This is the review for Berryz Koubou member Kumai Yurina’s second PB titled FLOWERAGE. It was released on 7/25/2009 and it includes a 10 minute Making Of DVD.
This is the 2nd PB I own, after Chinami’s 1st PB CHINAMI, and the main reason why I bought it was to support Kumai so that she can hopefully release more PBs in the future.
As you probably know already Kumai is among my favorites from Berryz Koubou (the other 2 being Tokunaga Chinami and Tsugunaga Momoko) so when I wanted to further expand my collection of PBs I decided to buy Kumai’s latest PB since I had already seen a few previews and I liked them.
I ordered the PB from HMV since it was not available from YesAsia at the time and also because it was cheaper than CDJapan when I bought with some other CDs and albums.
In PB reviews I am reviewing a book full of pictures of the idol in question, for example Kumai who is my second favorite Berryz Koubou member, so I might tend to complement her more than I usually do (the Chinami PB review for example).
I also ask that you please support Kumai, and all H!P artists, by buying their products for two reasons: to support Kumai and help assure more future PB releases from her, and also so that you can see the pictures in better quality since I tried my best to make the pictures as viewable as possible, but nothing can compare to having the PB in your hands and looking at all of the pictures in person instead of on a computer screen.
I didn’t scan the PB, as you might notice, so a big thanks to Annie from Sweet Japan for providing the scans. Some pages were missing so I had to scan them myself (you can easily tell which they are because of the darkened middle) so they are not all perfect but overall the scans are in viewable quality.
Once again I ordered my PB from HMV since they are the only one of the three main Japanese shopping sites to have it at the normal Japanese price (CDJapan, HMV, YesAsia). YesAsia and CDJapan seem to have it (I’m not sure) but the price is around $40 and then you have to pay the shipping which well amounts to $50.
The PB arrived like the Chinami PB, but this time since I ordered it along with some other 3 CDs it came in a plastic bag in the same envelope, which isn’t the best way to protect CDs since there is no room inside. The PB was safe but unfortunately I wish I could say the same about my C-ute Best Of album (I will explain more in that review).
The PB has the same paper slip which runs on the bottom as most of the PBs and it was most likely included to show off some of the previews from the book and to show some information about the PB. The previews that they used are eye catching since they how off many of the casual, close-up, bikini and beach shots that are included.
The front cover is on the right and the back cover is on the left, and for the rest of the PB that pattern will continue since it is a Japanese book after all (if you didn’t know Japanese books are read from the right page to the left page).
The cover features Kuma-chan looking incredibly pretty while wearing a white flower on her hair and a white outfit (most likely a bikini of some sort), and while the title is somewhat hard to read it does fit in well with the theme and it allows us to see more of Kumai.
The back cover on the other hand features Kumai in a bed holding a bear (Kumai -> Kuma = Bear) while wearing pajamas, and honestly I couldn’t have though of a cuter cover to use since we get a chance to see a happy Kuma-chan smiling at the camera in a bright sunny room.
Like the Chinami PB and most other PBs under the protective cover there is some other type of cover, and in this case we get another two incredible photos of Kumai. The picture on the right is from the same set as the previous picture from the cover since it features Kumai in the same outfit and with the same bear.
Both of these pictures are some of the best I have seen since we get a chance to see Kumai giving a teddy bear an Eskimo kiss (or the bear is biting her nose) while on the other we get to see her on a beach during a sunset.
The first picture in the book features the title again but this time we get to see Kumai wearing a “Recycle if you love me” shirt (if more people saw this shirt there would be a giant increase in recycling) and a pink skirt with black shorts while sitting on a skateboard.
The set continues with two more pictures of Kumai at the skate park, and here Kumai is sitting on a ledge near a half pipe while holding her skateboard as a skater “ollies” behind her. On the right we see Kumai looking at the skate park while she is focused on something (hopefully not the skater).
Kumai is still in the skate park, and on the right there is a great view of the skate park and of the backside of Kumai’s outfit. On the left we see Kumai practicing her moves on a skateboard while a shadow looks over her (most likely a skater in case she falls), and if everything went well she won’t fall like I did the first time I got on a skateboard.
As another set starts I breathe a sigh of relief to see her well since that most likely means that she didn’t fall at the skate park. Here we get a chance to see her in a jungle area wearing a cute bikini while smiling to the left.
After leaving the jungle area of the park Kumai notices that her beach shorts are undone (which looks somewhat strange from far away), but she fixes that up fast by tying a knot so that they don’t fall down, and the camera man is nice enough to take a picture of Kumai’s technique.
Like most people who go to the beach Kumai changes into her swimming outfit by taking her beach shorts off and throwing them into the air while jumping (so much for tying them up). As soon as she takes them off she runs to the beach with her arms spread out while the camera man follows her closely behind.
As Kumai gets close to the beach she gets ready to swim by taking her yellow sandals off, and before hitting the waves we see Kumai’s braided hair which looks incredible on her, especially with the colorful beads which add a bit of uniqueness and color to her hairstyle.
We catch up to Kumai as she is getting ready to go out shopping while wearing a cute red orange dress with an even more cute pink and white hat, for some reason she is waiting on some somewhat dirty stairs.
Here we get a closer view of Kumai’s outfit which looks incredible on her since the whole outfit seems to match her bright personality well.
After stopping at the market Kumai poses for the camera cutely in front of the store, and on the left she enjoys an ice cream bar which from the looks of her face must taste delicious.
After enjoying a refreshing treat we catch up to Kumai who seems to be excited to see the beach, that or she is practicing her long-jump.
On the left we get a great view of Kumai playing in the sand and on the right we get a chance to see Kumai in the water, which seems to be a bit cold according to her expression.
After hitting the waves it’s time for some volleyball, and there’s a great shot of Kumai holding the ball on the left which seems a bit intimidating because of her determined look, while on the left Kumai poses in front of the volleyball net where she shows of her great body.
In all PBs there are two pages were we see a sequence of photos, and here Kumai serves the ball to someone on the top pictures. In the bottom right picture Kumai strikes a great volleyball pose while on the bottom left we get a reminder of how tall she is.
The volleyball match against herself seems to have gone well since it looks like Kumai scored the winning point (or she got tired). On the right she seems to be playing with what looks like coral, which is somewhat cute since she seems to obviously be enjoying herself.
Another centerfold picture where Kumai is laying in the sand while smiling at the camera, and even though she is covered in sand she still looks incredibly cute.
A change of setting and clothes and Kuma-chan is once again looking into an area through a fence (similar to her at the skatepark), what she is looking at now is somewhat of a mystery but she seems to be ignoring the camera.
Kumai gets an empty school bag and she is ready for school and seems happy too since the picture on the right has her smiling at the camera, although she looks a bit bored on the left pictures since she is looking at her shoes.
This is obviously a very popular school since it seems to be very crowded although someone should have told Kumai that everyone is on vacation during summer (that or the school isn’t a school and is really a set for a scary movie).
The right picture features an impressing picture of Kumai since we get a chance to see her through Momo’s eyes, who is about 20 cm shorter than Kuma-chan. They probably told Kumai to climb the stairs to the top of the abandoned school (something along the lines of “Hey, go up that scary abandoned building so I can take your picture”), which is really brave of Kumai although somewhat tiring.
After climbing all of those stairs and looking cute all day Kumai is exhausted and she falls asleep on a bed, and it’s somewhat surprising that Kumai doesn’t seem to mind the guy taking her picture as she rests although she has probably gotten used to getting her picture taking so many times that it’s somewhat natural).
The picture on the right is probably one of the best Kuma-chan pictures I have seen since she looks incredible when she wakes up from her 5 min nap. The picture on the left vaguely reminds me of a deodorant ad, which wouldn’t be that bad of an idea since the sales for that deodorant would probably triple once everyone saw Kumai as the model.
The picture on the left has Kumai checking out the beautiful bright scenery, which seems to be impressing since it is extremely bright. We also get a cute reminder of Kuma-chan giving an Eskimo kiss to the teddy bear, which was cute as the cover and still is incredibly cute now.
This picture is among the cutest pictures of the PB since we get to see Kumai’s cute smile while looking up at the teddy bear she is holding.
After sleeping for 10 min Kumai needs to get up to finish the PB and she puts on her cute yellow socks while laughing. On the left is an even cuter picture of her holding a pillow while looking up at the camera (a breathtaking picture).
Here is a rare glimpse at Kumai’s secret summer house, which has an incredible view of the beautiful Guam scenery along with a great view of how Kumai looks from far away.
These two pictures are the best in the PB in my opinion since we get to see Kumai’s incredibly pretty face and smile while on the other side we get to see her wearing an incredible outfit that shows of her body.
What PB would be complete without some great pictures in the country side and Kumai doesn’t disappoint as she puts on a stylish hat and a western themed outfit and slowly walks among the plants.
Another 2-page picture shows us how great Kumai looks while the country wind slowly blows throughout the plants. The picture is somewhat bare but I’m glad to see that Kumai lights up the picture while sun shines behind her.
Kumai slowly paces through the wild scenery, and the camera man slowly trails behind taking pictures of …. the beautiful scenery.
The 2-page picture this time is of a close-up of Kumai as she holds a purple flower, which is one among the many great shots which show off the scenery and Kumai incredibly well.
On the right we see an incredible picture of Kumai against the darkening sky lighting up the picture with her smile and on the left Kumai enjoys the last of the scenery as the sun slowly fades away.
Kumai shows off her cooking skills and from the looks of it she does an incredibly good job since she washes all of the vegetables and even has time to strike a pose for the camera as she prepares a sandwich.
Here Kumai is enjoying a rereshing drink and her Kuma-chan prepared lunch when a dog comes out of nowhere and does what dogs do and stares at the sandwhich (while everyone else stares at Kumai).
She seems to still be laughing at the starving dog while she holds the sandwich just far away so it doesn’t reach it, and I have to admit that she looks incredibly cute laughing at the camera or enjoying a glass of juice after all the work that she has done.
These pictures are somewhat simple since we only see Kumai resting along a white wall with a red stripe on top, but as they say “simple but elegant” applies well here since she looks fantastic.
The camera man was obviously very discreet with this shot, and he obviously wanted to focus on Kumai’s beautiful necklace, but (thankfully) Kumai instead shifts the focus on her hands.
The set of pictures featuring Kuma-chan at the water park starts and she prepares to have a fun day at the park by stretching (something which I can barely do), after which she shows us the beautiful flowers that surround the area.
Another picture of a cute Japanese idol with some white tourists in the background, fortunately the center of the picture is Kumai who laughs at the camera (and probably at the tourists).
As she finishes laughing at the tourists Kumai decides to get out of the pool and she slowly swims to the edge of the pool where the camera man takes an incredible picture of her as she comes out of the water.
After taking a dip in the pool we catch up to Kumai who is about to go down a slide and from her reaction she seems to enjoy it.
Kumai shows us how much she enjoyed the water park with a smile, laugh and peace signs, and even though the picture on the right is somewhat far we can see that she was excited to be there.
The last set of picture features Kumai at the beach at the end of a hard day of work, and she shows us how tired she is by sitting down and crossing her arms. Her somewhat subtle smile matches in perfectly with the calm setting.
Kumai then shows us another great smile before getting up and walking on the beach while the water slowly hits the shores. The picture on the left is somewhat blurry but it’s probably the effect the camera man wanted to get since it seems to capture the motion of her walking.
Kumai shows us her smile once again and if you notice the left picture is the same one they used as an alternate cover, and I have to admit that the setting, outfit and Kumai’s cuteness do fit in perfectly to make some of the best pictures in the PB.
Another 2 page picture shows us Kumai smiling as the beautiful scenery of Guam slowly fades to darkness as the sun goes down (the telephone pole somewhat ruins the scenic view though).
Once again Kumai rests from walking around on the beach and even though the day is slowly fading away we get a reminder of how gorgeous Kumai looks with another close-up of her cute face.
Here Kumai paces around a lonely beach while the sun sets, and even though the picture doesn’t show much else it is still one incredible and somewhat artistic picture.
As the scenery fades into the sunset we see Kumai enjoying the few rays of sunshine left in such an eventful day, and like most PBs I have to admit that this shot is perfect for ending the PB since it gives it somewhat of a feeling that the day is over but another day (and PB) will come later.
I really enjoyed this PB since it gave us a rare look at Kumai as the center without the other members of Berryz, and even though she is usually the one that stands out the most since she is the tallest in both Berryz and H!P she deserves to have a book dedicated to her since she has shown over and over on live presentations and DVDs that she is a kind and incredibly talented H!P member.
Making Of DVD
The Making Of DVD is included in the PB near the back pages, and as you can tell it is incredibly pink with just a hint of white for the letters, and it does a great job of reminding us about Kumai’s personality since the DVD is bright, cheerful and cute.
The Making Of is an average 10 min (like most PBs, except for Chinami’s) but it condenses many scenes into a summary of Kumai’s trip to Guam for the PB which is somewhat short but still an incredible way of finding out the back story to the pictures included.
Like Chinami’s PB I will comment as I see the video so I will basically condense and give you a summary of the Making Of, but first a big thank you to H!F for subbing the Making Of since it allows fans who don’t know Japanese well to be able to follow along with everyone else, and also a big thank you to shyangel1333 for uploading the video since I have first hand knowledge as to how long it takes for a 10 min video to be uploaded (hint: a lot of time).
Kumai Yurina FLOWERAGE Making Of (Subtitled)
Video uploaded by: shyangel1333
The Making Of starts with Kumai informing us that they have arrived in Guam, after which we get a chance to see her jump around on the beach and pose for the camera.
According to her it was raining earlier but she will try her best to match the beauty of the ocean (something which shouldn’t be that difficult). After buildng a sandcastle on the beach it gets wrecked by a wave, which startles Kumai, and after some cute shots she gets into the water and poses for the camera.
A change of scenery and we get a chance to see Kumai back at the hotel talking about the warm hearts that everyone has. After which we get a chance to hear her english with a cute Japanese accent (my favorite phrase would have to be “My Yurina”).
Kumai gets a chance to play with a phone under some beer advertisements after which we get a chance to see her cute poses and her English skills as she translates some words from English to Japanese. For the next shot they give Kumai an ice cream bar, which she stares at before smelling (multiple times) exclaiming that it’s sweet.
The weather of Guam is apparently very hot since the ice cream bar immediately starts to melt as soon as she opens the bag (according to her). She comments that many people wave at her, which isn’t that surprising since I would wave at Kumai if I got a chance to see her.
The setting changes and we arrive at the bedroom where Kumai does her photo shoot and she later comments that the bear they gave her is cute. She also explains why they gave her a teddy bear (Kuma=bear) and she ends the set by mentioning a Kuma-Kuma collaboration between her and the bear.
The next setting is the one where she poses in her impressive white bikini and she mentions that the water is really cold (something which you can tell from her face).
After a cute montage with shots from her schoolgirl theme we arrive at the beach where we see Kumai posing in her green dress. The end of the PB features the photo shoot with Kumai wearing the blue dress while wearing braids, and it features some incredibly cute shots.
The photo shoot comes to the end and she thanks everyone for making a PB that’s even better than the last one (if the photographer for this PB was the same one for her first one then congratulations on the great comment, if not then…ouch).
She mentions that she tried her best and she would be happy if we saw all the various sides of her from the PB.
Overall the Making Of gave us a great chance to see the PB come to life since we saw the back story of how most of the pictures were taken, something which is a great thing for fans since we get an overall feeling of being there with Kumai in Guam.
I’m glad that they finally gave Kumai another PB since she has grown up to become an extremely gorgeous girl in the recent years, and without a doubt I can say that this PB was among the best for the year 2009 because of the amount of themes, costumes and settings that it includes.
The great mix of casual clothes and bikini’s turned out incredibly well, and while I would have liked to see more content in the Making Of DVD it was still a great way to give each of the pictures somewhat more depth since it showed us how all of them were taken, sort of like a back story for most of the PB.
Overall it’s a perfect PB for fans of Kumai, Berryz Koubou and Hello! Project in general since it shows us picture of a more mature and grown up Kuma-chan. She has changed a lot when compared to her first PB and it was almost necessary to give her another PB because of that.
A PB, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to find out more about your favorite idol and get a better sense of what their character is since it’s a book dedicated to them, and this PB is no exception since we get a chance to see Kuma’s personality reflected of every page.
Hopefully UFA decides to give her another PB since she deserves to be among the many regular PB releases of the year because of her cute personality and kind character (among Momo, Ai-chan, Kamei, etc).
Please support Kumai and Hello! Project by buying the PB!