Starshine’s Setlist: WANT! – Berryz Koubou

Don’t give me that look, reader. I know it’s another Hello!Project release. But what did you want me to do? It’s not my fault they release their singles on a better schedule than the other companies. Yes, it’s that time of year children where I run through as many of the new singles they release for the holidays as I can while they are still somewhat fresh.

Let’s not put on any frills here, and dive right into Berry Koubou’s 30th single – WANT!

Ah Berryz, arguably one of the least popular acts in the H!P lineup, though undeservedly so. Beginning their collective carrers in 2004, Risako, Miyabi, Momoko, Saki, Maasa, Chinami and Yurina have a wide range of maturity and talent, and it has been interesting to see them grow up through their music. So now, with most of the group now hitting the ripe old age of 20 (in idol years, that’s like 55) how does their music hold up?

Here’s there new video, with translated lyrics here:

The lyrics are really tragically cliche. I mean pulled straight from some sixteen-year-old’s diary cliche. However, this is somewhat forgivable considering that the rest of the video up the cool factor, so ignoring the lyrics is much easier. Especially when you realize that the words have nothing to do with the theme of the video.

As far as the video goes, the majority of the video takes place on a spinning set, with the members sittings in various small rooms as the song progresses, which a dance shot taking place on a dark stage with a single bright light in the back. I will say that I like the spinning stage much more than the usual green-screen H!P is known for. It moves quick, it’s colorful, and it has lovely cinematography. Does it have a plot? Of course not, but I feel like this as close as we’ll ever get to one, so kudos to that!

Though at points, they do just look like they’re too exhausted to properly sing so the crew just taped them murmuring the lyrics while they rested. That’s…kind of a plot.

The dance itself is kind of poor, compared to the relatively quality of the rest of the video. As you can see in the dance shot version the movements are very jerky as if trying to pop-and-lock but being unable. The chorus looks messy and over-simplistic, with weird hand movements. The dance overall just seems to have been thrown together very last minute, and it’s a real shame since this group can pull off more difficult moves. Then again, the dance is not as featured in the video as it usually is, so that works to its advantage.

I think the costumes look nice, despite the cheap looking crushed velvet. I think the punk look works for this group, especially since they are a bit older, and all the members of the group look fabulous. Personally, I think the purple is a little too light, but I think the jewelry and metal frills are a nice touch. However, since there’s a lot of movement in the video and the dance so it doesn’t really matter what the costumes look like. The standout is Risako, who I’ve never liked, but is rocking the bright red high ponytail.

Who says you can’t reuse old Halloween costumes?

The song itself is amazing. The vocals are strong, and the line distribution is actually pretty even. For those uninitiated into the world of J-Pop, for all the members in a group to get close to the same amount of singing line each is basically unheard of, since often groups will have one or two girls taking on the lead vocals. But in this song, there’s a better spreading out of the solo lines. Not to mention good use of auto-tune. Yes, I also had no idea such a thing existed, but it truly does. It’s full of energy, with a strong beat, but more than that, it sounds clean and fresh. And because of that I truly think its their best single of the year, if not of the last few years.

Overall, Want! is a stellar success, whether it places high on the Oricon charts or not. While the video does have it’s issues, the song on its own more than makes up for it, and really helps the group shine. Personally, I think it’s one of the best of the J-Pop singles I have heard all year, and I strongly suggest you all check it out!

Pros:

– Great song overall with real line distribution.

– Good costuming.

– Great overall video.

Cons:

– Mediocre dance.

-Cliche lyrics.

Rating:

 

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Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

Latest posts by Starshine5050 (see all)

Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

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