Kariya Yuiko’s aBUTTON PB

It’s finally here *o* The long awaited Kariya Yuiko aBUTTON photobook (plus new newest number of BOMB magazine)! I’ve long had my eyes on this PB and weren’t sure if I should buy it or not, but as I couldn’t find it anywhere on the net so I decided to buy it as well as support one of my current favorite actresses. And am I glad I did! This photobook may be a tad small and doesn’t have that many pictures (only 85 actually), but that  really doesn’t matter because it’s pictures with KARIYA YUIKO and gorgeous ones too~ I’m sort of fascinated by this aBUTTON series’ simple but stunning concept for each of their releases. Kariya Yuiko’s PB theme is “Tabi” (which means “Journey”) and through the photobook I could sort of sense this theme, but more like it’s an emotional journey perhaps.

In most pictures Yuiko doesn’t smile but instead she has a neutral, almost thoughtful expression. There are shots taken both in the countryside, the city and on empty roads as well as indoors in what could look like Yuiko’s own bedroom. The color schemes throughout the photobook are quite contrasting as they go from warm summer colors in some pictures to black and white as well as very washed-out colors in other pictures. However, I think these contrasting colors make the photobook an interesting experience. Now apart from all the technical details, let’s talk about Yuiko’s look in this photobook! ^^ I like how they gave her a more unpolished look compared to the usual pretty-pretty look in magazines. Her hair is sort of wild and messy in most pictures and she wears quite light make up which gives her a very natural look. I almost think these photobooks strive to present us the most natural look of these “natural beauties” (check PLUP’s homepage for other aBUTTON photobooks). I’m also relieved to know they actually do release girls’ photobooks in Japan who not have to contain at least 5 different bikini shots – but then of course I know this isn’t an “idol PB”… ^^;

Some of my favorite pictures in this book are these four.
I like the first picture for its universal expression; it’s just Yuiko standing there wearing simple white and black clothes in front of a wall of an old traditional building, maybe a temple. I think it’s simpleness but graceful style makes it a very attractive picture in my opinion.
The second picture is one of the two “Yuiko by the car” pictures which ended up as some of my favorites. With this shot though I was probably caught by the slightly surprised, adorable expression Yuiko has, as if she was caught off guard while looking inside the expensive car. Otherwise I just love her beige clothes in this picture as well as the dreamy background~
The third picture is in black and white and shows a close-up of Yuiko. Because it’s in black and white you focus even more on the facial expression this time. I like the kind of fragile face she portrays in this picture, it’s almost touches one a bit. Then of course she also has those beautiful doe eyes which you just never get tired of! ♥
The last picture is the second of the two “Yuiko by the car” pictures I chose as one of my favorites. This is just a beautiful two-shot photo. One of the things I like best about it is probably the lighting. It sort of makes Yuiko glow and really gives a glamorous feel to the picture. Then again as I mentioned earlier, I really like the clothes she wears in this car scene. They are in a quite classic style and feminine, yet not boring at all.

So my final evaluation is that I think this photobook has a really good natural feel as well as containing a sophisticated style throughout the whole book. And then of course nothing can go wrong with someone as stunning as Kariya Yuiko being on every page – so really glad I got this~
Scanned the photobook as well for all the cheapskates Kariya Yuiko fans out there ;) (Took me two hours o_o) Click the picture below to get it, password: yuikoforever The BOMB magazine was also quite nice, even though it only contained ONE PAGE with Kariya Yuiko in it, and still she was tagged in the product description! I think that’s a bit misleading… Anyway, here’s the page as well as some other ones I liked.

The magazine came with this two-sided poster of Itano Tomomi as well.
I’m not really interested in her, so if anyone wants to buy this please leave me a comment below ;)

Sakura Gakuin’s 2nd album

Received this last Friday (two days after the release date), but as I stated earlier I’ve been sick nearly a week, so that’s the reason why I’m a little late with all my blog updates – sorry ’bout that. This album came in a huge box and I was like: what is this?! But to my big surprise it was the Sakura Gakuin album with a poster ^O^ I didn’t expect it to come with a poster, but I’m not complaining~ Also came with a nice little photo card. Got Taguchi Hana, one of the newbies of the group – she’s really cute ♥

This time we get 12 songs (previous album contained 10) so that’s really cool. I can already reveal to you now that I like this album even better than the first one and I’ve only listened to it 4 times! Should we get on with my review? :)

1. Verishuvi (ベリシュビッッ)
I find this song amusing to listen to. It has that sort of German folk dance feel to it sometimes or whatever it is. But apart from that I also think it has good vocals. You clearly get to hear nearly all members sing in this, which is a really good thing! I also think it was a good choice to choose this as an album starter.

A fine song this is! I love the beat and the feel of this song. Sakura Gakuin always know how to make something that fills a person with great spirit and a happy feeling. That’s probably the thing I like most about them. It’s also songs like this you notice the big difference in each member’s individual voices :)


3. Please! Please! Please! (プリーズ!プリーズ!プリーズ!)
I love Please! Please! Please! – it’s such a “pleasing” song ;) Jokes aside, this is a fresh, catchy song yet again from Twinklestars and as always it makes me want to dance and swing a baton, lol. No, seriously it really gives me that feeling! xD

4. Rapicamu (ラピカム)
There are two Twinklestars songs on this album (yay) and the other one is really nice as well, but don’t beat their Please!x3 song though. With that said, I find this more original maybe? It has a different sound to it and as I like diversity this is definitely a plus. I just don’t know what the title is meant to mean… If anyone know please tell me ^^;

5. Hashire Shoujiki Mono (走れ正直者)
A sleepiece song which I like better than their last song, it’s more catchy, but still not quite a favorite song either. I don’t have anything against their voices I just can’t listen to this kind of song too many times – it’s too happy-go-lucky I guess ^^; But still better than their previous one!

6. Yokubari Fille (よくばりフィーユ)
Another song about food from Miniparty, this time about sweets I think. This is probably the one song I have to skip on this album – sorry I don’t have anything against both Yui, Moa and Hana – I just can’t stand the midi-like melody xDD Nothing personal.


7. Iine! (Vega Mix Ver.) (いいね!)
I’ve already posted my meaning of this epic BABYMETAL song in another blog post, but I guess I don’t mind repeating myself a bit ^^ This song is just wild! It mixes metal, electro, hip hop and idol pop – that alone has already earned them my respect. Apart from that it is seriously catchy, I have listened to it countless times already. Of course I’m kind of biased because Suzuka is my favorite member in Sakura Gakuin and I adore her voice, but no matter what you will have to admit this song has impact on the listener!

8. Otomegokoro (オトメゴコロ)
This is probably one of my favorites of the new album songs. It has a more serious tone than I’m used to hear from Sakura Gakuin and I like it! Some beats in me reminds me a little of AKB-songs, even though it’s vague. This is still a very different kind of song of course. Ayami, Ayaka, Airi and Suzuka have solo lines in this; I just love when they get to sing solo! They really have the best voices in Sakura Gakuin, it’s so weird three of them is leaving – and Suzuka is next ;__; Sigh…

9. Pictogram (ピクトグラム)
This song also has a new sound to it compared with the usual Sakura Gakuin songs in my opinion. The background music has almost a trance feel and the melody is heading more towards this new more serious/moody style than the usual happy one. I think this is a song that grows on one and I’m already starting to like it more and more as I listen to it once again.

10. 3 a.m.
This is a Ayami, Ayaka and Airi-only song and I guess a kind of goodbye gift to the fans? I would like to think of it that way :’3 This is also one of my favorite songs on the album. I like how it sort of mixes three solo songs together in one. First Ayami gets to sing solo and then Airi and then Ayaka. But every member’s part has a different melody and lyrics so it sounds like a medley. Ayami’s part is a sweet bright idol-song with an uplifting emotion, Airi’s is more electro-pop and slow-paced, while Ayaka’s part is upbeat eurobeat style. I think I like Ayaka’s part the most ♥ (sucker for catchy eurobeats :P)

11.  See you…
At first I found this song kind of plain, but with more and more listens this song is really growing on me! It has a catchy background beat and a lot of energy, very addictive stuff – haha. Apart from that I also think the song lyrics have a good message of being grateful for one’s friends and fond memories. Probably also one of my favorite songs of their new album.

12. Tabidachi no Hi ni (旅立ちの日に)
A sweet chorus song, which almost makes one emotional… Beautiful piece of music. This is the perfect song to end the album with. Makes me happy~

All in all a great release from Sakura Gakuin. They also said in an interview they had put a lot of work into this album and know I know why! It contains so many good songs I’m willing to forget about the Minipati song. I’m happy to have this in my idol music collection ♥

DVD「さくら学院  FIRST LIVE & DOCUMENTARY 2010 to 2011 ~ SMILE ~」 Now I’m just really curious about this LIVE DVD release. Did they perform any of the new songs I wonder? I hope they did, I want to see them perform these live ^^

My first Johnny’s calendar

Actually received this last week, but as I’ve been sick 6 days in a row I’m first blogging about it now. When I opened this calendar my first thought was: wow colors! This calendar is seriously colorful and I couldn’t stop smiling while browsing through its pictures. I hadn’t counted on using this as a calendar and was perfectly happy with it mostly containing pictures only ^^ A smart thing about it is that you can connect the calendar’s pages in a spiral bind, but you can also have them separate. This is very handy is you want to hang these beautiful pictures on your wall owo – just what I wanted to do! Then it also came with a separate wall calendar, quite small, but with a lot of nice pictures and 7 pretty photo cards :3 No matter what, if you wanted a lot of pictures of your Johnny’s idols this calendar will leave you very satisfied!

The pictures inside are really great in my opinion. I love how most of them are shot outdoors or in natural light instead of boring studio shoots. That made my day! There were quite many pictures of Yuma in the beginning of the calendar and I was beginning to worry how many Sexy Zone pictures there would be, but in the middle of the calendar there were tons of amazing pictures of both Shori, Sou, Marius, Fuma and Kento ♥ I have a lot of favorite pictures already. There were also interviews with each member, which I’ll try and read when I get the time. Otherwise there were pictures of A.B.C-z, Hip Hop Jump, Kanto Juniors, Morimoto Shintaro and other juniors. So most fans should be happy ^^

My favorite picture xD

I think this calendar was totally worth its money and it’s great finally to own my very own Johnny’s calendar ~

EDIT: For Nana I will include the calendar’s pictures with Juri Tanaka ;)