Review Monday: Takoyaki Rainbow – Naniwa no Haniwa

Happy Monday everyone! I was going to review Morning Musume’s triple A-Side that’s coming out this week, but then suddenly a new PV came out that I had to review. The Morning Musume review might be coming in a future week, though.

Takoyaki Rainbow is the next in the line of Stardust Promotions groups, after Momoiro Clover Z, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku. and (my favorite) Team Syachihoko. When this group was first announced I really wanted to love it; takoyaki is actually one of my favorite foods ever, so I thought this was a cute name! However, I wasn’t super fond of their first single ‘ Over the Takoyaki Rainbow.’ When I heard that my favorite idol composer, Maeyamada Kenichi, was going to be writing their second single, I knew that I had to give this group another shot.

Song: If weird Hyadain or Stardust idols aren’t normally your thing, I really doubt this will be your thing. Personally, I love it; it feels like a very Hyadain song but also feels somehow unique to Takoyaki Rainbow. However, I do think this is the type of song that benefits from multiple listens. The first time I listened to it I was not sure what to think, and unsure if I liked it. This song has a lot of different styles and sections thrown into one song (as Hyadain likes to do). However, after a couple of listens in, you start to get a better sense for the structure of the song and it starts to make more sense. Still, the first listen was an interesting experience of “What is even going on even?”

The closest song I can compare it to is GOUNN, and even that’s a bit of a stretch (it’s mostly based off the arrangement). It’s more like if Hyadain wrote GOUNN for 2010 era MomoClo. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s just the closest thing I can think of, comparison wise. This song has a lot going on, though, and it does sound kind of busy. The song takes a bit too long to get to the first chorus, for example, and really lingers on the shouted “N A N I W A” sections. After it catches in your brain it doesn’t really sound like it’s dragging, but the first few listens it felt like it was.

By far the weakest part of the single are the vocals; if you’re looking for strong vocalists, you aren’t going to look towards Takoyaki Rainbow (or any Stardust group, really). However, the vocals do work for this type of song. The girls deliver on energy and charisma, and that’s what this song needs more than anything.

This song is fun, well-written, and right up my alley as a big Hyadain fan. It is getting me more and more interested in Takoyaki Rainbow. 9/10

PV: I think I mentioned this in my top 15 PV list, but I’ll reiterate: green screen isn’t bad. Visual effects can add a lot to a PV. What is bad is lazy visual effects, or using it to cut corners. If you have a unique and interesting visual style, like in Naniwa no Haniwa, having a fully green screen PV isn’t a bad thing.

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As you can see above, the PV has a really strange style; it’s kind of surreal at times (and very surreal at others) and odd all the time. The thing I find most interesting is that the color palette tends to be slightly muted; this isn’t the bright colors of Ai no Chikyuusai. Yet this muted color scheme works well and seems oddly bright when put together. I can’t really put my finger on it.

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The PV’s biggest asset are the girls involved; all of them have really stepped up their game and have a lot of talent appearing cute and personable in front of the camera. They’re all very cute and veyr fun to watch. This PV did a fantastic job of showing off the girls.

The editing is very well done; it’s generally done rapidly (especially when they’re spelling out “H A N I W A”, cutting on every letter), but it never feels rushed or out of place.

Ultimately, this PV is another example in how good greenscreen PVs CAN look, and is also an example of showing off your idols effectively. 9/10

I really enjoyed this PV, and it’s caused me to want to keep an eye on this group in the future!

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