All thoughts and opinions regarding this group, their song and video are all my own and no one elses! If you don't like what you read, then please move along and find someone who agrees with you! Thanks~
Okay, I give up! I'm throwing in the towel, giving up the ghost, raising this white flag above my door... I admit defeat, and I give up. I will review a damn PV... with subtitles... e.e
... I disgust myself... -sobs in corner-
It was inevitable that one day I would come around to the subtitles and start reviewing videos with them there, regardless of how terrible those things are (and my passionate hatred of them), but I didn't think that it would take this long... luckily, I don't plan on this being a regular thing, not unless I am madly in love with the video or if I really want to review it... right now thought, I just really want to review this video, which is why I have given in to the horrors of those shitty subtitles.
Anyways... as you can probably tell from the images and the title of this post, today I will be looking at Juice=Juice's latest Music Video in their ever-growing collection, Hajimete wo Keikenchuu. This is the second song of two A-sides, (and possibly the one that will be least promoted, if we go by how UFP works with their shit promotional system) and is a more light-hearted and romantic tune that we usually don't hear Juice=Juice toot, making a nice contrast from their usually Jazzy and mature sounds that we have come to know and love.
But that's just the song. We have yet to talk about... The Video... -dun dun duuuuuun!!!-
So, that all said and done, let's take a look at the latest from Hello! Project's shiny new group, and Experience a First with them in their latest PV, Hajimete wo Keikenchuu. Are you ready? You are!? Okay... LET'S GO!!!! Yatta!
... Where have I seen that wall before? I swear to Moses Paruru and Lord Gaki that I have een that wall somewhere in another PV...
It kinda bugs me that I can't remember where. Urgh!!!
Oh, why hello there, Jesus Karin! Care to tell me where I have seen that wall before? No... Oh, well, fine!
... At least I know that those are the curtains from Yumemiru 15sai, and possibly Ren'ai Hunter, so THERE!!!
... H!P are truly into recycling, it seems. How eco-friendly!
And yes, Peach-Dayso is positively adorable in this! Her Puppy-eyed cuteness is just so... <3
Sayuki, on the other hand, looks like a glass-eyed doll. In a way, it's cute, in another way, it is bloody creepy...
Creepy kinda wins out on the cute, here.
Oh look, a smile! Kinda forced and, er, scary, but still... a smile! YAY!!!
Sayubee: "... I want to fucking kill you..."
I sometimes wonder if there is any emotion other than that one set camera-look Tomato-chan has...
Actually, she seems more like a robot. A talented, cute robot, that is!
... And here is my Melon-pan!!! Ahh, she is so perfect, and... that ear... <3 That smile... Ahhh, so, so perfect...
Melon-pan: "Teehee, silly~"
...!!! BE STILL, MY BEATING HEART!!!!
Jesus Karin: "Mug, you are the only one who understands me..."
Desperate times call for desperate measures when you have no friends... -sips tea-
My darling Melon-Pan, there is no need to feel lonely! I am here for you~~~~
Melon-pan: "... Why don't I have any Sake left in here?"
Erm... Melon-pan, er, Akari... you're like 14... why are you drinking Sake? o-O
Sayubee: "Urgh, I want me some Whisky..."
HEY!!!! THERE'S A LEMON ON THE DESK!!!! I didn't notice that before!!!
Whoop whoop, DISCOVERIES!!! -does a little jig-
Jesus Karin: *giggle* "You're so damn silly, you idiot."
There is an effing peach on my Peach-Dayso's desk! MY LIFE = COMPLETE!!!
Also, I like those rooms... But where have I seen this type of video before...?
Oh yeah... No wonder. This has S/mileage written all over it...
Gurt damnit >o>
If I leave you alone for too long... what? Will you malfunction due to insufficient oil changes or something?
Tomato-chan: "... Beep beep..."
This whole scene and face just made me think of Matsuura Aya... Karin has that vibe! The vibe of a Jesus-like Goddess!!!
... Is that even possible?
Jesus Karin: *giggle* "Of course I am like a Goddess, you effing fool... I am KARIN MIYAMOTO, BITCH!"
o-O Okay, girl, whatever...
Tomato-chan: "... Pretty lady... Must make... Mine... beep beep... Akarin... Love... beep beep..."
Sayubee: "... Did Akari steal my effing Whisky again?"
Sayubee needs to lay off the damn sauce! And hey, the video seems to be about Akari and Tomato-chan's love! D'awwww
... Wait, it's your first time!? GIRL, don't go telling people that, because then they will all want some of the Melon-pan lovin'!!!
... D'awww, I love you! ;w; <3
Hey hey hey now... I like you more than you like me, Peach-Dayso! Don't go confusing the situation, here!
Don't you point that finger!!!... Okay, go on then >3< I love you <3
Okay, I want that couch. Just sayin'~
Akari would be great, too... AND OMFG THERE IS A MELON ON THE BOOKS!!!!
I never noticed the fruit on the tables before... weird...
Sayubee: "When will I get some Whisky?"
Sayubee, stop thinking about alcohol! You're like, 12 or something!!!
Okay, I love that outfit of Peach-Dayso's. The stylists are on-point in this video, I swear o-o
I want your attention badly, but it's not like anyone's going to do anything about it, is there?
Aww... Peach-Dayso, honey, don't worry! I want your attention badly, too! <3 Smile, please~
Tomato-chan: "Analysing... Analysing Akari Uemura details... Finding: Love, Emotion... Computing..."
Our little Robot Tomato-chan is so beautiful~ How no one else snagged her before H!P is beyond me, but boy, am I glad they didn't! So damn amazing~
... WAIT, WHAT? Akari, stop spouting all this dirty stuff!!! I mean, I want to, but I... YOU'RE A MINOR!!!!!
... Tomato-chan is a fucking masochist.
Those lyrics confirm it.
... HOLY FUCKING AYE... this shit just got dirty and, apparently, deep and hard...
Juice=Juice, you were once so innocent, and now... so so dirty... -cries- What happened to you?
Maybe I shouldn't think about it theoretically, Akarin, but you are all so young! I have to wonder how you all became some perverts!!!
Melon-pan: "... Maybe it was the Whisky and Sake I mixed into everyone's Juice?"
You did WHAT!?
Sayubee: "I love you, my little Peach flower~"
Peace-Dayso: "Kyaaaaa, my love~"
... Okay, this part is just damn adorable. That interaction between Peach-Dayso and Sayubee <3
Pach-Dayso, I thought that we discussed this... it is you who does not like me more than I do ;w;
Sayubee "Hey... call me, baby~"
I think that Sayubee is getting her inner flirt on, because she is hitting on me!!! o////o <3
... And flirt-mode is over and done with. Now she's just trying to be adorable, and kinda working it!
Jesus Karin: "... Fucking bitch, tryin' to steal my PV spotlight."
Melon-pan: "I like being centre for this single, it's nice~"
Sayubee: "... I still think Akari stole my Whisky..."
It's a cute family portrait!!! ... Kinda
Jesus Karin: "You can dream before you get a centre position again, you useless little..."
Melon-pan: "Oh, Karin~ You are so funny!... Also, is that Whisky on your breath I smell?"
Jesus Karin: "Shut the Hell up, you little...!!!"
I like the group scenes, but the interactions between Karin and Akari look forced at best, and almost like they want to hurt each other... o-O
Sayubee, are you high in this scene?
Sayubee: "... Yup."
Peach-Dayso: "... I think I've fallen in love with Akarin~"
Tomato-chan: "Beep beep... Enemy detected... Must... Annihilate... Akari... is... MINE!!!"
Jesus: "WAIT, WHAT ABOUT ME!?"
... o-O Sayubee and Peach-Dayso are lovers now!? But I thought that Peach-Dayso was going for Melon-pan!?
... Oh, look at that loving look in Peach-Dayso's eyes, and the murderous intent from Tomato-chan the Robot...
This will not end well, kids.
Sayubee: "Bitch, you is mine. I your Baby Daddy."
Peach Dayso: "But I'm not pregnant..."
Tomato-chan: "Akarin... is... beep beep... mine..."
Jesus Karin: "That Whisky was good..."
You may not have loved anyone, Karin, but I am pretty sure many fans have loved you~
SAYUBEE! You are SO dirty minded!!! Stop saying this filth when you think of Peach-Dayso!!!
... I LOVE YOU!!!! <3
I think that Sayubee has a headache from all that Whisky she has been drinking, and Peach-Dayso is just... being... cute... <3
Jesus Karin: "Why does everyone like Akarin? I'm better than her, more talented, I have more experience and lots of fans... so why does everyone love her more? I mean, I'M THE STAR!?"
Peach-Dayso, if you didn't think with your head, then I would be a little worried.
I swear, this is the cutest part of the entire video, and my favourite of Sayubee's lines. SO ADORABLE!!!
Only You is a Morning Musume song, Tomato-chan~ Also, I love your room!
I swear, Peach-Dayso is just so damn awkwardly adorable!
But... but Akarin, I like you more than you like me!!! ;W; Melon-paaaaan, why so cruel!? Don't blame me!!!
Sayubee: "It may not be Whisky, but maybe I can pawn it off for a bottle later..."
Yellow is such a good colour, just sayin'.
But green is my favourite colour (no lie) and it suits my Melon-pan perfectly! So beautiful~
Also, those EARS <3
Wait, so if I phone any one of you... I WILL BE FORGIVEN? WOOHOO!!!! Where the Hell is my phone!?
... Is that a Troll face?
Jesus Karin: "No no.. it was just a... concentrating on texting Akari face... yeah... I wasn't Trolling her or anything, no no... no..."
Er... sure, okay...
WHERE IS THAT WALL FROM!? I still have no clue!!!! GAAARGH!!!
... -hours later, after Chiima returns from work (and when she stops procrastinating), she continues her post...-
Originally when I first watched the music video for Hajimete wo Keikenchuu, I really did not know what to expect... Okay, that's a lie, because I expected something with trombones, trumpets and anything else jazzy and cool. I was expecting more monochrome, a bit of blues music, and some kickin' choreography... basically, what we have already seen or heard from Juice=Juice.
I certainly was not expecting the sound, or look, of Hajimete wo Keikenchuu. I was actually very surprised by it.
It is, quite literally, a change of tune for Juice=Juice. Unlike their other music videos, which are focused on their performance and structured choreography, this video has the main focus of acting, which is a new challenge for Juice=Juice as a group. There is no dancing here, which is strange in itself as we rarely see a H!P video focused solely on the acting skills of the girls - In fact, the last two music videos that focused solely on the performance of the girls and how they expressed themselves were C-ute's Aitai Lonely Christmas, and S/mileage's Samui ne (which is a terrible example, because that is a terrible music video) which are, oddly enough Christmas/Winter singles... and in a way, so is this single, but enough of these random ties! This video, like the other two mentioned, is pretty much focused on how the girls express themselves through the lyrics of the song, and we find that the members of Juice=Juice are in a more relaxed, docile setting that is relate-able and realistic. For me as a viewer, it was very nice to see this side of Juice=Juice, who I usually think of as cool and mature, but here they look like normal teenage girls in a setting that some of us may be familiar with.
The PV itself, oddly enough, has a pretty structured storyline. Given that this is a Hello! Project produced music video, that is rather strange, but oddly enough the video itself follows the lyrics of the song and creates the story from there. In the video, we see the girls from day to evening, and watch as they all wait upon the phone call of the person they like, constantly questioning that persons feelings towards them, and wondering if they are the only one who has any attraction or feelings towards them, disbelieving in their mutual love. There are conflicting feelings, the impatience of waiting for their phones to ring, doubt and excitement - all feelings that describe their frustration towards their love for that person, and their growing excitement at the realisation that they will ring them. I found that their performance in the video worked well for the song, and I liked seeing the varying emotions on their faces as they tried to translate how the character within the song was feeling. It was a new look for Juice=Juice, to see them focusing so much on how they translated the song itself, but it was very well done and allowed us to see the innocence of these girls who were experiencing a first love.
Image wise, the video is very colourful and cute, contrasting greatly from their cool and classic videos that they have released beforehand. It is, however, a pretty basic PV, and reminds me greatly of S/mileage's second indies single, Asu wa Date na no ni, Imasugu Koe ga Kikitai. It has the same structure and layout, pretty much; girls waiting in their rooms for someone they like to call them, with the only difference being that Asu wa Date had a dance shot, and that the girls of S/mileage actually had their own rooms instead of the same room that had been re-done with new curtains and a different piece of fruit on the desk or table. In fact, even the songs are similar... but we will get to that later on.
I like the video, in fact I like it a great deal, but there were a few things that I really did not find too brilliant about it, either. The first being the editing; whilst I can clearly see what is being done with the editing, such as following each girl in a clear sequence, I found the editing jagged and noticeable. I like smooth transitions, where it flows beautifully. Sadly, some of the shots here were less than smooth, mostly between the changes in rooms. The cut of the edit is so noticeable during these shots, probably because the cameras have been moved or the transitions are at different points in the edit, and it does irritate me a little. This may be me being picky, but I find it a bit annoying... this is, of course, a small matter, and nothing to fret over. I just have certain preferences, it seems.
The other thing that I seem to have had a bit of an issue over (I don't think it's an issue, but let's just call it that...) was Sayuki. I think Sayuki is adorable, and one amazing singer and performer, but here... everything seemed a little more forced than normal. In dancing, she is really natural and amazing, but in acting, she seems to bring on this character of 'cuteness', trying her hardest to be this adorable little girl we want to hug and adore. Of course, we normally want to do that, but watching Sayuki in Hajimete wo Keikenchuu was somewhat uncomfortable at times. The way she smiled or acted seemed unnatural, a total contrast to the natural and believable acts of Karin and Akari, and it seemed like she was giving off this very forced, try-hard feeling to the shots that she was in. I know that she was trying to come across as a cute girlfriend waiting on her boyfriend, but it really did feel like she was forcing it out, rather than allowing her natural feelings to come across. But that was my only issue with the acting, it seems.
That all that said and done, I think that PV was well done. I liked that it showed all five girls, alternating between shots to keep a consistent storyline, and that all five of those girls represented that one person waiting on that special phone call from their beloved. I also liked the use of colour changes, whilst still within the same setting, and the clear storyline that the video has. The girls also did well in portraying the emotions and actions of the character within the song, allowing all of the girls to shine in this video. There really was no focus on one certain member here... it was fairly done, and allowed us to see all of the girls and their portrayal of the songs lyrics.
Looking at the song now, it is very clear that this is a different tune for Juice=Juice. Hajimete wo Keikenchuu is softer and has a sweet, innocent sound that is so fresh to the group. It is extremely gentle to listen to, and is just extremely pleasing to the ears for me, allowing me to enjoy it greatly. Because of this gentle softness, the song is actually great for the weaker vocals of the group, Akari and Yuka, whilst also serving as a great platform for the stronger vocalists of Juice=Juice. It's new territory, and allows for girls like Karin, Tomoko and Sayuki to sing in a new tone and soften their vocals, whilst still allowing them to sound amazing. I actually think that all of the girls sound amazing, because it's such a flexible song for all of their voices, but I was amazed by the soft and gentle sound of Akari and Tomoko in this song. They really appealed to me with this new sound, and their voices were just gorgeous to listen to, especially Akari. Yes, I know that Akari is my favourite, but I really was not expecting to hear that voice come out of her. She has a very pretty voice, and whilst she has little strength in singing a powerful tune, this song here is her strong point, and she sounded wonderful.
Another thing that I liked was how much focus was on the vocals in this song; there is a lot of expression used here, such as when the girls lift the notes when they express a certain word. I love that emphasis in the song, especially when it comes to Sayuki's wonderful line where she expresses the words Suki na no! They sound wonderful, and it allows the emotions of the lyrics to come to life and sound believable. It is all downright adorable, and the highlight of the entire song.
Thinking about the instrumental itself now, I liked the addition of the background vocals during the instrumental breaks. It was interesting to hear a radio announcer of sorts in the background, broadcasting the weather in English. This for me kept the song pretty interesting, and whilst I have no understanding of just why Tsunku decided to add the radio announcers voice in there, I like to believe that this little snippet of editing is something of a homage to Juice=Juice's radio show.
Now that I said what I feel needs to be said, I want to bring up the similarities between Asu wa Date and Hajimete wo Keikenchuu as a song. The similarities in the videos are very clear, and I think a lot of people have already connected those two together upon seeing this video, but listening to the song itself as well as looking at the lyrics, I realise that the similarities do not stop there. For the first time, I decided to really read the lyrics of both songs, and they are practically the same. Shocking? Probably not, because this is H!P, but both songs focus on a girl waiting for someone to call. They want to hear that voice, they are impatient to see them, they want that persons attention and love for themselves... the only difference is that in Asu wa Date, they will meet each other for a date, whilst Hajimete wo Keikenchuu is about the girl waiting for him to call her, but they have the same basic outline in meaning.
Heck, if you listen closely, even the sound of Hajimete wo Keikenchuu sounds similar to Asu wa Date, and the structure of the song is pretty similar too, if you ask me. This song may not be as up-beat as what Asu wa Date is (though it isn't that up-beat compared to a good chunk of the S/mileage discography) but they are both on similar wavelengths.
Basically, Hajimete wo Keikenchuu is a carbon copy of Asu wa Date, give or take a few things. The only differences really are the fact that Asu wa Date has a dance shot, four singers, and less vocal talent available. Oh, and they had a better budget, but that was back when H!P spent money, you know?
Regardless of all of the recycling and rehashing though, I do think that Hajimete wo Keikenchuu is a pleasant addition to the Juice=Juice discography. It is a nice song, one that strikes a new tune for Juice=Juice, and one that allows us to finally hear and appreciate the vocals of Akari and Yuka. It's not new, but heck, it's certainly different, and I think we have been in need of something like this from Juice=Juice.
Or at least that's what I think...
So what are all of your thoughts on the video? Do you like this change of pace for Juice=Juice, or do you find it boring? Are the similarities between Hajimete wo Keikenchuu and Asu wa Date far too strong? Let me know!