^How I felt when I saw that post on International Wota. Trufax. This picture was also not made by me, but by Allie of Hyperbole and a Half, a blog I enjoy reading quite a bit. Go visit it HERE. But when I read this post today, I realized that this picture fully encapsulated how I felt.
Seriously, it made me happy to get that post, though. I really enjoy writing this blog for myself, but if I'm going to be perfectly honest I'd prefer that people read it too. So yay!
I need to keep working on this Ongaku Gatas concert review! I enjoy it a lot, but writing these long posts gets... tiring. But I love doing it! This is exactly the right concert to review. When I get down to reviewing an H!P concert I care less about, that's when I'll get testy. But Ongaku Gatas are, to me, the perfect Hello!Project unit.
When I first saw the setlist to Gatas Ryuu back months ago, this performance CONFUSED me. Kara Genki, for anyone not too familiar with the Ongaku Gatas discography, is an album song, originally by Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Satoda Mai and Konno Asami, yet here it's only performed by Rika and Mai.
However, the more I see this song performed by Mai and Rika, I actually prefer it as a duet. I'm no songwriting expert, that's to be sure. But the four person version of the song seems really cluttered as each section has each member sing one line in a row and it feels slightly awkward, especially since there are VERY few parts sung as a group. However, when you have this duet version, the piece moves nicely back and forth between the duet, in a way that works really nice with the two of them. And because of that, while I never really listened to this song as much as my other favorites on the album, this is one of my favorite performances so far. If a performance can make me like a song better, and if I like the performance better than the actual song, I think that makes it a very successful performance.
Satoda Mai putting soul into Kara Genki
For individual performances, both girls were at their top game. Satoda Mai seemed to be really enjoying it, singing the song beautifully and just had a whole lot of fun doing it. There's a little bit of bias here, but I did prefer Rika singing it because of the way she tends to perform things; she performs with so much emotion, digging deep and getting into the song and feeling the lyrics. This is one of the things that initially made me pay attention to Rika and she brings it here, making her a joy to watch.
Oh Jeeesuuuuuuuussss... ;)
All in all, while I did personally prefer the treatment that Rika gave the song, both of them did a wonderful job. I don't have all that much to say on the next MC; I don't speak Japanese too well and it's not something I can use to understand Japanese spoken quickly. It's basically Mai and Rika telling stories to each other and the audience. I'm sure both of them were entertaining, I just don't have much to say about them since I don't understand them.
Shall We Love
The next of the three shuffles is the old Gomattou song "Shall We Love" (that is, the only song they did as the soloist collective). While I personally liked Kara Genki better than the original, the same can't be said for this performance. Now, I like all the members of Ongaku Gatas, and that includes the members who performed this, Konno Asami, Noto Arisa and Sengoku Minami. They're not my absolute favorites, but I like them. They're not the best of vocalists, but all of them are pretty OK. However, Goto Maki, Matsuura Aya and Fujimoto Miki are three of the best H!P vocalists, and it's hard not to compare this version with the original.
~Baby Baby Baby Shall We Love~
I'm sure these girls did their best and I can tell they've worked on it. However, when you inevitably compare the original to this, the original has much stronger vocals and fire in it. Noto Arisa and Sengoku Minami were especially good, but Konno seems to be audibly struggling with the difficult part of Goto Maki. Perhaps another trio would have been better? I'd maybe suggest Renai Sentai Shitsu Ranger, because it's not as vocally challenging and the amount of energy would be really good for Ongaku Gatas.
~Nocchi singing Miki's part~
Granted, my expectations weren't that high to begin with. I often insist that Ayaya is the best vocalist of H!P (well, maybe Inaba Atsuko and Ruru as well), but Goto Maki isn't far behind, and Mikitty isn't bad by a loooong shot. So, when three girls who have never been notable vocalists sing a slower/more difficult song by three of the best, I don't know if anyone really expected too much. So therefore, while I don't rewatch this too much, I attribute it mainly to poor song choice, more than anything else.