Thursday, 19 February 2015

[A Week with Berryz] 100 Ears to Love, and about 500 Chinami's to Hug! It's got to be 'Gag 100 Kaibun Aishite Kudasai'!

The thoughts and opinions within this post, whether it is about the group, song or video, are completely my own. This review is written for fun, and this is a place of jest, though at times I can be serious, but honestly, if you feel offended, you do not have to read it. Still, please, respect my opinion - we have different ways of thinking, and you may not agree with me, likewise I may not agree with you, but at the end of the day, we are all opinionated one way or another. We just need to be open-minded and accepting of other opinions, so please, be open-minded towards me, and I shall return the favour. Thank you.

Berryz Kobou are going to be gone soon, and honestly? I look forward to it, not only because they don't interest me in any way possible, but also because this means Hello! Project is heading towards a true fresh start. I know a lot of fans are, right now, mourning a group they love dearly before they go, and whilst I'm not the biggest fan of Berryz, I do respect the joy that they have brought many fans.

And, so that I can grasp even a little bit of what mesmirised the fans about them, I wanted to do this [A Week with Berryz] series and go back in time, back to the days where things were simple but cheerful, when the group wasn't so run-down or disheartened, before they fell down that rabbit hole of decline.

I think, to really see the Berryz that everyone fell in love with, I have to dig up a certain gem that captured quite a few fans. I suppose that has to be Gag 100 Kaibun Aishite Kudasai, right?

Holy shit, that is a scary cover. Then again, it's an Anime cover, and not a great one - I question their hair a little.

When I was thinking about my second review for the series, I was originally going to choose 21ji Made no Cinderella, only because it was Maiha's last single. Thing is, the video didn't capture me the way that Gag 100 Kaibun Aishite Kudasai did, and so I decided that I would instead review this song and video. No matter what, both music videos are rather important in the History and shaping of Berryz Kobou from long ago - changes happened, with one being the final single to feature Maiha, and this being the first without her, showing the new-at-the-time seven member lineup that would stay this way for years to come. Both are pivotal, even I know that, but this one is far more interesting, in both sound and visuals.

I can see why a lot of fans love it, and I am ashamed to say that for a long time, I was actually ignorant of this gem.
 Seeing said gem also makes me wish, with all my might, that Berryz weren't so stale now and just as vibrant as they were here. It's pretty much opened me up to how great they were, even greater than when they did Piriri to Yukou.

Before I blabber on too much though, we're going to take a look at the video in stand-still, and in great detail, because unlike Piriri to Yukou, I actually had a fun time with screen captioning the heck out of Gag 100 and made sure to get more than was needed, and then some. So yeah, Berryz candy is here for you, and it's cute.

Oh so darned cute, and no, it isn't a joke! Even though this is from the past, shall we experience the joys of Gag 100 Kaibun Aishite Kudasai together? Let's GO~!


Berryz breaking out the funky logo once again!


Holy shit, that is one fluffy looking hat! And a scary looking Captain, eeek!

Also, notice how dark their skin is! Pre-pale Berryz, coming right at ya!


MAASA!!!

Holy heck, the girls smiling. QUICK, SOMEONE GET HER A REALITY CHECK!!! How dare she be happy >:(


Okay, this is adorable, but if you wanted a pat on the head, Chii, you coulda asked me!


... Okay, what the fuck is Maasa doing in the background? xD


Miyabeam: "Is this how tall a horse gets when its older?"

No little Foal, much taller. About Yurina's height, actually!


Speaking of...

Hello, Tree-chama! You look so cute and fresh-faced here! D'awww <3


And there's a Surprise Maasa! Though she isn't smiling, hey, she looks invested!

Don't worry, we'll kick that out of you in a few years and make you feel like you want out~


... Holy shit, she has the ears of a Goddess o-o Where the heck is she hiding them now!? Under ratchet hair, that's where


... Wait, more Chii!? What, is she visual center for this song or something!?

IT'S A DREAM COME TRUE!!!


ARGH!!! GREMLIN!!!

I forget how scary pre-sexy Captain looked, once upon a Berryz... >o>


But Chinami, she was an adorable cutie! A cutie with awkward hair, but still adorable all the same!


Risako: "Will I be this high on your rank in the future?"

Nope, you'll be considerably lower. Probably lower than Momoko, even!

Risako: "...." -Does her Whale warbling song so that I run away-


... Okay, holy shit, she still looks the fucking same, even now! What does she do, bathe in the blood of sacrificed virgin wota each night!? This shit has to be some kind witchcraft!


Chii: "Okay, get the hell outta my spotlight, I need more screen time before I become irrelevant! You will have your time in the next however many PV's until our disbandment!"
Momoko: "Yurushite Nyaaaaaaa~n!"

Chii is undeniably awesome in this PV. YOU GO GURL!!! -waves pompoms-


Maasa: "Holy shit, it's a camera!"

I love Mini-Maasa. She looked so happy and invested, even when she wasn't smiling ; 3; <3

I want those skirts, too


I think Miyabi found something to naw on whilst I go fetch her carrots...


And Chii wrote a love letter! Is that a letter for Chiima, little Chii? :3


Berryz: "Heck NAW!!!"

Geez, it's only a letter! If it wasn't for me, then just say so! Y'all don't go flying at me for it!


Risako: "Who the fuck do you think you are, taking my spotlight!?"
Saki: "Awww yeah, gonna grin like mama told me. The Wota'll love me!"

Please stop smiling, scary little Captain. I don't want nightmares ;2;


Yurina: "Ahhh, one day, I'm going to grow up to be a tree, just like my papa...~"
Captain: "I thought you were already a tree?"

Look at Maasa, owning it in the background. YOU GO, MAASA! SHOW THEM YOUR HAPPINESS ;w; <3




Hey, Rii! Wanna see what you look like when you're older?

Risako: "No thanks."

Good call, kid.


H!P and their cheap backgrounds, since 1998.

Still not as tacky as they can be today though, and this looks like crepe paper stuck to cardboard. Says a lot o 3o


She's a vampire, I'm sure of it. Elizabeth Bathory 2.0, there's no other way she could still look this young, 10 years on! Yikes!


Scary Captain and Cutie Chii showing off their guns! Awww yeah!

... Wait, is Momoko giving me the stink eye? >o>

Momoko: "... I'm onto you..."

EEEP!!!


Foal-chan was so cute back then. Then she grew out of her face.


Masters of Art!


That's the bottle they all secretly drink out of now, drowning their sorrows at having to be together for so long.


-sigh- I miss her innocent cuteness ._.

... Oh, well! Nibble nibble, nommy ears!


It's quite funny how I managed to caption this, because hey, she still does this same face even today! Kissy kissy, Chii! <3


Seedling Yurina is just as lovely to look at as Full-Grown Tree Yurina~ 'Cept she's a damn beaut now, and was plain ol' cute back then!


Wishing Miyabi still looked this happy and fresh-faced ; 3; <3


Chii: "Will I get this tall?"

Maybe taller. I dunno, I don't check your height, just Yurina's~


EXCITED RII IS SO FUCKING CUTE!!!

AND THAT EAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Okay, Mini-Maasa is the most adorable thing EVER! Had I been around pre-don't-give-no-fucks Berryz, Maasa and Rii would have most likely been my favourites.

I'ma sucker for ears and really adorable Maasa's <3


Akward Seedling Yurina's adorkable, though.


Honey, you're gonna be way taller than that by the time Berryz hits the 10 year mark!


Screencapped for sleepy Momoko, stayed for seriously adorable Risako and her seriously amazing EARS *^*


Yurina, don't let Miyabi climb on your back! Horses, even the small foals, will crush you...

Miyabi: "Giddy up Giddy up!!!"
Yurina: "Ow, I think I broke my back..."
Chii: "HI GUYS!!! I FOUND THE SUGAR BOX!!!"
Maasa: "Hee, I'm so cute~"
Captain: "... Guys, I can't see."

Sassy Maasa~


Okay, time to go Miyabi! Cutie Pie Risako Time!

Miyabi: "Neigh, NEEEEEIGH!!!"


I'm actually not lying when I say I find Risako really fucking adorable in her pre-shit-hair-shit-voice days. Seriously.

ADORABLE!

Don't mind the other girls and their weird faces, though. Focus. On. The. RII!!!


...

I don't think Miyabi's impressed with the Foal-Play that went on to get rid of her, earlier o-O


ARRRRGH, GREMLINS!!!

Seriously though, Saki was the most awkward kid on Earth. I don't think awkward has ever scared me this much.


... And then there's Serial-Killer-in-the-Making, Momoko, with a look that screams:

Momoko: "I'm going to fucking murder those Virgin wota, and bathe in their blood..."

What's wrong with finding the Fountain of Youth, kid?


Watch out for the Horse's Mouth!


This is just cute, because MAASA <3

Risako: "Okay Momoko, time to get away from the camera..."
Momoko: "I'm watching you, Chiima~"

ARGH!


...

Definitely loving the amount of Chii this video gives me.


Aww, you cold? Hug me to warm up!!! *^* <3

Seriously. So feckin' CUTE!!!


Ah shit, MIYABI! Did you buck the table with your hind legs again!?


Maasa "Call me!?"

MAASA, SO CUTE! What the fuck did they do to make you so miserable? ;3;


Okay, this is adorable and friendly and d'awwwww...


ARGH, DISASTERS! Someone let a Miyabi loose in the studio again!


Momoko: "Oh shi--- Nyan!"

Well, that's the studio messed up. Thanks, Miyabi >o>


Well, shucks! A cute caption of Captain, finally! Looking less scary and awkward, for once xD


And Maasa wants to chomp on something with her gnashers! OM NOM >8D


Those are some 007 worthy poses, right there. How dynamic!


Just captioned this for the Risako ear, and that clearly happy face on Mini-Maasa. Not gonna get enough of her smile, while I can see it <3


And POSE for VOGUE!!!

Best. Screencap. EVER! Lookit Foal's face, haha! SO CUTE!


It's undeniable how cute and beautiful Miyabi was back her in hay-days (neeeigh~). I miss this sweet, innocent freshness about her ; 3;

I miss it about all of them, quite frankly. Not that I can miss it, considering I wasn't around at this point in time, but still...


Chii is ready for a good ol' CROWD DIIIIVE!!! Whose gonna catch her!?

Risako: "It won't be me, that's for sure~"

It'll be ME!!!!!!


Somehow, Saki gets cuter the closer we get to the end of PV, thank goodness.

I do wonder why they insisted on shoving a cap on her for most early PV's, though. Was her hair that bad?


Missing those ears ;2; Sad that she had to grow into them, really.


... ooooookay, please stop looking like that Yurina, it seems like you're gonna go kill someone... o-O

Sapling: "Maybe I am...~"


I see someone's plotting on her next sacrifice to keep her youth... reminds me a little of Riho here, actually. Same possessed smile.


And this one looks like she's spotted some yummy hay!


And Maasa is just so darned ADORABLE!!!!


Saki looks like an awkward, scared, ready-to-cry-her-eyes-out kid here. I'm wondering if I should feel freaked out, or amazed at her ability to be that awkward.


Chii, however, is amazingly adorable! THAT. SMILE! Least awkward member in the group, aside from Risako~


MAASA!!!! <3

Is that a cloud on your head?


I do love those outfits, though. Cutest ever, and I want a skirt like that!


And, seriously, they all look so HAPPY! Don't see that nowadays.

Playful. Lively. Affectionate. Quirky. These were the words that jumped into my head when I first watched this. That, and memories of Hare Hare Yukai as well, which borrowed from this dance. Seriously though, when I saw this,l I was amazed at how different these girls were back then to how they are now, much like in Piriri to Yukou.

Except they're a lot better in this. Somehow, their performance level went through the roof. Yes, this is a few singles after Piriri, but even after watching 21ji Made no Cinderella, I thought they did a lot better here than they did in that song. I suppose this one has a little more attention to detail in the dance? Who knows.

Speaking of the choreography, there's no denying that it is the main feature of the whole video - every little facial expression, each movement, shove, pull and push and any gesture used is really intriguing during the dance sequences. It's so animated and alive, and very engrossing, and of course the most interesting aspect of the entire video. Addictive, too. No wonder people really liked this video and song; the girls are brought to life and really show their fun, silly sides, whilst not being too awkward or raw like they were back in Piriri. They still have that sense of freshness about them, but they're also somewhat polished - still, they're having a whale of a time, and you can tell, so of course you have a whale of a time.

Who cares about the simple set? It's tacky and cheap as heck, but you're not going to notice it much, because you're a little too focused on what the heck the girls are doing, what faces their pulling or who is taking Miyabi away from the spotlight. It's fine that there's tapestry on the wall, but why the heck would I care what colour it is? Did you see Risako's ear, or how cute Maasa is!? No matter what, you're pulled into the members of the group, not the backdrop surrounding them, and I like that about the video - it's simplicity is used in favour of the girls, because the limelight is on them, their energy, their expression and the fun, energetic dance. Why bother with a full-scale, top-notch set when you're barely even going to register it's there if your eyes are drawn to the girls?

I seriously enjoyed this video, because it's childish and cute, alive and full of ambition and happiness. The girls look genuinely happy and their unity is amazing in this. I know Maiha left before this single, and I know that the girls (especially Risako, I believe) were heartbroken by her departure, but they keep a professional front here, and they still manage to show their fun, lively sides that are full of spirit and beans, and they put on an amazing performance that is genuine and fulfilling. Watching them makes me feel happy, and it makes me, y'know, like Berryz Kobou. Quite a bit, actually. I can't help it - I'm a sucker for a good performance that feels and looks genuine, as if the girls are invested in what they're doing, like they're in love with their jobs.
 It's nice that, once upon a time, Berryz were this way.

I also seriously liked this video because, hey, who doesn't luuurve a lotta Chinami in their Joke-filled Morning? I know I do!


Cute as a fuckin' BUTTON!

Honestly though, I was surprised by the amount of Chinami in this - I didn't expect it, because I am really used to her being a background member alongside Maasa, so seeing Chii have this much screen time as a kid was amazing. She stole the show for me, reminding me why I liked her too, and was a burst of energy in an already energetic PV. If everyone else was bouncing, she was practically ricocheting off the set, she was that into it. I enjoyed her presence, very much.

The only thing I didn't care much for in this song sans the really low studio set quality for the video, and that never really bothered me anyway, (Tsunku borrowed Grandma's tapestry, I see) would probably be how the girls, some of them, shout their lines rather than sing. They did well in Piriri, but it seems that at this stage in time, they were still growing into their vocal chords, and Risako was, at the time, breaking into her whale calling voice - I can hear that tell-tale Risako voice I hear nowadays here, and she yells quite a bit, but honestly, this isn't a deal breaker - I like the song, I like the video, and I suppose Momoko and Risako screaming is just a part of that weird charm of Berryz from the past.

As a whole, Gag 100 Kaibun Aishite Kudasai is really fun, and its really noticeable. It's as carefree and cute as Piriri to Yukou, but it isn't as raw, either. Where the girls seem more professional here, they do still retain that natural, happy quality about them that shines in their performance, and really draw the audience in with their energetic movement and welcoming smiles, quirky dance moves and playful expressions. They really went the whole hog here, and made the video memorable despite how cheap it is.

From the Berryz of the past, they truly made an impact with this one. They showed that quality did not need quantity, that a set did not make the video. And, even though Maiha had graduated and this was their first release without her, this song and video proved that the group was still going to move forward together, strong and tall, and would still smile.

It's a truly wonderful video, and when I watch it, I can't help but get butterflies. It's fun, enjoyable and inspiring. This is a Berryz Kobou that I really would have loved to see, because dang, they were just so wonderful!



If I could have loved Berryz like 100 jokes, I would have. Sadly, I came in during the Sour days instead of experiencing them as fresh pickings. How sad...

Still, their cuteness is immortalised in this video! Now... time to loop it! Haha!

Much Love,
Chiima~

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