It's hard to admit when you're wrong. Next to dread and that Drano feeling you get after eating a batch of bad chicken parmesan, it's pretty much the worst thing ever.
When I listened to the radio rip of Buono!'s new song, I was pretty optimistic. To me, it sounded like the line distribution was pretty equal, just like it had always been. Things were looking on the up and up. I white knighted all over the place, as usual, telling any angry fans (some 12-year-old tards, some very smart and reasonable) what was what, dammit. It sounded pretty good, I thought.
Then the PV came out, and I realized it was time for me to eat crow.
I'll say it.
I. Was. Wrong.
I love Airi to death. I think she's adorable, extremely talented and really hard-working. It isn't her fault that she got more lines than Miyabi and Momo, nor is it her fault that she got the center position...again.
But it is a problem.
It's not as big of a deal when she is given more lines as a part of C-ute's line-up. That is to be expected as a lead singer. It's practically in the job description. But it's not kosher in Buono!, which has been the only group with truly equal line distribution in H!P's history, for gods' sake. (S/mileage comes close, but I personally couldn't care less if Ayaka gets fewer lines. Seriously.)
Before 2011, the lines and the center position were always perfectly distributed between three equally capable singers. But now that Shugo Chara is over, and Buono!'s only reason for existing is their massive popularity, it seems Up-Front just cant keep their grubby little paws off of them (read: off of Airi).
Herein lies the biggest thing...well, the ONLY thing, really, to blame for this change: The change in labels. When Buono! was under Pony Canyon, a fairly well-respected and higher profile label, everything was hunky dory, and their music was even a bit better. When they moved to Zetima, they were completely under H!P and Up-Front's control. Now, UFA has license to do whatever they want with the girls and the music; the biggest reason for their massive popularity and fans' wishes be damned.
We can't blame Tsunku this time, either. When he had more creative control, all of H!P's stuff was better. The shadowy overlords who now control H!P have taken the creativity mostly out of Tsunku's hands, which was a big mistake. Tsunku himself is a massively talented musician and a much better publicist than today's marketing shows. If he had more control, I seriously doubt this would be happening.
All that aside, I enjoyed the PV, which looks very nice even though it's clearly pretty low-budget. I liked the sound of the song, too. I think it ranks above Zassou no Uta in my mind.