This comes in at a weird time, as I’m going to be completing a comprehensive rundown of how bad Morning Musume PVs have gotten. It’s more negative than I like to be at a place called “Happy Disco,” but it’s things that I think need to be said. However, I’m so excited because, much like Abed from Community, “I guess I just like liking things.”
Yes I am just using this as an excuse to put Community in Happy Disco. Go watch the show if you aren’t already.
So while I’ve been pretty positive as a whole about Morning Musume lately, I’ve been wondering about their future. I was, thus, pleasantly surprised this morning when the new dance shot for Morning Musume’s newest single, “Brainstorming,” came out.
Here are just a few of my immediate thoughts on this.
For the most part, current Morning Musume feels very dance heavy. This has also been noted by others (in Chiima’s look at it she calls this the dancing era of Morning Musume). However, it is notable that for the past few singles that the first thing to come out is a dance shot, which for other groups might not even be a thing. This shows that one of the first thing management wants you to see isn’t the actual girls, but the dancing skills, which says something about the values and focus of the current group.
This is really reinforced by this dance shot. This dance is strong, there is a good amount of parts where stronger dancers are emphasized and put forward, and there’s even the lovely mini dance battle with arguably two of the best dancers of the group, Riho and Ayumi. I’ve wanted dance solos for so long, because in Hello!Project often the lead singers get put in the front and the girls who are strong in dance don’t really get to shine. So this mini dance battle makes me hopeful that Hello!Project is starting to get it.
No Crummy Greenscreen!
One of the things I’m writing a lot about right now is how terrible the greenscreening is for Help Me. Which it is. But I’m glad to see that’s taken a break and they’re back to good sets. The production values look decent here, with good looking costumes and a good looking set. I’m really hoping they don’t mess it up with terrible effects in the post-production phase (a la 1 2 3 and Wakuteka Take a Chance), but nothing here looks cheap and terrible. Which is a good thing.
I Like the Song!
While I’ve seen other people calling this song a rehash of other Morning Musume songs and their recent style (which may be true; the section that’s very similar to Wakuteka Take a Chance is telling), I think this might just blow the others out of the water. While it is very similar in style to Morning Musume’s past efforts, it’s a step up. They’re keeping similar styles while improving and breaking new ground. The instrumental feels fuller and more complete, and the melody is immediately catchy. I honestly don’t mind that this is very similar because it’s just good.
They’re Finally Starting to Use More Girls!
By far my biggest surprise of the song was Haruna’s (albeit heavily autotuned) solo line. While yeah, MM is still the Reina and Riho show, this overall feels much more like a group effort than anything in the Reina and Ai era of Morning Musume. While the part that gives everyone short solo lines is very reminiscent of Wakuteka Take a Chance, it is still a great way to integrate the rest of the group together. I was personally happy for the bigger Ayumi solo line, and even the dance felt like Morning Musume was an integrated whole. This is something that Morning Musume really has lost for a while, and it feels good to have it back. The only lines that really felt out of place were the Sakura lines, personally; I didn’t really dig the sudden belting singing. But hey, it’s nice that they fit her style into Morning Musume’s current overall style.
So ultimately, I’m honestly really positive about this release. I’ve felt issues with Hello!Project in the past, but if this is the future of Morning Musume, the future looks really bright!