“Yarakai Heart”: The Heart-making Industry is Booming.

My relationship with Idoling!!! is a complex one.  I love them on their variety show, but always found their songs to be… “suitable”.  It’s not great, but not “bad”.  It’s upbeat and idol-y, but by the end of an Idoling!!! song I feel like I’ve been listening to it forever and have no desire to play it again.  Maybe I find them repetitive or too simplistic. I also found that a number of their songs cannibalize parts from their previous entries, which could add to the feeling of “I heard this before” I usually have with Idoling!!! songs. Whatever it is, I’m not a big fan of their discography.

So obviously, I wouldn’t find myself excited about an upcoming Idoling!!! release; what I usually feel instead, is apprehension.  “I hope I’ll like this one” is how I usually feel before I start listening to their latest entry.  Having heard and seen their newest release, ‘Yarakai Heart’, I still have the same mixed feelings about Idoling!!!, but hey, at least they’re not getting any worse, right?

I did enjoy the chorus and lines in this song, but like a lot of their songs, it ended up feeling overplayed and tiresome by the end. It’s the average length for an idol song(between 4-5 minutes), but by the last chorus I felt like I’d been looping the song for a half hour.

Whether it was merited or not, what immediately came to mind within watching the first 10 seconds of the PV was ‘Valentine Kiss’. The premise of the video is a group of girls building hearts in an assembly-line fashion; guess the idea is pretty popular. While content-wise, this music video has more interesting things going on in it than ‘Eve’, other elements remain the same that bog it down. The thing that bugs me the most is how static many of the shots seem.

You’ll notice that nearly every single shot of the PV, whether it’s a solo shot, dance shot, or assembly-line shot, the camera remains completely still. There’s a barely-noticeable use of zoom during the dance shots and one camera pan, but that was all. Not to force a comparison, but for the sake of example, look at Watarirouka 7’s ‘Valentine Kiss’ and see how the camera utilizes zooms, pans, and moves in most of their shots. It’s such a small thing, but when it’s gone you can sense that something is missing. The shots of ‘Yarakai Kiss’ also repeat themselves several times, and while they may have been done on purpose, it doesn’t help their case.

David had said before that one of his biggest criticisms about Idoling!!! was their choreography, and how simple they were. The choreography moves in ‘Yarakai Kiss’ are an improvement, but from just seeing the PV it looks like the choreographer is missing the bigger picture. More than 90% of the dance shots in the PV have the girls dancing in the same place; the formation the girls are in are stagnant and unmoving. Maybe in the full choreography there’s more movement and shifting going on, but the parts they give us are ultimately boring and static. I’ve been following Suzuka Morita (my favorite member) in all the dance scenes, and she’s in the exact same spot in every single shot. I was expecting more general movement in the formation, which would have added some much needed dynamism in the PV.

I sound like I’m completely hating on this PV, but I assure you, I don’t hate Idoling!!! or this release as much as it sounds like I am. I’m just trying to figure out for myself what makes a great PV, and what makes one more interesting to watch than another.

My criticisms aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, but it looks like I’ll have to wait longer before I finally find that great Idoling!!! release I’ve been wanting.

‘Yarakai Heart’
Releases March 2nd, 2011


About Dae Lee

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

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  1. well, can’t help it. they born to focus on their tv show.
    they make every song and choreography as simple as they can.
    if they make it complex, i think only a few members can do, like Rurika, Ton-chan, and Ai-chan.
    as you may have watched, 2 of 5 members of 4th generation didn’t sing or dance at the audition (Yuuna and Kaoru). even the gap of dancing skill between Yazawa (1st generation) and Ruka (4th generation) is completely different.

  2. B-sides, B-sides, B-sides…
    Most Idoling!!! fans will agree with me when I say that almost every Idoling!!! single to date has had better B-sides than A-sides. It’s a little frustrating to see how that has become the norm with Idoling!!! because, let’s face it, the A-side and its PV are what make that first impression that will make or break the entire single. But, most fans know to at least hold out for the B-sides because they are almost guaranteed to be better than the main track.

    Yarakai Heart is no exception. I find Yarakai Heart enjoyable, but I like all three B-sides better.

    Queen Bee ~Shoujo no Jidai kara~ is an obvious jump onto the K-Pop bandwagon (come on, just look at the title), but I like to think of it as another entry in the “we can do anything” part of Idoling!!!’s discography. Ballads, techno-pop, heavy metal, rap, jazzy house, and now Korean-style pop. Idoling!!! is one of the most versatile idol groups out there today.

    Konayuki ga Mau Machinami de is a nice ballad that showcases the vocal prowess of some of the members. Non-fans tend to dig at Idoling!!!’s reputation for being weak in the talent department, but this song is a great example of how much they have improved over the years. Idoling!!! three vocal “aces” (Endo, Tonooka, Yokoyama) each carry themselves well in this song. I’m especially impressed with Endo, who has always been probably the best singer in the group, but has typically lacked passion in her singing. But, in this song, Endo gets the big solo (as usual) and sings it with force from deep within. I just hope she does the same when they perform it live.

    Ichikoi is an interesting song that features the “boys” of Idoling, Asahi and Goto. This group was created based on their characters from the Me ni wa Aoba Yama Hototogisu Hatsukoi PV where they wore the traditional boys’ “gakuran” school uniform, hence the name Team Gakuran. This song has a very pop-rock sound to it that, at the same time, feels very masculine. Whenever they get to the “Koiseyo Baby” line, I can’t help but picture Asahi and Goto trying to pick up some girls off the street. lol… Very fun song to listen to.

  3. Agree with Silverbolt. Idoling!!! definitely normally have killer B-sides. So many times it would have been such a good idea if they just make pvs of the B-sides instead! I am still waiting for my copy of the single so haven’t listened to the three B-sides on this single yet but really looking forward to it.

    I have to admit though, this PV and the song are nice but nothing too special. The wait for that special breakthrough song I guess will continue…

    I also beg to differ on axaxx’s comments. Both Yuuna and Kaoru did sing in the audition (Home Sweet Home & Planetarium). I also think Yuuna is the best singer of the 4th gen!

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