Hajimete wo Kekenchuu
Review by Kelly-Mae Matt
Set for release in December, Hajimete wo Keikenchuu is a new sound and approach for Juice=Juice’s second major single. Unlike previous singles and promotional videos, the group steers away from the cool and mature style that we have come to know so well, and takes on a refreshing and casual approach in their latest video.
With a focus on acting, the video for Hajimete wo Keikenchuu boasts a simplistic but colorful look, whilst also featuring a structured and relateable storyline that is fairly common in idol music videos, but also enjoyable to watch.
Following the lyrics of the song, the video crafts a simple story that tells the audience the feelings of the protagonist as she goes through the day with conflicted feelings towards the person she likes as she awaits their much anticipated phone call.
The feelings of impatience, doubt, and excitement are at the base of the lyrics, and we watch as the girls question the affections of their beloved. Taking on the role of the protagonist, we watch as each member of Juice=Juice portrays these feelings, allowing the viewers to sympathize with the character of the song and the members of Juice=Juice.
The situation of the protagonist is also relateable, creating a familiar position we all may have been in at one point, whether as the protagonist or as the target of affection. With such a relateable story and a welcoming, bright video, the viewers are able to become a part of the story itself, too.
However, the video is reminiscent of S/mileage’s second indies single, Asu wa Date na no ni, Imasugu Koe ga Kikitai. Both the imagery and the song follow the same basic outlines, taking on the same concept and structure with just a few minor differences in each video.
One such similarity is the song’s story as well as the attitude of the protagonist, with both following a character who is impatiently waiting for a phone call from the person they like. Another similarity is in the sound of both songs, though it’s no secret that composers sometimes dabble with previous works in order to create something new for a group or singer.
Thankfully, the sound itself has not been used in Hello! Project for a while, allowing for Hajimete wo Keikenchuu to sound refreshing against the usual jazzy, mature tracks that we have heard from Juice=Juice before now.
I personally feel that this is a very lighthearted and gentle video, appealing to the eye as well as enjoyable. We rarely see this casual and friendly tone with Juice=Juice, versus the intense, sharp dance moves with basic solo-dance-shot affair that is common for Hello! Project. This time, however, we have been treated with a stark contrast to the group’s usual PV’s.
For me as a viewer, it is certainly a breath of fresh air, and a video style that I hope to embrace more often from this group
Hajimete wo Keikenchuu is sweet and innocent, and refreshing in how it looks. This change of pace from the professional, refined members of Juice=Juice allows us to see a casual, relaxed side to the group.
In this music video we experience their emotions and the innocence of their first love, whilst also taking a look at their abilities in acting for the first time in a music video. The video shows a new direction both in their music and imagery, one which works well for the group.
Usually cool and beyond our reach, Juice=Juice have become approachable and down to Earth in Hajimete wo Keikenchuu, an image which I am sure many viewers will like.