Thursday, November 28, 2013

A-side 1 vs A-side 2; Ee ka!?/"Ii Yatsu"

Hi. Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my opinions on my interests. But be warned, opinions and interests are not always the same between people. If you come across anything you don't agree with, realize that this is life and you have the choice to either keep reading, accepting the fact our opinions do differ, or stop reading. I'm not making you read this post, so please be respectful of my freedom to write what I want. Enjoy~

Today (tonight actually... starting at 7pm probably isn't the best idea, but whatever) I'm gonna try something... new? Well, I guess most everything I post about is new... since I'm not very consistent... but I digress, today I'm going to try to summarize and then compare the two A-sides for S/mileage's new single Ee ka!?/"Ii Yatsu" I might do this more in the future, too, since H!P seems to be having a lot of fun with these double A-sides recently. We'll see. 


First, let's look at the outfits, because why not? Ee ka!? has cute pink and black outfits that vary between members similarly to how Ai no Gundan's outfits did. They all have the same general outfit, but the colors of the different parts of the outfits vary between different members. The most noticeable example of this is their skirts, I think. With three members (Wada Ayaka, Takeuchi Akari, and Katsuta Rina) having black skirts, and the other three (Fukuda Kanon, Nakanishi Kana, and Tamura Meimi) having pink. But even the skirts vary a little between the waistbands even. Kanyon being the only one with a pure pink skirt, then Kana and Meimi have pink skirts with black waistbands, then Rinappu with a black skirt and a pink waistband, and then DAWA and Takechan have pure black skirts. I'll leave the rest of the searching for color swaps up to you.

"Ii Yatsu" has more "realistic" outfits. What I mean by this, is I feel like I'd actually see someone in real life wearing an outfit like this. For these outfits, the common thing between all of the girls is the black stockings, the same shoes, and the fact they're all wearing dresses. These outfits give off a mature feeling. I would try and say that they're possibly semi-formal even, but I'm so bad at what qualifies for formal/casual that this conclusion simply comes from the fact it's nicer than a t-shirt and jeans. Comparing the two a-sides outfits, there's a lot of things I could say. Ee ka!? has much more of a cuter outfit, and it's basically the same between all of the girls. It's probably my favorite kind of "group" outfit, "group" referring when you make it blatantly obvious that they're from the same group. "Ii Yatsu" has much more mature outfits, and while they look very good together, unlike Ee ka!?, if you were to see one of the girls in their outfit in public alone, chances are you wouldn't think anything of it (the outfit, not the fact that you saw an idol in public). To put it in other words, the outfits look good together, but they can easily stand alone as well.

Moving on to the PVs/songs themselves. When I first watched Ee ka!?, my jaw dropped. I was NOT expecting it at all. It's a very cool, upbeat, fun song. The PV starts silent just showing the girls in their starter pose for the dance, and then... BAM the beat starts up and the girls start rapping. What? It caught me off guard for one. The rap used at the beginning is then used throughout the song at various parts, and the rest of the song is sung normally. For the song, It's a really well composed song, I think, that doesn't give you a second to breath before surprising you again. It's very enjoyable to listen to. As for the PV, it's, as H!P's specialty, extremely simple. However, because of the outfits, the simplicity of it, even, was well executed. The dance shots take place in either a plain white room, or the same room "without walls" that seem to have floodlights coming from the background even. Then the close up shots have a shimmery pink/purple background. I feel like both of these scenes work well for the outfits, successfully leaving the focus of the video on the girls rather than their surroundings. The dance isn't extremely impressive, especially after Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke and Ai tte Motto Zanshin, but it's still interesting to watch. I think my favorite part of the PV is the fact that they all seem to shine. Normally with PVs there will be maybe one or two girls who really grab my attention, even if someone else is singing or in the center, but when it comes to Ee ka!?, my attention was constantly switching between girls, whether they were the one(s) singing or not.

"Ii Yatsu" is also a very simple PV. The thing I loved most about the song was the fact that the lyrics match my situation right now about 95%. Anyway, the song is also an upbeat song, but it's also got a more painful feeling to it. A lot of the song is sung with noticeable passion and feeling, especially Meimi's lines. The song reminds me a lot of Smaui ne. The line distribution, primarily, is very similar, with the first half of the song's solos being almost all DAWA and Kanyon, and then the 2nd half the Gen 2 girls get solos. This does NOT go to say I think this song is on par with Samui ne. I honestly think this song is so many levels higher. The PV starts with close up shots of the girls that makes me think of the close up shots in C-ute's Aitai Lonely Christmas. They show the girls sitting at tables, and the overall scenes have a yellowish tint to them. The dance shots, on the contrary, have a strange blue, white, and green striped platform-like floor, and a silver backing that looks similar to a stage's curtain. The dance is very fun to watch, and seems to have a lot of original moves that I haven't seen before in H!P. I feel like, when it comes to the PV, DAWA really stands out. She expresses the feeling of the song flawlessly through her facial expressions throughout the song. When it comes to vocals, though, I would say Meimei really stood out with the passion and strength she put into her lines. Whether or not this passion and strength was appropriate for the song itself, I still haven't decided, but that's aside the point.

What I find interesting between the two songs is that, although they're both pretty upbeat they get across entirely different feelings. It's hard to express how they managed to, since I'm not a music scholar and have no idea if there's like certain pitches or anything that make people feel certain ways or anything. Ee ka!? has a much more fun feel that suits the upbeat sound it has much more than "Ii Yatsu". I feel like, as a song "Ii Yatsu" could have had much more impact if it was a bit slower. However, the feeling it gives off is much different then Ee ka!?'s. Rather than a fun upbeat sound, it manages more of a possibly desperate or agitated upbeat sound.

As for the PVs, they're both very simple, but in different ways. I'd say that Ee ka!? was simple in order to put emphasis on the girls and it succeeds in that, where as "Ii Yatsu" seems to be simple to match the meaning of the song. Personally, I fell that, while Ee ka!?'s simplicity made it almost boring, the energy the girls put in definitely make up for what's lacking. And, while "Ii Yatsu" was a slight bit less simple than Ee ka!?, there doesn't seem to be as valid of a reason, and with the effort put forth by the girls themselves, they could have used to give something more to the video. 

Overall, this is definitely my favorite single to come out of S/mileage to date. Between the two songs themselves, I'd have to say that I like the song "Ii Yatsu" more than Ee ka!?, but I like Ee ka!?'s PV more than "Ii Yatsu"'s. Although, at least as far as songs go, they're really close, and I have a feeling that Ee ka!? is even gonna come up from behind and con me into listening to it more than "Ii Yatsu". But, for now, it's too early to tell for sure.

So that's how I feel about Ee ka!? vs "Ii Yatsu". I hope you enjoyed reading. I may or may not do more of these as new double A-sides come out. I probably won't do any old ones simply because I feel like I wouldn't be able to give off the same impression for songs that I've already known for a while, and likely have some from of bias towards/against them as I am to songs that were JUST released (well technically not released yet, but you get the point). Anyway, see you next time, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving if you're in America and a good Thursday if you're not :D (Or Friday morning since it's past midnight in over half of the world right now...) ... Yup :'3.

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