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Hajimemashite minna san....welcome to my site on my fave Japanese Pop Culture likes such as dramas, movies, magazine scans, promo events etc. Mainly concentrate on my faves...Risa Watanabe... Kyoko Saito... Yui Kobayashi....Miyuki Watanabe.... Nene Shida.... if you're a fan at all of any of them then you've come to the right place(!) but many others are featured here besides them. Do mainly quick reviews on things I've watched, try to make the reviews brief, quick to read through with not too many spoilers, just whether they're good or bad and why I thought so plus whether you may find them enjoyable. Many, many screenshots are included from everything I've watched plus any video trailers if they're available. Hope you find something that interests you, don't hesitate to comment, arigato gozaimasu!

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Nao Kanzaki: Thanks for a fabulous 2020 but more importantly.... my top ten photobooks of all time!


 Final post for 2020 and this is one I guarantee all will enjoy and find quite interesting. It will also jog your memory about a few old timers. The meat of this post will be about my fave books but once again would like to thank you viewers who keep visiting. From 2016-18 averaged about two million views a year, in 2019 it jumped to 2.4 million views, a 20% increase. In 2020 it jumped again to 2.9 million views and just missed having three million by eleven days. What's impressive is that there was a such a slow stretch from April until July and we all know why. But there's only going to be 55 fewer posts than last year which is only 4.5 posts a month. 

 Things seem to be back to normal or it's getting closer. Hope it doesn't sound as though I'm patting myself on the back but I think the posts this year were consistently the best I've ever done, even the drama recaps improved. Bet that's been one reason for the increase in viewers and have also noticed that's it's important to post on a regular basis. I know what it's like when you visit a fave blog/site and they haven't updated for a while, you get a bit bummed out plus you don't visit as often. As far as 2021 goes don't expect many changes and my only concern is how long this ancient laptop will be useable. The only change will be that newbies need to be at 22 in age to be introduced though if they've had posts will continue with them. Besides that really no other changes, know I say often how posts for Idols will be decreasing which as already happened. But that's not from my doing as so many of my faves have been graduating so there aren't nearly as many Idols to post about.

 Will talk about the list before I begin the countdown and it may be a long intro though an interesting one. There's been many 'list posts' recently so may not too any more until April. Then what I'm thinking of doing is having a list of my top 25 photobooks of all time. Had never done a list like this before and without a doubt it's the toughest one ever. Could have made this 25 but having just the ten books means it the best of the best. There's been over 500 posts for photobooks but about half have been for digital books, Hello Project monthly books plus many for WPB-Net, Bomb-TV, etc. That total is over two hundred so this top ten would be out of 280 books that have posts between 2011-20.

 So think about how difficult it is, just ten out of 280?!?! You should try it too and I'd like to see what other's top books are. But it actually wasn't too hard for me as many have been my faves for many years and it was mainly just what position they ended up in. This list will be a good start for the top 25 one, shouldn't be many changes in the top ten over four months but when it's 25 you'll see some Nogi books. As hard as it may seem to believe not one of their forty photobooks made the top ten but bet five would land between 12th and 25th. So as fabulous as Erika's "Intermission" PB was it's not among my top ten of all time. Also not making the cut was Mai's "Passport" book which is the best selling one for an Idol of all time but sales had no impact on my choices.

 No photobooks from this year made the list and just one from 2019, think 2018 had the most with three. Another one that didn't quite make the top ten was Miru's "Love Rush" from 2019, it's the top viewed post of 2020 and when that book doesn't make the cut you know the top ten must be chockful of overwhelming ones. My toughest decision was between tenth and eleventh, could have flipped a coin and wouldn't have been wrong either way. Losing out was Yui ichikawa and she'll also have one more book in the top twenty, she's my all time gravure model though also a popular actress or was.

 One final point before I reveal the top ten. It's only for books I've posted about and there's really only 3-4 books that I'm missing. Actually more but perhaps only three would make the top 25. But that's okay that I don't have the photobooks as I've seen the best pics from them and have included them in posts. So figure it's no loss in not having them for just a few new pics. Two I'm kind of positive about making the top 25 though but don't think the top ten. One book is Hinako's that was released at the end of 2018 and like I said have seen most of the book's top pics. The other belongs to Risa and it would have an outside shot at making the top ten, once again think I've seen all of the best pics but perhaps not. So no Nogi books made the top but surprisingly one '46' gal made the list and that book may shock some viewers.

 Oki doki, time to get the ball moving! Sure I've left a few thoughts out but you're probably grateful for that. As is my norm will work from number ten to the top spot. For each position will have a link to the book's post(s), when it was released, some pics from it, how many views the post has had and a few other tidbits. One last observation is about the gals who made the top ten and the others in the top 25. They all seem to be such likable gals, there are some 'divas' in Japan but don't post about them or if I did have ceased, don't think their 'likability' had much impact on the list but it may have to a small extent. The breakdown of the ten are five who were in their Idol group at the time, two who had graduated from their groups and three that are actress/models. Seeing as how Idols do have the most books guess that percentage does make sense and it'll increase for positions 11-25.

#10.... Neru Nagahama, her only PB ""Kokokara" that came out on December 23, 2017
It's had 14,740(!) views to date, the link to the pics: Neru's PB

 The only '46' member to make the top ten and that's out of fifty photobooks. What a massive seller this PB was at it sold over 200,000 copies and also hadn't realized how many views it's received, books are easily the most popular posts here. I really miss Neru and she was close to being my #1 Keya gal. She returned to the entertainment industry in July as co-host of a variety show. My top goal for January is to have her first post since her Keya departure and think it can be accomplished. Of course no pics like these but she does looks mighty fine these days, even thought it was such a hit as far as sales go still think it was a very underrated book or at least compared to other '46' members.

 #9.... Saki Nakajima, her third and final PB "N20" was released on February 5, 2014
1,295 views for this December 30, 2016 post, it's link: N20 photobook

 However the total views is 2,245 as there was also a post done for it in 2014 but this version had higher quality pics. It's only been about seven years since this PB came out but books these days have become so much more 'revealing', not complaining of course but that doesn't make them better books. This is such a superb PB though not many viewers know about, what you may not also know is that Saki was my #1 on the all time faves list. How I miss her and C-ute, she's still busy but her activities don't make for interesting posts. Her "Bloom" DVD that came out four months prior is my all time Idol video.

 #8.... Maki Horikita, her second(?) PB "Dramatic' which came out on January 1, 2013
To date it's had 24,283 views(!) and the link to the amazing pics: Dramatic photobook

 Some people you end up forgetting about but not her, what a huge amount of views this post has received yet three other PB  posts had more and none made this list. For so long Maki was in my top five of all time and there aren't many I miss more than her. She got married in 2015 and now has two children. About four years ago she announced her retirement from acting and what a shame it'll be if we never hear from her again. This is one dazzling book and so many viewers agree as it's been so popular but it is kind of tame compared to others but hard to top that third pic.

 #7.... Miyuki Watanabe, her third PB "Miyuki desu" was released on August 23, 2019
1,472 views in five months, link to the sweltering pics: Miyuki's 2019 PB

 That's a decent amount of views for five months, it's the second lowest of all ten books but sure that will change with time. Also what may change with time is this ranking and it's the one book I think would rise up a spot or two when the list for my fave 25 books is done. I consider this to be an ex-Idol book as it came out three years after her NMB graduation. Miyuki's first book from 2012 "Milky" was a decent book but didn't think her second from 2016 was nearly as good. Once you view all of the pics you may understand why she's been my hottest gal in the world for about five years.

 #6.... Juri Takahashi, her first and only PB "Aimai na Jibun" came out on July 24, 2018
2,794 views to date and the link to this underrated PB: Juri's first PB

 While Nogi has many more photobooks and they are more consistently better have often said how the books from '48' members are my fave ones, especially from NMB and SKE. That post was done on March 9, 2019 and was her last one ever. Juri left AKB in May 2019 and that was to become a singer with the K-Pop Idol group Rocket Punch. There's little doubt that I was severely bummed out as she was my top AKB member at the time and do Korean Idols make that much more $$ than ones from Japan? Very, very few gals topped her spreads from 2015-18, while all of the books have gotten a good amount of views this one really hasn't and wonder why? At 76 pics it was the second smallest book but quality wise only five topped it. 

 #5.... Maimi Yajima, her tenth(!) PB "Nobody Knows 23" came out on August 21, 2015
Two posts have a total of 8,274 views, links: Part one    Part two

 Not sure why but years ago used to split up books or pictorials if they were huge. This PB had eighty pics so these days would have had just one post. Now we're into the elite books and as it says this was Maimi's tenth book, she's had two since then. Have posted the scans from nine, not Maimi's first two or her last one and do recommend clicking on the label to check out her other books. Maimi will have at least one other one in the top 25 and all of her books are so fabulous, she may not have as bodacious of a figure as most others in the top ten but she is just so alluring and finished third on my all time list. For so many years have always said that Maimi to me is the most beautiful woman in the world and nothing will ever change my mind.

 #4.... Akari Suda, "Kawaikunaru Houhou" was released on August 22, 2018
Only 2,170 views to date, link to such a tremendous set of pics: Akari's first PB

 This has to be the most underrated PB ever, by the total amount of views it hasn't been that popular here nor was it sales wise. The publisher expected this to be a huge seller and had 50,000 copies printed. However it took six weeks to break 10 K in sales and to date has only sold in the 15-20,000 range. Think what happened is that the publisher was swayed by AKB's yearly Senbatsu voting as Akari finished second in 2018. But that voting is such a farce as a fan can vote 25 or more times as long as they purchase enough singles or 'buys votes'. That happens every year so 50,000 votes may have been cast by only 5,000 fans. Think it hurt her career for a while as Akari didn't have a solo spread for almost two years but it's not her fault at all that it didn't sell that well, 90% of '46' books don't sell over 20,000 copies. But what a sultry set of pics this book has and Akari is one of my all time Idols, she'd be #1 had she been in more mags or such the past few years. It's also worth checking out Akari's mag spreads for the PB which has some pics that may be better than the ones that were in the book.

 #3.... Nana Yamada, her second book "Nanairo" was released on August 10, 2016
Four links to the PB: PB #1   PB #2   Outtake pics 1  Outtake pics 2

 Yes, there's four links to check out but it's worth looking at all of the pics, especially the outtakes. In November 2016 had two posts with the book's pics though could have squeezed them into one. Unknown to me for 2 1/2 years there was a site set set up for the outtake pics and in 2019 did a pair of posts for them too. To me the outtake pics may have been better than the original PB, Nana looked amazing in those pics but so much more in the ones that didn't get released and wonder why? When you add the two batches together it comes close to being the number one book of all time and like #7 Nana released this book after she graduated from NMB. But do recommend viewing other Nana posts, not one person may agree but she's in my top five for hottest all time Idols and at 152 cm is the shortest of the top ten gals. Sadly can't do enough posts for Nana these days, her last one was in February and seem to do just one or two a year but every post she has is oki doki. Didn't put how many views the posts had but none were overly popular.

 #2.... Rika Izumi, her first photobook "Rika" was released on April 11, 2017
To date it's had 4,114 views, post was done on September 23, 2018  Rika's first PB

 Rika's second book came out in April of this year. While this book sold well over 50,000 copies this year's didn't sell nearly as well as it came out at the height of the health crisis and that affected sales of most books. Not much more I can say about Rika who has more posts than anyone in the top ten the past three years. Rika's actually been the only gal who is busy on a consistent basis and has an excellent shot at being my #1 of all time when that list is done. For a long time did say this was my top PB ever though upon further review had to give the nod to number one and this book barely nudged out the above book. Like #7 many of the best pics weren't included in the PB but in the mag spreads that came out to promote the book. Rika was 28 when this book came out so she was the oldest of anyone in the top ten at the time of her book's release, #9 was the youngest.

 #1.... Erina Mano, her tenth and final(?) PB "ERINA" came out on March 6, 2018
To date it's received 6.568 views and the link to the seductive pics: Erina's tenth PB

 How I miss Erina as she was one of my biggest faves ever, she's a decent actress and have seen her in many things but it could be her photobooks I miss the most. This was Erina's tenth book to date and possibly her last as four months after it was released she got married. She doesn't have any children but really curtailed her activities, she does appear in an occasional drama and was a co-host of a variety show but hasn't done much else, she also had lived in Spain for a while. Have done posts for eight of her books and no woman tops how fabulous they are, each one was a tad better than the previous book and getting older did help. But this PB was so above any other one that Erina had done or as you can tell well above any book someone else has done. If she was planning on this being her final PB she went out in style, perhaps Nogi books may get such massive sales but none of those compare to this one. Actually very few women compare to Erina and once again have to say how I miss her. Surprised the post hasn't had more views, that is a high total bit it deserves to have twice as many views.