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04 October 2015 @ 12:55 pm
My personal favourite Berryz Kobo single tracks ranking  
(I basically only use this journal to post lists and rankings now...)

The background facts: Berryz Kobo was a Japanese idol group in Hello! Project active from 2004 to spring 2015, starting when the members were kids and lasting until they had cracked their 20s! The only member change they had over the years was when one of the original members, Maiha, left after their 8th single. In total, they released 36 singles.

Berryz Kobo was produced by my favourite pop producer, TSUNKU. ALL HAIL TSUNKU
Whenever I do H!P music related rankings, they are secretly a celebration of Tsunku. He will no longer be producing for most H!P groups because he has lost his voice in a battle with cancer and is interested in new challenges, and is getting used to working in new ways as he can no longer communicate simply by talking.

In Hello! Project, Berryz Kobo was the group that would get some of the weird stuff that didn't fit other groups, but fit Berryz because Berryz Kobo is random. For example, the shortest member in the group was around 150cm, while the tallest ended up being over 180cm.

I have STRONG BIAS for early Berryz songs, so I will do this post in a countdown manner to have some more recent songs sprinkled in first. The number of songs listed is random because I simply listed every single that I wanted to. HAH! The more I listen to BK the more I think "oh, this song should be included, too", but I'm trying to stay strong.

Those who became fans later would likely have a very different ranking from mine. I was convinced with Koi no Jubaku, their 5th single, specifically this performance. I did not want to support the kids, I did not think it would be 'cool' to support a group of kids, but there's nothing like catchy pop music and some surprising confidence on stage to sway me over. It's a bit weird that Koi no Jubaku isn't on this list, since it was the song that made me submit, but I guess I felt the list already had a lot of early songs - damn trying to be inclusive of all eras - and the other early songs beat it out.

Thanks to projecthello.com for song title translations!

18. Ai wa itsumo kimi no naka ni ('Love is always within you'), 2014
This is a COOL song and is from their second last single. The reason why I think it fits the rear spot is that I find it a bit more monotonic than other songs on this list (there isn't a point where the song really explodes, imo), yet it's a solid track.

17. 1oku 3senman sou DIET Oukoku ('130 million diet-minded country'), 2014
Berryz has had songs in monkey suits and things, but this to me is the WEIRDEST Berryz track and I did not get it at all at first (aka I hated it). But now I actually think it's somewhat genius - the repetitiveness and monotonic melodies of certain parts really fit the stress and dullness of trying to reach ideals and being constantly bombarded with them, while the chorus reminds us how far removed it is from what's important in life ("who am I", "what is love"). Now that I've thought about it more I think the melodies and the roboticness and the lyrics all fit together very well and I even find the song quite catchy. But I still think it's WEIRD AS!

16. Munasawagi Scarlet ('Scarlet premonition'), 2006
Hate the outfits, hate the video, but the song is catchy and has a nice beat etc.

15. Ai no Dangan ('Bullet of love'), 2011
A cool pop rock song. Shame about the video quality.

14. Cha cha SING, 2012
This song is a cover of a popular Thai song; BK seemed to have a special relationship with Thailand at the time and went on to visit the country, so rather than cultural appropriation I saw it as cultural connecting. It's not a Tsunku song, but still catchy and fun as fuck.

13. VERY BEAUTY, 2007
Pretty song. ♥

12. Watashi no mirai no dannasama ('My future husband'), 2009
I was not aware that I liked this song this much until I started doing this ranking. The whispery verses are a bit different from their other songs and the chorus is catchy, not bad etc.

11. Otakebi Boy WAO! ('War cry boy WAO!'), 2010
It's cool and fun at the same time! Two for the price of one! Pop rock.

10. Seishun Bus Guide ('Youth bus guide'), 2009
I never expected a song about a bus guide to be this catchy.

9. Piriri to ikou! ('Let's spice things up!'), 2004
One of their first singles, Piriri to ikou is so fun, cute and catchy, that even H!P fans at the time that hated everything to do with Berryz Kobo and H!P Kids were found jealously muttering that Berryz Kobo is getting all the best songs. (You will see more songs from this period closer to the top of the list...)

8. Jiriri kiteru ('I'm running out of patience'), 2006
I've only now learned what the title of this song means...
I find this track ridiculously cool. It also samples a famous piano melody, possibly Chopin? I have no knowledge in such things, but it works so damn well. I would even be tempted to rank this song higher.

Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance ('Go go monkey dance'), 2008
When some fans talk about Berryz Kobo, they talk about how Berryz is the only group that could have a song like this.

6. MADAYADE ('There's still time'), 2008
It wasn't instant love with this song, but now I find it so damn catchy and fun, and the way the work in the video reminds me of my general awkwardness and occasional work ethic issues. HA

5. GAG 100kai bun aishite kudasai ('Please love me as much as 100 jokes'), 2005
I love it when piano is played like this lol. Legendary, fun as heck, cute song. The chorus is sung high as hell, it's like a challenge.

4. Fighting Pose wa date janai! ('A fighting pose isn't showy!'), 2004
Listen to the bass! It slays me how adorable and age-appropriate this song is. Berryz Kobo's second ever single.

3. Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba ('My confession's fountain plaza'), 2007
Confessions of love in a particular place and moment have a pretty big importance in Japanese (school-age?) romance, if you were wondering about the confession part!
This song tickles the "Finnish tango" part of my soul - it's not tango, no, but it touches the same melancholy bits. I find the song so pretty ah~.

2. Anata nashi de wa ikite yukenai ('I can't live without you'), 2004
Berryz Kobo's first ever single. Yes, they were awkward as hell and you can hear producer Tsunku's voice a lot (which I don't mind because I love Tsunku, but I acknowledge it can be weird at first to hear some dude's voice in a girl pop song). But this track is fucking solid gold. The bass, the rhythm, the chorus melody, I cannot get sick of this song. It's fucking awesome. It would be my number one, if it wasn't for...

1. Special Generation, 2005

This song is pop perfection. It was love at first listen. The intro always gets me pumped up. Ten years later I have never grown bored of it. It's so cool, so catchy. Berryz Kobo's 6th single - if they had good singles before this, I believe this is the one that convinced H!P fans on the fence that this group is happening and it's better to hop on the wagon cuz this wagon is going to have a GOOD time.

All in all I think BK had a very varied track list and I may have under-appreciated them a lot over the years. There were periods when I was barely paying attention; falling in love with songs like Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba and MADAYADE happened years after their release. I think the reason why a lot of the more recent songs are excluded from my list is also because I haven't had the same time to spend with them as older tracks, not so much that they are obviously worse. I am actually not that great at concentrating on music and my knowledge in it is very shallow, which means I sometimes 'realize' the awesomeness of songs late. But we all just have to deal with what we've got~!

Thank you based Tsunku and thank you Berryz Kobo for the hard work and memories and fun songs!
Tove :): Adventure Time - Jake is ready for his ctwissie on October 5th, 2015 06:24 pm (UTC)
Aiii, thanks for the ranking and compilation of videos! Now I can catch up on stuff I completely missed out on ^^;;;;