Aya Matsuura thread 2007 Week 42 (October 14 - October 20)

from here to here


sville1999 started the week in a welcome fashion when he pasted the dates for the Double Rainbow tour, only to follow up with the fanrecordings of the first three concerts:

Site & Date
Zama Harmony Hall - Saturday, 13-Oct & Sunday, 14-Oct
Osaka Welfare Pension Hall - Saturday, 20-Oct
Tokyo Welfare Pension Hall - Saturday, 3-Nov & Sunday, 4-Nov
Kawaguchi Liria - Saturday, 10-Nov
Aichi Welfare Pension Hall - Saturday, 24-Nov

Set list: (20071013 Zama Night)
01. Egao
02. Dokki Doki! LOVE Mail
03. MC1
04. LOVE Namida Iro
05. Toudai
06. Uchu de La Ta Ta
...... Dancer performance to GET UP! Rapper instrumental track.
07. 100kai no KISS
08. Hikkosenai Kimochi
09. Onna Day by Day
10. Navi ga Kowareta Oujisama (LOVE CHANCE)
11. MC2
12. Blue Bird
13. Ima wa Let it Be
14. Suna wo Kamu You ni... NAMIDA
16. MC3
17. Tropica~l Koishite~ru
18. Momoiro Kataomoi
19. Zettai Tokeru Mondai X=?
20. Yeah! Meccha Holiday
E1. Double Rainbow
E2. MC4

And if that were not enough he also posted two images from the website of Aya's ad partner Aoyama Syouji .
Plus a nice video of Aya and Yuko Nakazawa at the 2002 Nagoya Expo Park, complete with two performances

Matt then brought the good news of a new Aya DVD Magazine (the fourth one) and some GAM officials
while mangomalte did a dance when he noticed that the Aya thread had reached its 5000th post :-))))))

which did make Aya very thoughtful.... , prompting silenceglaive to protest Ayaya might be not pretty tall but she is not little in personality and charming attributes.

But back to the concert tour: To Matt's delight it seems that Aya is performing with a live band, evident by the "Happy to Go" performance in which she introduces the musicians. silenceglaive correctly remarked: Seems that if you have only 1 performer it's a good thing to use a band, so you're having more style.

Matt then posted a "few" new officials from the concert tour including Aya's Halloween one

Alienpyon was absolutely correct remarking that it was high time for a new Aya photobook, hoping thbat it wouldn't be like the last one which was a bit too artsy fartsy for my taste, you know, blurry photos, huge close-ups etc... Alien had also finally received his Double Rainbow CD and allowed himself a listen:
- Two great singles. One of them (Egao) slightly greater than the other.
- Two good songs (Tracks #1 and #2)
- Two VERY good songs (Tracks #9 and #10)
- Five fillers
Not a bad album, of course, but the five latter songs lack the spark that makes Ayaya's songs great. Honestly, if this cd didn't say "Aya Matsuura" on the cover, I wouldn't bother listening to those 5 tracks at all... Those "easy listening" songs, as Azagrath and Matt aptly described them earlier, remind me of HAWKWIND's "we took the wrong step years ago". Yup, they just went so wrong!
to which mangomalte replied: of the five tracks you describe as fillers two of them are among the best on the album imo (blue bird and Toudai). Egao and Happy to Go! are still the best, though. what i find weird about this album is that Suna wo Kamu You ni... NAMIDA is on it, since it was on Naked Songs.
Nights4Saturn, finally able to devote more time to the important things after a gruesome week at work defended the album: I finally received Double Rainbow on Saturday, and I've just been able to give it a really good listening to. And I've got to say that I feel you guys have been a little harsh on it. While I'll admit that some of the songs on the album are clearly superior to the others (Onna Day by Day is absolutely amazing and could easily have been a GREAT single in itself). Infact, the only song that I really felt was a "filler," was blue bird. Other than that one song, the album is absolutely enjoyable, and blue bird itself isn't even what I would call "bad." While I admit that the album isn't very "adventurous" in its production, I don't feel that it is any worse because of that. While maybe not absolutely spectacular, its a good, solid album.

The sales however proved to be dismal again as Alien found out: However, the first week's sales are, according to wiki, disappointing: 9,960 copies, not even 5 digit figure. DAMN... and silenceglaive added Yes, I saw those numbers too ... a bit diaspointing though. Especialy because Ayaya made quite much advertising. First day was rank 8 and I thought it'd be selling much better ... but somehow all the advertising just huirried the ppl to buy it at day one .. it seems ... Well if you give me the right to make an educated guess ... next week sales will raise the total amount to about 12000 sales. After 4 weeks total it will be 14k and the open end future is about 15500-16500.
Matt became philosphical again reading this: That is indeed disappointing. Fact is we're Aya fans and will like almost anything. But would we like this album if it were sung by someone else? And if we were not Aya (or HP) fans, would we buy the album? And look at the recent new groups at HP, aimed at HP fans. All kiddie stuff really.
So is there a future for Aya at HP? Do they really know what to do with her? Or any of the other "elder" artists (only compared to the others of course)? Maki Goto's album did a little better, but not much really, and her trend over the years is sliding downhill as well. Would she do better at another company, not having to bear the UFA idol "burden"? Hypothetical as it'll never happen, but a valid question, to which I have no answer.
Alien replied: I liked Maki Goto's album a lot. Very much, I must say. It's strange why it did not sell more, I guess it has to do with albums selling little all over the world (the usual story...), but it was a strong, tight, powerful album. I mean, obviously someone had Maki Goto in his mind when he wrote those songs! I feel the songwriters of "Double rainbow" did dot have Ayaya in their heads all the time, so some songs eventually went astray (personal opinion)... which in turn prompted Matt to say: When I talk about the idolry burden I am thinking along the lines of having to surpress a great deal of your personality, and the fact that a lot of people interested in buying records do "look down" upon this genre (I am sure in Japan as well). Though Aya does seem to be excluded more than anyone else from this. If that (and a new style of music) would be enough to level out the number of people disapointed in her leaving HP is somewhat doubtful though (at least in the beginning). Maki's dismal sales might have to do with the same thing, her association with HP preventing an interest by "outsiders" as well. But that's all speculation really not having a clue what the situation in Japan is like. And I think you're quite right Alien about the songs not having Aya in mind. And I guess that's were a big part of my "disappointment" comes from. The fact that someone with a unique talent as Aya is given songs that do not mirror that uniqueness at all. That's what I meant when I said that it could/should have been a far better album.
And Azagrath added: I wonder if Double Rainbow had done better if the songs were written by Tsunku. Ki ga Tsukeba Anata was the last single he wrote for her, and while it wasn't really up-tempo track, it had a bit of energy to it. Going by sales number from wiki as well, it was her best selling track since Kiseki no Kaori Dance. Then again, her ballads have usually had kinda low sales, so it's pretty obvious most people want songs that.. well, aren't ballads. While Double Rainbow isn't all ballads, it lacks those energetic tracks, whether it's dance, pop, rock, jazz, thrash metal ( I'd like to hear that), whatever. Like I said in my earlier review, it just sounds TOO pleasant. They're all good songs, nothing wrong with them, but they lack that spark, that H!P magic, that special something that makes me just fall head over heels in love with it. Simply put, the songs are nice, but they don't spark any emotion in me. The old tracks do. The GAM stuff does. And looking at the set list of her new tour, it's a hit parade deluxe, so she obviously knows what people want to hear. It's not like the album is a HUGE disappointment, cause it's not. It's just that it could have been so much better. Ah well, it'll be interesting to see where she goes from here. Hopefully, the next few singles won't be ballads. We've had too many already... An opinion supported by Quintaxos: I'm with Azagrath on this. She needs more upbeat songs to sing. Although, she's grown up now, she might not want to jump around in the Ne~e costume anymore. I guess I like the young more energetic Aya then the calm, ballad-Aya. Which of course brought Matt back (the old ballad defender :-)

Matt reported the folder upload of a nice appearance at the 2002 Japan Gold Disc Awards with an acceptance speech for best newcomer and upped some "older" officials

And while we had a new Aya fan with OH MAN OH MAN!! (I like the nick :-) zam wrote a review on another thread on Aijou Ippon with a few interesting observations: I got the DVD for Aijou Ippon last friday. I was just browsing at Tower Records for any interesting Jdrama for me to watch over the coming long holiday. I wasn't expecting Ayaya to be starring at me from a Jdrama DVD set I have never heard Ayaya made a drama so I wasn't sure until I say her name written in the bottom right corner. Eventho the plot was simple, the way the drama was executed was superb. IMO it is one of the best drama i have seen so far. Tho at the begining the acting looks weak but it improved in later episodes, especially Ayaya, as she learns more and more. At a point the acting was good enough to look like real life. I have to admit ep.9 and ep.10 made my tears run. That was unexpected but Ayaya was able to convey the emotions of the situation across the screen. That was just awesome.
This drama also must have been a high profile one with the judo olympic gold medalist making a special appearance on set and drama. In the making-of the reaction from Ayaya when she touched the olympic gold medal was funny... after touching it with her forefinger, she was running around the dojou set with her finger in the air with the kids jumping around her My guess is shes the only H!P member that has ever touched an olympic gold medal.
Another big surprise from this drama was in ep.7, if I recall correctly. In this episode Tomoe (Ayaya's character) was invited to a kareoke session with their classmates. On reaching the kareoke room, they were told by 2 girls the meeting has been cancelled. At first I didn't realised who they were coz the camera angle was side ways and focused on Ayaya. But when the camera pans across the room, to my surprise I see Takahashi and Kamei sitting there So Tomoe didn't want the evening go to waste so the 4 of them ended up singing the night away. Thats how we get a short performance by Ayaya sining Meccha Holiday with Takahashi and Kamei backing her up ... that scene was fun eventho it didn't last more than 5 minits. The next morning when Tomoe's dad asked who she spent the night before with, she says "Ai and Eri", haha they used their real names. The final surprise was seeing Thane-sensei, near the end, as Kaoru's new boyfriend Thane-sensei was the guy who came on in an episode of Hello!Morning to teach Momusu english.
I recommend this drama to all Ayaya fans. It is always great to see an H!P artist in the main character role. Basically Ayaya is the star of this drama.
I have a new found respect and admiration for Ayaya after watching this drama. Gandatte Ayaya! And mister.mori added: i've always thought that Aya was one of the most, if not the most, talented actresses in H!P. which drove zam into a PS: Mori-san don't forget to watch the making of too... the interview with the actor who did the food stall operator was funny.. he is a big fan of Ayaya and he never get to meet Ayaya until that interview and he was so nervous when he finally did meet Ayaya ... thats when it hit me that Ayaya is a pretty big star.

soup posted a link to the beautiful performance of Happiness during the 2006 "Shinka no Kisetsu" tour (which will be in the folders soon) which made him an Aya fan. and a subbed version of the Ne~e PV:

Aside from the Double Rainbow CD and the 2008 calendar Matt had also received the two "kotomikku Daijiten" DVDs with Mikitty which he ripped and put on the
tracker (1 + 2) and the folders (1 + 2)

zam then found a link for that hilarious 2003 Matthew's Best Hit TV episode Ever wondered how it would be like to drive around town with Ayaya in the pessenger sit? Than you got to watch this If she wasn't sitting next to me, I'd better park the car, I don't think I could concentrate on the road Especially when shes singing Ne-e complete with hand gestures. And Azagrath added a gif from the show with Aya getting groped :-) zam explaining that obasan is one crazy lady ... and after that Ayaya repeated that groping action with the sound effects and send herself giggling uncontrollably all over again ... thats the funniest BHTV so far... I've heard Matthew say on other episode that when Ayaya was the guest on the show the studio would go crazy I didn't expect it to be this crazy. And jw042693 provided a link to a funny BHTV clip with Miki complaining about Matthew making Aya look to cute :-)

After a short discussions about where to buy DVDs online, an Aya-Kusumi comparison (yeah well :-), and Fumi counting Aya among the four great voices of Japan (the others being Namie Amuro, Hikaru Utada, and Tomiko Ban), Matt posted some lovely scans from a 2004 edition of Girlpop magazine, with "Your Song" as a topic:

Fumi delighted us with one of her cartoons , adding I guess we all have our own special Charm Points, right, Matt? (Mine, of course, is my opinion, which I exhibit without shame!). Matt (always honored to be mentioned in them) replied Yeah well, I told her that as I've heard people say that. I only look at her fingernails of course.

silenceglaive was wondering what that Temporomandibular joint disorder was that Aya was suffering from last year (two TV reports in the folders btw) and was educated by zam It has to do with the joint connecting your jaw to your skull. People with this dis-order will feel pain in that region when they move their jaw too much and Fumi TMJ is caused by stress, I have some personal experience with this but fortunately not for a very very long time! Matsuura was doing too many activities at that time.

Matt found an interesting site with some opinionated articles about Aya and HP. And while he disagreed with several of his thoughts and conclusions he had to agree with just as many. He also finished work on his Meringue guests page, complementing the RS uploads of the show. A big thank you has to go to Philosoranter and especially sville1999 for their help in IDing and linking the guests

Azagrath turned the heat up a bit with his own cartoon: which was promptly echoed by Fumi and Vermillion discovered a highly interesting blog of a photographer named Reed Rowe who was involved in the making of the 2008 calendar (the head photographer being Shuichi Tsunoda): ...I have seen many pictures of her, in fact there were 3 posters of her in the studio halls, but that didn't really prepare us to see her in person. She walked in the room for the first time and you just sort of gasped. She was that pretty. Though the pictures we took today were amazing, I still haven't seen a picture that is as pretty as she really is.... Here's the article as a jpg:
Matt thought that Aya had gone on a little deserved vacation but she did appear on "Chi chin puipui" , Nights4Saturn liking the hairstyle :-) And while mixedmedia marveled about Miracle Koharu's Aya impersonation (discussed in last week's review) Matt closed the week with the vidcaps from the new Meringue. silenceglaive remarked at that: Somehow Ayaya is there for beeing the cute one wich gives the audience someone they can laugh with to which Matt quipped Better than to laugh at :-)

And so, after another big review I will cya next week :-)))