I admit it (again). I’ve left my series on Cheeky Parade promotional videos hang without any progress for too long now. Well, I’m sure you know I’m not exactly getting paid for my thoughts here- so plans change, things stay fluid, and ideas may occasionally get abandoned. Well, I’m not abandoning this series!
Cheeky Parade have recently been rocked by the announcement of two hiatus members. Both Yamamoto Marin and Suzuki Mariya will take a two-year absence from the group to study abroad and hone their craft. I’m skeptical about their plans to return, but I can only take their word at face value at this point.
Back in 2013, things were looking up for Cheeky Parade. They released their best selling single “Mugendai Shoujo ∀“, and they were ready for take-off. The group released the “Chekera” PV to promote their debut album “Cheeky Parade I”. As expected for a non-single release, the PV works with a fairly non-existent budget. The budget is clearly evidenced by the set design. We look at a darkened soundstage with only old fashioned incandescent bulbs hanging from the ceiling for decoration. Not much to look at. At least the bulbs give the impression of the Cheeky Parade dancing in some intergalactic outer space stage show. Solo shots of the girls floating weightless through camera trickery reinforce this image.
The song itself leaves us with the memorable hook “Ch-ch-ch-chekera! Wo-wo-wo- roraba!”. Also memorable are the 8-bit flourishes heard most clearly in the clutter-free verses. “Chekera” switches feels regularly from its half-time rock guitar lead to pop verses to a big-beat breakdown b-melody, and back to a fast paced chorus. The memorable song remains in their repertoire to this day as it begs for crowd participation and chants.
Outfits keep the space-age theme intact with a red and silver motif worn on miniskirts. Everything looks futuristic with their outfits’ plastic appearance and sleek lines. High boots and silver accessories complete the look. Let’s just say I approve of the look as the distinctive look sets them apart from most other idol units.
I adore this period in Cheeky Parade’s history. Their freshness clearly comes through in their promotional materials. Again, they show themselves to have a distinctiveness in choreography, styling, and song selection. The space-age aesthetics appeal to me greatly- plastics are the future! Won’t you check it out?
and … scene
You can buy “Chekera” on Cheeky Parade’s “Cheeky Parade I” album at CD Japan.