Awwwwuh! Aya~chan♥ @ just 11 years of age ↑↑↑ =)! And as if this post could have gotten any larger it just did with the addition of ninety four scans from “North East West”, a most personalized shashinshuu which rivals that of Kuninaka Ryoko’s “Kaze no kioku” and whereas Ryoko~chan’s visual memoir took us deep into her hometown and its islands people and charms~*, here Ueto Aya’s sets us upon a most intimate and candidly shot journey which covers pretty vast locales most special to her both family~wise as well as from deep into her growing up years.
The following post isn’t intended to be consumed within a single sitting but rather due to its large size over a period of several hours or even days, so with that in mind let’s roam into many essentials of Ueto♥Aya’s fandom step-by-step, ready?…let’s go ー(*￣Ｏ￣)ノ！
~Ueto Aya Smile Project~
It may have taken me the past 3 days to complete (._.;), but Ueto Aya♥ being so much one of Japan’s most popular and loved talents~* and such a favorite♥~X~♥~X~♥ of mine just had me wanting to include as much as I could…I hope you enjoy~* this post as much as I enjoyed writing it ＾ ＾！
Born of Okinawan decent, Ueto Aya’s very first sparked~* interest in the entertainment industry at age 13 as she gained recognition in her very first beauty contest entry~…however much like Fukakyon, Ayachan’s time spent in the idol♥world was brief and was only explored early in her career~. A springboard into numerous successful endeavors~* which have flourished to this day…however before venturing any further I thought it’d be appropriate to first “meet” one of Japan’s most endeared and successful talents~o(*´∀｀)o゛♥。
~Ueto Aya “Kimi ga warau to sekai ga warau” mp3~
I was quite torn in deciding on a perfect~* introduction song♪ so I’m thinking click play~* on the track above if beautifully orchestrated ballads~♥ are to your liking or click below if you love fun upbeat~♥ songs~ as “Honey” has a most bright walking on sunshine~* aura about it, in the meantime I’ll be babbling away~ ＾ ＾。
~Ueto Aya “Honey” mp3~
Born on September 14th, 1985 Ueto Aya got her start as a model which led to early acting opportunities in both movies and dramas where a most notable role in the long running series “San nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei” served as an early launching pad of sorts and as this series aired here in Hawaii it became
my very first (actually it was my second but I just wasn’t aware of this until a few years later while searching a shelf for a single~…this will be explained much better in the “~Singles~” section) encounter of any her works which really peaked my interest~ ＾ ＾。And while the challenges of subsequently attending school along with her ever growing roles as an actress and so many appearances in CMs (Ayachan being crowned twice as Japan’s CM “it girl!!”) it would soon lead into her interest of becoming a singer♪ albeit her previous endeavors remaining as her primary careers~. Other achievements of note include her hosting her very own radio program, being honored for her acting performances as well as her overall body of work~ in entertainment coming in the form of numerous awards~*, Kouhaku appearance, the launch of her fashion design aspirations presenting her very own wedding dress wardrobe collection and most recently she’s also played host to some of Japan’s most prestigious music events including the annual awards ceremony~.
On December 21st, 2001 Fuji Television released what remains as one of the very few purely “idol” style releases from Ueto Aya and albeit that these *stats* are quite dated there’s not much else to go on as “Image” DVDs aren’t likely to be seen at any time here forth from Ayachan♥ so we have:
T: 162.5 cm/ B: 83 cm/ W: 60 cm/ H: 85 cm/ Blood type: O/ Hobbies: e-mail, swimming ＾ ＾♥。
Furthermore this DVD offers a rare look into some of Ayachan’s personal family photo albums complete with re~collective narration of her growing up photos as well as a complete rundown of Aya’s body check~* (*´艸`)！
Other personal things revealed include:
Ayachan’s favorite♥ words (expression): “Keserasera…”
Ayachan’s favorite♥ color: Orange
Ayachan’s favorite♥ foods: monja & ramen~*
Ayachan’s most disliked (*>ω<)！！foods: Anything spicy!!
Ayachan’s *charm~* point: eye brows (*´∀｀*)♥
Also documented is a mini video of her travels and events going from Saipan to Japan to Guam~ all in a very tight and grueling schedule~! Her baby photos are so cute~♥!!!
(and the last photo just below is Ayachan’s monomane (“impersonation”) of Suzuki Ami..it’s
so much the expression she has so often…so funny~!! (^q^)!!
~Ueto Aya monomane (Amigo~chan)~
Ueto Aya’s music♪ releases have taken her from the darker flavored beginnings of rock/pop where a much grittier image prevailed however over time as Ayachan’s vocals developed so much in leaps~* and bounds her style would evolve into a much wider spectrum of genre venturing into heartfelt/sweeping ballads, peppy ska♥, r&b flavors all the while revisiting that oh so happy~* pop♥ which tends to favor so much of the J~Pop landscape~ (*´∀｀*)。
The broader range and *feel* in Ayachan’s vocals are clearly evident especially when comparing her very first live (on DVD) to her most recent concert releease (“Happy Magic”) which is covered a bit later in this post~. A wonderful confidence is evident as Ayachan projects with seemingly ease a powerful range with all the sweet nuances~* of a most pretty falsetto and heartfelt vibrato when deep into ballads~….talents she’s developed since her August 2002 debut which in addition has also produced her very first lyricist work occurring in the Summer of 2007 with the release of her single “Namida no niji” where she penned the title track achieving yet another first~.
I’ve chosen 6 of my most favorite♥ music videos to share and also here are so unique the styles being implemented in each composition. And with Pony Canyon’s support you can also be assured of no lack in budgets as each visual production brings to life the music so much further (人∀`*)。。。from the very dark aura of “Message”, the colors~* of vibrant life in the Okinawan inspired composition “Kaze”, the paradise bright sparkle~* of “Afuresouna, ai daite”, the slick~cutting edge visuals of “Yume no chikara”, the playful mall~like performance in “Kaze wo ukete” to the bittersweet♥ childhood friendship re~lived in “Egao no mama de” which also may break hearts as it also doubles as Ayachan’s “haircut” pv~ (/∇＼*)！Each pv~ so stylish in their own right!…please enjoy o(*´∀｀)o゛。。。
~Ueto Aya “Message” (pv)~
~Ueto Aya “Kaze” (pv)~
~Ueto Aya “Afure souna ai, daite” (pv)~
~Ueto Aya “Yume no chikara” (pv)~
~Ueto Aya “Kaze wo ukete” (pv)~
~Ueto Aya “Egao no mamade” (pv)~
“Egao no mama de” also known as the “haircut pv” (・д・`*)！！。。the pv also touches upon the early bonds of friendship♥ brought to life through memories in a photo album~, really a heartwarming video o(*´∀｀)o゛。。。although it has caused many a tears~* to from fans who miss her longer hairstyle (人∀`*)。
Back in the Summer of 2000 I had no idea at the time but I was just “meeting” Ueto Aya for the very first time with the purchase of Z-1’s third single release…it was a purchase based solely on the fact that I thought the title of the main track was so amusing (。ーωー。)。。。as you can see I have really “deep” thoughts when purchasing things at times (*´艸`)！
While Z-1 was never quite successful, it did begin Ueto Aya onto the path of her dreams~* of becoming a successful singer one day~* ＾ ＾。She’s pictured second from the right on this singe’s cover…now so unmistakable in appearance and yet me so clueless back then (人∀`*)。
~Z1 “Bakka mitai!!” mp3~
~Z1 “Dearest” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Pureness” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Breath of my Heart” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “PUZZLE” mp3~
Ayachan’s debut single “Pureness” was released on August 28th, 2002. What’s notable about each and every one of her singles is that they each were released as maxi singles and would consistently include re~mix versions of previously released songs. Single sales: 96, 350.
~Ueto Aya “Kizuna” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Tears” mp3~
“Kizuna” was released on Novenber 7th, 2002. Single sales: 57,340.
~Ueto Aya “Hello” mp3~
“Hello” was released on February 26th, 2003. Single sales: 40,555.
~Ueto Aya “Message” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “PERSONAL” mp3~
“Message” was released on May 14th, 2003. Single sales: 28,367. “Message” will always hold a very special~* place in my heart as this song was my most favorite♥ by Ayachan for many years prior to her release of “Happy Magic.”
~Ueto Aya “Kanshou” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “MERMAID” mp3~
“Kanshou/ MERMAID” was released on August 27, 2003. Single sales: 39,860.
~Ueto Aya “Binetsu” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “silence” mp3~
“Binetsu” was released on November 27th, 2003. Single sales: 24,086.
~Ueto Aya “Ai no tame ni” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Arigato” mp3~
“Ai no tame ni” remains as Ayachan’s most successful single to date, released on February 4th, 2004 with sales of 99,470.
~Ueto Aya “Kaze” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Okuru kotoba” mp3~
“Kaze”/ “Okuru kotoba” was released on June 16th, 2004. Simply such a wonderful single~*, the Okinawan♥ flavor is in full here ＼(^o^)／☆！！Single sales: 44,240.
~Ueto Aya “Afure souna ai, daite” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Namida wo fuite” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “PERSONAL -2004 summer-” mp3~
“Afure souna ai, daite” was released on July 28th, 2004. The title track is pure ~♥~!! Single sales: 33,723
~Ueto Aya “Usotsuki” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Ano hito ni aitai” mp3~
“Usotsuki” was released on November 17th, 2004. Single sales: 26,386.
~Ueto Aya “Yume no chikara” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Get Fight” mp3~
“Yume no chikara” was released on June 8th, 2005. Single sales: 85,095.
~Ueto Aya “Kaze wo ukete” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Yakusoku no basho” mp3~
“Kaze wo ukete” was released on August 3rd, 2005. Single sales: 27,277.
~Ueto Aya “Egao no mamade” mp3~
“Egao no mama de” was released on February 15th, 2006. A~h despite the “haircut” pv I still love this single so much o(*´∀｀)o゛♥♥♥。
Ueto Aya’s LE release of “way to heaven” remains as one of the most elaborate and just simply amazing~* single releases to date!! Released on March 4th, 2007 this single release boasts a full production hard cover shashinshuu~* as well as a bonus DVD containing Ayachan’s then complete pv collection!!! And the single itself is yet another maxi~version so a remix as well as a karaoke track are also in place~.
~Ueto Aya “way to heaven” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Owari ni shiyou” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Shimokita ijou Harajuku miman (French bossa nova ver.) mp3~
The “French Bossa Version” of “Shimokita ijou harajuku” (tk.3) is such an awesome re~mix of the original track…melody♪ melody♪ melody♪～♥！
~Ueto Aya “Namida no niji” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “SAVE ME” mp3~
“Namida no niji” was released on May 30th, 2007 and features Ayachan’s very first composition as a lyricist on the title track!! ＼(^o^)／☆
~Ueto Aya “Smile for…” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Mou ichido dake” mp3~
“Smile for…” was released on June 24th, 2009….additional um *gushing~* on this release “ヽ(。´▽`。)ノ。。！！” can be found here. Cute title track and a most beautifully written b~side♥!
While Ayachan has also released re~mix and a best of album, I’ll just be covering her original album releases below…＾ ＾
Here I’m focusing on just a few favorite♥ non single album tracks~* っo(*´∀｀)o!♥♥♥
“Aya Ueto” was released on March 12th, 2003.
3. Hello -album version-
~Ueto Aya “Puzzle” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Flower” mp3~
9. Where is love?
~Ueto Aya “True Love” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Dreamin'” mp3~
13. Hello -Neoverse & DJ Who Nu Anime Club Mix-
“Message” was released on March 3rd, 2004.
1. Ai no tame ni
2. Okuru kotoba
3. MESSAGE ~album version~
~Ueto Aya “Aosora” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Taiyou to tsuki” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Kiseki” mp3~
11. Silence -COCONUTS GROOVE version-
12. Steppin’ Out -complete version-
13. Ai no tame ni ~lover’s splash mix~
“Re.” was released on December 8th, 2004.
1. winter love
~Ueto Aya “Name of Love” mp3~
4. Shinjirarenai = shinjitai
~Ueto Aya “Kaze~Minamifuu version~” mp3~
Although this song was released as a single I so wanted to include it here as this version is just so amazing~* as well as very very different from the single version~ ＾ ＾。
~Ueto Aya “Fuyu no hanabi” mp3~
7. Afure souna ai, daite
8. Namida wo fuite
~Ueto Aya “Sekaijuu ga happy birthday” mp3~
10. Ano hito ni aitai -“re.” Style-
11. Ai no tame ni -B2f’s love affair mix-
“License” was released on March 8th, 2006.
1. Egao no mama de
~Ueto Aya “1 million thanks” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Kaze wo ukete” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Nukumori” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Yakusoku no basho” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Moshimo negai ga kanaunara” mp3~
7. Look into the future
8. Hoshizora highway
9.Kagiri Aru Toki no Naka de
10. Yume no chikara
11.Shiroi Yuki ga Furu Yoru ni
Ueto Aya “Kono sekai ni umarete” mp3~
Love the weeping violin♥ here….♥♥♥
“Happy Magic” was released on July 15th, 2009. I am soooo in love♥♥♥ with this album…9 songs♪ so much variety and absolutely no “filler”~ perfect from start to finish and truly one of the very best J~Pop albums that I own amongst hundreds♥ o(*´∀｀)o゛。
1. Smile for…
~Ueto Aya “Tsukamaete” mp3~
Happy~* rockin’ ska ~♥~!!!..w/ a wonderful verse “shuffle”~ (￣▽￣)
~Ueto Aya “Kokoro poka poka” mp3~
“Kokoro Poka Poka” just makes me smile~* so much each time Ayachan sings it~….a most endearing♥ folk/pop guitar arrangement♥♥♥
~Ueto Aya “Kimi ga warau to sekai ga warau” mp3~
***Beautiful ballad*** (*´∀｀*)♥♥♥
~Ueto Aya “Honey” mp3~
~”Honey”…feel the floating on sunshine~* kanji♥♥♥…fave♥ fave♥ fave♥♥♥~!
~Ueto Aya “Watashi no taiyou” mp3~
**Genki r&b*** ＾ ＾♥！
~Ueto Aya “Migimune no fairy” mp3~
“Migimune no Fairy”….sweet~♥ and alluring with J~Pop hooks* (*´∀｀*)。
~Ueto Aya “SMILE” mp3~
Profound in both lyrics and performance~*…..and a smile (￣▽￣)～＊。。is truly what makes life worthwhile and so worth the journey, how a simple gesture like a smile~* can unite, tear down walls, invigorate and simply show someone special how much you care….here verbalized~♥ o(*´∀｀)o゛。
~Ueto Aya “Bokura no mirai e” mp3~
In closing “Happy Magic” not only is there a warm finality in “Bokura no mirai e”‘s melody♪, but also Ayachan’s♥ achievements towards her dreams~* of becoming a singer come full circle here….her development so much heard in these subtle and thoughtful notes…far from just aspirations of the art~, here she is no longer searching but has arrived~ ＾ ＾。
With a running time of 2 hours and 16 minutes (including Ayachan’s live “making of” footage) Ueto Aya’s latest concert offering takes focus on her performances at both Zepp Osaka and Zepp Tokyo venues giving an in depth look into all that goes into what is one of the most elaborate and impressive stage performances that I’ve watched to date~. While the behind the scenes shows so much preparation covering scene concepts, set list, dance lessons, narration recording, rehearsals with band, and focuses so much on rehearse~! rehearse~! rehearse~! it all culminates into a two phase stage performance which not only presents a full concert with live band but also treats fans to one of J~music’s most inventive and original ideas put into play…literally!!
It was really so fun and entertaining to watch it all unfold, I mean I had no idea of how Ayachan’s latest album release “Happy Magic” would be brought to life through an actual full blown stage production complete with cast members, album storyline theme~*, cute and inventive stage props, a storytelling and scenery livening VTR~ as well as a town “sign” which Ayachan would turn the pages on signifying the play’s movement from town theme to town theme keeping the audience abreast~.
The first 37 minutes are mesmerizing as “Happy Magic” becomes its very own stage musical~♥ played out in such cute fashion as each song moves the story along and with the presence of live musicians on stage as well~* and narration between sets done by Ayachan herself…the concert stage is literally brought to life~* not at all unlike what you’d experience had you been attending a play in its very own right~ ＾ ＾。
I’ve chosen a few favorite♥ performances to watch below…the first five are from the opening “stage play” and the latter four are from the “concert” phase~ ＾ ＾。
~Ueto Aya “Tsukamaete!” mp3~
~Ueto Aya “Honey” (live)~
~Ueto Aya “Kokoro Poka Poka” (live)
~I so love the folk guitar♥ in this “Kokoro poka poka” and it’s just such a cute~* song♪…’poka poka’ o(*´∀｀)o゛。And “Tsukamaete!” serves as a perfect opening performance as happy ska~* livens the venue~!!
Add in the sunshin~y♥♥♥ “Honey”…it becomes concert bliss ヽ(。´▽`。)ノ。。！
~So much that “Honey” receives without doubt the…
..Maochan♥ awesome song seal of approval~*
~Ueto Aya “Watashi no taiyou” (live)~
~Ueto Aya “Kimi ga warau to sekai ga warau (live)~
Such a sweet~* song in “Kimi ga warau to sekai ga warau”..I’m sure with just one listen
you’ll love♥ it too~ ＾ ＾。 And while Ayachan doesn’t often release r&b songs,
“Watashi no taiyou” shows how she can vocally drive r&b genki~* too~ っo(*´∀｀)o!
Just moments~* after the opening play’s curtain call…they re~open revealing a full live band with a rockin’ performance of “Smile for…” (additional live clips from “Act Two” are just below after a few more live captures~ including “Smile for…”, “Egao no mama de”, the beautifully Okinawan flavored “Kaze” and very moving performance of “Smile” ＾ ＾。） Eventually the live takes you full circle back to her debut single “Pureness.”
~Ueto Aya “Smile for…” (live)~
~Ueto Aya “Egao no mamade” (live)~
~Ueto Aya “Kaze” (live)~
~Ueto Aya “SMILE” (live)~
~Favorite♥ Ayachan movie~
When it comes to stylish~action all set in the samurai genre~* one of my most watched and re~watched movies is “Azumi.”
Good storyline under the masterful direction of Kitamura Ryuhei who also directed the cult classic “Versus” along with director duel winner and short film “Aragami” and “Alive.” He has a most amazing way of capturing action scenes and like a director such as Tarentino you can really see a distinctness to his visions brought to the silver screen~* which can often be viewed as trademark to his style of direction~. Ueto Aya is amazing in her role as the lead character “Azumi” and also of note is a most chameleon like actor Odagiri Joe…he’s so so talented!!!!..and his character Bijomaru is one of the most deliciously bad villains ever!!!..I’d say in cinematic history~!
I’m thinking that most have seen “Azumi” and just in case anyone reading hasn’t just yet, I’ll refrain from spoilers here and instead share just a few glimpses into this most awesome film~* ＼(^o^)／☆。
Here’s the movie trailer…
~Ueto Aya in “Azumi” (movie trailer)~
Um….I think I may have a bit too many versions of this film (*´艸`)。。(and one of them isn’t even pictured…forgot! (*>ω<)）but there’s also “Azumi 2” although it wasn’t quite a great as the original film~ ＾ ＾。 The LE is awesomely packaged though~!!
And here’s a little fun clip where famed director Kitamura Ryuhei visited the Anime Expo in the U.S. and he had some fun poking it at one of his familiar cast members…really funny =)!!
~Anime Expo 2006 with director Kitamura Ryuhei~
Very much a part of being an idol♥ and here through the years Ayachan’s♥ been most beautiful….w~ah gorgeous!!!
Ueto Aya has released 6 shashinshuu~* which I have five of when including the special edition hard cover pb which came with her LE “way to heaven” single release~. Interestingly “Ueto Aya Artworks” is printed on paper stock which is I think twice as thick or more than what shashinshuu are traditionally printed on and it’s a really pretty~* pb as it chronicles her music career from debut up till “way to heaven” in the form of off~shots and an entirely new photo shoot for the LE~.
I chose a few photos from each pb to share below…Ayachan♥ always so beautiful~* ne~ (*´∀｀*)！
“I ♥ Ueto” includes a really cute~* section full of personally written on polaroids by Ueto Aya and I’ve scanned most of but not all of them a bit further below~….and this pb also features photos from her “San nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei” role from the final day of shooting~* as well a mini photo chronicle of her career as a singer and in CMs~.
And here’s the long ago (from atop this post) aforementioned added shashinshuu scans from Aya~chan’s♥ “North East West” pictorial journey =)! In all there are 94 new scans here as this shashinshuu in particular is easily the very best of them and at that it was difficult to leave out too many pages.
What makes this shashinshuu so special and unique and you’ll readily see it is that all of the wonderfully shot photography here has the feeling of a road trip taken beside Aya~chan herself which includes both outdoor as well as indoor encounters and scenery throughout this most visually enlightening journey. And it’s all very personal at that as Aya~chan composes letters and has meetings with family members including her beloved Grandmother which a personal favorite part of this book! In all a very day~to~day visual diary of sorts and definitely a shashinshuu must have for any Aya~chan♥ fan! ^^
And there you have it! Don’t you feel as if you’ve just spent quite a few days “beside” Aya~chan♥? “North East West” is a soft cover edition and is of the elongated horizontal type of book priced right at 2200 yen, a most modest price wouldn’t you say for such a personalized visual diary which is most unique from your average shashinshuu. You may recall a somewhat similarly themed pictorial released by the most adorable Kuninaka Ryoko which I posted here awhile back where she traveled back to her home island in Okinawa and visually documented seemingly everyone on that island!!….. any way don’t you now feel and warm and fuzzy inside, I mean after so much candid Aya~chan♥? Much hugs for reading/listening/absorbing/watching & enjoying ^^!