Sunday, 15 December 2013

12 Days of Idols: A Wish for a Warm Winter Kiss

All opinions, thoughts and feels are my own... you has been warned 8D

Christmas is slowly making its way towards us, Chimians, and we are preparing for the festive season where we celebrate with our loved ones. Whilst we prepare though, why not delve into a winter-themed PV...?

On the 10th Day before Christmas, my Idols sent to me...
A Sweet and Loving PV

No matter what, I was going to review this PV at some point, but when better to review it than now, during the 12 Days of Idols? It's perfect timing (not to mention the perfect season) to talk about the latest release from Yuka Ueno, the pure-voiced Angel who won a singing contest and landed a singing contract under KING RECORDS. At the tender age of 15, this is only her second release after her beautiful debut this passing summer, and once again she warms us all with her Heavenly voice in this Winter-themed song...

... Yeah, I kinda sound whipped by her right now, but it's because I just adore Yuka! She's been around only a short while and already I feel like she has charmed me. Her gorgeous looks, that pure voice of hers, those lips... she is a darling to look at, and she is a Saint to listen to. And, whilst she may not be everyone's cup of Earl Gray, I find her very refreshing and gentle. She has a certain innocence about her that is appealing, and she just looks so sweet. She really has melted my heart.

So with that all said and done, today I will be taking a look at Yuka Ueno's Winter Kiss, the latest PV from this heart-warming vocalist who has tickled my fancy. Once again collaborating with a comedic duo, this time the members of NONSTYLE, will Yuka deliver a sweet and gentle PV for the cold Winter days, and will she ultimately win you over? Let's take a look and find out, shall we?

A balling of the fist is never good... not even in the kinkiest of circumstances!

Yuka-chan, what's wrong? Why are you so down my darling...?

... Well, I have no clue what went on there, but whatever! YAY, LEAVES!!!! -rolls around in the leaves-

Yuka has no clue what the Hell is going on here... neither do I, to be completely honest with you.

Yuka: "Could it be...?"

What? What can it be? Yuka, talk to me!!!

... Wait a second... Yuka, is that your boyfriend? >o>

He looks a little too, erm... well, let's just say he looks older than a 15 year old should.

Don't stop Yuka wanting that ass, though! Mmph!

Yes, Yuka, you run after that piece o' ass! You run for it!!!

Yuka: "... Where did he go?"

Don't ask me, girl, I have no clue where your man went!

Looks like Yuka's boy is a bit of a playa! Poor Yuka, watching from the sidelines ):

... Are you sure he's in High school and not his last year of University, Yuka?

Yuka: "Gasp!"

Hey hey now! You need to go and scream your love to him, not gasp and sit there like a lamp. Show some emotion, girl!

That's right Yuka, make him run for your affection. It's the way to do it!!!

D'awww, he's waving! Really girl,you should just tell him of your feels and be done with it.

Eat your words, Chii

Damn girl, why you so pretty? Your profile is damn perfect! <3

Dem lips... I want them!!! UMPH <3

Even when she looks like a fluffy, warm snow girl, she is still the most perfect creation on this planet <3

Maybe this is her Angel get-up? I mean, we all know she's an Angel descended from Heaven, but this outfit kinda further proves that theory. Hm...

... Wait, erm... Yuka, you shouldn't really stand under a street lamp in the middle of the night, lest someone think of you as a woman of the night... yeah, get away from there. Please.

Angel, please!

Yuka: "What if I want to be a woman of the night?"


No, don't hold your hand out to strange men! You are an Angel, pure and chaste! -cries-

Good lord, how can she wear a dress in this weather!? It's freeing! -wraps up in blanket-


Yuka: "... Holy shit, it's him."

And he has a guitar! Nothing hotter than a man and a guitar, right?

Actually drummers are cooler XD

D'awww, dat smile.

Yuka: "... Doki doki."

She's so stunned, she just stares in amazement...

GURL, don't hide! Share the feels, and get on with it! Come on, Yuka!

Yuka: "But what if he rejects me...?"

Then that's life. It's the Circle of Life, to be exact. We just get on with it and move along.

... Wait, why are there only chicks hanging around him? I know girls like a man who can play an instrument aside from his own personal trumpet but men appreciate music, too!!!

... Gawd, how are you so gorgeous -nose bleeds-

Eeep! -blood gushes out more- Damnit, Yuka! Stop being so pure and beautiful and just... HNNNG!!!

THANK YOU for moving away from the lamp post! But still, get off the streets, it's damn dark!

Aww yeah, instrumental break, time to jam hard! YEEEEAH!!!! -smashes guitar-

... Wait, what? Erm, what are you doing dude...?

Hey... no, this is a public place, you can't do that here. There are children watching. Mate...? Dude...? Are you listening to me...?

... Yeah, you went there.

But in all seriousness though, the first time this scene played out, I burst out laughing. So unexpected because the PV was so serious before this.


D'aww, school girl Yuka <3 You look so cute and innocent (you always look innocent) with your twin tails <3

Yuka: "... Can I tell him?"

You can tell him anything under the influence of alcohol... want some sake?

Yuka: "Give it to me, then."

Erm, I was kidding Yuka, and no you can't have any sake, because you re only 15!!!

Wait, what? When did he get here!?

Is this some kind of date? Where you sing karaoke in the park to unsuspecting strangers? Well whatever, he looks like he's having fun, so yay!

Damn we got a little thigh action here! Nicely done!

... Yeah, I'm pretty convinced that you're an Angel.

Yuka: "I am a celestial being, thank you very much~"

Yuka: "He found me...~"

Okay, that is just the sweetest, most blissful face from Yuka ever. She just looks so content. D'aww... <3

Oh my God! Yuka, are you going to...? You are!!! OH MY GOSH, YAY!!!! You go girl, go get him!!!

Dude: "... Eh?"

What!? Don't eh Yuka! She's here to say some important stuff, so listen closely, mate!

... YUKA, SO CUTE!!!! Confess to me!!! He can go screw himself!

Gaaah, that smile! So precious! Yuka, marry meeeee!!! <3 <3 <3

Really though, how can someone ignore the pure beauty of Yuka Ueno, no matter how shy she is? I wouldn't! She's so Angelic... <3

-cough- Okay, I'll get off of my stool of compliments and blinded love for Yuka Ueno, because I have a review to write... but still, that face, that voice, those lips... I can't help but be won over by this little treasure who found her way into my life just this year! You wonderful bundle of Angelic fluffy light, you!

Seriously though, I do think that Yuka looks stunning in this music video. The way she expresses herself, as well as her refreshing and innocent approach on camera, is just wonderful. It's almost like she creates the story with just her facial expressions and her voice, rather than the video painting the story for us... or maybe that's just me being a fangirl. Who knows?

That said, I do enjoy the video and what it has to offer in terms of a storyline. It's a rather sweet setting, depicting the one-sided feelings of a young school girl who is too shy to express how she feels for a fellow student who is, unlike her, popular and a hit with the ladies. Despite being polar opposites though, Yuka likes her classmate and secretly watches him from afar, often fleeing from the scene whenever he looks at her. However, after fighting the inner demons we know are her feelings and her own shyness, she finds the courage to confront her emotions, and finally plucks up the courage to talk to her beloved! And... that's it. We just end the video with Yuka smiling, leaving behind that shy and awkward girl who would have rather run away than say hello to the boy who held her heart.

The storyline is rather simple I will admit, but it's still a sweet one nonetheless. Sure, it's a bit overdone in terms of Idol PV structures, but it works well for Yuka and shows off a shyer side to her, as well as shows growth in the character we are watching as she changes from this quiet and awkward teenager to a confident and bright girl who wants to show the guy she likes that she is more than she seems. The video does a good job of showing Yuka struggle with what she wants to do, from running towards the boy she likes to trying to hide as she tries to think about what to do, creating a more realistic and relate-able setting for people. I mean, confessing to someone is pretty nerve-racking anyway, so to see that shown in a video quite well has allowed me to personally relate to Yuka's character within the PV because it reminds me that I have also been in that position, where I want to say something but hold back because I am a little scared to... and then the adrenaline kicks in and you just do it!

Chii's personal confession story here XD

Of course, one of the more memorable scenes of this entire video would have to be the addition of NONSTYLE's Inoue Yosuke throwing off his leather jacket in a rather comical style. I was not expecting that, but when it happened, I really could not help but laugh because it was so unexpected, but so great as well. Unlike Kimi to Ita Sora, which had a more serious and practical way of telling the story, NONSTYLE's Ishida Akira seems to have taken a different approach, and threw in a few fun and carefree moments into the video, taking it from being serious for a good majority of the video, to fun and a little questionable in a few other scenes towards the end. Whilst the approach itself took me aback, I do think that it's a nice way to change the pace of the video and show that the love interest actually has a personality of his own, rather than just being a background character who smiles and returns Yuka's feelings. It was great to see that Inoue Yosuke actually made his character a little quirky, rather than just being... there. He made me laugh, and he really made the video better for me.

Thinking about character performances for a moment, I do want to say that at times, Yuka felt rather stiff in this video, especially during her schoolgirl scenes where we see her watch from the sidelines. It honestly felt like at these points in the video, Yuka had no clue how to act, so she stayed expressionless and solid until she had to eventually move as she ran away. In every other scene she did a great job, but in these scenes alone where she just watches Inoue from the sidelines of her desk longingly, she really did not do anything. Of course Yuka isn't an actress (though she has been in a movie) so I guess we can't expect perfection from her, but still.

Admittedly, those were the scenes that bothered me most. But what can you do, aye?

Moving onto the song now, Winter Kiss is a beautiful song that is sweet and gentle, befitting the vocals of Yuka Ueno so well. The track brings out that pure and clean sound of her voice, and just works well with her tone. It sounds a little Christmassy thanks to the addition of the bells in the background of the instrumental, giving us that winter-like charm we all enjoy in our Christmas songs. Amidst the hyperactive and sugary songs we have been given for the festive time of year, the sound of Winter Kiss is rather refreshing thanks to how toned down it is.

Of course the song does have emotion behind it as well as charm, but this is not an energetic and happy-go-lucky Winter song. It has more of a hopeful, wishful sound behind it that is just lovely to hear after listening to one too many overly energetic songs. There is also a lot of skill behind the vocals here, meaning that we can enjoy the vocals as well as the beautiful instrumental that has been created. It is, for me, a truly enjoyable winter song that just warms me up thanks to the emotion and power behind Yuka Ueno's vocals, and is a nice change of pace from the Idol-like Christmas songs we hear a lot during this festive season.

So all in all, I find the video rather nice to watch, but the song is the true winner of this release. Whilst the video has its own charm and is enjoyable to watch, I don't think that it's as fantastic as Yuka's previous release, Kimi to Ita Sora, especially when it comes to the performance level. I do think that the video does a good job at showing off Yuka's skills in terms of how good she is at performing on camera, but that's mostly during her solo scenes where she sings along to the lyrics. She looks happy, like she truly does enjoy the song she has helped to create, but I do think that in terms of acting, her performance level was not as strong as it was in her previous music video. That said, her thunder truly was stolen in the video by Inoue Yosuke. He really did do a fantastic job at bringing his character to life if you ask me, and he has such a lovely smile, a charming little twinkle in his eyes, and despite not looking like a 15 or 16 year old high schooler, he really did do a good job in this video.
 And I hope that there is a short story to this PV, because it would be nice to see the video's storyline in a longer, scripted version. It would be sweet, and I could see how Yuka and Inoue fare as actors together!

Both are winners to me, but for different reasons, however the song is definitely the highlight of Winter Kiss. It's beautiful, and it just reminds me why Yuka is such a wonderful vocalist. Pure and gentle, she really has warmed my heart with this lovely song.

Always thinking of you, always thinking of you...

Have you found a warm winter kiss this year?

Much Love,

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