NOTE: This review would only cover the MNL48 version of the song. Just like the RIVER review, I won’t be reviewing this as a 48g song but on its own merit so no comparing to the original AKB48 song unless stated. Unlike the RIVER review though, I would be trying to take a look at the music video as well.
No Way Man is the name of the recently released MNL48 seventh single that was announced in late December of last year during the mini handshake event.
This release was a long-awaited one but the journey to the release will be a story for another day.
Upon listening to it the first time around and this is coming from a guy who wanted Flying Get!! to be the seventh single, this song reminds me of Flying Get!! with its Chinese music-inspired EDM BGM and good thing, HHE listened to the audiophiles within the fanbase because the mixing in this one isn’t as atrocious as RIVER’s.
The vocals and the backing track don’t try to overpower each other, on the contrary, they complement each other thus making the track bearable to listen to.
The only thing I can complain about is the lack of coupling songs. RIVER had 10-nen Zakura and Labrador Retriever, No Way Man had…. No Way Man and nothing else.
You think within the time period of February 2020 to November 2021, either HHE or Vernalossom would’ve had a selection of songs from Yasushi Akimoto’s vast library of songs from Onyanko Club to AKB48 Team SH (no, AIR MAIL FROM NAGASAKI’s songs don’t count here) but they decided to follow the BABY BLUE formula of releasing only one song on digital platforms.
I wonder how would they market No Way Man CDs during HSEs? Would this signal a return of mini-CD singles as a novelty item? Cassette tapes? Micro SD cards? We will never know until we get there.
I can say that No Way Man is a vast improvement over RIVER and I hope HHE keeps up this momentum of banger releases and I really hope Flying Get!! would be the eighth single.
By the way, a red ocean can be interesting to look at If you’re familiar with the 1980 movie interpretation of Stephen King’s The Shining. Just saying, now onto the music video.
The MV…is very interesting, to say the least. TVDG upped the ante of the visuals, especially with the helipad shots that made the girls look badass and there seems to be some sort of a narrative with this one and that’s where things went into a confusing turn, for me at least.
For one, you’re not sure what narrative they’re going with. Are they going for a red vs blue gang war shtick? Are they going for a “coming out of their shell” gimmick with this scene? Are they going for an Encantadia look?
It’s all over the place, so much so that I don’t know if there were multiple concepts that were presented to the draft only for TVDG, HHE, and the girls not agreeing to one concept that they just mishmashed everything into one music video.
Compared to the AKB48 version of the same song’s music video though, the sister group’s music video has more color into it with its use of reds, blues, and violets unlike AKB’s wherein it seems to be inspired by Yellow Magic Orchestra’s 1981 album Technodelic when it comes to color choices.
Is No Way Man worth it overall? Yes. Would I recommend it to you? Yes. Is this a turning point for HalloHallo to get things up to speed now that we’re close to getting things back to normal? I think so but I don’t to get my hopes up too much because we might get shot in the face with utter disappointment later on.