Hello!Project has had a long history of collaboration concerts. The one most people probably immediately think of is the 2008 Berryz Kobo & °C-ute Nakayoshi Battle Concert Tour (which is getting a repeat starting in October of this year) but there have been many others. The Hello Pro Party Concerts, the joint Berryz Kobo and W concert tours and of course the 2010 Special Joint Mano Erina & S/mileage concert tour which led to S/mileage’s major debut.
Why do these collaborations? Well, anecdotal evidence gathered from various message boards and especially reports from Berryz Kobo’s Seattle trip seem to indicate that within H!P each group has their own dedicated fanbase. Yes, there are fans of the entirety of H!P (like me) but for the most part, the fanbase seems to be compartimentalised. A collaboration concert allows fans of one group to discover another group’s repertoire while still basking in the presence of their own favorite idols. It’s a bit like expanding the fanbase within the existing fanbase.
I’ll admit that I’ve only ever bought Morning Musume and H!P concert DVD’s. The main reason for this is the economic reality I’m faced with: I simply don’t have the money to buy each group’s concert DVD’s. That’s why I love the H!P concerts. Twice a year, you get to choose from a smorgasbord of idols and it’s practically certain that you’ll find something you’ll really like, especially with the Blu-Ray edition adding so many extra performances. Collaboration concerts also seem to encourage groups to show their A-game. No dabbling in obscure album songs here. Instead we usually have the main singles and the more impressive album songs.
It’s based on this reasoning that I decided to purchase the °C-ute and S/mileage collaboration DVD and I have to say I wasn’t dissapointed. This is probably one of the best concert DVD’s H!P has put out in a while. For some reason these two groups just gel well together. Maybe it’s their ages which are pretty close together. Maybe it’s their voices. I don’t know. The only thing I’m sure of is that these two groups go so great together. The setlist is awesome. Lots of hit singles, lots of great album songs and a Morning Musume song in the encore to finish off the whole thing. What more could you want?
This concert has a really nice flow. The shuffling of the groups for different performances gives us a nice new take on some songs. The MC’s on this DVD are really fun, taking the form of a quiz and even if you don’t understand Japanese you can sort of get the gist of it. I just giggled with glee when in one of the MC’s Fukuda Kanon sang the first line of Morning Musume’s Shabondama. The highlight of this concert though is the dance battle. Besides showing of the dance skills of both °C-ute and S/mileage, it’s full of little bits of goodness. Members teasing eachother, °C-ute “stealing” a S/mileage song. Airi just being silly,…
I have just two niggles: Wada Ayaka forgot one line (just one) during one song and a piece of Yajima Maimi’s costume broke off at one point (although it was quickly fixed by the time the next song started). I also missed having a huge projection screen behind them although the huge C&S letters that lit up were a nice touch. Those are just small niggles that take nothing away from the sheer awesomeness of this DVD. Competent vocals, wicked dance moves, funny MC’s and an allround kick-ass performance.
I highly recommend this DVD.