It’s always interesting to witness an idol’s unique aura as they develop and grow into their own, honing what ultimately will become their most powerful attribute, charm~*. Seeing Kasai in her early career I think it’d been hard pressed to imagine the sultry side she’s become at this point and while her voice itself easily could be a charm point all its own, surely its those alluring eyes and nuances which have been capturing hearts. That being said, in hindsight of the photo book fiasco which has created a perception and life all its own, the producing of Kasai herself I think should rather be questioned in the eyes of those who create an idol’s said image and how she’s commercially presented. That’s not to say that idols themselves have absolutely no control over such matters however surely it’s the hand which feeds and promotes that’s orchestrating much of our beliefs and perceptions which are a large part of an idol’s aura. In Kasai’s case the blame perhaps falls somewhere in the middle and while one would think that such an idea could have been easily said no to, one must too place themselves in those shoes for a moment and truly deliberate the aspirations and chance which was being presented, for such chances if any at all aren’t in abundance and when you consider just how competitive the idol world is and in particular those amassed in one such company as AKB where the constant fight for attention is magnified I think it’d be difficult to decline any such opportunity whether or not envelopes are being pushed even when so far. Add together one lensed visionary’s flawed concept with means to promote the sexy allure of Kasai with an idol receiving such a break or chance if you will, and the entire photo book project was doomed before the printers even hit. Still with the release date then looming so near to the day when a very questionable photo was included in a weekly youth publication, that coupled with evidence of just how far back the production was completed prior (see DVD extra on “Masaka” type A single: “1st shashinshuu making”) that would mean that long before Saint Nick was making his rounds about rooftops and chimneys that the photo book project was complete meaning it most likely had already seen the presses by that time. So with online sites and book stores cancelling orders and notifying fans of an indefinite new release date one now has to wonder what did become of the books already produced? If it were the sixties and money a huge issue then perhaps the publisher could have ‘butcher’ covered all of the existing books by simply pasting new photos over those needing to be vanish only to regret the idea shortly thereafter when fans begin peeling off carefully and exposing said ‘vanished’ photos then creating our modern day most sought after book pressing.
Of course for The Beatles some later recalled albums were released into the public prior to the cover up as is the case here and just take a look at the ridiculous prices being asked for on auctions for that oh so elusive magazine carrying ‘the’ photo =O. Ultimately though I imagine that somewhere on some dusty shelf sits Kasai’s 1st solo photo book right next to Minimoni’s never to see the light of day album which sadly coincided its then doomed release date along with Aibon’s questionable career altering decision(s). Either that or Tsunku opted to use those discs as really expensive drink coasters one night at an elaborate party of his…
You know sometimes the mind wanders and I actually was just going to write about Kasai. Her debut single. So anyway….
Up top are the Neowing (Cdjapan) first press photo extras while the two up front are from a possible 5 different photo types which are randomly inserted in each first press single case.
Oh but first speaking earlier of how much Kasai’s looks have changed in just a few years, check out these from her audition for AKB48…
..she looks so different, no just much younger but sooooo different!!
It’s always so heartfelt, the emotions of having passed! Single type B includes a wonderful digest titled “Kasai Tomomi no kiseki” which covers Kasai’s time in AKB48 with running commentary of her thoughts in retrospect spanning her career till now with highlighted events along the way.
~Kasai Tomomi “Masaka” (music video)~
Both singles types A & B include the music video and there’s a cute little love interest storyline of proposition, jealousy and requital going on here =). All four tracks (types A & B including different coupling with songs) are sweet ballads and the styling both in visuals and melodies suit her to a perfect tee and while I usually love a variety of styles in a release the sweetness of these songs really are a welcoming overall. For me Kasai’s sort of the innocent with a seamless sense of sultry type of an idol and while most no one at this point can vocal~allure like Mayuyu, Kasai’s natural nuances are sweet enough to make hers one of my favorites too. “Masaka” opens with its chorus smartly as all the makings of hook~line~and~sinker are right up front in a simple yet catchy melody which is both memorable and easy to love.
~The coupling with tracks~
Type A version
~Kasai Tomomi “Masaka” mp3~
~Kasai Tomomi “Watashi no hikari” mp3~
~Kasai Tomomi “Dakishimeraretara” mp3~
Type B version
~Kasai Tomomi “Candy” mp3~
~Kasai Tomomi “Masaka (music video making of)~
When I saw the boy and then thought of the photo book I was like oh crap =O!…but oh it’s not the same kid =). The making of is included with single type B. It’s nice to hear from the production staff in their own words as they speak about the concept and storyline and also the clothing and styling used in the pv, perhaps they’ll continue to include much more of this type of content in future releases as it adds a nice commentary to understanding the ideas and production overall.
~Kasai Tomomi “Solo debut kinen live event~
It always amazes me of the momentous events held for music releases in Japan and there really wonderful sort of like mini press conferences but in the case of live events and Kasai’s being a debut celebration you just knew that her fans would turn out for this! The clip takes us behind the scenes leading up to the big evening where Kasai is greeted warmly and gives a performance of “Masaka” and although a bit brief overall it would be great to be able to attend one of these live as so often special inserts for these events are included in releases. The solo debut kinen live is included with single type A.
~Kasai Tomomi “1st solo shashinshuu making)~
It’s a bit strange now watching this clip of the making of this now defunct pb and yet you have to think that it’ll eventually be reproduced less a photo or two? From what I see here the artistic direction of her pb went for a more warm and casual feeling and Kasai really looks gorgeous! So let’s hope that it sees the light of day one day soon!…I mean so much effort and resources were put into it so I couldn’t imagine it being shelved with Minimoni’s album for too long =). This clip is included with single type A.