Thursday, December 4, 2014

Infinite F: Koi No Sign Single (Type A) Review

November 19th is a very special day for Infinite and Inspirits, as it's the anniversary of Infinite's Japanese debut (2011), Sunggyu's solo debut (2012), and now Infinite F's debut (2014)! Infinite F announced their sub-unit consisting of the maknae line, Sungyeol, Myungsoo, and Sungjong, during the One Great Step Returns concert series on February 28th and March 1st, 2014. They performed the song "Heart is Beating," and I have been waiting since then for Infinite F to officially release this song, because it is the best song...EVER. Woohyun and Sungyeol's drama Hi! School: Love On even used this song as their first theme song, yet they never released it within the digital OST singles. And here comes my long-winded rant (please just save yourself and jump to the next paragraph). Then Woollim bombs us with Infinite F's official debut...but in Japan. This is the first time Infinite is producing something new in Japan ahead of Korea (and they're doing the same with the Japanese Christmas single, "Dilemma," in December). I always prefer the Korean version to the Japanese version, but since I love this song so much, I was so excited for the Japanese version. And on November 24th, Woollim bombs us again with the announcement of Infinite F's debut in Korea on December 3rd! (At first I was upset because during pre-debut it seemed that Infinite F was unsure of their debut in Korea, yet so quickly their debut is set in Korea). My Japanese CD didn't even arrive yet, and the Korean version is already on pre-order, so I'll have so little time to enjoy the Japanese versions!
As expected of Japanese releases, this single has three versions: normal, limited first press edition Type A with a DVD, and limited first press edition Type B with a thicker photobook. I believe that each version has their own photoshoot, so it makes Inspirits want all three versions. The normal version is in a jewel CD case while Type A and Type B are the same size as Infinite's Korean singles, mini albums, etc. Just note, I'm not too educated about the differences of the albums yet, but eventually I'll have all three!
The front cover for Type A, along with one of the covers for the normal version, is an illustration by a famous Japanese manga artist. Obviously I'd prefer a real photo of Infinite F to an illustration, but I read that this is one of Myungsoo's favorite manga artists, so I guess it's okay then. The back cover also has another illustration of the three. I don't really like how Sungjong and Sungyeol have the same hair style and color on the back looks better on the front cover. The back cover also has both the CD and DVD tracklist, as well as typical information at the bottom.
I'm really disappointed at the quality of this album. It is literally just glossy cardboard folded together, so the flap keeps sticking up. The album quality is similar to the singles Inspirit and the DVD version of both BTD and Last Romeo. Yet this album is actually worse, because the photobook for Inspirit is attached to the album and BTD and Last Romeo have a secure flap to hold their photobooklets in place, whereas Koi No Sign just has a loose photobook that can easily fall out, just like in First Invasion.
This version, Type A, comes with a photobooklet and then the CD and DVD in its plastic casing on the right.
The photobooklet is only 6 pages, but really only 4 pages have photos. The front and back covers have an ombre design and the back cover (two photos above) have the staff credits.
One page contains a large group photo and then there are three pages, one dedicated to three photos of each member. The remaining pages are song lyrics (pictured below).
Inside the first page of the photobook are the photocard and the slip of paper with information about Infinite F's Japanese showcases.
Here's a closeup of the slip of paper, which is of no use now since the showcase events have passed.
All three versions of Koi No Sign come with one of five photocards. The photocards are the same size as in the Last Romeo single, which is the same width as the Season 2 photocards and slightly taller. There is one photocard of each member and one group photocard, all with the same photoshoot as this album's photobook, but they are different photos than in the photobook. Sungyeol's photocard photo is also in the Type B photobook, while Sungjong's is in this Type A photobook. I never liked how their Japanese photocards tend to be photos exactly from their photobooks, because then I have no desire to collect the photocards. The last card is a group card with the same image as this album's cover. I would have been so sad if I had gotten this illustrated group card on top of already having it for the album cover. As you can see, I got Sungyeol's photocard, but I'll be returning this album so we'll see which card I'll get next.
I finally received my replacement album, and to my pleasant surprise...I got the (real people version) group photocard! I'm so happy, this is my first time getting Myungsoo, though it's a group card. And what's even better, this photo isn't included in Koi No Sign Type A or Type B or in their Korean album! So for the Infinite F promotional events, you needed to have a group photocard, so that's why my group photocard is longer and has that additional information at the bottom. There are dashes at the bottom separating the card from the ticket...but who would want to cut up their photocard?
The cover of the CD and DVD also contain their respective tracklists. Underneath the discs, it says "Infinite F" in the fancy font. This single contains three songs: "Heart is Racing," "Because It's You" and "My Girl," which are all the Japanese versions of the three songs in Infinite F's Korean debut single, "Azure." It's weird hearing the boys bantering around in Japanese in "Because It's You," and I'm so curious as to how the Korean version sounds! (Obviously the track is already out, but I'm waiting for my CD to hear it for the first time). All these songs are so fun, vibrant, poppy, youthful, cheery...I love them all so much! All of these songs definitely have the potential of being the title song. This album will definitely be on repeat until I get the Korean version.

The DVD contains the Japanese version of the "Heart is Racing" music video, as well as the making of the music video. YesAsia says that the DVD is only Region 2, but on the DVD and album itself, it states that it's for all regions. And it does work on my Region 1 player! Wow, it's so gorgeous seeing the music video right on my screen. And the transition to the main menu is so pretty! I was so disappointed about the packaging and that my album arrived damaged (refer to my previous post), but after watching just the music video, I can't stop fangirling! It's perfection; this DVD makes up for everything! I'm so sad to return it tomorrow and it won't be until a month or so until I get my new one :( The special features is just over 11 minutes long. The boys speak in Korean and there are Japanese subtitles, though most of the time there is just background music. I think Melon also released a making clip that's 3:31 minute long and those clips seem to all be from this DVD. This special feature includes many aspects of making this album, including all the photoshoots, each member recording the song in the Sweetune studio, and filming the music video. Each member spoke to the camera, though Sungjong spoke the most often. Myungsoo video-bombed Sungyeol's camera time! During the photoshoot where the boys wear their sweaters, I died seeing Myungsoo in that white and blue sweatshirt! And that whole forest photoshoot was cool to see. It was also really cool seeing them recording the song, since we don't see that often. During the music video making, the boys were running on treadmills in the grassy field! I'm so happy I chose Type A with the DVD as my first album of Infinite F, because the DVD is amazing.

Overall, I absolutely love Infinite F and all of the songs and the adorable music video, but I'm just really upset about the packaging. Compared to Infinite's other albums, this one is just lacking. Of course eventually I'll collect all the versions, so I'm hoping the others aren't like this (though I am weary about Type B, since it does look like the same quality). But in the end, I love the CD and the DVD.

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