Happy new year, everyone!
Since I have resolved this year to watch and review more groups than H!P (and a teeeeeny bit of the 48s), I'm going to take a crack at some of the year's first batch of idol PVs! There seems to be a lot of quality coming out early on this year, so let's see what we have:
Morning Musume: Pyoko Pyoko Ultra
Chick costumes and haters be damned, I adore this PV and this song. We don't get to hear too much out of the Jyuukies just yet, but they all get little snips in the song, and they all sound great so far. Aika is adorable, and even though she is not in the dance shot, she gets her own part and a few lines, all of which sound great. I hope she gets used more from here on out as a singer.
Choreography is great, song is fun, and, watch out UFA, your effort is showing. I have ZERO issues with this release. Nothing but love!
S/mileage: Chotomate Kudasai!
Argh. Previews have been taken down BLARG! Oh well, most of you have probably seen them anyway. :P I'm not a huge fan of this song so far. There's nothing about it that is really special, and yes, the costumes do remind me of Lullaby Game. I might have a change of heart, and I will always heart my S/mileage girls, but as of now, I don't think this is their best release.
NMB48: Junjou U-19
Only the short dance version has been released so far, so I can't judge this one too much, but I do have a couple cents: 1) The song is catchy and a little dark. Sounds pretty good so far, and it definitely makes up for their second release sucking so thoroughly. 2) Don't like the costumes. They're shiny and 48ish, which is never a bad thing, but they look too much like Frying Ghetto. Maybe they'll fit with the overall theme later, but right now, yuk.
AKB48: GIVE ME FIVE!
The previews are really short, but at least watch the making--it's fun. I will admit, I'm a big fan of AKB's sakura songs, but breaking with their now-established release pattern is going to be great for all the disgruntled fans out there. (I haven't been a fan long enough to be pissed about it--in fact, I kind of liked it, but that's clearly just me.)
I adore the outfits and how excited everyone looks in the preview. From the sound of things so far, I like the song a lot. It sounds like AKB48, but it doesn't sound generic, which has been an issue for them recently. We shall see.
SKE48: Kataomoi Finally
This is one of my two must-buy January releases. This song kind of reminds me a little of AKB48's dark early days (even though I was not a fan then, I love the releases from those days). It's very dramatic, which is a huge break from SKE's usual genkifests. The PV is great, and not just because Kuumin gets to kiss a girl :P This is my favorite 48 release of 2012 so far.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: Tsukema Tsukeru
Oh dear Kyary, keep these OMGWTFBBQ releases coming, pleeeze! Musically, I like this better than PON PON PON. It's more intriguing and not quite as conventionally catchy, which I appreciate. I'm not gonna lie, Nakata Yasutaka can do no wrong in my mind.
Milky Bunny: Zurui Yo
Tsubasa Masuwaka's sophomore (correct me if I'm wrong) effort is very pretty sounding, but it's nothing to write home about. Her voice is too delicate to do this style justice, but I will give her some credit--she does pretty OK with what she does have.
Kitahara Sayaka: HAJIKE-YO!!!
I'm not a big Sayaka fan, but this song is definitely her best, and the only release of hers I have considered purchasing. It's very anime and very Katamari. Do want!
Dorothy Little Happy: Happy Days!
This is my other must-purchase release of January, along with their (mini) album, Demo Sayonara 2012. This song isn't anything incredible, but it is fun and cute, and as the first major release from a fantastic new idol group (no seriously, these girls rock!), I think we should support them as much as possible. The single and album were released today, so go buy them! Better yet, go buy all their great indie releases too! I'm very excited about these Sendai darlings, indeed!