Review: Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game’s PV

A quick break from normally scheduled programming (AKA the three series’ that I’m currently working on) to review, that’s right, Morning Musume’s latest PV, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game. Now, most of this review is going to focus on the PV itself and not the song.

The song itself… I actually like it a lot. It’s much better than the previous few singles, and I think that since the only singles to be released in 2010 were Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikanai and Seishun Collection, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game automatically wins best song by default. Yay? I like the fact that 8th gen actually gets solos. I know it wasn’t what everyone wanted (that is, a song dominated by Eri, JunJun and LinLin) but hey, let’s be honest. The ONLY H!P girl to get the special treatment for their graduation single song was Yossy in Kanashimi Twilight. I mean, that’s not counting B-Sides (since Fukuda Asuka and Yasuda Kei each got a version of Never Forget for a B-side of their single). So I’m not going to get into that. This song isn’t the best thing ever, but it’s certainly not a drag, and feels a bit refreshing. I haven’t gotten bored of it yet, which is nice (and what happened with Seishun and Onna ga Medatte).

How do I even start to deal with how torn I am with this single? I’m VERY torn. On the one hand, you have THESE outfits.

Which are VERY unflattering at pretty much every angle and look cheaply made at many angles. It feels like they went over budget with the other costumes and just scrounged these together from the leftover things they had lying around. Have the costumes been THIS cheap since something like Summer Night Town? I don’t know. 
So yeah, those costumes, while not bright, florescent green, are pretty bad. However, you THEN have something like this.
Or this
Or the costume I want more than anything, Reina’s:

And I immediately get MORE faith  in the costumers. Seriously. This is a GIANT gap in the PV; costumes I adore (probably my favorite H!P costumes of recent years) and what’s essentially a giant mess. Did two different people make these? If so, hire the ones who made the recent ones and immediately fire the ones who made the dance shot costumes. They probably made the Seishun Collection messes too.
Oh, and one other thing; these costumes are GORGEOUS and I love them. So. Why are the other costumes in the PV at least 2-3 times more than the pretty ones? UFA, sometimes I just do NOT get you at all.
Blerrrrrrrrrg. I’m sorry, but. Where have the good choreographers gone? To Momoiro Clover? To AKB48? That’s where they’ve gone. There are too many WEIRD parts in this dance. UFA, do you realize how many gifs have been made of MM rubbing their breasts? The one part that I very much approve of is the hair flip, especially when it relates to Takahashi. Seriously. Takahashi, keep flipping that ponytail. It makes me interested in you. 
The dance is just… it’s just so strange. I’m not a dance person, but I just keep feeling like it has the potential to be better, with a lot of the parts like the spin/hair flips. And then they bring out the weird breast rubbing moves and ones that look like I choreographed them. Why.
Art Direction
I don’t claim to be an expert in art direction in any way, shape or form. However, again, this is a mixed bag. I think that a lot of the scenes are pretty boring, such as the dance shot backgrounds (kudos, H!P; there’s multiple backgrounds again!) and, to an extent, the close up background. But then again, I find the backgrounds when they’re wearing their pretty dresses to be GORGEOUS. Seriously. Beauuutiful. Probably my favorite H!P backgrounds for the last… while. But then they’re used sparingly. Why???
Oh my goodness. I could edit this mess better. I honestly don’t understand who they got to edit this, and why it feels that lazy. The thing is, the PV itself is made up of decent elements. The settings are mostly decent, and then we have the gorgeous shots that I loved. However, the whole thing feels very sloppily edited. First we have the white background dance shot, a couple of pretty backgrounds, and then to the black background dance shot, pretty close-ups for about 15 seconds, going through all the members. Back to the black background dance shot. It’s so easy to summarize, especially when it comes to the close-ups with the leather backgrounds and the ugly dresses. Those shots just keep going on. and on. And it just does NOT feel very creatively edited. The impression I get is that they take a few interesting shots that could work very well, but then slapped it together in a day and called it a PV.
Maybe I’m being over-critical. This IS one of my favorite MM PVs since… goodness, I can’t remember the last time I thought a MM PV was actually GOOD. Don’t get me wrong, I love MM. They’re the reason I’m being so critical; I just want the best for these girls and I don’t think they’re given enough good songs or PVs, and I’ve just been very frustrated with H!P/UFA as a whole lately. I do think that Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game IS a step in the right direction, in terms of song and PV. It looks like some aspects of the PV got some effort, which is pretty good in H!P right now (see: Berryz Koubou’s Shining Power). However, I just don’t see how anyone could think that MM could catch up to other idol groups going right now. Not just AKB48, either. SKE48, AKB48’s sister group, put out a PV recently to their 4th single “1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku!” that I can only describe as being one of my favorite idol PVs in recent years. It’s energetic, entertaining and just a joy to watch, which is honestly more than I can say about recent H!P PVs. Same with Momoiro Clover; unless MM/H!P ups its game, I could see MomoClo outselling Morning Musume in about.. a year or so, given more exposure. 
That being said, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game IS a step in the right direction, and I can only hope that Morning Musume keeps moving in that direction.
And fires whoever edited this PV. 

Hello! Project Fankora Concert Review- pt 4


O hai thar, Yossy. I keep forgetting you’re in this concert as the sole shining representative of the amazingness that was the Elder Club. Next time bring Rika with you. We can jam.
This whole MC was basically Momoko going “LOOK AT ME I’M A LEADER OF MULTIPLE GROUPS OOOOOOOOH” and everyone else not caring. She’s being a little too attention-whorish for my tastes here. 
Aisu Kuriimu to My Purin

Can I just skip this? Please? PLEASE. No? Gah. 
Zoku. I just don’t like them. It’s nothing against the members; I just think that they are honestly the antithesis of what v-u-den WAS; in fact, no one in current H!P is fit. H!P is about youngness, youth. v-u-den was about women starting adulthood and that’s part of why I find them interesting and that they’re tied with Gatas for my favorite H!P group. I’ve ranted about this before, it shouldn’t be tough to find on the Disco.
Anyways, this performance keeps confirming what I originally thought about Zoku in my Zoku rant (in which I stated I would NEVER call them Zoku v-u-den. OK, yeah. don’t want to get into this. I like the members, but they don’t represent v-u-den’s v-u-denness. 
This was actually less offensive to me than Koisuru Angel Heart, but JUST BARELY. This song is not something to be taken seriously, but at the same time is actually supposed to be sexy. Playfully sexy, sexy in a “look at how silly fanservice can be!” kind of way, but nonetheless sexy. The impression I’ve always gotten from the Aisu PV is “haha, fanservice is ridiculous” but it’s still pretty hot. 
The dancing was not TOO bad, but it had some iffy bits; the kickline was uber fail, and no one was really a good dancer. It felt slightly unrehearsed, and, my main complaint about the group as a whole, like they really didn’t try. 
JunJun, you’re doing it wrong. 

Speaking of not trying too hard; I understand that Zoku’s only doing one song and that they all have other things to do. But seriously. The costumes? What are they supposed to be? I mean, even if they had to use them for the main groups. Why are the main groups using those costumes? 
Vocals weren’t too bad; Risako was really the best one there and I was happy that she got Rika’s long solo near the end. I wasn’t expecting amazingness from them, so. 
I don’t mean to sound mean; a LOT of this is my bias speaking. But say what you want about the original v-u-den, but their performance skills (not vocal, performance) were out of this world, and Zoku doesn’t come close to representing the original group I love so much. They honestly feel a tiny bit like a REALLY good cover group of the original, but certainly NOT the revival. So really, it’s my bias as a v-u-den enthusiast, but in my opinion the revival groups are that; trying to be the original group as best as they can. And this really wasn’t that bad of a cover, but when it comes down to representing what v-u-den was I can’t give Zoku the thumbs up. 
Oh, and Momoko attention whores. I know a lot of people found Momoko getting up and dancing cute, but I honestly thought it was pretty disrespectful (my GOD this review is going to get me flames). I liked her a lot before, but man I don’t know now. I just really thought it was rude, no matter how I felt about the actual performance going on. I mean, I don’t mind people going for attention, but IMO this was not the place to do it. 
Also, I was hoping to see Yossy rocking out in the back (she’s notorious for LOVING this song), but that didn’t happen. Perhaps she needed Rika to be there. 
Daite Yo! Please Go On!

Am I the only one that finds it awkward when solo songs become group ones? I don’t know, maybe I am. But the one thing that I keep focusing on here is just how it is of a group song. It MIGHT have been done another time, but the one memorable time that Daite yo! was used as a group song was for Goto Maki’s Captain Kouen concert, which was Gocchin, Tsuji Nozomi and v-u-den. It was really more of a solo song for Maki, but with the other four sang with the chorus. 
Also, there was a dance solo section before the rap. Speaking of, that would have been REALLY cool for High King. If High-King is excellent at one thing it’s dancing; in fact, I think that was the main theory for the group? I could be wrong. Anyways, while the girls ARE rather fierce here, I only wish that there had been a better arrangement of some kind to better feature their dancing.
However, despite preferring a more imaginative arrangement other than just the song sung by five people, I really like this performance. I can really tell why it was that these five girls were chosen; their dancing was all spot on and excellent to watch, and all of them seemed to be giving it their all. The singing, to be perfectly honest, was nothing special. To be frank, Goto Maki was much better than Aichan was here, and the others never wowed me. 
Though she IS fierce here

However, it was the dancing and the energy of this performance that made it really entertaining to watch. The five performers were all really excellent at performing, and it was so high energy that it made me forget the low energy-ness of Aisu Kuriimu. High-King’s never been my favorite unit ever (I love Maimi but I don’t really care that much about the others), but they really impressed me here. 

Hello! Project Fankora Concert Review- pt 3

Maji Bomber!!

Sorry to all you Berryz Koubou fans out there: Berryz may have gotten me into H!P, but as of recent times I just don’t follow them all that much. At all. They have lost a lot of spark that they might have had with me. In fact, when watching concert performances of Berryz for something like a review I have a little game I play, but I’ll explain that later.

Maji Bomber is a pretty good song; I wouldn’t consider it that interesting, but it’s pretty catchy and is a good song for a lot of the people involved. It’s a song where pretty much every Berryz memeber gets a solo and sounds great. Vocally, this performance isn’t bad at all. Some members sound better than others, but otherwise they all sound nice when singing it.

However, this is another issue of energy; they perform it well but not great. I don’t watch the performance and go “man that was better than in the PV!” or “oh man, that was epic;” it just feels standard. It was a solid performance, but nothing memorable.

Like, looking back I’d remember S/Mileage and C-ute’s performances as being particularly energetic and thus I’d feel positively towards the group. Conversely, nothing about this performance was particularly memorable; it was just. Good. Except…

When I watch a performance of Berryz I ALWAYS watch for Miyabi. Now you might be wondering why. Miya’s not my favorite Berryz member (that’s Chinami), but ever since I saw the performance of Nigiyaka na Fuyu with the fish costumes I realized that Miyabi never really looks super enthusiastic on stage. I have nothing against her as a person, but I just observed her lack of interest. So therefore, I have dubbed her face of “why am I doing thiiis?” to be “Miyabi Face” and now looking for evidence of Miyabi Face is my game.

Like here, sort of. Not my best. 

If there’s any point I want to make here is that I don’t find Berryz that interesting anymore. There weren’t any glaring things wrong with this performance, but it really didn’t hold interest for me.
Seishun Collection

Now here’s professionalism! Performing a fairly dull song with fairly dull choreography with ugly costumes, all of them look at least somewhat happy to be there. No Miyabi faces to be found!
Seriously, I really am not the biggest fan of this single to begin with. Now, I DO think it’s a move in a better direction. It’s upbeat and happy, which I honestly think is what the Japanese music market is looking for at the moment with AKB48. Unfortunately. This happened. Well, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game looks to be better. 
Other than that I don’t have too much to say. It’s a nice performance, with all of them doing a good job, but no one doing particularly well. They all seem to be enjoying themselves and giving it their all; granted this isn’t saying THAT much, considering there’s not much to give when it comes to this song, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.