Just Try for a First Love Sunrise, Beautiful Camellia!


Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!


2017 was off to an… interesting start, between the political maelstrom that rocked the Internet to the various literal and metaphorical flurries that marked the winter. Despite it all, we had idols to keep our spirits up, even if some parts of it had a bittersweet quality to them. Last time, we took a look at Country Girls’ latest offering — and the very last single to feature its most senior member. This time, we’re switching gears to look at some newer faces who hope to be “fresh and evergreen” like their namesake flower, the camellia.

So without further ado, let’s dig into Tsubaki Factory #1 (or #4 if you count the indies), featuring the first appearance of the three new blooms!

Hatsukoi Sunrise (First Love Sunrise)

The Song

It’s an energetic “hyper J-pop” song, a classic H!P genre, speaking the dawn of love and the maturity it brings. It’s definitely in the same category of songs in the Camellias’ catalog as Seishun Manmannaka and Kedakaku Sakihokore!.

…And even with this, this song became a meme, courtesy of the #初恋サンライズ大喜利 (#HatsukoiSunriseOogiri) hashtag.

You can watch behind-the-scenes footage via Upcoming:

The PV

While the massive white is the worst nightmare for a lot of fans, it illustrates the “sunrise” motif. Besides being friendly to special effects, it really gives off a feeling of burning illumination.

Dizzying effects as the camera pans around the group. This is in addition to effects of a time lapse sunrise being placed in front of our behind the girls’ silhouettes.

Starting the second verse, we see the Camellias in a dark room. It gives a fascinating contrast, showing how troubling the first few pangs of love can be. It can be a tad strange at first, but it’s makes for a good contrast to break up the flow. All of this brightness can be eye-burning, after all. Plus, just when the sun is rising, there is a preceding twilight phase called “dawn,” befitting the theme as well.

You can watch behind-the-scenes footage via Upcoming:

Just Try!

The Song

If Hatsukoi Sunrise was similar to Seishun Manmannaka, then Just Try! is this to Kedakaku Sakihokore!. It’s a slower, more meditative, methodical… some would call it “robotic,” “weak,” “generic”… EDM-influenced J-pop track.

Guess what camp I’m on. If you think it’s the quoted bunch, the only thing I agree with is “robotic.” However, before you attack me for my taste (or lack thereof) in music, along with somewhat violating a rule where I don’t inject too much of my personal opinion at the sacrifice of looking at a product as objectively as possible… listen. Let me try my best to get my point across.

The methodical, robotic music and vocal delivery seems cold, but the song is delivering some cold, hard truths: life is difficult and there are some awful things you must bear… but you must do your best to remain strong in the face of adversity. Having a strong will and drive to blaze through hardship, not caring about the naysayers and how difficult times are. We’re in an age of increased anxiety (like with social media), but you must do your best to survive.

As was said in a favorite movie of mine…

You have all the tools you need. Now fight!

…I did mention that my taste in things would be labeled as a lack of it for some, right?

You can watch behind-the-scenes footage via Upcoming:

The PV

The MV starts off cold, featuring a similar environment to ANGERME’S Ai no Tame. We see laser lights and a scanning light, furthering the “robotic” feel. In addition, we also see our girls in a dark environment with only green flickers of freedom peeking out.

During the chorus, the culmination of the running leads to an outdoor scene.

All in in all, it’s an MV full of cold blues, befitting the “honesty” of the song (and the winter season in which it was released, even if it’s “spring” in the Japanese calendar).

You can watch behind-the-scenes footage via Upcoming:

Uruwashi no Camellia (The Magnificent Camellia)

The Song

This is a bouncy retro-styled track that will take you back to the 1920s. This is very fitting as the cute tune is paired with cute lyrics about an ideal girl of days past (Camellia) and how the Modern Girl wishes to match (and surpass) her.

You can watch behind-the-scenes footage via Upcoming:

The PV

Starting off on a stage with the girls in historical clothes, we begin eh the picture of the traditional (i.e. Taisho-era) girl. Come the chorus, we see our girls in more modern clothes and in a school.

Tsubaki Factory continue to voice the wishes of the modern girl who wishes to truly bloom in the current area, showcasing their girlishness in either the classroom, the playground (with impressive camerawork courtesy of a drone), and beyond.

You can watch behind-the-scenes footage via Upcoming:

In Conclusion


(I would 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. This is also why Oricon Rankings are placed in their own subsection as shown below.

All figures reported in this section are from the Hello! Project Wikia with the percentage and average mathematics done by moi.)

Oricon Rankings

The single had a total reported sales figure of 40,813 with 90% (36,734) coming from the first month, 86.34% (35,241) from the first week, and 63% (25,712) from the first day. Its first-day Daily Rank and first-week Weekly Rank were #3 and Monthly Rank was #12, achieving an average “first time period” rank of #6.

Non-Oricon Rankings

In regards to Recochoku Music Video Rankings, the single achieved an average Daily Rank of 7.67 and Weekly Rank of 22. Hatsukoi Sunrise achieved a Daily Rank of 4 and a Weekly Rank of 12, Just Try! a Daily Rank of 6 and a Weekly Rank of 19, and Uruwashi no Camellia a Daily Rank of 13 and 35. Hatsukoi Sunrise achieved a Monthly Rank of 52.

In regards to “Other Chart Rankings,” the single achieved an (impressive) average peak rank of 2.5. The single peaked at #2 on the SoundScan Japan Single Sales (with a figure of 49,232) and Billboard JAPAN Top Singles Sales (with 54,376). It peaked on the Music Station CD Single Ranking and CDTV Weekly Single Ranking charts at #3. However, Hatsukoi Sunrise reached #6 on the Billboard JAPAN Hot 100.

Closing Thoughts

It’s only their first single, but Tsubaki Factory have shown themselves to be on a strong start for their major days. Here’s hoping that they continue on their path and be strong and evergreen.

Tune in next time as the magnificent first love sunrise give rise to a BRAND NEW MORNING. Jealous?

Until the Next One!
— Magi-Kat


3 Responses to Just Try for a First Love Sunrise, Beautiful Camellia!

  1. […] Speaking of blooming in the next season, tune in next time where we look at a bouquet of Camellias! […]


  2. […] song is an EDM-influenced J-pop song that is along the vein of Hatsukoi Sunrise and Seishun Manmannaka. It’s pulsing with energy, but also full of a elegant lightness. The […]


  3. […] 8: Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love – Country Girls February 22: Hatsukoi Sunrise / Just Try! / Uruwashi no Camellia – Tsubaki Factory March 8: BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy – Morning Musume […]


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