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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


A Couple Quick Things May 1, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in C-ute, Hello! Project, Jpop, Kikkawa You.

Gah, I want to apologize for not having a real post up this week. I’ve actually just started working at a “real” job. This is absolutely awesome, and I’m totally psyched about it, but I’m also still finishing up school. This means that until about mid-June, I am going to be swamped. So, I want to apologize ahead of time if the next couple of weeks are a little sparse on content!

So, there are two quick things I’d like to talk about tonight:

The Covers for C-ute’s “Momoiro Sparkling”

Wow, that’s how you do a fantastic cover!

I absolutely love those colors. Bright bold colors equal instant points with me, but I think my favorite part of it is just how crazy the whole set-up is. You’ve got Nakky doing her hair, Mai reading a book, Chisato taking your picture (but being way too cool to use the viewfinder) Maimi seems to be too enamored with you even bother using her camera, and you’re apparently interrupted Airi’s phone call. It’s absolutely ridiculous. And it just works.

One of the things that I love about idols is that they are generally more about just being fun than serious. Or even coherent for that matter. This is a great example of that! 🙂

Oh, and I’m pretty sure that I’m quite late on this one, but dang Maimi is finally getting some length back in her hair. Hopefully she’ll let it grow all the way back out again!

Kikkawa You’s 19th Birthday!

Happy birthday Kikka!

There’s still a week and a half until her debut, and I’m seriously excited. Before I said that I was thinking about getting all the versions of her releases, and yup, I ended up pre-ordering them all (all her different b-sides being so great certainly didn’t hurt). Heck I even bought them from CDJapan for the pre-order bonuses and faster shipping! It’s going to be a long 10 days… XD

The Twelve Days of Tsunku-mas: Aitai Lonely Christmas December 14, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in C-ute, Hello! Project, Jpop.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

Yes, that’s right. The Twelve Days of Tsunkumas. Yeah, I know the name is really, really lame, but work with me a bit here.

On everyday leading up to Christmas expect a new holiday related Hello! Project song and/or performance. Now, it’s true that the twelve days of Christmas are supposed to start on the twenty-sixth of December, but where’s the fun in counting down to the sixth of January?

So, let’s get started!

On the first day of Tsunkumas, my true love gave to me C-ute’s “Aitai Lonely Christmas” (会いたいロンリークリスマス):

Even though I want to see you, even though I miss you
Hey, I want to see your face just a little bit
Will I be able to spend Christmas with you I wonder?
This is the first time I felt like this

The time I spend talking to you on the phone right,
it’s become shorter little by little
Why am I such a coward
For some reason I can only wait

I’m only, only lonely even though I’m deceiving, I like you, I like you
Even when I try to forget about you, I like you I like you I like you
But convince me in that way to
believe and I’ll wait for you

Even though I miss you, without opening my mouth,
I shut off my phone last night
Even though I smile
as I buy a Christmas present, I’m sad

Even though I said it was nothing
It got out to my mum a little it seemed
The truth is that I want to open up and cry
What should I do?

I’m only in a horrible place
Even though I try to sum up all of my energy, it’s impossible, it’s impossible
All of you is precious to me, I like you, I like you, I like you
But you know, it’s really difficult and I get weak when the phone rings at those times

Even though I want to see you, even though I miss you
Hey, I want to see your face just a little bit
Will I be able to spend Christmas with you I wonder?
This is the first time I felt like this

I just miss you, I just miss you, I just miss you! It’s just that I just miss you
It’ll be ok if I could try and be spoiled by you for just a small time of Christmas

Even though I want to see you, even though I miss you
Hey, I want to see your face just a little bit
Will I be able to spend Christmas with you I wonder?
This is the first time I felt like this

Translated lyrics by risusaTEN

This is easily the newest song I’ll be featuring, and I must say I really do love that promotional video. The somber white aesthetic really adds to the tone of the song, and I think it’s a great combination. Also, in the several scenes where you can make out Christmas lights, they’re always in the background and slightly blurred out, giving an almost haunting separation between the assumed happiness of Christmas and the emotional state that the song conveys. The slowly blinking colored lights on the indoor tree do this particularly well.

I also want to make a remark about how good all of the C-ute girls look in their winter outfits. I really like Maimi’s sweater, it just looks so natural, an odd thing to say about a Hello! Project costume. I was going to make a comment about how they all looked great without showing that much skin, until I realized that everyone save for Nacky was either in a miniskirt, short-shorts or a minidress. All totally appropriate, nay mandatory, snowy weather attire.

Okai Chisato covers Love Namidairo November 29, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in C-ute, Hello! Project, Jpop.
Tags: , , ,

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of when others cover Aya’s songs. This mostly stems from the fact that since I personally hold her in such high esteem I find it hard for others to live up to that standard.  For example this has caused me to rather dislike Reina’s performance of “The Bigaku” from the Platinum 9 Disco tour and Manoeri’s rendition of “Momoiro Kataomoi” from the ~Fankora~! tour, regardless of how technically proficient those performances might be.

That being said, I actually rather like this version by Chisato.

I think it all comes down to the presentation. It’s all very humble and unassuming, which makes it very different from any version that Aya has done in the past. She is literally just singing and dancing along in (what I assume to be) her room. If you look closely you can tell she isn’t even using a microphone; that’s actually a flashlight!  How cute is that? It’s actually kind of easy to forget that she is a professional idol. In a way she is the inverse “Beckii Cruel,” in that she is a professional trying to take on an amateur persona.

The crazy thing is that this is working for her. Really, really well. This is actually the fifth such video that she’s posted on the official C-ute Youtube channel, and at the time of this posting she’s accrued more than one and a half million views across them. One and a half million! Wow!

This one is slightly different though, in that this is the first time that she’s danced to (and thus sung) a non-C-ute song.  You can even buy her cover on iTunes, which is most likely a response to popularity of her videos.

Listening to the iTunes preview though takes me back to the comparison with Aya. The audio is cleaned up in the downloadable version and despite the fact that she really did a great job on the song, I can’t help but think that Aya’s version was superior. I actually greatly prefer the audio track in the posted video despite it being “rawer” just because it seems more genuine and has kind of a karaoke feel to it, which helps me from immediately comparing it back to Aya.  I really wouldn’t be surprised if the audio in the video was just the raw studio recording dubbed back over her dancing.

I actually kind of find it hard to believe that Chisato is the first from C-ute to have her own solo single (no, “Shock!” doesn’t count, well not technically at least).  She really has come a long way though, even in the last couple of years.  If I would have seen this video at the beginning of 2007 I don’t think I would have even recognized her.  To think she’s only 16, I imagine I might be saying the same thing again in three more years.