Sunday, 25 August 2019

The Definition Of A Shoddily Promoted Single - 'Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi' by Houkago Princess (Single Review)

*Any and all mistakes made here are never intentional. If you find any mistakes, please let me know, because I try to own up to my mistakes and fix them if at all possible. Whether they are typos, fragmented sentences or terrible misspellings, any and all mistakes found and brought up are appreciation. Thank you.

**You can find the full single for your listening pleasure on Spotify.

In order to define a story, one must look back at the chapters already written. For Princesses who have come from a long line of royalty before them, it's time to walk down their own path and create their own tales without the help of their Queen, but before they can take those steps they must look back and understand those who stood before them.

With a new leader, a new lineup and a brand new single, Houkago Princess are ready to define their own era. It's time to step forward as we appreciate their past, so get ready for a new kind of magic. Are you ready?

Despite being around for 8 years now, Houkago Princess are ready to re-define themselves in Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi, a single that celebrates their past, present and future in this brand-new era of members!

And boy oh boy, was I excited for this single! After Kaguya ni Negai wo was released I couldn't help but feel ecstatic for what HouPri had up their new billowing sleeves now that a new generation had been introduced. Odagiri Nana is gone, Sekine Sasara is Leader and there are brand-spanking new members, so of course there had to be something amazing ready for the group to properly introduce everyone and showcase what this new lineup had to offer, right?


.... R.I.G.H.T?

I'm already using gifs. Make of that what you will, dear readers.

Well, I was excited for this single - as stated above - but when promotion didn't happen and a PV was never properly released, my confidence in this single waned considerably. I wanted to hear and experience it, but couldn't due to a lack of anything that wasn't a poorly constructed single cover. I wanted to sing along with the lyrics that were posted to the groups official website, but there were no songs to listen to because snippets weren't released, digital uploads were void and a PV wasn't readily available until weeks after the official single release.

It was getting a little frustrating, to say the least, and I was losing some form of hope until - thank the Lords - my friend managed to obtain her copy of the CD, meaning that I could finally sample the songs from this brand new release until my own versions came in the mail. I could finally listen to the songs for HouPri's new era, but was it all worth it?

A month after the single's official release and many listens later, it's time to finally sit down to listen to Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi, a single that is set to define HouPri's new era as a group. With a new generation, a new leader and a new chapter ready to begin, will this version of Houkago Princess live up to the standards set from past releases, or will it fall as quickly as the hype staff tried to create for this single, only for them to fail miserably with promotion?

Let's define Houkago Princesses latest release and listen to what this new era can deliver. Whether it's good or bad, generic or new, it's time to pass judgement on Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi in sound, style and tune.

So. Let's start~

Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi (新時代プリンセス / プリンセスの定義)

Release Date: 10th July, 2019
Price: ¥1,000 (approx. £7.61 / $9.29)

Editions: 5 (Princess ver. / Dream ver. / Venus ver. / Twinkle ver. / Sweet ver.)

Track List:

1. Shin Jidai Princess
2. Princess no Teigi
3. Shin Jidai Princess (Instrumental ver.)
4. Princess no Teigi (Instrumental ver.)

Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi
- Single Review -

1. Shin Jidai Princess

Introducing a new era of Idol royalty (as well as ending Odagiri's terrifying vocal reign) is Shin Jidai Princess, a song that not only ties into the latest chapter within Houkago Princesses ever-expanding story line, but also acts as a reference to Japan's own era change, which recently became known as the Reiwa era after the Heisei era came to its end on April 30th, 2019.

... Okay, how many times can I use the words era or princess in one sentence? My creative writing lecturer's would cry in dismay. Urgh.

Yet despite stepping forward into a new era, Shin Jidai Princess also takes a step back to reminisce and appreciate the groups history in its lyrics and sound. Written and composed by Ishitani Hikari (and arranged by Li!th!um), the first of Houkago Princesses new songs becomes a reminiscent piece thanks to the use of lyrics and titles from previous tracks embedded into the verse. The chorus is completely new, however, with lyrics that depict the members stepping towards a new era together.

For those who have followed Houkago Princess since their inception - or just before their major debut - the significance of Ishitani Hikari helping to create this track is massive. As the creator of all the groups tracks for their first 4 years as a group, seeing his return is a nostalgic moment when listening to this song. It's a giant throwback, the sound embedded deep within the instrumental familiar and true to the groups original sound. Shin Jidai Princess is beautiful, moreso because it's a song that has been crafted by the group's original composer, and it feels so right to have Ishitani return as a composer for the group's latest chapter. This is Ishitani's way of celebrating all that Houkago Princess has been through, all that they have accomplished, and a way to look back on HouPri's 8 years together as a group.

And despite there being no remnants of the earliest generations left within the group, this song allows the fans and the listener to appreciate this current generation's goal of starting a new chapter whilst still keeping the memory of the Houkago Princess everybody knew before fresh and alive.

Shin Jidai Princess is a beautiful song, one that has its cute moments whilst still speaking true to the original Houkago Princess sound in its romantic, sweet glory. It's pretty fun as well, a song that I would love to hear live, mostly because I think that it would be pretty fun to sing along or clap to.

I think the biggest thing for me about Shin Jidai Princess has to be the use of the lyrics, though; I like that text or titles from previous singles have been used in the verse, yet the chorus plays up to this idea of a new future thanks to the use of new lyrics. By depicting the group's desire to move forward with the newest members in the chorus, the verse allows the group to still acknowledge the history that stands behind them, creating a beautiful balance that is heartfelt yet important in its message.

Furthermore, I love that it was Ishitani Hikari who composed and wrote the lyrics for this track. His importance in Houkago Princesses history is enormous, as previously stated, so to see him return for this song in particular made me very excited when the lyrics were first released. Since the groups major debut, his participation in their song releases has waned - almost to the point of non-existent - so having him return for their first single without the members he knew feels poignant, almost. After all, he knew Houkago Princess better than the members themselves, so I feel thankful as a listener and a fan to witness his return in this song.

With all of that said, the song itself is a pretty affair, one that will please a fair few ears. With the absence of Odagiri Nana - former leader and Ear Bleeder extraordinaire - Shin Jidai Princess sounds a lot smoother, and the vocal quality is a lot higher. Sure, the addition of Tani Nobara keeps the song 'cute' sometimes, but her voice is a lot more endearing and polished, which in turn allows Shin Jidai Princess to sound pretty damn good, especially during Maika, Sasara and Nobara's solo lines.

And yeah, it's annoying that only three-four members get solo lines here, but at this point I'm not exactly surprised; favouritism runs rampant in the staffroom at HouPri Headquarters. Le siiiiiiiigh.

Whatever. Let's wrap this portion of the review up, because it's getting lengthy (like my YouTube hiatus, OOF), plus I have another song to review on this single.

I like this song, in fact I like it quite a lot. Shin Jidai Princess hits all the right spots for me as a HouPri fan, allowing me to relive some nostalgic moments thanks to its pretty sound, the lyrics drenched in past single titles or lyrics, as well as the fact that Ishitani Hikari wrote and composed it. I doubt it will ever become my favourite track within the HouPri-verse - Baka da ne has yet to be dethroned - but it's still a damn good track. I'm glad it was included, because I love it when my favourite groups music gives me a nice ol' throwback to the good ol' days.

Oh, and I totally appreciate the fact that Odagiri's vocals aren't scratching the disc this time around. Still, I miss her, but surprisingly the HouPri feel hasn't disappeared at all. It's still the same as always, and just as magical as ever.

And with the addition of Shin Jidai Princess, Houkago Princess now has a new song of great significance in their ever-growing collection of tracks. With this a new era has been defined, a new chapter begins, and a new Houkago Princess awakens. I look forward to the things they will do now that a new path has been created for them.

In a nutshell: An important track in Houkago Princesses discography, Shin Jidai Princess will serve as a representation of the groups history, the respect the current lineup holds for the groups past, as well as a hopeful outlook towards their future together. Though it may not be the most original song out there, there is no denying that Shin Jidai Princess is a fun, nostalgic piece that will become an important part of this groups history in the future.

2. Princess no Teigi

If there's going to be a bop in this single, it's gonna be Princess no Teigi. Fun, cute, upbeat and freakin' adorable, this song is basically a mantra for becoming your own kind of Princess and adhering to your own rules. It's a very endearing song, one that I can see a lot of people getting hooked on.

Oh, and Tani Nobara pretty much leads this track, as she should - it suits her to a T, and her energy in this is pretty damn good. In general though, the happiness and passion the members have in this song is pretty apparent. It actually feels like the girls relate to this song more than they do Shin Jidai Princess, which isn't a bad thing per say, but it's pretty obvious that they enjoyed recording this song more.

Then again, most of the members joined the group between 2016 up until recently, so their feelings towards the groups history are like, 0 to 40, I would say. So yeah, I get why they'd have a lot more passion and drive for this song.

I can actually see Princess no Teigi becoming somewhat similar to Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~ in terms of its popularity, because as a song it feels and seems like it will become a crowd pleaser. The energy it contains, the catchy sound and the way it makes me feel just reminds me of Juliet in a lot of ways, and despite the two not sounding similar at all, it has a similar vibe. I think its slight use of repetition helps, too.

It's a damn cute song, and it makes me incredibly happy whenever I hear it. Unsurprisingly, it makes me want to sing and dance as well. Who woulda thunk it?

Of the two songs present on this single, it happens to be Princess no Teigi that received a music video. Sure, I would have liked to see two music videos released - actually, that may still happen; Princess no Teigi's MV was not released until a month later - but I'm glad at least one of the songs got a video.

... Well, I thought I was glad, because after watching it a few times... Urrrrrrgh.

Y'all know me. Y'all know I am a big advocate of low budget music videos. I like low budget music videos, for crying out, but there's a difference to having a small budget and not giving a fuck. This is not giving a fuck, if the editing has anything to say about it. Because wow, look at all those blunders when it comes to lip synch fails (aka, members not bothering to lip synch properly and whoever was filming not bothering to do a retake), someone not editing out awkward moments where you can tell that the members were told when to move - yes, I am talking about walking scenes or that group shot where the members awkwardly come together after being told to hug one another - and more.

I mean, I could totally complain about this music video's issues and praise its merits right here, but I'll spare you the written complaints; let's just say that, of all Houkago Princesses music videos thus far, this one is the cheapest and probably has the least effort put into it, and damnit, that means it beats out Oshiete Kudasai.

I give it props for its use of animation however, despite how tacky the drawings themselves can look. Well done, whoever drew it. You did some good for this MV.

Oh, and some of the members are freakin' gems in this, like Sawada Momoka, Sekine Sasara, Mizuki Aoi, Tani Nobara and a few others. But I 100% stan Takano Hiyori's 'can't be fucked' nature throughout.

Rant done, let's go.

Moving forward, I want to say that this song is definitely my favourite on this single. Sure, I like both songs, but i think that this track truly captures the essence of Houkago Princess the most. It's hopeful, driven, energetic and dream-like, a song that wants to not only showcase the groups desire to grow but to also capture the audience's desire to become better and move forward as well. It's a total pick-you-up song, one that you probably want to hear when you're feeling a little low, or perhaps when you need a zap of something extra sweet on any given day. Whatever you need it for, this song is sure to provide it.

From the beat to the fun nature of the track, Princess no Teigi creates a vision of the all-new lineup making new memories as Princesses together. It's abundant in cuteness, but it still provides us with that HouPri quality sound that I know and love. It's a damn good track, the strongest on this single in fact, and I can see this song especially growing on those who are already fans of the group, or those who enjoy this style of music.

In a Nutshell: Princess no Teigi is a great representation of HouPri's new era, and I hope that this becomes a song that is showcased regularly in performances, similar to Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~. Basically, I want this song to define Sasara's reign of Houkago Princess like Juliet defined Odagiri's reign.


Houkago Princess holds an important place in my heart, that much is apparent. My love for them is strong, with that love growing with each passing year since their debut in 2011, and their music is some of my favourite in J-pop. They have a diverse, distinct sound that encompasses a consistent 'HouPri' feel, one that is immediately recognisable for the seasoned HouPri fan and keen listeners. And yes, you will definitely catch that familiar HouPri feeling with Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi.

As expected of a HouPri nerd like myself, I have already given both tracks a ridiculous amount of spins already, because why not? I enjoy them both almost equally, and though I am aware that these are not the strongest tracks from the group, I find that each song has its own charm and that they will certainly appeal to fans of the group. But, that's the thing: these songs will appeal to existing fans of the group, because this entire single is pretty much fan-fodder. This music was not made for the general public, but to appeal to those who already know Houkago Princesses style and sound. Why else would management put out something that was so shoddily promoted?

Now I love HouPri, but when it comes to Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi, I can't help but wonder why management fucked up so royally with this release. In all its nostalgic, pretty glory, this single was given nothing to bolster its release. No digital releases, no PV ahead of the singles release date, no public PV release, nada. You can't even find samples for the songs on music distribution platforms, it's that under-promoted, and I have an issues with that. For what HouPri staff consider a milestone single (of sorts), the lack of care given towards it only makes the release feel lazy, and like management don't give a fuck now that their leading cash cow has gone.

And that's a shame, because this is a nice single. Not the best, possibly not the worst, but it is a decent single, one that I wanted to see promoted properly instead of only being geared towards the fans (which is not a bad thing, per say, but you need to gain fans, too). Without proper promotion, how are you going to bring attention to people outside of your small circle?

I feel like this is Platinum Era Morning Musume all over again, but with HouPri. Lord, help me @.@

Ahem, moving along, I do think that this is a decent single. Shin Jidai Princess alone is reminiscent of Houkago Princesses 'classic' sound that the group held for a long time during their first indies period, a tone that they haven't really been able to capture since they began juggling various composer and arrangers. So listening to a song that creates such a distinct memory of the past for the current lineup is pretty nice, giving me this gooey, satisfied feeling. Shin Jidai Princess, despite being about moving forward and walking down your own path, really is a fun little throwback to the HouPri classics that I know and love, and I appreciate all it sets out to achieve.

Princess no Teigi is more or less the song of this current HouPri era, which I equally appreciate. Sure, it sounds magical and cute, but it no longer contains that classic, reminiscent feel that Shin Jidai Princess held, but I love Princess no Teigi all the more for standing out a little more in style. It's upbeat, adorable and fun, a song that creates energy and hope whilst creating this image of a new HouPri. This is a good, catchy song, one that will surely become iconic in HouPri's live performances, and I want to see it succeed. Thankfully this seems to be the more heavily promoted song of the two, which says something, at least. Still, it can't be that well promoted, because we still have no digital releases, a terribly edited music video, and no sample clips for any of these songs that you can hear prior to buying this release. And yeah, that's a problem.

What a shoddy way to introduce the new members. Urgh.

To reiterate: I think this is a good single, but the promotion for it is pretty damn shocking. In fact, there's a lot more promotion being done for Maika's solo tours and releases, all of which concerns me. Still, what we have is what we get, and though Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi was handled poorly for a single that is celebrated as the groups New Era, new beginning, I do think that it is a nice listen. It's pretty, reminiscent and full of hope for the future, and if you can listen to it be sure to give it a try, but if you can't find it without buying a physical copy... well, there's a reason for that: HouPri Staff can't be bothered.

I do hope it gets released on Spotify or Apple Music at some point, though. EDIT: IT'S NOT ON SPOTIFY!

A fine single, but definitely not HouPri's finest. If anything, it's a fun time and filled with HouPri nostalgia and happiness, as well as a catchy new tune that will probably bury itself in your head. If you're into Houkago Princess then this single will appeal to you, but if you don't care much for generic, cutesy bubblegum Idol pop, this may not be your style of bop. And yes, that rhyme was intentional, dear readers.

Favourite Song: Princess no Teigi


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Houkago Princess may not have the most refined history, but they have one that is rich in music and more, and it's a history I love wholeheartedly. However, I do think that this single was unfairly shafted in a way. With more promotion and care, this could have been a well-liked single, one that went beyond the existing fans. Still, be sure to check the songs out if - and when - you find them, because they're fun and add something to HouPri's discography. In sound and style Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi fits the image of HouPri, but it also gives us something to reminisce about, and something to celebrate as well with this brand new generation.

Seriously though, I really do wish they hadn't been done the dirty. This single and the group deserved so much better.

If you are some of the lucky few who heard the single, what are your thoughts on the songs, and do you think that they fit the Houkago Princess archetype we know and love? If you're new to the group, what do you think of the songs, and do you like the style and sound? And for those who have watched the Princess no Teigi PV, please let me know what you think about its cheapness: is it off-putting, or is there an odd charm to it? I would really love to know.

And with that, darling readers, we come to an end with this review. I hope it has been somewhat fun and informative, and if not, I at least hope I didn't bore you. Thank you for sitting through every word and paragraph, and thank you for getting to the end. You did great.

Until the next post however, I will bid you all adieu and send you away with love and hugs, well wishes and good tidings. Please stay happy and healthy, enjoy your idols and do things that you love, and until the next meeting everyone, take care.

Pip Pip, Au'revoir. See you again soon,


  1. Chiima~ Just letting you know that the single is available on Spotify ♡

    1. ERMAGERD, time to update! Thank you~ <3 (YOU STAR!)