Morning Musume new single excitement

It's really fun to be a Morning Musume fan when the girls release a new single, because it seems like the tension and excitement are really orchestrated (by Hello! Project and the fans themselves) to keep building until the big release day! Since Momusu's 43rd single Seishun Collection is coming out in just a few days, I thought I'd run down how the suspense usually works for me.
  • Several months in advance, the release date for the single is announced. Usually the song title is unknown at this point, but often there's a placeholder product on CDJapan so I can already start thinking about ordering.
  • Soon the song title is announced, and fans start speculating if it sounds like a peppy song or a ballad. Usually they also announce how many limited editions will be released. Part of the fun of Morning Musume singles is they typically come in four versions: one regular and three limited. The limited editions all come with different DVDs (each containing a special version of the music video), plus each has a different cover. Because I'm a crazy fan and like to support Morning Musume's sales numbers, I usually buy two different limited editions! Anyway, this is when I get my pre-order in, since the limited editions sometimes sell out.
  • For each new single release, Morning Musume will start wearing a new "official outfit" that's featured in the upcoming music video, and their official site photos get updated with the new clothes. It's always fun to see what they will wear next, and since they will always have it on during their various TV appearances, you better get used to it!
  • Next someone will discover a 30-second preview of the song (usually a radio commercial), and it pops up all over YouTube. I usually don't listen to the preview, because soon after that the full song will start being featured on the girls' own radio shows. I listen to Sayumi's and Ai-chan's radio shows every week, and it's pretty exciting to get to hear the song for the first time (and again and again every week after that).
  • At some point images of the CD covers hit the web, which is super exciting for me, since they are usually high-quality, awesome photos with great poses. I immediately download the covers and decide which to use for my iPhone and iPad wallpaper!
  • Just before release time, the full music video will become available (someone will yank it from a TV broadcast, or an official Hello! Project streaming version will appear), and I'll end up watching it over and over and reading all the fan comments (some who love to complain, and some who are happy fans like me). By this time I've heard the new song hundreds of times, and the single hasn't even shipped yet!
  • Finally, the actual CD single is released! My copies start their slow journey from Japan, and until then I check the Oricon charts to see if the girls are selling well (it's so great when they hit the Top 3, and so sad when they don't). When my copy of the single finally arrives, it's almost sad that all of the excitement is over, but of course I love popping it into my car and hearing it as I drive for the next few weeks!