This year was a crazy year for new releases in Hello! Project, all the a-side singles add up to a total of 34, and that’s not even counting the memorial edits of Juice=Juice’s indie singles and the second version of Hello! Pro Kenshuusei’s “Ten Made Nobore!”
I must say that this year, not only were there a lot of singles but there is a lot of really good singles. Ranking this many songs was a bit difficult for me since I liked quite a lot of them and it was hard deciding which ones I like best and which ones I thought weren’t so good. This is probably going to be a long countdown and probably one of longest countdowns ever on this blog, so I’ll try to make my thoughts short, sweet and to the point.
So, let the countdown begin!
#34 – Lady Mermaid (Dia Lady)
This is probably going to be surprising for some of you since it seems like a lot H!P fans really like this song, but I’m the oddball that isn’t a huge fan of it. Of course I think Airi and Risako sound and look really great in this song and I really love the theme and set of the MV, it’s just that I personally don’t like the flow of this song. I just generally don’t like the whole setup of the song, it could have been better and I really wish a better song was chosen for this duo.
#33 – Tokainaka no Kare (GREEN FIELDS)
Another year, another GREEN FIELDS single near the bottom of my list. I think Tokainaka no Kare is an okay song to listen to, it’s not really super good but it’s not really that bad either, but at least I think this GREEN FIELDS’ single is a bit better from their last single. I find that this song is a bit child-like with all the kazoo sounds, dog barks, church bells and random cheering in it. I like this song, I listen to it, I think it’s pretty cute and catchy, but I think it’s a bit unappealing and plain compared to the other songs that were released this year.
#32 – Atarashii Watashi ni Nare! (S/mileage)
The things that I do like about Atarashii Watashi ni Nare are the outfits, how cool and sexy the MV looks, and some parts of the song, but besides those factors I can’t really say that I really like this song. It’s a cool, mature and different song for S/mileage but I think that it just doesn’t really flow well together. The tones of the song are just all over the place along with the dance too. I guess I can say that I do like this song just a little bit more than I did before, but it is not at all the best S/mileage single this year.
#31 – Samidare Bijou ga Samidareru (Juice=Juice)
Juice=Juice released a lot of great songs this year, but I would have to say that Samidare Bijou ga Samidareru is their weakest one during the year. I find that this song isn’t as fresh as the others, and this song has a more a rough and tough tone to it than the others. I like this tough sounding song, it’s different and it has a cool and different looking MV but one of the things that bothers me the most in this song is Aina’s vocals. Her vocals just stick out like a sore thumb and I don’t really enjoy listening to them. Luckily, she doesn’t get much lines in this song so I like this song quite a bit.
#30 – Hotaru Matsuri no Hi (Jurin)
A new Satoyama movement duo was formed this year with Sato Masaki and Miyamoto Karin. I like both girls in their own groups but I thought it was an odd pair to be put together at first. I may still think it’s a bit of an odd pair, but both of their vocals in this song are just so splendid and they blend so well together, it’s no wonder why they were put together for this song. Hotaru Matsuri no Hi is a great song to listen to if you just want to relax since I think it has a bit of a country tone and feature to it. I’m not a huge fan of country but I think that this song is still a good song and plus it has a really nice outdoor scenery MV.
#29 – Kaigan Seisou Danshi (HI-FIN)
I think that Kaigan Seisou Danshi is a great song for the harmonized vocals. All of the girls’ vocals blend really well together which surprised me a bit at first since you have three girls with kinda high vocals, one girl with medium and flexible vocals, and another one with kinda deep vocals. But this song resulted into harmonized heaven with all the different and unique vocals, and I really like it! Also, this single has a great MV which has great editing and has a really great vintage beach theme to it.
#28 – Eiya-sa! Brother (Mellow Quad)
I would have to say that the best Satoumi song this year is Eiya-sa! Brother. I think this song has the best theme out of the three, which is a Japanese Summer Festival. Sure, a retro American 1950/1960’s theme is pretty cool but I think a theme based from their own culture is more cooler and more interesting to watch. It’s just a fun traditional Japanese song like previous shuffle groups and songs such as Odoru 11’s “Shiawase Kyouryuu Ondo” and 10nin Matsuri’s “Dancing! Natsu Matsuri.” The song lyrics are a bit odd, but that doesn’t stop me from really liking this song, plus all the girls’ sound so amazing, especially Chinami. This is just a really fun song to listen to.
#27 – Ten Made Nobore! (Hello! Pro Kenshuusei ft. Juice=Juice)
Ten Made Nobore is such an adorable song sung by all of the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei’s and Juice=Juice. There’s no solo lines at all in this song, it’s all in union and it’s absolutely great. I think this song is just so fun and positive. It’s fun in a way where you can sing and dance easily along with the song, and it’s positive where the lyrics are so uplifting and inspirational that it just makes you happy. It’s kinda sad that not all of the Kenshuusei’s are presented in the Zero edit version of the MV, but the Kenshuusei members that are in it and the Juice=Juice members just look so cute.
#26 – Yattaruchan (S/mileage)
Yattaruchan is definitely a very energetic and catchy song, and I seriously love that this song is more Kana centered which is really great to see since she was never much in the center in S/mileage’s previous singles. The outfits are quirky and cute, and the MV is very appealing and entertaining to watch with S/mileage being S/mileage and their funny dance moves, but I personally can’t really say that Yattaruchan is the greatest S/mileage song this year though. It’s definitely better than Atarashii Watashi ni Nare but I think it’s just not as great as other S/mileage singles.
#25 – Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita (S/mileage)
I think Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita is a good song with a nice and spring-like flow to the it, and the MV and outfits are also quite nice too. I really love the floral dresses and the simple hairstyles, but I don’t really get why they used the blue outfits with the hoop skirts, I don’t mind them it’s just that I don’t think they matched the theme of the single that well. I also think that Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita is a catchy song but it can be a bit repetitive at times with the chorus and beat, but besides that I still really like this song.
#24 – Tokai no Hitorigurashi (C-ute)
I think C-ute’s Tokai no Hitorigurashi has the same kind of cuteness and catchiness as their 2011 release Momoiro Sparkling, but this song is more mature, retro and not so bubbly. I think it’s an extremely catchy song with all the why not’s, and it’s another C-ute MV with really good editing but I just don’t think that this C-ute song is as epic, sexy, and all together really great compared to their other releases this year.
#23 – Adam to Eve no Dilemma (C-ute)
I really like Adam to Eve no Dilemma, I think it has a great beat, great sexy outfits, great MV, and the lyrics are pretty good too. I really love how they incorporated Apples in this single to represent the Bible’s Adam and Eve along with the forbidden fruit. I think the little ou’s and ah’s are also a nice touch for this song and I like them quite a bit. I love Mai, she’s like my favorite C-ute member, but I just don’t think the last high note in this song was really made for her vocals, I would have prefer Chisato or Airi getting that last high note, but besides that little high note I really like this song.
#22 – ROCK Erotic (Berryz Koubou)
ROCK Erotic is such an epic single released from Berryz Koubou this year, it’s full of fan service and it’s absolutely great! I love the MV, the outfits and most of the dance. The girl’s look absolutely stunning in their dark gothlolita outfits, especially Yurina (I totally fangirl about Yurina when I watch the MV). As the title says, this song is a bit on the rock side of things and if I do say so myself it is a great song, everybody sounds really good and it has a good beat.
#21 – Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta (Berryz Koubou)
I think that Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta is a good song but I also think it’s a bit of the sad side since they’re missing somebody the they want to be with. I find that the MV is quite nice to watch, it has very nice features in it such as the pool of water with the flower petals. Their casual outfits aren’t that bad, I really love Maasa’s dress but I’m not a huge of Miyabi’s. All of the girl’s voices just sound really lovely in this song, there’s not any vocal parts that I don’t like, the whole song just sounds vocally great.
#20 – Hajimete wo Keikan Chuu (Juice=Juice)
I think that Hajimete wo Keikan Chuu is such a sweet and cute song about a first love, both the song and MV are just so adorably cute. Though I’m not really a huge fan of the guitar parts or announcer parts where he says little English phrases (I can’t really make out what he says besides something something tomorrow and something something be careful), but I do really love how this song is sung. Juice=Juice released a lot of cool sounding songs this year but I like how this song has more of a softer and sweet tone to it. Plus I just love how Akari shines in this single.
#19 – Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~ (Peaberry)
Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~ is such a splendid ballad where the girl’s vocals just sound so nice and wonderful alone and together. I really think this version of Cabbage Hakusho is the best version there is, I really liked the first one released last year but the Haru Hen version is even more wonderful than the original. Plus with lyrics from the 1913 children’s song “Furusato” sung by Hosokawa Kayoto just makes me love this song even more. It’s just such a beautiful ballad with a beautiful family-orientated and lovely MV.
#18 – Kono Machi (C-ute)
I think Kono Machi is another beautiful but simple ballad within the year. I really love listening to this song simply because some of the lyrics somehow remind me of my own hometown. I’ve always thought Kono Machi was a great single with lovely lyrics, beautiful MV, eye-catching outfits, and a great instrumental. All the C-ute girls look absolutely stunning and sound really great while singing this song. Even though I really adore this song, I kinda think that it’s a bit boring to watch when they perform this song live at concerts, it’s much a big deal or anything though I still really adore this song.
#17 – Oheso no Kuni Kara Konnichiwa (Hello! Pro Kenshuusei)
I absolutely love how fun Oheso no Kuni Kara Konnichiwa is. I think it’s just an extremely fun and catchy song, and it’s just as good as their last year release “Kanojo ni Naratai.” Plus, some of my most favorite Hello! Pro Kenshuusei’s get some great solo lines such as Nanami, Kurumi, Ayano and Kaede. I also really like how most of Hello! Pro Kenshuusei’s are presented in this MV (it’s just without Taguchi Natsumi). The MV is quite simple but all girls make it look fun and busy, and the dance is also super cute.
#16 – Ai tte Motto Zanshin (C-ute)
One of the things I really love most of Ai tte Motto Zanshin is the sound and flow of the song. Ai tte Motto Zanshin beautifully flows so well together, from the instrumental to the lyrics, I just love listening to this song. All of the girls’ vocals sound absolutely amazing in this song, it’s hard for me not to love this song. Not only is the song really great and wonderful but the MV really matches the greatness of the song too. It has the girls looking absolutely wonderful and sexy in the cool broken down building in their army outfits. The dance is also just as great. I think this song is just absolutely great.
#15 – Asian Celebration (Berryz Koubou)
Asian Celebration is a song that I ended up loving more and more as the year went by. I find it really catchy, and I think it’s just really fun to listen to. I really love the little English words in the song, it surprised me at first how much little English words I caught on to when I first listened to this song like celebration, vampire, congratulations, and even if you look at the lyrics there are a ton of English words that are there that I wasn’t even really aware of them saying. Anywho, Asian Celebration is an extremely fun song to listen to and I really enjoy listening to this song. The outfits are quite cool/funky looking, the dance is fun and the MV is also quite good too (would have been better if it was in better quality though).
#14 – Crazy Kanzen na Otona (C-ute)
Crazy Kanzen na Otona has to C-ute’s sexiest single released this year. The leather jackets, fishnets, high heels, and red cut off tops and red short shorts makes C-ute have the sexiest outfit of the year. The song itself is amazing to listen to, it has a very great beat and flow to it, and the girls sound really great. This single is extremely sexy from the outfits to the MV and dance. Everything about this single is absolutely great and quite sexy.
#13 – Ee ka!? (S/mileage)
I think Ee ka is the funniest and catchiest S/mileage song released this year. It has a bit of a 1990’s beat and sound to it, little raps here and there, it was Tsunku saying Ee ka, and the chorus is just extremely fun. I really like their outfits, and the MV is just as fun to watch as listening to the song. Plus who doesn’t love the panty shots in the MV? The girls sound like they’re having fun singing this song and they just look absolutely great. Ee ka is just an absolutely wonderfully fun song that pumps me up.
#12 – Golden Chinatown (Berryz Koubou)
I think Golden Chinatown is a wonderful song with a really well presented theme. The song flows really well together and I love the English words that are in this song such as fantastic, mystery magic, and eccentric, along with the little China puns are what I think helps make this song as great as it is. Also, I think the Chinatown theme they were given was presented really well in this single, and their outfits look very Chinese inspired. I think Golden Chinatown is a really great song with a great MV and a cool dance.
#11 – Kanashiki Amefuri (C-ute)
What I love the most about Kanashiki Amefuri is the lyrics. The lyrics for this song are really sad, and I swear I cried when I first watched the MV for this song. I don’t know how I could love such a sad song but I guess it’s because earlier in the year they were lyrics I could relate to. Even though they’re not so relevant to me now but I still really love this song and whenever it’s raining it’s the first song that pops in my head and I sing “Now it’s just raining, Kokoro no naka made.” The MV for this song is really great to watch with the really good editing, many outfit changes, and to me it seems like a fashion commercial rather than a music video (I think it’s a good thing). I’m really a huge fan of the dance, I find it a bit repetitive but the song itself makes up for it.
#10 – Ijiwaru Shinaide Dakishimete yo (Juice=Juice)
Ijiwaru Shinaide Dakishimete yo has such a wonderful smooth rhythm to it and it has such a cool atmosphere to it too. This single has more of a Jazz sound and feel to it compared to any other H!P songs I’ve heard this year, it’s just so cool and different. The MV is very appealing to watch, I’m not really huge fan of the outfits, besides Sayuki’s, but I think they match their theme quite well, and the dance is pretty alright too. I think this song is just really good and it’s quite catchy.
#9 – Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Irenai (Morning Musume)
I really like the robotic and autotuned sound for Kimi Sae Iraba Nani mo Irenai, I think it makes the song more cooler to listen to it. It took quite awhile for me to warm up to this song but once I did it become of my favorites. It has a great beat and sound to it, I think the outfits are quite pretty, and MV is a bit flashy even though it’s mostly the dance shot that was presented in the MV just at different angles, even with that though I think that the MV was still good and that the dance is pretty cool and robotic-like. Even though I think this song is really cool, and I see the poster for this song everyday, I kinda forget how awesome this song is since I don’t really listen to as much as the other Morning Musume releases this year.
#8 – Ai no Gundan (Morning Musume)
I think Ai no Gundan is a really good song, it has an amazing beat and the lyrics are quite catchy. I really adore the little honto’s in the song along with the little ah’s. Ai no Gundan is just a really awesome song to listen to. Plus it has a dance that’s very eye appealing and memorable, whenever I listen to the song I know what parts of the dance that they’re doing and I didn’t even bother to learn this dance, it’s just stuck in my head. Their red and black army outfits are quite cute, and the MV is just as cute as the outfits but with a bit of sparkles. It use to bother me a bit when they would say “Ai no Gundan” since it does sound a bit like “Why no Gundan” but I quickly got over that.
#7 – Ii Yatsu (S/mileage)
When I first listened to Ii yatsu, during the beginning I thought it would be a song I wouldn’t like but as I listened throughout the whole song my first thoughts and impressions proved me wrong and by the end of the song Ii yatsu became a song that I really like and enjoy. I think it’s a great mature song for S/mileage that captures all their beauty, and this song gives me the same impact and impression that their last year release Samui ne gives me. The girls’ sound absolutely great, and Dawa just blows me away in this song. The MV is very cute but mature and gives me a bit of a spoiled princess vibe. I just think Ii yatsu is the best S/mileage single this year, I think it’s quite a lovely single all together.
#6 – Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi (Berryz Koubou)
I think the best Berryz Koubou single this year is Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi. I really love the flow and beat of this song, and I definitely love the lyrics, especially when Miyabi and Risako sing the lines “Kirawaretakunakute waratte ita.” Sayonara Usotsuki no Watashi is another song for me where I absolutely love the lyrics and the way they’re sung. It’s a bit of a mature and sexy song for Berryz Koubou, and I think it’s very well displayed in the MV. All the members look absolutely great and I was so glad Momoko didn’t wear her Momochi pigtails for this song since that would totally ruined the song’s vibe for me. I don’t think the red dresses are that nice but I also think they’re not so bad, I think they’re alright. I think this song is so good that the little things don’t even bother me.
#5 – Brainstorming (Morning Musume)
I think Brainstorming is the “flawless” Morning Musume single of the year. It’s a song that just amazes me and pumps me up with it’s way of being sung and the way the lyrics are about feeling great about life instead of the usual songs about love. I remember when I first watched the loose version of the MV one day before I went to school and I was absolutely amazed with everything that was going on in the MV. The outfits are really flashy, and the dance formation is absolutely perfect and I love watching this song live simply because the dance amazes me every time. There’s an epic dance battle with the two best dancers, and my lovelies Mizuki, Haruna, Ayumi, and Masaki got great solo lines in this song! There’s nothing about this single which I don’t like, it’s amazing and it’s one of the best singles this year.
#4 – Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke (Morning Musume)
Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke starts off a bit calm then the beat drops and it becomes absolutely epic. It’s a straight forward song about not caring what other people say and think; these girls don’t care at all so don’t complain to them, they see love as a sin but they still want to be loved, they’re just being as difficult and stubborn as usual girls. I totally get this song and it made me laugh a bit at first when I watched the MV because I can relate to it and I think it’s true, the “I am who I am, I don’t care what you have to say about me” motto is similar to the motto I run. As for the MV, it’s as awesome as the song itself, along with another amazing dance and formation. Everything for this single goes hand-in-hand and everything about this single is absolutely epic and amazing.
#3 – Romance no Tochuu (Juice=Juice)
I think Romance no Tochuu is a fun and great Juice=Juice single, and it’s definitely a great song to be their debut single. This song is mostly Karin, Tomoko and Sayuki centered, and even if Akari and Yuka don’t get much lines as the other girl’s they do shine just as bright as them in the song and MV. And speaking of the MV, I really adore it, and the backdrops gives me a Great Gatsby feel and vibe (the backdrops look like the promotion poster of the newest movie). The outfits are great and they all match really well each other, well the white outfits and the pattern outfits, I have no clue what they thinking with the brightly coloured baggy outfits. But besides the brightly coloured outfits, everything going for this single is really great.
#2 – Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne (Juice=Juice)
What I think is the second best H!P single this year is Juice=Juice’s 1st indie single “Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne.” I think it’s seriously one of the best H!P songs out there and I think it’s way too amazing to be an indie single. The saxophone and instrumental in this song seriously helps make this song as awesome as it is. The girls have great and strong vocals in this song which was amazing to hear since it’s their first indie single and usually H!P indie singles don’t have really great vocals such as this one. The MV and outfits are bit simple and casual but it’s completely fine, the dance is great and fun to watch, and the song itself is absolutely great! I really love and adore this Juice=Juice song, it’s truly great and I think it’s their best song yet.
#1 – Help me!! (Morning Musume)
The first single released this year is my #1 song of 2013! Help me is an absolutely amazing single visually and through the ears. The song itself is absolutely amazing and it definitely deserved the #1 it got on the Oricon charts. Everybody’s vocals and voices sound so great in this song, and they all look absolutely beautiful in their very eye-appealing leopard outfits with pink bottom frills. The MV is totally amazing to watch, the green screen locations have so much detail in them, it really amazes me! And the dance is so amazing to watch, the dance has a lot details to it just like the MV’s such as when they sing the lines “KIRAKIRA shiteru onna no ko/Watashi wa habataku yo” their hands shakes like sparkles then they spread them out like wings, plus with the phoenix move this dance is just totally amazing! I love every little and major thing about this single and song.
And with all that my 2013 single ranking countdown is down, now I want just want to talk about the groups of Hello! Project and share some of my hopes and predictions for the new year.
Morning Musume had a very successful year this year, having all of their singles this year reaching a #1 on the Oricon charts. Morning Musume definitely deserved all their lovely success they have gotten over the year for their extremely awesome singles and releases. For the new year I just hope they become even more successful, and hopefully their name change doesn’t affect their new rising popularity too much. Since their singles all gotten a #1, I hope their #1 ranking streak continues in the new year. I also hope that they continue to having really awesome and great singles. I wouldn’t really mind it if they announce another audition, but I would really hate it to see someone graduate; I’m no where ready for Sayumi to graduate so I hope and pray that she doesn’t decide to graduate in the new year. As long as they sell more than 100k with each single in the new year I’ll be an extremely happy camper.
I thought Berryz Koubou released some really good singles this year, and each single they released it sold just a bit more than the previous one. This new year I just hope Berryz Koubou continues to release some really great singles with some eye-catching outfits. For the new year I hope their singles rank in the top #5 on the Oricon charts and sell over at least 30k.
C-ute had an extremely successful year this year, with their latest single has sold 67k all together! For the new year I just hope C-ute continues to be just as successful. I would really love to see C-ute selling over 50k with each new single and ranking at least a #4.
I really love S/mileage, and they’re like my favourite group, but I just kinda think that some of their singles this year was a bit disappointing. So I definitely hope and wish for some really awesome S/mileage singles for the new year, and along with that I hope that they’re successful singles selling over 21k and ranking at least #5.
I’m glad that Aika got to perform quite a bit with GREEN FIELDS and a few solo songs with the Hello! Project acts at various lives over the year. I’m a bit fond of Aika so I hope that she continues to some more work and performances as a solo member in Hello! Project.
It felt like Juice=Juice was just announced the other day and now they already matured so much and gained some much success in little less than a year. Juice=Juice is an awesome group with great vocals so for the new year I hope Juice=Juice continues to surprise us all with their amazing success with their newest singles. I also hope that Juice=Juice ranks at least #5 and selling at least 30k for their newest releases. Juice=Juice is just a really great group!
Hello! Pro Kenshuusei
This year was the year where I payed more attention to the Kenshuusei’s and even memorized almost of their names in the right generation order. I hope they make a new unit with the Kenshuusei’s in the new year, just like how Juice=Juice was formed and promoted. I’m glad that they’re releasing singles and shows featuring all of the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei’s to somewhat promote them a bit so hopefully UFA is planning to announce a new unit. I would love to see any of the Kenshuusei’s making it to a new H!P unit, but I would totally love if Ayano, Kaede, Nanami, Mizuki, Manaka, and Karen to get put in a new unit.
If they continue with the Satoyama/Satoumi movements in the new year the only thing I really hope for is that they release some good singles. I liked the Satoyama releases but I kinda thought the Satoumi movements songs were a bit disappointing, sure the themes were really good but I just didn’t think the songs weren’t so good.
All together and in general, Hello! Project had a very successful year this year and I hope it continues in 2014. I would love to see no one graduating and leaving in 2014, but there’s probably going to be at least 3 girls who decide to leave (mostly Kenshuusei’s I would guess and assume). I hope all the best for everybody in Hello! Project in the new year! Bring on the new year!!