2012 has come and is almost gone and for me I believe it has signified a lot of change for the better and the worse.

A Change in Direction

I think the biggest change has to do with what I personally listen to.  With Hello! Project in a state of flux in terms of membership and their lack of quality product I have finally thrown in the towel and have cared less and less about them as the months of 2012 have gone by.

Taking their place are their rivals AKB48 with their fresher (TO ME, NOT IN GENERAL) roster.  Granted I’m coming into the game while the going is still good, and there are some many damn girls that I get confused but whatever.  I’m not at the point of bitterness like the super old school AKB48 fans are yet,  and I’m still having fun.

If you want to compare those fans to someone, look at me, and my Hello! Project fandom and you can understand what I mean by bitterness.

Of course that has also changed the direction of the site just a little with more AKS related content filling the spaces here.  It’s understandable of course given that I write most of the material here.

With that said, there have been accusations of this site being anti Hello! Project and if that were the case there would be absolutely no coverage of their music or news whatsoever.  But since that is unfair to all of you and other staff members who are more into H!P let’s put that to rest right now.

The staff of Selective Hearing are free to write about whatever they want and while I could easily veto something I don’t personally like or agree with that would be against the open society that I promote for them. They are allowed to choose their material as they please without fear of whether it will be rejected or not.

Conversely, I encourage you, the reader to comment if an article has an opinion you don’t see eye to eye with.  Discussion about the various topics that we are interested in is always good.

There have only been a couple of times where I have had to remove comments because I don’t want any of that bullshit Encyclopedia Dramatica stuff tarnishing thoughtful discussions.  So most people listen when I warn that things will be moderated if things get out of hand.

Now that we have ugly elephant out of the room let’s move on.  The change in direction of this site has lost me a few friends in the process.  I’m not one to sugar coat words when it comes to speaking up when I notice something so incredibly not amazing within Hello! Project.

I find it strange that those I used to talk to regularly won’t even say damn word to me because we have polar opposite opinions on one subject. It’s a shame that things had to come to this point but that’s the way life is.  Thanks for the memories I guess, it was fun while it lasted.

Tokyo 2012

I did not attend a single convention in 2012.  I was planning to go to AnimeNEXT in New Jersey to see Berryz Koubou but something else came up instead.  That something was my return to Japan after 5 years away.

Tokyo Dome

Why did I go back to Japan?  To see AKB48’s series of Tokyo Dome concerts in August.  I always thought that my first authentic Japanese idol concert in Japan would be a Hello! Project one.

As I mentioned above, things change and in this case Tokyo Dome was not a bad trade up at all.  Everything about that trip was great with the exception of the heat.  Japan in summer is HOT.

If you missed our coverage of the music part of the 10 days we were there you can read my recaps below:

Tokyo Day 1

Tokyo Day 2

Tokyo Day 3

Tokyo Day 4

Tokyo Day 5

Tokyo Day 6

Selective Hearing Tokyo 2012 Video Documentary

Obviously everyone loves to say this, but I think out of all the concerts I have been to in my life this counts as the best concert ever.  It will take a lot to top Dome. A lot.

I said it before in the recaps but thanks much to my traveling companions Hiro, Dave and Vu.   Also props to all the people we met out there:  Anthony, Ahmed, Satoshi, Double Yusuke, the Fuji TV crew, the lady who gave me a disgusted look while I was taking picture of feminine hygiene products with Kojiharu on the packaging and everyone else we ran into during our journey. For me, y’all made the trip a hell of a lot more fun than my last one where I went by myself and I look forward to hanging with you guys on a future adventure to Japan.

Thanks much to the lovely ladies of Station and BiS for putting on some great shows and for accommodating our picture requests from gaijin as far away as Russia. =P Special props to the Fuji TV crew for making us look pretty good on morning TV.

greg meme

That’s right, we were all up on the TV all over Japan.

Hiatus from K-Pop

I guess I also stopped listening to K-Pop as much as I used to.  I still pick up what looks interesting but much like over saturation of Japanese idols, K-Pop has its issues with too many similar looking and sounding acts debuting almost daily.  It makes it difficult for those with a casual interest to invest their time in the Hallyu Wave.

That doesn’t mean I have lost interest, it’s just that I’ve been too busy switching teams within my primary area of interest and K-Pop had to be put on the sidelines for a little bit.

New Faces

In other site related news, there have been some staff changes and I would like to welcome Chiima and NMB to the family.  If you haven’t noticed, they have been active here contributing their own brand of content.

NMB in particular has been busy traveling all over the place covering Buono! in Paris, AKB48 in Washington D.C.  and Berryz Koubou in New Jersey.

Survey Says

Since I am force feeding the survey to all of you I figured I should answer my own questions right? My answers will not count towards the survey results.

Best 48 Family Release

Matsui Sakiko – Kokyuu Suru Piano

Best Hello! Project Release

Morning Musume – One Two Three / The Matenrou Show

Best 48 Family artist or groupo

SKE48

Best Hello! Project artist or group

C-ute

Best J-Pop Album

Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled

Best J-Pop Single

9nine – Shoujo Traveller

Favorite Male J-Pop artist or group (excluding Johnnny’s)

EXILE

Favorite female J-Pop artist or group (excluding the 48 family and Hello! Project)

KARA

Best K-Pop single

T-ARA – Cry Cry

Best K-Pop album

Miss A – Touch

Favorite male K-Pop artist or group

Didn’t like anything dudes put out this year

Favorite female K-Pop artist or group

SISTAR

Imagine the annual Festivus feats of strength or some sort of event where physical prowess is required. Who would win in the manly combat of physical dominance?

Aki-P.

In a Battle Royale / Deadliest warrior simulation featuring Rabid Japanese idol Wota vs. Rabid K-Pop fan girls. Who would win?

Sorry wota but you would all be dead within 5 minutes after which the real battle between Rabid K-Pop fan girls would begin.

Which is the less painful fan lifestyle to live?

DD baby! I LOVE THEM ALL!

Honestly state which idol(s) you feel need their sandwiches taken away.

Suzuki Kanon, Sugaya Risako, Sudou Maasa, Sato Amina, Miyazaki Miho

As a follow up to the previous question, honestly state which idol(s) need a sandwich stat.

Iikubo Haruna, Oya Shizuka, Matsui Rena, Tanaka Reina, Ichikawa Miori

Most disappointing future endeavor.

Tanaka Reina gets sick of carrying Momusu and announces graduation to start a new band. Simply because this really screws Morning Musume over if no one can step up and actually sing consistently.

Most shocking or scandalous news item of 2012?

Maeda Atsuko getting plastered and emo. It was too funny.

What do you feel was the most disappointing news item or moment of 2012.

It’s a tie between the lack of Maki Goto AV’s and Girls’ Generation coming for a cup of coffee in America to promote that god awful The Boys album.

What was your favorite news item or moment of 2012?

Perfume get their own record label, promote internationally and open their fan club to people outside of Japan.

What was the biggest waste of time? (a.k.a. Most insignificant news item blown out of proportion)

Graduating because of “studies”.

Most overplayed song of 2012

Gangnam Style

Finally…

I would like to thank all of you semi-regular to regular readers who keep this site alive.   Whatever you come for, we must be doing a decent job because you keep coming back.  Thank you very much for your continued support. Remember to take our year-end survey and join our Google+ Community. Both are ways to help improve the site with your input.

To the staff, great work as always in whatever way you decide to contribute. Without you guys this place would not be as fun.