All thoughts and opinions within this blog are solely my own and no one else's, unless otherwise stated. My opinions do not need to reflect your own, but I do hope that they enlighten you and allow you to think more about your own thoughts, and to venture into what a song, video or group mean to you. Thank you :)
I haven't done a single review in a while, and given the fact that I may never review Morning Musume's 13 Colorful Character (never is a long stretch...) or even talk about Sexy Zone's latest, I decided that I would talk about a single which has actually surprised me in how much I like it... much like it surprised me in how cute and wonderful the PV was.
Yes, I am talking about Kitagawa Kenji by NMB48.
Kitagawa Kenji is the sixth single from NMB48 overall, and probably the second single that has actually interested me since their second single released in 2011. That's almost a year since these girls have actually taken my interest, which is a long time in my eyes, but NMB48 may just be like Berryz Kobou with me - takes me a few years to get into them, with a few songs that I like here and there, and then suddenly I am rocking to everything they have done because I am a tad weird like that.
Anyway, Kitagawa Kenji is a very cute single from what I can hear, and probably the start of me following these girls a little more closely now that I have found something that I clearly like from this group. It's actually nice to care about something by them once again, because these girls have bored me for a while now.
Let's take a look at the track listing for this single, shall we?
1. Kitagawa Kenji
2. In Goal
3. Hoshizora no Caravan (Shirogumi) (Type A ver.)
4. Renai Higai Todoke (Akagumi) (Type B ver.)
5. Fuyushougan no Regret (Namba Teppoutai Sono Ni) (Type C ver.)
6. Nemuku naru made hitsuji wa dete konai (Theatre Edition) (sadly I have yet to hear this song, so no review for this one!)
1. Kitagawa Kenji
I have said it once (I think...) and I will continue to say it again and again: This is one freakin' cute song, despite how generic and sickly sweet it can be. By far, this has to be my favourite song from NMB48 that is an A-side. It pretty much ticks all the right boxes or me, from being catchy to just how adorable and fun it sounds! The girls all sound great in this and I really just can't get enough of it! For a while, it stays stuck in my head and I can't help but wiggle along to it... however weird that sounds, it is true! I enjoy bobbing along to the cute sound, waving my arms about and just looking like a fool.
It's a happy song, one which deserves the cute video that couples it. It's bright, fun and all around appealing to my ears. I really enjoy the sound of the song and how happy it makes me feel! A nice little addition to NMB's current discography, and very welcoming for someone who enjoys a light-hearted and cute song to listen to on a dreary or sunny day!
2. In Goal
Another cute song to add to the track list of Kitagawa Kenji! It sounds so nice, very light and gentle on the ears with soft voices creating a softer song that really compliments the joy and happiness of the A-side. This song has more of a chorus-like feeling, and reminds me of Christmas with the amount of bells used in the instrumental, as well as the softeness of the song which adds to that yuletide feeling.
Everything about this song is soft and gentle, and is just in general very sweet and heart-warming. It isn't heavy at all, and really gives you a feeling of comfort and happiness when you listen to it. It's a very nice contrast to Kitagawa Kenji with how mild it sounds, and is a nice song to go into after listening to the happy-go-lucky A-side. The instrumental is absolutely gorgeous, one which compliments the vocals and really brings out the sweet gentleness of the girls' voices. It's adorable, and I really enjoy listening to this song. It may become a Christmas favourite, who knows?
Definitely worth the listen, and I would actually have loved to see a coupling PV to this song with a Christmas theme.
3. Hoshizora no Caravan (Shirogumi)
Hoshizora no Caravan is a very sweet, relaxing song which is just very pretty to listen to, and probably my favourite on this single. It's a very gentle song, with beautiful vocals to compliment the gorgeous instrumental.
I find the song itself to be very soothing and heart warming when I listen to it, a song which I will most likely listen to when I feel a little down and need something to pick me up and make me think. It's that sort of song, one where you just feel the need to listen to it to reflect on things. The gentle tone and the soothing nature of the song really allows you to take in the beauty of how it really sounds, whilst also allowing you to feel happy and content when you listen to it. It's absolutely lovely, and I really enjoy listening to this song. The arrangement and composition is just wonderful, and it's the song that I feel is the best from this single.
The PV that is coupled with this song is a very simple, bittersweet video that showcases the personal struggles of three individuals, with one who has the problems of arguing parents, one who has experienced the loss of a beloved pet, and the other who most likely has confidence issues. The girls fight these struggles through the help of their friends whilst on a camping trip with the class, allowing the girls to find ways to help them deal with their own struggles and accepting things as they are. It's a very well done PV, one which allows the viewer to feel emotional towards the girls whilst also allowing us to see how we ourselves can figure out our own hardships and make things better for ourselves.
Both the song and the video are lovely, and definitely worth the watch and the listen. I personally really like this song, it's just beautiful.
4. Renai Higai Todoke (Akagumi)
Renai Higai Todoke is quite a fun song, with plenty going on in the song itself such as a fun instrumental which becomes extremely playful throughout the chorus, and the use of quick-sung syllables from the girls that go from left to right. These aspects of this song will really catch your attention. It certainly makes this song interesting for me, and makes it sound so much more playful and up-beat.
This is more of a cool and energetic song, one which can also become very playful and mischievous in how it sounds when the chorus really gets into gear. When the chorus itself isn't playing, the instrumental is a lot calmer and more mature, giving you a nice dose of two different sounds in one great song. It's an absolute joy to listen to, and I love how it can go from a chase-like sound from the chorus, to a cooler and softer sound when compared to the instrumental.
The coupling PV for this song is pretty interesting as well, and certainly keeps you guessing throughout. The video basically follows the storyline of a man who has been injured, and the various women who may have caused the accident. All of the girls present in the video have met the man who is injured, and any one of them may be the culprit. It's a pretty nice setting to put the video in, and I really liked how we got to see flashbacks with each girl in them, and how they played a part in the man's day up until he was hit by the car. It's pretty neat, to say the least.
The dance in the video is also really cool, I really loved what the girls were wearing - far more glamorous than the camping gear that Shirogumi were wearing, and very appealing to the eyes. The girls looked fabulous, and I loved the dance and where it was set. It's pretty cool, in my opinion.
I think that both the video and the song are great. I love how up-beat and cool the song is, and how the instrumental can change pace and make the song more intense. It's cute, cool and fun all rolled into one. Very nice, I think.
5. Fuyushougan no Regret (Namba Teppoutai Sono Ni)
This is probably the most generic song on the single, mostly because it reminds me of something that AKB48 or SKE48 has already done, as well as the fact that... well, it's generic. However, that doesn't mean I don't like it, because I do. Oh, I really do... I just love generic songs, we all know that.
It's quite cute and very easy on the ears, with a very innocent and gentle tune which isn't too energetic or too gentle and calm. It's just the right amount of happiness and Idol cuteness, something which isn't overwhelming or boring. Basically, it's just right in my opinion. I think that this song gives us a good dose of the old generic love we need when listening to a single like this, without being better than the A-side or worse than the other songs.
It's really cute and lovely, I think, but the PV just wins all and makes the song sound better, and gives it more of an appeal.
Really, out of all the songs, this one received the best PV in my opinion. Then again, what else can we expect from a 48 group? Most of their generic and over-used songs have the better PV's, but right now I'm not complaining because it's a pretty neat video and I do quite like the song anyway.
The PV basically consists of a kidnapping, and girls with guns in a warehouse, fending themselves as well as trying to shoot the bad guys and retrieve their friends. The execution of the video itself seems fairly simple, but I like how it was edited and made to look extremely badass, which in turn made the PV a total win for me. It was beautifully shot, the girls looked hardcore, and I loved how it showed a tougher side to these sweet looking Idols in their school uniforms. It was really good, and whilst most of the shots included the girls lowering their guns for aim, I loved how everything looked and how positive the video made me feel after watching it.
Both the PV and the song are very nice, with the PV being my favourite so far for how well it was executed. It's a weird coupling in a way, but the two fit together strangely enough.
And with that, my dears, we will end this review and come to a conclusion.
For me, this is a genuinely surprising single. Considering I try my best to stay away from NMB48, I have been surprised by how much I like, or even adore, the sound of this single. Every song I have listened to is charming in its own way, and each has a certain appeal to it which made me like it even more and allowed me to enjoy every song from this single. I enjoyed the energy and happiness of Kitagawa Kenji, the interesting sound of Renai Higai Todoke, as well as the soft and soothing sounds of In Goal and Hoshizora no Caravan and also the cute, generic sound of Fuyushougan no Regret. There's a little bit of everything in here when it comes to happy songs, and I really enjoyed the happiness that this single contained. Each song was very well done, and I have really enjoyed listening to each song.
The girls sounded lovely in this, and I was definitely charmed by this single. Kitagawa Kenji contains a pretty nice collection of songs, ones which are very lifting and cute. I will definitely be revisiting this single this week, because I found something to like in every song that is contained here that I have heard so far.
NMB48 are looking pretty promising for me right now, and I hope that they continue delivering songs which everyone can enjoy. They're a pretty damn good group I think, and I hope for them to continue appealing to me more so, because I really need to give these girls more of a chance.
PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: November 4th, 2012