Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Does BiSimulation Live Up to PPCC?

Well, March has come, spring break has ended, Nia's getting off her lazy butt and writing stuff, and Wakisaki Yurika aka Wacky will be graduating from BiS. How many times has the group lineup changed now? BiS started with four, lost one, added one more, then lost another, added two more, and now they're losing someone again. And all this has happened over two years. At the rate they're going, BiS will have more lineup changes than Morning Musume! In all seriousness though, I am sad that Wacky is leaving since she added a lot of character to the group. I wouldn't say I was crushed by her graduation announcement but the news was dismaying. Still, what's done is done and Wacky did give valid reasons for graduating (in other words, she didn't say "I want to focus on my studies-desu!!"). Anyways, Wacky will be graduating this month and her last single with BiS is BiSimulation, their second single under the Avex label. I enjoyed their debut single thoroughly so I wondered if their follow-up single would be anywhere near as solid as PPCC. But I have good faith in BiS musical output (why else do you think I follow them so thoroughly?) and I figured the single would be pretty decent. I never can say much when reviewing BiS PVs so I thought what a better way to look at Wacky's last hurrah with BiS than to review the single as a whole? Now I'll only be reviewing the BiSimulation and Hide out cut and none of the a-capella versions. So let us once again dive in to the wacky world of BiS!


While BiS' single covers aren't anywhere near as out-there as their music videos, they do always stand out in one way or another. From spiked baseball bats to fake blood, I always like to see what covers they'll come up with next! For BiSimulation, the covers are normal in terms of BiS and mainly features the girls standing in a line holding baseball bats. Not the ones from PPCC either, just black baseball bats. Are those going to be a long-running trend with BiS singles from now on? Not that I think it's a bad idea, I'm just curious. Some of the covers like the one above for my review have some grungy filters to them while others are more clear but still give off a pretty gritty and dark vibe. Each cover shows the group in a different location and beyond that, there's not much else to these covers. Now there is one cover that is completely different from the rest: Wacky's edition. That just features her alone smiling and looking both normal and happy! It shows that she really is a pretty girl (I think all the BiS members are but it's hard to tell when they're running around covered in fake blood). I think it's nice that she gets her own little edition; it's more than what UK got when she left...

What I also like is that Wacky is in the center for her last single; it's a nice way for her to go out! Now what I really like about BiSimulation are the outfits. I think these outfits are awesome. With BiS, single/album outfits are always kind of... hit-or-miss. It's not that the costumes are bad per say (believe me, if Morning Musume got the outfits BiS gets, I'd take them over the atrocious Help me!! and Wakuteka Take a chance costumes) but they can be a little... strange. Then again, this is BiS so that's probably intentional! But I really love the BiSimulation outfits because they give off a dark and edgy vibe but still look like cool outfits. I love the use of black and white in the costumes and words "Who killed idol?" written on the back of the kickass jackets the girls wear. You can't see that on the covers but trust me, it's pretty cool. BiS looks less like an idol group and more like an idol gang with the matching jackets, and similar but not identical outfits. Overall, really cool outfits and nice-looking single covers too!


Can I just frame the pun that is BiSimulation and hang it up on my wall? I swear, I don't know what it is about puns but for some reason I absolutely love them! So BiSimulation has a pun-tastic name going for it, anything else? Well, the song is composed by Hidaka Toru. If you're like me and have no idea who the fuck that is, he's a member of The StarBeams and a former member of Beat Crusaders. If you're still like me and have never heard of either band, relax. I'm not reviewing those today but in hindsight, it might be better to look into the music of those two bands just to see what this Hidaka Toru's style is like. I guess I don't really have to thought because BiSimulation is a rock song. Like, a total rock song. Not pop-rock. It's rock. It's got hardcore guitar and even more hardcore synths and absolutely no sign of pop that I can detect anyways. It's not the strongest BiS song I've heard and definitely not as good or grabbing as PPCC. But then again, As someone who is a huge fan of rock, I was thinking that I would like this song and BiS totally has the ability to handle rock. And I really like the guitar in this instrumental; it's pretty powerful and adds a lot to the edginess of the song. And the guitar solo in-between the last chorus and the one before is effing awesome. The girls sound like they always do and work well with the song; their voices are actually pretty dissonant with the guitar in this song but it kind of works in a weirdly contrasting way. I was kind of expecting BiSimulation to be more like Hitoribochi since it was described as an "emotional rock song" but I guess not! Oh well, this song still works for me! The only problem I have with BiSimulation is that it gets really repetitive really fast and parts of the vocals kind of drag. It was hard for me to distinguish the chorus from the verses and for such a short song, it felt long at parts. So compared to PPCC, BiSimulation is pretty good but I feel like there is some room for improvement.

There isn't really much I can say about the PV. I reviewed it on Selective Hearing and pretty much just wrote that it's okay. I don't really expect too much from BiS PVs since they mostly consist of shock value imagery that's meant to show how different BiS is from a typical idol group. The only PV I thought was really clever was PPCC and I admit the My Ixxx PV was pretty artsy. What stands out the most about the BiSimulation PV is that it has blood. Lots and lots of blood. Like "don't watch this if you're on your period" amounts of blood. And yes, while obviously it's all fake blood (and even part of it is blood that was edited into the PV), the insanely large amount can get a little bit squeamish depending on your own gore tolerance. Personally, I didn't mind. Anyways, the PV starts with the girls dancing in slow motion in front of a simple white backdrop and shortly after is when the blood starts getting flung onto the screen, soaking the girls and staining the once-white backdrop. Said backdrop then falls down to reveal a more natural setting and the girls continue to dance in slow motion. Aside from a few close-ups, that's pretty much the whole PV. I didn't want to do a full-blown review of the PV because there isn't really much to talk about in it beyond the gratuitous amounts of blood. If you took that out of the PV, it's pretty dull actually. And like I said, the shock value of the blood being flung onto the screen dies down after a little while too. Once you get used to see heaps and heaps of blood being splattered onto the girls, there's not much else that's really interesting in the PV. It's monotonous and relies on shock value to keep you interested but unlike their Primal PV, the shock value has little to no variety and loses the viewer's attention quickly. It's not the worst PV I've ever seen but it doesn't really add much to the song.

So in comparison to PPCC, BiSimulation is kind of dull. It's not a bad song by any means but it's a little too short and a little too repetitive for my tastes. I like that the song has a harder rock sound to it but BiSimulation will probably be a song that I won't listen to a lot. Hence I will give the song 3.5 out of 5 apples! Again, it's not a bad song; just not a great song either. Now the B-side on the other hand...

Hide out cut

...is pretty interesting. And I mean both interesting in a good way and in a weird way. For you see, Hide out cut is for the most part, sung in English. But we'll get to that in a minute. When I first listened to Hide out cut, what stood out immediately was the piano. As a player of the glorious instrument, I love piano in songs, the more complicated, the better! The piano in Hide out cut is pretty, even if it's not terribly complicated. It reminds me of a lot of an anime theme... in fact, the entire song feels very anime-y. The vocals flow nicely and the song has a great combination of guitar and piano. Something else I noticed about the song were the lyrics. They didn't sound Japanese but more like English! But I was just imagining things, right? Or was I? Curious, I looked up the lyrics and hey, they were sung in English! Well... more like Engrish. Yeah, Hide out cut is pretty heavy on the Engrish. Remember that short little track on the Idol is Dead album called I Wish I Was Special? Do you remember the random lyrics to that? Well... Hide out cut has some funky lyrics of its own too! I'm serious, some of the lyrics on this song are phrases that don't even make sense when say them in English. Here are a few little gems from Hide out cut: Always should be someone you really numb and There is too much that the small thing is big much. And a lot of parts are grammatically incorrect too such as: I was just broken my heart and I was despair almost blocked by big one,was helped by various people. Look, I know they're trying and I commend them for the girls taking on something really out of their comfort zone. But English is my native language and when it's sung incorrectly, the errors stick out to me whether I want them to or now. I wouldn't say the Engrish ruins the song but it's a little bit harder to really get into this song. I almost wish I hadn't been so curious and looked up the lyrics. Well, how much the Engrish bothers you depends, but for me, when a song is sung entirely in English, it's kind of hard to ignore.

I would give Hide out cut five apples but I can't ignore the choppiness and awkwardness of the Engrish lyrics. So musically, the song is great with a beautiful piano but the main problems come from the use of the really poorly written lyrics that unfortunately, I can read and point out the grammatical errors. Not everyone will be bothered by the lyrics as much as I was but then again, this is my review, non?

The Verdict

Well... does BiSimulation live up to PPCC? I wouldn't say it's a god-awful follow up or even a bad follow-up but I still think PPCC is a stronger song than BiSimulation. But on the other hand I like Hide out cut better than the other B-sides on the PPCC single. So yes and no? BiSimulation is an okay song but I personally found it to be kind of underwhelming, especially since I wanted it to be more like Hitoribochi. Hide out cut is much more interesting musically and lyrically, especially since there's so much English sung in the song. Again, the English lyrics are more for the worse than the better but it was still interesting to hear BiS sing in English again. Overall, this is a pretty decent single but probably not my favorite from BiS. Still, if you're a fan of guitars and synths and songs that sound like they came from a garage band, I think you'll like BiSimulation! I always say this but I really feel like BiS is an overlooked idol group, especially since they have such awesome music. If you can stomach the BiSimulation PV, check it out and see if you can dig BiS. I think that's a good indicator of how much you'll enjoy BiS. As for me, I'm a fan and I think BiSimulation is a good single, even if it's not the best that BiS can offer.

So I think I will give the BiSimulation single four out of five apples. If I was rating the single in terms of fantastic puns, it would totally get five apples but alas. I cannot. Anyways, I wish Wacky the best of luck in her future endeavors and I hope that BiS can still go on being the weird and insane idol group we all know and love. Who knows? They might even have auditions again... but let's not think about that yet.

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