Friday, September 5, 2014

Yufu Trades Guts & Gore for Pastel Fruitiness

In BiS's ever-changing member lineup, Terashima Yufu was always my favorite, her and Tentenko. I loved Yufu's distinctive voice and her appearance. Even if she and Pour Lui got along horribly behind the scenes, I was still sad to see her depart from BiS.

Of course, things got better when I found out she was going solo.

And so here we are to Terashima Yufu, post-BiS and singing solo, and her second single, Campanula no Yuuutsu! In hindsight, I regret not reviewing her first single, #Yuflight. At the time, I just felt there wasn't much I could say about it. It's a good song, with some nice strings; it sounds like something I'd hear from ClariS. So there you go, a one-sentence review of #Yuflight! Now let's talk about Campanula no Yuutsu! Yufu's first attempt at a summer single, Campanula no Yuuutsu is quite a change from BiS's music. I was expecting that though; this single just confirms that Yufu plans on staying far, far away from the same style(s?) of music BiS released. Instead, Yufu seems to be going the traditional idol route with catchy pop songs and a much more approachable image. Which is perfectly okay! I love my catchy pop songs, and it is kind of fun seeing Yufu do something much more lighthearted in contrast to her involvement in BiS! I know I keep bringing up BiS (definitely not because I miss them or anything), but I feel like I kind of have to. When I listen to Yufu or even any other post-BiS units, I keep making comparisons subconsciously. So I may as well get said comparisons out of the way right now.

Okay, moving on from BiS (and definitely not with a heavy heart yearning for a reunion), how does Campanula no Yuuutsu stand as a solo idol song? As I mentioned before, it's a summer song, and it's got that light, happy sound you hear with so many idol songs. That being said, I think it is one of my favorite summer songs I've heard this year. The competition's not too high, so standing out isn't much of a challenge for Campanula no Yuuutsu. Still, I really do like this song. It has kind of this Hawaiian sound; you know, the sort of thing you'd hear at a luau. Maybe a luau in Japan. Do they have luaus in Japan? Oh well, that's what Campanula no Yuuutsu sounds like. I blame the xylophone and the bongos. Actually, there's a nice variety of sounds in this song; there's the aforementioned percussion, some brass, even some strings! Yet with all the instrumentation, the song still sounds very laid back. It's the kind of song you're supposed to chill to on the beach. And hey, since I'm at a college by the beach, maybe I will chill to Campanula no Yuuutsu sometime. Probably during the off season though.

Now if this song wasn't sung by Terashima Yufu and just some generic idol, would I devote time to reviewing it? I'm not sure. What draws me to review new idols are songs that stand out and/or eye-catching music videos. Campanula no Yuuutsu is a good song, but it wouldn't stand out enough to draw me in had Yufu not been the idol singing. However, what makes Campanula no Yuuutsu work is Yufu's voice. This was also what prevented #Yuflight from sounding like a generic anisong single. Yufu's voice is not only very pretty but also very recognizable. I could always identify Yufu's solos in BiS, and her voice shines even more as a soloist. Yufu's never had a resonant, powerful voice, but Campanula no Yuuutsu works in her advantage. The song is soft and laidback, making Yufu's voice stand out even better than it did in BiS. Campanula no Yuuutsu may not be as impressive as the songs she did in BiS, but the song has its merits. If you are looking for some BiS-inspired material, Campanula no Yuuutsu is sadly not going to fulfill those expectations. Maybe go check out Pla2me's debut single. Overall, I liked Campanula no Yuuutsu, and I could see it growing on me in the future. Even as a summer song, it's worth checking out!

Another reason I didn't review #Yuflight was because the music video was a little basic. Campanula no Yuuutsu on the other hand has a music video with a little more... pizzazz. And pastel. Lots and lots of pastel. But why waste time telling you what's in this music video when I can show you?

We start our PV with a black and white title drop!

Then we cut to that fight scene from Kill Bill- oh wait, that's just Yufu!

Oh hey, they got the guys from Utsukushii Inazuma!


So... are we yay or nay on that fruit basket skirt?

Oh hell, Yufu could somehow make a trash can look fashionable.

Why the sudden flames? We're not going back to hell, are we!?

Tea Time with Terashima Yufu!

Projection images: the poor man's location shooting!

No, this is seriously cool. It reminds me of that Faint Star PV.

This one!

Yufu prays to the gods for more success than BiS!

I could totally see Matsuura Aya wearing this outfit. She probably did at some point.

...the producers really loved the title of this song, didn't they?

And I think they adored those Cheerio-shaped special effects.

These shots feel so vintage. I blame the pastel. Pastel just makes things look dated.

See? I give you Exhibit A of the power of pastel!

Trumpet Guy is gettin' it in the background! You go, Trumpet Guy!

In fact, let's all give a moment of appreciation for the backing band in this PV.

It's a little hard to be noticed when you singer is wearing one of the five food groups.

Okay, this is... different. Kind of seductive and... hellish.

I guess I should take this opportunity to ask what the hell is going on?

I'd say this makes more sense in context... but it doesn't. It really doesn't.

A quirky mascot!? I'll watch I Kyarypamyupamyu PV if I'm looking for a quirky mascot!


I... got nothing. Someone take over for me.

Okay! Now this screencap is back on track!

These visuals effects will hypnotize us into forgetting that whole interlude!

I love these little drawn effects! They add a touch of cuteness to the PV!

Trumpet Guy is my favorite person in this PV.

Don't be sad, Torch Man. BiS will return someday. They must!

And we end Campanula no Yuuutsu on one final pose! Voila!

It's pretty obvious that Yufu's production team doesn't have a lot of dough to work with. Luckily, they're good at making an engaging PV that doesn't look tackily cheap! For a summer PV, Campanula no Yuuutsu is definitely one of the more scant ones. Everything takes place in a studio save for that one outdoor shot with the giant Pokemon-thingy (and maybe the scenes with Torch Man). They do put some effort into making the main set look tropical though with a few random palm trees and a backing band dressed up like a safari crew. And Yufu herself definitely looks very... nutritious. I'm still not sure about that outfit. Anyways, the whole set is kind of bare-bones. I feel like there was at least some effort put in to it. And that at least counts, right? There's a nice mix of shots in this PV! My favorites are the ones where Yufu stands in front of a blank board with images project over her. It's a simple effect that never fails to look cool and artsy to my eyes. I mean, the designs look so cool. There are so many of them too! It's kind of hypnotizing to look at them! I bitch about cheap PVs all the time, but throw some pretty visuals in front of me, and those complaints are magically forgotten...

So is Campanula no Yuuutsu a good summer PV? Well, it's definitely not an overtly summer PV. The colors and some of the scenery do give off a summer vibe, the same kind of laidback summer vibe the song has. But you know what? For a summer PV, parts of Campanula no Yuutsu are just plain weird. The backing bad alone is doing all kinds of crazy antics. Pay attention really close to them next time you watch the PV. They're always doing something random like jumping or spazzing out or just... acting strange in general. Special mention goes to Trumpet Guy. Then the band have that whole bit during the interlude where they run around in a circle which is never explained or seen again. And did I mention that hellish red lighting in the interlude too? The interlude in general just has all sorts of weird stuff that wouldn't be weird if this wasn't an idol PV. But I went into this PV expecting traditional idol summer stuff, not a crazy backing band and a giant quirky mascot that's only ever seen twice in this PV! You could make the argument that those weird little moments make Campanula no Yuuutsu a more memorable, but that still doesn't give me an explanation!

Admittedly, weirdness and cheapness included, I like the PV for Campanula no Yuuutsu. Is it my favorite music video of this summer? Psh, no way does this summer PV overshadow Nettaigyo no Namida. But it's better than Labrador Retriever! Besides, even if this PV had as much extra stuff as #Yuflight did, its one highlight would be Yufu herself. I think the PV for Campanula no Yuuutsu made me remember why Yufu was my favorite member of BiS! No matter what music video she's in, whether she's covered in blood, wearing a fruit basket, swinging a spiked baseball bat, Yufu always manages to look good. Effortlessly good. She's incredibly photogenic, and she knows how to work the camera to her advantage. Along with her voice, Yufu's presence alone is what makes me think she makes a good soloist. She never feels trumped by the screen, even in those big projection image shots. Even doing that oddly choreographed dance, she somehow manages to exude charisma and confidence. I can see her going far in her solo career.

My final verdict on Campanula no Yuuutsu's music video is a thumbs up. No, this is not a groundbreaking music video nor is it the most summery of summer PVs. It's a low-budget music video that works as well as it can with said budget. The final result is a nice-looking music video with a nice color palette and a handful of strange, random moments. The strongest aspects of Campanula no Yuuutsu's PV are Yufu herself and a nice overall aesthetic. I really do love the colors in this music video, and again, those projection images are so entrancing. Other than that, this PV offers what you'd expect from your traditional idol PVs. Fans of Terashima Yufu in her BiS days may be a little jarred by the lack of shocking imagery and general friendliness. But if you look past that, you'll see a fun music video from a solo idol with a lot of potential. I don't know how much of Yufu I'll review in the future, but I hope to see her release further material! After a promising debut and a decent follow-up single, I'd love to see where she goes next! If you're still craving a summer PV, then pop by Yufu's Youtube channel and watch Campanula no Yuuutsu!

Maybe it isn't BiS, but Terashima Yufu's Campanula no Yuuutsu is a good release in its own right! It's a four apples kind of release. As a summer song, Campanula no Yuuutsu is of the calmer sort but still enjoyable. And it comes with a fun, low-budget music video that still manages to have its own quirky moments. If you're looking for the solo equivalent of BiS, this is not where you want to go. But if you're looking for idol music sung by a talented individual, check out Terashima Yufu and Campanula no Yuuutsu. And while you're at it, look at #Yuflight!


  1. "Oh hey, they got the guys from Utsukushii Inazuma!"i rofl that part,thx for another great review