Hello Project shows are always about creating a special world of happiness unto themselves, and the 2008 summer concert goes out of its way to create a theme of surf, sun, green leaves and flowers. The opening is great, a balletic bit by the HP Eggs, followed by the whole cast coming out and reviving that great Morning Musume oldie "Endless Summer" while wearing tennis togs and swinging tennis rackets. It strikes the perfect note of innocent sexiness that Hello Project is known for. That said, this show is a mixed bag. The good: Kusumi's solo number and her new trio Milky Way are making great silly pop that sounds like anime theme music; Berryz is on fire, with two great new songs (including the insane "Monkey Dance"); Buono look and sound great performing Tsunku's specialty (unabashed 60s bubblegum pop). The bad: dreadful songs and even worse costumes for C-ute, usually my fave HP act; High-King is something of a misfire as Tsunku moves out of his comfort zone and tries to compete with Tamaki Nami. And what can I say about Morning Musume? Some pretty bad costumes as well, and I can't shake the feeling that they've become simply Takahashi Ai and Tanaka Reina, backed by a bunch of other girls. On the whole, I loved this, and other diehard fans will, as well. For the unitiated, start with Hello Project Winter 2007.
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