What we resist, always persists. That’s the thought that comes to mind as a write this review of Team B’s 5th Stage “Theater no Megami”. I first watched this stage right after it premiered back in May. For some reason I got in into my head that it wasn’t a very good Stage. My reasoning was that I felt the entire presentation, the dancing, the costumes were just sloppy. It took me re-watching it a few times to discover what really made me feel that way. I also found out that as a whole it is a pretty damn good stage. So that is why it took me so long to do a review. Anyhow, let’s jump right into my review of this stage.
I said before that I love the Zenza Girls concept. I was sorry to hear these songs are not included on the newly released Stage CDs. All three are very good. Even Romance Kakurenbo, which is the closest of the three to a ballad. But I love the haunting melody and the 60’s style of the song. The funny thing is that I am not a huge fan of Shimada Haruka.
Yuuki no Hammer is a great song, and I love the concept of the miner’s props. Quite a few of these songs remind me of retro American rock tunes. It is really AkiP’s trademark, and I love that about his writing. But I can’t get over how awful these costumes look. Everyone looks HUGE in these outfits. Even the thin girls are bulky. I guess we should be thankful they didn’t perform in padded Sumo costumes, but this is close.
The girls take off the huge costumes to reveal that they STILL have too much clothing on. Is that a 3rd outfit I see underneath? Jeez, I am beginning to sound like RSL again (hehe). Inseki no Kakuritsu is catchy and cute.
There is something about Ai no Stripper that tells me that I will be hitting the “skip” button when this songs pops up in my Ipod. Not that it’s bad. I just think there are much better songs in this stage. Very generic chorus.
You see? I knew they had a third costume on underneath. You think they could have planned the outfits a little better. I don’t wear that much clothing when I am walking through the snow! Theater no Megami is just okay. At least the girls are finally wearing something cute! As for the opening set. It started off hot, which was good. But to me it sort of limped into the first MC. Not a good sign, but there are always the unit songs, which are always a big factor in how much everyone likes the Stage overall…
I have gone back and forth on how I feel about the unit songs in this stage. I have finally concluded that I like each and every one of them in B5. So when I say Mayuyu’s unit Hatsukoi Yo is my least favorite, it is only because it had some stiff competition. I get a kick out of the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” melody. And I like the downward progression of the chorus. Look at Mayuyu, she looks all “Poofy”.
Arashi no Yoru ni Wa is the “sexy and tortured” song of the units. There always seems to be one, eh? The surprising thing is who was chosen for this unit. Nacchi makes sense, and all Mikapon needs to do is sho those long legs of hers. But Myao…WOW, I am impressed with the way she pulled off this song. Then again, she is a known diva. Way to go Myao! She pwns this song!
I usually don’t love the super-sugary songs, but CANDY is just great! It is definitely one of my favorites of B5. Tomomi is perfect for it, and the song fits Amina’s voice nicely. But the fact that Yuka worked so well here was amazing. She is such a great singer. She reminded me of early Matsuura Aya in this.
Almost equally as cute is Locker Room Boy, with the girls dressed as Lacrosse players. I love the cosplay themes, and this looks like something Idoling!!! might wear. I guess you would consider this the “big” unit, as it is 5nin. I didn’t mind because Harukyan got plenty of screentime. She is so cute!
You know, I was ready to say Yukirin’s solo was the weak link of the unit songs. But honestly, Yokaze no Shiwaza is soooo beautiful! And Yukirin is so beautiful singing it. I started this post thinking I wouldn’t find five songs I liked, and now I am thinking everything is wonderful. Hmmm. As I said earlier, a high quality set of unit-songs.
When I heard the first few notes of 100 Meter Conbini, I laughed. That keyboard riff sounds just like Europe’s “The Final Countdown”, which was a cheezy hair band from the early 80’s. But unlike that joke of a song, this one is just plain awesome! Great pace with an awesome dance. the girls are all over the place! Another contender for my favorite song of the stage!
Suki Suki Suki continues the great pace of the show’s 3rd set. Not one of my favorites, but a likable song. By the way, I love the costumes they are wearing. There is a certain “sexy formality” when the girls wear black and white like that. Super cute!
Like the previous song, Sayonara no Kanashibari is likable. For some reason it is reminding me of another AKB48 song, but I just can’t place which one. At least all the posing they did in this song made for some cool screencaps! (hehe) Oh and I just thought of something that IS missing for me in this Stage…
I always wonder if AkiP will continue his tradition of bittersweet and melancholy songs to end the main set. Yep! Shiozake no Shoudaijo is almost like a lullaby. I could see Team B using this for a member graduation. It reminds me of Team K’s “Sasae”, and once again here is another song that has a real 60’s folk feel to the chorus. It is very pretty, and for some reason I have a feeling it will get quite a few votes for next year’s Setlist Concert.
encoree encoree encoree
Bangin’ right out of the encore with an energetic song Honest Man is a lot like “Zutto Zutto” from A6. But I just named that song the best of Team A’s new stage, so of course I love this one too.
This brings us to my epiphany. Why I have been so resistant B5…
I really want to love Team B Oshi. I really do! It has just about everything I would want in a song. It is fast paced, the girls are being funny. But it is just a mess of a song. The melody (of you could call it that) is all over the place. Half the time it sounds like the girls are screaming. Some of the girls got pretty lame “one liners” too. Komori just gets Konnichiwa? Weak! I am sure Mikapon has said things more random and funny than that! And that “nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan” part of the song is absolutely horrible. On the other hand, I loved the way Nacchi played her catchphrase into the beat, and Myao’s “Ichi Ni San MYAO!” was epic. Oh, and it took me about 6 views to get that they were doing the Lilirouka “Let’s go” during Mayu’s part. So you see, there are some aspects of this song I really like. But musically it is just plain awful!
Bokutachi no Kami Hikouki is one of the better Stage endings I have heard And isn’t it great when the girls throw souvenirs into the audience? I want to catch one of those paper airplanes! I hear they have messages from the girls on them, awesome! Just a cool, fun song to finish the evening.
If I could make one criticism it is that Team B needs an identity. I can see it trying to come out within the team. But to me the strongest members are not the Team B natives. And for some reason I am not getting the leader vibe from Yukirin, bless her heart! So there really isn’t a solid anchor to build this around. What really needs to happen is for the true leaders on this team to emerge. Tomomi and Nacchi are natural choices for that role, Nacchi becomes sort of a senpai for the Team, kinda like the way Ohori was in K. As much as I love Tomomi, I don’t really see her as a Team leader. There are three girls I see pushing hard to make their mark in the front for Team B. The first is Myao, and I really hope she does it. She adds great fun to the team. The other is Kana, which might be a little more surprising. I think that would be great for her. She languished in the back of Team K for so long. I would love to see her take advantage of this opportunity.
As great as Yuka is, I still think she is misplaced in Team B. To me she would have been a great asset to Team A. The only problem being then you have ALL of the strongest singers on one Team. But after dissing B5 for so long, I will sheepishly retract my original opinion. Theater no Megami is a great stage! Finally, my Top 5 errrrr, Top 6…
5 (tie) Yuuki no Hammer and Bokutachi no Kami Hikouki
4. Yokaze no Shiwaza
3 Honest Man
1. 100 Meter Konbini
CK in California