Sunday, 22 February 2015

[A Week with Berryz] A Rival for my Affections! A Rival for my Love! It's time for 'Rival's' Music Video!

All thoughts and opinions are my own, even if they aren't fully formed or sound like garbage. I own my garbage thoughts! Let opinionated, sleepy people lie! HUZZAH!

I shouldn't write reviews when sleepy. Urgh...

I swear, if there was one song that was requested more times than I could imagine, it would be this one.

I didn't even think to review this one, because the original plan was to review Otakebi boy WAO in its place. Still, the public has spoken, and as I wanted to try and review some requests for this week long series anyway, I will be giving in and looking at the song that so many people wanted, because dang, y'all love this one quite a bit.

There's no question about it; there is no Rival for how loved this song is...

Let's look back to 2009. 2009 was a good year for H!P, probably the last really good year they had in terms of budgeting, creative videos and some kick-assia until they got their shit together some years later. I suppose this was because, at the time, they were doing well with tie-in songs for anime, especially Berryz, who were prevalent in the anime scene at the time. Seriously, they knocked out some wonderful anime-infused tunes, songs that were catchy and all around fun.
 The times were good.

This is also one of the first PV's from the group that I saw once upon a time before I wota'd, viewed some time after VERY BEAUTY, and at the time, a favourite song of mine. Seriously, I loved Rival a lot, and why not? It's a catchy tune, and the video is really fun to watch! I remember how, back in the early days of Idol fandom, I would copy their dances rather poorly, and match their moves as I watched the video.
 I actually still do that now, but worse than when I was 16. My bones ain't what they used to be.

Thinking about it, I'm not surprised at the fact that people wanted me to review this video when I asked for suggestions; I mean, it's awesome, and it's cute as heck. Also, everyone else probably loves Rival for the reasons that I enjoy it, so of course they would want to see it reviewed before Berryz bow out, right? That, or they want to see if I flame it to the ground and deem it cheap and poorly done.
 Which it is not. This is a damn good music video, no matter what my captions may say ¬.¬

Okay, I'm rambling, so it's time to shut up. Let's just say, I do enjoy what this video offers for now, and I hope you all do to. Rival is, in so many ways, a gem in the Berryz discography, and we're going to look at that gem a little more in captions, because dangit, I love it, and it was fun to caption the heck out of! So, without further ado, let's take a look at the Rival in BK's soon-to-stall discography, and enjoy a little piece of history we all adore.

Let's Rival for the affections of the Wota! With cuteness and cardboard, Berryz will surely win you over! Are you ready to be overwhelmed? LET'S GO!

This opening sequence is a great contender for 'best opening title' out of all openings from my recent Berryz reviews. Like, seriously. It's. Pretteh.

... Are those windows actually paintings? -squints-

Dayumn, H!P are so cheap, they can't even afford windows for their Idols. Well, at least they can afford a good hairstylist for Maasa. She looks adorable :3

They also have some kick-ass clothes for this PV. Aside from Miyabi's sequined stripper dress, that is.

I think was the era where Riskao began to look conceited. Cute, but conceited.

It was a hard time for Hello! Pro back in 2009. Money was running out, and sure, their Idols were prospering in the anime business, but they weren't doing so well... so they had to do a few budget-cuts.

Yes. They had to craft props from cardboard. Not even light snacks could be bought. The times, they were indeed rough...

At least they got creative, though. That says something, especially when you compare 2009 to how shit their concepts are today.

Momoko looks like she's come straight out of Kanashimi Twilight, and Chinami just looks adorable, as per.

H!P meets Scandal. With cardboard instruments.

Working on a budget creatively. I applaud H!P.

Saki looks like a babe here, for sure. Work that pout, gurl!

Yurina, keep jamming on that cardboard drum! Won't make any noise, though.


This is like Give Me Five, except we know these girls can't play an instrument of any kind to save their lives, nor do they put us through the misery of enduring a shitty performance courtesy of poor musical skill. Thank goodness.

You wanna put that lollipop in yo mouth, gurl? -serious wriggling of the eyebrows ensues-

Perviness aside, Risako looks like she could pull off a mean resting bitch face.

Of all the outfits, Miyabi's is the worst. Her hair, however, is on-point.

This is the 'We need the toilet' move that was all the rave back in the days of Berryz '09!

Yurina: "I'ma stab yo face! Stabby stabby~"

And here we have an era of Yurina-Wants-to-Kill-You. Look, it's in her eyes! Blood shall be shed!

I dub this as Momoko's 'Gremlin' era. She was cute, though.

It's nice to be reminded that, even in the days where her hair was looking nice, Saki still looked like a lost little lamb who had a gun to her head in all her nervously awkward glory.

Will you be my Valentine...? Ignore the fact that it's passed by already, but seriously gurl, Valentine. Mine. Whaddaya say? ;D

You can go away, Gremlin. I know what you turn into, years from now ¬o¬


That said, she would make a great model, if she dropped or constipated pigeon pout once and for all.

Everyone's on a date, except Risako. Did ya get stood up, sweety?

Rii: "No... I told him to fuck the hell off."

Well o 3o

Yurina: "Wanna get in my van?"

... Yeah, that's a serial killer, if ever there was one. DON'T TRUST HER OR HER WHITE VAN!!!

Seriously though. This is scary fucking shit. I'm using this image for a stranger danger talk with my future kids.

Awk. Saki is cutest Saki.

... Holy shit, Chinami is pulling the troll face xD

She also reminds me of my flatmate a loooot in this image. But shhh, let's not tell my flatmate that... she pulls the exact same troll face xD

And then... Hubba hubba, wanna be my Valentine if Maasa rejects me?

Chii is adorable, I love her!

Maasa, though... daaaaamn, girl, wanna be my woman!?

And look, there's a Gremlin in the back! Can we cover her up? :3

Chii: "You hittin' on my missus, bitch?"

... Oh shit, Yankee Chii came out for a meeting! Quick, RUUUUN!!!!

Maasa: "I don't want your love, you Idol fiend!"

EAR!! -nibbles-

Yurina: "Bitch, where mur LOVE today?"

Pouty Yurina is the cutest in this video xD In fact, this is the least-scary looking version of her in this entire MV.

FAVOURITE PART OF THE DANCE, AWWW YISS!!! -copies, breaks a hip, cries-

Seriously, Buono-hair Miyabi was the sexiest of Miyabi's hairstyles, before she 'experimented' like Risako.

The early days of hair-experimenting Berryz was a good time.

Missing Maasa's long locks, though. She was adorable.

... Wait, is Miyabi going to confess to herself!?

Lefty: "Hey baby... nice dress..."
Righty: "Oh, he's hitting on me... teehee... so handsome...~"

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Chinami tried hitting on herself. She probably does that for fun xD

Righchii: "Ahhhh, you're so handsome! Wanna be my boyf?"
Lefchii: "The fuck, you want me to go Yankee on you!?"

Hey, Yurina, look! Someone who's your height! Quick, go woo yourself!

... Wait. Wait a second.

They're encouraging themselves to be happy. Well, shit o 3o I dun goofed that one up.

MaaRight: "Hey, chin up! Things'll get better, I'm sure!"
MaaLeft: "Yeah, about that... the future ain't so bright. Prepare to use a permanent resting bitch face before we graduate."

Seriously though, I did think they were hitting on themselves at first, until Maasa and Saki's reflections popped up. I realised I was wrong. WHOOPS!

Ah well~

Rightki: "Don't worry, Saki! You become the sexiest member in a few years!"
Leftki: "Yeah, I know, but... -sigh- everyone loves Risako, only cause she got some bewbs..."

The struggle with Capu is real, yo.

... Well, looks like Momoko's staring herself down, because she knows what a mess she'll become with her Momochi act one day. Oh, my.

Momoright: "I know what you become..."
Momoleft: "Insanely cute?"

This is adorable, and not just Chii. ALL OF IT IS SO GOSH DARNED CUTE and I love the use of prop interaction here.

Cardboard height-scales, genius! Also, Gremlin is adorable here too.

Chii: "SHIT!"

What? Did you gain so much weight, you broke the scales? Doubtful.


Captioned because this. is. the. BEST! XD

Stranger Danger victim poster material, GET!

Yurina: "Hahaha, bitch put on weight, I can still snack me some chips..." -om nom nom nom-

Yurina's that one friend/asshole who eats yummy but unhealthy crap right in front of you, knowing full well you're on a diet and can't eat what you want.


Risako is so gosh-darned cute, but still conceited-looking here.

I want to pinch her cheeks, though ¬.¬

This actually has to be the best scene of all xD

Rii: "Bitch, making me hold her tears... I am Sugaya Motherfuckin' Risako. I don't HOLD tears, I make you shed them."

Risako's resting bitch face is subtly peeking through, here.

... Saki, what are you doing? Are you trying to scoop up the Berryz trash with your double bass? is it a double bass? I don't know, I never took music ¬.¬

Because if you are, you're a few years too early. Get the bass out to clean out the trash when y'all get shitty, k? K!

I wish I could make cardboard guitars as cute as this. Also. Cute Rii and Cute Chii, ahoy!

... Yes, Chii, attractive xD

I can see we're taking our job seriously here.

Awww yeah, you own it, Miyabeam! No smashing the guitar to the group though, that's some expensive cardboard H!P have there!

Berryz: "What will the future hold for us? Will we become awesome 10 year Idols?"

Don't go near the future, girls. Please o 3o It will only end in tears of the bitter kind, and seriously bad hair choices.

OH! Finally, the last reflection image. I was wondering where that got to.

Rii: "And this fist will meet your face if you offend my hair again, capiche?"

But your hair actually looks good here. It's your soulless eyes that creep me out.



Awkward Saki, welcome back! Also, can I have some cardboard soda?

Maasa: "Teehee, if H!P make me miserable, I'll ram this fork in their chests. Teehee~"

Maasa looks like a woman possessed. Shiiiiiiit.

Derpy <3 I love me a derpy Chii <3

Can I dub Miyabi's sexy hair as Soccer Mom hair? Cause that's what it is. But it seriously suits her.

These outfits are seriously cute. Why can't they get cute outfits like this nowadays?


I want their skirts. Seriously ._.

Also, I do like the setting. It's cute and looks like it could be CGI, but surprisingly, it's a real set. At least... I think it is o 3o

And now, to slam the instruments to the ground! C'mon, wreck this place! Especially you, Momo, I can see you want to slam that keyboard to the wall! DO IT!!!

This is a fun PV. A creative, fun and cute PV, and one that includes resting bitch face Risako. What more could I ask for in a video?

Seriously though, how could someone dislike the idea behind Rival? It's quirky, for one, and whilst some would find the idea of cardboard food and instruments a little tacky or even cheap, I actually find it charming and ingenious - it adds imagination to the video, it makes it all the more colourful and fun, and it looks really fun, too. Heck, after watching this for the first time in forever, I want a cardboard bass! Hand me that guitar, I want to begin my band of cardboard... it looks like it's a lot of fun, in all of its simplicity.
 Rival; prime example of why simplicity can be so damn good, and how cardboard is one of the best damn things on Earth.

It's as if a kid was let loose with paint and cardboard, and asked to design the props for this entire music video - this isn't like the creation of an adult, unless the adult is a big fan of making a house out of his cardboard box that is, because it's just so like the imagination of a child when handed a cardboard box to play with; it is reminiscent of a child's mind, and how that mind creates things out of plain old cardboard. At least, that's what it reads to me. I mean, I could be wrong - they could have just thought 'HEY, let's use cardboard, cause we can't afford the real thing.' for all I know. The latter is probably true.

Still, the fact that the set designers put their mind to the theme of the video speaks volumes for me; they put their hats of imagination on, and made the video fun and jolly in so many ways, and brought us a colourful, energetic video that was simple, but really darned creative in every way possible. Who cares if it's cheap in terms of cost? In execution, this is gold.

It isn't just the props made of cardboard that are great, though, it's everything about this PV that makes it so wonderful to watch. The members of Berryz, though some seem to have lost their fizz in terms of energy and character (Risako), are really wonderful here - they're full of beans, they look great during this phase of 'good-hair-Berryz', and you can see, much like the past few PV's I have looked at, that they are enjoying themselves and are invested in what they're doing. They interact with each other, they make the set their own personal playroom, and they have a ball whilst doing it. They're not doing it because they have to, but because they still enjoy what they're doing at this point in time. You can see that they like/love being Idols, even if they are a bit older than they once were, back in their prime.
 Seriously, they own this video, and they really make it theirs.

They also look gosh-darn beautiful in Rival. Seriously, whoever their stylist was back then, H!P needs to re-hire them, stat. Their current team just doesn't cut it.

Whilst there are no impressive shots or use of camera angles and pans here, the whole idea of the video is what is addictive and intriguing. Simple execution, but fun and imaginative, Rival is one of those true gems of a video that you experience once, only to want to experience it again and again. It's colourful and bubbly, the girls are gorgeous to look at (though Yurina can be a tad scary in this at times) and the use of the cardboard instruments and set is quirky, simple and genuinely clever. If anything, it's like it shows off that childish side to Berryz they still had back then, whilst also showing off how mature they have become too in image.

During the Rival era, this was the middle ground for Berryz as Idols. They were a strong group, polished, but also fun and engaging, and wonderful to watch. They had fun and were at the top of their game, but they hadn't lost their spark just yet; truly, 2009 was a great time for them, and Rival is a great way of showing off this beautiful side to Berryz that we all well and truly miss.

Once upon a time, it was this very group that rivaled for my affections with Morning Musume, and re-watching Rival, I can see why; they were amazing.

It's sad how time wore on, and my liking for them began to dwindle...

Until the next post!

Much Love,


  1. The floor is definitely CGI in this, as no one casts a shadow on it. Unless they are vampires, which I think really only makes a lot of sense for Momoko and her inability to age.

    But this was such a fun PV. As I am getting to the newer PVs for the group with my project I am missing when Berryz PVs would get truly creative like this one.

    1. I never even took note of the floor, other than that it was seriously bright! So it's intriguing to know that it's CGI! But honestly, the vampire thing? Possibly, especially Elizabeth Bathory Junior, or Momoko. Whichever works.

      Yeah, the lack of creativity, fun and happiness in their recent videos is so noticeable. They feel dead to me, seriously. I tried watching Golden Chinatown recently, and nope, it's horrible, in terms of personality and charm. Their life has been sapped away from them.