Warning: There will be a LOT of YouTube videos in this series, which may cause some browsers to lag and/or crash. You’ve been warned. If I missed anything, let me know.
Greetings, Magical Meteorites and other Earthlings who happened to drop by!
Welcome to the sixth and final part of the Precision Past Perspective edition of Ping Pong Pinpoint. In this little post, we cover early 2014. For the purposes of this post, I am including March as to round things out for the first quarter of the year. Well then? Are you ready? Here we go!
- 29 -Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?
We have sunny smiles sent our way in Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa. As you can tell by these two tweets:
…I am also hopelessly in love with the song. (It especially touches me as I’m a smiley person and as a Leo, I tend to identify with the sun or use sun-related imagery. Oh no, it’s happening again, their songs are talking to me…)
With some electronic flutters, transition to a “We Will Rock You” drum-and-clap beat before segueing into the main song. It lured you in with the possibility of being a genki song, then bakes you in a mellow feel-good song that is perfect for the winter cold. (Seriously, you have not idea how the imagery was soothing in a Northern Jersey winter.)
The effects were spectacular (at least, until someone took a long nail and bursted the bubble) and piqued our interest. Out of all of the A-sides, this was my favorite… until the other PVs were announced (in the case of What is LOVE?, it was the J-Melo performance).
We get into the spirit of the Olympics with Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai. Not much to report since it’s another dance and close-up affair. The set itself evokes the curtainly likes of One・Two・Three and Kimi sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai. That white spherical object also reminds me of WANT! for some reason too.
Ah, now to get what I was going to say, the folks in UFA’s video production department is a bunch of magicians, always know just how to give the illusion of a big budget (and come now, would a media studio as big as UFA be that strapped for cash to use such techniques, even after their fall from grace and the rise of DLs? I betcha indie studios with even more shoestring budgets can pull off more spectacular techniques and effects).
On another note, you have this song to thank for a new category here on (Magic) Morning Meteora: M3 Irony. (I already had Theory covered from way back so….)
We come to our last A-side in this triple fudge sundae, What is LOVE?. No, not that song. Originally written for the aforementioned J-Melo performance (of which it was its 400th episode), the song proved to be so popular that it was released alongside Egao no Kimi no Kawari. (I was surprised yet not surprised myself. I thought it’d either appear on the next single or be a B-side.)
I must admit I was… disappointed when the official PV for What is LOVE turned out to be a “live PV.” Granted, it’s not the first H!P single to have these and it’s not a phenomenon exclusive to them, but… I guess we’ve gotten too spoiled on this song (and the fact the J-Melo performance had them in their “Ai no Joke” dresses). It is rather off-putting to hear the studio audio with the concert footage, especially after hearing the live version.
It’s not bad and it’s a good way to promote MM’s tours to the outsiders. Once you get past the fact it’s a PV made of concert footage, it can leave you with a certain charm; it’s pretty good. Besides, when you think about it, this time, they may have been strapped for cash in between the two PVs, the promotions, and the like.
Besides, name the last time we’ve had a triple A-side (not counting
MixJuice=Juice’s major debut).
- As an aside, at the very end of the month, I finally joined the Twittersphere so expect Tweets to be somewhat dominant in this post (and possibly future ones).
- Early this month came news of a great milestone for our Mothership Connection:
That’s right. You’ve read that correctly: Morning Musume ha- er, Morning Musume ’14 had gotten 4 consecutive Weekly Oricon top spots. Now, in an era dominated by AKB48, this may not be that big of a deal.
- 19 –
The fluorescent light maze is taken apart and our Berry Girlz work it in the workroom, romancing mannequins and declaring their coming of age and independence in Otona na no yo!.
Ah yes, the infamous “diet song,” 1-oku 3-senman Sou Diet Oukoku. Robo-Berryz speak of their desire to be loved… or go on a diet so they can be loved. The song’s implied(?) subject matter was a slight cause of concern.
Musically, the song is an electronic one a la Robo-Musume and (to a lighter extent) Perfume. The repeated lyrics really hammer home the point, though some may view it as filler. If anything it adds to the desperation at hand.
The set is a cube of cubes that is just ideal for the “metallic” aspects of this song. It barely helps that the Berryz are, at times, on a revolving platform while posing like dolls. Do you want to objectify them to their bodies, their beauty, view them as playthings for our enjoyment? Then again, as idols, that’s what they are to us: toys to inject and project our fantasies onto before reality comes crashing down. Like any good toyline, like any good brand, they have to adapt or perish lest another good-looking Berryz is picked from the crops of girls and place into the workshop. (Like that’ll happen now, but you’ll never know with the nutters at UFA. I mean… just keep on reading and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)
- To add the numerous bombshells dropped this year alone, we receive yet another one.
(To explain, just about everyone in my family is a sports fan and so SportsCenter’s become a bit of a regular viewing. I’m not that much into baseball, but the sport oozes into every fabric of American living.)
See what I mean? Country Musume, the last group I’d think they hold auditions for. The last remnant left H!P and took the name with her (and she wasn’t releasing much music anyway) so it was assumed it’d be the last we’d see of Country Musume. Heck, Coconuts Musume was left to anguish until Ayaka’s graduation pretty much disbanded the group. (Unlike CounMusu, I doubt they’ll bring back CocoMusu due to its… concept. It was essentially a novelty act. If they were to bring it back, it’d probably be some FC-only thing that may or may not be related to Satoyama/umi. Again, don’t hold your breath.)
- 26 –
The Berryz release their second best-of album, Berryz Kobo Special Best Vol.2.
On the same day, a new single hit the stores: the third single by the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei, Oheso no Kuni Kara Konnichiwa / Ten Made Nobore!. After being released in late December (right on time for the holidays), the Land of “Oheso” welcomed anyone curious. It’s typical H!P fare, but it’s like a candy virus: infectious and sticks to your ribs. Besides, the message and sentiment of the song sticks with you (especially during that harsh winter).
(On an unrelated note, it’s weird talking about songs like this: songs I grew attached during my break in recent time. Then again, that’s what blogging’s all about – mouthing off for no other reason than speaking your mind and heart.)
In some beliefs, the belly is the seat of emotions (helped much by the fact that many a Project Girl bore her midriff, exposing the connection to her most internal/maternal humanity).
As for Ten Made Nobore… do I really have to explain?
- 05 –
C-ute hits you with their best shot: Kokoro no Sakebi wo Uta ni Shitemita. They put themselves in display, windowshopper style… while bemoaning their difficult love problem. In between the scenes with the Pinocchias, we see vintage footage of our models as they strut and be young women on the go, on the move. Will our ladies make it big or will they be so last season?
By the way, this PV was released online on February 14th.
We are taken to a catwalk with lights and metallic C-uteness on the dance floor with Love take it all. Lyrically… in a sense, this is C-ute’s “Onna ni Sachi Are,” what with the heartbreak, disillusionment, and hope for the future.
So much for that “song made from the crying heart” reaching their beloved.
- 12 –
Our One-Four Girls release their second b-side collection, Morning Musume ’14 Coupling Collection 2.
- Tsunku received a diagnosis that changed the Hello! Game forever. You can read more about that and my reaction here. (As for the 3/14, that’s the date it was initially written. I was supposed to change it as it was edited.)
- Morning Musume announced the redux of the 12th Generation Auditions. You can read more about my reaction here.
- Late in the month, the PVs for MM14 and J=J’s new releases went up on their respective YouTube channels. Depending on how things go (and how I feel as the former really hit close to home for me, which didn’t happen in that way since 2007), I’ll review them later.
As an aside, in honor of my 9th Cake Day, I will share this bit (even though you’ve all probably read it in the Recommended Tweets:
In case anyone was wondering why the lineup of the tweets was wonky, I had just that very night learned how to thread tweets together. (If only I had learned to do that earlier, as you can see from above.) Apologies in advance to anyone confused.
Anyway, I think we’re all caught up now. Here’s to the future, Magical Meteorites!
(Got an idea for a future post? Feel free to drop me a line at the Magic Box for the Public Vox to your right.)