All opinions within this post are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the other staff members of Selective Hearing. If any opinions do coincide in harmony, that is by pure chance.

Recently, Morning Musume released their long-awaited (read: not that long) music video for one of new song releases, Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa. The Christmas Day video was one of the last PV releases of the year for the reinvented group, who now go by the name Morning Musume ’14, and served as a Christmas treat for the fans who were awaiting a new video. For some, this was one giant leap for joy, and for others it was a loaf of half/half; They liked one thing, but may not have necessarily liked the other.

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Admittedly upon first watching this video, I was a bit half/half on it. On the one hand, I enjoyed the video thoroughly, whilst on the other hand the song itself was lacking, and I was not the only one to think this. That said, many have stated that Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa is a song that grows on you, and I agree with that. With each and every listen, this song sounds and feels stronger, and it becomes a lot better than when I had initially heard it. Usually you either like or dislike a song upon hearing it, and whilst I have experienced songs that I initially dislike but soon find I enjoy after more listens, I haven’t really found a song as addictive with each listen like Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa. It’s certainly unique in that aspect I think.

I doubt people will actually agree with me on that, but I haven’t actually heard a Morning Musume song like this yet, one which starts off boring, only to become addictive and better with each listen. Each to their own though.

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Originally though, I really did not like the song much in comparison to the PV; I found it boring and… well, different. That said, I did not hate it enough either, and could listen to it happily as background noise if I needed it. But again, the song is a grower, and lately I have found myself wanting to listen to it more, and I want to sing along to it too. For some reason, this song has that amazing ability to make you like it, no matter what.

That’s pretty impressive if you ask me, because what I originally thought was a boring song has become a really good song. Whilst it will be one of the most boring songs of 2014 (unless AKB48 continue to prevail in the ways of no creativity this year) I feel confident that it is still a pretty solid song for Morning Musume. Sure, it’s their first down-tempo song in a long while, but it’s completely refreshing and a new sound for the usually dance-heavy, up-tempo group with an electronic twist. So it stays within the same genre, I get that, but it also shows that Morning Musume can still perform something soft whilst still dancing their little legs away to a pretty intense dance break during the intervals of the song.

3Shige looking hot, as always. Damn, that intense stare down into the camera!

To clarify, I basically like the song now; I didn’t think I would, given that I felt this song was on the same level as One Two Three at one point, but I feel now that the song is very well down and sounds pretty great. It won’t ever beat other songs that I like, but Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa has an underlying addictiveness to it that catches you quickly and pulls you in. It’s easy to listen to, it has a calming presence and it is basically a very clever song that at first tricks you into thinking it’s a little boring, but then turns your thoughts around and allows you to realise that actually, it’s pretty good, and then better than good.

For sure, this may be the dullest song on the new singles track list… but we have yet to hear what the heck Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai sounds like, so you never know. This could be miles better!

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Visually speaking, whilst Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa may not be the best song, it goes without saying that this is visually one of the best videos that Morning Musume has ever produced, period. This is completely my own opinion of course, but from their most recent pool of visual loves and disasters, this one certainly takes the cake for being the prettiest and most simplistic (though undoubtedly complex to do) of all their visuals. Where they failed in tacky CGI with Help me!! (however visually stunning it may be) they prevailed here.

And yes, I do love it. Thanks for asking!

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I also feel like the video is really refreshing to watch as well, because instead of these dark and moody settings to fit the new, mature and cool tone of Morning Musume, we have something that is bright and filled with a soft energy that is enjoyable and lovely to watch. It basically takes us out of the dark and into the light, showing us that Morning Musume can still perform these gentle and refreshing videos and songs, regardless of their new image as a cool and grown-up group who dance to heavier beats.

Though that doesn’t stop them looking cool, especially Haruka and Eripon, who just ooze those feelings of being too cool for school, and just look amazing.

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I also love how this video uses CGI to basically bring out these simple but awfully beautiful images, allowing the video itself to come to life with every step that the girls take. It’s like watching a marvelous interaction video, where whenever the girls move, something happens. It fits the pace and tone of the video so well, bringing up that feeling of being refreshed when you watch it, because the slithers of imagery that we do see are all natural and refreshing, giving us all sweet, sweet simplicity that we have not seen in most of Morning Musume’s glitter-heavy videos as of late.

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I also want to take the time to truly appreciate the beauty of the solo shots in this video, because they are just gorgeous. I honestly don’t think that I have seen these girls look so radiant or cheerful in past music videos (except Masaki, but she loves everything and simply can’t contain it!). Of course Eripon is exempt from this, because she has recently taken on the sullen, moody boy character of the group, and so she just looks grumpy and cool in whatever she does, but everyone else… well, they are just beautiful in how cheerful they are.

When I see just how refreshed and gorgeous everyone is in this, I can’t help but feel like the girls of Morning Musume have truly grown into wonderful young women who are just so precious and filled with life. It’s amazing to see, and these solo shots represent this youthful, simplistic beauty that they all hold.

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*Wink*

Never gonna get enough of Idols winking, especially when they cutely fail at it. Like Dayashi does here!!!
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Aren’t they all just completely precious and beautiful in these scenes? I want to just hug them all and smile with them!

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Of course thinking about how simple this PV can be, it’s undeniable that in certain scenes, they take their imagery to the next level and create something beautifully complex like this scene. It’s gigantic and creates a wider scale of the ‘world’ that Morning Musume are performing in, allowing us to see just how big this PV is. The girls may have simply filmed the entire video in a small studio, but from the way it has been filmed, and the wide use of photography and effects to create such a wide-scale image, it looks like the girls have filmed on a very open, spacious set, which is pretty new for the current lineup as their sets are usually quite small to scale, so to see how ‘big’ this one looks is completely new and very impressive for me as a viewer.

It’s amazing how they are able to give off that feeling of filming with such an amazing amount of space by simply using effects and the white background as their tools. It’s also nice to see a PV that uses the space provided, rather than keeping it small claustrophobic like some of their other videos.

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With Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa, there is not only beauty in it, but also an overwhelming presence of love and happiness underlying both the theme of the video and the tone of the song. With every solo or group shot, we see the girls in such a friendly and loving setting that is befitting of Morning Musume and how they are as a group now. Instead of looking awkward and out of place like they once did, you can really see just how greatly these girls have bonded as of late, and you can just see how much they love being together. The way they act together and interact, as well as how they look during their solo shots, just makes you want to smile and enjoy their very presence within the video. And isn’t that what this video is all about, smiling? The fact that this video can make you as the viewer smile is great, because it embodies the very meaning of Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa, and it just makes you want to smile more when you realise how the song and video have made you react. It’s as if you as the viewer are embodying the song itself by simply smiling throughout it.

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Both the song and video ooze confidence and happiness, something which seems to represent Morning Musume well as of late. Ever since this new generation of girls has come along, the group itself has become more and more confident as well as ambitious. And whilst other videos have shown that growing confidence in the group, this is the first video and song that I have seen or heard to show both the strength of their confidence, as well as the amazing cheerful nature of the group and the happiness the girls have at being there, together, when they perform. It’s pretty amazing to see that in Morning Musume, and it’s great that they seem to have a stronger presence now in their videos as opposed to being lost in the video. They truly command attention here, and they really bring forth that image of smiling as bright as the sun.

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I think that UFP are subtly trying to tell us that Riho is basically on the same level as Jesus Christ. How symbolic of them!

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I know that not everyone is a fan of the song or the video, but I really like this new image of Morning Musume! This was a bright and happy way to end the year in a video, showing off the confident and bright image of Morning Musume as opposed to ending the year of 2013 with a dark and cool approach that we are all used to right now. This is like Tsunku and UFP wanted to show that, despite their new dance-heavy image that is cool and mature, they as Morning Musume could also take on that mature approach with a bright and refreshing PV that is still pretty, but does not slow them down either as a group or destroy the image they have created for themselves.

Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa is a bright, happy video that is simple and pretty, but includes a complex use of effects and photography that creates that sense of natural beauty in both the video and the girls. The song, though not the strongest, is still enjoyable and somehow addictive with every listen. It may not cater to everyone though, but it does show that as a group, Morning Musume are still rather flexible in sound, even if it is within the same genre they have been singing lately. It was great to finally see the group take on a slower song, whilst still managing to keep a catchy dance tune within the instrumental breaks.

Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa truly felt like a group effort from Morning Musume, rather than a song that focused on certain girls. It was great to see, and I am happy that this song and video were created. It was as if I had truly watched a video where Morning Musume smiled brightly like the sunshine.

So, what did you think about it? Let me know…~