Right, so starting off, I would like to welcome those who read my blog to my very first review blog post that will revolve around one of the groups within the '48 family. As you probably know, I am a Hello! Project fan more than anything, heck, the banner tells you what this blog was initially meant to be about! However, I have somewhat grown fond of the '48 family ever since I started to force myself to listen to more of their music, which is why I am sitting here now, ready to type up my first official review for one of the newest songs that has come out for the '48 family.
Oh My God!
And no, I wasn't just saying that for comic effect to the fact that I am writing this post - that is actually the title of the song I shall be attempting to tear apart in this review, however it does fit nicely with how I'm feeling right now towards this post...
My '48 review virginity is about to be had...
Oh wait, I kinda reviewed Pareo wa Emerald... but I won't count that. That was mere foreplay.
Now, I will give you a warning before I begin this post: The captions I have are utter crap, because the video quality was so damned low, so if they bother you, then I'm sorry, but I can't help the video quality. I wish it was better, then I could enjoy the video in sparkling HD - oh well, c'est la VIE.
NMB48, as far as I know, is one of the newest groups to enter the '48 family, and when I listened to their first single I was less than impressed - it wasn't interesting, it bored me and I was hoping to never hear from them again - then again, I still wanted nothing to do with AKB48 or its many other groups because I was completely H!P biased and really getting into Bump.y and 9nine - however, this song has changed my opinion of the group. Though I feel that their debut was horrible, this song is better, more energetic and youthful sounding.
Well, me likey.
However, I can't help but notice how generic and AKB-like this song is - the moment I heard it via the radio rip, my instant thought was 'Everyday Kachuusha', one song which I quite like from AKB, even if I do find it overly generic and so like their recent singles that they have produced. But then I remember that this is AKB and their little sister groups - Akimoto has been mincing money from the media because of how generic these songs are, but also because of how he presents them. It's not really the song that grasps the viewers - it is the video, and he really does portray it so well (see Heavy Rotation as an example. Song = Generic, Video = Gold mine)
But the generic sound to this song doesn't actually take away from it - it's the tune and sound of it that made me like it, not the video. The moment I heard this song I was set on writing about it, regardless of how bad or good the video paired with it was. The song has somehow sucked me in, just like Everyday Kachuusha did when I finally got off my high horse and listened to it a month after its release, and even now this song intrigues me in a way - well done, Akimoto, for actually getting me to fully acknowledge your skills and capabilities of grasping the Wota.
I guess it's the composition that somewhat draws me in, but also how the girls' voices flow throughout the song as they sing together - they all sound really good, and we get to hear all of them together and not have to bitch over how our favourite isn't getting any solo lines, a terrible feat that Hello! Project has yet to improve, and can fully enjoy the girls' talent as they all sing together for their audience with energy and a sweetness that I really am starting to like about NMB48. They sound so innocent and lovely...
Now moving onto the video - from the preview that we received, I was wondering just how the video would come out - 2 minutes of the video were shown in the preview, spoiling a whole lot of it - but did it really?
No, it didn't - because the video we saw was cleverly put together to show only the dance and the close up shots. Once the real thing came out, many would be surprised to find that there actually was some form of a story line put into the video and not just a dance shot and close up shots of the cute members. Whilst we sat and awaited a rather boring PV, we actually find that we have been given an extra piece of happiness. Nice trick, Akimoto. You know how to catch your consumers, don't you?
Now I guess I have one thing to complain about the PV, and that's the rather predictable story line that all '48 PVs seem to formulate, no matter what the group is. Whether it be the failure of one of the girls fitting in with other girls (Paraeo wa Emerald, Everday Kachuusha - it has quite a few of the other PVs as references in there, too, but I dunno which ones) or one of them saving the day after some try and fail to do it themselves (Beginner, Flying Get), this is a formula I have seen AKB and the other groups use a lot, and something that can incidentally bore me quite quickly. And it seems that NMB48 are no exception to this structure, seeing as when they are on the point of breakdown due to failure, one of them swoops in and saves the day, giving them hope and satisfaction.
Oh wait, did I spoil the rest of the video for you? Oops.
So the main plot line actually follows the girls as they play a friendly game of football, or in American terms, Soccar, where they are getting a good ol' thrashing from the other team who will be sure to thrust their opponents' faces into the dirt once they have won. So as the girls try with all their might, they fail to even score a goal and their goalee fails to save their pride and lets the ball get in a few times, whilst the other team ruthlessly push down the girls to the ground.
Of course, the heroine pops up and saves the day - however it isn't this heroine who actually saves them - I guess she just gives them hope, because after she's shown as the saviour, she isn't really used much more, because the true front girl (I assume that the one who is shown with the ball at the end is the front girl) is actually the one who ends the video, and not her. Oh well... gives this girl some sort of publicity, right?
Now, to go with the story line of this video, we are shown two cute dance shots and some close up shots of the girls. Much like the song itself, the dance is an energetic and happy affair with the girls dancing around a school field in their school uniforms, jumping around and smiling as they playfully flail their arms about and entertain you with their cuteness and energetic dance.
The other dance shot is displayed as a night scene, where we see the girls in dark cheerleader outfits, giving their all as they dance, showing the cheerleader like quality that the dance has to it. Though I prefer the dance shot where they are in their school uniforms, I can see how appealing the cheerleader shot would be to some people - not only does it create a youthful illusion towards the group, but it also appeals athletically - we see the girls playing soccar, but also as cheerleaders, showing how sporty they are and how school-activity orientated they are. So this will obviously appeal to both boys and girls.
Oh gosh, I'm bringing my homework into my bloody blog...
Now I will honestly say that there is no more to say about this video, so I will actually just go right to my final conclusion now, okay?
As a second single, I think that NMB48 have really hit the nail on the head - a youthful, fun and energetic song for a youthful group is what I had initially expected from this group as a debut single, but when that didn't happen I was somewhat disappointed, however with this song, I have found a new interest in them. I find their cuteness and youthfulness endearing, and it makes me want to watch them more after seeing their performance in this video. The girls really look like they are having fun and like they want to keep doing this forever. The way they dance and show their expressions is wonderful, and really attracts me to the girls right away - something which AKB failed to do for me when I first heard about them.
Even though I find the song to be generic to the '48 family and nothing special, I really do like it - it gets stuck in my head quickly, the up-beat tune makes me want to it and I even found myself singing along to some of my favourite parts, even if I don't know the lyrics to it at all. The song is extremely catchy, and I absolutely adore it. The girls sound wonderful together, and they have made the song really stand out from their debut single. Really, what a change!
Okay, did anyone else find this part extremely cute? It's definitely my favourite part!
To be honest, I was actually waiting to be bored to death by this video, since the preview showed just the dance shots and close ups, however I am very happy that the video we were given is this. The video flows so well with all these different clips, and we get to see the different sides of all of these girls - their serious sides as they play soccar, their defeat, the hope and happiness they have when seeing the heroine appear, and then their fun, energetic and youthful sides as they dance and also their playfulness that we see through the choreography.
I think that this video is really great. It may not contain many scenes, and may be just as simple as most of the H!P videos are, but what NMB48 have here is something that will really attract different sorts of people - their energetic youthfulness will gain fans from both the Wotas and the school girls, and the up-beat, friendly tune will attract those who like modern day pop, whilst the athletic element will begin to attract athletes, or maybe those who have a cheerleader fetish.
What Akimoto has done is a great, but probably a scary, thing - he has made a staple group throughout Japan and America, and many other places in the world, through not just their voices, but also how they present themselves. By using the sex appeal of these young girls (and some of the older ones) as well as the youthful and innocent natures that NMB48 hold right now, Akimoto has attracted so many potential consumers and fans just by how these girls look and act. He is truly a smart man...
And he caught me in his net. Nice one, Akimoto. You scored a GOAL!
And so I end this review, and also this little take on how Akimoto is so smart with how he creates everything the group does. I hope you enjoyed my stupid babbling and had a good read!
I doubt this will be the last post for the '48 family, so if I do make more, EXPECT MORE!!!
I turned my blog into a place where I can put my essay writing skillz to the test
I also called Akimoto Aki P - why, I dunno... I always used to think it was Aki P...
PING! International Wota Recommended Reading 24th September 2011