ShuuKaRen – UNIVERSE Review


Release Date: October 5, 2016


  2. Tricky
  3. Take-A-Shot! feat. PKCZ


ShuuKaRen are the duo of E-girls members Fujii Karen (Happiness) and Fujii Shuuka (FLOWER). UNIVERSE is their debut single and it is the theme song for the Beats by Dre Show Your Color ad campaign. This is the first time the Fujii sisters have been paired up as a unit and it also marks the debut of Shuuka as a vocalist instead of a performer.

The a-side is an aggressive sounding dance track that is slightly edgier than the material that either member of ShuuKaRen have been working on with their parent groups. It sounds like it belongs to a hallyu crossover group and/or Namie Amuro rather than 2 members of E-girls. Given that this song is used to promote a brand of headphones that is supposed to have a cool, urban youth appeal then going with that type of sound is understandable.

The revelation in this song is Shuuka Fujii, who holds her own as a vocalist when paired with her sister. It makes one wonder if there are a few other hidden gems in those who are primarily put in the roles of “performer” in E-girls.

The first b-side Tricky is another song used in an advertising campaign. This one is for e-ma throat lozenges. It too falls in the Urban/Pop category opting to sound like something closer to American or European Top 40 than J-Pop. While not as bombastic as UNIVERSE it does have that smooth Hip-Pop vibe that is a nice contrast to the dance floor madness of the a-side.

The second b-side Take-A-Shot! features the creative unit PKCZ and brings the sisters full circle back into the dance and club music world to close out the single. This is also the only song in the single package that is not used to promote some sort of product to the masses.

UNIVERSE will most likely appeal to fans of E-girls and those who like an injection of club music/Hip-Pop in their world. Overall it’s a fairly solid debut single for the Fujii sisters. Hopefully this isn’t a one-shot deal and we see more from this pairing in the future.

UNIVERSE (Regular Edition)


UNIVERSE (Limited Edition)


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Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.