Alright, I’ve decided to go for it and do a Berryz PV retrospective! Which means we start from…
Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (I can’t live without you)
This song came out in 2004, and while I wasn’t a fan at the time, I have been told that it caused something of a stir. I can see why. Up until that point, the H!P kids had been doing very childish music, and one would expect a group of 9-12 year olds to sing… less about being unable to live without the person they love, and more about puppies and doing your best in life. (Though Aa!’s First Kiss set the precedent for oddly mature sounding songs sung by the Kids, so maybe it wasn’t as surprising as it could’ve been)
There are two things that get me about this single: Firstly, and rather obviously, everyone is so young and tiny. Risako wasn’t even ten years old yet. You can see their inexperience so plainly (their awkward lipsynching, Momoko’s quite hilariously frozen expressions), but you can also see how hard they are trying to be professional. They’re working so hard that even their baby voices and that awkward dance don’t seem a hindrance so much as a charming asset.
Secondly, this is the first and only time Maasa is anything close to a lead singer in any single. I’m still not sure why she got such a short-lived early push- was her lisp especially cute? Did the execs think she’d be popular from her time playing a yellow sack in 4Kids? Who knows.
Also look out for: Fucking scooters (the international symbol of all-consuming love, amiright?) running up and down escalators, Miyabi’s peace sign, Maiha being there.