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 previously reported, the winner of the Q4 vote with one singular vote is once again C-ute! This time, the release in question is the next single after Edo no Temari Uta II, FOREVER LOVE. Released on November 26, 2008, it is the last single to feature Arihara Kanna before the Bunion Saga began in February 2009 (which was a sign of things to come before the tumultuous year for them that was 2011).
- C-ute – FOREVER LOVE (1 – 100%)
- Buono! – Rottara Rottara (0 – 0%) (This actually received a vote after it was too late to count so I’m rewarding it with Second Place. Maybe I’ll find a way to squeeze it into 2019’s calendar.)
- Mano Erina – Lucky Aura (0 – 0%)
- Milkyway – Tan Tan Taan! (0 – 0%)
- Berryz Koubou – MADAYADE (0 – 0%)
- Abe Natsumi – Screen (0 – 0%)
- Shugo Chara Egg! – Minna no Tamago (0 – 0%)
- Mano Erina – Lalala-Sososo (0 – 0%)
It is a bit interesting going back to a time when the C-uties (and their Berry counterparts) were beginning their rise as full Hello! Project idols, a far cry… actually, somewhat close to the legends they’re known for today. After all, according to the C-ute Memorial Survey, a majority of “Team C-ute” came around this time (Junjou).
Speaking of their Memorial Survey! Let’s check out FOREVER LOVE‘s placings:
- 13th Best Overall Single (right behind Edo no Temari Uta II)
- 2nd Best A-Side of the Early Major Years Era (right behind Tokaikko Junjou)
So let’s dig into C-ute #7 and taste a bit of the calm before the storm.
Kicking with a roaring guitar to get the heart-pumping, the song speeds into a mid-tempo J-pop passion fest. Compared to the cool quirkiness of its predecessor, FOREVER LOVE is more in line with the more “mature” sound that had become emblematic of C-ute since “Tokaikko Junjou” (which is the group’s equivalent to LOVE Machine, sans the
rather annoying over-saturation that persists to this day).
The lyrics speak of a girl whose heart is aflutter with love and romance. However, she is overwhelmed over what to do… but accepts her lovesickness towards her beloved. Why? The idea of being with her darling is worth it. After all:
Even if we become adults (My darling)Source: Project Hello
And from there on (I love you)
Even if we stoop over from age (My darling)
When you hold my hand
My heart will probably be thumping (My darling)
And it’ll probably be embarassing (I love you)
But even so (My darling)
You’ll embrace me gently, won’t you
The MV takes a rather meta form: the C-uties, donning their stylish work clothes, are watching themselves dance what looks like the interior of building. In the first verse, the girls are in outfits befitting the namechecked Shibuya. Starting in the second verse, they’re donning those sleek MIB suits as they perform. From the bridge onwards, the casual outfits return for the most part, alternating between that and the suits following the final chorus.
The closeups are also in those work clothes, the backgrounds matching their respective colors (if projecthello is anything is to go by — and they do match).
One major thing of note is the difference in light: the dance shots are brightly lit with the space beoming mostly white. What stops it from being completely white are the accents of blue in the main “stage” of the C-uties. The adjacent hallways are more green than blue, which (being cool colors that are near blue), further frame the idols. Heck, it even looks like it could be an effect of lighting that makes it green as even the floor appears to turn green at the ends.
Is it bad that I’m reminded of malls, given the sheer white/transparent walls, along with how the rooms are arranged? Doesn’t help that the more casual outfits, as fashionable as they are, would be appropriate for the teens the C-uties were at the time.
Contrast this with the darker purple room the suited C-uties were in. The computers are all black, the tables are black, the pillars that lamps are on are the exact same color as the room…. The only lumination there comes from the aforementioned lights on the pillars, the back-light on the tables, and (if we’re gonna be realistic here) the light of the computer screens (yeah, you can barely see that). It certainly provides a contrast between the bright cheerfulness of the dance (what with the song’s passionate nature and the heartfelt dance moves of the idols) to see it be watched by a bunch of “shadowy” figures in a dark room. Seeing them tick away at the keyboards, click their mouses, and communicate via headsets (while talking to other members in the room! Who are they talking to?!) can give off an almost paranoid feeling if you think about it too much. (They could just be group editing their new MV for release, ya know? They’re riding the Tokaikko Junjou train and want to for as long as possible.)
(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 thatmuch 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 29,144. 91.28% (26,603) of that came in the first week, where its Weekly Rank for it was #5. (Huh, isn’t that the same First Week Rank as the Edo single?)
For comparison sake:
- The previous single (the previously reviewed Edo no Temari Uta II) had a Total Reported Sales figure of 35,789 with 22.63%(8,098) from the first day and 75.68% (27,085) from the first week.
- The next single (the now-ironically named Bye Bye Bye!) had a Total Reported Sales figure of 27,918 with 40.52% (11,311) from the first day and 89.13% (24,882) from the first week.
- This means that FOREVER LOVE‘s sales have a difference of -18.57% compared to its predecessor and a -4.21% one compared to its successor.
What a way to end a year, with a C-ute classic. I mean, the song is still performed by the Up-Front Family to this day (if the Concert Performances list are anything to go by). Heck, as shown by the “announcement” made regarding this post, it was even picked as the performance song for a (now former) Kenshuusei during the 2015 Test (who’d perform it again at the very next recital):
With that, I bid you adieu for Q4 (and possibly all of 2018).
Until the Next One!