Battle of the Graduation Singles!

Within the past year, we’ve seen a lot of Hello! Project members graduate that we didn’t really expect to graduate. Unfortunately, some of these girls are our favorites and it’s discouraging to see them go. But sometimes, we have to let it happen. Let’s face the music, our girls won’t be here forever.

2011 saw the graduation of Ai Takahashi, a legendary member who’s recognized for being Morning Musume’s leader for the longest span of time. It was bittersweet. It was sad for older fans to see someone so legendary go, but it was Ai’s time. Soon enough, the departure of Risa Niigaki, the 7th MoMusu leader, was announced. It wasn’t much of a shock, but on the plus side, Risa was able to take the cake as longest serving member of Morning Musume.

Each girl was able to release a specially dedicated single–both of which I will be reviewing, from covers to outfits. I already have an idea on which will be winning, but this’ll be fun ;] Let’s begin with the very first thing you look at when you pick up the CD.

It’s a mess. Kono Chikyuu’s cover is way too all over the place to be likable. I mean, it IS eye-catching, no lie. I’d pick it up and probably take a look. But, would I buy it? Probably not. I’d most likely think that the songs are loud and obnoxious. It does the single no justice.

Renai Hunter’s cover is a bit too bland in my opinion. It’s just a normal photoshoot shot with a weird ass background. Plus, the lettering isn’t very flattering, either. It’s just so boring.

WHICH IS BEST?

Honestly, they’re both equally retarded. But I have to go with Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo for being un-boring.

I freakin’ love them. Kono Chikyuu’s costumes are extremely well done and look like someone actually put thought behind them. Each and every girl’s costume looks different(except Erina & Mizuki) and they look great in them. I love the futuristic gold design of each. They’re just so pretty!

Can’t say the same for Renai Hunter–at all. At first, I didn’t really mind them, but once I started actually analyzing them, yikes. I also find it sad that some people thought these outfits were absolutely amazing. Yes, it’s a step up from chicken costumes but they’re still as horrid. What is up with the damn tin foil?? I don’t understand how being wrapped in tin foil can suddenly make you awesome to look at. It’s ugly. And I don’t think those stripes of color according to their generation is clever, either. It just makes it easier to see the hierarchy during the dance shot. Lame.

WHICH IS BEST?

Clearly, Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo.

People might complain about the CGI, but I love it. Like come on, CGI doesn’t always look cheesy; I don’t think it does here. It’s not poorly done nor does it look cheap. Plus, it’s purple! DF. That’s amazing all by itself. Besides, isn’t it enjoyable to watch when you see everyone having a good time? All of them are happy and smiling and adorable. It makes me smile inside :D I love the PV for everything.

The only plus side to this video is that the girls look pretty. But other than that, it’s so stale! What the hell is up with all the white?? The girls look so absolutely dull against the white background. Like, what are you doing!? On top of that, the wind is so overused, I don’t even notice it. Not to mention, all of their hair is completely straight so it adds no type of edge to anything. It just makes their bangs flip up and then they look awkward. However, all of them do a really good job at working the camera. In addition, those magazine shots do absolutely nothing to spice up the PV. They just look stupid and misplaced.

WHICH IS BEST?

Another no brainer: Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo.

This is not called a dance. This is called a mess. Ugh, this is such a poor excuse of a dance, I don’t even understand. I know the song isn’t super dancey so there’s no need for anything on One.Two.Three’s level, I get it. But still! It’s just a bunch of subtle movements and two-stepping. The hellllll. The instrumental break is probably the best part and that still isn’t really that good. The dance is very lazily done.

The chicken egg dance! Woo! The dance moves in this one are robotic and sharp, attempting to match with the song. I can’t say it’s really bad, but it is a bit lazy. Some moves are very awkward(egg-laying squats), and some moves are just oddly added. I feel like the whole dance moves so slow. There isn’t much of a high-point. It keeps moving at the same pace. It’s okay at best.

WHICH IS BEST?

Renai Hunter is definitely better out of the two for it’s ATTEMPT to be an actual dance.

I really don’t know if there’s anything I don’t love about this song. It’s fun, it’s dancey, it’s great! Plus, it has that awesome Golden Era feel to it. You know, when MoMusu was all about jazzy disco. I love how Ai gets the perfect amount of attention in this song, too. It’s not a complete solo but it’s just enough to be like, “I’m leavin’, bitches. Hand me some spotlight.” Unfortunately, Riho is the ONLY non-older member that gets solos which irritates me, but eh. It doesn’t take away from the song. It’s a great, catchy melody coupled with all of the girls’ awesome vocals. It’s become a song that I will never get tired of.

It’s a likable song at best. But it’s very try-hard, IMO. It’s trying way too hard to be an electro/techno song, but it fails hard. The robot-sound things at the beginning of the song and throughout just turn me off. It seriously doesn’t flow at all. The song doesn’t seem to have much of a climax; everything feels like it’s on the same level and pace. It doesn’t appeal very much to me, but I can see how people can like it. Just not me.

WHICH IS BEST?

Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo.

Ai Takahashi got her own graduation commemoration single, and the song was entitled Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara. It translates to Because I’ll Gather My Self Confidence and My Dreams and Take Off–which sounds like it was taken straight from a graduation speech. The PV is rather simple, but pretty well done. However, this is the one instance when I much rather prefer no CG. It seems to really distract and take away from the actual movement of the camera. Likewise, the lens flare effect also isn’t very necessary in this PV. The visual editing and camerawork is enough to keep the watcher’s attention–the CGI kind of over does it. Another thing that I don’t really like about the physical representation of the song is Ai’s styling. I wish they could’ve thrown some shorts on her or something because the wardrobe just looks too butchy, IMO. It doesn’t look bad or anything–and some people might argue that they like that style on Ai–but I wish they could have girled it up a bit. The song isn’t something I’ll have on repeat, but it isn’t half bad. A rock-pop song is something that doesn’t grace Morning Musume very much, so it’s a breath of fresh air. Plus, with Ai’s great vocals, it makes it that much better.

Risa Niigaki’s solo song was a cover of Aya Matsuura’s Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~. I’ve never been a fan of this song so I was interested in how I would feel about Niigaki’s version. The PV is basically just Risa singing and reminiscing with some photos of her with other members of MoMusu. It’s cute and simple, a little simpler to look at than Takahashi’s PV. I like the wardrobe in this case. It’s a bit different to see Risa in such flamboyant clothing. It’s very cute. The song still isn’t much of my style and I think it doesn’t do much justice for Risa’s voice. The fact that it’s a cover makes it lose some points as well.

WHICH IS BEST?

I like Ai Takahashi’s solo a lot more because of its originality and overall better PV.

Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo! This is probably a no-brainer once you get half-way through the battle, TEEHEE. I love this single. Kono Chikyuu is a united song that shows off Morning Musume’s progress as a group. They’re losing a big part of them, but they will go on. I’m not sure how anyone could really hate this single. It’s an amazing graduation single for Ai Takahashi.

4 thoughts on “Battle of the Graduation Singles!

  1. Pingback: Recommended Reading: July 28th, 2012 | Idolminded

  2. Regardless I still prefer Renai Hunter, it’s just much more likeable to me than Kono…(cba with the whole of the song >_<)

  3. You know, I wasn’t instantly in love with this song when I first started to listen to it. But half way through the song, it just made sense. And I actually do really like the song. It’s not my absolutely favorite, and there is an obvious room for improvement. But I think the song sounds good. The beginning of the song has this funky sort of disco vibe, with some jazz undertones. Risa’s and Ai’s jazzy extended notes during the bridge were just absolutely incredible, and one of my favorite parts of the song. However, I can’t really say that about Reina’s line there. And then the chorus hits and it sounds like a completely different song. The song gets a lot more upbeat and happy. And for a minute I thought it was Ganbare Nippon Soccer Fight. The chorus is just Ai and Reina but they pretty much kill their lines, so I don’t mind. And Reina also hits this high note toward the end of the song and it’s nearly flawless.

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