Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. This is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.
This week we have Promotional videos from Maplez, Tacoyaki Rainbow, Yumemiru Adolescence (REWIND EXCLUSIVE!), Oomori Seiko feat. Namahamu to Yakiudon, You’ll Melt More! , Rock a Japonica, Kobushi Factory, Tokyo Girls’ Style, and Pax Puella.
Maplez – Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid
Slated for a November 29, 2016 release, the seventh single from the newly christened Maplez’s (a.k.a. the idol group formerly known as Hiroshima Maple★S) 7th release receives a promotional video filled with cheer. Of course, I mean this literally since “Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid” shoots the girls’ dance performance using the pompoms like they were the Laker Girls. OK, that analogy is a bit of a stretch. The music is top notch, of course, with guitars crashing against Moog keyboards. Hopefully the name change will bring a national and international audience with it.
This one didn’t grow on me as much as I thought it would. I really like the keyboard sounds, but apart from that I’m not particularly enamored with the song. Perhaps the chorus isn’t catchy enough for me, or maybe there isn’t a member I could latch onto, or maybe the cheer motif doesn’t grab me as much as it might. Whatever the reason, Maplez “Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid” is just ‘fair’ in my book.
Tacoyaki Rainbow – Chichin Puipuipui (Short Version)
Ahead of their first album release, Tacoyaki Rainbow releases a promotional video for their lead album track, “Chichin Puipuipui”. The upbeat song is coupled with outfits that look like they were lifted from Princess Jasmine’s closet (which is admittedly a bit uncomfortable for the author). Nevertheless, TakoNiji throw on street clothes at some point and take the viewer on a quick Osaka tour accompanied by their hype track, and everything feels great from there. Tacoyaki Rainbow’s first album, “Maido! Okini!”, hits shelves on December 21, 2016- barely in time to fill your favorite stocking.
“Chichin Puipuipui” also fills itself with many of the things I usually find interesting in idol PVs. The “Puipuipui …p-p-p-p-puipui” is repetitive and annoying in a way that I find endearing, but the belly-dancer outfits make me uncomfortable. I did appreciate the Osaka tour, though.
Yumemiru Adolescence – Otona Yarasete yo
(note: you may need to find a way of playing this video, since it is region blocked. Might I suggest http://www.unblockyoutube.co.uk/ ?)
I’ll have to excuse myself from here in a moment, because girl for girl, I think Yumemiru Adolescence are the most attractive idol group out there. Go ahead and disagree. You put these four girls in designer clothes, let the camera roll, and a great looking PV will materialize in your gigabyte’s of footage. Not that this is what happened with “Otona Yarasete yo”. Actually, this promotional video is pretty high concept: although dressed like fashionable adults, Karin, Akari, Yuumi, and Kyouka wreak havoc upon Shibuya like tantrum throwing adoscents. You will see some freaky behaviors, baseball bats, trash throwing, and bottle breaking in the course of these 3.5 minutes. My heart particularly dropped when Karin put her well appointed heel into an acoustic guitar. Ouch! Then again, there’s plenty of yuri moments between the four girls (they know what you want). All of this proves that its not the clothes that make the adult. Make sure you check “Otona Yarasete yo”; the sophisticated grooves tickle me good, the bad behavior hits my sweet spot, and who knows how long the video will last!
Oomori Seiko feat. Namahamu to Yakiudon – YABATAN Densetsu
OK, you caught me. I’m actually pretty giddy about this release. “YABATAN Densetsu” is where the quasi-idol (Oomori Seiko) and the self-produced comedy idols (Namahamu to Yakiudon) meet and produce beyond expectations. Well, actually not quite beyond expectations since Oomori recently gifted Hello! Project idols C-ute with their gorgeous song “Mugen Climax“. “YABATAN Densetsu” is killer, with lots of trademarked noisy freak-outs that eventually settles into catchy sing-alongs. Aside from their comedy, which you will sample at the top of this promotion video, “YABATAN Densetsu” proves that Namahamu to Yakiudon make very capable idols in their own right. As a bonus, it’s nice to see them wearing something other than their standard red, white, and blues. “Orion za / YABATAN Densetsu”, the single makes it way to stores on December 14, 2016.
Have I mentioned that I love this? There’s definite power in the way these girls operate. I’m powerless next to Namahamu to Yakiudon; their comedy and antics make me feel like I’m watching something taboo. Maybe it is taboo. Oomori Seiko was already God level for me- I would drink her bathwater (as the expression goes). Seiko perfectly matches Marina and Risa’s mania with a song and arrangement that brings out their best qualities. Buy this now, that’s all I’m saying. Buy this now!
You’ll Melt More! – Night Hiking
Even more promotional videos from You’ll Melt More!’s (Yurumerumo!) July 13 mini album “WE ARE A ROCK FESTIVAL”. “Night Hiking” gorgeously shoots Ano, Chiffon, Kechon, and Younapi hiking at night in their sleepwear to a the top of a hill. It’s not really a hike; it’s more like a walk. But, they are carrying instruments to their vantage point where they start playing. The electro sounds of the “Night Hiking”arrangement whiz and whir by like so many falling stars in the night sky. No the instrumentation doesn’t match the song, but that’s not really the point. “Night Hiking” is another quality release from Yurumerumo!, which should tell you that if you haven’t checked out “WE ARE A ROCK FESTIVAL” yet, you should get on it.
The end of this week saw some really spectacular PVs, didn’t it? More than anything Yurumerumo! had previously released “WE ARE A ROCK FESTIVAL”, “Night Hiking” highlights a magical quality of the girls’ work. The promotional video with its inconsistent lighting, shadows, and glare only adds to the spell. Yurumerumo! are out in the wild, they’re looking at the stars, and you can share that moment or not. As a bonus, wasn’t it nice to see an idol pick up a guitar and actually lay down a barre chord? Kudos to you, Ano.
Rock a Japonica – Dakedo Yume Miru (Another Version)
Rock a Japonica’s third single, “Dakedo Yume Miru” gets Another Version today. Rather than the illustrated manga of the version we covered previously, off-shots and live-shots comprise this new version. I think this version addresses a need for the group: more personality. In this well-put together promotional video, the girls of Rock a Japonica shine with their youthful charm and wide smiles. In fact I found it difficult not to want to throw my devotion to Misato, Luna, Riko, Chiho, and Ami. Results may vary, of course, but I really look forward to seeing more of these girls. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. Rock a Japonica’s “Dakedo Yume Miru” dreams itself into stores on November 23, 2016.
Now, you could argue that this alternate version of “Dakedo Yume Miru” is superfluous. It is superfluous. But for me, one who doesn’t know much about the girls of Rock A Japonica, I enjoyed the opportunity to see these girls interact in genuine ways. AS the girls continue through the promotional cycle, as shown on this visual document, one can’t help but wish the girls the best of luck as they rise through the ranks in the idol world. This PV made me like the group even more, which is the point.
Kobushi Factory – The Kobushi Magnolia Flower
In advance of their first album, “Kobushi sono Ichi”, the girls of Kobushi Factory release the promotional video for a song that will probably be a concert closer for the next two years. From the first strains of the slide guitar, you know you are in for some heartfelt stuff. The lyrics of “Kobushi sono Ichi” (make sure and read them!) echo the Kobushi spirit as much as anything I’ve ever seen from the group. Performance-wise, the song features some great vocal work from the girls; I name check Inoue Rei, Hirose Ayaka, and Wada Sakurako in particular. “Kobushi no Hana” shows us each of the girls in street clothes running separately from differing locations. When you figure out their eventual destination, it should all make sense. You can buy Kobushi Factory’s “Kobushi sono Ichi” starting on November 30, 2016
You know, I watch a lot of Hello! Project videos. The rare PV like “Kobushi no Hana” that shows the girls out in the world are cherished in my mind. Much like “Dakedo Yume Miru”, we see the girls are not a construct that exists on in the studio. These are real girls with hopes and dreams that extend beyond their time in the Projects. But, I’m off track. “The Kobushi Magnolia Flower” showcases the girls beautifully as they come together and eventually leave together. Incidently, is that the same beach from Berryz Kobo’s “Tomodachi wa Tomodachi Nanda”? That would be a sweet touch, wouldn’t it?
Tokyo Girls’ Style – Mille Feuille “Version Cute”
You’d think I’d be done posting about this release, but no – Tokyo Girls’ Style goes and releases “Mille Feuille Cute Version”. Certainly it’s cute: Miyu, Mei, Yuri, and Hitomi find ways to blow up their eventual pastry treat. I still love the song just as much as when I gushed over it a few days ago. You’ll probably notice dance shots from the “Cool Version” intercut with this cook show for added dimension. For me, I was very satisfied with the “Cool Version”, so this is just powdered sugar atop my flaky dessert pastry. “Mille Feuille” goes on sale on November 30, 2016.
This was the week for extra PVs, wasn’t it? As much as I love the song, I don’t think I needed this version. I don’t need to think of Tokyo Girls’ Style as cute, because I’ve already seen that a few times over. I would rather watch the budding sexuality of the “Cool Version” for its gorgeous camera work and tight choreography.
pax puella – Fuyu no Himitsu
Pax puella’s third release “Fuyu no Himitsu” gets a promotional video release. Although not particularly Christmas themed, this new single is filled with winter spirit straight from Sendai. I really do get some warm feelings from this new single. To riff a bit on pax puella, consider these girls are from Sendai, share roots with Dorothy Little Happy, and was called mImi before a name change in March 2016. And, since we’re on that topic, “pax” is Latin for peace, while “puella” is Latin for girl. The talent level here should pique interest in the group of young girls. For my part, I’ll do my best to learn more about this young idol group. You can buy pax puella’s “Fuyu no Himitsu” starting December 21, 2016.
More groups I know little about. Truthfully there isn’t much in this PV for “Fuyu no Himitsu”. And, like the “Cool Version” of Mille Feuille” the sharp choreography and charm of the girls are enough to lure me in and pique my interest. Yes, tell me more about pax puella. Tell me MORE!