One of my personal favourite Indie Idol acts, Houkago Princess, recently made their return to the more mainstream world of Japanese Idols this May with the release of their PV for their new single (third national release, seventh overall), Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~ (2013 Version) on their official youtube channel
After about a year of inactivity, I was surprised, and very much pleased, to finally see the return of these girls. I have missed them a lot, so to see them return was a very joyous time for me! So, that said and done, let’s talk about their release, shall we?
So, the single and PV for HouPri’s latest release is more of a reboot than anything else, and in some ways it is quite a nice reboot, other times not so much. The PV has certain elements to it that I enjoy, but other times I wonder why they decided to re-do the PV at all when the original was perfectly fine as it was.
One of the first things I noticed about this PV was that it included a lot of performance, backstage and behind the scenes footage, which you can take two ways; it can either seem extremely lazy, or it can look like we are experiencing the journey of Houkago Princess whilst they have been away from their youtube channel. For me, I personally like the footage used in the PV as it allows me to experience Houkago Princess and how the group itself grew whilst they were away from youtube and any other shows that allowed me to keep up with the group.
Another thing that I noticed, and it would be a little hard to miss them, was the change of costume… and for me, this is the part of the reboot that I really don’t like, mostly because those horrible costumes are an eyesore and don’t flatter everyone, but what can you do? Another thing to take note of, other than the horrible costumes, is the change in location. This is actually a pretty lavish location for HouPri in my opinion, and a big step up from their last few in their previous PV’s. I was impressed that the reboot of this song ad PV included a new location that looks very fitting for a group based on After-Shool Princesses, and it felt a little more fitting for the song when compared to the original PV. However, that said, the video looks a little more overcrowded… but that has to do with all the members added.
I do believe that the main reason for this reboot has to do with all of the members that have been added, as it shows off just how big the group has become since their debut back in 2011, however the way the video has been edited, I do feel that the managers are going in the wrong direction, because it is very clear that only certain girls are being highlighted. I have a bit of a problem with this as you can probably tell, and Houkago Princess have kind of always been like this, but when even members of Generation 1 and 2 have been shafted to the back for exposure of some of the newly added gen 3 members, and even the new cadet members being ignored in terms of having no close ups at all and where they are positioned in the song (right in the very back) it does make me wonder just why there was a need for a re-do of a video and a song, when only certain members are given the chance to shine. In this sense, I do feel that this reboot of Juliet ~Kimi wo Suki na 100 no Riyuu~ was not needed at all.
The PV has its charm, and I do see an improvement in editing and the groups charisma, however I do see no point in the reboot of this video at all mostly because it only highlights about five of the thirteen members, and seems to only be there to show off how big the group has begun since they left the media eye for a while. Yes, I see improvement in the group itself, but another song could have been used rather than deciding to re-do one that already has a PV release. It would have been nice to see Daisuki or Ichigo Ichie have a PV release instead, even if it was made up of footage from concert performances, backstage clips or behind the scenes footage of MV’s. It certainly would have been more refreshing than a reboot of this song, or at least it would to me.
Also, despite this being a reboot of a song that was already an A-side, there is no real change in how it sounds. The only real change was giving Nana a new solo line, and giving Nene Mayuka’s original harmony lines. If there had been an update in the song, other than the lineup, like an instrumental change or giving more solo lines to different girls, I feel that this reboot would have been more worthwhile and a little more interesting to listen to, however it is just the same song, but with a few new vocals thrown into the background that we can not distinguish against anyone else’s, because they do not have solo lines.
I am happy to see HouPri return, and I can certainly see how the group has improved, however I do think that management needs to work on showing off more members, rather than excluding close-ups such to certain girls. I would also like to see more of the cadets, if that is even possible. As for the video and song itself, though… I could have done without it.