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Mobekimasu – Busu ni Narinai Tetsugaku October 20, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Berryz Kobo, C-ute, Hello! Project, Jpop, Mano Erina, Morning Musume.

Mobekimasu, made up of Morning Musume, Berryz Kobo, C-ute, Mano Erina and S/mileage (aka: pretty much all of Hello! Project), the spiritual successor of the Wonderful Hearts, and a staple of an annual Summer and Winter concert series have finally released their own single entitled Busu ni Narinai Tetsugaku:

The obvious comparison is to H.P. All Stars and 2004’s All for One & One for All!. Now, I’m not one of those guys that believes that everything was better back in the “Golden Age” of Morning Musume and Hello! Project, but in this case I do think I would have to agree.

The song and PV unfortunately fall flat in a few areas. The first, and most glaring of which, is the general tone of the song. What should be an energetic, uplifting celebration of the splendor of Hello! Project is instead a broody and angst ridden hymn about how I apparently know something, except not. I admit that when I first heard the preview of the song I rather disliked it, though I have warmed up to “meh” after listening to it quite a few more times. In style it reminds a bit of Naichau Kamo, and I think it would have worked reasonably well as a Morning Musume song. Having all of Hello! Project come together to sing this just feels like a wasted opportunity.

Sayu Says: No up-skirt for you!

The second issue I have with this release is the lack of scale. There’s no getting around the fact that Hello! Project is simply smaller than what it was back in 2004, but the song seems far too focused on pairs of singers rather than larger groups. The effect of this is that the cast just feels small. What’s the point of having around 30 girls perform at once if it doesn’t convey through?

Still on the issue of scale, I can’t help but find the black background in the PV to be incredibly boring. It’s black. And then there’s some lights. And that’s it. It so plain that it’s boring. I can’t even say anything else to describe my displeasure with it because there literally isn’t anything else about it to complain about.

All is not woe though, as I can still see a few positives in this release. I was really surprised at how much I liked the pairing of Niigaki and Maeda here. Maeda’s higher-pitched voice works really quite well with Niigaki’s lower-pitch. I can’t imagine we’ll see the two of them sing anything together any time again soon (if ever, for that matter), but it was neat to see if even for this once.

I’ve also finally accepted the fact that Sayashi is one of the “promoted” members. Watching her perform with all those other groups you could never tell that she’s one of the newest additions. The girl has the talent to stand in the front, it’s as simple as that.

On a bit of a tangent, did anyone else notice a surprising lack of Mano Erina here? Sure you see her in a few shots but she never gets any solo or paired singing time in the song itself. A little surprising considering she makes up the MA in MobekiMAsu.

So, which do you prefer?

I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish Niigaki Risa, the new leader of not only Morning Musume, but Hello! Project as a whole, a happy 23rd birthday!

Such mature poise from the leader! =D


In which I write about Kumai Yurina’s shorts June 22, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Berryz Kobo, Hello! Project, Jpop, kumai yurina.

I know I haven’t mentioned Berryz Kobo or really any other of the H!P kids groups in my blog, and that’s frankly because I don’t follow them all that closely. Which, honestly, is a shame. I’ve actually really liked everything that Berryz has released since Dakishimete Dakishimete, Buono! has always been really solid (save for Take it Easy!, which while not awful, didn’t seem to fit), and let’s just say while C-ute may not be my favorite, they are certainly far from being bad.

But this post isn’t about them. It’s about Kumai Yurina. And her shorts.

Kumai Yurina is easily my favorite of the Berryz, and that’s mostly just because of her awesome height.


It doesn't hurt that she's rather pretty too.

I imagine that her imposing height compared to some of the other girls poses some problems to the costume designers of how to keep the girl’s looks all uniform. I say this because I noticed something rather funny in Berryz Kobo’s performance of Seishun Bus Guide during the Hello Champloo concert from the Summer of ’09:

That something was frankly the amount of leg that Kumai was showing, or more precisely, lack of leg. A girl of her stature would be sure to have longer legs than those much shorter than her one would naturally assume. This troubled me slightly through their entire performance as I had never noticed her to have legs so out of proportion in comparison to the rest of her body, but this mystery was very quickly solved because in the following MC we get a close up of both Kumai and Chinami’s costumes:

Here we can see that Kumai’s shorts are significantly longer than Chinami’s, I would go as far as to say by two or three inches. Now, two or three inches in short length may seem insignificant to some, but let’s look at the deeper ramifications here: the costume is effectively hiding my favorite Berryz from me, and also helping negate her most striking positive physical feature, her height. Make no mistake, by giving her longer shorts they are depriving me of seeing more of her legs, which is a huge negative in my eyes (or to them for that matter =P).

More seriously though, Kumai’s greatest physical feature is her height, which also means she’s going to have longer legs, and by negating this feature of hers they are essentially holding her back in front of the other girls, which really is a shame. I understand the reasoning behind wanting to make all the girls look uniform in their costumes, but I still can’t help but be despondent that it happened at Kumai’s expense.