Friday, 30 August 2013

Chiima's Top 13 Idol Summer PV's of 2013

All thoughts and opinions within this post are my own and no one else's. You do not have to agree with me, but respect my opinion, and I shall in turn respect yours. Don't want to respect it? Then I will gladly be a cow to you about it! Have fun~

Summer is ending, and seriously, I am pretty sad about it, because this Summer was actually really damn awesome! It was sunny here in England (dafuq, I know!) and I spent a lot of time outside, attempting to tan when really, the only part of my body that tanned was my feet... that's a true story, bro. Oh, and we also had a lot of awesome Idol PV's for the Summer! What's not to like about the Summer gone bye, aye? So, that all said and done, shall we start the post?

Now, before we start the rank itself, I do want to say that I have not watched every Japanese Summer Pop PV that has come out through June-July-August time, though I have watched a good few, so if you don't see something in this list that you have seen and enjoyed, I do apologise... also, this is a Top 13, meaning that I probably have seen more than the 13 you see here, but I did not include them because they probably did not stand out to me as much as the ones I will present here did.

I would also like to note that I will not include any Hello! Project PV's in this because, whilst I do love that Umbrella of Project and Units, there are a lot of PV's that have come out, and if I were to do a Top 13, I would most likely make a separate post because there are just so many of them that have come out in time for the summer.

That said and done, let's take a dive into my Top 13 Idol Summer PV's for 2013! Will any of your favourite PV's be present?


Dream Catcher by Icle Girls

I have no doubt that you may be pondering over who the heck these 'Icle Girls' are, and honestly, so am I... I just happened to find this PV by chance and fell in love with this group upon first glance. Okay, so they can't sing for toffee (few Idols can) but I just found myself thoroughly enjoying this cute little PV and the girls themselves. They are nothing original, don't get me wrong, but they have a look and sound that I quite enjoy. This has actually been one of my well-looped songs, and whilst I originally found the add-on of the Hawaiian Hula music a tad odd and out-of pace, I have come to really enjoy the song and the quirky addition of the Hula music.

It's a nice PV in my opinion, and whilst it may be cheap for some, I actually like the setting of the PV in the swimming pool, and I like that they made it s summery as possible without getting in the pool or going to the beach. That, and all the girls are cute.


Rappa RenshuuChuu by Watanabe Mayu

I have a feeling some of you will come at me with pitchforks and torches because of how low this PV is in the rank, but honestly, it's mostly because this is one of Mayu's more forgettable PV's... but in all seriousness, it is a fun and energetic PV. It has a lot of cuteness and charm to it, and is an enjoyable watch. I actually really like listening to the song when I remember it exists, too, but yeah... as a song and PV, Rappa RenshuuChuu is a boatload of fun, and really easy to get into. I'm actually surprised that I thought I would hate this when I first saw the preview (true story, bro).

What I like about this PV, other than the fact that it isn't a blatant Summery Bikini-filled PV (Surprising, considering Mayu is in AKB and all) but instead something fun and cute, and actually nt at all summer-themed. It's just childish and fun, and actually quite imaginative! It makes for a very nice PV if you ask me, and I like that Mayu looks like she is having a lot of fun as the little Magician Trumpet girl she plays as (once again, like previous MV's, she has something in her back to represent a bow or whatever... I do like it, though). I also like the pastels used in this video, making it pretty refreshing, but still colourful and fun to look at! It's a very nice music video from Mayu, and a nice addition to the abundance of summer PV's that we have been pelted with this year!


Savage Heaven by Bump.y

Heading over to the darker side of Summer PV's, Bump.y's latest is a rather chilling and cool music video that shows a more mature side to the girls since their last PV, COSMO no Hitomi. Upon first seeing this video I was highly impressed with Bump.y, as I usually am when they bring out something new. Once again, these girls have grown as performers and brought another stellar performance, but also a new approach and look that I have never seen them take on before. It is rather scary how mature they have become, to be honest, especially Matsuri, who is still so little but somehow managing to make me believe that she is growing up into a radiant young lad... I mean woman.

Now that said, there really isn't much going on in the PV itself other than the girls travelling a cavern, alone with just a flash-light, and dancing in said cavern, but really, it is the atmosphere and the feel of the video that makes me enjoy it. The girls all look and sound amazing, and they really help give the video that chilling, lonely feel that is needed for such a dark and rather mysterious music video. I know it may be simple for some, but I like this PV... and I like that it is dark and different, as opposed to sunny and bikini-ridden.


HANABI!! by LinQ

Returning to the summery side of Idol PV's, LinQ have produced one of my favourite loop-the-fuck-out-of-it songs for the summer, and the PV ain't half bad, either! Featuring a more traditional look in the form of Matsuri costumes (and plenty of Japanese Summer food favourites!) this is, to me, a great Summer PV that shows off a fun side to the hot weather... without the damn bikini's! It was honestly quite refreshing to see something like this come out of a bigger group member-wise, and not have to see the girls giving in to the fanservice just to present a summer single. What's more, it's all done in a studio, and yet still looks and feels like a Summer-filled PV that people can enjoy. I guess that is the power of props!

Also, the girls are darling in this - they really bring the video to life and make it what it is; fun, friendly and happy! It is an energetic video that just fits Summer perfectly and works well for LinQ, and for me, it is one of the best PV's of Summer 2013 because of that. Then again, I am a sucker for happiness and good group chemistry! Also... look at all those cuties! How can you not fall in love, aye?


Manatsu no Tenta Kansoku by Tsuribit

One of the newest groups to grace 2013, Tsuribit have become a fast favourite of mine, and their summer PV for their physical debut single really won me over when I was able to find and see the full version! Whilst it may not have much to do with fishing (the groups concept is Idol x Fishing), the video is cute and well done, and makes me think of happy and breezy summers that pass by as you look for school romance. It is a rather bitter-sweet PV, though, which surprised me because most Idol PV's have a happy ending and a nice little storyline to make us feel happy, but in this one the girls either get their loved ones, or they don't, and for some it is more of a bitter, realistic ending, and you see them give up pretty quickly... horrible, I know, but it does make for quite a good storyline and allows the girls to try their hand at acting.

I enjoy this PV, because whilst it may be kids performing and acting, they do a very good job of it and make a pretty nice video. They may need to brush up on their dancing a bit, but I find the song a nice change from kiddish, poppy, loud and energetic summer songs, and the video isn't overly childish or colourful, which surprised me. Tsuribit as a whole are a pretty impressive group, and this Summer PV stood out to me because of the effort the girls put in, the bright look of the video, and the nice little storyline. Overall, it is a lovely Summer video that is enjoyable to watch for all!


Love is in the Air by AAA

Now, really, did you think that this would not appear? Because it would be silly if you did doubt my love for AAA in this list! This was one of the first Summer PV's I saw, and I instantly fell in love with it I have a thing for AAA and their Summer songs, it seems. Okay, it may be generic and probably not the best that AAA have pulled out, but for me it has that refreshing, happy summer sound that is both pleasant and appealing to my ears. It also has a pretty fabulous, natural-looking PV that I pretty much go gaga over with any group when they are done right, and yes... this video has been edited and filmed to perfection!

It is airy, bright and gentle. The sun does not glare at you to the point where you have to wear sunglasses to simply watch it, and everyone looks fresh, summery and bright. To me, that is really all you need for a Summer PV. Nothing needs to be flashy, overly-colourful (though I do love me some colour!) or overly-happy and over-the-top... it just needs to be refreshing and simplistic, and AAA's Love is in the Air is simplicity at its best, and just so beautiful to watch. It is enjoyable, and makes me think of refreshing summers with my friends. It also makes me want to go out and find a tree to tie a tyre swing on. That will make me feel like a kid again, but hey! It'll be damn fun, you know?


2 Gakki Debut Daisakusen!! by Otome Shinto

Remember when I talked about Tsuribit, and I mentioned how, despite their age, they didn't resort to childish and colourful videos? Yeah, well Otome Shinto are the complete opposite... then again, Otome Shinto are that one annoying group who, despite their inability to sing, still sing in an ungodly pitch that does not fit or suit them at all... and yet, I can't get enough of their second single that was released this summer.

Then again, I am a sucker for happiness and colour sometimes, and this is one of those times. Also, who can deny that wonderful lego-encrusted sailor fuku-esque costume, aye? I can't! Also, this is a pretty damn good PV, and I can't deny that it is one of my favourites of Summer 2013! Sure, the girls need to learn how to sing, but their performance here is pretty damn amazing, and I love the childish, happy feeling of the entire video. Everything about this just screams bubbly, happy, wonderful childishness, and I just can't get enough of it! I love it so much, and when I first saw the full music video I was highly impressed by how great it was! It looks amazing, the girls have a lot of energy and personality in it, and they really stepped up from their last single, which I did quite like as well... also, that ending. Gotta love it!


ERENA by Ono Erena

It feels like it has been ages since this PV and the album it is from came out, but really, it was only last June... and that's still summer to me, and also, I am totally in love with this song and video!

When it first came out, I cried out of pure happiness, because I loved it so much. To me, this is a really beautiful PV and just makes me incredibly happy when I watch it. Also, I have a major love for Ono Erena, so of course that makes this PV even better when watching it, but really... it is very visually pleasing with the green grass, the gentle, refreshing look it has the cute antics between Erena and a wolf. It is bright, open and sweet, and Erena looks stunning in this video! The song is beautiful as well, but the whole feel and look isn't overly summery or bright like other Summer PV's... in fact, if I had to gander a guess at the season for this PV, I would say it is a Spring PV, but given it was out in June, I kind of class it as a Summer music video, but a very pure and Angelic one. Certain scenes do, however, remind me of midsummer thanks to the sunset tone towards the end of it.

Overall, I do love it, and if you are wondering why it is only at #6 on my list despite being a video I love... honestly, there are better Summer PV's that have come out. This one just has my undying love beside it which helped it to rank this high! Haha!


We are Dreamer by Dream5

Energetic, colourful, happy, sad at times in the storyline... yes, of course Dream5's latest single PV has to be in here! This is one impressive music video to me, and whilst I find Dream5 a talented bunch regardless, I think that this is their best PV to date! It shows the strength of the group beautifully, and is the first time I have actually seen them act in a video and portray emotions other than 'serious dancers' and 'happy dancers'. Also, damn, this PV is colourful, and whilst simplicity and beautiful backdrops in the form of hills and nature appeal to me a lot in summer videos, so do balloons and bright colours that pop and smash me in the face. Yep, I love it. And why shouldn't I? This video is just so... bright!

Given how poor their last song and PV was (sorry, Dream5 fans! But not a fan of that one!), I was extremely impressed and happy with the result of this PV! It shows great improvement in Dream5, and just shows that they are still amazing regardless of that one little burst bubble they had with their last single. This video is full of personality and talent, and it really made me sit back and take a good look at this group, and helped me to remind myself just why I enjoyed Dream5 as a group so much, and why I need to follow them more...

Long story short: THIS IS AN AMAZING MUSIC VIDEO! I would sell my soul for it, to be honest! XD


Kimi to Ita Sora by Yuuka Ueno

One of my newer finds, Yuuka Ueno's debut single Kimi to Ita Sora is probably one of my favourite singles this Summer, but the PV is equally as beautiful as the title song is. It is gentle and soft, and has a pretty neat story line to go with it about a girl who is lost in chasing her own dream. The music video includes footage from a short movie that is included in the debut single, and creates a nice storyline that everyone can enjoy. Paired with the beautiful solo shots of Yuuka singing in the refreshing daylight outside of a school building, I find that the director has made a very beautiful PV which flatters Yuuka and fits the song well.

I am in love with the song itself, but I do think that PV does the song justice, and for a major debut, I think that Yuuka Ueno has really done well. She has a natural approach to the camera and just looks absolutely perfect in front of it. She has this passionate, earnest look about her that is translates well on camera, and she just looks so happy and at peace with herself. Yuuka Ueno as a whole is very refreshing, but she truly is a wonderful performer in this, and Kimi to Ita Sora is a PV and song that I highly recommend you all take a look at. Hopefully, you won't regret it!


Girl's Rule! by Nogizaka46

Didn't expect that now, did you? Yes yes, I know, my reputation with extreme hatred for NG46 precedes me beautifully, but honestly, I can appreciate a good MV when I see one, and darlings, this is a damn good music video... in fact, one of the best I have seen this summer and one of the best from this ex-joke of a group. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that this was the first Summer PV that stumped me and impressed me greatly... and really, whilst I do like a lot of these PV's on here, very few actually impressed me and made me re-evaluate the group. Heck, this PV even impressed Nia, and she loathed this group as much as I did... to the point where she black listed them from her blog, and then reviewed them because she was that impressed.

Yup, this group killed two Bloggers with one PV. YAY!

That said, this PV is extremely refreshing and different from what I come to expect from an AKS group. It is fun, pleasant to watch, bright and summery without having to resort to bikini's! In fact, the girls wear a lot of clothes in this, normal looking clothes at that, which I find weird for an AKS group, once again... but the girls are dancing in dresses in a pool, which is actually quite nice to watch. I also love that the pool has a reason to be in the PV... given that the pool is the main plot point for the storyline in this. Ah, yes... the story... it is GOOD! I love it! Okay, it is about saving a pool from being demolished, but it is a pretty good storyline and shows how these girls come together to overcome the bad guy, and how they save the one thing they enjoy the most together in the stifling summer heat. Overall, this is a pretty damn amazing PV, and definitely a winner for me.


Up Up Typhoon by Up Up Girls

I think I would be a tad crazy to not include this song in my Top 5 for this list, because I do love it... Hell, I even bought it, I love it that much! This is an amazing song, and the PV is pretty damn incredible! This brings together all elements that I love about Summer PV's in one video; colour, nature, happiness, energy and simplicity. Seriously, it's like someone threw skittles into a field for me (I am that easy to please, believe me) and added music to create this rainbow-filled video of happiness and wonder! Really, it is just so... so perfect! Okay, two of the members bore me to no end here, but the rest of the girls in this gorgeous video make up for their blandness and really pull together the video to make it perfect!

But not only does the video have wonderful elements that make me think of a fun and great summer, the song is also damn amazing! Everyone sounds great here (bar the bland ones) and all of the members have a great amount of energy and happiness, and you can clearly see that they are enjoying the video, and that in turn allows me to enjoy it along with them! There is so much silliness going on here that I can't think of a nicer Summer PV to enjoy for 2013! It is amazing, and has everything in it that I could ask for. I think that it helps that these girls are talented, too, so we don't just get a visually appealing PV, but one that has a lot of talent behind it, and not just pretty faces, like most other Idol groups and PVs.

It makes me happy, and that is why it is one of my Top 2 in this list of Top PV's for Summer 2013!


And so we have come to my Number 1 PV for the Summer of 2013! I have a feeling you al; *might* know what it is, so without further ado, here is my #1 PV of 2013!!!


Bokura no Eureka by NMB48

Believe it or not, I was set to HATE this PV when it came out. Why? Well, I thought that it would go down the same route as Manatsu no Sounds GOOD by shoving in a blasted Bikini shot, totally ruining the atmosphere and tone of the video and destroying my love for it... but nope. AKS learned from a past mistake and didn't even put in one bikini shot here! Seriously, it is pure storyline and epic shots! The girls are all survivors of a shipwreck and are fighting for survival, kind of like Lord of the Flies or Battle Royale in a way, and are also trying to overcome their hatred of each other in some situations. It is a PV all about the girls coming together and trying to make a bad situation good, and getting over their differences in these dire times of pain and hunger.

As a video, this is beautifully shot and directed, and there is a great location as well. It is so well done and has such a movie-like quality about it that is enjoyable and also epic. It leaves you wondering what will happen to the girls (especially at the ending climax) and how they will get through their troubles. The only issue I seem to have with the video is that it actually has a break in the middle, and honestly... it annoys me to no end! I like to listen to a song and have it continue without a break, but I guess if that is the only issue I have with it, then really, it isn't that bad of a PV, is it? Anyways, regardless of the break in the middle, this is an amazing PV. It looks good, the storyline is strong, the location is great, the girls all gave a stellar performance, and the ending is just wonderful and really sets a darker tone for the music video. Everything about Bokura no Eureka is amazing, even the song, which is so light and a lot more refreshing than other AKS summer songs... overall, this is a winning PV, which is why it is my Number 1 for the Summer PV's of 2013!

And here my Top 13 Idol Summer PV's of 2013 post comes to an end! These are my Top 13, and whilst I may not have really watched a lot of Summer PV's this year, these are the ones that really stood out to me outside of the H!P bandwagon. I'm sorry if one of the groups you enjoyed this Summer was not here, but again, I have not watched all Summer PV's... if I had, I would be one tired hermit in the basement!

So, that all said and done, do you have any Top Summer PV's that you enjoyed this Summer of 2013? Please comment with them if you like, but until next time... ja ne!


PING!!! Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: August 2013, Part Two

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #66

Minna! Digest Dayo~?

In this weeks Digest...

More from 1/ Musume! Plenty of TV Appearances for MoMusu! Miyabi to release her second photobook in over 6 years! Mano to release her fifth photobook! Kago Ai to return to the Entertainment Industry! And some more! Are you ready to Digest?

Saturday, 24 August 2013

... Eh? My Thoughts on the 12th Gen Audition Announcement.

As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Don't like the idea of me having n opinion? Then go suck it.

It was announced earlier today (24/08/2013) by the man himself, Tsunku, that there will be no 12th Gen members added to Morning Musume at this present time. Currently, Tsunku feels that Morning Musume's performance level is so high right now that it would not be a good idea to add anyone new to the group to offset the balance they currently have. A full summary, courtesy of Takamaruyo, has been given, so please do read:
Tsunku declares today that there are no qualified candidates for the 12th gen audition “Mirai Shoujo”. Based on the theme and name “Mirai Shoujo” (girl of the future) Tsunku was looking for a super star to add to the group. However, the performance level of Morning Musume is so high right now that he does not feel it would be appropriate to add anyone into the group at this time. Tsunku also will not be adding anyone from H!P kenshuusei at this time. He does not feel comfortable inserting a new girl into this current lineup. However, that does not mean that the talent and skill level of this group of girls were low. To the contrary, Tsunku feels that he saw many girls who were able to shine throughout the audition. He believes they have plenty of talent, but it just quite isn’t enough to join the group. 
He adds that had these girls auditioned at the same time as the 9th gen audition, he would have let them in the group. He feels there are a lot of girls with potential. He does not mean any disrespect toward 9th gen with this statement. He states that since 9th gen joined, they have improved to the point where the current Morning Musume is at the highest level of skill in all of MM history. 
Tsunku believes that the potential candidates from this past audition are like raw diamond ores. He is very excited to see what will come of proper refinement. As such, he has invited all of the girls he saw potential in to join H!P kenshuusei to gain more experience. He hopes to unveil them when the proper timing comes along. 
In regards to 12th gen audition, he plans to hold another audition again. Essentially re-do 12th gen audition, it will not be considered 13th gen. He also states that he has a lot of things on his mind for the future of H!P – including a new group which could potentially be filled with the girls from this audition. Tsunku has a very positive outlook on everything and hopes you guys will look forward to whats coming next.
Read it? Good, now my formalities and whatever else can be kick out of the way. It's time to give my thoughts on this recent development... not that my thoughts are really that important, of course.

So... I read this news on the Hello! Online Twitter, and let me tell you this: I did not expect the news. I mean, seriously... we only had audition footage released yesterday, and I certainly damn well hoped that we weren't going to have another 11ki case where, a day after the much-anticipated training camp footage aired, it was revealed just who was in MM!

That was underwhelming, to say the least... though damn, did they find talent or what!?

Anyway... I was pretty damn shocked by the announcement. In fact, I was so shocked that I sat in silence for about five minutes, and then went EH!?' rather loudly as I stared at the computer screen.

Kamei putting our feels into a gif
But I have a feeling that a lot of us reacted that way, or worse. From what I have read, there are quite a few upset fans, a few who are damn angry at this turn of developments, some who are rather un-bothered by it all, and then there are those who are rejoicing at the news that no one has made it into Morning Musume. And honestly, I have to admit that I am kind of rejoicing the news that no one has made it. Sorry.

To be honest, I guess I have always been on the fence with this set of auditions. I expected it to be announced, and when it was announced I was not surprised by it (obviously), and even with the initial happiness and excitement I had with that announcement, it died down pretty fast. I also had no real expectation of seeing anyone enter Morning Musume from this set of auditions, either... and that's because Tsunku had clearly stated during his announcement of the 12ki Mirai Shoujo Auditions that if he did not find anyone who was suitable enough for Morning Musume, then he would not add them unless he felt that there might not be enough quality in the group, and obviously it seems that there was no one of amazing talent or personality that could add to what Morning Musume already has right now.

I mean, think about it: This is the most diverse and dynamic Morning Musume have been in a while. The group has reinvented itself with three new generations, and their image has drastically changed as well because of that. Sure, the girls aren't as talented singers as previous generation were, but they have personality, skills in other areas and their dance formations that sells them right now, as well as some catchy music and cute faces. The girls also all seem to get along really well, and are really coming together as a group and showing that they are strong together... and adding someone new would upset that balance that they have only just managed to get right now that Reina has run off to Lavender pastures.

Other than upsetting the balance a bit, I also think that adding a new member would also destroy Oda Sakura's chances of becoming a dominant centre in MM. It is no lie that she is a talented girl, because she truly is, but unlike Riho, who commands the stage like no other (rock it, gurl!) Sakura is a shrinking violet, someone who creeps into the shadows and hides because she is a bit more reserved... well, until recently, that is. In both Wagamama and Why no Gun Man, she commands a lot more attention and seems to have a lot of fun, and really takes it upon herself to make her presence known.

But, and this was a lot of peoples worries when the 12ki auditions were announced, a new member could possibly upset that and steal away the spotlight that Sakura so rightly deserves right now. She is still very new, and whilst she is as strong a member as the 9th and 10th gen, Sakura does not have as brash or outspoken personality as the other members do, nor does she have generation mates to aid her along. 9ki's sole shrinking violet is the Ace and centre stare for Morning Musume, and it has taken her some time to really look like she is no longer shrinking back, but instead stepping forward, and 10ki has always been full of these big, loud and proud personalities (even Harunan is loud in a way, with her compliments and 'gross' personality). I know that Riho started to take charge after new members appeared in order to keep her position as the Centre, but I don't think that Sakura is as determined or as strong as Riho is in that sense, and I do think that, if new members had been added, she would have taken a step back to let them shine, rather than step forward and show them that she was a centre alongside Riho.

And also, I don't think that anyone should be upset over the fact that no one was chosen, because I do believe that our dear Tsunky-boo has mentioned that he has asked some of the girls he saw high potential in to join the Kenshuusei to see how they grow, and then unveil them at the right time. He did also mention the plans to make a new group from the trainees, which honestly excites me far more than a new generation to Morning Musume, if you ask me. Though that said, not everyone will be happy with even this, and they will still be unhappy with how the 12ki auditions turned out.

The three stages of fans who care: Saki - Deeply upset, Risako - Don't care, and Momoko - The Pity Party
Honestly, I think that right now, what Morning Musume needs is to just focus on how they are now, and get their promotion and performance schedules on various TV shows back on track. They are doing pretty damn well, as we all guessed (what with their recent Music Station performance and all) and I think that adding a new member would upset this strong balance that they have. Anyway, like the Unlucky 7 auditions, there will be a Part to to the Mirai Shoujo... except, this one seems more positive.

To be honest, I just hope that the 12th gen doesn't come in until Sayumi announces her graduation, or when Sakura has become a more dominant centre in the group, and when Masaki and Ayumi have grown into stronger leads. Also, to those who are upset about this: Don't be. If Tsunku and the Higher ups of UFP think that this is for the best, then it is probably for the best...

... and yet, why do I get the feeling that most of those who are upset are fans of Rikako? Hm...

Regardless, though, I am pretty happy with this turn out. I just hope that Tsunku unveils a new H!P group soon, because those Kenshuusei... damn, I do like the look of them and the talent they are oozing. Come on, Tsunky-boo, let us see them!

... And that is all. So, what are your thoughts on this development? Sad, angry, happy, not really bothered? Let me know!



Yaaaay, she shut up! Finally!

All gifs courtesy of random tumblrs. Thanks, ILY.

I need to use tumblr more, too.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #65

Minna! Digest Dayo? Let's Digest!

This week, in Digest News...

AKS CM's galore! BiS to lose another member!? H!P advertises MM's new single! SNH48's 2nd generation has arrived! TGS to perform at Budokan... again! AAA to release a new album for their 8th anniversary! Sexy Zone to release their 5th single! Pokemon: The Origin is to premier... one day! And MORE!!!! Are you ready to Digest?

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cruel's Future Fantasy is Here - Are you Ready for it?

As with all my reviews an articles, all thoughts and opinions included in this post are my own and no one else's, unless otherwise stated. These are my opinions, and whilst you may not agree with them, it does not mean I can not have them. We have our own thoughts that we as individuals are entitled to, so please respect that, and I will respect you in return. Thank you.

I know that not a lot of my readers are fans of Beckii Cruel, in fact I am pretty sure some of you are wondering just why I am even writing about her on my blog. Simple; she is an Idol, and this is an Idol blog. I write about songs and videos that I enjoy, and also about videos and songs that I don't like, and I will sometimes even tackle essay-based posts on topics that interest me greatly. The lesser-known or lesser-talked about Idols and groups the better, if you ask me, though in the case of Miss Cruel, being a lesser-known Idol on the Wota-net is pretty much impossible. In both good and bad ways, Beckii Cruel has attention trained on her, especially with her new Japanese-comeback single, Future Fantasy

Again, you are probably wondering why I am taking such a strong focus on Beckii Cruel now, what with my writing a Review on her documentary that she released alongside her new single PV, and now taking a look at her PV, and to be honest, I also wondered why, but in the end I realised that Beckii Cruel, like many other Idols I have found and written about, has caught my interest. The only thing that sets her apart from other Idols that I write about is that she is British, and is also returning to the Idol scene after a three-year break from the Japanese music scene. That, and she is also self-produced now, which is actually pretty cool.

Also... I am really digging her new song, Future Fantasy. Whine all you will, and hate me with all your might, but I do honestly like it. It has things about it that I am not crazy about, but like the original You Can't Kiss Me, this song has something about it that makes me enjoy it. Thankfully, I also like the PV for this song... we all know how I felt about the video for the remix of You Can't Kiss Me, so seeing that this PV was going for a totally different look both surprised and eased me.

Anyway, enough blathering on, I have a pic spam to get through... that's right, you heard me! This may be Cruel for some of you, but I will have you all subject yourselves to this post... so prepare, because we are heading into Future Fantasy that will be sweet for some, and oh-so-cruel for others...

Wait wait wait... please don't tell me that we will be watching this entire video in letter-box format with a sepia-tinted filter on top. Please don't let it be true...

Ah, dagnabbit! Looks like I am stuck with the wide letter-box screen and the filter.

... Oh well, at least it's better than a stark white filter that glares at me.

Looking past the filter... damn I love that wig! I will even go as far to say that Beckii looks darned good in it! Now, where's a close-up?

Wrong close-up, guys! I wanted on of her in the wig, but hey, this is still pretty nice. I like the field she is in...

And wow, her hair is long o-O Guuuurl, gimme some of your locks!

Aha! There it is! And damn, that wig suits Miss Cruel seriously well! She actually looks like a character from a game or something, you know, like Kingdom Hearts or another RPG game.

Oi, KH fans, put your pitchforks down! I am just making comparisons! -hiss!-

Looking at her eyes, Beckii has that droopy, innocent and doe-eyed look that Japanese girls seem to really like. She actually reminds me of Sakino Chiba (formerly of Houkago Princess) thanks to the use of fake lashes and the droopy-eyed look. Hm...

Oh, the title isn't at the very beginning of the PV? Well, that's... different. But okay!

I have no idea what street Beckii is walking down, but I want to visit! It looks very toy-like and historical... I like historical!

Becki: "... He's late."

Wait, Miss Cruel, are you on a date!? Oh my! Shock, gasp, horror, squee!!! Who is it?

I actually quite like these post-box scenes, and it fits with the letter-box setting we have on the PV, too! Woohoo!

Probably one of my favourite locations in the entire PV. Also, Beckii looks so pretty with her hair like this and the natural look going on! So sweet and fresh!

Then again, I like nature-friendly Beckii as well here. She has quite a hippy-ish, free feeling about her that makes me want to run through fields and be one with the flowers... or something.

Only me? Oh, well... okay...

Damn I love that wig! And Beckii seems to be pulling a Gurl, what did you just say? Diva face! Loving it!

Miss Cruel won't take no attitude from you! Nuh uh!

Have I mentioned that I love that wig? Yes? Like the rest of her fanbase, you say? Well I'm sorry for having good taste like the rest of her fans...

Also, I love those jeans and that bolero she has... okay, I love the whole outfit. Happy now?

Beckii: "But... it's MY wig!!!"

Beckii is surprised by the fact that everyone wants her awesome wig! Shock, surprise, gasp, sacre bleu!

It is scenes like this that bring me back down to Earth from the Idol world and remind me that Beckii Cruel is actually a very naturally pretty girl.

Oh, and scenes like this... by the way, what direction is this PV going in, by the way? We seem to switch location a lot.

Not that I am complaining, I like the diversity and all, but really... where is it going, or where is it taking me?

Oh wait, it's showing me a little bit of the Isle of Wight, isn't it? I am an idiot xD

I wish that the tint wasn't here, it kind of darkens Beckii a bit and makes her harder to see. Or the light is hitting the lens and causing the scene to be a little washed out.

... I have to say, this is one of my least favourite scenes in the entire MV. I just don't dig that wig, you guys... but it's all a personal opinion, isn't it?

Beckii: "I sure hope this isn't the Three Bears' house..."

I have to say, whilst this PV seems to be shot in random locations, there are some beautiful spots that have been picked for a picturesque, scenic look in this video.

Beckii: "... Wait, what if this is the Candy Witches house? No... the house would be covered in candy if it was... hm..."

Beckii, sweety, I don't think that anyone is home... you won't listen, will you? -sigh-...

Beckii: "... I don't think anyone's in..."

I just told you that!

Beckii: "You did? Oh... Welp! Sayonara!"

Wait, you're going? Why!?

Beckii: "Hahaha, I'm kidding! Why would I leave?"

I actually really over these shots, next to the ones shot at the sea cliffs. I feel that this scene is just nicely put together, in all honesty.

... Oh, I forgot to mention, the shots on this scene pan up and down, which gives diversity and all, but it actually looks really great!

Back to being naturally cute as a button, I see! Though cute isn't the right word, pretty is more appropriate...

I find it weird how Beckii can switch from being so cute and sweet looking to sassy and full of attitude the next by means of just a red wig! Amazing!

I think Beckii means business in this nicely done high-angled shot! You do not want to mess with her!

Beckii: "... Urgh. Too many fangirls."

I think that I will call this version of Beckii Beckiikemen, because really... she looks very cool and boyish in a way here, and it suits her! So hi there, Beckiikemen!

Oh look, we are back to the sweet and gentle Beckii who is as calm as the ocean waves on a nice day. Just don't annoy her, or those waves will crash into you. You have been warned!

Beckiikemen has returned! Seriously, I could see her riding a motorbike and pulling a few stunts to show off. Also, if it weren't for the cute bolero she has, I would mistake her for a guy... just replace the jacket she has with a leather one!

... Wait, what? This is actually pretty random... What happened to Beckiikemen?

Yes, kitty, you are adorable (I wish I had a cat...) but your appearance is just too random for words... really, what made you sneak into the editing studio to add yourself in, aye?

Oh wait, we're back on track! Hi Beckii!!!

Beckii: "... Do I know you?"

Beckii: "Hey... Can I show my purple wig again!?"

Given that I hesitate to include the wig in my screencap... fine, just for now. But really, this is the last time!

I do, however, love your dress that you are wearing, Beckii!!!

Beckii: "Thanks!"

Oh my gosh, it is Beckiikemen! YAY!!!!! Hi, Beckiikemen!

Seriously though, even if the dance isn't anything special from what I can see, I do love these scenes.

Seriously, guys, I am not kidding when I say that this is one of my favourite scenes in the entire MV. it is just... so... pretty... <3

Beckii: "Haters to the left..."

It looks like Beckii saw something she did not like, or she is rolling her eyes. I prefer to think that she is doing the latter.

And smile! See, it wasn't that bad now, was it? Admit it, you enjoyed these screen caps quite a bit, didn't you?

With the screen captions all done and dusted, this can only mean one thing... review time! And hopefully, you won't all have run away from me by now. You better still be here!

Now, I will admit that when I originally saw the thumbnail for this PV on youtube, I was ready to head into the music video for Future Fantasy with a negative approach, thinking that I would not like the video or even dream of giving it a positive review. However, as luck would have it, my sister messaged me on facebook with the hope that I was unaware of the PV and documentary by Beckii Cruel, and explained that the video was pretty and very well done. I trust my sister whole-heartedly when she tells me something like that, because we generally share the same tastes, so I actually went into the video with a more positive outlook, and quite a lot of anticipation to see what the music video was like for Future Fantasy.

The video is, in my opinion, visually stunning. There is a lot of landscape and scenery that we can focus on, ranging from a sea crashing against rocky cliffs, a field of flowers and an airy sea landscape, as well as a few scenes set inside and some based in a small, historical looking town. There is a lot of diversity in this video, and whilst we may not be given a clear direction of what is going on in the video other than a performance and the sight of so many beautiful places that Beckii is visiting, the video feels almost like a journey that we are taking on with Beckii. We see her walking around in some scenes, as if she is looking for something, and we are accompanying her as she looks and takes everything in. Of course we have the obligatory solo shots as well where Beckii interacts with the camera as she lip-syncs to the song, but they are just as pretty as the scenes where we see her take everything in. In fact, I think that all of this music video is pretty.

My only problems with the video, and this is a personal opinion and just what I don't like about music videos if they have them, have to do with the letter-box effect used to frame the video, and the filter used. I love natural-looking videos. Blue skies, green grass, wind blowing through someone's hair, that is all appealing to me, and I love seeing a music video use nature to its advantage; it is why I loved AAA's Love is in the Air so much, because it used the mountains and blue sky to its advantage, keeping everything simple, crisp and rich in natural colour. If Beckii Cruel's music video for Future Fantasy included all the natural elements, and did not have the filter, I have a feeling I would be in love with this music video. That said, I don't think that the filter totally takes away from the video - it is noticeable, and I have a feeling it was used to keep the balance of the light in each scene equal, but it does not take away from how visually lovely the video is, but I do wish I had seen natural colour in the video, and not through a sepia-tinted lens, so to speak.

There is another thing about the video which I found a bit weird, but it is more about how random it is than how much I dislike it (because I don't dislike it at all), and that has to be the scene where Beckii's cat makes an appearance. I really wonder why the cat was included, other than to look cute and to show off the cutie, but I did, and still do, wonder why that scene has been included. Either way, the scene is there, and whilst it is a random addition to the music video, the cat is adorable!

Regardless of the random cat cameo, the filter and the letter-box effect though, I do like the video a lot. It has been filmed beautifully, the locations are wonderful and the editing is great. There is a perfect pace to the video, and it has a lot of diversity within the edit to keep the viewer interested when they watch it.

Now, taking a look at Beckii Cruel herself as a performer in this video, I think that she did a pretty good job. She seems pretty comfortable performing in front of the camera, however I noticed, and a few have pointed this out as well on another site, the lip-syncing here is overly obvious and looks very unnatural at times. Then again, Beckii is singing in Japanese, which is never really easy to begin with when you try to lip-sync in any language that is not your mother tongue, and I can imagine how difficult it can be to try and remember the words whilst lip-syncing them as you perform, too. Also, it takes practice, and Beckii has not sung in Japanese for a while either, so it is pretty understandable, really.
 Another aspect of her performance in this video that I saw, and quite liked, was the dancing. Now, the dancing in this looks very minimalistic and simple, but regardless of how little we see Beckii Cruel dance, I think that she had an air of confidence around her in the dance shot that really made me enjoy those scenes where we see her perform on the pier. Sure, there wasn't much to the dance, but it worked well enough for the music video, and Beckii looked good doing it. Or maybe that's just me who thinks that way, who knows?

All said and done, I like the music video. But what about the song?

Well, yeah, I like the song. It is probably Beckii Cruel's best song since her debut. My only issue with it is the harmonies and high notes. I admit, the first time those harmonies kicked in, I screamed because I did not expect it. The rest of the song is fine, but I don't think that Beckii can hit the high notes well enough yet (yet). Now, I am not one to talk, I know; I can't sing, but from all past singles of Beckii Cruel that I have heard, I have never really cared for her voice when she tries to hit the high notes (it is why I didn't like the song Tokyo Love) but honestly, she has become a lot better at controlling her voice, and she has a softer, nicer sound to her vocals which I find quite pleasing to the ears. At times I do think that she sounds like she is talking, but that adds a charm and quirk to the song that appeals to me. Does that mean that I think that Beckii Cruel is the best singer? No, but I think that she has vastly improved from how she sounded a few years back when she first debuted in Japan with Danjo. I do quite like her voice like this, just not when the harmonies or high notes kick in, is all.

I guess another thing to nit-pick at about this song is Japanese pronunciation, and honestly I am only bringing this up because it has been posted on all the other sites where I have seen the updates regarding Beckii's documentary and PV release. The thing is, I don't really mind that Beckii's Japanese pronunciation isn't perfect. Kind of like how she talk-sings sometimes, I find her pronunciation quite cute and quirky rather than a hindrance. Yes, I know, a lot of you will not like this because a song should be pronounced correctly, and I understand that, but I have always liked hearing that added twang of an accent or slur to the Japanese language that only foreigners can bring. Why do you think I love Weather Girls? I also found it adorable when Lee, formerly of Love-La-Doll, talked because she had that cute Chinese accent whilst speaking in Japanese. It's the same here with Beckii Cruel; her accent and pronunciation of the Japanese language may not be amazing, but I really don't mind it.

Overall, I think that Future Fantasy is a nice return single for Beckii Cruel as she returns to the Internet Idol scene. I don't think that this is the best single she could have brought out, because the song sounds quite cheesy in some parts, but I like the overall sound and tone of it, and I do think that Beckii has created a nice single for her comeback. Could she have done something stronger? Possibly, but I think that this is a decent enough song, and her fans seem to really enjoy it, and why wouldn't they? It is a very sweet song that is cute and quite Beckii-like in many ways. It fits her nicely enough (aside from the high notes and harmonies... Okay, I'll stop bringing that up now) and the video is beautifully filmed and edited, and together it is a very nice combination. I like it, I didn't expect to, but I have found myself listening to Future Fantasy more and more since I first listened to it. It is addictive, just like You Can't Kiss Me was when I first heard it, and it is just a very nice song to listen to... or at least it is to me.

What are your opinions on it, as fans or non-fans of Beckii Cruel? Also, to those who fear I have abandoned my Japanese Idols, have no fear... I am just on a Beckii Cruel high right now. Go figure, aye?

So, what is your Future Fantasy? Hopefully it isn't a Cruel one!


PING!!! Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: August 2013, Part Two