Saturday, October 5, 2013

Satoumi Units (+ Jurin) and Songs Review.

Everything in this post is purely my opinion. If you don't like it, deal with it or leave. I have just as much right to post it as you have to disagree with it. If you wish to criticize my writing, make it constructive, and if you wish to criticize my opinion, either you better have a really good reason, or you need to go look up the definition of an opinion. That being said, please enjoy the review.

Today I'm gonna do a review on the Satoumi units and their songs (I do consider Jurin as Satoumi, as it was announced after Satoumi...). Before doing that, I want to clarify the fact that I am NOT going to be reviewing the PVs. Just the songs themselves. The primary reason for this is because I want to keep this relatively short, and just 1 PV review is way too long. There are other reasons, but to outline them here would be annoying, so you can pretend it's just that. 

For organization sake, I'm going to start with Dia Lady. This is a duet unit featuring Berryz Koubou's youngest member, Sugaya Risako, and C-ute's idol, Suzuki Airi. One of the reasons behind the name "Dia Lady" is that both Airi and Risako's birthstones are Diamond. As someone who was obsessed with birthstones for a good year or so as a kid, I think this was a really cool idea. As for these girls being together, somehow I always am easily amused by official groups being made out of members who have performed songs together in H!P concerts in the past, so I'm actually pretty happy by this combo. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's a video of these two dueting VERY BEAUTY at the very first (I think) Berikyuu concert back in 2008.

Now, as for the girls individually. Airi is my 2nd favorite member of current C-ute, other than the fact I hear her voice way too much, she has a really good voice, and her range is amazing. Plus she's gorgeous and suits the elegant-ish look that they gave to Dia Lady. Risako, on the other hand, is my 2nd least favorite in Berryz. Although I've started liking her a bit more recenty, that's not saying much since before she was even lower on my list that Momoko. Risako I don't think suits the image of Dia Lady at all. Whenever I look at photos of Airi and Rii in Dia Lady, I lose interest, mostly because, as amazing as Airi looks, in the Dia Lady outfits, I just don't like how they look alone, but Risako in a picture with Airi just turns me off for the entire picture. I'm not trying to say Rii isn't gorgeous also, I just don't think either of the outfits in Dia Lady suited her. Especially when put next to Airi who suited her outfits much better.

As for the song itself, upon first listen when the PV came out on Hello Station, I hated it. I'm not even going to sugar coat it. I thought the song was dumb, the harmonies sounded terrible, and the instrumental was uninteresting. However, since then the song has grown on me tremendously. I'm now intrigued by the harmonies, though I still think some of them sound kinda weird/off, I don't hate them. The song's meaning is rather sweet to some extent (AKA the extent I actually understand what's going on). The instrumental also grew on me, although I blame my initial dislike of it on the jazzy sound of it. Most jazzy-like music has to grow on me for some reason. The only exception that I can think of to this is Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne. But even the songs on Kago Ai's Jazz English album had to grow on me.

Next I'm going to talk about HI-FIN. Mostly because They're on top of the single cover, and since the HI-FIN and Mellowquad PVs were released at the same time, it doesn't really matter which I do first. Please don't come and say "But -insert video- was first on the HaroSute video!" because I don't really care. For those of you who don't know, HI-FIN was originally to be called Plumeria. I believe it was Erina who first announced the name change on her blog. HI-FIN stands for Hagiwara Mai, Ikuta Erina, Fukuda Kanon, Ishida Ayumi, Nakajima Saki. It's supposed to be pronounced "High Fun" but I can't help but pronounce it "Hyphen" unfortunately...


The members as a group... Where should I start. Well for starters, the on thing that annoys me is that Mai and Nakky are the cutest voices in C-ute, Kanon is one of the cutest in S/mileage (perhaps second to Rina or third to Dawa... but they're all cute so whatever.), but then Erina and Ayumi aren't the cutest of Morning Musume. I don't hear either of their voices in the group enough to compare for sure, but I'd say Ayumi maybe one of the deepest, after Duu and Sakura. And as for the cutest voices in Morning Musume, Shige and Masaki are the absolute cutest, Erina may be somewhere around there, but I'm pretty sure she's a bit farther than that. So the imbalance of vocals between these girls kind of bugs me. HOWEVER it somehow works, I think. But that's for the song review so hold on for a second.

The girls individually... this is definitely quite the mix. You would think I would hate this group considering 3/5 of the members are my absolute least favorite of their respective groups, with Nakky at 1st for hers, and Ayumi at 3rd for hers to try and recover from that. However, despite my dislike for most of the members, I feel like this group together is the most perfect fit of all the Satoumi groups.

The song itself is a really nice song. The use of harmonies, I believe, helps to add color to the otherwise odd mix of vocals. As mentioned before, I really didn't expect these girls to be able to blend very well, but I was completely wrong. Even without the harmonies, the blending in this song makes in one of the more pleasant listens, while the harmonies give a bit of an interesting flare to an otherwise rather boring song. The meaning of the song isn't very interesting for the most part, to me anyway, however it is a a bit easy to relate to I know a boy in Japanese class who actually has a company of sorts that gets hired to do beach clean ups and such, so it's not like I don't even know anyone who would be cleaning a beach. My favorite part of the song, though, is definitely the talking lines. They're so cute, and the girls just do such a great job of bringing out the correct vocal behind their lines.

Next we have Mellowquad. Or what I like to call CM-squared do to the fact it features a "C" member and an "M" member from both Berryz Koubou and C-ute. The group is probably one of the ones that received the most criticism from what I've seen. Primarily because of the "Brother love" implications in the song.

As a group, these girls are so close to being amazing for me. Miyabi and Chinami has always been one of my favorite pairs in Berryz Koubou when it comes to vocals and personalities, however I never liked Maimi and Chisato together much. Vocally or otherwise. And then there's this combo of Beri and Kyuu. I think this overall group would have been better if Maimi just wasn't in it. Nothing against Maimi personally, but she doesn't really fit in with the others to me. I feel like if Captain or possibly even Yurina was in this group, she might fit in better, but since their not, she just sticks out to me. And not in a good way.

Individually, this group of girls is nearly perfect for me. With my 2nd and 3rd favorite Berryz members and my 3rd and 4th favorite C-ute, and I at least "like" all of them, this group had automatic bias for me from the beginning. 

For the song itself, some people my hate me forever for saying this, but I would go as far as to compare it with Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball. Once you get over the damn PV, it's amazing song with a nice meaning. People often criticize this song for it's almost incest insistent meaning, however the meaning doesn't go near that far itself. It's just the weird dance in the PV that implies such a thing. The actual meaning of the song is really nice, and though the "I'm loving you" parts might bother some people, this song is really talking about a very admirable big brother, and how the singers, with good reason, admire this "big brother." The song even talks about the brother bringing home his fiancĂ©e and the singer request that she be kind to him. If the song really had such a terrible meaning, I feel like this part wouldn't be in it... Anyway, other than the meaning, the song has a really fun, almost festival-like feel to it, and it's very enjoyable to listen to. Initially it was my favorite song, but then Kaigan Sensou Danshi decided to woo me, and then Hotaru Matsuri no Hi came out... so it kinda dropped... But I still love the song. My favorite part is Chinami's 2nd part which talks about how the big brother would always go out of his way to put others before himself, because that's one of the things I try to do regularly, and sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who actually gives a damn about other people and their feelings... Plus, CHINAMIII <3 My one complaint with the song itself, though, would probably be the fact that Maimi's vocals stick out of the group parts like a sore thumb.

Lastly we have Jurin. I had scene pictures at first, but I thought they were from a UTB magazine, so when I read Mama's (Chiima's) digest in which it was announced that this was a legit new unit, I was so excited, you have no idea. I love both of these girls, so I thought for sure this would be the best group ever. Well, except for the MaaDuuetto unit which had better happen in the future x3.

Individually, this group consists of, not only my favorite current Morning Musume, but my favorite H!P member, along with my 3rd favorite Juice=Juice member (which I like them all, so 1st/5th, it really doesn't matter for JuJu atm). I had no opinion of them as a group together at first, as both of them are relatively new members (full member in Karin's case) so there haven't been many, if any, instances of these two together prior to the announcement of this unit.

There seemed to be a lot of people who related Jurin's song with "the new Peaberry" due to the song's slow tune and the cute vocals of the two in the unit. I personally didn't mind this at all, since the only reason I didn't like Peaberry's song was because of the annoying fast-ish parts. Oh and the fact Riho and Dawa didn't blend for shit imo. This song is undoubtedly my favorite of these four, though. The harmony I didn't much like, and these two, for some reason, despite them being two of the best cute-ish vocals in H!P, don't blend very well. Normally this would bother me, but in all honesty, I kind of like how it sounds this way. I can't say I like it more than if they did blend, since I can't make such a comparison without something to compare to, but to me it kind of works for the song. Also, the talking lines. Have I ever mentioned I have an automatic bias to songs that have talking/rapping bits in them? No? Well now I have. The talking lines, Karin's at least, are very sweet, and fun to try and say. Just the solos in this song in general are amazing even. I'd have to say my favorite line in the song is either Karin's "Nanika wasuremono wa nai ka na? ..." line or Masaki's "Maru de kimi ga watashi wo dakishimeite..." line. Such cute lines with nice little meanings <3.

Overall, I like these four groups so much more than the original four Satoyama groups. DIY♡ was amazing, and Green fields was nice, but I didn't really like Peaberry, and Harvest was a good idea, but I hate how it was executed when it comes to the song and it's line distribution. But Satoumi's units, I love all 4 (or 3+Jurin), their songs and their line distribution more or less. and I highly recommend a listen to them for anyone who hasn't heard them yet. For people who are interested, I'll put the videos at the bottom of this post. Enjoy your the rest of your day/night. 'Til next time.

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