Iroppoi Twilight Game

For those who like H!P ^_^, plus a learning experience!

Review: Petit Best 2 ~3, 7, 10~

Track Listing

  1. Chu! Natsu Pa~rty / 3nin Matsuri
  2. Summer Reggae! Rainbow / 7nin Matsuri
  3. Dancing! Natsu Matsuri / 10nin Matsuri
  4. Minimoni. Telephone Rin Rin Rin / Minimoni
  5. Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru / Tanpopo
  6. Pittari Shitai X’mas! / Petitmoni
  7. Afurechau…BE IN LOVE / Maki Goto
  8. Ren’ai Revolution 21 (Cho Cho Cho cool remix) / Morning Musume
  9. This is Unmei / Melon Kinenbi
  10. Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen / Coconuts Musume
  11. Futarigurashi / Yuko Nakazawa
  12. Propose / Michiyo Heike
  13. MERRY X’MAS FOR YOU (holly night version) / Aya Matsuura
  14. Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (country version) / Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika
  15. HELLO! Mata Aou ne (20nin Matsuri version) / 3nin Matsuri, 7nin Matsuri, and 10nin Matsuri
  16. Pokipoki Pocky / Morning Musume (hidden track)

1. Chu! Natsu Pa~rty

Not surprised that the album would begin with the shuffle units that were present that year.  Starting with the smallest group of Aibon, Ayaya, and Charmy, Chu Natsu Pa~rty is definitely fitting for the theme of Summer.  It’s bubbly and extremely cute which might not be everyone’s thing but it was the winner of the competition which is impressive in its own right.  I personally enjoy covers of the song more than the original which is a rare thing for me but this is the original tune!

2. Summer Reggae! Rainbow

Like I’ve said before, reggae isn’t something H!P does often but to see a shuffle unit ending up with one is intriguing and kind of strange.  Granted this group of 7: Marippe, Gocchin, Michiyo, Ayaka, Asami, Lehua, and Ayumi were an interesting group.  I notice that Mari, Maki, and Michiyo do take leader roles in the song and it’s a really smooth and fun song.  It’s not as random as our next track and it’s not as cutesy like “Chu! Natsu Pa~rty”.  I enjoy the song, but I still feel like the PV is REALLY awkward.

3, Dancing! Natsu Matsuri

So Kaori, Nacchi, Nono, Kei-chan, Yossie, Mikapon, Rinne, Megumi, Masae, and Boss Saito are together for this track which is really big but also awesome since this is the most bizarre song they’ve done yet!  This sounds like traditional matsuri music but with that special touch of WTF from Tsunku.  It seems like it’s led mostly between Nacchi and Nono but everyone gets a solo line at least ^_^.  I love the intricacies of the song and the ladies all sound like they’re having tons of fun!

4. Minimoni. Telephone! Rin Rin Rin

So Minimoni’s first song for the Petit Best series, Minimoni. Telephone! Rin Rin Rin makes the first song on this album seem not cutesy because this song is just ridiculously childish in nature (then again Minimoni was targeted for the young crowd).  Now this is their second A-side and I actually wonder why they chose this over “Minimoni. Jankenpyon” but this was a popular track too.  I’m surprised that Nono and Marippe led the song while Aibon got less and Mikapon only had two solos.  Cute song, but not my favorite.

5. Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru

Moving onto the final A-side released by the 2nd Generation of Tanpopo, Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru wasn’t my favorite song from the group but I did see that this album had quite a bit of Christmas-y songs here.  The song is mostly led by Mari and Rika which is a surprise with Kaori and Aibon being secondaries.  I do like the holiday sound and the slide guitars within the song but there’s something that I just couldn’t get into with this song.  Meh…

6. Pittari Shitai X’mas!

Also the final single for 2nd Generation Petitmoni, Pittari Shitai X’,mas! I could get behind this song since it’s a little more joyous and holiday-friendly of a song.  I really like Gocchin, Kei-chan, and Yossie’s vocals in this song as well since they’re light and fluffy and the right amount of cute going on.  I did think the song suffered from too much Tsunku snips…but this song to me is at least more enjoyable than Tanpopo’s song.

7. Afurechau…BE IN LOVE

After all that fun and wintry goodness, we finally get into some interesting songs starting with Gocchin’s second A-side.  It was surprising that the song is quite R&B-heavy like 90s-Early 2000’s R&B.  It’s different which is cool and breaks the flow of the album a bit.  I do think it feels a little bit underwhelming compared to other songs, but I kind of enjoy it once in a while.

8. Ren’ai Revolution 21 (Cho Cho Cho cool remix)

*sigh* Another case of random remix in place of the awesome song.  This case it’s Ren’ai Revolution 21 (Yuko’s final single with the group).  To be honest, I just wasn’t a fan here because they chilled the song out a lot and the main focus is a lot of that bridge of the ~chou chou chou ii kanji~ parts.  Add in that when the verses are sung, they are slowed down as well (I can’t tell if it was forcefully done or they resung it) but it bores me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Ren’ai Revolution 21 but this remix kind of ruined it.

9. This is Unmei

OMG, I LOVE THIS SONG.  As it’s their 4th A-side, This is Unmei changed the game up quite abrutptly for the quartet in Melon Kinenbi.  We knew them as the group with a cute side with their first two singles, then slightly got mature for “Denwa Matteimasu” and then BAM this song comes out and just rocks out for all its worth!. I love the waltz-y areas and the pin-pricky verses to the powerful chorus!  It was just furious and loud and just is one of H!P’s best songs IMHO.

10. Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen

Sad that this is Coconuts Musume’s final single but I’m happy it made it on this album since really it is their best song.  It suits their style so nicely and Lehua, Mika, and Ayaka sound amazing in this song which is something that I’ve been waiting to hear (even though they sounded good once Chelsea and April had left).  I quite like the power and the Hawaiian mixed with H!P styles going around.  I was definitely impressed by this song and sad that the group essentially dove in obscurity after Lehua left.

11. Futarigurashi

Moving onto some soloists tracks, Yuko gets to go first with her sixth A-side, Futarigurashi.  At this point in time, Yuko was just shifting from Enka music to more of a calmer pop side.  The last two singles before this song were kind of the bridges to get here which is nice so see her being more of herself.  Futarigurashi isn’t a song that I remember a lot (then again I can’t seem to remember enough of Yuko’s songs to begin with).  Her voice sounds really nice and she sings with enough conviction so this song stood out to me.

12. Propose

10th A-side from Michiyo comes next and Propose is also a bit of a ballad and to me a departure from her pop/rock feel her previous singles have had.  It’s sad to say that I’m not a fan of this song because it’s just a little too plain and Michiyo’s vocals aren’t really making the song better or worse, just flat-lining basically.  I wish I could say more about the song but it just doesn’t do anything for me.

13. MERRY X’MAS FOR YOU (holly night version)

Since the rest of the album are just new versions of songs, I was pleasantly surprised actually!  Starting with MERRY X’MAS FOR YOU (originally a B-side from Ayaya’s 4th single, “100kai no Kiss”), it fits the holiday season as well (obviously) and I was surprised she chose this for the compilation since it’s rare to see B-sides make the series.  The new version of the song took out the instrumentation and kind of left the song as an acappella ordeal.  It was pretty and did take up as that “quiet christmas tune”.  Though the song itself is a bit of a bore and a lot of repetition to be found as well.  I guess it’s alright…

14. Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (country version)

If it didn’t get any weirder we get a new version of Hajimete no Happy Birthday! and boy is it a doozy.  The weird thing is that the original was quite poppy and cute and well this is more country-oriented (hence the country version).  There’s all the things you would expect in your typical country arrangement which is cool because this goes back to before Charmy was added.  I do like the original, but this version is quite faithful to the meaning of Country Musume so I like this as well!

15. HELLO! Mata Aou ne (20nin Matsuri version)

Just like the last Petit Best, the B-side from the shuffle units made the cut as a full version or all 20 members are singing together.  The separate groups had an intro with them conversing with its members but this version lacks that.  The tune is really soothing and has a nice campfire kind of feel to it which compliments the ladies’ vocals.  A LOT better than that ridiculous HELLO! no Theme.

16. Pokipoki Pocky

Even though “HELLO! Mata Aou ne” might look long, it really isn’t.  The tracks end at 3:30, but it you wait a couple seconds, a hidden track begins.  Now I didn’t catch this initially and was surprised that this song exists!  Starting at 3:47, Pokipoki Pocky is nearly a minute of just Momusu repeating the title and the sound of Pocky being snapped.  Though there’s some other lyrics in it, but still.  Doesn’t have much to it, but I suppose it had its use in the CMs.

Tracks Recommended

  • This is Unmei
  • Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen
  • Dancing! Natsu Matsuri
  • Hajimete no Happy Birthday (country version)
  • Afurechau…BE IN LOVE

So here we are at our second Petit Best! To be honest, I didn’t feel as excited about this than I did with the first one.  The songs weren’t as strong (except those 5) and most of them were final singles for some the groups/generations.  I also felt a couple of songs were just a little too bland here.  I would say it deserves a 6/10.

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Enter Peaberry & DIY♡, Exit ManoEri

So there has been quite a lot of activity in H!P recently and it’s no surprise that it would take the summer concerts, Wkwk and Ktkr to announce all these sort of things!

First off, congrats at Naabadoufu@nana for being able to be the opening act for the concert and Kikka for once again making it to be a guest and performing “Koko Kara Hajimarunda!”.

The biggest things are the fact that two new units have been created and it’s just not for the concert! They’ll be continuing activities even after all this passes since they are kind of tagged as like a Shugo Chara Egg!/Guardians 4 kind of deal where they will be active as long as their show Hello! SATOYAMA Life continues.  So let’s take a look at this two new groups!

Peaberry

Our first group is Peaberry which consists of S/mileage member Ayaka Wada and Morning Musume member Riho Sayashi!  Now to be honest, I questioned H!P’s decision over this because to me Ayaka can’t really sing worth crap and she’s my least favorite voice in S/mileage (since Yuuka left, yeah I think I’m the only that doesn’t like Yuuka’s voice shoot me!).  Also Riho might be the powerhouse dancer of Morning Musume (next to Ayumi of course), she’s kind of shaky as a singer and she tends to yell out lyrics.  Seeing this, the two don’t seem like it’s a smart pairing but I won’t bash them until I hear “Cabbage Hakusho” (anyone else thought of Yu Yu Hakusho here?).  I feel like I know what’ll it’ll sound like but hopefully I could be proven wrong.

DIY♡

The other group, DIY♡ consists of Saki Nakajima and Maimi Yajima from °C-ute, Miyabi Natsuyaki and Chinami Tokunaga from Berryz Koubou, and Haruna Iikubo from Morning Musume!  This group is definitely the group that centers around dance so my initial thoughts was High-King 2 but no Reina or Captain (of course no Ai and Yuuka since they graduated).  The group seems to also be nature-friendly as well (kind of reminds me of Tomoiki Ki wo Uetai, that other nature-friendly group that consisted of H!P Eggs, while Peaberry kind of reminds me of EcoMoni).  DIY♡ looks good because of the 4 H!P KIDS that are in it and I’m so happy to see Chinami FINALLY get into a unit but clearly the oddball here is Haruna because she’s a poor dancer right now.  She can keep up but she lacks polish and looks kind of awkward so I’m hoping that this group will help her.  I hope their song “Forefore ~Forest for Rest~” isn’t cheesy but energetic…though I’m sure it will be a bit cheesy with the whole nature-esque motif.

 

With the future announcements of Reina’s band and 11th Generation of Morning Musume looming in the distance, 2012 seems to be a big yeah of revival in H!P…..HOWEVER during the first part of the concert we got a shocking announcement as well.

It was announced that Erina Mano would be graduating from H!P in 2013.  To me the news is surprising because I didn’t think she’d leave before BeriKyuu which means yeah it’s getting to be about that time for them to start thinking of their futures as well (can’t be Berikyuu forever ladies! THAT INCLUDES YOU TOO MOMOKO).  I mean I’ll write Erina’s profile when it gets to that time, but she’s been a better actress than a musical act to be honest and even though her music has become more stronger and better recently, it’s no surprise since she sold the least out of the acts currently.  I hope she releases one more single before graduating (and I assume there will be a best-of album announced before then too given that she’s three studio albums in and has a lot of singles).

 

The concert also gave us our first full listens to C-ute’s “Aitai Aitai Aitai na”, Berryz’ “Loving You Too Much”, S/mileage’s “Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki.”, and of course the songs from Peaberry and DIY♡.

 

Here is the setlist for Ktkr:
1. Chou HAPPY SONG / all
2. Maji de Suka Ska! / all
Opening VTR
MC / all + Makoto and Mitsui Aika – Mano Erina graduation announcement
3. Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki。/ S/mileage
4. Dot Bikini / S/mileage
5. Song for the DATE / Mano Erina
6. Banzai! 〜Jinsei wa Meccha Wonderful〜 / Mano Erina (+ 4 Kenshuusei backup dancers)
7. Aitai Aitai Aitai na / ℃-ute
8. Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku / ℃-ute
MC / Makoto, Okai Chisato, Iikubo Haruna, Fukuda Kanon
9. cha cha SING / Berryz Koubou
10. Loving You Too Much / Berryz Koubou
11. One・Two・Three / Morning Musume。
12. Watashi ga Ite Kimi ga Iru / Morning Musume。
MC / Makoto, Mitsui Aika
13. Watashi ga Obaasan ni Nattemo / all
VTR – Tsunku Club. Members talking to Tsunku♂ / Tsunku♂, Ikuta Erina, Suzuki Kanon, Kudou Haruka, Okai Chisato, Shimizu Saki, Natsuyaki Miyabi, Sugaya Risako, Wada Ayaka, Fukuda Kanon
14. Cabbage Hakusho / Peaberry (Sayashi Riho, Wada Ayaka)
15. Koko Kara Hajimarunda! / Kikkawa You
16. Smile Blues / Fukuda Kanon, Tamura Meimi
17. Watashi no Jidai! / Rockys
MC – H!P haiku corner / Makoto, Mitsui Aika
18. Medley: Koko ni Iruzee! (all) → Uchouten LOVE (all) → Genkimono de Ikou! (all) → Special Genera~tion (all) → Dance de Bakoon! (Bekimasu) → Pyocopyoco Ultra (Morning Musume。, S/mileage) → Sukichan (all) → Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko (℃-ute, 9th gen, 10th gen, S/mileage 2nd gen) → Maji Bomber!! (all) → Bravo! (all) → Yononaka Barairo (all) → Koko ni Iruzee! (all)
MC / Makoto, Mitsui Aika
19. Choto Mate Kudasai! / all

~Credits to Starra!~

(I’ll update this with the Wkwk when they perform tomorrow!)

BTW, congrats to Morning Musume for getting 100k on their first week! IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING!

Also, right there are singles announced by Berryz, C-ute, S/mileage, Up Up Girls, and THE Possible planned (plus a possibility of Peaberry and DIY as well).  So exciting!!! 

That’s about it for now!

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H!P Profile: Maki Goto

One of the most well-known artists to come from H!P, Maki Goto is definitely one of the idols that stood out in the crowd in the 2000s.  She begun her career under Morning Musume as the lone member of her generation beginning with their smash hit, “LOVE Machine”.  Ever since then, she was kind of pushed as the ace (or main girl) of the group for most if not all the singles she was participating in.  After her tenure in the group, she graduated from Morning Musume to become a soloist which also worked out well for her for a long time before a collision course of happening had wormed her way into her career.  First her brother, Yuki Goto (at that time, member of EE JUMP) had gotten arrested for thievery and Gocchin opted out because she also wanted to do things her way and not Tsunku’s way and she left H!P.

After a short break after her last release in H!P, she had rerurned under avex trax where she first performed at a-nation in 2008.  Quickly she shifted into rhythm zone (a sub-label) and started releasing a series of mini-albums.  Before her 2nd one, tragedy struck once again.  Maki’s mother, Tokiko while intoxicated fell out of a window and died a day later.  While it didn’t push back the album, “ONE”. it kind of broke her down a bit.  With the announcement of her first album, she announced she was going to go on an indefinite hiatus.

She did come back to the spotlight once more though at the big Dream Morning Musume concert to perform with Kei-chan and Yossie once more as Petitmoni ^_^

Style of Music: Gccchin’s solo career really didn’t have a solid style, she was variety like Aya Matsuura!  She did cute, she did sexy, she did serious ballads, she did dance music and she never slowed down one bit like Ayaya did which is a surprise to me.

Once she went to avex, she got big songs with even more emphasis on her dance style but also did ballads, rock songs, and a weird, but awesome collaboration with BIGGA RAIJI and later on DJ OZMA (though he was going by his name name, not DJ OZMA).  Enigmatic in her style but she worked them all!

Discography

Singles

  • Ai no Bakayarou
  • Afurechau…BE IN LOVE
  • Te wo Nigitte Arukitai
  • Yaruki! IT’S EASY
  • Sans Toi Ma Mie / Kimi to Itsumademo
  • Uwasa no SEXY GUY
  • Scramble
  • Daite yo! PLEASE GO ON
  • Genshoku GAL Hade ni Yukube!
  • Sayonara no LOVE SONG
  • Yokohama Shinkirou
  • Sayonara “Tomodachi ni wa Naritakunai no”
  • Suppin to Namida.
  • Ima ni Kitto…In My LIFE
  • Glass no Pumps
  • SOME BOYS! TOUCH
  • Secret
  • Non stop love Yoroshiku!! (only rhythm zone single, collaboration with Ayanocozey Show)

Albums

  • Makking Gold ①
  • ② Paint It Gold
  • 3rd Station
  • Goto Maki Premium Best 1 (best-of album)
  • How to use SEXY
  • SWEET BLACK (first release under rhythm zone; mini-album)
  • ONE (mini-album)
  • Goto Maki COMPLETE BEST ALBUM 2001-2007 ~Singles & Rare Tracks~ (best-of album…under H!P)
  • Gloria (mini-album)
  • LOVE (mini-album)
  • Ai Kotoba (VOICE)

This is Ai no Bakayarou, her debut single after graduating from Morning Musume ^_^.  Video is pretty but the song isn’t really my thing…especially those high noties she obviously couldn’t hit correctly lol!

Secret is Gocchin’s final single under H!P so it’s surprising she had a ballad before her decision to leave the company.

Finally, here is Queen Bee, one of the PVs she’s made while she was under avex!  Notice that BIGGA RAIJI and AILI are also present since the latter produced the song and the former raps in it lol.

Top 10 Favorite H!P Songs

  • Paint It Gold (album song from ② Paint It Gold)
  • Yaruki! IT’S EASY
  • Yokohama Shinkirou
  • Akai Nikkichou (Goto Maki Version) (album song from Makking Gold ①)
  • LIKE A GAME (B-side from Afurechau…BE IN LOVE)
  • Wow Suteki! (album song from How to use SEXY)
  • INNER CHILD (B-side from Secret)
  • Hareta Hi no Marine (album song from Makking Gold ①)
  • DANCE DANCE DANCE (B-side from Sayonara no LOVE SONG)
  • Nagadenwa (B-side from Scramble)

Other Things to Mention:

Gocchin is probably the one the had the most popularity after leaving H!P since she joined rhythm zone.

Like I said above, Gocchin has a brother who was also affiliated with Tsunku with EE JUMP (they never got to release their album).

I also seem to prefer Maki’s avex stuff over her H!P releases but I’m not sure that’s surprising at all…

Overall: You know, Gocchin has come a long way from being that new spark in Morning Musume to the diva she’s become today!  She never really had a solid style in her days as an H!P gal from Morning Musume to her last album Ai Kotoba (VOICE) on avex.  I mean she can be serious and cool like “Afurechau…BE IN LOVE” but then release something SOOOOO overly cute like “Te wo Nigitte Arukitai”.  It was strange but it gave her a lot of variety.  Is she the perfect idol?  I don’t think so because everyone’s “perfect” is different.  To me, she’s a great artist and she still is pretty big of a name!  I just hope she returns from her indefinite hiatus stronger than ever!

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Morning Musume PVs through the years: Surge of popularity and flux of members!

Today I will get into 5 videos rather than the 4 of normal!  Three are actual singles, LOVE Machine, Koi no Dance Site, and Happy Summer Wedding and two tracks that got PVs (some people might not know about), Aisha Loan de and DANCE Suru no da! So let’s get to it!

LOVE Machine

The Song: Oh man, LOVE Machine the song that solidified Morning Musume in people’s hearts!  I mean the single sold over a million copies…I mean that was pretty big back then (AKB48 makes it look too easy nowadays).  I mean it brought a new generation to everyone.  Add in that the single was boosted even more when a new member had joined in (Maki Goto) even though Tsunku said he was going to add two members first (it was either her or J-pop star today, Koda Kumi).  That also seemed to boost sales up quite nicely.  Though it seemed that people sometimes forget that it was also a graduation single for Aya Ishigoro who left to get married to a LUNA SEA member.   I personally loved the song and it was my first Morning Musume song alongside “Say Yeah! Motto Miracle Night”.  Either way this song was epic!

What Genre is it?: The song itself was a move as well kind of going into this dance/pop area (nothing like “Summer Night Town” and “Daite! HOLD ON ME”).

The Premise: First off, the video above is an extended version of LOVE Machine which I heard is rare but not so much since it was shown on TV lol.  In the extended cut, the video starts in what I think is Tokyo looking at daily life with people walking around until they close-up on a guy staring at billboard dudes working on a billboard of the c0ver 0f the group’s second album, “Second Morning”.  There’s other people that take notice of the workers starting to take down the cover and slowly change it into the cover of LOVE Machine…I really didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t understand the odd phone call conversation two guys were having…and then the transformation of the billboard is complete and we get this winner picture….

Yeah….awkward right?  Anyway that’s what’s different between the full version and the regular version of the PV.  The PV itself doesn’t really have a premise besides the fact they are on a plane and the LOVE Machine is a heart in a container and energized by electricity.  Weird stuff to behold.  There’s also extra scenes after the song is finished where the guy above is in a store listening to LOVE Machine and jamming along while other people first the beginning buy the singles from the shelves until one remians.  Gocchin comes by and grabs a copy and then looks strangely at the guy and walks away.  Guy takes the headphones off and looks at the girl and Maki turns around and we get this.

Priceless.

The Setting: The setting is kind of a first for Morning Musume.  I mean before it was kind of real and outside but this is the first MM PV that uses green screen!  The supposed idea of the setting is the fact they’re in a plane and they go in various areas I guess?  I didn’t understand it really but it was set in the plane since all of the girls were dancing inside it lol.

The Outfits: TOO MANY TO COUNT.  They went through a lot of outfits in this PV.  It was like they raided a JCPenny’s out for this video.  I mean they had casual outfits, one’s with boas, a stewerdess outfit, a sailor outfit, librarian, it was crazy!  Impressive feat o have that many outfits in one video.

The Choreography: Unlike previous singles, there actually is a bit more emphasis on the dancing nowadays starting with LOVE Machine!  It wasn’t hard but it’s definitely their most challenging yet especially for Kaori who was tall and she was kind of all of the place in the tune but she was doing pretty well for herself.  There’s still a lot of spaces where they weren’t totally dancing but in their own groove.  It was different and new and I liked it!

PV as a whole: They took a big risk doing this video and even the extended cuts. If this hasn’t worked I’m sure MM today would not be here to be honest.  The fact the video was pushing Gocchin was a new thing to since the 2nd Gen didn’t get that until Asuka left.  The extra scenes were interesting and a bit silly (especially with shock face up there) but it did build up hype and I liked that.  As for the main video…it was also quite a change for people because LOVE Machine was shot 99% in green screen and not many people were used to that idea at the time (nowadays it’s pretty damn cheesy).  It’s not as bad as some Daler Mehndi videos (if you know who that is then kudos and a free cookie!).

Ranking: 22/74 (Such a historic tune for H!P and such a cool song to listen to for that great nostalgic feel and such a great way to let Ishigoro go and introduce Gocchin!)

Koi no Dance Site

The Song: How do you beat expectations after the glorious song that was LOVE Machine?  I guess Tsunku decided it was Koi no Dance Site and it’s their best selling single on ORICON (at least first week sales).  This was the first single after Aya’s graduation so it didn’t feel like we lost someone because she wasn’t a front girls in the A-sides of the past.  I also too noticed the change of sound the girls were going through because they went from a groovy dance track to an Indian/bhangra type song for Koi no Dance Site…but it also led to Marippe’s signature SEXY BEAAAAAAM! Which she became famously known for lol.  I also forgot, the whistling and cheering in the background is all the girls doing their own thing…how cool is that!

What Genre is it?: I still think it’s dance but it has heavy Indian influences

The Premise: I don’t think there was any premise in the song nor did it really do anything with the lyrics (at least not to me)

The Setting: Like the arrangement, it’s kind of an Indian-based setting with the palace…but once again totally created by green screen.  So it’s just a background for them and it switches to a white scene with an embroidered line going through the middle.  It’s a bit too simple and kind of basic but they did want to place emphasis on the dance

The Outfits: Seems like for the most part they went back to casual clothing but a little more pattern-y to somehow fit the video?  They only really matched when it came to some parts like the blue/white outfits and the pink outfits spread throughout the video.  Like I said they kept it simple but for the most part they were in casual.  Though Sayaka and cowboy hat…that’s just absurd lol.

The Choreography: I thought the dance looked a lot tougher to take on than LOVE Machine since the song was more able for a bombastic choreo.  They were flailing around a bit more and punching and doing a lot of different things…it was pretty much a hyper dance and I liked it, it looks fun to do!

PV as a whole: I liked the video but it wasn’t as entertaining as LOVE Machine was IMO.  First thing that bothered me was that the lighting was terrible as hell making the girls look extremely pale and kind of weird sometimes (like extreme sunburn or something).  Second, the green screen once again scared me but more so because they had weird effects like the fading like sand being blown away effect and the change of scenery or shots moving forward…it was just not good for me.

Ranking: 31/74 (As much as I liked the song, the PV was bad as hell IMO.  Though the Sexy Beam is the most memorable thing I got from this song…yay Marippe!)

Happy Summer Wedding

The Song: CONGRATULATIONS!  No really, that’s how it begins.  Happy Summer Wedding marks two big things for the group!  It’s the first single to include the 4th Generation of Ai Kago, Hitomi Yoshizawa, Rika Ishikawa, and Nozomi Tsuji.  The second thing is also that it’s the final single for 2nd Generation member Sayaka Ichii who left and went to do solo work in CUBIC-CROSS (and later a solo single) before turning into an actress.  Now the new members don’t really do much in the song and neither does Sayaka…it’s mainly a Yuko led song because she gets the spoken dialogue actually!  Not surprisingly, this wasn’t on “3rd -LOVE Paradise-” so it’s a bit strange of a song.  Lyrically it’s also strange about getting married (half the members aren’t even old enough for that…how inappropriate right?  I guess that’s why Yuko was big in this single.

What Genre is it?: Like Koi no Dance Site, Happy Summer Wedding is pop but with heavy Indian vibes (two in a row…strange)

The Premise: No such premise in the video either…

The Setting: Is it a chapel?  I don’t know but the majority of the video is set in a building (well a set) and it might be represented as a chapel since it works with the song and such.  The other place is like a hallway or a tiny room with beads split between three groups: 1 had Yuko, Nacchi, and Marippe…another had Kei, Kaori, Sayaka, and Maki and the other group was the new members.  It was interesting but that made no sense to me why it was there?

The Outfits: I kind of liked the outfits used for the PV.  Traditional Indian dresses and jewelry and such for the main portion of it.  The thing was that if you are just a causal fan, you will find it hard to tell who’s who in their clothing cept Yuko’s dialogue.  The hallway scenes had the girls in dresses of varying colors and some of the parts we see them in these lavender tutus.  I didn’t like the lavender stuff but I did like the other outfits though I will never understood why Yuko put her hair in pigtails…with extentions…too weird.

The Choreography: As it wasn’t a song that demanded big and flashy dance moves, Hsppy Summer Wedding was a bit safer and kind had more flowing moves to go with it.  A lot of Indian-like movements (more than Koi no Dance Site) so more involvement of their hands and hips…it was nice from the older members…the newer ones well….they were new lol.

PV as a whole: If I was a fan back then, I would’ve questioned why they were going Indian again for this song because I kind of was slightly disappointed.  When I first saw the video, I was completely lost in trying to figure out who was who because while the members got equal time, the dresses in the choreography and the hallway made it kind of difficult to tell them apart.  It was the scenes when they were in the lavender tutus that got my attention.  It was nice but meh at the same time since I’m not a big fan of the song.

Ranking: 65/74 (Yeah, it’s not a good song in my book but I know there’s people that love the song.  I mean it’s a fair way to introduce the new members (albeit weak since they didn’t have solo lines)

Aisha Loan de

The Song: Now, I don’t know too much about this but I do know that Aisha Loan de was originally a song from “3rd -LOVE Paradise-” which should mean that Sayaka should be in the PV but this video was shot after her graduation and after the 4th Generation was added in so it kind of fell between Happy Summer Wedding and “I WISH”.

What Genre is it?: It’s poppy but a little touch of rock on the side (though that “My Sharona” riff is prevelant here as well….take that as you will xD

The Premise: The premise I think goes along with the lyrics of a girl who’s jealous that her man is paying attention to the car (which looks like crap in this video let’s be honest) more than to her.  It kind of portrays the girl (who are most of the members) trying hard to win the guy (Mari oddly enough) but gives up and kind of says screw it and throws the keys at him and they all walk away.  Odd little story but kind of cute seeing everyone and such.

The Setting: You wouldn’t believe me but the video was actually shot at the UFA bulding which adds to the whole cheap feel of the PV.  Plus it kind of felt like a bad karaoke video…I mean the ancient looking car, the rather dated look to the video itself…you know it was cheaply made…though it wasn’t really promotion material I guess?

The Outfits: Casual Clothing basically, with Mari being an exception as she is dressed to look like a guy.

The Choreography: Funny, the only time you see any kind of choreography is the beginning with the “My Sharona” hooks.  It’s so ridiculously simple but kind of cool…otherwise nothing else really…unless you call spinning in a big circle with your groupmate’s choreography….>.>

PV as a whole: Like I said, this looks more like a karaoke video than a legit one but I don’t know why it was made for whatever reason.  I mean it looks so amateurish and even though there was a story to it, it wasn’t big enough to leave a mark on me.  Though we get to see the 4th Gen a lot more clearly which is nice and all but I don’t really feel like it was a true PV.

Ranking: 69/72 (I kind of always forget Aisha Loan de as a song that had a PV because it’s not a memorable song and the only reason would be the choreography and the Oh, my, god lines.)

DANCE Suru no da!

The Song: I know a little more about DANCE Suru no da! at least.  It was a video that was featured on the PS2 game, Space Venus and you had the ability to control the camera which was a nifty idea.  Like Aisha Loan de, DANCE Suru no da! was also from “3rd -LOVE Paradise-” but the video lacked Sayaka and had the 4th Gen.

What Genre is it?: Pop, a little funk, a little doowop, a little disco…hahaha

The Premise: None at all!

The Setting: To me, it looked like they were performing in a stage leftover from LOVE Machine because it was such a pink room and all technological.  That’s about it because what was the idea of the video was the girls dance around a 8-camera and mirror rig that went around the full 360 degrees.  Though it was cool to see the girls getting to do other things besides dance and that was more of like random toys and objects and interacting with them and each other.

The Outfits: They actually had only two different outfits in the video!  One was used more often and that was teh pink dresses with hoops on the lower half…it was cool but plain.  The other one was them in jumpsuits essentially of varying colors (I actually remember Kei-chan’s blue more than anyone else).  Not too hardcore but not too simple either~

The Choreography: The dancing for the most part did revolve around the fact that it was 360 room (kind of like a figure-8) do the dance went back and forth.  The verses did have that hokey-pokey thing going and they did that but most of the time it was a good dance routine, nothing hard or complicated.

PV as a whole: Even though it was merely used for the game and really only exists just for the played to interact with the camera and move around, DANCE Suru no da! wasn’t all that bad.  I like seeing the gals actually having fun and seeing stuff like Aibon and Nono chasing Kaorin with that robot dog was funny and Kei-chan taking pictures and other weird but funny things.

Ranking: 33/74 (Fun song! Though the video is lacking somewhat in action, it’s a specialty video and not too bad if it was included in a video game)

NEXT TIME: ENTER THE GOKKIES!

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H!P Profiles: 2001 Shuffle Units: 3-nin Matsuri, 7-nin Matsuri, and 10-nin Matsuri

So a year later, we enter the second set of Shuffle Units!  There were still going by three groups with the idea of seeing who could sell the most!  However, unlike the last set of three the idea of 2001 was summer and festivals (hence Matsuri) and it obviously shows through all of three of the groups we’ll talk about today!

3-nin Matsuri – Chu! Natsu Pa~rty

L to R: Aya Matsuura, Ai Kago, Rika Ishikawa

The first and smallest groupigns was 3-nin Matsuri which featured the newest members of the bunch with 4th Generation Morning Musume members, Aibon and Charmy (Rika) and soloist Ayaya.  They were given the cute and very bubblegum pop song Chu! Natsu Pa~rty.  The song itself has charm and all that and it was pretty popular of a song (enough to be a staple at lives and later covered in studio form by both Berryz Koubou and S/mileage).  I honestly think S/mileage’s version is the best of em (even better than the original!).

As for the PV, it was fitting to the group and made sense with the trio in their pink wigs and summer attire.  I don’t think the video was too great but it works.  I kind of like the storybook kind of look and the paper cut-outs shindig of the members (which returns in Momusu’s “3, 2, 1 BREAKIN’ OUT” PV) but it’s alright nothing too special.  Though I don’t think it was appropriate to be showing off panties like they did here…too much Tsunku/PV Director dude.  I don’t know…It’s just a little bit too much on the sugar but the song isn’t bad either.

7-nin Matsuri – Summer Reggae! Rainbow

L to R: Ayaka Kimura, Michiyo Heike, Ayumi Shibata, Mari Yaguchi, Maki Goto, Asami Kimura, and Lehua Sandbo

7-nin Matsuri was kind of the oddball group in this trio because they were given something that hasn;t really been done quite yet (though DON’T STOP Ren’aichuu by T&C Bomber is close if not it).  The group also to me stood out because they had the least amount of new members to the whole process of “shuffle groups” with only Ayumi and Asami being the newbies lol.  The song itself is really pleasant and a lot easier to my ears than 3-nin Matsuri’s tune.  It’s not reggae in the full state but it’s cute reggae/pop.  All of the members got lines in the way it was spread like Aoiro 7’s (the more popular members got the longer lines than the backgrounds (which was Ayumi, Ayaka, Asami, and Lehua. They did get a lot of time on the video though.

Which to be honest isn’t good.  I noticed there was a lot of colors in the video (of course it’s called Summer Reggae! RAINBOW for a reason).  Second thing I noticed was how ugly these outfits actually were!  I mean the purple outfits were nice but the individuals were godawful!  Some did work like Ayumi’s, Asami’s. and Mari’s but when it got to Lehua and Maki and the rest…it was downright a travesty to my eyes.  Add in the rather green-screened PV and it was just too much for me. I will say that they did look like they were having fun and some of the choreography was cute in a dorky way.  Though I can’t explain the whole sliding down a rainbow and at the end they walk away and disappear….what?  Cute but that video is probably one of their worst PVs ever made.

10-nin Matsuri – Dancing! Natsu Matsuri

Back Row L to R: Hitomi Saito, Kei Yasuda, Kaori Iida, Masae Ootani, and Megumi Murata
Front Row L to R: Mika Todd, Nozomi Tsuji, Natsumi Abe, Hitomi Yoshizawa, Rinne Toda

Last but not least, we have 10-nin Matsuri who went towards a more traditional look for their song, Dancing! Natsu Matsuri.  This song is definitely something traditional…almost Ondo-like in a way but still pretty cool.  There’s so much going on in this song and the members doing different vocal tones is also quite something.  It’s definitely my favorite of the three just from the sheer randomness of the song.  As for line distribution, a lot of Nacchi and Nono involved but everyone sung together and had duo lines and all of the members did get at least one solo line.

The PV is just as random than the song itself if not more so.  There’s so much stuff that us Westerners will kind of have trouble grasping or  the other side of the coin and say it’s SOOOO Japanese!  I mean Taiko drums, Ramune, paper fans, the headbands, it’s just what a real Matsuri would be like.  Then again DJ Tsuji is an interesting twist to the already awesome action.  The only thing I’d question is the song when Kaori tries to wave her voice (and there’s a clear bout of auto-tune but Kei does it and it’s perfect without it?).  A lot of Nacchi and Tsuji though in the video though haha.  It’s a solid video filled with tradition!

Well…when it all came down to it, I was actually surprised that Chu! Natsu Pa~rty won the contest since I didn’t think it was too good of a song but I guess it shows when you have three rather popular members, you can tackle this stuff.  Though I’m suprised Gocchin’s team didn’t win because they had her and Marippe in the same group….I knind of knew 10-nin Matsuri wouldn’t win because that song would be a little tough to get into its groove but honestly I thought that was the best song

Ranking by me – Dancing! Natsu Matsuri -> Summer Reggae! Rainbow -> Chu! Natsu Pa~rty

So who’s new?

Well, we have quite of interesting new members but hmmm not surprised

  • Rinne Toda (Even though she was active in the previous units, her producer wasn’t Tsunku so she was omitted and placed in when Asami/Rika joined up)
  • Melon Kinenbi (Ayumi Shibata, Masae Ootani, Megumi Murata, Hitomi Saito) (since they were too brand new to make it in the first shuffle units, they were saved for the second units)
  • Aya Matsuura
  • 4th Generation of Morning Musume (Ai Kago, Rika Ishikawa, Nozomi Tsuji, Hitomi Yoshizawa)
  • Asami Kimura

Who left from the last shuffle units

  • Danielle Delauney – She had left H!P prior to the announcement
  • T&C Bomber (Miwa Kominato, RuRu Honda, Miho Shinoda) (The group had disbanded and went their own ways though Inaba had stayed as an H!P member…why she wasn’t involved with these units left me with no idea)
  • Sayaka Ichii – She had graduated out of H!P

Who was missing?

  • Atsuko Inaba – Like I said above, she stayed within H!P but didn’t participate here which left me confused.
  • Yuko Nakazawa – Same with Yuko, it’s not like she graduated from H!P or anything so I wonder if they didn’t like any of the groups or what…
  • Sheki-dol (Ami Kitagami, Ibuki Oki, Mami Suenaga) – I can’t say for sure why they were never a part of the groups but my only conclusion is that they were an indies group whereas everyone was a major group/artist…
  • Yuki Maeda – I’m not sure about Yuki either, I guess she wasn’t a big enough artist to join quite yet?

Of course like the last units, the singles all came with a B-side sung by the respective unit.  It was called “HELLO! Mata Aou ne” and of course Petit Best 2 would have a 20-nin version of it.  I thought the song was a LOT better than that garbage of Hello! no Theme.  This song really had a campfire feel to it and it was simple and very nice and complimented well with the wild and cute side of the leading tracks.  Definitely cool!

I have one more profile to do! Before reviewing Petit Best 2!  I’m excited!

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