Ok, not gonna lie, this one brought out the onion ninjas.

You know, I can be hard on JPop.  The groups, the artists, the songs.  My standards are pretty high, and I’ll call anyone out when I don’t think they’re met.  I have been somewhat hard on the songs I’ve encountered so far (though I didn’t really dislike any of them), but none of them really stood out to me.  And I’m a lot harder on some of the other groups, like AKB48 (there’s one song in their, er, rotation, that I’m already sure I’m gonna blast when it comes up for review – if it gets more than two Lone Stars I’ll have surprised myself).

This one, I think, stood out.

It’s not because the music was great.  It was pretty average, quite honestly.  Competently performed, as you mostly expect from this era of Morning Musume, but not great.  But it was the most Japanese song yet so far.  It was also maybe one of the most meaningful.

The songs I’ve reviewed previously have had some meaning, but they’re mostly the ramblings of a young girl in love, or breaking up, or whatever.  I’m sure they’re emotionally impactful in their own way, but love comes and goes, and young girls are drama queens about that kind of thing.  But this one captured heartbreak in a way that the other sonds didn’t – they invoked natsukashii, or nostalgia.  A young woman is alone in Tokyo and has her heart broken, and goes back to the comfort of her hometown and her mother.  That’s the whole story.  And it’s beautiful.

Will I put this one into my music rotation?  I don’t think so, honestly.  But of all the ones I’ve reviewed so far, it’s the one most likely to end up there.

Interesting fact:  This song shares the name with a traditional Japanese children’s song about hometown as well.  I’d guess this is mostly lost on a western audience, as I can’t imagine that the children’s song wasn’t an inspiration.

Let’s slap some Lone Stars on this one.

Music

3.0 out of 5.0 stars

The music itself was pretty average.  Pretty, but average.

Performance
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

This was, unusually, a solo, so I’m going to be generous with the stars.

Lyrics

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Damn onion ninjas.

Video

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

loved the Japanese hometown and nostalgia theme.

Total Lone Stars

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

Not quite perfect, but really, really good.

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