Monday, 30 July 2012

Let's Raise our Hopes with Yui Ogura in her debut PV, 'Raise'

All opinions within this blog are my own honest thoughts and feelings toward the singer, the PV and the song. If you don't like my opinions then that's perfectly alright, if you like my opinion, that's perfectly fine. If you don't mind my opinion, but don't always agree with me - then that is also perfectly alright~ Anyway, all opinions are our own xD

Ah, Yui Ogura... A voice I really don't like, despite being the sort of person who actually tends to lean towards these voices more so than others, but honestly... your voice is just grating on my ears, kind of like Momoko Tsugunaga's. Why oh why is your voice so hideous to my ears...?

Not that her voice is necessarily bad... I just don't like it at all. She has this horrible, fake little-girly voice which most idols (ones who can't sing or act cute because... well, because they just do Momoko) seem to use. It's perfectly fine when the singer is actually a kid or their voice is naturally that squeaky, girly and high (Sayumi, Masaki etc) but when a mature girl is using it, I just really don't like it. These are the voices that tend to grate my ears and annoy me to high Heaven's - hence why I am not a big fan of either Momoko or Ogura Yui.

Anyways... I've been waiting for this PV to be released for a while now, because whilst I am not a fan of Ogura Yui, I seem to be a fan of what the PV preview for Raise offered us - something extremely beautiful and worth the watch. Whilst the song, though strong and nice to listen to, was not the song for Yui's voice. I thought that she sounded weak in the preview, and that her voice didn't capture the power that the song was trying to show us. Her voice... well, her voice just let everything down with the song, really.

But, regardless, I wanted the PV, and I've been looking for it endlessly on youtube, youku, Dailymotion... most video sites that I know about. And today, I found it. I am actually quite pleased, because I've listened to this song more (in MP3 format), and I have more of a formed opinion on it...

So, without further ado, let's head over to the pic spam for Ogura Yui's debut single, Raise...

Already I am liking the fact that the background isn't dull, boring or extremely photoshopped. Bonus points for a real location ^^

And already, Yui is looking pretty... even if we can't really see her.

OH HAI THAR, YU! -waves stupidly-



Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai dress?

Yui: "I'm... too sexy for this curtain..."

Yui is getting awfully close to that curtain... and is that dress seductress red? xD


Legs legs legs~~~

I say, I want those shoes - I'm liking them straps, and also, HOLY HELL HER DRESS IS SHORT!

Yui: "Is it just me, or is it gettin' sexy in here?"

Lord, she really knows how to work that camera...

Aww, she looks quite sweet here... sadly, she has the voice of a Siren's Baby...


Yui is faint at the thought of UFA using an actual budget on her PV. Yeah, Yui, I'm in shock too...

... -death glare from Yui-

WHAT DID I DO NOW? -drops alcohol-

Two Yui's agaain?

Eh, who cares? The scenery is pretty, and damn her LEGS! <3

Yui: "Everywhere I go, it gets sexy... maybe I'm just too damned wonderful~"

Yeah, sure Legs... whatever you say...

You look tired, Yui. Get some sleep, k?

I want those shoes!

I want those legs! -cries-

Straight Jacket pose?

Oooh, nice shot! Yes, Yui, Reach up for the stars! Climb every mountain higher -Sclub 7 music starts-

Oh lord, she's going to KILL ME!!!

Yui: -glare-

Okay, dramatic pose... START! -insert random flashing lights-

Ah, how angelic... a nice change of pace from the darkness, I have to say~

... And let's be dramatic yet again! POSE!

Man she's fierce!... I mean it, too~

I actually prefer this dress over the other two.

Yes, run Yui - RUN!!! 

And... FINISH!

Okay, so Yui, I've watched your PV, I've listened to this song quite a few times, and I have more of an opinion on this MV and song, oh, and you, now that the whole song is available and the PV is viewable. So, what do I think of you now, eh?

Well... Yui's voice still sucks, in my opinion. It isn't the worst voice, nor is it the best, but it isn't a voice I really like either, however it's passable in this case. The PV, however, is absolutely beautiful.

The fact that there was a budget behind this, and some crafty (yet simple, easy-peasy editing) little effects added in there, I think that this is a strong debut PV for Ogura Yui's Anime voice-acting 'solo' career. It's a very pretty music video, with plenty of beautifully taken shots and a good location. It was nice to watch, and it was the main reason why I actually got all excited for Yui's debut. I care so little about the artist herself, but the PV and the sound of the song were what took me in and made me want to watch it. Though I actually like Yui a little more now than before.

The video is lovely - the location seems to be set in a mansion, with three different Yui's - an Angelic, more innocent Yui locked in a White room, a more mature and seductive version locked in a darker, mor dramatic room, and then the final version of Yui, who is a regular girl searching for a way out of the mansion. There's no specific storyline, but what I did pick up was that there were different sides to her, and that she was trying to leave, escape or break free from the mansion. It was also kind of like watching Yui figure out who she really was as well.

I liked the use of light and dark in this, with one side being the pure white room, giving off a pure and more vibrant effect, giving us a glimpse of the demure and delicate side to Yui's personality, whilst the other was a darker room filled with red and flashing lights that gave off a more dramatic vibe to Yui, and showed a daring and more vibrant personality that we don't get to see with the white version of Yui. It was nice to see her take on these forms, and you can see that in both of these scenes that she can really work the camera - and I was mesmerised by her performance. In fact, it was her performance that made me like her more. Yui has a really great look, and she really takes you in with how she acts, how she looks and how she can change from one persona to the next. She did a great job in this video showing off how good she is at presenting herself.

The other scenes contain the regular Yui wondering around, as if she is lost, and sitting on a staircase staring towards the camera. The scenes are simple, but I love how the shots work - we get great shots in the video, not just of Yui, but also of her feet, her hand, the door, the staircase itself - a lot of shots which focus not just on Yui, but also the building that she is in, and I like that aspect of the video. It gives a more dramatic effect, I think, and allows us to think about where she is as well as who she is within the video, and to wonder what she is doing there, and to create our own story too.

The video was edited beautifully, I think, and I loved the effects used - they are simple, but they really worked with the video and made it a little more interesting. Yui herself was a treat in the video, bringing a wonderful performance with her actions and facial expressions, it made me realise what a professional she was in front of the camera. Her voice needs work, but her camera presence is spot on. I like the video a lot - it's pretty, quite simple, but very effective. The location was perfect, and I love how light and dark are represented in this, and I like how there are around four to five unique shots for Yui - The light room, the red room, the sparkling scene with Yui's 'regular' self, the mansion scenes and Yui standing in the middle of two black walls. I liked the variety there was, and how each scene captured a certain image of Yui.

The song itself is something that I like, a song that suits the mood of the PV - it's powerful and nice to listen to... but it's too powerful for Yui. I said before that Yui's voice simply doesn't fit this song, and that this should have been a song for someone with a stronger voice, one which could carry this song better and make it sound great. Whilst the song still sounds good, Yui can not carry a song as powerful as this one. Her voice is far too weak, and she simply can't capture the powerful nature of this song, though in the chorus and climax of the song, you can hear how she does try her hardest to bring out the power in her voice. Sadly, it's just not there, and in the end she struggles to sing a song which simply does not suit her or fit her voice.

That said, listening to the song multiple times has made me like Yui's voice more - I don't mind it as much as I used to, but I still find her voice irritating and rather childish. I think that, for a debut single, this song should have been given to someone else, and Yui should have had something lighter and more playful. Dramatic, powerful songs are just not for her.

This is why Mayuyu, who gets simple, generic songs, is much higher in my ranks as an anime like soloist despite having the same childish voice as Yui - she actually gets songs that suit her. Yui doesn't, it seems. Honestly, her b-side song PON de Fighting! is much better, in my opinion - it fits her weak voice, and she doesn't sound like she's struggling to fit the theme and power of the song.

So... the verdict for Yui's debut single, Raise?

Raise is a beautiful music video, one which had a lot time, thought and effort put into it, and Yui is incredible in front of the camera. The sound of the song is also wonderful - a pretty good debut song, actually. The instrumental is wonderful, I love the strength behind it and how it sounds overall, but it was Yui's voice that was the overall let down of the entire thing. Her voice is just, well, weak. I've said it multiple times in the review, she just doesn't suit this song, and it did spoil it for me a little. But, with every glance from her, with every little smile, every shot, I found myself liking Yui more and more for her performance. Her voice may be terrible, but she is a wonderful performer, and honestly, I do like Idols who can work the camera.

I know, I know - I'm a negative cow, but honestly, Yui's voice does nothing for me.

BUT if you do like Yui, whether it is for her vocals, her body or how she performs, then give this video a go and see what you think of her debut single, Raise.

I wonder how long she will last as a soloist? I don't think long, considering she's an anime soloist.

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