Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
As part of Hello! Project’s 20th anniversary celebration, I will take a look at various releases from the collective’s history.
As announced via a video announcement on Tumblr and Facebook (which was also seen in 20-second Stories snippets on Instagram and Facebook the day before), I decided to make reviews of the two Q2 ties and postponed the planned Ping Pong Pinpoint digest for a later date (probably one of the July slots).
- Morning Musume – Resonant Blue (2 – 50%)
- Buono! – Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! (2 – 50%)
- C-ute – Namida no Iro (0 – 0%)
- Fujimoto Miki – Okitegami (0 – 0%)
- Matsuura Aya – Kizuna (0 – 0%)
- High-King – C/C (Cinderella/Complex) (0 – 0%)
- SHIPS – TOKYO FRIEND☆SHIPS (0 – 0%)
- Mano Erina – Manopiano (0 – 0%)
In the midst of Morning Musume’s angst period, a new wave was sweeping over H!P: the rise of the Hello! Project Kids. One example of this is the formation of Buono!, formed with a Cutie (future soloist sensation Suzuki Airi) and two Berryz (future PINK CRES. fronter Natsuyaki Miyabi and future Country Girls Playing Manager-turned-kindergarten teacher Tsugunaga Momoko). As those who know… well, know, this was when Hello! Project was in the midst of doing anime tie-ins (which is why Koharu was so prominently featured in MM as her Kirarin Revolution activities gave her immense exposure). At this point, we were knee-deep in the other big anime tie-in of H!P’s late 2000s: Shugo Chara.
Some of you may remember about three months ago when I covered the second ending theme, Ren’ai♥Rider. (You should know because you guys voted for it!) This time, we’ll be taking a step forward into history and dig into Buono! #3.
Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
The song brings us more of the rocking goodness we’ve come to know from Buono (and this was after the somewhat experimental Cafe Buono, which dipped into other genres in some of its pieces). It’s a fast, warm tune that is shining with warmth and love. Continuing the theme of love and honesty, the lyrics speak of loving someone with all their heart for being the hard worker they are.
You mustn’t think that the answer lies somewhere else
The answer is inside you, nowhere else
You can’t think that the answers exist somewhere
The answers only exist inside you
The way you are, your true feelings, everything
This is definitely love
The way things are now, these overwhelming feelings, everything
Just the way you are, with your honest feelings and everything
It’s definitely love
Right now, with these overflowing feelings and everything
Face the sun and take it on with all your might
Look forward, lift your head, no time for crying
Try facing the sun and bumping into it with all your might
Face forward, and lift your head up, there’s no time for crying
A passionate kiss! A kiss to this youth!
I love the way you’re giving it your all now
The best kiss! A kiss with all your might!
I want to tell you about this feeling that fills my heart
I L-O-V-E Y-O-U
A kiss of passion! A kiss to this “youth”!
I love you, working so hard
The best kiss! A kiss to all “your power”!
I want to show you all these feelings in my heart
I l.o.v.e y.o.u
Credit to KiwiMusume. Credit to the ProjectHello team.
If students stay in these gardens called schools, then they will never become adults.
(If you know where this quote comes from, congratulations on your graduation~! I’m a late transfer, but I also “smashed the world shell” eventually.)
Appropriately, the MV takes place in a school (namely, the school seen in the covers). The primary setting is in a rather whimsical classroom. Well, “whimsical” may not be a good word, but it’s certainly not your typical junior high/high school classroom. This goes with the sheer youthfulness that is exuberant in the song, full of girlish innocence that feels sincere. (Given that Shugo Chara’s main theme is being true to yourself, it is no big surprise that this is a recurring theme. Yes, I know idols are like wrestlers in that there’s a certain of amount of “work” being put into the “sell,” but don’t ruin the kayfabe, mmkay?)
Anyway… The second verse shows more scenes. To be more specific, the girls in the hallway, either rocking out (as seen in the band version) or cleaning. This transitions into the girls enjoying a meal on plastic dishes and silverware and later drinking milk, continuing this feeling of vernal zest.
All this talk about youth… Best not get too misty-eyed, especially with so much nostalgia being brought up from the geysers of memory, thanks to E3 (among other things).
(As this single was released in 2008, it is not subject to the changes in sales reporting as implemented by Oricon in Fall 2016.
All figures reported in this section are from the Hello! Project Wikia with the percentage and average mathematics done by moi.
Of course, if a piece of idol music really touches you, does it matter that much how well it sells? It does to some people, which is one reason I do this…)
The single ultimately achieved a Total Reported Sales figure of 36,675 with a peak Oricon weekly position of #4, a peak daily position of #2, and a Year Rank of 197 for 2008. 79.90% (29,305) of these sales are from the first week.
For comparison sake:
- The previous single (the previously reviewed Ren’ai♥Rider) had a Total Reported Sales figure of 35,254 with 85.86% (30,268) from the first week.
- The next single (the possibly next-to-be reviewed Gachinko de Ikou) had a Total Reported Sales figure of 31,005 with 82.14% (25,469) from the first week.
- This means that Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!‘s sales have a difference of 4.03% compared to its predecessor and a -15.46% one compared to its successor.
Ah, this has been a time of reflection, remembrance, and celebration. Hello! Project is celebrating their 20th anniversary, M3 is winding down its 10th anniversary celebration (there’s one last anniversary review to do, but that’s for later), even more milestones down the line…
Just recently (at the time of writing this), the anniversary of C-ute’s debut and disbandment passed, to much bittersweet remembrance… and affirmation of a bond that goes beyond contracts (as Maimai has shown us). Plus, in these times where we’re hyper-critical, we have idols like Buono to remind us that in life, being flawed is okay. If you do your best and move beyond your mistakes, you will go so far and be filled with love — and love from others.
There’s a saying in the creative community that would be very apt right now: “Better done than perfect.” It comes from the idea of getting that product out and not fussing over the tiny details. (This is something I have to remind myself from time to time, which is something I delved into in a past piece.) If you’re trying get that piece perfect, you’ll never finish it. However, if you just say “I did my best” after giving it your all, you’ll be able to finish that piece and move on to the next. (Extra Credits talked about similar concepts in game design (i.e. “minimum viable product” and various aspects of making your first game) and the mantra of “fail faster” some time ago.)
Likewise, if you’re focused on your mistakes, you’ll miss out on life and no one will know that wonderful work of art that is you. If you do your best (and acknowledge that you did), you’ll be able to better craft that next project that is the next chapter of your life.
If you’re honest with yourself, life will be more bearable and you will be full of hugs and kisses (and don’t we all want that?).
With that, I bid you adieu during the regular Q2 period. See you in Q3 — or maybe sooner. 😉
Until the Next One! xxx