Friday, February 10, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Okay! So remember my resolution to get into more idol groups this year? No? Well... anyways, the point is I found a group I might actually start liking? I mentioned them in another PV review and how I appreciated the fact that they played their own instruments! They're called Scandal and the group... or the band... anyways, they formed around 2008 with four members: Ono Haruna the main vocalist and a guitarist, Sasazaki Mami the main guitarist, Ogawa Tomomi the minor vocalist and main bassist, and Suzuki Rina the drummer! Their main gimmick (other than being a group under the age of 20 that played their own instruments) was school. Everything about school. Well... just the awesome stuff, all that learning and education crap are too dull to touch on. So with decked out in uniforms, instruments, and school-set PVs, Scandal came into the music world! Of course, I didn't realize that until now but their style intrigued me! Actually, I'm a little unsure if they're an idol group or an all-female band. Although they play their own instruments they've also done photobooks and idol group also uses the school uniforms concept. But on the flip side, they write (most of) their own music and it seems now they're breaking away from school uniforms so where does that put them? I'm not sure but I like what they've done and what they're doing now!

Anywyas, their latest single, Harukaze, really interested me. So I started looking at their older songs/albums like Best Scandal, Shojo S, even some of their indies. And honestly? I like what I've heard! Sure, there are already a few songs that don't do much for me (*cough* Haruka.) but I think I've found a new group to follow! I will say one of the things that did surprise me was how much their imaged changed from the first album to now. From what I can tell, their original concept for the band was schoolgirls with guitars. Or something like that. Point is their thing was uniforms. But now? They've dropped the uniforms and taken a more... I don't want to say glamorous style to their music but it's not as rockish. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of guitar and bass and drums to go around but I think it's... how do I explain this? Roughly putting it, their music has matured. They're all in their twenties now so it's not like they can keep the awesome but kinda juvenile and idol-ish schoolgirl look forever. And that shows in Harukaze. I think I enjoyed how calm but still rocking this song sounds! I think it sounds very refined and polished; it also serves as the ending to the anime Bleach so naturally it's pretty good! And I think I'm really looking forward to whatever this group/band does next and how they're going to take this new direction of theirs!

Speaking of that new direction, I think it really shows in the PV. So let's get to that!

Hey... who are you!? You're not Scandal!

Oh, there they are!

I think this is Haruna but she looked different with long brown hair...

But enough of hair! We have a gratiutious storyline to get to!

If they start showing kanji text messages on the screen I'm jumping ship.

Okay, I'm pretty sure this is Tomomi because has the chipmunk-y voice but I think she also changed her hair...

In fact, is Rina the only one who didn't redo her hair!?

And in our thrilling and climatic story, our heroine is running! I'd make an Aitakatta joke but I'm too lazy.

The screenshots don't really showcase it well, but they handle their instruments very nicely!

Aitakatta! Aitakatta- okay, I'll stop.

As much as I hate to say it, Rina's curly blonde ponytail almost looks like Barbie's... uh... yeah.

Rina!! I think she's my favorite member!

Oh my god. I have discovered the impossible. Tomomi's voice is squeakier than Mayuyu's.

Now what the hell is going on with this storyline? Nothing interesting yet...

...I just had an idea. What if Tomomi and Mayuyu collaborated?

Oo!! Pretty! But kinda pointless too.

The Mami ponytail is starting to grow on me.

*insert Aitakatta reference here*

I love how well Mami plays the guitar with all her energy put into it!


Meanwhile, back in the basic storyline of basicness, a boy is waiting for someone. I wonder who.

Surprise! She's running to meet him because... I'm not sure.

Anyways, they meet, she gives him her ribbon, I get bored, Perfume plays with polar bears... yeah. Let's cut back to Mami!

Yay!!! Guitar solo that are actually GOOD!

Haruna has such a distinct voice; it's really pretty but has a gritty edge to it!

Rina looks so pretty in these shots!

Back in the basic storyline of basicness, the girl is now a woman and wistfully looking back at the place where she and her lover met. Maybe. I'm really not sure.

And the PV ends with Scandal walking in to the distance! Why? Uh... because? It's cool and stuff?

Honestly, the PV does not do much for the song. But because the song is so nice, it's still a pretty decent PV. It isn't necessarily bad or even basic (something Give Me Five! can't claim) and the shots of the girls playing the instruments are my favorite parts in the PV. And the flower petal scenes are also very pretty! The girls also look gorgeous especially with the new hairstyles and outfits. I think it just shows how they're growing out of and old style and transitioning into a new one! Kinda like Perfume except I'm a little more comfortable with this change! So what works to the PV's disadvantage? Two words: the story. I really think they could have cut out the scenes between the girl and guy because the plot about them was too underdeveloped and choppy. Unless you're going to go ahead and make a 34-minute PV about it, I'd leave it out. The storyline itself is also very basic and could have been sentimental if it weren't so rushed. From what I can gather it's about past/lost love and the nostalgia of it. This is why it shows the girl go from a young student to a grown woman. And that can be good. 10nen Zakura pulled that off extremely well but in here there's not enough concern for the pivotal characters. So in the end, the song is good and shows a so-far successful new style for Scandal and the PV is meh. Really you won't miss anything without it but it's worth watching just to see the girls perform with their instruments!

And there you have it! A new group I'll be following! So where does that put me now? H!P groups, 48 groups, TGS, Perfume, BiS, and now this one... I still have a lot to go but I'm actually starting to take interest!!

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