Sunday, 2 June 2013

Our Graduation Ceremony... - Houkago Princesses 'Sotsugyoushiki' PV Review

Whilst my opinion may not be the most genuinely favoured, it is my own opinion, and I do hope that you will all respect it... if you don't respect it, then really, I have no reason to respect your opinion, because let's be honest hear... No one likes an opinionated person who believes that only their opinion is word. Go find another blog to read if you are like that, thanks!!!

They went, they returned, and when they returned, they had a budget and a spiffy second new PV to show us all, with a new song!? Say whuuuut?

Yes, I am indeed talking about Houkago Princess once again, but this time they are back with something new to show us, and not a rehash of something they have previously done! One of two new songs on their most recent single, the group released a PV for their graduation song Stosugyoushiki. It came a bit late, considering Japanese school graduations are in April I believe, but really, who cares? And besides, the song comes around just a few weeks before I actually finish College, so hey! At least it's in time for my own 'graduation', aye?

Anyways, when I saw this PV, I was pretty excited and happy to say the least - and really, who wouldn't be? I have been waiting for HouPri to release some new content for a while, and finally they have... urgh, waiting for this group is like waiting for Bump.y to release something, or like when Nia waits for Perfume to release news about what they are doing. It's painful, but what can I do? I'm just glad that these girls are still around, even if they are still a bit awkward (but very cute).

So... as you would have guessed, yes this PV does feature the new lineup, and shows the drastic change in Houkago Princess. Sadly, the PV also shows that Rena Kobayashi is no longer present in HouPri, as she has since graduated (back in March, I believe) from the group... indeed my tears have been shed, in fact, when I go to her blog I still cry... not good... but yeah... This is the new lineup, and I do quite like how HouPri look now, despite the fact that I know very few of their names... oh well.

Anyway, this obviously means that I will be taking a look at their newest PV with you all today! So, sit back and relax, because I do indeed have a few pictures to share with you all, and let's enjoy this fun Graduation Ceremony together! Let's go!!!

It's always nice when a video starts from the back. Mhm... legs, butt and, er... well, mhm~

Ah crap, they turned around! Quick, hide!!! -hides behind a bush-

I wish that we had graduations here in England, hm... I want a scroll holder thingy, too.

Welcome to HouPri High!!! Where we cosplay and do... er, nothing of relevance or importance!!!

Okay, this is one spiffy looking board. I want it!

Nana is very cute, she seems less awkward here... then again, she isn't making eye contact with the camera.

Hitomin: "... zzzzzzzz"
Chiba: "... zzz..."
Nene: "... Disrespectful cows."

Looks like Hitomin is catching a few Z's, but Nene does not seem too pleased by that...

Mhm, look at them legs... om nom nom nom nom!!!

Nana looks a bit like LinLin here, and also, memories of riding the train together with friends, ah... <3

Nana is obviously Billy no Mates or something.

Nana: "Hm... is that a penny on the floor...?"

Okay, cor blimey mates, she is stunning here, like a little doll! OMG I want her!!!

I'm still learning the newbies names, but that girl standing is Cadet member Yamakawa Risuna, and holy fudge cookies guys, she is GORGEOUS!!!! *^*

... Oh yeah, Nene's a featured member. But by lord, her voice is good!

Hitomin does not want to be here, clearly.

Hitomin: "IN COMING!!!"
Chiba: "YO, Bitches, we be stealing dis spot nao, k?"
Aoi: "Dafuq????"
Saori: "..."

Chiba: "Ehe... ehehehe...."
Hitomin: "... Why the fuck did I sit next to her, again?"

I love how bored Hitomin seems to look in this PV.

Chiba: "Oh Hitomin, you so cute~"

I pray that Chiba isn't drawing a picture of my Hitomin naked...

Oh wait, scratch that... I pray that Chiba is drawing a picture of my Hitomin naked.

Saori: ".... Oh, what's that outside the window?"
Nana: "... zzzz..."
Hitomin: "Why am I even here again?"

Wow, these HouPri girls sure do like their sleep, and hahahaha, Saori seems like a space case. I like her!

Nana: "Erm, Chiba, look at me..."
Chiba: "Ah, I am such a beautiful, soulful singer~ Teehee."

I have to say, I like the slight change in their costumes now. They look good!

Ayase Miho is a cutie, I want to just hug her!!!!

Oh Nana, aren't you supposed to be paying attention to your studies? Stop staring out of the window, you don't have long left in school!

Looks like they are all ready to take off!

Momiji: "Urgh, not again..."
Miho: "And say AHHH~~~~"
Aiuchi: "Ahhhh~~~~"

And it's time to SHIP~~~~

Om nom nom, HouPri Legs, om nom <3

Chiba: "Oh my GOD, what is THAT!?"

I think that they are purchasing some Yaoi, or Yuri... who knows?

Hey, Sensei, I like your shirt!!!

Good girls, thank you for putting the tables away before you go.

... I actually wish that my school desk have been that small, but sadly, we share tables here in England.

OI! Don't run down the stairs! Bloody kids these days...

Okay, that looks like a lot of fun, and if we cleaned our schools here like they do in Japan, we probably would be a little healthier...

Oh, and less lazy.

I wonder what they girls are cheering and/or laughing at? Men? People passing by? Their friends? Who bloody knows?

Oh wow, it's in colour now!!! And yes, I still want one!

Yes, that's right... bend over...

Hitomin: "Yeah, why am I still here?"

Hitomin is either pondering over omelette, life, or why she is still in HouPri. I believe that it's the first one, really.

I will be quite frank and say that I do not care for Miran, her hair annoys me XD I quite like Shiraishi Rika, though.

Awww, I want a flower for my graduation, too! No fair!!!

Holy cow that is one small class, but hey!!! It's a class all the same!

Holy crap, they're outside!!! HouPri, do you have enough budget to do this!?

Hitomin: "OMG, hiiiiii!!!"

Wait, what is this sorcery!? Hitomin is smiling!?

Nana: "Hehehehe~"
Miran: "Erm... what? What's so, er, funny...?"

I do like these sweet little 'memory' scenes. It makes the PV a lot more sentimental, aww~

Ahhh, Saori is really cute, in a deer-caught-in-the-headlights-caked-in-make-up sorta way... d'aww...

Chiba: "HI!!!!"

Oh, hi Chiba... I didn't see you there...

Memories of Chiba smiling and being able to move her face, despite the amount of bloody make-up she cakes on...

Hitomin, stop sleeping in class! You delinquent!

No Nana, don't do it! However bad it may seem, it isn't that bad!!! We care about you!!!

... Oh, what? You're just looking at the pretty floor? Oh, okay, cool. Sorry for over-reacting there. My bad!

Wait... what? Nana, is this what I think it is? Nana, don't tell me you...

... She's been sleeping with the teacher. It's all clear to me now!!!

Daaaaamn there are so many of them... o-o

Oh look, the 8 main girls...

... Yeah, I'm kinda missing Rena right now... ah crap, there's dust in my eye! No, I am not crying!!! Dust, I say, DUST!!!! -gets tissue-

Ahhhh, why do they all have to be so cuuuuute?

Wait, why do some of them have bags? IS THIS FAVOURITISM, SENSEI? HUH!?

... And that is when they all died...

Nah, I'm kidding, they simply left the classroom, though they never returned...

Congraulations on your Graduation~ Now... Get out, I don't want to see you in this classroom ever again! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

So I have actually wanted to review this PV for a while now, or at least since it came out a few weeks ago, but I didn't because I was just busy and, also, lazy, however I am glad that I eventually got to it, because so far this PV, out of the few that HouPri does have, seems to be the best one that they have created so far. Why is that? Well to me it looks professional the effects used in it are quite nice, the shots fit well with the song, there are good locations and, my good lord, there seems to be a budget in this one. Weird, right? Considering we are used to pretty cheap videos, and an abundance of awkward cuteness, from the HouPri army, I think that this release is actually pretty nice, and shows a lot of promise for the future of the group.

As a PV, Sotsugyoushiki is really lovely. I think that the shots are well done, and the girls all played their roles well. Again, the shots themselves are really beautifully done, and I like how the video was played out to look like the girls were spending their last days remembering all the fun they had together as friends, and what they were leaving behind before they graduated from school. It made everything so much more sentimental and personal for me as a viewer, and quite a bit sad, too, but also happy... it was a PV filled with 'memories' of the girls before they left, so I liked the fact that it was able to make me feel happy and sad for the girls that they were graduating, but also leaving their friends behind.

Personally for me, this feels like one of Houkago Princesses most expensive PV's; it seems like the people behind the group actually put their heads together and splurged on improved costumes, and better locations, for filming purposes. Okay, so the classroom is pretty tiny, but there aren't that many girls in HouPri right now, and yeah the shots are mostly in the classroom or outside, but that's a whole lot better than what the original Juliet PV was like... that was shot in what I can only guess is their small Ikebukuro studio, and their dressing room - this location looks better, and it fits theme behind the song. It works, and it works so damn well I think! It is a very fitting setting for a 'graduation' song, and I am happy that the girls were able to film on this sort of location. In fact, I am just glad that Houkago Princess were able to return with a video like this, because it shows a lot of promise from the group, and just shows that they aren't skimping around any more with cheap sets or small locations... not that they are bad, but small sets and poor locations can be harder to work with, especially if you want to try and give off a certain feeling or effect for a video. Trust me on this one.

Anyway, I like the PV. A lot. It is a vast improvement from their previous three that we knew of before the girls went MIA, but it is also a refreshing change as well, and very much welcomed. I enjoyed all of the shots, mostly the memory shots, and I liked how the girls seemed to act very naturally in the video to the point where there seemed to be no awkwardness... it was cute, and very nice to watch. It feels sweet and sentimental, and it just fits that image of 'Graduation' perfectly.

Of course I do have some issues with it, but it's mostly to do with how the members are featured in the entire video; I would have loved to have seen the cadet members featured a bit more, but then again, they are just cadets, not full members yet... but even then, they are still in the video, so it would have been nice to have seen them highlighted a lot more, maybe shots where they sang in a group like the eight main members are? This is an issue that I doubt will ever be resolved, but really, it is my main problem with the video... other than that, I really do like it. It is enjoyable, well edited, the scenes were nicely chosen, and whilst there is no storyline, I like that the direction of the video for Sotsugyoushiki was clear to the viewers - the girls are graduating, and they are passing their days together, remembering the fun they have had, and the friendships that they have created. It is simple, but it is very very sweet.

Thinking of sweetness, the song itself is, in my opinion, very sweet and sentimental much like the video itself is. They both fit together well, and the tone of the song seems to blend well with the images of past memories from school days gone by, but seems to be tinged with sadness as well, like most graduation songs are. This song actually reminds me a lot of Daisuki, another HouPri song that I really love to listen to, in how sentimental and gentle it sounds, and I do of course like it... it's different, or at least for HouPri, because it is a lovely slow song that really makes you feel sad for the girls, but happy too, because they are growing up and going into a new world. It is a lovely song, one which I think any new HouPri listener should definitely check out because, whilst I do love their other songs, this one has to be the best composition wise because it is not overly generic, or annoying, and will seem to fit well with most peoples tastes... or at least that is what I think.

So in a nutshell, I like Sotsugyoushiki. It is the best PV and song that HouPri have released I think, and one that people should definitely check out. It isn't perfect, and I do think that HouPri have a long way to go before they can be recognised by others as a 'good' group, but hey... they are good in their own way, they work hard and they have charm and cuteness whilst they do it, so what more could you ask for?

And this is a little belated, but to my darling, Rena Kobayashi... Sotsugyou Omedetou! I will miss you ;3;

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