All opinions within this post are my own, and if you don't like what I think or feel, then simple: Don't read it. If I am so offensive, then why are you here?
Much like any other H!P post as of late, this one is something that I have been waiting to write since the PV for Juice=Juice's major debut song came out. So, that said, shall we dive into it already?
Okay, so we won't be diving into the PV pic spam yet, but really, I have been waiting to review this. Sadly, waiting means that I need to find a PV of this song that does not host those stupid hardsubs that UFP are now intent on slapping on every PV their artists create. It's seriously annoying, and sometimes it stops me from bothering to even review something I genuinely enjoy, but at the end of the day that is the road UFP are going down in order to stop people downloading their PV's, and I understand that, but still... it is frustrating for a blogger, especially one who enjoys pic spams as much as I do.
Now, that said (but certainly not done), I feel like I really don't write enough about Juice=Juice when it comes to their music or PV's, but I put that down to the fact that, when Juice=Juice started bringing out PV's, UFP started to add the hardsubs, and at that point I had no desire to even screencap anything H!P produced thanks to that. Of course, being an indies unit means that the groups PV's were not broadcast as much as the major groups were, so it was even harder to find a raw copy of the PV, so I had to make do with just not reviewing whatever the group brought out when it came to the visual aspect of the single. Luckily, with their major debut and all, I can now screencap with ease... weeks later, but still! I can screen cap without ruddy lyrics on the screen!
The woes of being a blogger, my darlings, the woes...
Anyway, let's get into the screen cap! Everybody clap your hands, and everybody dance, because this is Juice=Juice's Romance no Tochuu. Are you ready?
H!P, why are you blurring out my Diamonds? I want to see my Diamonds in action, damnit!
H!P seem to really like this 'Lights Off, Lights On' edit as of late, don't they?
What, a Rose Quartz, for me? Why thank you! Don't mind if I do...~
Karin looks quite lovely in this, and watching it now, I am reminded of how good her hair looked before the Aina-bob they seemed to have given her.
Sayuboo: "Oooh, gurl, you ain't su'post ta mention Aina. Dat's Taboo, boo."
Jesus: "... You want Amethyst cookie?"
It seriously looks like she's handing you candy, and damn nabbit, it looks adorable when she does this!
Jesus: "No, wait... I want my Amethyst cookie back... m-my cookie!!!"
Too late, Jesus. I took yo cookie and ate it.
Oh look, here's Tomato-chan, and she has a Ruby for me. Thanks, doll face~
Tomato-chan: "... This Ruby is my best friend."
What, so I can't have it? For the Love of---
But heeeey, legs! If I have legs, then really, I don't need a Ruby! Keep the Ruby, girl, and I'll just look at dem pipes o' yours!
Akari is having so much fun, and she loves her pants.
I don't love her pants.
H!P, just because she is popular, does not mean it warrants a semi-boob shot. If she had boobs, I would understand, but she doesn't. Just sayin'.
Hm... Now I wonder who these divine lips could belong to...~
Well, of course they belong to the gorgeous and desirable Melon-pan! Daaaaamn, gurl! You lookin' good for someone who is actually stupidly young o-O
No, seriously... How is she the youngest!? Hot damn, it boggles my mind!
Speaking of youth, look at the puppy-eyed Peach-Dayso! I seriously can't believe someone this cute is only 19!
Jesus, you are also wonderfully innocent and gorgeous looking. Please, don't change~
Jesus: "I'ma break dis house down with ma SKILLZ!"
I can't get over how hideous Karin's shorts are. Urgh.
Sayuboo: "Boo, shut up. We don't care about what you think of Karin's shorts."
Sayuki is pretty adorable in this, but at certain points, she looks tired. D'awww, poor Sayuboo...
Tomato-chan: "Now, girl, don't worry about what Sayuboo says. She's just cranky that we had to re-film this whole thing after Aina left..."
Sayuboo: "What the fuck did I just say about Aina being taboo that wasn't understandable, Tomoko!?"
Sayuboo is gettin' irritated with yo shit, yo.
Jesus: *sighs* "Not again, Sayuboo..."
Oh, so gangsta Sayuboo is a common occurrence then, Jesus?
Tomato-chan: "Pipe the heck down, Sayuboo! I stated a damn fact, so leave it at that! Ain't nuthin' wrong with saying Aina's name if I want to!"
Wow, Tomoko has a gangsta side, too. You learn something new everyday!
It looks like Melon-pan doesn't want to take any of this bull, either. But of course, poor baby has to put up with. Melon-pan ;w; <3
Awww, Jesus, did they make you cry with their offensive language? Poor darling...
Jesus: "... I'm crying because you ate my damn Amethyst cookie."
BUT YOU GAVE IT TO ME!?
Looking at the awkward cuteness of Peach-Dayso reminds me of how awkwardly cute Marius Yo's smile is.
Can you see the similarities!? My gawd, they must be related...
A costume change!? Do H!P even have a budget for this!?
Jesus: "Oi, give me my Amethyst cookie back, or I'll pop a cap in yo ass..."
Are all Juice=Juice members gangsters!?
Melon-pan: "Not me!"
I knew it. Such a gorgeous girl like yourself could never be a gangster... <3
Also, Akari-belly-mole! <3
Tomato-chan: "I ain't no gangsta either, yo!"
Also, Tomoko is absolutely gorgeous, to the point where I believe that she and Akari are both committing crimes by being this gorgeous. <3
I truly think that Sayuki is taking over Reina's position as the H!P drunk now that the ex-MoMusu member has sobered up and run off to more Lavender pastures.
... Let's just hope that she doesn't hit the sauce too much, aye?
Egahd, how are you so lovely!? I especially love it when she does this thing with her lips. So. CUTE!!!!!
... Oh shit, Pach-Dayso looks like a disappointed puppy! What did I do this time!?!?
I can see why the editor kept this in there... he must have been a BIG Karin fan ;)
... Okay Editor-san, you're just making this worse for yourself -head to desk-
HOLY SHIT, GANGSTA JUICE=JUICE!
But no, seriously, why are recycling Berryz Kobou's debut wardrobe, hm?
Also, why are recycling the chairs from Kiss Me Aishiteru?
Sayuboo: "Why don't you just shut the fuck up, and enjoy the damn PV?"
This is the chair of Mob Boss Syuboo, bitch!
Sayu: "... I'ma cut you for makin' fun o' ma CHAIR, BOO!"
Tomato-chan: "Bye bye, dead man walkin'~"
Well, aren't you sympathetic to the victims. Not.
Jesus: "Erm, Wardrobe-san..."
Wardrobe-san: "Yes, Jesus?"
Jesus: "Why have you put us in rags that don't exactly look like they should be seen in public, let alone this cool PV?"
Wardrobe-san: "Urgh, look, we major debuted Berryz in these, and look at how well they are doing now. Don't you WANT to wear the hand-me-downs of such an awesome group or not?"
Jesus: "But Berryz aren't exactly doing as well as Morning Musume or C-ute..."
Wardrobe-san: "Look, you wear what the fuck I tell you to wear, and god-damnit, if I say these will make you successful, then Hell, they WILL make you successful, do you hear me!?"
Jesus: "... Sure, whatever, man."
Peach-Dayso: "I'm a bunny!"
Tomato-chan: "Now, I personally like my Gangsta wardrobe..."
Girl, your gangsta outfit isn't exactly stylish, either...
... Okay, tell me, how can anyone resist this face!? It is so adorable! <3
Okay, I think I have changed my mind about Akari's pants...
I hope that H!P continue to spam their PV's with some Akari belly. Actually, just spam us with Akari.
Melon-pan: "Who wants a hug?"
Peach-Dayso is far too sweet to ever be as gangsta as Tomato-chan, Sayuboo and Jesus are.
Jesus: "Bitch, if you don't gimme my Amethyst cookie back now... I'm slap you with this hand right here..."
Aw, shit, where's the Amethyst cookie!?
Okay, isn't this just the sweetest thing ever!? My goodness, it is just so... GAAAH SCJOSIJVVKDVMKDMVKLS <3 <3 <3
Akari, just... take my money, my wallet, house... everything! I LOVE YOU ;W; <3
Juice=Juice: "Kami-sama, please, take us out of these hideous clothes, and put us in something a lot more fashionable, and public-friendly..."
At least one of them is happy to get out of those hideously mismatched clothes.
WORK IT, Akari! <3 Damn, that girl is killing it with how fab she is~
Tomato-chan: "... Excuse me? Please, girl, I'm the real ace here, and the only one who 'kills it', in more ways than one, may I add."
Akari is my Juice=Juice favourite, not you, Tomato-chan.
Speaking of favourites... damnit Akari, why you so sweet!?
Sayuboo: "Bitch, this diamond is MINE!"
Okay, okay, it's yours! Geez...
Jesus: "Amethyst Cookie, I missed you..." -hisses at Chiima-
Looks like she eventually got her Amethyst Cookie back... ;w;
Jesus: "My... Precious one..."
Okay, Karin, please don't turn into Golem. We like you as you are...
As you might know by now, all Akari pictures are posted for my own fangirlish happiness.
Melon-pan: "What a pretty Emerald...~"
Akari, there is a far prettier, and far more superior, gem that has recently caught my eye. I call it 'The Uemura Akari' gem... <3
No rock is worth the amount you are worth in my heart, darling~
Aside from Akari, Yuka has one of the most gorgeous pair of legs in all of Juice=Juice~
I actually wish that they showed more of Yuka, because despite her awkward look, she has such an adorable face and atmosphere. That, and I really like her.
Just look at her! Adorable!!!
I actually wonder who managed to bribe the H!P wardrobe artist to have Juice=Juice wear this?
Oh thank goodness, good looking clothes have returned! Thank you, Jesus!
Karin: "You're welcome!"
Erm... I meant God's son, but... whatever...
I have to say, that back lighting looks pretty damn cool. Groovy, man~
So, that said, let's talk about the song a bit.
The song, much like the other two tracks from Juice=Juice (I do not count Ten Made Nobore!) is another Jazzy composition which brings out that cool, mature vibe from the group, despite the fact they are so young, Accompanying the cool and jazz-filled sound are some of Hello! Project's strongest voices in the forms of Karin, Tomoko and Sayuki, who really do bring the song to life if you ask me. With Sayuki, you have these sassy, confidence-filled lines that are wonderful to listen to and the most memorable parts of the song, if you ask me. Karin has this sweet but polished voice that is just wonderful to listen to, and has a certain smoothness to it that is just nice to listen to. With Tomoko you have pure, raw talent at work, and you can just hear how gloriously confident she sounds, and you know she's working it! These three voices combined for lead vocals is pure magic if you ask me, and they truly do bring the song to life, no lie.
Akari and Yuka, on the other hand, are only sub-vocals, and whilst I am a bit miffed about it, I understand why; they are the weaker vocalists of the group, though from what I can hear from them, they sound a bit better than most of Morning Musume's members do, despite their lack of tone or tune. Juice=Juice, unlike Morning Musume, seem to rely on the stronger singers to lead the unit right now, and truly do value talent over cute faces. I do think that Karin, Sayuki and Tomoko's popularity plays a hand here in how many lines they get, I mean I would be an idiot if I didn't know that (Oh wait... I am an idiot), but it is nice to see that the talent is being given the push. Of course, Akari does have a fair few solo shots in this in place of her lack of lines, though the same can not be said for Yuka, sadly. But yeah, whilst I would like to hear more from the Peach-Melon duo, I do see why they aren't given as many lines as the others.
Honestly though, if I had reviewed this the month it was released, I would have had more of a pissed-off rant about it, but after thinking it over (shit, I'm thinking... I need to stop doing that) I do see why it is the way it is, and I don't mind much now.
I like the song, it is cool and mature, and right up the Juice=Juice alley if you ask me. It has a great sound, and whilst it isn't their strongest song, it is still catchy as heck and is just as good as the other songs this group has produced! The vocals are strong, and so is the instrumental, and yes, I do really like it. I wouldn't have it on a loop, otherwise.
Song done and dusted, let's take a gander with the video, shall we?
The video, in typical H!P fashion, is your basic dance and close-up shot affair, but this time it looks stylish and classy (until you get to the colourful, rapper-wannabe scenes), which is pretty new for Hello! Project if you ask me. The girls, whilst still on a set that we all seem to loathe by now, have a backdrop which is pretty eye-catching and reminds you immediately of the pattern of a diamond. The close-up scenes are the same, showing a backdrop in the members colour, bringing a wash of colour to this other-wise mono-toned PV. I love the addition of the coloured backgrounds, because throughout most of the PV the girls wear mostly a white-black piece of sorts, so it brings a pop of colour into the PV that would probably look a little washed out or boring without it.
Speaking of the outfits, I do like that the wardrobe for this video seemed to be quite vast, though I think that Juice=Juice would have been better off with the first two outfits in the video alone, instead of being given a third costume. Of course, it is the third set of costumes that I detest the most due to how garish, mis-matched and out of place they look in a video. Now, I am no fashionista of any sort, but even I know when it looks like your blind neighbour has dressed you with anything they put their hands on, and darling, it looks just like that here. In fact, I think it's so horrible, I feel like I am having a flashback to the garish fashion of the 90's (or in H!P's case, early 2000's). Good grief...
The rest of the clothes, however, are very fitting to the cool approach of this music video. The Houndstooth fashion is not to my taste personally, but it looks good on the girls. The only thing I would do is re-style what they gave Karin, because those shorts are hideous, but overall it brings a classy and upper class appearance to the girls, especially Yuka, who looks simply wonderful in that gorgeous dress with lace sleeves! The other costume set, which are beautiful white one or two pieces, look wonderful on the girls, and give off an innocent and angelic vibe. The clothes still look classy as well, and match the Houndstooth wardrobe nicely. Both styles compliment each other, and I like them on the girls. It's just a shame that the rapper-wannabe clothes were thrown in there as well, because that only made the girls look frumpy and unfashionable. Oh well.
Other than wonderful (and awkward) costumes, I also really love the editing for this PV. It looks great if you ask me, especially with the amazing shots that are used in here. It is also amazingly well-paced, and I love the flow from one shot to the other, especially when it is a dance scene and the costumes change suddenly from houndstooth to these white and angelic pieces. Sometimes, the editing looks effortless and it flows together beautifully, though other times it is pretty noticeable that there was a change in scene, but all together I think that it was really well edited... unless you count the original PV we saw, where Aina suddenly appeared in the background to haunt the members she had left behind, but we will pretend that never happened, like H!P want us to believe, right?
It's a good PV in my opinion, and one of the better-looking ones from H!P since they started to use a budget, though the girls really help to pull this video together. I am glad that H!P haven't skimmed on the fact that these girls are pretty amazing performers either, because we get a lot of amazing dance shots with some jazzy pans and angles thrown in there, showing us just how good these girls are as a group. Of course, their performance in their solo shots are also pretty brilliant, because damn, these girls do look good and know how to work with the cameras! Sayuki and Yuka less so, okay, but the rest of the girls really are working the camera in their favour, especially Karin and Akari... damn, they look good, especially Karin! You can see that in her time as an egg, Karin learned a lot from her senpai's and has taken that knowledge into Juice=Juice. Her experience has really made her a stand-out performer in Juice=Juice, and she is, by far, the most eye-catching member of the group when it comes to her solo shots. She just manages to capture the audience with her different looks and how she stares at the camera. Seriously, she's mesmirising, and I wanted to print screen so many images of her... I had to resist, of course, but still!!!
Akari is also mesmerising to watch, as is Tomoko in a way, because Akari has this beautiful face and these eyes that just make you melt. She also has a great presence of innocence around her mixed with this mature look that really takes you in and makes you want to fall in love with her. Who cares that she can't sing as well as Karin, Sayuki or Tomoko? Her looks are truly her strong point, and H!P knows it, and they show it in this video.
Tomoko, of course, is also gorgeous in this PV, but her looks don't really strike me as much as Akari or Karin's do, but she truly does have this mature and refined beauty about her. She looks very polished, despite being the newest idol of them all, and is very professional and confident, and it is rather enticing to watch in a way. It is great to see such confidence in Tomoko, actually, and I like that a lot about her in terms of how she looks, because it makes her very likeable in my opinion and it also works with the group, because Juice=Juice, with their sound and style, is a rather confident and ambitious group, and Tomoko fits the look perfectly to a T.
Yuka, on the other hand, is so sweet-faced and awkward that she almost doesn't fit the look of Juice=Juice, but it gives her a more unique look I guess. She has such an innocent face and these droopy puppy-dog eyes, and you just want to hug her and let her know that she is loved by people, regardless of her lack of singing talent. Seriously, she looks so adorable and sweet to me in this video, and I think that is what makes me like her so much; it's an underdog thing, I swear, but her awkward cuteness just pulls me in and makes me want to hold her hand as she tries her hardest. D'awww.
Sayuki, on the other hand, looks the least appealing in this video, which is surprising because I thought she looked amazing in Samidare, where she really appealed to me and stood out like a giant British flag in the middle of America. Here though, she just looked a bit bored and moody, however in the dance shot she really did kill it, and she brought a bit of sass along with her for good measure. Seriously, I loved Sayuki in the dance shot, because she stood out amongst everyone else, but in terms of close-ups, she really did nothing for me. She's beautiful, don't get me wrong, but she really only stood out in the dance shot because she just kicked everyone else's ass, but other than that... nah.
Overall, I really like the video. It has its downfalls like all PV's, but it is a pretty strong video. It has a good set, the girls all look fabulous, and they all stood out in one way or another, may it be their sassy dancing skills, their adorable faces, or their presence in front of the camera. It has good pacing, lovely camera shots and great girls performing, so really, what more could you ask for?
... Other than a better budget, that is. Oh, and more Akari Belly. We all want to see more of that, I know we do. There is no use in denying it, guys, so give up~
All in all, it's a great PV and a wonderful song. They are both strong, aside from a few wardrobe malfunctions here and there, but other than that this is a nice marriage between the PV and song. I like them both, and the girls are really working it. I love this line-up for Juice=Juice, I love the sound, and I love the fashionable look they have. I just hope that H!P continue going down this route with them, because damnit, it works!
Is Romance on its way, or do you have the Gangsters after you?
PING!!! Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: October 2013, Part One