A Fangirl Says: Sorry, Utada, but That’s Not The One Either

kawaii

kawaii

I’m disappointed with Utada Hikaru’s second attempt to break into the American mainstream music scene.

This is (depending on how you see it) her second (third if you count Cubic U) English album. The conclusion that I draw after having listened to “This Is The One” is that it is far from being the one. This album fails because she is trying too hard, a fact that is apparent in almost every song. In her decision to do a more mainstream album, she sacrifices her musical identity.

I remember I was very pleased with “Exodus”; it was full of fun pop/dance tunes, clever lyrics and sometimes nostalgic melodies. “This Is The One”, in contrast, has a heavier R&B sound, it less dynamic, and unexciting. It has none of the sparkling “Japanese” sound, nor has it acquired the edgy “American” sound. In essence, it falls flat.

Below I added a short reviews and ratings of the songs in the album:

Come back to me“- Honestly, one of the few songs that is worthy of being a single. It’s an averagely good power balled. I rate it 3/5. (Better by far than Rihanna’s horrible “Unfaithful” so…)

Me Muero“- This is one of those songs where the impressing you get is that this is not Utada Hikaru the confident best selling Japanese artist, but Utada the desperate. It has this R&B and Latin sound, but the song will never pop not matter how much Spanish she speaks in it. I rate it 2/5.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence- FYI“- And odd mixture of hip hop and Japanese pop, that somehow works. I guess is the song with most Japanese pop culture soul in it. I rate it 3.5/5.

Apple and Cinnamon“- Delightful title! The song does not really go with it, but it’s a typical Utada Hikaru ballad. It’s a cute song, and I love the chorus, but mostly I like the imagery that “chemistry like apple and cinnamon” implies. I rate this song 3.5/5.

Taking my money back“- This song is not convincing. It’s the lyrics are so “black woman kicking out her scrub boyfriend”. And the sound hints of Usher. Except she’s this Japanese chick posing as black. I rate this song 2.5/5. (Go listen to “Taking Back My Love” by Enrique Iglesias and Ciara, instead).

This One (Crying Like A Child)“- This song is just plain boring. It has a faint Rihanna sound, especially the chorus (reminds me of a mix of “Umbrella” and “Rehab”). I rate this song 2.5/5. (You get more satisfaction of subjecting yourself to Rihanna… at least she brings personality to her songs, no matter how insipid that personality may be).

Automatic Part II“- It tries so desperately to be down in the hood that it’s almost embarrassing. This is another poser song, with lifeless lyrics to top it off. Why couldn’t she just sing “Automatic” in English? I rate this song 2/5.

Dirty Desire“- This is song has a faint ring of Britney’s “If You Seek Amy” but fails to be as edgy (“If You Seek Amy” at least has a tiny controversy attached to it which makes it slightly interesting). I rate it song 2/5.

Poppin‘”- This is also another odd song, childishly flirty R&B with a hint of jazzy fetish… don’t ask! But it reminds me of Madonna’s “Erotica” somehow. Japanese erotica. I rate this song 3.5/5.

On and On“- The best song in the album. It’s poppy, catchy, and sexy. A dance-worthy, yet slow pick-me-up song. Classic Utada Hikaru. I rate it 4.5/5.

But. I’m a huge Utada Hikaru fan. So, all I have to do is to listen to this album a couple of more times before I start liking it…

Advertisements

Top 100 Bishounen Chart: 97- Takada Shuuji

Isn't He Sweet? He's waiting for her!

Isn't he sweet? He's waiting for her!

What I Know About Him

Name: Takada Shuuji

Age: 17

Occupation: Student

Family: Mother, Father, Younger Brother

Financial Status: Middles class

Favorite Activity: Going to rock concerts.

Favorite Thing: He likes music, especially heavy metal.

Favorite Band: Orange Market

What Upsets Him the Most: Other guys trying to make a move on his girlfriend.

About the Manga

Author: Nagata Masami

Title: Love Catalogue

Summary: Hanamoto Mika is your typical 17 year-old high school girl. She’s a bit insecure and she longs to finally have a boyfriend. One day at a goukon she meets Takada, and falls in love at first sight. After a series of embarrassing moments, upon seeing him again at another goukon, she surprises herself by asking him out. Here begins a tale of a teenager’s first love…

Bishounen Type:
Realistic Boyfriend/ Sweet Bishounen

Physical Attributes (24 out of 40):

Fashion Sense (6/10)

Face (6/10)

Body (7/10)

Strength (5/10)

Personality (18 out of 40):

Angst Factor (4/10)

Mysteriousness (2/10)

Loyalty (7/10)

Humor (5/10)

Good or Evil (8/10): Good

His Take on Love (8/10):
He’s guy-ish, and thus not quite so romantic, but he really cherishes Mika. He’s nice, faithful and loyal. He forgets a good night kiss from time to time.

Special Abilities/ Facts (Bonus Points): Plays the piano (3), wants to call her by her first name (cute!) (4), is refreshing in his everyday-ness and lack of angsty past (5), protects girlfriend from perverts (3), likes rock music (2).

Conclusion:
If I didn’t know better, I would think that this guy was loosely based on my boyfriend in the way he acts indifferently and then suddenly does something unexpectedly sweet! I also like that he too has insecurities and can be jealous and immature, that is so charming. But he is a serious (at times even mature), honest and tolerant guy who only has eyes for the girl he loves! I love the strong, clear lines of his body: he looks strong and tall! His face also looks quite manly but the manga-ka draws him rather averagely, so that aspect of him gets a bit downgraded. Furthermore, he’s personality is realistic, which means that he’s not angsty or mysterious at all! Despite him only being 75% Bishounen, he has somehow managed to gain my sympathy…maybe it’s because of his unfaltering love for that annoying and insecure thing which he calls girlfriend… he seems almost heroic!

Other Info:

This manga ran for 34 volumes between 1995 and 2007. It doesn’t look like this manga has been licensed into other languages, but it being scanlated by en•tro•py. But please support the author to the best of you ability!

A Fangirl’s Autumn Apologies

...my blogs posts? oh! my dog ate them...seriosly!

"...my blogs posts? oh! my dog ate them...seriosly!"

Again, I’ve been a very bad blogger! I feel like the kid who spend the whole yesterday playing instead of doing homework, and now I have to give the teacher a better excuse for not doing it than “my dog ate it”. I feel very Kona-chan-like, although I have to say that normally I’m a bit more like Kagami. Anywho, I shall now account for my failure to blog:

  1. I’ve moved to a new city, so it usually takes a little time before my brain actually decides to join me in settling in in this new city. But I’m more familiarized with where things are and how people live here that I actually have the energy to think about fun things!!!
  2. University started again! And you may be thinking: “Oh that otaku is probably studying Japanese!” Well, this fangirl will have to say that, no; I’m studying something much worse: French. So it takes a while to getting used to hearing French 13h a week, and reading all my course literature in… well, French. *Pity me! I wish I was studying Japanese everyday!*
  3. My new dorm is full of friendly people, and it has a cable TV! Need I say more? … -_- … I rest my case.

But no matter how hectic and distracting life gets, a fangirl tends to miss all her bishies, and when that happens I know it’s time to swiftly enter the world of Bisharem! So, to order to get my fill of bishies I shall resume disclosure of the Top 100 Bishounen Chart, only now I’ll have to decrease entries to once a week… please look forward to it, and don’t desert me!

PS.

Skip Beat anime premiered on the 5th of October! So all you fans and non-fans (what am I saying? There are no non-fan on Skip Beat! ^-^), check it out! Here is the Japanese preview:

Watch Skip Beat! [PV] in Anime |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Top 100 Bishounen Chart: 98- Touma Kyouhei

...hes is hungry...for you!

...he's is hungry...for you!

What I Know About Him

Name: Touma Kyouhei

Age: 26

Race: Vampire

Occupation: Company Director and then in vol. 3 Company President

Family: Mother, father, older brother.

Financial Status: Rich

Favorite Time to Work: He is a night person, definitely!

Addicted To: Delicious blood from his secretary.

Achilles Heel: Sunlight

What Upsets Him the Most: Getting attached to humans (especially his secretary).

What Makes a Good Person: Not humans.

About the Manga

Author: Ohmi Tomu

Title: Midnight Secretary

Summary: Kaya has her dream job; she’s a secretary to a reputable tableware company! She gets promoted to become the private secretary of the legendary Director Touma. He difficult, arrogant, egotistical and not to mention a total slut! But she’s not going to let that get in the way of her work… but one night in the line of secretarial duty she discovers that her boss is actually a vampire.

Bishounen Type: Playboy/ Anti-Romantic/ Ansgty Bastard

Physical Attributes (25 out of 40):

Fashion Sense (7/10)

Face (5/10)

Body (7/10)

Strength (6/10) Has not shown has he has any kind of super-strength. Am assuming of course that vampires are by nature stronger than humans, otherwise it would have been (5/10)

Personality (26 out of 40):

Angst Factor (7/10)

Mysteriousness (7/10)

Loyalty (8/10)

Humor (4/10)

Good or Evil (7/10): Good

His Take on Love (6/10): He really can’t help his growing feelings towards the one he loves but he’s doing everything he can to fight it. He is perverted and because women are “meals” for him he sleeps with them to improve the taste of the blood.

Special Abilities/ Facts (Bonus Points): He’s a vampire! Automatic bonus points (5), however you can never go on daytime dates with him (-2). He’s a successful businessman (5), good in bed (4), has the cutest bishoujo in the manga-verse (4).

Conclusion: This is totally the kind of guy that makes fangirls “kyaaa”: he is tall, dark and broody… what more can we ask for? But there is no way (or at least is would take forever for) this misogynist would trust, let alone fall for a human… so fat chance of me making it to the position of girlfriend. And if I was able to prove myself and gain his trust I probably couldn’t handle his antics and constant cheating. He gets downgraded for having that hair on his face and for being an über-arrogant, slut who because of his pride is unable to make his beloved happy. But the rest of him is very pretty, and if he can make people feel ecstasy when he bites them, then where do I sign up to become food? 😛 So by having the classic qualities which move the hearts of any fangirls he is 80% Bishounen, beating Dark by 1 percent.

Other Info:

It doesn’t look like this manga has been licensed into other languages. It is currently been scanlated by the following groups: Aerandria. But please support the author to the best of you ability!

It ran for 5 volumes. Has been scanlated up to end of volume 4.

This is a mature manga (so 18+).

Top 100 Bishounen Chart: 99 – Yamada Tarou

He sure looks perfect! ~~kyaaa~~

He sure looks perfect! ~~kyaaa~~

What I Know About Him

Name: Yamada Tarou

Age: 15 (at the beginning of the manga)

Birthday: August 2

Blood Type: A

Occupation: Student

Family: Mother, 6 younger siblings. Father is away most of the time.

Financial Status: Poor (but his future is bright)

Favorite Place of Work: Supermarket (because there’s lots of food)

Favorite Thing: Food (especially bananas ‘cause they’re cheap and nutritious)

What Upsets Him the Most: Wasted food

What Makes a Good Person: A Person that treats food with respect

About the Manga

Author: Morinaga Ai

Title: Yamada Tarou Monogatari/ The Tale of Yamada Tarou

Summary: Yamada Tarou is perfect in every way imaginable, but he has one terrible flaw: he’s poor. He’s father is an artist who is away most of the time, his mother has no concept of money, and he has 6 siblings. The responsibility to provide for the family rest on his shoulders. Nevertheless, poverty is his best kept secret, and both girls and boys fight for his attention.

Bishounen Type: Perfect But Clueless/ Heartbreaker

Physical Attributes (22 out of 40):

Fashion Sense (5/5) Minus points for that housewife outfit he wears when he’s home.

Face (5/5)

Body (7/10)

Strength (5/10)

Personality (19 out of 40):

Angst Factor 3/10(he is very enthusiastic and positive)

Mysteriousness 2/10 (succeeded pretty well in hiding that he’s not rich and that all he cares about his food)

Loyalty (6/10) (he is generally considerate of others)

Humor (8/10)

Good or Evil (8/10): Good (but has no qualms about killing the pet dog for food in desperate times)

His Take on Love (2/10): Clueless. Not interested. He loves the one that makes the best food. (will kiss for a banana)

Special Abilities/ Facts (23 Bonus Points): Excellent domestic skills (5). Can hear a coin drop a mile away (2). Is good at providing for his family (5). Nothing gets him down (1). Model Student (5). Good constitution: will not get ill from eating bad food or drugs (5).

Conclusion: Overall all, this guy is at the top of the gene pool. In the fight for survival he wins, no question about it. However, he is not interested in romance! And even if he were, I’d be wasting my time trying to be his girlfriend ‘cause he’s probably a better cook than I am (he likes “tasty girls” as in they can make good food) . He also gets a little downgraded on his physical attributes since his face is drawn rather averagely. But I love the way the manga-ka draws his body, with clean decisive lines; he looks like strong person (we’re talking human strength here). He also isn’t the angsty kind of guy that we fangirls fall head over heels for, but he is considerate, cute and very funny and that always goes a long way. His enthusiasm wins hearts everywhere, that is how he managed to beat dark even though he’s only 74% Bishounen! I guess he gets status points for having so many bonus points… (^_~)

Other Info:

It doesn’t look like this manga has been licensed into other languages. It is currently been scanlated by the following groups: Kagami, NCIS. But please support the author to the best of you ability!

It ran for 15 volumes.

A dorama has been made based on the manga with the say title.

A Fangirl’s Summer Mishaps

This image would pretty much sum up my summer ^^

This image would pretty much sum up my summer ^^

I’ve been a very bad blogger! And like many of you all, I’m going to go ahead and blame it on something else. I will now account for my failure blog:

  1. IRC has not been working properly since I’ve been using my parents’ internet [but now it is fixed]. IRC is my main manga provider. As it turns out, it is really hard to write about manga when the key distributor is striking.
  2. My dear friend Zolomon [conveniently] took forever to finish photoshoping the banner. [But as you can see it is up now, and has been up for two weeks now… I am grasping for straws here (^_~)]
  3. It is summer, there are several things that complicate blogging for me:

  • · Travel- I like to ambush my friends and go to places that, according to my wallet, I really should not go to. The implications of these heathen practices are always limited access to the internet! …Even if said friends DO have wifi, I always end up not blogging because there are so many people to see, things to do, places to be at.
  • · Usually hot weather- Usually, when it is hot and clammy [i.e. the thermometer hits higher than 26.7 degrees Celsius] as the weather has been the past weeks, I just like to lazy around sleeping and watching my youth slip through my fingers.
  • · Manga depression- For a student summer usually implies limited to zero chances at a stable-ish income. It also means slashing the budget for acquisition of [hardware] manga completely. Usually consumption of scanslated manga goes up, this summer the Gods of Manga somehow frowned upon me… [link back to problems with IRC]

Nevertheless, my vacations end tomorrow! [Whoopidoo?… They were starting to get a bit on the boring side, I mean, I can only sleep for so long!] So on Tuesday I shall make a grand comeback by exposing my 99th Bishonen! Please wait for it!

PS.

I found this really cute Lucky Star quiz for those of you who have nothing better to do so check it out!

Top 100 Bishounen Chart: 100 – Dark Mousy

Dark

What I Know About Him

Name: Dark

Age: circa 400 years

Race: Angel

Job: Legendary Art Thief

About the Manga

Author: Sugisaki Yukiru

Dark is a master art thief, and the alter Ego of Daisuke Niwa. He is a personality which every male of the Niwa family inherits once they experience love, thus whenever Daisuke thinks of his crush (Risa Harada), he turns into Dark (who likes Risa’s twin sister Riku). His job is to steal cursed art pieces made by the Hikari family… so he must dodge the police everything he’s on a job!

Bishounen Type: Playful Romantic

Physical Attributes (29/40%):

Fashion sense (10/10)

Face (6/10)

Body (6/10)

Strength (7/10)

Personality (31/40%):

Angst Factor (6/10)

Mysteriousness (9/10)

Loyalty (8/10)

Humor (8/10)

Good or Evil (7/10%): Good

His Take on Love (6/10%): He is a bit perverted and way too confident in his ability to get girls. But he only has eyes for his true love.

Special Abilities/Facts (Bonus Points 6): He can fly (2 points), and he is a clever thief with many tricks up his sleeves. Well he’s not legendary for nuthin’! (4 points)

Conclusion: He is a reasonably good looking character, however, he is way too smooth with the ladies. If I was his girlfriend, I’d be jealous and suspicious all the time. And he gets a little downgraded because I find the DN Angel manga very cluttered, so that pulls down on his physical attributes. On the plus side I love his thieving skills, and his gorgeous sense of fashion! So 79% Bishounen tallies him up quite nicely!

Other Info:

Manga has been published in the following languages: Japanese, Chinese, English, French, Danish, Dutch, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, etc.

In the manga his first “proper” appearance is volume 1 chapter 1 page 29. In the anime he appears in episode 1; the anime is 26 episodes.