Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
The theme treat of this post is juice cubes, a delectable treat achieved by freezing fruit juice in ice trays.
In this spirit, I will spotlight Juice=Juice through their discography up until the point we’ve reached here and now: their album, set to be released this week! I’ve done my darnedest to split the releases into sets of three, which is why it may look a little weird towards the end.
As their birth was during my blog hiatus, pretty much everything regarding their early days was covered during the PP series. Particularly speaking, detailed analysis of their early works were in Part V, which covered (as I dubbed it) “The Post-Apocalyptic Era.”
I will warn you that due to the comprehensive nature of the post, you’re going to have to hunt for the Juice=Juice-related content.
Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne
We begin the ride with Watashi ga Iu… an energetic EDM-influenced pop song driven by a sax melody.
The Dance Shot is notable for being one of the first (if not, the first) H!P PV to have subtitles.
Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru
After the saxy intro that is Watashi ga Iu…” we’re headed into a funky horn party that is Samidare.
Ten Made Nobore!
We close out the indie era with this uplifting number with Juice=Juice and their fellow Kenshuusei.
This would end up being the last single to feature Otsuka Aina as she’d depart almost a month after the single’s release.
Romance no Tochuu
After the cheerfest and he downer ending to their indie days, Juice=Juice comes back stronger with triple A-side major debut. The original song, which was originally meant to be the sole A-side, is funky disco-pop that continues J=J’s coolness. Fans would also be delighted in the “Golden Age” sound that is so H!P as well. This was also something to round out things, channeling the past singles while forging its own image.
This is good, because it shares space with the “Memorial Edits” of the first two indie releases. (They basically amount to some extra effects and flourishes with the necessitated change in line arrangement.)
Ijiwaru Shinaide Dakishimete yo
Continuing the sensuality in the major sophomore cut is the A-side originally titled “Watashi wa Rose Quartz.” It’s of a similar tune to Romance no Tochuu while having its own groove.
Hajimete wo Keikenchuu
In a slight change of rhythm, the other A-side to Ju=Ju’s major sophomore single is a rocker. It’s a light, if a little cute (almost to S/mileage levels), while still having the element of “cool.”
This single was so cool that to this day, it is their highest selling single.
2014 Majors A
Detailed analysis of the following material can be found in the following posts: I Want to Barenakedly and Undressedly Kiss This and That! (there’s a reason I titled it that) and Black Butterflies Blown by the Wind.
Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no KISS
Juice=Juice began this year on a powerfully passionate note with Hadaka x3 no KISS. Containing an infamous suggestive title that lays bare (pardon the expression) their desire, our girls strip away any form of pretense with the guitar lick and flamenco-inspired flairs.
On the flip side, we got rock-influenced pop with Arekore Shitai. Light and crisp, the music seems plain. However, given its sister A-side, it’s a good balance.
What a way to start a year!
We end this second cube with one half of Juice=Juice’s third A-side, the tango-tastic Black Butterfly. Fancy and sensual, the Latin flavor is somewhat familiar as this i right after Hadaka no x3 KISS. However, it’s not nearly in-your-face.
2014 Majors B
Detailed analysis of the following material can be found in the following posts: Black Butterflies Blown by the Wind and Stretching to be a Grown Up, My Life is Not Just for Show.
Kaze ni Fukarete
The other A-side of this single is a light pop song featuring passionate lyrics and a mildly somber tone.
As of this writing, the single is the lowest-selling one.
After Kaze ni Fukarete, a song like his seems… ordinary. there’s really not much to say, other than it being slightly more EDM-influenced than the aforementioned Kaze. (In a sense, it sounds like a prototype “I Miss you.”)
I do like how the choruses are delivered though.
Date ja Nai yo Uchi no Jinsei wa
We end this cube with the other A-side of the final release of 2014, a brassy pop song that brings us back to Juice=Juice’s rules.
Bridge to 2015
Detailed analysis on the single can be found at the following post: Ça va ? What a Wonderful World.
Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “Koisuru Hello Kitty” Original Mini-Album
In November, Juice=Juice participated in their first musical: the Engeki Joshibu production of “Koisuru Hello Kitty.” The soundtrack mini-album was released the following month.
We begin 2015 and the midpoint of this cube with Juice=Juice’s exclaiming how wonderful it is to be in love. It’s a light and breezy song, perfect for the spring.
Ça va? Ça va?
We close out this cube (and this post) with the other side of the coin: the ye-ye-inspired Ca va? Ca va? A catchy tune that is perfumed from “Frenchiness,” almost to the point of kitsch. (Then again, if you’re going to be into idols, especially H!P, you’d better have a tolerance for kitsch.)
Oh, by the way: remember how I neglected to link to Frances Gall’s immortal hit in the review of this single? Allow me to rectify my mistake:
In just a short amount of time, Juice=Juice has amassed quite a large discography that will be encapsulated in their aptly-named album First Squeeze.
Allow me to close this with a Japanese cover of Poupee de cire, poupee de son sung by the lady herself!
Until next time!