The Berryz Kamen vs Cutie Rangers concert promised to be spectacular, and it did not disappoint. I love the entire concept of this concert. I’ll say right up front that this is one of the best h!p concerts I’ve ever seen, and certainly the best since Momusu’s glory days. This concert also makes me happy, because setting up a “versus” concert like this means that C-ute are finally considered to be Berryz equals. I mean, Berryz will always have a bit higher status, but the fact that C-ute can be their legitimate rivals means that their days of being “the girls who didn’t get into Berryz” are really finally over. I wonder whether Berryz are happy for them or a bit miffed.
As usual, I’ve picked a “winner” for each performance just for fun.
Darling I Love You, All- Of course, the song that both Berryz and C-ute covered is a fitting way to start the concert since it belongs to neither group. These dresses are just superb. If the costume department is capable of designing costumes like this, then why are there so many making it into my costume hall of shame? Risako’s singing is a little shaky on her first line, but other than that it’s a good solid beginning for the concert.
Winner: Chinami. Hard one to pick since they seemed to be trying really hard to feature all of the girls equally, but she had the cutest expression during her singing close-up.
Special Generation, All- The addition of C-ute and the super-charged atmosphere brings new life to Special Generation! Sometimes it can fall a bit flat lately, probably because the Berryz could do it in their sleep by now, but everyone seemed really into it today. It’s weird watching C-ute members sing Berryz lines (and visa versa) but I guess I’ll have to get used to that with this concert.
Winner: Mai/Yurina. They’re doubled on Yurina’s lines in the chorus, and I never realized how good their voices sound together. MaiMai also did a good job with her solo line at the beginning.
I enjoyed this performance so much, I’ve embedded it.
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Ookina Ai de Motenashite, All- I think that all of their songs are better with both Berryz and C-ute performing them. This song is usually only Maimi and Airi, but now it’s also Momoko, Yurina, and Miyabi. Yay!
Winner: Momoko. She only has one short line, but I’m pretty sure she was born to sing this song.
If you ever watched Power Rangers or any of its spawn, you will get a kick out of the VTR. Their props are ridiculous, especially Risako looking so serious with her little toy bow and arrow. I like how they made Maasa and Kanna the leaders of their respective ranger groups as those two don’t tend to get much attention.
After the awesome VTR there are member introductions. They have nice “street clothes” style costumes. The fact that Berryz is in bright colors while C-ute has black and white with high boots just seems to emphasize that, despite being younger on average, C-ute ‘s music is really less “kiddie” than Berryz. The two groups are placed on opposite stages (great set-up) and each swearing not to lose…
Namida no Iro, Cute- Man. The girls are really on tonight. Perhaps this “rivalry” has motivated them. The dancing looks energetic, and the singing is great as well. The costumes are once again very nice, though I wish they didn’t always insist on dressing Chisato as a little boy.
Winner: Maimai. Someone so young should not be able to look that sassy. I guess she hasbeen trained to be an idol since the age of six. A full half of her life actually.
Munasawagi Scarlet, Berryz- My favorite Berryz song! The singing was good, but after C-ute’s performance I felt like the dancing was a bit lacking in energy. It was a good performance, but the bar has already been set so high on this concert that I’m being extra critical.
Winner: Risako. This is just one of those songs that’s in the perfect range for her, and those “oooh yes my love” lines get me every time.
Lalala Shiawase no Uta, C-ute- Oh great. My least favorite C-ute song. Guess it had to come up sometime. It does look better without the jellyfish dresses. I’ll give them that. When they were in their little can-can line it was humorously obvious how much shorter Chisato is than everyone else now.
Winner: Nakki. She didn’t screw up her line, and she looked the happiest out there. When you’re singing ‘lalalala’ over and over and over again, being able to continue smiling so genuinely throughout is an accomplishment.
Dschingis Khan, Berryz- Oh great. My second least favorite Berrryz song. Well, again, it had to come up sometime. I still think this is set in too high a key for them.
Winner: Chinami, because the only thing that really stood out to me was how great Chinami looked in her shorts. She really does have great legs, doesn’t she?
Tokkaiko Junjou, C-ute- I like how they’re sort of alternating and facing off in this section. It really adds to the “rivalry” theme. Also, the girls only have to perform one song between breaks, so they’re less tired for each song. This one was a GREAT performance of an already great song. I can’t say enough about how much I love that dance.
Winner: Airi. She doesn’t always get her lines perfectly with this song, but she nailed them this time.
Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi, Berryz- Ya know, this song has grown on me. Lots of pretty smiles in this performance. Maybe it’s grown on the Berryz too.
Winner: Captain. I noticed her bright smile in particular.
Very Beauty, Risako/Airi- Shuffled groups and it’s not even a Wonderful Hearts concert. Yay! Wish it had been Miyabi instead of Risako though. Oh well. I guess she wasn’t too bad. Her voice has become more powerful, but sometimes it gets shouty. I’d been wanting to see what Airi could do with this song, because she’s all about the falsetto thing.
Winner: Airi. Her voice was like a breath of fresh air after Risako. I was right. This song is perfect for her.
Bokura no Kagayaki, Kanna/Chisato/Maasa/Yurina/Chinami- Isn’t Erika supposed to be in this? I guess she gets her solo thing later though. Most of the lines were done in groups, but Chisa got to keep her solos (the ones that Airi stole from her at the last c-ute concert. I’m still not really over that).
Winner: Chisato! She really stole the show with her exuberance, and her solo lines are the best part of the song. Hearing it makes me start lamenting her lack of lines in their singles once again.
Sayonara Hageshiki Koi, Nakki/Captain/Momo/Miya/Maimi/Mai- Watch out Wotas. This song has a fast tempo, and your ‘L-O-V-E Lovely’ chants were a little off. I’m glad they chose to perform this song. It’s rapidly becoming one of my favorites from Berryz albums.
Winner: Captain. For her dancing and little coy looks at the camera.
That’s the POWER, All- I still like it better without all the towel waving, and I didn’t even like it that much then. Not my favorite part of this concert.
Winner: Nakki. Just like she was super-happy to sing “Lalala” she manages to look genuinely thrilled about telling people to wave towels.
Do Don ga Don Ondou, All ft.Erika- Silly silly song, but there’s something special about it that made this the only track from C-ute’s new album to make the cut.
Winner: It’s gotta be Erika, right? I’m glad she’s developing her comedic talent and standing out more. She’s full of confidence.
Honto no Jibun, Buono- Buono’s sure looking hot in their black leather costumes. It was a really really short version of the song though.
Winner: Miyabi. Goggles+Huge Ponytail=Win
Renai Rider, Buono- Started a little rough, but got it back by the end. Very spirited and adorable dancing.
Winner: Airi. Momo and Miyabi’s first solo lines both sounded weak, so Airi by default.
Natsu DOKI Lipstick, Maimi/Captain/Nakki- I see they’ve gathered the best dancers out of the h!p kids. Sweet! As a big fan of dancing, I approve. The Saki’s are both awesome.
Winner: Maimi. Despite the Saki’s exuberant dancing, it’s really Maimi’s song after all, and her own dancing is just as good.
Massara Blue Jeans, C-ute then All- Lol at Airi sounding kind of manly on the “warratte let’s go” line. Also Lol at all of the h!p kids (plus 1 kanna) air-humping together like total pro’s.
Winner: Risako. She took Maimi’s solo and did a nice job with it. Good for her. Her shouty singing works for this song.
Jiriri Kiteru, All- Still good, but they’re starting to look a little tired.
Winner: Momoko. I liked her singing
Jump, All- Love this song, and I think I love this version even more than when just c-ute performs it. It seems like it shows up at the end or encore of every C-ute concert nowadays. I have no problem with that. Interesting that they didn’t change the “jumpjumpjumpjump c-ute” line.
Winner: Kanna. Of the three girls who had solo lines (Kanna, Erika, and Nakki), I think Kanna did the best.
Yuujou Junjou oh Seishun, All- I’ve always thought of “Jump” as the “Yuujou Junjou oh Seishun” of C-ute, so it makes sense to me to put both of these back to back. On the other hand, both of these songs require huge amounts of energy from the girls, so it also makes sense that they did shortened versions. Looks like the girls are having fun.
Winner: Miya for being able to deliver her solo lines that well after all the jumping around.
I don’t usually review MCs, but the ‘Cutie Ranger and Berryz Kamen vs music stealing monster’ skit was great. It reminded me of those old Sailor Moon musicals, complete with flashing colored lights for “attacks”, making this one of the best thought-out h!p MCs. It was pretty darn funny too.
Warera! Berryz Kamen, All- Some of the “Berryz Kamen” lines were changed to “Cutie Rangers” so it wasn’t too weird seeing this performed with C-ute. Musical dance fighting! I’m being reminded of the Sailor Moon musicals again. I wonder if that song was written with this concert specifically in mind or if they decided to do a concert with a ranger theme after writing the song. Special props to Yurina for wearing very tight, shiny, vinyl, bright green capri pants. That takes courage, even if you are as skinny as she is.
Winner: Maasa. She had a very exposed solo there in the middle, and frankly, I was surprised at how well she sang. I wanted to slap her on the back and say, “Way to go Maasa!”
Sakura Chirari, All- Not the song I would pick to end a concert at all. Sakura Chirari is so… anticlimactic. The girls are cute, but the last song needs to be more energetic or more emotional or more something. Oh well. Guess they wanted to end it on a cute note.
Winner: Everybody! Thanks for a great concert girls!
I hope they do another joint concert while I’m in Japan. They’d have a tough time topping this one though. It still amazes me to look at how far these girls have come from when they first auditioned. In their first interviews they’re all whispering, fidgeting, and extremely camera-shy. Looking at them back then, I’d never think they’d amount to more than cute little novelty background dancers, and most or all of them would be “graduated” by the time they hit puberty. Today they’re confident, charismatic, and accomplished idols. I wonder if even Tsunku foresaw how far they would someday go.
Now, to tally the votes. Please enjoy this clip of Momoko spazzing while trying to help lost little Mai-chan find her mommy.
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The ballots have been counted, and the concert winner is…. Suzuki Airi with 3 wins! Congrats to Airi.