All thoughts and opinions within this post are my own and no one else's, unless otherwise stated. How I think and feel about this single, the song, the singer and the video ARE my own opinions and you can not dictate how I should think or feel. I have the freedom of thinking and the freedom of speech, and how I choose to express those feelings are my own choice. Don't like what I have to say? Then you can freely not read this blog. I want to respect everyone's opinion, but in order for me to respect yours, you in return must respect mine.
"Are you smiling through your tears too?"
The penultimate installment of Niigaki Risa's graduation has been released! Niigaki Risa's official MV for the cover song of Egao ni Namida ~Thank You Dear My Friends!~ has been leaked on youtube for the fans to watch and to give their -almost- final goodbyes to the short-lived Leader of Morning Musume, and the one who has created such an impact and given the group so much love and support since before she had even joined.
The video that everyone has been waiting for since the preview is finally here, and it is best to view it now before UFA manage to take it down. A beautiful farewell for a wonderful member, this is Egao ni Namida ~Thank You Dear My Friends!~ by Niigaki Risa~ Shall we take a look at some pictures?
I like that there are not just pictures of Gaki, but pictures of her with the other members. It beats photo's of just herself -coughJishinMottecough-
The fact that she's actually looking at these photo's is also nice - it's like she's reminiscing.
... Yeah, 2 seconds in and this is a better PV than Jishin Motte was xD
... I love this vintage feel going on in the room, and then a burst of Gaki in the middle xD Makes a statement, no?
That, or it says 'Old, haggard and past its prime' - though that's the negative feeling for the Gaki haters ;D
Lord Gaki: "I have the most awesome nails in all of Hello! Project, bitches be Jelly."
Digging those boots, btw.
Lord Gaki: "WHHHHY???"
Gaki has a headache, or maybe she's wondering why she wants to graduate so soon.
Gaki: "You know that the vocals will all suck after I leave, right?"
I really want that green 'R' earing!
... It also reminds me of Team Rocket! :D
I want that hat >3< Hell, I want a lot of things - including Lord Gaki herself!
Lord Gaki: "Dafuq is this picture of?"
Looks like our Lord and Saviour is worrying about what pictures Tsunku and his photographers took of her without her knowing...
Lord Gaki: "... Heh?"
Lord Gaki: "Just think - bleeting Winkie's, whining toddlers and a bunch of undeveloped, crappy voices in Morning Musume... Yes, the 50th single will ROCK without me to back them up with lower vocals!"
I swear, half these scenes look like she is thinking about life outside of MM and what MM will be like without her awesomeness to back them all up.
Lord Gaki: "I'm hungry~"
I seriously hate how that shirt sits on her skirt.
Sayumi needs to get some screen time in ALL THE PV'S!
Lord Gaki: "I can't believe they made me wear that fucking thing."
Gaki's reaction to the Pyoko picture
Lord Gaki: "I wonder how much I will make in Drama work after Morning Musume..."
Yes, you guard that door like a badass, Gaki!
Lord Gaki: "... Why is there a picture of a guy in Speedo's in here?"
Oh, references... You know who you are!
Lord Gaki: "All my pretties! My little treasures! ALL MINE!!!"
Okay, the sweetness of this scene is overwhelming... <3
Lord Gaki: "I get the skirt, but qho dafuq put this outfit together...?"
I have no words for how beautiful she is...
Seriously, the second half of the PV is probably the best parts of the PV in my opinion. Just saying~
Lord Gaki: "Reach up for the stars, climb every mountain higher...~"
And in comes the posing of a beautiful young woman!
Stunning darling, absolutely wonderful! Brava, BRAVA!
Marvelous! More darling, make love to that camera!
Also, love that she has an 'R' on her shirt and on her earing - R & R! (Risa and Riida!)
So cute~~~~ <3
Also, love the picture-less picture frames in the background.
;_____; She got me... </3
And let me guess what this will be...
Oh man, this one's a keeper!
Lord Gaki: "Yeah Baby, this is it! Time to get real!"
Why is Gaki so beautiful and interesting? <3
Looking nervous there, my Lord and Saviour. Not getting cold feet, are we?
Lord Gaki: "I need to talk to Tsunku about these..."
Is it just me or does Gaki look vaguely like Fukuhime here? Maybe it's just me...
Gaki just keeps getting prettier...
Lord Gaki: "Even without me, Morning Musume will be okay. It survived the reign of Ai-butt for so long, I'm sure it can survive the Bunny or Winky era."
WHY SO GORGEOUS? -dies-
Lord Gaki: "Will you all miss me? Even after I have left Morning Musume, please, continue to support me."
Lord Gaki: "Into the case of memories you go..."
And off she goes, departing with nearly 11 years' worth of memories of Morning Musume wonder.
And, I honestly think that this part was obvious, but also very sweet and very much needed <3
Niigaki Risa's final piece as a Morning Musume member, Egao ni Namida ~Thank You Dear My Friends!~ is a a sweet farewell to the fans of this amazing person and her final goodbye to not just Morning Musume, but to her friends from the past and present Morning Musume as well as the old Niigaki Risa who worked hard for the group that she loved so much. With this PV, it seems that her reign is really coming to an end, and a new era of Morning Musume is being born.
I admit, I like this PV so much better than Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobidatsu Kara, and that is because I believe that what Niigaki has here is better presented, and really well thought out. It probably isn't the best PV to ever come out of an agency, but for a UFA music video, it is pretty darned good. Niigaki gets a lovely send off with this video, and there is a lot more interaction in it than what Takahashi had with her own solo PV.
Whilst the first half was pretty slow for me, the second and final half of the PV was what really made me think that this is a beautiful PV. For the first part, I really felt that Gaki's emotions weren't coming across, and there were times where I thought that she looked like she was forcing a smile. But, during the end of the song I fell in love with the entire video - it was at the second half of the PV that I really felt her emotions and really saw that smile of hers that glowed with love, and it made me really appreciate and enjoy the PV so much more. It also made me realise that this was it - this was the end of Niigaki Risa's Morning Musume career, and watching her look so happy but still a little sad made me feel like crying, but I also felt really happy. She really put the title into the song with her voice and her expression.
Gaki is absolutely stunning in this video - she does an amazing job with performing whilst still bringing across her own emotions and feelings. She looks beautiful, she sounds amazing and I think she did a great job with this video. I love that she was looking through the photo's and holding them up to the camera, smiling and adding little gestures to liven it up a little. I also liked the vintage-like feel that was given in the PV with the room that had a worn floor, worn dresser, vintage armchair and vintage suitcase, whilst being livened up with Gaki's contrasting modern-day feel. The room was displayed so well, and wasn't overly busy or overly bare. I also loved how Gaki used the room by sitting in the couch in two different ways as well as leaning against the couch or the doorway. It gave us a variation of shots, and didn't keep the room boring or the shots plain and dull. They used the room, and they used it as much as they could - it was executed well.
The close-up shots were the iffy part for me - when the video started and I saw Gaki singing to the song, I felt that the first half was a little forced when compared to the second. In the second half I felt that the emotion was expressed more in her close-up shots in the white room. However, she did look happy and I felt that, at the very last few shots, she really put the emotion of 'Smiling Through Tears' into the song and it felt like she was really thanking the viewers, the fans and Morning Musume for everything. Seeing how she expressed herself in that second half made me feel so happy and sad, and it made me wish that she wasn't leaving so soon. However, it also made me appreciate and really like this video.
I think that this is a great video - It is not the best, but I do feel that this video is a lot better than what UFA have been pulling out recently. It's fresh and has a bittersweet feel to it, and it does express Niigak's love and sadness for Morning Musume as a graduating member. I like that her emotions were able to be brought across by how she expressed herself. Sometimes, it did seem like she was acting, but at other times you could see how much she loved it and how sad she seemed to be, and that is what made this PV great for me. I really enjoyed it, and Gaki made the PV great itself. She really stood out here, she didn't let the furniture or the pictures do the work - she made this PV what it is, and it honestly makes me wonder why she isn't becoming a soloist, because I think that she could do it.
I have already written about the song in a single review, but I am so glad that Niigaki decided to cover this song - This is the sort of song that really expresses her feelings for Morning Musume and how she feels in general, and it really sounds passionate and loving, and like she is sad but not regretful of the paths she has chosen. This song is her own way of saying goodbye to everyone as a member of Morning Musume. Whilst Takahashi Ai sang about her future and spreading her wings, Gaki prety much sang about her life in Morning Musume, and how everyone goes their own way but will still be there for each other, even if they graduate or go and achieve their dreams. This song speaks so much about Gaki, and it speaks to her fans and the past and presents of Morning Musume too, about how they will still be friends and that, despite her graduation from Morning Musume, they will still see each other again, and how she is thanking everyone for being her friends.
A sweet song to a sweet PV, I really think that this is a great farewell for Niigaki. I couldn't have asked for anything more or anything less - It's loving, heart-waring, touching and also a little bit sad. A beautiful PV for a beautiful person, and a wonderful song which makes everything so bittersweet and lovely.
Daisuki, Niigaki Risa~