To disclaim: All thoughts and opinions are my own, and yours are your own. Etc. I can't be bothered to write much more, though future Chiima may regret being this lazy. Ah, well.
In which I finally review the Princess no Teigi PV! Because I put this off for a whole year, stewing in my misery over how poorly made this was.
... But then Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye happened, so it's about damn time I talk about the first monstrosity that HouPri released! So, voila!
Okay, so I don't usually take this long to bring out a Houkago Princess music video review. Heck I'm pretty quick most of the time, but upon the release of Princess no Teigi in 2019, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. Not only was the music video released a couple of months after the singles initial release date, but it also happened to be pretty bad.
And by bad, I mean poorly edited. So, like the mature adult I am, I decided to ignore and stew in my annoyance. Because why the heck not?
So I left it, and whilst I would look back at it every now and again and realise some of its merits, I actually never intended to review it. A lot of time has passed since Princess no Teigi's music video release, and it also still annoys me, so I think these were fairly good grounds for just why I shouldn't review it.
Then Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye happened, and also
Hell Cake Month, so I decided that if I could sit through a review of the aforementioned bastard of a PV that was released this year, then I could sit through this one. And what better time to put myself through Hell, than for Cake month? Because, yes, I like to torture myself, and yes I think it's good to balance out the things I enjoy with the things that annoy me.
So, let's get annoyed together and sit through Princess no Teigi, the start of HouPri's downward spiral in music video quality. Are yer ready? OOOOOH---
In the words of Houkago Princess, circa 2019: So let's start! (Let's start!)
I retract my past issues with these drawings; they are pretty cute, and I like that some effort was put into this video a la the animations.
Enjoy some piss poor, grainy-ass gifs. I couldn't get this video in a higher quality, cause HouPri Staff hate me ;_;
Despite the lack of quality that this music video embodies, I am at least thankful that the artwork is in HD.
But I really can't say the same thing for the camera quality.
Ah, so Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye wasn't the first PV to suffer the Editor's heavy-handed love of the Bokeh effect. Gotcha.
Okay, the inclusion of English lyrics on screen is pretty cute, and very old-school HouPri. I approve!
Also, can we just appreciate Natsumi looking so cute in jeans? Like, hello?? Why did they let her graduate?
Sad times when Sahochi is the only member from this scene that is still in the group :3
Also: DRESS TRIPLETS! Yay~
Okay, now these are cute and my favourite pieces of artwork from the video.
I am in love with colour-coded characters, and just the overall cuteness of them ;; ADORABLE! Best decision the editors made, and clearly the part of the MV they blew their budget on.
I love how they managed to make Maika's character look both elegant and cute. That's skill.
Okay, these are cute scenes. Nice and natural, and pretty down to Earth. And pretty different for a HouPri MV; they don't usually roam the streets for their PV's.
Aoi was so cute, but she was there today and gone tomorrow ;;
Momoka being cute and awkward bean. So fresh and new, but clearly a star in the making!
Nobara is so adorable, and I seriously miss her ;; why did you graduate so soon!?
The awkwardness of seeing Nobara out of frame, and knowing that she was waiting to be told to butt in. Should have hidden her better, Camera-san!
Also: I love Nanase's top!
Whoever fucked with the brightness needs to be fired.
Nobara's face looks so flat because the brightness was turned up so high ;; WHY DO YOU DO THIS, EDITOR-SAN!? Why?
Momoka: the awkward bean
Hiyori: Small bean
Nanase: Charming your pants off
I feel like Aoi really didn't know what the fuck to do here, so poor girl just looks awkward as heck ;;
Sasara, being a model and super damn stunning. How is she so perfect?
When the scene isn't bright enough, or you need to hide the public in the background, so you just move that Brightness slider all the way to the end.
"Yeeeeah, that looks great!"
Said no decent editor ever :3
Props to Maika for basically eating up almost all of her scenes, and continuing to look the same as she did 6 years ago when she joined HouPri in 2014 :>
This is just adorable, and makes me love them all the more. Hiyorin and Natchi are especially precious, and I miss them even more now ;;
I do think that making use of the members 'transforming' into their cartoon counterparts is pretty clever, especially when Princess no Teigi is all about how everyone can be royalty / a princess.
Here, have more Maika. It's not like she has enough screen time, or anything XD
Seriously though, she is adorable here.
The green screens are really... random in terms of their backgrounds for every member, but eh, whatever. At least the budget for this PV went somewhere (though I have suspicions that the editor got none of it, hence why most of the scenes look pretty meh)
Hey, that's the half-assed smile and death glare I make when someone tells me to 'smile! You will look prettier!' :D
Maika being relatable for one whole scene, START!
Okay, this is adorable. How could I not gif it?
Here, let's have a Sahochi scene, because I adore her (and she gets barely any screen time by herself ;;)
Sasara pulling out her modelling moves, because she can.
Okay, I like Aoi's background. But I am a fan of gingham, so that's why.
I also like Natchi's background, and her scenes in general. She is a cute, awkward bean and I am so happy she had a great amount of screen time in this PV.
Her character is also freakin' adorable.
Not keen on this character design, but eh. At least they did something to try and make this stock footage scene interesting xD
I don't know who had the bright idea to edit this scene like Idols sometimes edit their instagram photos to hide their location, but whoever said 'yes' to this clip needs firing.
Oh, and it's poorly rendered. I am mad.
Momoka is adorable, and hey! Did anyone else notice that there is a flag on the top part of their outfits? I did!
Natsumi being obscured by a violent attack from pink effects, AHHH!
A damn cute scene that is sadly overpowered by an excessive use of the BRIGHTNESS BUTTON!!! D8<
Yuria, why did you leeeeave, you were so awesome in HouPri ;; This scene is even more precious, now ;;
Ah, the badly lip-synched scene. Maika should have known better, and the camera person should have picked up on it. So poorly executed, FIRE EVERYONE!!!
... Ah, wait. Don't. I don't wanna be a Karen!!! D8
Oh,wait. This is adorable.
I love it.
For all the mistakes that this music video has made, it also gives us moments like this. So, yeah. I feel blessed when I watch this sometimes.
I am also a sucker for cute effects, and Idols turning their heads in an adorable fashion.
Power duo. Why did they have to leave ;;
Get you a friend or a partner who looks at you the way Hiyorin looks at Natchi ;;
Hiyorin was the perfect Idol. Smol. Cute. Barely put any effort into what she did. Always looked bored. PERFECT.
And I was ready to stan her, but then she decided to graduate. I was so fuckin' sad, y'all.
When you have some genuinely nice shots, and the camera quality isn't up to par.
Seriously, WHY have some of these scenes been rendered so poorly?
It's a good thing that there are some genuinely cute scenes to make up for shit rendering, like this one!
Maika being like 'eh, I don't care... Oh, hi camera~' -smiles-
-flips hair sassily-
Lt's just appreciate how cute Yuria's character was designed.
And then bask in her beauty as an idol! So glad she decided to continue working as a model, she would work really well in that field, I think.
W-wait... A 2nd Sahochi solo shot!? Am I dreaming? Somebody pinch me, please!!!
Maika is such a diva, and you just know that she basks in the theatrics of being a performer. She really is next level when compared to the others, and milks every damn second she is on screen. And yeah, I don't blame her. She's good.
AHHHHH! CUUUUTE!!!! Aoi is just too precious!
I really like this little scene, it's a nice moment between Sahochi and Yuria.
Camera-san: "Okay, wait until I say go... wait for it... wait for it... okay, just look natural. Wait... Okay, you can go now"
Editor-san: -throws the scene in as is, doesn't give two fucks about how awkward it looks or how long it takes for Natchi to leave, because eh, the rest of the PV is a bit of a mess so why the fuck not just keep it going that way?-
WHY DID SHE TAKE SO LONG TO LEAVE?
Sasara: "I wanna be... where the Pizza is...~"
Whose the girl in the background?
Background girl: -picks up a call- "Yeah, there's somebody being filmed here, dunno why though, the fuck? This is a public street"
I love Sasara's earrings, by the way.
This is another shot where you can see that they were all awkwardly waiting to be told to come go, and it was only made even more awkward by the fact that some of them didn't go right away, like Hiyori ahahaha.
But it is a cute scene, even if Momoka and Aoi and Hiyori are clearly forcing it for the camera ahaha.
Sasara being a serious Idol for a second and just looking absolutely stunning in this scene.
Also... BOKEH? Is that you?
Maika bringing out the muscles for this powerful moment.
I want some big-ass hair clips like Nobara. Where can I get them?
Oh, and look at that beautiful, immaculate blurring on the sides there. Wow. Stunning. Artistry. Definitely give that editor a raise!
This HouPri editor really did love the Bokeh effect, and used it so much they had to throw different effects over it just to distract us all from seeing that it's the same.
And there's no shame in using the same backgrounds at all. In fact, it offers some cohesiveness to the rest of the video, but nah. Just drown this PV in effects galore!!!
Okay. Now this is a great scene, and I wish we had had a few more like it. I mean, damn. It's mesmerising!
It was a split second, but damn they really went ahead and missed a whole frame? That's both sloppy and disappointing.
This is adorable, and very necessary.
Again, for all its faults, this music video does have its moments and they are enjoyable and worth it.
Saho and Aoi giving it their all, and Hiyori is there just like 'oh, er... yei, I guess~'
That smile will power the world <3
A Queen, a songstress and our Diva!
Also, loving that the background is basically that cool scene we saw moments ago, but with COLOUR!!!!
Nobara is precious, and whilst she is no longer in HouPri, she must be protected!!!
I am super happy that Natchi got as much screen-time as she did. She was so wonderful, and if she hadn't left, I bet she would have been a front member in no time.
The characters in the background is a really nice touch, and yeah, this looks like another 'wait til we say go' scene, ahaha.
Nobara is the freakin' sunshine, and AHHH, HIYORIN SMILE! She is so pure ;;
Get you a partner who looks at you the way that Nanase looked at Yuria ;;
And then we end with a wonderful 'we waited a fraction too long to end this, and you can see how much the members don't care, or how forced their smiles are' scene. Perfection!
This is going to get rant-y and ramble-worthy, so buckle up!
Did they film all of this on an old Samsung? Was the editor having a bad day, or really bloody drunk? Why does the camera quality keep switching from good to bad? Why were there so many unnecessary, poor edits that are obviously bad and could have easily been done by a toddler? Why why WHY?
These were the questions that went through my head as I went through the process of grabbing screenshots and gifs for this review, and they are all as valid now as they were back then, because holy shit, how did this PV get the go ahead to be rendered and officially released. How???
Now, prior to the release of Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye, I actually considered this to be the worst music video from Houkago Princess, hands down. It's cheap, pretty lazy, and whilst it does have its cute and endearing moments, it is badly edited and lacks the quality that past music videos have upheld. It is now well over a year later, and I still can't believe that this was the final product we were given.
Don't get me wrong, I do like Princess no Teigi in an ironic way. In a way, it is so bad that it's good, and whilst most of the editing is piss-poor and and an embarrassment to serious editors everywhere, there are some moments that are well done and nicely thought out. With that said, the bad clearly outweighs the good when it comes to this video, and every moment I enjoy is dashed with a new scene filled with ugly edits.
I am rambling a lot, so let's get to the point: Princess no Teigi is a music video that captures the idea of an ordinary girl becoming a Princess, which is why we see the members of Houkago Princess walking with the common folk. It is also why we see animated variants of the members, because it create that image of the girls transforming from storybook characters into real girls, and vice versa. When they are in their Princess outfits, the animated scenes further embody that idea of transforming from a regular girl to a Princess. It is all very symbolic, and it's this aspect of the video that I like the most because it is pretty damn cute, very well done, and ties in with the song perfectly.
Speaking of, the song itself was written with the intention to let everyone know that they can be royalty, too. It's a pretty gender-neutral song, which was one of its selling points, so the use of the animated characters and the members walking or hanging out together is actually a strong point here, because it ties into the lyrics and fits the songs theme well. Them being transformed and wearing their princess outfits in the green screen scenes furthers that idea of becoming something or someone else, and showcases them in a whole other world that is set apart from reality.
It's pretty interesting when you actually look at it from the perspective of the lyrics, and it gives you a better understanding of why the video is like this, and why the members only wear their Princess outfits during the keyed scenes. It's separating the reality from the fantasy, and creating that image of 'you can be a Princess as well, even if you are ordinary!', or something to that effect.
That does not stop the video from sucking, however, and that sadly lies in the fault of whoever edited it, and the poor rendering job that this music video went through.
Princess no Teigi, though cute, lacks the quality that other HouPri music videos held. By making it look like it was filmed with a really bad camera, making use of really cheap effects that you can get on apps like snow, and not editing out some poorly timed scenes, Princess no Teigi comes off pretty negatively. The bad editing overshadows the joyful moments, and whilst I can see the merit in it, I have watched it multiple times and already adore the group. If I was a first time viewer however and this was the first music video I saw by Houkago Princess, I would probably skip the group altogether after sitting through this. It's just that bad.
Thing is, I don't get it. How can a company that made good music videos prior to this - both before their major debut and after - create something this sloppy? It is such a shock, because whilst HouPri may not have the best music videos out there, they do have some beautiful videos that are edited well and are gorgeous to look at. So, this makes no sense to me.
I understand the vision - ordinary girls becoming Princesses, it's easy enough to see - and I understand why they went to streets and used chroma key for specific scenes. What I don't get is the lazy editing choices or the low screen quality, because if they had actually paid attention to making the editing clean and made sure to use a high quality camera, this would actually look good. It also doesn't matter if their budget was an issue; you can still make a wonderful music video with a low budget, you just need to edit it well, and make sure the quality is sufficient and that the Idols / performers aren't too awkward.
The effects are a hit or miss in this video, too. Where it clearly looks like they tried to blur out or made the image too bright is the bad part of the effects, though let's be real; HouPri editors washing the members out with too much lighting or too much brightness isn't exactly new (but still, I hate it). Yet where we see little drawings of sparkles, or words like So Let's Start, is actually pretty cute and reminds me of HouPri's music videos from the 2014-2015 era. It also adds personality and colour to the background, and seeing more of that would have brightened the video up, and looked so much better when compared to the shoddy effects used for some of the scenes.
Oh, and to quickly add some minor complaints: WHERE are the dance shots? Why are some scenes so slow? They wouldn't be that slow if there were dance shots. Honestly, it irks me that we don't have dance shots in this, and it actually disrupts the flow of the video, I think. Okay, end minor complaints.
In short: Princess no Teigi is a poorly executed music video that lacks good editing and direction. Yes, it has a solid vision in place, and I love the meaning behind it. I love that Princess no Teigi's video perfectly reflects the vision of the song, but what I don't love is how lazy and poorly done the video is. It feels like, after the graduations of Nana, Miran and Saori, the staff members gave up on trying to do a good, quality release for the group, and instead opted for the lazy, half-assed route. And no, it isn't half-assed to film the idols walking down the street, but it is half-assed to not do a good editing job and create a cute, fun little music video that is worth watching again and again.
Princess no Teigi's music video annoys me a little. I wish more had been done for it, and I wish that it was better. Sadly, it is one of the worst Houkago Princess music videos to exist, but I will admittedly defend it to the grave, simply because I love HouPri and want to protect them at all costs.
This is a shit show, but hey: it's our shit show, lads.
Princess no Teigi, the music video that threw HouPri's progress of each video being an improvement over the last out the window. What a damn shame.
What's your verdict? I'm a music video snob, so of course I'm going to judge it harshly... but, what do you guys think? Is it as bad as I think it looks, or do you think it's cute and charming? I would love to know, and of course encourage you to share your thoughts regarding anything you enjoy, whether it is a music video, music or something else.
Until the next post dear readers, please take care, and enjoy some good music videos from the idols you love! Remember to stay happy and healthy, and continue to be the fabulous people that you are!
Much love and frustrated glares at this video,