Monday, July 23, 2012

And H!P Throws Another Curveball at Me

Wha... Mano Erina's graduating from Hello! Project? And just when I thought no other graduation could surprise me! I was hoping pegging Reina to be the next one to go but nope! I come home after a long 5 weeks in the city with limited Internet access and what's the first thing I find out? Mano Erina's graduating! The only soloist in H!P. Currently. Well, this was originally going to be just a (very late) PV review for Song for the Date but it looks like I get to double up and talk about the news and my thoughts on Mano's growth as an artist using Song for the Date as an example! Yippee! I get to talk about Mano! The only thing is... I'm not sure where to start.

So. Mano. I tend to refer to Mano Erina as Mano despite knowing that Erina's her first name and her nickname is Manoeri. Now what do I think of when I think of Mano? I guess a blank sheet of paper; she can be boring and bland but when used in a creative way, she can be pretty interesting. That last part sounded dirty. Anyways, what would my history and thoughts on Mano be? I honestly didn't start getting interested in her until she released My Days For You, the first song I found genuinely compelling from her discography. I found out about Mano the same time I started digging into H!P beyond just Buono! so around the time Seishun no Serenade was released. And I thought that song was okay and a little catchy so I looked into her past singles. And listening to her old songs, I felt pretty much the same way about all of them. They weren't bad but they definitely weren't amazing. Most of her singles I found to be pretty bland with the piano concept being used in a rather boring way. It could have been cool but overall I think it was more of a burden to her than something she could play with and work off of. I did enjoy Lucky Aura and Onegai Dakara but other than that... I honestly don't remember most of her older songs despite listening to them more than once. So I dismissed Mano just as quickly as I'd found out about her and moved on to other solo artists both in and outside of H!P.

Suddenly I found myself taking interest in her new-at-the-time single, My Days for You. It wasn't necessarily an entirely new and innovative genre of music that would revolutionize the Japanese music industry but it was a complete 180 for Mano. I'd call it a very, very high-energy ballad because it's not totally upbeat but it's not slow and dragging like her past ballads. That's actually what I enjoyed about it: a mix of two levels of energy. The song was memorable, mature and I still enjoy listening to it. And then it just got better: the PV came out. Gone were the backup dancers and gratuitous piano shots. Admittedly, the budget for this PV probably wasn't much better than her past music videos so what makes this one so special? The way it shows Mano. Most of the shots are mostly beauty shots of Mano wandering around the city but it worked. It worked so well. I didn't feel like I was watching an idol but an artist. So overall, I think My Days for You was Mano's turning point. But would it last? I wasn't sure at the time, especially when I watched the music video for Doki Doki Baby, the first A-side of her follow-up single. It wasn't terrible but I got the same feeling I did from her older stuff. I didn't enjoy enough to remember it and found it cliche, portraying Mano in that cutesy "Mano-desu" image. But once again, I was surprisingly impressed when I heard Tasogare no Kousaten. The mature Mano I'd taken so much interest in had returned! Although the song was similar to My Days for You I didn't really mind. I did find the chorus in this song very beautiful for some reason I can't put my finger on; seriously, it gives me chill bumps. From this point, I found Mano to be increasingly interesting even somewhat enjoying parts of her album. Then Song for the Date came out and I was hooked. I wanted more, I couldn't wait to hear what she released next.

But now she's graduating. And at the best, we'll only get to hear one song or two more from her, maybe an album. Why!? Why does this have to happen!? Why does it have to be at the peak when I'm so intrigued and want her to go on expanding this new image until she dominates H!P!? It's just... AGH! I read the explanations from Tsunku and Mano and it's the regular "I wanna do other stuff" fare that we've all heard a thousand times before. I guess if she wants to do something else than be an idol then I'm okay with that but she was getting so good. Maybe she's also a good actress and I really don't know but it's so frustrating! It's like I understand her reasons but I'm still throwing them aside and throwing a temper tantrum! I get it, I really do. Just because she's gotten so good with her music style doesn't mean she has to keep doing it forever. It's like... me and massages! I'm really good at giving massages but it's not like I want to pursue that as a living! But I still give massages! So maybe, maybe she'll branch out as a full-on artist instead of being tied down as an idol under and idol company. But if she enjoys acting then I understand. I don't want her to graduate just yet but I do understand. I just didn't think I'd get so emotional about an idol I used to care less about! I guess it goes to show how much Mano grew as a singer. And if Song for the Date is going to be her last single... then I think I'll be okay with that. Do I want at least one more parting song? Of course I do, but then again, I think Song for the Date is the most fitting way for Mano to end her time with H!P

Speaking of that song, I was going to review that. Then I got distracted by the whole graduation thing but dammit, I told myself I'd review this even if was like a month late! Or later. Anyways, I'm finally able to review and now I can look at it with the knowledge of Mano's graduation! All those other reviewers who were on time and didn't get distracted and lazy can't do that! So... HA! One of my immediate favorite things about Song for the Date is the overwhelming amount of energy from it and you know my philosophy. More energy = better song. And I can hear so much of it behind Mano's voice and the instrumentals which only pulls me in even more. There's effort and I can hear it. The next thing I adore about this song is (surprise, surprise) the electro sounds! As a fan of Perfume and Kyarypamyupamyu I'm always up for a little electro mixed into songs when done the right way and for Mano the electro music is mixed in very smoothly unlike One Two Three. Though there are a few parts where Mano's voice gets a little too vocally enhanced, mostly her voice is untouched and still very clear. The electro-ness and the huge amounts of energy are what makes this song top her past two singles in my opinion! And now with Mano graduating, I find myself listening to the song even more knowing this might be the last (or next to last) thing we ever hear from her. Like I said, I'm keeping my hopes up she'll keep a music career in her life but I get the feeling she's going to focus mostly on acting. Still, I can hope for more songs like this, right? Overall, I really love Song for the Date from the energy, to the vocals, to just... everything about it!

And yes, I'm am totally looking at this PV because in my opinion it's one of the bests PVs I've seen from H!P lately.

HIPSTER FONT! Do I get a prize for noticing that? No? Oh well...

And so our symbolic video begins with Mano tied up in a web spun by:

A) A really big spider
B) Her innocent evil counterpart

You know, the spider idea actually sounds like a pretty freaky awesome PV. 

Yeah Mano, I think I'd be pretty pissed off if I were tied up too.

Especially by my annoying evil counterpart. I think I'll call this doppelganger Mano-desu. It fits the persona!

Oh no! Mano-desu can do childish party tricks of DEATH!

Lucky for her, fabric is very easy to get out of. Wow! Who would have thought?

Mano really is quite pretty. Especially with the really pretty lighting and natural scenery.

The good news: now that Mano's free, she can start tearing down the posters depicting her old, idol-y persona!

The bad news: Mano-desu put up a shitload of posters.

Who cares? Let's throw them in rage anyways!

Mano-desu LAUGHS at your poor poster removal! Mwahahahaha!!!!

Seriously, why does she keep doing that?

Hmmm... I wonder how this would sound with the Chariots of Fire music in the background...

Mano-desu watches on probably giggling maniacally like an idol gone mad.

But what's this? Could she be... remorseful?

Either way, she'd better run before Mano catches up!

This probably has something to do with the song (lyrics maybe?) but figuring out what the hell that says is way too much effort on my part.

Mano-desu likes playing hide and seek! I do too!

But judging by the looks on her face, Mano sure as hell doesn't.

Back to tearing down posters! Yay!

And a kinda-sorta confrontation because the director can't afford actually getting Mano face to face with herself. The effects would be far too expensive!

I do feel kinda sorry for Mano-desu.

Especially since she gets a very symbolic off-screen death.

Well at least Mano finally managed to burn all those pesky posters!

I hope you liked these shots! They're pretty much the only thing the last 45 seconds of the PV consists of!

Not that I'm mad about that.

And so Mano goes into Mano heaven. I'm sure there are lots of kittens there.

Symbolism? In an H!P PV? Who would have thought it would ever be possible? My mind was seriously blown by the time I finished watching this. It had a story! It had symbolism! It was tasteful! It was about as close to a perfect PV as H!P's ever gotten. I later found out this PV was directed by someone different from the usual director. Apparently this guy did a movie Abe Natsumi was in so he/she must know what they're doing. Or at least they did in Mano's PV. What I love about this PV is that it has such a distinct and easy to follow storyline. As a foreign fan, most Japanese gets lost on me so conversations and such tend to have little to effect on my impression of a Japanese music video. But I could tell from start to finish what happened there, what happened at that point, etc. because it was so well done. It wasn't just some random plot either but very connected with Mano's history as an idol. To sum up the PV, the darker, fully mature Mano in black is being  suppressed by her old persona, the sweet, innocent Mano in white. That's the basic plot but the way it was handled was what gave it such an impact. And now with the news of the graduation, the PV almost seems like an omen of the inevitable: the day Mano leaves behind that idol image we've all seen her as and move on. I'm sure the director didn't exactly have that in mind when he thought up this PV but it definitely seems a lot more eerie this should be released, like some kind of glimpse into the future we didn't even know about. And honestly, that only makes me like the PV even better. So good job, H!P. You got me to care about Mano Erina. And I will miss her. I really. But as Perfume would say Everyone has to die graduate someday.

Oh yeah, since Mano's graduating that means there will be no more soloists in H!P. Does this mean you'll finally give Karin a solo career, Tsunku?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let the Perfumania Begin

And so it has begun: Perfumania. Not only is this the name of a chain of Perfume stores around the US, but it's also what I refer to as the brief period of time when Perfume is about to release something, usually a single or an album. In this case, it's Spending all my time, the mysterious single we've yet to hear. True, I've heard tiny (and I mean tiny) snippets of Point and Hurly Burly but UMJ has done a good job of keeping this song secret thus building up the hype. There are usually three sections of time when the hype reaches its peak. Step 1: the pictures. Recently, the concept pics and single covers were released and I couldn't be happier! So I celebrated and made another banner, editing the shit out of it with Photobucket. But I like editing photos when I'm happy so yay! And I really like the image Perfume portrays in this, very simplistic and old-school. In fact, the outfits remind of something out of the 60s like outfits I'd see on Mad Men, which I've been watching a lot of lately. Also... Nocchi in a skirt!? She hasn't worn a skirt since Computer City! Well... and for a Point CM but that doesn't count! I guess it's not like she has to follow a dress code or anything but it's just so surreal not seeing her in shorts. But she pulls the look off well so I don't mind! I guess I kinda wish they all had different outfits that looked similar like the light-up clothes for Spring of Life (I still want a light-up dress...) but the sameness works nicely too. And A-chan's hair is so cute! She's been wearing ponytails so much lately I expected the trend to keep going but she looks beautiful with that bun too! Very professional. She should run a company or something!

I love this cover; it reminds me of Secret Secret the way they're all posing like mannequins. And I enjoy how retro and simplistic the setting is since it plays off the costumes well. It's not simple in a cheap way but in a tasteful way like they planned it. Although I admit I did like Spring of Life and it's embryo-concept better, this works nicely too! It makes me wonder if the song will have more old, vintage vibes or if it'll be a more modern. They said it was summer-anthem type song but I have absolutely no idea what direction they could take that in. On Perfume-City some fans theorized the first Perfume Global music was actually SAMT's instrumental and cool as that would be, I doubt it. That instrumental's been out for months now and I don't think UMJ would hold on to a song like that for so long without releasing it let alone using for a CM. Look at Point! That tiny little snippet's been out for almost 4 months now and we still haven't heard the whole thing! Speaking of the single's music, Spending all my time should be broadcast on Perfume LOCKS on the 27!! Finally we get to hear this oh-so mysterious song and I can't wait! Will it be upbeat? More hardcore? Cute? Retro? I have no idea and I love hearing all the speculation! It's fun to just look around Perfume City and seeing everyone theorize what the single will sound like! All I know is that I can't wait for the 27th to get here because that begins Phase 2 of Perfumania: the song. With the hype for the song dying, down the hype with the PV will start building and once we hit Phase 3 that means a PV review for me!

And here's the regular. I think Limited edition's a bit cooler but this one's also pretty neat the way everyone's casually standing around as though waiting for Nakata to pop in to the rooming wearing a bear costume. Or something like that. Or hey! Maybe they're Spending all their time in that room while I'm Spending all my time waiting for the song to be released! Ha. Aren't I hilarious?

A Blah Unit and an Awesome Unit for Hello! Project

Well this is news! Does anyone else remember the last time H!P made a brand new unit? I sure as hell don't! I don't count the revival of the shuffles because honestly those went nowhere despite all the potential to be amazing. But this is amazing! Not only are we getting one new unit but two! Apparently they're for H!P's show, Hello! SATOYAMA and their movement project but I don't watch or care about that show. I'm just so excited we're finally getting two new units! I just wish they could be made up of Eggs, because really some of those Eggs like Miyamoto Karin need to be used eventually or they'll crack and get scrambled! Get it? Scrambled? Because they're... yeah, that was a pretty bad pun. Anyways, I'm still happy some of H!P's best are going to be used outside of their groups. It's always fun to see how girls from different group react and play off each other when they're in one unit. Like Berrikyuu when group chemistry is awesome or Mobekimasu when 90% of the girls get shafted and everyone's camera-whoring. Gee, I wonder what members they picked to make up each unit... I'm sure UFA did their best to make sure they selected members they knew could have the right combination of talent and stage presence to make the units the best they could be! What awesome members did they pick to make up the first unit?

...Is that who I think it is? It is, isn't it?

Oh. So that's how it's going to be. Yes, the first unit, titled Peaberry, consists of Wada Ayaka and Sayashi RiDOS. Now I'm sure you're dying to know my thoughts of my uber-favorite most flawless favorite member ever who I think can do no wrong getting her own unit. That sentence was is massive sarcasm quotes by the way. But I have decided that despite my... lukewarm reception towards RiDOS's singing and charisma and personality I will critique this group as openly as possible! But looking a the lineup it doesn't garner much interest from me. I can already tell they're not W. Or GAM. Actually, this one of the blandest duos I've ever laid eyes on! I mean... RiDOS and Dawa? Okay, I like Dawa but of everyone you could have picked from S/mileage wouldn't you want Kanon? Or Akari? Hell, even Meimi would spice up the duo more! And she can't sing! Then again, neither can Dawa or RiDOS. Oh no... what if RiDOS brings her army of Autotune and spreads it upon their songs like a plague!? Noooo!!! Run from the Autotune while you still can, Dawa!!! Okay, that was mean. But I won't be surprised if it happens. UFA seems convinced RiDOS is the godlike reincarnation of Takahashi Ai but try as they might to make her sound like Ai, Autotune is not the way to go. Unless you're Perfume. But I'll fangirl about them in my next post. Back to the subject at hand, I'm just not that excited for this duo. They're too bland for me to get interested in them and neither one of the members really stands out for me despite one of them constantly being pushed in lieu of someone with vocal talent. But I digress. I suppose I should leave judgement for when I actually hear the song they're putting out. Which is titled Cabbage Hakusho... goddammit, even the TITLE sounds bland! You're not helping UFA! I'm sick of this blandness! Let's see who's in the next group.

Now this seems like an awesome group! Nakky, Maimi, Miya, Haruna, and Chinami!? Chinami who's never ever EVER been in a unit before!? This is like a dream come true! With Miya's vocal's, Nakky's dancing, Chii's personality, Maimi's leadership, and Haruna's... eh... prettiness this seems like it has all the ingredients to make a pretty kickass group with pretty kickass songs! This unit is called DIY which stands for Do It Yourself. Or Dance In Yourheart. They say it's both so I'm not sure which. When I see the acronym DIY for some reason I think of Driving In Yugoslavia only because that's part of a long, complicated inside joke of mine. Their song is called Forefore ~Forest for Rest~ which gives me vibes of something akin to Kasuka na Kaori and wandering around in a forest looking really pretty. Hopefully the dance is pretty strong with all the good dancers in this group minus Haruna. I'm really interested to see how this group will play out. Will there be lead singers? Will everyone be equally feature? Will they get to release other songs besides this one their concert's done? I hope so! And I hope this group takes off and lives up to my expectations! I guess I'll just have to wait until this concert gets leaked though... meh, I can wait. I'm more excited for Spending all my time to come out anyways. Hurry up Perfume LOCKS! Get hear already! Anyways, back on subject I wish these groups the best of luck and great songs. Especially Peaberry because that duo needs all the help and Autotune it can get.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rant Time with Nia! - AKB48 Edition

Finally! The day I've been waiting for! The title track of AKB's Senbatsu single has been announced! And along with that the group performed the song live! When I first found out, my heart filled with ecstasy because I always love seeing what they'll do with the Senbatsu. After all, Iiwake Maybe: awesome. Flying Ghetto: awesome. Heavy Rotation: fanservice-y... but still awesome. By now, I've expected a sort-of quality to come with each Senbatsu single, from the budget to the effort to the energy behind the music and the members. So far I've enjoyed each song that's come from the Senbatsu election. So I went in excited about this new single too because I know that Aki-P and all the other people who help make up AKB will make sure to release the same level of quality and effort the loyal fans anticipate every time the Senbatsu single each time it comes around. Then I listened to it.

Now I realize I set the bar way too high.

I don't think I've felt this way about a single since Ue kara Mariko. It was likely blowing up a beautiful, shiny red balloon of hope and excitement only for said balloon to slowly deflate with each second I watched the video. I'm sorry, but this A-side sucks. Pardon the immaturity, but it just sucks. I know that's on crude terms so I'd best elaborate so I don't piss quite as many people off. Because I intend to bitch. And bitch. And bitch. But what shall I bitch about first? After all, there are so many bitch-able things I can bitch about because this "Senbatsu" single has left me in a bitchy mood. Let's start with the title because surprisingly, I can bitch at that! So there I was, a naive and innocent little blogger, cruising around Arama when lo and behold! The article came out! And so the title of the not-so-long-awaited single was revealed: Gingham Check. Gingham Fucking Check. Now normally I'm not one to judge a song by it's title (sort of like not judging a book by its cover) but do you know what comes to my mind when I think of Gingham? Dorothy. That and the god-awful outfits from the 2nd-single of the red-headed stepchild of the 48 family Nogizaka46. Do you know what those two things have in common? Neither one of them were cool. Nogizaka's butt-humping, skirt lifting single is worse than their first and while Dorothy did defeat an evil witch  her shoes are cooler. At least with Ue kara Mariko, the single sounded kinda cool. This one just sounds like a trip to fucking Kansas. 

So lame, Engrish title aside surely, I thought, the song itself will be pretty kickass. Because one thing the last 3 Senbatsu singles had in common was they all sounded pretty kickass, especially live. Well, I can no longer say that because this song is more vanilla than a majority of French Kiss's discography. There's no punch, nothing that sticks out. Everything about it is bland and I've heard it in a thousand other idol songs. The chorus is the typical, cutesy idol schtick that's usually cranked about by producers as album filler or B-sides. And it only pisses me off more that it's not only an A-side, but the Senbatsu A-side. This is the single with Yuko in the center, the single that over 100,000 people voted for her to be the center in. And what does she get saddled with? An overused, cliche song, a cliche dance, and the leftovers from Nogizaka46's Oide Shampoo outfits. Speaking of that dreaded group this is Nogizaka46 level of bad. You went from the beautiful symbolism and powerful sound of Manatsu no Sounds good! to... this. I just can't believe I expected so much and I got such little payoff. This is even more disappointing than Ue Kara Mariko. You know what? It even has the same tempo of Ue Kara Mariko. Not only that, the chorus itself is modeled in the same structure of Soredemo Suki da yo, current contender for Nia's Least Favorite Solo Single. I've listened to this song several times and I can't even remember half of it. This is not what I wanted for a Senbatsu Single! Why is it when the Queen of Bland leaves the single itself turns bland!? Is it some weird kind of reverse spell? Do we have to have Acchan in singles to keep them interesting despite she herself being blander than a lampshade? Oh my god... we do, don't we?

THAT'S IT! I'VE FIGURED IT OUT! The reason the blandest singles from AKB48 (Chance no Juban, Ue Kara Mariko, and now Gingham Check) are bland is because Acchan isn't in them! And she handled the blandness as center. Now with no single person to harness said blandness, it can only spread like a horrid, horrid virus throughout the entire single. If only this revelation was actually relevant and could somehow make this horrid Senbatsu single, a captivating song with powerful choreography and an even more powerful song. But alas. Unless I learn Japanese, swim to Japan, manage to get a hold of Aki-P, and somehow convince him to change the A-side... this Senbatsu single is screwed. At least the A-side is.

I really hope the B-sides make up for the shitty A-side. I really, really hope they do. Because at the moment, I'm disappointed. I would have thought since they worked with Yuko as center before and came out with what is now essentially AKB's Love Machine they'd do something just as memorable. Instead I got the exact opposite: a bland, forgettable title track that can go fester in the pile of Nogizaka46 singles I pretend don't exist. To think I was waiting for the Janken single so that one could be my disappointment single! Now I'm going to have to double my disappointment unless somehow the Janken single does turn out to be really cool which it probably won't because... Aki-P doesn't care about putting effort into the Janken Senbatsu. And now I'm not even excited for the PV which I always look forward to because there's such a strong, clear and powerful concept. Well this song isn't strong or powerful and clearly makes me mad as hell. ARGH!!! I'm just so frustrated to the point I want to wander around my house snarling like a pirate. I'm pretty sure that's not healthy too!

Ugh. I'm gonna go listen to Flying Ghetto before my head explodes.

Berryz Covers Thai-Pop!

You know, I really love Berryz cover of Dschinghis Khan. It was fun, catchy, and silly. In other words: totally not like the first one! Seriously. They pretty much had to cut out the rape and graphic violence but even so I still enjoy the cover. And now once again, Tsunku has come to his senses or just got too lazy to write an actual song for Berryz and this time they get to cover the music of Thailand! And guess what? I know NOTHING about Thailand! Yay for ignorance! I do know that the original song is called "Row mah Sing" and it's by some guy named Thongchai McIntyre, an artist who has a surprisingly American sounding last name. I hesitated on listening to the original of this song because it's always been hard for me to listen to covers since I either latch on to the original or latch on to the cover. Occasionally it's both but in this case, Berryz pulled off an extremely fun, extremely awesome cover! I'm always a little wary when it comes to covers (mainly because covers by most American artists tend to really, really suck) but it's nice to know that once again Berryz has pulled off in covering a song and adding their own style to it.

The first word that comes to my mind when I think of this song is catchy. Like really catchy. Like so catchy I can sing despite not knowing the lyrics. Because 50% of said lyrics is "CHA CHARA CHARA CHA CHARA CHA CHARA CHA CHA!!!" And I am perfectly okay with that. The song works well in Berryz favor because it's so high in energy and peppiness which previous singles like Aa, Yo ga Akeru were lacking boatloads of. The instrumentals are highly upbeat and have a lot of Thai styles/influence in them but the song is also modified enough that it fits with Berryz. The girls themselves all sound amazing. Even Risako and Momoko who usually tend to be my least favorite singers of the group aren't that bad. Okay, I admit Risako's voice gets a little shaky at times and Momoko can sound grating but most of the time they fit with the peppiness of the song. And it's nice that everyone else gets some lines too unlike some H!P groups right now. Overall, it's just a really fun, really catchy cover! Maybe Berryz should just start doing cover songs from now on since they're so good at them...

Oh well! On to the PV!

Oh UFA, your cheapness rivals Mr. Krabs.

But at least it's a Miya center! I love Miya centers almost as much as Yurina centers!

UFA: LOOK! Now it's DARK so it's like a SEPARATE dance shot only not because we can't afford another one.

The dance and the members are pretty much the highlights of the PV considering the cheapness.

Oh Chinami, never stop being... well, you.

Is it just me, or does Miyabi's new hair remind you of Hermione Granger's?

Meh, who cares? Hermione's awesome anyways!

Cheap, CGI letters don't deserve the grace of Captain.

One of these days I'm going to sneak into Momoko's dressing room and snip those wretched pigtails off when she isn't paying attention.

Then again, at least her hair isn't fucking purple.

That's right Yurina! Protect your hair from Risako's purple hair dye!

Maasa, Maasa, Maasa never stop being the epitome of cool.

Nooo! Bring back the Miya center!

These effects. They've more groundbreaking than Avatar.

Still, I can't help but love them.

No, Risako. You are still not sexy. Though I appreciate the effort.

Leave sexiness to Maasa!

Best. Screencap. EVER!

Yurina must be praying for a center position again

It's around this point I realized that I was never ever ever going to get this song out of my head.

I really love the parts where Berryz are just fooling around with each other. They've always been good at that.

Oh Saki. Or should I say Captain of Hello! Project?

This is probably the best dancing I've seen from Berryz in a while! I love it!

Every time I see this shot, I think Momoko's flipping me off. Eh heh... LOOK! Thai text!

And so the cheap PV of cheapness ends with Miya back in her rightful place. Take THAT Risako!

I don't have much to say about the PV because there isn't much to it. It's pretty cheap, even by UFA standards. But you know what? I'm okay with that! The only reason why is because Berryz always looks like they're having so much fun when filming. All the little interactions and chemistry the members have on screen is what makes this such a fun PV. Unlike One Two Three where the cheapness was much more blatant and exposed, in Cha Cha SING, I don't really notice it because I'm so busy paying attention to the members having fun. I think a good PV is one where it makes me want to be in it, and Berryz succeeds where Momosu fails: group chemistry. I think that only comes with time and since they've been together for what? 10 years? Point is, they've been together so long they know how to play off each other and how to wow the audience with their crazy, silly antics. But because Momosu's constantly changing, they can't ever really reach that level Berryz has. So yes, the PV is cheap. However, the members catch my attention so I could care less about that. Besides, the Thailand-inspired costumes are really pretty along with the draping. And the dance is one of the strong points of the PV also. It's also inspired by Thailand dances (golly, who would have guessed!?) which might be one of the reasons it's so polished. Are all Thai dances like that? I don't know... maybe I need to start listening to Thai pop more... Or research...