Ai No Gundan Video Review
This review is for Morning Musume’s 2nd A-side for their 54th single, “Wagamama Kinomama Ai no Joke / Ai no Gundan”.
This is my least favorite of the two A-sides within the single but the song is just as addictive. However, I was slightly disappointed with the music video.
The theme of the music video and choreography was ‘military-styled’. The choreography has robotic and militant features with a lot of marching, spinning, hand motions and complicated movement. The group’s dancing was much more synchronized and coordinated than their last single “Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai” and this marks their improvement. I really loved the choreography in relation to the song.
What really bothered me was the setting of the music video. It looked completed staged and fake. It also did not match the militant theme and did not blend well with the black and red outfits. I will admit that it looked better with the scenes where the girls wore white dresses in a lighter setting. The girls all looked gorgeous in those scenes.
The beginning of the song really captured my interest. It began with a string instrumental with a timed drum beat. The song then burst into an upbeat synthetic dance track. This matched the choreography as the girls began the video with a slow march in time with the drums then broke loose with the introduction of the dance track.
The song was not evenly distributed among the members. There was a heavy presence of Sakura and Riho throughout the song. On the other hand, there were a lot of shared lines. Some of the lines during the verse were sung stepwise or in a chain reaction where one member sang one part of a line and another follows. I really loved that concept and thought it was really innovative. The distribution was almost disrupted. I also liked the addictive ‘Honto Honto’ parts. I found myself singing it throughout the day when the song was just released.
A few more complaints I have about the song is that the higher notes could have been done better. Riho’s notes were especially weak. When performing this song live while dancing Riho and the other members sometimes struggled to hit these notes. The autotuned section with Sayumi, Sakura and Masaki after the dance break was very unnecessary. It sounded distorted and unusual and almost ruined the song for me. To put it bluntly, Sakura sounded quite horrible with autotune.
There was little face time for Haruna in the song. As I said for the previous Morning Musume review with Haruna as one of the new subleaders she deserves a lot more face time and promotion. Alternatively, Haruka had a lot more face time throughout the music video. It was a pity that she did not get many solo lines in the song because she is a great singer.
This was a long and awaited comeback for the group. Everyone was anticipating what Morning Musume will be like without Tanaka Reina and I must say I was impressed. Though there were some minor issues that bothered me about this music video I believe the song and the overall single was a success and I look forward to an even newer and better Morning Musume.