The Berryz Strike Back!

Just when it appeared that C-ute may be making a bid to become 2nd in Hello! Project's galaxy…Berryz Koubou releases "Tsukiatteruno ni kataomoi" which has all the makings of a double a-side single. And with no sign of fuzzy teddy bears or Jar Jar Binks the threat of a disturbance in the force has once again been vanquished.

While I do prefer the look of the regular edition's cover which pictures Berryz Koubou against a bit more of an aesthetically pleasing background along with the nice touch of the red carpet treatment versus the limited edition's stone wall, the inside photos of the limited edition's casing adds yet another first in innovative ideas available with clear cases. When both discs are removed a nice 2 part collage of the group is visible (pictured above). Both first pressings include a serial numbered card which lucky fans can use for admittance to Berryz Koubou's 2007 Winter Festival event while the limited edition also includes a bonus DVD containing the "Dance Shot Ver." of the pv! A very nice treat to have now as the original and close up versions won't be available until Berryz Koubou's 3rd single V Clips is released on December 12th along with the much awaited "making of" footage. 

As some may agree with me that the regular edition's jacket photos (which I've scanned above) while being more attractive (than the LE) also present a much better look at the stying used in this release as the photos have been taken from further back. I'd call it a subtle taste of Greek goddess goodness. 🙂 While I've mentioned earlier that my all time favorite H!P outfits are Momusu's toga outfits from "The Man Power!!!" release these Berryz Koubou outfits now run a close second for me. The styling is a mixture of cool, prominence, and elegance and one may not need to look further than Risakochan's unique "gladiator" leggings to see the special touch of old meeting new in a grand clash of fashion! The Berryz have never looked better!! Everyone has been beautifully styled with Risakochan, Miya, Kumaichan, & Maasa being the most eye catching on these cover photos. Risakochan's longer hairstyle is really mesmerizing as she has gone from cutesy to sophisticated in a sense and I do hope that she keeps her longer style as it really suits her so well!  While some may complain about Risakochan's noticeable move to the front of the group, I personally feel that she is not only deserving but also the ideal face of Berryz Koubou at this time and these type of things tend to change over time and sometimes very abruptly. Watching Risakochan in numerous concerts may make evident what my feelings are on this subject. Miya always looks dazzling and here her natural beauty appears to be at its peak!! Can a girl look more radiant than this?! Momo who has long been my favorite Berryz Koubou member until the recent Risakochan takeover, possesses the most unique persona in the group. Add to that the cutest and most unusual voice in the galaxy and Momo becomes the member you just can't help but be endeared to. Maasa has long been a hidden gem within Berryz Koubou and you can really sense her emerging recently and with a little touch of UFA love (ie: more solo lines) her potential will be realized. The attention given in this release keeps with the trend of the "big three", as Risakochan, Miya, & Momo lead the way with Kumaichan as their 6th…uh no I mean 4th woman off the bench. 😛

Above I've scanned the 2 separate images inside the limited edition's casing together and it's a picturesque view one can take a step back from and fully realize just how much the group has matured over such a short period of time.

Simply incredible! I can't stop thinking it. Berryz Koubou has really reached a new height with this release. They look so beautiful here!

With "Tsukiatteruno ni kataomoi" Berryz Koubou has returned to an energetic sound and the song has an easily appealing melody that flows like a river of happy gummy bears. 🙂 With a slightly rock but dominately pop arrangement the song never loses drive and the transition between verse and pre-chorus hint a slight mood change heading fast paced into the simple but yet effective chorus. Like a walk on the clouds the title track is pure euphoria and will surely help turn any rainy day brighter. It's really great that with all that Tsunku currently has on his plate he continues to pen the singles for both Morning Musume & Berryz Koubou and has given us yet another genki track. Another thing to note about this song is while it doesn't go outside the box it does have a uniqueness about it as it doesn't sound quite like anything Tsunku has written before.

The coupling with song "Warera! Berryz Kamen" pushes further as Tsunku has yet again broken new ground for himself in delivering to us his first true "super hero" serenade. "Renai sentai shitsu ranger" didn't really grasp the entire genre as does this track. Everything about "Warera! Berry Kamen" breathes the folklore of the mysterious masked superhero, long a staple in Japan's culture. From the way the verse lyrics are delivered with that distinctly familiar "heroic" intonation to the musical arrangement itself which pays tribute to the genre with its electrifying tone this song could have easily have been a stand alone single. And with an accompanying pv you can just imagine the possibilities! Seven members…seven colors…seven powers…a groundbreaking pv for H!P in no small sense. I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here but just listening to this song really reverberates that feeling! Momo & Risakochan can fight over whom gets to be "Pink Ranger." 😛

The "Dance Shot Ver." which is included with the limited edition CD is breathtaking! While the majority of today's J-Pop pvs seem to have taken a liking to Western influences I always find it much more engaging when their own cultural style is presented. In a word "presentation" reigns supreme in Japanese culture and Berryz Koubou has personified that perfectly here. Hello! Project has presented this aura before in their pvs and a great example would be "Sakura Mankai" which lives and breathes that touch of Eastern culture which looks absolutely incredible on screen. The "Dance Shot Ver." of "Tsukiatteruno ni kataomoi" is a feast for the eyes as the illustrious traditional Japanese screens with beautiful lighting and a daunting sliver of moon make up the perfect backdrop for Berryz Koubou's dance choreography. The camera angles maximize the effect as going from front to various side shots really helps to flush out the presentation. Their white outfits (which are now my 2nd favorite all time H!P outfits!) are the perfect contrast against the darkness and contained light behind the screens and from start to finish you just can't take your eyes off of this pv! And I must not forget to mention the dance choreography is mesmerizing as well! What's that Chewy?!…you love Berryz Koubou too! 😛

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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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11 Responses to The Berryz Strike Back!

  1. Zush says:

    [いいですね]

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  2. chibon says:

    [참 좋습니다]

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  3. Rad♂ says:

    Very, very excellent observations overall. Yes, C-ute and Berryz appear to be in a neck-and-neck race for No. 2, but that's not altogether fair to Berryz since they've always had a more cerebral approach than the fun-at-all-costs C-ute septet. Both groups are great and, unlike many, I like Berryz' new single.

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  4. Zush with the trend in Japan's music industry leaning way towards Western influences it indeed is nice to see that some are staying with their own roots. Many pop acts in Japan are r&b which is great but some of them really lose any touch with their own influences. Gocchin is a perfect example of this but I really love her and her music as she was kind of a departure from within H!P's other artists/ groups making it work when you view them as a whole. I'm so happy to hear that you also support Berryz Koubou by buying their releases! 🙂

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  5. guacg I agree that "Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba" was a better song and the story pv was brilliant and a breath of fresh air for H!P music videos. Heheh that jiggly leg move… 😛 Still I find the pv to look incredible especially with the Japanese touch in it which is something that ironically they use not enough of. Risakochan has been pushed to the forefront for just that reason. From "VERY BEAUTY" and actually earlier than that she just stands out so much in the group! The producers have also been making quite deliberate decisions on her outfits as they've been unique from everyone else's in a very noticeable way in recent pvs. Her plaid outfit in "VERY BEAUTY" and her Greek inspired outfit in this new pv along with her unique leggings make it clear that UFA is pushing her to break out here. She could become a solo artist in the far away future and while I'd rather see her remain in Berryz Koubou "forever" it may become inevitable. Her recording of Ayaya's "Yeah meccha holiday" is just a hint of her potential in said state. Just don't grow up too fast Risakochan!! Heheh if you were in her class you may not be able to get any work done! 😛 I wonder with her status if she's home tutored or actually does attend school regularly. I mean there must be a mob around her during break time! :O Maybe she signs autographs and takes pictures with other students! Now that you mention it I really wonder… Maasa looks have really developed here! With more help from the producers she can emerge as well! She has a really sweet personality and everyone must get along with her very well. Momo is the complete essence of cute! 🙂

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  6. Radicalpatriot thanks! and you're absolute right about Berryz Koubou's distinctly different approach when compared with C-ute. I haven't read too much about other fan's reactions to this new single but am a bit shocked that it's not being accepted to well out there. Surely they can't be complaining about it not being upbeat enough which seems to be the most common complaint in regards to H!P songs of late. Tsunku's penned a very lively track here and the super hero b-side is outstanding as well!

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  7. Hotaru says:

    At first I found this single odd. "Sakura Mankai and THE Manpower!!! have come together…huh." but after a few more listens, it grew on me a lot. I really like the PV, but it just doesn't match up to the song, in my opinion -_-. I think the Berryz Rangers idea is great XD. Risako would either be pink or red…depending on whether you want to make her red because she's the face of the group, or pink, because she's so cute….hmmm.

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  8. Andra says:

    Hmm, I love this single very much even though some say that the song and the PV don't match each other, as the song is very catchy and upbeat and the setting is very… well, ballad-like. But i think this is a very good single!
    It's funny that Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba didn't seem so good to me at the first time i heard it (although I really liked the PV) but after a while I ended up loving it. It has very beautiful melody and I like the chorus so much. But I guess these kind of cheerful songs attract me right away.

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  9. Hotaru that's an interesting analogy combination for this song! Ah I'm still waiting to see the original version as all I've seen so far is the "Dance Shot Ver." I really like the styling! Some may find the dance weird but I actually really like it. It's quite an intricate routine and it really shows just how great dancers they've become over the years. The hand motion where they're curling their fingers and rotating their wrists back towards themselves reminds me of a similar move that was used in the pv for "Special Generation" which still remains one of my all time favorite dance routines by them. I really wish they'd wear head sets when they perform these so that they can do the entire routine without the mike in their hands getting in the way. Risakochan & Momo will probably have to jan ken po to see who gets to be Pink Ranger! Which ever color Momo becomes it'll be the littlest ranger ever! 🙂

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  10. Andra it's true that many H!P songs are ones that can grow on you over time. I try playing them repeatedly when I first receive them and most times I get a real feel for whether it gets the thumbs up or not. However some songs hook me much later so you never can tell. 🙂 That's a good point about the pv's setting looking like it's more suited for a ballad. I guess I just really love the Japanese styling as it's much too seldom used now days. Wacky or not I love the dance choreography as well! That hand move where they're twirling their wrists back towards themselves reminds me so much of a similar move they used in their pv for "Special Generation" which still remains as one of my favorite overall Berryz Koubou dance routines. It's quite intricate here too! "Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba" and "VERY BEAUTY" are really outstanding recent releases by them. "VERY BEAUTY" in particular has a great Beatles influence within it's writing that I really love!

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  11. angiecakes says:

    Yea i agree like any other berryz songs if you dont like it now theyll just grow on you! and y the hell should risako be main berry in the pv i dont get it.O check out my new blog just click my pic

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