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Berryztopia!

Posted on: February 12, 2009

Let’s talk about some Berryz, guys. More specifically, my newfound inability to not watch/listen to their new PV. I mean… I have to be at work at 6:30am this morning (this hour typically doesn’t even exist in my vocabulary) and I willingly got out of bed at 5am because I realized I could get in a few more viewings of said PV over my bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. I am THAT far gone.

I was once one of those girls who thought that MoMusu could do no wrong and that the H!P Kids were merely a pale imitation of everything the flagship was/is. Only, now? I think I’m equally into MoMusu and Berryz, with Berryz trying very hard to take the lead. (I will never be a °C-ute fangirl with the current incarnation of the group, though.)

So, anyway… because I’ve already watched this thing 20+ times, let’s review the new Berryz PV “Dakishimete Dakishimete”.

This is another grown-up song from Berryz which is not a bad thing because much though I loved “Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance”, it was a bit childish for a group of girls who are all beginning to grow and mature. “Madayade” was maybe a bit *too* old? The girls are not yet old enough to be OLs, so the portrayal was a little off. But this is an uptempo love song sung by girls who are obviously old enough to be feeling those feelings (Miyabi’s pseudo-scandal, anyone?) I had initially only heard concert rips of this song, and was trying very hard to get into the feeling, though I’ll admit that I couldn’t make out of a lot of the details over the cheering and all that, though I did go in and fiddle with the sound enough in Adobe Audition that I think I had a rather better idea of the song than most people who only listened to that.

Let’s discuss the song itself before we head into the PV. Berryz can be vocally strong, but they are not terribly there in this release. Risako’s voice is unsure or something and while she’s more technically good than I’d say she has been in a while (and her nasal-ness does kind of fit along with this song), I wish she hadn’t gotten the 4-line solo. As it is, every girl gets at least 2 solo lines. Up until 3 minutes in, the song is equal between all Berryz. Miyabi gets one extra line after Risako’s solo, and she handles it much better. She’s developed such a smooth-sounding voice, though, that she’s beginning to sound as out of place as Momo did when she could only squeak.

The song is techno-y, which I love, and has some really good blends and harmonies and such and if you just listen to it (without viewing the PV), you can practically feel it. The chorus parts are really high-energy, and while the solo lines are a lot more restrained, there’s still a power behind them. There are a lot of “Woo!”‘s in it, and some weird distorted bits thrown in before Risako’s solo, but I really like listening to this song. I’ve probably already listened another dozen times just writing this.

Now that I’ve written over 500 words without actually touching on the PV, let’s talk about the looks that the girls are sporting. Saki is wearing a leopard-print fedora that is actually sex itself, and yet Captain looks even hotter than the hat. This defies explanation, but suffice it to say that while Saki’s get-up is cool (the black-and-white striped shirt with jeweled skull image, the layered skirt over jeans [I think], the two colors of combat boots), it doesn’t exactly fit her all that well. There’s too much fabric to the shirt, and Saki moves with her shoulders back so far that is nearly looks like she has no chest and a lot of stomach. Her hair, though, with the asymetry and the blue-black streak? Wow, Saki. Want. Please?

Miyabi is in printed tights, a teal shirt with black print, a short skirt, boots and a black fedora. Her hair has a pinkish streak, it seems? It looks kind of awesome. Really. But, she kind of fades to the background a lot because there’s nothing particularly flashy about her outfit.

Massa is looking particularly wonderful, too. The outfit doesn’t do her much justice as it looks like one of Junjun’s grandma-approved potato-sacks. But, her hair is awesome (also asymetrical) under that grey fedora, and she looks a bit thinner than she’s been looking.

Chinami and Risako look like the stylist raided Momusu’s closet for their outfits. Risako has a red jacket a’la Nai Chau Kamo, only splatted with black paint to make a black zebra print, plus the black skirt, and the stylist yanked a few feathers off the old Onna ni Sachi Are costumes to stick in her hair when some of the black paint got on them. Chinami, though, got the white jacket, and her black skirt was put in some bleach first so it turned kind of brown. Her hair ornament came from the old Iroppoi Jirettai costumes. Both of them have hair that is up with pretty drastic bangs that look kind of awesome.

Momoko is the only one rockin’ the pink (or is that red?) with a babydoll dress, and I think she works it. She’s got a leather half-jacket, too. She doesn’t look as out of place as she could.

Yurina has the most boring hair of everyone. It doesn’t really work with her facial features or her outfit which has the whole matching scarf/jumper thing and a white floofy skirt she stole from Momo, though I do like her leggings. When it shows her back at all, it looks like she’s strangely proportioned because of a hood/the scarf on her back.

Most of the girls have on one fingerless glove, and all of them are wearing relatively punk jewelry. There are a lot of leather collars in that room!

I guess I still haven’t really talked about the video itself yet, have I? And this is almost 1000 words in!

The video starts off with a showing of disco balls and some vague shots of Miyabi and Momo’s heads, I think. Yay?

From the start, the girls are into the dance. Their moves explode. It is awesome. I can’t wait to see the dance shot for this just because everyone looks so on their game. Chinami at times seems to fall a bit behind, but then I just notice her legs more, so I’m not complaining.

Someone thought it would be fun to let Berryz man the DJ booth. Most of the girls do a pretty good job, though I was put off a bit by Risako leaning down to put the record needle on, as well as Saki rotating the record. Hilariously, if you watch, a lot of the motions done during this section happen with pinkies up.

There’s also the slightly overdone moments where the Berryz members are multiplied. Yes, give me Saki dancing in front of a colorful background, but just one is fine. Eight of her? That’s perhaps a bit of overkill. It looks odd compared to everything else.

The main dance-shot portion has a lot of colored lights. It’s obvious that some of them were actually running while they were shooting (not many though) and the rest were added in later. It still works for it though. I do kind of feel like I’m in a club as I’m watching.

Other bits are shot with the girls in front of speakers with their color of light shining on it, and there are also some partial group shots with the girls in more light in front of part of the background (the silver ribbons hanging down).

The dance itself has a lot of popping and locking and chest thrusting and even some Para-Para like moments. There are moments that nod back to Berryz singles past, too. Tell me you don’t notice a move that reminds you a lot of Special Generation? The girls are a pretty well-oiled machine by this point, though. They’ve been together for a while and are really starting to be able to dance as a cohesive unit. It’s awesome, and while it’s a relatively simple-looking dance? It’s one every girl looks good doing and is deceptively easy. Watch Saki to see how it looks taken up a notch. She’s not exactly doing what everyone else is, but she doesn’t look out of place. Saki’s dancing reminds me a lot of BoA in this video which is very high praise indeed.

Still, there are 2 moments that stand out beyond all others in this. At 1:35? Chinami’s skirt. That is hot stuff right there. But even better? At 3:38, Saki’s movements as she sings along to the little “Woo!”? I want to manage to make an icon of that moment (though I think I need to wait for a higher quality version of the PV) because it is so awesome and amazing and wonderful.

So… 50+ listens in now, probably (only watching the PV about half the times I’ve played it) and this is undoubtably in my top 3 Berryz favorites. I need more of this kind of stuff from these girls, and the sooner? The better. This PV is very much in line with the kind of stuff Momusu has been doing lately, only done better because it really fits the song.

One final word: LOVE.

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