Country Girls Debut Single Review
In the latter half of last year, Hello Project made an announcement with regard to the revitalization of Country Musume and the addition of new members. Months later the girls made their official debut with the single “Itooshikutte Gomen Ne/ Koi Dorobou”.
Itooshikutte Gomen Ne
This is the first song of the single album. When I initially heard the song, I instantly fell in love with it. It had a cute and youthful concept, which suited the younger members of the group. Although the girls did not sing this part, the English at the beginning of the song instantly captured my interest. Unfortunately, I did not feel the same way about the music video.
The beginning of the music video with the outtake of Momoko saying, “Itooshikutte gomen ne” was hilarious. It was like the editor was making fun of the cute concept that Momoko had since her Berryz days. I was elated to see a bright and somewhat open set for the music video. It made the video a bit more appealing and bearable to watch in comparison to the closed makeshift sets usually seen in Hello Project videos. The white and orange outfits that they wore during the dance shot blended in well with the setting and lighting, making the video a lot brighter. The bright set coordinated well with the happy and upbeat song.
The aspect of the video that I really disliked was its editing. The solo shots were long and the transitions were awkward and irregular. Also, during the dance shot there were many strange angles, but I still really liked the choreography. It was lively, simple and fun. I always feel like dancing along. At the beginning I noticed that Momoko had her arms above the girls as if she was controlling puppets. This may be signifying her role as manager in the group and represent her seniority above all the other members.
It was extremely annoying to see so many shots of Uta. She had more solo shots than any of the other members, especially the playing manager, Momoko. However, in the few close up shots of each member that I saw, they all looked adorable, especially Mai.
It seems as if management is pushing Uta to be the new “cute face” of Hello Project instead of Momoko. My theory was further proven during their Hinafest performance where Momoko begins the performance with her usual “Itooshikutte Gomen Ne”, but was overshadowed when Uta repeated the same line and got more recognition from the audience. The first time I watched the music video I did not notice Momoko. She fits right in with the group and looks around the same age as the other members! But the reality is that she is getting too old for the cute member role.
I rate the song with an A+, but I cannot say the same for the music video. The poor editing has ruined the experience for me. On the other hand, I must commend these rookies on their effort to pull off such a great song not only in the music video and studio version, but during live performances as well. Good job girls!
Just like the first song of the single album, “Koi Dorobou” is a cutesy and upbeat song that expresses the feelings of young love. I did not have a chance to listen to the song before the promotion video release, so everything was new to me when I first watched the video. The first thing that came to mind was, “Wow, this video is very pink!” The background setup was pink and the girls’ outfits were varying shades of pink. This contributed to the cute and feminine concept that they were trying to portray.
I really liked this song as well. It sounded like an old school or retro type of tune. The lines were more distributed, so it was nice to hear everyone’s voice at least once. I especially loved the countdown part and the end of the song and where they all say, “Oh my God!” It was an interesting way to end a song. My attention was kept from the beginning straight until the end of the video. The dance was also fun and energetic. Unfortunately, there would not be any dance versions for either of the songs, so those trying to learn the dances may have to learn them from their live performances.
I really love that there was much less Uta in this video. Each member got a fair share of screen time. Unlike in “Itooshikutte Gomen Ne”, Momoko stood out a lot more in this music video- I am still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or not. Based on the live performances and music videos, Risa and Manaka caught my attention the most with their vocal skills. I believe that they have the potential to become the top vocalists in the group.
This whole single has left me impressed with the group. Momoko is doing a great job guiding and training these newbies. They have done well promoting this single, despite being rookies with little experience in the entertainment industry. It really makes me look forward to what they have in store for all of us in the future. I liked “Koi Dorobou” but I will have to say that “Itooshikutte Gomen Ne” is my favourite song of the two. However, the editing for former was much better than the latter, so my preference for the best music video goes to “Koi Dorobou”. Hopefully, they continue to improve and will release another single soon!