Release Date: October 22
Number of Editions (2): Type A / Type B
Despite not being a constant presence on the front cover of every magazine or one of the most promoted groups in the scene, Sakura Gakuin is still one of those Idol units that’s constantly gaining popularity the more the time goes by, thanks mainly to its characteristic adoption of the Idol concept that takes the form of a personalized School system. Therefore, like in a real class, the personality of each member (a main factor of any idol group) is enhanced by the constant and equal exposure every girl in the group gets, and while the “main” members may get more attention in certain moments, no one is left behind, bringing the fans to get attached to the whole group instead of one or two members. Add the constant amount of graduated and non talents pursuing their individual careers in several fields (BABYMETAL, Ayami Muto etc.) and you have a group that people can’t help but love.
This time the lovely girls from Sakura Gakuin are trying something different for the first single of the new 2014 class: A DVD Single. Which is, as you can obviously expect from the name, a single sold exclusively on DVD format where the video footage has the same importance as the musical content. In the case of this new release, titled Heart no Hoshi, the content is formed by two versions of the MV for the song (no audio tracks), plus some bonus video footage, which basically translates in sacrificing a bit of music for more video content, a decision that’s worth talking about: Is it a good choice?
[SONG] Heart no Hoshi
When following a group like Sakura Gakuin all you want is thoughtless and upbeat music, and this track produced by Tommy february6 and Shunsaku Okuda doesn’t disappoint from this point of view: Kicking off with a build that immediately leads to the chorus, the track promptly presents a joyful and shiny vibe coupled by the singing of the entire group, and despite the way the track starts might sound a bit “dispersive” (result of starting a song with a build) the chorus brings up everything thanks to its catchiness and the happy vibe that surrounds it, something that all the Sakura Gakuin fans were looking for and will love. Each verse of the song features individual lines from all the members supported by melodic synths (almost reminding the 80s sound) and a rhythm electric guitar, while the pre-verse section is focalized on the main members singing, that also characterizes the main bridge of the track where Moa, Yui, Hana and Yunano have their own lines. The structure of the track is simple yet well thought, especially in the chorus-vocal harmony-chorus part preceding the above mentioned bridge, and despite being more than five minutes long, the song actually flows pretty well and its length doesn’t give a sense of boredom or repetition.
Heart no Hoshi is an average but well done Sakura Gakuin song that doesn’t exceed in any aspect, but that still manages to be enjoyable, adorable, and up to the expectations for all the fans of the School Idol Unit.
Heart no Hoshi – Video Footage
Depending on the version of the single you’ll get, there will be different video contents. In total, what the group offers with this release is: Music Video, Music Video – Dance Ver. – and a Making Of. Nothing you wouldn’t find a normal CD+DVD release, but anyway.
The concept surrounding the Music Video and the whole single is described as “If our hearts are connected, the earth is one”, and this MV follows this ideal greatly with a funny execution and well done shooting and editing. The video shows the members taking the part of the Rakusa Clan, a group of girls that lives rurally and peacefully in a forest that suddenly discover a magic doorway to another world where the Sakura Gakuin girls we all know live and dance together. At first frightened by this vision, the members of the clan show the footage (shot by Yui) to everyone in the forest and start enjoying the sight of themselves dancing in the other reality; Despite encountering some resistance at first by the clan Leader (which is obviously Moa), the girls get near the doorway until the Moa on the other side discovers the clan as well. Of course you’ll get a clearer idea by just simply watching the MV, but everything that composes it is just well done, from the shooting, to the palette color (that despite being different in several sections still matches very well) and the lovely make up of the Rakusa girls. It’s clear that the Sakura Gakuin production team pointed a lot on this music video, and the result is indeed very good, combining concept, quality and the adorable personality of the girls in a great and functional way.
The other footage features a Dance Version of the MV, where you can only see the Sakura Gakuin girls dancing to a nice choreography with Pom-Poms, and a Making-of featuring off-shots and questions to each member between a break and another, something that hardcore fans will surely appreciate.
Sakura Gakuin’s new single brings quality and enjoyable contents both musically and visually, even though it’s clear that this whole release is mainly focused on the cinematic side. The choice of making this release a DVD Single is still questionable, especially for the fact that you get only one new song and not even a shade of B-side, but with a track that’s still up to the expectations despite not exceeding in any way, and a funny and definitely well done Music Video featuring various bonus footage, Heart no Hoshi is a worthy experience for all the Sakura Gakuin fans. Newcomers would probably take a look at some of the previous and richest group’s releases, but still, it’ll be a decent product in case they decide to go with it.
Vote: 6.9 / 10
[DVD] Type A
01. Heart no Hoshi (Music Video)
02. Heart no Hoshi (Dance Video)
[DVD] Type B
01. Heart no Hoshi (Music Video)
02. Heart no Hoshi (Making-of)