Regarding thoughts and opinions, and all of that other drab stuff, within this post are those of my own and mine alone. If you don't agree with me, then good for you! I'd rather you have your own opinion than take mine and allow it to warp your mind. FREEDOM TO THE BRAIN!!!
*The Overview/Review that you will read is a post created with Michishige Sayumi in mind, as opposed to other members featured in the video that I will be looking at. Whilst I will try to point out other small factors of what has been watched, please do keep in mind that main focus is Sayumi and Sayumi alone. Thank you.
*About this Series: I originally debuted this series in 2013, with the impending graduation of Tanaka Reina at the time as my inspiration. My intention with this serious is very much written in the same vein, with Sayumi as a focus in various PV's so that I can take a closer look at how she has grown as an Idol from way back when up until this point in time. With this in mind, I will be looking at past and present works featuring Sayumi that I may have ignored, never known about or loved before now. I do hope that for this series, there will be a mixture that will allow me to see the progress of Sayumi as an Idol.
Okay, so it's time for Part 2 in this mini-series titled [A Week with Sayu], and thankfully the video for this one was easier to find than the Do it! NOW best shot was, so for that I am rather thankful! I actually wanted to talk about this PV as a point of Sayu's career when I thought about returning to this kind of series because I felt that, for her early days in Morning Musume especially, this is one of those songs that held a bit more focus on Michishige Sayumi and her singing, whilst in most of the main-group songs she was drowned out and given smaller lines in favour of the bigger names, the girls that they clearly did want to push
Reina, Miki, Ai-butt, and so I decided that today I would take a look at another 2004 song (though I think the Do it! NOW best shot was done in 2003. Dem hairstyles.), one where I knew her presence was pretty strong.
Bring on the Otome, if you dare!!!
Otome Gumi, a group I missed out on, much like a good majority of Sayu's previous years in Hello! Project before I joined this fandom. Hell, this is an old song, but one I do actively enjoy since I became a fan way back in 2009
Holy crap I feel old now because I genuinely find it pretty damn good. Sure, it's a mix of rather squeaky voices (Sayu, Reina, Rika) coupled with some lower vocals that are pretty damn fine to listen to, but it is honestly a really good song for me; upbeat, modern and loud, just what I like in a song! In fact it sounds like a decent concert song, one I could jump around to like a mad woman.
Which is essentially what these girls do in the video anyway, jump around and sing and chant and all that jazz! It's one giant concert in a way, and that's what I love about it! But I digress; I am here to talk about Sayumi, aren't I?
So before I really delve into the review portion of this post like I nearly did just now, we're going to take a look at the PV and see if, by pure chance of luck, our dear little Sayumi has since progressed in the ways of the Idol for this PV and found the art that is emotion. I really do hope she has, because honestly, little evil Sayu who glares is not my cup of tea, though some of you might find it endearing. Who knows?
So buckle up boys and girls, because we're in for a wave of a ride in Otome Gumi's second and also their final single, Yuujou ~Kokoro no Busu ni Naranee!~. Will we see Sayu smile, or will she simply grimace her way through the video like she did last time? It's time to find out in 3...
Well, I do appreciate the updated font, UFP. At least you didn't go for a microsoft word processed gradient effect like you did with Do it! NOW...
Well I can see someone's learnt the value of emotion since we last saw her!
Ishikawa Rika, sashay AWAY!
Sayu: "Bitch, you dissing my emotion again?"
That I am kiddo, that I am!
Beautiful, Nono, so professional -____-
Pouty Sayu is definitely a cute Sayu, though seriously, why does she look like she's tearing up?
Reina, being the sassy young thing that she was back in the day!
And then some awkward Satanic cutie making the catwalk her own! You go, girl! WHOO, SAYU!!!
Sayu: "I will kill you all."
... Oh wait no, it's only Miki!
IshiiRi: "Ayyye, who's ready for a fistin'!?"
God damnit, Kaorin is so freakin' pretty! Also, dat ear.
... Reminds me of Uemuu.
Rockin' out, breaking down the walls, gettin' all up with this party say WHUUUUT!
Winky: "Put yo hands in the air like yo just don't CARE!!!"
Kaorin: "Fo shizzle ma dizzle."
IshiiRi: "Say whut whut, whoo whoo!"
Dang, Nono! What a knockout!
Then again, even in your motherhood stage you're a knockout!
Nono: "... Damn I'm cute."
That you are, though vanity's Sayu's thing dear, not yours~
For the last time, NO Miki, you don't have spots... gaaawd!
... Hey wait a seco--- MIKI ARE YOU NAKED!?
... Oh holy shit on a brick, Nono's naked to o-O
Okay, even I've got to admit that in this shot, Miki looks fucking bad-ASS!!!
... And like she wants to shoot me, so I'm going to run away now... -runs-
... Wait a seco--- I recognise this kind of shot, isn't that layout in Shaba Daba do~?
Well at least I know what this scene was inspired by. Nice of you to recycle, UFP, thanks for saving the environment one little bit at a time.
Now, back to Yuujou...
... Wait, is that a smirk!?
Holy shit, guys, THAT'S A BLOODY SMIRK!!!! Our little Satanic child is showing emotion! ERMAGERD!!!
Jeebus Cripes, it's about time, Sayu! Glad to see a little glimmer of your future self making itself present! Good on you kid, good on you!
Sayu: "... I'm going to rip your heart out and eat it, ungrateful swine."
Wait, what was that now? o-O
And Winky is killing it in this MV! God damn, I miss this little brats cute streak back in the day... why did she change!?
MAKOTO!!! Giving no fucks, as per. Good for you, Makoto!
Ishikawa Rika, fulfilling every wota's dream in her apparently-naked appearance here.
God damnit, for such a 'cool' song, Nono really does pull out the cute and random, doesn't she? It's like watching Masakins today...
Oh shit, that kid's Tsuji 2.0, isn't she!?
Urgh, these shots are terrible for Rika; not flattering at all. She's usually quite pretty, but here? NOPE! I reject these images.
Yankee, did you just fucking draw all over your mirror!?
Winky: "Hell YEAH!!!"
Still, this girl does know how to rock that photoshoot, even if it does make her look as washed out as fuck.
It's nice to finally see our little Satanic Sayu finally bringing out some emotion, isn't it?
Actually it feels rather... refreshing...
I actually do love this set up, aside from how stupidly stark and void of natural colour it is.
Then again, it's monochromatic, so there we go.
I seriously cannot get over how adorable Reina once was, it's actually kind of baffling how... well, different she looks now!
Good thing Rika pretty much stayed the same, even if I don't care about her; she still looks this cute, even at whatever age she is!
Kaorin: "Why am I naked...?"
Space Cadet Kaorin, reporting to Mars!!!
... Okay, WHAT THE FUCK, MAKOTO?
This creeps me out, I want to leave... what the HELL???
Makoto: "Help... me..."
Nope nope, all the nooooope's!!!
Oh my stars, thank you Makoto for smiling! Jeebus girl, you freaked me out for a second there!!!
Makoto: "Hehe, the dead-eyed stare always works~"
Okay, so I was originally going to screencap a really adorable image of Rika smiling, but then I accidentally paused on this and, well... I like cute Rika, but derpy Rika is even better! ALL HAIL THE DUCK LIPS!!!
IshiiRi: "The fuck you lookin' at!?"
OKAY, HOLY SHIT THIS IS ADORABLE!!
I am not kidding when I say that I was taken aback by this scene, because seriously, WHERE DID THE EMOTION COME FROM!?
Sayu: "Surprised you, didn't I? Well now I'm back."
... And now we're back to square one!
I actually really want that dress, not gonna lie.
Holy shit, is that another smile I see from Sayu!? Guys, take a picture, she's smiling!!!
Models on the Run! (way)
Sayu: "Come on, RiRi! We gotta go!"
IshiiRi: "But I wanna modeeeel!!!"
Look at little Sayu, dragging Rika away! That's pretty damn adorable, if you ask me!
And here I present what I feel will become my favourite shot of this entire video; hello, junk in frame!
Cool Makoto is best Makoto <3
D'awww, Sayu! You look so cute when you try! Here, have a cookie for attempting to sing~
Sayu: "I'm going to kill you all one day..."
What was that, sweety?
I do love it when Idols get their jig on!
You know what, Sayu just looks like she wants to cry in this PV a good chunk of the time XD Maybe she did, who knows?
I hate what the lighting and stark contrast does to Kaorin's face, it actually makes me think she looks a tad scary... =___=
Still, Nono looks adorable, and that's all that matters!
... Charmy, get out of the light, you're freaking me out.
You know what? Miki actually does rock this entire MV. She definitely feels like she owns the song the most.
No, Makoto, DON'T EAT THE CAMERA!!!
Makoto: "Makoto... HUNGRY!!"
I didn't really think about it before, but that backdrop is actually really cool. I kinda want a background like that XD
Oh, a decent shot of Rika! Maybe looking pouty is the way to go!
Makoto's so cool, freakin' RAINBOWS APPEAR!!!
Camera-san: "Now... DUCK FACE!!!"
Otome Gumi: "Chuuuu~"
I do love how Sayu and Makoto are the awkward ducks in this image XD But damn, Kaorin can pout!
She can also stare you down like a pro if you don't watch out!
Kaorin: "Psssht, peasents."
QUEEN IIDA!!! -bows-
But damn, gotta admit that Sayu continues to impress in this PV; even when emotionless, she throws a curve ball and proves herself worthy!
... Nono never fails to amuse me in this, I swear XD
Speak of the devil! How can she look so glorious and composed, and then do a loop and be the derpiest girl ever? She amazes me!
Miki; cool and collected, will kill if approached.
Otome Gumi: "Yeah fuck this shit, Otome Gumi OUT, bitches~"
Holy shit, Miki does freak me out sometimes, especially with those eyebrows o-O
It has actually been a long while since I sat down and listened to this song, and looking back at it now, I just can't help but feel this overwhelming sense of nostlagia; gosh, I have missed Yuujou as a song, and I never even realised it! I know Sakura Gumi were the preference of the groups created, but honestly, I do love the strong sound Otome Gumi went for, and Yuujou, despite being their final song, was definitely a strong and powerful sound that just worked really well with all of the girls present.
I really want to talk about this PV as a whole, and I probably will at some point in this post (because I am Queen of Digression, and also Reviewer extraordinaire; NOT) but we're going to focus on Sayu for a bit right now, because whilst this PV is glorious and takes me back to my early fan days, we're here for Michishige Sayumi, damnit! So Sayu, talk of you we must!
It's weird, if you ask me, how this was released in 2004 much like the Best Shot vol. 1, and yet there is some clear progress in Sayumi's performance. Granted, that Best Shot was most likely shot in 2003 before she even debuted, but when you see her performing here, she looks a lot more... well, as if she's a part of it. With how she portrayed herself in Do it! NOW, it seemed clear that Sayumi needed to learn the ropes a bit more in terms of how to portray herself on-camera, and yet here she seems relatively more comfortable, even smiling and posing quite nicely for the camera. Yeah, okay, so she's a bit stiff at points, but she seems far more relaxed before, and if I'm being honest with you, she is miles better in this video than she is in Ai no Sno ~Touch My Heart~. Good Lordeh, when I went to watch that video back, it really surprised me how robotic Sayumi seemed, as if she couldn't unwind and get into the mood of the song. Here though, she seems to fit more with the group and flow much like everyone else, especially in the group and dance shots; it's clear that, when alone this early on, Sayumi has no clue what to do, but with everyone else she seems to actually loosen up and look like she's having fun. FINALLY!!! Well, that's what I thought when watching this video.
It was nice actually, seeing that small transition from Do it! NOW to Yuujou. When the PV originally opened I thought to myself 'Great, she's going to be a brick wall again this time around!' but then she surprised me, and I was happy to see that glimmer of the Sayumi I know shine in the video; she really came through for me here, and whilst Sayumi is certainly not the main focus in this entire video, she is certainly present, a lot more so than she was in Ai no Sono, where she was just... there. Her presence was, thankfully, made and I was aware of her. She was adorable here, you could hear how hard she was trying to sing her lines well when she had solo's, and when she was dancing you can clearly see the work she puts into it and the fun she's having. Watching her here, it's a joy! The progress she has made since her debut is pretty easy to see actually, and I'm glad I caught onto it!
If anything, Yuujou really shows off Sayumi's ability to capture attention in a sneaky way - she starts off looking somber, but before you know it she throws in a grin or a smirk and captures your soul! Gosh that girl, she is clever.
I really can't say much else on the matter regarding Sayumi in Yuujou, because whilst there is clear improvement in her ability to perform well in front of the camera, she still showcases spots of awkwardness that shy away from how cute she really can be when performing. Well, it's still 2004 at this point when the single came out, so it's to be expected; she has been in MoMusu for less than a year, possibly! Still, good thing she managed to brush up on her skills a little more and proved herself a pretty decent performer, at least here.
Regarding the PV itself, in all of its glorious entity, I absolutely love it - I see it in a new light now that I've watched it after a few years, and it's amazing what sort of story I seem to have summarised from it. I like the whole idea behind it in general, the idea being that the girls are these pretty, generic models who have no expression, living in a monochromatic world where the camera is all they know, until the point where they decide to break away and become these expressive girls who are chaotic in their movements, which is essentially the scenes where they're jumping around, chanting and singing - it feels like models breaking out of the mold to become loud and proud, women with a voice, rather than pretty things to look at.
It's pretty much all about freedom, to cut the long story short, and that is the analysis I am sticking with.
Honestly, I don't think I can find much fault with this video other than the stark lighting that kills my eyes and drains life from the faces of the girls, but in a way it works with the idea behind the video too because they are at a photoshoot, but I'm a viewer; I'm going to be a little bit picky now and again! That said, everything else from the shots, monochromatic clothing, the catastrophic look that seems to be the dance shot (oh, those fallen pillar things... how my heart soars for thee!) is great about this whole PV and allows me to enjoy it. I'm really glad that, for this Week with Sayu, I chose to return to a video I had long forgotten about and relived it with fresh eyes. Because of this, I have realised how enjoyable and stylish Yuujou ~Kokoro no Busu ni Naranee!~ is.
Going back in time a bit is a fun thing to do, especially when you return to a song you once liked quite a bit. I have to thank Sayu for this, because without her impending graduation
All Hail Sayu and the cuteness she exhibits in this PV despite tricking me in the beginning with her dead-eyed expression! May you forever be Queen of the Beauty and Cuteness, you charming Devil, you.