First up, pictures.
I quite like the cover (this is the Regular Edition) and the concept behind it. If you go look up the covers of the various editions of this single (particularly the Single V), you can understand why I’m sort of getting a Beatles Abbey Road meets Shibuya Crossing kind of vibe. Unfortunately, while great in concept, the execution leaves much to be desired. I don’t know who handles the design and lay-out of these covers but whoever he/she is he/she seems to be quite lazy and a bit too much in love with the magic wand tool in Photoshop. The parts around Momoko’s, Yurina’s and Risako’s hair are quite badly done. I’m also at a loss for why Miyabi is in a semi-cowgirl outfit while the rest of the group has a very different styling. So in total just half a point here.
On to the main song: Heroine ni Narou ka! (ヒロインになろうか！; Why Don’t We Become Heroines?). Below I present to you the PV.
Now before you go crying “OMG they ripped of Lady Gaga” be aware that Lady Gaga’s style didn’t come out of nowhere. She herself borrows liberally from the glam rock genre, from Grace Jones, from David Bowie and I dare say Japanese fashion. Then again, this kind of tribute/imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And hey, Gaga sells, so why not use that?
Also, Maasa looks awesome in a white wig.
I love the use of projection mapping in the PV. It’s basic but it serves its purpose. The story bits kind of seemed unneccesary to me. All in all I think it’s a very good PV. There’s no greenscreen in sight which is a plus.
The song itself is pretty awesome. I had originally heard a few concert rips of this song recorded by fans at the 2011 Hello!Project Winter concert tour and while I still think it comes over better when performed live, it’s still very, very good. The “Heroine” lines by Risako, Miyabi and particulary Yurina are truly the highlight of this song. Line-distribution seems to be decent although Berryz工房 has always had less trouble fairly assigning lines than other H!P units. All in all a well deserved two points.
The coupling song Hero Arawaru! (ヒーロー現る！; A Hero Appears!) is (much like on C-ute’s latest single) decent and listenable but not extraordinary (and lacking Hatachimae no Onna no Ko’s pig like sound effects). It seems as if this coupling could have been a track on a Buono! album, with plenty of guitars and a sizeable rock-influence. I’m awarding it one point.
Lastly we have the instrumental, which much like the one on C-ute’s latest release is quite listenable on its own, although to a lesser degree. Half a point.
Count it all together and we have:
Seems like C-ute won this recent duel of releases with a slightly better cover and a slightly better instrumental. Still it’s a great release and Berryz工房 did manage to snag a #1 ranking today. Current sales of the single have passed 20000.