As I look back on 2014 I can say that it has been one of the more interesting years in the history of Selective Hearing. I have a lot to say so this is going to be very long. I suggest you take a drink/bathroom break before reading this. Or take it in slowly, it’s up to you.

Globe Hopping to See Stuff

Never have we gone to so many events in one calendar year. None of that would be possible of course without the staff that took time out of their lives to attend what they could. Shout outs and many thanks to ToZ, Steve and AngryDaenjangnyuh for all your efforts. It is very much appreciated. I hope they take time to tell you of their tales of travel during their recaps.

I was also out on the road traveling to Japan, New York and Los Angeles to attend various events as well. There were many miles flown and lots of traversing various familiar and not so familiar airports. And while not all of it was a bundle of awesome getting to my destinations, once I was settled every penny spent and moment of time made the little inconveniences of air travel inconsequential.

Otafest

For me the travel year started in May where I first went to a local anime convention in Calgary called Otafest. I’m not the biggest anime convention goer if there’s not a J-Pop act I want to see attached to it, so yeah. It was what it was. Sorry, I wasn’t really into going but I did what I could.

Immediately after that was a trip to Japan for the AKB48 Tsugi no Ashiato 2-shot event. There’s no video documentary for this trip but you can check out the entire trip recap and my thoughts on the 2-shot event itself as well.

MMNYC1389

In October it was back on the plane for my first trip ever to New York. Actually, it was my first trip to the east coast ever as an adult. Before New York, Winnipeg was the farthest east bound I have traveled in North America that was not work related or a family vacation.

New York was not as scary and menacing as it seems to be on TV. Then again, I was only in Manhattan for the most part and only spent a brief time in Brooklyn so perhaps I’m not the best judge of city character. Anyway, why was I in New York? I was there to see Morning Musume ’14.

Yes, I am not the best Hello! Project fan these days yet my roots in the world of J-Pop are firmly entrenched within that particular idol organization and Morning Musume specifically. And since I was unable to go to Japan to see Michishige Sayumi’s graduation concert this was my last chance to see her perform as a member of Hello! Project’s flagship group.

Instead of re-hashing all that was said earlier you can check out the live blog, concert review, our interview with Morning Musume ’14 and the video recap featuring footage from the fan gathering known as Hello! Party.

There is also our lengthy discussion with organizers of Hello! Party as well if you want to know the ins and outs of the event.

Personally it was great to catch up with old friends within the western Hello! Project fandom, make new friends and meet up with a staff member just by chance. I really was not expecting a lot out of the journey but it ended up being a blast in the end.

Interview: Morning Musume '14 in New York

For the Selective Hearing site itself the most rewarding thing out New York was the long delayed interview with Morning Musume. We initially had an interview scheduled with them way back at Anime Expo 2009 but due to “difficulties” that was nixed. To get another opportunity five years later was fantastic. A big thank you to Sherrily Wong for assisting in compiling the interview questions and waking up so damn early to conduct it.

Perfume Concert 04

November was a return to sunny California to see Perfume in Los Angeles. I caught up with my peeps from basugasubakuhastsu, NSK and met the various members of the SoCal AKB48 fan club. What up all? One member in particular I will not forget, as she was sick and sounded like a happy seal when she laughed. This person will shall not be named as to protect her identity but the folks I was hanging out with know what’s up.

I did write a review of the Perfume concert experience as well in case you missed it. To put it in short form, lots of bass, hot crowd, Perfume MC’s live are awesome. I believe the LA show was being recorded for the DVD/Blu-Ray release so I look forward to getting a hold of that when it is released.

Favorite Releases of 2014