Watched this yesterday at the Hong Kong viewing.
Watching the broadcast on a large screen is NICE in so many ways, possibly rivalling being at Budokan itself, if you’re hiding in the top, barely visible seats. Theater was about 1/3 to ½ full, mostly college age, I think. I sat next to an older dude decked out in a Mizuki birthday t-shirt who spent ½ the time jumping and doing HelloPro’s wotagei. I might have decked him if it weren’t for the fact that the view wasn’t that bad. ;)
Tsubaki sounded much better than what I recall them in November last year. Kishimon was kinda-sorta-center and had at least enough emotion. Ogata Risa sort of faded in the back, which is somewhat of a surprise as I’ve been noticing her more with the stage plays. Tanimoto Ami looks perpetually perplexed. The new kids were fine.
Concert was in general less exhausting than PRISM or Emotion in Motion, which I felt went by really quickly. This time I had my notebook with the actual setlist so it wasn’t as much of a surprise as the other times I’ve seen them in concert.
It seems they’re giving more lines to Harunan and more center dance position to Eripon, as Miki was virtually invisible throughout most of the concert. O. Haruna got more Budokan screen time, whereas the broadcast camera favored Akane and Duu. Maria picked up the appropriate front girl positions. While the Top Four are clearly Mizuki/Ayumi/Teddy/Masaki, I didn’t get the feeling that they’d been run ragged like the Kanon graduation concert. (Maybe it’s because this time they actually have a lighter concert final run.)
They substituted the extra long medley for the dance portion, which I would really like to see on a DVD magazine, but overall I thought Ayumi really nailed Glass no Pumps. Eripon & Harunan’s solos were significantly shorter than the others’, heh. Mizuki and 12th gen doing Boogie Train really reminded me of Fujimoto doing it back in 2006 Summer Concert with the Kids, which is a nice touch as it was my first H!P song ever. I was somewhat disappointed by Teddy’s “Usotsuki Anta”, as she seemed too fierce for this performance. I think her younger self would have pulled it off better.
Maachan was totally channeling her inner Reina in Take Off is Now, and the difference between this and 2013 was really impressive. I still think Maachan was emoting more in Kanongrad’s “Aishite”. She was also goofing off less – or at least, the camera caught less of that. I only noticed her mugging for the camera during Utakata Saturday Night which starred DJ Mizuki, by the way.
Maria really needs to work on those low notes in Sou Janai (and bass notes in general) if she’s going to get more of these opening solo lines. Also, all that hair flipping is so characteristically energetic ;)
Screen VTRs and effects weren’t as spectacular as, oh, say the Platinum Era, but there were some nice parts, such as Iroppoi Jirettai and I did choke a bit when they ran the lyrics in Be Alive in the Finale.
Also, Eripon had such a spectacular “ru” in the One Two Three finale. It’s been a running joke that she never gets to sing this line as the second verse always gets hacked during performances, or the camera pans out (see the Gradation performance), so finally it’s great to have a camera hold on her at least. Congrats Eripon, it only took four years!
Overall, I could probably watch this again and might pick up the Blu-Ray when it comes out next year.