Shortcake

Release Date: February 6, 2013

Track Listing

Type A (Regular/Limited)

  1. Shortcake
  2. Soredemo Nakanai
  3. Sakura no Ki ni Narou Acoustic Version feat. Oshio Kotaro
  4. Shortcake (Instrumental)
  5. Soredemo Nakanai (Instrumental)
  6. Sakura no Ki ni Narou Acoustic Version feat. Oshio Kotaro (Instrumental)

Type B (Regular/Limited)

  1. Shortcake
  2. Soredemo Nakanai
  3. Mirai Bashi
  4. Shortcake (Instrumental)
  5. Soredemo Nakanai (Instrumental)
  6. Mirai Bashi (Instrumental)

Type C (Regular/Limited)

  1. Shortcake
  2. Soredemo Nakanai
  3. Class Kao no Ato de
  4. Shortcake (Instrumental)
  5. Class Kai no Ato de (Instrumental)

Theater Edition

  1. Shortcake
  2. Soredemo Nakanai
  3. Jealousy Punch
  4. Shortcake (Instrumental)
  5. Soredemo Nakanai (Instrumental)
  6. Jealousy Punch (Instrumental)

Review

Kashiwagi Yuki, she who is of the weather reporting long cat variety made her solo debut with Shortcake, the theme song for her drama Mierino Kashiwagi.

Released in a ridiculous Hello! Project-like seven versions this single features a different coupling track on each edition. The coupling tracks remain the same regardless if you get the regular or limited edition. So if the music videos and extra content are that important to you then feel free to spend a few extra yen get the LE’s.

With that out of the way, the question to be asked are the songs included the plethora of versions worth your time? Well that depends on your taste I guess. The material Kashiwagi was given certainly is not the most exciting stuff.

She’s been firmly planted within adult contemporary/lite music territory. Which is perfectly fine given the genre suits her soothing vocals perfectly. The a-side is a cute and yet rather forgettable slice of pop. That does not mean this is bad. It has its charms but the song itself is middle of the road meh.

The b-sides unfortunately suffer the same fate. I appreciate the fact that AKS want to make Kashiwagi some sort of chest thumping, ballad crushing diva who rips your heart out like Kano in Mortal Kombat; but isn’t this going kind of a little too far?

Fortunately things pick up a little with Class kai no Ato de and Jealousy Punch. You’re not going to be doing any hardcore wotagei to these tracks, but at least they break up the monotony of all the slow songs.

The stand out coupling track is absolutely the acoustic version of Sakura no Ki ni Narou feat. Oshino Kotaro. Those of you who watched the 2012 AKB48 Kouhaku probably saw the live version of this song.

Hearing it stripped down to base elements shows a maturity in Kashiwagi’s vocals that none of the other tracks in the package manage to accomplish. Sometimes simpler is better?

While listening to this entire set of songs I could not help but get a strong Mano Erina type of vibe. Part early boring and lifeless Mano Eri and part UFP knows what they’re finally doing with Mano Eri era of music is what I’m feeling mostly.

Whether that turns you off from giving Kashiwagi’s single a chance will depend on your personal bias.

What I can reiterate is that all of the Shortcake package (with the exception of the AKB48 cover) is not the most exciting listening experience and you probably shouldn’t use a lot of the songs to pump yourself up for a workout or blast at 11 with your car windows down. Nor should you use it keep you awake for any reason.

But if you’re in the mood for something more chilled, or just want some calming music to wind down to you can’t go wrong with Shortcake.

Shortcake Type A (Regular)

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Shortcake Type A (Limited)

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Shortcake Type B (Regular)

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Shortcake Type B (Limited)

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Shortcake Type C (Regular)

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Shortcake Type C (Limited)

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