Know that these are my thoughts, and mine alone. Not yours, I mean, if you want my thoughts, sure, go ahead, but they are mine... Yeah.
*I would like to point out that, whilst a review, this is a post written with Tanaka Reina as the focus, so if I fail to talk about anything else other than Reina, just remember that my focus is, for now, Reina and Reina alone. Thank you.
*About this series: I have created this series with the intention of looking at groups or songs where Tanaka Reina is a focus, or where she has grown considerably, from way back then until now. Because of this, I may be looking at songs or PV's that I previously ignored or loved once upon a time. There will, hopefully, be a mix of things here. I hope you enjoy.
With the ever-impending doom (or symbol of Peace on Earth... er, MoMusu) that is Tanaka Reina's graduation, I felt this sudden urge to do something for her as a sort of celebration and congratulations, something more than an Appreciation post, before she left the group for good... even if I don't necessarily like her. So, when reading back through my Appreciation post, a random title hit me.
Winky Week!... Though I have now changed that to A Week with Winky, because it sounds a lot better in my opinion, and less... well, weird. Anyway, I consulted my lovely Nia and told her of this plan, and she asked what I was going to do. I had no idea, so she suggested something for me...
I swear, I could not run/live without my Nia. She is my darling life saver and a genius, a genius I say!
So, hitting off the first post of A Week with Winky, I will be starting with what I guess is a Rewind Review and a flip back in time to Winky's debut single, Shabondama. I think it helps that I have not seen this in a while, so it will be like tripping back in time. It will be a fun ride, to say the least, and possibly a shock to see what Reina once looked like all those years ago.
Or possibly even sounded like. You never know, she could have gotten better as time passed on, right? Right? I mean, it was only about, oh, 10 years ago, back in 2003 when this single was released.
Holy heck, that's a while back.
Well, we'll find out, won't we? So sit back, relax and prepare yourselves, because this is Tanaka Reina's very First Wink into MoMusu History... I think.
Oh, goody, a film! What are we going to watch today then, class? Whuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet...?
... Oh, a MoMusu PV. Okay, cool. I ain't complainin', though I doubt MoMusu were making MV's back when everything was put onto a film reel...
Wow, don't they look like a rough lot.
Oh wow, she's so cute! I can see her growing up to become a very beautiful young woman indeed!
Oh wait, never mind!!!
It's actually pretty funny how identical the Turtle, the Yummy one and the Yankee looked way back when.
Sayu is extremely cute, though she looked like she wanted to rip my head off in most scenes she was in. I think she was still mastering the art of trying to express emotions on camera. Hm...
... Holy shi--- KonKon wants to knock me out! Look at those Yankee eyes, man! They are filled with hatred.
And hi, Gaki forehead. I seriously forget that you were a thing before her fringe of glory.
... Ai has not changed a bit, to say the least haha!
Winky: "Yankee... POWA!!!"
The Yaguuch can't handle Winky's Yankee skill, it literally blows her away. Rika, on the other hand, is simply fangasming over it.
Tut tut, Rika.
If looks could kill, I would be dead from Yossie's gaze right now.
Not that I'd care... death by Yossie seems pretty damn good.
I can still see the passion in Gaki's eyes from way back then to her last concert as a MoMusu member! Wow, that fire was always there!
And damn, them lips!
Hm, she looks like a soulless puppy. And yet, she still has not changed in terms of appearance haha!
Holy hell, she looked so beautiful. What the freak happened to her?
I think I just found an Awkward Turtle! YAY!!!
-gets drink- -proceeds to drink for the purpose of this image- -spits out drink-
HELLO!!! My Gawd, I would become a lesbian for you.
No wonder women liked you o-O You're sexy as HECK!!!!
Damn, The Gruesome Twosome. Why can't we have another duo like you in MM, aye?
They look gorgeous, by the way.
Holy heck she looks scary!!! It might be the wonk or the wink, but either way, she looks like she wants to kill me slowly... and I don't like it!
I totally would have been a Yaguuch fan if I had been a fan around the time she was in MM. She's flawless, beautiful voice, wonderful to look at... and another one I would turn for, actually.
Holy whackadoodle, when did YOU get HAWT!?
Rika: "WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL ME BACK!?" -Grudge mode activate-
Oh wait, never mind, pretend I never said anything...
I need to mention that these dresses look like Concert stock, or something. And Kamei, if looks could kill...
I actually want to call her Pixie Ears right now. Maybe that's why she's glaring at me?
Had to sneak in a shot of Makoto. And is KonKon pouty-lipping? Tut, KonKon, tut.
Winky: "Wha're yer lookin' at ayyyye?"
For some reason I have turned Reina Canadian in my mind. I don't know why, so don't ask.
Anyways, she looks damn Yankee here. What a rough'n.
This was back when MoMusu could afford to have water on a set. They're too poor now, I believe.
Yes, kick that stupid water! KICK IT!!!!
Holy heck this is so damn cute, and strangely reminds me of Paruru.
Regardless; this is adorable.
It annoys me that Kamei isn't featured in this as much as I would like her to be, but then again... she was an awkward little turtle back then, but an adorkable one.
Hnnng... Damn the Yaguuch is so fine. I actually wish I had been around to fangirl over her a little bit.
Ai: "FUCK DIS SHI---"
Sorry, but I had to. This screen cap was too macho and hilarious to delete. In fact, it's damn perfect!!! xD
It actually looks like Ai wants to rip her shirt off, which, none of us would mind, I am sure.
... But Gaki's face is my favourite. It's like she's screaming "Oh my God... It's... WAAAATEEEER!!!!"
Seriously, girl, where the hell did you go? You looked so cute and pretty, so innocent and Yankee-ish and you sounded so so good...
Oh for Pete's sake... PISS OFF, YOU SQUIRREL!!!
Holy hell, Ai would make a damn good Yankee, I'm sure. Of course no one can beat Winky, of course.
Ah, shit! THE FILM'S BROKEN!!! Someone come an fix the damn thing!!!!
... Holy heck she has changed. It's actually a bit of a shocker that she went from this plain, cute little Yankee to some sparkled up, winking Squirrel. Then again, it has been 10 years, hasn't it? Or at least nearly 10 years since this single was released. That's a heck of a lotta time.
... Actually, I was 10 years old then. WOW. That was a while back if you think about it. So yeah, she's changed... though I wish some of her innocence had remained, or at least her lack of glitter-on-the-inner-corners-of-her-eyes. That would have been nice.
Oh, and her voice. I wish it hadn't turned squeaky and annoying, though in some songs you can hear a bit of the good ol' Reina, but very few. She's too much of a Squirrel now, really. I swear, she heard the Call of the Squirrels and just decided to fly with them.
Erm, what the hell am I talking about? I better actually review this for you all, so let's get crackin'!
Okay so taking a look back at good ol' Shabondama made me realise two things;
1) All of the 6th gen barr Miki, who I don't even regard as a real 6th gen member anyways, looked the same, but they were all naturally cute. The only way you knew who was who was by Turtle's Pixie ears, Sayu's chubby face and her mole, and Winky's Wonky eye.
2) Reina could sing back then. Really well, actually. I was actually taken aback by how mature she sounded here compared to Rock no Teigi... she was really good.
To say the least, I think that Reina really impressed me in Shabondama more than she actually does any of the newer singles (excluding a few where she actually really stands out and makes me love her... a bit), and I think here, in her debut, you can see why people liked her. She had this innocent air about her, but she looked tough and cool, and she could sing. Her performance here is extremely impressive, her voice is on par with the other members who are senior to her and she looks really good, like she already belongs there. Her camera presence is pretty good too, because unlike Sayu and Kamei, Reina actually knew how to express herself on camera. Okay, she didn't vary her expressions as much as Ai, Aibon or The Yaguuch, but she varied them well enough to bring variety and charisma onto the camera, something her fellow gen mates (other than Miki) could not do at that time.
So yeah, pretty impressive to me. I was actually surprised by how well Reina did this, but again, she had some charisma going on and knew how to work that camera. She had a lot of sass, actually, and I liked that.
She also looks so cute in it, I can't even...
It's weird though, seeing Reina in this form; I'm used to the pigtails and glitter, those horrible cat ears and stupid bouts of spazzy winks or peace signs. Here Reina seems so much more reserved, but still relaxed. She doesn't really look like she's forcing herself at all; she's just doing what she needs to do for the camera and is fine with it. Most of the time, Winky looks pretty forced and less than bothered, but in Shabondama she is just so at ease and cool, and it looks like she put effort in too.
Long story short, I really like her camera presence in this. It's so much better than what she is like now, because in Shabondama everything seems so natural, and it's like she was gifted with this natural born talent to shine and lead a song, which is actually true; sadly things changed, and things became... well, worse, or at least in my opinion.
Though there are still these random bouts of 'Damn, she's gorgeous' or 'WOW, that voice'. But those moments are far and few between right now, sad to say.
Anyway, where was I... Oh yeah, I need to move onto the song.
Which is pretty damn cool, by the way.
I don't sit down and listen to Shabondama much, mostly because I feel like it's a song that is fit for a certain 'mood' rather than regular listening, though once I get into it, I can't stop playing it. Shabondama is pretty catchy actually, despite being quite an angry song that I like to stamp my feet to, and I find myself singing along to it so easily and just really getting into it like there is no tomorrow. It's extremely fun to listen to, but also really powerful and forceful, and I like that about it; it can be pretty emotional as well, if you know the meaning of the lyrics or hear the tone of the girls' voices as they sing. It's actually pretty passionate in a way, the way everyone sings.
And Reina sounds so good. Then again, everyone does in this song. Even the weaker singers sound great, and there is so much power in their voices which really makes this song feel powerful and emotional. It's actually a really great song that showed off everyone's vocal abilities and the power they put into their singing, because it isn't a song which is too high or too low, or too girly that certain singers have to adapt how they sound to fit the song itself; everyone just suited it, regardless of how they sing naturally.
To me this is a really good song, one which I really should not disregard and a song that I need to listen to more, if only to hear the glory of Reina's voice before she butchered it by hearing the Call of the Squirrel and going all squeaky and shrieky on our ears. Urgh.
So, the conclusion is this: It's a great song and video which really showed off how great Reina was when she debuted, and honestly, looking at it now, it's a great debut single because it's the type of song that everyone could sing. Sure, not everyone had a solo, but those who did showed that they were capable in pulling off a powerful line regardless of how weak or powerful their voices could be.
I wish I had seen this Winky before the change; she was cute, and she seemed innocent. Now she is just a giant glitter, sparkling squirrel. Well, damn.
Ah well, I'll live. Now, SOAP BUBBLES!!!
PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: May 14th, 2013