Hello! Project 2008 Summer Wonderful Hearts Kouen ~Hishochi de Date Itashima Show~ – Initial Thoughts

Wow, long post title. Anyway this is just a little song by song review of the 2008-07-19 Osaka performance of the ongoing Wonderful Hearts tour. i haven’t done one of these for a while so don’t expect any professional musical analysis as you’ll end up rather disappointed!

Opening

The opening music reminded me strangely of the opening music to “Super Mario 64.”

1. Natsu LOVE Romance – All

I’d never actually heard this song before as I don’t have Pucchi Best 4, it’s a pretty solid summer song and and I think everyone sounded pretty decent. It was fun though I wonder if another song with a little more “wow factor” would have been a better concert opener. Nevertheless I’m pleased that they’re starting to expand the number of songs the girls actually sing and we get to hear many more live performances of things that had previously gone untouched in concert. 6/10

2. Manatsu no Kousen – All

This song used to bore me and was one of my least favourite Morning Musume songs however due to all the recent concert performances it’s climbing in my rankings and I’m actually starting to enjoy it rather a lot! The singing her sounds pretty good and although I can’t identify all of all the solo lines the few solos that there are sound good. 7/10

3. Edo no Temari Uta II – C-ute

C-ute’s upcoming 6th major single Edo no Temari Uta II is the best thing I’ve heard from them since Tokaikko Junjou. I just love the fresh sounding melody, it’s something a bit different for C-ute. When C-ute are opening this song the crowd go pretty wild which is nice to hear. The singing here is very impressive in my opinion although Maimi does sound a little shaky. The main thing I like about this song is the musical arrangement, I just can’t get over how good it sounds, is that just me? Overall a good performance. 8/10

4. Namida no Iro – C-ute

The crowd really get into this one and with good reason, it’s a pretty awesome song. I think the singing sounds a little weaker here than with Edo no Temari II, again especially with Maimi. I think I just have a problem with her voice! Overall this is a good performance and no complaints can be made really! 7/10

5. Papancake – Kusumi Koharu

Okay, I’m going to try and remain open minded about this despite how dubious I find Kusumi’s solo career. I like the opening of the song and the singing sounds spot on though I very much doubt it’s completely live. This song has actually grown on me a little and maybe after a few listens I could grow to tolerate it? Overall Kusumi makes a good performance however lipsynced it may be, I supposed I’d need to see this one to properly review it. 6/10

7. Anataboshi – MilkyWay

This was one Kirarin Revolution song I did actually like when it was released, possibly because the inclusion of Kikkawa Yuu and Kitahara Sayaka. It doesn’t sound like the Eggs are lip-syncing but again I’m pretty sure Kusumi is. It’s a good performance and there aren’t any real flaws, Kitahara sounds a little quiet though that isn’t a real niggle. 7/10

8. Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance – Berryz Koubou

This song has risen to the top of my most played list, I seriously find it addictive! Again I like how the crowd get into this one. Sugaya sounds pretty good which isn’t something you’d usually find me saying, she does mess up a little at one part though I don’t this detracts from the performance really. 8/10

9. Dschinghis Khan – Berryz Koubou / Hello! Pro Egg

So…are Hello! Pro Egg like members of Wonderful Hearts now or something? They’re getting to sing. I really enjoyed this fun song when it was released though I know some Berryz fans aren’t too keen on it. It’s performed equally as well as Yuke Yuke if not slightly better, it’s possibly improved by the inclusion of Hello! Pro Egg. All of the solos present are performed well and I have no qualms with this! 8/10

10. Resonant Blue – Morning Musume

The opening to this sounds very promising though once we’re into the actual song Tanaka’s solo lines sound a little shaky to me. Takahashi sounds amazing as always, her voice sounds strong! Overall the song sounds great, I feel like I’m becoming a bit of a broken record as I don’t really have any criticisms for the songs so far! 8/10

11. Mikan – Morning Musume

Although I actually prefer Resonant Blue as a song I find Mikan to be a more “concert appropriate” one. I think it performs well and manages to get the crowd going. Yet again I don’t have any problems with the singing and I actually prefer the line distribution in this song (not just Takahashi / Tanaka with a sprinkle of Kusumi.) 8/10

12.KoiINGTakahashi Ai / Noto Arisa / Sengoku Minami / Sawada Yuri / Mori Saki / Kitahara Sayaka / Kikkawa Yuu / Maeda Yuuka / Fukuda Kanon

So we have Takahashi and a whole troop of Eggs singing this popular coupling track from Morning Musume’s Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~ I really like this song and unfortunately it opens a little weak, the singing sounds a bit too shaky, this continues for a little while and then it picks up towards the chorus. As the song goes on the singing improves and it starts to sound very good, I find it hard to identify all of the voices as I don’t really know a few of the featured Hello! Pro Egg members too well. Overall I have to say I liked this performance, I’m really glad that Hello! Pro Egg are getting more exposure this year 7/10

13. Hajimete Kuchibiru wo Kasanata Yoru – Linlin / Suzuki Airi / Ogawa Saki

I Love, Love, Love this Matsuura Aya song and love hearing it performed in concert. This is possibly one of the oddest groupings I’ve seen of late but I’m glad Linlin is getting some solo exposure for once! They all carry the song as good as can be expected, after all none of them can really match Matsuura’s ability. It’s becoming evident how popular Ogawa Saki has grown this year, she’s quickly becoming one of best known Hello! Pro Egg members. The performance was very good but I feel it was possibly a little too challenging for this trio. 6/10

14. Chu! Natsu Party – Michishige Sayumi / Sugaya Risako

Sticking to the summer theme with 3nin Matsuri’s chart topping single, Chu! Natsu Party. We’ve seen this pairing before at the last big Hello! Project concert and I have to say they work pretty well together. This song fits both of their unique singing voices pretty well and I can’t wait to actually see it performed! I find it a little strange that they didn’t create a trio for this song but nevertheless Michishige and Sugaya pull it off. 7/10

15. C\C (Cinderella Complex) – High-King

This is High-King’s concert debut and it opens very well, everything sounds perfect, perhaps a little too perfect. The song isn’t lip-synced however as I can hear the shakiness in the singing at times and I’d have to say the most guilty of this is Maimi. I really liked this song when it came out and got a little addicted to it though that’s worn off now I still enjoy listening to it. Everyone sounds good, even with the shakiness. 7/10

16. Kioku no Meiro – High-King

The c/w to C\C (Cinderella Complex) is pretty epic and actually fitting to be a title track in itself I feel. It’s good that they choose to perform this in concert as this is perhaps the last time we’ll see High-King as a group. I think this actually sounds a lot better than the previous song and it’s performed quite a bit better. Is that a piano I hear opening the song as well, Mano Erina? 8/10

17. Manopiano – Mano Erina

Because it’s only an audio recording I can’t tell if Mano is accompanying herself in this live, it would be awesome if she was though. Mano’s singing sounds strangely perfect and I wonder if she’s lip-syncing? This is after all her Wonderful Hearts debut, maybe they choose to play it safe? Either way I really like Mano Erina and this is the most recent single I’ve bought. I was hoping for some sort of announcement of her next solo work or maybe another performance of another song but unfortunately nothing of the sort was mentioned. Later on in the song it sounds like she slips up a little which makes me question if it is lip-synced but due to the quality of the recording I can’t really tell. 7/10

18. Tokonatsu Musume – Niigaki Risa / Kamei Eri / Mitsui Aika

Ah how nostalgic! A Coconuts Musume song! It pleases me that they’re still performing songs of disbanded units, how about some Sheki-Dol, Tsunku? I’ve always really liked this song and I think this trio do a decent job of singing it, Niigaki’s voice somehow doesn’t fit however, Kamei on the other hand sounds excellent. 6/10

19. Tropica~l Koishite~ru – Junjun / Sudou Maasa / Kumai Yurina / Okai Chisato / Hagiwara Mai / Arihara Kanna / Noto Arisa / Sengoku Minami / Sawada Yuri / Mori Saki / Kitahara Sayaka / Kikkawa Yuu

A big group performance of basically everyone who hadn’t had a smaller group performance up until now! I really like how well they’re sticking to the summer theme, Hello! Project concerts are often all over the place. I can’t really identify the voices too well but I can say that Junjun sounded pretty good and as a group they sounded good together, they all seemed to fit quite well. 8/10

20. Kousui – Tanaka Reina / Shimizu Saki / Tokunaga Chinami / Umeda Erika / Nakajima Saki

This is quite an interesting group of people, my favourite Berryz and C-ute members are in there. I found this performance a little bit boring though and the singing sounded a little lackluster. Maybe they were tired? Towards the end it picks up quite a bit though and the singing does sound pretty good from Tanaka. 5.5/10

21. Gachinko de Ikou! – Buono!

I really liked this song, I’d never listened to a rip before but It’s a really rather good and certainly gets the crowd going. I’ve never had too much interest in Buono! before as it doesn’t really consist of anybody I have a particular fondness for. This is a good performance though and I can’t deny that their musical style is pretty cool. 7/10

22. Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! – Buono!

Much like the last song I haven’t really listened to this much but I though it sounded pretty good and Buono! could grow on me, all of the vocals were spot on. I think I prefer this to Gachinko de Ikou! just because the chorus sounds so awesome. 7/10

23. Egao YES Nude – Morning Musume

I like the crowd reaction to this song and love Takahashi’s “growl” at the start. The singing throughout this song sounds brilliant on all accounts! I still really like Mitsui’s solo though it’s hard to hear through the cheering! This in my opinion is Morning Musume’s best performance of the night. 9/10

24. Massara Blue Jeans – Berryz Koubou / C-ute

Seems like the Berryz / C-ute joint performances don’t end with their recent concert. This is a good performance of one of my favourite C-ute songs and the wota go pretty crazy for it, probably all the thrusting. 8/10

25. Special Generation – Berryz Koubou / C-ute

This is quickly becoming the LOVE Machine of Berryz Koubou, I think Tsunku needs to move on! I like this song a lot though it’s definitely getting to the stage that it is over-performed. Nevertheless this is a pretty good performance though not as good as Massara Blue Jeans in my opinion. 7/10

26. Love & Peace! HERO ga Yattekita – All

This seems to be a pretty popular coupling track, it’s performed pretty well and it definitely works in concert. I’ve never really listened to it, I’m ashamed to admit that I often ignore it but I’ll definately be looking out my copy of THE Manpower!!! now. 7/10

27. Ame no Funari Hoshi de Aisenai Darou – All

Oooh, mysterious, a new song! It has a gentle melody and opens nicely with nice sounding harmonies. It’s got a very plesant tune and Junlin even get a line or two in Chinese which was bound to happen at some point! The Chinese parts are probably my favourite parts of the song. It’s a nice song but perhaps a little strange song to choose as the ending to a concert. 8/10

I wrote this review as I listened so it’s probably a little piece-meal! I found it to be a good concert overall and am particularly interested in what will become of the ending song.