Welcome to my first review of Hello! Project-related media and commentary! This first installment is a double-feature PV review.
Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Welcome to a very special review where I look at the topics of the very first Morning Twilight! (Weirdly enough, technical limitations caused me to split them into two separate posts.)
Content from the original post are quoted.
This is the fourth single by Kusumi Koharu under the name Tsukishima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu (Morning Musume), tying into the idol anime Kirarin☆Revolution.
…Does this single need an introduction? I think about 90-99.9% of reader here are well-aware of Kirarin☆Revolution. (Some, like Chiima, even got into H!P because of Kira*Revo.)
However, for the ones who don’t, here’s a primer: the anime is about a girl named Tsukishima Kirari (duh) who, inspired by her crush who is part of a boy band, becomes an idol. The anime (and the manga it’s primarily based on) chronicles Kirari’s trial and tribulations along her journey to the top. (Why does part of that sound familiar?)
The anime garnered a fair bit of renown (and infamy) among the H!P fandom for the many tie-ins done for it (particularly Kusumi Koharu’s solo career under the aforementioned “Tsukishima Kirari…” name, which virtually ran concurrent to her tenure as a Musume). There’s another aspect to this, but that’s covered in other subsections.
Over the course of Koharu’s career as Tsukishima Kirari’s pipes, a certain style forms. It’s idol-tastic J-pop, sure, sporting all of the trappings. However, Kirari’s music stood out (especially among H!P) for its “experimental” nature.
You won’t find it here (though it’s evident in the B-side, which I actually preferred over the A-side). Is that a bad thing? Well, not exactly. Now that it had some time to distance itself from the “mania” and be able to look at it more objectively… it’s a pretty good song.
Sure, the B-side (“Ramutara” or “Lammtarra,” depending on who you talk to… and whether or not you believe the title refers to a champion racehorse) is the more “interesting” side of this single, due to its Arabian influences (Kira*Revo in general is known for incorporating sounds/influences that were unusual at the time in H!P, which may be why I liked the material) compared to the vanilla “anime J-rock-pop” of the A-side. (As a matter of fact, it remains my favorite of the two songs.)
However, Chance! is still a good listen if you’re in the mood for it.
I’ve seen all of the videos of Koharu’s solo career and I am rather impressed (I even liked “Hana wo Puun,” believe it or not). In fact, why not say I just like Koharu’s stuff since I’m such a major fan? She, to me, relishes in this cute image and this PV continues her “kawaii miracle.” Back to the issue of the song and PV, I really like it (I saw that, Koha! At 2:52. I’m so terrible). (I’m a really bad critic XP).
The MV primarily takes place in “Kirari”‘s room, featuring a stage in the form of a stand and a glittering star. In between, we see whimsical scenes in the book she brings out in the first minute of the video. In addition, we also see “Kirari” goof around in her room like the teenager she is.
It’s a simple video with a simple premise, yes, but it serves its purpose well. Beside, I think the simplicity works for what we’ve got (especially considering that it holds up moderately well ten years on). Like I said, the sense of fun Koharu is giving off in her role is crucial to establishing the “kawaii miracle.”
(Wasn’t able to find TV OP version. Sorry).
This is where I best 17-year-old me for I have found the OP! (Weirdly enough, it is the second M– PV covered here that I can’t find the anime OP version of for this review.)
Second PV in question (originally one entry but split into two due to technical reasons)
Shouri no BIG WAVE!!!
This is the debut release of Athena & Robikerottsu, an anime tie-in unit formed for the Robby & Kerobby anime made up of Morning Musume’s Niigaki Risa and Mitsui Aika with C-ute’s Nakajima Saki and Okai Chisato. This wasn’t H!P’s first tie-in release for the anime, however. That honor belongs to Tsuji Nozomi‘s cover of the Morning Musume classic “Koko ni Iruzee,” which was done in-character as Athena (that pink-haired robo-girl that features prominently in the video).
…Yeah, gonna have to explain that a bit. Tsuji was the original voice of Athena, but then a little something called “sudden pregnancy announcement” happened and Niigaki was brought in to take her place. This single was the first release tying into the anime in the “Niigathena” era. (Yes, I’m calling it that.)
The song is cheery as all get out, sure to get your spirits up. If you saw the member list for the group, you may (or may not) be too surprised at how their voices blend together.
How can you not smile upon listening to…
every day! have fun! wonderful life! *fu!*
every day!! have fun!! wonderful life!! *fu! fu!*
every day!!! have fun!!! wonderful life!!! *fu! fu! fu!*
3. 2. 1. go! Okay-dokey Okay-dokey *yeeeeeeeh!*
It’s adorable and cute, yet also has a splash of cool. It’s more… whimsical, if anything.
I wasn’t really much of a fan of Niigaki Risa but this PV might have put me on the path to conversion. In all honesty, I just checked this unit out, not only because Mitsui Aika’s in it, but to see the next Hello! Project release in the “Robby and Kerobby” library and to just to see. In fact, I’d check it out even if it was a Niigaki solo release just for potential sake. Gotta give her a chance, after all?
Whoever compared this video to Minimoni was right to do so, though the similarities are only slight imo. That’s just my view though.
The MV is more “integrated” with the anime world than “Chance!!!”‘s is. The MV features far more clips for the anime and locales fom their are shown (albeit greenscreened). In addition, the girls are seen with pom-poms (befitting the “cheery” atmosphere of the song and the bridges to the chorus) and even Robby & Kerobby (in mascot costume form) makes some cameos.
I will admit that see Aika, Saki, and Chisato in these younger forms is just plain weird at times. To think all of them (except arguably Aika) would rise to legend status by their graduations (and all of them—including Aika—have beyond that point).
Speaking of which, all of the members would graduate from their mother group at the same time: Niigaki Risa and Mitsui Aika both graduated together in May 2012 while Okai Chisato and Nakajima Saki “graduated” together in June 2017.
For your viewing pleasure, I’ve decided to include the TV version (the anime opening version).
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (points to what I said in the previous section
Wow… it was quite interesting to return to these two videos, anniversary be darned. All of them are good songs. (I almost want to write “okay,” but the musical equivalent of Art Evolution rears its head here. Since 2009, H!P’s musical quality skyrocketed.)
Still… it was nice to go back to the beginning and see what’s what (especially since anime tie-ins aren’t as frequent an H!P thing as they used to be. Seriously, it’s been almost a decade since Shugo Chara and Lilpri were a thing, nevermind Inazuma Eleven).
I hope you’ve enjoyed the show!
Until next time!