Morning Musume 14’s 57th Single Review

Single Information: Morning Musume’s 57th single, “Tiki Bun/Shaba Daba Do~/ Mikaeri Bijin” was released on October 15th. This is Michishige Sayumi’s last single as Morning Musume ‘14’s leader.

Graduation singles are meant to be memorable and act as sort of a send off for the departing member, so my expectations for these types of singles are usually high. Fortunately, I was highly impressed with this triple A-side single. I loved each song and I adored the fact that each song was completely different from the other.

“Tiki Bun”

 

Tiki Bun

 

 

Tiki Bun was a typical dance song that Morning Musume ’14 is well known for. I was a bit cautious upon hearing the title for the first time. I had no idea what it represented or meant (and I still don’t) and I expected it to be an overly cute and preppy song. I was taken by surprise when I heard the fast and rhythmic synthesizer and background vocals. Although I previously stated that I was growing weary of Morning Musume’s dance songs and formation, this song quickly grew on me. The song was fun and repetitive and for once Tsunku’s background vocals saying “Tiki Bun” blended well with the song.

I loved almost everything about the song and video, from the high energy, DJ-scratching choreography, to the disjointed and new line distribution and even the gorgeous black, orange and white outfits. I find myself doing the dance every time I hear the song. It almost comes as an automatic reaction. This rarely happens and goes to show how much I enjoy the song and supporting choreography.

The one aspect of the video that I was not too impressed was the fact that it was the usual closed set, dance and close up Hello Project music video. The teal colored background was pretty but for an awesome song such as this, I expected a much more innovative music video. I am hoping that with this upcoming year, Hello Project will break out of this pattern of closed and limiting music video sets and formats.

Member Spotlight:

Tiki Bun by Kanon and Haurka

 

I was most impressed by Kanon and Haruka in this video. Kanon was stunning and elegant as usual and her bright smile gleamed throughout the video. I was happy that I got to hear her a little more in this song. Haruka seemed to be center of the music video. I saw her a lot more than Ayumi and Mizuki who are the usual centers and major vocalists of the group. Also, Haruka had a lot more solo lines than usual. I could not help but wonder if this is hinting towards a new era in Morning Musume where Haruka will be a center or main vocalist. I really hope that this is the case because she has one of the best voices in Morning Musume.

Shaba Daba Do~

Shaba Daba Do~

 

 

This is Michishige Sayumi’s solo graduation song and it reflects her flawlessly in every way. Usually, when I watch solo graduation songs I feel a sense of nostalgia and sadness. However, this was a different case as Shaba Daba Doo makes me jubilant and bubbly.

From the first second of the video, there is a sea of pink. Although it was a closed set, it was befitting for Sayumi with the pink background, words, graphics and bubbles. Her colorful outfit complemented the set and made her look even cuter. Morning Musume ’14 subleaders, Iikubo Haruna and Fukumura Mizuki even made brief guest appearances in the music video probably hinting at the group’s future leadership after Sayumi’s departure.

The song was reminiscent of retro music or 50s music. I was a bit anxious about hearing a solo song from Sayumi since she is not one of the best singers in Hello Project. Surprisingly I did not cringe at all while listening to the song. Her off-pitch voice suited the song well. It seems as if the song was specially written for her because it suited her voice so well and the lyrics related so closely to her that I could not help but to laugh and agree with them.

I do not have much to say again about the video other than the fact that I really love it. All my anxiety about a solo Sayumi song within the triple-A single has disappeared. Whenever I need a boost in my mood or day I listen to this song to brighten my spirits. I am really proud of Sayumi and will definitely miss her and adorable mannerisms.

“Mikaeri Bijin”

mikaeri bijin

This is the saddest song on the single album but my favorite music video of the three. It is an enka song sung by the 9th, 10th and 11th generation and is an implication of Sayumi and her departure.

Listening to this song and its lyrics instantly put me into tears. The lyrics do not actively mention Sayumi but speak of a beautiful woman who is a great leader, who is respected, loved and whom the girls are saying goodbye to. It is a sweet traditional type song with a modern mix. The song was sung in unison and the voices of all the girls sounded melodic and harmonized well to create this beautiful song. In my opinion, this is the perfect graduation song. I can see this song being used during graduation concerts in the future.

As I previously mentioned, this video is my favorite of the triple A-side single. There were multiple bright, open sets and even a storyline integrated into the video that related to the song. This video ranks near the top of my favorite music videos from Morning Musume, probably second after Seishun Collection.

When I saw Sayumi in her beautiful orange kimono, writing letters to her fellow members, my heart felt a slight tug. When she walked down the hallway and out of the door symbolizing her departure from the group, looking back on them and leaving them behind to start a new life, I was close to tears. Near the end of the video where the girls opened and read their letters on camera, we saw their heartfelt and sincere emotions. Haruka even shed a few tears. By this time I was already full on, snot-blowing crying. It was really a tear-jerking music video and I loved every moment of it.

Member spotlight:

Riho & Sayumi Mikaeri Bijin

 

Other than Sayumi dazzling me with her beauty in her kimono, I was actually blown away by Riho’s performance in this video. I was able to pick out her voice in the unison of voices, which was really melodic and fluid. She has improved so much since her debut and continues to grow as the ace of Morning Musume. Not to mention she looked really pretty and sincere within the music video.

Tiki Bun 3

 

I am really impressed by this single and only hope that Morning Musume continues on this path of innovation and success. With the upcoming graduation of Michishige Sayumi in a few weeks and the addition of the 12th Generation, I am curious to see what type of new era will evolve. What will Morning Musume ’15 be like and will their songs and choreography be even better? Only time, will tell.

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