While the girls are wearing the same outfits on both covers the full profile shot of the regular edition versus the collage of 3 separate photos against the green & orange background of the limited edition is a nice distinction between the two versions and I'm happy that I decided to get both. In the short time that has passed since their last single was released it's almost as if the girls went through a mini time warp as they look significantly older in this new release. In particular Nakki's looks have changed the most and some of that of course may be the result of the much more mature styling that went into this project. While Maimichan blossomed quite awhile ago and Maimai has somehow always looked older than she is, all of the other members have a cool maturity about them. While uniform outfits of the same color and style can really look great both on the jackets and PVs, I'm really fond of the separate and original styles of C-ute's outfits that are featured in this release. They really add a lot more character and individual personality to everyone's look!
The title track "Tokaikko Junjou" which literally means "pure city girl" is a wonderfully upbeat track that borders the land of techno in full throttle fashion. Such a tune really has become a signature sound of C-ute and this one's sure to be a blast in concert! Rapid vocal lines fired over a driven arrangement that features all the right hooks in all the right places makes this an instant gem and from the brief part of their pv that I've seen it really appears to be a defining release for them, particularly having to do with their image. A much more powerful and mature image exudes from every aspect of this release. Vocally, C-ute has always been strong in this department and their range and versatility seems to grow seamlessly from release to release. Airichan's distinct voice may not be the best in the group but the producers sure have given her the lead here. Even without seeing the entire pv her voice is easily recognized throughout the song as this is in a way her song. At some point of H!P releases when involving the groups various members have been chosen to shine in the spotlight as they are clearly featured as the main vocalist in particular songs and while this is clearly not a new practice, I don't see C-ute becoming dominated by any single member in the future.They just don't seem to be built that way as there are way too many strong singers in this group and along with that all have very engaging personalities so it would be a shame for this to happen. Basically I can't see a "Furusato" like release ever occurring with C-ute. It was just the right timing and build up for Nacchi to shine at that point in Momusu's history as it remains as the most solo like work involving any group in H!P to date.
The coupling with song "Shiritsu Kyougaku" which translates to "Private Coeducation" is a far more complex song with quite an intricate arrangement. But it doesn't have a sound to it that would enable it to be a title track of a single release. That being said, "Shiritsu Kyougaku" is an amazing piece of music writing! This track breathes the nostalgic sounds of the 60's as it's flavored with those distinct "fuzzy" keyboard riffs along with a slide guitar reminiscent of The Beatles. The bass line is a poppy walking one which emulates that of Paul McCartney's trademark approach to these types of songs. The vocal arrangement especially during the bridge couldn't be more Beatles like and it sounds like Tsunku had a great time writing this arrangement! The Beatles have long been a favorite influence of Tsunku's as he's incorporated their style and sound into numerous songs of his and it quite possibly peaked during the Tanpopo era. Even the way that the drums are miked really help to engulf this song in the lustrous sound of the 60's and this song is really pure love! One defining point are the falsetto "wuuuuuu's" which The Beatles trademarked as they're all over this recording. 🙂 Really sweet!! And you have to love the harmonies during the middle break! While "Tokaikko Junjou" is much more of a front running type of song and appropriately the title track here, it's "Shiritsu Kyougaku" that excels musically in pretty much every way. The end result. We have a single release that sets a new higher standard for all future C-ute releases. A very healthy practice!
C-ute's "Magical Cutie Tour" will be released in a documentary format on November 21st and just the sight of their tour bus gives me goosebumps! It just looks so amazing with all of their faces painted on the sides against white. Following in the footsteps of The Beatles, C-ute is on their own Magical Mystery Tour and luckily we'll be able to go along for the ride with this DVD release. 🙂
The bonus DVD which is included with the limited edition runs approximately 21 minutes and the first portion has interview clips with each member featuring questions ranging from the activities on the bus during the tour (sounds like they played a lot of cards!), various types of foods eaten, notes about the current tour, and a message to their fans. But I found the "Tokaikko" question to be the most interesting as each member was asked whom they thought most represented the meaning of this single's title. So who did each of them think most fitted the billing of: "pure (hearted) city girl?" Erikachan wins by a landslide victory as five out of the seven of them picked her! Those that picked Erikachan are Maimichan, Nakki, Airichan, Chisatochan, and Kannachan. Maimai picked Airichan while Erikachan who I guess couldn't pick herself 😛 picked Maimai! And now for the real treat that this DVD provides for fans. Played over their previous single "Meguru koi no kisetsu" is a highly highly entertaining "pv" which includes a collage of live clips from various performances intertwined with some of the C-UTEST and most candid footage of them backstage and about, often just having a great time!! A lot of great wacky and endearing moments all put together to the backdrop of "Meguru koi no kisetsu" is pure brilliance. And this is something that I hope they continue to do in the future with other releases and hopefully with other groups such as Momusu & Berryz Koubou. Incredibly fun to watch! This video has sooooo much replay value that it'll cover the cost of this release plus shipping all on its own. Time to hit play again… 🙂
Here's the pv for the title track "Tokaikko Junjou" which I still haven't watched myself as I want to preserve the excitement when I receive the DVD release in about a couple of weeks when it's finally released. Too bad this single wasn't released as a double a side as that would have most likely merited the need for a pv for the coupling with song "Shiritsu Kyougaku" which I would have really loved!