Wednesday, April 8, 2015

March/April Song Opinions (Part 2 - Gamusha LIFE)

Everything I put on my blog is purely my opinion. No offense is ever intended, and I do not ever claim my opinion to be any more "right" than anyone else's, so please return the favor and pay me the same respect. Thank you.

As strange as it may seem, the next song I want to review is a jump all the way up to my favorite of the 10:

Itooshikute Gomen ne (Country Girls)
Koi Dorobou (Country Girls)
The Middle Managemen ~Something here~ (C-ute)
Gamusha LIFE (C-ute)
Tsugi no Kado wo Magare (C-ute)
Wonderful World (Juice=Juice)
Ca va? Ca va? (Juice=Juice)
Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru (Morning Musume '15)
Yuugure wa Ameagari (Morning Musume '15)
Ima Koko Kara (Morning Musume '15)

Since the outfits are significantly different for each member, I'll review the outfits at the end along with any comments on the members. For now, lets look at the settings of the video. Most of the video takes place in front of an abstract painted wall with the group name as well as the girls names written on it. It provides a very pretty background to an otherwise very dull setting. That's not to say it doesn't work, abstract art tends to clash with more complicated settings, so the simple white walls, road-like floor, and vent-filled ceilings provide a good surrounding to prevent people from being drawn away from that center-shot.

Now, that's all fine for the dance shot, but what about the close up shots? So, normally I get really bored with close up shots that are all the same. What I mean by that is, either they're all just graphic effects that vary between members just by colors or something, or they're all in the same place. So normally, the fact that all the close up shots are in the same small area would bother me. But in this case, because the background is so abstract it almost doesn't feel like they're even in the same room. It also is bonus points that each girl is placed next to her name on the wall for their shots. I think the different camera angles they use also help a bit for this. I don't know, I am personally very pleased with the fact that, even though the dance shot and close up shots are in the same place, they don't have that repetitious feel to them.

The other setting that's not seen as much is this parking garage-looking place. I'm almost positive is technically the same location as the abstract room shots, but I consider it a different setting because it looks different and they use different effects for it. Anyway, I always like when they throw in a couple scenes where the girls aren't singing, and I think this setting works really well for that to contrast the colorful setting of when the girls are singing and dancing. I think if they added too many of these scenes it would take away a bit from the video, but they didn't, so it's okay.

One last comment on the video, I really like the decision to use white backgrounds for a couple of the clips. First being the beginning where it showed the white background transitioning into the colorful one, and the other being at the slow/rap part. I feel like this really emphasized the importance of these key scenes.

Moving onto the lyrics. It's a key factor that this is their 10 year anniversary song. When comparing this song Futsuu Idol 10nen Yatterannai Desho?! you can really see the difference in feelings towards the group. Berryz's song seemed honestly really whiny and if you didn't see the indefinite hiatus coming from that song, really... You're blind. Gamusha LIFE however has a really optimistic, almost competitive feeling towards it. It still has a very reminiscent aspect to the lyrics, but the lines indicate this strong will to move forward and not lose. I feel like this song really teaches a lesson that you don't have to forget the good or the bad that's happened in the past in order to continue to the future. Or maybe I'm just reading into it too much~.

Now for the song itself. I want to start by saying: I love love LOVE the rap-ish part. Honestly, when I watched Gamusha LIFE on Hello!Station, as pretty as the lyrics were, the song itself didn't really phase me much. At least, I still liked Tsugi no Kado wo Magare more at that point. However, when the full PV was released and I heard the rap-ish part, this song jumped up to my number one for this round. It's really interesting because you go from a really sad-sounding slow verse to this gradually speeding up rap line and I think it especially helps the impact of that part of the song. In regards to the rest of the song, I really like the fact that the sound really matches the bittersweet feeling of this ten year milestone. It has this slow-ish sound to it, especially at the beginning, which kind of draws in my attention, and then it almost fades into this more upbeat optimistic sound, which then leads into the really upbeat exciting choruses. I wasn't really expecting anything like things from a song called "Gamusha LIFE" (A pun combining "Gamushara" which means reckless, and "raifu" which would be the Japanese pronunciation of the English word life. So basically it surprised me a bit that a song titled "Reckless Life" turned out to be such a bittersweet sounding song).

So, now I'm going to talk about the members that stood out to me and the outfits. Technically everyone stood out in some way to me, but if you take out the clothes/hair reasons, we're just left with 3. Now, I was going to start with those three, but then I realized they're the three oldest, so I'm just going to go in age order, because I'll still be starting with those three... ._.

Starting off with Yajima Maimi, and I guess I'll talk about the outfits and then how they stood out to me (if for some reason other than the outfits). Maimi gets what I would say is the 2nd simplest looking outfit of the girls. However, I feel like the simpler the outfit in this video, the better it looks. Maimi, here, has my absolute favorite outfit in the context of the video. the white top prevents her from clashing with the background at any point, however her blue skirt gives the outfit a little bit of color and makes the outfit not just some boring white dress or something. It's really simple, but it shows off her hair and legs, and in my opinion, those are two of her best physical traits. Maimi stood out to me in this video because it felt like this was her video. Maimi's never been my favorite, and even know she's only 3rd, but I really feel like her voice, her looks, her expressions, just everything about her wove into the song like it was made for her.

As for Nakajima Saki, I can't even say I'm surprised anymore, but she has my 2nd left favorite outfit here. I don't know why they insist on giving her horrid outfits... I personally have never been a fan of outfits where the skirt rim is on top of the shirt, but all the more so if the skirt is too high. I don't like the design on the shirt, I don't like the type of skirt, and really I feel like the only saving grace of the outfit is her hair. Though, even that's not the best style she's had, but it's still not as bad as Crazy Kanzen na Otona, so I can't complain too much @_@;. I do have to give credit to one thing, however, and that's the one shot where she's pointing at her name (the screenshot was one of the first ones on this post), somehow that pose just makes the outfit look significantly better (still not quite good, but much better). Now, at first Nakky kind of blended in and I didn't really notice her that much in the song, however once this scene happened (the one corresponding to the screenshot I used) I felt really... smug, I think. I don't know what it is, but this scene really made me get a princess-like feeling from her. Maybe that doesn't count as standing out, but I think it does, so meehhh.

Now, for Suzuki Airi, her outfit... it very scene-dependant whether I like it or not. I really don't like how it looks against the colorful background. It's earthy-feeling-colors seem to clash with the more popping colors of the background, and makes me a bit irritated (as a color-lover), but a lot of the scenes the shape of the dress makes up for it's colors. Plus, I mean, look at that hair. How can you not love that adorable hair <3. Airi has my 2nd favorite hairstyle here (after Maimi). Now Airi stood out to me because of her stupid face. And I don't mean I don't like her face, I mean I freaking love it and all her stupid "I'm gonna kill you with cuteness" expressions that just UGH. She makes up for her lazy dancing with her eye catching expressions. Oh, speaking of lazy dancing, although I saw a lot of it, I feel like this is some of the most energetic dancing I've seen come out of Airi in a while, so good on her.

I have to say, Okai Chisato has my 2nd favorite outfit in the context of the pv, and favorite outside of it. It's simplicity is extremely suiting of the video, and I just always liked those things that look like shirts but are long enough to pass as dresses, and I really like long sleeves, and I really like blue... so... uhm... -uses price-is-right hand motion towards Chisa's outfit-. However... I have this love hate relationship with her hair... Even now I can't tell if I love it or hate it (well, I don't think I hate it, but I don't know if I like it). I think it depends on the angle I'm looking at it. The straight on angle like in the picture I used I really don't like it, but basically every non-straight angle she used in her rap bit, for example, I love it. So I guess I almost love it...? I don't know. ARGH. MOVING ON.

Lastly is Hagiwara Mai. I'm going to start with one word: NO. I know I don't like Mai, and I'm biased against her in a lot of cases, but one thing I have really liked from her recently is her looks. But everything about her looks in this video piss me off. Her hair is one of the worst styles I've seen on her ever, and her outfit is my least favorite out of, I think, all of the singles this round, and it doesn't look any better on the set. Heck, I even hate how her name looked in the wall (I know purple and yellow are supposed to be complimentary colors, but it's one of the color combinations I hate the absolute most). It really saddens me though since I feel like I've really grown to like Mai's looks, but she looked significantly better with straight hair. Why they keep giving her this awful curly hair is beyond me...

Honestly that's all I really got for this video, so I hope you enjoyed reading. Stay tuned for some other video/song rant spectacular thing. Whenever I get around to part 3 8D. See you later guys.

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