Momusu’s newest harebrained PV

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Almost 2 months ago the full PV for Morning Musume’s Brainstorming off their recent double A-side single, Brainstorming / Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai, was released.

And the reason I’ve waited so long is because I was honestly dreading writing this review. Since Morning Musume is my favorite idol group I’m always extra excited to review their PVs. And whether the PV is good or bad I always have a clear opinion on it. But with this PV, and the other PV from this single for that matter, I’m literally drawing a blank. Just completely uninspired to write about it. You know a PV is bad when you can’t even form the words of why you don’t like it.

But much like with any PV review I feel the longer I wait to review them, the more I’m letting my readers down. And it’s that feeling that pushes me. That silently whisper in my ear I can sense of all of my readers in unison saying, “Hey, Amy, what’s going on? I’m tried of waiting to read that review it’s been out for weeks already!” Granted my readers would probably call me Aim, but I feel it’s more dramatic using my real name.

Buy you guys have no idea. I’d take reviewing an awful PV over a mediocre PV any day. At least I can think of sometime to say with an awful PV. And that’s what brings us here now. I’m reviewing this PV for solely for you guys, and I genuinely hope you enjoy it.

Unfortunately what I feared when I watched the loose shot version, the same thing I feared when I watched the dance shot version of One Two Three, sadly became a reality and the loose shot version pretty much became the final version of the PV. Which makes me half angry and half sad. And not because of the reason you think. It’s cool they they keep giving us fans of the PV with having the dance shots uploaded about a month before the full PV is out. But at the same time I hate that it spoils the full PV too much. I prefer when we just used to get 30 second previews of the PV. Remember a time when us fans were satisfied seeing a completely grainy severely low quality PV preview of Naichau Kamo recorded directly off of someone’s cell phone? Oh, how the times have changed.

This PV I can’t even fully explain it. I don’t hate it, but I definitely don’t love it. It does have it’s good parts: the girls look outrageously gorgeous, especially during the close-up shots. My god the close-up shots! The lights are so bright on their faces that’s it’s giving them a flawless completion and overall appearance. My girls just look so incredibly beautiful that I’m almost overcome with emotion at thought of how much they’ve grown. I also absolutely love the outfits. They are tough, but still pretty at the same time. Perfect yankee fashion for Reina’s send off. And they’ve once again given the members who are meant to be sexy the sexier outfits. This time it’s only simple thigh high socks. People have tried to say that it’s the older members who get the socks, but that’s not the case. Because Mizuki and Ayumi are the same age but only Mizuki is wearing socks. And Riho is younger than Ayumi and she is wearing the socks. I literally cannot be the only one who picks up one this.

I also really like the dance. Sure, it’s a similar style to what they’ve been doing lately, but I like it. It’s sharp and polished looking. And completely interesting to watch. I like that lately they’ve been making dancing intensely their thing. I always loved when they switched C-ute to that once they became a 5 member group. I also even like that big screen of lights in the background. I love that throughout the PV it changes from music bars, to something that resembles a heartbeat, and then to just flashes of brightly colored light. It makes the PV a little more vibrant, and a little less dull. I also thought it was brilliant that they turn the lights to each girl’s image color during close-up scenes.

But that’s all I like about the PV. I don’t like that they are just standing on a bare black floor, and on one set the entire PV. I don’t like that it’s another predictable dance shot close-up format. I don’t like that Morning Musume doesn’t, and hasn’t for a while, taken risks with their PVs and at least attempt to make something interesting. Like Seishun Collection. It wasn’t great but at least it was filmed outside and they did more than just dance and show close-ups.

Instead we get another PV that’s only enjoyable because I love the girls and they look pretty. But visuals only go so far, and I prefer something a little better. Even if this PV was painfully simple I’d still like to see the girls being silly and having fun. Or showing their personality somehow. A PV like this gives the girls zero changes to let their true selves shine through. It’s what I loved about PVs like Maji desu ka Ska. It was so cheaply made, but I saw the girls really being themselves in the PV. Lately they’ve had to worry too much about being mature and sexy that they’re not being themselves. And bottom line, that’s why I like my idols, for their personalities not their looks.

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I wanted to make a joke that even this titled screen ins cheap, but who am I kidding this is actually an improvement.

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Gosh this looks oddly familiar.

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Love how intense the dance is.

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I really can’t deny that this is a great dance overall.

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Riho is looking pretty adorable.

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Wow Mizuki.

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Might as well post this, is probably one of the few times I’ll actually see Zukki.

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What’s with the hear no evil pose?

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Wow I’m really paying a lot of attention to Riho in this PV. Well, I don’t really have  a choice considering all the liens she gets.

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This hairstyle is super adorable on Ayumi.

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Gorgeous.

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They gave Sakura such an odd hairstyle.

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Oh look there’s my girl, looking beautiful I might add.

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I love how you can clearly see Maa-chan’s enthusiasm. 

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And I love how cool Haruka is trying to look.

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This is like the only part of the dance that looks awkward in my opinion.

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Is that a smile Haruka?

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Sakura looks so innocent here. I can’t really explain it any other way.

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Just wow.

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Whoa I actually think this is the first time they showed Erina in the entire PV.

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Just random arm flailing at this part of the dance.

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I absolutely love Riho and Ayumi’s little dance battle.

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Fukuhime!

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I just noticed that Reina’s earrings are handcuffs. How cool.

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How can anyone not love Masaki? How can anyone not want to just run up and hug her?

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Why does Haruna look so sad? This is your solo line girl, cheer up.

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Cutie.

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Zukki’s judging you so hard right now.

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What’s with this random smoke scene?

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Are we suddenly in Kis-My-Ft2’s Everybody Go PV?

Kisumai’s PV never fails to make me smile

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A few months ago the full PVs for Kis-My-Ft2’s new double A-side single KI.SU.U.MA.I ~Kiss Your Mind~ / S.O.S (Smile On Smile) were released. It’s a lot late, I know. I apologize. But I’ll find a happy medium in blogging again.

The S.O.S PV again took top priority because one of my lovely readers asked me when I was going to review it, so I know they’ve been waiting and looking forward to this.

After watching this PV and following their releases all I can say is, “What are you doing to me Kisumai?” I’m a super casual fan of Kisumai and I always planned on it staying that way. Honestly, because of the same reason I used too be casual with KAT-TUN, and that’s because their singles are great, but they could’t seem to pull it together and make a decent album. KAT-TUN’s albums got increasingly better after Jin left, but I’m not sure sure about Kisumai. I say that because right now I’m only going on Kis-My-1st because I have not had a chance to listen to Ikuze Good yet.

But lately Kisumai has like been begging me to become a bigger fan of them. Enticing me with singles released so soon after each other, double A-sides, a DVD, album, and single all released on the same day. I have to say looking from my stagnant Hey! Say! JUMP and NEWS fandom, the Kisumai fandom looks shiny and fun. Now, all they need is someone to consistently sub their variety shows and I’m sold.

Now, that was way off subject, but important nonetheless. The PV is also being me to become a bigger fan. It is just incredibly charming. Everything about it is just fun. It has the same flare as the Unmei Girl PV in the sense that it’s a relatively simple PV that’s enhanced by the members themselves.

I have to give the editors of this PV props they made a CG PV that actually looks good. Most of the time CG PVs seem to have such a low budget that they can’t afford the good CG and instead use really awful cheap looking CG that brings down the entire PV. But it seems like Kisumai spent a decent amount of money on this PV and it completely shows with the quality of the CG.

Everyone who makes idol PV should take note of this PV because this is how CG idol PVs should be made. At first glance the PV looks boring because it’s set it what can only be described as a futuristic town completely made of white. But once the abstract/ pop art looking graffiti flashes across the screen it immediately makes sense why they went for such a subdued backdrop. I think it was such a smart idea for them to have 3D graffiti and to have their movements paint even more graphics. It really brightens things up without being too much and overpowering the entire PV. It’s extremely eye catching and and really adds a fun and cutesy element to the PV. I have to say I’m a sucker for happy-go-lucky idol PVs, so I really prefer when Kisumai is being cute and slightly childish vs when they try to be mature and sexy and release heavy rock music. But that’s just my opinion.

The other thing I absolutely love about this PV is even if there wasn’t any pop art graffiti this PV can stand alone with any of it. And that really speaks volumes for the PV itself. That they graphics are completely enhancing the PV and aren’t being used to dress up an otherwise predictable PV. The guys are completely charming and effervescent in this PV and are as equally bright and vivid as the PV itself. The guys are just being so carefree, energetic, and just really natural. There’s a real playful element where the guys are chasing each other, randomly invading each others solo shots, and always being extremely enthusiastic. Whether it’s during the dance or just running in place somewhere in the distance.

And another big plus for this video is we actually get to see the other 4 members quite a bit! It’s nowhere near the screen time they deserve, but it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the attention they usually get. It’s not a perfect situation, but maybe just maybe, this means management is finally opening their eyes and is going to start using the other guys more. Maybe an evenly distributed song and PV is closer than we think. Despite Tama being my favorite member I’d be perfectly ok with seeing him less and seeing more of, say, the always exuberant Miyata.

Aside being in love with this PV, and I am in love with it, absolutely in love with it, I also consider it to be one of the best PVs of 2013 so far. And I honestly can’t see many PVs topping it. However, there is one scene I just don’t like at all, and it’s the scenes where they are dancing in front of the earth. And I don’t like it because it’s the one time in the PV you’re painfully aware that you’re watching a CG PV. The CG is just such a poor quality it doesn’t fit with the rest of the PV. And besides that, dancing it front of the Earth with rainbow colors flashing around it reminds me 100% of Berryz Koubou’s Ryuusei Boy PV.

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Conveyor belt Kisumai.

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This dance is a little too simple for my taste.

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Graffiti try not to be so obnoxious.

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Taisuke looking as cute as ever.

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Now this is the perfect amount of graffiti. And I love how it’s also on the billboard.

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How adorable.

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Is there really anyone more adorable than Tama?

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Still this dance. Not good.

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Nice ascot there.

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Cutie.

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This is pretty reminiscent of Ryuusei Boy.

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Don’t you think?

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Adorable.

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Love these bouncing smiles.

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This PV makes walking on that conveyor belt look so easy, but during the PV making they fell down like 10 times.

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Oh Miyacchi.

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Come on Miyata go away, you’re getting in the way of Hiro’s usual 8 hours of screen time.

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Sometimes Hiro is so close to being cute, but then they are times like this where he looks like a troll.

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Senga’s quite a scene stealer, I barely noticed Taisuke here.

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But then the next second it’s as if no one exists but Taisuke.

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Wait a minute, are Tama’s eyes two different colors? I’ll have a kinship with him times 1,000 if we both have heterochromia iridum!

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I really wish we could see the pop art font in the background better.

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This forced perspective is really cool. Reminds me of the forced perspective things Mini Moni did on Ayu ready.

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It looks like Senga is going to fall.

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Get back under your bridge Hiro.

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Omg Miyata.

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Love all the different fonts.

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Such a cutie.

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I love the effect under their steps.

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It’s so cool how the futuristic world is literally crumbling away to form the new set.

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Now this really reminds me of Ryuusei Boy.

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Kind of a similar feel.

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Just when their outfits almost matched they had to find a way to make sure they didn’t.

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I love that the smiley faces are in the sky.

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Miyabi appointed sub-Captain and the panic that follows

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Berryz Koubou Captain Shimizu Saki made an unexpected and equally shocking announcement on her blog that fellow Berryz member Natsuyaki Miyabi will helping her lead the group as Sub-Captain. In her blog post, which you can read translated here, Saki said her reasoning behind appointing Miyabi was because she feels that she’s not doing a proper job of leading them since C-ute is holding concerts in the Budokan and Berryz has yet to hold concerts there themselves. And has now personally said she’s aiming for Berryz to perform at the Budokan this year or next year.

Now when I first read her blog post I was overcome with two emotions. The first was sadness for Saki because she, and the rest of Berryz, have been trying their best and still there’s no result. Not only that but you see how the idol themselves are painfully aware of how unpopular they are which is a whole other kind of empathetic pain I feel for idols. And I also feel sad because Berryz are losing to a younger group. Which has got to make them feel bad about themselves. The second emotion I was feeling was admiration for Saki. Here’s a leader who sees what’s wrong and really wants to fix it. And also an idol that has such love for their group that they want everyone else to know how great their group is. As a fan I’m touched and get slightly choked up thinking of her love for Berryz being so genuine and caring so much about the fans that she says she’s also doing this so the fans see the best Berryz that’s possible. 

I have to say I am not entirely surprised that C-ute are getting to perform Budokan. Tsunku did say either in the beginning of the year, or maybe the end of last year, that 2013 was going to be C-ute’s year. And that fact that C-ute are performing at the Budokan and having their first overseas concert means that Tsunku wasn’t kidding. But it is obviously sad for the other groups in H!P who would love to have a year as good as C-ute’s.

That being said, in my second paragraph I did say those were the emotions I was feeling when I read her blog post because when I first heard the news I certainly has different feelings. When I first heard this news I was completely confused. And the one though that I kept having was simply why. “Why now after all these years without one? And why at all?” Sure, I guess it could make sense that Saki feels that she’s incapable of leading the group on her own and really does need help. But let’s be honest, leaders in idol groups don’t really do anything. Sure they make sure the girls are actually working and not goofing off, and they gather the girls all together. But beyond that there’s really nothing else. They don’t choreograph the song or teach the girls the dance. They don’t write the lyrics or give the girls vocal lessons. And they certainty aren’t in charge of line distribution or how much promotions the group gets. Captain or leader is a fancy name and some honor, but it’s really nothing more than that. Because honestly the only time a group needs a leader is when new girls join the group. But Berryz has never had new members.

So, after realizing that Saki doesn’t really need help to do a virtually nonexistent job, what was the point in announcing this at all? And then it hit me and came over me as one fell swoop of fear and panic. This seems like it’s only being done because Saki plans to graduate soon. I honestly wouldn’t blame her or be too surprised. For one, Saki is the oldest member so I always figured she would leave the group first. And secondly, 2014 will mark her 12th year as an idol. 10 years in Berrys and 2 years in H!P Kids. That also marks nearly half of her life. Not many idols out there have started off so young and been an idol for so long. And this announcement does make it seem like Saki wants to graduate on a high note after accomplishing something big.

All of this just seems way too convenient. In nearly 10 years Berryz has never felt the need to have a sub-Captain, but now all of a sudden they do. It seems way too perfect if you ask me. Because the first question that would be asked if Captain graduated  would obviously be who’s the Captain now? And the answer to that question should have been Momoko. As the second oldest she’s the most logical choice. Miyabi actually makes no sense. There are 3 members older than her who should have been picked instead. Which either makes me think that some of those girls might want to graduate too or perhaps Saki really did have the final say in choosing.

I have to say the thought of Saki graduating does frighten me. Not because she’s my favorite member, which she isn’t. I don’t dislike her, she’s just floating somewhere in the middle to me. No, it frightens me because this would be the sobering realization that Berryz Koubou and C-ute eventually aren’t going to exist anymore.

Yes, one day when the girls are too old they are either going to drop like flies one by one or just graduate the entire group. The girls in Berryz Koubou are starting to reach that “too old to be an idol” age. This year the girls will be 19-22. Which doesn’t seem old, but in means some of the girls only have 2-3 more years as idols tops. I said on twitter recently, “what if Berryz announce their disbandment during their 10th anniversary?” I said it during one of my half serious “what if?” scenarios. But now I’m starting to think about it more seriously because honestly they could. They could seriously announce next year that 2015 is going to be their final year. Or they could just simply announce that a member is leaving. But having been members for so long in an almost unchanged line-up, wouldn’t one member leaving feel like the end of the group?

This whole station has put me on high Berryz alert. I love Berryz and consider Berryz to be my 3rd favorite H!P group. I guess now I’m going to treasure them even more just in case someone is leaving or the group is going to disband. Because honestly, even if it isn’t this year or next year, it’s going to happen eventually. And probably sooner than you realize or are prepared for. I really don’t want to be in one of those I didn’t care about them enough and now they’re gone situations.

I’m going to end this blog post with a cryptic piece of advise: Enjoy every idol moment like it’s their last because for all you know it’s going to be.

AKB48 – Sayonara Crawl PV Preview

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A PV preview for AKB48’s new single, Sayonara Crawl, was released. And as we all know this isn’t just any old AKB48 single. No, this is of course the single before the Senbatsu, which means it’s just destined to sell incredibly well. Which also means, they wanted to pull out all the stops to ensure it sells the maximum amount.

And if you’re AKB48, that means yet another bikini PV. And before I talk about that can I just say how Sayonara Crawl sounds like it should have been a sad song. Something along the lines of: you were just dumped and are hurting so much instead of running away from that person who dumped you it’s really a sad goodbye crawl away? Instead it’s this happy upbeat song I was not expecting. But maybe that’s just me. Or maybe I’ve just heard so many idol songs now that I could probably write my own. 

But weird lyrical expectations aside, was anyone really surprised it was yet another bikini PV? Well, maybe Mother Nature was a tad surprised since summer doesn’t officially start until a month after the song release date. But hey, it is pretty much official AKB48 law anymore to have at least 1 bikini PV a year, so why not get it out of the way? And why not add the already increased sales of the Senbatsu single with the increased sales that come along with a bikini PV to make this possibly the highest selling AKB48 single of all time? It makes perfect sense obviously.

But as a fan of well made idol PVs and not a fan of female fanservice, that fact doesn’t comfort me at all. No, instead I actually care most about the quality of the PV, which in Sayonara Crawl’s case isn’t very good. So far that is. This is of course is mostly said because of the comments I get that say you can’t judge the PV 100% until the full PV is out. Which is true I suppose, but 90% of the time you absolutely can.

Just like I can tell that this PV is yet another AKB48 bikni PV filmed on the beach. A bikini PV filmed on a beach, my god someone give the director an award. The only part of the PV that has hope for me are the scenes at the end where the girls are playing around in tubes. I’ve said it 1,000 times now, but if I’m gonna watch a bikini PV at all I prefer silly ones where it’s the girls genuinely having fun as friends. But there’s no point in beating a dead horse now. I’ll leave that for my review of the full PV.

What I think is the most funny about this PV is I just realized that I can’t recognize the main girls in AKB48 anymore. I wanted to say how someone’s loose braid were beautiful, but then I realized I have no idea what that girl’s name is.

KAT-TUN – Face To Face PV preview

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The short version for KAT-TUN’s upcoming new single, Face To Face, was recently released. I wish I could say something snazzy like this is the first peek of the PV us fan are getting, but sadly it’s not. And even shorter PV preview was released a few days ago, but I never got around to making the post about it so, my bad. If you don’t know already, Face to Face is being used as the theme for Kamenashi Kazuya’s new movie Ore Ore. Which, on an irrelevant note, I’m actually really looking forward to seeing.

After watching the short version of the PV I am completely impressed at how well made  and seemingly expensive it looks. Even if the PV is cheaply made it is incredibly creative. Probably one of the boldest and original PVs KAT-TUN has really ever released. It’s certainly leaps and bounds above the sorry excuse for a PV that was the Expose PV. And this is really about all you’ll get out of my about the PV until the full version comes out and I make my review for it. Because why would you even bother reading that if I gave all my opinions about it now?

Moving away now from the quality opinions and onto more shallow ones. I’d like to say that my god the guys look gorgeous. They look absolutely perfect in those black and burgundy outfits. And is it just me or has Taguchi been looking absolutely delictable lately? All of this recent magazine spreads have made me look at him in a whole new light. And of course I have to talk about my baby Koki. Koki you’re gorgeous and all, but dear god cut you’re hair. You’re long overdue for a haircut. Or at least wear it in that pulled back hairstyle you’ve been doing lately that looks 100 times better. Also, I thought Koki was wearing a skirt in this PV. I was about to say, “Are you doing your best Massu impression?” But then I realized it’s not a skirt at all, it’s just his shirt is about 2 feet too long.

Also, am I the only one who wished they were wearing those scruffy pirate outfits from their Entag commercial? Seems like such a wasted opportunity.