Friday, February 3, 2012

So What Have Berryz and C-ute Been Up To?

Not much has been going on in the world of the Hello! Project Kids. Well... technically that's not true. They probably have concerts and photobooks and movies and other idol stuff. But from my vantage point way across the other side of the world, not much has been going on. Sure, a single from each group has been announced and they're both coming out with albums but other than that? Not much. So whilst I wait for their new albums/singles I thought I'd just give my two cents on what they have released. I'll start with Berryz because I like to get the boring stuff out of the way first.

Amazing grace... how sweet the sound
Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought of church choirs when I saw these album covers. Seriously, this covers do not make me want to care about the album. I know that seems a bit narrow-minded but they remind me of the loathed Aa, Yo ga Akeru covers which reminded me of an add for tampons. Awkward comparision but they really do. The outfits for this album don't do much for Berryz either; why do they always get the worst outfits anyways? Monkey suits, leather suits, pumpkin dresses, lingerie, do you just hate them, Tsunku? The Be Genki! outfits don't look promising either but again I'm still holding out for that single. I'll probably hold out for this album too but really Tsunku, show Berryz some love. These outfits are Sakura no Hanabiratachi unflattering.

And... that's all for Berryz! Wow. Nice to know how much they've doing. On the up side, a radio preview for C-ute's single was released! Here it is: 

After hearing the full song, I actually really enjoy it! I didn't get a good listen from the concert preview but now that I can hear everyone clearly and the instrumental it sounds like a pretty nice rock ballad! I'm still a little miffed that Maimai and Nakky didn't get lines but I should probably greatful they're not reverting back to Airi/Maimi mode. Besides, the three main singers sound wonderful! I reallly love how Chissa's voice stands out even in the chorus and Airi sounds flawless as usual. Even Maimi sounds a little less like she's singing with her mouth full of marshmallows! I will say, I like it much better than Sekaiichi and I hope they get a decent PV with it. I think it would be nice if UFA did a PV for it like one of the AKB videos. I know they don't use the schoolgirl concept a lot in H!P but I think it would work really well for a song like this! Or they'll take it fantastically cheap and over-the-top... but let's not think about that. Instead, let's talk about their new album with the incredibly long name and the most amazing album cover from C-ute's discography. Seriously.
Let's blow this joint, Nakky!
My word, I love this limited edition cover. Pretty much because only Nakky is carrying the most random object associated with restaurants. I never would have realized the unforseen day in which my favorite member of C-ute became an arsonist. Truly a sad day. Hilarious cover aside, four previews for the album songs were released: Hitorijime Shitekatta Dake na no ni, Shiawase no Tochuu, and ZUNTAKA MARCH ~Hitorashiku Ikiyou~. I have to say of the three I like Hitorijime Shite... uh... the long one and Zuntaka March a lot! I found myself listening to HSD because of how energetic it sounds! It even has some electronic elements to it; really it's just a very nice album song. Shiawase no Tochuu is... meh. It's probably because I'm not a fan ballads (unless I'm in the right mood) and SnT is pretty much a piano ballad. Granted it's a little more upbeat but it's not one of my favorites. Zuntaka March is... how do I even describe? It's the really bizarre combination of pop and... classical? Enka? I'm not even sure! Yet it's whackiness is what draws me towards it; it almost reminds me Etsuraku Camellia by Mizuki Nana just a bit lighter and softer! And then one more song was released. A solo. You probably know who it is by now since she even made a PV for it.
We meet again Maimai. 

Oh, Maimai. She released a PV. Of course the one C-ute member I barely care about gets her own solo PV. Not Airi and her derpiness or Chissa and her vocal power or Nakky and her divine flawlessness and adorableness. Maimai. I'm not going to do a PV review on this since to it's not really worth my time but I will say a few words on it. It's okay. To me, it doesn't stand out but neither did the PV for Shigatsu Sengen. I suppose once I take into consideration she had the idea to make this on little to no budget it's decent. I can't really say the same for the song though. Of all five voices in C-ute the only one I find myself disliking is Maimai's. I blame Hana wo Pu~n but to me it just feels like her voice hasn't really changed from that nasal little kid voice. The song itself is pretty generic but nothing with chick suits unbearable. I think the one thing that really drags this song down is Maimai herself. In the PV she's fantastically awkward and that sort of shows in the song; even in her vocals she sounds unsure of what she's doing. But in the end, I can't really hate the song becuase it's mostly harmless. But I'm still holding out for Chissa and Nakky's solos. They'd better get PVs too.

One more thing. This is more an observation, but no Berrikyuu or Mobekimasu activity has popped up as of now. I wonder if this was just a one shot group... I hope it isn't. Even if I couldn't stand the Berrikyuu single, it still sold well and C-ute got a pretty solid B-side. I also want a second chance for Berrikyuu so that they might get an A-side that doesn't put me to sleep! Then again, maybe it's for better; now they focus on their own group activities! As for Mobekimasu, I would really like if they released a single like once a year, kind of a way to end each year. So maybe for 2012 they'll release a single and so on! I just hope they promote the members more equally... but considering this is UFA, I'm not getting my hopes up. But I do hope that we hear more from Berryz and C-ute the next few months!

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