Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | April 12, 2014

Morning Musume New Single MVs Released!

This post is little overdue, but here it is!

I’ll start with Toki wo Koe, Sora wo Koe.

I don’t even know how to describe how perfect this song is. I personally love Morning Musume’s dubstep/EDM sound that they’ve had since One Two Three and will probably have for the next few years, and I also probably won’t get tire of it. I enjoy it. However, I like that this gives us a small break from the electronic sound and major vocal effects. The piano and the violin are just lovely and sound so beautiful, and the way the song flows is stunning. There’s still slight dubstep/EDM undertones, but they aren’t prominent or overwhelming, which allows the song to stay in Morning Musume’s recent style but also still keeps it sounding fresh. The girl’s vocals are lovely as well – they hold the high notes well and they harmonize together beautifully. I also love that there are no solo lines, other than Riho’s notes during the final course, which is a nice change. Tsunku did a really good job with this, as did the arraigner (because Tsunku doesn’t do that himself – he works with them and gives them a melody to work with and tweaks things but he doesn’t do it all by himself). The lyrics are also a breath of fresh air – meaningful and romantic, sad and painful, buy they aren’t about being noticed about the guy you like, or dieting, or wanting to change yourself because you aren’t good as you are so that people will like you, or about not knowing which guy to sleep with but wondering if it really matters anyways and you might as well suck up all their attention before you get some from at least one of them by the end of the night, like the past few singles H!P has been releasing. It’s about longing for your soul mate who you have yet to meet, and having faith that you’ll meet again in this lifetime. Really, everything about the song is wonderful.

On to the music video. This is probably Morning Musume’s best music video out of this current era. The video is made up of the close ups, the dance shot, and various other small scenes. The close ups are gorgeous, they’re so light and airy and all the girls just look so pretty! The dance shot set is lovely, with the space scene and the grey floor that kinda reminds me of the moon, and I love that they’re dancing bare-foot, as it just looks more… free? I guess that’s the only word I can use. The other small scenes, with the girls solo shots of them dancing and such in space, the effects is just impressive – their last few attempts as CG were pretty bad (Help Me!!, for example), but this time it seems a lot of work went into it and the result is massively impressive.  The occasional ripple effect (like in the beginning) is a nice touch, as it the circle-lense effect they do throughout the video. I enjoy the small little diamond things that the girls have throughout as well, and when they touch them they disintegrate (especially Ayumi’s part at 2:27).  The girl’s outfits are great too – they’re flowly and simple, and match the song and video really well, and their hair clips and other holographic-like accessories are nice touches to their outfits. The dance is amazing too. I like that they have that ballet style, and the dance moves flow with the song nicely, and unlike other people, I don’t have much of a problem with the bouncy parts (it all looks much better in the Dance Shot ver,). I think that had it all been ballet it wouldn’t have worked, and so having some moves that better fit the instrumental was important. This is also one of the first MM dances I’ve seen in this era that haven’t recycled dance moves, as a lot of them seem to be fairly new (a lot of MM’s choreography since OTT have just been recycled dance moves and it gets boring to watch after a while). However, I didn’t like the dance break part, with Riho/Ayumi center dance and the other girls circling around them, as that’s been the usual for the past few releases. The Riho-Ayumi dance battle was cool at first, as was the rotating stuff, but now that it’s been done for every release (Wakuteka, Brainstorming, Ai no Gundan, to name a few), it’s getting awfully stale. That aside, the rest of the dance is awesome, and I do like the Riho/Ayumi part, I just wish the other girls were doing something similar… Also, Zuuki only appears once for a close up, maybe twice, which really sucks. Haruna did appear a lot as did Erina, so that was a nice change. I do feel there might have been a little less Riho than normal but she still appeared more than anyone else. I’d like to see more Zuuki, because she’s very expressive in her face and probably did really well during shooting!

Overall, this is the best Morning Musume song in a very long time. Some are saying it is this era’s Shouganai Yume Obito, which I can see. The music video and song are their best yet of this era, the outfits are lovely, and the dance is fantastic! For the first time in a long time, I give this a 5/5!

 

On to Password is 0.

I like the song name, but the song itself still has to grow on me (and I know I’m not the only one). The song is just… I dunno. Like Kimi no Kawari, it’s missing something. That extra umph. The instrumental is okay, and I like the electronic voices that say “zero zero zero password is zero” but I don’t like the girl’s lines of “Zero, Zero, Zero, Password is Zero”. It’s grown on me after a couple of listens, but I do think the song could do just fine without it. I like the verses well enough, and I like the Riho and Sakura slow solo parts (although Riho’s Engrish is terrible – I think Sakura’s is better and they should have swapped them), but the chorus is a bit weak for me. I do love the verses where they shout though – that’s probably the best part of the song besides the instrumental parts. The song, for me, is just “okay”, “good” at best. I like it.

The music video is not as nice as TokiSora’s. It’s a mix of the close up and dance shot, with small shots of the girl’s freestyling dance moves and such. The close up is just a black background, which is okay because it draws attention to the girls. The dance shot is in a small space, a white stage with while rectangular sections of walls surrounding them in a circle, one of which is black. Throughout the video, green and red letters and numbers appear on the screen which covers the girls up a lot and can be a bit irritating, but I see what they were trying to do. I do like the effects where the words are in their hands, like for example, Sakuara’s “I love all” at the 3:00 mark (it does it for Riho’s “What goes around comes around” line too). The dance is okay, from the live on Hello! Station, the beginning and ending instrumental parts are the best for the dance and it’s sad they didn’t show it in full in the video. The rest of the dance just looks like a mess to me, and I don’t personally like the jumping () parts either. The chorus is the worst though, as it looks disorganized and messy. The girls are forming a triangle and a star at one point, but you can only see that from an aerial viewpoint, and otherwise is just looks oddly… well, messy. The odd arm movements aren’t impressive either. The whole ‘formation’ dance thing was cool in the beginning, but it’s starting to get stale and overused, and I feel like the group is going to get stuck with it and people are going to get bored. It’s just not impressive anymore, at least not with this dance. This is probably MM’s worst EDM-era dance so far in my opinion. With that said, the beginning and ending sections are super impressive, so had that type of choreography been continued throughout, it would have been much better.

Overall, the song is simply good, the outfits are okay, the dance is also okay and so is the music video. It’s nothing impressive, really. I was hoping for more, but I’m happy with TokiSora so, it’s okay. It gets a 3/5 from me.

 

This single is looking pretty good. Even if one song is better than the other for me, that’s okay. I don’t dislike Password is 0, it’s just at that “good” level for me. Maybe it’ll grow on me more. The Promotional Versions are not the final music video, by the way - the MVs on the DVDs for the single will have slight differences, so if you’ve purchased those, you’re in luck I suppose. :)

The single will be released April 16th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | April 10, 2014

S/mileage New Single Covers and Tracklists Released!

The tracklists have been out for a while now but the covers were just released, so here they are!

Regular A:

20140410-210707.jpg

(Regular A, Limited A and C have the same CD tracklist)

1. Mystery Night!
2. Eighteen Emotion
3. Mystery Night! (Instrumental)
4. Eighteen Emotion (Instrumental)

Regular B:

20140410-210934.jpg

(Regular B and Limited B have the same CD tracklist)

1. Eighteen Emotion
2. Mystery Night!
3. Eighteen Emotion (Instrumental)
4. Mystery Night! (Instrumental)

Limited A:

20140410-211225.jpg

DVD:

1. Mystery Night! (Music Video)

Limited B:

20140410-211230.jpg

DVD:

1. Eighteen Emotion (Music Video)

Limited C:

20140410-211236.jpg

1. Mystery Night! (Dance Shot ver.)
2. Eighteen Emotion (Dance Shot ver.)

These covers are awesome! I love all of them, they’re all so well done and lovely to look at. In terms of the ‘Mystery Night!’ ones, I like Regular A and Limited A the most, and with the Eighteen Emotion ones, I like both equally! Limited C is nice but I feel it’s the odd one out. Like as if they tried to combined the Mystery Night! outfits with the colour scheme of Eighteen Emotion, maybe. I dunno. It just looks off with those dark sexier outfits and a lighter surrounding, I suppose. But nonetheless, I like them all! It’s been a long time since S/mileage has had amazing covers. Actually I think this is the first time where all their covers are great and I enjoy them all!

The single releases April 30th!

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | April 4, 2014

S/mileage – Mystery Night! / Eighteen Emotion MVs Released!

With the upload of Eighteen Emotion’s full MV on the group’s official YouTube channel, here is the usual mini-review post! :)

I’ll start with Mystery Night!

Where do I begin. Between the two songs, this one is less for me, and I feel like it may end up like C-ute’s Love take it all – I like it but I don’t listen to it a lot. The song is a darker, sexier side of S/mileage we haven’t ever seen before (aside from Attarashi Watashi ni Nare! – but that song was much more tame). Instrumentally, I like it. I love the violins! The girls’ vocals are nice (I kind of like that vocal effect overlay), and the line distribution is improving. However, the lyrics are… in my opinion, not appropriate. Kanon and Ayacho can sing such a song as they are older, but I think such a song is not appropriate for girls at the age of 15-16, like the rest of S/mileage. Lines like “Even a little unkempt clothes, even lipstick smeared with sweat / Everything is apart of me / Every single one of them is apart of me” or, even a 15-year-old Meimi singing  “I wonder if I can choose one guy tonight” is slightly sickening to me. With the constant mentioning of a “stage”, I can’t help but think the song is about a stripper or an erotic dancer, but sometimes it just sounds like a girl at a club getting all hot and sexy with a bunch of guys hoping to get some, and she’s more than willing to provide. No matter what, Tsunku really shouldn’t have given S/mileage this song. I’m not saying the girls can’t mature or have more mature music, but I think this is going a bit fast. Songs like Attarashi Watashi ni Nare! were good because they were sexy without overdoing it, but this is pushing the bar for me, personally. Plus, S/mileage has always, since the beginning (with the exception of Yume Miru 15sai) had cuter songs filled with energy and fun, and I felt that that was their trademark style that kept them unique from the other H!P groups that were going in this direction, and a lot of people liked that style just as it was. But, to conclude, the song is okay itself, musically, but I don’t like the lyrics. Normally I might not mind them as much as a C-ute song or a Berryz Kobo song, but as a S/mileage song, to me, it doesn’t work.

In terms of the music video, it’s the standard stuff – dance shot, close ups. The dance shot is in some type of basement of a building (it could be a set, though) and the close ups are the girls standing/sitting against concrete walls, some of which glow in colours. Kinda cool. It’s pretty standard and I found it kind of boring, really. The outfits are… well, erotic, and once again not appropriate (H!P normally keeps things sexy but not TOO sexy, so the amount of cleavage surprised me, especially on the younger girls – I’m surprised their outfits weren’t even just a little more covered at the top). The bottom section is alright I suppose, it’s more the top of the dresses that bothers me. As for the dance, it’s pretty sexy and it has it’s cool moments. The beginning is pretty cool, and I can see S/mileage are slowly receiving cooler and “harder” dances than before, so that’s nice to see.

Overall, as a whole, this half of the single isn’t amazing to me. The song is okay (although I don’t care for the lyrics, at least 70% of them, anyways), the music video is low-budget, the outfits aren’t great or anything and the dance is alright. It’s just not amazing to me, is all. I give this a 2/5 stars, maybe a 3/5 at best.

 

Onto Eighteen Emotion!

Okay, this is the stronger side of the single! This song was instantly catchy! This is much more “S/mileage” than the other song, but it still has a more mature vibe to it. The instrumental is awesome, it has a cool rockish sound to it that I just love, and the vocals from the girls are awesome, too. I’m happy to see lots of Rina (she has a few solos!!) and Kanna as well, and it’s nice to see that S/mileage is becoming more diverse vocally because it really gives the group colour, if that makes sense (unlike Morning Musume, who is going backwards with line distribution rather than forwards, but that’s for another post). The lyrics are sweet, a song about the emotions of an eighteen-year-old. Although only two of these members can relate to this song, someday, it will be a song for all of the girls, and it’s got “older lyrics” without it being erotic or adult-oriented, which is good for a group like S/mileage.

The music video is creative and fun, and I like it a lot! It’s the usual dance shot, close up, etc. pattern but this music video does it in a fun way. The dance shot is taken in front of a set of amplifiers which just looks super cool behind them while they dance, and the close ups aren’t anything special but the girls look great! Their outfits bothered me when I first saw them in some pictures because they seemed random (notably Meimi and Rina’s shirts – everyone else has black-and-white combinations, but then there’s them with green and blue shirts), but for some reason they seem to look fine to me in this music video. The dance is also awesome and looks like loads of fun. It’s once again a bit harder than the usual super-easy-and-quirky dances we’re used to seeing from them, but it’s still fun and upbeat, and still has that usual S/mileage flair to it. I also LOVE the shots with the girls lying on the floor in a circle with coloured cords around them. I don’t know why, it’s just a really nice touch (I’m also really hoping it’s an album jacket, too)!

Overall, I love the music video, the outfits are cute, the dance is great and I think the song may become one of my new favourites from S/mileage! Great job girls!

Also, as a side note, it’s been announced that the girls will be performing at the Nippon Budokan on July 15th! Congrats ladies!

The single releases April 30th.

 

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 21, 2014

Morning Musume New Single Covers and Tracklist Released

The covers and track lists for Morning Musume’s second single of 2014 have been released!

Regular A:

20140321-202908.jpg

Regular B:

20140321-202914.jpg

(CD tracklist is the same for Regular A, B, and Limited D editions)

1. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe
2. Password is 0
3. Password is 0 (Morimusume Ver.)
4. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe (Instrumental)
5. Password is 0 (Instrumental)

Limited A:

20140321-203032.jpg

(CD tracklist the same for Limited A, B, and C editions)

1. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe
2. Password is 0
3. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe (Instrumental)
4. Password is 0 (Instrumental)

DVD:

1. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe (Music Video)

Limited B:

20140321-203039.jpg

DVD:

1. Password is 0 (Music Video)

Limited C:

20140321-203210.jpg

DVD:

2. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe (Dance Shot Ver.)

Limited D:

20140321-203219.jpg

DVD:

1. Password is 0 (Dance Shot Ver.)
2. Password is 0 (Morimusume Ver.)

These covers are some of the best this year so far! I accidentally heard clips of each song and although I don’t remember much, I do know (and expected) Toki wo Kore is a slower, prettier song, and Password is 0 is the cooler one. Out of these covers, I like Limited C and D the best, but I do like Regular B and Limited A a lot as well, and the Regular A and Limited B covers are nice too. I hope the music videos are just as nice!

The single releases April 16th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 16, 2014

Juice=Juice MVs Released!

Juice=Juice’s upcoming double a-side single’s two MVs have been released!

I’ll start with Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no Kiss.

This song reminds me a lot of Morning Musume’s Irropoi Jiretai (although I think every song Tsunku does that’s got a lot of latin flair will always remind me of that song). The song has that sexy sound to it, something Juice=Juice hasn’t done before. The girls all get lines which is lovely (along Karin still dominates). The song is catchy the whole way through, I particularly like the chorus! I wasn’t too sure I loved the song after the first listen, but I’m liking it much more on the second round.

The music video is dark, especially for Juice=Juice. It contains a mix of the dance shot, close up and a few shots of them dancing in front of a ribbon-y background, which is also used in the close up shots (and is super cool, by the way. A great variant on the glitter background we see a lot. Example: Renai Hunter, Maji Bomber!, Yume Miru 15sai, etc.). The music video is simple and is mostly different angles of the dance, although in this case it’s okay, but I did get a bit bored with it half way through. The dance looks good, I can see they’re becoming the next C-ute possibly – none of their dances have bored me yet, and they’re good for a beginner group. The outfits fit the song well, bit they really make me think of the outfits for Irroppoi Jitertai, once again – just more black than red.

Overall, the song is lovely, the dance is cool, the video is nice and the outfits are good! 4/5 for me!

On to Are Kore Shita!.

The song is cutesy, as I had expected. The song is catchy instantly! All the girls take turns singing, which I liked, although I knew instantly as well that Karin would have the most lines by the end (which I’m okay with!). The song is especially catchy in the chorus, and the whole song carries this poppy cute sound with it all the way through. I like it a lot! It’s a more upbeat and fun Hajimete wo Keikenchuu. I also like the lyrics to this one, being about dreams and all the things you want to do. It’s nice to have something that’s not about dieting and love (at least until the second chorus) and sexy undertones in H!P’s recent lineup of music. Although I know Tsunku said he wanted these girls to have a more cool and sexy image, I’m happy he’s giving them cute stuff too, not just for the variety factor, but also because they’re still young.

The music video is completely the opposite of the first, with it being very bright with loads of white! I like the dark/light contrasts that the group has as for their double a-sides (although this seems to be the case for every group, one cuter song and one cooler one, but I like J=J’s extreme take on it). This music video is made up of the close up, super close up, and the dance shot, where they dance in front of a bedroom set. I absolutely love the dreamy foggy effect they’ve added, it’s so pretty and soft. The super close ups are particularly stunning, and I really like it a lot! The girls all look so great and pretty as always! The dance is cute and simple which fits the song, and their outfits are continuing with Juice=Juice’s casual style. I really like that Akari takes center of the dance through most of the song, it’s definitely a nice change and she deserves it, even if she doesn’t get a lot of lines as usual. The choreographer seems to like going the air-guitar dance moves with Juice=Juice, I’ll note. Akari also got quite a bit of screen time! Near the end (after the pretty half-assed choreography that went into the instrumental break) we see Juice=Juice together in the bedroom set.

The music video is fantastic, the song is great, the outfits are nice and dance is cute (aside from the instrumental break with is usually the most important part of a dance), so this gets a 4.5/5 (don’t think I can give it a full 5).

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 15, 2014

New Photobook Announcements!

Two new solo photobooks have been announced.

Starting with leader Yajima Maimi.

The title of the photobook is Pure Eyes.

The shooting took place in Hawaii, and we’ll get to see her in various places – in the mountains, the ocean, wilderness and a lava field (?!).

The photobook releases March 27th.

Cover:

20140315-192333.jpg

Suzuki Airi will be having her 10th photobook release.

The shooting was done in Singapore (if you read her blog you may remember the few days she spent there). According to the description, we’ll get to see Airi surrounded by culture, urban and traditional. The photobook will show her growth into an adult.

The photobook will be released April 12th, her 20th birthday.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 15, 2014

New Satoyama Units Announced, Covers and Tracklists Released!

Three new units have been added to the line up of Satoyama and Satoumi groups!

The first group is Satonoakari, which is comprised of Sato Masaki, Katsuta Rina and Uemura Akari (their names combined is the group name!)

The second group is Triplet, consisting of Kudo Haruka, Okai Chisato, and Takagi Sayuki.

Finally, Odatomo is a duo, consisting of Oda Sakura and Kanazawa Tomoko (they’ve also used their names combined as the name).

Each group will be releasing a song and will be compiled into one album, similar to the three Satoumi groups from last year.

The covers and tracklists are as follows:

20140315-170925.jpg

CD:

1. Aa, Subarashiki Nichinichi to (Satononakari)
2. Dream Last Train (Triplet)
3. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no you ni (Odatomo)
4. Aa, Subarashiki Nichinichi to (Instrmental)
5. Dream Last Train (instrumental)
6. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no you ni (instrumental)

DVD:

1. Aa, Subarashiki Nichinichi to (Satononakari) (MV)
2. Dream Last Train (Triplet) (MV)
3. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no you ni (Odatomo) (MV)
4. Aa, Subarashiki Nichinichi to (another version)
5. Dream Last Train (another version)
6. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no you ni (another version)
7. Aa, Subarashiki Nichinichi to (karaoke version)
8. Dream Last Train (karaoke version)
9. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no you ni (karaoke version)
10. Music video Making of (Satononakari/Triplet/Odatomo)

I like the Satoyama/umi projects, and I think they’re a nice way to shuffle the girls around and it’s for a good cause.

These groups are mostly younger H!P members (aside from Chisa), and their lineups are interesting so it’ll be fun to hear what kinda of songs they get and how their voices sound together. I think Odatomo will be amazing, as the group has two girls with powerful voices. I’m definitely excited for this wave of new songs. The DVD is also packed full of content for fans to enjoy, so that’s another great addition to the release!

The album will be released April 23rd.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 10, 2014

Morning Musume New Single

Morning Musume’s upcoming single has been announced.

The single is another double a-side, titled Toki wo Koe, Sora wo Koe / Password is 0.

The single will be releases in regular A and B, and limited A, B, C, and D editions, with the limited editions coming with bonus DVDs.

Password is 0 sounds super cool, but Tsunku could surprise me. I’m looking forward to this release, as their last one was awesome!

Once more information is released, I will make more posts!

The single is set to be released April 16th.

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 6, 2014

Unfortunate News

Tsunku announced on his blog that he has been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.

He is going through immediate treatment.

I’m awfully saddened to hear this, but I hope everything goes well. He says he feels fine in general as of right now, so I suppose that’s good. I will keep everyone updated on his condition and how it all goes.

Get well soon, Tsunku! Hello! Project really needs you…

Posted by: hinaichigo1713 | March 5, 2014

[Small Update] S/mileage New Single Announced!

S/mileage is coming in late to the game, but I guess it’s better late than never.

[Small Update]: The single is a double a-side, titled Mystery Night! / Eighteen Emotion. Tsunku said the outfits have a more sexy/erotic look to them, so I think this single will bring a sexier S/mileage. I know, it’s sad. :(

The single will be released in 2 regular editons and 3 limited editions, and to commemorate the release of their new single, the girls will hold a mini-live and handshake event on March 21st at Pleha Walk Hamakita in Shizuoka.

Right now there isn’t too much information on this release so this post will be updated once there is. With most groups releasing earlier this year, S/mileage may not get more than 2 or 3 singles out this year unless they’re back to back. We’ll have to wait and see.

Hoping the best for this release!

The single is set for release April 30th.

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