Majidesuka Ska: Half n’ Half.

Remember my post where I stated how excited I was about this single, and how great the song preview was?

The 30-second preview was fantastic—it finally took a break from what fans dubbed “emo musume”, and the way the new members were showcased in the beginning was great. Sadly, the preview was as good as it got, because the song just sounds like the first section looped three times, with repetition already coming into play within the first minute.

It had almost no sense of progression that made one section different than another. We all know that most songs repeat after the first chorus, but it’s usually done in a way so that we don’t feel like we’re having a bad case of deja vu for three and half minutes. Whether it’s because the song is too simple or doesn’t have enough variance, it was disappointing.

The PV fares better than the song.  The outfits are vibrant and casual; a sight for sore eyes after seeing Morning Musume wear desaturated, “serious” costumes for the past few years. There was a surprising amount of variety in the shots they used, even letting me look past the repetitive aspects of the song.  Even though the number of girls have increased by only one since the last set of graduations, it looks like the group grew significantly larger, and in a good way.  It was great to finally see the new members in a professional light, providing ample amounts of enthusiasm and spark—it was also great to see the older members move around more briskly and cheerfully than they’ve been in a long time. I’m much more likely to revisit the PV than the song by itself.

But it’s a shame that the set and premise itself wasn’t interesting or varied enough; when I heard how the song was going to be, I imagined the PV would do better than a cactus and an old-man Mitsui Aika(seriously, what the hell was that all about?  Why was the idea of a cactus growing flowers important at all?).  Merely changing the floor from black & white stripes to blue & black checkers is not enough.  The giant letters were actually put to good use, but they ran out of things to do with them about 2/3rds of the way in, and the last section of the PV fell flat because of it.  Despite some dance moves that I found really fun, I wish there were more dynamic movements, and the use of the ever-popular cancan didn’t help me like it more either.

This ‘ska-inspired’ song definitely brings up memories of their single from long ago, ‘Koko ni Iruzee!’ which also had a similar ‘ska’ sound and spirited vocals. I don’t frequently compare the present with the past, but it was significantly better as a song and had a much more interesting PV. Listening to them back to back, they sound like companion pieces; but with Koko ni Iruzee being ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, and Majidesuka Ska being ‘Phantom Menace’.  Thankfully, the PV was better, but it wasn’t ambitious enough to be the great fanfare I expected the 9th generation debut to be.  It’s exactly not a confidence builder, but as Tron always tells me, “baby steps”.

‘Majidesuka Ska’
Morning Musume
Releases April 6th, 2011


About Dae Lee

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

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