The New SweetS Cover

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I’m in love again.

Through Made in Paradise I looked at the Girl’s Box website and saw what’s apparently the cover to “Bitter Sweets” the upcoming single from SweetS. Of course, the image repeats the poses – and apparently re-uses the rug – of “Lolita Strawberry in Summer”.


First, anything harkening back to the Bounceback era makes me happy. To me, this is the iconic image of early SweetS – well, this and their rorikon Reservoir Dogs entrance at the beginning of the “Lolita” PV. When I first got the DVD single for “Lolita” I stared at the cover, fascinated by it – and on the DVD, you actually see how they art-directed and shot the photo.

This kind of repetition of images is always fun because it makes you see things in a different light. Unfortunately, the picture I found of “Bitter Sweets” is so small that only the broadest of observations can be made. Aya has gone from a cutie to an absolute hottie, which is no surprise at all. Haruna’s legs finally filled out some, which is good news. Mai now knows enough to look straight at the camera instead of off-stage, which is nice. And the girls have dressed fashionably from the very beginning to the present day, though I’m actually not too thrilled by Haruna’s blue dress.

Second, the actual title “Bitter Sweets” is a great sign. It’s kind of culinary sounding, like all the candy and fruit references from the Bounceback era. It’s also a nicely melodramatic title, which is something I miss. Bounceback had song titles that were dramatic and slightly brooding – “Into the Daylight”, “Tear Lemon Drop” – if not downright suggestive – “Love Raspberry Juice”, “Lonesome Cherry”. The songs of course followed suit.

Post-Bounceback, the singles all had titles that were uplifting and cheerful – “Grow Into Shinin’ Stars” and “Sky” and “Mienai Tsubasa” and “On the Way”. The songs of course followed suit. It’d be nice to get some drama back into the songs – which is funny, since groups usually move forward to sound more mature and serious, not backwards.

Third, it seems like they’re re-asserting that the Penty Five are again five strong. Fans have been anticipating the return of Aya and Aki, and for good reason. I am so happy about this, I’m just ready to go “squee!”, and look forward to a powerful song with powerful vocals from Aya. I’m telling myself not to expect a return to Bounceback greatness or else I may be hugely disappointed… but I can hope just a little, right?

And of course, seeing this new image makes me realize how much time has passed. The girls debuted two and a half years ago – and for adolescents, that’s a lifetime. The sad part – or bitter sweet part- is that with SweetS clearly growing up, several of the Bounceback songs lose at least some of their dramatic power and meaning. “Lolita Strawberry in Summer” won’t sound as convincing from a sixteen-year-old as a twelve-year-old, nor does the “gimme your love / your body” lines from “Love Raspberry Juice” sound as innocent and strange. That said, “Lonesome Cherry” and especially “Into the Daylight” should hold up wonderfully, as should “Love Like Candy Floss”.

Now I really can’t wait for the new single and PV to come out. It’d be interesting if they decide to also reprise the “Lolita” PV since they’ve redone the cover, but it’s unlikely. If they did, maybe we can finally get an answer on who The (white) Woman In White is, at least.

One last thing: in the forum I posted up animated GIF versions of the two covers fading in and out on one another. Feel free to use them, or just stare at them and ponder the rich history of SweetS…


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7 Responses to “The New SweetS Cover”
  1. bene says:

    I really like the cover !
    This is a so good idea to do a remake of lolita. I am ok for a remake of the LSIS PV too but the dance can not be the same.

    PS : I visit very often your blog but I do not post so much comments. sorry


  2. Holly says:

    Ooh! Wow! I love that cover >w

  3. Steve Harrison says:

    As I previously posted, I just got into SweetS about 2 weeks ago, bought, downloaded everything I could find… Now the problem…(which happened occasionally with Momusu, but only occasionally)

    I listen to the 5 ElementS cd/dvd, Earthship tour everyday (motto, motto-mainichi. mainichi!!) I can’t get them out of my head. Songs swirl around my brain like Lolita: Candy floss in Summer drinking Rasberry Juice, while watching the SKY for Earthships..well, you get the idea….

    I think about SweetS all the time..if SweetS was a person, I would call it puppy love..except I am an old dog, not a puppy! I want to go to the Tokyo Tower Records in Shibuya and start waving SweetS CDs around saying.. you all are IDIOTS (baka ni) for not making this group ichiban.

    I really cry everytime I listen to SKY (those harmonys just get to me) Actually, I cried during the whole 1st tour dvd, I get very emotional sometimes when music overwelms me)

    Ray, what have you done to me…Please send me your SweetS poster… now that I can appreciate it!

    2 years ago, I went to Japan on the fly only because a friend got me Morning Musume concert tickets….I left Japan just a week before the Lolita single came out so I missed hearing it, and then just thought any girl group was a Momusume wannabe.

    I was in Tokyo this August, and LEFT the SAME DAY as the Earthship Shibuya show…May I commit seppeku now???
    As soon as SweetS returns as a 5 nin group, I will have my friend get tickets to the first live show they do….
    Does anyone know what JHS AYA goes to? In only 10 hrs. on my United miles card, I can be there…..

  4. Steve Harrison says:

    Thanks Ray, just DL the animated gif. One thing I noticed that is strange albeit that the gifs are v. small…
    Over the last 2 years, SweetS has morphed from a Lolita group of 12 year olds to mid-teenage.
    You can really tell by the 3rd single that they have grown, and at least for me, I can barely tell who is who (except for Aya & Haruna)

    When I watch the Earthship Tour dvd, I could almost believe that they were totally different girls from the early singles.

    However, when I looked at the superimposed, animated gifs of the new(?) Bitter SweetS CDS cover, the girls look quite similar to their former selves. At least I can tell who is who, and not just by positions.
    Can new makeup and hair styles do THAT much to make the girls now seem more like 18 than the 14-15 year olds they are???
    Just an observation…

  5. sweetscrazy says:

    i hope they continue making similar covers when they make their 20th single =D by that time, they won’t fit in the rug anymore lol

  6. Hi Bene:

    I’d actually visited your blog a while back but I didn’t see an English translation at the time. (I can read French but I’m lazy if it isn’t an Enki Bilal BD.) Anyway, I’ve now put links to your blog here and at Feed of Pop. And I kind of doubt they’ll redo the “Lolita” PV but since it’s their second best PV (right behind “Love Like Candy Floss”), who knows? Hope springs eternal. I’m still waiting for a new Bounceback single. (“Bitter Sweets” isn’t it, unfortunately.)

    Hi Steve:

    Hey, I missed SweetS running around Oahu for a week and playing at the local mall, so I definitely feel your pain. Also, I used to get Miori and Aki mixed up all the time but finally figured it out. (Mai always stood out to me for some reason – I think it’s that Nabokovan bloom.) As for how much they’ve changed over the past couple years, it doesn’t seem as radical to me because I watched it bit by bit so it kinda sank in slowly. If you look at the earliest footage of the girls, especially Haruna at the very beginning when they were first training, it IS startling. About as startling as looking at the H!P Kids when they first joined.


    I was actually surprised by the rug more than anything else. I wonder where it’d been during the past couple years…

  7. bene says:

    Ray Mescallado —> The English translation are aviaible since aroud 10 articles and are below the French part and indicated by: —–ENGLISH**

    Hope you’ll find it !

    Thanx so much to add my blog ^^