Juice=Juice’s PV for Romance no Tochuu has been aired on Hello! Station this week, giving us a clear look and listen to their major single debut! Their start as a group has lost one of their indies members, but they aren’t going to let that hold them back. Check out the video at the beginning of Hello! Station on their youtube channel here!
What do you think? I gotta say, although I don’t like the song as much as their first indies single, I do like it better than their 2nd one, it’s got a lot of catchy parts to it! Hearing this one in good quality definitely cements my opinion that this group has a great set of vocalists, as well. They sounded decent live in the preview I heard but the studio version is nicely polished!
One thing I definitely notice about the vocals is that, at least for this song, there seems to be a major emphasis on 3 out of the 5 girls. Karin is definitely the most prominent, which is unsurprising because 1, she sounds great, 2, she’s cute, and 3, she has a considerable fanbase (which has earned her the nickname H!P Jesus on some blogs… Not sure who came up with that, but I love it, so kudos to whoever!). Karin shows her stuff in this song and video, standing out as the center and kicking butt. She looks great, sounds great, and seeing her strut her stuff in this group is so much better than what could have been if she had been put in Momusu or S/mileage. I’m glad it worked out this way.
Sayuki and Tomoko round out the other 2 major focus girls. Their vocals carry a large portion of the song. Sayuki’s are very strong from her years as an egg. She already sounds polished and controlled. Tomoko is the one I have my eye on though… With my favorite Aina being out of the group, it’s Tomoko that might be my favorite now. Her voice is noticeably different, due to not being high pitched, but lower. It’s very pretty and I really want to hear more of it! She’s also drop dead frickin’ gorgeous, so that never hurts either. Love her so far!
Bringing up the rear, we have Yuka and Akari, neither of whom got much focus comparatively. Yuka kinda disappeared into the crowd (of only 5 people?) visually. I only noticed her in her brief close-ups. I am kind of a sucker for her puppy dog eyes though. Vocally, Yuka had a few lines in there where I was like, ooh, she sounds nice!, but at the same time her voice isn’t that distinguishable (this is where a different voice like Tomoko’s comes in handy). I was able to appreciate her vocals because I was watching the PV so I knew it was her, had I not had visual confirmation I might have assumed her lines to be Karin’s or Sayuki’s. I’m sure that will change as I get to hear more from these girls and can tell them apart vocally.
Akari is the opposite of Yuka – I did notice her visually, she has a different look to her somehow (aside from being the only one in pants), although I would call her my least favorite in the group, she is not unnoticeable either. I guess it’s just that, vocally, I didn’t notice her at all, or just can’t really distinguish her from Yuka. She’s the weakest link for me, but even then she’s pretty decent, I just haven’t been fully won over yet. There is potential, but she’s not heavily featured here.
The PV itself is simple, nothing really good like some of the recent H!P PVs like HI-FIN’s, or even like Momusu’s Wagamama (which I have yet to get around to reviewing, oops). It’s mostly just switches between close ups and dance shots, but we do get 3 outfits. The 3rd outfit I really could have done without, though. We have these HAWT houndstooth accents on their main outfits, which are classy, interesting, and fashionable, then we have pretty white outfits after that and then… wannabe gangsta’ outfits? They aren’t cute, they aren’t flattering, and they don’t go with the song AT ALL. Why are they even there? Yeah, so Sayuki looks adorable as a pretend hip hop kid, but I really don’t think that’s what this song was going for…
That one qualm aside, the video is par for the course for H!P, nothing to write home about, but not over processed with a thousand photoshop sparklies everywhere either, so whatever I guess. I’m happy enough to see these girls strutting their stuff as an official group. I really would prefer an edit of the PV without the 3rd costumes, if anything.
I think Juice=Juice is off to a good start. They have a very good line-up, with 2 veteran eggs in Sayuki and Karin, a rising star in Tomoko, and lots of potential in Yuka and Akari. I also love the sound of their songs thus far, I get a real nice vibe from the songs, and they seem to have a consistent sound without ever sounding the same or being boring. I’ll be looking forward to getting this single and hearing what else they have to offer us in the future!