Earlier this month, Juice=Juice released their 7th single, “Next is you! / Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai”. This single is a special one since the song “ Next is you!” is the theme song for Juice=Juice’s drama, “Budokan”.
“Next is you” is sung by the fictional group, NEXT YOU. NEXT YOU is the group that is portrayed by Juice=Juice in “Budokan”.
“Next is You”
As I mentioned above, this song is the theme song for “Budokan”. For those of you who do not know, Juice=Juice is currently starring in this drama as fictional JPOP group “NEXT YOU” who recently debuted and is aiming to perform on the Budokan stage. The drama began airing on February 6, 2016.
I had a lot of expectations for this music video since it was promoting the drama. I was hoping to see clips from the drama, or perhaps a whole new style of song, dance and video since “NEXT YOU” is supposed to be a very different group from Juice=Juice. However, while watching the music video it was hard to differentiate between the fictional group and the actual Hello Project group.
Firstly, the song sounded pretty much like a normal Juice=Juice song. In the drama description, Akari’s character, “Dogakiuchi Aoi”, is supposedly the center of the group. However, this was not evident in this song. Everyone got equal parts and Akari barely stood out to me in this music video. Tomoko is the member that made the most impact on me. I could not take my eyes off her. Her voice really suited this song.
That does not mean I did not like the song. It was fun and upbeat. I especially loved the repetition right before the chorus (“ga nai” and “ga ii”) and the looming deep background vocals singing, “Next is you”, during the chorus.
The music video was a typical Hello Project video. The girls sat in a room decorated with their character’s official colours during the close up shot. There were also some random scenes of plants rotating through colorful hues included in this video. The girls danced in front a really red background during the dance shot. The bright red actually looked good with their black and pink outfits. These are my favourite outfits for the year so far. Juice=Juice always has the best clothes.
The music video was okay. It was hard to keep focus at times and I was a bit disappointed since I expected the music video to focus more on Akari since she was supposed to be the center. I loved the song, but I had bigger expectations for the music video.
“Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai” (Not Only My Body Became an Adult)
This is a very long song name. This is Juice=Juice’s song of the single. For this video, I minimized my expectations a bit since this song is not related to the drama and is supposed to be the typical Hello Project song.
This song is not my favourite of the single, but I still really like it. It has an electronic Perfume-like sound to it, with a Juice=Juice twist.
I enjoyed this music video a lot more than “Next Is You”. It represented the lyrics well. The girls wore red lipstick during some of the close up shots to represent maturity. They wore boxing gloves and hit punching bags to show that they are fighting life’s battles. Even the contrasting sets during the dance shots made the music video a little more interesting.
Speaking about the dance shots, I do not know if anyone else noticed, but during the dance break there was a little dance battle between the main vocalists (Karin, Tomoko and Sayuki) and the sub vocalists (Yuka and Akari). I thought that was cute and fun.
Tomoko also blew me away in this music video. Her beauty is eminent, especially when she wore the dark red lipstick. I remember watching the last episode of “Green Room” and even Momoko was blown away by Tomoko’s maturity. This is such a shock to me because Sayuki and Yuka are always the first ones to stand out to me since they are my favourites. I barely noticed them in these music videos.
I did not have high expectations for this video, but it was still pretty good. I will say what I have been saying for the past few years. Directors and editors at Hello Project need to be more innovative with these music videos. It is at a point where these music videos are becoming less memorable and more predictable to me. It makes me enjoy the music much less.
Overall, this single is not my favourite from Juice=Juice. The songs are great, but there are still some things lacking from the music videos. Hopefully, Juice=Juice releases a lot more great singles this year.