Mano Erina, formerly H!P’s only soloist, came out with a new single on the 26th of January called Seishun no Serenade (Youth’s Serenade). Check out the PV (or MV, or whatever these things are called these days) below.
Mano has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. I always felt she was being marketed as H!P’s new golden girl. Don’t get me wrong, she can clearly sing (see above), she plays the piano very well and is a great performer. It’s just that none of her music has ever appealed to me. While I applaud UFA for promoting an artist that has a musical style quite different from the H!P flagship groups, it just wasn’t for me.
Seishun no Serenade however is the first song of her that I enjoy quite a lot. I bought her single off iTunes on release day. It’s a song that gets stuck in your head and seems to be a lot more energetic than her previous work (could be wrong here, I’m not that familiar with her discography). I even enjoy the chanting bits at the end.
It’s unfortunate then (and this seems to be a trend when it comes to me and H!P songs) that the song I enjoy the most, is selling the worst. It debuted at #11 on Oricon (and yes, Oricon, much like the NPD in the US, is evil but it’s all we have) and has been slowly falling in the rankings. At this point she’ll be lucking to push the 10000 copies sold mark (she usually hovers between 20 and 30000). Part of this is probably lack of promotion on UFA’s part, especially with their new soloist debuting this month. I find this sad, because everything about this song feels right.
And don’t pirate the song. If you do that, you’re a douchebag.