Ayumi – Summer Jewel (October 22nd, 2008)
Catalog # – SBVD-11 – Region 2 Disc – 4:3 Aspect
Running Time: 51 +16 (67 total)
The Skinny: Another day and time for another Gravure Idol DVD. After the solid disappointment I experienced in watching the debut DVD of Asana Mamoru, <— click for the review, it is time for a video that would make me and everyone else smile. Well I found one. It isn’t new, in fact it a October 2008 release. The model is Ayumi and the title of the DVD is Summer Jewel.
Guys, this gal would be a jewel at any time of the year, in any season, or in any kind of setting. When you see a smile like this, you just know this is going to be a great video. And speaking of her smiles, here you go. Arigato Ayumi-san!
An exciting montage opens the video. I say exciting because of the pacing and the new and fresh music track that accompanies the visuals. Immediately following is the 1st of the main chapters. Our lovely model wears a beige sweater over a bikini.
She poses in her hotel room which is filled with the natural sunlight. In this chapter it is not so much about what she wears or what she does. Instead you are caught up and mesmerized by the power of her smile.
Chapter Two finds Ayumi on a sparkling beach. She wears a colorful multi-striped bikini. From the length of the shadows I’d say this was a morning shoot. if anything could be pointed out as faulty it would be the constant motion of the model and/or the camera. That won’t intrude on your pleasure in watching – it just made it tougher to grab some captures.
Three opens with Ayumi seated on a chair. She’s reading a book. She’s wearing eye glasses, a white blouse, a short and tight-knit skirt and high-heeled shoes. The pacing is languorous but we already know what will follow. As expected, eventually, the book, the blouse, the skirt and her glasses will be set aside. This scene is notable for the excellent lighting for an indoor shoot.
Four has the bikini-clad Ayumi posing against a backdrop of the coast rocks. In this scene, the model remains relatively in place. She will change her poses but the motion is conveyed through the camera’s movements. A series a slow pans and zooms in and out do it. It was a nicely shot scene technically, but quite brief and should have utilized a bit more variety of poses.
After that slow sequence, things really get fast. Ayumi spends the next scene (the 5th) in motion dancing. It’s out of doors and for the most part, the blue sky is the background. About midway through this scene the techno-rock music track switches to a vocal. It’s not that I didn’t like the 2nd track, but it is a slower paced vocal and yet, Ayumi’s dancing remained the same speed.
The 6th Chapter finds Ayumi relaxing in a tub filled with soap bubbles. She’s having fun and so will you as you watch. There’s no nudity, and nothing about this scene is supposed to salacious. It’s just a pretty girl in a bathtub and then she’ll rinse off the soap with a hand-held shower. It’s just beautifully done and is a delight to watch.
Seven has Ayumi wearing a beautiful satin slip trimmed with lace. She begins the scene standing in a hallway but they soon move into a room where Ayumi reclines on a sofa. The pacing is very slow and the music matches.
Eight begins with Ayumi wrapped up tightly in red. It is a red clingy cellophane strip. As expected she’ll unwrap it herself. It was kind of fun but the setting was an under-construction hallway which kind of limited the space for Ayumi to move around in and furthermore, it was otherwise just dull visually.
The ninth chapter begins in some sort of canyon with an outlet to the open sea. Ayumi seems dwarfed by nature. She’s wearing an unusual black swimsuit. It is neither a bikini nor a full one piece swimsuit. Just somewhere in between. However it is Ayumi who makes this scene terrific not her attire. They also employ a reflector and that adds a touch of additional brightness.
The next scene (the 10th) begins with Ayumi in a lovely yukata. We see just her hand at first. She’ll slowly slide her hand down the side of the sliding doorway. Then, after a brief facial close-up, the camera will pull back to reveal this shot below.
As Ayumi slowly steps into the room, we hear the natural sounds of the nearby woods. The insects provide the ‘orchestration’. It is not an unpleasant sound, in fact it is relaxing. But they will soon substitute a piano solo for the chirping of the locals.
Slowly but surely, Ayumi will tug the yukata down off her shoulders; open the lower part to reveal her legs, then untie the sash. When she’s done we will see that she wears a reddish print bejeweled bikini.
At this point there’s about a minute and half left. We are suddenly viewing some additional footage edited out of the main chapters but added in now as the credits roll. Kudos must go to Director Naohiko Nakamura and the production team from Saibunkan.
The Bonus special provides plenty of behind the scenes footage as well as making of footage. At 16 minutes and change, this is one of the longest Bonus specials I’ve seen. But it is all good. You get further insights as to how a gravure idol DVD is made, and some great looks at Ayumi being herself. This is a very fine bonus in addition to the 10 main chapters of the video.
Summary: A great model and a superb video. I may have missed this one last year, but I’ve no qualms about highly recommending this DVD this year. Ayumi in Summer Jewel is no mere bauble. She’s a must see diamond. Four point five out of five.