Warning: There are YouTube videos here which may cause some browsers to freeze and crash.
Also, due to the comprehensive nature of this post, this is a pretty lengthy one.
Welcome back, Magical Meteorites, and greetings to the Earthlings. Welcome to another installment of the Summer Refreshment series, which had been renewed for at least one more installment!
First off, thanks to everyone who voted. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and your support is the real magic behind the Morning Meteorics. You’ve made one
Witch Magical Girl blogger happy.
Now to the winning topic of this installment: the Sato[yama/umi] Movement!
On June 7, the Movement hit the airwaves in “Hello! SATOYAMA Life.” The first units (that we popularly know) were Peaberry and DIY♡, announced in July. In October, the Movement expanded to include two more units: Harvest and GREEN FIELDS. In December, a new soloist was announced, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here.
On March 2, 2013, the Satoyama Movement had gotten a sister movement: the marine-oriented Satoumi Movement with a trinity of inaugural units (Dia Lady, Mellowquad,
Plumeria HI-FIN). Right around that same time, the Movement hit the concert stage in its own series: Forest For Rest SATOYAMA [& SATOUMI] e Ikou. (It was already making its presence known at H!P and UFA-related events to begin with.)
In July 2013, the Satoyama Movement received new blood in the form of Jurin (made up of namesake members Satou Masaki and Miyazaki Karin).
In December, “Hello! SATOYAMA Life” hit the airwaves for the final time.
In early 2014, the Movement expanded again with three new units: Sato no Akari, Triplet, and ODATOMO. (There seems to be a Name Theme in which every Satoyama unit has to have a name referencing its members in some way. At the same time, they are also considered Satoumi units (their single cover also has the blue label along with the green) as well so….)
Are you sitting comfortably? Has the Movement cast its spell? Is your appetite been promptly built up? Well, the releases themselves will be discussed in great detail in this article so buckle up and grab that scuba gear because we’re going to be in for quite a ride down the rabbit hole and under the sea.
And for something not-so-completely different: To speak about the entire movement, one must also mention a rather… unusual group: inaugural Satoyama unit, ALMA KAMINIITO.
No, those are not two crossdressing girls.
Like Tasaki Asahi, future Juice=Juice member Miyazaki Yuka, and future Bitter & Sweet member Hasegawa Moemi, these two dudes auditioned in the Forest Award NEW FACE Audition. While more can be said at their page at the Up Front Wikia, but I’ll try to sum up the inaugural Satoyama unit the best I can: the group released a few singles―Akane in April, Amatsubu Pearl / Dakishimetai Dakishimetai in October (and these are the major singles, which constituted the first single releases of the movement)―, a cover album, and participated in a few concerts before one left and the group became inactive when the other’s solo debut was announced.
Now that we’ve gotten the awkward part out of the way (unless you’re into obscure boy bands so be my guest), let’s get to the Sato Movements as we know them!
GREEN FIELDS – Boys be ambitious!
We begin with GREEN FIELDS, a troika made up of former Morning Girl Mitsui Aika, a pre-Ju=Ju Miyazaki Yuka, and
soon-to-be-future endeavored Berryz Captain Shimizu Saki. We see our gals enjoying a peaceful time together, walking, bicycling, and sharing a table together. The song itself is areally nice ballad. This is great, considering it has a title guaranteed to bring up certain… images for certain people. Their voices blend together in a rather sweet way, going with the campfire-like sound. For extra effect, watch the Evening Version.
GREEN FIELDS – Boys be ambitious! （Evening Ver.）
DIY♡ – Forefore ~Forest For Rest~
DIY or Die! Yeah, nothing says “Do It Your- wait, that’s not what it means? Then what does it mean!?! Oh, “Dance in Yourheart”? Eh.
Anywho, we start at a picnic BBQ… before hitting the club with C-uties Yajima Maimi and Nakajima Saki,
soon-to-be future endeavored Berryz Tokunaga Chinami and Natsuyaki Miyabi, and Morning Mountain Faith Girl Iikubo Haruna. Unlike Green Fields’ song, this song is more like the typical H!P song, a dancetastic tune guaranteed to make you go out into the “beauty forest.”
What? You don’t wanna camp? You wanna dance the night away at the club? Well, here ya go.
DIY♡ – Forefore ~Forest For Rest~ (Club Ver.)
Harvest – Forest Time
Composed of Morning Girls Ikuta Erina, Ishida Ayumi, and Sato Masaki, along with S/miley Takeuchi Akari, this cute little quartet give us smiles and farm about and give certain wota fantasies involving “farmer’s daughters“.
Don’t want the Harvest harvest to end? Here’s “Another Version” of the above PV.
Peaberry – Cabbage Hakusho
Starting with a classically-minded music box and a shot out our Peaberries standing on a country field, we go into the woodsy wonderland as the song officially begins. May I just go out on the whim at how the main hook of the song hits me? The voices of the ⑨th Gen Ace and the leader of S/mileage blend amazingly well (to the surprise of haters of one and/or both girls). The mellowness of the song is an odd, but refreshing surprise. After all, it’s an introspective, pensive piece:
When you sow seeds and pour in your love
They‘ll take in the rain
And if you love them again, they’ll definitely bear fruit
You have to be grateful for every life
Now, let’s wash our hands and eat dinner
Source: Project Hello
On another note, can someone tell me what piece the song is referencing?
Ah, Tasaki Asahi. When she was announced, was unveiled, she caused quite a stir. Bear in mind that this was months after the graduation of Mano Erina and the fact she appeared at H!P concerts (while not an official member, mind you) as a piano-tinkling soloist brought forth cries of “Manoeri’s replacement!” and “Second coming of Manoeri!” In fact, it was easy to forget that she is a member of the Satoyama Movement, not necessarily H!P (which is an UFA thing, really).
We see our diva writing and reading a letter, in between snuggling in a blanky and animating that eighty-eight. The song itself is a light ballad (like most of the Satoyama offerings)
I can see clearly now the rain is gone…
In contrast to the more somber “Tegami,” “Rolling Days” is more upbeat. To go with the title/theme, the video is of a very circular theme. The camera revolves around Tasaki, either “standing” or on the piano, as she sings her happy heart out. I’m also musical reminded of Billy Joel and/or Elton John for some reason.
Now I’m reminded of Katamari Damacy (which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year).
I know some may wonder about how fitting she is to the movement with lyrics like:
Without being able to say “I love you”
Until I stopped seeing the train that goes far away,
I waved my hand
The way back home we both used to walk
and the same scenery became blurry because of my tears
Source: Project Hello
Peaberry – Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~
We’ve come now to the major debut of Peaberry. Instead of a music box, we begin with a piano.
Instead of two girls on a road, we see flowers and a satoyama home.
The music is far more subdued during the verses, giving more emphasis on the vocals (which has more harmonization in certain parts).
We also see the oft-mentioned grandmother (played here by Hosokawa Kayoko¹), who sings a verse of her own.
GREEN FIELDS – Tokainaka no Kare
The very nice GREEN FIELDS taste of honey with their second CD single release, their first not as part of a split. Our girls’ offering continues the breezy country/folk pop typical of Satoyama. It’s a lot more upbeat and a contrast from their previous single.
Tasaki Asahi – Sakura Dokei
Set at a school and dealing with the oh-so-familiar topic of graduation and growing up/coming of age, Asahi sings of the oh-so-familiar topic of graduation and growing up/coming of age.
This PV was a bit of a big deal at it was one of the first in the UFA catalog (I can’t say H!P as she’s technically not a member) to have official English subs. Therefore, it would look a little clunky in places while having more effort put into the translation than some later offerings. (Greetings, “GUNDAN of the love.”)
This offering to the Satoyama Movement may seem weird (like the others), unless you place it in terms of the culture of the countryside rather than the environment. Besides, when was the last time UFA tackled this universal topic? Sakura is a national symbol of the transience of life and the school year was pretty much centered around the blooming cycle.
This is the other A-side, Amayo no Tsuki, performed with her new bandmate. This is the only decent one I can find.
Dia Lady – Lady Mermaid
We see the F-aces of C-ute and the Berryz strutting their stuff in their little black dresses in a diner.
Meanwhile, we see our girls in their alternate outfits: appearing as much as possible as fashionable ladies. Certain shots (along with the theme of a sweet sorrow of a late-summer parting in the lyrics) are great for the lily-loving Airisako lovers among us.
That aside, it’s a funky, jazzy pop carrying the vibes of The Bigaku and Livin’ La Vida Loca (did I miss anything? Vanilla? Ai no Dangan?). It’s a perfect ditty for the summer with a good emphasis on the beach.
Mellowquad – Eiya-sa! Brother
Okay, I’m gonna say this right now before we begin: Take whatever you’ve heard about the lyrics and purge them out of your head this instant. I’m going to be reviewing this with that mindset in mind, as if totally blind to this. If you are unable to even think about that when looking at the lyrics here, skip to the next part. Watch as nobody’s going to do it regardless.
We’re treated to the next entry into the “Hello! Matsuripop” subgenre of H!P music. We see our girls sing the praises of their “aniki,” an oh-so-cool fisherman who thinks of the family and the sea.
With a name like that, you’d think they’d get saddled with “Lady Mermaid.” Then again, this is far more befitting of them. Plus, the “impact” would be lessened. I mean, would Airi and Risako be caught dead hugging a fish and dancing near an octopus?
The PV has a matsuri theme to carry the theme here, showing off the summer activities like eating shaved ice.
Now for why I gave that caveat at the beginning: See, reason this PV caused a stir was due to alleged incestuous undertones in the lyrics. I tried going in blind and even then, I barely saw the context (yet saw it all the same). Was Freud right about the wotabase and all of otakudom reading “brother complex” into the lyrics?
…Please wotadom, stop tickling my psychology-loving fancy. Stop making me wanna dissect your little perverted heads. I might end up more mentally scarred than the average Puella Magi.
Instead, settle for this….
[12:08:50 AM] Kathryn Barnes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX9464lbV0w&w=560&h=315
[12:09:10 AM] Kathryn Barnes: I want to show you this and you tell me how you feel. What do the lyrics sound like to you?
[12:12:11 AM] XXXXXX XXXXXX: Umm cutesy?
[12:12:39 AM] Kathryn Barnes: Okay, what went through your mind as you read/heard them?
[12:13:27 AM] XXXXXX XXXXXX: Oooooh
[12:13:35 AM] XXXXXX XXXXXX: Incest right?
[12:14:19 AM] Kathryn Barnes: Was that your honest answer?
[12:14:58 AM] XXXXXX XXXXXX: Yeah
[12:18:59 AM] Kathryn Barnes: Without me probing?
[12:32:43 AM] Popsicle Frost (Lem): Well you don’t have to worry about that, one major thing sticks out while I’m listening to this. I’ll answer in a sec.
[12:35:28 AM] Popsicle Frost (Lem): But in general, I’m thinking of the most badass fisherman that ever lived. He doesn’t just catch fish. He conquers them. Kinda like a mix between Toriko and the kid from Legend of The River King (a game boy RPG).
[12:39:04 AM] XXXXXX XXXXXX: Hmm
[12:39:14 AM] Popsicle Frost (Lem): Specifically, I thought of those two, plus…
The protagonist of Sealark: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1338986832/sealark-an-oceanic-adventure-game
And Snagglescale from Skylanders Swap Force: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcu8W1lj7hg (specifically, the convos on the last two raft rides, lemme get the timestamps for those)
[12:43:14 AM] Popsicle Frost (Lem): Ride two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hcu8W1lj7hg#t=405
Ride three: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hcu8W1lj7hg#t=557
[12:43:38 AM] XXXXXX XXXXXX: Huh interesting
[12:43:59 AM] Kathryn Barnes: Thank you for your input.
[12:44:08 AM] Popsicle Frost (Lem): What can I say, fishermen are badass folks.
(bow) You are most welcome!
…and keep your filthy minds away from my mental tweezers. PLEASE!
HI-FIN – Kaigan Seisou Danshi
Here’s the final part of the trinity: ME-KAS. Er, HI-FIN.
Here’s a funny story about this unit: It was originally going to be called Plumeria, after the tropical plant of the same name. The members―Hagiwara Mai, Ikuta Erina, Fukuda Kanon, Ishida Ayumi, Nakajima Saki―were “chosen to in order to become more passionate and elegant, like that of a plumeria that has grown for a year under the sun.”⁴⁵
Many months later, the name was “suddenly” changed to HI-FIN (for reasons explained in one of the citations).
In our little beach bungalow, we see our hyphenated gals go about their business while singing the praises of another guy (sans BroCon folie à deux).
You wouldn’t notice it’s about them cleaning up the beach if not for the lyrics.
Jurin – Hotaru Matsuri no Hi
We have another new unit for Series 2: Jurin, made up of Satoyama regular Sato Masaki and Ju=Ju face Miyamoto Karin (or “H!P Jesus” to most of the fandom). We see our girls handing out on bridges and in the country roads to the beat of a light country ballad. This is fittingly refreshing and perfect for the upcoming autumn (both at the time this PV came out and for now).
Ya know, it’s perfect.
This single was released as a DVD single (just like Jurin’s single), which explains its unconventional marketing style.
Sato no Akari – Aa, Subarashiki Hibi yo
Sato no Akari, made up of Satou Masaki, S/miley Katsuta Rina, and Ju=Ju Girl Uemura Akari, gives us this next offering. A light ballad much like Peaberry’s ditty… well, one difference is that they’re contemplating and reminiscing about their memories and I guess graduation (from school, not H!P).
Triplet – Dream Last Train
Triplet: C-utie Okai Chisato, Morning Mountain Faith Girl Kudou Haruka, and Juice=Juicy Takagi Sayuki. In a room of spotlights (what did you do with wallet?), the revolving camera returns for this upbeat mid-tempo rock song. I betcha some wished Buono! was still a thing. Near th end, our girls leave whatever studio they’re in and head for the great outdoors (even if that meant the great outdoors of the big city).
ODATOMO – Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni
We are greeted with feet (get your heads out of the gutter) and then cut to our ladies: ODATOMO, made up of Makeupless Diva Oda Sakura and Juice=Juicy Kanazawa Tomoko.
Another graduation-themed ballad, this time framed by piano and light instrumentals. Their voices are also tender, but what’s to say? There’s also an interesting effect involving the members and their colors.
Can’t get enough of this triple release? Here, have some alternates!
ODATOMO Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni (Another Ver.)
Sato no Akari Aa, Subarashiki Hibi yo (Another Version)
Considering one group is pretty much disbanded, you barely see any of the other groups perform, and the fact that Tasaki Asahi is now in a group of her own, one wonders if the “movement” died. (This also gives credence to the
abortion failure results of the Country Musume revival attempt.)
There is also the implication in the following:
- Aika Mitsui’s hiatus to study abroad. This has effectively put question into the activities of GREEN FIELDS.
- The impending hiatus of the Berryz effectively places certain units in jeopardy.
These may have sparked the formation of the newer units (along with a shifting focus away from the Berryz).
I’ll end this post about the Sato Movement the same way it began. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s “Akane” (and don’t mind the bollocks):
I’ll also direct your attention to this post on Iroppoi Twilight Game, which expresses a far more “critical” look into the movement and its initial blood.
Next on Summer Refreshments:
- Next time: Responses permitting, I respond to fan-feedback on the beach (or I’ll probably draw a cute idolpire doing so).
Feel free to let me know which beach songs are worth reviewing (especially since I’ve touched on quite a few over the course of the summer) and even send in a few questions (because Ask the Blogger posts are all the rage now) for the penultimate Summer Refreshment via these methods:
- The Comment Section below
- The Magic Box for the Public Vox sidebar to the right
- My Twitter: @MagiKathryn (either as a straight message/reply or using one the following hashtags: #AskMagiMoMe, #AskMagicMorniMete, #AskMagiKat, #AskMagiKathryn, #AskMorningMeteora, #AskMagicMorningMeteora)
- The Ask page on my Tumblr (where you can be somewhat anonymous about your questions): http://magi-kathryn.tumblr.com/ask
- Next week: the series comes to a reminiscent close as we board the Last Train to Autumn.
But I really want tonight to last forever, I really wanna be with you…
See you, Space Cowboys and Girls! Until next time, Magical Meteorites and Earthlings.
P.S. a friendly neighborhood reminder:
I’m in the process of making some memorial surveys for the Berryz and Michishige-sama. Originally, both (or at least Michishige’s) would have been officially unveiled in the results show for the Summer Refreshment Crisis Resolution poll. (Don’t forget to pass it and the accompanying post along!) However, upon second thoughts, I’ll hold off a bit as both MM and the Berryz still have some releases to… well, release before we can give a full, clear opinion on them. Regardless, I know the Berryz one is about 6 pages of about 5 questions (a “general” page, an “other” page, and four pages relating to the four “eras”: 8nin, 7nin, Inazuma, Post-Inazuma. One may even split the last one into two if need be).
If you want to help out (especially since the Michishige one is going to be super-complex), feel free to respond in the comments or the Magic Box for the Public Vox sidebar. (Thank you in advance.)