind that will have hardcore fans. A lot of people heard and loved this song (if sales ranking meant anything). The joke was, as the one WUG (well WUM) song not sold by Avex, it outsold all the other WUG tie-ins at that time. Anyways, people know this song, for whatever the reason.

One step up: Good representative songs, and at least shows you know more than just the OP/ED.

  • Gokujou Smile – This ought to be THE go-to song for people who wanna tribute WUG. It’s their most fun song and the lyrics are pretty amusing. The calls are the best, though. It’s got everything you want. Also see my prior write-ups.
  • Sugao de Kiss Me – This song is actually a ton of fun for anikura (the hipster kind). (Use April Fools version for the non-hipster kind at your own risk.)
  • Suki no Skill – The tie-ins from 2016-2018 were all quite good. People might know this song, and as anikura DJ you can point to them and say “these are otaku that appreciate late night isekai light novel adaptations.”
  • Koi de Ai de Bokun desu – See above, but it’s a dumb manga adaptation that is far less popular for some reason. This is also the secret Yoppi oshi song. In this point in time there might be more Yoppi oshi than fans of Renai Boukun. Sorry Guri.
  • Beyond the Bottom – A powerful song no matter who you are, where you are, and how you feel, and it goes beyond the fandom gates.
  • 16-sai no Agape – I don’t know where this really should go, so here it is. It’s the derpy idol song for girl idol units, but at this point it is salve.
  • Shoujo Koukyoukyoku – This is more “Appreciator tier” (see below) but I think a lot more people know this song from the WUG movies. And it’s really an enchanting song that will forever prime my emotions due to how strongly I now associate it with WUG Final Tour, so I just had to say that.
  • Jera – This is the one cool I-1 song that WUGs would do and people would die if people would look in their old footage.
  • Little Challenger – This is a fun song that really captures that early WUG energy and some pure idol fun. Kind of like 16-sai but more anime.
  • WUG ZOO ZOO

WUG Appreciator tier: The good stuff people find out by farming WUG’s catalog more. And we come to the reason for this post:

  • 7 Senses – It’s a song that is only good because it grew on you, LOL.
  • Chikatetsu Labyrinth – I did not really understand or appreciate this song until WUG Tour Final. It’s a powerful tune with different genres in it, different rhythms, and styles. That brass section gives it a mainstream feel without feeling too forced. The way they ended that in Final part 3 was some really powerful entertainment.
  • Jewelry Wonderland – This song is solid all around. It’s got a melodious progression to it that makes it hard to dislike despite the choice of how some of the instruments that were arranged. It sticks in your mind but doesn’t worm, and overall just very good composition.
  • Polaris – It’s a simple song that makes us cry.
  • outlander rhapsody – After dragons were slain in WUG Final Tour part 2 I think people opened their eyes finally as to how this song could go…
  • SHIFT – Similarly, this song is just very good because it is another showtunes-y and not-very-idol-y track that gives WUGs some range. The routine, song and dance aside, it’s just a well put-together kind of a fair (reminds me a bit of Chikatetsu actually). Really wows. And it sits a bit in languish as a c/w to Suki no Skill. Too new to be picked up and during a time when WUG was struggling a bit.
  • Bokura no Frontier – Great song, great vocals. It’s the overshadowed tie-in among the other hits but it’s probably my favorite in that batch…it’s the most representative MONACA x WAKE UP, GIRLS! song in my mind.
  • Heartline – Putting aside what happened to this song in Sendai for Final Tour, this song is just a charming tune that should get more play. The calls are fun by default, and also for furicopy.
  • Seventeen Crisis – It really pairs well with Platinum Sunrise but this song has the power to bring down the house, just it’s so rarely played up as such. Such a waste.
  • Shirt and Blouse – For OG WUGners.
  • Tight Rope Runway – I am thinking only I appreciate this song LOL. It’s got a more barebones arrangement that makes it kind of EDM-y in that 90s style.

Beyond the borderline: special songs because they were special and not as much because they are good, or just outright no bueno for other reasons. Or other special exceptions.

  • Sayonara no Parade – LOLOLOL
  • Doyoubi no Flight – LOLOL it’s not that bad. But kind of a downer like the other new songs from Final.
  • Kotoba no Kessho – Yeah….downer a bit?
  • Umi soshite shattaa-dori – LOLOLOL
  • Sakurairo Crescendo – Shoutout to Sendai and Airi. What a wonderful little piece she’s got for a solo. Do this only if you really, really mean it.
  • TUNAGO – LOLOLOL
  • Taiyou iwaku moeyo kaosu – Please use the original version unless you want to rep Myu or something LOLOL

Any WUGners out there, want to add anything? Comments are all yours.


Anime Central 2019: Wrap

Oh boy, did Acen blow it up this year with guests. As a typical weekend American anime con, 72 hours did not seem long enough. There were too many things I wanted to see and do. Unavoidably I had to pick and choose, and cut my losses.

For one I did not land until Friday. I had barely any sleep. And Friday was loaded. The weekend would unfurl more sanely, given I stayed at a hotel about a 10-minute uber ride away, that made late partying difficult but sleeping in pretty attractive. Not like I really did that anyways.

As a result of that I did not see any m-flo at all this weeked. The DJ-rapper unit even had an autograph session. I did not do this at all and I feel kind of bad about this in hindsight.

But I felt pretty good about the rest of the con, almost. Seeing Ayappe in person, in this environment, was a lot of fun. I did enjoy a lot about her panels. I enjoyed a lot about her autograph session. I even got a photo op at the end of her last one. I didn’t enjoy so much having to ditch part of one (to get autograph tickets) and part of the other (to get autographs). Thus the almost.

At some point, having so much power guests in this chronologically cramped con is going to blow up that almost into something worse and much bigger. Part of what ails is, some of the lining up and management just is too time consuming, and some of it is inconsistent. Let me try to briefly explain.

In prior years (like 2018) Acen autographs are ticketed, and the tickets are given out twice a day. Morning autographs (1:30p or earlier) are given out the night before (6:30p), and later-PM/evening autographs are given out the morning the day of (11a). The autograph ticketing actually overlapped with the Friday night concert, and some of the ticketing overlapped with the guests own panels. This was kind of hastily fixed by the con a bit last-minute.

The worse thing was the enforcement of ticket-use. There were a lot of tickets given out but somehow people who had tickets still had to camp, because too many tickets were given out for Fri and Sat. This was kind of fixed on Sun, so people who had tickets generally got it. But the over-ticketing was a pain point and a point of confusion. Also, it was retarded that they did not match the number of tickets given out to people allowed to queue. In essence, there was a queue at the autograph area by each autograph table, but for each session there was 1) a standby queue and 2) a standby ticketed queue. This is just really poor planning. Good thing Acen this year got more space in the entertainment hall so Autographing had plenty of space for these extra queues.

The worst thing is how these factors made sure that we had to skip a lot of things to try for autographs. I skipped half of the concert to line up for Maisan’s autograph Friday, although I could have gotten it later just due to how the lines and ticketing shaked out later–not that anyone could really have known ahead of time.

Oh the autograph ticket pickup times were also terrible, plus there was still the Big Squeeze with people trying to line up 30 minutes before.

I think those were not all too bad, especially each issue on its own, but in conjunction that all made this con a bit of a waste time-wise. I could have done a lot more if I just gave up some of it. Actually all Acen had to fix were two things:

  • Distribute tickets earlier in the day and once a day only
  • Distribute the right number of autograph tickets
  • (and maybe let more people line up at first, this “not pressuring the guest” thing is fine but you could have added more in line anyway)

What is the point of ticket distribution if you have to camp both that and the autograph session! Com’on man.

It is kind of telling that 3 weeks after the con, this is still my most memorable thing from Acen. I guess that is also because I do a lot of cons, and this is the important information people want to know for 2020.

What I really want to say to folks about Acen for their first trip to Acen is that Acen, despite being a huge con, is a laid back con where you can chill and still get your avocado toast in. I think this con still is chill at heart, but the overloading of great guests and events made that not so much this year. You can tell how the con tried to deal with it, and it’s not gonna work as a growing pain kind of a thing. But why even go there when we didn’t have to… Well, it probably is great if you didn’t try as hard as I did.

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The A5 Kobe Beef of Smiles: Tabehoudai Version ~That You Can WUG To~

Some time last year I got fed up on how Americans don’t do calls and wrote up a set of calls for Gokujou Smile based on the JP calls out there. With WUG Final tour over, I reviewed my old post as a matter of writing up the tour, and decided I have to write a new post to update the material in the old post, for WUG Final SSA.

Basically, it’ll sound like this:

Do you mix to WUG? Only a few songs, like Gokujou Smile. And even then most people do mostly just the fast mix part and not the full mix part, opting to do the Fu-fuu calls with the group instead.

One change from the old post is that people do the urya-oi as per normal course, but that’s not so important in Gokujou Smile. If you know what you’re doing you would already know what you need to do. If you don’t or if you are unsure, just follow the crowd. The 3rd tour video is still a good reference that will get you through the whole song.

I am mostly still romanizing the calls, via here. The calls are in parens and colored in red.  The mixing is in blue, which is entirely optional and do so at your own risk. Actually there are just 2 normal mixes and 3 speed mixes with lead-in calls, and you can pick and choose which you want to do. The normal mixes conflict with the 3 fufuu calls at the end of each lead-in so most people choose to not do them.

Notes:

  • There are some hand motions that can be done during a few parts, like “housoku housoku” in which you make a upward arrow with your hands, and “nandaka chigau” which you can do the “no” hand motion.
  • The calls with a music note in the paren are sing-along responses.
  • There are some timed jumps. People furicopy normally but the main melody has a jump like 2 bars into it and from what I’ve seen recently, MayuC cues the audience for the jump sometimes. You can review the video from 3rd Tour (above) as an example.
  • Fuwa x4 are not clap clap Fuwa x2 but some people do it. Most people do the 4x.
  • The “Fuu?” call is just a fuu with different intonation. In JP it’s denoted with down and up arrows. (フー↓ウッ↑)
  • (starting signal) just means the usual mix starter phrase. I’m not aware of a standard one used in this but there are some standard phrase people do use.
  • I use an asterisk to indicate the start of the speed mix for typography reasons. Just put the paren in the following line into that. I also wrote speed or standard mix where applicable to indicate the tempo only.

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EGAO! (Fufu!) GOKUJOU! (Fufu!) SUMAIRU! (Fuu!)

(hey x12)

(standard mix on 2nd half) (Starting signal) (TIGER FIRE CYBER FIBER

(Fufu! Fufu! Fuu!)
(DIVER VIBER JAA JAA)

KURAUDO ni kakareta SUKEJUURU (Yay!)
Nandaka samishii shuumatsu wo (Yay!)
Nandemo ii kara umerutte iu no ha chigau (Nandaka chigau~!)

Honto jimi na no futsuu no hi ha (Whoo!)
Douga de neko wo utsushitetari (Whoo!)
Doudesho tamani ha heya no moyou ga he nanka ne

Minna no shashin (sha~ shin~♪) SURAIDO shite mita (‘te~ mita~♪)
SUMAIRU ippai de zenkai de SUMAIRU darake de
SUMAIRU? SUMAIRU?mairu
Waratte shimau (shi~ mauu~♪) genki ni natta yo (natta~ yo~♪)
Akiramenai (TIGER) haru (FIRE) natsu (CYBER) aki (FIBER) fuyu (*) no hi mo 
(* speed mix TIGER FIRE CYBER FIBER DIVER VIBER JAAJAA)

SHINDOI kisetsu wo shiteru kara (Whoo!)
Kawaranu egao wo mederu (Fuwa x4)
NIPPON no egao ga uwagaki suru (Whoo!)
Nanka tsurai toki mo
NIPPON no egao ga kawaiku suru (Whoo!)
Saki koboreru SAKURA iro (Fuwa x4)
SHINDOI kisetsu wo shitte koso no(Whoo!)
Egao(Fufu!) gokujou (Fufu!) SUMAIRU (Fuu!)

(Hey x8)

Tenki ga ii hi ha dekakeyou (Yay!)
Densha ni notte chotto toode shiyou (Yay!)
Denenfuukei suteki na yasai mo toreru (Housoku! housoku!)

Choppiri nigate na mono datte (Fuu?)
Oishii no tabetara suki ni naru (Fuu?)
OIOI ima made shiranaide gomen to omou

Umi ha hiroi (hi~ roi~♪) yama mo sugoi (su~ goi~♪)
MEIDO IN JAPAN ha saikou sa MAI MAI MAI SUTAA
Nandatte umidaseru
Asobi ni kite (kite~ ne~♪) ai ni kite ne (kite~ ne~♪)
Kono hashi (TORA) kara (HI) hashi (JINZO) made (SENI) wo (*) hashi no kuni he
(* speed mix TORA HI JINZO SENI AMA SHINDOU KANSEN)

SHINDOI kisetsu wo shiteru kara (Whoo!)
Kawaranu egao wo miseru (Fuwa x4)
NIPPON no egao ga uwagaki suru (Whoo!)
Nanka tsurai toki mo
NIPPON no egao ga motenashi suru (Whoo!)
Saki koboreru SAKURA iro (Fuwa x4)
SHINDOI kisetsu wo shitte koso no (Whoo!)
Egao (Fufu!) gokujou (Fufu!) SUMAIRU (Fuu!)

(Hey x8)

(Hey x8)

(speed mix CHAPE APE KARA RARA TUSUKE MYOHONTSUSUKE)

DONMAI namida wo shitteru kara
Kawaranu egao wo mederu
DONMAI na egao ga uwagaki suru
Nanka tsurai toki mo
DONMAI na egao ga kawaiku suru (Whoo!)
Saki koboreru SAKURA iro (Fuwa x4)
DONMAI namida wo shitte koso no (Whoo!)
Egao(Fufu!) gokujou (Fufu!) SUMAIRU (Fuu!)

(hey x12)

(standard mix on 2nd half) (Starting signal) (TORA HI JINZO SENI)

(Fufu! Fufu! Fuu!)
(AMA SHINDOU KANSEN)


Okui Masami 25th & HAPPY END Live “Celebration”

Okui Masami is a major figure in the anisong industry, mainly because she was one of the backbone persons during the early King Record/Starchild days. She is directly the senpai of Mizuki Nana and she has kind of cemented things once she joined JAM Project. She also started her own record label and done various other things behind the scene over the years. Today she still produces, writes music and provide chorus and “lead tracks” for various anisong, outside of her solo and JAM Project work. Well, it would be better said that she has done a lot over the years, and nowadays she has largely moved onto doing JAM Project type stuff.

As I say this, even while as a member of JAM Project, she has a lot of solo activity. Or rather, as a fan of her since her pre-JAM days, her solo activities never really stopped cold, in my opinion. It definitely has slowed down, she’s taken breaks, but unlike many of the other old guys in JAM Project, she has a full original solo album out, which is quite rare. Well, I say old guys, but she turned 50 years old this year, so just about everybody in that group is getting up there.

A solo live is also quite rare for Okui Masami nowadays. She no longer tours, and most appearances are in festival style. This live is the first solo live she has had in two and a half years, or since 2016 March. Why not go, I thought.

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IM@S MUSIC ON THE RADIO & The End of IDOLM@STER STATION

The long running IDOLM@STER mainline seiyuu radio program, IDOLM@STER STATION, has ended this week with a farewell live stream on Nico. To be very technical and fair, it never ran that long, as the weekly program would change cast periodically and rebrand itself slightly (like, IDOLM@STER STATION!!+). It was originally the IDOLM@STER Radio which morphed into this program as other weekly streams started, in 2009. Today, there are 5 weekly broadcasts for the franchise, covering the different sections. The name perhaps more so refers to the program concept that spawned a series of its own spinoff media products, such as all the radio cover songs, the radio original music, and the handful of live shows they put on. The Aisute weeklies would feature some segments that involved characters acting out viewer-submitted scenarios often (a characteristic in other IM@S radios today as well) and other more seiyuu radio-style segments. But if you were just counting the brand, the show falls a bit short of its 10th year! That’s very long for a tie-in seiyuu radio.

Aisute ending means the main 765Pro franchise no longer has a seiyuu-focused radio. In its stead, IDOLM@STER MUSIC ON THE RADIO takes its airing spot (really, it’s produced by the same Nippon Columbia crew that produced Aisute, and it takes over Aisute’s Nico channel) and is going to be a music-oriented program. Its main host is Numakura Manami, with a co-host rotating probably every 4 weeks. The first co-host is Takahashi Rie. For sanity’s sake I’ll call the program MOR for short (based on the official hashtag #アイマスMOR).

Over the long 9 years of Aisute, there were a pretty overt effort to interview Columbia composers who worked on the music, especially the stuff that graced the later Playstation games. And it makes a lot of sense–music is arguably the most noteworthy and radio-worthy thing that IDOLM@STER generally offers. Cinderella Girls, Million Live, SideM and even Shiny Colors are churning out many songs every year. A lot of it is from Lantis, which naturally doesn’t get as much coverage on a Columbia program focused on the original 765Pro, but Aisute always had crossover coverage with guests from the other branches (at least more than a few Million and Cinderella guests).

What has been left behind with the departure of Aisute is still pretty regrettable–it was almost its own thing during the peak years, and maybe MOR can get its own live show. It certainly will be more cross-franchise than before, so we will see how things swing on a month-to-month basis.

Overall, it is probably overall a good thing that there is now a show to highlight the stories and personalities behind the music. MOR should be a good time and generally this is a positive vibe going forward. Hosted by two cast members, MOR should also remain fun and neta-heavy enough for the usual and core listener types into seiyuu radio-type programs. Two-personality shows dominate this landscape anyway.

PS. Wish they’ll cover some Aisute music down the road!