May 31, 2008

Risa Niigaki – “Happy Girl” Photobook Review

Posted in Risa Niigaki at 6:25 pm by aiwish472

After much waiting, we Gakisan fans have finally gotten a fourth solo photobook from Risa Niigaki. (Okay, so it’s been a month since this release, but…) “Happy Girl” isn’t my favorite, that goes to “Amanatsu.” But it’s really close. Most of the shots in “Happy Girl” are great. Unlike many Hello!Project photobooks, this one seems to have more winter pictures than any other season. But best of all, it fits with Mame’s happy girl personality.

When we open up the book, Risa looks like a snow princess, or even better. She wears a white dress and has an icicle in her hands as a prop. Even though they aren’t bright and colorful, these first few shots can really draw oneself into the photobook.

Some of the next pictures also are of Risa in the snow. But this time, she’s wearing a black dress and red coat. It looks rather classy, if you ask me. A few pages later, Risa is in what appears to be a small town. She remains chic, but looks cute at the same time. These are some of my favorites in the whole book.

The setting of the next few is kind of…boring. I don’t really like the train. It’s empty and not really pretty. But Risa’s in these photos. (And her outfit is nice. She keeps the red coat for one shot.) So who cares? 😛

The happy girl theme continues, and it can definitely be noticed in the next set. Risa is cheery and smiley and…happy. She genuinely seems so, and it’s good to see her keeping with the theme. I like how these appear to be taken at sundown, it’s a great touch. These are also some of my favorite pictures in this photobook.

Now, the swimsuit shots start to come in. The first one is a yellow bikini. These are nice; I like the setting and the look of Gakisan. After that, she wears a red-and-white striped swimsuit in a similar setting.

I don’t really like the shots that come after that. They’re cute, with the teeth brushing and all, but…her shorts. I hate short shorts. (Yet I can still approve of most Hello!Project girls in a bikini. :P) I don’t wear shorts of that length, and I don’t like to see other girls (or guys? XD) wearing them either. They’re just too short and ew.

She also looks like someone I know in the middle picture. But that’s not why I don’t like these. Just saying.

Now, we go back to the Gakinis (?). XD It’s my favorite of the four that she wears. I also like her nails here, hehe. Still, Risa remains happy as always.

The set of photos after that kind of bother me. See, Risa’s in a swimsuit, but she’s not near water at all. She’s just in a room. It made me realize that there is a bit of gravure in Hello!Project, as much as I hate to say it. I always go back to the “it’s art! Not gravure!” excuse, and I’m sure at least someone besides me does too, but…these pictures of Risa defy that. So I don’t like them for that reason. That said, I also like them because they’re so sunny, literally. XD

The next few pictures are wonderful. I don’t think I need to say “Risa is pretty!” anymore, because that point has already been made over and over. When you look at Gaki’s face, and then the carousel in the background, it’s like she’s saying, “I’m not a kid anymore.” And that’s true. As much as we love the 13-year old, 2001 Nii Nii, she’s going to be 20 in October. So it’s sad, yet I’m glad that despite the fact that she’s been around for seven years now, Risa is still around and active in Hello!Project. Anyways…

As the photobook comes to a close, we see the final set of photos. It’s a rather large set, actually, and after that long talk above…it reminds me of young Risa. It’s her smile and the way she looks at you and her actions. This set is a nice conclusion to the book, as it ties in with the first set of Risa in the snow.

Overall, I’d give this photobook an 8 out of 10 stars. Most All of the pictures show a really cute cool loving sweet happy girl Risa, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more happy Mame photobooks from her in the future.

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