Before we start, you should know that this is actually Juice=Juice performing as their alter egos “NEXT YOU” from the drama “Budokan”. As such, surely some connection between the visuals of “Next is You” and the drama exists in the digital signature waiting to be unearthed. I would be bad person if I didn’t give an excavation my best efforts.
Tsunku masterminds the entire NEXT YOU project, and the music isn’t an exception. The electric piano lead-in builds initial intrigue visualized with floral arrangements composited over images of the NEXT YOU members. A quickly paced arrangement pops in and sings with synthy brass melodies that lead into on-beat accents. Instrumentally tight, handclaps and jangling guitars provide texture to a the short repeating melodic lines. The sound gives an air of determination and concentration.
Certainly, the lyric oozes the moxy of lines like the titular “Next is you!” and the feeling of frustration will turn into your power”. Even more striking is how the lyrics are a meditation on show business and the duality of character needed for success. It’s a well-known secret that entertainers and performers play a version of their personal character onstage and in media. This idea of being oneself without being oneself resonates at the heart of Next You and “Budokan”. I don’t want to give away plot points here, but “Budokan” examines closely the business of the idol and the distance between personal life and idol life.
Miyazaki Yuka answers
Takagi Sayuki belts this line out with feeling!
While Akari may be the center of NEXT YOU, Miyamoto Karin definitely plays the star of “Budokan”. For those of us Karin wota, this release provides a joyful reunion with Karinchansan’s hair.
Yes, I’ll spoil you Karin. I’ll spoil you with cute stationary.
The promotional video doesn’t offer much in terms of visual innovation. As standard, H!P treats us to a dance shot intercut with solo shots of the girls. Ho-hum, yes. The dance shot interests me because of the red drape over the backdrop. To me, the drape evokes the blood-stained plastics of a butcher shop. This elicit a reflection on how the entertainment business chops its stars into pieces to be sold. Here an autograph, there a diary. Here a picture, there a personal effect. The butchery of idols certainly meshes well with the conceit of “Budokan”.
Fading into the flowers
While you can definitely look at “Next is You” as the latest asleep-at-the-wheel PV from Hello! Project, there might be some thought behind the visuals. My butcher analogy might be a bit extreme, but perhaps it’s right on target. What did you think of “Next is You”? What do you think of Budokan? Tell me in the comments below!
You can buy Juice=Juice’s “Next is You / Karada dake ga Otona ni Nattanjanai” at CD Japan
<a href=""http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/HKCN-50477"Limited D