Even the biggest groups can have bad singles, and for Momoiro Clover Z that was Gounn, a single so bad I didn’t even bother to review it. But with their rendition of Moonlight Densetsu for SailorMoon Crystal, it’s time to return back to one of the most popular of Japanese girl groups. But has a short hiatus out of the spotlight and endorsements of other series left their music utterly devoid of the cute, quirky feeling of their previous singles? Even considering most of their music was made for other shows anyway, it kind of has.
Let’s listen to Naitemo Iindayo by Momoiro Clover Z.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a version with subtitles, but below is the official music video:
Since my Japanese is incredibly limited, and no one decided to translate the song yet, I’ve had to rely on the most dreaded of tools – Google Translate. While I may not know the exact lyrics, I do have an overall feel for what it’s about. Essentially it’s a more emotional “fight-o” song about pushing through difficult times, even if sometimes you stumble and cry. What would bring this theme out of the realms of cliché into genuine inspiration is the passion of the singers themselves along with the power of the song, but I’ll touch on that more in a little bit.
The single is the themes of, and timed for the release of, the Akumu-chan movie, based on a great drama which they also did the theme song for. Because the series is all about dreams, the video doesn’t have much of a cohesive plot other than the two main characters running around while the singers dance around in different costumes. As such, the video is random, but not cool or weird enough to be especially memorable — even the dance seems like weird posing without any sense or purpose. The only symbolic part is when the singers, dressed as students, are running against a strong storm, when one falls and other helps them up. I’m sure there’s more symbolism to be found, including the apples but I wasn’t inspired to look for it. In fact, compared to the other videos, it seems sort of tame and boring — barely any action, none of their typical quirkiness or charm, a very ordinary video. While I will be the first to agree that their stuff is hit or miss, I’d rather have that than dull. Still, for what’s there, at least its consistent in theme and tone.
The overall song is what saves the single entirely. There is a grandiose, heroic feel to the music overall, making it enjoyable and somewhat catchy. This is definitely the kind of music you’d want to be running or fighting to and is what takes the tired and cliché theme of the lyrics to a whole new level. The vocals of the singers are not quite as in sync as they usually are which is jarring for a group that has always been more about one sound than waiting to take turns at the mic, so to speak. I’m not sure if it’s because they thought individual voices would sound more powerful but I do believe that it makes parts of the song seem shrill and out of place. Still an overall strong song that makes it worth the listen.
Naitemo Iindayo is nowhere near Momoiro Clover’s best but they have done worst. I think they might have gone a more normal route since it was for a film, which hopefully means they’ll be back to their hyper, odd selves in the next single. Sometimes there really is no worse a crime that mediocrity. Until then, we’ll just have to settle for their rendition of the Sailor Moon theme song.
– Good video.
– Strong song overall.
– Weird costuming.
– Vocals need work.