Posted by: Leek | April 29, 2016

Music Purchase in Review: Aikatsu! PHOTO on STAGE!! SINGLE SERIES 04: onegai venus

It actually feels weird not reviewing a ton of CDs per month, and the month break between this and Dramatic Girl felt strangely long. I do have to announce it here that I have zero plans to review any Aikatsu Stars! CDs at the current moment. I’m currently planning to finish reviewing the remaining two CDs in the current set of Photo on Stage singles, but I am beginning to waver on how much farther I plan to go. The future will be more or less determined by how good the first set of songs for Stars are and whether or not the next two CDs in the Photo on Stage manage to impress me.

General Overview
onegai venus is the first CD in the second series of Photo on Stage releases. This is technically the first real cross generation performance to happen since a few of the bonus tracks on other CDs which basically only involved Ichigo/Akari and Sakura/Miyabi. So why not hand it out to a really well defined pairing of Yurika and Sumire? The Loli Gothic brand is one that’s pretty well defined in the Aikatsu universe both image and music wise so it seems like an easy deal, right?

The main track this time is led by a member of onetrap that’s new to the Aikatsu scene, Hisashi Koyama. Like all of the onetrap guys, I have no familiarity with his former work, and I can’t say I know if he has any genre specialties. So I generally went into the CD with a pretty open mind. Other than that, the only minor point to be brought up otherwise is that since Yurika original vocalist (Moe) left STAR☆ANIS back in first season, Remi is still acting as Yurika’s replacement vocal for this CD. And this probably doesn’t seem like news to most people, but I bring it up because the CD contains a cover of glass doll, which hasn’t shown up on CDs since the first season. So while the song hasn’t changed, it’s a fairly big overhaul from the original vocal composition.

This month’s release goes back to the original triple track format. So the price drops down to what it was before, but you should only be expecting the main track, backing track, and the usual bonus cover song.

Track by Track Breakdown

onegai venus – So let’s clear the air. This song is terrible. There’s been those bad tracks that have shown up on every Aikatsu CD or so, but they’ve been a lot less noticeable when mixed in with a ton of other music. So when you have a single dedicated to a bad song, it kind of stands out.

So let’s talk about the couple of positives that exist. For one, the song goes back to the rock theme that Yurika first brought in when she was introduced to Aikatsu. The other is that the chorus is…alright if you ignore the drums going wild in the background. But the problem is that leaves the verses, which are such a mess that I can’t even wrap my mind around it. I actually spend most of this song with my face in my hands wondering what the hell is going on through 80% of it. And overall, my only conclusion is that the song is a weird attempt to try and revive visual kei via Aikatsu…or something. I really don’t know. onegai venus comes down to one of the biggest clash of musical ideas with none of them coming close to working together. So what you generally get is a mess…and a headache. I said there were positives to this song, but they really can’t come close to offsetting how horrible it is. I don’t really know if any thought was put into who was actually performing this song, or if it was just written directly from some kind of character standpoint. But whatever happened, it did not work out.

glass doll ~Yurika & Sumire Ver.~ – The existence of this track on the CD really highlights how poorly written the main track is. I think the fun of the original glass doll was how much power Moe and Waka actually added to it to make it really shine. And, even if neither has powerful vocals, Remi and Mona are still able to hold their own on this track. If you really like smoother vocals, I think you might actually take this over the original version. Personally, I think Moe’s vocal on this track is irreplaceable, but I wouldn’t argue with someone who preferred this version over the original. The point is, it was just a well written song that could still give the character image while showcasing everything. This track is really the only reason you’d ever think of picking this CD up.

onegai venus (off vocal) – Even if you remove the vocals, onegai venus is still a pretty mediocre attempt at a heavy rock song. It just turns into one of those experiences where you feel like someone is just yelling loudly to try and sound important. There’s probably a place where you could have instrumentation this heavy, but it’s just a huge overshot for what was possible here. I don’t know what was going through Koyama’s mind when he penned out the song, but I really can’t imagine he thought that the two vocalists could overpower the backing instrumental. There are a few Aikatsu songs where I felt like the vocal part was just off or there were small flaws elsewhere, but I feel onegai venus just falls flat right out of the gate.

Wrap Up
I won’t ever sugar coat anything in my reviews no matter how much I want to support something. Don’t buy this CD. There’s been a general saving grace on every Photo on Stage single up until this point, but it’s really hard to say that getting a new version of glass doll makes purchasing the entire single worth it. If you really want the alternate version of glass doll, then go on Amazon and grab the digital version of it to save yourself a ton of money. But otherwise, onegai venus isn’t a mediocre investment, it’s a bad one.

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