Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Dull and Embarrassingly Erotic Berryz Kobou PV's

All thoughts and opinions regarding the group, music videos and songs are my own and no one else's. Don't like it? Don't care. Thanks~

When was the last time I reviewed a Berryz Kobou PV? Like, a proper PV review, and not an analysis or essay of the group that I care so little about?

February. Last February of this year was when I did a PV review of the group, and I hated it then because it was bloody Asian Celebration. The two before that were WANT! and Cha Cha SING, because for a few beautiful months Berryz created masterpieces... for Hello! Project, that is. But, for the most part, I ignore what this group create, because damn, they are dull as fuck.

Which is also the case with the two PV's we have been given for the groups new single, Motto Zutto Issho ni Itta Katta/ROCK Erotic, though H!P did make at least one of them somewhat interesting, thank the Lord.

So, despite the fact that both PV's are the usual H!P drivel that we are usually handed and lack basic group chemistry and personality, why am I bothering to review it? Well, I have something I want to say about each PV I guess, and also something that I realised when thinking about how bland the group is despite the fact that I actually quite like their songs. Also, after writing my little essay on my issue with Berryz, and the greatly unexpected response from everyone that it got, I decided that I needed to tackle these PV's as well in the form of a double PV review, so yeah... here we are.

Another awkward dance for the Hello! Project acts
The first of the two PV's on this double A-side single is Motto Zutto, another long-ass title of a song that, surprisingly, fits most of the voices of Berryz Kobou, which in a way can be hard to do now, what with Risako's forced vibrato and her awkward voice in general, and both Yurina, Maasa and Saki's nasal-toned vocals. So, I was extremely surprised when I heard the song and how well it suited everyone... especially Momoko, who either rocks a song or ruins it. Thank goodness she rocked this one!

Miyabeam: NO!!! MY MAASA </3
I am actually very surprised by how good this song is, to be honest with you. The groups last single was a bit lack-lustre and extremely bland (especially Golden Chinatown) so this song, and how good it sounds as a whole, was pleasantly unexpected. I especially liked Risako in this song, especially the speaking part where her voice is very girlish and quite unlike that fail tone she uses when she sings, but she really did work with the song. Another girl I liked in this singing-wise was Momoko. Undeniably, she was the best in the entire song, and I would have liked to hear more of her over Miyabi, who actually didn't suit the song as much as the others did, but whatever.

Again, the song was a nice surprise. I pretty much expected a bland song again, one that didn't fit Risako at all, but it was nice, and I do like the song.

"Why am I here? Aren't we dead yet as a group? URGH!"
Sadly, I can't say the same for the PV. Of the two you get in this up-coming single, this one is the most boring music video, and the worst of the year probably. It's nothing more than a basic close-up and dance shot. Now, all H!P music videos are like this, with a few alternative scenes thrown in (and we do get those here, but only for, like... one scene) but I want to argue that the other groups in H!P who get the same PV's like this, just with different backgrounds, work well because the groups performing in them at least look like they work well together, and also have the expressions of dearly enjoying what the hell they do. Berryz don't, so it makes a major difference for how well the PV works for them.

They also look awkward when dancing, but that's because they have awkward choreography.

I must also mention that the costumes, or a good amount of them, are hideous. The exceptions are Saki, Yurina and Momoko's outfits.

... but I do like Risako's hat.

"... I fucking hate this outfit."
So, whilst the PV is a bit of a fail (I don't care how many people try to tell me it's meant to be 'cool' and 'moody', it's fucking boring and lacks chemistry in my eyes) and really does nothing for the group, I at least like the song. For once, there is an instrumental composition that suits Berryz Kobou as a group, and compliments Risako. It's nice to finally hear something like that.

Speaking of Risako, and the PV again... this scene here... why the fuck is it even in the entire PV? It probably shows up about twice at most, and Risako is the only one we see in the scene. I see no point in it other than to plug that Hatty Risako is the lead here, and other than that, it's useless. Then again, H!P like plugging in useless scenes in their Berryz PV's. That Sayonara whatever it;s called single had all of three boxes in the PV, right? Then we never say them again after they were shown once with certain members in it.

Useless scenes are annoying to me.

Anyway, the conclusion of Motto Zutto Issho ni Itta Katta is that the PV is bland as hell, but the song is the true strong point of the entire thing, because finally, we have something that works with almost all of the Beryz girls' voices! Sadly, the costumes and PV's are horrible, but hey... they attempted something, I guess.

Admittedly, this is pretty damn sexy... even if Risako's bunny-hat looks awkward as fuck.
Next up is ROCK Erotic, the undeniable favourite of many from this Double A-side, and really, can you blame people for enjoying this one? This is the most exciting PV from Berryz since WANT! because of the cool look, the adult nature of the costumes and song, and just how amazing Maasa, Yurina and Chinami look as men. This is probably one of the most well-balanced Berryz PV's from this year, actually, and one of the best looking ones in terms of costumes and imagery. What Motto Zutto lacked in for their PV, ROCK Erotic certainly made up for with their music video.

Chinami: "Look at the floor, Chi, not the boobs, the floor..."
 The song isn't even that bad, either. In fact, it's pretty damn good! I mean, despite being called ROCK Erotic, it is Idol rock at best, but I do hear something in there close to the sound of a rock-infused instrumental. Sadly, however, Risako has returned to yelling her lines in this song as opposed to singing them, and doesn't suit this song as much as Momoko, Yurina or Miyabi here, but she sounds decent and bearable enough to make me like her more.

I also think that this is one of the groups more original compositions that they have come out with as well, because seriously, most of their recent songs have sounded similar to WANT!, and no matter how amazing that song is, it has been tiring hearing that in their recent instrumentals, so yay for a new sound!

Going back to the music video, this is certainly a lot more entertaining to watch than Motto Zutto was, but it does have its downfalls. The first being Risako and how embarrassing she is to watch in this video. I mean, in the first few opening scenes, she tries to act 'sexy', and it just makes me cringe when I watch her! I really wish she would cut out the sexy act all together, because there are members who can pull it off in Hello! Project without even trying... like Nakky, or Airi. Hell, even Maimi pulls off sexy better than Risako! So, I seriously think that she should cut it out, because she would probably look sexier if she didn't try so damn hard to pull off that aura. It just looks tacky, try-hard and cringe worthy.

There were also a few scenes during the dance where it looked a little uncomfortable, such as when Yurina, Maasa or Chinami placed their fingers under certain girls' chins as they stood up. But, other than that, the rest of the dance is pretty good, and Yurina looks like she is having a ton of fun cross-dressing and pimpin' out with the ladies!

Momoko doesn't have a clue that she is biggest sore thumb in this entire PV
Of course, one of the most awkward things in this entire PV, other than Risako trying to be 'erotic' and failing hard, is Momoko Tsugunaga. Now, don't get me wrong, her voice is amazing in this and she should be a damn lead over Miyabi or Risako sometimes, but visually she is truly an eyesore.

It's not that she's wearing her stupid pigtails or anything, or that she's acting like a child again, because she actually seemed to try and act mature in this video (for once), but her entire wardrobe and look just screams child here... and that is completely the stylists fault. Out of everyone, Momoko stands out, and she looks awkward against everyone else. She looks like a child amongst adulterous women who doesn't understand what is going on, but tries to pretend she knows what is happening around her. I mean, Miabi, Risako and Saki are wearing freakin' bodices that accentuate their figures, as if they have stepped out of a damn Anne Summers or Victoria's Secret catalogue. Momoko looks like she has stepped out of a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright magazine.

Momoko: "OMG where's my Mommy? I'm lost in an Anne Summers party!"
I mean Momoko looks cute, don't get me wrong, and I like the look on her because it is so sweet and fitting for her image, but it does not, in any way, suit the tone of the video or the look of the other girls. If the PV was different, it would probably suit the tone better, but for this sort of adulterous Victoria's Secret-esque PV, it is out of place and looks like an eyesore.

Maasa: "When can I leave this group?"
That all said and done regarding Momoko and how out of place she is, I think that everyone else in the video looks amazing! I especially love the looks of Yurina, Maasa and Chinami. It reminds me of when Morning Musume did the Appare Kaiten Zushi profiles where half the girls were men, and the other half were women, except here they aren't military officials but, instead, Gothic, Vampy looking young men at a dance party with a few temptresses and a Lolita. It's pretty refreshing to see this side of Berryz, because usually they look very girly, or wear ugly outfits, so this is a nice change of pace.

And now that Maasa and Chinami have short hair, they can seriously pull off that boyish look! Hell, even though Yurina's hair is long, in that ponytail she looks like a dashing Vampire playboy! I would totally date her, and yes, I dig the whole cross-dressing thing for girls! Why else would I like Fudanjuku?

That said... Can we please transfer Chinami and Maasa to Fudanjuku when Berryz collapses and disbands?

So, if you can't guess, I do enjoy this video a considerable amount more than Motto Zutto. It offers a more diverse look at Berryz, and shows us that mature side to them (if you don't count Momoko's look) that we have barely seen before, but what management have tried to execute in previous videos only to fail quite badly. This is a lot darker and more mature than what we have experienced from the group before, and whilst the video may be the usually Hello! Project fare, it is very stylish and well done, and weirdly enough, the group seem to have some chemistry, though they still look awkward together, but they do look like they are trying to work with one another, and that counts for something... right?

Visually and musically, this is probably one of the best songs and videos to come out of Berryz in a while. The group somewhat fit together, the dance is pretty nice, and the look and tone of the video is stylish, dark and rather adulterous (this is my favourite word for this video it seems) and, thank goodness, it actually works for Berryz. I also like that it seems like some of the girls, especially Yurina, are having fun and enjoying the song and video, because as of late they have all seemed bored by everything that they have been doing, so it's nice to see emotion put to their faces as they perform.

This isn't the best video out there, but it's got the right vibe to it, and I think that's all I am asking for as a viewer right now when it concerns Berryz.

The Conclusion:

All in all, I do like both the songs, and one of the PV's has truly won me over (which is shocking in itself, believe me). Going back to the beginning of my post, I did say that one of the PV's, ROCK Erotic, was somewhat interesting, and it truly is. I don't find it to be the best, but it certainly isn't the worst video to come out, either, and whilst it is great in its own way, I do think it can be rather awkward to watch because of how embarrassing Risako can be when trying to look or act sexy, or whenever Momoko pops up. There are also times where Maasa and Chinami seem so disconnected from the group, and I think that their looks of boredom don't help, either. I also think that Saki being so forgettable isn't a good thing either, but other than that, the group look pretty good in this. Their chemistry needs work, but they have certainly gotten a bit better in this.

PV's aside though, I recently came to the conclusion that, for me, Berryz are a pretty great group when it comes to their music. Ever since Ai no Dangan (with the exception of that shite single Aa, Yo ga Akeru), I have found that I enjoy listening to what Berryz create, rather than what is created for them in a visual sense. Admittedly, their songs are a strong point for them as a group to the point where they actually wouldn't need a PV to help them sell sometimes, because they really do have great music under their belts if you look hard enough.

Visually they are an utter and complete mess, but when it comes to their music, they actually fit rather well together. Sure, Risako rarely suits what they create now vocals (and visual) wise, but I do like what they have when it comes to what I listen to. Berryz are the sort of group who work together well vocally, which is weird considering how well the other H!P units work together visually, but that's how I feel about them. I mean, if they didn't have PV's to sell them, I would actually like them a lot more I think and pay them more attention because their music is pretty damn good, it's just the PV's dragging them down thanks to their lack of group chemistry. Sometimes, a PV affects how you hear something, and in the case of Berryz, it really does put me off of them as a group and also puts me off of their music. It's a shame, because I do like their songs.

I rarely compliment Berryz, a lot of you know that, and it's because I find a lot wrong with their group dynamic and how they work together in a visual sense, but when I listen to their music I really do enjoy them. Their music is pretty good, and it's probably why Tsunku keeps them on as a group right now, because together as a vocal unit, they sound awesome.

Or maybe that's just me. Who knows?


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


  1. I worry about Berryz Kobou. I have been a fan since 2005 and as kids they were SO CUTE and full of energy. But for the last few years they have been major hit or miss and I can't figure out what direction they are going in. C-ute became steadily more sexy and upped the dancing abilities but Berryz... I have no idea. I used to love Momoko but I can't stand Momichi. I understand that she's trying to create a name for herself. When the group finally disbands she can still be a TV talent using that name. But the LOOK is annoying. I really feel that she holds the group back when they try to go for sexy. She CAN do it too! With a more adult hairstyle and makeup she looks like a little firecracker but this Lolita dress and the way she is styled in these videos just isn't working.
    That first video had a nice song but once again the choreography needed work. I can't get into the second song; it sounds too generic for me. I really feel that I personally (and probably most other fans too) could do a better editing job than what is being done in most H!P videos these days. There just needs to be a few more scenes that are different. It's the same formula again and again and I'm shocked that I'm not more bored than I already am. If I didn't have Morning Musume pushing it with their dancing I might have been completely sucked in by K-pop groups.
    Thank you for your great blog!!

    1. I think we are all having this issue, especially the fans of Berryz who really want them to be as successful as C-ute and Morning Musume are becoming... I mean, for a while I thought their direction was off, and it still is, but I truly thought they had found their calling with Cha Cha SING. But nope... they are as confused as S/mileage were a year ago. And I know what you mean about Momoko; she really can look mature, I mean Buono and other Berryz songs prove that, but her character Momochi is the one thing that the public notice about Berryz, whih is probably why she uses it so much and holds the group back... oh, and the stylists. They are to blame too.

      Motto Zutto's choreography was blurgh, I wish it was different. And ROCK Erotic, it is a nice enough song, but yes it is very generic. And yeah, we all want better editing; they proved they could do it with Kaneshiki Amefuri, so why not OTHER videos? And different backgrounds, like you say, but I think H!P have stopped caring for Berryz, so they don't change it up like they do the other groups.
      Not the K-pop! XD

      ;w; No, thank you <3 Thank you so much!!!!!!

    2. i agreed with the whole momoko thing, i laughed so much when u said look like she from baby the star shine bright magazine xDD
      i mean miyabi and risako were looking sexy while she's just awkward there

    3. So unfair to Momoko. Also Chiima I wrote this before I saw your post on the state of Berryz and you said everything that I was trying to and was thinking in such a better way. Kudos to you!

    4. @Momochi Momoko looks adorable, but yes, Baby the Stars Shine Bright indeed XD I like her dress, though. A lot. Just too cute for the video, is all.
      Miyabi, Risako and Saki were gorgeous. I want their dresses, too XD

    5. @Moon Hahaha aww XD We are just cruel to her, sorry ;w; and ahhh okay! And thank you, kudos to you, too! <3 KUDOS TO EVERYONE!