Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Darker View of what we Once Knew, Princesses of A Midsummer Night's Dream are Not what They Seem... 'Manatsu no Yoru no Yume' PV Review!

As always, with any of these posts, opinions and thoughts, feelings and whatever else are completely my own and no one else's. You don't have to agree with me, you don't even have to put up with me, but please do respect my opinion, that is all I ask. Thank you.

Holy Heck, when was the last time I did a review? Jeebus, it feels like this is THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVEEEER~~~... OW! Stop throwing things at me for singing one of the many Frozen songs, I get it, i'll stop butchering it! Geez... anyway, as I was saying, this is like, the first time in a long time since I last did a PV review of some kind. Good grief, it's been a while, and I feel like I don't know what to do any more. I hate when this happens.

I've done this to myself though. It's my fault.
It's always my fault xD

ANYWAY, now that I am trying attempting, at least to get back into the swing of things (I'm imagining myself doing a Tarzan shtick for some reason) I will be barrelling through with one of my dull and far-too-long-for-its-own-good PV reviews! HELL YEAH! What better way to get back into writing than doing what I guess I do pretty well? Yeah, PV Reviews, BRING IT ON!!! But what PV can I review? I mean, a few have come out, right? Goodness, I don't know which one to pick from...

Whoa Holy HouPri on a stick, this is the one! I mean, I could have done MoMusu or even S/mileage, but seriously, no - HouPri all the way! I wave that flag with pride, and besides, before I got busy with my new life in University this was the PV I had screencapped and was ready to review the second it came out.

Except I never reviewed it, because life. UNTIL NOW!!! -epic music begins-

Anywhoo~ Considering I have no homework (I am ignoring the reading I have to do) and I am already awake and not really that tired (it's nearly 5am, I am screwing up my sleep pattern royally... again~) I decided that, after writing out the 3rd volume to my Q&A session, I would finally get my arse into gear and write this thing out, otherwise I'd put it off until who knows when or, worse, never write it out, and I don't want that. I like this PV too much to do that.

I like HouPri too much to do that. So yeah, here I am, ready to do this thing!

I'm actually really excited to PV Review again, it's been a while! So yeah, here we go... HouPri's latest PV, ready to be reviewed, because it's one of their only sexy PV's ever made (truth!) and also, it's a pretty epic song as well. In fact, it's probably the most well-produced A-side they've ever done, and I'm not kidding when I say that - this group is still indies and weak in ways, but dayumn, they are moving on up! I have high hopes for them if they keep going in this direction.

So, babbling over and done with, I'll get onto the PV Review I planned to do when the video first came out. This is Manatsu no Yoru no Yume, otherwise known as A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hi, Shakespeare title. HouPri seems to dig Shakespeare) and this marks the 7th official release from the group! Are you ready to be whipped? Are you ready for a mature HouPri? ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

You are? Okay then, let's GO, GO, GO!!! March forward, to your Midsummer Dream this Night!

Eye Spy with my Almost-Blind Eye...

Mother-fuckin' Itoshikute BALLOON costumes. Seriously, I know the group is economical, recycling songs and Graduations and all, but really!? Y'all had to steal the best damn costumes for your new song?

Not that I blame you, I mean... damn, those costumes.

Actually, I retract my statement. I like the recycling. Hello, Saorin in stockings! How you doin'?

Saorin: "Hmph!" -ignores-
Nananyan: "Zzz..."

This is such an unfortunate shot for Maika, but damn gurl, look at Saori moving them hips! She's like a snake!

Nananyan: "Go with the flow, dude."

Look, a Wild Sahochi has appeared! Quick, GET HER!!!

Much needed Boob-stroking going on here.

And from the looks of it, Miran is wailing. Maybe she's singing. Who knows? Either way, the wailing-look fits those Gothic Halls...

Miran: "Knee to the Groin, buster!!!"

The girls are either doing an Irish Jig (popular form of choreography with Idols, apparently) or showing us how they defend themselves against the Wota. Either way, I do not want that knee anywhere near the crown jewels!

Sassy Sassy!

Saorin: "Fabulous, remember, Fab-YOU-Lous!"
Miran: "Oooh look, a penny!"

Wait, is Nananyan's skirt hitched up!? DAAAAMN!!!

The Oricon charts aren't that far away, girls! You can climb the top if you keep using a budget and getting good songs!

Holy heck, there's a Mayuka! God damn, even when forced into sexy(ish) attire, she's still adorable! D'awwwww!

... She looks bored ¬.¬

Saho: "Zzzz... Please promote me, Manager... zzz..."
Himari: "Good God I am FABULOUS!"

Whoa hold the Budget, I see Himari! FINALLY!!! God damn, she's gorgeous.

And SASSY!!! You hit it, sista!

Miran could promote Venus Razors. She would be an awesome spokesperson, I'm sure!

Miran: "Maybe she's born with it... Maybe it's Venus! Silky smooth armpits, with Gilette-Venus! Buy now for $19.99!"

I'm your Venus, I'm your Fire...

Despite the fact they recycled the costumes, I like that they blew their budget on location; it works!

Also, dem costumes look good in that setting, though I like how the establishment is classy and the costumes are a little more... well, not tacky, but they aren't exactly lady-like, either xD

Himari: "Focus on me, Camera-Bitch."

Good Lordeh, Maika! Why are you so gorgeous? Also, thanks for bringing maturity into the group. It was much needed~

Holy Boobs Batman, Mayuka!!! YOU HAVE BREASTICLES!?

Oh, Hi, Nana.

Nananyan: "You make me cry, Chiima..."

Mayuka: "Thanks for finally noticing I'm more than a pretty face~"

Damnit, her smiles so cute! Kyaaaa!!! Mayuka!!!!

I may just become your fangirl now! Move over, Saorin!

Nananyan: "What about me?"

Maika: "Bitch, Fangirl over ME! I am damn AMAZING!"

Okay Maika, bring on the ATTITUDE! Work it, gurl!

Miho: "... Okay, what the fuck do I do now?"

Maika: "Oh GURL, you did NOT just ruin my shot with your awkwardness again! Do I have to tell you one more time!?"
Mihotan: "Please don't hit me again! I'll smile!!!"

Good grief, Miho is still awkward! But she's cute, so I forgive her... for now ¬.¬


Saorin: "You want to replace me with Mayuka? Awww man..."#

Ah wait, no! I never said that!!!

Miran: "Bitch, don't make ma ho cry!"

Wait, Miran's with Saorin!? What the heck?

Miran: "Aww yeah I am! Saorin cannot resist the Miran charm!"
Saorin: "Wait, stop! Don't tell them that! It's a scandal!!!"

Miran: "Baby, don't deny it; I'm irresistible..."
Saorin: "Oh, Senpai!"

... What the fuck am I doing? XD

Mayuka... Mayuka, why do you look stoned?

Mayuka: "... Why are you flying, Mr. Pickle?"

That's hallucinogenics, Chiima! >o>


Bitches be surrounding their Lord and Saviour, Nananyan! BOW, PEASENTS, BOW!

Saorin: "HELP ME!!!"

JESUS AND JEBEDIAH, SAORIN!!! How high can that girl kick her leg!? HOLY...

Nananyan: "Eh... Effort."

Look at those shoulders, sexy shoulder shimmy... damn, Himari knows she's working that shoulder.

By the way Mayuka, what the fuck are you doing? That's a shoulder flop, not a shoulder shimmy, pick up the pace, gurl!

Wait, Nanayan, are you high too!?

Nananyan: "... Huh?"

Saorin: "Why do you question us?"

I question you because I am concerned that two of your key members are on drugs! Saorin, that's not a good thing!!!

Saorin: "... It isn't?"

What is this, the Half-Arsed Conga?

Oh wait, Nananyan's trying to poke Miran. Poke!

HELLO, LEGS! Congratulations, this PV now has a PG Rating!

Holy fu--- Miran and Saorin get a dance solo! FINALLY!!! Some God-Damned SPOTLIGHT!

Saorin: "I see the spotlight on me! YAY!!!"

Inwardly screaming right now, leave me be!

Holy damn! From PG to R already!?

Skirts be flyin'! And as always, Saorin looks so fucking cute, but Miran looks cool. It's a weird contrast with this PV, in Saorin's case, but whatevs.


Hahahahahha, NO! Saorin, stop it. You're too cute to be cool, so let it go.

Miran, on the other hand, keep doing what you're doing.

Maika: "Bitch, please."

Bringing together the Miyashita's of HouPri! Cute and Cool collide!

... Oh wait, I GET IT!!! Cute and Cool collide!!! Geez, I'm dumb! They're Half-Cute, Half-Cool in HouPri! Nananyan's clearly the cute one here (she can't be cool to save her life) and then we have Cool and Cold looking Mihotan.


... Wait, is Nananyan still stoned? >___>

Saorin: "Don't look at me!!!"

... Miran, did you touch her inappropriately? >_>

Miran: "What do YOU think, Einstein?"

... Forget I asked.

Miran, Miran why are you grinning like that? Miran...


Miran: "Hehehe..."
Nananyan: "I'm a fuckin' QUEEN!!!"

Holy cow, how can she be so cute!? Also, SOLO TIME!!!

Damn, you are so good at singing~ And your beautiful, too!

Maika: "Oh, I know~"

Nananyan, delayed question, but... did you lose weight?

Nananyan: "Fuck off."


Oh oh, we're back to being FABULOUS!!!

And Maika and Saorin are KILLING IT!!!

Miran: "Oooh look, another penny!"

MIRAN! Stop killing the mood!

I've only just noticed this, but damn, that is a pretty looking door behind the girls!

Move out of the way girls, I want to see more of the door! Extra Member, Door-san!!!

Sahochi: "When am I getting my fucking promotion? I've been here longer than Maika, and already she's a feature member. I'm Michishige FUCKING Saho, ffs..."
Himari: "Wait, is that... is that Camera-san?"

Jeebus, Himari is adorable >o> I kinda want a new HouPri MV just to see more of her, she's so damn adorable...

HouPri girls... TAKE FLIGHT!!!

Also, look at that background! There is more than two locations! HALLELUJAH!

Mihotan: "Not again, Nananyan!"
Nananyan: "Shut up, underling!!!"

Er, girls? I thought this was a PG PV, not R-rated...

Oh, wait. We changed it to R-rating when the legs came up. NEVER MIND, CARRY ON!!!

Oooh, a little bit of ballet! Except it looks half-arsed. LOOK ALIVE, GIRLS!!!

Saorin: "If only Miran was holding my hand... sigh~"

Oh, this pose actually looks quite lady like! Rather befitting, don't you think?

And now to finally show off those stockings!

Thinking about it, I now have to wonder which Shakespeare title HouPri will recycle/borrow for their next singer? Honestly, I would love to see their rendition of Taming of the Shrew or, put in a modern setting, Taming of the Idol.

Actually, Macbeth would be a fun song to create, and an even funner PV to reenact! Just think of all the possibilities! I'm pretty sure HouPri can make it cute and lighthearted~

... No, seriously, I am wondering what they'll do next in terms of a Shakespeare-named song, but I digress from what I'm meant to do, which is basically review the PV at hand (I can't fit a PV into my hand, given my hand is not digital, but that would be cool) and to stop procrastinating on said review! So, with the PV screen captions all done and dusted, let's talk about what we have just experienced, shall we?

Okay, so first and foremost, I love this PV; it's different, it's solid and it looks really good. Sure, it's a budget PV and there really isn't much depth to it in terms of story or new, innovative shots, but it's one of the best videos this group has ever had in terms of style, look and feel; it's new and refreshing, and it has a dark and edgy vibe that I would not put with Houkago Princess, but we can thank the brilliant use of lighting for that. Speaking of the lighting, I really do love the use of it; I like how throughout the video, there are flashes of light to imitate lightning, giving us an eerier feeling to the video as it flickers across the screen, heightening mystery and further enhancing the imagery before us. It looks great, and whilst the effect is simple and easy enough to do, I feel like it really added to this video and made it look a lot less simple. In fact, it made the already Gothic-looking building look that little bit creepier!

The location is also pretty fantastic, and whilst it feels like its a similar setting to the PV for Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~ (2013 version), I love the vibe it gives off and the Princess-like quality it has. The location's setting pretty much screams 'rich young lady' thanks to the open space, ornate doors and stone walls with carvings etched into them, and I like that whilst the girls don't exactly look like princesses themselves here (unless you count the tiara's on Himari and Saho) you still get that feeling of them being the ladies of the manor, even if they aren't exactly dressed like the good Princesses they pose as.
 All in all, it's a great location, I love that they used it and chose to have about three different scenes for the MV as well. It looks great, it fits the tone of the song and the girls themselves look great there! Basically, winning location! Good thing that's where most of the budget was spent, right?

Moving away from budget-happy settings (yes, I am stoked about the setting!), the HouPri girls are also pretty amazing here; I love how far this group has come. I mean, I remember when they first appeared on the scene, with their debut PV being one giant mess of awkward girls who couldn't dance and could barely look at the camera without shrinking away. Now when you see them, there is confidence there, the girls can dance a little better and they all have charisma and power in either their singing or dancing - it's amazing to see, and I can't help but smile at how improved they all are! I love that they have walked away from the cutesy Idol PV's and songs for this single's A-side and chosen a strong, mature tune and look that really seems to compliment them. Okay, so it doesn't seem to fit everyone that well (hi, Mayuka), but it still works for them and it just works in their favor, thus making it, to me, fabulous!!!

Thinking of the girls actually, I really loved that quite a few girls had spotlight thrown at them in one way or another throughout the video, more so Miran and Saori. Holy heck, Miran and Saori! Okay, I did not know that either of them were considered the stronger dancers in the group, but holy heck am I glad they are, or seem to be! Miran is awesome, let me get that out there. She has a sharpness about her dancing that the others don't have, and you can see it in how she moves, whilst Saori has a bit more of a fluid, flexible way to her dance style, and they compliment each other big time. When I saw their dance solo sequence in the video, I was floored. Was it perfect? No. Was it anything new or innovative? No, but for HouPri, it was different, and it looked really good. The girls have timing issues and need to work on that more, as a group in general actually, but for their 7th single they did pretty well, and I'm really impressed by how Miran and Saori dance in this. They're definitely the best of the bunch, though Maika is also really good from what I can see, and I was simply impressed by their dance duet.
 In fact, it's my favourite part of the entire MV. It's just... it's whoa!

The other snippets of spotlight throughout the PV come in the form of the solo lines distributed between Nana, Mayuka and Maika, not that this is surprising, though I do find it quite intriguing that three of the girls got solo lines, more specifically, surprised that Mayuka got one. I knew Maika would get some star treatment, given she's now the vocal talent of this entire group, and Nana was a given since she's the face and all, but Mayuka? I did not expect that, so it was a pleasant surprise and I am seriously happy she was given something to sing, because her voice is cute and quite pretty, and stable as well. Concerning Maika, well she's just... she's perfect, and that's all I can say about her. She nailed her lines, and she really brought a mature approach to the song that neither Nana nor Mayuka could do, because they're too sweet in tone. I love Maika's voice, and I really do want to hear it more in the future. She's got a lovely voice, basically.

Okay, so I love this PV, I love the girls in it and I really like the song as well, but I do have my own issues with it; nothing's perfect, after all, and this PV, whilst good, is a far cry from perfect. It has errors, it needs fixing up, but I'm not holding out hope for these errors to be corrected by their next PV or performance - I'm realistic, guys - because I know HouPri have a very long way to go, but still. I want to address what is bad about the PV.

The biggest issue is their dancing. As a group, Houkago Princess needs some serious work in both timing and energy. I'm no dance expert, but even I can see that HouPri are terrible at these things, especially timing, and they really need to work on it. I like this dance a lot, I really do, but when I see how out of time some girls are or how sloppy Nana, Miho and even Saho at points are compared to Miran and Saori, it really grinds my gears, because I think they can do better. That's a fan perspective, I know, but I do think they could do better to put more effort into their dancing, rather than letting a pretty decent PV look quite amateurish thanks to poorly timed choreography moves or members who seem like they can't be arsed to put in a bit more effort and energy. The dancing is, sadly, the weak link of the entire PV, even if it is the feature that they are trying to sell here.

Other minor gripes to note; Where the heck is Miho's feature? I'm a little saddened by the fact that Miho, who is a feature member along with the other main members, wasn't actually shown a lot in the PV save for cameo appearances beside other members when she did a few group lines. I know she isn't the best singer or dancer, but I would have loved to see her featured more. Instead, she's more like Saho and Himari in terms of status in the video; barely seen, but the reason they're rarely shown is because they are a lower rank, but Miho isn't. So yeah, I'm a bit annoyed by that, but what can I do? Nothing, that's what.
 Gripe two comes back to the dancing, because I find a small issue with how close Himari seems to get to the other members in the dance sometimes. There's a lot of space there, so Himari, just... don't try to get too touchy touchy with the other members. Move around your space! You don't need such close proximity, they won't leave the PV!!!
Gripe 3; I want Miho to express a little more. That's a personal thing, but honestly, the girl has little to no expression, so she looks awkward. That said, she does look cute most of the time. Just emote, girl! EMOTE!!!

All in all, it's a pretty good PV. It has its downfalls, but for Houkago Princess, this is probably the best PV they've had since their debut. It's edgy, dark and mature, and it takes a turn that I didn't expect from this group. The video looks and feels stylish, it suits the tone of the song and, surprisingly, the girls fit easily into this new setting. I like it, and I especially like the progress Houkago Princess have made since their debut. Here's to looking forward to further progress in the next PV!

Manatsu no Yoru no Yume, a darker version of the HouPri we knew. What did you think of it? Would you like to see more of this new and improved Princess group? Let me know...

Until next time, amigos.