A better way of titling this GETS!!! post would be “attack of the special units featuring Morning Musume”
It’s still a full-on Hello!-Project GETS!!! this time but I’ve shuffled things up a bit.
Without further ado, the box shot… (click to go bigger)
…and the group shot.
(apologies if the shots are a bit crappy, this is due to me doing some quasi-experimentation)
Just in case you’re wondering what on earth I mean by ‘special units’ let me explain. From time to time UFA/Tsunku-san decides that it’s time to form a special group of performers for a special purpose. Some are used as an anime tie-in like MilkyWay or Buono!. Some only release one song. Others go on to live the life of a regular unit. What’s fun about these special units is that (much like the shuffle units of old) they usually mash up different members of different traditional H!P Groups. It’s an opportunity for fans to hear a different combination of voices than usual, to hear a new kind of sound.
Shall We Love? was released in 2002, when H!P had a large number of soloists. Three of them (Goto Maki, Fujimoto Miki and Matsuura Aya) banded together to form a unit named after one kanji of each the members’ names : “go” from Goto (後藤), “matsu” from Matsuura (松浦), and “tou” from Fujimoto (藤本). Each of them later released a solo version of the song: Goto Maki on her first solo-album, Matsuura Aya on her second album and Fujimoto Miki on her one and only album before she joined as a 6th generation member of Morning Musume. It’s still one of my favorite H!P songs ever.
This song was released in 2005 combining three of H!P soloists (Abe Natsumi, Matsuura Aya and Goto Maki) together with Ishikawa Rika, then the leader of the unit v-u-den (and former 4th generation member of Morning Musume). The goal was to create a high level group of singers, although adding Ishikawa kind of negates that whole concept. Don’t get me wrong, I love our Charmy to death but her singing is mediocre at best. It’s still a great song though. The unit even went on to perform at the 2005 Kōhaku Uta Gassen and released a second single that served as the 2006 cheer song for the Rakuten Eagles before going inactive.
High-King was formed in 2008 for Morning Musume’s then newest stage musical, Cinderella. I guess the idea was to form a group combining the various leaders of Hello-Project units. As such we have Shimizu Saki, the Captain of Berryz工房, Yajima Maimi, the leader of C-ute and of course our beloved Takahashi Ai, leader of Morning Musume. Although S/mileage didn’t exist back then they did add Maeda Yuuka, then a part of Shugo Chara Egg! (I’m guessing she was the leader then?). And of course so that nobody should have dual leader roles, they assigned Tanaka Reina from Morning Musume to be the leader of this group of leaders. High-King never released another single but still exists as a pure concertgroup. I wonder what will happen when Takahashi will graduate? Some people are already hoping that newbie Sayashi Riho will take her place. At this time anything is possible.
Also worth mentioning is that the coupling on this single is equally as good as the main song. I even think the line-distribution is better on the coupling song.
Last but not least, I also ordered Morning Musume”s 44th single Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game, mainly so I could apply one of my CDJapan coupons. Still, I like to support the girls so it was an easy purchase. It’s still a phenomenal song in my book.
All in all, a pretty good haul. I think there are going to be just a few more posts in the GETS!! category in the near future before this GETS!!! tidal wave ends. I still have lots of stuff on order but most of it will only ship in March, April or May. Stay tuned.