Under the outer jacket many shashinshuu's feature plain covers with only the book's title on the spine but "Maple" has a great looking photo of Kamei which covers both front & back covers.
Many of the outdoor photographs feature Canada's majestic landscape with the beautiful wilderness acting as the perfect back ground. The producers of "Maple" really did a great job finding the right surroundings to capture the feeling of the free outdoors and pristine countryside which give "Maple" its distinctly different feel from past H!P PB releases. And until seeing all of the photographs the reasoning for using the title "Maple" for this PB had eluded me but with the feeling of this entire shashinshuu now evident, I see that no other title could've been more of a perfect match for it.
Another trait of "Maple" is its warm feeling of a country home. The majority of it being shot far away from the urban jungle of buildings and concrete pavements creates a beautiful and soothing atmosphere: add Kamei, photograph well, and you now have the recipe for the perfect PB!
Note the cute kame (turtle) stuffed toy next to Kamei as it also makes a brief appearance on the making of DVD. 🙂
With room for argument, perhaps no other member in H!P looks better in a swim suit than Kamei! While much has been said about her curves Kamei has never been overly thin and has in fact always been in perfect shape! She looks absolutely gorgeous in the various swim wear outfits whether it be the cute purple & white striped one, simply styled black one, sexy knitted pink design, or stylish white fringe design. But for me Kamei's best feature…
…are her wonderfully expressive eyes!! There's such a special uniqueness to them and they convey so well her adorable personality. Soft, sweet, piercing, thoughtful…
When compared to her fellow Gen. 6 members, Kamei's mature styling takes the lead without doubt as evidenced in several photo shoots in this new PB. But along with that we do get a good taste of casual, glamorous, elegant, and playful attire as well thus presenting Kamei in the many different lights of her personality. Most noteworthy of these is the beautiful red dress that appears just before mid way through the book.
In many ways she captures that same type of elegance that Aichan effortlessly wears. In the above left photo it's actually quite easy to mistake her for Aichan when glanced at. The next 2 photos are among my favorites from "Maple" as Kamei looks so picturesque in them and I love the contrast created by her glamorous look versus the simplicity of her surroundings. Wonderfully styled and Kamei goes beyond that of a cute idol into the maturity of adulthood and no longer is she held back exclusively in that realm.
Looking back to her early days in Morning Musume it's sometimes hard to imagine that this is the same girl that we now see before us. The shyness and uncertainty has grown into a beaming confidence and Kamei has grown so much and her personality is now amongst the most charismatic, not only in Momusu & H!P, but as an idol. While some of her fellow members continue to learn and grow as an idol, Kamei has really gone full circle in this regard. In addition to her dancing & singing, she has a natural talent for comedic situations, great presence in the spotlight & hosting situations, and her acting ability has shown great promise. When watching their t.v. appearances and shows Kamei always stands out to me and on any given day nothing seems to brighten my day like Kamei's smile. 🙂
Another set of favorite shots from this release are those in which she's wearing the black top with blue plaid skirt. Something about the way she's styled here just really appeals to me. Kamei has gone through quite a few different looks throughout the years but it's her long beautiful hair that suits her best as she has returned to the look that she adorned when she first arrived in Momusu only much more refined. These next 4 shots capture the wonderful sparkle in her eyes in these very relaxed situations.
And I love the slightly different look that Kamei has in this next photo…
…and at any moment fun Kamei could be unleashed!!
These next 2 photos give Kamei a nice wild look with her hair fluffed up!!
One more swimsuit pic…
and now the photo that closes the shashinshuu.
As it's very obvious I'm joyously impressed with Kamei's latest shashinshuu release!! Hmmm that's probably an understatement!! Kamei is just so wonderful.
There's a funny little misprint on the back flap of the PB's obi which states that the accompanying DVD runs 10 minutes and at first I thought it was a bit of a step backwards as Rikachan's & Tanakachi's previous releases featured DVDs that had a running time of almost 20 minutes but in actuality Kamei's DVD has a running time of just under 19 minutes. 😀 The DVD covers each day of her photo shoots with commentary in between and a few q & a moments along the way. There's nothing like seeing a shashinshuu being brought to life and with these DVDs having longer running times they're really a joy to watch and they're becoming like separate releases on their own. I can't imagine a crew having more fun than a few days spent with Kamei! 😀