Momusu Smiling like the Sun


I was going to start off 2014 with this song. Releasing it so close to the end of the year is kinda cruel. I feel like I’m not going to make it with the year-end review post because of this. I guess technically I really don’t have to say anything. All the other blogs have weighed in on the new song.

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And big surprise, I love it. I don’t understand why people keep writing that the song is terrible. Yes, there is some awkward robo-time in there and a peculiar rhythm, but there is also a wonderful, genuine feeling to it. Bro and I were struggling to find what it reminded us of and we settled on this: it’s the 2013 version of Seishun Collection, a lack-luster but sweet song from Platinum Era. They didn’t quite manage to make that one as genuine as this one feels to me. I love that this robo-version did it so well.

I think in the future I may have to forgo the screencap posts. More than enough other bloggers already screencap the hell out of each release and while capping is fun, and captions are even more fun, I simply don’t have the time anymore. I’ll have to keep posting months after the release and not being up to date. Being late makes me a sad panda, folks.vlcsnap-2013-12-28-09h15m17s143

I’ll talk about the lack of posting in my year-end post, but for now, let’s get down to business.
Momusu business.

I am not calling them Momusu 14 or anything like that. I don’t care what they add to it, they’re Morning Musume (Momusu) to me forever and adding the year is just silly. That being said, there is definitely a feeling of freshness to this single that seems to be a staple of this “new” Momusu they’ve spent the year advertising.

The “new” seems to be this emphasis on dancing and the robo-style music. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, because songs like Kimi Sae-Robot-Bloop just went overboard with the effects and it left me feeling empty for the longest time. I loved Brainstorming but I was a little worried, until Wagamama and Ai no Gundan arrived. Then when I heard/saw What is Love, I felt at ease. There is so much life in the group now and they’ve transitioned from a bunch of newbies and Shige to a capable, united group.

I didn’t even know they’d gotten a Budokan performance to end the current tour, but watching the clips of it, I just marveled at how interesting, how strong, how awesome it was. During the MC, when everyone expected a graduation annoucement, Shige said, (paraphrasing here) “Usually we can only get here if there is a graduation. It was so much fun. This was my first tour without any senpai or fellow rokkies and yet it went so smoothly. Do you know why? Because my kouhai became so dependable.”

Cue everybody crying. They were so relieved and so grateful that Shige wasn’t leaving and that she was proud of them.

I love Shige as leader for that affection. I have never felt like she resented the young ones or felt threatened by them. She just seems like a fan.

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Hence this moment with Ayumin. There is nothing I don’t love about this cap.

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One of the rare times in which her groping isn’t creepy. And that face is made of win.

Shige is very grabby with Ayumin in this one. And I probably would be too because she looks very adorable. In all those cheesy shots where they have to laugh at nothing and hug each other, it actually seems like they’re having fun together. I particularly love the Ikemen-Ikuta (she’s more Ikemen than Eri-pon to me lately), the BOSS Haruka and Masaki-kins. But then there is the Zukkiri-Saku loveliness too.

Let’s talk about the song for a moment before we pic spam.

vlcsnap-2013-12-28-08h47m33s138I can forgive the peculiar rhythm because you get used to it. And I love the awkward step-clap because it gives the song its edge.

See, Robo-musume is all about the dancing. I don’t know if they can get away with slower songs for singles, at least not yet, so that beat, plus the robot-bloops are for the dance moments. Underneath that, you have the sweet, soft Momusu that just wants you to smile because smiling makes everyone your friend (and you know, believe, love, fight-o etc.). The chorus is very gentle and reminds me so much of songs like the aforementioned Seishun Collection, or even Genki PikaPika; they’re so cheesy, but certain lines, certain parts of the melody make you think that maybe they really mean it. The song just makes me smile from beginning to end (where I laugh at that awkward puppet pose).

Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to the unfortunate English “translation” because these clunky subtitles don’t tend to give me much. I was watching the interesting effects that off-set those formations and how gorgeous everyone looks. I was listening to how great everyone sounds, squeeing at Zukki’s moment and Ayumin’s tiny rap moment (she needs to be given a full rap in a single – honestly, an Ikuta-Ayumin rap-battle song might be the coolest and most potentially hilarious thing we’ll ever see).

The dance break has a wonderful flow.

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Isn’t is strange that Momusu is a place where dance-battles can happen at any moment, now? These two have been battling it out in dancing since they met. I love that tension between ambitious-wanna-be-the-best-ace-Riho and I-just-freakin-love-dancing-so-bring-it-Ayumin.

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And who wins?
A: “Hai! Right here!”
R: “What did you say, shrimp!?”

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Riho: Idol-smile.
Ayumin: Happiness-explosion!
Masaki: Wondering what’s for lunch.

Ayumin looks stunning without the ponytail that makes her look twelve. Although, whenever I tried to cap her actually singing in a close-up, she was still doing the no-teeth-giant-O-mouth thing she’s been doing since Renai Hunter and it looked scary as hell.

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So I found one where she’s just smiling brightly. Because AWWWWWW!!

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Anybody else catch any LJ-background caps, like this one? Thank you, random effects, for making an already epic shot perfect.

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ACE!
*stern* Don’t you fucking DARE!!!

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Wow. Subtle.

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ZUKKIRIIIIIII!!!!

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Add in some Sakura and it’s like a cute-rabu-sandwich.

Eri is sometimes Eri-pon.

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Like in this moment near the end.

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Then she’s all Ikemen, tryin’ to be like BOSS.

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And BOSS is being…what IS this face?? I can’t stop staring at it and I can’t figure out what the hell she’s thinking!

vlcsnap-2013-12-28-09h16m28s89Maybe it’s that she knows exactly what she’s doing to you.

Boss is that most dangerous of idols: one who seems to know exactly what she’s doing. She is full of personality, good at speaking to the camera or on an MC and she has a distinctive voice. She’s capable of being adorable, bratty, gorgeous, or mature. Some times she can be all those things in one pv and you’ve fallen in love a bit before you even know what’s happened. She doesn’t get many lines, at least not yet, but on B-sides, I feel she’s more than proven herself.

When she smiles that toothy smile, I remember she’s an infant, but some times she looks so mature that I wonder where it comes from. I think BOSS is going to become a favourite. It’s hard to resist her.

She might grow out her hair when she’s older, but for now I love this spunky-boy style and how adamant she is about that being her character when she could really milk this cute thing for all its worth. We need a bossy boy in Momusu and I hope Miss Kuduu will step up more.

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I just want to hear her sing, really. I don’t need her to be an ace, or be constantly in the spotlight. I just want to see her having more fun. I want to see that confidence she had when she first arrived. Someone directed me to an interview with Zukki and Riho and in this she mentioned that she’s struggled with feeling like she perhaps didn’t belong in the group. Eri-pon was immediately on Oha-Star, Shige took Fukuhime under her wing and of course, Riho became the new Ace. Zukki was a kouhai for almost no time at all before the tenth and eleventh gen came in. It’s easy to get lost in a group like this, but she’s described herself before as someone who doesn’t fear things, or get embarrassed. I hope that is true and that she can overcome any doubts that might hold her back.

Find your place Zukki, cause we love you.
Her smiles really are like the sun.

Ok. Cheese time over.

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…Derpy is laughing at me!!

Iikubo is actually not that derpy in this, even during her huge-arm-swing fireball moment (I couldn’t cap it well, but you’ll know it when you see it). She has this blazing look when she’s dancing, like she’s concentrating hard, but so excited that if she were to trip she’s spontaneously combust.

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Look. She’s looking right at me!

I like that Iikubo should be the model, but instead she’s become the weirdo-old-man who creeps on the girls more than Shige.

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I think Shige creeps on herself too…

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Hey, when you’re this cute, you can’t help it.
Also: INTENSE DERP-DANCING FACE!

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Find the Masaki-kins!
And also: BOSS is going KILL EVERYONE!

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I don’t have much to say about Sakura, I just wanted to use this pic. Because she’s doing the dreamy-eyed-Fukuhime look that she couldn’t do in Help Me. And she looks great. I don’t know what to make of her yet. I love her voice, but I’m not sure what her personality is. She’s paired with Shige a lot in this, which is an interesting vocal mix. Looking forward to getting to know her more in 2014.

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THERE YOU ARE MASAKI-KINS!

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M: “YAY! And I get a line and everything!”

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The important thing to remember with her is: yes, she’s adorable and she can sing, but if you’re not careful she might just eat your face.

Because she is crazy.

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Pretty Fukuhime is pretty, but I didn’t notice her much.
Can’t win em all, pretty-one.

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Honestly, these pairings really fascinate me. Look at the three little brothers here.

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Then Papa-Derp, Little Ayumin, Mama-Shige and Older-sister Fuku.

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Zukkiri let Saku, the girl who seems snobby but is really just shy, into their group shot here.
Riho wears pearls and a jersey, because why the eff not, right?

vlcsnap-2013-12-28-09h04m31s85I never know how to end these anymore. I love the song and the high quality of the pv is promising. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make it look good. We got two costumes, both versions of which look great. We have the effects which pop against the stark whiteness. Then we have the formations which means there is always something interesting to look at.

Everyone, even if they don’t get a line, has something to do. It’s like the formation dancing ensures that no member is useless. If one girl messes up, the form is lost. They would have to change everything. They all have to be together for it to look right, for it to work. It’s very precise, but this intense ‘together’ feeling is part of what made the song sound genuine to me.

Poetic, no?

Bring on 2014 and a What is Love pv!

~Isilie

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