Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Well, allow me to bring back some normalcy with a review! Just like the last backlog, we start things off with Country Girls. Where we were in an innocent mindset with the previous single, this single had a particular shadow as it’s the last single to feature Playing Manager Tsugunaga Momoko.
So without further ado, let’s dig into Country Girls #5!
Good Boy Bad Girl
A groovy rock inspired by 70s coolness with lyrics speaking of the confusion and pain of young love, this is the perfect compliment to Peanut Butter Jelly Love (even if said contrast is off-putting to some at first). If the former is the dream of romance, this song deals with the reality. I remember Kame wondering if the song will have a sound akin to Buono! (whose future is uncertain, due to Miyabi’s group and Momoko’s aforementioned graduation) when he looked at the covers.
Will Good Boy Bad Girl be a Buono!-esque song…
I’m inclined to say “Yes!”, it having a Renai Rider-like coolness to me.
You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the vocal recording process (featuring Yamaki Risa, Yanagawa Nanami, and Funaki Musubu) on Upcoming:
To go with this, the MV is primarily set in a garage with many motorcycles. We do see some effects with the backgrounds. In some shots, we see the Girls with other social backgrounds with the rides.
The Girls also act out the conflicts depicted in the verses.
You can look at a behind-the-scenes look at the production via Upcoming:
Peanut Butter Jelly Love
This song starts off softly, Momoko’s voice crooning the opening lyrics before her fellow Country Girls join in. With a cue from drums and a countdown, we then get to the cake of the sweet. The music is light, romantic (perfect since it was released a few weeks before Valentine’s Day), and a treat to hear. Musically, of a similar vein to the cute romantic pop of Ra Ra Run and the classic Itooshikute Gomen ne. Sprinkled with dreamy lyrics by former ALMA KAMINIITO member Eric Fukusaki (and indeed was inspired by a dream), this batch of cuteness is guaranteed to smile.
It’s enough to make you forget that this is Tsugunaga Momoko’s final single. Almost.
You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the guitar work via Upcoming:
You can also get a gander at the vocal recording process (featuring Ozeki Mai, Morito Chisaki, and Tsugunaga Momoko) via Upcoming:
Much like the namesake food, the MV has two flavors: the dreamy idols in a chapel-like environment and the science idols experimenting in a lab. On paper, those two things wouldn’t work together. However, as I mentioned in the previous Morning Musume ’16 review, sometimes two contrasting elements can create a perfect product.
I mean, when I was thinking of going to college in the Boston area, I “prepped” myself by eating fluffernutter sandwiches. As someone who’s grown up on PB&J, the idea of having peanut butter and marshmallows on bread sounded strange at first. In the end, in addition to my surprise in finding marshmallow fluff in New Jersey, I fell in love with the taste of the sandwich. The sweet yet mellow marshmallow flavor complimented the nuttiness of the peanut butter just as well as grape jelly did. (At some point, I liked fluffernutters than the sacred PB&J sandwiches. These days, I can go with either one.)
But this isn’t “Fluffernutter Love.” Besides, the whole point of that paragraph was to illustrate how the two themes of the MV work together. Then again, isn’t that what “peanut butter and jelly” is about?
For a full scale of the MV’s impact, take a look at the Twitter Moment below!
You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the MV via Upcoming:
All in all, the single did rather well for itself. (I would also like to remind people that sometime in Fall 2016, Oricon changed the rules of its reporting so if sales figures look a tad wonky, this is why.)
In regard to said Oricon chart rankings, it debuted at #5 on the Daily and Weekly charts with the latter figure measuring (roughly) to 29,053 units. The number experienced a 94.42% decrease in the next week (ranking at #39), a 66.42% decrease onto the next week (#126), and ending with a 30.33% decrease for a final ranking of #135. The single charted in at a Monthly Ranking figure of #15 with 31,596 sales.
I must clarify that such weekly decreases are normal and nothing to be alarmed over (unless you want to panic, in which case I can’t stop you. I’m just presenting data as barebones as possible).
The single did rather well on non-Oricon Rankings. The single ranked highest at #2 on Billboard JAPAN Top Singles Sales with 57,530 and #3 on SoundScan Japan Single Sales with 46,550. “Good Boy Bad Girl” only achieved a peak rank of #7 on Billboard JAPAN Hot 100.
In regards to the Recochoku Music Video Rankings, the singles ranked rather closely. GBBG had a Daily Rank of #7, a Weekly Rank of #22, and a Monthly Rank of #86. In contrast, PBJL had a Daily Rank of #8 and a Weekly Rank of #28.
Even if this wasn’t a graduation single, the single had enough goodness to last it a long time. Between the sweetness of Peanut Butter Jelly Love and the bittersweetness of Good Boy Bad Girl, it allows for the goodness of the group to show. In fact, as a last single, it closes this chapter of Tsugunaga Momoko’s life, ending her idol days in style.
May the Tsugunaga Momoko, Country Girls, and all in the Hello! Project family bloom nobly in the next season.
Speaking of blooming in the next season, tune in next time where we look at a bouquet of Camellias!
Until the Next One!