Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Bouncey, Energetic, Happy and Fun Houkago Princess One-Man Live Experience! 'Houkago Princess @Shibuya O-EAST Live' DVD Review!

All opinions within this post are strictly my own. If you do not like what I like, then you don't have to read it. If you dislike my writing, but want to read it to fuel your anger towards me, feel free to read then! Just don't post unnecessary hate to my blog because you feel like I should think the way you want me to. Kay, thanks, bye.

Random Note: I don't typically do DVD reviews, probably because I barely buy DVD's, so if this is a bit bleeeh/bad, my apologies, it's because this is actually a first for me XD Thanks!

PS: This is gonna be a long-ass post, so grab some coffee, tea or whatever it is you drink and probably a cupcake. Heck, start making dinner, this may take some time.

A while ago, back in May actually, I received a package from Japan that contained something I had really really wanted the moment I knew it was available. Now it wasn't the easiest to get, considering it was only available in Japan and probably purchasable at venues, so I did have the help of a third-party person to get this, and boy, I do not regret buying this one bit!

If you haven't guessed yet, which you may have given the title of the post and all that jazz, I purchased the Houkago Princess LIVE @Shibuya O-EAST, performed on February 18th of this year! And yes, I am really happy to have it and excited to share this post with you because, as everyone and their figurative and/or real cat knows, I just LOVE Houkago Princess! I'm obsessed, actually, but whatever!


I actually have the lovely Nozomi to thank for this, because without her I wouldn't have been able to purchase this item! It was on Yahoo Japan, and I wanted it pretty badly, so when my friend suggested Nozomi as a potential third party to buy and send this to me, I talked to her a bit and got to know her, and she happily accepted to help me with my bid for an item I so dearly wanted! Talking to her and buying the item was quick and easy, she is very efficient and swift, so I was really happy! The package arrived safely and quickly too, and she even put in a little note which made me smile and feel so fortunate! Also, she speaks beautiful English, so speaking to her through Facebook was easy as well. To say I recommend Nozomi is an understatement, because it truly was a pleasure doing business with her!

With that said, today I will be taking a look at the very first DVD release for my beloved Houkago Princess, sharing with you my thoughts and feelings, and of course, screen captions! Are you ready to fangirl with me? No? Well buckle your seat-belts, cos I don't care! OFF WE GO, ON THE HOUPRI TRAIN! CHOO CHOO!!!!


The concert starts with your typical opening VTR, introducing the members who are performing on the day. Now, given this is HouPri, an indies group who are still getting their name out there, the VTR isn't that great, so don't expect anything like AKB48 or Hello! Project's standards of editing for the members. Actually, wait. The VTR is probably better than what H!P's are, because I've seen the chunks of shoe missing on some of their VTR's. At least the HouPri staff had the decency not to cut up the images to a stupid CGI background. So er, yeah... their imagery is probably better than H!P's is right now... weirdly enough o-O


Anyways... the concert opener is was the current newest song at the time, Atsu wa Natsui, which was their summer song that they released back in November. Makes sense, I know. Still, this was a pretty damn strong opening song thanks to those opening guitar rifts it has that sound oh-so delightful! That, and it actually sounds a lot better in concert than it does as a studio recording because there is a lot more energy and cheering going on thanks to the fans as well as the girls themselves, giving it their all. Also, it's really jumpy, so that just adds to the excitement of it all.


Always in need of some jumpin' when it comes to our Idols! Also, those costumes are so freakin' cute it may just be a little bit criminal.


When I first watched this concert, I actually thought that this was the perfect starter song not just because of how fun it is, but because of how it seems to bring both the crowd and HouPri together; both the energy and the chants from both parties just brought everything together perfectly, and the song truly came to life. It's an amazing concert song, so to use it as a starter for the entire set-list was the best thing to do because it really got the crowd pumped and set the girls' adrenaline pumping too, I bet! I just loved it, and even now I get really excited when I listen to this song mixed with the chants and cheers of the crowd. It's just wonderful!


Once the wonder that was Atsu wa Natsui finished up, the girls introduced themselves to the crowd, starting with the adorable Sahochi!


Saho is a cutie pie, and I really fell in love with her catchphrase, which goes a little like this; "Over there? Here? Which one? -crowd and members cry- Sahochi!" so it's a bit of a shame that she doesn't really get much spotlight in the concert, or any solo lines, due to the fact that she was, and still is, a Cadet, which pretty much equals her to a background dancer and nothing more. Again, a real shame, because she looks too cute to be true!


Next up was Marina, or Marichu, another Cadet at the time and the cry-baby chairman of the bunch. She's adorable, with lovely big ears and a sweet face that just crinkles up whenever she smiles! Seriously, she's adorable, and her introduction was filled with energy, even if I have no clue what the heck she is saying! She speaks quite fast too, so I guess that caters to her energy!

Sadly, once again Marichu is another case of a member barely being seen or heard, due to the fact that her status puts her in the back, keeping her solely as backing vocals and a backing dancer. BOO!!!!!


Part of the Sanki (3rd) generation, Miran! She's one of the girls who impressed me to no end here, simply because she has a bundle of energy and a derpy smile to boot in this concert! She's just infectiously happy, she makes me smile, and I just really like her. Though she isn't a prominent focus in vocals (though more-so than most), she seems to be a bit of a focus in dancing here, which pleases me greatly. She's eye-catching, that's for sure, and a delight to watch in this concert!


Part 2 of the Sanki generation, it's Miho-tan! Soft-spoken and just plain adorable, she's a sweetie pie. I really don't have much to say about Miho-tan other than she's just rather cute and fun to watch in the concert, but she didn't stand out either like other girls did. Still, a cute girl, just a bit too demure for my tastes!


Centre President, Nananyan! The leader of HouPri and probably the most popular member for good reasons, she takes most of the solo lines in songs, sometimes all the solo lines if the song only has one solo in it. She's rather prominent in the concert, though it's obvious why; this one-man live was filmed on her birthday, February 18th, so of course she would take the focus in certain songs! Okay, so she generally takes on the focus in most songs, but she is the longest-serving member of the group currently (if you include Miyashita Mayuka's graduation and then sudden re-emergence in the group) and their leader, so I don't blame them for focusing on her a lot. That said, I like Nananyan, she's a fun girl and she owns her solo lines, always smiling and looking adorable as she does what she does best: being an Idol!


Okay, my cutie-patootie is coming up, and that is Saorin! Ah, Saorin, you genki little thing! I seriously love you in this, and not just because you sometimes look like a really happy granny, but because you're a ball of mad energy and happiness and all things cute! You are just... ahhh! I love Saorin, she's wonderful in this. Watching the concert, she was one of the few girls aside from Rin and Miran to really catch my eye and keep a watch on her, because she is simply one giant ball of happiness and sugar! Seriously, I think this girl took a bag of sugar and doused herself in it before walking on stage, because she is just nuts with her jumping sometimes! If there is any contender for happiness and energy here, it's this girl here! She's a sack of cuteness and buzz, I swear! Also, it makes me happy that, despite not singing a whole lot of solo lines, she does seem to announce quite a bit, so her cute voice is heard in a way! WHOOPEE!!!


2.5 Dimensional Chairman, Mayukyandi! She's a damn cutie, and whilst she looks a little dead-eyed and soulless a good deal of the time, I can look past that because she is just adorable! Much like Miho-tan, I'm not crazy on her in the concert, but she does have a solo song and takes on a few important duo lines with Nananyan, so she does have some focus in the concert and a bit more of a prominent role, and she takes on her role well! She's a good performer, but again, not someone I focused on really.


Finally, it's Rin! Recently graduated now, this was the last concert Rin performed in before suspending her activities in order to focus on acting, I believe, so there is actually a lot of focus on Rin during this performance, which pleased me a lot, but also saddened me a great deal because, damnit, I realised just how much I loved Rin! She's a fantastic performer, the best of the bunch actually, so it's a shame she left. Still, at least she had a pretty big role here, with some solo lines and centre positions too! So her last hurrah was a good one, at least, and it was not in vain! YATTA!

So, now that the introductions are all over and done with, it's time for the next song! MUSICU STARTO!


Watashi no migite anata no Hidarite ~Gyutteshitai~ is the second song to officially get this party started, and who better to centre the dance of the song in the beginning than my own personal bundle of happiness and joy, Saorin? Seriously, she just looks so damn happy doing this, and I can't blame her; it's a cute song! It's jumpy, energetic and sweet as sugar... kind of like Saorin, actually! So yeah, perfect person to start off the dance, really!


Okay, so admittedly this isn't exactly a chant-driven song like Atsu wa Natsui is, and it wasn't as good as what the concert opener was, but it still delivers energy and a bit of bounce and it did liven the crowd up some more, but it wasn't my favourite performance of the whole DVD at all. Still, I enjoyed it immensely regardless because of how cute and fun it seemed. I find myself singing along to it a lot too, though that's true for most of the songs on this DVD, so yeah... cute song, but it's not the best performance on here!


DERP <3

One of many screenshots you will see of the lovely Yamaguchi Miran!


Still, I do love the amount of cute screenshots Watashi no migite anata no Hidarite ~Gyutteshitai~ provided me!

Okay, so this is a completely new song, one I didn't know existed, though that can be said for a good majority of the HouPri songs I suppose; not a lot of their discography is released to the public, like Housoubu Please or even Kojiki Shika!, two songs that were solely limited venue-only releases, and some of their known songs like CHOU Happy Birthday have never even made it onto a CD yet, so when I heard this song for the first time, I wasn't surprised to hear it, but I do wish it was on a CD as well. Why? Well, it's freaking good, that's why!


Smile×3 ~egao zutto sai ta mama de~ is a song I really hope is on the groups new single, because I do like it. I know it may be music to my ears and everyone else may just hate it, but seriously, I like it a lot. It's energetic, fun, memorable and catchy and just a really great tune! The opening is pretty good and promises a fun song, and it delivers in my opinion. Yes, I think that about most HouPri songs, but I still think it's a song that delivers well, especially to the crowd.

I especially love the chorus of Smile×3 ~egao zutto sai ta mama de~. It's bouncy and, combined with the clapping and cheering of the crowd, it sounds so happy and enjoyable! Also, given the title of the song, it should be no surprise to anyone that it does actually bring a smile to my face when I listen to it!


Because Rin-sama is just so beautiful, especially when she sings with passion and warmth! Also, she has a solo line in this song, and I just squeed when I heard her voice! Definitely the best singer of the lot here!


Miran, don't eat the microphone! We need that for future performances!

Miran: "Om nom nom..." -points finger to Chiima and shoots her-


It's a great song, a strong one at that, and I am glad it was added to the DVD. (because some songs weren't, believe me, the bonus DVD proved that XD) I just kinda wish that this new song, one that I had never heard before until I watched this concert performance, was on a CD for me to enjoy in the studio version! Oh well, for now I will relish in the beauty of its concert performance until it's released... eventually!


Okay, so the next performance is probably one of my favourite performances in the setlist, simply because Rin. Rin, Rin, Rin. Where would I be without you here, aye? Not just Rin, either, but also Miran and Nana and also PURE HEART being the song. Basically, everything about this song rocks in my opinion. Then again, I do have a deep, mysterious love for PURE HEART that I can not really explain, it's just that deep and mysterious. My Pure Heart loves it. YUR!!!


Okay, So PURE HEART is actually one of my favourite HouPri songs from their early days, period. It was originally one of the few songs I refused to listen to because, at first, I didn't get it. I didn't get why it sounded the way it did, I didn't get my feelings for it. Then I listened to it about a year or two later, and I realised I was wrong to judge it. So wrong. Oh Gosh, I was stupid. It's a song that, like much of HouPri's discography, seems to have two beats to it; something cool and a bit mature, and then suddenly its cute and a little more upbeat than it was supposed to be. Thing is, that's what's good about it, and seeing it performed live by Rin, an amazing freakin' singer for an Idol, Nana, who has so much charisma and sweetness, and Miran, who actually centres the song dance wise and adds a bit of rawness to PURE HEART with her vocals, is wonderful! I loved these three together, they made the song with their varying tones in voice and it just worked so well!

If y'all haven't guessed yet, I'm in love with this song, this performance... EVERYTHING! How they do it without Rin now is beyond me, because damn, she cannot be replaced! Unless Maika has replaced her, then I kinda accept that.


Definitely one of my top performances from the entire concert here, simply because it combines three different vocals, and just because I love the song too. Also, Miran as a centre focus is great! It makes up for her lack of solo lines in this song, which Rin and Nana did dominate, because she brought this sense of roughness to the dance. And yes, I am saying she is less graceful than the other girls are when it comes to dancing, but that's what makes Miran work with HouPri! We need someone who's a little bit less dainty!


Okay. Here we go. The Squeaky-Lolita song, Auau→Kyururun! This was one of my favourite songs from the Samu wa Fuyui single, and a song where I actually know a good chunk of the lyrics actually, I know quite a few lyrics to most HouPri songs >o< BRAG TIME because it is so. God. Damn. CATCHY! It's also filled with sugar and rainbows and Unicorns, just like Mayukyandi, who sings the song! Have I failed to mention that this is her solo song? I have failed to do just that? Well, guess what? This is the only solo song in the entire set-list, so there we go!


To say this song is adorable is an understatement, because it's just so sweet! Okay, so Mayuka isn't the best singer in the world, but hey, at least she sounds the same live as she does on her recording, albeit a little more out of breath due to bouncing around a bit on stage, and her pitch is pretty good, so she gets many points for that in my eyes. Also, she's just too lovely! I loved the costume she came out in and the energy she delivered! Not the most energetic performance, granted, but she was a joy to watch and I was happy to finally see a full live demonstration of this song and actually hear that Mayuka sounds that way in real life when singing.

... Actually, she kinda sounds that way even when speaking, so there we go! She's just this squeaky, cute little ball of high-pitched adorableness!


All that said, the only disappointment for this performance of Auau→Kyururun was the lack of dancing in it. It was more like bounce-shuffle-bounce. Then again, I did make up an entire dance in my head for this song when listening to the CD track, so I was pretty much setting myself up for nothing but sadness and dashed hopes. Oh well, c'est la vie, as they say! ONTO THE NEXT PERFORMANCE, MAESTRO!


Oh gosh, Sanki Very Much. I use this song as a reference with my Idol friends when I want to be funny/punny, only to realise they have no clue what I'm on about. Damn it! Anyway, aside from using this song as a pun/reference, it is also another one of my favourite songs from HouPri's discography, and one of those songs that was never released publicly, only as a limited venue release with the Housoubu Please single, which is annoying. I mean, come one! This is a fantastic song, so why keep it from us!? It's great!


As you may guess from the title, Sanki Very Much is a generation song for the, drum roll please... Third generation! Originally it was written to introduce the seven members of that generation, though now only three (Sakuragi Nene is on hiatus) currently remain, so of course the song is sung by the only two members of said generation performing, Miho-tan and Miran! And boy, is it a fun performance! It's super cute, the dance is very energetic and fits to the beat of the song wonderfully, and I really love the costumes! It seems to combine the girlyness of Miho-tan with the boyish feel of Miran thanks to the wrist bands, trainers and the sports socks. It just combines these two together well, and they pull it off!


I just love the crowd in this song too, I really do think that one of the great things about this concert is how the crowd interacts with the songs and really brings them to life through the use of clapping, chants and cheers. I swear, the crowd for this performance were so invested, and that is one of the strong points of this entire DVD, in my opinion; despite the fact that this is a smaller crowd than what H!P, AKB or Perfume have, I feel like the crowd truly does participate, and it brings the more upbeat, chant-driven songs lik Sanki Very Much to life. Add in the energetic loudness that is Miran, and you have one upbeat song that is so fun and jumpy, you just want to join in!

And yes, on a few occassions, I have kind of joined in. Sadly bouncing around my room is not classed as dancing XD


Also, the faces Miran pulls here! I absolutely love how cheerful she looks, and then cute and a bit derpy the next. She is love!


And a bit of Miho-tan, because yes, we are lacking in Miho-tan in here!


Another one of my favourite performances, and one of my favourite songs from the HouPri discography in general, Sanki Very Much is just amazing in my eyes and to my ears! It's at the top there with PURE HEART, probably in a tie with that performance actually, because it's just so full of spirit and love! The smiles on the girls is amazing, the dance is fun to watch (aside from a few awkward arm movements, like making boxes?) and the crowd participation is great, too! It's just a well-done song, and one I adore! I am so glad this performance was included in the DVD, you have no idea!


Okay, so after one great performance, there comes... another great performance? Oh, yeah, baby! It's time for some Itoshikute Balloon, which can only mean one thing; Another generation song! WHOOP WHOOP!


Rin: "Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more..."
Saorin: "Yadda, Yadda, Yadda!!!"


Itoshikute Balloon is the 4th generation's song, hence the use of the character 4 in the Japanese Kanji for the song. This is another favourite of mine from the Samu wa Fuyui single that was released last November, mostly because it is one of the best-produced songs this group has released, period, and also because it sounds like the song has come from a really cool anime opening title. Basically it's just all forms of awesome, and it combines one of the best voices of the 4th generation, one miss Hayamizu Rin, with the cutest sagging brow chariman around, my darling Kizuki Saori! So yeah, I'm pretty stoked for this performance!


Rin: "Bye bye, HouPri fans. I'm off to the Theatre!"


Okay, so this isn't one of the strongest performances vocals wise because, hey, it includes Saori and she is all squeak, no pitch control, though Rin makes up for what Saori lacks in the vocals department. In fact, when the song first started to play and the girls started singing, Saorin did sound pretty rough, but she got better as the song went on and became cuter as a result, which was a good thing for my ears. Dance wise, however, this is a pretty good performance; there's a lot going on in the dance in regards to actually moving around, and not bouncing their way through the song, though bouncing does occur. I feel like this song has a few more complex dance movements for Houkago Princesses standards as opposed to their other songs, but I put that down to this being a cooler, more mature sounding number, and the dance does work with it. That said, it isn't the most intricate or complicated dance I have ever seen, I suppose it's fairly simple actually, but for HouPri it looks rather cool to watch.

Enough of the dance though, let's just say something regarding an important factor in this performance number:

Them Costumes.


Okay, so they raided Hard Gay's wardrobe. I swear, most Idols have been doing that a lot lately, mostly Miyabi and Airi, but really, those costumes are nice and, this surprised me when I first saw what they were wearing, rather sexy. Not that HouPri can't be sexy, I'm just saying I've never really seen them wear something that included stockings. I'm used to cuteness and fluff, if anything, so to see them wearing something that was mature in how it looks was different, but rather welcoming. In fact, I love these costumes! They're probably my favourite outfits of the whole set, actually, because they're gorgeous!

Okay, so maybe you think 'sexy clothes' are a little more revealing, but honestly, I find the entire look of Itoshikute Balloon's outfit design rather alluring on both Rin and Saori, especially those gloves and the stockings they wear. They look good, it suits them, and it's pretty damn nice to look at these to Princesses in something less cutesy and a little more ooh-la-la!


So yeah, another brilliant performance, one with some of the best costumes designed for the group. Luckily this is't the last we have seen of the costumes because, with Saorin being the last 4th generation member standing, the song will now be performed as a group song, and all of the members who are Cadets or Regular members get to wear this gorgeous outfit, so it's a win win here!

God damn, Saorin in this stockings, Rin in that hat! Nom!

A rare Nananyan shot appears, quick! CATCH IT!!!
Okay, irony song incoming. Why irony? Because it's Sotsugyoushiki, and even though this concert is a sort-of send off for Rin, she was only on suspension before she graduated, so to sing this graduation song at what was her final performance... well, that's irony in my eyes, and yes, it does make me sad when I watch this certain performance and realise that Rin sang in this, with solo's and all, and it was pretty much her graduation song.

Let the feels flow ;______;


By the way, I feel obligated to mention just how pretty Miran looks in this. Dat hair!

God damn, she is purty!

Also, look! Marina in the background! Hi, Marichu!!!


It's a beautiful performance of Stosugyoushiki, actually, I really liked how it was done. The few dance moves that were included fit with the pace and tone of the song, the atmosphere was quite pleasant and the girls all sounded pretty good. It wasn't one of my favourite performances, but it was a performance that I enjoyed watching due to how sentimental it felt. Then again, I guess that's down mostly to the sound of the song more than anything.


Also, this was one of the few times where I caught a solo shot, a real-life solo shot, of the elusive Michishige Saho! Seriously, the amount of times I tried getting a Close-up of the girl was many, and it is a very difficult feat to achieve, but hey! I got one! Finally!


This was a sweet performance, one which showcased how good Rin's vocals are thanks to the softness of the song, but it's a sad performance when I watch it because I remember that Rin is now gone, her vocal talent no longer a part of HouPri, her loveliness now a part of the theater... in a way, it's a bittersweet performance to watch because it's something I do watch and enjoy, but a song that reminds me that Rin is no longer a part of this group. Sad times, my friends, sad times ;________;


Okay, no time to mope, because HouPri's group anthem is starting! Yes, that's right, Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ is here! My God, has it really been 3 years or so since the debut of this group, with this very song as their first single? Man! I remember when they debuted, the group was a bunch of awkward-looking girls with no rhythm or vocal talent to speak of, and terrible make-up to boot! Okay, so Nananyan is still a tad awkward, but the group has come a long way! I mean, watching this performance of the song proves just how far they've come along in the past three years!


Two of my favourite stand-out girls, together! Rin smiles <3 ;w; -pats tears with handkerchief-


For one, the dance has improved. Like, it's improved for the better. Remember the awkward shuffles and half-assed hand movements the girls had in the PV? Well, there's more jumping, something HouPri does well right now it seems, and the dance moves have become more refined and better executed. I suppose they fired their original choreographer, because I doubt the person who taught them how to shuffle-step in the original ~Oshiete Kudasai~ taught them this energetic bundle of jumping and leg-kicking! It's a step-up, and I really like it. Finally, this song has been brought to life, and the girls actually seem to be enjoying it! Woohoo for upgrades!


I think that, with the upgraded dance and the excessive bouncing, this song actually sounds a lot more lively than what it used to; it feels like the energy is real here, as opposed to forced or fake, and I feel like the girls have truly become invested in the song rather than simply singing it because it's their groups debut song, a song that was meant to define them during their debut into the Japanese entertainment industry. Whilst it was weak and lacking in 2011, now it feels like the girls have truly brought the song to life thanks to the improvement in the choreography and their energy during performances. I really like how it sounds now, I love the way the dance looks, and above all I enjoy the energy the girls bring to the performance and how much they seem to enjoy it. If you were disappointed with the groups original debut PV, then I actually suggest you watch the performance of Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ from this concert to see if it sways your view on the song at all, because it did change my opinion about it, even if that PV was originally the reason why I wanted to start following the group.


I loved old HouPri, but damn, they sure have improved, and I am glad! They were an awkward mess, and now they are an energetic ball of happiness! Delightful!

Captain Miran, reporting for duty!

Okay, Housoubu Please, another one of those pesky songs that never made it to the public stands! What a shame too, because I really like this song, even if it's generic and one of the weaker songs. I personally find it fun and catchy, but that's just me. What irks me, however, is that this is currently the only A-side song to never have a PV released for it. WHHHY? I love it, in all its generic glory!

Ah, well, at least I have a performance to cater to those needs of visual glory now, right? RIGHT!!!


Once again this performance includes a lot of bouncing, especially from Saori, because yes, it is yet another energetic song that requires sugar and happiness galore! And can you blame the girls for doing it? I can't! I actually rather enjoy seeing the group this energetic, given how unenthusiastic they were during their debut and all. It's so nice to see them acting all lively! So yeah, right now I am enjoying just how genki everyone is and absolutely loving the bouncing around like lunatics!


Also, this is probably one of my favourite solo's from Nana in this entire concert. She nailed this solo line in Housoubu Please!


Okay, so I know I say this about pretty much all the performances on here, but honestly, it is fun to watch purely due to the energy exuded and how much fun the girls seem to be having! I liked this performance, even if it wasn't a winner like PURE HEART, Sanki Very much and Itoshikute Balloon were, but it was still a ball of fun to watch! The girls were gems in it, and this song is just enjoyable to listen to in general, so add the performance experience to a song I already like, plus the chanting crowd, and you have a winning combination of ingredients here!


Okay, so after lots of bouncing around (I swear, that is one of the key phrases of this entire post!) there is a bit of an MC break, though I'm pretty sure there were more than about three MC's throughout the entire concert if it hadn't been edited down to an hours worth of footage, but this one focuses on Hayamizu Rin and the fact that this was her last concert before her suspension came into effect. Also, through this MC, I learned that the members have colours! Turns out, Rin's is was yellow. I know Miran's is red, Saho's is light blue thanks to what Twitter tells me, and I have a feeling Miho-tan's is dark blue. The rest? No clue!

Anyway, now that Rin has her flowers, it's time for some more singing, jumping around and yelling at the crowd! Basically, what HouPri do best!


So this is one of HouPri's main chant songs, and it's Kojiki Shika!, which was written as a cheer song for a wrestler the group supported back in 2012. Another venue-only song, which is actually getting released on CD with their new single in August, (I'm full of plugs today!) Rin takes centre position for this song and, of course, the hall fills with penlights in the colour yellow! And yes, I find that sweet, though I know it's rather common for all Wota to tote more than one colour penlight to support various Idols, but still! It's also nice to see the hall filled with a different colour other than red, you know?


Anyway, Kojiki Shika! is a really good song to sing for a concert, mostly because it's the sort of song that really brings the crowd and the group together through the use of chants and fist pumps. That, and it's energetic but also a really cool, mature sound that's different to what we usually hear from HouPri, which is typically cute and sweet. It's more of a soft-rock song, though once the chants die down from the intervals, it becomes a rather cute, upbeat song... and yet, it's still fun to listen to! At first I really could not get my head around how it changed drastically from a soft-rock chant song to this really cute, rather upbeat sound that didn't fit with the tone. Well, I'm used to it now, and I find it endearing and it seems to fit quite well, despite how much the sounds seem to contrast with each other.

No matter what though, it's a good chant song, a real crowd pleaser if anything, and it gives the girls a chance to run around the stage and wave to the fans, which they do in the concert, much to my delight! Also, I'm rather happy that Miran is the crowd leader here; she may not be the best singer, but she does seem to do well at getting the crowd going!


Awww yeah, look at those hands!

Also, when fans just jump up or stand on each others shoulders; I love it! Just some random guy waving his arms and then suddenly, he's gone again! I don't know why but it seems to amuse me quite a bit.


I do love Saorin, even when she seems to be sweating buckets! Either way, she looks happy! Cheerful Saorin! <3


Okay, so we're done with Kojiki Shika!, meaning it's time to grab our towels, wipe off our sweat... no, wait, swing them around? AWWW, YEAH! It's a towel swinging song, meaning that we're going back to a classic oldie, Ichigo Ichie, which is actually from the groups first single and one of the better tracks on the disc. This is a really fun song actually, one of those songs that you sort of cheer to as you sing along. It's pretty infectious actually, really fun and, whilst not the most energetic of HouPri's track list, one of those songs that you can't help but sing along to and chant during certain parts.

It helps that the crowd is chanting here too, so of course, I chant as well. It makes me feel like I'm a part of it all, really!


I actually want one of those towels, because y'know, I'm obsessed with this group and a towel would totally complete me!


To be honest, whilst this isn't the strongest performance on this DVD, in fact its the one I like the least despite the fact that I enjoy the song, I do enjoy Saorin in this because she is damn hyper! That girl is on fire in the energy department, constantly jumping around and screaming down her microphone like a little chipmunk, pumping up the crowd and delivering spirit for the song. I really loved just listening to her screech 'HAI HAI HAI' to the crowd whilst everyone else sang. I mean, that's weird to like something like that about a performance, but her crazy cheerful spark is rubbing off on me here and making a better impression than the song itself.

Weird, I know, but it's Saorin, and I love her so there we go!


And thus, Ichigo Ichie comes to an end, which ultimately means that the group has ended their run for the concert! So with a few bows, curtseys and goodbyes, it seems that we have finally completed our run of HouPri for the day.

... Or have we? Of course not! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I tricked you all into false security, HAH!


Okay, so it's not really the end as you know, because obviously there's an encore, or a Nyancore in Houkago Princess terms... well, Nananyan terms, given it is her Birthday and all. So, out they come again wearin Nananyan Birthday shirts, and what better song to sing in a Birthday shirt than Happy Birthday?

Actually, CHOU Happy Birthday! WOOHOO, FINALLY!!!


CHOU Happy Birthday, one of those songs that really needs a CD release (because it actually has yet to have one) is the designated Birthday song of HouPri and, obviously, a Nananyan lead because it's her Birthday. Amazingly enough, Saorin gets a bit of a lead in this as she has the Omedetou solo lines to sing, with everyone else as the chorus. I was really surprised by that and extremely pleased because, in all her squeaky glory, Saorin! I love her! So yeah, of course I'm happy, though it would have been nice to see Sahochi or Marichu have a go at even a five syllable solo line, but still! SAORIN!!!


The dance for this song actually hasn't changed much from the original dance in the PV, if at all, though it looks less crowded here. It's rather cute and simplistic in execution and, once again, stupidly bouncy! How these girls actually manage to catch any breath throughout this entire concert is beyond me, let alone sing, they bounce so much! Well whatever, it makes everything look more energetic, doesn't it, and who doesn't like energy?



It's a fun performance, like every other performance on this DVD clearly (I repeat myself too much) and I love that they left CHOU Happy Birthday to the near-end of the set-list to celebrate Nananyan, rather than hold it in the middle or beginning of the concert. It's a fitting way of ending the concert if you ask me, to celebrate the birthday girl and allow everyone to join in and remember that they are not just holding a concert, but also participating in a Birthday event, too. It's quite sweet, actually.

I do love this song, and I love that they performed it at the concert in celebration of Nana's 24th birthday. I feel like it completed the concert.

But wait! The concert isn't complete yet, what about the last song? What will the group sing for the grand Finale!? Well, there's only one song, and it's gotta be...


STREAMERS!!!!!!!!! HAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

Okay, not streamers, but it's Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~, and this song is pretty damn popular for the group, given it reached #1 on the Indies Oricon chart last year when they re-released it. And yeah, I love the song. I also love the dance to this song.

I also loved that STREAMERS HAPPENED for this song. Holy crap, you don't know how excited I was when I saw the streamers come out of the canisters and float down, I was like some kid on Halloween rolling around in sweeties. That feeling, and I wasn't even at the concert! Somehow, it excites me, I don't know why!

Gawd, I'm dumb XD


Anyway, aside from Streamer excitement (new kink discovered, muahaha!) this is one of the songs that really got the crowd pumped I believe, but why wouldn't it? This is the groups signature song now, the song that has defined them and brought them back into the public eye when they went into hiding for a while and only released limited venue songs. This is the song that the fans probably think about when they think of Houkago Princess. I'm not saying all fans think of it, but it's their strongest song so far in terms of how much people like it, and yeah, I do enjoy it. In fact, I love it, and I love this performance of it. It's super lively, the girls are giving it their all for their final song in this performance and they all look amazing performing Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~. It's a great end to a wonderful set, and I love that they left this one till last.


The concert started off strong with Atsu wa Natsui, a song which really pumps up the crowd and gets everyone going, and then HouPri ends with a song that every one of their fans knows and loves, and yet again it is a song that is strong, energetic and gets the crowd going with cheers and yells of appreciation. They started how they wanted to end, with a fun, lively mood where the crowd can join in and become a part of the song, and this end performance was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So, with the concert complete, what are my final thoughts?

THE VERDICT


Okay, so I may not have had the best use of vocabulary in this entire post, a good chunk of it including the words or various forms of the phrases; bounce, energy and happy, but that really does pretty much sum up this entire DVD in a nutshell; it's bouncy, energetic and one bundle of happiness and joy. That's because it's filled with fun songs that define the sweet joy and cheer that is Houkago Princess, a group that has very few cool, mature or sad songs, and whilst those sorts of songs are featured here, there really is no denying that a good majority of the songs used here express how HouPri want to be seen, which is energetic and cheerful. They aren't a serious group, no, but that's why we love them, and the few serious, mature or cool songs we do get are the songs we really appreciate and cherish because they are rare gems with this happy-go-lucky group.


I had an amazing time watching this concert the first time, and when I watched it for a second, third, fourth, fifth time, I still had a wonderful time viewing it. I wasn't a part of the crowd myself, no, but seeing it from my own screen and finally experiencing the joy of a concert on DVD, a DVD I myself own, was something that made me seriously happy. Heck, I cried when I first viewed the concert, I still cry when I watch it on my own, but that's because I love it so much and enjoy every moment of it. I don't think I can fully explain my feelings into words, but for anyone who has ever owned their first concert DVD of a group they love, you may know what I mean; it's an overwhelming feeling, one that I continuously experience when I watch this group as I support them from afar, and it is amazing to know that I feel that way about them. It just makes me realise that my love for them is real.


This is the first almost-full performance I have seen from Houkago Princess, one with a full set-list of songs that are delivered with such spark and liveliness, and I am really going to cherish it. We all know how much I adore this group and how I try my hardest to support them as an overseas fan, despite how obscure they are to others, but I am truly happy that I was able to experience this DVD for myself finally and see how Houkago Princess interacted with the crowd, how the crowd received them and how they performed, and I am really glad that I took the chance to buy this DVD in order to experience this part of Houkago Princess that I had never seen before now, and really, for me it was just amazing.


The set-list of songs was amazing, I loved the energy the girls delivered, and whilst the choreography for each song seemed to borrow from other songs they have, I did enjoy how upbeat and jumpy everything was. It added to that energetic, lively look HouPri seem to have taken on, allowing them to bring a quality performance to a song that, once upon a time, sounded duller than it was because of the lack-luster quality of their dance moves. The girls are each charming in their own way, and they all performed amazingly well.

Yes, I wish certain girls such as Saho and Marina were shown more, but what can I expect when they are currently Cadets? Regardless of that, I did enjoy everything about this concert. I am possibly pulling wool over my eyes to see only what I want to see, but seriously, I loved every bit of it until the very end. It was a wonderful performance from HouPri, imperfect indeed, but wonderful all the same.


So as you may have guessed, I just adored this DVD. It was simply amazing in my eyes, from the crowd participation in chants, clapping and cheers, to the imperfect singing courtesy of Saorin and Miran and the wonderful vocals of the recently graduated Hayamizu Rin. It is great, and I will enjoy for as long as I can.


Before I end this post, I will leave you all with  a link to the full full playlist of the concert HERE on Dailymotion if you wish to view it at all. For now though I will simply leave you all a helpful video of the first part of the concert to view if you decide to watch it. If you do, then I hope you enjoy the concert as much as I did.



To everyone who has read this post until the end, thank you very much. I really appreciate that you have read it and managed to hold on until the very end with me through this post! It really means a lot to me, so thank you.


Until next time, dear readers, please take care, have fun and keep smiling as you love your Idols fully. Tata, Ja ne and Bye bye~


Chiima~

1 comment:

  1. Yay I found this site again. Probably the only one with any HouPri Info <3.


    They released a DVD of Nananyan's birthday concert!!? So jealous! Thanks for posting the long review of it. I was actually thinking of going to see this live but the timing was bad so I wasn't able to go. I could have tried to go on my own but my Japanese probably isn't good enough to find tickets and the venue on my own.

    I really wanted to go since I've known Nananyan before she joined HouPri. I really like a lot of things about her. I also like Mayuka, Mihotan and Saorin. It's actually kinda amusing how I got to like those 3. I used to exclusively comment on Nananyan, then Mayuka started favoriting my posts and comments. Then Saorin started to do it, then she unfavorited them later on, I'm not sure why. I'm guessing it's cause I like Nana, Mayuka and her at the same time. I made her favorite food and she seemed happy after that (lol). Then Mihotan really promoted herself by following/unfollowing me several times a day (so that it generates the 'Mihotan is following you' message and a few other things that were probably just a coincidence. She seems a little put out? now because I like Mayuka and Nananyan the most. It's really hard to like 4 girls in the same group that are so close to each other. If I write Mayuka a letter, the others know about it lol.

    I really like their songs too and I've been more into them lately since I've gotten bored with AKB/SKE48. Houpri has really come quite a ways and have improved a lot! It seems like they're playing at venues a lot lately. I remember when they were only able to perform in their tiny theater. I hope their fanbase keeps growing so they're able to put out more songs.


    Sorry for the long comment ^-^/

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