Wednesday, May 23, 2012

mAyKB48 – (19/48) Subunit – French Kiss

So after writing up no3b’s entry I really thought that these next two would take a long time, but it seems that most of the other subunits don’t have nearly as much back-story.  So today we move on to French Kiss.

French Kiss is the subunit home of Kashiwagi Yuki, Takajo Aki, and Kuramochi Asuka.  The group’s catchphrase is, “A trio you would like to introduce to your parents.”  They made their debut in June of 2010 and have since released four singles.  They have a 5th single and album in the works.  Early on many of the coupling tracks on their singles were covers of Team B stage songs, but by their third single the release included all new songs.  Their first single ranked number 27 in the 2011 Request Hour and one of its coupling tracks snuck in at number 93.  It was their only single out at the time, so it was a very nice showing for them.

For their first two singles French Kiss had an interesting gimmick.  One version of their singles included a mini drama starring the members.  These dramas were 40-45 minute and told realistic love stories set in high school.  The plots aren't exactly mind blowing and the roles aren't super challenging but the girls do a solid job portraying genuine emotion and being entertaining.  I think this is a cute gimmick which allows fans to see even more of these girls interacting together.  However, the dramas have not been present on the more recent singles, so it seems that it’s a thing of the past.  Possible factors in ending this interesting extra may have been cost and time of production or sales (the version with the drama CD costs almost twice as much as other singles with DVDs and almost as much as full albums so fans may not have been willing to spend that much).  I hope this is something that they return to with future singles as it is something unique that sets their subunits apart.

While no3b seems to focus on all of the members fairly equally, Yuki is clearly the star of French Kiss.  Take a look at their most recent single.  The A-side track of course featured all three members.  But of the four possible coupling tracks (depending on which version you purchase) only one features all three girls.  Two of them are duets, both featuring Yuki, and the last is a solo song by Yuki.  She has had a solo song on three of the four singles.  Yuki is by far the most popular member and she is certainly talented enough to carry solos.  And while she is the center, the others do get their moments to shine as well.

French Kiss definitely has a style, although I’m having trouble putting a descriptive label on it.  But I feel if you like one of their songs you’ll probably like most of them.  They sing a lot of cute love songs.  I really like If and Kakkowaruri I love you.  And the music video for Saisho no Mail is really sweet.


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