Between February 2004 and August 2005 Up Front Works released their wonderful “Best Shot” series DVDs and while these had a fan club only availability, happily through Yahoo! Japan Auctions I was able to purchase the entire series including volumes 1-4 and the final “Best Shot Best” release DVD (these purchases were pre-Ohta but how I wish that I’d known him prior as it would have been substantially less in cost for sure!). The entire premise of these releases is not only an original idea but it also offers fans a chance to hear some of their favorites being covered by different members and generations of Momusu. And with the added enhancement of original pvs accompanying the tracks, I just knew that I had to get the original releases somehow! In their own right they are true pv collections and another great aspect of these videos are that the majority of them were shot on location versus the use of blue screens and sets…and while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pvs being shot this way, it’s just nice to see Momusu get outside sometimes for these productions.
Each DVD contains a total of 6 pvs, brief making of clips that accompany the credits, as well as the dreaded Tsunku commentary! I’m kidding!!! 😛 I love Tsunku!! ^-^…except when he starts trying to sing the songs that he’s written for the girls! (tongue in cheek there! ) =P The average running time of each volume is approximately 45 minutes with the “Best Shot Best” volume being the longest at 56 minutes. Looking at all 4 volumes one thing that you really notice right away is that Tsunku reallllllly loves!!! “Furusato”!! As there are versions performed by Nono, Aichan, Gakisan, and Marippe spread out among the volumes. And “Do it! Now”!! And I once expected every member in H!P to have recorded versions of these 2 songs done at some point soon, however sadly this series hasn’t seen a new volume in quite some time and at this point I’m not really anticipating any more volumes which is really a shame. Some of my favorite versions from the series include: Rikachan’s “Morning Coffee”, Mikitty’s “Usotsuki anta”, Aibons’ “Dadidudedodadi!”, Sayu’s “Senkou hanabi”, Konkon’s “Papa ni niteiru kare”, Aichan’s “Furusato”, Makochan & Kamei’s “Dounikashite Doyoubi”, and Gakisan’s “Furusato” just to name a few as there are so many great versions here.
Today I’ve decided to focus on Volume 4 first as it has one of my favorite “Best Shot” clips on it which is Makochan & Kamei’s version of “Dounikashite Doyoubi” which features their cute visit to the zoo! Of course starting with volume 1 would have made much more sense and with the inclusion of Makochan & Aichan bowling over their version of “Aisha Loande” it was a bit of a difficult decision to make but in the end I’ve decided to start with volume 4 as strange as that sounds! 😛
First up is “Do it! Now” which is being performed by Yossi, Aichan, & Konkon. I’ve always loved the audio tracks being isolated as well and so that you can listen to them on your home stereos or portable players I’ve extracted the audio files from the DVD tracks and made them into mp3s for easy downloading if you’d like them. I think that they were once offering the separate audio tracks on CDs with the purchase of the entire series through the fan club but since I’m sadly not a member…I’ve had to make my own audio tracks. And being that you can longer obtain these separate audio tracks through UFA I really don’t see any harm in uploading them here and making them available to fans who’d like them.
The pv has a kind of fuzzy lighting to it but this version is really great as all 3 members have strong vocals and you really have to love the way Aichan’s made up here! She looks so radiant and cute!!
Okay here’s my favorite “Best Shot” video as it features Makochan & KAMEI!!…and their day at the zoo. There’s simply nothing more adorable than Kamei’s scaredy cat reactions (Makochan is a brave one!) and there are a few here along with lots of great interaction between Makochan and Kamei…and the sights of zoo land life. ^-^
The most simplistic pv on this volume but nonetheless enjoyable and shot outside of a studio’s confines as Reinachan performs a heart felt version of one of my favorite Momusu songs of all time “Memory seishun no hikari.”
I really love this clip as you’re able to watch Rikachan & Kaorin make gifts for their fellow Momusu members and there’s just something really adorable about Rikachan using a hammer…as strange as that probably sounds! 😛 I’m awful at crafts so I have that much more admiration for what they’re doing here and I wish that they’d make me something too! 😛
Each volume does feature a clip which relies heavily on blue screen work and animation…also known as the short end of the pv stick. 😛 But it’s still a very fun clip to watch with Mikitty being sooooo adorable going against everything that she…well LOL! perhaps it’s all just a front of hers and Mikitty & Marippe’s seasoned vocals really create an interesting contrast alongside Sayu’s early vocals. Please be kind to Sayu! ^-^
One of 5 versions that appear in the series and while Nacchi’s (you really have to consider it her song despite the group effort with background vocals….and you thought that Airichan had taken over C-ute! 😛 ) version remains untouchable in my mind each new version presented in the series is a real gem to hear as “Furusato” isn’t particularly an easy song to sing in terms of intonation and in a way the exact opposite. But what you really have to love about all of the “Furusato” pvs are the baby and growing up photos which emerge from each member’s personal photo archives!!! Gakisan is soooooo adorable in these photos and how she’s grown to be such a beautiful young woman says it all! ^-^