Hello! Project / Jpop

A look at Golden Chinatown by Berryz Koubou

I just got finished in my last entry saying how I basically don’t pay much mind to Berryz and C-ute because they don’t generally do too much to interest me, but I ended up checking out the newest Berryz song, Golden Chinatown, anyway.  I read a few other reviews of it, and while few were positive, at least one did mention that it had a disco-vibe to it, which is what made me interested.  I usually like less than half the material they release in a year, but some of my favorite Berryz stuff were their disco-tinged songs, stuff like Heroine ni Narou Ka, Ryuusei Boy, and the like, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Hard subs make for "interesting" screen caps.  I do enjoy the out of context lyrics at times - some of the pictures practically caption themselves.

Hard subs make for “interesting” screen caps. I do enjoy the out of context lyrics at times – some of the pictures practically caption themselves.

The criticism of this single is not undeserved, but there were still a lot of things I actually liked about this song.  The verses drew me in right away, they were catchy and interesting, and coupled with the disco instrumental, I started to take a liking to this song within the first 30 seconds.  The unfortunate part is that the refrain really failed to deliver, so while the buildup was great, it built into disappointment.  Thinking about it, that has happened many a time with Berryz for me, so I shouldn’t be surprised.  I guess the odd thing here is that I still kinda like the song, even though it has shortcomings.

Saki's doe-eyes are lovely, although she looks even better while dancing, that's tougher to screen cap.

Saki’s doe-eyes are lovely, although she looks even better while dancing, that’s tougher to screen cap.

For an infreqent Berryz listener like myself, this song is also good to showcase the growth of the girls in the group, which is an element of Hello! Project that I’ve always liked.  Like Captain.  At the beginning of Berryz, Saki was, for me, a lump of coal.  I know that’s mean, but girl sounded awful, was not an attractive kid, and stood out in no way at all to me.  Not so now, the lump of coal has emerged a diamond.  What a change, her vocals sound pretty good these days, and look at her!  She has become beautiful! I put her near the very bottom of my H!P ranking the last I did one 2 years ago, citing voice, looks, and just not being interested in her, but she has come up considerably since then.

Risako looks terribly constipated throughout the whole PV.

Risako looks terribly constipated throughout the whole PV.

Some of the other girls have changed as well, Risako seems to still be in the middle of a quarter-life-hair-crisis.  And while I like that she’s probably trying to express herself through the different hair, the granny-gray look isn’t doing her any favors, appearance wise.

No no, Momo!

No no, Momo!

Although not unexpected, I was irritated that  Momoko (Momochi?  >.<) went back to her old standby hair, the droopy, sad pigtails.  She’s got so much cute potential, but this hair style is definitely not flattering on her and I wish she’d stop it.  It got old a few years ago.

The dance was not great.  I enjoy this shot because they look like distressed trees.  Especially Yurina (although that may be true 90% of the time with her anyway).

The dance was not great. I enjoy this shot because they look like distressed trees. Especially Yurina (although that may be true 90% of the time with her anyway).

I was also surprised at some of the other girls’ vocals in this, because they sound a lot better than they did a few years ago.  Chinami stood out as having improved vocally, and Yurina didn’t hurt my ears either.

So like I was saying about the subtitles writing the captions themselves...

So like I was saying about the subtitles writing the captions themselves…

Girls themselves aside, this video was really nothing at all.  Just close-ups, dancing, neon lights, lather, rinse, repeat.  H!P could surely make a better video than this, but when the song itself is only half good, maybe a video that’s only half good is all it deserves.  I guess it kinda sums up most of the Berryz catalog for me in general – Half good.  Still kinda like the song despite all that, guess I’ll just take what I can get.

–Jess

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4 thoughts on “A look at Golden Chinatown by Berryz Koubou

  1. They all look pretty but that’s it really. At least they look better here than in Sayonara, Utsukushi no Watashi, that song sounds much better though.

  2. Pingback: Recommended Reading: June 4th, 2013 | Idolminded

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