Colorful Character covers!

Another year, another Morning Musume album.  This being a year where things seem to be going their way, I thought I would take a look about their new album covers, as you see above.  These previews look pretty typical for Hello! Project: one collage of close-ups and the other a group shot with some photoshopped background.  Am I missing something here?  Let’s take a look at the high quality photos.

Regular Edition

Photoshop a group shot in front of a CG background, check!  Of course, I’m not super happy about this since the creativity level is at a low for most of the H!P covers.  They seem to follow the above-mentioned formula for every release at least once, so pardon me if I think that the idea is stale.  I like the typography, however: the outlined katakana looks sharp and the English “Morning Musume.” with subtle color changes pleases me.

However, I have a hard time believing that these were the best pictures of each girl.  For the most part, the bottom row looks OK (although I’ve seen Ayumi look better and Reina looks far too serious).  The back row … where to begin?  Masaki has an ultra derp look on her face, Kanon looks very uncomfortable, and poor Erina looks like she just got caught doing something naughty!  Less unfortunate is Haruna, who appears to have mistaken the photoshoot for her high school yearbook.  Mizuki gives her best sexy look and is easily the best of the back row.  It’s sad to think that even though there are problems with this cover, it’s actually passable in terms of H!P covers.

Limited Edition

OK, this is better.  The same comments about the typography in the RE are true here, except the English letters for Morning Musume have been replaced with the standard lettering.  On the LE, the graphic designer focuses more on the girls, which is mostly what us consumers are focused on as well.  To a person, the girls look 178% (estimated) better.  This time, though, the top row of girls rule the cover.  Kanon looks cute, Reina’s serious face is practiced and highlighted, Sayumi is beautiful, and Erina gives her best look with a hint of a smile in the corner of her lips.  But the big winner in the top row is Mizuki- no wonder she is dead center!  I can’t stop looking at her eyes … just captivating!

The girls on the bottom row look almost as perfect as the top row.  Masaki’s derp-face is transformed into a melancholy longing (like she found a puppy at the pet store that she really wants to take home); Ayumi looks concerned and Haruna looks gorgeous as well.  Haruka and Riho seem to have the most trouble with this pose.  It is as if their direction was “look out into space,” and they did just that.  Haruka does a slightly better job than Riho, but there is a lack of emotion on their faces when compared to the other girls.  In fact, I would say the “loser” (really, they all look great) in this cover is Riho- isn’t that novel!

So far, everything I am hearing from this album sounds top notch … I am very excited to hear the Qki and Tenki song!   And, in case you were wondering, I am ordering the LE and praying I can find a poster version of the cover to hang on my wall somewhere.

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