I’m watching this, and I can’t stop smiling.
It’s perfect. It’s everything I’ve wanted from Team N. It exhibits their skill, their personality, their performance ability, and yet it retains such great individuality for all the members.
I gotta keep this short because I really need to sleep. Well, shorter than what I would write given infinite time…
The first two songs, “Aoi Tsuki ga Miteru Kara” and “Radio Name” have such an awesome progression. I feel like Aoi Tsuki is such a strong start, a great intro song that leads in to the entire stage. “Radio Name” will have a neat trick where they’ll actually read your email on stage, and feels so right as a second song. It’s a drop in tension from the first song that sets you up for the Stage’s title song, “Koko ni datte, Tenshi wa iru.”
Something about the song made me laugh… perhaps it was the cheap early 2000s Eurobeat rhythm that seemed to appear out of nowhere. I’m not too fond of the next song, Cattelya, but the way the music works, it seems like a perfect end for Act I.
And that’s what I really enjoyed about this stage; there’s something about the music that just seems to tell a story, that’s very narrative-like.
The unit songs are really special.
Sayaka’s solo, Yume no Dead Body, just looked so good. I really think that she has the performer’s aura, that she’s destined for stardom.
With that said, however, her performance here was lackluster. She didn’t seem to hit the notes she wanted to hit and the electric guitar was not hooked up. Even though she was playing notes they didn’t make sounds sometimes. It makes me a bit sad that it wasn’t as sharp as it should be. Now, yeah, I understand that everyone else lip synched in the concert (well, almost everyone) but based on the progression of the stage, it feels like this should be the climax and it missed it.
When she tightens it up, it’ll be an awesome song. I’m just disappointed that the first impression was not a good one. If she nailed it, this would’ve been forever etched in my heart as the pinnacle performance of Team N.
“Nandomo Nerae” was the surprise hit for me. With silly Hanshin Tigers-esque costumes, a plate/dice theme, and the overall silliness of the members that perform, to me, it really brought out everyone’s individuality. There was sort of a “secret playfulness” that came out from the everyone.
Again, great arrangement. All 3 fit the song perfectly and they performed it well. They had a clear theme and they went with it, putting all 3 of the “cute” ones together. I was also surprised at one point when they showed Mirurun’s stomach against the light and she looked really cut.
“Kono Sekai ga Yuki no Naka ni Umoreru Mae ni” took me by surprise when they all sang it live. The singing was mediocre, but it wasn’t horrible. However, one reason I like this is because the four members (Rika, Aika, Yuppi, and Koga) all have decent singing voices. Again, they need to tighten it up to make this song epic, but with that core group, I believe that they can.
Okay, well, that was a pretty big deal. However, I didn’t feel like it was a cheap slutty song. It had a “Grease” like feel for me, a very 70s/80s vibe, and it there was a hotness about it that didn’t feel cheap. The three girls were perfect for the role, combining the devilish pair of Warukii/Akarin with the mysterious Keicchi, and I would not be surprised at all if this song becomes the most popular song of N3.
The next few songs demonstrated why I fell in love with Team N to begin with.
“Hajimete no Hoshi” and “100nen Saki Demo” were great to watch after the unit songs. They didn’t have the whole group, they were excellent songs that had quite a bit of isolation for the members participating in it, and the choreography was excellent.
I still remember when Nagiichi came out and was disappointed that the dancing wasn’t as complicated or cool as it was in U-19. The choreography here restores my faith in their ability, and although there were synchronization problems, they all looked very sharp. I’m just so… proud.
I actually enjoyed “Ribbon Nante Niwanai”. It’s very idol-ish, and everything comes together just right. It’s not the sharp choreography of the two songs before, but it still manages a cheery atmosphere.
Our 3rd act ends with a soft ballad.
I love this song. Again, it shows some individuality from the members, particularly Kanakichi, Keicchi, and Riichan, who demonstrate their ballet skills while the rest of Team N sings softly around them.
“Jounetsu Highway” is a great encore song, but what’s up with those costumes? Very interesting choreography too, the dance is really silly, but the beat is pretty hype.
What’s up with the costumes? Is it to show off how tacky Osaka can be sometimes? How can you have a hat with Tsuutenkaku with colors that call to mind Kuidaore?
While I wasn’t a big fan of the second-to-last song, “Sukoshi Nigai Jinsei Soudan”, “Fumou no Tochi wo Mankai ni” sets the perfect ending to the whole list. Again, sharp choreography that is reminiscent of Kamonegix, and a chant of “N-M-B! Here we are!” leads the final act out perfectly before starting the medley.
I don’t understand the nuances of music well, but the stage seemed arranged like a well-told story. I can’t explain how or why, but the themes were all there, and it felt as if the themes were the Team N members. They got songs that were tuned and tailored to them, and thus they were able to bring a performance that showed their soul… it’s not about “Well, Sayaka has a good Bird rendition, but it’s Takamina’s song.” It’s more like, “Yume no Dead Body IS Sayaka.”
And that’s why I was so thrilled. The progression of the stages which felt like a story, also felt like a story told by the members. I feel like I just watched a musical, but there were no musical parts.
If there was some criticism, there were definitely some parts that needed some clean-up and more practice. They seemed to have their characteristic precision towards the end, but some of the sync was a bit off. None of the songs except maybe Zipper seemed to jump out at me right away saying “This is a god-like song,” but there were a lot of very good songs. And while I’m already turned off by lip-synching, for some of the songs the lip-synching was just terrible anyway, so I can’t even pretend that they’re singing when their timing is completely off and their lips aren’t even making the right movement for the sounds that they’re moving.
But overall, I’m very pleased and very thrilled to have watched N3, and it accomplished everything that I hoped it would accomplish. If they needed identity, they got it right here. The biggest gripe I have now is that the original stages for M and B2 are gonna be sooooo far away… not good, especially because I want to adopt B2 as my underdog team.
And this entry wasn’t short at all! What the heck?!