The view from the inside of a disco ball is pretty nice. I got lots of Berryz girls dancing around, pretending to DJ and generally mugging and pouting in front of me. There is some sort of Asian Celebration happening, clearly. After all, these girls are all Asian, I’m Asian, and this disco is located in Japan.
Asian Celebration is available for purchase at CD Japan
To start with, Miyabi say’s “Let’s have a good time!” And, I believe her! Things with Buono! have slowed to a crawl, and H!P seem to have forgotten any group not named “Morning Musume” or “C-ute”, so why not celebrate the hell out of the new year?
Furthermore, Tsunku is still building his personal menagerie with this release. First, we had Berryz as monkeys, then Berryz as fish, then MoMusu as chickens, MoMusu as leopards, and NOW Berryz as zebra. I’m was a little surprised when “Pyoko Pyoko Ultra” was released since no seemed to have caught caught Tsunku’s disturbing bestiality streak.
When I listened to the live recordings of this “Asian Celebration”, I was concerned with all of the falsetto vocals in the verses. To my ears, the girls sounded like they were trying to mimic the same pitch altering effect we heard in Morning Musume’s “Kimagure Princess“- and failing. Now, I know that they are not trying to ape some mechanical trickery- they just overestimating their falsetto pitches. Not that I blame them too much; that switch to falsetto is pretty quick.
The video, like many of the past Hello! Project videos, is an explosion of effects. There is a strange vignette used where the edges of the frame look like non-stop disco ball action. If that wasn’t enough disco ball action, the aforementioned prop of choice makes its way into the main frame, infecting the viewer with reflection after starbursted reflection.
In many ways, this PV is more conventional that their previous PV “WANT“. The format is still a Dance Shot intercut with solos, lip versions. Rather than the intricately shot 7-sided set from “WANT”, we get a single DJ set up. No, I’m not happy about that. They could have trucked in some loungy furniture, a few of the other H!P girls, and had a big “We are all having fun in a disco” set. Or, hell, I would have taken a non sequitur “This is a disco, but we are having a pillow fight” set. Just the DJ set-up seems frankly uninspired.
I think the metric I need to use to evaluate the song is “Does this feel like a celebration?” I’ll have to take my “H!P fan” hat off for this. The answer is “not really.” The disco feels like the loneliest disco ever filmed. It looks like a disco, sure; but, I am never once fooled into believing that the girls are actually partying like it’s Dec. 21 2012. These girls are certainly professional enough to make it look like they are having a great time queuing up the latest Base-Ball Bear track and line-dancing like there’s no tomorrow. They’re wearing pretty ridiculous club wear, and they should overheat in those zebra print jackets with red lapels. But, they don’t care- they’re still celebrating Asia, or having a Asian style celebration. They do less of a job of convincing me that I should be partying with them. Of course, I would gladly party it up with them- as long as they don’t put Miya in that ridiculous hair style.
Then there’s the other hand motions …
Which leads to the unforgettable Chinami …
Risako looks like she’s having fun …
The bridge of the song gives each girl a small amount of face time, including ….
Like in “WANT”, I had a hard time not capturing every Miya moment. Sure, she still has that long face but isn’t she looking like a vixen lately?
And then there’s this unfortunate pose…
As long as H!P stop this ridiculous pose, we’re going to be OK