The Curtain-Rising Final Squall To Tomorrow

Since C-ute’s disbandment is near, you’re welcome to get a headstart on the Memorial Survey right here.

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

ToTomorrow-rb

It’s been a long, long road, but we’re finally (!) here. It feels like almost a year, right? C-ute announced their disbandment, a desire to pursue other dreams, in August 2016. The send-offs began with a penultimate single, a complete box set, and numerous fan tributes. Buono! very recently closed its book, to the sadness and bittersweet happiness of fans. (Happy because the members get to explore and we’re no longer tortured with hiatuses, sad for the fact it’s officially over.)

C-ute’s members announced their post-grad plans just days before this post went up. (In fact, I was in the process of making it.)

Since C-ute’s disbandment is near, you’re welcome to get a headstart on the Memorial Survey by clicking this link.

So without further ado, let’s dig into C-ute #31!

To Tomorrow

The Song

It’s a light and reflective song, noting the growth and memories over the years. It’s bittersweet, noting that a chapter is ending, but it’s also full of hope for the days ahead.

It’s a fitting part of this finale, C-ute noting that with all of what happened in H!P through the years, some things haven’t changed and they’re grateful for the time there. (Of course, let’s not discount the fact that Tsunku, someone who has been there from the beginning, appropriately penned this piece.)

The PV

The MV has two settings: a white set with accompaniment from various H!P members and an outdoor setting on a mountainside, overlooking the view.

In regards to the former, this was a touching way of illustrating this finality and sense of community, along with being a nice allusion to C-ute being the most senior group in H!P and one of the most prominent in the collective. (Some even call them the true flagship group at the moment.) There will be those who will never be over this (just like those who still feel bruised from the Berryz’ hiatus), but this MV (and the others) may help soften the wound.

Case in point, the outdoor scenes. So free, so breezy, so… suspended in the air of the heavens like monolithic pillars of rock and the Greek Orthodox monasteries that sit atop them. Then again, to many, idols like C-ute were a sanctuary from life’s hardships. C-ute is taking in the view, as potentially perilous it is to do so in those shoes, as EXTRA THICC as those heels are. (Then again, as tall as I am, I’ve rarely worn heels and even before then, I had boots that had a one inch heel.)

That doesn’t matter as the brightness is so… hopeful and gazing into the light of the future. How can you stay sad at this? How can you not be excited? Watching idols go sucks, I know. I can think of one thing about the upcoming chapter that is a ray: knowing they’ll go forth into the future with their dreams attached and lives fulfilled. Who knows?

You can see some behind the scenes footage, courtesy of Upcoming:

Final Squall

The Song

This is an emotional song with rock elements. The guitar highlight the emotion, along with the strings and piano.

The lyrics speak of acknowledging the deep feelings that goodbye brings and… eh, screw it. It’s basically a send-off from C-ute to their fans. Their time is ending, but there will be a beginning ahead for all. The tears will flow, the hearts will swell and break, but they’re going off on a high note.

You can see some behind the scenes footage, courtesy of Upcoming:

The PV

This MV was a big deal as (like Mano Erina’s “NEXT MY BEST”) it had fans as extras to make it even more special.

It takes place at a special stage, surrounded by fans. The place is dark and lit blue, alluding to nighttime. At times, “rain” can be seen, adding to the weather theme of the song.

It’s… (sighs) I wish I can say more, especially now. C-ute’s impact (and this MV’s significance) can’t be completely put into words and whatever can be said has been said already.

They’re legends.

It’s a nice tribute to the fans.

It’s one of their best MVs.

I know some disliked the barebones nature of these MVs (something you’re going to have to get used to if you’re in the Project). There may not be PLOT, but that’s not important. This song is a tribute to the fans and the years C-ute has spent with said fans.

Heck, one reason I did this review first (at the cost of delaying the Morning Musume ’17 review, which was supposed to come before this) was because (extra workload aside) fans would want C-ute’s finale to be of a certain quality: more than decent. Good. Great.

Let the storm rage on for the cold won’t bother them anyway once they leave. Their paths, their futures are ahead in the endless sky, in a variety of directions. Acting, variety, solo singing, studying abroad…

The possibilities are never-ending and it’ll be time for the next stage of C-ute’s journey, which this MV (and its associated song) illustrates.

You can see some behind the scenes footage, courtesy of Upcoming:

Speaking of stages…

The Curtain Rises

The Song

The song is a pulse-pounding EDM song that is akin recent H!P fare (and then some) with hardhitting lyrics that speak of making the most of the time you have, tying into the “finale” theme of this single. I mean, C-ute has always been known for their more “stylish” songs and displays and since the “sweet” and “rocking” aspects have been represented, time for the “sleek stylish” side to show.

I will say the drums and “HEY” chants reminded me a bit of “Minna Atsumare! Kyoruger,” making me think of samba. VAMOLA!

You can see some behind the scenes footage, courtesy of Upcoming:

The PV

The dance shots takes place in an industrial set similar to ANGERME’s Desugita Kui wa Utarenai MV.

To go with C-ute being the “cool,” “stylish,” and “artist-like” of all, this MV features special lighting effects and zooming shots. Some of the latter reminded me a lot of the “dolly zoom,” which was used to iconic effect in the appropriately named classic flick Vertigo. *shamefully gives you a button* I will definitely give that they went with an (appropriately) avant-garde look for this final single.

You can see some behind the scenes footage, courtesy of Upcoming:

In Conclusion

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaales

(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

C-ute’s finale of a single had a “total reported sales figure” of 69,730, 98.77% (68,875) of it from the first month, 95.32% (66,470) from the first week, and 78.48% (54,722) from the first day. It ranked #2 for Daily and Weekly Ranking and achieved a Month Rank of 9 for the month of March, averaging out to a mean rank of 4.3.

Non-Oricon Rankings

In Recochoku Music Video Rankings, the single achieved an average Daily Rank of 10 and Weekly Rank of 25. To Tomorrow’s Daily Rank and Weekly Rank were 7 and 23 respectively, Final Squall’s were 11 and 22, and The Curtain Rises’ were 12 and 30. The Monthly Rank is currently unknown.

In “Other Chart Rankings,” C-ute fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the final single achieved a mean peak rank of 1.6. The highest position for the SoundScan Japan Single Sales was #1 with 94,551. Meanwhile, the highest position on the Billboard JAPAN Top Singles Sales chart was #2 with 103,452. “To Tomorrow” achieved a peak rank of #2 on the Billboard JAPAN Hot 100 charts. Not a bad way to send off the most senior Hello! Project group, eh?

Closing Thoughts

It’s hard to believe we’ve come to this point, even knowing this day would come. Like them or hate them, C-ute and its members have carved a particular niche within the J-pop atmosphere, an indelible mark on the consciousness and fabric of time. This single is but a fitting epilogue to the long saga that is C-ute. Once that June day comes, it will be a bittersweet moment but we all know that the legacy is secure and they will surely be missed.

Since C-ute’s disbandment is near, you’re welcome to get a headstart on the Memorial Survey right here.

Tune in next time as we switch gears and look towards the future of H!P as we feel the foot-stomping dance of the Juicy=Fruits.

…At least in regards to reviews. The next post is the official unveiling of the C-ute Memorial Survey!

Until the Next One!
Magi-Kat

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2 Responses to The Curtain-Rising Final Squall To Tomorrow

  1. kame says:

    Very very detailed, I like it! C-ute have definitely left their mark in J-pop and this single is a good sign of that

    Like

  2. […] with tall grass, standing atop a hill with the sun beaming. *insert your comparisons to C-ute and “To Tomorrow” here […]

    Like

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