What have I been up to?

Cons2016

It’s been a while, huh?  Without intending or realizing it, this year has become my least active cosplay year since I started.  The artist in me has become restless, but it’s for the best.  Never forget that real life comes first!  And of course, there is still time to turn things around, as the year is not over yet.  We’ll see.

Meanwhile, what have I been up to?  Well, it’s been a slow cosplay year for me, but not a slow convention year!  In April I went to Hawaii to visit my husband’s family and decided to check out Kawaii Kon while I was there!  It was bigger than I expected!  The highlight was seeing Asami Shimoda (the voice of Ami and Mami from THE IDOLM@STER and Rin and Len from VOCALOID).  She is so adorable and talented!  I didn’t bring any cosplays and wore Lolita instead, but I only lasted a few hours before I totally melted and had to go change.  It’s so humid there!  If I ever go back to Kawaii Kon, I’m gonna have to bring some skimpier costumes! Haha.

The next convention for me was FanimeCon, which is always one of my biggest events of the year.  I only made one new costume (actually, the only one I’ve made all year, aside from my idol dress).  I did dance performances with Angel Hearts and Hello! Musume, and masquerade with my super cute SHOW BY ROCK!! group. ♥  It would’ve been a great convention except that I was feeling pretty sick the whole time, so I spent most of the time hiding in my room. :(

I hadn’t planned on going to Anime Expo this year, but my husband and I decided to drive up just for one day.  Not gonna lie, we went there to shop.  We bought a bunch of figures, and I got a Tony Taka artbook and some Aikatsu! CDs.  I was disappointed that there was no Harvest Moon setup this year, but I did get a picture with the giant Tubbs from Neko Atsume.  Anime Expo is getting so crowded.  Is it sad that I felt like “I’m so glad I’m not cosplaying in this crowd”?  It’s starting to feel like SDCC in that regard – just getting around is a hassle.  ALSO I WAS SICK AGAIN (just a cold).  What is it with this year?? (Did I mention I was really sick for three weeks after ALA?)

Next was SDCC, although my husband and I did not have passes.  Also no costume, I just wore my StarCraft II shirt.  We wandered around a bit in the surrounding area and went to the MAC x Star Trek booth and the Nintendo Lounge, but we mostly went to hang out with friends.  My husband hates crowds anyway, just battling the crowds outside was enough for him.  The things I really miss about SDCC are the awesome Exhibit Hall and the Masquerade.  Maybe someday I’ll participate again.  After all, we live in San Diego now.

Just one week after SDCC was Kcon!  No costume this time, just shopping and enjoying the concerts.  My friends and I got lousy fan engagement tickets this year, but luckily we didn’t care because there wasn’t anyone in particular we wanted to see.  We did get Monsta X audience passes and went to their panel, but they were an hour late, so they skipped the panel and went straight into hi-touch.  The concerts were awesome, as usual.  I enjoyed Saturday’s concert more.  I’m not generally a fan of Korean girl groups, but IOI and Gfriend were really cute!  I saw so much awesome dancing that weekend, both by the artists and the fans!  I wish I were half as good as them!

Next up for me is Saboten Con in Phoenix, AZ.  No new costumes, just bringing my latest IDOLM@STER costumes.  Hopefully l’ll have some fun projects to share later this fall.

Hanadoki Con 2016 Solo Dance Performance

KieIdol

Last Saturday I went to a small convention in San Diego called Hanadoki Con.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to take a look at the local anime community, since I’m new in town.  I tried to arrange a show for Angel Hearts too, but it turned out I was the only member who could make it to the convention!  I decided to go ahead and do a solo performance, which was a first for me.  After 13 years and 53 performances though, I can’t help but think I should’ve done this sooner!  It may not seem like it, but I’m a really shy person (like painfully shy), so having to rally people to come watch and MC for myself was a challenge, but I feel like I leveled up.  I guess I was also always afraid to do solo shows because I thought I would look awkward and lame dancing by myself, but I tried my best to pick songs that were interesting on their own, and I think the audience enjoyed it!  Even though most of the audience wasn’t familiar with idols, they still clapped along and cheered, which made me really happy!

There was a little mishap with the schedule though.  I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but it seems my performance time got switched with another performer’s, and nobody on staff had any idea.  It worked out in the end, but I had to perform later than planned, and unfortunately I had to shorten my set list.  Also, no one knew about my performance time of course, so at first there was no one there in the audience.  It was pretty much a performer’s worst nightmare.  Another idol fan did me a huge favor and ran around the convention announcing my show.  I did a bit of that myself, but as I said, I’m terribly shy, so it took a lot of courage.  Fortunately, once the show started and the music was playing, more people came over to watch.  In the end, the show went well, and it was a huge relief!!  Thank you so much to the people who came to talk to me afterward and show their support.  It meant a lot to me! ♥  I feel really bad that there were people who came at the wrong time and were told I canceled, though.   I enjoyed performing at Hanadoki Con, so I hope the staff are a little more careful in the future, and something like this doesn’t happen again.

I’m really glad I had this opportunity to do a solo show.  It was really exciting getting to choose whatever songs I wanted!  Some of my favorite songs work better in groups, so I didn’t pick those, but narrowing down a set list was still hard!  There were way too many songs I wanted to do!  In the end, I learned eight new songs.  I practiced nonstop for three weeks!  Here are the songs I danced to:

Part one: THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls – Onegai Cinderella, Transing Pulse, Star!!
Part two: Aikatsu! – Idol Activity!, Hello New World, lucky train, Original Star☆彡
Part three: Wake Up, Girls! and Hello! Project – Tachiagare!, Balalaika (Kirarin Revolution), and Ne~e? (Aya Matsuura)

Part four was supposed to be IDOLM@STER 765Pro and end with Thank You!, but sadly I didn’t have time.  I was especially excited to finally be able to perform Ne~e?, as Aya Matsuura is my #1 favorite idol.  I was also impressed that people knew Balalaika!  One girl in the audience was even singing along and doing some of the moves.  It’s definitely a very fun song.  I was very happy that people seemed to enjoy the Aikatsu songs too, even though they were not familiar with them.  Aikatsu needs more love! ♥

As for my outfit, I used this opportunity to make an original idol-inspired outfit that I’ve always wanted to make, but never had a reason to.  The outfit was inspired by obnoxious sparkly and fluffy Hello! Project concert outfits, awesome holographic confetti dot in some of my favorite colors, and some matching turquoise and hot pink petticoats and shoes that I found online.  Sadly, the shoes are in storage right now, but they probably would’ve been hard to dance in, anyway.  Luckily I found some silver holographic sparkle character shoes (made for dancing!), and they arrived literally MINUTES before I left my apartment for the convention!  They went perfectly with my outfit!  The dress design is simple, but I love the bright colors!  Seriously, I feel so happy every time I look at my outfit, haha.  I layered three petticoats, alternating hot pink and turquoise, for maximum poof.  The skirt turned out a little shorter than I had planned, but it was so fun to dance with such a bouncy skirt!  I wore a wig because my own hair would’ve gotten frizzy, but I think the pigtails may have been just a little too big!  They were heavy and a bit hard to dance in.  I had so much fun putting this outfit together.    I couldn’t help but come up with even more ideas!  Getting to do my own show really inspired me, so I hope I get another chance to do one sometime in the future!

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Anime LA 2016

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Two weekends ago I went to Anime Los Angeles 2016…. or should I say, Anime Ontario?  Anime LA’s move to Ontario, California was the reason I even went this year, and I have to say, the location was great!  The convention center was spacious and bright, which was good both for hanging out and for taking photos.  Even though there were no attached hotels, there were many good close options, all with free parking.  I stayed at the Ayres, which was very nice and just across the parking lot from the con center.  It did rain the last day of Anime LA, but it wasn’t too terrible, since there was plenty of space inside the con center for everyone to hang out.  Also, even with ALA’s move to a convention center, it still kept some features that let you know it was the same convention, such as the painted benches, the cosplay photos on the walls, and the crazy ribbon-collecting.

This year’s theme for ALA was idols!  You’d think I’d be super excited about this, but unfortunately with my big move, I wasn’t able to take full advantage of the theme.  I did have idol costumes to wear, of course, but nothing new or spectacular, and no performances.  I was happy to see so much idol cosplay all weekend long though, including a good number of Aikatsu and WUG cosplayers!  There wasn’t nearly enough IDOLM@STER though.  Maybe next year I will fix this.  No matter the theme, it’s always idol time for me! ;D

Meanwhile, since coming home from ALA, I’ve been VERY SICK.  It’s probably the time of the year, but this seems to be a big problem with ALA.  PLEASE, GUYS, DO NOT COME TO A CONVENTION (or anywhere with a lot of people, really) WHEN YOU’RE SICK!  Remind everyone!  There will be other conventions, and other chances to cosplay.  Most conventions I’ve been to are also good about at least deferring your badge to next year if you can’t make it.  I can understand if you’re just getting over a cold, and you’re taking REALLY good care of yourself (proper sleep and food) and minimizing your close contact with people, then it’s ok to come.  But definitely if you have the FLU (or anything worse!!), PLEASE STAY HOME.  I know, it sucks.  I had to do it one year.  Angel Hearts was performing, too, but I woke up the morning before ALA with a terrible sore throat, congestion, and a fever — there was NO way I was going to a convention.  I had to redo our soundtrack last minute, and the girls had to scramble to cover for me, and I felt really bad.  Even then, it’s better than showing up with the flu.  Better for everyone.  Please don’t do it.  PSA over.

Happy New Year 2016 from San Diego!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone’s year has been good so far. I stayed home and played a lot of StarCraft, then went out yesterday for a little shopping, so I’d say it’s been pretty good for me.

Well, I got busy and neglected my blog again.  I feel like I’m making a similar post to last year’s.  I moved again!  Packing up a four bedroom house and moving out of state is a lot of work!  Now my husband and I are crammed into a studio apartment with a mountain of boxes until we can find a new home, which unfortunately may not be until late this year, or even next year.  This means I will have limited space to create new costumes this year.  Maybe it’ll give me a chance to catch up on stuff like editing photos, working on my website…. and posting on my blog.  Hah.  I did a little better last year than the previous year in terms of keeping up with my blog, and I hope to do even better this year.  I’m slowly figuring out what kind of stuff I want to post here.  I hope you guys find it interesting!

So I’m back in California, but this time in the San Diego area.  Aside from Comic Con, I’ve never been to San Diego, so everything outside the downtown area is new to me.  I didn’t realize San Diego was so hilly!  My husband and I were exploring the area around Balboa Park, driving along when we suddenly came to a very steep downward slope!  It was terrifying!  My husband’s car actually bottomed out while we were going over the top.  And then we came to another drop!  I don’t think even the streets in San Francisco are that steep.  I can’t imagine living on those slopes and having to park there.  Phoenix is very flat, and the streets form a neat grid. The streets here don’t make any sense!  I have to say though, when you’re driving up a hill and you suddenly come to the top and can see the whole city, it feels like you’re on top of the world for a moment.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that view… at least, I haven’t yet.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the food here!  There’s are so many great Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese markets here (and the milk tea is cheaper)!  There’s a huge variety of Asian restaurants, too.  I must’ve spent an entire day on Google looking up restaurants to try.  I even found a Hawaiian shave ice place close to my husband’s work, so I’m looking forward to trying that once the weather warms up.  Of course, I had to look up tea houses too, for Lolita tea party purposes!  It turns out there’s one just a few miles down the street from where I currently live!  Lucky!  My husband and I tried it, and it was lovely.  Next time we’ll have to dress up.

Of course, there are also plenty of shops for anime and comic fans in the San Diego area.  There are so many comic book stores (I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since San Diego is the home of Comic-Con International)!  There’s Tokyo Central & Main, which is part of Marukai and has toys, anime goods, snacks, cosmetics, home goods, and more.  There’s also Book-Off, a Japanese used book store that not only sells books and magazines, but CDs, DVDs, video games, anime figures, and other things as well.  There’s a toy shop in Zion Korean Market that sells K-pop CDs, DVDs, and other K-pop goods in addition to plushes and anime toys.  There’s a toy shop inside Mitsuwa Japanese Market too.  On a related note, there are also two Daisos, the popular Japanese dollar-fifty stores (the second, bigger store just opened).   My only disappointment is that there’s no Japanese bookstore, so I can buy Japanese fashion magazines.  Book-Off has a few new magazines, but the selection isn’t reliable.  At least I live on the north side of San Diego, so Orange County (where there’s a Kinokuniya) is only a little over an hour away.

So far San Diego seems like a great city, and I’m really happy my husband’s job gave us the opportunity to move here.  I have a lot of exploring to do, as well as house-hunting.  I can’t wait to check out the gardens and beaches once the weather warms up!  We’re also only a few hours from LA, making a day trip to the Fashion District or an event in LA possible.  I think I’m going to like it here.

2016 is going to be another busy year!  Stay healthy, everyone!

Kcon LA 2015 – Part 2: The Music

Kcon Concert

In my last post, I talked a little about my experiences at Kcon as a convention.  But of course, the number one thing people go to Kcon for are the concerts and music guests.  This year there were ten music acts performing in the concerts, five for each day.  Depending on which concert tickets you purchased, you received scratcher tickets with chances to see the different groups in a panel or even do a “hi-touch” (high-five) with them.  The most expensive concert tickets also included a chance to win “red carpet” tickets, where you could go see all of the groups who were performing that day in their concert outfits.

I was unlucky and didn’t get any hi-touch or red carpet tickets, but I got two Shinhwa audience tickets, which was the group I was most excited to see.  I traded one of my tickets with a friend who got two Block.B hi-touches, so we went to both of those events together.  Neither of us are familiar with Block.B, but it was still cool to see them up close and hi-five all of them.  At the Shinhwa panel we were in the back and couldn’t see much, but we enjoyed their answers to the questions.  They showed their age when they mentioned liking celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Streisand.  Shinhwa is apparently the longest-standing idol group, with 17 years and no member changes.  That is truly incredible!  And you can really tell they are true idols, with perfect idol responses to every question.  I have to say, Korea really gets it right when it comes to fan engagements, and I feel this has played a large part in Kpop’s international success.  Fans are one of the most important things to idols, and Kpop artists really make themselves available to fans all over the world, whether through live shows and concerts, fan engagements, or even Internet shows and social media.

For the concerts my friends and I had P2 Floor tickets, standing by the back side of the stage, which was kind of in the shape of a plus sign.  We got a good view of whoever came to our side, but otherwise it was a little hard to see.  Honestly at my age, and because dancing is my thing, I’d rather have seats that are a little farther back but at eye level with the stage so I can see everything.  We had a good time though.  We stood near the back so we had the freedom to move around if we wanted.  One lucky thing that happened to us during the Sunday concert was that when AOA entered, they passed through the floor section on the back side… meaning right where we were standing!   One of my friends is a huge AOA fan so he was very excited about that.

Kcon Concert2

For me, the highlights of the concert were getting to see Super Junior and Shinhwa.  I loved that Super Junior sang Donghae & Eunhyuk’s “Oppa Oppa”.  The members of Super Junior are so funny and really put on a great show!  Shinhwa of course was also super professional and really owned that stage.  They even made sure go to each side of the stage and do their group intro so everyone could see them.  They opened with “T.O.P”, and wow, that really brought me back.  I wasn’t a Kpop fan back then, but I remember when that song was popular.  When Shinhwa performed “This Love”, which is the song I was most looking forward to, they were facing the back of the stage, so I was really excited about that.  I loved seeing all the Shinhwa fans at the concert.  It was funny to see the slightly older ladies fangirling over them, but it was also refreshing to see that they had plenty of young fans as well.  I brought both of my King Blade light sticks, set to orange for Shinhwa, and when the Shinwha performance started and I was waving my light sticks, an excited fan in an orange tshirt ran up to me and asked to borrow one of my light sticks.  She was so happy, jumping and screaming at Shinhwa.  Haha ♥

Kcon really is an experience like no other, especially for an American fan of Asian music.  I had a great time both years that I attended.  You can be sure I’ll be back next year!  I’ve been into Asian pop music for 15+ years, and an event like this is something I never could have even dreamed of back in the day!  Kpop fans these days are so lucky!  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how Kcon continues to grow in the future.

Kcon LA 2015 – Part 1: The Convention

Kcon LA 2015

This past weekend I went to Kcon LA, which was held at the LA Convention Center with concerts in the Staples Center.  It was my second Kcon, and I was curious to see how the atmosphere of the event would change after being moved to a convention center.  Last year felt more like a street fair, but this year certainly felt more like a convention.  It felt weird for me because I’d just been there one month before for Anime Expo.  It was great because I was already familiar with the area and knew exactly where I was going.  The best part was the convenience of being right next to the hotel, so you could go back any time to rest, deposit your swag and purchases, or change into and out of costume.  There were also plenty of restaurants in the area.  I know many of the attendees were glad not to have to be outdoors in the sun like last year.  Great move, Kcon!

As for the convention itself, I have to say Kcon is a very unique experience.  Even though the focus is obviously Kpop and the concerts, there were a lot of things going on throughout the weekend.  This year the event was three days with two concerts.  Since there were no concerts the first day, it was a good day to roam the hall and do your shopping. The hall contained merchandise vendors, sponsor booths, fan club booths, a stage for contests and presentations, and some hangout areas where you could relax or play games (like giant Jenga).  It felt strange to see companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola giving away free samples, but I guess they were some of the big sponsors for the event.  McDonald’s had a DDR machine set up with Kpop song on it.  Toyota was very creative and had a car set up with a TV in the trunk to play dance games and music playing inside the car with a camera so you could shoot lip-synch videos.  People were lined up to play!  Nongshim was giving away free ramen samples (I also won a whole case of spicy ramen in their raffle).  The other very random thing I saw on Friday was a marching band that made their way around the exhibit hall.  I don’t know what they were promoting, but I can say I’ve never seen anything like that at an anime convention.

Like last year, there were a few booths selling Kpop CDs, DVDs, and posters, a few other media related booths, and a bunch of random Korean company booths that no one seemed to care about (I felt bad for them but they were pretty random). This year there were also what I call “anime con booths” — the kind of stuff you usually see at anime conventions, like anime and game figures, plushes, anime tshirts, and accessories.  Even though this section seemed out of place, the whole area was pretty busy and they looked like they were doing good business.  There are, after all, a lot of people who got into Asian music through anime.  I would have like to see more Kpop related merchandise, like tshirts or trinkets, or even just more variety in CDs, DVDs, and posters (it was mostly limited to the most popular groups, new releases, and whichever groups were present at Kcon).  I know Korean fashion and beauty products are also popular, so it would be great to see more of those as well.  The big thing that was missing this year were the food vendors.  With the event being indoors, I’m guessing they didn’t have an area where they could put food booths.  There were a few food trucks outside, but I missed having rows and rows of Korean food stands to choose from.  I was looking forward to some spicy rice cakes and BBQ skewers.  At least there were plenty of food options available in the area, but it just wasn’t the same.  I’m curious to see how things will be next year.

On the stage inside the main hall there were dance performances, a dance contest (which was pretty awesome), a costume contest, a fashion show, and some guest appearances, among other things.  When I walked by the stage on Sunday afternoon I saw a large crowd and thought, I wonder what’s going on?  Then I looked at the stage… IS THAT THE TRY GUYS?? DANCING??  It sure was!  Outside the main hall there were panel rooms with fan-run programming where you could learn and chat about a variety of topics related to Kpop and Korea.  One thing I would love to see at Kcon is a viewing room where you could watch music videos, much like anime viewing rooms at anime conventions.  It would be especially cool for newer fans to learn about different groups, or even familiarize themselves with the groups who would be performing in the concerts.

In my next post, I’ll talk more about the convention’s main attractions: the concerts and the music guests.

Kie’s Favorite IDOLM@STER Songs and Dances – Part 3

In parts one and two, I posted videos of my favorite group song+dance combos from THE IDOLM@STER main series of games.  Here are some of my other favorite IDOLM@STER songs:

First Step

Ok, this one is actually in the game, but not playable. This is Yukiho’s solo song from her ending in IDOLM@STER 2 (skip to 6:00 in the video). Apparently the lyrics were written by her IM@S2 voice actress. This is the only plot-only image song in the game. I’m not sure why they would do that, especially since it’s such a pretty song. It’s very different from Yukiho’s other image songs, but I feel like it suits her much better.

Yakusoku

This song is amazing. If you’ve seen the IDOLM@STER anime, you probably understand. Definitely one of my top favorite IDOLM@STER songs ever, if not my #1 favorite song. Beautiful song, beautiful lyrics. I wish they would add this in the game as a playable song, but I’m afraid they’d give it a very boring dance, like Chihaya’s other songs.

Inferno

Inferno is such a cool song, it has inspired a number of awesome fan-made music videos, like the one above. Who knew Chihaya and Yukiho would make such an awesome team (and again for Little Match Girl)? This is a CD-only song but was used briefly in the anime.

Melted Snow

I prefer the 765Pro version, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. The 765Pro version is Chihaya, Azusa, and Yukiho, and their voices just work beautifully for this song. There are also Azusa and Takane solo versions. These are all CD-only songs.

I also LOVE Sunny and Merry from the Vacation for You! and Christmas for You! albums, but unfortunately I can’t find them on YouTube. They’re very cute, hyper, festive songs.

Alice or Guilty – Jupiter

You know I love boy idol groups too, so I was super excited when these guys were introduced. They’re so Johnny’s! Alice or Guilty is a really cool song. Love it.

Precious Grain – Shizuka Mogami (Million Live!)

Honestly I didn’t pay much attention to the DLC idols up until this point. This is by far my favorite DLC idol song (a lot of the others are noisy or very generic). I love Shizuka’s voice, and I feel like this song is what you would get if you mixed Chihaya and Miki’s image songs together.

Bonus Videos — Songs I love with very boring dances:

Aoi Tori (Special MC from Shiny TV)

I love this special video for Aoi Tori. As a Chihaya fan, Aoi Tori is of course one of my favorite songs, although the dance is pretty boring. The M@STER VERSION of this song is lovely, but I actually prefer the faster pace of the in-game version. I love that they did a special color of this outfit just for this video, but I wish they had used Azusa instead of Makoto.

Tonari ni…

This is a sad song, but it’s so pretty. Azusa’s voice is actually my favorite, and this image song suits her so well.

That’s it for now! The IDOLM@STER series is still going strong though, so I’m sure there will be more favorites popping up in the future!

Kie’s Favorite IDOLM@STER Songs and Dances – Part 2

In part one I posted videos of my favorite song+dance combos from THE IDOLM@STER series of games.  Part two are my favorites from 2nd Vision (THE IDOLM@STER 2 onward).

MEGARE!

I seem to have a thing for hyper songs about being an idol. MEGARE! was my favorite of the new IDOLM@STER 2 launch songs. Having five positions in a song definitely brought new depth to IDOLM@STER’s dance routines.

Little Match Girl

Little Match Girl is another one of my top favorite IDOLM@STER songs and dances of all time. To add to the hype, the preview for this song also showed the first glimpse of the Starry costumes.

Jibun REST@RT

Jibun REST@RT just has the feeling of “epic big group song”… so much so that it doesn’t even have any solos. But it’s my favorite group song from the IDOLM@STER anime. It has that “fly to the stars” kind of feeling. This song also means a lot to me because it’s the song Angel Hearts used when we competed with Starry. The lyrics are very appropriate.

Marionette no Kokoro

Miki always gets great songs, but Marionette no Kokoro is my favorite. I like to sing this one at karaoke too. It’s a powerful song.

We Have A Dream

Again with the hyper songs about being an idol. I’ve been obsessed with this song since it was introduced in LIVE in SLOT! I even tried learning the dance off videos from LIVE in SLOT, but the quality was too poor. I wished for years that this song would be added to the main series, and finally my wish has come true! Not only that, but with amazing sparkly rainbow outfits to match!

DREAM

DREAM is a great song, and I’m really glad they added it to the game. I won’t be sad if The AI and LOST are never added, DREAM was by far the best of the three songs. Now I can finally hear Chihaya sing this song. ♥

99 Nights

99 Nights feels very different from the past IDOLM@STER songs. It’s more mature and has a very cool dance. I love it and hope they continue this trend.

Shizuka na Yoru ni Negai wo

I think Shizuka na Yoru ni Negai wo is probably the prettiest song in all of IDOLM@STER. It reminds me of Melted Snow, which is my favorite CD-only IDOLM@STER song. The outfits are lovely too. This song makes me so happy, I’ll even take it as a replacement for Melted Snow.

Those are my top picks for main series group songs+dances.  In part three I’ll post my favorite CD-only, rival, and DLC idol songs!

Kie’s Favorite IDOLM@STER Songs and Dances – Part 1

I have been a fan of THE IDOLM@STER since 2006 and have been cosplaying Chihaya and performing IDOLM@STER dances since 2007.  When I first found out about THE IDOLM@STER, I was blown away by the quality of music and dance routines used in the game.  It used to be that anime and game music could hardly compare to real J-pop, but these days there are a lot more crossovers and the boundaries are becoming blurred.  In fact, I like IDOLM@STER music better than a lot of J-pop, and for a while it was practically the only thing I listened to.

THE IDOLM@STER is great because of the wide variety of music and styles, and the fact that any character can perform any position in any song.  They also made it easy to learn the dances with the “Long Camera” view. There are now 70+ in-game group songs, with a new song released as DLC every month.  There are also dozens of extra songs for solos, rivals, and DLC idols.  I would have a hard time ranking my top picks, but I definitely have some favorites from throughout the series.  I’ll have to list them in a series of posts because there are so many good songs!

Part one is my favorite songs+dances from 1st Vision (IDOLM@STER arcade through SP):

Positive!

Of the original 10 songs, Positive! was my favorite song+dance. It’s so energetic and upbeat! It was Ami & Mami’s first image song.

THE IDOLM@STER

The original theme song! I’ve always liked the original version of both the song and the dance better than 2nd-mix.  This was the first IDOLM@STER song Angel Hearts performed, in January 2007.  We actually learned the arcade version of the dance, which is slightly different from the Xbox version.

Watashi wa Idol ♥

Watashi wa Idol ♥ was another one of the first IDOLM@STER songs I ever learned… but Angel Hearts never performed it because I wanted to make Cosmic & Funny costumes to go with it!  We hardly ever do one-song performances any more so I’ve dropped the idea of making costumes to go with songs, but somehow we still never got around to performing this song.  It’s totally adorable though.

Do-Dai

Speaking of adorable, it doesn’t get much more adorable than this.  Do-Dai was definitely an instant favorite.  I always thought it would be cute to perform this song in the Marching Band outfits.

Kiramekirari

Another hyper-cute song!  Kiramekirari is still one of my favorite songs to perform.  It’s pretty exhausting, though. Yayoi has the best songs! ♥

Me ga au toki

I was so excited when Chihaya got a cool, dancey song as her second image song. I wish she would get more songs like this. Even so, the dance is a little boring in some parts, especially for the center. It’s a good song though.

Meisou Mind

Meisou Mind is SO cool.  It may be one of my favorite songs as well as dances.  I was I little surprised I would like one of Makoto’s songs so much, because I’m not generally a fan of Makoto. I actually wish I had more chances to perform this one, because I feel like it gets overlooked a lot.

Kosmos, Cosmos

Kosmos, Cosmos was my overall favorite of the second round of image songs.  Actually, I think it was a lot of people’s favorite. I love the futuristic feel of it. I’m not sure why it was given to Yukiho though.

Overmaster

Overmaster is one of my top favorite IDOLM@STER songs EVER.  My friends can tell you, I sing it every time at karaoke.  I fell in love with this song the moment I heard the first little clip of it in IDOLM@STER SP, and you can just imagine how excited I was when it was added as DLC, and then how infinitely more excited I was when it got a 3-person version, and later a 5-person version!  I love these fiery kinds of songs even more than I love hyper, cutesy songs.

L・O・B・M

L・O・B・M is my favorite song to end a show with because of the long intro (from the M@STER VERSION), the heavy beat, and the fact that it can easily accommodate any number of dancers (there is a solo version that’s different from center).  Plus it’s really catchy and upbeat. I never get tired of this song!

Part two will be my favorite songs from THE IDOLM@STER: 2nd Vision!

How to De-tangle a Curled Wig

Here’s a simple tip for both cosplayers and Lolitas — how to de-tangle your curled wigs without ruining the curls!  With light wear, a curly wig can be carefully finger-combed if it is only a little tangled.  After a couple of wears though, wigs can get pretty tangled, but as you may have realized, you can’t just take your brush and brush out your curly wig like you would a straight one.  I mean, you could, but you’d end up with a poofy wavy wig instead of a curled one.  That doesn’t mean you can’t brush it, but the key is to carefully and patiently work on each section, one at a time.

WigDetangle1

This wig got pretty messy after a windy day out.  The left side has already been carefully combed out, while the right side still needs work.  I started by pinning my wig on a stand so it’s well anchored and easy to work on.  Even if you don’t have a wig stand, finding some way to hang it will make things easier.  Separate out one lock of hair, and very carefully and gently comb it out until it is completely smooth.  Since wig hair is plastic and the curls are heat set, you won’t ruin the curls if you are gentle with your wig.  Once it is tangle-free, you need to re-form the curl.  I do this by wrapping the lock of hair neatly around my finger and then gently releasing it down into a spiral.  That’s it!  No product needed.

WigDetangle2

When I am finished with a piece, I clip it out of the way so I can work on the next piece.  Work your way from one side of the wig to the other.  It can get pretty tedious if you have a long, full wig, but the results are worth it.  Your wig may even look as good as new!  If you aren’t so particular about having well-defined, tight curls, you can brush larger sections and then run your fingers through afterward to break the curls back up into smaller sections.  Either way, with a little patience your curled wig can look fresh and springy once again!