Seishun Bus Guide / Rival is Berryz Kobo’s 20th single and it was released on June 3, 2009. It reached #4 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and has sold 34,589 copies.
1. Seishun Bus Guide
3. Seishun Bus Guide (Instrumental)
4. Rival (Instrumental)
Being one of the very little double a-side singles in all of Hello! Project’s history, it was interesting to see how this single would turn out now that we wouldn’t have to add “the crappy b-side” into the mix. The first a-side, Seishun Bus Guide is actually very typical pop for the girls. Ignoring the rock elements here and there, the song is synthy pop at its roots. Fortunately, the song has a fun melody along with nice line distribution, even though Risako’s vocals can get a little ear grating from time to time. The song’s so safe yet so polished that one can’t help but like it.
Rival on the other hand focuses more on its chorus and overall quirkiness(oh, and more Miyabi than it’s counterpart). Once again, it’s as pop as you can get which is a bit strange since the girl’s recent releases have seen them trying out different genres. Anyway, apart from the strange and random monologues during the verses, the song is actually pretty catchy. Vocal wise everyone sounds fine. There’s more Miyabi this time but I still think that Yurina can’t sing to save her life(she just sounds like shes talking).
For being the first double a-side I’ve lived to see released in H!P(not counting things released pre-2006, when I wasn’t yet a fan), I’m quite impressed. Even though neither of the two tracks were to be considered either perfect or amazing, the overall high quality of both tracks make this a very enjoyable, if safe single.