My “Coupling Collection 2” posts are not finished! I just spent the last couple of nights viewing the live DVD that accompanies the Box Set. Some real gem performances are included here. Now, if you’re a freak who watches every Morning Musume release, than these performances will be nothing new. But, if you are more casual than that, some of these might be surprising.
starting with Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun
This performance really drives home how much Reina grew as a singer in the last few years. Oh, and of course Sayu got better, too. And gosh, Niigaki performed with so much attitude!
And now we get a few from Rival Survival. What a great show that was! Complete with Ai touching her face! By the wasy, are we still calling body glitter “Tsunku jizz”? I think Niigaki has it on her face, and Reina, predictably, has it all over her bangs.
“Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara” The Ai solo. I imagine all the Ai fans savoring ever last moment of this performance.
I always liked the way Ai graduated. No choreography, no frilly outfit. One girl, one mic.
“Egao ni Namida ~Thank You! My Dear Friends~” In contrast to Ai, Risa goes with the full costuming. Her outfit resembles a princess wearing breastplate armor. I guess you could think Joan of Arc and get something that looks like Gaki’s outfit. I think it’s also fitting that Risa gets back dancers for her solo. It just seems right.
Naturally, I remember how badly Eripon wanted to be part of this performance. And, when Sato Masaki kept getting the choreography wrong the background dancers, Eripon included, were almost axed from the performance. Luckily, Masaki put it all together eventually. Can you imagine the grudge that Eripon would have held if she was cut from the performance? No, thank you.
I always thought “Watashi no Jidai!” was one of the best c/w songs from the “One-Two-Three” release. I also REALLY liked the idea of generation songs. In fact, I wish they would continue releasing generation grouping c/w songs. On this performance, note the funky overalls the girls get to wear. What a joy.
At least Reina and Sayumi are in top vocal shape for this performance.
“Aisaretai no ni…” The Q-ki song! This is also the winner of the most mismatched outfit award. Can anyone really explain what’s going on here? What is the concept? Why?
Zukki fans finally get the solos they desire so badly.
What’s important for me is an Eripon solo line in “Shinnen dake wa Tsuranu Kitose!” consists of more than 4 syllables.
I like these purple outfits, too! The group interestingly puts some of the weaker singers together with some of the stronger voices. Tsunku’s way of leveling up the girls? Probably.
“Happy Daisakusen” is one of my favorite c/w songs from new era Morning Musume. This is also the last performance of the song with Tanaka Reina. Does that make you as sad as it makes me? Watching these performances is (in some ways) like watching the record of a death. That’s probably over dramatic. Regardless, this moment makes me very happy.
More than a song, “Aishuu no Romantic” seems like a Sayu training exercise for her heir apparent, Fukumura Mizuki. The song is minimal in it’s melody, yet effectively communicates a pent up energy. Why does Sayu gets the best c/w songs? Really, what can you say with screen shots like these?
From an undersized (for Morning Musume) club comes “A B C D E-cha E-cha Shitai”. This footage highlights the size and number of girls in the current Morning Musume ’14. They barely fit on this stage, literally! The girls wear belly-baring outfits, which is par-for-course with idol units. The sensual faces that the girls pull in this performance make the outfits much more suggestive than they really are.
I’m a fan of the song. It’s one of those busy J-Pop songs where every nook and cranny is filled with sound. In this case, that sound is usually a saw wave synth. Also, admit it, you like it when Haruka pops up and sings “DO!”
“Tokimeku Tokimeke” shares a lot of similarities with “A B C D E-cha Shitai”. The song highlights how wonderfully Mizuki’s vocals are growing; but, other than that it is the weaker of the two songs. The girls are on a big stage again showing off their strange “two-face” costumes. I really don’t understand these costume choices sometimes!
In a treat, we also get Tanaka Reina’s graduation song, “Rock no Teigi”. Despite the title, the song isn’t much of a rock song (not that it matters). Like Reina herself, that’s another contradiction. I’ve mentioned before that Reina was my favorite Morning Musume member for a long time. As sad as I anticipated her graduation would feel, this performance never felt like a “good-bye” to me. Perhaps I was comforted by knowing my favorite cat-girl would still get to rock with LoVendoR. I think this performance shows how much Reina grew as a performer in the year since Ai graduated. Carrying Morning Musume with her voice must have been great pressure: a welcome pressure, but still a burden. To answer the question we were all asking: Reina graduated with glitter in her bangs.
Back to the small club. “Makeru Ki Shinai Kon’ya no Shoubu” is mixed in a way that really shows the girls’ voices. Again, they don’t really fit on this stage. so the choreography looks very cramped. I love seeing small stage performances, but this might be getting out of hand. Oh, the song? Not my favorite. It’s a shame to end the DVD on this note.
And, … SCENE.