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Shiny Days
charmyrenai
I have decided to move my blog back to Livejournal. There are a few minor features I've missed, plus I can do a few other things with my website. It'll make things easier for me to manage also.

I will transfer all my old Wordpress entries to here over the next few days. Those of you on my Livejournal friends list may notice a flood of entries. I will try to transfer just a few posts each day so the friends list won't get crowded with my entries.

In addition, I will post not only about my fandom-related interests, but there may be some personal life entries. Also, posts will be viewable by everyone, with the possible exception of anything more personal. These will only be viewable by those on my friends list.

I also plan to allow comments by anyone not a member of Livejournal. If this is abused by spammers, I will take more drastic measures. So no spam, please.

Did anyone miss me?;)

Love, Charmy

Current Mood: tired tired

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charmyrenai
So my hero (Hi, Nocutechi!) sent me this picture yesterday.


Free File Hosting at FileHive.com


This is Osaka Performance Doll in 1993. Wow! They look so young. I almost didn't recognize Atsuko. She looked adorable back then. And I like Ayano's hair.

On the left side of the image, the members are: (Front row) Atsuko Inaba (稲葉貴子), Yukiko Takeuchi (武内由紀子), Ayano Furutani (古谷文乃) (Back row) Miho Ueda (上田美穂), Kumiko Nakano (中野公美子).

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
In Atsuko's latest post, she mentions that she loves finanshe that comes in a Pooh-shaped box. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but I think it's a kind of cookie. And some of you know how much I love cookies.

At first, I thought she was saying they can only be found at a Disney resort. Later I realized she referred to the kind in the Pooh box.

Next, she mentions that she enjoys looking for delicious food. She and I seem to be alike in many ways.^_^

Then she talks about how she spent the day cleaning her house. She also mentions that cleaning the bathtub is her weak point. My guess is that means she doesn't like to do that chore.

I'll clean her tub if she cooks gyoza for me. Or if she gives me cookies.*giggle*

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
I posted another comment on the O.P.D blog yesterday. But I'm worried. I know very little Japanese, and I had help translating what I wanted to say into Japanese. I'm worried that my attempt to comment would look stupid.

I commented on Atsuko's entry. I told her she's my favorite Hello! Project member, plus a few comments about O.P.D. I hope she doesn't think I'm a weird fan from the United States. I hope she saw the comment and it made her happy.

Atsuko's posts on the blog get many comments. The other members get fewer comments. I would comment on their posts if I knew what to say and if my Japanese was better.

The other members are very pretty also, especially Ayano and Kumiko. I wish I knew more about them.

Love, Charmy

Current Mood: worried worried

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charmyrenai
I've been reevaluating which Hello! Project members I consider favorites. There are many I like, some more than others, but some I haven't focused on lately. It's time to trim the list a bit. So I'm rewriting my favorites list.

My first selection won't surprise anyone who knows me. Atsuko Inaba is my favorite. The more I see her in videos and in pictures, the more I like her. She is a very talented singer and dancer. She is very beautiful and sexy. And she can be crazy. She often makes me laugh, especially when she wears the Afro.





Whenever I feel sad, if I watch a video featuring Atsuko, she always cheers me up.

Whenever she performs music, she's full of energy. I can see that she enjoys what she does. I always enjoy watching her perform.

If I was born in Japan, and I knew her, we would probably be best friends. She seems like a fun person to be with.

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
I did something surprising yesterday. I posted a comment on O.P.D's blog. I had help with the translation to Japanese. I was nervous when posting, since I haven't replied to something like that in the past. I hope they like it.

I told them I was a new fan from the U.S., that I bought and enjoy their first album, and I wish them good luck for their concert. I'm not sure if they'd notice the comment, but if they do, I hope it makes them happy to know they're getting new fans.

I hope the concert is released on DVD. Since I'm unable to attend the concert (I'd need lots of planning, and I want to know more Japanese before I go to Japan), I would enjoy it if I could watch it on DVD. Of course, I'm mostly interested in watching Atsuko perform, but I'd also like to see the others perform.

I'd also like to point to a lovely cellphone picture of Atsuko: Click to view. Isn't she gorgeous? And I love her hat.

Atsuko will also MC the H!P Summer concert later this month and early next month. I'm definitely looking forward to that and will buy that DVD. She is always fun to watch.^_^

It looks like she will be busy for the next few weeks, MCing one concert (for several days) and performing at another (O.P.D in two locations). I believe in her, though. She has much energy from what I've seen in her performances. She's amazing (and colossal), and incredible.^_-

Love, Charmy

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charmyrenai
Recently, Osaka Performance Doll launched a new blog:

http://opd.laff.jp/

Of course, it's in Japanese, but hopefully anyone who understands Japanese or knows someone who does will find it interesting.

Of course, the best part (for me at least) is there is a post by Atsuko<3.

This is a temporary blog, to run until after the concert. But at least this partially fulfills my recent wish that Atsuko would have a blog. Now I need to learn more Japanese so I can understand it without help from others.

(Thanks to my Hero for finding this for me.:D )

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
http://www.oricon.co.jp/news/music/56185/full/

Here is a rough translation, thanks to Nocutechi:

"Osaka Performance Doll reunites after 11 years; Kawamoto's wife returns to stage

"Osaka Performance Doll, a female idol group that dominated in the first half of the 1990s, will be commemorating their fifteen year anniversary of their debut in Osaka City through a live reunion performance called '2008 Gentei Osaka Performace Doll Natsu Matsuri!! ~15nen Me no Yoru da Kara~.' They had a press conference on Wednesday, the ninth.

"Shigemoto Naomi, the wife of Kawamoto Junichi - a member of the comedy duo Jichou Kachou, spoke about her preparations for the reunion, 'Since I have been neglecting housework and childcare, my husband must help out around the house.'

"The group was first announced in 1993 at Nippon Budoukan, during a live performance of Tokyo Performance Doll, a group that Shinohara Ryoko belonged to. Three generations of members were added to the group and they released eight singles and three albums. After that they became dormant and had a 'natural extinction.' Now for the first time after eleven years they will return to stage.

"Shigemoto joined the group as a teenager and retired from the entertainment business after marrying Kawamoto. She is now the mother of a single child, but when the topic of a "reunion" was brought about a year ago, she said 'The practices had the same feelings that they had in the old days, except now I lacked some of my physical strength. However after becoming a mother, I've had the freedom to not work!' She also commented in saying, 'Although making bentos keeps me busy, they are making me a 'Super Mom'! Although doing housework and child care was difficult at first, they have become a part of me and I have found a balance between them.' She commented as an adult figure that grew from an idol group, giving the appearance of an mom idol.

"The local Kansai TV reporter, leader Takeuchi Yukiko, has continued in the entertainment business and said, 'Although I have aged a lot, I want to be able to do the idol singing and choreography that I did in those days. Other members, other than the six CD members that have come here today, will also participate. It will be like a class reunion!' The woman in her thirties looked forward to the reunion event.

"Live performance on 9 August at Umeda Kagetsu and 17 August at SHIBUYA-BOXX."

Here are several new photos (click the link) of the group. Atsuko looks lovely in the pictures. The other members look pretty also.

Love, Charmy

Current Mood: excited excited

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charmyrenai
Bikkuri Project has posted a survey and I decided to do it and post my answers here. My answers focus on Hello! Project since that's what I mostly know. And most of my answers are predictable.;) Answers are bolded.

1.) You have found a magical J-pop genie who will grant you one J-pop related wish (so no wishing for a million dollars or world peace or anything like that). It can be virtually anything as long as it’s directly related to J-pop, and don’t worry, because this is the nice sort of genie, not the kind who will try to find a loop-hole and screw up your wish. So, what do you wish for???

Please give Atsuko Inaba a successful solo career. She's a very talented singer and deserves a chance to prove it. With proper marketing/promotion, I believe she can be very successful.

2. Is there any J-pop artist or group who seriously pisses you off? If yes, who, and why?

No. Occasionally someone will do something that disappoints me, but so far no one has made me angry.

3. Who do you think is the sexiest japanese singer out there?

Atsuko Inaba. Physically and personality-wise, she's very sexy.

4. How about the cutest?

Asami Konno. No matter what she does, she's so cute. She always makes me smile and has the ability to cheer me up.

5. Best personality?

Atsuko Inaba. She's very outgoing and often has a craziness that makes me laugh.

6. If given the opportunity, would you rather date person 3, person 4, or person 5?

3 and 5;) Although I wouldn't say no to KonKon either. But often I imagine myself dating Atsuko. If we dated, we'd have an awesome time. We'd probably eat at lots of restaurants, or she could teach me how to dance. Whatever we did, I believe she'd be a fun person to be with.

7. You work for a Japanese music magazine, and you have the opportunity to interview your favorite artist or group. What are a couple of the questions you want to ask them?

What made you want to enter the music industry?

Is there anything musically you haven't done yet but would like to?


(Of course, I'd be interviewing Atsuko.)

8. What’s the best (J-pop) song to listen to when you are really sad?

Marui Taiyou ~Winter Version~ by Taiyo to Ciscomoon. Something about it always makes me feel good when I'm feeling down.





9. When you’re really happy?

As for One Day by Morning Musume. I often feel like dancing whenever I hear it.

10. Do you often sing along to your favorite songs?

No. I can't sing.;)

11. How about dance?

Most of the time (usually when I'm alone.)

12. Artistic integrity question!! If someone offerrered to pay you for blogging, but they were allowed to censor some of your opinions or veto some of your blogging ideas, would you do it?

No. If I can't say what I want, there's no point in blogging.

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
On the May 12th episode of Hello!Pro Yanen, Atsuko Inaba announced that she will participate in the Osaka Performance Doll reunion concert.

Source (in Japanese)

Now, excuse me while I go squee and dance in excitement.

Love, Charmy

P.S. Thanks to Yumi for the translation. Have I ever told you that you're my hero?^^

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charmyrenai
I had another H!P-related dream last night. In my dream, Kei Yasuda and I attended the same university. We were in the car on the way to school. She was telling me (in English) about a new play she was in. I tell her I'll definitely attend her performances, even if I won't understand 95% of what's being said.

The next part I remember, she and another friend of ours were attempting to get their class schedules changed. I suppose I was happy with my schedule, so I waited outside of the office and watched TV.

That's really all I remember, but it was still cool. So here's the count of my previous H!P dreams:

1.) Rika Ishikawa (we both are captains of opposing softball teams and were best friends.
2.) Hitomi Yoshizawa (I won't talk about this one. I'll keep it private.)
3.) Atsuko Inaba (I attend a sports game or something that she's in.)

I wonder who'll be next. I would love to have another Atsuko dream, though.

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
According to this blog post, Osaka Performance Doll (大阪パフォーマンスドール) will hold a live concert on August 9 at the Umeda Kagetsu Theater in Osaka.

Apparently it's just a one-time event, but you never know. If they eventually make a comeback, and if Atsuko is part of this, expect MAJOR SQUEE from me.

Love, Charmy

Current Mood: excited excited

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charmyrenai
I never expected to consider Hello! Project a fandom. I never thought of any music as a fandom. I didn't pay much attention to how things progressed in the beginning of my H!P discovery. Some of it is a bit unclear, but some things I do remember. I will attempt to chronicle what I remember.

I had been blogging on Livejournal for a few years. At one point, during the summer of 2006, I began noticing two or three LJ users using similar interesting animated icons as userpics. They were pretty girls in interesting outfits manipulating fire. I asked someone who they were, and was told they were from a group called Morning Musume. I became intrigued and decided to search for more information about them. One of the first things I learned was about Yaguchi's famous "Sexy Beam" line from the PV "Koi no Dance Site". So I searched for that video on Youtube. I found it very interesting as a video and as a song. The first member who caught my attention was the pigtail girl. I learned she was Maki Goto.

After learning that the animated LJ icons were from the PV "Iroppoi Jirettai", that was the next video I watched. Another interesting video. (How about that? From Sexy Beam to Sexy Ai-land.) I don't recall if anyone from that video stood out for me or not. After that, I think the next PV I watched was "Love Machine". I suspect that was next because I remember being drawn to Kaori in that video. Something about her look attracted me.

I asked about more information about them, and was directed to several sites. The two I recall most are DJ Waffles and Hello Online. I downloaded one of the Hello Morning episodes. The episode I watched was from early June 2006. It was a quiz episode about three of the members' trip to the zoo. My favorite part of that episode was the skit. I quickly downloaded more episodes and was drawn into the world of Morning Musume.

My first real favorite member was Eri. I considered her my favorite because I read about her weirdness. Then I discovered Ayaka's Surprise English Lessons, and my new favorites quickly became Yaguchi and Ishikawa. I loved Yaguchi's wackiness. I also enjoyed the episode with her stealing the gyoza. This was around the same time I had discovered gyoza myself, and it was one of my new favorite foods. If she liked gyoza too, then she obviously had great taste.;)

But it was Rika who captured my heart. It was the episode "When is the next train coming?". She was practicing her Charmy impersonation. I thought her personality was so adorable, and looked up more "Charmy" videos. I soon adopted her nickname as my own.

For several weeks, I knew nothing of the H!P world outside of Morning Musume. My first notice of the existence of more groups was the formation of GAM. I mostly noticed Miki since I had no clue who the other girl was. I think I had also discovered v-u-den around the same time, because I already knew who Erika and Yui were when the Sukeban Deka movie was released. Later, I began discovering more groups and subgroups. I had become a Hello! Project fangirl.

I've detailed my later fandom in various places, so I won't repeat it here. But I'll mention a couple of points.

1.) I am grateful for discovering Morning Musume and later Hello! Project. Something about their music has helped me out of my earlier depression. I still occasionally feel down, but it hasn't gotten as bad as it did prior to discovering them. It's given me a more positive outlook on life. Because of that, this fandom will most likely remain in my heart for a long time to come.

2.) Oddly, my first exposure to the whole H!P world was not Morning Musume. It was a W video. I had seen the PV of "Robokiss" a few months earlier, but I had no clue Aibon and Nono were part of H!P. I had assumed they were just another Jpop duo. I might have seen another video or two of them, but they quickly faded off my radar until much later in my H!P fandom.

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
2005 was an eventful year, particularly the last few months. Hurricane Katrina was my first major hurricane experience. (Since I no longer live in that area, I can mention that.) Fortunately, the house I was living in at the time suffered little damage, but there were eventually other (personal) events that resulted in my need to move. Then, a little over a month after Katrina, my knee mysteriously began to cause me trouble. Going to the emergency room wasn't helpful, since the doctors were unable to find any problems, but I wore a knee brace for several weeks. Eventually, it seemed to improve, but it would periodically cause pain again. Because of this, I eventually had to stop my daily morning runs.

A few years earlier, one of the fandoms I became involved in was Doctor Who. I made several online friends in that fandom. Two of those friends introduced me to my next fandom around the start of 2006. This new fandom: PGSM (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a live action version of the anime). I resisted at first. Usually, it's easier for me to drift into a fandom on my own than for someone to coax me into fandom. One of them gave me a set of DVDs with subtitled episodes. I watched the first episode, and then set it aside. Later, I decided to watch the second episode, and quickly started to get drawn into the series. At first, I thought I would watch one episode a week, but it evolved into watching an episode a day, then several a day.

At first, my favorite character in the series was Sailor Mars. But early on, I began to identify with Mercury. The timing of watching her in the early episodes coincided with what I was going through at the time. I had started noticing many of my friends drifting away for reasons I'm not sure of. I wondered if it was a result of coming out as a lesbian the year before. That, and the inactivity as a result of my knee problems, caused me to go into a deep depression. I also began to suffer from low self-esteem. I started to wonder if something was wrong with me, figuring that was why people avoided me.

Once I finished watching PGSM, I slowly drifted out of that fandom, but it still held a place in my heart. When summer arrived, I discovered a new fandom. Little did I know this fandom would change my outlook on life.

(to be concluded...)

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
This is a post I've wanted to write for a while, but I've been procrastinating on it. I intend to explain my journey which eventually led to H!P fandom. It will be in either two or three parts. This first part will focus on my journey prior to discovering Hello! Project. Some of it will be difficult for me to write, and some bits I won't go into detail, since it still makes me uncomfortable. A few of you already know bits and pieces of this. But it may explain some of my behavior.

My journey starts around age 15. I had just discovered the online world, and it fascinated me. I was quickly drawn into chat rooms, and I made many friends. It wasn't long before I became interested in a guy online. He was around 30. Things progressed quickly (too quickly) and soon I thought I was in love. I was young, naive, and foolish. Then we decided to meet in real life. That was a big mistake. When we met, it was clear that he was interested in only one thing. It was something I didn't want to do, so he tried to pressure me, then force me. Fortunately, he was unsuccessful and I managed to get away from him. But the next few months were terrifying. Stalking, strange phone calls, things like that. We (my parents and I) had to move twice because of this. Eventually, he was arrested for something else and went to prison for a long time. I don't know the details of that.

After that incident, I became withdrawn. I also suppressed my feelings for many years. I avoided the online world for a while. I completely lost interest in guys.

Also during this time, I started becoming bored with the latest American music. To me, it all sounded the same. So my music listening diminished. Other things quickly filled the void. One of them was my discovery of old time radio. Old time radio (OTR) is radio programs from the early days of radio up to around the 1950s. That lasted for a few years. Also during that time, I started enjoying music from that period (big band, swing, and others). I also briefly went through an 80s music obsession.

Then I started feeling drawn back to the online world again. But I decided if I would return, I would set a few rules for myself. I decided to keep my online activities separate from offline. Anyone I meet online, I would not meet offline. I decided not to say where I lived, or my real name. A few other details about myself I also wouldn't reveal. This may be a bit extreme, but it makes me feel a little more comfortable and safe. There have been a small handful of people who refused to accept that, but that's their problem.

One positive result of returning online is I began to discover music outside of the U.S. First, it was European bands and singers, and soon I discovered artists in other countries. I quickly absorbed much of this music, since most of it was completely different from anything I've heard. Much of it was in a foreign language, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. Soon, my journey led me to discover Japanese (and other Asian) pop. I'll continue my journey in the next part.

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
Last night, I had my first Atsuko dream.<3

Already, the details are fuzzy. But what little I do remember is this: Atsuko was participating in some sports event. I’m supposing it was H!P related, though I don’t remember anyone else in the dream. I think one of the rules of the game involved shuffling members back and forth between the teams from time to time, because I remember Atsuko being switched to the other team. The best part of the dream: I was there. In person. Cheering her on. I wasn't in the crowds, either. I was on the sideline, as close as possible.

I've been in a great mood most of the day because of this dream.^^

Love, Charmy

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charmyrenai
I have been developing a worry lately. As I start to post more openly, my posts appear in search engines. That is not my main worry, though. What worries me is that there's a small chance that one day, any of my favorite Hello! Project members could decide to search her name in Google and discover my blog and learn how much I like her. There are several members I'm attracted to, but the one that worries me the most is Atsuko Inaba. My worry is she would learn that since I'm a woman and I have an idol attraction to her, she would think I'm weird or it might make her feel uncomfortable. I realize I'll never meet her, and that I'm one insignificant person out of her many fans, but I get nervous. I have no idea what her views are on homosexuality. I probably shouldn't care, but I still worry.

Although I often talk about how much I "love" her, I know that what I feel is idol worship. Since I don't know her, what I feel isn't true love. I accept that, and I'm still happy. I don't let it affect my life. I often act obsessed about her, but it's all in fun. I just hope it wouldn't scare or bother her.

Yes, I'm weird. I probably didn't make much sense, either. I needed to say all that.

Love, Charmy

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charmyrenai
As I stated in the previous post, this song makes me cry. This is the first time in my H!P fandom that I've experienced a group's disbandment. I considered myself a fan initially because of Rika, but soon after that I also became a fan of Erika.

When the original announcement of the breakup came, I was unhappy. Although I wasn't liking the direction they were being taken with some of their videos, I still enjoyed their music. I hoped to hear many more singles from them.

Their swan song is so beautiful. If it wasn't their final single, it would most likely fill me with joy when listening. But when I listen, and see the video, tears come to my eyes, even after many listens and viewings. This song is quickly becoming my new favorite in all H!P. I'll definitely buy the limited edition.

I love you too, vuden. I'll miss you.

Love, Charmy

P.S. Please give Erika an active solo career.

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charmyrenai
The final PV for v-u-den has been posted by DohhhUp.

Click to watch.

Listening to the song and watching the video, knowing v-u-den is about to leave us forever, makes me cry. I've enjoyed the music, even if some of the videos weren't that great. I considered them one of my favorite groups. I'll miss you, v-u-den.

Love, Charmy

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charmyrenai
I've started to notice something lately that really chaps my hide. I hate it when people insult the less popular members of Hello! Project. The main problem I have is when they insult how they look. People like Mika Mutou and Miki Korenaga, for example. I have noticed many comments saying they "look ugly". When I started becoming a fan of Inaba, there were comments like that about her. I've noticed a remark like that about Kei Yasuda on occasion. I also don't know why LinLin gets so much hate.

Just because someone doesn't fit your narrow-minded view of beauty doesn't give you the right to put them down. How would you like it if someone called one of your favorite members ugly? It's disrespectful. The agency considers them idols, and idols aren't considered "ugly" if I understand correctly. So please, stop the hate. I've heard the phrase "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say it at all". Instead of wasting energy insulting one or more of the members, put that energy to more positive use and praise your favorites. Keep in mind that the one you put down also has fans.

Love, Charmy

P.S. I'll admit I've been guilty of the same thing in the past. I feel bad about doing that, but hopefully I won't fall into the same trap again.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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charmyrenai
A handful of you know a certain Colin Baker fan from Outpost Gallifrey. You may remember one of his old usernames: The Colin Avenger. When Colin Baker was considered one of the least popular Doctors, he stepped up to defend him from the haters.

Atsuko Inaba gets very little attention in Hello! Project fandom. She is often ignored, but she contributes much. Some insult her simply because she doesn't fit their narrow-minded ideal of beauty. So today a new hero is born. From this day forth, I am adopting the title The Inaba Avenger. I will defend her when the haters attack her, and promote her when needed. (Hopefully I won't be obnoxious when doing so. This is all in fun.)





Beware my power! MWAHAHAHA! (Ok, that last bit is silly.*giggle*)

Love, Charmy

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charmyrenai


Since it's now midnight in Japan, I can wish Acchan a happy birthday. To celebrate, I'm only playing music related to her in some way, such as all T&C music, shuffles featuring her, and music featuring her background vocals. The only exception is I'm also adding both versions of Country Musume's "Happy Birthday" song.

Birthday wishes and a brief history of InabaloveCollapse )

Love, Charmy

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charmyrenai
Yesterday I bought a book to start learning Japanese. Just basic Japanese for now.

I'm excited about learning it, but I'm also nervous that it might be very difficult. I'm used to reading English, and western-style languages are probably easier. I hope I can succeed.

Oh, and in other news, I've been sucked into SNSD fandom.

Girls' Generation

Tiffany<3

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
Really cool Jpop song. The singer is Fujii Takashi, aka Matthew from Matthew's Best Hit TV.



I've been repeatedly listening to this song. I love it.

Love, Charmy
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charmyrenai
(copied and pasted from JPH!P)

Ongaku Gatas 1st album 「 1st GOODSAL 」
Release date: 2008-02-06

Limited edition: EPCE-5534, 3,500 yen
http://www.netdirect.co.jp/search/ISSSchDetail.asp?ISBN=EPCE5534
Regular edition: EPCE-5535, 3,150 yen
http://www.netdirect.co.jp/search/ISSSchDetail.asp?ISBN=EPCE5535

Love, Charmy

Current Mood: bouncy bouncysquee

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