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Kikkawa You – Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ November 26, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop, Kikkawa You.
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2 comments

Well this has certainly been a long time coming, huh?

Motivated by the recent preview of Kikka’s third single Konna Watashi de Yokattara (which is looking fantastic by the way) I thought that this would be as good of a time as ever to do far too thorough overview of Hapirapi ~Sunrise~:

Regular Edition:


Tracklist:

  1. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~
  2. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ Remix
  3. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ (Instrumental)

Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ is undeniably upbeat and genki, but unfortunately is also a little mundane. I think the song is primarily hurt by a lack of a great hook. The primary “hapirapi sunrise…” chorus attempts to serve as this, but you probably won’t find yourself humming it afterward. Vocally, Kikka is in fine form with a rather saccharine tone through the majority of the song, but she is certainly capable of more.

The song is a bit more interesting instrumentally. A synthesizer is the primary instrument, but with a bit more careful listen you can make out a faint but ever present backing acoustic guitar, which I thought was a neat touch. Also during the chorus and extending into the instrumental a horn is added to the mix which adds a huge boost to the “genki” feeling of the song.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the remix of Kikkake wa YOU!, and the story isn’t any different here. It’s okay I guess, but nothing I would really listen to normally. I really would have preferred another unique coupling track, or one less version I had to buy.

Limited Edition A:


Tracklist:

  1. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~
  2. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ Remix
  3. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ (Instrumental)

CD-wise this version is identical to the regular version. The difference lies in the fact that it includes a DVD of the PV for Hapirapi ~Sunrise~. The short version below should give you a good idea of what to expect:

First things first: I have no idea why, but I’m absolutely smitten with the little dance move where she dusts off her shoulder… ><

I've said it a few times before, but I really do love PVs that are shot outdoors as they just have a special natural feeling to them, and here that feeling definitely adds to the happy and warm tone of the song. The shot where she walks her dog in front of the yellow Volkswagen is also notable for its fantastic color composition.

As a note, I'm pretty sure they had to shoot the outdoor shots in Okinawa during the same time period they shot her image DVD and photobook as I can't imagine there are too many Econoline conversions and F-series work trucks on the mainland.

Limited Edition B:


Tracklist:

  1. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~
  2. LOVE YOU FOREVER
  3. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ (Instrumental)
  4. LOVE YOU FOREVER (Instrumental)

Now were finally getting into the multiple coupling tracks!

LOVE YOU FOREVER sounds to me like a bit of a mix between a traditional R&B song and a ballad. The instrumental and about half of the vocals are done in an R&B style, where the other half of the vocals sound more like a normal ballad. The song is certainly unique, and Kikka sounds great in the ballad portions.

Limited Edition C:


Tracklist:

  1. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~
  2. Mizuiro
  3. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ (Instrumental)
  4. Mizuiro (Instrumental)

Mizuiro is a fun pop track that starts off strong but tapers off quickly once Kikka starts singing, and unfortunately never quite regains that same level of aggression again. The song is certainly faster and more aggressive than anything else she has done before, but kind of leaves me wishing that it would have continued with that initial level of energy and been something “harder,” possibly something along the lines of hitomi’s MARIA. Still, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m selling the song short, as it really is quite good. It’s high energy and several key changes make the song interesting and fun to listen to.

Also, this is easily my favorite cover out of all of the versions (to be honest, they’re all pretty good except for LE D, she just looks a little awkward in that shot).

Limited Edition D:


Tracklist:

  1. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~
  2. Sweetie
  3. Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ (Instrumental)
  4. Sweetie (Instrumental)

Sweetie is another fun high energy pop entry from Kikka. The song jumps pretty rapidly between faster and slower sections and makes for an engaging listen. Unlike Hapirapi ~Sunrise~ I think Sweetie succeeds in creating a pretty catchy hook, as this is the only song from this release that I found to really stick with me. Also, when listening to the instrumental an interesting techno-ish synthesizer beat is clearly distinguishable; something that I hadn’t noticed in the regular version.

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Dokki Doki! Love Mail Covered in an Anime! November 1, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Matsuura Aya.
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6 comments

The anime in question seems to be Katte ni Kaizō (do correct me if I’m wrong about that), and well, the title pretty much sets this piece up pretty well. Check it out below!

Sure, halfway through it transitions from nice and sweet to more than a little demented, but I’m too enthralled by all the allusions to the original PV to really care!

Here are a handful of my favorites:

My absolute favorite allusion has to be to the little punching scene at about two minutes into the embedded video:

I love it because it’s just so darn subtle. If you didn’t know to look for it you would completely miss it. The people who made this either really loved the original PV, or just spent a whole heck of a lot of time watching it when making this! 😀