All thoughts and opinions regarding the following group, their music and their PV are mine and mine alone. Don't like my opinion, then don't read my post. Simple as~
It's been a while since I did a PV review... so why not do one on a group that I am loving so much right now? And why not do a Summer song whilst we're at it! YEAH!!!
... Wait, what?
Yeah, I know what you're thinking right now; A summer song, in the winter? Has Chiima finally gone bat-shit crazy (that's a trick question, I was always bat-shit crazy!) or did someone put something in her tea? Well, I can safely say that no, no one has put anything in my tea, because firstly I don't drink tea, and secondly this is Houkago Princesses latest single, which came out on November 27th of this swiftly ending year! Yeah, I know... a summer song in the winter, who woulda funk it!? But seriously now, if Sexy Zone can get away with it like they did last year, where I think they introduced a bloody Christmas song before Halloween, then Hell, HouPri can try it too!
... Though their second A-side on this single is actually a Christmas song, but whatever!
Despite the confusion of which season it is though, I am going to take a look at Atsu wa Natsui today, the first PV of two from Houkago Princesses latest single, Samu wa Fuyui! Will the song and video warm us all up this winter season and allow us to look forward to Summer '14? Well, let's take a look and see! Summer time, we have not forgotten you!!! Let's START!!!
... Er, HouPri... it's kinda the wrong time of the year to go to the beach...
Yeah, you're not listening, are you? Well, whatever.
If you all catch pneumonia then don't blame me!
God I want those fans... <3
This one is for all my readers who have a foot fetish~ Just look at them feet, so saucy in the sand~
Good lord, if I went to the beach in that attire today, I'd freeze me knickers off. Brrr!!!
Nanyan: "Ehe, I has no bewbs...~"
Well, at least Nana finds her lack of cleavage funny, because not all women do.
Am I watching a PV, or the opening for Odagiri Nana's Princess Nana gravure DVD?
... Oh wait, if it was gravure, she'd be semi naked by now.
Miran in shorts... my life is complete now <3 And oh, hi thar Mayuka in the background!
... I thought you graduated?
Saorin has the cutest mouth ever. The amount of over-enthusiasm she shows by just opening her gob is pure cuteness, love and joy for me! <3
Miho-tan, having hair stuck up one nostril is not a very attractive feature, you know?
Saorin is so adorable when she has fun in the sand... <3
Look at all the adorable Gen 5 cadets! Especially that adorable Marina in the middle, there! D'awww lemme pinch dem cheeks... <3
A rare sight to behold... Saorin with her mouth closed! But damn, she is a cutie <3
AND I WANT THAT FAN!!!
Riho wants a HUUUUUG!!! -squidges her- MA BABY <3
... Do I spy Gen 4's Shiraishi Rika here?
HOLY CRAP, I DO!!! She made it into the PV!!! -cries-
Oh hai thar, Risarina. You so cute <3
Risarina: "... Fucking troll."
Riho just loves the camera, so here she is!!!
Miho-tan's little scrunchy face is just so cute, omg, lemme pinch dem cheeky cheeks... <3 <3
... Risarina, stop laughing at me >o> Or I'ma pinch your cheeks too!
... I think Mayuka is the cute, Japanese version of the Stupidly Photogenic Guy or something, because I sear, all her images have been GOOD O-O
Aw shit, Gen 5 Cadets are running away! Quick, get the tranquilliser gun!!! YES, THE HORSE ONE WILL DO!!!!
Nana knows she's hot and that you love her. ADMIT IT!
Nanyan: "... Oh, my hair..." -flips it sensually-
I may have to buy your gravure DVD, Nana.
Mayuka is so happy she returned to HouPri! Modelling is not for you, the Idol life is, girl!!! <3
... Marina... don't cover me... NO KYOKA, NOT THE HAT, I HATE THE HAT ; A;
Riho: "And this is what I use on Kyoka-chan and Marina-chu when they want me to punish them!"
Whatever you do happen to do with that stick, Riho, please make sure I'm not there when it happens... kay?
Riho: "No promises~" -giggle-
Kyoka: "OMFG THE CAMERA <3"
Rin-sama: "Hahaha -snort- hahahahaha -snort, giggle, snort- HA!!!"
I think that Rin is laughing at the small package their cameraman has. Poor Camera-san...
... RIKA ;____;
It's nice to see Gen 3 together, though I miss Nene being here, too... ;_____;
Saorin is a graceful, effortless bundle of beauty, pigtails, fake eyelashes and fake nails... <3
... Wait, Saorin, are you a Gyaru!?
Rin has an infectious, happy smile... and she is just beautiful <3
Nana, don't be shy... the camera loves you...
No, don't look away Nana... the fans want you to pose for them...
Yes, that's right Nana, pose... now, remove your clothes slowly...
Nana: "... WHAT!?"
Shit, she's onto us! RUN!!!!!!!
The coy and delightful smile of Mayuka Miyashita as she subtly but sweetly eye-fucks the hell out of the camera.
Kyoka is so stylish, and Kyoka is just adorable! Why so sweet!?
Risarina, Riho... have you two been drinking from the Sake cooler again!?
Risarina: "... *hick* Nooooo..."
... for a second there, I had to double take because I thought Michishige Sayumi had stepped into HouPri o-O
Just look at that smile, one that exudes such confidence in herself. Just seeing that smile, you know she's aware of how important she is in HouPri... yeah, it's that smile!
And damn, she looks SO good doing it! WERK IT, IRL! #Werkandtwerk
They have really kicked that sand to oblivion, haven't they? Poor sand...
MIHO!!! Why aren't you jumping with everyone else!?
... Okay, why are Miho and Saorin defying everyone else and pointing their fans down!? You two are so rebellious! Tut tut, girls! Tut tut!
I have no idea what that says, but I do see that the camera was out of focus for this shot! For shame, Camera-san!!!
... And with that, our last little inkling of Summer time happiness is over! Winter is here now, so I guess we have to succumb to it. Brave that cold, get out those horrible dark clothes we keep at the back of the closet, and give in... or, we can just reply this video and remind ourselves that the Summer will come again as we prance around our rooms, cranked to the max with heat, in bikini's or shorts!
... Actually, I like that idea better!!! Let's replay the video!
In all seriousness though, I was really surprised when I found out that Houkago Princess were going to bring out a single that combined their 'strongest' Summer and Winter songs that they have sung during their stages before now, because when it came out in November... it was cold, and you don't really think of 'Summer' when it's November, foggy, cold and bitter out. You think of coats, scarves and gloves, and wondering why the Hell you can't stay wrapped up in bed to ignore the world and the inevitable moments your alarm will ring to get you out of bed for school or work. That's what November reminds me of... not Summer, cuteness, beaches, bikini's and fun. November is the month of bitterness.
... Oh wow, don't I sound chipper? XD
Getting back on track though, one of the more surprising aspects of Atsu wa Natsui was the sound of the song. I thought that, like most Idol summer songs, this one would be cute, up-beat, peppy and overly generic... and though I can't speak for everyone and how they feel about this song, I personally found this song refreshing and different from other summer songs. Sure, it has that generic HouPri sound, but it infuses a rather rocking back beat with a great guitar piece thrown into the background of the instrumental for fun, as well as that usual Idol sound we get with cutesy songs like this.
But even with a typical sound, it doesn't exactly remind me of summer... it just makes me think of HouPri and how energetic and good they have become in terms of their sound and vocals. Once, they sounded less than enthusiastic, soft and, well... overly generic, but now it's a bit different. There is emotion behind their lines, they have improved a bit as a singers, and their instrumentals sound a lot better than when they started out. It was surprising to hear that Atsu wa Natsui sounded the way it did, but I am happy that HouPri have come to this point in their Indies Idol career. They sound better, their material is a little stronger than when they started out, and this song is just... well, it's pretty amazing in my opinion.
For me, this is probably the strongest song the group has come out with. Now, I can't say it is the best song for sure as I have yet to hear all of their discography (I still need to hear the other b-sides from their last single and the b-sides from this single... and all the songs they keep for their venues) but out of the songs that have been released publicly, this is the best of the lot. It has a lot more variety in its sound, there is clear enthusiasm and emotion from the singers, and it has a little more of an adventurous vibe to it. It's good, and for a summer song, it's pretty rockin'!
Compared to the song though, the PV is a rather summery, adorable affair where we see the girls dance on the beach, run towards the camera, away from it, and just look adorable as they play around with each other! It's your typical, sweet beach video, one which hasn't resorted to the typical Idols in bikini's summer PV that a lot of Idol groups tend to lean towards now. Instead, the girls are in rather summery, but still modest, clothes such as shorts, dresses and cute, flowing shirts. It creates such a natural presence on the camera, and with how the girls interact with the viewers, it also makes you think of a day out to the seaside with your friends, or in the case of Nana's solo shots, a summer date by the waves as you walk together and look out at the sea.
It is a very sweet video, one which includes a good deal of shots that allow the viewers to familiarise themselves with the girls. Unlike the PV for Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~ (2013 ver.) which was so clustered and claustrophobic, this PV has a little more space and air to breath, and allows us to look at the girls individually for once... especially the ones who run up to the camera like their lie depends on it... (Hi, Riho! <3)
Other than finding the video sweet and enjoyable though, I do also think that this is one of the best videos to come out of the HouPri PV batch so far. Not only does it sit comfortably in my 'simple is best' drawer when it comes to PV's, but it is also one of the first PV's where the girls of Houkago Princess fully look comfortable in front of the camera, and where they really do shine individually. Do you know how wonderful it is to see Odagiri Nana, who can look so awkward and out of place in past PV's, look so confident, happy and full of beans in this video? It's amazing! It really makes me feel like I am watching a professional when I watch Nana in this, because she looks so content and aware of how well she is doing here. For the first time in a HouPri PV, my eyes were glued to Nana... and I fell in love.
ESPECIALLY during that scene! That smile <3 That content, self-aware, smug face! Everything about that scene was just so spot on and wonderful! <3 NANA!!!!
So yeah... it's a cute, natural PV that exudes happiness and confidence, and really makes me think of a lovely summer day out with friends, or going on a date with Nana at the beach. It's simple, but it's enjoyable, and I think that this is the best PV to come out of Houkago Princess since their debut back in 2011. Sure, they will probably have even better PV's in the future, but this is the best so far for me... it's lovely, enjoyable, and just wonderful to watch, despite the fact that it's the winter right now!
The song is surprising, but it's delightful and the best I have heard from HouPri since their debut, and the video is also a wonderful addition, and the best I have seen from them! So all in all, it's a Win/Win for Houkago Princess with Atsu wa Natsui, the summer song that came around a little bit late. But when it's this wonderful... who cares, right?
A summer that has come early in the winter. May the bleakness of these winter days before Christmas be brightened with a simple summer video! Enjoy!