2011 is turning out to be a year of great idol collaborations. We’ve already been treated to the °C-ute vs. S/mileage joint concert tour earlier this year (still the best H!P concert of the year in my opinion), Up-Up Girls and THE Possible have just finished two joint FC concerts, Momoiro Clover Z and Tokyo Girls Style just did their own joint performance and the mother of all collabo’s, the Mobekimasu single was unleashed last week.
Berryz工房 & °C-ute, determined not to be outdone, have also jumped on the collaboration bandwagon, giving us not only a new concert tour (reminiscent of their 2008 ~Berryz Kamen vs Cutie Ranger~ tour) but also a stageplay (the theme song of which is available on iTunes), movie and collaboration single.
Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku is the theme song to Ousama Game, the Hello!-Project Kids movie starring Kumai Yurina and Suzuki Airi. As such, the single has a graduation feel to it, albeit not the kind of graduation that usually gives frightened idol fans heart attacks. It’s a fun song and not at all what I was expecting from this collaboration. If you had your heart set on a Kiss me Aishiteru or Heroine ni Narou ka!-esque electronic firestorm, you probably won’t really enjoy this single. I personally find it to be quite charming. It’s a nice contrast to the Mobekimasu single. While that particular release succeeds in sending chills (the good kind) down my spine, Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku made me feel all warm inside.
The music video is decent. This single’s tie-in with the Ousama Game movie has given the video focus and a great location to shoot in. A greater degree of shot variety would have been nice (as it is now, there’s a lot of just standing and singing) but I find it quite fun to watch nevertheless.
We also have two couplings songs in this joint release, both very much suiting their respective groups. Tanjun Sugi na no Watashi… (the Berryz工房 coupling) is relaxed and fun, yet distinguished. It’s a song I could have looping in the background for ages. Kirai de Kirai de Kirai (the °C-ute coupling) is a lot more serious. Its strength lies in its well executed instrumental (once again reaffirming my desire to see an official release of a pure instrumental CD consisting of recent H!P album and coupling songs one day). I admit that it does get a bit tiring to listen to after a while so unlike the Berryz工房 coupling it’s not something I’d put on near continous repeat. I do hope to see a concert performance of this in the future though.
On the whole I quite enjoyed this release. Nothing mindblowing but in general quite decent. I’m very much looking forward to purchasing their joint concert tour whenever that eventually goes on sale.