All thoughts and opinions within this post are, amazingly enough, completely my own! Don't like what I have to say? You don't have to read! Still, if you're like me and seem to enjoy reading articles that make you think, or feel angry maybe, then read on! Please though, don't go around insisting I accept your opinions if you can't accept mind - it takes two to tango, so accept what I say, and I'll return the favour!
With Berryz Kobou departing the world of Idols in just about two weeks, I think it's about time to start my little send off to them, in the form of my [A Week with...] series. This week-long series will be spent celebrating, possibly even mutilating, a selection of works from Berryz Kobou and what they have given us these past 11 years as a group. To finish off my send-off to the group, I will also write a post for each individual member for a second week as an 'Appreciation' for the girls of the group, all before we see them leave the umbrella that is Hello! Project.
For my first review, I will be looking at a side of Berryz I never truly experienced when becoming a fan of Hello! Project, but one I wish I could have been a part of. For this, let's turn back the clocks, and go back to a time that was carefree, innocent as can be...
I like Berryz' music, don't get me wrong, but I'd rather start off this week with a positive post than dig my grave of boredom with songs that I can't really stand or find time to care for.
With that all said and done, we're going to start with one of the groups cutest, energy-filled songs that includes a video which has me tripping over my feet for Mini-Berryz and all of their youthful glory. All awkward and gawky, this PV would have made me their fan if I had known about J-Pop at the time this was produced and distributed. Sadly, I was not, so I never was able to experience the joys of raw Berryz, before they fell into... well, whatever the fudge-cookies they are now, however at least their PV is still here, to allow for that experience to happen. Kinda.
Shame that I know the woes of what H!P and UFP have done to them. Oh, well...
This is Piriri to Yukou!, and I think it's about time to hop on that big yellow bus of carefree happiness and freedom! Let's GOOOO!!!
Oh, look! A background as bland the current Berryz Kobou I have grown to care little for. Yay!
I love the logo, though.
The fact that you can see how much Mini-Risako is enjoying this makes me so darned happy, and equally makes me wish she still looked this adorable.
Hello, Yellow Idol Bus! This is where the magic of adora-Berryz happens!
Ignoring those horrendous hammer pants and weird jackets, they all look pretty darned adorable, I'd say.
CAPTAIN!!! Gosh, she looks so fresh-faced and fore-heady and... well, pre=pubescent. She was darned adorkable back in the day!
Maasa's gonna cuff you if you don't buy into her 'cool girl' routine she has going on here!
Chinami, however, is hitting that sauce in the bottle!
Holy shit, Momoko hasn't aged a bit!
Also, Risako is adorable! Why couldn't she have just stayed, y'know, cute?
One Berryz member I will never get to appreciate ;^;
Feck off, Momoko >o>
I can see someone enjoyed massacring their hair with dye even when they were barely a tadpole...
Maasa is feckin' adorable, and I seriously do think that, if I was a fan at this point, I would love her and make her a favourite.
Miyabi as a foal, with less-than-rancid hair.
Despite the fact that she may be sucking a lemon here, Chinami looks absolutely adorable!
It's actually funny how Yurina hasn't really changed a bit in face or hairstyle, either. Still beautiful, even now!
She also still opens her mouth too wide in lip-synching, sometimes! Idols, some will never change...
And some just change all too much...
... Ew. -shudders-
Awww yisss, JUMPING TIME! Sadly a chunk of girls have cut their faces off from the camera, though. SAD DAYS D;
It's like ring-a-ring-a-roses, but with Berryz. So innocent and carefree... -sigh-
Vaguely reminded of Aruiteru, but this is cuter, by far.
I actually wonder if this PV brought along the inspiration for stage-on-a-field MV's that other Idol groups have since sported? Who knows, either way, I like the stage, though why is it sitting in a field, alone?
Wait, why is there tinsel on the bus!? IS IT CHRISTMAS?
Admittedly, it is weird seeing eight of them, only because I am from the post-Maiha era that everyone loved. -sobs-
Okay, this scene is pretty! Why didn't they use more of this scene? It's gorgeous! Also, they be so cute!
I can definitely see why people fell in love with Risako in the past.
Our little foal looks so happy ; 3;
Loving the butchered teeth, too.
I wish I was dancing on that stage. With them.
It looks like FUN!
HAMMER PANTS! And Risako = ADORBS!!!
I feel bad, because I didn't take a lot of screenshots for this video, but honestly, with how low the quality is for Piriri to Yukou!, at least the one I've used for this review, I didn't actually feel like taking many more... that, and I'm feeling a tad lazy today.
So sue me~
That said, my lack of screen captions for the video doesn't detract from what I think about it, nor does the quality, because I enjoy it quite a bit - I can't deny it, I do love seeing a spirited Berryz Kobou, from a time before their spiral into descent. They were peppy, energetic little things full of life and awkward smiles, really horrible singing and a carefree nature. In short, Berryz Kobou before their ship began to sink were so damn endearing, and it really makes me wish that I had been around the fandom to celebrate this cuteness that had been created.
It's a pity that I wasn't, because at that time in my life I was probably still playing with my barbie dolls or maybe even crying over Busted's breakup. Possibly both, who knows.
Piriri to Yukou! is, to me, everything that Berryz Kobou once was; carefree, youthful and energetic, and of course, endearing as heck. This was also one of the first songs to capture me from their early days, because it wasn't 'cool', and neither was it too soothing or bland, but perfectly happy and extremely cute, mostly thanks to repetitive lines and those adorable,almost tuneless voices that accompanied the fun instrumental. If I had to give one song that made me think of the innocent, carefree days of Berryz, when being a professional meant nothing to them and being an Idol was all about the fun of it, then I would probably have to direct you to this song.
In every sense, this song screams 'childhood' and 'carefree nature', and that is why I like it - you see no detachment, you see no sense of being there because they feel they need to be. All you see are a bunch of fun-loving, happy kids that enjoy what they're doing, even if they aren't necessarily that great at what they do.
The fact they're trying though, even when they look awkward as heck and can't sing a tune for toffee, is exceptionally adorable.
With the video, aside from that happy, innocent tone it exudes, I really enjoy the natural feel of it as well - watching the video, I can feel the freedom and simplicity that not only Berryz, but also Hello! Project, had back then, something the videos of today seem to lack quite a bit. The outside setting, as well as the bus interior, aren't fancy or ornate, but instead simple, yet still have an impact on the viewer (unlike the studio sets of today), especially the landscape that is ever bright and cheerful. It reminds me of how sweet videos were back then, actually, and watching this video alone makes my heart ache a little... I would love to see these sorts of videos, the less-than-polished, but still really cute and fun, make a comeback.
Life was better, back then. Well, that's what I think.
Another thing I noticed, and this won't surprise many I believe, was that camera work; holy heck, the camera work H!P had back then was just as beautiful as it is now, and my eyes were indeed rather pleased by it. Actually, I was rather surprised to see the use of sweeping shots in this video, mostly because I haven't garnered a look at an older Hello! Pro PV in a while, and I will say that I expected mostly still frames, so what I saw when looking at the video closely pleased me quite a bit.
This PV has pleased me quite a bit in general, actually. Then again, it's baby Berryz; why wouldn't it!?
Also, another thing I enjoyed about this video aside from the lovely, simple use of misé-en-scene and the camera work; the unity. Oh, that unity. I have griped many times about Berryz and their lack of unity, heck it got me in a spot of bother with some fans, but seeing the unity and how they all come together, look happy, feel like a group... it was wonderful to see that here, and honestly? I feel sad that I missed out on this era. If I had been a part of it, before Berryz grew up, I would probably have appreciated them more. Sadly, it was not to be, but hey! I have this cuteness in front of me, so for now, I can appreciate it.
Speaking of cuteness...
Honestly, when looking back now, I'm reminded why Risako was actually my favourite member of Berryz in my first year or two of being a H!P fan; she was seriously adorable. Sadly she started her ugly-ass vibrato and then started pouting like a constipated pigeon, so my fandom for her faltered.
Time makes the heart a bitch, I suppose, and apparently ruins vocals, too. Who knew?
My griping aside, the video for Piriri to Yukou! as a whole is one that is not only adorable, but also heart-wrenchingly endearing, and would more than likely cement your fandom for Baby-Berryz. It's a simple video, but it has a lot going for it despite this simplicity; cheerful environments, a colourful backdrop, really sweet looking, awkward-smiling girls and happiness beyond measure, it's the sort of MV that would capture your heart and make even the coldest person (myself) melt a little bit inside because of how sweet and enchanting it was to watch these girls.
It's happy, and it has personality. Above all though, it has unity, and you can clearly see that these girls meshed well together - they had something great going on, and because they were these tiny little shrimps, you felt the need to watch over them to see how they grew in performance, as singers and, of course, as a group. They were, for many, extremely endearing to watch.
With a bright future ahead of them, this young and lively Berryz Kobou have so much going for them! With youth and energy on their side, I wonder, what could they bring along next, and how will they look in the future, 10 years from now? Who knows~?
Positively adorable, this is the Berryz Kobou that I happened to miss out on! We have a week to go though, so how much more of this youth will I experience? Will they continue their cute streak for a while, or will they falter and fail to impress? We will have to find out!
I'm still rather sad that I never got to be a part of this era, though, of Berryz and H!P. It feels like a freer, happier time...