Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Jpop Mix: SKE48, Chicken Line

I know, I know, weird title. Believe me, everyone in the fandom was like, "wth is up with this title?!" And then it turned out that in the lyrics, chicken = coward and Line = the social media platform that is super popular in Japan. Chicken Line therefore, refers to someone who is a coward by confessing their love through Line rather than in person. Now that that's out of the way, hey - this is the second time I'm reviewing a single for SKE! To be honest, SKE has just lost a number of key members that I was too busy watching their line-up changes and trying to figure out where the group would go from here (especially since they lost one of their center girls, Matsui Rena). To no one's surprise, Jurina Matsui was given a solo center for the first single after Rena's graduation, but to some surprise, Goto Rara and Kitagawa Ryoha were chosen as supporting centers.

Chicken Line is a single that marks a new era in the group. It's clear from this single that the group is in a transitional period and that it's really pushing for the newer generation to take the lead. Matsui Jurina is still very young and will likely stick around for a few more years (or more!), but I definitely get the feeling that she'll be retiring from the center position sooner rather than later, in order to allow the group to grow with new aces at the forefront. The loss of Matsui Rena was a big change, but one that SKE handled well throughout this single.

The A-side of this single, Chicken Line has a latin flair to it that perked my interest right away. It has an intense dance routine and the song itself is pretty catchy. I didn't really come to love it though, until I watched the music video. While Youtube only has a short version, it was enough to incite me to preorder the single online because, dystopian world where talking (and music!) is banned? Oh Em Gee, yes please! The song lyrics don't really fit the music video, but I'll forgive it because the music video is just too cool. (I'm also super excited that Ryoha was the hero of the video. With Rena's graduation, Ryoha is my #1 in SKE, and I'm hoping this is a hint for good things to come~).

Behold! The future of SKE, Ryoha and Rara
I bought Type B which included the B-side track Kiss Position by Team KII. This is a very classic idol song, but one that I quite enjoy. Overall, it's quite forgettable, but it stands out to me because the center is Obata Yuna, a new generation member of SKE (I'm loving all of the focus on the next generation!). Obata Yuna is my favorite 7th generation member, so I was excited to watch the music video and see how she fared as the center. I think she did a great job and I am hoping that she receives more opportunities to make a name for herself in the group.

The final song on the single was Bouenkyou no Nai Tenmondai, centered by Oya Masana. This song is another classic idol song, but one that I like A LOT. Haha, I don't know why, but when it comes to SKE, I tend to really like their classic idol song B-sides, while for other groups, I find them easily forgettable. Having Masana in the center is new and while she's an older member, it's way overdue for her to have a solo-center song. I would have liked a music video to go with this song though...

Overall, the A-side of this single was a major highlight for me although the B-sides were lacking a bit. Still, I did enjoy the bonus DVD content though so overall, this release is a solid 4/5. :)

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