Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
How was the end of your summer? Mine was rather eventful. I finally unveiled the project that kept me busy all this time, along with the aforementioned Tumblr side-blog.
Regardless, if you’ve been paying attention on any of my Tumblrs, you’d notice that I’ve been keeping up with H!P with Kobushi Factory’s main debut being no exception. (I did promise a post today, did I not?)
After being announced earlier this year (like “just after New Year’s” earlier), the Maggies have been packing a powerful punch. Even in light of “rivals” in the form of the Camellias (and technically the rest of H!P and the idol world), the Magnolia Factory continue to pack a “punch” with their hard-hitting songs. (Given the group’s etymology, expect a lot of “punch” references when talking about them.)
Between their musical “Week-End Survivor” and performing at various concerts, the Maggies have only strengthened their skills. This was all a crescendo leading up to the announcement of their major debut and the topic of this post: their major debut single, Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta / Nen ni wa Nen (Nen Iri Ver.).
The single (alongside their major debut) was announced on June 14, 2015, the first day of the June Nama Tamago Show!. The first two A-sides were also performed at the Tokyo Idol Festival 2015. They have also been performed during the H!P summer tour, along with the upcoming Nama Tamago Show! in September.
So let’s dig into Kobushi Factory’s major debut single!
Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan
Dosukoi! Humble but Bold
This is what great MVs (and the singles that promote them) are made of. Home run vocals from the Magnolias, uplifting and motivating lyrics (perfect for #MotivationMonday), a rocking beat, and a fun story that utilizes the sumo concept to boot.
Keep it up!
The song is a motivating song with themes of realism and perseverance. (This seems to be a slight trend in H!P’s work during the summer as “CHOICE&CHANCE” and “Ima Sugu” had similar themes.)
Even if it rains, even if spears drop, never forget the first resolution
What’s important is not who wins or loses, but to keep creating things of great value
Things we all need to bear in mind, especially in the H!P community.
Beginning with a drum intro and going into the midtempo but energetic rock. To drive the point home, the we had a slow down on the additional “shirenai” and pause before the dramatic key note change.
I never realized it until listening to it recently, but… probably why I clicked on this is that the melody is rather Touhouesque with its distinctive channeling of the Japanese spirit. This is rather appropriate, given the sumo-inspired themes. Sumo is the national sport of Japan.
The Hello! Station edit was showcased in the 130th installment on August 12, 2015. The full version was unveiled on the YouTube channel on August 17.
The PV continues this with the dance shots having the girls engage in sumo-inspired hijinks. As for the other shots, they’re engaged in a school-wide game of hide-and-seek (sorry, kakurenbo). The overall concept bewildered quite a number of those who watched the clip, bot on Hello! Station and KF’s YouTube channel.
One big difference between the Hello! Station version is that the PV began with the dance shot while the promotional edit began in the classroom. There are also more shots with the girls and their quirky game of kakurenbo in the promotional edit too. The Hello! Station Edit looked like a typical H!P video.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta
A Song of Ramen Loving Girl Ms. Koizumi
The song is a fun headbopper with a catchy beat. For a while, this was my favorite of the A-sides (until Dosukoi came out). It was just a fun ditty with the chords chiseling away at your sanity. The verses are delivered with an almost typewriter-like tone before going into the chorus:
The bridge features a call-and-response before reiterating the catchy “Ra-men daisuki, ramen daisuki” to drive the point home and ending with a spoken “Koizumi-san.”
As for the lyrics, it is one of those songs where we wish we didn’t know the words. (If it makes you feel better, the song is a cover of a Sharan-Q song with the titular ramenophile’s name changed from “Koike” to “Koizumi.” Therefore, if this A-side reeks of H!P weirdness, hopefully this provides an explanation. You can see the band performing the original song here, though I must put up an obligatory “NSFW” tag for reasons, Tsunku’s outfit being the least of your problems….
On another note, if you are watching (may your soul be blessed), pay attention to the audience and breathe a sigh of relief if you feel awkward about the “main audience” of H!P.
Instead, I’ll show you the more worksafe original PV.)
Plus, it’s the theme song for the drama Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.
A concert performance was unveiled during the 128th installment of Hello! Station on Jul 29, 2015. The Hello! Station Edit of the PV was unveiled on the 131st installment on on August 19 with the full PV being unveiled on their YouTube channel five days later on August 24.
We just see their close-ups and dance shots. The dance shot take place in a white space with lights while the set of the close-ups resemble a ramen shop. The Promotional Edit includes additional close-up shots with a cartoonishly animated background, along with shots of our girls enjoying ramen. We’re also teated to an additional shot of a few members scooping noodles and draining water starting from the bridge.
Nen ni wa Nen (Nen Iri Ver.)
Be Double Sure (with ”NEN” Ver.)
It’s only their first single and already they’re doing great. Solid vocals, heart-pumping song with hard-hitting lyrics, focused PV… all the right marks.
Can’t wait for the next one! Go, Kobushi Factory, go!
A guitar-fueled track about being prepared for just about anything life throws at you. A perfect song when you have a bad day.
One difference between the original and the “Nen Iri” (with ”NEN”) version is the additional effects… oh, and the fact that Kobushi Factory’s vocals have greatly improved (and they were good to begin with).
The original promotional edit of the song was previewed during the 115th installment of Hello! Station on Apr 29, 2015. A concert performance was unveiled during the 117th installment of Hello! Station on May 13, 2015. A clip of the “Nen Iri Ver.” was previewed in 129th installment of Hello! Station on August 5, 2015. The full PV was unveiled on their YouTube channel five days later on August 10.
Given what the song talks about (and especially in light of the later MVs because this came first), this setting seems quite odd. It’s a close-up and dance-focused production that has our Old Magnolias in what appears to be a somewhat derelict old room. I say that because it reminded me of some of the old houses and apartments I’ve seen as a native of the Newark/NYC area. At least the wallpaper’s not crumbling and it most likely is a set… because why take our lovely idols to such a horrid place, especially with the light effects they put in this vid? In fact, if you look carefully, you can find “possible” evidence.
Regardless, it does reinforce the song’s theme of “look before you leap” and “be prepared for anything.”
Hearing three straight rock songs in one single was rather strange to me, given H!P’s tendency to mix it up genre-wise. However, given Kobushi’s “punch” of a theme, it makes sense. Here’s hoping they keep up this goodness (and I don’t get bored with them like I did a certain anime-inspired unit). The Maggies are off to a great start.
To quote what I said regarding both Factories (which is a call back to a certain cartoon about superpowered little girls):
Go Girls Go!
Until next time. See you, Space Cowpeople!
- http://pound66.tumblr.com/post/121497998054 [it’s where I found the concert performance]
- http://pound66.tumblr.com/post/121497979314 [where I found the PV]