Perhaps the loveliest promotional video of the year, Morning Musume ’15 do an awful lot of stretching toward the light in “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki”. The lovely painted sky from the title card doesn’t lie; the orange creamsicle colored sky appears and reappears throughout the PV. The sunrise/sunset clearly means to suggest the beginning of a new era, but more on this later.
You’ll probably know “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki” as the song from the 59th Morning Musume
single that was not written by Tsunku. Composition credits don’t travel too far out of the Hello! stable since the Tsunku’s Sharam Q bandmate, Taisei, charts the song.
Taisei gives us a melodically rich song with a dramatic flair. Unlike some recent singles, the arrangement doesn’t get in the way of the melodies, instead complimenting the vocals with piano leads, light strings and an understated acoustic guitar. Typing that last sentence out, might give the impression of a traditional band arrangement, but actually, “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki” falls in line with most of Morning Musume’s electro arrangements, only with less of Tsunku’s penchant for offbeat electronic accents and dubstep influences.
The Sato Masaki and Nonaka Miki leads were surprising, as was all the leads for this single
So was the Ikuta Erina solo line!
And then, Eripon goes and eats up the camera. Look at the intensity in her eyes!
For a basic PV with minimal sets, “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki” feels higher concept than its budget lets on. Like with “Sukatto My Heart” and “TIKI BUN“, lights play an important part in the PV. Unlike the other two, “Ima Sugu…” uses light as a metaphor as well as set design. With “The Courage to Jump In Right Now”, you probably expected a theme of change. The sun hangs low on the horizon, just ripe for the new day. As Morning Musume ’15 gaze upwards, their faces are illuminated by a sun that lends them strength and resolve. The light glimmers everywhere occasionally overexposing skin, set, and screen.
In more mysterious visual play, solo shots of the girls in a starkly lit and misty room show them turning towards the light. I’m left to think about these members in heeaven’s waiting room, like in the movie “After Life (Wonderful Life)“. These shots are meant to indicate the girls’ movements to a new life, new place, or new self. But, with such a right visual tradition under employ I find it difficult not to think of the big idol change: graduation.
And, the graduation thoughts make some sense. The previous single’s “Yuugure wa Ameagari” spoke to the new generation as they abandoned their old lives in favor of their lives as idols. Giving this song to “older” girls as they contemplate graduation and life after idol-dom completes the logic puzzle. Consider also that the current longest tenured generation, the ninth generation, are well past the median tenure length for Morning Musume and have released as many singles with the group as Tsuji Nozomi, Kago Ai, Fujimoto Miki, and Kusumi Koharu. If you think they haven’t been in the group long enough to warrant a graduation, you’re wrong.
“Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki” strikes me with the same tone as last year’s “Toki wo Koe, Sora wo Koe“: beautiful, haunting, and bittersweet. The tension and drama of the song and the song’s as-yet-deciphered meanings make for great discussion of the group’s direction and impending personnel changes. The question begs asking- who among these 13 girls has the courage to jump in, and to where is she jumping?
You can buy “Oh My Wish! / Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki / Sukatto My Heart” at CD Japan.