A couple of weeks ago I picked up the regular edition of "Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba" and posted my first thoughts on the packaging as well as the songs on this release here but today was the first time I got to watch their PVs and making of footage. First thing to note is that Berryz Koubou officially rules H!P when it comes to the length and content of PV DVD singles. While the second one might be up for debate the first one isn't as this DVD runs a whopping 30 minutes! Topping even Momusu by 3 minutes! In terms of content I find BK's members' personalities to be candid and unguarded which translates into a whole lot of fun to watch! The generous amount of making of footage included here showcases each member and is perhaps highlighted by the comedy duo of Chinamichan & Yurinachan. For anyone who has read the H!P deck of cards post from a couple of days ago I think that the footage here helps to show why they should be on the Joker cards. lol. In fact I don't think that I've seen them previously paired up as much as on this DVD release. Like two peas in a pod they just go together and really feed off of each others wacky personalities. Periodically H!P hosts "dinner shows" which feature a member or two and fans are treated to a night of food and up close interaction with their favorite members. I think that there should be a Y & C dinner show soon! Yurinachan & Chinamichan are so great together that I think it'd really work well. Of course then there should be a Risakochan & Momo dinner show as well but fans may be too distracted and the food may go untouched throughout the evening. 😛 On each table there would be one jar of Berryz Koubou jam representing a member and if someone knows jiu jitsu they can collect them all! One "lucky" raffle winner will receive a giant jar of Tsunku jam! lol.
Until now I hadn't seen the DVD packaging and this one's the best of the three. When I was joking about enjoying Berryz Koubou on toast a couple of weeks ago I had no idea that someone at H!P thought this was funny too. The front and back covers show each member on a jar of jam in labels and on the little caps. Personally I think that the BK caps are the cutest! They really should make these and sell them. And the disc's information is presented like a food label using the word "contents" for the track names. The whole look and concept of this single's releases are quite possibly their best to date. Wait..make that, they are their best!
The PV is presented in 3 versions with the alternate "close-up ver." and "dance shot ver." Close-up versions usually are the most uninteresting ones and that continues to be the case here as the other 2 are the ones to watch. The dance shot ver. is great to watch because first of all their outfits! If those orange & white outfits don't make you feel like toasting some bread and opening up some jam then nothing will! lol. I already had a vision of the dance moves in this PV before seeing it as I've read Paul's great analysis of it at his Hello!Blog. Here he makes a great analogy of its inspiration which instantly made sense when I first watched it. It's one of the most interesting and abrupt like dance routines that I've ever see done by any H!P artist or group. It's kind of stiff and "zombie" like (hehe Paul nailed it!) but it really opens up during the chorus parts which I really like. With all of the head and arm movements which can be borderline odd at times it makes me really wish that I could've sat in and watched the dance instructor teach this routine to them. Chinami would be like…"Eh…what the…) lol. The dance shot version is really great but as I've been hearing about earlier, it's the original version that really breaks new ground in the style of their PVs. This is being called the "story version." While it wasn't meant to match up with the lyrics directly it does represent the overall emotion of the song and it's feel. I love how they shot this like a little movie. On the bus, at karaoke and Risakochan all alone at that Roman style like fountain area. The opening shot of them running looks to be so natural and real in an after school like environment. The friends part ways and are eventually separated into 3 groups. I use the word group loosely as Risakochan and Miya are both eventually alone. The group shot of them sitting in front of the "Roman Empire fountain" set is one of my absolute favorite shots in these PVs. My favorite PV group shot is "Koi no juubaku" 's "smile ver." and it's great how the camera is stationary throughout the entire song but now this one looks so great that if only there were a PV shot using just this one view it could possibly be even better than "Koi no juubaku" 's smile version. Those outfits that they're wearing in the "Koi no juubaku" PV are so great but it's the background and the way that everyone's seated that makes this scene in "kokuhaku no funsui hiroba" look so amazing to me. One of the most entertaining shots in the original PV has to be Momo & Saki singing karaoke in that room! Momo is a natural! It's beyond convincing that she' a student singing karaoke with some friends after school. She's so into her performance that it really makes you smile! At times even Saki looks like she's just along for the ride. lol. And of course there's Maasa trying to keep a straight face I imagine. The nicest touch that was added to this PV, one which really makes the story is the drawing of the bird taking Risakochan's cell phone text message and flying it off to it's destination where in the end we see it reaching a then much more cheerful Miya. With this closing scene the PV is absolutely perfect! Berryz Koubou have really raised the bar when it comes to H!P music videos and I hope to see more of the like in the future. Momusu PV with storyline. That would be awesome! But if this PV remains as an isolated approach that will make its impression even stronger I'd imagine.
That nostalgic feeling that this song has for me when I listen to it has an essence of sadness about it. While the PV doesn't convey the actual meaning of the lyrics it does manage to capture this feeling very well. The lyrics themselves convey uneasiness, regret, and sadness and the music is really seamless in matching these themes.While their previous single "VERY BEAUTY" is far more superior in terms of music, arrangement, and harmonies, "Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba" is much more superior in it's emotional feel. The 3 themes I mentioned earlier somehow seem to be written right into the song's notes and while listening to it it really captures you in this way. The PV itself is like snapshots from a book and no words are necessary to understand its meaning which is something that I really love about it. It's directed and edited very well and just as importantly the members of Berryz Koubou act it out perfectly. It's not until the last lines of the song that we learn that things take a sudden brighter turn and likewise in the PV the closing scene is one of happiness as well. You have to love that bird graphic as it really enhances the whole music video. Hats off to the mind(s) that came up with the concept for this single both with the jacket (love the jam idea!) and the original PV's storyline! Berryz Koubou's new single is much more than a song! 🙂