Released back on July 2nd I’ve now been listening to Tomochin’s first solo album for a few weeks now and the whole of the album is comprised of very electro-charged pop ….very stylistic, dance inducing and slick in production and overall a most impressive debut effort but that is not to say that SxWxAxG doesn’t have its fair share of a dreamier side with mid tempo and ballad tracks offerings with the likes of “For you, for me”, “Juunen go no kimi e”, “Lose-Lose” and the already familiar power ballad “Little.”
“SxWxAxG” contains fifteen songs including Tomochin’s previously released single tracks with “Dear J”, “1%”, “Fui ni”, “10nen Go no Kimi e” and the aforementioned standout song “Little” highlighting the album. And while there’s a definite Amuro Namie aura present in much of the production’s direction musically, Tomochin’s still very much idol-like vocals shine ~* most uniquely throughout. And just as her early solo image had made a deliberate turn away from her AKRoots even as she was still active in the group, “SxWxAxG” pretty much completes her image makeover into the realms of pop-goddess, albeit Tomochin’s still surely at that pop-princess stage of her solo career~.
The first press edition of “SxWxAxG” is extremely beautifully packaged!!! The discs come housed in a digipak styled inner casing which is held in an outer clear plastic slip case which is also cutely animated with fishies~♥ and every panel of the inner casing is likewise decorated with vibrant Tomochin images and colorful graffiti art.
And upon removing both discs inside the case, Awww Tomochin’s got on a smiley =) ‘one piece’ dress! So cute!
The first pressing also includes a 32 page photo booklet and an external bonus as a mini clear file which is cutely imaged on both sides completes this beautiful packaging!
~The Crush music video~
~Itano Tomomi “Crush” (mv)~
And I did mention that there are two discs here right? So the second disc is a DVD containing the new music video for the track “Crush” and talk about a mesmerizing visual experience as an addition to Tomochin~♥’s seducing of the camera lens there’s also some pretty cool lighting effects and in particular it’s the doubling image effects which are most awesome here…because you do know that two Tomochin’s~♥ means double your pleasure right ^^~!~!
~Itano Tomomi “Crush” (making)~
And here’s the making of video which runs approximately 5 1/2 minutes aka: a mini look into just how Tomochin~♥ got her SxWxAxG on~ ^^.
~SxWxAxG photo booklet~
~SxWxAxG, the songs & lyric booklet~
In all of my years of idol♥worship I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed an idol with such fashion sense and timing as with Itano Tomomi and even when word of her solo debut went viral on the web I still hadn’t anticipated her image and presentation here to be so so profoundly stated and in a sense even definitive of her personality. Tomochin…AKB48’s fashion princess?…..perhaps fashion goddess is even more appropriate and while her fashion sense has long been widely known and seen, “Dear J” has no doubt heightened that very unique appeal in which she brings to both AKB48 as a group and the idol~world alike~. And while she can seamlessly turn on or off the girly idol appeal, unlike some of her fellow AKB48 members Tomochin also carries a deep and true sensuality about her which also makes her so much a standout in the group.
Call it simply packaging/marketing genius on the part of King Records to include on each LE an exclusive song not found on any of the other editions as well as the allure of types A, B & C holding exclusive also an additional clip each, which includes special movies of a behind the scenes making of, a fashion collection as well as an extensive mock~type of interview. As a soloist Tomochin’s vocals are a bit reminiscent of 90’s pop artist Sasaki Yuko with a sweet~♥ overall tone and well controlled range suited perfectly to the sleek and mid~tempo styling of the r&b flavored tracks “Tunnel” (which I find to be the best track) and “Thank you” respectfully. Title track “Dear J” gives the listener the cuteness of electronic~pop with a nice cool kick about it and rounding out this release giving perhaps a true sense of versatility is the gentle~ballad “Stay by my side.”
And continuing in the grand tradition of select AKB releases “Dear J’s” first pressings each include a most beautiful photo extra~*! It also wouldn’t be a stretch for me to say that these are some of the most glamorous of Tomochin I’ve seen yet as they’re each representative of the single’s overall fashion~theme. I’m not quite sure of the sequence or how many are available if these are indeed randomly inserted photos for this single as the numbers in the corners don’t seem to be of a numbered sequence?…..or maybe I’m just confused?…lol that happens a lot =). Neowing also is including a photo extra of their own and continuing with that tradition I’ve always received duplicates of the very same photo since they began including them however now they do note that all of the photos are indeed the same =P.
You really can’t overstate the level of style, elegance and just pure heat♥ in which Tomochin brings to this release in literally every aspect of it….I mean even the walls are designer bag~built ＾ ＾♥！！And in the case of the aforementioned type A’s coupling with track “TUNNEL”, for me it really comes out on top of this release as being the most powerful and impressionable and it’s so fittingly also presented as the fashion showcase in what can be seen as a catwalk fashion show/ pv♥ where Tomochin absolutely sells it*…..owns it* and performs it all with a most striking sensually~sexy* poise all done with complete class~. Her wardrobes are very much varied too from chic to casual and what I love too is that there isn’t anything way out in left~field~outer~space…..you know like when a designer one day stares @ a coffee table and a hula~hoop for what may be hours upon hours and then decides to make an evening dress out of it =O.
Type B’s extra clip is an extensive interview but it’s no ordinary interview as Tomochin is playing the part of a dare I say pop~diva??….lol it’s cute though as in the latter part of the clip they even included her NG’s :P! Who knew that being a pop~diva could be so difficult? xD
Type C’s DVD includes a special making of clip where all phases of the production are touched upon going from Tomochin’s on the spot catwalk/ strike a pose training to more behind the scenes footage of her “Dear J” music video shoot as well as interview portions~
~Itano Tomomi “Tunnel” mp3~
Itano Tomomi “Stay by my side” mp3~
~Itano Tomomi “Thank you” mp3~
Itano Tomomi “Dear J” (pv)
Itano Tomomi “Tomomi Itano Collection –Special Movie-“ (featuring “TUNNEL”)
…Mmm there’s always something* so sexual about pearls and then you have the way Tomochin’s holding them here (*´艸`)．．．！So funny she was directed a bit on how to hold them (pervy direction lol)…I think it was in the making of =).
Itano Tomomi “Tomomi Itano Interview –Special Movie-“
Itano Tomomi “Making of Tomomi Itano –Special Movie-“
These days it seems that we’ve been losing another Tomomi about every few weeks now to graduation from the mother ship AKB48, however despite the varying talents and personalities of the Tomomi’s of the past, this time with Tomochin it’s much much different. Beginning with the shallower end of the pool, sure Tomochin’s looks are far more unique and eye catching than your average or even above average idol to begin with but as you reach towards the deeper end the very essence of Tomochin’s image, style, appeal, sexual allure, charisma, sensual charm as well as her marketability are far from ordinary and that of the entirety of most idols of today. It’s been nearly a year since I last stated an AKB soloist or any for that matter to have such an impactful release and one that plants a viable seed of future fruition as that last and most recent reckoning had occurred with Acchan’s release of “Kimi wa boku da” and while Acchan may have opted towards a future in acting which suits her perfectly well, here Tomochin now with just her fourth solo single project has been groomed to perfection as a~~> soloist right before our eyes. And any Amuro~chan goddess comparisons here are well warranted while not at all being of a locking prison of carbon~likeness as Tomochin’s sensuality is to Amuro~chan’s powerfulness and likewise Amuro~chan’s vocals and presence are to Tomochin’s oasis of idol appeal and feather light sweetness. Still Tomochin’s vocals stand tall on their own with a confidence and range plenty enough for the next level~>. Additionally till now the productions, wardrobes and choreography behind Tomochin in each of her solo works (both in dance and image) have all the parallels to just about any upscale Avex project and with an already most impressive dance repertoire in holster coupled with confidence in glamour and style, this Tomomi is readily equipped to take flight~~> from her AKB nesting. On August 25, 2013 which is a little over two months from now, Tomochin will take flight forever saying her good~byes to her idol home which has seen her transform as a first generation member whose initial Nono~like image (if you’re unsure, check the link for Tomochin in just her second UTB appearance/ she’s the one getting her Chun~Li on!) has transformed into the idol~goddess you see in her today. Thinking about her leaving AKB48 now, this is really a first for me that I’m not deeply saddened knowing of an idols～♡’ pending and soon to come graduation, but with Tomochin she’s ready to spring from the AKB48 nest as she’s truly outgrown this home and ready to fly onward to new beginnings~~>.
To further define the Avex~aura of the production of “1%”, the team traveled all the way to the world renowned Ripley Grier Studios in New York for the beginnings of dance rehearsals where the city that never sleeps also played host for the amazing roof top dance scenes which appear as the overwhelming backbone along with the ‘publicity’ footage creating together the entirety of the aura to this single’s image. “1%” in itself is an outstanding and most well written composition as it holds all of the electricity and sexual tension of the best of dance tracks along with every hook and groove to capture one’s heart as well as body. The melody is as intriguing with its transitions of seamless musical passages going from verse to pre~chorus to chorus as it is memorable for its seemingly ballad influenced hooks which I just found irresistible…this one’s getting the i~Home loop treatment now!
And it’s only fitting that Tomochin’s latest music project is also a tie in with fashion stand out Samantha Vega!! After all she is still without question, AKB48’s most stylish～♡.
~Itano Tomomi x Samatha Vega~
(note: Cdjapan first pressings include an external photo extra)
~Itano Tomomi “1%” (music video)~
Sexy, sensual and stylish….move to the music, you can’t take your eyes off of this one!
“Wanna be now”
“Ai ni pierce”
~Itano Tomomi “Fui ni” (pv)~
Part ballad…part dance “Fui ni”’s a hybrid at heart, and AKB48’s most stylish Tomochin launched her very own fashion wear collection in collaboration with Samantha Vega coinciding with the release of this second solo single, the Tomomi Itano Collection Summer 7 Days Style. And just like with her debut “Dear J”, the packaging is stylish as well with even the liner notes/lyrics jacket being printed on extra thick and textured paper giving it an almost vinyl feel and each LE also comes with a sticker matching to its gorgeous cover shot.
“For you, for me”
“Juunen go no kimi e”