I have in the past extolled the many virtues of various individual idol photobooks on this blog. Yet, truth be told, my favorite kind of photobook is the live photobook. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that owning both the live photobook and the concert DVD is the closest I’ll ever come to actually attending one of these concerts any time soon. The other reason is that these live photobooks are little goldmines full of small nuggets of goodness particularly on the pages featuring the backstage photo’s. There’s a lot here for the attentive fan.
This photobook is quite enjoyable especially if one has watched the concert DVD first. I love that whoever was responsible for putting together this photobook didn’t try to desperately mask away the various injuries some members sustained during this concert tour. For those who might not be aware, the Fantasy DX tour was one filled with many injuries and illnesses (setting off a chain-reaction of injuries that spread to the rest of H!P). It was during this tour that Mitsui Aika’s stress fracture was discovered, Sayashi Riho had to wear a support bandage on her leg which later escalated to a full-on injury. Michishige Sayumi sprained her ankle during one concert and Tanaka Reina was ill the day the concert DVD was recorded.
Yet when you look inside this photobook, instead of hiding it all away, they show you everything. There are so many pictures of the group rallying around the injured or ill members. This group, this “new Morning Musume” seems to have grown quite tight in just the few months they’ve been together. They seem to be very close, at least professionally. The 9th generation members in particular seem to have integrated exceedingly well in to the group.
Speaking about the 9th generation members, since this is their first photobook they get an entire section dedicated to them which is yet another way for fans to get to know them better. The photobook shows pictures of the 9th generation spending time together, both during concert rehearsal and during their “free time”, which is always nice to see.
I also enjoyed the fact (and this may be a bit of a spoiler for those of you who might not have bought the book or seen scans of it) that both former 5th generation member Ogawa Makoto and former 8th generation member Linlin make small cameos in this photobook. It’s always nice to see the graduated members supporting the current group.
I realise photobooks aren’t for everyone and I certainly suggest you get the Fantasy DX DVD instead if you have to choose between it and this photobook. But if you have the desire to enrich your concert viewing experience, why not pick up this photobook? Consider it like the special features for a movie. I believe it will greatly improve your enjoyment of the concert DVD itself.
As usual this photobook is available at CDJapan. Do check it out.