For your shopping list: Ongaku Gatas & Eggs!

Hello! Project's Futsal Club's first release arrived with an order yesterday and it was the first to go into the player. H!P has released a few sports related songs in the past but this release is something quite different. "Narihajimeta koi no BELL" strays away from an anthem sound and what Tsunku has written here could easily have been Morning Musume's next single. It's that good!! I decided to get the limited edition CD which comes with a bonus DVD which is unique in it's content as instead of the extra PV clip, we are treated to some very special member profile VTR footage. Here we learn each member's position played (some member's positions are yet to be determined), birthdate, and place of birth. Also included are individual member comments and photo shoot footage. This bonus DVD runs approximately 18 minutes. I also received their PV DVD single which runs approximately 25 minutes and includes along with the original version of their PV, a "close up ver.", and making of segment which is really well done especially when considering how many new faces they needed to introduce here. The cover of the LE is a nice collage of the members while the DVD has a nice image of them holding up their banner. I do like the DVD's inner jacket picture the most though as they're standing in a row and everyone's holding onto the banner which also allows you to see who's the tallest and shortest. lol. I have no idea why that's important. 😛

This release marks the much anticipated return of Konkon to H!P!! When considering that her parting shashinshuu was titled "See You Again" I guess she wasn't kidding! 🙂 Her return from graduating from H!P is unprecedented and a much welcomed event which I imagine all fans are celebrating. If you're unfamiliar with Konkon then 2 clips that will provide a great crash course on her would be the legendary "Bakajo" test where we found out that Konkon's extremely intelligent (most intelligent amongst her fellow Momusu members at the time of that lineup…and I'd imagine she still would be even going against the complete H!P family) and the hilarious "Bob Sapp video game challenge" where the members couldn't defeat him physically so Konkon dominated him with her mind. 🙂 While there's indeed a lot more to Konkon than brains!! I think these clips would do well in introducing her to anyone who's unfamiliar her. It's as if she never left as she seamlessly has rejoined H!P and I'm very happy that she's a part of this release and futsal team as goal keeper as she was before. Konkon's vocals add a sweet spark to this release and just her presence brings a heightened level of professionalism to this project.

Ongaku Gatas is a well built unit that balances veteran members along with…did I mention that there are Eggs in this recipe?! One of the early dilemmas that one faces when seeing a new group is learning everyone's names and then putting a face to that name over time. So before going any further let's meet the 6 Hello! Project Eggs that are in this great unit:

#1. Noto Arisa is tied with Mano Erina for the top spot of favorite Egg in this unit. I have to admit that Mano Erina seems to be the one that the producers are promoting the most and is quite evident when watching the PVs as they really key in on her seemingly the most. Noto Arisa runs second in that regard but I've listed her here 1st as my favorite as it all came down to the tiebreaker which was "set up" (in my own mind :P) in case this occurred. Tiebreaker question: "Who's cuter?" Noto Arisa by a slim margin. But being more serious here, she does to me seem to be the most comfortable in front of the camera and the most "natural" of all the Eggs (No steroids or anything artificial added ever). Well so much for serious… 😛 Here's the most substantial part: she reminds me of Aibon. It's not the way she speaks or her personality but rather something about her looks.

#2. Mano Erina originally was #1 until I watched all of the making of footage and that brought out the future star in Noto Arisa and then…tiebreak. When you first watch the PVs it's definitely Mano Erina who stands out the most out of all the Eggs. Her charm point for me seems to be her kind eyes. Have another look at her picture……….yes there is definitely a kindness there! She dances really well in the PVs and she like Arisa also has the aura of a future star. As you watch the PVs take note of those insanely cute sighs that have been appointed to her for this song. If the tiebreaker question had involved sighs, then Erina would be in the top spot right now! If someone suddenly graduates from Momusu or decides to walk on the wild side (let's all hope not!!) then I'd say have Erina & Arisa jan ken po to see who gets to join the group next!

#3. I have to admit it was all a bit of a toss up from here on but Sawada Yuri's dimples are just incredible!! There not quite visible in this picture but when you watch the making of footage you'll soon realize that she has the deepest dimples in the entire world! It's amazing!!! Even with a slight grin they become the most defined dimples ever. But Sawada Yuri isn't just about dimples as she's quite adorable too!

#4. Mutou Mika is by far the most shy Egg in this unit. But I have a feeling that there's an idol in there just waiting to get out of the carton! I'll call it painfully shy and during their self introductions she spoke for the shortest time and looked like she couldn't wait for the next Egg to go. Well there were actually only 3 Eggs present in this part of the clip but if she were auditioning for the "shy" part then she'd be starring in that role as soon as the movie production gets going. 

#5. Sengoku Minami…I think she has the coolest sounding name of all the Eggs in this unit. She kind of looks like someone I might've gone to school with and I'm not sure what that means.

#6. Korenaga Miki has those "classic" Japanese eyes and she doesn't look like anyone I might've gone to school with. I guess that means that I didn't go to school in Japan. 😛 So there you have it! 3/5th's of Ongaku Gatas "brought" to life by my sometimes strange observations.

The rest of this unit is comprised of great veteran H!P members including Yossi as captain, Rikachan who's in charge of bringing sexy, Konkon who's finally returned home, and Satoda Mai, who Tsunku has been neglecting lately and you might as well consider her as a solo artist as really what is Country Musume at this point?!

The idea of this song and unit reminds me of another great collaboration which was done in this same manner. "Gambacchae!" combined the powers of Momusu with H!P Kids and the end result was a wonderful song and PV. "Narihajimeta koi no BELL" is a boogie wonderland dance song! While I'm not urging you to put up or go buy a disco ball just yet, this song has a really powerful groove that might just get you onto the dance floor! The life line and driving force of this song is it's awesome galloping bass line. I put this bass line up against anything else that H!P has ever recorded and I believe that this one would come out in the company of the best. Add in the highlights of the horn section and intricate drums. Mix well with fine vocals. Let play for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I believe we now have another candidate for H!P song of the year! Another thing to note about this unit is that there are no "weak" singers here. Some may question Rikachan's vocals but she really shines in this unit and also adds a nice sultry touch to the group as well. I'm quite possibly most impressed with Yossi's vocals as I've never heard her sing this way before! The overwhelming feeling that you get when you watch the original PV is how much Yossi really commands this song and it's most fitting as she's Captain of the group on and off of the field. While watching this entire release Yossi really comes across as an authoritive figure and so much that I can't help but think that she has really grown into this role over time and it's ironic that it comes after she's graduated from Momusu. Yossi was a great leader for Momusu. I just think that she's really grown in this area since leaving the group.

The whole hook to this song feeds off of the incredible bass line and lends itself easily to the smooth harmonies which have just a little bit of bite to them and with this gem I believe that Tsunku has yet again written another future classic.

The coupling with song "DREAMIN'~ Gatas Brilhantes H.P. no ouenka~" screams anthem from the very beginning literally but it still doesn't comply with the style of H!P's past sports related songs as those performed by DEF.DIVA and GAM were more of the "chanting" type of songs. "DREAMIN'…" is a bit "brighter" sounding than the title track and has a very uplifting melody which sounds perfect sung in a choir style. Symbolically this "choir" style represents what is means to be a team with everyone singing together as there's no "i" in team but happily there is one in choir. 😛 Yossi provides the only solo vocals but it's done as an intro to the song (as Captain), during the middle break, and as an outro phrase only. After thinking about it for awhile…"DREAMIN'…" is like "Dekkai uchuu ni ai ga aru" on Red Bull. Happy, optimistic, and sunny (sugar free version not available).

The original and close up versions of their PV enhances the mood of the song utilizing swaying and tilted camera movements and while the idea of this might not sound ideal to the viewer it really does work to perfection here. Unlike a lot of H!P's dance choreography in the past when it comes to groups, the choreography here was designed to highlight and individually feature every single member of this unit. The dark look of the PV combined with their dark outfits are really mesmerizing to look at and the contrast created by the light in the background couldn't look any cooler! A great aspect of the close up version is that they chose to stay with the swaying camera effect rather than use a stationary or horizontally moving one. It really adds a nice touch to this version as some close up versions in the past are at times borderline boring dare I say. Don't forget to listen and watch for Mano Erina's cute sighs!!

The beginning of the making of segment gives us a unique look at dance rehearsals before the actual shooting begins and it's amusing how veteran members Yossi and Rikachan are hamming it up for the (supplemental footage) camera while the H!P Egg members are being very serious! lol! Rikachan is at her playful best and even gives us a few sultry looks while also turning on that Rikachan charm. Rikachan also does a good job of interacting with the H!P Eggs throughout parts of this segment. Rikachan is also hit by their substantial differences in age! lol! This release acts as a really great spring board for all of the Eggs involved as they are each heavily featured here as well as in the PVs and there appears to be at least 2 future stars coming from this unit. As I mentioned earlier Noto Arisa really appears as the most comfortable and "natural" of all the Eggs as they are experiencing their first major release. Along with the behind the scenes look at the making of the PVs this making of of segment also helps fans get acquainted with the Eggs through individual VTR clips as well as comments from the 4 veteran members. I would suggest watching the PV DVD single's making of segment along with the LE's bonus DVD as they compliment each other very well in delivering a complete Ongaku Gatas experience.

The original version of their PV is at the bottom of this post. Be prepared for one of Hello! Project's finest releases!

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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9 Responses to For your shopping list: Ongaku Gatas & Eggs!

  1. paul.thomas says:

    The past couple of weeks I feel I've really fallen behind with H!P, I completely forgot that this had been released, lol, I had to double check that I actually put in an order for it! Luckily I did, but won't be getting it for awhile as it should be coming with Maki's new album, it's going to be a long wait! I totally agree that this has the potential to be the H!P song of the year, the PV that :::Dohhh Up!::: put up has almost constantly been playing in the background when ever I'm on my laptop and at no point have I even considered changing it for anything else.Such an awesome unit, everything about it is great! I really hope that this isn't a one off release and that we have some more releases from them.As for the Eggs, I can't wait to see the DVD footage, Erina 2nd cutest!! I need to see how Arisa could beat her, lol.

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  2. By eggs, I take it you mean the Easter Eggs, meaning hidden footage you can find if you look for them… I love it when they plant those hidden surprises on DVD's!!!
    Who's cuter: Noto Arisa or Mano Erina?
    -Without seeing the DVD, I'd have to say Sawada Yuri, with Mano Erina in close second. -They are sooo beautiful!!!
    Hey, off the topic, I wanted to say thank you again for your fabulous review of my song! I always dream of the day when I can have a professional recording of my songs, and I totally appreciate the support you've continued to give me as I go along.
    You are soooo awesome!!! -Thank you again!!!
    🙂

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  3. Paul one thing is for sure you're never behind on whats going on in H!P! You always have breaking news, release information, new PVs, and anything else that's going on in the vast world of H!P updated on your Hello!Blog! I also ordered Gomaki's new album and I'm happy that your getting her album too! I'm hoping that the non single tracks are good ones. I was wondering if I was going out on a limb by myself there about this song possibly being the H!P song of the year but now I know that I'm not alone on this and that's a good thing! This song really is that good isn't it!! I love that it's playing on your laptop non stop! :)I second that motion for Ongaku Gatas not being a one shot deal! How else will we see how the Eggs turn out?! I'm thinking sunny side all the way! 😛 Seriously though, with this incredible line up they surely deserve more releases and I really think that they'll get more. Cuteness is in the eye of the beholder! Heheh but wait till you see Arisa in all of the making of footage and while I think it's a stretch for you to rank her higher than Erina I hope I then don't sound wacky by saying that! 😛 But you can really see the idol in her already even with this release being her major debut. Let me know how the battle of the Eggs turns out!

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  4. Dark Knightingale sometimes the Japanese use interesting terms and Hello! Project decided to call their early recruited and up and coming idols who are in the grooming stage Hello! Project "Eggs." It's kind of a cute term actually! Now that you mention it though it would be a great idea if H!P were to include Easter Eggs with their releases! That would have H!P fans everywhere scrambling to find the hidden goodies! Sawada Yuri does have really great facial features including those amazing dimples! And we have another vote for Mano Erina!! She really is the most eye catching in their PV. DK…:) You are truly talented and it's very inspiring to hear your music projects! I'm sure when you complete your new studio it'll be a great place to write and record your music.

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  5. 😉 -I dream in vivid color!

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  6. chibon says:

    [참 좋습니다]

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  7. guacg I have a feeling that this song will grow on you in time. The PV on the other hand is a visual treat! The stage set, corridor scenes, camera angles, and lighting were done so well and the director really knew how to create the right images for this song. Mano Erina is definitely one of the shining stars in the PVs and the most eye catching quite possibly out of all of the members in this unit. She was #1 but after watching all of the supplemental footage Arisa comes across as a bit more of an engaging personality and she really has a great confidence about her which is really surprising to see at this stage in her career. Her demeanor is really what boosts her "cuteness" ahead of Erina. Hmmm…if I focused on "cuteness" as appearances only then Erina would win the tiebreaker. But they really are tied. What am I talking about?! Heheh It's now 3 1/2 votes for Erina. I'm the 1/2 vote because I had a tie. 😛 Maybe my tiebreaker idea wasn't such a good idea but someone had to…uh "win." And yes those dimples! It's almost as if they were surgically implanted! lol! How can someone have such defined dimples?!! I've never in my life seen such incredible dimples…and never in my life have I written the word "dimples" so many times in 2 days! 😛

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  8. Hotaru says:

    You think Noto Arisa looks like Aibon too? I thought that from the beginning. When I first saw the limited edition cover for "Narihajimeta Koi no Bell", I thought it was Aibon for a second. Then reality hit me again D:I also think that the bass line to this song is really fun, but the Maasara Blue Jeans Bass line is pretty fun too…

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  9. Hotaru ahh thank you for seeing the "Aibon" in Arisa too! For awhile there I thought that perhaps my eyes were making me say crazy things! She really has all the qualities of a future star idol and I'm so impressed by her confidence in front of the camera during the PV's shooting as well as in the candid footage in the making of segment. She and Erina are sure to be picked for a future H!P group!You're right the "Maasara Blue Jeans" bass line is incredible too! I love the PV for this song too!

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