The title rhymes if you say it right! At long last, I can watch the Bonkyu Bonkyu Bomb concert! Hope you like overly-long reviews! What can I say? Getting to watch a new MM concert is like Christmas for me, and I tend to get a bit carried away.
Overall, I feel that concerts in the Saitama Super Arena have a bit more spark on the recording (probably it’s the other way around if you’re actually there), but I still really enjoyed this DVD. This concert is full of highly energetic songs, and you can tell how hard they’re working by how…er..damp they are by the end of it. It was wonderful really get to see China-tachi in action, and I love them even more now. PLEASE someone give them more lines in the next concert. LinLin is a great performer. She looks like she’s been doing this for years. JunJun is a bit unpolished, but she’s all the more adorable for it, and she looks so very joyful when she’s performing. Mittsi looks more confident than she did in the Sexy8Beat concert, and she’s more in-tune, though she still needs to learn to breathe right while singing and dancing at the same time. Also, her new haircut is great. Koharu was…Koharu, but not a particularly annoying version I guess. Reina and Eri have both had to step up and take a lot of Miki’s old lines, and they prove here that they’re plenty capable of handling that. Sayumi is still growing prettier by the day, and I’m still jealous of her beautiful hair. As always, Risa is a wonderful little ball of energy at concerts, and of course Ai-chan is there to hold down the fort with the challenging vocal lines. What I really like is that throughout the concert you can get a sense of the girl’s close friendship by watching how much they interact. It’s been said that the current lineup gets along better as a whole than MM has for years, and I think that’s probably true.
Just for fun, I’m going to declare a ‘winner’ or standout performer for each song in my reviews. Oh, and I’m only writing about the MM parts of the concert, because I’m not into VUDen.
BonkyuBonkyu Bomb Girl- I like this one on stage because the “yeah yeah” parts are really cute. Actually, the whole song was much cuter than I expected it to be. Ai-chan sounds squeaky and little-kid like on her spoken parts, and I’m not entirely convinced that it was really her voice coming out of her mouth. Maybe Momoko was hiding backstage with a microphone? They also definitely should have started off the concert with better costumes. Winner: Aika, for her line sounding far better here than it does on the recorded version
Mikan- Singing was fine. The more I hear this song though, the more I feel that it’s lacking something. The girls are trying to put a lot of energy in it, but it comes off a bit empty every time. I don’t think it’s their fault. It’s just something about the song. Hmmm. One thing I noticed is that you can really hear LinLin’s voice in the 3-person parts with her, and she sounds very good. Winner: LinLin, for the previously stated reason
Handmade City- Meh. This isn’t my favorite performance because I think a lot of the song is a bit too low for them. Risa sounds good in that register and Eri does an admirable job of handling Miki’s old part, but Ai-chan is sounding a bit manly. Oh, and did they get the towel waving idea from Erika or what? At least they lost the ugly dresses. Winner: Risa, sounds great, looks sexy and confident
Please!Jiyuu no Tobira- Love these costumes. I especially enjoyed all the lines sung in pairs. Risa and Aika were super cute together. Winner: Ai-chan for her great-sounding “Watashi” line, lovely emoting at the very end, and because she looks smokin’ hot in the costume.
Kanashimi Twilight- I love this song, especially live, and this performance is no exception. Even better, Aika sang her solo line live, and while it wasn’t as strong as it could have been, she didn’t go horribly out of tune! That’s proof of progress right there. Eri once again nailed her Miki hand me down line, and Ai-chan was excellent on Yossie’s solo. Performances like this give me more confidence that Morning Musume can still kick ass without Yossie and Miki. Winner: Reina for sexily owning the opening lines and surprising us all with her alto singing
Chance- Forgive me, but I am opting out of reviewing this. It would have gotten ugly.
Suki na Sempai- As expected, JunLin are absolutely adorable. I’ve heard better performances, singing-wise, in some of the fan-made concert recordings, but that’s not to say they sang badly, just a bit shaky at points. Given their extremely limited number of solo lines in other songs, I’m really really glad that they got to do this duet. Winner: JunJun for overwhelming cuteness
Shianimuni Paradise- Interesting. They are wearing headmics, but they’re not lipsyncing. You can hear them get a bit out of breath at the end. Time to drink, I guess (see drinking game post). I enjoyed this a lot, because instead Miki looking like “Oh gawd. Do I really have to do this lame dance move?” we have Eri who executes them with flair. It’s a much more joyful performance than we got with injured Ai-chan and ‘too cool for this’ Miki. The singing might not be quite as good, but it’s way more fun. Also watch for the funny facial expressions from Reina. I have a feeling that we’re going to see this song performed at h!p concerts for years to come. Winner: Eri, because she’s the only one who had to learn the song from scratch for the concert, and because she looks so weirdly cute doing that corny dance. I almost wish she’s been the one in the song from the beginning, but then we would have missed out on her duet with Aika, and that would have been a real shame.
Ikimasshoi- I like the Hawaiian outfits and the bouncing on the trampoline, but it was lipsynced, and therefore 100x less interesting. The song doesn’t even have a good dance to make up for it. What’s with the slow shuffling around while swinging their arms like chimps? Also, why was Reina blinking so much (not winking, but rapidly blinking in a concerned sort of way) Next. Winner: Koharu because her hyper/craziness matches the song
Otoko Tomodachi-Kyaaaa! Aika is sooooo cute!!! She’s almost cute enough to distract me from how dumb the heavy black boots look with that dress. I’m surprised and a bit perplexed by her getting to perform a solo so early on in her career though. Perhaps it’s to put her on more even footing with Koharu? It’s also interesting to see VUDen doing the backup dancing, since usually it’s the younger members doing that part for one of the more experienced members. Anyway, her singing is okay, but not near as good as she’s capable of. She gets tired at the end, but again, improvement since Sexy8Beat is shown, and she’s sooo cute and so likeable that I am a bit more forgiving of her live singing skills. If the goal of this performance was to make me love Mittsi even more, it has succeeded.
Gyutto Dakishimete- Well, you know. It’s Ai-chan. It’s a ballad. It’s a formula for a lovely performance, if nothing particularly memorable.
How do you like Japan- Love this song in live performances. I preferred the Rainbow7 concert version to this one, but it was still very good. Yay for JunLin finally getting solo lines in a group song (first time in the concert so far). I also loved how Sayumi spat out her lines. It’s so fun to see her acting all tough once in a while. Risa owns them all when it comes to this song though. Winner: Risa all around. The song is made for her, from the Engrish introduction to the final chorus.
Shabondama- An excellent performance, one of the best I’ve seen of Shabondama not done by its original lineup! Reina, as usual, sings better in this song than she does in any other. Why oh why can’t she sing like that all the time? Sayumi sounds unusually distressed. I like it! LinLin showcases her “oi!”ing talent previously seen in the Special Generation performance at the newcomer’s concert. Eri sings the ‘Whoa whoa whoa’ part better than Aibon did and maybe even does the monologue better than Rika did. Is it sacrilege to say that? ‘How do you like Japan’ was sort of the warm-up to get everyone pumped for this one, I think. Winner: Reina. Reina cannot lose at Shabondama. There’s just no contest.
Nature is Good- The whole ‘nature is good’ line makes it hard for me to like the song much because it’s so very cheesy. If they ever redo “Captain Planet” (and they should because that show was awesome!) this could be the theme song. Captain Planet was full of horribly cheesy lines. I also don’t like the song much because the dance looks like they’re directing traffic. Anyway, it was pretty much a Reina/Risa duet. I guess it makes sense since neither of them got a real solo or duet performance. Since it’s not really a group song, I’m not going to pick a winner. Also, remember kids: The power is yours!
Ambitious- Oh no, two songs that I don’t really care for in a row. Oh, but they’ve changed to those blue and white costumes that I love, so it can’t be that bad! Uh… I hate what this song does to Reina’s singing, and having just witnessed Shabondama as proof that she can sing well when she wants to, I can only assume she’s doing it on purpose. Another problem is that Ai-chan’s voice again turns manly in the lower registers. I do like the Jun/Eri combo lines. Their voices sound really nice together. Winner: Sayumi. Every time she does that former line of KonKon’s, she sounds a bit stronger. Good for her.
Go Girl Koi no Victory- Not the most energetic performance of this I’ve ever seen. It feels a little flat, but they’re near the end of a rather long set, so I guess it’s understandable. LinLin still looks energetic at least. How to pick a winner in a song without solo lines? I guess I’ll just have to go with whoever looks the cutest. Winner: LinLin. The dance suits her, and she looked the least like she was about to collapse
Love and Peace- Miraculously, the girls are revived by the madness that is Love and Peace! Everyone seems to be having fun here, which also makes it more fun from an audience perspective. Due to the nature of the song, it’s full of cute/tender/funny moments. Reina’s over-the-top cutseyness is right at home here, Risa’s manhandling of Sayumi is quite funny, and I especially enjoyed all the faces Koharu pulled. She would have won if it hadn’t been for… Winner: JunJun, for her surprise kiss attack on Ai-chan and how very pleased with herself she looked after she did it
Hello to You- Encore time! Bring on the the eyesmartingly awful costumes! Looking at all of them on stage at once is painful. Really, it’s bad. As for the song, I’ve heard some mixed reviews, but I rather like it. I think it’s a good anthem for h!p, and their old one was starting to sound a bit dated. Does anyone have any idea what the wota are shouting between lines? I can’t make it out, and it’s bugging me. Winner: Ai-chan. She has the only part of note, and she sings it well.
Onna ni Sachi Are- Eri nails her solo part. She seriously kicked that solo’s ass. Chinatachi also sang well. Definitely a good performance and a strong finish to the concert. Winner: Eri
Most Improved: Aika. She lost a lot of my affection with her poor showing at the Sexy8Beat concert, and it took quite a while for her to gradually earn it back. Since that time, she has blossomed into a high-caliber idol. Aika came into MM full of so much raw potential, and it’s been wonderful to watch her grow. She still has many things to work on, but with her strong work ethic, great figure (already at such a young age), and natural charm, she could be one of MM’s main attractions someday.
Best Overall: Eri. I think of Eri as the girl most likely to blend in with the crowd, neither standing out as particularly weak nor particularly strong. In this concert, however, she did stand out, and in a good way. She has shouldered a lot more singing responsibility in this new Morning Musume lineup, and she’s handling it beautifully all while looking equally beautiful. Eri is known to be a bit inconsistent in lives, but I hardly heard her hit a single bad note in this concert. Congratulations to Eri for proving that she deserves my attention.
Favorite Performances: Shianimuni Paradise, Shabondama, Love and Peace
I am in the process of making a bunch of screen-caps of the concert, but I’m going to save those for the next post. I think this one is long enough as it is.