We’ve reached the plateau of ℃-ute’s commercial success. The three singles in today’s installment work together as a trilogy and each sold over 60K. That used to be an unheard of number of sales for a Hello! Project group that didn’t contain a Morning Musume member. Honestly, there is nothing negative to say about any of these six songs, and you probably have a favorite locked up somewhere in this 7th retrospective. So, let’s get on with it!
Welcome to the land of double and triple A-side releases. From here on out, Hello! Project weapon of choice became the use of multiple A-sides with “Kanashiki Amefuri” and “Adam to Eve no Dilemma” being the first ℃-ute single to pack ’em in. Also, H!P began their subtitle policy with these PVs, so enjoy reading. Starting with this release, the group really started to look the part of the mature songs they were singing. There’s nothing particularly “loli” about the group any longer. Now, there are three things here that really heighten my appreciation for great rain you see. Firstly, I grew up with a love of Gene Kelly and the great American Movie Musical, and I perceive this as more of “Singing in the Rain” (I know, it’s a reach). Second, Yajima Maimi’s reputation as a rain bringing woman falls in line perfectly with “Kanashiki Amefuri”. Finally, I don’t know if it’s the split screens, the water hose rain drops, or the arrangement of the “oooh, aaah” background vocals but this single always struck me with a 1970s vibe that I kinda dig. Ya dig?
Adam to Eve no Dilemma
In a way, “Adam to Eve no Dilemma” is a redux of “Crazy Kanzen na Otona”: a return of the belly-button assault, more tighty synchronized dances, more adult themes. Since we are talking about Adam and Eve, I love the idea of the chain link barrier as a representation of the Garden of Eden where sure, it’s paradise, but the whole world exists outside the confines. Take that a bit further and you might as well call the entire idol industry a Garden of Eden paradise. The idols who inhabit that sacred place live with so many trappings the outsider would envy: a paradise in its own right. But, the transparent barrier barely separates the idols from outside world and its forbidden pleasures
Tokai no Hitori gurashi
Following with the aesthetics of “Kanashiki Amefuri”, “Tokai no Hitori gurashi” paints the screen with colorful graphics. Looking at the PV today, it looks incrediblly sharp with the girls’ outfits looking stylish and flattering. For some reason, I know I slept a bit on this 23rd ℃-ute. I know I was really off-put by the line they gave to Chisa about going on a diet. “How rude!” I thought. But you know, “Tokai no Hitori gurashi” has a great chorus, and its easy for me to forgive with Airi and Maimi looking so fantastic. Seriously, some of the looks Airi gives the camera just melt me.
Aitte Motto Zanshin
You know, I never watch “Aitte Motto Zanshin” that often. I listen to it an awful lot, but I don’t usualy watch it. At this point, you should all be seeing the pattern of “one cute song, one intense song” per single. OK, the girls all wear caps and camaflauge outfits with military inspired patches, the the dance is impossibly synchronized. The best news for me on “Aitte Motto Zanshin” is the killer deliveries from Chisa. When Chisata is on her game, it really makes or breaks ℃-ute.
Kokoro no Sakebi wo Uta ni Shitemtia
Here’s another on of those songs that I’ll take with me to my grave. Yes, I like it that much. I love the mannequin ℃-ute in a shop window, probably because I saw the movie “Mannequin” waaay too many time on cable TV. Also, the striped back drop reminds me of Blondie’s “Parallel Lines” album. None of those references probably make sense to you. I appreciate Hello! Project experimenting with a variety of shots and film treatments, and they do make sense Think of the idol life as life in a shop window and those degraded images are memories from the girls’ experiences before/outside their mannequin transformations … which is basically the plot of “Mannequin”.
Love Take it All
I can’t handle all those hip thrusts. I really can’t. “Love take it all” really is just a dance shot in a light filled studio, yet ℃-ute somehow transform this standard set-up into something fantastic. In the hands of lesser groups, this PV is just standard. The way the group handles the camera and their intense execution bring this song to life. I should maybe mention that “Love Take it All” is the intense song from this 24th double A-side, but you probably get that from watching. This is a great place for us to finish up this 7th installment. The successful pattern of the last three releases while averaging an impressive 62K in first week sales started to stale a bit. Starting from the next release, ℃-ute takes some chances.
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