Yes! Ikoma46 is back! After what seems like forever Ikoma-kun is back as the Centre of Nogizaka46! This of course might not be a big deal seeing as thankfully, she is still the Face of Nogizaka, I kind of missed her at hat front and Centre. I love, and in fact have purchased, all of the singles centred by Ikoma-kun, with ‘Kimi no nawa Kibou’ being my favourite A-side and ‘SHAKISM’ being my favourite PV! But let’s be honest here, all of Nogizaka’s singles have been great either because of the couplings or the A-sides.
But just as we got Ikoma-kun back, so did the PVs return to their 5min runtime! Like, why?! I was looking forward to the dramatic first PV that is most certain to have some Rinanase! We got our Rinanase of course but so did we lose the extra time to enjoy it in the PV when they returned to the 5min curve! Why would you do this?! I was really looking forward to that Rinanase!
Why is this? Well, if you follow Nogizaka then you know of how much Ikoma-kun loves Nanase, am I right? And with Kazumi’s coming out on her love for Noujou, and Minami having this friendy thing going on with Hocchan, there is nothing stopping the Rinanase now, is there? And Nogizaka being its awesome self, delivered just as I expected! The focus was on the top girls which in this case it means Ikoma-kun, Nanase, Iku-chan and the usual trip (Cap, Shiraishi and Hashimoto). Of course Ikoma-kun was the focus!
But I was kind of disappointed to tell the truth. I felt like the PV’s plot had been done before. Wasn’t this the same formula they used in Nanase’s first single? Sure there was another twist in that one but it was essentially about the same thing in regards to the main character and the rest of the group! Except last time we had close to 10min of runtime and we got the full picture but this time it was half of that which meant lots of gaps in the story and that we will most likely never truly understand what the hell was going on beyond the surface.
That surface, from what I understood, was Ikoma-kun not fitting in with the others and having a hard time grasping the moves. That is if they were a dancing group practicing dance or preparing for some school festival thing as a class. Can’t really tell what exactly was going on because of the mentioned shortage of time and lack of dialogue! I hope there is a hidden surprise for the DVDs like ‘Kibou’ where there was another version of the PV of the A-side which was like minutes longer! But I doubt that is the case this time around too.
Despite these let-downs I still enjoyed the new song and PV! The song reminded me of Guru Guru Curtain and though I was hoping for another ‘Kimi’ I had to remember that the last single was the cool catchy one so this one had to be different and really, with this type there is guarantee for yuri and I was at the edge of my seat through this one as well.
Sure to most this might seem like nothing to write home about but have a think about this through my eyes. First of all I am very happy for Ikoma-kun to being the Centre again. That alone had me excited for this single. Then add in the fact that for a change it wouldn’t be the usual left and right hand ladies but rather Nanase and Iku-chan! I have been shipping Rinanase for a long while and knowing that she is No.2 and thus a given that she would have scene with Ikoma-kun, if we got a drama part, then this was one PV I wasn’t gonna miss for the world. But that is not all, Nogibingo3 also introduced me to the concept of Ikuoma (My ship name for Iku-chan and Ikoma-kun)and having Iku-chan in third place was just too irresistible a thought, this single.
Taking into account the time for the PV I am pretty satisfied with what we got! Just as one would have expected, Nanase was the one girl that got close to Ikoma-kun while the rest just looked on and kept their distance. She tried to make Ikoma-kun comfortable and when Ikoma-kun was contemplating running away, it was the thought of her moments with Nanase, under that romantic tree shade, that stalled her enough for Shiraishi to come and, speculatively, talk back into not leaving.
That was kind a bummer actually! I understand that Shiraishi and Hashimoto are like the fans’ favourites and have to be given focus but that scene should have been given to Nanase! It would have had more meaning and impact. Just imagine it; Ikoma-kun in the process of leaving without telling anyone, everyone else is out looking for her. She is at that place thinking of that moment with Nanase. Nanase then shows up and the two have a moment! This is what should have happened!
Oh well, I guess if that had happened then we might not have gotten that awesome scene that took place after Ikoma-kun got back and everyone was waiting for her. How relieved Nanase was at seeing Ikoma-kun again!
We would not have gotten that so I guess it had to be someone else, but even then at the very least give it to Iku-chan! I feel like Iku-chan did nothing at all in this PV but be an observer to Nanase and Ikoma-kun’s story like she was their documenter or something! But I guess if we were to think a bit outside the box, which is the only way to go given the short PV, if we think of that last photo they took, Iku-chan and Cap look like they become the great friends with Ikoma-kun.
Interestingly, still thinking of the photo, Nanase was distanced from Ikoma-kun which makes me really wonder! In the PV they were not afraid to show their closeness, sitting together on the window in class away from the others, or that HAGU in front of everyone so why were they separated in the photo? I guess Cap and Iku-chan got dips on Ikoma-kun, or maybe Rinanase were beyond that stage in their relationship. Their connection is invisible and even at wider distances they are still connected.
Still, a longer PV with dialogue and thus much more substance would have been a gift from the Lord! But Nogizaka is the best when it comes to DVDs so I am awaiting that secondary PV that will focus on the top 3 and hopefully there will be more un-diluted Rinanase in that one! Remember, SHAKISM and Mukuchi no Lion were coupling PVs too! Who knows, seeing as said Lion had Wakatsuki-sama as the secondary, there is still a chance that we might get a SHAKISM 2.0, and by that I mean Minami and Ikoma again. They are still the cutest couple around!
Oh yes, I am definitely buying this! If we get another great coupling PV out of the three couplings then it will be bonus but I am getting this simply because Ikoma-kun is the centre! It’s releasing in July, same time as Fantastic Girls so all is set in stone! Now I will just have to search around and see if there is any new yuri-tastic goods released that I don’t own yet and I will add them to make this the best purchase of 2015!
See ya around…