Where It All Began: A Retrospective Review Of Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~

Release Date: August 3rd, 2011

It has been a decade since Houkago Princess made their debut as idols, and like many that came before them, they started out small and relatively unknown. With seven members making up the original lineup, the group would open up their own live house in Ikebukuro, standing on a checkerboard stage that could barely hold the entire group. Backed by a team of industry newbies to help with recording, set design and promotion, Houkago Princess was a group as green as they come, but they were just as determined as any other idol group out there, and they were ready with a debut single before they even hit the stage.

This is where it all began.

Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ is the single that kicked the gears into motion, and though it took me years to obtain it for myself, this was a single that I desired when I first learned about HouPri’s debut. Does that mean it is great? Not at all, but out of all the singles that HouPri has released in their 10 years together, this is the one that holds a special place in my heart, because with the announcement of this single back in July of 2011, I was able to discover the group and become a fan of them from the word ‘go’.

Listening to the title track in particular brings a giant hit of nostalgia for me, because whilst it might not be the most interesting song from the group, Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ is what made me want to follow the members and their journey. The cute, bright sound sprinkled with sparkling effects and sweet vocals captured me, and the 18 year old who first heard this endearing sound was immediately drawn into this world of idol cuteness. It is pure happiness, and there is no doubt in my mind that I replayed the music video for this song far more than I could hope to remember just to hear this song over and over again.

Sadly the official music video has not been available since around 2013, so I can not share the joyful awkwardness with you all that is Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~.

Sukidayo (Warui) is seldom performed at this point, however it is one of those songs that is just so sweet and reminiscent of simpler days that I wish the current lineup would perform it at some point, despite the fact that I barely listen to it myself. With its softer vocals and a continuous sparkling effect weaved throughout the entirety of the song, Sukidayo (Warui) is a complimentary track to its predecessor that showcases the vocals of its members in all of their cute and squeaky glory.

I do not hold much interest in Sukidayo (Warui) as a fan or listener, but I do hold some nostalgia for this song and feel happy to revisit it after so long. I certainly have a small sense of longing to hear it performed again, but for now it seems to be lost in the HouPri archives, which is a rather sad realisation to have. Still, I am glad that I can listen back and enjoy this small slice of variety in HouPri’s debut single.

Believe it or not, Ichigo Ichie is the only song to have a video uploaded to the official YouTube account for Houkago Princess, though it features a much bigger lineup and is a live recording from 2013. With that said, I do think this is one of the best ways to experience the joy that is Ichigo Ichie as a song, because it is full of energy and was pretty much one of main songs to perform live back in the groups early era.

To put it simply, Ichigo Ichie is high in energy, the perfect end to this single, and the only song on this entire track list that is performed semi-regularly. It makes you want to get up and swing your towel high in the air, the song is so catchy that once you know the lyrics you can not help but sing along, and it just makes me smile. Ichigo Ichie is simply delightful, and I like that during the instrumental break, it holds a similar sound to Oshiete Kudasai’s own instrumental break to give the single a nice rounded feel.

Looking back at the release of Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ 10 years down the road is an emotional experience, and I have cried listening to the title track alone Lord knows how many times. I am reminded of just how far the group has come and the change that Houkago Princess has gone through, both in members and their music. They started out with humble, almost amateur beginnings and a desire to stand on a much bigger stage.

Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ may not be the finest single that Houkago Princess have put out, but it was the blueprint for future releases and their original sound. Maybe it was undeniably generic, the vocals raw and its unrefined mixing made the chorus sound less than clean, but it was this release that pulled me in despite all that. This is where my fandom began and I couldn’t be happier.

Track List:

  1. Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~
  2. Sukidayo (Warui)
  3. Ichigo Ichie
  4. Houkago Princess ~Oshiete Kudasai~ (Instrumental)
  5. Sukidayo (Warui) (Instrumental)
  6. Ichigo Ichie (Instrumental)

To learn more about Houkago Princess via their official Website and Twitter:

Official Website: https://houpri.fanmo.jp/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/forzarecord_1
LINE Blog: https://lineblog.me/houpuri/

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