None of my opinions on this PV reflect those of the other members of the Selective Hearing staff. My opinions = MY own!

Before 2012 even hits, Mano Erina has already released the first PV for her 2012 doule A-side single Doki Doki Baby/Tasogare Kousaten. Now, whilst I don’t mind PV’s coming out as quickly as possible, this is a bit too quick. I mean, it took a while for Morning Musume to release their Double A-side songs and the PVs, so why the heck is Mano getting one of her two PVs released so damned early?

My guess is that she’s losing money – considering she only got 2 singles released this year (I keep track, so sue me) whilst participating in theatrical and film releases as well, I have a feeling that Mano is more of an actor for H!P than a singer, and that is probably where her money-making skills lie right now.

Or H!P just thought we deserved a third PV for 2011. Either way, these are both my opinions, and I can’t say either of them are true. But really, I think that she’s losing popularity right now. Especially with Kikkawa as a soloist now

Okay, getting off my opinion wagon, the PV is actually okay, in my opinion. Whilst I may have gone ‘Wtf‘ at it at first, I quite like it right now. But it isn’t going to beat out the PV for My Days for You any time soon. This PV consists of more text than plot, as well as Mano wearing something that I can only describe as ugly and very anime-ish. I am not keen on that dress.

And as you can probably guess from the beginning of the PV, Mano has returned down the cute route. Cute isn’t the best way to show off her voice, but I guess it works. But as someone else said on another blog post about this video, I wish that Hello! Project would utilise Mano’s sexier side more. She’s freakin’ 20, for pete’s sake. I know that Hello! Project are kid friendly in general, but really… I think Mano would sell better if she showed off how adult she truly is.

Okay, going slightly off topic…

The main plot (wait, what, there’s plot?) of the video is that Mano is basically trolling around Akihabara, doing her own thing like riding escalators, dancing with a few Geisha etc. You know, normal things like that.

Okay, I kid about the dancing in Akihabara, that’s studio based.

Anyway, the more I watched the PV, the more I noticed that Mano kind of shows either a forced smile, or a natural one. Whilst she looks really good with her natural smile, you can really tell that she’s forcing her smile at some parts of the video. I think Mano is gorgeous, but I don’t like it when she looks like she’s ready to kill me.

Oh, and there’s this one black and white scene which really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the video.

One thing that I find really weird about this PV (other than the dress) is that they have Geisha (or Maiko) frequenting the video. Whilst it somehow gives relevance to the Geisha in the video as backing dancers for Mano (I do not kid), I still don’t get why they’re in there. Maybe they’re just to reference how modern Geisha/Maiko are these days, considering they’re on mobiles and using modern technology etc

Mano is wondering wtf Maiko are doing in HER music video

There are some cute scenes in the video, such as Mano smiling naturally (sometimes) or the cute dance that she does in the studio part of it all. I would also like to point out, whilst I still remember, that nearly all of this PV (barring the dance scenes) is shot is natural lighting. Considering she’s walking around Akihabara, I doubt the H!P staff could be bothered to haul lighting around. But, with the natural lighting, it gives the PV a more natural feel, whilst still giving H!P not much of a budget to work on.

Win/Win for H!P

However, I do find myself preferring the studio scenes in a way. Mano actually seems like she is genuingly enjoying herself, and the hand movements she does are rather cute as well. I also like how the Maiko (or Geisha, whatever they are) are just dancing there in the back whilst Mano spazzes around.

This scene has no relevance (other than the Maiko) and no reason to be in the PV, and yet, this is my favourite scene of all. Why? Well, look at that guys face! It’s 100% genuine and funny. Best scene in this PV, and it made my day.

Product placement~

Natural smile, creepy smile…

And Mano’s smoking something good~

Whilst this PV is pretty easy to follow, I find it rather confusing sometimes. It makes me wonder why they chose to use the Maiko/Geisha in some scenes, and it does make me wonder what their relevance is as well. If this was a song for a movie, it might make things a bit more clearer, but seeing as the other song on this double A-side single is the anime-themed song, I don’t really see the point in this PV. It’s fun, and follows the wtf theme H!P seem to be going for right now, but it’s confusing as well. I like Mano, but I honestly would have preferred the Eggs as her backing dancers again in this one.

With that said, I think the PV is okay. I like it a lot more than I did when I first saw it, and Mano is certainly growing on me. Sadly, her songs sound much too similar for my taste. Considering I only really started to listen to her this year, I already recognised the ‘Genkimono Iikou’ tell-tale sound in the beginning of the song, and then realised just how generic Mano’s songs sound. They sound just as generic as AKB.

Whilst Mano is extremely cute throughout the PV, I can’t help to feel that she forces herself sometimes, and that really takes away from her charm. The song itself is catchy and fun, but the PV really doesn’t do much for me in terms of entertainment or impressing me. The video is slightly confusing at certain points, and it doesn’t deliver like I thought it would. My Days For You was brilliant in my eyes (in terms of how they executed it), and I thought that Mano was going for a different sound and style to her regular videos, but it looks like she’s returned to show 2012 that her genki-cute mode is back.

Urgh…

Anyway, if you’re still interested in the video, check it out!

Doki Doki Baby/Tasogare Kousaten is set to release 2/22