ANGERME's second A-side "Otome no Gyakushuu" Promotion Edit PV is out now! ANGERME won me over completely on "Taikibansei" and this song just blew me away even though I thought nothing was going to top their debut effort. It is definitely the best Hello! Project song I've heard over the past year and is front runner for idol song of the year so far. Any other song that comes out down the road will be hard pressed to top this one as far as I'm concerned!
Those who have read my previous blog posts, both here and on other sites, know that I am not a big fan of S/mileage. I never was and I always thought that at best I'd be a casual fan of a particular song/single/etc. I didn't think anything of the ANGERME name change either. In fact I thought it was a mark that the end was near for them. They were going through a complete identity change and Tsunku was no longer going to write for them. I predicted they'd last a year or two at most. Well, I was right in that they were getting an identity change, but completely wrong in thinking that this was the beginning of the end! If anything this is clearly a new start for them and Hello! Project is making sure that they make the best of it! This image change was definitely needed and I'm sure I'm not the only fan who is completely accepting of it!
This song has a somewhat dark, playful feel in its melody and is something that you would never really hear in a S/mileage song. That being said, it stays completely catchy throughout and I defy anyone to not be humming along by the end. The beat drives the track forward and it becomes readily apparent that ANGERME is shaping up to be one of the better dance-friendly H!P units. Speaking of the dance, I rarely point them out, but this one is great. There is the usual borrowing from past dances from other groups (I can only imagine this because they share the same choreographer) but all the girls show off their dancing skill in good form, even the new arrivals. About those new arrivals, I have to say that I think I prefer them over the second generation of S/mileage. They just seemed to smoothly integrate better than the Second Generation did. It also helps that the song is more evenly split up in terms of solos and screen time than one usually sees in a Hello! Project video. Also, I'm not big on picking favorites in idol groups (I know that this is a huge part of the fandom, but rarely am I able to pick a favorite) but I think that Rikako is slowly becoming a favorite of mine both in the group and amongst the new additions. I also can't forget to mention Meimi in this context either since she stated in the recent Hello! Pro Station that she's a fellow Takarazuka fan!
Onto the video itself. It's clear that this video has the bigger share of production values over "Taikibansei". The location is beautiful and the video does a great job playing on the contrast of light and dark throughout. I am unsure if this location is a set or an actual existing building, but it's a nice setting for this video nonetheless. To complement the great location, the videography is perfect, complete with timely cuts, sweeping angles and clever shots/focus pulls/etc. What this means in non-technical terms is that the video is gorgeous! The playful dance break also is something that was all-but nonexistent in H!P before and is yet another breath of fresh air in the somewhat aging collective. Returning to the darkness that seeps through the song, at points it's strong in the PV as well both literally and figuratively. That said, dark or not, it never hurts the songs appeal nor detracts from the overall enjoyment. Did I mention how great everything looks at the end when the set lights up? Well, it does!
The single "Taikibansei/Otome no Gyakushuu" drops on February 4th and I suggest everyone go out and buy it like I will! It'll be available through the usual online outlets and import shops. Be sure to watch the video and check out ANGERME if you haven't already as they are shaping up to be the future face of Hello! Project!
◆ Wada Ayaka
◆ Fukuda Kanon
◆ Nakanishi Kana
◆ Takeuchi Akari
◆ Katsuta Rina
◆ Tamura Meimi
◆ Murota Mizuki
◆ Aikawa Maho
◆ Sasaki Rikako