Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Simple isn't Always Good - AKB48's 'Give Me Five!' PV Review!

All thoughts and opinions on the group, song or PV are solely my own and no one else's. In no way do I mean to offend fans, however, I feel that I am allowed to express my opinion despite what others may think of it. Don't like my opinion? Then don't read beyond the picture. Simple as.

In general, casual readers of Okay! Musume Time will know my opinion on AKB48, and know that whilst I like them, I don't whole heartedly care for them as a group. In fact, I am simply a casual listener to their music. If I truly thought the group was great and wanted to support them, then I would actually buy their singles or even learn the names of all the members. And no, I still don't know their names. The only ones who's names I do know are actually the front girls.

And even then, I don't know most of their names. :/

Anyway, I originally was on the edge about creating the post for this song and video. Sometimes I will simply post about a video and song if I find it really bad, or extremely good - if I find it so-so, I generally won't review it because I don't have much to say. And in terms of the PV... I just don't care for it, and I know that if I go into a bitch-fest about the video, the extreme AKB fans will jump on my back and stab me for kicking the PV around simply because... it's AKB. (And yet, I will still be doing the pic spam XD)

But, I like the song. I won't lie about that; the song is what makes me want to review Give Me Five!, but that is it.

Also, I wanted to talk about how bored Maeda looks throughout the PV and how much more I dislike her now. She seriously put in no effort in this video, and it really shows.

So... on with the pic spam we go~

I like the name Baby Blossom (one of the few things that interests me in this video)


I feel that these girls got the short end of the stick here, but they look like they are having fun...

... waaaaait, Mariko and Tomomi got the short end of the sticks here. WTF a tambourine and maracas?

Looking slightly soulless...

Is it just me, or does that girl look like Maeda Yuuka, but an older, more mature, version?

Mayuyu isn't shown nearly enough in the video, and she looks so tired and out of it, her smile has no more sparkle...

I didn't like Oshima Yuko before this PV; I have changed my mind about her now.

Maeda Atsuko, looking as lifeless and out of it as always

The name escapes me, but she really look like she enjoyed rocking out on her guitar in this

Yuko: Having effing fun!

Maeda: Looking like she hates life

Oh look! Random story line~ I hear Yuko's a prostitute in this?

I like the clothing choices...

Maeda's permanent look

Me likes this shot

Yuko's acting in this shows me how she can totally switch - I was really impressed, and it's one of the reasons I started to like her more.

WAIT, a smile!? Oh wait, eyes are still dead...

Rock that guitar, girl who looks like an Idoling!!! Member!


This is probably my favourite scene - she looks like she wants to breakdown, and it just made the PV a little more interesting for me.

This ones name escapes me (Is it Kojima Haruna?) but her smile is pure beauty

Yay, Guitar strummin'!


Oshima Yuko looks older than her age, but she's pretty.

The only time we see High-Fives of any sort: The end of the PV

Okay, so...

Give Me Five! was nothing like I expected - when I saw a CM that featured the song, I thought that the girls of AKB would be wearing cute, colourful dresses and would be high-fiving each other to Oblivion. But, instead, we get this - a very simple, very plain and boring video. Now, I am all for simplicity, I mean - I love simplicity, but not this kind. It just looked like it was all thrown together, with no thought put into it, and I wasn't really entertained... unless Yuko was on-screen.

Now, I will admit, I wasn't overly thrilled with Yuko as a member before now. I just didn't like her, however, I always find that if a member can change my mind with the way they act, then they are worth watching. Sadly, this doesn't go the same way for Maeda Atsuko. Whilst Yuko blew me away in the video with her big, happy smile and her energetic approach whilst playing that guitar, as well as how good her acting seems (a CM that showed a preview of the 34 minute PV showed how good she is). I have really started to look at this girl in a different light. But, when it comes to Maeda, I just dislike her more. She seems bored, lifeless and like she isn't even trying here. And I am not the only one who says that; I have seen enough comments to make me think 'I am not the only one, then'.

I didn't really enjoy the PV as much as I would have liked - I find that how the girls act can make a big difference for a video, and with something as simple as this concept, you really need to have a big impact with how you look and how you act in a video. However, as one person said to me, mainstream artists don't have to rely on themselves anymore in the Idol world. Whilst smaller groups like Fudanjuku can make a PV fun with just themselves and an old garage, a big, popular group like AKB doesn't have to do that any more. Their fanbase is what makes their songs and video's sell, as well as great marketing strategies.

However, Yuko's personality won me over here - it definitely made the PV a little more bearable in terms of entertainment, and whilst I didn't really care for the Drama scenes added in, they were a nice touch, but proved to me how bland and boring Maeda always looks. It makes me like her a lot less, and I never cared for her a great deal before hand.

Now, before I start getting onto the songs, I wanted to talk a little about what I thought of the instruments - I really like the idea of instruments being used in a video, and it's something that I would expect of Buono! at some point, but paired with the fact that the band will be used in the drama short of AKB's Give Me Five! PV, I thought the idea was good. The only problem I do find is that, during the PV, it doesn't look like the girls are really playing their instruments, as well as the fact that some of the other front girls are giving... crappy instruments. In all honesty, I would have thought that Mariko and Tomomi would be given something a little less degrading. However, I did think that they looked like they were having genuine fun whilst doing it. Makes me wonder why the fuck Maeda's on the front, bored as hell, whilst they are in the back, having fun.

Oh well, beggers can't be choosers...

Anyway, Finally moving onto the song - I really really like this song, in the generic Idol-feel way. I've been listening to it a lot, actually, because the tune is so catchy and refreshing in it's own way. However, I will say this; it's pretty much all the other generic recent AKB songs stuck together once again. I will get hit for that, I know I will, but... whenever I listen to these songs, I just think 'That's generic' or 'It sounds like something else I have heard from them...'. I even asked my sister what she thought, and she's listened to far more AKB songs than I have, and said 'This is the reason I stopped listening to this group; Their songs all sound the same. The only songs I remember are Beginner and River, because the songs are amazing, and Heavy Rotation, but that's only because the PV is so damn pretty'. Hell, I was surprised when she said that; the fact that she felt the earlier songs sounded similar surprised me, because so many people rave about the earlier, better songs, and how I shouldn't judge AKB on their new stuff (I have listened to their older singles, Aitakatta! is freakin' EPIC).

Crap, I'm going off on a tangent - Well, as I said, I really like the song. It's catchy, up-beat and has a really nice, friendly feel to it. I probably like it more than AKB's previous Sakura based songs, if I was to be bluntly honest. It's nice and refreshing, as I stated before, and I think that the arrangement is beautiful. But, like most other AKB songs, it has that generic AKB feeling to it. Then again... all Idol songs are like that.

Whatever - The reason why I like Give Me Five! is because of the song and not the video. Somet imes, I will have to watch the video and the song will sound better then, but with Give Me Five!, the song can sell on its own. It will sell, anyway, because it is AKB48. However, the catchy tune, the fun and friendly feeling and the sweet vocals are what make this single so great. Sadly, the PV is shit.

Oh well, AKB can't always be winners, can they?

Sadly, DailyMotion and Youtube have no videos for Give Me Five!, but luckily, Youku does, so I hope that you all enjoy this song!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Awkwardness Prevails! - Hagiwara Mai's 'Ike! Genki-kun' PV and Song overview

All thoughts and opinions on Hagiwara Mai, her song and solo PV are my solely own. If you do not like my opinion, then that is your choice. Everyone has a different opinion, and it makes the world go round :D

Hagiwara Mai is not my favourite C-ute member, however, I do really like her. She was the reason I got into C-ute, after all. I find the girl cute, though a little awkward, and recently she has really started to stand out in the more recent C-ute PV's. But I was surprised when I saw that she had her very own PV for her solo song, Ike! Genki-kun from C-ute's new album.

Okay, first off - Where the fuck is the gorgeous and talented Chisato's solo PV? I am all for solo PV's with the girls, especially for the more underrated members of H!P, but considering how much popularity Chisato has had recently, where is her solo PV? In fact, where's Nakky's? She quite possibly the sexiest of C-ute, and she deserves a solo PV more than anyone. Goddammit, GIVE HER A PV NOW!

Secondly; whilst I like Hagiwara Mai, I don't think that doing a solo PV was right for her. Maybe it's just me, but she looks more awkward than Ikuta Erina and Satou Masaki on their first day of PV shooting, and considering she's been in Hello! Pro for over 7 years, that's bad.

When I first watched the video, I wondered why the heck she looked so out of place and awkward - I know that she has that look on her face permanently, but here she just looked out of her comfort zone... well, at least for the first half of the video. Actually, Haggy reminded me of how socially awkward Beckii Cruel looks when she's doing a music video.

... It's bad when I compare a professional Idol to the likes of Beckii Cruel.

But I don't think that all the scenes are bad - there are some moments where Mai looks genuinely happy and comfortable with her surroundings - but that's when it looks like she's doing scenes meant for a photobook. In fact, sometimes I wondered if this was for a photobook. It wouldn't surprise me, with how some of the scenes are shot, such as the scene where she runs and looks quite happy. But most of the scenes where she's walking and singing she looks so bored and worried.

I don't know, maybe I'm being picky - but for me, I feel that Haggy is better off in a group rather than out of it. Throughout most of this video she looks like she doesn't know what to do and like she isn't sure of how to feel or even how to act. Though in the scene where she plays the guitar (like an absolute noob) she looks pretty comfortable there, which was nice to see, because worried and bored Haggy is not a fun Haggy :/

This scene was probably one of the cuter and funnier moments of the video...

Again, there were some scenes that I liked - more so the ones where she wasn't lip-syncing to the song. Much like the scene above, I enjoyed the shots where it looked like Haggy was shooting for a photobook. But other times, the poor girl just looks so forced and out-of-it.

Sometimes I even thought 'She looks doped up'.

So, whilst I wasn't entirely thrilled with the video, in all its awkward glory, I really like the song. I think that the song is really cute and, though not as energetic as other songs, really up-beat and lively, something that I would listen to for a little bit of a pick-me-up when I am down. Haggy's voice isn't really the best, but this is the sort of song that fits her perfectly. She sounds good in it, and I doubt Chisato or Nakky could have pulled it off like Haggy does... Okay, maybe Nakky could...

It's a pretty catchy song, and fun to listen to. My favourite parts are probably the Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah's that are said really fast in the song. They're extremely catchy and I keep singing along to them, as well as the Whoa Yeah's and Ike Ike Ike Ike Genki-kun, Ike Ike Genki-chan's. Haggy has this sort of infective voice which just gets to you, and makes you want to sing along and be a part of the song with her...

Or maybe that's just me. I dunno.

Hagiwara Mai is a cutie. She has a cute singing voice which is easy to listen to and has that sort of soothing feeling. Her voice isn't annoying (unless you listen to Hana wo Puu~n) and she has a sweet personality, but for me personally, Solo PV's are not for her. The girl has been in a group so long, and she needs that group with her rather than being a solo singer on her own. Something like this is fine for once in a while, but her awkward look and the uncomfortable presence she seems to have doesn't work for a PV or a song like this.

I like Haggy, and I feel that this PV will makie a lot of her fans really happy. But as a fan of hers as well, and someone who likes to look at things in a reviewers perspective, I can't help but think that Mai simply isn't cut out for being a soloist at all. She needs the rest of C-ute, and it's in the group PV's where she shines the most. Here, there is just a lack of that energy and spark she usually is. But, for her first solo PV, the video and song is a nice treat to her fans in general. But some of these shots would work so bloody well for a photobook, especially that snowy scene. Just sayin'.

And now, we need to await confirmation of a solo PV from Chisato or Nakky... Both, please.

If you still haven't watched the PV, then check it out! It might not appeal to me as much as it may appeal to you, so give it a try and see how you like it ;)


Sayaka's Legs Have Returned! - Kitahara Sayaka's 'Hajike-YO!' PV Review!

All opinions regarding this PV, singer and song are all my own. If you do not like my opinion then that is your choice, I cannot make you like my opinion. However, in order for me to respect your opinion, please respect mine, and vice versa. Thankies!

What happens when the cuteness of Yappa Seishun's song and Kanari Junjou's PV mate? Well, they create this little gem of a PV!

Hajike-YO! is Kitahara Sayaka's third single as a solo anime seiyuu, and the first of 2012. Originally, I had heard a small preview of the song and was really impressed by how much better it sounded than her previous single, Kanari Junjou. So, I was of course anticipating the PV release, but I was more than surprised to find it on my youtube homepage today. So, I sat and watched it - then forced my sister to watch it. She initially didn't care for Sayaka because she hated the cheapness and lack-lustre energy in Yappa Seishun, however, she really enjoyed this (and she liked Kanari Junjou for the scenery, though said she didn't think that Sayaka's face suited the type of song) and said that it was really good. YAY!

So yeah... I enjoyed it, and, before I start to dive into my review too early, I will get on with this pic spam!


Oh look, pretty things... can I eat 'em?

YO to you too, Sayaka-sama!

I have to say, Sayaka is rocking that outfit

*Poke!* Sayaka wonders if the newbs of H!P are as squishy as they look...

... Then proceeds to give us a little catwalk/runway show to show of those damned fine legs!

Oh noes! They're disappearing from Sayaka!

Yei! Now they're back! Sayaka is excited :D

E is for Ecstasy!

Quite possibly the most adorable hug ever, and loving that smile

Sayaka + Shorts = Haaaaawt!

... Bears?

Sayaka's damned flawless, IMO. She's a goddess.


Knee High Egoist!!!

Moody Sayaka is pretty sexy

He is for Heroin! (Ni Nare Ka)

Sayaka's point of the day! *Points to sky*

Also, just noticed those badges on her shirt!

Haha, this face is priceless!

YAY, jumping scenes!

... I am reminded of the beautiful Seishun Collection....

... UP SHIRT SHOT!? -takes screen grab-

The cutest Seiyuu in all of H!P!

Sayaka: "Hm... I need a new outfit..."

If you just so happen to find those hideous Ai no Album 8 outfits in there for Berryz, Sayaka, burn them. Please.

Okay, LAWL

Sayaka was thinking of going for a swim with her new ring thingy

She points to me, holding the 'I' - this indicates that she loves me~ Or at least... the camera ;(

Her face is just beautiful...

Lord, Sayaka, why are you so effing gorgeous?

She just looks amazing, admit it.

And so ends the awesomeness that is Kitahara Sayaka's Hajike-YO!...

Or does it?

As I said previously, before the pic spam could even start, I really enjoyed what was brought to the table. Hajike-YO! was the surprise that I loved. I didn't expect it to sound that great when I first heard that Kitahara Sayaka was releasing a third single, and was expecting the song to sound pretty similar to her other works, much like Kanari Junjou sounded like a slowed-down version of Yappa Seishun, with a few differences thrown in there. But, I was thankfully given that little surprise and I am glad that Hajike-YO! became what it did: AWESOME!!!

The PV was something I didn't expect - after hearing the preview of the song via the anime ending it is for, I knew what to expect with the song - but with the PV, I didn't really... concern myself at all. However, with Kanari Junjou's PV being so beautiful and different to Yappa Seishun, I was expecting something good to come out. And yes, something good did come out! UFA has a budget again! That, or they just used a dressing room, free of charge in their studio, as well as a deserted park. Either way, this video looks like the budget/creativity was better than what Yappa's was.

So, to begin with - I love this video! It's colourful, playful and energetic - everything that Sayaka is. In Kanari, the poor girl was too tame and looked out of it (but gorgeous), like she was bored. But here, she's having fun and looks lively and happy. I think that, personality wise, this is the sort of setting that Sayaka fits rather than the setting of Kanari, but that's my personal opinion. Here, we see that cute and lively side of Sayaka that was pretty much present in Yappa, and that cuteness and energy paired with a gorgeous PV really made the girl stand out.

The scenes were so nice here, inside and outside, and I liked how they worked with everything. The little bear toys used in the shots were random, but they added a nice little touch to the video with its playfulness, just like the random letters spelling out Hajike-YO!. Just these little things can impress me, and it made the PV a bit different to the other two that Sayaka has. I also love the ever-changing scenes with Sayaka and her outfits, giving us something a little different for certain shots when she's doing her 'dancing'. Oh, the dance... really, there isn't much of one, much like her other two songs. But no PV is perfect, is it?

Speaking of not being so perfect, I feel that, with the editing, the video looked a little sloppy, and it looked like the Cameramen didn't know where the hell they wanted to go with a few shots. Then again, if you look at Pyoko Pyoko Ultra from MoMusu, you can see that UFA are getting a little sloppier. Not good, UFA, not good.

Anyways, moving on from the PV part of the review (I LOVE IT), I will move onto the song - Wow. I didn't expect it to be as good as it is, considering I wasn't the biggest fan of Kanari Junjou, and though I liked Yappa Seishun, it wasn't that great like other songs. But here, we have something that is a lot better. It's up-beat and energetic, and I adore Sayaka's voice here - the only problem I have with her voice is that she sounds a lot like Riho, but a better, more polished and more professional, older version of Riho. Maybe UFA are sore that they didn't add Sayaka and her gorgeous legs to MoMusu when they should have, so they aare auto-tuning Riho to sound like her?

Joke, really, but to me, she sounds like a better version of Riho, or how I would prefer Riho to sound.

But yes - from the preview, I knew that I would like the song a lot more than Kanari, and whilst some people may think that Kanari Junjou is Sayaka's best single, this is probably going to become my bias (unless she brings out something freakin' AMAZING!) song of hers, because of how good it is. It's that energy, the repetetive H A J I KE YO! that goes on throughout the song, and how great a soloist this girl is. Hopefully, after her gig with Inazuma 11 is over, she will be able to do something else in singing or seiyuu work. Hopefully, one of those anime's that has singing in it, like Mermaid Melody or Kirarin Revolution. Please?

Sooooo, to conclude this post, or to cut it short, I enjoyed the song and PV. I think that Kitahara Sayaka is brilliant - She's gorgeous, and in all honesty, I prefer her over Kikkawa Yuu. There's something about Sayaka that Kikka doesn't have, and it just draws me to her. However, I don't think that, right now, Sayaka is cut out to be a full-fledged soloist like Kikka. Her voice is great, but not as good as Kikka's. Though I am happy she is an anime soloist. She gets the fun of singing and voice acting, so happy days :D

So what did you think of this PV and song? Do you enjoy Sayaka's work, or do you prefer other anime soloists? What's your favourite song out of the three that Sayaka has released? ^3^

Enjoy the PV, guys ;D