LE SSERAFIM – FEARLESS -Japanese Version- Review

LE SSERAFIM FEARLESS Japanese Version Type A Cover

Release Date: January 25, 2023

  1. FEARLESS -Japanese Version-
  2. Blue Flame -Japanese Version-
  3. Choices

Review

FEARLESS is LE SSERAFIM’s debut Japanese single. The title track was pre-released on digital platforms on December 15, 2022, and their original Japanese song Choices soon followed as a digital pre-release on January 8, 2023.

The full release of FEARLESS dropped on January 25, 2023, with the two previously mentioned tracks and a Japanese version of Blue Flame.

In Japan’s tried and true overblown fashion for idol releases, the physical version comes in 10 editions:

  • Regular Edition
  • Type A – CD+PHOTOBOOK
  • Type B – Limited Edition CD+DVD
  • LE SSERAFIM Weverse Shop Japan CD+PHOTOBOOK
  • UNIVERSAL MUSIC STORE CD
  • Individual member solo jackets (x5)

Of course, there’s no difference regarding the track listing for any edition. However, you get a DVD and a photobook, so if that floats your boat, yay for you. But the least that could have been done (in my opinion) was to incentivize collecting each version without a DVD or photobook by putting out new music as bonus tracks.

Because, in reality, you’re only getting different jacket covers for those editions, and that’s it. And the return on investment for those editions is negative, given the price of the average CD in Japan.

When it comes to the music, the first two songs should be familiar to those who have followed LE SSERAFIM since its formation, only now the lyrics are in Japanese. For FEARLESS and Blue Flame, I didn’t notice any issues with Japanese translations that interrupted either song’s flow. So if it sounds like the Japanese and Korean versions are interchangeable, it’s a win in my book.

LE SSERAFIM’s first original Japanese-language song, Choices, was used as the theme song for the TV Fuji/NTV Drama Sansen Yen on Tsukai Kata.

Choices aligns with the sound and lyrical themes LE SSERAFIM rocks back in Korea. So at least there’s some consistency with their Japanese material. Is it as good as some of the other b-sides in LE SSERAFIM’s short discography? I think so.

At a minimum, the song is at least serviceable and not a sad attempt to placate J-Pop fans or send Sakura back to her 48 days and drag the rest of the group along with her. In other words, it feels that HYBE/EMI will try with LE SSERAFIM in Japan rather than dish out low-effort cash grabs for their Japanese originals.

Overall, FEARLESS is a decent introduction of LE SSERAFIM to the Japanese market. I think the right songs were chosen to show the group’s charms to new listeners, and hopefully, that means more good things for them for future releases.


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