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 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!