Sunday, March 24, 2013

Crazy, Perfect C-ute

Well, it's nice to know that Tsunku has learned his lesson and realized that Kono Machi was a snore of a single! Surely that meant the follow-up single would be CRAZY! Absolutely and totally crazy! Crazier than Kyarypamyupamyu and Momoiro Clover Z combined! THE ULTIMATE CRAZINESS! Or we just got a song with the word "crazy" in the title despite not really being that much of a crazy song. But hey, at least it's not a crappy ballad!

You know, when I hear a song title with the word "crazy" in it, I expect the song itself to be pretty crazy! Furthermore, after the lackluster cover C-ute did of Kono Machi, I was hoping for something more upbeat from my favorite H!P group. I don't know what it is about that song, but the more it's stayed in my mind, the more I've disliked it. Maybe it's because I don't think ballads work very well for C-ute; vocally, they sound fine but in terms of performing, there's not much they can do. One of the many strong points of C-ute is how skilled they are in performing and they're capable of handling more intense dances than some of the other groups in H!P. Their lives prove just how talented C-ute has grown over the years and upbeat songs with great dances like Aitai Aitai Aitai na and Kiss Me Aishiteru really bring out that talent. For those reasons, I love it when C-ute does songs styled like that such as Dance de Bakoon! and even Tokaikko Junjou. When the title for their new single came out, I was hoping for a crazy song! Hell, the title had the word "crazy" in it! Who knows? Maybe it would sound like the musical equivalent of a mental breakdown! Kind of like Perfume's Daijobanai except, you know, bearable to listen to! 

I was crossing my fingers for an upbeat and insanely energetic song but honestly, I just hoped that the song wasn't a ballad. I would take a bland and generic happy song over a ballad. Yes, Kono Machi got under my skin so much it made me okay with the idea of C-ute getting a bland, vanilla song! Crazy Kanzen na Otona is just one of those song titles that sings of promise and potential and even though I always tell myself never to judge a song by its title, I keep doing it! I really need to curve that habit... Anyways, much to my good fortune, Crazy Kanzen na Otona was not a ballad! Even better, the song was upbeat and energetic in a more mature kind of way! But honestly, Crazy Kanzen na Otona isn't that crazy of a song. I wouldn't say it's bad or anything but it doesn't present too much new material for C-ute. I'm not expecting Daijobanai levels of batshit craziness but the title does feel misleading.

If anything, I would have re-named this song Kiss Me Aishiteru 2.0.

I got some strong Kiss Me Aishiteru vibes from Crazy Kanzen na Otona. There are enough differences to distinguish the former from the latter but many a time while listening to Crazy Kanzen na Otona I thought "Heeey... this sounds a whole lot like Kiss Me Aishiteru!" I think the chorus in the particular was where I found the most similarly, especially in the background vocals. The choruses of both songs repeat two-syllable English words and then either Airi, Maimi or Chisato comes in singing! Both songs even have the fractured vocal structure in different parts where each girl sings one syllable. And then there's one other part of Crazy Kanzen na Otona that sounded like a completely different song that no one under the age of 13 has probably heard of. You guys remember that song What Dreams Are Made Of from The Lizzie McGuire Movie? Well, I do and my memory of that song is what makes me realize how similar the opening verse of that song is to Crazy Kanzen na Otona's opening verse! A little bit a of nitpick on my part, but every time I hear it, I expect the girls of C-ute to start singing "Hey now! Hey now! This is what dreeeeaaams are made of!!" Ah, nothing like old Disney Channel shows... 

Back on the subject of Crazy Kanzen na Otona, I think it sounds a lot like a rehash of Kiss Me Aishiteru. But then again, if I had to go with any song I wanted C-ute to rehash, it would be Kiss Me Aishiteru! I love that song and it was one of my favorite songs of 2011! I think it's one of the strongest releases from C-ute and for awhile I've been hoping they'd revisit that song's musical style! They kind of did with Aitai Aitai Aitai na but with Crazy Kanzen na Otona, it feels more apparent. Crazy Kanzen na Otona may be a rip-off of a song but it's a rip-off in the best and most wonderful way possible! I'm not normally someone who condones two songs sounding similar but as someone who wanted another Kiss Me Aishiteru, I can settle for Crazy Kanzen na Otona! The vocals sound great as always thanks to the wonderful voices of Airi, Maimi and Chissa and the song has a lot of energy! If you didn't like Kiss Me Aishiteru, this song might not be your cup of tea but for me, I can go crazy for Crazy Kanzen na Otona!

But it's one thing to rip off your own song. But can C-ute rip off their own PV? Only one way to find out! Let's get to the screencap, my lovely readers!

My my, that title drop sure is uh... purple! And smoky!

Maybe it's to indicate how Airi is smoking hot!

Uh... and then there's this close-up that looks nothing like or has anything to do with the rest of the PV.

Helloooo sexy dance and sexy outfits!

I think starting Nakky off as center for the PV was a wonderful idea!

But why do these close-ups keep popping up? They're mood whiplash from the rest of the PV!

I mean, don't get me wrong, everyone looks pretty in these shots...

...but they look a bajillion times hotter in these shots!

Not sure how I feel about Chissa's super-blonde hair yet. In some shots, it looks good but in other shots, she looks like Yaguchi Mari.

But damn does Nakky look good!

Even Maimai's finally grown out of her awkward phase! She looks great in this PV!

Mmkay, the lighting effects in these shots look a little weird.

Maybe because they're taking me back to Chocolate Disco?

You take Maimi, Maimai!

No you take Maimi, Nakky!

I think the dance shots here look better since they don't have those random strobe lights.

But the dance in the shot is still very sensual.

A few of the moves remind me of another C-ute song though...

A song that starts with "Kiss Me" and ends in "Aishiteru."

Who turned out the lights?

I know the legs sticking out of Chissa are supposed to look sexy but they kind of make her look like an octopus.

Ugh, just when I thought those natural shots weren't gonna pop up again!

Not even Chocolate Disco-style lighting can take away from Airi's hotness!

That's a hot dance move!

And then there are dance moves that look more inspirational than hot...

Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa, I didn't know this was gonna be that kind of PV!

You know... these lighting effects remind me of another song by another artist.

That Lights song by Ellie Goulding had similar effects to these...

Maimai's gonna start pole dancing too? Well good luck with that! Pole dancing is a lot harder than it looks!

Yeah, those light-up poles were obviously recycled from Morning Musume's Wakuteka Take a chance PV.

How did Airi get to be so awesome, photogenic and near-perfect?

I love how ethereally sensual these shots look!

C-ute's showing off their muscles, asserting that they are physically and musically the strongest H!P group!

You know what? Let's see what C-ute's PVs looked like when they first started out!

Ah, they grow up fast, don't they?

Of course, we just had to have one last wretched natural shot! But at least Airi looks pretty!

So the hot topic about this PV is that it's a "sexy" PV that shows C-ute as a hotter and sexier idol group. Well, as someone who spent a week reviewing some of the sexiest PVs to come from idol groups, I think I can properly judge if this is a "sexy" PV as so many reviewers have stated. And honestly... this is far from the sexiest PV I have ever reviewed. Then again, I reviewed Heavy Rotation and it's kind of hard to top the fanservice stacked top to bottom in that PV. But Crazy Kanzen na Otona doesn't even come close to that level, let alone anything I'd consider to be a really sexy PV. Okay, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the PV doesn't have sexy and sensual elements to it. What I'm trying to say is that visually speaking, this is not the sexiest PV in the world but I think that's partly do to the fact that it's one the cheaper-looking PVs to come from H!P this year. Still, there are components of the PV that stand out to me as sexy. For instances, the outfits worn in the PV are pretty sexy! The costumes definitely play a big part in the minimal sex appeal of the PV; the girls are wearing fishnets, leather jackets, cropped tops, and they all look really good. 

In fact, I think C-ute is one of those groups that just looks better as the members get older; everyone in the PV looks ridiculously hot. If I was going to pick any H!P group that I wanted to market as a hotter and sexier group, I'd go with C-ute. All the girls have the looks and maturity to pull off a sexier and more mature image now; even Maimai and Chissa, who spent many years in an awkward teen phase, look great! But I think the outfits the girls wear in this PV, while very hot, actually aren't that sexy. I mean, they're not conservative but they look a lot like the outfits they wore in Kiss Me Aishiteru only with different colors. And even then, I think the outfits in Kiss Me Aishiteru looked better but that might only be because the PV they went with looked great. The more I think about it Crazy Kanzen na Otona is in a lot of ways like Kiss Me Aishiteru, only cheaper and with darker color schemes. Both PVs have some level of sensuality to them, a sexy dance, and similarly styled outfits. But if I had to pick between Kiss Me Aishiteru and Crazy Kanzen na Otona, I'd have to go with the former just because I feel like that song and PV work better than Crazy Kanzen na Otona.

What worked so well with Kiss Me Aishiteru was the fact that it was so simplistic. The sets were minimally colored and decorated but there was a variety of different close-ups and angles. The dance looked amazing and so did the girls. I feel like Crazy Kanzen na Otona was trying to convey those same elements of Kiss Me Aishiteru but unfortunately, its efforts kind of fall flat. I'm certain that Kiss Me Aishiteru and Crazy Kanzen na Otona had the same low budget but with Crazy Kanzen na Otona, it feels a little more apparent. Normally, I'm all for a minimalistic styled set and normally, a minimalistic set works well but for this PV, it didn't look so good. The sets, particularly the dance shot, looked cheap and I can't really put my finger on why. I think it might have had to do with the lighting and the Chocolate Disco-style strobe effects. In the close-ups where the girls are surrounded by the glowing poles that were clearly stolen from the Wakuteka Take a chance PV, the PV looks slightly better. 

And then there are the natural shots where the girls are sitting, looking at themselves and presumably doing makeup. Yeah, I don't know why those are thrown into this PV. They don't last very long, they completely clash with the rest of the video's color scheme, and they're not that interesting. I'm thinking that they might have something to do with the context of the lyrics (like maybe there are some lines thrown around about putting on makeup) but until I get my hands on a translation, I'm lost. But they look really awkward with the rest of the PV. For the most part, Crazy Kanzen na Otona has darker lighting and darker colors, almost like a very cheap and barren nightclub. But then these natural shots throw the entire PV off! The use of lighter and more natural lighting looks off when you put it with the rest of the PV and while I appreciate variety in music videos, here it doesn't work. The shots only made the PV looks cheaper. All in all, I think all it would have taken to make this PV look a little more high budget and sleek is changing up the lighting and taking out those natural shots! Hell, I think someone with Windows Flipping Movie Maker could do that! Hey, maybe someone should do that... I'm getting ideas... 

I've also heard around the wotasphere talk of how C-ute is going to be marketed more with a sexy image now that they're an older group and how the release of Crazy Kanzen na Otona solidifies this claim. I don't know how these rumors will hold true as we get further into 2013 but at the moment, I don't think C-ute will necessarily have a sexy image from now on. I do think that because they're older, they definitely have more leg room to play with more sensual imagery and dances that they couldn't have pulled off when the group was younger. But even then... didn't C-ute kind of already have a psuedo-sexy image from their inception. Okay, their indie singles are definitely pretty innocent but singles like Tokaikko Junjou and Namida no Iro definitely had a more mature vibe to them and they were released alongside singles like Lalala Shiawase no Uta and Sakura Chirari. Overall, I feel like C-ute has covered a range of different styles from happy songs like Ookina Ai de Motenashite and Everyday Zekkouchou to serious songs like Kiss Me Aishiteru and Tokaikko to ballads like Aitai Lonely Christmas and Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku and even enka! Kind of. Edo no Temari Uta II is sort of an idol group's take on an enka song. 

After Kiss Me Aishiteru, a single that I have clearly identified as mature and sexy, C-ute released Momoiro Sparkling and Sekaiichi Happy na Onna no ko. Those songs were much more happier and lighthearted than Kiss Me Aishiteru and the images and PVs that went with them were also much more innocent! Whose to say that C-ute won't release a differently styled single after Crazy Kanzen na Otona? C-ute has been a group that manages fairly well when it comes to switching styles and even if the music quality of a certain song isn't always great such as Campus Life C-ute has always been very versatile! I think people are jumping the gun just a little too quickly when pegging C-ute as the older and sexier group of H!P. I mean, come on guys, don't forget about Berryz Koubou! Yeah, that joke would have been much clearer if I had a font for sarcasm; as long as Momochi exists, Berryz ain't getting too sexy on us. Whatever direction C-ute goes with their image, I just hope it's handled well!

For now, I will bestow upon Crazy Kanzen na Otona 3.5 out of 5 apples. The song is very similar to Kiss Me Aishiteru in style so if you're a fan of that song, you'll enjoy this one! The PV is also like a darker-colored Kiss Me Aishiteru but personally I think it looks a little cheap. The PV is your standard H!P PV (aka cheap and not very creative) but if you're looking for some hotter and more mature idols, the ladies of C-ute have got you covered! The PV isn't as sexy as it wants to be but the song is enjoyable! Eons better than Kono Machi anyways! But let us never speak of that cover again.

No comments:

Post a Comment