Tsubaki Factory weren't done just yet with their debut indies single.
I figured there would be a rerecording of the song anyway because the original title had "(First Take)" in it, but I thought the rerecording would occur for their major debut, like Kobushi Factory did it.
The Tsubaki Factory ladies, in fact, are releasing their first indies mini album!
It's titled "SOUND + VISION Vol. 1"! (Perhaps we can expect a Vol. 2 sometime in their career, or the title is just H!P trying to sound fashionable. Hopefully the former.)
The tracklist is as follows:
1. Seishun Manmannaka! (...Second Take???)
2. Kedakaku Sakihokore! (This was their second indies single, which was and still is a damn great song.)
3. 17sai (Moritaka Chisato cover) (If I remember right, this was the first song they ever performed!)
4. Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~ (Peaberry cover) (I initially thought it was a terrible song choice for Tsubaki, and I still do!)
Naturally, by reading the title of this review, you'll know that this review is focusing purely on "Seishun Manmannaka! (Second Take)." I'm just gonna keep the "(Second Take)" part there, because it seems correct to me.
So, all four songs have PVs on the DVD for the mini album! The mini album got released in a limited edition format at the SATOYAMA event on March 19th, but the actual release is on...May 18th! Seriously, that's such a long wait!
Luckily, some gentleman (who must have bought the mini album at the SATOYAMA event) was kind enough to upload "Seishun Manmannaka! (Second Take)"'s PV on YouTube yesterday!
Keep in mind this is Tsubaki's first PV ever, so I'm so happy to finally be seeing them in HQ form!
I remember when Tsubaki Factory was first formed, I absolutely despised the idea of them, I'm not going to lie. I thought the girls looked mismatched, their singing sucked, and they were just taking away Kobushi's spotlight.
Then, they released their first indies single, "Seishun Manmannaka! (First Take)". I actually adored the song, and naturally I loved hearing the differing voices of the girls.
I chose an official Tsubaki oshi after that song - Ogata Risa. I started to grow quite fond of Tsubaki Factory, and I transitioned from shit-talking them to supporting them.
Then, they released their second indies single, "Kedakaku Sakihokore!", and I was sold.
Their singing had improved a lot since debut, and though it still was not good whatsoever, I definitely noted the improvement. I no longer thought they were taking spotlight away from Kobushi; on the contrary, I admired them as just another wonderful H!P group I could enjoy.
The one thing I still did think, though -- the girls looked mismatched.
I still thought that, up until today, when I watched this PV.
I actually really enjoyed this PV -- specifically, the aesthetic of it.
The prissy ballerina-pink setting was very pleasing to the eye. The shots that panned over the girls as they made stoic faces may have been simple, but with those shots, you could see somewhat of a click with the girls.
What I mean is...
They were not interacting with each other whatsoever, however, they just fit together so well, like six adjacent puzzle pieces. The girls all gave me this high-fashion-classy-rich-girl feel, and I think it looked so great.
I think especially Ogata Risa, Niinuma Kisora, and Yamagishi Riko pull off this vibe the best.
This is the image I like and WANT for this group. This...couture teenage girl air.
The girls in this group all have very unique but pretty faces, as well, so they look really slick sitting next to each other on that expensive-looking couch in that expensive-looking room.
The outfit and hair choices are outstanding, suited to each individual girl extremely well.
For the close-up shots, the background is a bit blurry (to showcase the faces of the girls, most likely), but if I'm inferring correctly, the background is supposed to be filled with pink flowers on pale yellow tables (Perhaps...tsubaki flowers? I'm not exactly sure what they look like!).
I don't adore this set as much as the couch-in-room one, but it remains with the same pale pink and yellow color scheme.
A lot of my friends had complaints about the shots of the live performance, and I agree that they seemed out-of-place with an actual PV (Chokkan 2 flashbacks, anyone?), but the live shots were most likely included to reminisce about Tsubaki's performance of their first original song.
If I could choose whether or not to keep those scenes, though, I would not keep them. Rather, I would replace them with more pastel pink and yellow shots in a slightly different set.
I don't have much to say about the Second Take version audio, because it is the same song. However, since it's a rerecording, it naturally does not sound the exact same.
Honestly, I think this audio sounds worse than the original, which is a shame. In the original, the vocals sounded more raw, but not bad at all.
In this version, the vocals are much too pitch corrected for my taste. It is incredibly obvious, and it doesn't sound good to my ears. Therefore, I think the excessive pitch correction gave the vocals the opposite result than what was desired.
My main and only other complaint about this version of the audio is the robotic (for lack of a better word) "manmannaka"s at the end of the song.
In the original song, these sound completely fine. However, in this version, it seems there was an extra harmony layer added that did not work out at all, because the harmonies are extremely off-pitch.
Either an extra harmony layer was added, or the parts were made louder in the updated version, so the terrible harmonies became unveiled.
Overall, I love this look Tsubaki Factory has been given, and I totally want them to keep this voguish image. About the audio...there was no need to pitch correct so much!
Until next time,