I usually hate doing these list posts. I feel like I should have more to say about these girls, but since I really can’t think of anything, I can talk about the only thing I know about them: their singles.
One of the best things about C -ute is that when they pop up on the radar they give me something that takes over my life for a little bit, whether that’s an amazing bit of choreography that I can’t stop watching or a song that keeps playing endlessly in my head from the moment I hear it. If Momusu is my H!P home, then C-ute is my exciting vacation: they’re lovely for a time and then I head home feeling refreshed.
So, without further adieu: Isilie’s favourite C-ute pvs/singles!
(WARNING: Lots of youtube embeds. Look out!)
This is in no particular order of importance. I decided to categorize them in a different way.
These are the songs I couldn’t get out of my head after hearing them the first time. When I hear them now, I can’t not sing along, even if it’s been forever.
Lalala Shiawase no Uta
I think this one might surprise I few people. Everybody seems to have stumbled into the C-ute camp a single before this one. I remember this one getting a lot of flack for being a disappointing cute-fest after the lighting-in-a-bottle that was Tokaikkou Junjou. The dance is silly, the words are silly, there’s only two people getting any solos…but for some reason, it got stuck in my head. If you just give in to it, it’s actually quite fun to sing. To this day, I can’t explain this one. It’s not even that catchy!
Edo no Temari Uta
I will happily sing this one over and over. I am a sucker for anything traditionally-Japanese sounding, or anything that has the girls singing in a more minor key. The silly lyrics are funny and the silly dance looks like a blast. Everybody gets a line and nails it. I adore Airiri’s version too, but this original is still a favourite.
Jinsei wa Step
Seriously. I grew up with oldies, so when I read that C-ute was going to dabble in this style of music, I was very excited. It did not disappoint. The girls are confident enough that they pull off this song like it’s effortless. I love everything about this song, except that once I hear it, I can never stop humming it.
It has a freakin’ TAP DANCE in the middle!! What the hell more can you ask for??
Took Over my Life for a Time
These songs I couldn’t get away from. Once I’d watched the pvs, I couldn’t stop listening to the songs, or watching the pvs again. I can’t even explain exactly why.
I don’t know what it is with this song, but I listened to it once and kinda forgot about it. Then I watched the pv some time later and suddenly, oddly, wanted to hear the song again. I’m pretty sure it was the dance shot; it’s such a strange routine, with all the ‘flapping’ of wings and fist pumping. Then I started playing the song at the gym and then that was that. I don’t know why I love it.
This started with a dance-shot pv again. Man, I really miss those.
This was their new song at the time and I don’t think I’d paid any attention to it. Then I watched it once and kept watching it over and over. I think it’s that little leg-pop during the chorus. There is something so odd and yet elegant about it. As for the song, it just addicted me right away and I have no idea what exactly it is. I still go through weeks where I’ll start listening to it again and again.
And again: Jinsei wa Step…this one never stops.
Songs I Never Really Listen to but that Amaze me When I Encounter them Again
The Middle Management
Seriously. What is this song? It’s kinda foreboding, isn’t it? I can’t tell you why it amazes me exactly. Maybe because Aiririri looks completely amazing as an OL?
Mugen no Climax
Who thought of this experiment? ONLY C-ute could have pulled this off. They all sound amazing (even the squeak-toy Hagiwara) and I like the dramatic sweeping choreography. Mixing classical with idols seems like a bad idea, but this works for me because at this point, every member is so strong that the song kinda feels like a masterpiece.
Naze wa Hito wa Arasoun Darou?
Listen to it. That’s all you need. Do I even have to explain this one? They sound fantastic. When I read that Aiririri was going to find a way to keep singing because she loves it, I thought of this song. And I hope Chisato does likewise because she’s an absolute powerhouse.
She probably wants to rejoin her baseball team though…
Tsugi no Kado wa Magare
This is just so powerful. I remember watching the pv the first time and thinking, “wait, when did C-ute become adults?” This, more than any of their “sexy” fare made me feel like they really were the H!P dai-senpai.
I Miss You
This one is just really interesting. It helps that they all look and sound fantastic. There’s an energy in this one totally different from the usual and it builds and layers beautifully.
Kanashiki Heaven (both versions)
The version that looks too hawt and sounds too powerful (by which I mean perfect). People rightly adored it and therefore Tsunku was like, “May as well make it a single!”
The version that looks more polished and sounds more finished. I don’t mind the others being basically backup dancers here because these two have two of the best voices in H!P. I will always love their voices. I love that Tsunku even did this.
I’m just gonna ignore the random pole dance in the middle there…
Choreography that Blew my Mind
I think this explains itself. C-ute’s choreography is appropriately cute at times, but there’s an aggression there that wasn’t anywhere else in H!P (at least until Kobushi showed up). Once the girls aged a little, there was also an elegance that is and was very addicting.
Come on. Everybody’s top-ten lists are going to include this one somewhere. This is their ‘break-through’ hit for most fans. It’s the one most frequently cited as “the song that got me into C-ute” or at least “made me take notice”.
Speaking about the song alone, it’s quite an explosive track, including a speaking part about “not being a child” (HA! Sure, kidz, whatever you say), while still being catchy and singable. It’s mostly Airiri with a passing glance at the rest of them, but despite that, it’s still very beloved among C-ute fans.
Speaking on that routine, it very rarely gets performed in it’s entirety anymore and rarely with as much intensity as this dance-shot, but it’s kind of a masterpiece. The pace utilizes the desperation that all H!P Kidz used to have; it has the chest-pumping, hair-flipping action that always capitvates; it’s relentlessly fast and suits the song so well that I get kind of pissed when they don’t do the whole routine in concert. I understand why they don’t, but I still wanna see it!
I linked the dance of course, but watch the original too. Maimi steals Chisato’s tennis ball and just throws it into the horizon, where it explodes. Yes, explodes.
Then she looks pleased with herself and Chisato is just like, “what the hell?”
Hell yes. HELL yes!
C-ute in business suits!? HELL yes!
I mean, it’s a weird, weird song that has those odd “mah dahrin” squeaks in it, but that guitar saves it. Only Tsunku could make that work somehow! The ridiculous fist-pumping dance-break and Maimi hair-flipping throughout just got me right away. This was the kind of dancing we’d come to expect from C-ute and damn did they deliver.
Love Take it All
Flawless. When I watch this (even more than than with the song), I’m struck by their confidence and poise, but also how they move with near perfect sync. Their little hand affectations are cute, yet elegant as with so many of these routines. Not one of the girls seem of out place. I love that they’re in such sync as a unit here, but you can watch and know that they are five very distinct personalities.
Also, two words: BUTT DANCE!!!
Butt dance, butt dance, butt daaaaaaance-
Aitte Motto Zanshin
This intro gets me so pumped up! I love the hands in front of their faces and the leg actions. They’re all so damn flawless.
The chorus made me laugh the first time I saw this, but for some reason C-ue makes spastic work. There is something kinda off about the whole pv, regular or dance-shot, but the dance just works for me. I can’t figure out how they make their hips twitch like that without looking like they’re sticking their fingers in electric sockets.
Special Mention: I’d forgotten about this one, but it’s worth mentioning if only for how perfect Maimi is in it.
I use this phrase about songs that I loved within the first few seconds of hearing them and then I played them on and on forever until I had to take a break (but trust me, that took an absurdly long time).
Dance de Bakoon
I remember this one making me think, “Ah, there’s the C-ute I love!” And what isn’t to love? So much mischief and attitude. Chisato KILLS it!! At the time of its release I was just so ready for an energetic song and this remains a favourite.
I saw a performance of this song in Konno Asami’s graduation concert. That concert turned out to be a gateway into lots of songs I’d never known about. This was way back when C-ute was at full strength and they still were tiny, awkward little munchkins dancing with desperation. The vocals are rough, sure, but surprisingly good. Something about the sound of the lyrics just gets me, more than even the tune.
This song is just bloody gorgeous. This kind of song is why I love pop music in general. It just makes me feel refreshed. A little teary even. Hopeful.
And I love the pv, even though it’s just a concert clip. The stage antics and their unabashed joy makes it work.
Massara Blue Jeans
Because every list must include the awkward-hip-thrusting debut. Yes, the dance makes us kinda go, “Um…is this ok?” but the song itself is very addictive and if we’re honest, a little insane. This was their major debut and they are all awkward and adorbs and doesn’t it just take you back?
And again: Jinsei wa Step…you could almost say the point of all this is that I love that song.
C-ute has now officially moved on and I haven’t really processed it. I couldn’t talk about each member because aside from loving Maimi in general (but especially dem ABS!), loving Chisato in general (even though she spent most, if not all, of her tenure JUDGING ME), and adoring Airiri’s voice, I can’t really say anything that heartwarming.
I can really only miss the group itself and how that polish and confidence will have to be rebuilt with other girls. I think it’s really interesting in the legacy of H!P that two of the most legendary groups, Morning Musume and C-ute, came out of the losers of two auditions.
C-ute were the girls not chosen to debut in Berryz Koubou. But like he some times does, Tsunku decided to round em up and give them a song. He wanted to see if losing made them give up or fight.
Turns out, they wanted to fight.
And now, we have the legend of C-ute: the some times cute, some times hawt, always talented, always experimenting, athletes who won us all over one way or another.
I remember watching my first C-ute concert kind of on a whim. I wasn’t very enthusiastic, but I watched it anyway and it was SO much fun. Even back then you could see how strong they’d become.
I can’t wait to dive into their concert catalogue again. It will be bittersweet indeed.
I think they’ve reached their peak though and I mean that in the most non-dismissive and complimentary way possible. I didn’t always like their singles, but they didn’t have any control over what they sang, just how they presented it. As this long post can attest, they’ve been drawing me in for years.
Left as is, they’d keep improving and pretty soon they’d be so powerful they’d eclipse the rest of H!P (maybe you feel they already have). The train has to stop somewhere. The only other choice was breaking from H!P and being C-ute at a different company.
(gif not mine; googled it)
The girls couldn’t do that. H!P made them the group that they are. They are the last of the original H!P kidz.
I never thought I’d see the day they’d leave as adults and leave as such amazing performers.
Thanks for everything. C-ute-san.
Just – please – don’t take Maimi away!!