‘Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku’: Bait & Switch

The only release that included all of H!P’s current members since 2004’s ‘All for One & One for All’, ‘Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku’ showcases the full cast of the new generation. When announced, it was a pretty exciting prospect considering that H!P’s releases in the past quarter were better than it’s been in years. But while ‘Tetsugaku’ succeeds in some ways, it falls back into some old habits.

One thing that drove me mad about H!P song releases in the past was the old ‘bait & switch’. There have been so many songs that started out with wildly different and exciting instrumentals which were immediately followed by an all-too-familiar bland tune that deflated all the anticipation and hype. Like a car lemon in a shiny new coat of paint, you know as soon as you start driving it that you’ve been taken for a fool. And while I wouldn’t call this song a lemon, it felt like going into a sportscar and finding out that it was really a Corolla.

The instrumental intro starts off on a high. It sounds fast, attractive and grand—a near-perfect start. But as soon as it ended and the melody began, I was reminded all too soon of Tsunku’s musical comfort zone. The musical breaks always drew me back in and the chorus sounded great, but the rest was largely stuck in mediocrity.

I admit that if this was a Berryz release (and you know it sounds like one) I would be pretty happy about it, so this song definitely isn’t a dud by any means. But for a giant collaboration such as this, I did place my expectations higher. There were multiple sections that sounded rehashed, and the completely underwhelming musical bridge was difficult to ignore. Despite that, the strictly vocal aspect of ‘Tetsugaku’ was successful, as the pairing of various members throughout the different groups made for a unique experience.

The PV largely mirrors how I felt about the song. I loved the initial rush of bold dance moves in the beginning, but it quickly slid back into something rather old-hat. When the camera isn’t statically pointed at the girls dancing around, it’s the girls statically posing while the camera circles around. And let’s not forget the mandatory close up shots with seizure-inducing sparkles to fill the black void they smartly chose as the background.

They pull various ideas from previous H!P PVs, but it seems like they just happened to choose the most overused ones. Much like the song, the most interesting element it had to offer was seeing the different combination of members you wouldn’t normally see together. Aside from the intro and a few nice moments, the choreography is also rehash largely repetitive. The costumes were either too voluminously cumbersome or too garish, and both are outfits that I feel like I’ve seen one too many times.

For me personally, the best part of the PV was Sayashi Riho. While she’s not my favorite Morning Musume member or even my favorite 9th generation member, she was a stand-out and knocked it out of the park. Starting off front and center, she finally stood out as the strong, charismatic powerhouse I knew she could be. From beginning to end, Sayashi showed a level of confidence here that I felt was absent in her past PV appearances, and it gives me confidence that she is a great choice as a central figure.

What I thought could have been grand proved itself to be a mere novelty, and I’m coming to terms with that. ‘Tetsugaku’ is one part new and two parts deja-vu, but it’s enough to keep me listening.

SONG

PV

‘Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku’
Hello! Project Mobekimasu
Releases November 16th, 2011

Dae

About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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6 comments

  1. Decent enough song coupled with a rather lacklustre PV. Yeah, this is H!P and it really annoys me that I keep having to post this same comment over and over. I get that H!P don’t really make PVs with this many girls all the time so you can kinda forgive it a little bit but it just sucks because we all know that this could have been so much more.

    • But this PV could have been SO AMAZING. Just think all the girls…on a beach…WITH DISGUSTING BIKINIS…H!P FORTY EEEEIIIGGGGHHTTTT

      On a serious note (although H!P 48 does sound fantastic), I love the song. Even if the song could have been much more energy, it sounded like a solid H!P single and I’m happy it at least sounded like that. The PV is not bad but. nor is it good. Once you get past the gimmick of “OMG IT’S MOMOKO AND RINO RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER,” it gets a bit boring.

      • Yeah, it’s the classic case of what might have been with yet another H!P PV. It sucks, I want to like H!P releases so badly but it’s almost as if they go out of their way to try to make me not like them.

  2. I actually like the song and the PV. Obviously, if you’re a hardcore H!P fan, you’re going to be disappointed (when is a hardcore H!P fan ever not disappointed?), because you’re inevitably going to compare it to earlier efforts. But I accept it for what it is. You don’t see other idol groups outside of AKB48 producing stuff this big and ambitious. And I love that disco sound.

    However, it’s strange that Mano Erina is almost invisible in both ths song and PV. You’d think the only soloist in H!P would have a solo line.

  3. I actually really like the song.
    But I agree, they could have done more. A lot of people’s issue with this song is how much they promote only 8 of the 29 members throughout this whole song. It’s the same girls in every group getting the leads and basically singing this whole song. I would have preferred they’d just make a shuffle group with them instead of this. Even some of the more popular, better singers were almost absent in this whole PV. If Maeda Yuuka hadn’t been one of the main leads, I wouldn’t know S/mileage was involved in this PV at all. Pretty much all of Berryz got snuffed except Miyabi. Of course Momusu’s members had the most leads, but it was Riho and with lots of Reina. I was surprised when Gaki was leading (which was actually nice when it came to Gaki/Yuuka duets, there was a nice balance in their voices). The kyuukies will probably not get to sing much at all at this point, especially now that 10th gen has joined MM. They pretty much blended in with everyone else or were stuck on the ends, except the beginning dance shot where Mizuki was with Riho.
    Mano Erina might as well not have even been in this song/PV. Where even was she and when did she even sing. I spotted her in like two shots.

    I love the song and hold no disdain towards any members at all, but Mobekimasu is definitely no H!P All Stars. If you are going to gather up all your forces, utilize more than 1/4 of them, especially if it’s the same girls over and over again. I know not everyone can get solo lines, but more than eight people could have definitely sung more than just the chorus, LOL. Okai Chisato could have sung the shit out of this song and Momoko, F. Kanon, and a few others could have weighed in on one or two lines as well.

    The dance shot at the very beginning caught my attention the most. I don’t rank Sayashi high on my list of favorites either, but as always, her dancing is killer. But then they fizzled out and the dance routine became so basic.

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