S/mileage has made an impressing return with their 15th single, ‘Ee ka!? / Ii Yatsu’.
The first music video to be reviewed is the first A-side of the single, ‘Ee ka!?’
Overall I am really impressed with this new song from S/mileage. The song is different from their other singles incorporating rapping and unconventional choreography. The song still managed to have that typical S/mileage style with a faster paced, cheerful chorus and repetitive sounds. Though the transition from the slower rapping melody into the upbeat chorus was a bit unusual for me initially, I quickly grew to like the song and its abrupt transition. The change of pace reminded me of the abrupt transitions found in other songs such as Girls Generation’s ‘I Got a Boy’ and SHINee’s ‘Everybody’.
The rapping portions of the song were a surprise to me. It seems like Tsunku is experimenting with the talents and styles of the group. Although much improvement can be done to their rapping skills I am impressed that the group ventured into a new concept and are trying out new skills.
The girls looked astonishing in their pink and black outfits. However, the skirts which they wore seemed to be too short and revealing. I know a key feature of the group is their short skirts which they wear for each single but, as the girls bent over and danced throughout the video I saw their underpants numerous times. It almost seems as if the camera man intentionally focused on these areas. These girls (with the exclusion of Kanon and Ayaka) are all under the age of eighteen years old and I personally do not think revealing themselves are appropriate.
Another complaint I have for the video is its closed set. As I reiterate in almost every review I am a fan of music videos set in more natural and realistic settings. For this video it seems that Hello Project has reused the set from Mano Erina’s ‘Onegai Dakara’ and Juice=Juice ‘Watashi ga iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne’. I urge Hello Project to be more innovative and invest in betting settings and reduce their setting recycle use.
The next video to be reviewed is ‘Ii Yatsu’, whichi is S/mileage second A-side in their 15th single.
This song is the more serious in comparison to ‘Ee Ka?!’ The video and song impressed me greatly and marked the group’s improvement. I was amazed by Kana’s improvement. She has gotten better at dancing and her singing skills have also improved. Ayaka has also improved as her nasal singing has lessened.
The song was beautiful and inspiring. There was a piano used in the instrumental which I really loved. I also loved the paired lines and the fact that I got to hear each member at least once. Akari’s high note near the end at the song also really impressed me.
The video consisted of many beautiful shots of the girls in different settings. The dance shot took place in a closed but really pretty set that reminded me a bit of the set used in the group’s debut single, ‘Yume Miru no 15sai’. The close-up shots were taken in a different set with a sunlit room consisting of quaint furniture. Each girl looked stunning in their lovely clothing.
The choreography enthralled me the most. It was very expressive and consisted of a lot of hand use, sad gestures and slow but sharp body movements. The choreography mirrored the meaning of the song.
Overall I am impressed with both music videos for the single. I am satisfied with S/mileage’s improvement and the risk they took trying out a new concept. I really hope this single does well once it is released on December 18th and motivate the girls to try even harder to achieve greater success. I encourage you to buy the single when it is released and to support the girls! Good job S/mileage!