Saturday, 23 March 2013

All Praise and no Fail for Nogizaka46 and their single 'Kimi no Na wa Kibou'

All thoughts and opinions regarding the group, their songs and/or PV's are my own and no one else's, regardless of how YOU want me to think. Just because I do not agree with you does not mean that my opinion is wrong; opinion's are subjective, so please, remove your head from your arse and deal with it. Thanks~

My desire to write has been lacking quite a bit lately, however after a recent hit of inspiration from both music and a certain blogger (she who shall not be named, but she knows who she is) I have once again found the desire to write, and what better than to actually write about the music that has inspired me in a Single review?

I have also reasoned with myself that this will be a good time to redeem myself with this group as well, and to let you all know that I really am not that much of a bitch when it comes to a certain Idol group that I really did not like.

See that? See that there. Past tense. YEAH!!!!

It took me a while to actually take a good look at this single if I am totally honest with you, and after listening to it for a few days, it took me another day or two to try and figure out where the heck I would post this review. I have a few blogs that I can post this review on; Here is obviously one of them, Idolminded is another (unless Ray refuses, of course) and then there is Selective Hearing which is, undeniably, my default choice of blog to write reviews on when it comes to groups outside of AKB48 and Morning Musume. In the end I chose my own blog because honestly, I feel like I owe it to Nogizaka46 after all the shit I gave them last year for the amount of suck they provided.

2013 is looking to be a positive year, isn't it?

Anyway, tangent run and done, I have decided to take a look at Nogizaka46's latest single Kimi no Na wa Kibou and their first release of 2013. After the terrible year that was 2012 in terms of how the girls looked and appealed to me, I really did not have any hope for them, but back when the A-side PV was released for this song and single, I was extremely surprised and completely overwhelmed by how fantastic I thought it was, to the point that I thought other people were crazy for saying it was pretty boring or not as interesting as their previous single A-sides. Then again, as I continuously forget, I have a vastly different opinion of this group compared to others, and I really did not like them. But that was 2012, and this is now, and after Seifuku no Mannequin, I do think that NG46 are on their way to become a better group and improving my overall opinion of them.

Hell, if anything, this single is a good enough reason for me to start liking them! Even though I am as stubborn as a mule and did not want to like anything they did, I was completely won over by this single. Honestly, there is not a song that I hate or dislike in this; I enjoy them all completely, and yes, that is really weird, unnerving and surprising all at the same time, but hey... whatever it takes to get me to enjoy these guys and regard them as a real group, right?

Okay, enough talking, let's take a look at what this single has to offer us shall we?

Track List:

1. Kimi no Na wa Kibou
2. Shakiism
3. Romantic Ikayaki (Limited A)
4. 13hi no Kinyobi (Limited B)
5. Dekopin (Limited C)
6. Psychokinesis no Kanosei (CD only)
(+ Instrumentals)

1. Kimi no Na wa Kibou

First up is the A-side, as always, and when I first heard this song I was really taken aback at the time, but I was also extremely amazed as well. It was new, fresh and different and totally expected from this group, but it impressed me and made me realise that these guys are not that bad and that I should really give them more of a chance this year. Again, I was seriously impressed, because these guys managed to go from the bottom to quite high up on my scale after I heard this song.

Where Seifuku no Mannequin did not impress me as much, I feel that Kimi no Na wa Kibou made up for it, and also made up for the amount of suck that NG46 brought in 2012. This is how strong the song is in my opinion, dear readers; it has really had a powerful effect on me, especially if it can change my mind about the group in a matter of days and manage to make me forget how terrible this group was in 2012.

... I keep bringing up 2012, don't I?

Well it is true; this is the song that made me re-evaluate how I saw Nogizaka46 as a group. It's a song that made me feel quite happy and somewhat nostalgic. The composition is memorable and beautifully done, the girls actually sound like they have had singing lessons, and it reminds me of school choirs/choruses, making friends and coming together to work in a team. It's a very sentimental song, if anything, and quite fitting for Spring as well. I love how it sounds and when I listen to it I can't help but think about how happy and gentle it sounds despite being such a calm and moving song.

For me, Kimi no Na wa Kibou is the best A-side to come out of this group since their debut. It's sung beautifully, it has been arranged beautifully, and it sounds perfect to me, and whilst I do wish that AKB48 had been given a song this amazing for their Spring single instead of So Long!, I am happy that NG46 were able to sing it because it shows that they have strength in musical numbers like this and sound extremely powerful and moving if given the right song. It also sounds totally original as well, and is the song that has pretty much forced me to reconsider my thoughts regarding this group.

... Yes, I like this song. A lot.

2. Shakiism

When I started this B-side for the first time I could not help but think that the opening sounded exactly like SUGAR RUSH does when it opens up. It has that same game-like quality in the sound, and is probably just as cute and quirky as it is, though the similarities between Shakiism and SUGAR RUSH die afterwards and you get a bit of a different tune, one that I would actually expect from NMB48 because of the cutesy, Idol-like sound it has. It's quite a youthful song, if anything, hence why I think it would probably fit NMB48 better, but it works well for NG46 as well and manages to capture a more fun and energetic side to them that I failed to see in their first few singles.

... well, I was ignoring everything but their A-sides at that point, so I have no idea if they had anything quite as fun or cute as this.

I quite like Shakiism as a song because of the cute, girly sound it has, though I found the video paired with this song extremely contradicting to how it sounded, but also very enjoyable. I guess I like the song though because not only is it a mix of Idol music, but also a mix of sounds that I would probably hear from a shoujo game soundtrack. I have said before that I like music that reminds me of my past, especially songs that remind me of games, and this one is no different. It's cute and fun, and it adds elements of game-like sounds that remind me of SUGAR RUSH and Wreck-It Ralph, too.

Out of all the cute songs on this single, I do think that Shakiism is my favourite because of how fun and adorable it sounds, and how much it reminds me of games as well. Nostalgia plays a big factor in how I view a song, really, so don't be surprised if I fall in love with Shakiism at some point.

... It is not my favourite song on this entire single, though.

3. Romantic Ikayaki

My favouritism is actually reserved for this song, Romantic Ikayaki. I have no idea what makes me enjoy it so much or regard it as the stand-out song on this entire single, but for me this is the song that I think makes me like this single so much more than I want to.

This is the song that I have been listening to non-stop, a few breaks for other songs in between of course, for the past few days because of how beautiful I think it is. It has an amazing composition that is catchy and memorable, and the lyrics are actually pretty easy to sing along to as well, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much in my opinion. It also has some lovely solo lines in it too, but my favourite parts of the song have to be the chorus parts; they are pretty energetic and just great to listen to, and it's also these parts that make me realise just what I have missed out on with this group; they sound amazing together! They have a certain charm to their voices when they sing as a chorus, and they don't sound soft or overly blended together like AKB48 or the other sister groups do, no... they sound quite distinctive and have a bit of a sharper tone to their vocals that makes them sound better than AKB's overly blended vocals. Its nice to hear the tone differences as well during different group parts.

For me, this is a really nice song and the one that I think is the winner of the entire single; I love it, and I really can not fault the song at all for how it sounds. I think that this is near damn perfect, actually, and really shows off how well the girls sound as solo singers and as a group. It has a great pace, good energy and a wonderful composition; it sounds like a school choir, and everyone sounds like they are enjoying themselves when they are singing together. It's a lovely song, very beautiful and perfect for the spring. It's not too up-beat, but it isn't too slow or sombre either. It's just a great song fit for the spring, and a song that really makes me think that NG46 are a pretty awesome group.

... so of course I was pretty darned crushed when I found out that this song did not get a music video! DAMN YOU, AKI-P!!!!

4. 13hi no Kinyobi

Next up is probably the most annoying song on the entire track list and the one that I tend to avoid, though it isn't that bad either... at least it lets me know that these girls have a good amount of energy and that I should not doubt their ability to sing with emotion and absolute cheerfulness, eh?

13hi no Kinyobi is a very cute, quirky and annoying song that manages to get on my nerves the more I listen to it. It has a wonderful amount of cheerful sounds thrown in there that makes me think of happy bunnies, children's TV shows and, from some of the sounds thrown into the instrumental, retro girly girls and retro music. It sounds so... happy and tacky, really.

Out of all the songs on this track list, this is admittedly the one song that I listen to the least. It has a wonderful amount of energy and cheer in it, don't get me wrong, but the cheerfulness can get to be a bit too cheerful and peppy, and so it becomes extremely annoying quite quickly if you listen to it a bit too much. I'm only my third or fourth loop, and I have already had to pause the song a few times to take a break because it's giving me a headache, however if I have a small dose of the song I actually quite enjoy it. I love the instrumental and the cute quirks it has because it is a fun song, and to me this is probably the most energetic cute song NG46 have to offer here. In fact, thinking more about it, I think that this song would cater well to children and pre-teens because of the energy and absolute adorableness it holds. It's catchy, very easily remembered and a fun listen, but for an adult it can be a tad too sugary and peppy, so if you want to try listening to this... put a kid in the room with you and see how much they like it as well, but don't loop it for too long if you have low tolerance for sweet, girly songs that sound like the girls have had one too many cupcakes.

It's just irritating, is all, and I can't stand it for too long, so with that said, can we please move on to the next song!?

5. Dekopin

Dekopin is another cute song to add to the list of cute songs that this single has to offer, but it is one of the tamer ones in terms of how cheerful and cute it sounds. The song is sung by five girls and actually makes me think of the AKB48 sub-unit Not Yet when I listen to this song. I can just imagine those girls singing this song, I really can, but I think that the five girls in this song all sound great, and they keep the song sounding fresh and youthful as well.

I like the sound of Dekopin, but much like 13hi no Kinyobi it is one of those songs that is not played as much as others from this single. I guess I prefer the songs that have more of a sentimental sound to them rather than the generic cute, sugary sweet Idol sound, but this song is still extremely enjoyable; I prefer it to 13hi no Kinyobi actually, but I guess that's because it's a lot more tolerable and I can bear with the instrumental... but both songs have a strong amount of 'girlishness' to them that makes me think of pre-teens and candy.

Speaking of candy, the PV for this song is extremely colourful and eye-catching. I was surprised, but I also felt like this song was too toned down in its cheerful sound for the PV and that they were a little mismatched. I would have honestly preferred to see 13hi no Kinyobi with the PV for Dekopin. They would have suited each other more, but that's just me, however I did enjoy Dekopin's PV. It's eye-catching, and I do like bright and colourful concepts because they are extremely enjoyable to watch!

That said, I do like Dekopin, and I also like the fact that this song does not annoy me as much as 13hi no Kinyobi did. I can tolerate this one a lot better, and I have listened to it on a loop a few times too. Yaaay!

6. Psychokinesis no Kanosei

Are you ready to take off, because Thunderbirds are GO!!!

... And that is what Psychokinesis no Kanosei reminds me of when I listen to the opening; Thunderbirds and taking off in a plane, however weird that may seem... but it does, and I get really excited when I listen to this song because it sounds so... well, different to the other B-sides, and I totally wish that this song was given a PV, because it's pretty much perfect.

This is actually a pretty new song to me; I did not find it until today, actually, however since I have found it I have really enjoyed this song, and along with Romantic Ikayaki, this has to be one of my favourite songs from the entire track list. It's energetic, fun and really really epic! I love the sound of it, the instrumental sounds amazing, and the girls are all fantastic in this song. Everyone is having so much fun singing this song, you can tell by their tones, and there is just so much personality put into this song it is pretty overwhelming. I just... my gosh, I love it, and I do wonder how this song and Romantic Ikayaki did not manage to get PV's, because they are just perfect, absolutely wonderful and... well, perfect. What more can I say?

I feel like this song just shows off NG46's talent so perfectly and demonstrates that they really can sing and that I should have not judged them from last year's crap pile of singles and A-side fails. It's wonderful, and I am really enjoying this song... my lord, I do like it so much, I can not even begin to say how much I am enjoying this other than what I have already written! It's just so good!

... I think I need to conclude this post now, don't you?

The Conclusion:

So overall I am completely in love with this single. No lie, I love it; this has been the single that I have looped the most since I decided to find it, and whilst I did initially feel like I was betraying myself for actually enjoying something by Nogizaka46, I have come to realise that the group is not as bad as I thought they were and that I really should give them more of a chance this 2013.

This is a damn good single though, in my opinion at least, and I like that the songs all sound different to each other and have some diversity to them; okay, some of the songs fall into the same category in terms of how it is styled and how chirpy and cheerful they can sound, but none of the songs sound similar to each other or like long-lost cousins - each song is individual and sounds different to the next one, and I like that. Honestly, I did expect the songs to sound similar to each other because Suki! Suki! Skip! was such a major disappointment in terms of how the songs sounded, but Kimi no Na wa Kibou proved to be an absolute surprise in terms of sound and how much I enjoyed it, and I really really have enjoyed this single... despite how much I disliked Nogizaka46 before and how I initially refused to listen to this single because I feared that I would be going against myself and end up enjoying it more than I wanted to.

But I can not deny it; this is a damn good single, and it deserves to be praised. It has amazing songs, some more than annoying others but whatever, that happens with most singles, and the soundtrack does not sound like a complete AKB rip-off or rehash like... well, like most AKB songs now. It's different, and it's a strong single that shows off NG46's improvement and how much better they have become.

This single also does not have shitty PV costumes, either... so props there, NG46, props there.

Kimi no Na wa Kibou is better than I ever thought it would be and has also really impressed me and even changed my views on Nogizaka46 as a group. Do I think that they are rival material for AKB48? Not until they sell on the same day, but in terms of sound... hey might be getting there. We'll have to see what the rest of 2013 brings, won't we?

But until then... keep up the good work, NG46. You guys might make a fan out of me yet.


PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: March 23rd, 2013


  1. It was only a matter of time until they released something good. I've been watching their show Nogizakatte Doko? from the start, so I know that they have some of the most beautiful and talented girls of all the current idol groups... they are pretty funny too.

    I'm also happy that the management has finally allowed them to start singing live, which they should have done from the start, given the pathetically easy dance routines they are forced to do.

    1. Yeah I think so too... I wasn't best pleased with them back in 2012, but I think 2013 will be a good year for them, or at least I hope it is! Anyway, I don't watch TV shows but apparently the girls are cute and fun! And I watched the live you sent, I am surprised! x3