As usual we start with the “bubbleshot”.
Starting off with the music we first have Morning Musume’s first (and only) mini-album: 7.5 Fuyu Fuyu Morning Musume Mini!
You know, at first the only reason I bought this was because I’m somewhat of a completionist. I had every other album, so why not buy this mini one? I really didn’t expect much of it but after sitting down with it and listening to it attentively, I actually really enjoy this mini-album. Yes, the star here is Aruiteru, but this release also features one of Tanaka Reina’s best solo songs ever: Kirakira Fuyu no Shiny G
The other songs on the album aren’t worldwide hits or anything but they are really enjoyable, relaxing even. I also love the fact that some songs feature guest performances from other H!P artists. I also apparently managed to snag a First Press edition since it included a photocard, even though CDJapan listed it as sold out (I still could be wrong though).
Next up we have v-u-den’s first and only best of album: v-u-den Single Best 9 Vol.1 Omaketsuki. Included is yet another photocard (although here I’m 100% positive it’s not part of a First Press bonus)
I first became aware of v-u-den around the time when I got in to Morning Musume. I was watching one of the fan-subtitled Haromoni@ episodes (shoutout to H!P fansubbers everywhere: you guys rock!) and came across a segment discussing v-u-den’s last concert tour before they became inactive. I dismissed them since I barely knew the names of the different Morning Musume members at the time. But a few months and a few wasted afternoons on Youtube and I found myself greatly enjoying their music. The best of album pictured above is one of the best ways to enjoy their work. It includes such hits as Jaja Uma Paradise, Aisu Crea~m to My Purin and Kacchoii ze! JAPAN. One of the newly included tracks, FANTASY, is also very good. v-u-den also made some of the hottest PV’s in H!P history.
Next up we leave the music arena and enter the world of photobooks. Pictured below are Tanaka Reina’s Very Reina and Michishige Sayumi’s La.
With these two, I’ve completed my trifecta and now own a photobook from every one of the rokkies (excluding Fujimoto Miki). Comparing it with my previous photobook purchase, I noticed these were hard covers (which might explain my exuberant customs fees, that and chronic Belgian bureaucratic incompetence). Also unlike Eririn, these were made to be viewed Japanese style, so from what we would call “the back” to what we would call “the front”.
I really think these two photobooks feature some of their best work, at least when it comes to the “modelling” side of being an idol. When it comes to photobooks, H!P always delivers with classy, tasteful and utterly beautiful photographs. I’ve include two low-resolutions scans below. Again, I encourage people to go buy these photobooks and not just go download some scans somewhere of a random site. A lot of work went in to these, so please support the people who made this possible.
Again, a pretty decent haul. As for future posts you can expect reviews of Morning Musume’s 45th single as well as C-ute and Berryz工房’s upcoming album releases. Until then!