06 February 2012

A.B.C-Z - Za ABC ~5stars~ PV review

I will start off by admitting I am not really a fan of A.B.C-Z. I like some of the members and there are a couple of songs of theirs that I like as well but the group has never really caught my attention in a way that would push me into becoming a fan. And it is not that I do not think that the group is a bad group, in fact I believe they are a good group with some really talented members but for whatever reason there just is not a spark there for me.

Don't let the title caption fool you.
Now with that said I really love the PV for Za ABC ~5stars~. I did always think that a debut release like this would be great to showcase the group's strengths and this PV really helps prove that. Not only that but they used some of my current favorite Juniors so there is a bit of a bias there, but even without them this is a great PV and I wish more debut PVs would be like it.

I think the biggest detractor is that the song is only okay. It is not a bad song but rather generic J-pop that I do not see doing well without the attached performance. So I really wish A.B.C-Z got a more stand out song for such a stand out PV. But even so I think they did great with pairing the song up with a great PV.

Your friendly bedroom stalkers.
It really amazes me that the PV was one single continuous shot and that it only took them five takes to get it right. Especially with an opening like this that has members having to be upside down for most likely a good period time. But it really helps highlight the acrobatics of the group and establish the fun mood of the PV.

Feeling the vertigo.
Of course I'm just in love with this set. As simple as it is it really works, especially when you see that it is actually all one huge set placed together with the various sections.

I don't think that's how you fall down, Kawai...
Once we get out of the upside-down room we get to see a whole host of Juniors that are a part of the video. I love having them there, not just because of my favs, but they fun interactions with the members of A.B.C-Z. Everyone in this PV just look like they are having a blast which makes it hard not to get in a good mood while watching it.

While I am happy with the Juniors not only being in the PV but being very interactive with the A.B.C-Z members I cannot help but wonder if A.B.C-Z fans are unhappy about it. I honestly think it is good as the colors of the Juniors outfits help the group stand out and in a way solidify that the five are the stars of the PV. And honestly to do everything they do the Juniors are kinda needed to move things on and off stage.

Don't think Johnny was fool enough to say 'no' for a debut to a face like this.
I just love the use of props in this PV. As cheap as the look they still fit and all seem to fit. And since they have figured out how to get them all on and off screen in a seamless manner it is fun to see what they will bring out next.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that these are the two young ones.
I cannot help but think that if A.B.C-Z debuted in a more standard fashion we would be seeing more Hashimoto Ryosuke w/A.B.C. than A.B.C-Z. I mean even though there are members that get more focus than others it is no where near as bad as the division other groups have and even those who do not get a lot of time in the front of the screen still get moments to shine and at least look like they belong with the rest of the group.

Look! It's a Moonwalker!
I want to say this is another favorite part but honestly it all is. But this is a really good use of props, especially as it goes on you see that just about every piece of the car can be broken down into a smaller prop.

I'm sure they're waiting to see if those two will be taken out by a billboard.
It took me until my third watch to notice the lyric test on the billboards behind the "car". Which brings up one of the big reasons I love this PV, there is something new to be seen every time you watch. It reminds me of NEWS' weeeeeek PV, that was the same way in which it took multiple watches to find all the small fun things in it. I honestly think with PVs the ability to make one want to watch it over and over again is important, especially if it is released to be bought, and Za ABC ~5stars~ lives up to that standard for me.

And while I am sure the A.B.C-Z guys probably did not have much trouble with the performance I am amazed at how well the Juniors did. Especially with trying to be as in sync as possible. But it probably helped that they got to trade out places throughout compared to A.B.C-Z that were constantly on screen.

Nothing wrong with guys being flexible. ^__--
Love this dance/acrobatic break, if just because Goseki is pretty awesome in it. Unfortunately the screen cap does little to show the awesome of his handstand scissors.

Yet another part that screen caps fail to really capture how good it is. But seeing each member of A.B.C-Z move across the stages in a semi-relay is another batch of fun as you try to see what is all going on on the screen.

Jesse is probably just happy not to be shoved in the back for once.
And while I have tried my best to stay on topic and talk about A.B.C-Z, honestly I have, but I just have to stop a moment and unabashedly flail about the Juniors in the PV. Especially Lewis Jesse, as he has been a favorite of mine for years and he is one of the main Juniors in this. I honestly thought he was going to end up in complete obscurity by now so I am so happy to be shown wrong and I really hope he keeps getting good breaks. Though I think just about everyone from the defunct Hip Hop Jump group had pretty good exposure in this PV and even Morimoto Shintaro and Matsumura Hokuto get some screen time, unless my eyes have deceived me. But I am honestly really tempted in actually buying this DVD for them, but I need to catch up on my 'to buy list' before seriously thinking about it.

Just in case you forgot that 'star' was in the song's title.
I have always felt that if you are going to use a bunch of people in a performance you should do something that shows that there is an actual reason for it. This PV does that not only with having the Juniors aiding with keeping up the energy and helping making all the transitions from section to section move smoothly but also with doing a formation like this. It may be simple but it is something that shows that there is a reason to have a bunch of Juniors there, not only for the star formation itself but to help A.B.C-Z stand out against them.

Failed sentai idea #50: the all White Ranger team.
I love how they managed to find a pose for them to do shaped like a star. It is just such a Johnny's thing to do. But it really does work with the atmosphere of fun in the PV.

They're asleep! Let's finally go home!
Of course this final scene comes off as complete fan service, but I do not think there are many complaining. And it is a rather cute scene to end the PV on.

So while I may not be a A.B.C-Z fan, I am a fan of this PV. It is the best debut PV I have ever seen for a group honestly. And I think A.B.C-Z really knew what they were doing when they asked about debuting with a DVD instead of a CD. I would not be surprised if they continue to keep releasing solid efforts from here on out as well even if they may never have the huge numbers of some of their peers.

I hope when the sales numbers come out for this release they come out strong. The guys deserve it for putting out a release that looks to be well worth the cost and then some.


Jpopwanderer said...


Thanks for the PV review. It was interesting. I didn't pay attention to ABC-Z before but now I find myself liking the group quite a bit. It was unexpected. but this PV is nice and I even like their other video clip, Suna no glass, more. I think both clips work great at showing variety of what they can do. I like them the most out of the three just debuted groups. I hope their sale is good, and that they will be able to release more stuffs. I'm worry a bit about them not getting much promotions. Hope that will change soon.

Jackie said...

I love your reviews^^

Ebi isn´t really a group I payed attention at and at Shokura, I often skipped their performances, but watching the PV made me really impressed!
I just love it and I could´t help but smiling through the whole PV.
You can see how much effort they put in what they´re doing and that that there´s lots of talent and motivation going on.
I´m thinking now if I should buy the DVD after all because I feel like I want to support them (even though I´m not a fan).
I want to congratulate them again on their debut!

Chris said...

I´m very pleased with the PV, it turned out to be a really good one.
I´m just glad it didn´t turn out as Hasshi w. ABC or something like that, I´m happy that all members got screentime. I must say, I really like Hasshi´s voice when singing, it´s not like he has the most amazing voice but it sounds soft and nice, I like that.
Hokuto and Shintaro can be seen in the PV too?
Oh I must have missed them but I´ll watch again and try to search for them (which won´t become easy because of all the many Juniors around ;))
ABC-Z did so good in the PV, well done!

But Johnny´s Net is making me confused again: I thought they finally debuted but it seems like the´re not?! Or why are they still in the Junior section??
If it really was supposed to be just a one-time DVD release debut, then I´m so disappointed in Johnny´s.
What do you think? Are they debuted for real or not?

Ani2 said...

I´m so proud of Ebi, their PV is just wonderful and I think (almost) everyone loves the PV and even non-fans are admitting their talent.
The PV is so enjoyable and fun, there are so many things to discover that´s why I watched several times and I´m sure, next time I´ll discover new things again :)
I like the fact that so many Juniors appear there as well, it makes the whole thing even much more interesting and fun! Also for the Jrs themselves, it must have been a great experience to do a PV shoot with Ebi.

Aside from this PV, I love the song "Suna no Glass" too and even if the dance-shot version is quite simple, I like it a lot!
I wonder about the same as Chris: I noticed that they didn´t get much promotion but still appeared on Music Shows. But are they still considered Juniors? Why ?? Now that they worked so hard for so many years and get the debut announcement, it would be really fair if Johnny-san doesn´t break his promise. If it is supposed to become just a one-shot debut, then I would feel so sorry for Ebi and their fans..
Anyway I enjoyed reading your review!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think Johnny let A.B.C-Z have this dvd debut because they (especially ABC) have been in the agency long enough and contributed to the success of many stageplays and concerts of their senpai. I think it's kinda a reward for them, not a fully debut like Kis-my-ft2. Even Sexy Zone with a huge promotion didnt have their own section in Johnnys net, I doubt Ebi will have one. Back to their PV, I prefer their Za ~5star~ performance in MS than its PV. Somehow, the PV looks cheap, low budget. Or maybe it's because of the low quality of ripped PV? I'm still waiting for my dvd to arrive. Ebi's engergy and dancing skill make the whole performance worth watching. Almost everyone supports their debut and praises their talent, but just like you, not many people like them as their most fav group? I guess in pop, talent and hard working do not mean everything. I'm curious if Ebi will attend Johnny Countdown this year in Tokyo Dome

Anonymous said...

Honesty, I'm a huge ebi fan, and I really love the PV. At first I was bummed out they had to have so many juniors in their debut, but when I actually watched it, I was really happy with it! I agree, it makes sense to have the there. I actually quite like the song. Is it my favorite of their songs? No, but that doesn't stop it from getting stuck in my head.

Also, this is a real debut! I don't understand why people are still wondering about this. In every interview they do, they make a big deal about how it's thef first ever DVD debut. Te Johnny's site just takes forever to update.

One more thing, I'm so happy that everyone gets their chance to shine and that it's not just hashimoto ryosuke featuring A.B.C. Even before hasshi joined, fumi and totsu have always been more of the center and focus. In other words, nothing has really changed with them debuting. Tsuka-chan has been talking so much during the interviews (and doing acrobatics as demonstration a lot) and fumi always brings up gocchi's choreography in every interview. They also stress how they're a 5 person group. Ok I'll stop talking now.

curiosa_cabinet said...

Thanks for giving the PV a chance! I hope you'll come to like A.B.C-Z even more in the future.

"Your friendly bedroom stalkers" LOOL~ I wouldn't mind them stalking my bedroom :)

I believe they said it was done in 8 takes, not five? In any case, it's pretty amazing.

The one doing the handstand scissor move is Tsukada, not Goseki. I think Tsukada is the only one who can do that move.

Now I just wish Johnny's Net would be updated regarding Sexy Zone and A.B.C-Z...

Anonymous said...

Just happen on your post. Love it.
I enjoyed the PV very much and after watching the making and finding out the guys came up with it and the dance themselves it added to it. Yes watching it over and over again and finding something new is great. Best thing for me...The Jr in pink a the end in the middle messing up.

Thennary Nak said...

@ Jpopwanderer

Seeing as from the start they don't seem to be the same kind of group like the other two newly debuted groups I'm not sure if they will ever get the same kind of promotion. But I don't think they did so bad in the end and I don't think Johnny's expect them to sell as much as other debuted groups.

@ Jackie

You know they did a great job when non-fans like you and me want to buy their release. ^__^

@ Chris

I like Hasshi's voice myself, and think it works well the others in the group.

The PV is like a Junior scavenger hunt, since they use so many.

I would say yes. Though to be cautious I'll wait to see them announce a second release if Johnny's net isn't going to be moving them out of the Junior section for whatever reason.

@ Ani2

I wish I had an answer to that. But they are not the only group to have that issue as SZ should have had their own section as they are pretty much following the same pattern as the other FIVB debuts so they should definitely be debuted as well. Hopefully when both groups release more they will get their own sections on the OHPs.