As Angerme prepares to send off Ayaka Wada — the last remaining founding member of S/mileage — we’re treated to another of H!P’s “ethnic” themed song as the lead to their latest — and Wada’s last — single. “Koi wa Accha Accha” isn’t the first H!P song to borrow Indian influences, but it is the first to buy into the influences so completely. It’s full-on Bollywood-as-Jpop, and it’s really well done. The structure is tight like a good idol-pop song should be, but the instrumental arrangement sounds pretty faithful to the Indian pop music it cribs, even if the instruments are mostly programmed. The chorus is a claw-bearing ear-worm that burrows deep into the hippocampus and holds on for dear life. As is usual with Angerme, most of the girls get a line or two to stand out, and they all sound pretty good. The full video looks as it should, with bright, colorful Indian dress, lots of Bollywood-inspired dancing, and a particular stiff dance move that they are clearly trying to make go viral. Yes, they’re trying to make “fetch” happen. The full package is a lot of fun and, although a departure from their signature bold sound, it ranks with their best work to date.
Sadly, the same can not be said of Wada’s send-off song, “Yumemita Fifteen”. It sounds like someone fed a bunch of old AKB songs through an AI program then asked it to write a J-pop song. Everything is cheesy and predictable, which is death for a song that is intended to elicit emotion. What emotion we do get feels ersatz and forced, even in the video. Compared to the extraordinary, tear-jerking good-bye Sayumi Michishige received with “Mikaeri Bijin“, Wada got gypped. This might be the only Angerme song that I straight-up don’t like.
Angerme’s 26th single is both one of their very best and one of their absolute worst, which as I think about it, is at least preferable to 100% mediocre.