H!P, Morning Musume, PV, Review

Momusu’s Vision in a Corner of Tokyo…on SATURDAY NIGHT!


tkb6PSEI want you to know I really tried.

I started capping for this pretty early, when the first pv hit. Then came The Vision and then FINALLY our Zukki center (sorta). As always, time got away from me and I wasn’t able to even gather my thoughts before the three pvs were out and the single had already been released. And then time zoomed along even faster and now Zukki has already graduated.

*sigh* I’m so old now.

I think this is a particularly interesting triple-a, because unlike the last three times, it feels like the three singles come from three different times in Momusu history. Allow me to explain…

I don’t mind the triple-a-sides too much, but when it comes to posting about them, I simply can’t keep up anymore (at least not in my usual format of each pv getting its own giant pic-spam). While capping is fun, it’s time consuming and I find I don’t have as much time as I used to. There’s also the matter of how different the songs have become and how (for example) certain songs, while enjoyable don’t give me enough thoughts to create a whole post.

Riho’s grad single is like that. I liked One and Only, even though it’s cheese, and her dance-center Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi has one of the prettiest backing tracks I think Tsunku has ever created. Endless Sky is as sugary and forgettable as Ima Kokokara, but the worst I can say about it is that it sounds more like album filler than a single. So while I enjoy these songs, I fromshannyjkpoponwordpressreally don’t have anything to say. Nothing leaps out at me, minus how kick-ass the One and Only pv costumes are.

That and Riho being unexpectedly beautiful as she shows off her dance skills one last time. Miss you, Ace!

(gif from Shannyjkpop)

The first of these pvs to hit was Tokyo to iu Katsumi, the Tsunku-penned guitar heavy dance number. My first thoughts upon seeing this pv:

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“Ooh, I hate these costumes.”

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“Woa, I can’t believe how much Ayumin is in this!”

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“Dude! Eri-pon got a line! It’s so powerful!”

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“It’s still safe to dance!” (a hundred points if you got that reference)

Then I promptly forgot whether I’d actually watched it. It’s not that the pv is terrible, exactly. It’s just not that memorable.

The quick shots backstage where the girls flail about is the only thing that saves it for me. I love it when hair-flippy moments happen. The rest of the choreography is odd. It just doesn’t look right, minus the clapping in the air transition. The head jiggling and safety-dancing just weirds me out.vlcsnap-2016-04-27-03h09m08s216

The lovely Magi-kat explained in this lovely post about the concept of the pv (thank you btw! and I’m sorry I shamelessly stole your title style – I’m bad at naming these posts! >_<), so that shed some light on the odd way the cameras are visible in the dance-shots and the random shots of the girls just kinda standing around. It’s nice that they tried, but it didn’t resonate for me.

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Concept…idol-dom is largely about waiting?

As for the song itself, it starts out very promising, all frantic guitars, and then sorta stops and starts. I love the nonsensical but very dramatic “crazy beat” lines from Ayumin and Fuku-hime, but I’m not fond of the “iru” that ends the chorus. The whole vlcsnap-2016-04-26-13h18m19s164song is hit and miss for me. There are some great moments but I find when I listen to it I don’t always finish the whole song.

Let me point out, however that being in all those musicals has really helped the girls vocally. I didn’t think Ayumin had the “crazy beat” line in her! I’m not that fond of her voice in this song, minus that moment, but it’s an interesting contrast to Masaki-kin’s nasal perfection and the polish of Oda and Fuku-hime. Iikubo and Eri-pon still have a way to go, but their voices have some character.

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I can feel the desperate aggression in Eri-pon’s line and I actually love it.

As I mentioned, Masaki-kin has a perfect idol voice. She is very versatile and although their voices are obviously quite different, I’d say the same about BOSS.

I’d also like to point out how incredible Oda is in this single. I love every line she has, in every one of these songs. Her voice just keeps getting more beautiful.

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You know…kouhai sucker-punching aside…

While everybody is better, I still can’t honestly say that any of them is ace-like. I don’t know how I’d describe an ace, or why I resisted Koharu as the Ace but not Riho. I guess some times you can just sense it, even if the company is pushing someone else at you.

Let me talk about 12th gen here, because vocally, they don’t really exist in this single in any significant way. There are lines here and there and they get paired with senpai and such, but I can’t tell you anything about their individual voices. Vocals aside, they all have their charms.

vlcsnap-2016-04-26-13h50m58s42Nonaka Derp-chan is so confident, despite near constant derp-face. That’s the only thing that stands out about her. She’s always had an air of confidence usually missing in new members and I’m sure it helps that her English skills got her an immediate gig with J-Melo. Even so, I can’t say I really notice her that often.vlcsnap-2016-04-27-03h09m25s131

Haga Akane fades in and out like the sleepy little-sister character she is. She reminds me of a just-debuted Konno Asami: she’s delightful, but you have to push her forward or she’ll just smile benignly in the background.

vlcsnap-2016-04-27-03h09m32s205Ogata is adorable and awkward. She’s the most awkward member I’ve ever seen (including wincing, unsure Eri-pon) and yet her awkwardness doesn’t make you uncomfortable. Rather, it’s like you can’t look away.

Maria is idoling her arse off. She’s got her vlcsnap-2016-04-27-03h09m29s178character and it’s so solid that her half-moon, no-eyed smiles seem as natural as her Nacchi-faces when she needs to be serious. She’s squirmed her way into my heart somehow and her type usually annoys the hell out of me.

As for this song being a part of another era of Momusu, it sounded like a throw-back to Platinum gen. I could tell instantly it was a Tsunku song. It does have a bit of the ’16 feel, but mostly it reminds me of the busy sound of Platinum singles, like Shoganai. There’s so much happening the backing track.

If Tokyo to Iu is an era past, The Vision is like the sound of Momusu’s future. It reminded me so much of Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi with its dreamy piano and incredibly polished sound. The backing track is almost prettier than the vocals, although Oda throughout this entire single, pwned her every line. Something felt off to me about The Vision when I first heard it and I couldn’t figure it out until Bro described it as a “new generation” song; this is the sound of ’16. There aren’t any rough edges here, even with the green, green 12 gen.tumblr_chocororu

(gif from chocororu on tumblr)

The pv in all its simplicity is kinda stunning. Everyone looks young and lovely. The dance group (including Eri-pon again, proving that elegance can coexist with great strength) flows through the choreography with much more polish than Oh My Wish and the song itself grew on me each time I heard it.

I don’t listen to it very much, but when I do, I want to sing along.

And now…finally…

IT’S UTAKATA SATURDAY NIGHT!!

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(gif from random tumblr)

I thought all of these tracks were written by Tsunku, but this one, the one most H!P like of them all, was not. It was written by someone else. I say H!P like, because I don’t think it reminds me of Golden Era Musume so much as Golden Era H!P. It’s silly, but catchy and addictive and it’s perfect for Zukki’s final appearance.

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She goes out with a bang. Quite literally. She blows up the dance-floor.

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DJ Kannon should have happened YEARS ago!

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It’s the return of the AIIIIIIIN!

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An example of something simple that’s actually a really cool effect. More of this nonsense please!!

I think the best part is how idol-like everything is: the costumes, especially Kannon’s DJ outfit; the hip-thrusting choreography, along with Ayumin’s spastic dance-break; the mirror nonsense and random text; the sorely missed mid-song monologue, the likes of which we haven’t had since The Peace.

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Tell me you hear Zukki completely pwning that moment and don’t smile, squee, or die laughing.

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I won’t believe you.

There’s just so much joy in it and after how serious every single has been for the past few years (minus some sugar here and there), it’s a relief to just get back to the basics of idol music for a moment.

Each pairing is brilliant. This is on par with the genius pairings in Kanashimi Twilight.

Examples:

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BOSS and Eri-pon blend surprisingly well. All that testosterone power in one tiny duo!

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Haga isn’t with the senpai she wants, but Ayumin pulls her through anyway. I like how reassured Haga seems when Ayumin throws an arm around her like this. Pull her along, senpai!

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Derpy and Akward: why does this work so well? They both make the same face!! The derp balances the awkward, doesn’t it?

It’s no big surprise that this is my favourite of the three. I’m so relieved Zukki got to make her mark and I feel validated that my theory regarding Zukki’s presence in singles was correct.

One of the things about Zukki that always bothered me was the thought that she entered at the wrong time. If she’d been in the group when it was all about variety and each single was very idol-like, I think she would have had a much easier time. Zukki’s character has always been laid back and comedic, with her sunny smile and good natured humour. There were times when I felt like the songs were more dramatic than Zukki vlcsnap-2016-05-27-05h13m46s16knew what to do with. I’m not suggesting she couldn’t pull them off, but I don’t think it was easy to get used to after her genki debut days.

She knew exactly what to do in this pv, how much to ham it up and how much to turn on the cute. You can chalk this up to her experience thus far, or the exhilaration of knowing graduation is at hand, but think about how many of their singles have been serious, either in tone or in the insane choreography. This song is both easy to sing and easy to watch. It feels as fun and carefree as Zukki herself.

I miss her. I’m so glad she got her moment, even just for one single.
The 13th gen audition produced no new members, so it looks like the ace question is tabled for now.

Unless they really do plan to push Ayumin into it. There was a lot of her in this single and she’s starting to have a look in her eyes that I haven’t seen before.

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I guess time will tell. In the meantime, DANCE!

~Isilie

2 thoughts on “Momusu’s Vision in a Corner of Tokyo…on SATURDAY NIGHT!”

  1. I think it’s a good point you highlighted – in retrospect it did feel like Zukki entered the group at the wrong time. The songs they were given were dramatic, melancholic, or so serious/cool in tone that if given to Riho, Sakura, Masakins (or BOSS sometimes), they rocked it, but Zukki had to work harder as it clashes so much with her genki and smiley character. Had she been born a decade or two decades earlier when songs like Koko ni Iruzee!, I WISH, Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~, The Peace, and Happy Summer Wedding were released, she’d have been a star. Or like you say, had a much easier time in the group. Kind of ironic as the songs I listed were songs either her family plays a lot when she was a kid, or she herself likes very much.

    Having said that, I’m very happy she had at least Utakata Saturday Night for her last hurrah – Zukkiness in every way, and that monlogue will always either make me cry or make me smile – it’s bittersweet – the first comeback of a mid-song monlogue is one where she talks about how much time (she and the song) have left. *goes to a corner and bawls*

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