This is the first edition of H!P releases I have done in quite some time, so I decided to change the layout a bit and try out a few things. The post will be done on the day the good is released (sometimes a day after, like today), which means that it might be a day after it’s release in some countries, and I do this mainly to get the Oricon ranking as well as some previews which might be uploaded after it’s released.
If possible please comment below with any comments about how to improve this section or any other things you would like to see.
There are four releases today: 3 editions of Mano Erina’s 9th single Seishun no Serenade and Mitsui Aika’s 1st PB.
Mano Erina “Seishun no Serenade”
From left to right: Regular, Limited A, Limited B
Mano Erina’s 9th single titled Seishun no Serenade (Eng: Youth’s Serenade) which debuted on the Oricon at #11.
First of all I wanted to mention the ranking, from what I understand this is the first time a Mano release has been ranked out of the top #10 at it’s debut (only singles, not albums) which is really disappointing since this single had a lot of potential with two great songs and great PV, but as we all know Oricon rankings aren’t everything and a single should be liked by it’s content not by its ranking on a chart.
That being said this single turned out to be an amazing release with a great variety of songs and themes for each one, the main song Seishun no Serenade featured a more cool sound that had an upbeat ballad sound while the b-side 21 Seikiteki Renai Jijou had a happier sound although it had a very simple and basic theme.
The regular cover features a picture of Mano smiling in a white dress, the Limited A cover feature an angelic picture of Mano looking at the camera while the sunlight beams behind her, and the Limited B cover features Mano biting her tongue while wearing a black dress.
From the covers I would say that Limited A and B are my favorites simply because Mano looks gorgeous in the Limited A shot and because the Limited B cover shows us Mano’s fun side while she bites her tongue in a cute way, and even though they all have similar outfits I really liked how each cover had a different look that set them apart from the others.
Seishun no Serenade
The a-side has a ballad sound with upbeat lyrics and a catchy beat, in a way I would describe it as a teenage ballad with happy lyrics and an uplifting sound since most of the song has that feeling, and for the most part the song follows the same pattern with the great instrumental and lyrics, except for one part.
The bridge seems to be out of place with the rest of the song, which is somewhat distracting since the song is calm and happy when it suddenly changes for a few seconds, and despite being somewhat distracting I have to admit that it did lead into the second part of the song well since the “Se-i-shu-n!” seemed to pump everyone up.
As for the PV it has a school theme featuring Mano dancing along with 4 Eggs in a classroom, her walking around the school looking for a piano, a shot of her singing while sitting down in a desk, and a close-up of her singing to the camera, and while most of the PV didn’t have that much variety I did love the way Mano looked in each shot.
21 Seikiteki Renai Jijou
Video uploaded by: digij
The first impression when I first listened to the song was that it was very happy compared to the a-side, but apart from the happy intro and the chorus the song seemed to have a very basic theme with few changes throughout the song, but since it wasn’t the full song I don’t really know if the entire song goes on like this.
Despite the basic theme the b-side has a happy sound that contrasts well with the a-side, and while it might be a bit basic to called an amazing addition to the single it is still a great addition since it balances out the sound of the single with an upbeat song.
Overall the single is an amazing release since it has an impressive a-side along with a cute b-side and while both songs have a few small faults (a-side has a different sound for the bridge, the b-side is simple) I loved everything about this single since the covers had unique and cute images, the songs were great, and the PV had an interesting theme.
Unfortunately UFA doesn’t seem to think that Mano needs promotion for her singles (like Berryz Koubou or other H!P groups), and even though they seem to finally be trying out new strategies with Kikka and her debut single (which has a different song on each edition) they somehow only practice new promotion strategies with newer groups while leaving the others behind (basically a new promotion strategy with each new artist/group).
Hopefully UFA promotes her next release well since the ranking spots for this single has been nothing short of shocking compared to her previous releases (it debuted at #11, and today it’s at #16) and realistically Mano could be doing a lot better if she had better promotion since she has the looks and the talent to be an amazing idol if given the chance.
Mitsui Aika “Aika” PB
Mitsui Aika’s 1st PB release.
As many of you might have noticed there weren’t that many previews for Mitsui’s PB during the past few days and even after the PB was released there was only one scan of the PB released, so I will add a few images from the Making Of DVD along with the scan and cover so that everyone has a clearer idea of what is included.
First the cover, it features Aika in a red bikini while looking at the camera along with “Aika” in red Kanji, and despite it being a bit simple it looks amazing since we get to see Aika in a completely different way than her usual self in Momusu.
The brown hair really stands out in the picture but I really like the way Aika looks in the picture since the bikini looks amazing on her and also because the dark background makes her stand out even more, which is always a great advantage since it makes her stand out from among the rest of the PBs.
Here are the few previews that were released: a picture from a magazine (I think it’s UTB) as well as a scan from the PB of Mitsui running on the beach, and for the most part they give us a different look at the PB since we get to see Mitsui in another pose while wearing the red bikini as well as a picture of Mitsui laughing while running on the beach in a blue bikini.
As I mentioned above there aren’t that many previews of the actual PB available so I decided to add a few screen caps of the DVD (source: Aewen) so that fans get a clearer idea of what outfits are in the PB and what locations to expect if they buy their copy.
The screen caps feature many different casual and bikini shots of Mitsui smiling or simply looking at the camera and while they are not the actual PB shots I was pretty impressed with the amount of poses and outfits that we get to see since it seems that we will get to see Mitsui in a more mature way, and since she recently turned 18 it fits perfectly with her trying out a new more grown up look.
Overall from what I saw in the few PB shots and the screen caps I was very impressed since Aika looks amazing in all of them, there was a clear abundance of bikini previews but I really liked the way Aika posed in each picture since we get to see a more mature side, and since she will be the senpai for four new members and she just turned 18 it’s the perfect way to introduce the grown-up Aika to everyone.
Here are some links to buy the products from sites that count on the Oricon, please support your favorite H!P artist!
Seishun no Serenade (Single)
Seishun no Serenade (Single+DVD) Limited A
Seishun no Serenade (Single+DVD) Limited B