March of the Berryz

Posted on: March 3, 2009

It’s March 3rd… the 5th Birthday of Berryz Koubou! On this date, Berryz released their first single.

“Dakishimete Dakishimete” makes the 6th annual Berryz Koubou single release to drop in March, so let’s figure out which is best? These are listed in order of release.

1. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai – The debut Berryz single!
(c/w BERRY FIELDS) In the PV, you are treated to more plaid than is probably healthy to witness, but it’s a great introduction for a group that has grabbed my heart quite a bit, especially considering I initially considered them rather untalented. And let’s not forget the girls in their other outfits… with the sideways caps on scooters, and playing on escalators, and just having fun. Both the main track and the c/w track have a lot of distortion to some of the vocals, and I think BERRY FIELDS is actually better sung. It was kind of the first Berryz theme song. A good handful of their songs have the word Berry or Berryz in the title. Overall, a fun single, and with pretty good distribution of lines, too.

2. Special Generation – The one that got me into Berryz!
(c/w Koishiteru Toki wa Itsumo…) I saw this PV on Youtube(specifically, the dance shot) as I was watching through a bunch of Morning Musume videos. It came up as one of the videos to watch after everything else I watched, so I broke down and watched… and am now the Berryz fangirl you see before you. From the beginning, Captain was my favorite, despite her not having a lot of lines, or really many at all. But, she danced the heck out of this, and the song really grabbed me, too! It’s upbeat, not badly sung, and really shows the Berryz character. To be honest, I never noticed Maiha in this, except that she was the other girl in the white shirt, but I’m probably one of the few Berryz fans who thinks they’re better off without her. (I think it would have taken quite a bit for her to be able to grow into her face.) Then, there’s the c/w track. Berryz have a history (to me, at least), of having strong c/w tracks that wouldn’t really have appeal beyond the fans (excepting Furare Pattern, of course). This is one of those songs that really demonstrates that to me. This is a nice little ballad-y song with a decent amount of emotion in it. And, once again, good line distribution. Sure, the a-side doesn’t have it too much, but all of the girls at least get good shots in the PV. Overall, this is still one of my favorites.

3. Jiriri Kiteru – The one that made me realize Berryz are HOT!
(c/w Toshoshitsu Taiki) This song is also one of my favorites. A lot of the music sounds almost classical, but with a big twist. The PV is also good. The dance is one of my favorites, and all of the girls are either doing so well in their running/crying scenes, or they look so hilarious that I can’t begrudge them their inability to act. The c/w doesn’t seem to fit with the a-side at all, but it’s still a nice song… though VERY similar in sound to Koishiteru Toki wa Itsumo… for me. There are the same kind of awkward sounding high notes that have become a Berryz charm point for me, a similar tempo, etc. Overall, again, one of my favorites.

4. Very Beauty – The ballady thing that divides all Berryz fan between Risako lovers and haters!
(c/w Gaki Taishou) The PV for this really is gorgeous. The dance shot bits are a bit overdone (the outfits can be a bit much to take in comparison to the simple outfits for the close-up bits), but everyone looks good, and almost everyone sounds good. I do not like the chorus to Very Beauty because it always sounds like someone is off. But, I even like Risako’s solo lines. This has some of those high notes that are typically reserved for the c/w track, and they actually work rather well here. Then, comes the actual c/w track which is much more upbeat and not too dissimilar from Berryz first single, but with more of a focus on the girls’ voices which have already improved drastically. Overall, a pleasant change from their previous singles, but not too large of a departure as to seem truly out of place. Not a favorite for me, but still very strong.

5. Dschinghis Khan – The one that sticks in your head and got an official remix single!
(c/w DARLING I LOVE YOU [Berryz Koubou ver.]) If you count in the two remix PVs, there are an astounding 13 versions of the PV. The regular, the dance shot, the Mongolian dance shot, the close-up, the 7 solo close-ups, and the two kinds of dancing sheep… and I love each and every single one. I was familiar with the song this was based off of, and Berryz killed that version in so many ways, some probably in ways old Genghis Khan might have disapproved of.
The song is so upbeat and fun, and so are all of the PVs. Everyone is loving it, except maybe Miyabi, and she’s still faking it well enough. This is widely accepted as a good Berryz song, so I’ll talk about the c/w track now. °C-ute had their own version of this song on whatever their single du jour was at the time, but Berryz owns their version, too. So, it’s two different songs that demonstate that Berryz does it better. Overall, two thumbs, a sheep, and a keytar up.

6. Dakishimete Dakishimete – The new one!
(c/w Sono Subete no Ai ni) Somehow, the c/w track has leaked for this already, possibly just so I can do a full single review and not just a PV review. Although, I think I’ve covered all of my thoughts on this song and PV already. It’s awesome, wow Maasa’s voice, almost even line distro, persons A through G are HOTTTTTTT doing this/that/the next thing. Then, the c/w? It’s bringing back the ballad-y song with the higher notes that Berryz has done for about half of these. Only, everyone sounds really good now. The harmonies sound absolutely awesome (Thanks, Captain!) and Risako has really learned how to take control of her voice. Granted, it still needs a bit of work, but she’s getting there. Overall, this single holds promise to be among my Berryz top three, and the a-side is definitely there.

What I find here… is that all of the March Berryz singles are good, and are among their best songs. I cannot pick a favorite. 4 of the 6 are among my personal favorites! Does H!P just try harder around the anniversary of Berryz’ debut? Maybe not… but maybe the girls do. Props to them because I am falling something seriously hardcore for this group. Also, it’s been 5 years… and Momoko has not changed in the slightest. She looks the same, and sounds pretty much the same, too. But, that may be why she (and Reina from Momusu) is so popular.

On a side note, congrats to Maasa for getting her first PB! I’ve seen a couple of the bikini shots, and damn, girl! That’ll definitely be worth a look, and I have hope that the other Berryz girls will finally get PBs this year. Chinami could have one of just her legs, and it would sell well, and Captain needs one desperately. She’s just gotten more and more photogenic over the years, and while she doesn’t take the best pictures all the time, I think if the right photographer was brought in, it would work.


1 Response to "March of the Berryz"

[…] Years of Berryz Koubou Means 5 Years of Quality Miya Time! (Last Forever) March of the Berryz (SUPER HAPPY GENKI HYPERFORCE GO!) Berryz Koubou 5th aniversary & HBD Momoko! (T!MM!!) Berryz […]

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