A-Pop Wrap-up: Goto Maki’s Mother Dies, Kara Returns, AKB48’s H!O Invasion..

The following are items in the world of Asian Pop that I’ve found significant enough to blather about ~_^

J-pop Artist Goto Maki‘s mother dies, suicide/accident?
Goto Maki, former cutesy Hello!Project member turned sensual Rhythm Zone soloist and Queen Bee, is understandably mourning the loss of her mother after a 3-story (7-meter) fall from her home in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan — a coincidental death considering Maki’s father died from fall in 1996 while mountaineering. A witness prior to the fall (a patron at a nearby tavern) claim she had inebriated and been going on about wanting to end it all, over not being able to see her jailed son as much as she’d rather — but otherwise had been known far and wide as a memorable, cheerful and amicable woman who was (I presume) otherwise healthy and spry. I actually haven’t seen much coverage of it on many other Japan News sites, though. The Hello!Online fansite and forum had a large article about the incident including two videos of Chinese and Japanese coverage, and is being updated as new details roll in.. including mentions of the situation from other H!P members’ blogs. I honestly can’t imagine, and wonder how much out of her busy schedule she’s going to be able to postpone?

Kara To Return To The Spotlight Mid-February
English-speaking fan conjecture and sites like AllKpop.com are abuzz about Korean girl-pop group Kara will be returning to the spotlight with a mini-album — much to my delight ~_^ SNSD is releasing a full-length album, Oh! on January 28th, and Kara’s mini-album is due after the Korean Lunar New Year (“Seollal”) holidays (Feb 14), so the two will likely be having a promotional show-down of sorts, despite their reported themes being fairly dissimilar. It’s been suggested (in comments) that Kara’s theme will be about the strong-type of girl, while SNSD will feature cutesy-ness. Japan has taken up interest in Kara lately, and there’s supposed to be a Kara-featured promotional event on February 7th. Either way, I’m glad to get some more video =D

AKB48 Gradually Expresses Hello!Online Tracker Dominance
Mariko Shinoda- and Oshima Yuko-related TV spots, Majisuka Gakuen rips and translations, and AKB48 member solo discs have been cropping up some much on the H!O tracker that I’m beginning to wonder if Hello!Project has fallen a bit out of the spotlight as far as the flagship Morning Musume is concerned. What I think H!P really has going for it these days is S/mileage, a four-member, cutesy, high-pitched youngster group (moved up from Eggs), that really seems to be bringing back a lot of the youth image H!P once had — an image that initially tugged me into the group when most of the members of MoMusu was less sensual with its focus. There’s not a lot of content about this S/mileage popping up, though, and AKB48 content hounds are jumping at the opportunity to take up that slack it once held firm.

Karabase: My Upcoming Wall-base and Icon/Avatar-base Fansite
I’m in the process of creating a simplistic fansite for Kara (and perhaps a few other bands in the sideline, but foremostly and heavily Kara content) from screenshots I’ve begun to take myself on my new widescreen monitor, from giant high-quality PERF and MV rips to make the process of enterprising designers of wallpaper, forum signatures, and icons/avatars easier. I don’t plan on making any of such things myself — just providing the “bases” for them (originals, later modified for more specific purposes). At the moment, I’m hunting up a quick method of creating thumbnail images, as I’ve got over a hundred 1920×1080-pixel screenshots of Kara’s Wanna MV. One shot is so good of Park that I made it my wallpaper, despite being a bigger Hara fan, it’s almost like I’m cheating on her =P Announcements on its address will appear later ~_^

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