The new Morning Musume single is called “Help Me” and will be released on January 23. I am excited to hear and see Oda Saukra’s first single. They have released a video of the single announcement with the 11nin group including a preview of the song and the outfits (linked below). It doesn’t sound too far off from the sound they have been using on the last three singles. Then again, I’ve only listened to it one time on my way to work. Maybe the sound of the car traffic got mixed in with the sound of “Help Me”. I’m sure I will add more impressions as we get more previews of the song and the PV. The outfits are a belly-baring cheetah thing with a hot pink tulle skirt. Each of the girls have a unique head accessory- Reina as a big ass bow, Haruka’s sporting an off kilter cap, Sayu has a beret (OUI!), etc. None of this do I find offensive.
Can we over-analyze the positioning of the girls? It seems like Morning Musume are really pushing the new girls into the center. Literally. Sayu and Reina form a protective outer shell for the three new centers-in-waiting- Riho, Sakura, and Ayumi. The other girls behind them are in order of importance starting from the center out. We have Mizuki and Masaki in the center. These two have a good mix of talent and looks, but are not seen as sellable (not yet anyway) as the Riho-Sakura-Ayumi. Around these two girls are Eripon and Haruka. Eripon has made a name (and a boatload of cash for UFA) for herself without being as gifted as the other girls through her outspoken wota-dom and Haruka is young, talented and husky voiced. On the outside are Zukki and Haruna. These girls have not yet lived up to their potential. Zukki’s big voice and other big issues are well documented- I’ll leave her alone. Haruna has been on a few shows solo, but probably has not found a way to monetize this presence. Look at them- it’s like they are placed in order of importance! (not to me, of course. I’d put Ikuta so close to the front she would be sitting on my lap!)
When I hear the title of the song, I can’t help but think of this:
yeah, that was too easy.
1. Help me!!
2. – Limited A, B, Regular B: Happy Daisakusen (Happy大作戦)
– Regular A: Suki Dakara Zettai ni Yurusanai (好きだから絶対に許さない) / Sayashi, Oda
– Type D: Aishu no Romantic (哀愁のロマンティック) / Michishige, Fukumura
– Type E: Watashi no Dekkai Hana (私のでっかい花) / Tanaka, Iikubo, Ishida
– Type F: Nanni wa Tomo are! (なには友あれ！) / Ikuta, Suzuki, Sato, Kudo
3. Help me!! (Instrumental)
1. Help me!! (Music Video)
2. – Type A: Help me!! (Dance Shot Ver.)
– Type B: Help me!! (Close-Up Ver.)
– Type C: Wakuteka Take a chance (Oda Sakura Ver.)
3. – Type C: Help me!! (Making Eizo)