“Harujion ga Saku Koro” serves as Fukagawa Mai’s graduation single in a way not yet seen before in this group, as she was given center status for the A-side. Talk about a sendoff!
Like many Nogizaka46 videos, there is a lot going on in this one. In costumes, we see everything from seifuku, to kimonos, to pajamas. Alongside these different outfits are different set pieces. Somehow, Nogizaka46 manages to do this right. It never feels too jarring between scenes for me.
Maybe this is assisted in how they utilize the shots. We mostly see seifuku for the dance shots, kimonos for the situation shots, and jammies for the fan service-y pillow fight. In a way, it’s kinda nice that we don’t see too much of the last one because it seems out of place compared to the other shots.
Then again, jammies fall to a distant second in fan service when we’re treated with some pretty suggestive yuri shots, particular with Ikuta Erika and Hoshino Minami bonding over (under?) a piano, and Hashimoto Nanami and Saito Asuka engaging in some light petting…of the head, don’t get too excited. In any case, it’s a beautifully shot PV that also serves as a nice sendoff for Maimai.
My only complaint with the video side of the PV is the crying shots. Thankfully it’s fairly brief and mostly at the beginning of the PV, but this is an idol pet peeve for me. Nogizaka46 in particular seems to have a love affair with doing this too, which is unfortunate. This would be a damn near perfect PV for me if it weren’t for that one aspect.
Song-wise, it follows Nogizaka’s formula of natural, light instrumentals akin to something like “Nandome no Aozora ka” or “Kizuitara Kataomoi”. Personally, I’m very much in love with the song. It’s very chill, but has some kick to it too. I think if you can hang with the aforementioned singles, you’ll be very impressed with this one.
This song is a bit on the long side, too. Even discounting the “credits” scene at the end of the PV, this one clocks in at around five minutes and twenty seconds. But honesty, watching the PV in full screen, I didn’t even notice. It kept my attention very well, so that’s definitely an accomplishment in itself.
Nogizaka46’s 14th single drops March 23rd.