Best Group Single
Well I’ve already covered my favourite singles in an earlier post so I’ll just summarise by saying it was V-U-den‘s Nanni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU (just beating off High King’s Cinderella\Complex). Biyuden’s final swansong is as beautiful, harmonious, bittersweet, catchy, sweeping, swooning, tear-jerking, poignant and celebratory as you’re ever likely to get in six minutes of any song. Simply the best.
Best Soloist Single
Thank goodness for Mano Erina. If I had to choose between Fujimoto Miki and Matsuura Aya I think I’d choose seppuku. The best single for me was Lucky Aura. Cute, catchy and cute and catchy some more.
Best Group Album
Well I have only heard Cover You and Cafe Buono! and so I’m choosing the Buono girls. Mainly because it has Renai Rider on it. Hard to argue with that song.
Best Soloist Album
This is kind of an easy choice partly because I haven’t heard that many of the albums released in 2008. So that leaves Nacchi’s Best selection 15 Iro no Nigaoetachi as the clear winner. Mind you even if I had heard the other albums I’ve a feeling it would have won anyway. How can you argue with a release that features so many great singles and their pv’s too?
I think when it comes to pv’s Buono‘s have been far and away the most inventive. I love how they are more than just dance, close up, dance, close up, dance but in a different setting so we can release an extra version of the pv, close up, etc. Well okay for my argument to work you have to ignore Rottara Rottara but as it’s their weakest single to date that’s not so hard. Really for me it’s a choice between Renai Rider and Kiss Kiss Kiss. I think because the song is so good too I’ll choose Renai Rider. It’s a tough choice but the song just shades Kiss Kiss Kiss and so my enjoyment of the pv is just that bit higher. Honourable mentions have to go to C\C (Cinderella\Complex) (Lovely has never looked so hot and Reina was enjoying herself so much) and Biyuuden’s final song (have I used up all the spellings in one post now? Anyway it’s a fittingly moving pv to end on. I’ll miss them. Especially Yui and Erika who no doubt will disappear of the face of the planet now.)
Group With Best Overall Releases
Buono. Two great singles, two good ones and an album that, while not being as good as I’d like, is still good enough.
Best New Group (debuted in 2008 )
Sorry I got nothing.
Best New Soloist (debuted in 2008 )
The Mano with a piano.
Best Established Group (did not debut in 2008 )
You know what? Screw you H!P. I’m saying V-U-den (I’m also saying Biyuden and Biyuuden as I’m still not sure). They may have only had one single out but it was brilliant. As was their final concert dvd and their pv’s collection dvd. Gone but never forgotten.
Best Established Soloist (did not debut in 2008 )
Thinking back to my earlier post about choosing between smug and cynical I suddenly realised that Nacchi and Kusumi qualify for best solisit single. I still choose Mano for the section up above but I’m choosing Nacchi here. Screen isn’t as good as Lucky Aura but it does have a Nacchiness to it that lifts it above most other solo singles this year. You see unfortunately there was a lack of Nacchiness in all other solo singles. Except for 16sai no Koi Nante which technically then became a duet with Yajima Maimi and therefore wouldn’t qualify as a solo single anyway. If only more singles failed to qualify because Nacchi turned up there would have been several better singles released in 2008.
Best Photobook (All answers must contain “I choose 6gatsu no Kajitsu” or Amy will cry)
Unfortunately I still haven’t seen Abe’s latest pb although I sure like the cover. This is nevertheless a tough choice. My favourite still-to-be-a-H!P-idol-after-March singer Takahashi Ai had a release and lovely she looked too. But on a purely eye candy level I prefer her with longer hair. Reina had two pb’s and as the spunkiest Musume should be in with a shout. However the award has to go to Sayumi with Love Letter. Sayumi just takes on a whole other level of beauty in her pb’s. As a person I think she’ll soon need to ditch the cutesy act and mature a bit. When you see how hot she is in pb’s you’ll see that when she does mature a bit more…well wow. I do feel guilty not picking Takahashi Ai though. Her wonderful personality and pretty looks make her the Japanese Audrey Hepburn to my mind. Even so a pb should show off not just the personality but the physical charm and beauty. Whereas Ai has both I still want her to grow her hair or at least do something different with it. So really I can’t get away from Sayumi as she just transforms into something amazing when it comes to pb’s. A special mention should go to Rika though. She still has the ability to stop me dead in my tracks.
Hottest Idol of 2008 (this doesn’t have to mean “hot”. It can be cute, sexy, gorgeous, whatever your idea of attractive is)
When I think of hot I keep thinking of Takahashi and Reina in the C\C (Cinderella\Complex) pv. Since hot can apparently mean cute or gorgeous I’m picking someone who is both. Takahashi Ai has led Morning Musume on so many fronts. A musical, several singles, an album, a musical tie-in promotional single and pv. There’s no stopping her. She is the fairest of them all and will go to the ball (to pick up her Hottest Idol of 2008 award).
Worst Soloist Single
Did Matsuura Aya release a single? She did? What was it called? Kizuna? Okay…Kizuna.
Worst PV & Worst Group Single
As much as I love Dschinghis Khan I really just can’t get into Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance. Berryz in monkey suits is just a step (or several) too far and the song is poor.
Worst Vocalist of 2008 (this can be a soloist or group member, as long as they sound worse than cats in bags being rubbed against chalkboards. Wait, what?)
I really can’t understand her popularity. Sorry to her fans but it’s Ayaya (again). To placate those who love her I believe we can go over to her live with a message…
Least Attractive Girl of 2008 (people who don’t qualify for this category: Suzuki Airi, Michishige Sayumi. Anyone else can qualify, really.)
I’m not sure there are that many to choose from. Even Ayaya is quite pretty if you wedge her mouth shut so she doesn’t talk about how great she is. Nope I got nothing again.